Student or Learner
A woman is looking at a girl who put on a costume.
She thinks to herself: Ethel was transformed into beauty and a kind of sad dignity.
I'm not sure how to understand "sad dignity" here? I know what dignity is, but with the word "sad" it sounds strange to me.
Is Ethel the girl?
If so, there seem to be a couple of typos. She was transformed into 'a beauty' (that is, a beautiful person). (It's possible, though much less likely, that she turned into a metaphorical reprentation of the abstract idea of beauty.)
There seems to be a typo in the last words too. Someone who has 'a kind of sad dignity' is dignified but either is sad at the same time, or makes the viewer sad.