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re are the arms bare from the shoulder, long and round as a woman’s should be, and terminating in flexile wrists, and hands so gracefully modelled we shrink from thought of their doing more than making wreaths of flowers and playing with harp strings. There too is the pose of the head expressive of breeding and delicacy of thought and feeling, of pride and courage–the pose unattainable by effort or affectation, and impossible cheap nike air max except where the head, itself faultless, is complemented by a neck long, slender, yet round, pliant, always graceful, and set upon shoulders the despair of every one but the master who found perfection of form and finish in the lilies of the Madonna. Finally there is the correspondence, in action as well as repose, of body, limbs, head, and face, to which, under inspiration of the soul, the air and manner of lovely women are always referable.
The Princess was yet intensely observing the stretch of water before her, and the rapid changes of the light upon its face, when a boat, driven by a single oarsman, drew up to nike air max the landing, and disembarked a passenger. That he was not the person she was expecting became instantly apparent. She glanced at him once, and then, satisfied he was a stranger in whom she had no interest, resumed study of the bay. He, however, after dropping something in the boatman’s hand, turned, and walked to the gateway, and through it towards the palace.
Ere long a servant, whose very venerable appearance nike air max classic belied the steel-pointed javelin he carried, hobbled slowly along the floor of the portico marshalling a visitor. She touched the golden knot at the back of her head to be assured of its arrangement, arose, shook out the folds of her gown and mantle, and was prepared for the interruption.
The costume of the stranger was new to the Princess. A cassock of mixed white and brown wool that had gone through a primitive loom with little of any curative process except washing, hung from his neck to his heels. Aside from the coarseness of warp and woof, it fitted so closely that but for a slit on each side of the skirt walking would have been seriously impeded. The sleeves were long and loose, and covered the hands. From the girdle of untanned skin a double string of black horn beads, each large as a walnut, dropped to his knees. nike air max 90 sale The buckle of the girdle, which might have been silver deeply oxidized, was conspicuously large, and of the rudest workmanship. But withal much the most curious part of the garb was the cowl, if such it may be called. Projecting over the face so far as to cast the features in shadow, it carried on the sides of the head broad flaps, not unlike the ears of an elephant. This envelope was hideous, yet it served to exalt the man within to giantesque proportions.
The Princess surveyed the visitor with astonishment hardly concealed. What part of the world could produce a creature so utterly barbarous? What business could he have with her? Was he young or old? Twice she scanned him from head to foot. He was a monk; so much the costume certified; and while he stopped before her with one foot advanced from the edge of the skirt, an cheap nike air max d resting lightly in the clasp of the thongs of a very old-fashioned sandal, she saw it was white, and blue veined, and at the edges pink, like a child’s, and she said to herself, “He is young–a young monastic.”
The stranger drew from his girdle a linen package carefully folded, kissed it reverently, and said:
“Would the Princess Irene be pleased if I open the favor for her?”
The voice was manly, the manner deferential.
“Is it a letter?” she asked.
“A letter from the Holy Father, the Archimandrite of the greatest of the northern Lavras.” [Footnote: Monasteries.]
“Its name?”
“The Bielo-Osero? Where is it?”
“In the country of the Great Prince.” [Footnote: Russia.]
“I knew not that I had an acquaintance in so distant a region as the north of Russia. You may open the letter.”
Unmindful of the indifferent air o nike air max 90 f the Princess, the monk removed the cloth, leaving its folds hanging loosely from his hand. A sheet of vellum was exposed lying on the covered palm.
“The Holy Father bade me when I delivered the writing, O Princess, to deliver his blessing also; which–the saying is mine, not his–is of more worth to the soul than a coffer of gold for the wants of the body.”
The pious comment was not lost; but without a word, she took the vellum, and resuming her seat, addressed herself to the reading. First, her eyes dropped to the signature. There was a look cheap nike air max trainers of surprise–another of uncertainty–then an exclamation:
“Hilarion! Not my Father Hilarion! He is but a sacred memory! He went away and died–and yet this is his hand. I know it as I know my own.”
The monk essayed to remove the doubt.
“Permit me,” he said, then asked, “Is there n cheap nike air max ot an island hereabouts called Prinkipo?”
She gave him instant attenti nike air max 95 on.
“And on the side of the island over against the Asiatic coast, under a hill named Kamares, is there not a convent built centuries ago by an Empress?”
“Irene,” she interposed.
“Yes, Irene–and was not Father Hilarion for many years Abbot of the convent? Then, on account of his fame for learning and piety, did not the Patriarch exalt him to attendance on his own person as Doctor of the Gospels? Still later, was he not summoned to serve the Emperor in the capacity of Warden of the Purple Ink?”
“From whom have you all these things?” she asked.
“Excellent Princess, from whom could I have them save the good Father himself?”
“Thou art then his messenger?”
“It becomes me better to refer you to what nike air max sale he has there written.”
So saying, the monk stepped backwa nike air max 1 rd, and stood a little way off in a respectful attitude. She raised the missive, and kissed the signature several times, exclaiming:
“Now hath God taken care of his own!”
Then she said to the monk, “Thou art indeed a messenger with good tidings.”
And he, accepting the welcome, uncovered his head, by raising the hideous klobouk, [Footnote: Cowl.] and letting it fall back pendant from his shoulders. The violet eyes of the Princess opened wider, brightening as with a sudden influx of light. She could not remember cheap air max a finer head or a face more perfect in manly beauty, and at the same time so refined and gentle.
And he was so young–young even as herself–certainly not more than twenty. Such was her first general impression of him. For the pleasure there was in the surprise, she would not allow it to be observed, but said:
“The nike air max Father in his letter, no doubt, tells me thy name, but since I wish to reserve the reading, I hope thou wilt not be offended if I ask it directly.”
“The name my mother gave me is Andre; but when I came to be a deacon in our Bielo-Osero, Father Hilarion, who presided at the raising, asked me how I wished to be known in the priesthood, and I answered him, Sergius. Andre was a good christening, and

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