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“ Diable, M. le Comte! Germans transformed the world! What revolutions do you speak of?”
A LITTLE later Graham found himself “ The invention of gunpowder, the in- alone amongst the crowd. Attracted by vention of printing, and the expansion of the sound of music, he had strayed into a monk's quarrel with his Pope into the one of the rooms whence it came, and in Lutheran revolution.”
which, though his range of acquaintance Here the German paused, and asked at Paris was, for an Englishman, large the Vicomte to introduce him to Vane, and somewhat miscellaneous, he recogwhich De Brézé did by the title of Count nized no familiar countenance. A lady von Rudesheim. On hearing Vane's was playing the pianoforte — playing rename, the Count inquired if he were re- markably well — with accurate science, lated to the orator and statesman, George with that equal lightness and strength of Graham Vane, whose opinions, uttered in finger which produces brilliancy of exeParliament, were still authoritative among cution. But to appreciate her music one German thinkers. This compliment to should be musical one's self. It wanted his deceased father immensely gratified, the charm that fascinates the uninitiated. but at the same time considerably sur- | The guests in the room were musical conprised, the Englishman. His father, no noisseurs - a class with whom Graham doubt, had been a man of much influence Vane had nothing in common. Even if in the British House of Commons - a he had been more capable of enjoying the very weighty speaker, and, while in office, excellence of the player's performance, a first-rate administrator ; but English- the glance he directed towards her would men know what a House of Commons re- have sufficed to chill him into indifferputation is – how fugitive, how little cos
She was not young, and, with mopolitan ; and that a German count prominent features and puckered skin, should ever have heard of his father, de- was twisting her face into strange sentilighted and amazed him. In stating him- mental grimaces, as if terribly, overcome self to be the son of George Graham by the beauty and pathos of her own Vane, he intimated not only the delight, melodies. To add to Vane's displeasure, but the amaze, with the frank savoir vivre she was dressed in a costume wholly anwhich was one of his salient characteris- tagonistic to his views of the becoming tics.
- in a Greek jacket of gold and scarlet, “Sir," replied the German, speaking in contrasted by a Turkish turban. very correct English, but still with his Muttering
she-mountebank national accent, “every German reared have we here?” he sank into a chair beto political service studics England as hind the door, and fell into an absorbed the school for practical thought distinct reverie. From this he was aroused by from impractical theories. °Long may the cessation of the music, and the hum you allow us to do so; only excuse me of subdued approbation by which it was one remark; never let the selfish element followed. Above the hum swelled the of the practical supersede the generous imposing voice of M. Louvier, as he rose element. Your father never did so in his from a seat on the other side of the piano, speeches, and therefore we admired him. by which his bulky form had been parAt the present day we don't so much care tially concealed. to study English speeches. They may “ Bravo! perfectly played — excellent ! be insular, - they are not European. 1 Can we not persuade your charming honour England; Heaven grant that you young countrywoman to gratify us even may not be making sad mistakes in the by a single song ?” Then turning aside belief that you can long remain England and addressing some one else invisible to if you cease to be European.” Herewith Graham, he said, “ Does that tyrannical the German bowed, not uncivilly -on doctor still compel you to silence, Madethe contrary, somewhat ceremoniously — moiselle ?” and disappeared with a Prussian Secre- A voice so sweetly modulateu, that if tary of Embassy, whose arm he linked in there were any sarcasm in the words it his own, into a room less frequented. was lost in the softness of pathos, an
“ Vicomte, who and what is your Ger-swered, “Nay, M. Louvier, he rather man count?" asked Vane.
overtasks the words at my command in " A solemn pedant," answered the lively thankfulness to those who, like yourself, Vicomte — “a German count, que voulez- so kindly regard me as something else than vous de plus ?”
