« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
house ; As our
My entertainer received me with merit in the matter.
All this is my more civility than I had expected. daughter's. Moorfields is my He was almost fashionably dressed ; this house is Mariamne's. his grim features were smoothed into origin and connexions are foreign, an elaborate smile; and he repeated we make use of our opportunities to his gratification at seeing me, in such indulge ourselves in these foreign variety of tones that I began to doubt trifles. But we have a little réunion' the cordiality of my reception. But of our neighbours this evening, and I could have no doubt of the elegance I must first make you known to the of the apartment into which I was lady of the fête.” He rang the bell. shown. All was foreign, even to the “ Neighbours!” said I; “all round flowers in the vases that filled the me, as I came, seemed solitude; and windows. A few bas-reliefs in the
yours is so beautiful, that I almost most finished style; a few alabasters think society would injure its beauty.” as bright as if they had been brought • Well, well, Mr Marston, you at the moment from Carrara ; a few shall see. But this I advise you, take paintings of the Italian masters, if not care of your heart if you are susceporiginal and of the highest value, at tible." least first-rate copies-caught the eye A servant announced that his misat once: the not too much, the not tress would attend us in a few minutes, too little, that exact point which it and I remained examining the picrequires so much skill to touch, show- tures and the prospect; when a gay ed that the eye of taste had been voice, and the opening of a door, every where; and I again thought of made me turn round to pay my hothe dungeon in the city, and asked mage to the lady. I had made up my myself whether it was possible that mind to see one of the stately figures Mordecai could be the worker of the and magnificent countenances which miracle.
are often to be found in the higher Naturally making him some acknow- orders of the daughters of Israel. I ledgment for his invitation, and say. saw, on the contrary, one of the gaying some civil thing of his taste, he est countenances and lightest figures laughed, and said, “ I have but little imaginable the petit nez retroussé,
VOL, LIV, NO, CCCXXXIII,
and altogether much more the air of
-“ In such a night a pretty Parisian than one of the Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew, superb race of Zion. Her manner And, with an unthrift love, did run from was as animated as her eyes, and with
Vepice.” the ease of foreign life she entered We soon after had the moon herinto conversation ; and in a few mi- self, rising broad and bright from nutes we laughed and talked together, the ocean; and all was romance, as if we had been acquaintances from until a party were seen coming up our cradles.
the avenue, laughing and talking The history of the house was sim. very sportively. ply, that “she hated town and loved «r I beg a thousand apologies; but I the country; that she loved the sea
had forgotten to mention that we have better than the land, and loved society a small dance this evening, chiefly of her own selection better than 80
foreign, and, as you may perceive, they ciety forced upon her.-On the sea- keep early bours,” said Jessica, rising shore she found all that she liked, to receive them. and escaped all that she hated. She
“ They are French, and emigrants," therefore lived on the sea-shore.—She added Mordecai. “ All is over with had persuaded her father to build that them and theirs in France, and they house, and they had furnished it ac- have made the best of their way to cording to their own recollections, England, therein acting more wisely and even their own whims.- Caprice than those who have stayed behind. I was liberty, and liberty was essential know France well; the tigre-singe,' to the enjoyment of every thing. Thus, as their countryman described them. she loved caprice, and laid herself open These unfortunates have been conto the charge of being fantastic with signed to me by my correspondents, those who did not understand her."
like so many bales of silks, or barrels In this sportive way she ran on, of Medoc. But here they come." saying all kinds of lively nothings; I certainly was not prepared for while we drank our coffee out of the names which I now heard succesSaxon porcelain which would have sively announced.
