Imágenes de páginas




soft voice, arrested my words, and changed my fair companion appeared to draw him from his purpose :

reverie. At the time, I could detect but little of "Ah! Prenez garde de tomber, ma chère his features, as they were considerably hid beLouise. Sans l'amour de ton cæur

neath the shade of his cap, and his head was alTaisez-vous, Philippe ; vous jurerez tout au- most the whole time in a bent position. tant, pour gagner l'amitié de tout le monde ! Ne les touchez-pas," cried the lovely girl, Ha, ha, ha! on s'ennuie d'une même chose, as Philippe endeavoured to secure some of the l'excès ne vaut rien en quoi que ce soit !

flowers from her lap, and of which she was I had no inclination to be found eavesdrop- making a wreath. Ne les touchez-pas," she ping, so I glided gently to one side, where repeated, but to no purpose, her companion had the cliff projected more forwards, presenting a seized the only rose there, and proceeded to gentle descent, which I had not before noticed. place it in her bosom, whispering something, However, I had not proceeded far, when cu- which at the time I lost from the distance that riosity got the better of my good manners; and, separated us. yielding to the impulse, I turned my head to

Ah ! le voici ! C'est fin. N'est ce pas une wards the occupiers of the rustic steps. Evi- belle guirlande, eh! Philippe ?” she exclaimed, dently, they had not noticed me. I paused. It holding up the wreath, at which he made a was as I expected: they were lovers.

snatch, but suddenly she playfully withdrew it, Louise—for such her companion a few mi- and in the act, half rising from her seat, her nutes before called her-was young, and, more- foot slipped, and she fell to the bottom of the over, one of the two, or at most three, beauties steps, which were almost perpendicular. I met with among the peasants of that part of Philippe and myself descended simultaneously Normandy. Unlike most of her neighbours, to her rescue, and raising her, we found she had she was fair. There was little adornment to fainted. A little water from a spring close by

person, which was naturally beautiful in its soon revived her. Presently we started, on proportion. A large dark-green merino dress hearing a voice tremblingly demand if she were was looped up to her waist, beneath which was hurt. A shudder convulsed the frame of Louise. the striped cotillon, and under it one of a bright “ A little bruised, nothing more,” was the red. Her stockings were of the same colour; reply; but a blush stole rapidly ver her cheeks, and her foot was encased in a beautiful little suffusing with warmth her face, a moment before sabot, or shoe perhaps it should be called, for, so pale and motionless. I proceeded to brush though the sole was of wood, the upper portion the soil from her dress, as the spot on which was of leather, opened repeatedly from the in- she had fallen was a heap of fine sand cast up step to the toe. A showy chequered handker- and left by the tide. Had it been rock, she chief was fastened neatly over her shoulders and must have been seriously injured, if not killed bosom; while the whitest and prettiest cap in upon the spot. the whole department of the Lower Seine com- The unexpected visitor was evidently well pleted her attire. Her features had more of Eng- known to Louise, and was not unrecognized by lish than French in their appearance; her eyes Philippe. He was tall, but very thin; his cheek's were light hazel, and remarkably full and ex- were hollow, his eyes deeply sunk; and the pressive; her nose regular; her chin small; and melancholy expression of his every manner her mouth

told at once that the mind, with its relentless “ 'Twas beaming smiles,

gnawing, was feeding upon and daily wasting And loaded with the honey of expression.”

his frame. I had not time to make any further

remarks, as politely yet kindly declining my Indeed, in this was the great charm of her services, they left me, each supporting their beauty. There was no deception. She was gentle and terrified burden. Louise, as she evidently one of those beings whose beauty is turned away, thanked me kindly, though almost rendered perfect, resulting, as it did so, almost inaudibly. entirely from expression; and where the face The next day I was on my passage to acts as the mirror to the heart, it presents a England. beauty doubly enchanting, for this reason, that, if expression give beauty, the beauty must result from a good heart, and from a loving and Maybe this old aunt of Louise, and with trustful disposition. Her hair, which was of a whom you tell me she lived, has given you light brown, and exquisitely soft, was brushed further information of the heroine of our consmoothly about half-way down her cheek, while versation,” said I, addressing a stranger whom from the side of her ear fell one or two short I had “picked up” while lying on the shingle ringlets. The style was simple, but very beau- at Brighton. He was a young Frenchman, and tiful; at least, such was my idea on the subject. occasionally the idea crossed my mind that I had That of my fair readers may differ. It was not seen him before; but the next moment assured the last Parisian mode, perhaps; but it pleased me it could not be. “It is strange," I conme, and would have done so equally had it tinued, "that the occurrence should be known been — and it was, for aught I know — the to each of us; but tell me--pardon my inquisitivefashion there of a hundred years ago. The ness—what became of the gentle Louise after youth by her side was dark. He appeared Philippe and her friend led her from the scene thoughtful, save when a smile or glance at his of the accident?” It was some minutes ere he replied ; at length he gave me the following Louise trembled, she shook violently in every narrative, which I shall lay before my readers as limb. He repeated how in youth, nay in very nearly in his own words as possible.

