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furniture, too luxurious now to be kept. "I am Mademoiselle de Say, from the It was practical, and a matter of house château yonder,” replied Angèle faintly, wifely pride, that every item disposed of for the converging igaze of those three should be presented to the Jouy public to pairs of grieving eyes seemed to pass like the best advantage. The demoiselles the sting of a scorching lash across her Coïc mingled their tears liberally with heart. « Monsieur Coïc took my portrait; the dust they swept, but the mother went it is for this - I owe him.” about, broom in hand, grim, strong-feat- “I know,” said Mère Coïc, suddenly ured; all her years greyly stamped upon bending her shaggy eyebrows. her face. She swept and scrubbed un portrait did not give satisfaction. My ceasingly, but every now and then she son would not take your money. We would pause in her work, sit down up. shall not take it either.” right, looking into vacancy.

Angèle saw the door closing upon her. In the afternoon she was sitting before The idea that she would not be allowed the fire in the room down-stairs, her chin to make the act of reparation she had set in her palm, a parcel of unwashed brushes out to make moved her strangely; she in her lap, when a gentle tapping came at felt like one starving, refused a crust. the front door. It passed unnoticed by She put out a resisting hand and said the old woman; her thoughts were too brusquely, far off to pay heed to it, or if she heard, “I am fiancée to Monsieur Dufresny." the knocking translated itself into the The closing door stopped at once. remembrance of liammer-strokes upon a " His fiancée ? " coffin. When at last it asserted itself “Yes,” she answered, timid and blushmore distinctly Mère Coïc rose, and gath-ing, now that there was hesitation in her ering the brushes up in ber apron, went favor. forward and opened the door. On the “Then come in, mademoiselle," said threshold stood a young girl, whose the old woman gently, “All those whom shrinking attitude and timid expression he loves, are loved' here," and she led were in singular contrast to her appear- the way within. ance of blooming youth and health. A They went into the room where the big few yards off Mère Coïc saw a carriage clock was ticking in one corner, and the

portraits were hanging on the wall. AnShe did not recognize her visitor, al. gèle's eyes rested upon these at once though she had a vague impression that their labored ugliness, their smooth, shinthe face was familiar to her. Perhaps ing surface, and brick-colored flesh tints she suspected meddling charity, perhaps struck her with a sense of piteous indigrief made her repellent, but she stood viduality. silent in the doorway; the young girl did Yes, mademoiselle, they are beautiful not speak either, she remained embar- pictures,” said Mère Coïc, seeing her rassed, folding and unfolding her hands looking at them. " And to think he found pervously. At last she said, “I was pass the way of doing them all by himself ! ing this way, and I thought perhaps, per- No one ever showed him how. It came baps, you would let me in to see you. to him like from Heaven. Sit down,

We are in sorrow here, mademoi. mademoiselle, there by the fire." selle," replied Mère Coïc; "we do not Angèle sat down — the demoiselles want visitors.”

Coïc hung about the room — and Mère As the young girl did not move away Coïc continued in a mechanical voice, she went on, in her unresonant voice, " V " Mademoiselle must forgive me what i it be anything on business for my son it said just now; when some one we love is too late, it is no use. He is dead."

goes, the head gets muddled; it is like "I know it, but it is on business all the as if only our senseless body was walk. same," said the girl eagerly, and in some ing about; one should say the Lord's thing of the relieved tone of one who at will be done, but the thoughts go away last found a way of beginning what she from the words. You see, mademoihad to say. “I came because, you see, I selle,” she went on, stretching out her owe him money. I am his debtor, three hand and pointing, “it is always behundred francs. I ought to have paid holding him, there so quiet and lonesome, them a month ago, but I was away. I that is the worst, he who was always so had it on my mind all the time."

sociable before. Why, miss, he was as ** Who are you, mademoiselle ?” said light-hearted · like a child, when his Mère Coïc. By this time her two daugh- brushes were in his hand, never mindters were standing behind her.

ing the troubles. At first, before the

drawn up.

