Mary Josephine Ward
The memorial service for Sir David Bright was largely attended. Perhaps he was fortunate in the moment of his death, for other men, whose military reputations had been as high as his, were to go on with the struggle while the world wondered at their blunders. It was only the second of those memorial services for prominent men which were to become so terribly usual as the winter wore on. Great was the sympathy felt for the young widow at the loss of one so brave, so kindly, so popular among all classes.
Lady Rose Bright was quite young and very fair. She did not put on a widow’s distinctive garments because Sir David had told her that he hated weeds. But she wore a plain, heavy cloak, and a long veil fell into the folds made by her skirts. The raiment of a gothic angel, an angel like those in the portico at Rheims, has these same straight, stern lines. “Black is sometimes as suggestive of white,” was the reflection of one member of the congregation, “as white may be suggestive of mourning.” Sir Edmund Grosse, who had known Rose from her childhood, felt some new revelation in her movements; there was a fuller development of womanhood in her walk, and there was a reserve, too, as of one consecrated and set apart. He heaved a deep sigh as she passed near him going down the church, and their eyes met. She had no shrinking in her bearing; her reserves were too deep for her to avoid an open meeting with other human eyes. She looked at Sir Edmund for a moment as if giving, rather than demanding, sympathy; and indeed, there was more trouble in his eyes than in hers.
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