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had only two pair of stockings, and I sometimes turgid-he is not true to was obliged to wash one pair every
nature. The line in the Horacemorning that I might have clean ones On peut changer d'amant mais non changer to act in every night. I also managed d'époux,' everything in the house. I got up at appears to me coarse and common." six daily, and at eight o'clock all the “Not the less true for that,” said De beds were made; afterwards I went to Musset. La Halle to buy our dinner, and I was “Unworthy of the poet, at any an honest cook, was I not, mamma ? ” rate," said Rachel. “But speak to me
“That you were," replied the mother, of Racine the noble, the beautiful.-I with her mouth full.
adore him! And do you know I am “ Only once,” said Rachel, “I was resolved to act Phèdre” (she struck the guilty of thieving : what I bought at table with her fist as she spoke). “They fourpence I set down as fivepence, and say
I am too young and too thin, and going on steadily in this way at the end more such nonsense; but I reply, it is of a month I made a profit of three the greatest part in all Racine, and I francs."
am determined to play it." “And what did you do with those “You may be wrong there," said three francs?” asked the poet, with mock Sarah. severity.
“Let me alone,” said Rachel, “I mean “Oh !” exclaimed the mother, “she to do it; if people tell me I am too thin, bought a Molière with them.”
I say they are absurd. A woman pos“Yes," said Rachel, “I had got a sessed by an infamous passion, yet preRacine and a Corneille, and I wanted a pared rather to die than yield to it-a Molière. I bought it with my three woman withering away in scorching francs, and then I confessed my crime.” fires and bitter tears-such a woman can
Some of the guests now went away, not be expected to look as plump as and the bonne returned.
Madame Paradol. It would be a contratinued to abstain from eating, and to diction in nature. I have read the part chatter German. Rachel reproved her, ten times within the last eight days. I persevered with stories of her youth, don't know how I should act it, but I and presently made some punch and set tell
that I feel it in me. The newsit alight, putting the candles under the
papers may write what they please, but table in order the better to see the pretty they will not disgust me with it. They blue flame as it was burning; when this are at a loss what to invent in order to pastime was over she played with Alfred injure me, instead of giving me ende Musset's sword-stick, and drawing couragement and help; but I will act the blade out of its sheath she picked it, though only four persons should be her teeth with it. But one sentence present to see it.” She then made a sufficed to put an end to all this vul- grand tirade against the journalists. garity and folly, and to bring poetry Her mother interrupted her. “My and the instinct of art upon the dear,” said she, "you have been talking
too much. This morning you were up The poet said, “How beautifully you at six. I don't know what possesses read the letter in the fifth act to-night! you. You have gabbled all day, and You were greatly moved.”
you have been acting this evening. You “Yes," replied Rachel, “I felt as if I will be ill." were shattered-breaking into bits—and “Leave me alone,” said Rachel ; "it yet I don't care for the tragedy of ‘Tan- makes me feel that I am alive." She crède.' It is false."
turned to De Musset and said, “Shall I “You prefer the tragedies of Cor- fetch the book, and shall we read the neille and Racine,” said the poet. tragedy both together?"
“I like Corneille," Rachel replied, « What could be more delightful ?." “though he is sometimes trivial and
said the poet.
But Sarah observed that it was half- Opera. He was hardly seated before past eleven.
he addressed some brutal words to his “Well,” said Rachel, “who prevents daughter, and ordered her to leave off you from going to bed ?"
reading. Rachel shut up the book, Accordingly Sarah went to bed, and saying, “It is intolerable : I will buy a Rachel left the room, but speedily re- match-box, and I will read alone in my turned with a volume of Racine in her bed.” Tears rolled down her cheeks, hands. Her demeanour had undergone It was intolerable to the poet to see a total change : it had become solemn such a creature so treated : he rose and and religious ; she seemed as one ad- took his leave, full of emotion and ministering sacred rites. She took her admiration, and before he went to bed seat next the poet and snuffed the he wrote down an account of the scene, candle. Her mother dozed off comfort- which he addressed to a lady well ably, with a smile on her face. Rachel known in Paris for her wit and beauty, bowed her head over the volume as she and who had a high appreciation of his opened it, and said, “How I love this genius. She still lives, and is still Racine! When I once get the book in witty and still pretty ; he used to call my hand, I could go on reading for two her playfully his "Marraine," for she days without stopping to eat or drink.” a great many years older than The two now began their reading with himself : but he seems to have anticithe volume placed between them. pated the fact of her surviving him.
