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found Desdemona * in a dressing- nouvelle, which is unending, and gown. I hasten to say that she was wearies me,-there are
no words most amiable, and that the thing went either in English or French to say off very well-in tutti fiochi, in a how much. Disappointed compli. word. But I had been feverish the ments.
A. DE MUSSET." night before; and if I tell you this, madam, it is not that you may repeat His wrath at this ill-treatment it to my mother. Having, therefore, was not, however, of long duration. been feverish, I had clothed myself Pauline Garcia's talent and charm in fur-a certain fur with which you easily triumphed afresh over his are perhaps acquainted; and as it was very hot at Desdemona's, I naturally malleable heart. Soon his Paolita's grew still hotter. The heat was doing souvenir is mixed up again in its me good; there is no harm in that; turn with the recurrent domination but probably it showed in my looks. of the Princess, and the next letter Now there was present a Mr. Osborne, given betrays the fluctuations of wbo is, I believe, a pianist, but cer- this dual state of mind. It was adtainly an Englishman. Enveloped in dressed to Madame Jaubert at Vertbe most complimentary of compliments, some words of that devilish sailles, where she had gone to spend language' were exchanged between
a few days with her friend the PrinDesdemona and the islander. They cess de Belgiojoso, and is as folimagined I could not understand lows : them. Moreover, I was talking with the mamma. Now just imagine what I “I had begun a letter to you as believe-yes, archi-believe I caught follows: ‘Madam, I have absolutely flying! Two atrocious words (which nothing new to tell you, but I write nothing would ever induce me to re- merely because it shall not be said peat), in the way of a joke on the fur that you gave me your address, and and the heat. I did not let on I that I have not profited by it,' when understood; and no one had the right I learnt through the channel of my to say to me, as to Mithridate, 'Seig family that you were to return on neur, vous changez de visage;' but Sunday, and perceived that I was only fancy such a thing! Can you rather too late, as this was on Saturconceive the whole reverse of this day. A hundred and one thanks, in médaille ? + Whether I was right or the first place, for your kind envoi. wrong in my supposition, do you I shall never be able to tell you the realise the salt of this plaisanterie pleasure I feel wben I see a letter of played on me by my old enemy, fate? yours arrive, at breaking open the seal If I was not mistaken (and I feel and reading it with the certainty of quite sure I was not mistaken), you finding therein a word or two of real will understand all the good I derived friendship and some good news. from these two words without decen- When in the midst of my foolish life cy, nor pity (of my feverishness), and I read a letter of yours, I must somewhich were almost coarsely savage! what resemble à man poisoned by If I am mistaken, there is no way of asphalt and tobacco-smoke, who sudascertaining it—none ! And you denly entering a garden, should receive know me!
now convinced. into his nostril a puff of wind full of As to the sorrow it may have caused the odour of roses ! me, I had already forgotten it' this “ And so she returns, and you also. evening after dinner; but I shall Consequently folk will be able to renever be face to face with the de- sume life in some measure. moiselle without .. the devil take "I should like to be able to say all strange tongues !
something in answer to your pretty “This is my tale. Ouf!
note on apparitions, but the light “I am continuing to polish off my blows dealt by your little hand are so
* Pauline Garcia, one of Musset's étoiles filantes. 7 "Le revers de la médaille” is a French saying for the unpleasant side of things
pleasant to receive that I feel bound The letter that followed this one to confess I think they will hardly is all given up to the Princess. correct any one. However that may be, learn that your godson is working. "Your advice was good, dear Mar
“How pretty she was the other raine: proceeding from you, it was evening running about the garden bound to be so; but followed out by with my slippers on, and a little knit- me, I was in great fear of it. ted cap in red and black worsted! I "With a beating heart I got into a felt, nevertheless—and it is true-I carriage this morning-nevertheless I am no longer good for anything; I showed much force of character going am no longer mad when in love. And down the hill of Viroflay on foot; you? And if one is that no longer and did you but know all the courage of what value is the rest? To talk I mustered to ring at the door, you nonsense seriously, therein lies the would give me the croix d'honneur. great business of life. When one no Not Pietro's honest face itself, nor longer dares to be preposterous, one Mr. M—'s friendly salute, sufficed must either blow one's brains out or to reassure me. It was only when the marry.
