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of an angel. I have never been very He stopped me with a solemn appealing happy ; I think sometimes, monsieur, gesture. that we others, who care much for art, “ You are young, and you do not altoare not permitted that. But certainly gether understand. You must not judge those few rapid days when she was a child her ; you must not believe that she forwere good ; and yet they were the days gets, that she does not care. Only it is of my defeat. I found myself out then. better like this, because it could never be I was never to be a great artist, a maestro; as before. I could not help her. I want a second-rate man, a good music-teacher nothing that she can give me, no, not for young ladies, a capable performer in anything ; I have my memories. I hear an orchestra, what you will, but a great of her from time to time; I hear what artist, never! Yet in those days, even the world says of her, the imbecile world, when iny opera failėd, I had consolation. and I smile. Do I not know best ?-1, I could say, I have a child ! I would who carried her in my arms when she was have kept her with me always, but it could that high !” not be ; from the very first she would be

III. a singer. I knew always that a day would come when she would not need me. She I saw him once more at the little reswas meant to be the world's delight, and taurant in Soho, before a sudden change I had no right to keep her, even if I of fortune, calling me abroad for an ab

I held my beautiful strange bird sence, as it happened, of years, closed the in her cage, until she beat her wings habit of our society. He gave me the against the bars ; then I opened the door. God-speed of a brother artist, though At the last, I think, that is all we can do mine was not the way of music, with for our children, our best beloved, vur many prophecies of my success; and the very heart-strings ; stand free of them ; pressure of his band as he took leave of let them go. The world is very weary, me was tremulous. but we must all find that out for ourselves. “I am an old man, monsieur, and we Perhaps when they are tired they will may not meet again in this world. I come home ; perhaps not, perhaps not. wish you all the chances you deserve in It was to the Conservatoire at Milan that Paris ; but I-I shall greatly miss you. I sent her finally, and it was at La Scala If you come back in time you will find that she afterward appeared. And at La me in the old places ; and if not-there Scala too, poor child, she met her evil are things of mine which I should wish genius, the man named Romanoff, a bari- you to have, that shall be sent you." tone in her company, own son of the And indeed it proved to be our last devil, whom she married. Ab, if I could meeting. I went to Paris ; a fitful corre

prevented it, if I could have pre- spondence intervened, grew infrequent; vented it !"

ceased ; then a little later came to me the He lapsed into a long silence ; a great notification, very brief and official, of his weariness seemed to have come over him; death in the French Hospital of pnenand in the gray light which filtered in monia. It was followed by a few rememthrough the dingy window blinds his face brances of him, sent at his request, I was pinched and wasted, unutterably old learned, by the priest who had adminis. and forlorn.

tered to him the last offices : some books “But I did not prevent it,'' he said at that he had greatly cherished, works of last, “ for all my good will ; perhaps Gluck, for the most part ; an antique merely hastened it by unseasonable inter- irory crucifix of very curious workman. ference. And so we went in different ship ; and his violin, a beautiful instruways with anger, I fear, and at least with ment dated 1670 and made at Nuremberg, sore hearts and misunderstanding." yet with a tone which seemed to me at

He spoke with an accent of finality, least as fine as that of the Cremonas. It and so sadly that in a sudden rush of pity had an intrinsic value to me apart from I was moved to protest.

its associations, for I too was something “But surely you meet sometimes; of an amateur, and since this seasoned surely this woman, who was as your own melodious wood had come into my poschild-"

session, I was inspired to take my facility

were

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more seriously. To play in public, in “Mrs. Destrier, I have an immense deed, I had 'neither leisure nor desire : favor to ask ; introduce me to Madame but in certain salons of my acquaintance, Romanoff !” where music was much in vogue, I made She gave me a quick, shrewd smile ; from time to time a desultory appearance. then I remembered stories of her intimate I set down these facts because, as it hap- quaintness. pened, this ineffectual talent of mine * My dear young man, I have no obwhich poor Cristich's legacy had recalled jection. Only I warn you, she is not conto life was to procure me an interesting versational ; you will make no good of it, encounter, I had played at a house where and you will be disappointed ; perhaps I was a stranger, brought there by a that will be best. Please remember, I friend, to whose insistence I had yielded am responsible for nobody.' somewhat reluctantly, although he had Is she so dangerous ?" I asked. assured me—and, I believe, with reason “But never mind ; I believe that I have that it was a house where the indirect or something to say