childhood they had been betrothed; how that “After leaving you, and I am sure not with their parents had watched with unfeigned out thanking you for your services (Louise was pleasure the growing affection between them. never forgetful of a kindness), they took the Again he told his love, his hopes, his fears; road direct to Ville d'Eu. It was almost noon when the blighting thought crossed his mind when they arrived, and poor Louise was much he had a rival.- No sooner had the thought exhausted from the fatigue and her accident, arisen than it found words. He was not decomplaining of a violent pain in her side. Her ceived. Louise burst into a violent flood of aunt, with whom she lived, immediately bade tears. She loved another. From that moment her retire. She did so. An explanation of course he became changed. It was whispered he was ensued, rendered tedious to Philippe, and ex- ill, that he had over exerted himself on the farm cruciating to his companion, by the unmitigated and needed rest. For awhile he left his native questionings of the garrulous old aunt. But village, and had returned on the very day you the longest story must have an end, and, the saw him, after an absence of a few weeks. He-" recital over, Laurent St. Vrai (such was the My companion paused, turning away his head. name of Philippe's companion) rose, and took I looked to see if he had not vanished, so sudhis leave.”

den was the pause in his narrative; but almost at “Laurent St. Vrai! Do you know anything of the same instant he faced me, sayinghis history?” I demanded.

You would know, I perceive, the result of Like my previous question, this produced a Louise's accident. The morning following that long silence on his part. I did not disturb him: on which it happened, Laurent was early at the at length he answered

door of her aunt's cottage. Louise had grown “I do."

worse during the night ; a parching fever, conI made no remark, and he continued : suming with its burning influence all the health

“At the time you saw him he had attained his ful moisture from her skin, had seized on her one-and-twentieth year. He was the only son with rapidity and violence; she grew yet wordt of a rich farmer, and had been from early child--still more so each succeeding day. The mehood the playmate and companion of Louise. dicin of the village desired further advice, or the Childish friendship grew to an affection such result would be fatal, from a serious internal inas is between brother and sister, for Louise felt jury. He named a man, celebrated in Paris ; it towards him as such; but he--it were better if was Monsieur G- But how were his serhe had not-but he loved her, fondly, pas- vices to be obtained? Louise's aunt was poor, sionately, and with a devotion rarely attending as were all her relations and acquaintances

. the passion of a man's heart.”

Philippe did his best, but the amount was fear“Pardon me," I observed, interrupting him; fully deficient of the sum required. Unexpect“I cannot agree with that observation. Granted, edlý Monsieur G. arrived. Laurent had plenty, by all means, that he loved her; but to the if he had not wealth; that plenty enabled him rarity of the devotion in the genus homo I can- to post to Paris, returning with the man on not assent. Such would be a very selfish whose exertions depended the fate of her he so of nature; yet," I added, “ do not misunder- hopelessly loved. Together they arrived at the stand me : 'I would not have you think I imply cottage, and were admitted with an exclamation that you are selfish; I see you were speaking in of surprise by the old aunt, who preceded them praise of an absent and estimable man.” It was to the sick chamber (it was on the ground floor). first my intention to have erased this portion They entered. from my manuscript, relating to the rarity of de- “ On a low neat bed lay the beautiful Louise, votion in a man's heart, in case my fair readers | pale as the whitest marble ; she breathed heashould accuse me of flattering their gentler feel- vily, and seemed to have paused in conversing ings; but my promise of exactitude in my narra- to one beside her.

It was Philippe. The cure tive forbids the expunging it. During the above with the médecin stood on the opposite side, and observation my companion gazed at me with a motioned them to silence as they approached. vacant stare, and on my concluding, resumed the Instantly they paused, and the emaciated being thread of his subject, and proceeded as though again spoke, though very, very feebly. nothing had broken or interfered with it.