star rose, half asleep, veiled in a few “What think you of the three fol- clouds, but perfectly charming and lowing lines ?
gentle, shedding the purest rays
around, that I felt rather more cheerLorsque ma bien aimée entr'ouvre sa
ful; and thus, after being burnt up by paupière,
the sun on the road, I set to playing Sombre comme la nuit, pur comme la chess au clair de la lune. (This metalumière,
phor is slightly romantic.) Be that Sur l'émail de ses yeux brille un dia- as it may, the dreaded lady wasmant noir.
Heavens, how dull words are! I be
lieve that on my side I did my duty, I much want to know if you like not having grumbled, and having that. Two good things helped me to swallowed four glasses of wine and write them—a line from you and water. I felt so lamb-like that on Paolita's souvenir. I warn you that getting home I took a Bavaroise au the verses have been found bold; but lait in consequence. 'O milk and is it certain that boldness is a fault? water!' says Byron somewhere. But A question, Why do souvenirs of tell me this, Marraine-why is it that Paolita occur to me constantly when I was ever so much more furious the in the presence of -- Talk of other day than I am satisfied this rights of presence! Another question, evening : What ferociousness, what If Paolita, when singing 'Le Saule, ** cruelty,' said I to myself the last should take the fancy of turning time, "what a shame!' whereas toslightly to one side (and being au bal night, when rolling back with the con), so as to render your most Mont- Abbé Stéfani, I but whispered to mymorenci-like godson quite madly in self, 'What a charm is hers! what a love, what, then, would signify the lovely and good child!' And I reproverb about the two bares? + This is peat it. I am not as pleased as I a philosophical and providential ques- was angry, and this is a nasty feeling. tion. Third question, Might it not so What is the cause? Perhaps you will happen that I find myself between two say it is because last time I was angry stools ? Oh fie ! A last question, without motive, whereas to-day I had Why should the smell of patchouli good reason for being satisfied; and render me melancholy, and that of therein you recognise the adroit and iris joyous? That's a rebus !
happy brains of your most deplorable "I give your left foot, madam, a godson. shake of the band. The three lines "But that would be a calumny. are in the idyl of 'Rodolphe.' Yes! I dare to affirm that I am as
“A. DE MUSSET." grateful as I am cross, so find another * The song in “Otello,” ” — a piè d'un salice." + French saying—"On ne doit pas courir deux lièvres à la fois."
explanation-I address the question wards the Marraine received the to your wisdom. Were I to venture following :on hazarding an opinion, I should be inclined to think that whereas her
“Godmother, your godson is worstferocity was as complete as possible, ed! What do you suppose the poor and left me nothing further to wish stupid did? He wrote all his full for, her sweetness was ... but I
heart openly-as a basket-keeping hope you will communicate your back nothing, embellishing nothing, opinion to me on the subject.
humouring naught, mincing naught. “Good night, Marraine ; amongst No, naught of aught! He has been the flies at Versailles look at your soundly trounced for his pains. Such small foot and remember there is a
an answer has been sent him, O godmerle blanc * who is pecking around
mother! such an answer ... it.-Yours,
a printA. DE MUSSET.
“Yes, Madam Y-E-S-, this "P.8.-Pray tell me what you think answer might, and ought perhaps to be of the following sentence : He found
put into type. It contains the noblest in it' (it is Origen who is spoken of) pride, 80 degrees (not centigrade)
that passing preference for material above freezing-point, and the most exthings over the pleasures of the mind, quisite calm, 120 degrees below itso precious when it is unaccustomed,
which is the equivalent of 200 horseand so sweet to him who causes it.'
power, or of something like that. I do not quote quite correctly per- “And what do you think that poor haps, but it's something like that. Is stupid first did on receiving this imit not well put and well felt? With- perishable answer-or rather this out any pretence to resembling Ori
answer worthy of being immortalised? gen, my sick stomach has kept the
He (that's me) began by crying like remembrance of this.