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neighbors saw how great a painter he forgive the lad! It was not with a prayer was, I would trudge off miles to sell his he passed away. Do you see, miss, our pictures. I was proud of my burden. garden there, the sun was shining on it, Those were the good times. But these and there were the sunflowers. He had last weeks, when,” she continued, with not spoken for a long time, and his eyes a dramatic gesture," he was so changed, were shut. Suddenly he opens them I could not say the Lord's will be done. looks about — sits up. with the old It is often his will the old should bury smile he had when painting. The beauthe young, but this was not like his will." tiful sunflowers everywhere, he says.

“ How long is it since he grew so down. They are all round me in the boxes hearted?” asked Angèle breathlessly. - I should like to paint them,' and he

“Ever since the day, mademoiselle, the stretches out his hand like for his brushes rich people at the château laughed at his then he drops back and dies.” painting. Do not move, mademoiselle, “ We did not understand him," said but would you like this side of the fire?” Angèle, moving about with a restless

As Angèle quickly shook her head, she step; then, kneeling, she took the old resumed, “ He was never the same man woman's hand in hers. Forgive us — if after. That was the reason I was so you knew - if you knew how thoughtuncivil-like, at first, to mademoiselle. lessly " Her voice failed; her bosom Though, when she said she was Monsieur heaved. Dufresny's fiancée I knew she was never Mère Coïc's withered hand trembled one who had hurt the lad.”

under the pressure of that gentle touch. There came a short pause; then the “Yes, mademoiselle, he had the soul of old woman went on in a lower voice. an artist” — then meeting Angèle's eyes “ And sometimes, I think, there was full of tears, a dry sob rent her throat; something he did not tell me; something the austerity of her grief melted, and layon his mind, for now and then he would ing her head down on the girl's shoulder, go wandering like to himself; he'd mut- she burst into tears. ter. I heard the words, “If she had not Dufresny was coming up the gardenmocked me, I would not have minded plot. He looked in at the window, before the others.' I think somebody, he trust- lifting the latch of the door, to let himself ed like, turned against him; and that in. He saw Angèle, with a look on her broke his confidence."

face, as he had sometimes seen upon it in Angèle drew a long breath, and rose his dreams of her; kneeling by Mère quickly from her chair.

Coïc's side, clasping her bowed head. Perhaps I tire you, mademoiselle,” He surveyed the scene a minute or two, said Mère Coïc, “ with my talk; but it is and then he turned away without entering. a kind of comfort. It does me good to speak to you. You look as if you under

CHAPTER VIII. stood how the lad had suffered. You SEPTEMBER had passed into October, have a heart. You are worthy to be that but Angèle did not press her father to good gentleman's wife. When he en- return to town. The general did not ask tered," Mère Coïc went on, paying no better than to stay where he was. He heed to Angèle, who had approached her, liked the quiet and comfort of the old and on whose lips words seemed to be château. He would liave contentedly re. trembling, “his coming would change mained all the year through in it, looking the day to my son. It was like the alms after his horses and his dogs, leading the of the good God to him, and that gentle life of busy idleness that suited him, if man knew how beautiful his pictures his daughter had allowed him. Every

He would say, “That is good year, until this one, when the days began that is fine.' He would cheer him, so to shorten and her friends to leave, she that the lad would take up his palette and agitated to get back to Paris, or she cartry to do a bit of work, with his poor ried him off to Nice. This autumn, howhands that trembled.”

ever, she wished to remain at Jouy. It Here, the demoiselles Coïc departed was her last "young girl's caprice," she from the room with a plunge; and for a said. inoment or two there was no other sound In Deceniber, she was to be married. but the ticking of the clock in the corner. Dufresny was away on a sketching.