« • It is a dreadful thing to die so young “ Yet so it was,” he continued. “He watched painful, I should say. I am happy-should be her every look, her every word, her every expres- very happy but for you, Philippe-very, very sion. He became the companion of her walks, happy. Heaven, they say, is beautiful, a paranot chasing one with the other as they had done, dise we cannot picture—but I leave you here nor laughing in reckless merriment as was their leave all 1–1-love,' and she sank’exhausted wont. But the change was not with her : her on the pillows. laugh was all as blithsome, and her step all as Philippe and the curé gave vent to their light. The change was in himself. Laurent had feelings. They had kind hearts. They could assumed a quiet, subdued tone in his conver- sympathize. 'l'hey wept. sation; he spoke of their childhood, of their “* Do not make me grieve too,' said the fastchildish affection, and of his perfected love. weakening Louise. “I cannot bear to see you He watched for a reply. There came none. I weep_tears are not for men,

Do you weep

that I shall so soon be gone?' and she raised Of course such a circumstance did not remain her thin and feeble hand towards heaven. But long unknown. Laurent's parents, who till I will love you still, Philippe-yes-love you then had not reverted to their proposed marriage there-there- and again from exhaustion she between him and Louise—for riches ever beget paused.

pride,' and the parents of Louise being dead, “ Dear, dearest Louise, you must not, you and they not wishing their only child to marry cannot die yet-hope, hope! cried the heart- a poor cottager's daughter, hushed the matter bursting Philippe, and his burning tears fell ra- up, that Laurent might marry according to his pidly on her hand.

wealth. However, this discovery of the good "*I do hope, was her instant rejoinder, I fortune of Louise changed their plan. They indo hope, but not-not as I once hoped. I know sisted, now, on the marriage as vigorously as you love me--you told me so-have told me so they had once endeavoured to stitle its promised a thousand times—and you will think of me fulfilment. They produced papers and perperhaps--when I am gone. A little cross will suasions ; she was to be Laurent's. Philippe mark the place were Louise shall rest ; you will was forbidden her presence, and her old aunt visit it sometimes, but do not weep. A grave is joined with Laurent's parents; it was whispered a sad thing in itself, Philippe, and I would not she did so for a bribe. Louise was silent, have the grass upon it grow fresher with your thoughtful, and pale. tears. They will fall only on the dust-the hard

“ It was not for long they were separated. dry earth; they will be dried up by a pitiless About two weeks since, Laurent had wandered breast, that cannot feel for your grief as I feel.

on the hills, and seated himself on one of the No, the cold earth will forbid their reaching ridges forming numerous and gigantic steps to here,' and she laid her hand on her partially un

their table-land summits. He was contemplatcovered bosom, throbbing with the sorrow she ing the old chateau as it lay bathed in the light fruitlessly endeavoured to conceal.

Pray, of a noon-day sun, with the well-watered and Philippe, pray,' she continued; ' and should you richly-cultivated land forming the valley. Nor weep, tears have a voice—a silent, eloquent voice, did the cultivation pause here. It extended over and they will be heard there by other than poor the summits of the circle of bills, which have, Louise; for God is there. It is he, Philippe, from the centre of the valley, the appearance of who gives consolation. Yes. God! God!

a monster ring, with the bright green ocean The Father to whose bosom, through the Virsparkling as an emerald, and connecting the gin's intercession, we may come. There I will chain or ring, golden with the stubble of the love you still

, be to you still Louise, as I am lately carted corn, for it was a very backward here, but not in this fragile body--no clay, no season, and the plough had not yet turned over earth-nothing of the world; all of it will be the productive earth. He was lost in reverie, forgotten save-save a memory of you, Philippe and scarcely noticed the approach of a meditat-Yes-yes-my spirit shall love you still

ing girl. It was Louise. They spoke. They more, more fondly-more enduring-eternally! conversed long. Another moment, and she was and fainting, she sank on his shoulder. The good his; but not so her heart. She was deeply, incuré raised a small crucifix, and prayed over the debted to Laurent, deeply indeed—indebted for beautiful girl, thinking she was breathing her her life; nor was this forgotten by his parents. last. "Monsieur G— at this moment rushed to might be perfectly happy; that happiness was

She was the only thing he wished for, that he the bedside, threw open the window, endeavour

within his grasp:

But no, he would not seize ing to revive the almost lifeless form. He suc

He loved her, but her heart could not be ceeded, and administered a composing draught, his. desiring that Louise might be left alone-perhaps she might sleep. He was obeyed. They him. They proceeded through the valley, and