It was not the she-mountebank who
thus spoke. Graham rose and looked from polite flirtation and Platonic attachround with instinctive curiosity. He met ment, do sometimes spring up between the face that he said had haunted him. persons of opposite sexes without the She too had risen, standing near the slightest danger of changing its honest piano, with one hand tenderly resting on character into morbid sentimentality or the she-mountebank's scarlet and gilded unlawful passion. The Morleys stopped shoulder :- the face that haunted him, to accost Graham, but the lady had and yet with a difference. There was a scarcely said three words to him, before, faint blush on the clear pale cheek, a soft catching sight of the haunting face, she yet playful light in the grave dark-blue darted towards it. Her husband, less eyes, which had not been visible in the emotional, bowed at the distance, and countenance of the young lady in the said, “ To my taste, sir, the Signorina Cipearl-coloured robe. Graham did not cogna is the loveliest girl in the present hear Louvier's reply, though no doubt it bee,* and full of mind, sir.” was loud enough for him to hear. He Singing mind,” said Graham, sarcassank again into reverie. Other guests tically, and in the ill-natured impulse of now came into the room, among them a man striving to check his inclination to Frank Morlay, styled Colonel - (eminent admire. military titles in the States do not always “I have not heard her sing,” replied denote eminent military services) --a the American, dryly; "and the words wealthy American, and his sprightly and singing mind' are doubtless accurately beautiful wife. The Colonel was a clever English, since you employ them; but at man, rather stiff in his deportment, and Boston the collocation would be deemed grave in speech, but by no means without barbarous. You fly off the handle. The a vein of dry humour. By the French he epithet, sir, is not in concord with the was esteemed a high-bred specimen of substantive.” the kind of grand seigneur which demo- “ Boston would be in the right, my dear cratic republics engender. He spoke Colonel. I stand rebuked; mind has French like a Parisian, had an imposing little to do with singing." presence, and spent a great deal of money “I take leave to deny that, sir. You with the elegance of a man of taste and fire into the wrong flock, and would not the generosity of a man of heart. His hazard the remark if you had conversed high breeding was not quite so well un- as I have with Signorina Cicogna.” derstood by the English, because the Before Graham could answer, Signorina English are apt to judge breeding by little Cicogna stood before him leaning lightly conventional rules not observed by the on Mrs. Morley's arm. American Colonel. He had a slight nasal Frank, you must take us into the retwang, and introduced “Sir” with re- freshment-room," said Mrs. Morley to her dundant ceremony in addressing English- husband ; and then, turning to Graham, men, however intimate he might be with added, “Will you help to make way for them, and had the habit (perhaps with a us?” sly intention to startle or puzzle them) of Graham bowed, and offered his arm to adorning his style of conversation with the fair speaker. quaint Americanisms.
No,” said she, taking her husband's. Nevertheless, the genial amiability and “Of course you know the Signorina, or, the inherent dignity of his character made as we usually call her, Mademoiselle Cihim acknowledged as a thorough gentle- cogna. No ? Allow me to present you man by every Englishman, however con- Mr. Graham Vane- Mademoiselle Cicoventional in tastes, who became admitted gna. Mademoiselle speaks English like a into his intimate acquaintance.
native." Mrs. Morley, ten or twelve years young- And thus abruptly Graham was introer than her husband, had no nasal twang, duced to the owner of the haunting face. and employed no Americanisms in her He had lived too much in the great world talk, which was frank, lively, and at times all his life to retain the innate shyness of eloquent. She had a great ambition to be an Englishman, but he certainly was conesteemed of a masculine understanding : fused and embarrassed when his eyes met Nature unkindly frustrated that ambition Isaura's, and he felt her hand on his arm. in rendering her a model of feminine Before quitting the room she paused and grace. Graham was intimately acquainted looked back — Graham's look followed with Colonel Morley ; and with Mrs. Morley had contracted one of those cordial Bee, a common expression in “ the West" for a friendships which, perfectly free alike meeting or gathering of people.
dear to you."
her own, and saw behind them the lady the opinions probably spring that I do with the scarlet jacket escorted by some share.” portly and decorated connoisseur.' Isau- . “ Indeed ? a persuasion, a sentiment, ra's face brightened to another kind for instance, that a woman should have of brightness — a pleased and tender votes in the choice of legislators, and, I light.
presume, in the task of legislation ?” “ Poor dear Madre," she murmured to No, that is not what I mean. Still, herself in Italian.
that is an opinion, right or wrong, which “ Madre," echoed Graham, also in Ital- grows out of the sentiment I speak of.” ian. “I have been misinformed, then : Pray explain the sentiment.” that lady is your mother ?”
“ It is always so difficult to define a Isaura laughed a pretty low silvery sentiment, but does it not strike you that laugh, and replied in English, “She is in proportion as the tendency of modern not my mother, but I call her Madre, for civilization has been to raise women I know no name more loving."
more and more to an intellectual equality Graham was touched, and said gently, with men - in proportion as they read "Your own mother was evidently very and study and think - an uneasy senti
ment, perhaps querulous, perhaps unreaIsaura's lip quivered, and she made a sonable, grows up within their minds that slight movement as if she would have the conventions of the world are against withdrawn her hand from his arm. He the complete development of the faculties saw that he had offended or wounded her, thus aroused and the ambition thus aniand with the straightforward frankness mated ; that they cannot but rebel, though natural to him, resumed quickly
it may be silently, against the notions of "My remark was impertinent in a the former age, when women were not stranger; forgive it.”
thus educated ; notions that the aim of " There is nothing to forgive, Mon- the sex should be to steal through life sieur."
