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the Bois, and would not have acquired | visits to the theatre or the houses of that look so intelligent - more than in- friends. telligent - so poetic.”

It was only within the last few weeks “But regard that air of unmistakable that such visits had been made. distinction, regard that expression of The younger lady was in delicate face — so pure, so virginal: comme il health, and under the care of an English faut she must be."

physician famous for skill in the treatAs Alain said these last words, the ment of pulmonary complaints. It was lady, who had turned back, was approach-by his advice that she took daily walking ing them, and in full view of their gaze. exercise in the Bois. The establishment She seemed unconscious of their exist- consisted of three servants, all Italians, ence as before, and Lemercier noticed and speaking but imperfect French. The that her lips moved as if she were mur- garçon did not know whether either of muring inaudibly to herself.

the ladies was married, but their mode of She did not return again, but contin- life was free from all scandal or susued her walk straight on till at the end of picion ; they probably belonged to the the alley she entered a carriage in wait-literary or musical world, as the garçon ing for her, and was driven off.

had observed as their visitor the eminent * Quick, quick !” cried Lemercier, run author M. Savarin and his wife; and, ning towards his own coupé; “we must still more frequently, an old man not less give chase."

eminent as a musical composer. Alain followed somewhat less hurried- “It is clear to me now," said Lemerly, and, agreeably to instructions Lemercier, as the two friends reseated themcier had already given to his coachman, selves in the carriage, “that our pearly the Parisian's coupé set off at full speed ange is some Italian singer of repute in the track of the strange lady's, which enough in her own country to have gained was still in sight.

already a competence; and that, perhaps In less than twenty minutes the car- on account of her own health or her riage in chase stopped at the grille of friend's, she is living quietly here in the one of those charming little villas to be expectation of some professional engagefound in the pleasant suburb of A— ; a ment, or the absence of some foreign porter emerged from the lodge, opened lover.” the gate ; the carriage drove in, again “Lover! do you think that?" exstopped at the door of the house, and the claimed Alain, in a tone of voice that betwo gentlemen could not catch even a trayed pain. glimpse of the lady's robe as she de- “It is possible enough ; and in that scended from the carriage and disap- case the Englishman may profit little by peared within the house.

the information I have promised to give “I see a café yonder,” said Lemercier ; him.” “let us learn all we can as to the fair un-1 “ You have promised the Englishman ?" known, over a sorbet or a petit verre." “Do you not remember last night that

Alain silently, but not reluctantly, con- he described the lady, and said that her sented. He felt in the fair stranger an face haunted him : and I - " interest new to his existence.

{ “Ah! I remember now. What do you They entered the little café, and in a know of this Englishman ? He is rich, I few minutes Lemercier, with the easy suppose.": savoir vivre of a Parisian, had extracted “Yes, I hear he is very rich now; that from the garçon as much as probably any an uncle lately left him an enormous sum one in the neighourhood knew of the in- of money. He was attached to the Eng. habitants of the villa.”

| lish Embassy many years ago, which acIt had been hired and furnished about counts for his good French and his two months previously in the name of knowledge of Parisian life. He comes to Signora Venosta ; but according to the Paris very often, and I have known him report of the servants, that lady appeared some time. Indeed he has instrusted to to be the gouvernante or guardian of a me a difficult and delicate commission, lady much younger, out of whose income The English tell me that his father was the villa was rented and the household one of the most eminent members of maintained.

their Parliament, of ancient birth, very It was for her the coupé was hired highly connected, but ran out his fortune from Paris. The elder lady very rarely and died poor; that our friend had for stirred out during the day, but always ac- some years to maintain himself, I fancy, companied the younger in any evening by his pen; that he is considered very

able ; and, now that his uncle has en-1 I have much to say on this subject, riched him, likely to enter public life and which I defer till I can better collect my run a career as distinguished as his fa- own thoughts on it - at present they are ther's."

confused and struggling. The great “Happy man! happy are the English,” | Maestro has been most gracious. said the Marquis with a sigh; and as the In what a radiant atmosphere his genius carriage now entered Paris, he pleaded lives and breathes ! Even in his cynical the excuse of an engagement, bade his moods, his very cynicism has in it the friend good-bye, and went his way mus- ring of a jocund music - the laugh of ing through the crowded streets. | Figaro, not of Mephistopheles.

We went to dine with him last week ; CHAPTER VIII.

he invited to meet us Madame SLETTER FROM ISAURA CICOGNA TO MA

who has this year conquered all opposi

tion, and reigns alone, the great SDAME DE GRANTMESNIL.

