Page images

journ in the depths of Siberia, six years of ed, armed with a double candlestick, servitude in the midst of savage tribes, charged with lighted wax candles. even more cruel and pitiless than their cli “Germain," said the Marquis, “show mate; all that he had endured, hunger, Monsieur to his chamber. It is the chamcold, hard labor, barbarous treatment, he ber,” added he, addressing himself to Bertold all; and more than once during the nard, “which your father occupied so long."

like * dew-drow in her downcast eye, and drop- said Madame de Vaubert, “ to have deped a liquid pearl, upon the work of tapes- tained you so long from your rest. We try which she had resumed, doubtless, to ought to have remembered that you need conceal her emotion.

repose; but we are so delighted to see « Noble young man!” said Madame de you, and so ravished with your story! Vaubert, raising her handkerchief to her You will pardon an indiscretion which has eyes ; “and was this the reward due to no other excuse than the charm of your such heroic courage ?”

recitals." “Ventre-saint-gris ! Monsieur,” said “A good night's rest, Monsieur,” said the Marquis ; "you must be tormented the Marquis ; " ten hours of sound sleep with rheumatism."

will find you much refreshed. To-morrow “Thus all glory is expiated,” resumed morning we will go out and shoot some the baroness with a tone of melancholy. rabbits. You must be fond of hunting; “Thus, too often, the laurel-wreath is ex- it is the image of war.” changed for the palm of the martyr. Poor “Monsieur," said M’lle de La Siegyoung friend ! How you must have suffer- liére, tremblingly, “you will not forget ed!" added she, pressing his hand with that you are at home, among friends who the liveliest demonstrations of sympathy. will make it a pleasure as well as a duty

"Monsieur,” said the Marquis, " I pre- to heal your heart, and to efface from it dict that in your old age you will be de- every recollection of those unfortunate voured by the gout.”

days. My father, here, will endeavor to “ After so many reverses and sufferings, render you the affection of him


have how pleasant it must be,” continued Ma- lost; and I, if you will permit me, will be dame de Vaubert,“ to repose in the bosom to you a sister.” of a family eager to receive you,

surround If

you love the chase,” cried the Mared with friendly countenances, and sup- quis, “ I promise you some royal ones.” ported by faithful hearts ! Happy the “Imperial !” interrupted the baroness. exile, who upon his return to his native “Yes," replied the Marquis, “impeland, does not find his court silent, his rial. On foot, or on horseback, with beahouse empty, and his fire-side cold and sol-gles or greyhounds. Vive Dieu ! If y


treat the foxes as you did the Austrians, “ A Siberian gout !” muttered the Mar- and the hares as you did the Russians, I quis, rubbing his ankle. “Mine only came pity the game.” from Germany, and that is bad enough. "I hope, Monsieur,” added Madame Monsieur, I am sorry for you. A Sibe- de Vaubert, “ to have the pleasure of seerian gout! You have not yet done with ing you often at our little manor. Your the Cossacks."

worthy father, who honored me with his The last words of the baroness had ab- friendship, used frequently to accept of my ruptly recalled Bernard to the exigencies humble hospitality. I hope you will often of his position. The clock, on the marble come to speak of him in the place where chimney-piece had just struck eleven. he so often spoke of you." Ashamed of his weakness, Bernard arose “Well, Monsieur Bernard, good night," and was again about to retire, not knowing said the Marquis, with a wave of the hand. upon what to resolve, but still in his un- “ May your father send you pleasant certainty, comprehending well enough that dreams. this was no place for him, when, the Mar “Adieu ! Monsieur Bernard,” continued quis having pulled a mohair cord which the baroness, with her blandest smile. hung by the side of the glass, the door of “Sleep with the thought that you are no the apartment opened, and a valet appear- longer alone in the world." VOL. IV.


itary !"