“D'abord," writes De Musset, “elle We owe to her the preservation of one récite d'un ton monotone comme une of the most curious fragments of biolitanie. Peu à
elle s'anime. Nous graphy ever published. To all lovers échangeons nos remarques, nos idées of art this picture of the poet and the sur chaque passage.
Elle arrive enfin à actress side by side, drawing inspiration la déclaration. Elle étend son bras droit from each other as the pages of Racine sur la table; le front posé sur la main glowed under their touch, must be full gauche, appuyée sur son coude, elle of 'interest. To those who remember s'abandonne entièrement. Cependant Rachel's grand interpretations of the elle ne parle encore qu'à demi-voix. classical French dramatists, who rememTout à coup ses yeux étincellent; le ber the beauty of her declamation, her génie de Racine éclaire son visage ; elle fire, her sublime passion, her statuesque pâlit, elle rougit. Jamais je ne vis rien dignity, which made her small frame de si beau, de si intéressant ; jamais, au seem at times colossal, the scene here théâtre, elle n'a produit sur moi tant set down is a golden treasure received d'effet. La fatigue, un peu d'enroue
from the hands of the poet.
The ment, le punch, l'heure avancée, une contrast between her actual life and animation
fiévreuse sur her ideal representation woven so cupetites joues entourées d'un bonnet de riously into unity is strange, exciting, nuit, je ne sais quel charme inouï ré- painful and yet beautiful; for no sooner pandu dans tout son être, ces yeux bril- did the player and the poet concentrate lants qui me consultent, un sourire their thoughts upon their art than it enfantin qui trouve moyen de se glisser conquered all the rest : and the sordid au milieu de tout cela ; enfin, jusqu'à facts and mean surroundings disappeared cette table en désordre, cette chandelle under the enchantment of exalted dont la flamme tremblote, cette mère imagination. assoupie près de nous, tout cela compose The Théâtre Français
the à la fois un tableau digne de Rembrandt, favourite temple of worship of De un chapitre de roman digne de Wilhelm Musset, and there he studied objectively Meister, et un souvenir de la vie d'artiste the emotions which, when he suffered qui ne s'effacera jamais de ma mémoire." them within himself, were too pasIt was
now past midnight, and sionate for his frame, and sometimes Rachel's father came home from the destroyed his sense.
The most beautiful of his lyrics,
* Il secouait sous son manteau however, grew out of his own affliction;
Un haillon de pourpre en lambeau,
Sur sa tête un myrte stérile. they are the harmonious moanings of an
Son bras maigre cherchait le mien, irretrievable sorrow, of a lost faith, of Et mon verre, en touchant le sien, & great, ruined passion. They were Se brisa dans ma main débile." written at the age of twenty-five, and
The sterile myrtle and the emaciated are known as Les Nuits. They include
arm were the fatal anticipations of the "La Nuit de Mai," "de Décembre,"
poet's conscience working among scenes “d'Octobre," and "d'Août.” “La Nuit
of riot and clamour in some momentary d'Octobre" is well known through the isolation of thought. A year passed bepassionate recitation of Delaunay and
fore the image was seen again; it was Favart : "La Nuit de Décembre" is not
then at the death-bed of his father. Its less poetical; the oppressive gloom of the
eyes were deluged with tears; it was winter season invests it: it describes that
like "les anges de douleur.” strange impression which haunted the poet in all his misery of a figure by his
« Je m'en suis si bien souvenu side, whose aspect was the counterpart of
Que je l'ai toujours reconnu
A tous les instants de ma vie. his own: the figure was dressed in black,
C'est une étrange vision, and its expression was that of mournful Et cependant, ange ou dénon, regret. It came too late to be a warn- J'ai vu partout cette ombre amie." ing: it was too sad to be a consolation;
It followed him to Italy; he saw it in every disorder of his mind his strained
in the stormy days of his travel ; it imagination projected this image before
sometimes rose him, and the sight of it was accom
to perplexa sunny panied by anguish. He was a child when it first appeared to him. He “ A Florence au fond des palais, saw it for the second time at the age of
A Brigues dans les vieux châlets, fifteen.
Au sein des Alpes desolées ;
A Venise, à l'affreux Lido
Où vient sur l'herbe d'un tombeau
Mourir la pale Adriatique.”
Wherever he went the vision pursued
“ Partout où j'ai voulu dormir,
Partout où j'ai voulu mourir,
Partout où j'ai touché la terre,
Sur ma rou est venu s'asseoir
Un malheureux vêtu de noir,
Qui me ressemblait comme un frère."
