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small but sufficient competence. She is to such devotion than allowing the heart now an orphan, and residing with a com- to be blown hither and thither at every panion, a Signora Venosta, who was once breeze of mere fancy, and dreaming oura singer of some repute at the Neapolitan selves into love with some fair creature Theatre, in the orchestra of which her whom we never could marry consistently husband was principal performer ; but with the career we have set before our she relinquished the stage several years ambition. I could not marry an actress ago on becoming a widow, and gave les- — neither, I presume, could the Marquis sons as a teacher. She has the character de Rochebriant; and the thought of a of being a scientific musician and of un- courtship, which excluded the idea of blemished private respectability. Subse- marriage, to a young orphan of name unquently she was induced to give up gen- unblemished - of virtue unsuspected eral teaching, and undertake the musical would certainly not be compatible with education and the social charge of the devotion to noble objects.'”. young lady with her. This girl is said to Alain in voluntarily bowed his head in have early given promise of extraordinary assent to the proposition, and, it may be, excellence as a singer, and excited great in submission to an implied rebuke. The interest among a coterie of literary critics two men walked in silence for some minand musical cognoscenti. She was to have utes, and Graham first spoke, changing come out at the Theatre of Milan a year altogether the subject of conversation. 07 two ago, but her career has been sus- “ Lemercier tells me you decline going pended in consequence of ill-health, for much into this world of Paris — the capiwhich she is now at Paris under the care of tal of capitals — which appears so irrean English physician, who has made re- sistibly attractive to us foreigners.” markable cures in all complaints of the “ Possibly ; but, to borrow your words, respiratory organs. M , the great I have the business of life before me." composer, who knows her, says that in ex- “ Business is a good safeguard against pression and feeling she has no living su- the temptations to excess in pleasure, in perior, perhaps no equal since Malibran.” which Paris abounds. But there is no
“You seem, dear Monsieur, to have business which does not admit of some taken much pains to acquire this informa- holiday, and all business necessitates tion."
commerce with mankind. A propos, I "No great pains were necessary ; but was the other evening at the Duchesse had they been I might have taken them, de Tarascon's -a brilliant assembly, for, as I have owned to you, Mademoiselle filled with ministers, senators, and courCicogna, while she was yet a mystery to tiers. I heard your name mentioned.” me, strangely interested my thoughts or “ Mine?” my fancies. That interest has now ceased. “ Yes ; Duplessis, the rising financier The world of actresses and singers lies — who, rather to my surprise, was not apart from mine."
only present among these official and *Yet,” said Alain, in a tone of voice decorated celebrities, but apparently quite that implied doubt, “if I understand Le- at home among them -- asked the Duchmercier aright, you were going with him to ess if she had not seen you since your the Bois on the chance of seeing again the arrival at Paris. She replied, “No; that lady in whom your interest has ceased.” though you were among her nearest con
"Lemercier's account was not strictly nections, you had not called on her ;' accurate. He stopped his carriage to and bade Duplessis tell you that you were speak to me on quite another subject, on a monstre for not doing so. Whether or which I have consulted him, and then not Duplessis will take that liberty, I proposed to take me on to the Bois. I know not; but you must pardon me if I assented ; and it was not till we were in do. She is a very charming woman, full the carriage that he suggested the idea of talent; and that stream of the world of seeing whether the pearly-robed lady which reflects the stars with all their had resumed her walk in the allée. You | mythical influences on fortune, flows may judge how indifferent I was to that through her salons.” chance when I preferred turning back “ I am not born under those stars. I with you to going on with him. Between am a Legitimist." you and me, Marquis, to men of our age, “I did not forget your political creed ; who have the business of life before them, but in England the leaders of opposition and feel that if there be aught in which attend the salons of the Prime Minister. noblesse oblige it is a severe devotion to A man is not supposed to compromise noble objects, there is nothing inore fatal | his opinions because