When did "sentimental" become a pejorative barb? I do not at all share the notion that a piece of music, or a poem, or a film that bypasses the brain and aims straight for the heart. . . should automatically be heaped with scorn. I think it is symptomatic of a sad and dangerous impoverishment of spirit.
It was a dagger in the haughty father's heart, an arrow in his brain, to see how the flesh and blood he could not disown clung to this obscure stranger, and he sitting by. Not that he cared to whom his daughter turned, or from whom turned away. The swift sharp agony struck through him, as he thought of what his son might do.