unremarked ; that it is a reproach to be The two now threaded their way through talked of; that women are plants to be the crowd, both silent. At last Isaura, kept in a hothouse and forbidden the thinking she ought to speak first in order frank liberty of growth in the natural air to show that Graham had not offended and sunshine of heaven. This, at least, her, said
is a sentiment which has sprung up with“ How lovely Mrs. Morley is !” in myself, and I imagine that it is the sen
“Yes, and I like the spirit and ease of timent which has given birth to many of her American manner; have you known the opinions or doctrines that seem abher long, Mademoiselle ? "
surd, and very likely are so, to the general “No; we met her for the first time public. I don't pretend even to have some weeks ago at M. Savarin's.” considered those doctrines. I don't pre
"* Was she very eloquent on the rights tend to say what may be the remedies for of women ? "
the restlessness and uneasiness I feel. I " What! you have heard her on that doubt if on this earth there be any remesubject?"
dies; all I know is, that I feel restless "* I have rarely heard her on any other, and uneasy." though she is the best and perhaps the Graham gazed on her countenance as cleverest friend I have at Paris ; but that she spoke with an astonishment not unmay be my fault, for I like to start it. It mingled with tenderness and compassion is a relief to the languid small-talk of so-1- astonishment at the contrast between ciety to listen to any one thoroughly in a vein of reflection so hardy, expressed earnest upon turning the world topsy- in a style of language that seemed to him turvy;"
so masculine, and the soft, velvet, dreamy you suppose poor Mrs. Morley eyes, the gentle tones, and delicate purity would seek to do that if she had her of hues rendered younger still by the rights ?" asked Isaura, with her musical blush that deepened their bloom. laugh.
At this moment they had entered the * Not a doubt of it; but perhaps you refreshment-room ; but a dense group beshare her opinions."
ing round the table, and both perhaps "I scarcely know what her opinions forgetting the object for which Mrs. Morare, but
ley had introduced them to each other, “Yes - but?
they had mechanically seated themselves " There is a - what shall I call it ? - - a on an ottoman in a recess while Isaura persuasion - a sentiment — out of which was yet speaking. It must seem as
ance so new.
strange to the reader as it did to Graham more ere we join them - Consult your that such a speech should have been own mind, and consider whether your unspoken by so young a girl to an acquaint- easiness and unrest are caused solely by
But in truth Isaura was conventional shackles on your sex. Are very little conscious of Graham's pres- they not equally common to the youth of ence. She had got on a subject that per- ours ? common to all who seek in art, perplexed and tormented her solitary in letters, nay, in the stormier field of acthoughts - she was but thinking aloud. tive life, to clasp as a reality some image
“I believe," said Graham, after a pause, yet seen but as a dream ?" " that I comprehend your sentiment much better than I do Mrs. Morley's opinions ;
CHAPTER VIII. but permit me one observation. You say, No further conversation in the way
of truly, that the course of modern civiliza- sustained dialogue took place that evention has more or less affected the relative ing between Graham and Isaura. position of woman cultivated beyond that The Americans and the Savarins cluslevel on which she was formerly contented tered round Isaura when they quitted the to stand the nearer perhaps to the refreshment-room. The party was breakheart of man because not lifting her head ing up. Vane would have offered his arm to his height; - and hence a sense of again to Isaura, but M. Savarin had forerestlessness, uneasiness. But do you stalled him, The American was desuppose that, in this whirl and dance of spatched by his wife to see for the carthe atoms which compose the rolling ball riage ; and Mrs. Morley said, with her of the civilized world, it is only women wonted sprightly tone of command, that are made restless and uneasy? Do “Now, Mr. Vane, you have no option you not see, amid the masses congregated but to take care of me to the shawlin the weathiest cities of the world, writh-room.” ings and struggles against the received Madame Savarin and Signora Venosta order of things? In this sentiment of had each found their cavaliers, the Italian discontent there is a certain truthfulness, still retaining hold of the portly connoisbecause it is an element of human nature ; seur, and the Frenchwoman accepting the and how best to deal with it is a problem safeguard of the Vicomte de Brézé. As yet unsolved. But in the opinions and they descended the stairs, Mrs. Morley doctrines to which, among the masses, the asked Graham what he thought of the sentiment gives birth, the wisdom of the young lady to whom she had presented wisest detects only the certainty of a him. common ruin, offering for reconstruction “I think she is charming," answered the same building materials as the former Graham. edifice - materials not likely to be im- “ Of course; that is the stereotyped proved because they may be defaced. As- answer to all such questions, especially cend from the working classes to all oth- by you Englishmen. "In public or in priers in which civilized culture prevails, and vate, England is the mouthpiece of platiyou will find that same restless feeling tudes." the fluttering of untried wings against the “ It is natural for an American to think bars between wider space and their long- so. Every child that has just learned to ings. Could you poll all the educated speak uses bolder expressions than its ambitious young men in England per- grandmamma; but I am rather at a loss haps in Europe - at least half of them, to know by what novelty of phrase an divided between a reverence for the past American would have answered your and a curiosity as to the future, would question." sigh, “I am born a century too late or a “ An American would have discovered century too soon !'"