he exchanges social courtesies with those to whom his opin- | benignant smile on his handsome face' ions are hostile. Pray excuse me if I am answered, “ All wrecks come to the shore indiscreet;- I speak as a traveller who – the shore does not go to the wrecks.'” asks for information — but do the Legiti- “ Beautifully said !” exclaimed the mists really believe that they best serve Marquis. their cause by declining any mode of com- , “ Not if Le beau est toujours le vrai. peting with its opponents ? Would there My father, no inexperienced nor unwise not be a fairer chance for the ultimate vic-politician, in repeating the royal words, tory of their principles if they made their remarked : 'The fallacy of the Count's talents and energies individually promi- argument is in its metaphor. A man is nent- if they were known as skilful gener- not a shore.' Do you not think that the als, practical statesmen, eminent diplomat- seamen on board the wrecks would be ists, brilliant writers ? —could they com- more grateful to him who did not complabine - not to sulk and exclude themselves cently compare himself to a shore, but from the great battle-field of the world considered himself a human being like but in their several ways to render them- themselves, and risked his own life in a selves of such use to their country that boat, even though it were a cockle-shell, some day or other, in one of those revo- in the chance of saving theirs ?” lutionary crises to which France, alas!! Alain de Rochebriant was a brave man, must long be subjected, they would find with that intense sentiment of patriotism themselves able to turn the scale of unde- which characterizes Frenchmen of every cided councils and conflicting jealousies?" rank and persuasion, unless they belong
“Monsieur, we hope for the day when to the Internationalists; and, without the Divine Disposer of events will strike pausing to consider, he cried, “ Your into the hearts of our fickle and erring father was right." countrymen the conviction that there will The Englishman resumed: “Need I be no settled repose for France save say, my dear Marquis, that I am not a under the sceptre of her rightful kings. Legitimist? I am not an Imperialist, But meanwhile we are — I see it more neither am I an Orleanist nor a Republiclearly since I have quitted Bretagne - can. Between all those political divisions we are a hopeless minority.”
it is for Frenchmen to make their choice, “Does not history tell us that the great and for Englishmen to accept for France changes of the world have been wrought that government which France has estabby minorities? but on the one condition lished. I view things here as a simple that the minorities shall not be hopeless ? observer. But it strikes me that if I It is almost the other day that the Bona- were a Frenchman in your position, I partists were in a minority that their adver- should think myself unworthy my ancessaries called hopeless, and the majority tors if I consented to be an insignificant for the Emperor is now so preponderant looker-on.” that I tremble for his safety. When a “You are not in my position," said the majority becomes so vast that intellect Marquis, half mournfully, half haughtily, disappears in the crowd, the date of its " and you can scarcely judge of it even in destruction commences; for by the law imagination.” of reaction the minority is installed “I need not much task my imaginaagainst it. It is the nature of things that tion : I judge of it by analogy. I was minorities are always more intellectual very much in your position when I enthan multitudes, and intellect is ever at tered upon what I venture to call my cawork in sapping numerical force. What reer; and it is the curious similarity beyour party want is hope ; because with-tween us in circumstances that made me out hope there is no energy. I remem- wish for your friendship when that simber hearing my father say that when he ilarity was made known to me by Lemermet the Count de Chambord at Ems, that cier, who is not less garrulous than the illustrious personage delivered himself of true Parisian usually is. Permit me to a belle phrase much admired by his par- say that, like you, I was reared in some tisans. The Emperor was then President pride of no inglorious ancestry. I was of the Republic, in a very doubtful and reared also in the expectation of great dangerous position. France seemed on wealth. Those expectations were not the verge of another convulsion. A cer- realized : my father had the fault of noble tain distinguished politician recommend natures — generosity pushed to imprued the Count de Chambord to hold him-dence: he died poor and in debt. You self ready to enter at once as a candidate retain the home of your ancestors ; I had for the throne. And the Count, with a to resign mine."