“ To say he was not a real artist!” tour, Mademoiselle de Lustre was resumed Mère Coïc, in a voice gruff with Paris, inspecting some of the necessary the first trembling of tears in it. “Those arrangements. . rich people did not see bim die. God | One forenoon in November Eugène

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returned. He had walked a long part of lie is in the secret. They go out together. the way, and he arrived unexpectedly at They return with the business expression the château.

of two agents de change. The child is He did not let the servant announce swimming in mystery." him, but walked direct up to the salon. “And why should I not have a mysHe pushed the door so gently, that An. tery. It is my caprice,” said Angèle, gèle for a moment did not look up. He picking out a lump of sugar and putting it had a glimpse of her, sitting, her graceful into her coffee.” head bent over a book, reading aloud to “But still, pearls ! pearls ! Eugène,' the general. Eugène fancied she looked grumbled the general, “fine, round, and graver than of yore; but the next minute even, that would have made her friends she had caught sight of him, and all her turn green with envy. For the little one face brightened with the childlike frank to refuse them ! to ask for the money delight he knew. She rose, the general instead. It is incomprehensible. It goes turned his head, and then there came the beyond me." exchange of greetings.

It is entirely mysterious,” replied Du“So, bere you are still,” said Eugène, fresny. as they sat at the eleven o'clock breakfast. “ Perhaps,” replied Angèle, looking at

“Yes, it is the little one's wish," an- them over the rim of her cup, “ I am turnswered the general. “She has got it into ing miser. These pieces of yellow gold her head to remain here; and, my faith, I may have a fascination for me, to feel am not sorry to obey her!”

them, pile them up, gloat over them.” Eugène looked at Angèle.

Eugène laughed. He was a little per“Yes,” she answered, nodding to him, plexed, yet he was happy. Angèle was "I wanted you to see, monsieur, that I changed, and still she was herself. Her could remain a whole autumn in the coun. look was not less bright, but it had gained try, a winter even; and I confess I am depth, and her mouth seemed more mobeginning to feel a charm in it."

bile. * The child is full of mysteries. She The general would not be put off so is changed. She is saying good-bye to easily. It was incomprehensible to her follies," said the general, panting him, that the petite should have a mys. between the intervals of tugging at an tery: obstinate cork.


, you shall know it one of these “How is Mère Coïc? What has be- days,” said Angèle. My mystery and come of her," asked Dufresny.

I shall part company. For this, I shall "She is sad," answered Angèle, in an be sorry. It is amusing to have a se altered voice. “They must leave the cret.” little cottage next week. They cannot In the afternoon they set off for a walk. make the two ends meet. Père Coïc's They went gaily through the woods, pictures did not fetch the price they ex. with the autumn sunshine glinting through pected; and there were debts.'

the yellow foliage, and turning to gold the “Oh!” said Dufresny gravely.

“What shreds of mists, that still hung among the will they do?

branches, frosting with silver the dead “Mère Coïc expects to get occasional leaves and bronzy ferns below. employment as nurse. Still, it is piteous. After they had passed the church and She must go about from house to house entered the village, Angèle took the lead as a stranger; when she was accustomed and turned into a side street. She walked to a home of her own."

with her light and rapid step in front of “And her daughters? I suppose they her companions. Pausing before a green will go into service."

door, distinguished from its fellows by “ That is their intention, and that is having no garden before it, she took out the worst of all. They grieve at parting a key, inserted it, turned it, and pushed from each other."

the door open. It led at once into a room, “Yes," said the general out of breath, where a wood fire burned; the room was and triumphant at having wrested the empty, no servant appeared.

“I sent cork out of the bottle, “the little one Rosalie in front to prepare for our receppuzzles me. Imagine, Eugène, instead of tion," said Angèle in explanation. a pearl necklace her old father wished to The firelight played upon the wall, and give her for a wedding present, fine showed it lined with drawers, ornamented pearls, round and even, she has coaxed with brass rings, and names black let. the money it would have cost out of him. ters. A counter rose in front of it. Upon What for? She will not tell. Old Rosa-l it were placed a pair of scales, some wide

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glass bottles, filled with dried herbs. On Iture !” Angèle went on, addressing Euthe wall hung pictures, the unmistakable gène. “ Cannot you see her, with her work of Père Coïc.

big cap, against this background of wood" What is this? Where are we?” en drawers and bottles, listening to the asked the general, looking around him. villagers' ailments, giving advice, weigh“ This is my pearl necklace,” an-jing out doses in her scales ?

