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Full text of "Authors Digest Volume VI"

AUTHORS DIGEST 



THE WORLD'S GREAT STORIES IN BRIEF, PREPARED 

BY A STAFF OF LITERARY EXPERTS. WITH 

THE ASSISTANCE OF MANY 

LIVING NOVELISTS 



ROSSITER JOHNSON, PH.D., LL.D. 

EDITOB-IN-CHIEF 




ISSUED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF TBM 

AUTHORS PRESS 



AUTHORS DIGEST 



VOLUME VI 



FRANCOIS COPP^E 

> 

TO 
CHARLES DICKENS 



Issued under the auspices of the 
AUTHORS PRESS 



COPYRIGHT, 1908, 

BY THE AUTHORS PRESS 



CONTENTS 



FRANCOIS COPPE 

A Romance of Youth ....... i 

MARIE CORELLI 

A Romance of Two Worlds 8 

FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 

Mr. Isaacs 20 

A Roman Singer 31 

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 

The Lilac Sunbonnet 40 

GEORGE CROLY 

Salathicl 49 

MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 

The Lamplighter ...60 

GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 

Trumps fl 

ALPHONSE DAUDET 

Tartarin of Tarascon 80 

Fromont and Risler 92 

Jack 102 

Kings in Exile 113 

The Nabob 124 

Sappho 135 

ix 



CONTENTS 



ALPHONSE DAUDET (Continued) 



PAGE 



Numa Roumestan 149 

The Evangelist 158 

The Immortal 168 

Rose and Ninette . . 182 

The Little Parish Church 187 

The Support of the Family 195 

REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 

Waiting for the Verdict 204 

RICHARD HARDING DAVIS 

Soldiers of Fortune 215 

EDMONDO DE AMICIS 

The Romance of a Schoolmaster . . . . .221 

CHARLES DE BERNARD 

Gerfaut 234 

DANIEL DEFOE 

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe 245 

STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 

Louisa de Clermont 255 

EDMOND and JULES DE GONCOURT 

Rene de Mauperin . . . 264 

EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 

Max Havelaar 269 

CHARLES PAUL DE ROCK 

The Maid of Belleville 279 



CONTENTS xi 

MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 

PAGE 

The Awakening of Helena Richie 290 

PHILIPPE DE MASSA 

Zibeline 302 

GUY DE MAUPASSANT 

Mont Oriol 307 

A Life 316 

Bel Ami 326 

Pierre and Jean 335 

JAMES DE MILLE 

Cord and Creese 344 

ALFRED DE MUSSET 

Confessions of a Child of the Century .... 354 

THOMAS DE QUINCEY 

The Avenger 366 

BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 

Paul and Virginia .....374 

ANNE LOUISE DE STAEL 

Corinne 385 

ALFRED DE VIGNY 

Cinq-Mars 392 

CHARLES DICKENS 

Pickwick Papers 400 

Oliver Twist 410 

Nicholas Nickleby 420 

(Continued in Volume VII.) 



FRANCOIS COPPEE 

(France, 1842-1908) 
A ROMANCE OF YOUTH (1897) 

This romance was written in 1896, and was crowned by the French Acad- 
emy. While it is not strictly an autobiography, it chronicles the inner life of 
the poet, playwright, and novelist, Francois Copped. Many of the outward 
circumstances also, by a slight kaleidoscopic change, may be made to fit the 
writer's own history. Like Ame'de'e Violette, his father was a government clerk 
on a pitiful salary, his mother died in his youth, to be followed by his father 
some years later, leaving the family to struggle with poverty. The litterateurs, 
poets, and politicians who move in its pages are the men who made the era of 
the third Napoleon and the Commune: under the assumed names it is easy 
to read their identities. The poet owed much to the reciting of his verses by 
great actors, as in the story he gives credit to Jocelet (Coquelin) for having made 
his fame in a single night. 

far back as Amde Violette could remember, 
he saw himself in an infant's cap upon a small 
balcony covered with convolvulus. Amde had 
received a present of a box of water-colors, and 
was coloring the old prints in a magazine. Louise 
Gerard, one of the little girls next door, was 
playing Marcailhou's Indiana Waltz. Amdde 
never afterward was able to hear this waltz with- 
out tears of homesickness coming to his eyes. 
Suddenly his mother's soft voice called him to make ready for 
the evening meal. Then his father came home, and after their 
simple meal the three sat upon the high balcony and talked 
with their neighbors, Monsieur and Madame Gerard, on the 
other side. M. Gerard was an engraver, and was always to 
be seen bending over his work, while Madame Gerard cooked 
delicious meals in the little kitchen. 