lostead of the shone on the table of a crowned head. moderate condition from which I had
The windows were thrown open, supposed Mordecai and his pretty and we sat enjoying the noblest of all daughter, aspiring as she was, to have scenes, à glorious sunset, to full ad- chosen their society, I found myself vantage. The fragrance of the gar- in a circle of names of which the den stole in, à "steam of rich dis- world had been talking since I was tilled perfumes ;” the song of the in my cradle, if not for a dozen cenbirds, in those faint and interrupted tūries before. I was in the midst of notes which come with such sweetness dukes, counts, and chevaliers, maré. in the parting day; the distant hum chals and marchionésses, the patrons of the village, and the low solemn and patronesses of the Marmontels sound of the waves subsiding on the and D'Alemberts, the charm of the beach, made a harmony of their own, Du Deffand soirées, and the origi. perhaps note soothing and subduing Dals for the charming piquancies and than the most refined touches of hu- exquisite impertinences of L'Espiman skill. We wanted nothing but nasse, and the cotericisme of Paris. an Italian moon to realize the love. All that I had seen of the peerage liness of the scene in Belmont. of our haughty country was dim and “ The moon shines bright. In such a
dull to the gay glitter of the crowd
around me. Nature never moulded night as this,
two national characters so distinct in When the sweet wind did gently kiss the all points, but the French exterior
trees, And they did make no noise-in such a
carries all before it. Diamonds and night
decorations sparkled on every side. Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
The dresses of the women were as That did renew old Jason."
superb as if they had never known
fear or flight; and the conversation was As I glanced on the little, superbly as light, sportive, and badinant, as if åressed Jewess, sitting between her we were all waiting in the antechamfather and myself, I thought of the ber of Versailles till the chamberlain possibilities to come.
of Marie Antoinette should signify the
royal pleasure to receive us. Here " True !-true!" was the general was stateliness to the very summit of acclamation. human pride, but it was softened by “ He should have clung to his nothe taste of its display; the most blesse, like Henri Quatre," said a easy familiarity, yet guarded by the duke. most refined distinctions. The bon-mot “ He should have made common was uttered with such naturalavoidance cause with his clergy,” said a prelate, of offence, and the arch allusion was with the physiognomy of one of Tiso gracefully applied, that the whole tian's cardinals. gave me the idea of a new use of lan
“ Any thing but the Tiers Etat," guage. They were artistes of conver- was uttered by all, with a general sation, professors of a study of socie- voice of horror. ty, as much as painters might be of My letters of this evening,” said the style of the Bolognese or the Ve- Mordecai, “ tell me that the fête at netian school.
Versailles has had dangerous conseI was delighted, but I was still quences.” more deeply interested; for the chief " Ciel !” exclaimed a remarkably topics of the evening were those on handsome woman of middle age, which public curiosity was most anxi- with the « air noble" in ously alive at the moment—the hazards ture. • Pardon me, it must be an of the revolutionary tempest, which
I was present. It was the they had left raging on the opposite most brilliant of all possible réunions. shore. Yet, « Vive la France !" we It was a pledge to the salvation of had our cotillon, and our songs to France. I hear the sound of • Richard, harp and piano, notwithstanding the O mon Roi!' in my ear at this moshock of governments.
ment. When, oh when, shall I hear But we had scarcely sat down to it again!” She burst into a passion the supper which Mordecai's hospi- of tears. tality and his daughter's taste had The name was electric. All began provided for usand a most costly dis. that very charming air at the moment. play of plate and pine-apples it wasm Sobs and sighs stole in between the when our entertainer was called out pauses of the harmony. Their rich of the room by a new arrival. After and practised voices gave it the some delay, he returned, bringing in sweetness and solemnity of a hymn. with him a middle-aged officer, a fine Fine eyes were lifted to heaven; fine soldierly-looking figure, in the uniform faces were buried in their clasped of the royal guard. He had just hands; and the whole finished like arrived from France with letters for the subsidence of a prayer. some of the party, and with an intro- But madame la duchesse was full duction to the Jew, whom I now of her subject, and we were full of began to regard as an agent of the curiosity. We implored her to give French princes. The officer was known us some idea of a scene, of which all to the whole table ; and the enquiries Europe was thinking and talking. for the te of their friends and Sbe required no importunity, but France were incessant and innumer- told her tale with the majesty of a able. He evidently suppressed much, Clairon. It was at first all exclato avoid “a scene;" yet what he had mation. 0 my king!—0 my un. to tell was sufficiently alarming. The happy but noble_ queen!-O my ominous shake of the Jew's head, and beloved but noble France! O Richthe changes of his sagacious visage, ard! O mon Roi l-Le monde vous showed me that he at least thought abandonné !” She again wept, and the evil day on the point of comple- we again sympathized. tion.