Mr. T— , a pianist of admirable promVILLA D'- , A

ise — your friend M. Savarin, wit, critic, I CAN never express to you, my beloved and poet, with his pleasant sensible wife, Eulalie, the strange charm which a letter and a few others whom the Mastro confrom you throws over my poor little lonely fided to me in a whisper, were authorities world for days after it is received. There in the press. After dinner S- sang is always in it something that comforts, to us magnificently, of course. Then something that sustains, but also a some- she herself graciously turned to me, said thing that troubles and disquiets me. I how much she had heard from the Mastro suppose Goethe is right, “that it is the in my praise, and so-and-so. I was perproperty of true genius to disturb all set- suaded to sing after her. I need not say tled ideas,” in order, no doubt, to lift to what disadvantage. But I forgot my them into a hihger level when they settle nervousness; I forgot my audience; I down again.

forgot myself, as I always do when once Your sketch of the new work you are my soul, as it were, finds wing in music, meditating amid the orange-groves of and buoys itself in air, relieved from the Provence interests me intensely; yet, do sense of earth. I knew not that I had sucyou forgive me when I add that the in- ceeded till I came to a close and then my terest is not without terror. I do not eyes resting on the face of the grand find myself able to comprehend how, prima donna, I was seized with an indeamid those lovely scenes of nature, your scribable sadness — with a keen pang of mind voluntarily surrounds itself with remorse. Perfect artiste though she be, images of pain and discord. I stand in and with powers in her own realm of art awe of the calm with which you subject which admit of no living equal, I saw at to your analysis the infirmities of reason once that I had pained her; she had and the tumult of passion. And all those grown almost livid ; her lips were quivlaws of the social state which seem to me ering, and it was only with a great effort so fixed and immovable you treat with so that she muttered out some faint words quiet a scorn, as if they were but the gos- intended for applause. I comprehended samer threads which a touch of your by an instinct how gradually there can slight woman's hand could brush away. grow upon the mind of an artist the most But I cannot venture to discuss such sub generous that jealousy which makes the jects with you. It is only the skilled en- fear of a rival' annihilate the delight in chanter who can stand safely in the magicart. If ever I should achieve S- 's circle, and compel the spirits that he fame as a singer, should I feel the same summons, even if they are evil, to min-jealousy? I think not now, but I have not ister to ends in which he foresees a good. been tested. She went away abruptly. I

We continue to live here very quietly, spare you the recital of the compliments and I do not as yet feel the worse for the paid to me by my other auditors, complicolder climate. Indeed, my wonderful ments that gave me no pleasure ; for on doctor, who was recommended to me as all lips, except those of the Mastro, they American, but is in reality English, as- implied, as the height of eulogy, that I sures me that a single winter spent here had inflicted torture upon Sunder his care will suffice for my com- so," said he, “ she would be as foolish as plete re-establishment. Yet that career, a rose that was jealous of the whiteness to the training for which so many years of a lily. You would do yourself great have been devoted, does not seem to me wrong, my child, if you tried to vie with so alluring as it once did.

the rose in its own colour."

He patted my bended head as he spoke, i gaze on her splendid palaces, her gorwith that kind of fatherly king-like fond-geous shops, and believe that she will ness with which he honours me; and I give ear to doctrines that would annihitook his hand in mine, and kissed it late private rights of property; or who gratefully. “Nevertheless,” said Savarin, can enter her crowded churches, and To when the lily comes out there will be a dream that she can ever again instal a refurious attack on it, made by the clique public too civilized for religion ? that devotes itself to the rose : a lily Adieu. Excuse me for this dull letter. clique will be formed en revanche, and I If I have written on much that has little foresee a fierce paper war. Do not be interest even for me, it is that I wish to frightened at its first outburst; every distract my mind from brooding over the fame worth having must be fought for."' question that interests me most, and on

Is it so? have you had to fight for your which I most need your counsel. I will fame, Eulalie ? and do you hate all con- try to approach it in my next. ISAURA. test as much as I do? Our only other gaiety since I last wrote

From the Same to the Same. was a soirée at M. Louvier's. That re | Eulalie, Eulalie ! - What mocking publican millionaire was not slow in at-spirit has been permitted in this modern tending to the kind letter you addressed age of ours to place in the heart of woto him recommending us to his civilities. man the ambition which is the prerogaHe called at once, placed his good offices tive of men ? - You indeed, so richly at our disposal, took charge of my modest endowed with a man's genius, have a fortune which he has invested, no doubt, right to man's aspirations. But what can as safely as it is advantageously in point justify such ambition in me ? Nothing of interest, hired our carriage for us, and but this one unintellectual perishable gift in short has been most amiably useful. of a voice that does but please in uttering

