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Let him do on his arms of proof,
I tell him, he hath lied!"
He paused, as though he thought to see
The sunshine slept upon the sod,
cedars ceased to nod,
Was it a trumpet's tone,
The mountain echoes lone ?
So soon it passed away,
And to his dying day
Almost his own identity.
land led him towards the Jews' quarter. Wuen, by the increasing light, the tailor | When he reached the gate, which last evencast a sad glance around him, and beheld ing had remained closed, notwithstanding the disorder which prevailed in the little Netcelli's repeated demands for admission, chamber, he was unable to repress a heavy Barruello pulled the bell with violence. An sigh, which, as a truthful chronicler, we must old woman soon appeared. Although her confess, was rather an expression of vexa- apparel was that of the wife of an ordinary tion than of grief. To understand and ex- artisan, yet Barruello knew by her tone and cuse the worthy burgher, however, the reader bearing that he stood before the mistress of should have lived for a while in the Nether- the house, and he removed his cap respectlands, and have witnessed the love of order fully. which prevails there in all domestic matters;
« What is
wish ?" where even the least careful housewife rises “To speak with Master Rembrandt.” at four in the morning, and often passes two “You? and for what? He cannot be hours in washing, brushing and polishing, seen so early,” replied the dame in a harsh in order, perhaps, to efface a spot from the tone;“ my husband is busy; come again at bricks with which the floor of her house is noon." laid. Turning his eyes from the confusion, “I cannot well wait until
per Master Barruello glanced at Netcelli. haps Master Rembrandt will not be sorry to
The latter was still seated close to the fire, see me. I bring him-I wish to give him gazing steadfastly before him; neither joy something—something that belongs to him.” por sorrow was depicted in his rigid face; “Money ?" asked the old woman, as she he seemed indifferent to every thing that cast a searching glance upon the tailor. was passing around him.
“It is a treasure !" replied Master Nichoburied in a deep and tranquil slumber. las, enduring her gaze with heroic indifferMaster Barruello hesitated for some moments ence. to wake him; but it was now broad day; the She still delayed for a few seconds. clock of the neighboring church struck eight, “ Enter," she said at last.
“But I can and it was time to think of repairing the tell you your interview will not continue disorder occasioned by the sad events of the long if you have deceived me, and you will past night. The tailor therefore passed his not have disturbed Master Rembrandt at hand gently over the boy's face.
his work for nothing." “ You must get up
go with me, mio The old woman now slowly opened the caro," said Master Nicholas to Antonio, who gate, which she had thus far held half closed, gezed at him with sleepy eyes; “ here is your and gave Barruello admittance; she then little hat; come, give me your hand and let locked it carefully again, and crossed the
court, directing the tailor by a sign to follow And father, and mother ?" said the boy. her. As he walked onward he cast a glance " They are asleep—come, only come." at the four large dogs which leaped
bark“But I won't go before I have kissed ing from the kennels to which they were
chained, and he could not repress a slight “Will you be disobedient? Your mother shudder as he remarked their strength and told me to take you with me before she size, and thought of the danger to which ne woke," replied Master Barruello; and he had been exposed on the preceding evendrew the unwilling child from the house, ing.
After Barruello had ascended a lofty stair- | Rubens is a great painter, but not the great. case, and had then crossed two large, vacant, est in Flanders." unfurnished chambers, he entered an apart “My uncle is greater than you and Rubens : ment which was lighted by a single window put together.” constructed in the ceiling. So deep was the “And who is he, then ?” asked the old gloom that here reigned, that for several man angrily. minutes the tailor could scarcely distinguish “Rembra ndt." surrounding objects. At last he observed “And are you a nephew of Rembrandt in a corner a man in the decline of life; his You are a son then of that Netcelli, who head was wrapped in a white cloth, his married my niece against my will. Begone! beard was long, his face deeply furrowed, I will have nothing to do with you nor your and his eye shone with that greenish light father.” which reminds the spectator of certain ani- The boy began to cry: mals, to whose organs of vision it is peculiar. "Must the poor child perish, then, with He was painting before an easel. Opposite cold and Irunger, like his mother and his litto him, in the portion of the chamber upon tle sister, who both died last night ?" which the light from the window principally “ He has his father left." fell, sat a man, enveloped in a linen cloth, in “ His father ? Merciful Heaven! sorrow the posture of one who had just risen from and suffering have turned his brain.” the grave.
“Ah, my father, my mother, my little The old man continued to paint for a long sister !" cried Antonio, with loud sobs. while, without appearing to remark the A tear rolled down Rembrandt's wrinpresence of the new comers.