a whipped child during a good half“ ALFRED DE MUSSET." hour. Yes, godmother! hot tears,
as in my best days, my head in my But this “lamb-like condition” hands, my two elbows on my bed, my was not of long duration. Ma- two feet on my neck-tie, my knees on dame Jaubert relates that during my new dress-coat; and thus I sobthe numerous réunions that afford bed like a child being scrubbed, and ed so many occasions for meeting sewn up (hunting metaphor).
moreover suffering like a hound being to the poet and his Princess, one · Then I found myself, as you can evening at the Marraine's, having readily believe, in such a huge vexabeen defied by his fair one to draw tion, that I swam in it; my room was her likeness en caricature, a few verily an ocean of bitterness,' as rapid strokes of his pencil pro- good people say, and in it I plunged duced a three-quarter face, with an
over and over again. Vli-vlan-flan
After this exercise I immense eye placed full face, giv
got into a tremendous passion,-with ing, with exaggeration, her thinness
whom? It would be quite impossible and long neck, and making up a to say; but I was in a great passion, whole which was strikingly and which certainly lasted two full hours. intolerably like. The Princess had God be thanked, I smashed nothing! the good taste to acquiesce in the Afterwards I began to feel weary, and general admission of resemblance recommenced crying, but not much, made smilingly by all present, but only for refreshment's sake.
• Afterwards I ate four eggs .. was nevertheless hurt at the result.
they were poached. Probably, too, De Musset
• After which all I felt fatigued— soon made aware of the conse
(after which means at present). I quences, for a very few days after- have suffered so much that I am tired
* A saying which means an exceptional creature, a “black swan."
out, and that is why I talk nonsense that you should have allowed yourself
to be so entirely won over by the big “ If you could see my face you cruel eyes of that beautiful Mandarine would die of laughing: my hair is all disguised en princesse, as to be instanding on end, the left eye swelled oculated with the taste for sermonalmost out of my head, the right one ising. still whimpering half closed and “As for me, this is my whole opinbunged up, my nose fiery red, and my ion on the matter." face lengthened, as a gingerbread one (Here two blank pages in the sheets on a rainy day at the fair. Such are of letter-paper.) thy jests, O love! The devil take the “I hope you will admit that, after jests of love! they are worse than those what I have thus told you, you have no of chance. *
further observations to address to me. “Zounds, godmother, such little I think nothing could be added to so jokes do hurt! Seriously, from eloquent a pleading, and I beg you will henceforth I will abstain from all make no joke at my expense—for the correspondence or intercourse what- other day, at thirty paces, I cut a ever with her Serene Highness-un- butterfly in two. . . It is certain der no pretence whatever I will any I am dreadfully in love; but with of it.
whom, I no longer know-perhaps “Moreover, I formally authorise it's with you, and I don't feel sure you, Madame Jaubert, dwelling in how to address this letter. Supposing such a street wherein is your house, I put à Madame la prinJaucesse bert aged as many springs as the lilacs of de Bel rue Taitgiojoso bout.' Do you next season, small of size, but sound
think my letter would go to St. Gerof judgment (which is fortunate for main? you), -I authorise you, I repeat, to “You say that you love me à tort say as follows to Monsieur le Docteur :t et à travers, I and I you à droit et à •You found fault to my godson's raison.
LE FIEUX." telling you a few days ago, “ Ça ne fait pas mon compte;" to-day he has
This letter was followed immethe honour to say to you,
diately by another, equally from the mon compte."' ALF. DE MUSSET."
country : The poet soon after fled to the
“Well, madam, you would not becountry to recover from this blow,
lieve I would do it. What do you and Madame Jaubert having joked say now?
say now? Am I off or not? eh? him on this vigorous resolution, re- Aha! I am but too truly off. In all ceived the following answer :- conscience, do you know what I have
been and done?-the wisest and the “Godmother, you have certainly stupidest thing in the world. Reason often blown into a bladder with a with me a little and say, 'No good quill, and seen it pass from the con- would ever have come of it; there was dition of parchment to that of a danger of souring, as you yourself foremelon, and if you continued blowing saw-item, causes for suffering, and -Pouf! That's the effect produced for very serious suffering, though I on me by your words, “The serpent joke about it,' &c. Therefore I acted did not go to Normandie to look for for the best in leaving; for travelling apples.