which

may

interest Attic invitation greatly prevailed—in brief, her." a place where one met very queer people. Oh, for that !” she smiled elliptiThe hostess was American, a charming cally ; yes, she is most dangerous. But woman of unimpeachable antecedents, but I will introduce you ; you shall tell me whose passion for society, which, while it how you succeed.” must always be interesting, need not al I bowed and smiled ; she laid a light ways be equally reputable, had exposed hand on my arm, and I piloted her to the her evenings to the suspicion of her com desired corner. It seemed that the chance patriots. And when I had discharged my was with me. The little, fluent foreigner part in the programme and had leisure to had just vacated his seat ; and when the look around me, I saw at a glance that prima donna had acknowledged the hasty their suspicion was justified ; very queer mention of my name, with a bare inclinapeople indeed were there. The large, hot tion of her head, I was emboldened to rooms

osmopolitan-infidels and succeed to it. And then I was silent. Jews, everybody and nobody ; a scanda- In the perfection of that dolorous face I lously promiscuous assemblage ! And could not but be reminded of the tradi. there with a half start, which was not at tion which has always ascribed something first recognition, iny eyes stopped before fatal and inevitable to the possession of a face which brought me a confused rush great gifts, of genius, or uncommon forof memories. It was that of a woman, tune, or a singular personal beauty, and who sat on an ottoman in the smallest the commonplace of conversation failed room which was almost empty. panion was a small vivacious man, with a After a while she looked askance at me, gray imperial and the red ribbon in his with a sudden flash of resentment. buttonhole, to whose continuous stream of “ You speak no French, monsieur ! talk, eked out with meridional gestures, And yet you write it well enough ; I have she had the air of being listlessly resigned. read your stories." Her dress, a marvel of discretion, its color I acknowledged Madame's irony, perthe yellow of old ivory, was of some very mitting myself to hope that my efforts rich and stiff stuff cut high to her neck; had met with Madame's approval. that, and her great black hair, clustered to “ A la bonne heure! I perceive you also a crimson rose at the top of her head, speak it. Is that why you wished to be made the pallor of her face a thing to presented, to bear my criticisms ?" marvel at. Her beauty was at once som “Let me answer that question when bre and illuminating, and youthful too. you have answered mine." It was the woman of thirty ; but her com She glanced curiously over her feathered plexion, and her arms, which were bare, fan, then with the slightest upward inclinawere soft in texture as a young girl's. tion of her statuesque shoulders,—“I ad

I made my way, as well as I could for mire your books ; but are you women the crowd, to my hostess, listened, with quite just? I prefer your playing." what patience I might, to some polite “ That is better, Madame! It was to praise of my playing, and made my re talk of that I came.' quest.

“ Your playing ?"

Her como

me.

You

let them go.

of an angel. I have never been very He stopped me with a solemn appealing happy ; I think sometimes, monsieur, gesture. that we others, who care much for art,

are young, and you do not altoare not permitted that. But certainly gether understand. You must not judge those few rapid days when she was a child her ; you must not believe that she forwere good ; and yet they were the days gets, that she does not care.

Only it is of my defeat. I found myself out then. better like this, because it could never be I was never to be a great artist, a maestro; as before. I could not help her. I want a second-rate inan, a good music-teacher nothing that she can give me, no, not for young ladies, a capable performer in anything ; I have my memories. I hear an orchestra, what you will, but a great of her from time to time ; I hear what artist, never ! Yet in those days, even the world says of her, the imbecile world, when iny opera failėd, I had consolation. and I smile. Do I not know best ?-1, I could say, I have a child ! I would who carried her in my arms when she was have kept her with me always, but it could that high !" not be ; from the very first she would be

III. a singer. I knew always that a day would come when she would not need me. She I saw him once more at the little reswas meant to be the world's delight, and taurant in Soho, before a sudden change I had no right to keep her, even if I of fortune, calling me abroad for an abcould. I held my beautiful strange bird sence, as it happened, of years, closed the in her cage, until she beat her wings habit of our society. He gave me the against the bars ; then I opened the door. God-speed of a brother artist, though At the last, I think, that is all we can do mine was not the way of music, with for our children, our best beloved, vur many prophecies of my success; and the very heart-strings ; stand free of them ; pressure of his band as he took leave of The world is very weary,

me was tremulous. but we must all find that out for ourselves. “I am an old man, monsieur, and we Perhaps when they are tired they will may not meet again in this world. I come home ; perhaps not, perhaps not. wish you all the chances you deserve in It was to the Conservatoire at Milan that Paris ; but I-I shall greatly miss you, I sent her finally, and it was at La Scala If you come back in time you will find that she afterward appeared. And at La me in the old places ; and if not-there Scala too, poor child, she met her evil are things of mine which I should wish genius, the man named Romanoff, a bari- you to have, that shall be sent you." tone in her company, own

son of the

And indeed it proved to be our last devil, whom she married. Ah, if I could .meeting. I went to Paris ; a fitful correhave prevented it, if I could have pre- spondence intervened, grew infrequent; vented it !''

