He knew that the world, and Annie as the
representative of the world, whatever praise might be bestowed,
could never say the fitting word, nor feel the fitting sentiment which
should be the perfect recompense of an artist who, symbolizing a lofty
moral by a material trifle- converting what was earthly to spiritual
gold- had won the Beautiful into his handiwork. Not at this latest
moment was he to learn that the reward of all high performance must be
sought within itself, or sought in vain. There was, however, a view of
the matter, which Annie, and her husband, and even Peter Hovenden,
might fully have understood, and which would have satisfied them
that the toil of years had here been worthily bestowed. Owen Warland
might have told them, that this butterfly, this plaything, this
bridal-gift of a poor watchmaker to a blacksmith's wife, was, in
truth, a gem of art that a monarch would have purchased with honors
and abundant wealth, and have treasured it among the jewels of his
kingdom, as the most unique and wondrous of them all! But the artist
smiled and kept the secret to himself.

J. Stuart Moore