The woman, kled cheeks. however, who had introduced Barruello, at “ Is what you tell me true! How! my once took a seat near the lofty chimney, in sister's daughter !" which a sooty iron pot hung by a hook and “She has received what she deserved,” chain. Upon a stool near by lay vegeta- interrupted the shrill voice of Dame Rembles, which the worthy housewife immedi- brandt, who stepped towards them with her ately took in her apron and began to peel. arms akimbo. “If the silly creature had
In the meanwhile the tailor, still waiting not been disobedient, and acted contrary to for the master of the house to address him, your wishes, she would not have died in had approached the easel, and, with all his poverty." anxiety and embarrassment, he could not “ Master Rembrandt," said Barruello, refrain from gazing with admiration at the “ your nephew is a maniac, your niece and picture which Rembrandt was completing her daughter are dead! A coffin for these, It was the Resurrection of Lazarus. In bread for the father and the son!” the foreground stood the Saviour, his eyes Rembrandt cast a hesitating glance to moist with tears, saying to the dead man, wards his wife. The latter, however, grasped “ Lazarus, come forth !" and Lazarus came the sobbing Antonio violently by the arm, forth. A halo enveloped the Saviour's form; planted herself before the startled tailor, and the remaining figures stood in that effective cried : half gloom, that dusky light, the secret of “That would be very fine, indeed! And so which was known to Rembrandt alone. my husband must burden himself with an
“Ah! how beautiful that is,” cried little idiot and an ill-bred child, must work day Antonio.
and night, and all to assist wretches who do At the clear tones of his voice, Rembrandt not merit the least compassion! No, that turned towards the boy.
shall never be while I live! Begone! out Why do you speak of things that you with you!" do not understand ? he cried.
“ Is that your determination also, Master “My father is a painter, and then I have Rembrandt ?” asked the indignant tailor, an uncle too who paints beautiful pictures ! with a firm voice. My father has often told me that my
uncle Without replying, Rembrandt turned to was the greatest painter in all Flanders." his painting again. Barruello tore the child
“So! you are a nephew of Rubens, then from the hands of the rude woman, and exfor, after mvself, I know no one who could claimed : deserve this name. Tell your father that “Come, Antonio ! come! If your uncle
deserts you, a stranger will not forsake you. The stranger struck his spurs into his God has sent you to me, and I will not cast horse's flanks and soon joined his companyou forth. Come with me from this house ions, leaving Master Nicholas Barruello of wealth, where they refuse your mother a overwhelmed with joy and astonishment. coffin. Shame upon this heartless pair, who have no feelings of compassion !" When the tailor had uttered these words,
IV. that were forced from him by
he AFTER Dame Rembrandt had succeeded in retired leading Antonio by the hand, and getting rid of our friend Barruello, and in with a heavy heart retraced his steps to removing the impression which his reproaches wards his dwelling.
had left upon her husband's mind, the old While walking onward, Barruello's anger man approached his easel again, and took gradually subsided, and he mused seriously up his palette and brush. But it was in upon his situation; but let him ponder as vain that he endeavored to proceed with his he would, he could find no. means which work; his trembling hand refused its office, seemed likely to aid him in his embarrass- and, busied with reflections of a different nament. Suddenly a band of horsemen came ture, he was unable to devote his attention spurring towards them with such speed that to the unfinished painting. Twice or thrice Barruello was scarcely able to reach the side he endeavored to complete the head of the of the street, while Antonio, whom he drag- Saviour, but as often he drew back in disged onward violently, fell to the ground, satisfaction. At last, angry with himself
, he uttering a loud cry. The leader of the train cast his brush aside, and folding his arms, at once checked his horse, dismounted, and gazed steadfastly at the canvas, and by asked in a compassionate tone whether the degrees sank into deep thought. Soon his child were hurt.
fancy brought before him the days of his When he had convinced himself that his childhood. A forsaken orphan, what would fears were groundless, he slipped a piece of have been his fate without the maternal care money into the boy's hand, mounted his of his sister Louise ? Had she not been a horse again, and asked the tailor to direct second mother to him; had she not watched him to the dwelling of the painter Rem- over him like the angel who guided the brandt.
young Tobias through the dangers of a “ His house stands at the end of the sec- long journey? And now, closing his ears ond street to the right, in the Jews' quarter, to the voice of duty and compassion, he had near the churchyard. You are wealthy, turned from his door the grandson of a sisSir Knight, and you will meet with a good ter! It is true, Margaret had done wrong reception."
in having married an Italian painter, a man “Do the poor find no compassion from without money and without talent, but was him?" asked the stranger.