ceased ; then a little later came to me the He lapsed into a long silence ; a great notification, very brief and official, of his weariness seemed to have come over himn ; death in the French Hospital of pneuand in the gray light which filtered in monia. It was followed by a few rememthrough the dingy window blinds his face brances of him, sent at his request, I was pinched and wasted, unutterably old learned, by the priest who had adminisand forlorn.

tered to him the last offices : some books “But I did not prevent it,” he said at that he had greatly cherished, works of last, “ for all my good will ; perhaps Gluck, for the most part ; an antique merely hastened it by unseasonable inter- irory crucifix of very curious workmanference. And so we went in different ship ; and his violin, a beautiful instruways with anger, I fear, and at least with ment dated 1670 and made at Nuremberg, sore hearts and misunderstanding." yet with a tone which seemed to me at

He spoke with an accent of finality, least as fine as that of the Cremonas. It and so sadly that in a sudden rush of pity had an intrinsic value to me apart from I was moved to protest.

its associations, for I too was something “But surely you meet sometimes; of an amateur, and since this seasoned surely this woman, ho was as your own melodious wood had come into my poschild"

session, I was inspired to take my facility

rooms

were

more seriously. To play in public, in “Mrs. Destrier, I have an immense deed, I had neither leisure nor desire : favor to ask ; introduce me to Madame but in certain salons of my acquaintance, Romanoff !” where music was much in vogue, I made She gave me a quick, shrewd smile ; from time to time a desultory appearance. then I remembered stories of her intimate I set down these facts because, as it hap- quaintness. pened, this ineffectual talent of mine “My dear young man, I have no obwhich poor Cristich's legacy had recalled jection. Only I warn you, she is not conto life was to procure me an interesting versational ; you will make no good of it, encounter. I had played at a house where and you will be disappointed ; perhaps I was a stranger, brought there by a that will be best. Please remember, I friend, to whose insistence I had yielded am responsible for nobody.' somewhat reluctantly, although he had “ Is she so dangerous ?" I asked. assured me—and, I believe, with reason- “ But never mind ; I believe that I have that it was a house where the indirect or something to say which may

interest Attic invitation greatly prevailed-in brief, her.” a place where one met very queer people. Oh, for that !” she smiled elliptiThe hostess was American, a charming cally ; yes, she is most dangerous. But woman of unimpeachable antecedents, but I will introduce you ; you shall tell me whose passion for society, which, while it how you succeed." must always be interesting, need not al I bowed and smiled; she laid a light ways be equally reputable, bad exposed hand on my arm, and I piloted her to the her evenings to the suspicion of her com- desired corner. It seemed that the chance patriots. And when I had discharged my was with me. The little, fluent foreigner part in the programme and had leisure to had just vacated his seat ; and when the look around me, I saw at a glance that prima donna had acknowledged the hasty their suspicion was justified ; very queer mention of my name, with a bare inclina. people indeed were there. The large, hot tion of her head, I was emboldened to

cosmopolitan—infidels and succeed to it. And then I was silent. Jews, everybody and nobody ; a scanda- In the perfection of that dolorous face I Jously promiscuous assemblage ! And could not but be reminded of the tradi. there with a half start, wbich was not at tion which has always ascribed something first recognition, iny eyes stopped before fatal and inevitable to the possession of a face which brought me a confused rush great gifts, of genius, or uncommon forof memories. It was that of a woman, tune, or a singular personal beauty, and who sat on an ottoman in the smallest the commonplace of conversation failed room which was almost empty. Her companion was a small vivacious man, with a After a while she looked askance at me, gray imperial and the red ribbon in his with a sudden flash of resentment. buttonhole, to wbose continuous stream of "You speak no French, monsieur ! talk, eked out with meridional gestures, And yet you write it well enough ; I have she had the air of being listlessly resigned. read your stories." Her dress, a marvel of discretion, its color I acknowledged Madame's irony, perthe yellow of old ivory, was of some very mitting myself to hope that my efforts rich and stiff stuff cut high to her neck ; had met with Madame's approval. that, and her great black hair, clustered to " A la bonne heure! I perceive you also a crimson rose at the top of her head, speak it. Is that why you wished to be made the pallor of her face a thing to presented, to bear my criticisms ?”' marvel at. Her beauty was at once som Let me answer that question when bre and illuminating, and youthful too. you have answered mine." It was the wonian of thirty ; but her com She glanced curiously over her feathered plexion, and her arms, which were bare, fan, then with the slightest upward inclinawere soft in texture as a young girl's. tion of her statuesqne shoulders,—“ I ad