Are they swered Angèle. Come, you have not not pretty — my scales ?” seen it all.

This is the finest pearl, I ad- They are too pretty. It is all too mit; but there are others.”

pretty,” he answered smiling; "it is too They followed her into a tiny kitchen, much. You are like the beneficent fairy. opening out into a garden, with fruit-trees You do not know where to stop — you planted in it; then up-stairs, into two overwhelm with your gifts.” bedrooms, fragrantly clean. Angèle Alut- “Do you not think she will like the tered hither and thither, pulling the cur- new home I have prepared for her ?” tains, drawing the blinds, pushing the asked Angèle, her face falling. chairs, showing up everything to advan. “She will be dazed by the luxury and tage, coming and going, full of zeal. completeness of it at first. She will

"Is it not pretty? Do you not like my scarcely know what to do. You must pearl necklace ?" she asked at intervals, expect that she will have to pull it about with her bright smile.

and make it a little uglier, before she can “ It is the prettiest necklace in the feel completely at her ease in it." world; a good fairy might wear it,” said Angèle cast a debating glance about Eugène.

her; then she said, looking at the paint. “But I don't understand," said the ings on the wall, “ The pictures will make general.

it seem home-like. I feel as if I could “Does it not smell well?” she asked, never do enough in reparation. I think when they had returned to the shop, she will be happy here," she went on, taking two glass bowls out, and making after a pause. "If I am a bit of a prophher father and lover sniff the aromatic et, I wager this shop will be like that of herbs they contained. “ Is it not like the the barber's, you know, in the Middle perfume of the woods in autumn ? " Ages - a rendezvous for all the gossip;

“Still I do not understand anything and poor Père Coïc's pictures and genius about it,” remonstrated the general, with will often be the theme of conversation.” an aggrieved air. 61 do not see an inch As she continued speaking in her bright, ahead of me. It is not your caprice to incisive voice, the general installed binturn herboriste, surely?”.

self in a armchair by the fire, stretched Angèle laughed, and shrugged her out his leg. and began to dose. Then shoulders.

the lovers talked in whispers, Angèle " It would be a dainty caprice.". Then bending over the counter, Eugène on the her mood changed. She grew serious. other side, sitting in a low chair, holding

“It is for Mère Coïc. You know, fa- her bands. She did most of the talk; ther, I have spoken to you about her. be listened, watching her, with the misty She is old and left unprovided for. Her sense of happiness at its height. In the two daughters would have to go into ser- twilight, the fire lit up her hair, her pure vice. They are accustomed to a home young forehead, the white draperies about of their own, and one is a little deformed.her throat, the flame played upon her It would be hard for them. Then, there eyes. is a tie between us."

“Père Coïc had queer notions of paintAs the general opened his mouth to ing, all the same," said Eugène smiling, give utterance to a long exclamation, she as he looked up at the walls where the put her arms about his neck.

pictures hung. "If you knew all, papa, you would She looked up also, a little smile upon admire my pearl necklace. You would her lips - one of her new smiles." I not wish one pearl of it otherwise. You never see one that I do not feel as I do see,” she went on, with a little gasp, "la when I come upon a wayside cross I mère Coïc is so learned in herbs. The am inclined to pray." good people about will not need a doc- “ To pray!” be repeated. tor when she has her shop.”

“ Yes; and when I think of Père Coïc, “I do like it -- your pearl necklace,” he always appears with something like a said the general, passing the back of his halo round his poor, shabby head." hand over his eyes.