it not too cruel to punish her children for “ Compassion ! Merciful Heaven! In
her disobedience ? " True," he thought, der accursed house they have no compas- the misery of this family is but the consesion for the grandson of its master's sister.” quence of their own fault, but still it is in
Nicholas now related to the stranger all human to refuse them assistance.” that had passed, and the latter listened with He rose quickly, thrust his hand into the the liveliest attention. When he had ended wide pocket of his doublet, and drew out a his narrative, the unknown drew out a purse large leathern purse. He counted out five full of gold, took four pieces from it, and or six florins, examining each piece accugave them to the tailor.
rately, and then called to his wife. The lat“Here,” he said, “ is enough to bury the ter, not without murmuring, left the chimney dead, and to procure the necessaries of life corner, where she was attending to her culifor the maniac and his child. Write down nary duties; but when she saw the money your name and the place of your dwelling in the painter's hand, she could no longer upon this tablet. I will pay you a visit this control her anger, for from Rembrandt's evening, and consult with you as to what is embarrassment, she at once divined the use to be done. You seem a worthy man, and to which he intended to apply it. your conduct pleases me. God be with you! “Ah, ha! you mean to pay insults and This evening!"
injuries with hard money! Very fine, indeed!
you will not want customers when it is once had closed the gate they dismounted, and known. If you are at a loss to know what with the exception of the page, who remained to do with the money, instead of giving it behind to take care of the horses, the train to wicked and ungrateful creatures, buy followed Dame Rembrandt through a labyyour own son a doublet with it, for he is rinth of corridors to the studio of the rerunning around with holes in his elbows.” nowned artist.
Rembrandt contracted his brows gloomily, When Rembrandt saw the numerous retiand his glance quickly silenced his wife. nue enter his studio, his features assumed
“When I took a peasant girl, a maid an expression of ill-humor, and he replied servant for my wife," he replied, "I did so to the greetings of the noble stranger in a that my commands might always be obeyed. rude and surly tone, directing his glances at You will, therefore, without delay, carry times, with evident discontent, at his interthis money to Master Barruello. Quick! I rupted task. The latter unceremoniously wish that my niece should be decently in- took a chair and seated himself near the terred, and that her son and her husband painter, while the rest of the train remained should not suffer want."
standing respectfully in the background of Dame Rembrandt saw that it was neces- the chamber, that they might not disturb sary for her to obey without replying. Mut- the conversation of the two men. tering angrily, she put on her cap, and It was a most interesting spectacle to changed her shoes, in order to go out. watch those two individuals, who differed so Rembrandt took up his palette once more, singularly from each other. The one, tall
, and gathered his brushes together, with elegantly formed, and of most prepossessing which a large ape had been playing. With manners, seemed to have lost nothing of the a heart somewhat relieved of its burden, advantages of youth, although he was perand with an easier conscience, he sat down haps fifty years of age. He wore a rich douto his work again. At this momentt he blet of embroidered velvet, and his lofty house bell was pulled with a violence that brow was surmounted by a large hat adorned threatened to break the cord. Rembrandt with a jet-black plume. His glance was was so startled at this unusual noise, that penetrating, his smile in the highest degree his trembling hand involuntarily drew a seductive, and his soft white hand might large streak across the head of the principal have excited the envy of a woman. The figure in his picture. The oath with which other, on the contrary, exhibited all the the painter accompanied this accident was tokens of premature old age, accelerated by answered by Dame Rembrandt with a cry toil, sorrow, and indulgence in the passions. of indignation.
Short in stature, with a considerable stoop, The bell was pulled anew, and if possible dressed in a coarse, threadbare doublet, he more violently than before.
seemed destitute of the most ordinary regard The old woman, with a bitter invective for cleanliness. His hair, held together in upon her tongue, darted out to open the disorder by a comb that had once been gate. But her rage was suddenly changed white, was already turning gray, and his into astonishment, for he who had pulled face was furrowed by a thousand wrinkles. the bell with such violence was a young The spectator soon remarked, however, that page of pert and presumptuous mien, while deep sagacity lay concealed beneath this before the house a numerous band of horse- rude exterior; the piercing glance of his men, with a young dame in their midst, greenish eye was almost insupportable. were waiting for admission.
While Rembrandt played with his ape, The horseman who seemed to be the a hateful beast which, with the help of a chief of the train now said:
little superstition, might have been taken for “ Inform your master that a stranger the familiar demon of the magician who from Antwerp, who wishes to purchase some inhabited this apartment, the new comer pictures of him, requests to be admitted to gazed with great attention at the unfinished his presence."
painting, uttering words of astonishment Softened by the courteous and dignified and admiration. manner of the stranger, Dame Rembrandt “What magical colors ! what freshness, opened the great gate of the court in order what life in that flesh! The Venetian that the horsemen might enter. When she school has produced nothing that can vie