diverts the thoughts, absence brings "I defy you to have more esprit, forgetfulness, a decision taken brings even you, than in that sentence. You back one's sang-froid, &c.,-in short, must allow its prettiness yourself. mischief might have come of it; and
“What a pity 'tis to spend one's now, unless the devil interferes, none days saying what a pity! One thing will happen. which strikes me as strangely odd, is “But godmother, but madam, pray
* Referring to a vauderille entitled “Les jeux de l'amour et du hasard."
listen! Happiness might have come her big eyes, 'that the only good result of it, by which I only mean (being no of over-facile triumphs was to prelonger a coxcomb) that, between a vent obstinacy in seeking to achieve certain
person and myself there might impossible ones'? What does she have arisen a tie, an affection, which, mean by 'facile triumphs'? Certainly with time and growth, might have nothing was less facile than certain become a very pretty thing, sans même succès (what a horrid expression !) coucher tout à fait ensemble, but only which my memory recalls, and nothing under the same roof; whereas now, less'impossible than Elle. What is speaking quite seriously, and knowing this way of treating as a mere boy, or as myself thoroughly as I do, all is ab- a libertin usé, a man younger than hersolutely broken off between us. It is self, who at bottom is as good as she a second edition of my story with is, and who lets himself be driven, out Rachel, whom I broke with out of of weakness, or, as our fathers used to temper, and for no sufficient reason. say, par mignardise, but who has it in The said Rachel was piqued-tried to him to rouse up if his tail is trodden make out that she had been the first on? It is utter foolishness, godmother, to break off. They said I got red-hot and vanity, which overreaches itself angry-letters were exchanged-fuss! and misses its target.
• What ought complaints !—and, finally, the devil she to have done?' you will ask, perof a row.
haps; 'to have yielded? Is she bound “This is in some measure what to yield lest she incur the august has again overtaken me on account wrath of Monsieur!' No, godmother; of a certain beautiful southerner. I but she should understand, not make break a pot, already knocked down, believe to think, and make others as you said the other day. C'est ex- think, that, after a few years of worldactly true.' No one is weaker, more ly life, she is a Présidente de Tourvel; changeable, and shows more the white and she should not profit by this atfeather than your incorrigible godson; tempt at making herself unrecognisbut once the bridge is crossed,
bon soir able, to refuse to recognise others. She la rivière. It is not courage that should speak, in a word, as if aware to drives me on, but a need of getting whom she was speaking, and strive to further, as a horse being broken in; acquire the half only of the good sense, once over the bar, I do not go back. delicacy, and frankness of one of her C. is now as one dead to me. Com- friends who knows the difference beparison: Fancy an egg being thrown tween the bæuf and the bouvier. up in one's hand; it is very frail, very “There, I have had my say out. I slight, but still very good for cooking am stiff, and my knees ache, because I and for general use as long as un- have been running after a roe, who broken; but once fallen on the ground took as a good joke, and who was and broken, there is no spoon, no any right enough. It is my turn to snap thing, that can reinstate the yolk and my fingers at the creature, now that I remake it an egg,—there remains but have changed my clothes and boots. a shell in bits and a little mess. Such This is no metaphor. I have really is now the condition of my amiable just returned from hunting with a heart. Well, godmother, I take the quite sufficient number of leagues to liberty of saying—and the devil take my back. And I can certify you that me if I have not the right to say it! the celebrated poet Horace knew not even should you judge me overween- what he was talking about when he ing - these women who play the wrote that grief mounted and rode beprudes, who ill-treat and slight me, hind the horseman.
Grief falls away paining me to their heart's content, on horseback with every gallop. I am and, finally, make me hate them,-İ writing to you with a liberated heart, will write them down at full length, a quiet conscience, and hands (a thouSillies! It is neither their interest nor sand pardons) that smell of the stables. instinct to act thus. It is nought but “Good-bye, godmother. Few folk humbug, which doesn't deceive me. do I love as I love the good little What do you suppose is the meaning fairy who stands upright on your little of Marco's writing from the heights of feet.—Yours,
A. DY M." VOL. CXXX. —NO. DCCLXXXIX.