"Stelio, does not your heart fail you for the first time?" La Foscarina asked with a slight smile, touching the hand of the silent friend sitting beside her. "I see you are a little pale, and you seem preoccupied. Yet this is a beautiful night for the triumph of a great poet!"
She gathered into one deeply conscious glance all the beauty scattered so divinely through that last hour of the September twilight. In the dark, living firmament of her eyes the neighbouring garlands of light, created by the oar as it dipped in the water, seemed to encircle the fiery angels that shone from afar on the towers of San Marco and of San Giorgio Maggiore.
"As ever," she added in her sweetest voice, — "as ever, all things are favourable to you. On an evening like this what soul could remain closed to the dreams that it shall please your words to bring forth? Do not you feel already that the crowd is eager to welcome your revelation?"
Thus, delicately, she soothed her friend, wrapping him round with continual praise, exalting him with continual hope.