Ip wan


“ Till to-morrow,” said Helen, in her Tartars to appreciate these trifles. On turn; “ that is the word your father and I either side of the glass, half concealed, used to exchange when we parted in the behind clusters of asters, dahlias and chryevening.”

santhemums, in japan vases, shone gleamBewildered, amazed, fascinated, Bernard ing poignards, richly wrought pistols, and made a gesture which seemed to say, God other warlike implements, mounted with bless you ; and after a respectful bow to gold and silver, and studded with diamonds. M'lle de La Seigliére, followed Germain Upon one corner of the chimney piece was to the richest and most sumptuously fur a splendidly carved cup heaped up with nished apartment of the chateau. It was gold, as if left there by mistake. Bernard indeed the one which the poor old miser stopped neither before the gold, nor the had for a while occupied, before they ban- flowers, nor even before the arms. ished him, like a leper, into the most re- dering around the chamber, to his great tired and isolated part of the mansion ; delight, he fell upon a silver plate charged only it had been since greatly improved, with cigars, for which Madame de l'aubert and, that very day, there had been a spe- had sent to town, where she purchased cial preparation for the reception of its them of an old captain of a privateer, who destined guest. When Bernard entered, was a connoisseur in such matters, and the joyous flame in the fireplace was flash- whom she reckoned among her friends ; ing from the gilded mouldings and the an attention which at this day would be a brass fixtures which held in their places matter of course, but which would

pass the rich green velvet hangings. An Au- that time for a mark of boldness and gebusson carpet strewed the floor with flowers, nius. He took one, lit it by the light of a as fresh and brilliant as if they had been candle, and stretching himself leisurely gathered in the neighboring meadows, and upon a sofa, enveloped in a cashmere robe, scattered by the hand of some beneficent and shod with Turkish slippers, he fell to fairy. Bernard, who for ten years had thinking, first of his father, and then upon slept on the camp bed, the snow, wolf-skins the strangeness of his destiny, of the unesor a blanket, felt an indescribable pleasure pected turn which the events of that day had as he perceived, beneath the swelling pil- taken, and of the course which remained for lows, the soft and white linen of a bed, him to pursue. Worn with fatigue, with a which, like the throne of Sleep, rose from feverish brow and a heavy eye, his ideas the depth of an alcove—a mysterious nook soon began to grow confused. In this state formed by drapery in keeping with the of drowsiness, a sort of intellectual twihangings we have already mentioned. All light—he thought he saw the smoke of his the researches of luxury, all the elegancies cigar animated and peopled with fantastic and all the comforts of life were united groups. Now his old father and mother around, and seemed to smile upon him. were mounting up to heaven seated on a An ingenious solicitude had anticipated, cloud. Now his emperor, with arms folded divined, and provided everything. Hospi- across his chest, was standing upon a rock tality has its delicacies, which rarely escape in profound meditation. Now the baroness poverty, but which we do not always find and the Marquis had joined hands and with the most magnificent hosts. Nothing, were dancing the saraband. Now, and ofhowever, was wanting here, neither tact, ten, a slender and graceful form was leannor grace, nor coquetry, all rarer than ing over, and watching him with a smile. munificence. When Germain had with. His cigar finished, he threw himself on the drawn, after having made all ready for the bed, and was soon in a profound sleep. retirement of his new master, Bernard ex Whether from fatigue, or from fear lest perienced a childish joy in examining and her emotion should be discovered, Mölle touching the thousand objects of the toilet, de La Siegliere quitted the salon nearly of which he had forgotten the use. We at the same time with Bernard. Alone, shall not venture to say, for example, into by the fireside, the Marquis and the hawhat ecstacies of delight he was thrown at roness regarded each other for a moment the sight of the flagons of Eau de Portu- in silence. gal, and at the smell of the perfumed soaps. “Well, Marquis,” finally said Madame One must have been six years among the de Vaubert,“ he is low bred, this Bernard.

The father smelt of the stable, and the son get for it; they treat you like cannibals. smells of the corps-de-garde.