The Marquis had felt deeply interested | thors, politicians, especially those who call in this narrative, and as Graham now themselves Republicans. He and the paused, took his hand and pressed it. Prince agree in one thing - viz., the cor
"One of our most eminent personages dial reception they give to the men who said to me about that time, 'Whatever a would destroy the state of things upon clever man of your age determines to do which Prince and financier both thrive. or to be, the odds are twenty to one that Hillo ! here comes Lemercier on his rehe has only to live on in order to do or to turn from the Bois.” be it. Don't you think he spoke truly ? Lemercier's coupé stopped beside the I think so."
footpath. “What tidings of the Belle " I scarcely know what to think,” said | Inconnue?” asked the Englishman. Rochebriant; “I feel as if you had given “None; she was not there. But I am me so rough a shake when I was in the rewarded — such an adventure -a dame midst of a dull dream, that I do not yet of the haute volée — I believe she is a know whether I am asleep or awake." duchess. She was walking with a lap
Just as he said this, and towards the dog, a pure Pomeranian. A strange Paris end of the Champs Elysées, there poodle flew at the Pomeranian. I drove was a halt, a sensation among the loung- off the poodle, rescued the Pomeranian, ers round them: many of them uncov-received the most gracious thanks, the ered in salute.
sweetest smile : - femme superbe, midA man on the younger side of middle dle-aged. I prefer women of forty. Au age, somewhat inclined to corpulence, revoir, I am due at the club." with a very striking countenance, was Alain felt a sensation of relief that Leriding slowly by. He returned the salu- mercier had not seen the lady in the tations he received with the careless dig-pearl-coloured dress, and quitted the nity of a Personage accustomed to re- Englishman with a lightened heart. spect, and then reigned his horse by the side of a barouche, and exchanged some
CHAPTER IV. words with a portly gentleman who was I “ Piccola, piccola! com' è cortese ! anits sole occupant. The loungers, still other invitation from M. Louvier for next halting, seemed to contemplate this par Saturday — Conversazione.” This was ley – between him on horseback and said in Italian by an elderly lady bursthim in the carriage - with very eager in- ing noisily into the room -elderly, yet terest. Some put their hands behind with a youthful expression of face, owtheir ears and pressed forward, as if try-| ing perhaps to a pair of very vivacious ing to overhear what was said.
black eyes. She was dressed, after a "I wonder," quoth Graham, “whether, somewhat slatternly fashion, in a wrapwith all his cleverness, the Prince has in per of crimson merino much the worse any way decided what he means to do for wear, a blue handkerchief twisted turor to be.”
ban-like round her head, and her feet en“ The Prince !” said Rochebriant, cased in list slippers. The person to rousing himself from reverie ; “what whom she addressed herself was a young Prince?"
lady with dark hair, which, despite its “Do you not recognize him by his won-evident redundance, was restrained into derful likeness to the first Napoleon - smooth glossy braids over the forehead, him on horseback talking to Louvier, the and at the crown of the small graceful head great financier ?"
into the simple knot which Horace has de"Is that stout bourgeois in the carriage scribed as “Spartan.” Her dress conLouvier - my mortgagee, Louvier ?” trasted the speaker's by an exquisite
* Your mortgagee, my dear Marquis ? neatness. We have seen her before as Well, he is rich enough to be a very len- the lady in the pearl-coloured robe, but ient one upon pay-day.”
seen now at home she looks much young“ Hein! - I doubt his leniency,” said er. She was one of those whom, enAlain. “I have promised my avoué to countered in the streets or in society, meet him at dinner. Do you think I did one might guess to be married — probawrong?"
bly a young bride ; for thus seen there "Wrong! of course not; he is likely was about her an air of dignity and of to overwhelm you with civilities. Pray self-possession which suits well with the don't refuse if he gives you an invitation ideal of chaste youthful matronage ; and to his soirée next Saturday - I am going in the expression of the face there was a to it. One meets there the notabilities pensive thoughtfulness beyond her years. most interesting to study — artists, au- | But as she now sat by the open window
LIVING AGE. VOL. II. 59
arranging flowers in a glass bowl, a book is a sure sign of sluggish intellect and lying open on her lap, you would never coarse perception. Hers is the artist's have said, “What a handsome woman !” ear. Note next those hands — how beauyou would have said, “What a charming tifully shaped ! small, but not doll-like girl.” All about her was maidenly, in- hands – ready and nimble, firm and nernocent, and fresh. The dignity of her vous hands, that could work for a helpbearing was lost in household 'ease, the mate. By no means very white, still less pensiveness of her expression in an un-red, but somewhat embrowned as by the troubled serene sweetness.