« For weeks," said she, “ had “ Living,” said he, “ at this dis- been tortured at Versailles with retance from the place of events which ports from the capital. We lived in succeed each other with such strange a perpetual fever. The fury of the rapidity, we can scarcely judge of populace was terrible. The wretches any thing. But, if the king would who inflamed it constantly threatened rely more on his peasantry and less to lead the armed multitude to the on his populace, and more on his palace. We were almost without army than either, he might be king defence, The ministers could not of France still,”
be prevailed on to order the advance of
the troops, and we felt our lives from py-Why shall not our king witness hour to hour dependent on chance." our loyalty and our happiness ?' The
“ It was my month of waiting as tidings were instantly conveyed to the lady of honour. I found the queen royal apartments. The king rosealways firm ; or, if she ever trembled, the court followed. We entered the it was at the want of firmness in salon. Oh, that sight!--so new, so others. She had made up her mind touching, so indescribable!” for the worst long before. She often Her voice sank for a moment. She said to me, in those revolutionary recovered herself, and proceedednights when we sat listening for the “ The queen leaned on the arm sound of the cannon or the tocsin of the king, the dauphin and daufrom Paris - France is an abyss, in phiness followed; Madame Elizabeth, which the throne must sink. But that saint on earth if ever there sovereigns may be undone—they must was one, headed the ladies of the not be disgraced.' The world never court. All rose at our entrance; we possessed a more royal mind.
were received with one acclamation. “ At length an opportunity seemed The sight is still before me. I had to offer of showing the true feeling seen all that was brilliant in the of the court to the army. The regi- courts of Europe. But this moment ment of Flanders had come to take effaced them all. The most splendid its tour of service at the palace, and salle on earth, crowded with uniforms, the garde du corps had sent them an all swords drawn and waving in the invitation to a grand military banquet. light, all countenances turned on the There was nothing new, and could king, all one shout of triumph, loyal. have been nothing suspicious, in the ty, and joy! Alas! alas ! was it to invitation ; for it was the custom of be the last beat of the national heart? the garde, on the arrival of any regi- Alas! alas ! was it to be the last flash ment at Versailles, as a commence- of the splendour of France; the dazment of mutual civility. The regi- zling illumination of the catafalque of ment of Flanders was a distinguished the Bourbons; the bright burst of corps—but the whole army had been flame from the funeral pile of the tampered with ; and the experiment monarchy ?” was for the first time a doubtful one. Her voice sank into silence ; for As if to make it still more doubtful, the first time unbroken throughout the invitation was extended to the
the room. national guard of Versailles.”
At length, to relieve the pause, Every eye was now fixed on the Mordecai expressed something of a narrator, as she went on with increas
hope that the royal family slept in ing animation.
peace, for that one night at least. “ Never was there a day of greater “ I really cannot tell," briskly said anxiety. We were sure of the garde the fair narrator. " But I know that du corps ; but treachery was roving the ladies of the court did not. As through France, and the banquet the king retired, and we remained in might only produce a collision. The the opera boxes to amuse ourselves a entertainment, by being in the opera little with the display, we heard, to salon, was actually within the palace, our astonishment, a proposal that the and all the royal suite remained in tables should be cleared away, and the royal apartments, in fear and the ladies invited to a dance upon the trembling, during the entire day. spot. The proposal was instantly
“ But as the night advanced, the followed by the officers climbing into intelligence, which was brought the boxes, and by our tearing up our to us every five minutes from the pocket-handkerchiefs to make them salon, became more tranquillizing. cockades. We descended, and danced The coldness which had existed in loyally till daybreak." the beginning between the garde and “ With nothing less than field-offithe troops of the line had vanished, cers, I hope ?” said a superb cheva. and loyal healths, gay speeches, and lier, with a superb smile. charming songs succeeded. At length “ I hope so too,” laughed the lady ; a gallant young lieutenant of the “ though really I can answer for nogarde, in a fit of noble enthusiasm, thing but that the cotillon was excried We all are the soldiers of cessively gay-that our partners, if France--we all are loyal, all are hap- not the best dancers upon earth-I