I made my way, as well as I could for mire your books ; but are you women the crowd, to my hostess, listened, with quite just ? I prefer your playing." what patience I might, to some polite “ That is better, Madame! It was to praise of my playing, and made my re talk of that I came.'' quest.

“ Your playing ?"

me.

sagem ?”

My violin.''

a gift ; you say you knew, esteemed him. “ You want me to look at it? It is a You were with him? Perbaps a mesCremona ?''

“ It is not a Cremona ; but if you like " He died alone, madame! I have no I will give it to you."

message. If there were nune, it might Her dark eyes shone out in anazed be, perhaps, that he believed you had not amusement.

cared for it. If that were wrong, I could 'You are eccentric, monsieur ! but tell you that you were not forgotten. your nation has a privilege of eccen- Ob ! he loved you! I had his word for tricity. At least, you amuse me ; and I it, and the story. The violin is yours. have wearied myself enough this long Do not mistake me ; it is not for your evening. Show me your violin ; I am sake but his. He died alone ; value it, something of a virtuosa."

as I should, madame !" I took the instrument from its case, They were insolent words, perhaps handed it to her in silence, watching her cruel, provoked from me by the mixed gravely. She received it with the dex nature of my attractia to her; the need terous bands of a musician, looked at the of turning a reasonable and cool front to splendid stains on the back, then bent that pathetic beauty, that artful music, over toward the light in a curious scrutiny which whipped jaded nerves to mutiny. of the little faded signature of its maker, The arrow in them struck so true, that I the fecit of an obscure Bavarian of the was shocked at my work. It transfixed seventeenth century. It was a long time the child in her, latent in most women, before she raised her eyes.

which moaned at my feet ; so that for When she spoke her rich voice had a sheer shame, as though it were actually a note of imperious entreaty in it. “Your child I had hurt, I could have fallen and violin interests me, monsieur ! Oh, I kissed her hands. know that wood! It came to you - ?" “Oh, you judge me hard ; you believe

A legacy from an esteemed friend.' the worst of me ; and why not? I am

“ His name?” she cried, with the flash against the world ! At least he might which I waited for.

have taught you to be generous, that kind “ Maurice Cristich, madame!"

old man ! Have I forgotten, do you We were deserted in our corner. The think? Am I so happy ihen? Oh, it is company had strayed in, one by one to a just question! The world busies itself the large salon with its great piano, where with me, and you are in the lap of its a young Russian musician, a pupil of tongues. Has it ever accused me of Chopin, sat down to play with no con- that, of happiness ? Cruel, cruel ! I ventional essay of preliminary chords an have paid iny penalties, and a woman is

The strains of it wailed not free to do as she will. But would not in just then through the heavy screening I have gone to him, for a word, a sign? curtains ; a mad valse of his own, that no Yes, for the sake of my childhood. And human feet could dance to ; a pitiful, pas- to-night when you showed me that,” her sionate thing that thrilled the nerves pain- white hand swept over the violin with fully, ringing the changes between volup- something of a caress, “ I thought it had tuous sorrow and the merriment of devils, come ; yes, from the grave ! and you and burdened always with the weariness make it more bitter by readings of your of “ all the Russias” —the proper Welt You strike me hard.schmerz of a young, disconsolate people. I bent forward in real humility ; her It seemed to charge the air, like electric- voice had tears in it, though her splendid ity, with passionate undertones ; it gave eyes were bard. intimate facilities, and a tense personal Forgive me, madame ! a vulgar stroke note to our interview.

at random. I had no right to make it ; A legacy ! so he is gone !” She he told me only good of you. Forgive swayed to me with a wail in her voice, in me; and for proof of your pardon,-I a sort of childish abandonment : “ And am serious now-take his violin." you tell me! Ah !" She drew back, Her smile, as she refused me, was full chilling suddenly with a touch of visible of sad dignity. suspicion. " You hurt me, monsieur ! "You have made it impossible, monIs it a stroke at random? You spoke of sieur ! It would remind me only now of

own.

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