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“‘What a loss to me—to us!’—she corrected herself with beautiful generosity; then added in a murmur, ‘To the world.’ By the last gleams of twilight I could see the glitter of her eyes, full of tears—of tears that would not fall. “‘What a loss to me—to everyone—to the world,’ she said. Her eyes were glittering with tears, but her tears did not fall.
“‘I have been very happy—very fortunate—very proud,’ she went on. ‘Too fortunate. Too happy for a little while. And now I am unhappy for—for life.’ “‘I have been very happy, very lucky, and very proud,’ she went on. ‘Too lucky. Too happy for a little while. And now I’m unhappy for—for life.’
“She stood up; her fair hair seemed to catch all the remaining light in a glimmer of gold. I rose, too. “She stood up and her hair seemed to catch all the remaining light. I rose.
“‘And of all this,’ she went on mournfully, ‘of all his promise, and of all his greatness, of his generous mind, of his noble heart, nothing remains—nothing but a memory. You and I—’ “‘And nothing remains,’ she went on sadly, ‘of all his promise, his greatness, his mind, his noble heart—nothing remains but a memory. You and I—’
“‘We shall always remember him,’ I said hastily. “‘We’ll always remember him,’ I said quickly.
“‘No!’ she cried. ‘It is impossible that all this should be lost—that such a life should be sacrificed to leave nothing—but sorrow. You know what vast plans he had. I knew of them, too—I could not perhaps understand—but others knew of them. Something must remain. His words, at least, have not died.’ “‘No!’ she cried. ‘We cannot let all of his plans come to nothing but sorrow. I didn’t fully understand his plans, but others must have. Something must remain. His words, at least, are still here.’
“‘His words will remain,’ I said. “‘His words will remain,’ I said.
“‘And his example,’ she whispered to herself. ‘Men looked up to him—his goodness shone in every act. His example—’ “‘And his example,’ she whispered to herself. ‘Men looked up to him. His goodness was visible in everything he did. His example—’
“‘True,’ I said; ‘his example, too. Yes, his example. I forgot that.’ “‘True,’ I said. ‘His example, too. Yes, his example. I forgot that.’
“But I do not. I cannot—I cannot believe—not yet. I cannot believe that I shall never see him again, that nobody will see him again, never, never, never.’ “‘But I do not. I cannot. I cannot believe—not yet. I cannot believe that I’ll never see him again, that nobody will ever see him again, never, never, never.’
“She put out her arms as if after a retreating figure, stretching them back and with clasped pale hands across the fading and narrow sheen of the window. Never see him! I saw him clearly enough then. I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her, too, a tragic and familiar Shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness. She said suddenly very low, ‘He died as he lived.’ “She reached out as if she was trying to grab someone who was running away. Never see him! I saw him clearly enough then. I’ll see him as long as I live, and I’ll see her tragic figure too. With her outstretched arms she looked like the woman at the riverbank, covered in jewels. She said very quietly, ‘He died as he lived.’
“‘His end,’ said I, with dull anger stirring in me, ‘was in every way worthy of his life.’ “I felt a dull anger rising up inside me. ‘His death,’ I said, ‘was the one he deserved.’
“‘And I was not with him,’ she murmured. My anger subsided before a feeling of infinite pity. “‘And I wasn’t with him,’ she said. My anger was replaced by pity.
“‘Everything that could be done—’ I mumbled. “‘Everything that could be done to help him—’ I mumbled.
“‘Ah, but I believed in him more than any one on earth—more than his own mother, more than—himself. He needed me! Me! I would have treasured every sigh, every word, every sign, every glance.’ “‘But I believed in him more than anyone on earth, more than his mother, more than he believed in himself. He needed me! Me! I would have treasured every sigh, every word, every sign, every glance.’
“I felt like a chill grip on my chest. ‘Don’t,’ I said, in a muffled voice. “I felt a chill grip on my chest. ‘Don’t,’ I said.
“‘Forgive me. I—I have mourned so long in silence—in silence.... You were with him—to the last? I think of his loneliness. Nobody near to understand him as I would have understood. Perhaps no one to hear....’ “‘Forgive me. I—I have mourned so long in silence. You were with him at the end? I think about how lonely he must have been. Nobody near to understand him as I would have. No one to hear—’
“‘To the very end,’ I said, shakily. ‘I heard his very last words....’ I stopped in a fright. “‘I was there,’ I said, shakily. ‘I heard his very last words—’ I stopped, terrified.