Patron:
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA


It was evening, with a beautiful

It was evening, with a beautiful sunset. The knights took leave of the pilot, and setting out instantly on their journey, well furnished with all advices how to proceed, slept that night at the foot of the mountain; for they were not to begin to scale it till sunrise. With the first beams of the sun they arose and ascended. They had not climbed far, when a serpent rushed out upon the path, entirely stopping it, but fled at the sound of a slender rod, which Ubaldo whisked as he advanced. A lion, for all his cavernous jaws, did the same; nor was greater resistance made by a whole herd of monsters. They now mounted with great labour the region of ice and snow; but, at the top of it, emerged from winter-time into summer. The air was full of sweet odours, yet fresh; they sauntered (for they could not walk fast) over a velvet sward, under trees, by the side of a shady river; and a bewitching pleasure began to invite their senses. But they knew the river, and bore in mind their duty. It was called the River of Laughter.[7] A little way on, increasing in beauty as it went, it formed a lucid pool in a dell; and by the side of this pool was a table spread with every delicacy, and in the midst of it two bathing damsels, talking and laughing. Sometimes they sprinkled one another, then dived, then partly came up without spewing their faces, then played a hundred tricks, pretending all the while not to see the travellers. Then they became quiet, and sunk gently; and, as they reappeared, one of them rose half into sight, sweetly as the morning star when it issues from the water, dewy and dropping, or as Venus herself arose out of the froth of the sea. Such looked this damsel, and so did the crystal moisture go dropping from her tresses. Then she turned her eyes towards the travellers, and feigning to behold them for the first time, shrunk within herself. She hastened to undo the knot in which her tresses were tied up, and shook them round about her, and down they fell to the water thick and long, enclosing that beautiful sight; and yet the enclosure itself was not less beautiful. So, hid in the pool below, and in her tresses above, she glanced at the knights through her hair, with a blushing gladness. She blushed and she laughed at the same time; and the blushing was more beautiful for the laughter, and the laughter for the blushing; and then she said, in a voice which would alone have conquered any other hearers, "You are very happy to be allowed to come to this place. Nothing but delight is here. Our queen must have chosen you from a great number. But be pleased first to rid you of the dust of your journey, and to refresh yourselves at this table." So spake the one; and the other accompanied her speech with accordant looks and gestures, as the dance accompanies the music. Nor was the allurement unfelt. But the companions passed on, taking no notice; and the bathers went sullenly under the water.[8]

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