Meeting Eugène's puzzled expression 66 And she will look so well a pic- l of countenance, she smiled, although tivo


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big tears were in her eyes. Disengaging some years, have led me to the conclusion one hand from his clasp, she flicked them that there was a closer relation between away. “They bring my old self before the two than the fact that they were, for me," she resumed, in her ardent voice. twenty-seven years, contemporaries, and “I see myself as I was before that terri- that the works of the Franciscan friar ble day at the churchyard — so thought- may profitably be studied, as throwing less, so hard; and — and I know if we light on those of the poet of Florence. had married, you would have been un. The evidence on which I have formed happy. I should have dragged you down that conviction I now submit to the

dragged down your art. When I think reader. of it a fear seizes me, as if I were on the A preliminary question meets us and brink of a precipice.”

calls for examination. Had Dante ever Eugène uttered an exclamation, and been in England, and if so, at what time, tried to seize her hand; she evaded him, and with what purpose, and with what and put it gently on his head.

results did he come as a pilgrim to our Yes, my bien aimé, you know it would shores? There are not a few, as Mr. Sy. have been so,” she said, letting a smile of monds remarks in his “Introduction to gold drop upon bim through her tears. the Study of Dante,” who would tread the

high street of Oxford with more reverent footsteps if they had grounds for thinking that that city also might claim, with

Florence and Ravenna, and Verona and From The Contemporary Review.

Paris, the honor of having once been the TWO STUDIES IN DANTE.

home of the poet of the “ Commedia.I.

For the most part, it must be owned, the biographers and commentators are

sceptical on this point. They do not see It might seem as if the whole orbis where the distant journey can be fitted terraruin of literature which finds its into his life. They think that the evicentre in the great name of Dante had dence on which the tradition rests is been so mapped, surveyed, and explored to vague and untrustworthy. They do not its remotest corner, that there was no open- find traces of the journey in the “Comineing for any fresh investigation. The cat. dinor in Dante's other works. alogue of a “ Biblioteca Dantesca" would

What, then, is the evidence ? itself fill volumes, and the books of which (1.) There is the Latin poem of Boccacthat library is made up are, many of them, cio in which he writes of Dante : monuments of unwearied labor and life. long devotion to a great task. If I think Traxerit ut juvenem Phæbus per celsa nivosi that I have yet something to add, if not Cyrrheos, mediosque sinusque, recessus to what bas actually been done – for it Naturæ, cælique vias, terræque, marisque, may well be that others have toiled in the Aonios fontes, Parnassi culmen, et antra same region, of whose labors I am igno- Julia

, Parisios dudum, extremosque Britannos.

(Epist. ad Petrarch.) rant - yet to what is generally known, it is only that I come in as the gleaner of It is obvious that the last line is intended grapes when the vintage is done, seeing a to emphasize the fact that Dante had few clusters still hanging ungathered, and trodden the avia Pieridum loca in the perhaps only half ripe, upon the topmost most literal sense; that he had wandered bough. In July, 1866, I wrote a biograph. in search of knowledge into the most reical article on Roger Bacon in the Con- mote and least likely regions, in which no temporary Review. I am not, I think, Italian poet before him had ever set foot. unduly revealing the secrets of the edito- The literal fact is the crown and consum. rial cabinet if I acknowledge the author- mation of the figurative language which ship of an article on Dante in the Quar- precedes it. Boccaccio, it is true, was a terly Review for April, 1869. I was led somewhat light-hearted and gossipping to study the lives and works of the two writer, but he was born seven years be: great representatives of that marvellous fore Dante's death, he knew his sons, and mediæval period as seen, on the one wrote his life, and lectured on his poems. band, in its science, and, on the other, in In regard to Paris, it is admitted by most its poetry and theology. I treated then biographers that he was right, and most of each apart. Later studies in connec. commentators find a reference to Dante's tion with a translation of the “Comme- sojourn there in the Paradiso (x. 136 din," on which I have been engaged for | 8): –




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