sun, such as you see in girls reared in · Perhaps many of my readers may have southern climates, and in her perhaps beknown friends engaged in some absorb-tokening an impulsive character which ing cause of thought, and who are in the had not accustomed itself, when at sport habit when they go out, especially if on in the open air, to the thraldom of gloves solitary walks, to take that cause of — very impulsive people even in cold clithought with them. The friend may be mates seldom do. an orator meditating his speech, a poet In conveying to us by a few bold his verses, a lawyer a difficult case, a strokes an idea of the sensitive, quickphysician an intricate malady. If you moved, warm-blooded Henry II., the most have such a friend, and you observe him impulsive of the Plantagenets, his conthus away from his home, his face will temporary chronicler tells us that rather seem to you older and graver. He is ab- than imprison those active hands of his, sorbed in the care that weighs on him. even in hawking-gloves, he would suffer When you see him in a holiday moment his falcon to fix its sharp claws into his at his own fireside, the care is thrown wrist. No doubt there is a difference as aside; perhaps he mastered while to what is befitting between a burly belabroad the difficulty that had troubled | licose creature like Henry II. and a delihim ; he is cheerful, pleasant, sunny. cate young lady like Isaura Cicogna ; and This appears to be very much the case one would not wish to see those dainty with persons of genius. When in their wrists of hers seamed and scarred by a own houses we usually find them very falcon's claws. But a girl may not be less playful and childlike. Most persons of exquisitely feminine for slight heed of real genius, whatever they may seem out artificial prettinesses. Isaura had no of doors, are very sweet-tempered at home, need of pale bloodless hands to seem one and sweet temper is sympathizing and of Nature's highest grade of gentlewomen genial in the intercourse of private life. even to the most fastidious eyes. About Certainly, observing this girl as she now her there was a charm apart from her bends over the flowers, it would be diffi- mere beauty, and often disturbed instead cult to believe her to be the Isaura Ci- of heightened by her mere intellect: it cogna whose letters to Madame de Grant- consisted in a combination of exquisite mesnil exhibit the doubts and struggles artistic refinement, and of a generosity of an unquiet, discontented, aspiring of character by which refinement was animind. Only in one or two passages in mated into vigour and warmth. those letters would you have guessed at The room, which was devoted excluthe writer in the girl as we now see her. sively to Isaura, had in it much that
It is in those passages where she ex- spoke of the occupant. That room, when presses her love of harmony, and her re-first taken furnished, had a good deal of pugnance to contest — those were char- the comfortless showiness which belongs acteristics you might have read in her to ordinary furnished apartments in face.