Gently he requested her awhile to accompany all left the chamber, Monsieur G- and the médecin alone remaining.”

arrived at the park, where, in the shady avenue turned—he was in tears, but with impatience and plunged deep in thought. However, he Again suddenly my companion paused. 1 of elms immediately facing the posterior view of

the chateau, lay Phílippe. He was gloomy, sad, dashing them away, he proceeded" That night was passed in silence. The sup- half with subdued passion, half with awakened

started up on their approach; he stood trembling per was untasted-sleep was forgotten—rest was

love. In a moment Laurent St. Vrai grasped spurned. “The morning came-Louise was better.

his hand; he spoke not, but placing it in that The sorrowing parted with something of a smile;

of Louise, darted away, and was lost among the such a smile as hope ventures half-trustingly to foliage. That same night Philippe received from yield to. Day passed by day, and health slug- Laurent a letter, containing these words—- She gishly returned What joy, what happiness to

is yours. I resign her for ever-and depart for Philippe, and not less so to the disconsolate

England !" Laurent St. Vrai.”

For England?" I exclaimed, " I would seek I smiled an answer, and impatiently he con

the acquaintance of such a noble fellow. Where tinued

—where is he?” " About this time Louise became possessed “ Monsieur, he is here !"' was the reply, acof a considerable sum, left by a distant relation. I companied by gentle inclination of the head.

on it.

[ocr errors]

“ Laurent de Vrai! And you are he?" I exclaimed.

The bow was repeated, and together we walked on-I not a little proud of the acquaintance of a man, who could so truly love, that he would rather see the object of his love the wife of his rival, than destroy her happiness by building up his own, and he (I fancied) not a little gratified in the society of one who could at least admire, if he could not appreciate, this CONQUEST over the passions of the heart.




They seek to bind my hair with flowers,

A bridal robe they bid me don; I cannot wear that orange wreath,

I cannot put that garment on. They say the shrine is ready deck’d,

The holy priest is waiting now ; How could I meet his stedfast gaze,

And breathe the mockery of a vow ?

Remember each sweet twilight walk

Down in yon silent glade,
Where first of love I learnt to talk,

A happy, blushing maid !
And then, when once we quarrell'd, all

The tears our eyes that wet;
Think not of them, our smiles recal-

Remember, and forget.
When he, your rival (do not frown,

He is no rival now),
So constant in his visits grown,

Deem'd I'd his suit allow,
You know I laughed; but still you fear'd

His wealth I might regret :
Forget all that; he was unheard-

Remember, and forget. Remember all our tender vows

Breathed by the rushy stream; Our meetings 'neath yon hawthorn's boughs

How oft of them I'll dream!
But think not of my jealous pride,

When first dear Ann I met:
I thought the sister was the bride-

Remember, and forget!
Why should we doubt that we shall meet?

A year will quickly pass;
To me 'twill seem an age complete,

But Hope will tend Time's glass ;
And trust in thee will speed it on:

So banish all regret ;
Forgive my girlish follies, John-

Remember, and forget.
I've just another word to say,

And then must bid adieu !
You'll mingle with the great and gay,

And they will flatter you ;
But oh! they cannot love as I-

Nay, I've no doubts; but yet
Those foreign dames, that look and sigh,

May teach thee to forget.
Well, there's my hand, and-here's my lip!

God bless thee, fare thee well !
May guardian angels watch the ship

That bears thee from our dell !
I'll pray for thee-dear John, adieu !

Those tears—my cheek is wet !
Oh, love, forget my faults: be true-

Remember, and forget.

My hand, 'tis true, I yet might give,

And he who asks deserves it well :
My heart long since another won,

Who keeps it in his burial cell.
Yes, though that vault is dark and lone,

There do my thoughts--my hopes abide : "Twould wrong the living and the dead

If I became a stranger's bride.

Are there not maids whose opening charms

Surpass these failing charms of mineIn whom, distinguish'd by each grace,

True hearts with features rare combine ? Choose then amongst the beauteous throng,

Who, blameless, genial love may own; But leave me, leave me to my grief,

And let me live and die alone.

I have no part in marriage vows,

Though free, this hand I must not yield; 'T were guilt to keep the secret now,

I have so long-so well conceal'd. And faithful to the loved- the dead,

Nor robe nor garland can I don; I will not wear the orange wreath,

Nor put a bridal garment on! Banks of the Yore.