At his house we met many to me most the thoughts of others. Doubtless I pleasant, for they spoke with such genu-could make a name familiar for its brief ine appreciation of your works and your time to the talk of Europe - a name, self. But there were others whom I what name ? a singer's name. Once i should never have expected to meet un- thought that name a glory. Shall I ever der the roof of a Cræsus who has so forget the day when you first shone upon great a stake in the order of things estab- me; when, emerging from childhood, as lished. One young man - a noble whom from a dim and solitary bypath, I stood he specially presented to me, as a poli- forlorn on the great thoroughfare of life, tician who would be at the head of affairs and all the prospects before me stretched when the Red Republic was established sad in mists and in rain ? You beamed - asked me whether I did not agree with on me then as the sun coming out from him that all private property was public the cloud and changing the face of earth; spoliation, and that the great enemy to you opened to my sight the fairy-land of civilization was religion, no matter in poetry and art ; you took me by the hand what form?

and said, “Courage! there is at each He addressed to me these tremendous step some green gap in the hedge-rows, questions with an effeminate lisp, and some soft escape from the stony thoroughharangued on them with small feeble ges- fare. Beside the real life expands the ticulations of pale dainty fingers covered ideal life to those who seek it. Droop with rings.

not, seek it; the ideal life has it sorrows, I asked him if there were many who in but it never admits despair ; as on the France shared his ideas,

ear of him who follows the winding “Quite enough to carry them some day," course of a stream, the stream ever varies he answered, with a lofty smile. “And the note of its music, now loud with the the day may be nearer than the world rush of the falls, now low and calm as it thinks, when my confrères will be so nu-glides by the level marge of smooth merous that they will have to shoot down banks ; now sighing through the stirof each other for the sake of cheese to their the reeds, now babbling with a fretful bread.”

I joy as some sudden curve on the shore That day nearer than the world thinks ! stays its flight among gleaming pebbles ; Certainly, so far as one may judge the — so to the soul of the artist is the voice outward signs of the world at Paris, it of the art ever fleeting beside and before does not think of such things at all. him. Nature gave thee the bird's gift of With what an air of self-content the beau-song — raise the gift into art, and make tiful city parades her riches! Who can'the art thy companion.

" Art and Hope were twin-born, and I quietly, “You are right, child ; we, the they die together.”

French of our time, are the offspring of See how faithfully I remember, me-revolutions that settled nothing, unsettled thinks, your very words. But the magic all: we resemble those troubled States of the words, which I then but dimly un- which rush into war abroad in order to derstood, was in your smile and in your re-establish peace at home. Our books eye, and the queen-like wave of your suggest problems to men for reconstructhand as if beckoning to a world which ing some social system in which the lay before you, visible and familiar as calm that belongs to art may be found at your native land. And how devotedly, last: but such books should not be in with what earnestness of passion, I gave your hands; they are not for the innomyself up to the task of raising my gift cence and youth of women, as yet uninto an art! I thought of nothing else, changed by the systems which exist." dreamed of nothing else ; and oh, how And the next day you brought me Tasso's sweet to me then were words of great poem, the Gerusalemme Liberata, praise. “Another year yet,” at length and said, smiling, “ Art in its calm is said the masters, “and you ascend your here." throne among the queens of song.” Then You remember that I was then at Sor- then - I would have changed for no rento by the order of my physicians. other throne on earth my hope of that to Never shall I forget the soft autumn day be achieved in the realms of my art. And when I sat amongst the lonely rocklets then came that long fever : my strength to the left of the town — the sea before broke down, and the Mastro said, “ Rest, me, with scarce a ripple; my very heart or your voice is gone, and your throne is steeped in the melodies of that poem, so lost forever.” How hateful that rest marvellous for a strength disguised in seemed to me! You again came to my sweetness, and for a symmetry in which aid. You said, “ The time you think lost each proportion blends into the other should be but time improved. Penetrate with the perfectness of a Grecian statue. your mind with other songs than the The whole place seemed to me filled with trash of Libretti. The more you habitu- the presence of the poet to whom it had ate yourself to the forms, the more you given birth. Certainly the reading of imbue yourself with the spirit, in which that poem formed an era in my existence; passions have been expressed and char- to this day I cannot acknowledge the acter delineated by great writers, the faults or weaknesses which your critimore completely you will accomplish cisms pointed out — I believe because yourself in your own special art of sing- they are in unison with my own nature, er and actress.” So, then, you allured which yearns for harmony, and, finding me to a new study. Ah! in so doing did that, rests contented. I shrink from vioyou dream that you diverted me from the lent contrasts, and can discover nothing old ambition ? My knowledge of French tame and insipid in a continuance of and Italian, and my rearing in childhood, sweetness and serenity. But it was not which had made English familiar to me, till after I had read La Gerusalemme gave me the keys to the treasure-houses again and again, and then sat and brooded of three languages. Naturally I began over it, that I recognized the main charm with that in which your masterpieces are of the poem in the religion which clings composed. Till then I had not even read to it as the perfume clings to a flower -your works. They were the first I chose. a religion sometimes melancholy, but How they impressed, how they startled never to me sad. Hope always pervades me! what depths in the mind of man, in it. Surely if, as you said, “ Hope is twinthe heart of woman, they revealed to me! born with art,” it is because art at its But I owned to you then, and I repeat it highest blends itself unconsciously with now, neither they nor any of the works in religion, and proclaims its affinity with romance and poetry which form the boast hope by its faith in some future good of recent French literature, satisfied more perfect than it has realized in the yearnings for that calm sense of beauty, past. that divine joy in a world beyond this Be this as it may, it was in this poem world, which you had led me to believe it so pre-eminently Christian that I found was the prerogative of ideal art to bestow. the something which I missed and craved And when I told you this with the rude for in modern French masterpieces, even frankness you had bid me exercise in yours — a something spiritual, speaking talk with you, a thoughtful melancholy to my own soul, calling it forth; distinshade fell over your face, and you said'guishing it as an essence apart from mere human reason; soothing, even when it the giant tragedies of Shakespeare, have excited ; inaking earth nearer to heaven. made Englishmen more willing to die for And when I ran on in this strain to you England. In fine, it was long before I after my own wild fashion, you took my will not say I understood or rightly aphead between your hands and kissed me, preciated Shakespeare, for no Englishman and said, “ Happy are those who believe ! / would admit that I or even you could ever long may that happiness be thine !” do so— but before I could recognize the Why did'I not feel in Dante the Christian justice of the place his country claims charm that I felt in Tasso ? Dante in for him as the genius without an equal in your eyes, as in those of most judges, the literature of Europe. Meanwhile the is infinitely the greater genius, but re-ardour I had put into study, and the wear fiected on the dark stream of that genius and tear of the emotions which the study the stars are so troubled, the heaven so called forth, made themselves felt in a rethreatening.