| France, especially in the Parisian suburbs, Certainly the girl is very lovely — what chiefly let for the summer-thin lup long dark eyelashes, what soft, tender, muslin curtains that decline to draw, stiff dark-blue eyes — now that she looks up mahogany chairs covered with yellow and smiles, what a bewitching smile it is ! Utrecht velvet, a tall secrétaire in a dark - by what sudden play of rippling dim- corner, an oval buhl-table set in tawdry ples the smile is enlivened and redoubled ! | ormolu, islanded in the centre of a poor Do you notice one feature ? in very but gaudy Scotch carpet, and but one showy beauties it is seldom noticed; but other table of dull walnut-wood standing I, being in my way a physiognomist, con- clothless before a sofa to match the sider that it is always worth heeding as chairs; the eternal ormolu clock flanked an index of character. It is the ear. Re- by the two eternal ormolu candelabra on mark how delicately it is formed in her the dreary mantelpiece. Some of this - none of that heaviness of lobe which garniture had been removed, others softened into cheeriness and comfort. The
Ne caldo ne gelo room somehow or other, - thanks partly
Resto mai in cielo.' to a very moderate expenditure in pretty And such beautiful ices one gets at M. twills with pretty borders, gracefully sim- Louvier's. Did you taste the Pistachio ple table-covers, with one or two addi- ice? What fine rooms, and so well lit tional small tables and easy-chairs, two up!- I adore light. And the ladies so simple vases filled with flowers — thanks beautifully dressed – one sees the fashstill more to a nameless skill in rear-ions. Stay at home — play at Euchre inrangement, and the disposal of the slight deed! Piccola, you cannot be so cruel nicknacks and well-bound volumes, which, to yourself — you are young." even in travelling, women, who have cul- " But, dear Madre, just consider - we tivated the pleasures of taste, carry about are invited because we are considered with them, — had been coaxed into that professional singers : your reputation as quiet harmony, that tone of consistent such is of course established - mine is subdued colour, which corresponded with not; but still I shall be asked to sing as the characteristics of the inmate. Most I was asked before ; and you know Dr. people might have been puzzled where to C- forbids me to do so except to a place the piano, a semi-grand, so as not very small audience ; and it is so ungrato take up too much space in the little cious always to say “No ;' and besides, room; but where it was placed it seemed did you not yourself say, when we came so at home that you might have supposed away last time from M. Louvier's, that it the room had been built for it.
was very dull — that you knew nobody There are two kinds of neatness - one and that the ladies had such superb toiis too evident, and makes everything lettes that you felt mortified - and - " about it seem trite and cold and stiff, and “ Zitto ! zitto! you talk idly, Piccola another kind of neatness disappears from -- very idly. I was mortified then in. my our sight in a satisfied sense of complete-old black Lyons silk; but have I not ness - like some exquisite, simple, fin- I bought since then my beautiful Greek ished style of writing -- an Addison's or jacket — scarlet and gold lace ? and why a St. Pierre's.
I should I buy it if I am not to show it ?” This last sort of neatness belonged to “ But, dear Madre, the jacket, is cerIsaura, and brought to mind the well- tainly very handsome, and will make an known line of Catullus when on recross effect in a little dinner at the Savarins or ing his threshold he invokes its welcome Mrs. Morley's. But in a great formal -a line thus not inelegantly translated reception like M. Louvier's will it not by Leigh Hunt
“ Splendid !” interrupted the Signora. Smile every dimple on the cheek of Home. “But singolare."
“ So much the better; did not that I entreat the reader's pardon for this long great English lady wear such a jacket, and descriptive digression : but Isaura is one did not every one admire her – più toslo of those characters which are called invidia che compassione ?" many-sided, and therefore not very easy Isaura sighed. Now the jacket of the to comprehend. She gives us one side Signora was a subject of disquietude to of her character in her correspondence her friend. It so happened that a young with Madame de Grantmesnil, and an-English lady of the highest rank and the other side of it in her own home with her rarest beauty had appeared at M. LouItalian companion – half nurse, half cha- vier's, and indeed generally in the beau peron.
monde of Paris, in a Greek jacket that “ Monsieur Louvier is indeed very became her very much. That jacket had courteous,” said Isaura, looking up from fascinated, at M. Louvier's, the eyes of the flowers with the dimpled smile we the Signora. But of this Isaura was unhave noticed. “But I think, Madre, that aware. The Signora, on returning home we should do well to stay at home on from M. Louvier's, had certainly lamented Saturday — not peacefully, for I owe you much over the mesquin appearance of her your revenge at Euchre."
own old-fashioned Italian habiliments “ You can't mean it, Piccola !” ex compared with the brilliant toilet of the claimed the Signora in evident consterna-gay Parisiennes ; and Isaura — quite wotion. “Stay at home ! — why stay at man enough to sympathize with woman home? Euchre is very well when there in such womanly vanities - proposed is nothing else to do; but change is the next day to go with the Signora pleasant le bon Dieu likes it
to one of the principal couturières of