I'll be bound, notwithstanding all his doleCurse him !” exclaimed the Marquis, ful stories, that he lived in the clover; you who had arrived at the last pitch of exas can place no dependence upon such rasperation; “ I thought he would never have cals. And then comes his talk about libdone with his battle of Moscow. The erty, native land, and paternal roof smobattle of Moscow! A pretty affair indeed! | king in the horizon! great words which he, Who cares anything, or knows anything and his like, put forward to cover up their about it? Who speaks of it? I have disorders and veil their misconduct." never been in battle, but if I had, by the “ sword of my ancestors, Madame la baro- the whole spiced with an inheritance of á ness, it would have been quite a different million—it must be admitted,” added Maaffair. There would have been an end of dame de Vaubert, “that a man may, for it; I would never have returned, even the sake of these, quit the flowery banks covered with wounds. The battle of Mos- of the Don, and the tender hospitality of cow! And this fellow gives himself the the Baskires, without being precisely a rasairs of a Cæsar or an Alexander, the sneak! cal.” These are your heroes! These are the fu “ An inheritance of a million!” shouted rious combats about which M. de Bona- the Marquis. < Where the devil is he parte has made so much noise, and which going to get it?" the enemies of the monarchy still vaunt so “Out of your pocket,” replied the bamuch! Nothing more than healthful ex roness, almost discouraged at being so often ercises; the dead soon picked themselves obliged to bring back the Marquis to the up, and the slain are now better than ever. . point at issue, Vive Dieu ! When we fight, things turn “Ah, ha!” cried the Marquis, “then out quite different. When a gentleman he is a dangerous man, this Bernard ? If falls, he does not pick himself up and run he pushes me to extremities, Madame la home. But if a mere clown, a villain, a baronne, you are little aware of how much Stamply falls in the service of France, I am capable ; I will bring him before the Ventre-saint-gris! the chances are ten to tribunals.” one, that he will soon be at home telling of “Then,” said the baroness, “you will it among the rabble. If he had a heart as save him the necessity of bringing you big as a mouse, he would blush to think there.

Pray, Marquis, do not begin that. himself alive; he would go and throw him- Consider matters as they are. self headlong into the river.”

cannot escape them, look them in the face. “But, Marquis, he prefers to live,” said What is there to be so frightened about? the baroness, with a smile.

Bernard is in a cage ; the lion is muzzled ; “ Let him live, then ; but let him go and the prey is in your grasp.” hide himself! í Conceal your life,' says

“Yes, and what, in the name of heaven, If he was as fond of glory as shall I do with it ?»s he pretends, he would prefer to have it “ Time will determine. This morning thought that he died upon the field of our purpose was to instal the enemy in the honor, rather than return here, drawing af- place where we wished him, this has been ter him his misery and disgrace. Why done. Now we are to drive him from it;

this shall be done also." good place for him ; it was suited to his " And, meanwhile,” said the Marquis, tastes and habits. The baby whines about impatiently, we are to be crammed with the climate : one would suppose he was born Siberia, gun-shot, and Moscow! We are in an oven and had grown up in a hot to be daily regaled with a fricassee of ice, house! The Cossacks are noble people, broken swords, and muskets ? But, Mamild and hospitable. He calls them bar- dame la baronne, does it not appear to you barians. And are we to trouble ourselves that I am playing rather a shabby part in about such worthless fellows? Are we to this matter? Ventre-saint-gris ? I swear save their lives, receive them into our fa- like Henry IV., but it seems to me I am milies, and make their lot a happy one at employing very different means to reconour expense ? This is all the return you quer my kingdom.”

Since you

[ocr errors]

the sage.

“Do you think, then,” replied Madame but devouring you; but if we deign to de Vaubert, “that courage proceeds only smile on them, they crawl at our feet. But from the muzzle of a gun, and that great Madame la Baronne, I am not of an age deeds can only be accomplished at the to play the part of Diego; and if this felpoint of the sword ? If France has not low were a gentleman, I should still bear been divided, parted by lot like the gar- in mind the teachings of Saint George.” ments of our Saviour, in these latter times, Marquis,” proudly replied Madame de to whom is it due? To M. de Talleyrand, Vaubert, if this fellow were a gentleman, who, in his plain attire, in pumps and silk and you were Diego, you would not have stockings, with his right leg resting on his far to go to find Roderigo.” left, and his hand thrust into his vest pocket, At this moment the door of the aparthas done more for France than all this ment opened, and Raoul entered, gloved, rabble in leather breeches, which they call spruce, and trim, with a sparkling eye and the old guard, but which, in fact, guards a fresh and rosy countenance, -as irrenothing at all. Do you not think, for ex- proachable from head to foot as if he had ample, that you have displayed, during the just been taken from a band-box. He day which has just past, a hundred times came to accompany his mother home; and, more genius than Henry IV. at Ivry? To doubtless, not with anticipating the pleasshake one's plume on the field, to cut and ure of paying his devoirs to M’lle. de La thrust with the sword, to heap the ground Seigliére, whom he had not seen since the with the dead and dying, there is nothing evening before. As the young man entervery difficult about all this. What is truly ed, both the Marquis and Madame de glorious, is to triumph on the battle-field Vaubert turned toward him with a complaof life. Permit me to offer you my com cent look, apparently charmed and refreshpliments. You have conducted yourself, ed at his appearance; it was, for them, to-day, with the coolness of a hero, the like the entrance of a pure blood Limousin bold intrepidity of a demon, and the win- into the circus, which has been disgraced ning grace of an angel. Pardon me, Mar- by a Norman mule. It was late; the day quis, you have borne yourself most admir was near its close; the two hands of the