that Isaura Cicogna had a soul, and his Isaura listened to this answer with a answer would have confessed it.” profound and absorbing interest. It was “ It strikes me that he would then have the first time that a clever young man uttered a platitude more stolid than mine. talked thus sympathetically to her, a clev- Every Christian knows that the dullest er young girl.
human being has a soul. But, to speak Then rising, he said, “I see your frankly, I grant that my answer did not do Madre and our American friends are dart- justice to the Signorina, nor to the iming angry looks at me. They have made pression she makes on me; and putting room for us at the table, and are wonder- aside the charm of the face, there is a ing why I should keep you thus from the charm in a mind that seems to have gathgood things of this little life. One word lered stores of reflection which I should
scarcely have expected to find in a young | of vertu which belong to a former age, lady brought up to be a professional and become every day more scarce and singer.”
more precious.” You add prejudice to platitude, and Here they encountered Colonel Morley are horribly prosaic to-night; but here we and his wife hurrying to their carriage. are in the shawl-room. I must take an- The American stopped Vane, and whisother opportunity of attacking you. Pray pered, “ I am glad, sir, to hear from my dine with us to-morrow; you will meet wife that you dine with us to-morrow. our Minister and a few other pleasant Sir, you will meet Mademoiselle Cicogna, friends."
and I am not without a kinkle * that you “I suppose I must not say, 'I shall be will be enthused.” charmed," answered Vane; “but I shall " This seems like a fatality,” solilobe."
quized Vane as he walked through the “ Bon Dieu ! that horrid fat man has deserted streets towards his lodging. “I deserted Signora Venosta — looking for strove to banish that haunting face from his own cloak, I daresay. Selfish mon- my mind. I had half forgotten it, and ster! - go and hand her to her carriage now Here his murmur sank into -quick, it is announced !”
silence. He was deliberating in very Graham, thus ordered, hastened to offer conflicting thought whether or not he his arm to the she-mountebank. Some- should write to refuse the two invitations how she had acquired dignity in his eyes, he had accepted. and he did not feel the least ashamed of “ Pooh !” he said at last, as he reached being in contact with the scarlet jacket. the door of his lodging, “is my reason so
The Signora grappled to him with a weak that it should be influenced by a confiding familiarity;
mere superstition ? Surely I know my"I am afraid,” she said in Italian, as self too well, and have tried myself too they passed along the spacious hall to the long, to fear that I should be untrue to porte cochère — "I am afraid that I did the duty and ends of my life, even if I not make a good effect to-night - I was found my heart in danger of suffering.” nervous ; did not you perceive it?” Certainly the Fates do seem to mock
“No, indeed ; you enchanted us all,” our resolves to keep our feet from their replied the dissimulator.
ambush, and our hearts from their snare. * How amiable you are to say so! How our lives may be coloured by that you must think that I sought for a com- which seems to us the most trivial accipliment. So I did - you gave me more dent, the merest chance! Suppose that than I deserved. Wine is the milk of old Alain de Rochebriant had been invited to men, and praise of old women. But an that réunion at M. Louvier's and Graham old man may be killed by too much wine, Vane had accepted some other invitation and an old woman lives all the longer for and passed his evening elsewhere, Alain too much praise buona notte.”
would probably have been presented to Here she sprang, lithesomely enough, Isaura — what' then might have hapinto the carriage, and Isaura followed, es- pened? The impression Isaura had corted by M. Savarin. As the two men already made upon the young Frenchretuned towards the shawl-room, the man was not so deep as that made upon Frenchman said, “Madame Savarin and Graham ; but then, Alain's resolution to I complain that you have not let us see efface it was but commenced that day, so much of you as we ought. No doubt and by no means yet confirmed. And if you are greatly sought after ; but are you he had been the first clever young man to free to take your soup with us the day talk earnestly to that clever young girl, after to-morrow? You will meet a select who can guess what impression he might few of my confrères.”
have made upon her ? His conversation “ The day after to-morrow I will mark might have had less philosophy and with a white stone. To dine with M. Sa- strong sense than Graham's, but more of varin is an event to a man who covets poetic sentiment and fascinating rodistinction.”
"Such compliments reconcile an author However, the history of events that do to his trade. You deserve the best re- not come to pass is not in the chronicle turn I can make you. You will meet la of the Fates. belle Isaure. I have just engaged her and her chaperon. She is a girl of true
A notion. genius, and genius is like those objects