turn of my former illness, with symptoms Just as my year of holiday was expiring still more alarming; and when the year I turned to English literature ; and Shake- was out I was ordained to rest for perspeare, of course, was the first English haps another year before I could sing in poet put into my hands. It proves how public, still less appear on the stage. How childlike my mind still was, that my earli- I rejoiced when I heard that fiat, for I est sensation in reading him was that of emerged from that year of study with a disappointment. It was not only that, heart utterly estranged from the profesdespite my familiarity with English sion in which I had centred my hopes (thanks chiefly to the care of him whom I before — Yes, Eulalie, you had bid call my second father), there is much in me accomplish myself for the arts of utthe metaphorical diction of Shakespeare | terance by the study of arts in which which I failed to comprehend ; but he thoughts originate the words they emseemed to me so far like the modern ploy, and in doing so-1 had changed French writers who affect to have found myself into another being. I was forinspiration in his muse, that he obtrudes bidden all fatigue of mind; my books images of pain and suffering without were banished, but not the new self which cause or motive sufficiently clear to ordi- the books had formed. Recovering slowly nary understandings, as I had taught my-through the summer, I came hither two self to think it ought to be in the drama. months since, ostensibly for the advice

He makes Fate so cruel that we lose of Dr. C- , but really in the desire to sight of the mild deity behind her. Com-commune with my own heart, and be still. pare, in this, Corneille's “ Polyeucte" with And now I have poured forth that the “Hamlet.” In the first an equal ca- | heart to you — would you persuade me lamity befals the good, but in their ca- still to be a singer ? if you do, rememlamity they are blessed. The death of ber at least how jealous and absorbing the martyr is the triumph of his creed. the art of the singer and of the actress is. But when we have put down the English | How completely I must surrender myself tragedy --- when Hamlet and Ophelia are to it, and live among books, or among confounded in death with Polonius and dreams, no more. Can I be anything else the fratricidal king, we see not what good but a singer? and if not, should I be conend for humanity is achieved. The pas- tented merely to read and to dream ? sages that fasten on our memory do not I must confide to you one ambition make us happier and holier ; they suggests which during the lazy Italian summer but terrible problems, to which they give took possession of me - I must tell you us no solution.

the ambition, and add that I have reIn the Horaces” of Corneille there nounced it as a vain one. I had hoped are fierce contests, rude passions, tears that I could compose, I mean in music. drawn from some of the bitterest sources | I was pleased with some things I did of human pity; but then through all they expressed in music what I could not stands out, large and visible to the eyes express in words; and one secret object of all spectators, the great ideal of de- in coming here was to submit them to the voted patriotism. How much of all that great Mastro. He listened to them pahas been grandest in the life of France, tiently ; he complimented me on my acredeeming even its worst crimes of 'revo- curacy in the mechanical laws of compo. lution in the love of country, has had its sition ; he even said that my favourite origin in the Horaces” of Corneille. airs were touchants et gracieux.But I doubt if the fates of Coriolanus, And so he would have left me, but I and Cæsar, and Brutus, and Antony, in stopped him timidly, and said, “ Tell me

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