On n'aime bien q'une seule fòis c'est lá premiére."




Yes, we must part, since fate compels,

And wealth denies its boon; And thou'lt forget the one who dwells

Afar--forget her soon : Yet no; thou wilt not! Look not so :

Forgive my doubts; but yet Think of my love, forget my woe

Remember, and forget.

First love is like a drop of dew

That trembles on a flower ; But after-love is like a drop

Left by a passing shower. First love is like an untouch'd peach,

Rich in its virgin bloom; But after-love is but its feint,

Wove from the silken loom.
First love's an ocean in a tear,

Tiny, yet deep and great ;
But after-love is parch'd and dry,

Stagnant and desolate.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

“A very

curious thing is a dream,” observed was soon drenched to the skin, and being still Tom Snorard to Charles Sleeplite, as they sat some distance from my journey's end, gladly in converse together lately, at the lodgings of pulled up at a small inn by the roadside. It certhe latter.

tainly was not a place, judging from external ap"Very curious," echoed the other, “very pearances, that I would have chosen for a halt curious-sometimes so pleasant, and now so under other circumstances; nevertheless, “any horrible-intelligible and absurd, by turns- port in a storm,' saith the proverb ; and having there seems no end to the variety. Variety's seen to the wants of my jaded hackney, I eagerly the very spice of dreams, as it is of life.” betook myself to a huge fire burning in the kitchen

“Ha, ha!-good,” cried Tom: “ Cowper, of the inn (the best room the house afforded). eh? hem!”

Around it several others, situated like myself, Some folks,” continued Charles, "pretend had already ensconced themselves; and I must to the expounding of dreams, and defining say that it was the glimpse of its ruddy, cracktheir portents shadowed forth in each vagary of ling blaze which I had caught through the halfthe dreamer's fancy: but as to their explaining closed window-shutters from without, that intheir origin, duration, and the strange intermix- fluenced me not a little in seeking shelter at this ture of the possible and the impossible in them, place. How it is I know not; but when one it is far beyond their power. The true nature hears the fury of the elements, the wind moanof dreams has yet to be explained; still it is ing, and the rain beating out of doors, and finds pretty clear that if we lie down to rest in the one's ownself snug within and free from their full enjoyment of health and spirits, happy effects, the mind feels an idea of coziness and dreams are the result; but if we retire with a felicity to which it is a stranger otherwise, mind and body ill at ease, the contrary is gene- Thus it was with me; and the glowing warmth rally the ease. In my opinion they are influ- of the fire, with the application of other creature enced much as to the subject by the occupation comforts, soon revived my drooping spirits ; all of the previous day, or by expectations for the of us, in short, grew the merrier as the weather morrow; and often perhaps wholly created by grew the rougher ; so, as there appeared small something actually taking place in the dreamer's prospect of the storm abating speedily, to enable presence, but perverted into the improbable by me to resume my homeward track, 1 resolved the half dormant faculties of the mind."

on taking up my night's quarters in the house. "Most philosophically discussed,” said his Here an unforeseen difficulty presented itself ; companion, laughing. “However, I am not the few bedrooms the establishment could boast much of a dreamer : I sleep far too soundly for had already been engaged. Fortunately for me, that.”

there was a second bed in one of them : throw not ?" replied the other; “ then let ing aside, therefore, all scruples, I made terms me tell you that I am; and it was but the other with the occupier of the other ; and it was night I had the queerest dream"

agreed that I should be tenant of the said bed “Marvellous or horrible, Charles-which ?” for the night. This satisfactory arrangement “A dash of both,” was the reply.

completed, and a hearty supper partaken of, my Capital! out with it, if you can; and I am companion and I retired. The accommodayour listener for better or worse.”

tion was none of the best, the bed none of the So, Tom Snorard, anticipating a treat, drew softest, the room none of the most comfortable; his chair closer to the fire, and disposed him- notwithstanding, I, in spite of the hollow murself in a snug listening attitude, while his friend murings of the wind, the rattling of the sleet commenced "

against the broken casement, and the coursings “I imagined that I had been, one dreary of a large family of the genus mus under the winter's day, for a long journey on horseback, miserable floor of the room, soon found myself and was returning homeward, when a heavy on the high road to the realms of Morpheus.” storm of snow and rain overtook me, to the no “And was that all your dream?” observed small discomfiture of myself and my steed. I Tom Snorard, with a disappointed air.

Are you

« AnteriorContinuar »