clock were

near uniting upon twelve. Very true," said the Marquis, passing Having tendered her hand to the Marquis, one leg over the other, and twirling his Madame de Vaubert retired, supported by purse with his fingers, “it is very certain the arm of her son, whom, however, she that this Stamply has seen nothing but abstained from informing of the memorafire.”

ble events of that day. “Ah! Marquis, how you softened him! An hour after, all was quiet on both Out of an iron gauntlet you made a kid banks of the Clain. The Marquis, unable glove. I knew you to be noble and val to shake off the influence of the violent iant; but I was far from suspecting that emotions which he had experienced during your mind was gifted with such a marvel the day, dreamed that troops of hussars, lous suppleness. How fortunate thus to all slain upon the field of Moscow, were combine the strength of the oak with the silently dividing his domains among thempliancy of the willow! Marquis de La selves; that he saw them flying at full Seigliére,” continued the baroness, with a speed, each with his portion on the croup grave look and an emphatic gesture, “the of his horse,--this with a field, that with prince of Benevento occupied your place a meadow, and another with a farm; and at the Congress of Vienna."

that Bernard galloped in the van, with the Do you

believe it?" demanded M. de park in his valise and the chateau in one La Seigliere, stroking his chin.

of his holsters. Having no longer a morsel 6. With a bend of your



could of land to stand upon, the lost Marquis have bent the bow of Nimrod," said the rolls off into space, like a comet, and goes baroness, with a smile. "You could tame sprawling down, vainly clutching at the a tiger, and bring a panther to eat quietly stars for support. Madame de Vaubert and harmlessly from your hand.”

dreamed also; and her dream strongly re“He is just like the rest of these peo sembled a well known apologue. She saw ple. At a distance they talk of nothing a young and beautiful creature, sitting


upon the soft green sward, with an enor neither claws nor fangs, the girl arose, and mous lion amorously lying near her, with the valets rushing from their ambuscade, his paw in her lap, while a troop of valets, fell upon the poor beast, which sneaked off armed with forks and clubs, and concealed without offering any resistance, with lopped behind a cluster of trees, were watching ears and dragging tail. And Bernard their movements. The young girl sustain- dreamed, too,—that in the midst of a field ed with one hand the paw of her tawney buried in snow, and beneath a frozen sky, wooer, and with the other, with a pair of he saw suddenly arise a beautiful lily, scissors was trimming the claws which do- which perfumed the air ; but, as he apcilely protruded themselves from their vel- proached to pluck it, the royal flower was vet couch. When each paw had under- changed into a fairy, with ebony eyes and gone the like operation, the beautiful child golden hair, which winged its way through drew from her pocket an ivory handled the cloud, and alighted upon those charmfile, and, putting her arm around the head ing shores where reign eternal spring. of the beast, she raised, with one hand, the And finally, Raoul dreamed that it was the thick and heavy lips, and, with the other, evening of his nuptials, and that at the gently filed a double range of formidable very moment of opening the ball with the teeth. If occasionally the patient suffered young Baroness de Vaubert, he discovered a surly growl to escape him, she would soon to his stuperfaction, that his cravat was on quiet him by her soft caresses.

This se


side before. cond operation finished, when the lion had

To be Continued.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »