How vividly that peaceful home-picture of the
drawing-room comes back to me while I write! From the place where I sat I could
see Miss Halcombe's graceful figure, half of it in soft light, half in
mysterious shadow, bending intently over the letters in her lap; while, nearer
to me, the fair profile of the player at the piano was just delicately defined
against the faintly-deepening background of the inner wall of the room.
Outside, on the terrace, the clustering flowers and long grasses and creepers
waved so gently in the light evening air, that the sound of their rustling
never reached us. The sky was without a cloud, and the dawning mystery of
moonlight began to tremble already in the region of the eastern heaven. The
sense of peace and seclusion soothed all thought and feeling into a rapt,
unearthly repose; and the balmy quiet, that deepened ever with the deepening
light, seemed to hover over us with a gentler influence still, when there stole
upon it from the piano the heavenly tenderness of the music of Mozart. It was
an evening of sights and sounds never to forget.