An episode of great beauty, but too In the poet's first love-sorrow the
long and too continuous in its flow to figure appeared again, sad and anxious. furnish extracts, follows this stanza. With one hand it pointed to heaven; in
It describes the fluctuations of that unthe other it held a sword; it breathed happy passion for the woman who sub
dued his soul, which ended in despair; only one sigh, and disappeared like a dream.
the fraternal shape of sorrow glides in In the midst of unholy, wild festivity last the poet questions the vision, and
at the hours of sharpest affliction. At the shape next showed itself
his passionate appeal is answered-
“ Ami, je suis la Solitude."
This was not a dream conjured up in
the hour of poetical composition. The Qui me ressemblait comme un frère. poem is a true record, and it is difficult
to conceive anything more pathetic. beauty of poetry and the movement of These lyrical pieces were written at the passion, was felt to be hazardous even early age of twenty-five, and nothing of by French artists for a French audience, the poet's at a later day surpassed them but the success was complete, and the either in passion or in perfection of theatre is crowded at every representa
tion of this piece. It was bravely Heine, always cruel in his satire, said risked during the last season, when of De Musset when he was thirty years
dramatic art showed its full perfections old, “C'est un jeune homme d'un beau at the Opéra Comique, in London; and passé.” But there was truth in those it warmed the cold blood of English bitter words. At the age of thirty- audiences, and established the fame of seven, De Musset ceased to write ; at the French poet with many who had forty-seven the burthen of his sorrows never even heard his name before. His and faults was lifted from him, and he birthday is annually celebrated at the died suddenly in the night, of heart Comédie Française, by a performance of disease, on the 1st of May, 1857, at pieces exclusively of his writing. It is Paris.
an occasion when the theatre is always It was after his death that the “Nuit filled with spectators of literary disd'Octobre was produced upon the tinction, and with renowned artists. stage of the Théâtre Français at the There is a certain sense of exaltation celebration of his birthday, while his in these honours duly paid to the dramarble bust, crowned with laurel, looked matist and poet; but it is accompanied on still and calm, as he never could be by a profound melancholy as the memoat any instant of his troubled life. rial of great gifts misused, of the
The performance of a long dialogue in promise of youth ending in the blight verse, with no change of scene, and of manhood, and of a fine imagination little action, depending wholly on the overthrown.
THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A PHAETON.
BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF “A DAUGHTER OF HETH,” ETC.
to understand the appeal, for he imme
diately saidATRA CURA,
“Oh, but you do know, that is not “O gentle roind that bloweth south, the objection. I do not think MadeTo where my love repaircth,
moiselle talks in that way, or should Convey a kiss to his dear mouth, be criticised about it by anyone; but And tell me how he fareth !".
the wrong that is done by introducing “My dear, you are unphilosophical. the slang words is, that it destroys Why should you rebuke Bell for the history of a language. It perverts occasionally using one of those quaint the true meaning of roots—it takes American phrases, which have wandered away the poetry of derivations-it into this country? I can remember confuses the student." a young person who had a great trick “And who thought of students of quoting Italian--especially in mo- when the various objects in life were ments of tenderness—but that was a christened? And whence came the long time ago—and perhaps she has roots! And is not language always an forgotten
experiment, producing fresh results as "It is shameful of you," says Queen people find it convenient, and leaving Titania, hastily, “to encourage Bell in students to frame laws as they like?
She would never do any- And why are we to give up succinct thing of the kind but for you. And words or phrases because the dictionaries you know very well that quoting a of the last generation consecrated them foreign language is quite a different to a particular use? My dear children, thing from using those stupid Ameri- the process of inventing language goes canisms which are only fit for negro- on from year to year, changing, modiconcerts.”
fying, supplying, and building up new * My dear, you are unphilosophical islands out of the common sand and When America started in business on
What to-day is slang, toher own account, she forgot to furnish morrow is language, if one may be
perherself with an independent language ; mitted to parody Feuerbach. And I but ever since she has been working say that Bell, having an accurate ear hard to supply the want.
for fit sounds, shall use such words as by you will find an American lan- she likes; and if she can invent epiguage-sharp, concise, expressive-built
thets of her own on the diffuse and heavy founda- “But, please, I don't wish to do tions of our own English. Why anything of the kind,” says Bell, should not Bell use those tentative looking quite shamefaced. phrases which convey so much in so That is just the way of those few syllables ? Why call it slang? women: interfere to help them in a What is slang but an effort at concise- difficulty, and they straightway fly
over to the common enemy, especially Tita looked puzzled, vexed, and des- if he happens to represent a social perate ; and inadvertently turned to majority. Count von Rosen, who was handing I began to perceive about this stage the sugar-basin to Bell. He seemed of our journey that a large number of