Winter came, and the two families no longer spent the eve- 
nings on the balcony, Amde's frail and beautiful young 
mother was sinking in consumption, and the little home was 

A.D.. VOL. VI. I I 




2 A ROMANCE OF YOUTH 

very sad. Every night when his father, a mild, unpretentious 
man, who let everyone run over him, returned from his work 
in the government office, he inquired of his wife, "Have you 
coughed much to-day ?" In spite of her invariably cheerful 
reply, "No, not very much," she failed steadily, and then 
Amddde was sent every day to play with the little Gdrards next 
door, while she lay dying, and at last the terrible time came 
that Amd6e never forgot, although he was a very small child 
the day when his father awoke him in a passionately sad em- 
brace, and they took his mother away, never to be seen by him 
again. 

Monsieur Violette, whose union with his wife had been one 
of deep and sincere devotion, was so dispirited by her death that 
the care of his son became a burden, and he placed him when 
very young in a day-school, that his education might begin in 
earnest. He himself, by the most enormous self-denial on the 
part of his own father, a watchmaker, had risen to a government 
place, where his days were passed in dull routine, and he des- 
tined his son for the same occupation. The child hated school, 
and learned more from the little Grards Louise, older than 
himself, who taught him, and Maria, growing to be a beautiful 
and fascinating girl. His happiest hours were passed in that 
little home of four rooms, while his father, who could not be 
consoled for his loss, became a victim of absinthe and avoided 
the society of his son. 

Amede's mother had had an uncle, a Monsieur Gaufre, who 
had made a fortune in the business of supplying sacred books 
and religious objects to the clergy. This Bon Marchl des 
Paroisses was famous among them. The business was carried 
on in an old hdtel, and all day long priests, bishops, and even 
cardinals, might be seen going in and out. The grand salons 
of the old house were filled with the glittering luxury of the 
Church's symbols. As M. Violette had hopes that this uncle, 
who was a widower and childless, might remember Amde in 
his will, the two paid him occasional visits, although they were 
treated by the old man with the scant courtesy given to poor 
relations. This uncle, moreover, although making his fortune 
by the sale of religious objects, was a libertine, and was com- 
pletely under the domination of his housekeeper, B6rnice, a 



FRANCOIS COPPEE 3 

girl of great beauty and insolence, remarkable for her talents 
as a cook. It did not look as if Amde would receive much 
assistance in his career from him. M. Violette allowed himself 
to become more and more depressed by these circumstances, 
and more confirmed in the absinthe habit, each day recalling 
by its power the few years of happiness with his lost wife. 

Amdde grew from boyhood to youth and, changing from 
his old school to the Lyce Henri IV, met a handsome and fas- 
cinating youth, named Maurice Roger. This young man, of 
a gay and pleasure-loving disposition, was the son of a rich 
officer's widow and had been indulged from infancy. A de- 
voted friendship sprang up between the two which lasted, not- 
withstanding the strain of many circumstances, through life. 
Maurice asked Amde to his house, and there the timid youth 
was introduced to the elegancies of polite society. Madame 
Roger, Maurice's mother, a handsome woman, except for the 
signs of mourning for her dead husband, was kind to him, and 
he met Colonel Lantz, an old soldier of the Crimean campaign, 
and his three portionless daughters, all pretty and dressed with 
daintiness, exactly alike. Maurice was evidently the idol of this 
little group, and Amdde admired anew his graceful manners 
and generous disposition. The latter had noticed, however, 
on entering, the pretty maid who waited on the door and at the 
table. When the two young men left the house this maid spoke 
familiarly to Maurice, who answered her in the same strain. 
As the door closed upon them, Maurice uttered some words 
about this circumstance that opened Amde's eyes to his 
friend's character. The latter was in truth, although kind and 
open-hearted, an avowed pleasure-seeker, and utterly unprinci- 
pled so far as women were concerned. 

This discovery disturbed Amddee, himself innocent, but 
with the natural impulses of youth. An element of uneasiness 
which he could not put from his mind was the evident im- 
pression his friend had made upon the Grards, in a short visit, 
at which he had been particularly courteous to the youngei 
girl, Maria, now an exquisite beauty, with whom Amde himself, 
all unconsciously, was falling in love. Louise was absent dur- 
ing this visit, as she was teaching music, but M. Gerard showed 
him all his treasures of cweos and engravings, and the simple 



4 A ROMANCE OF YOUTH 

family were enthusiastic over him. He later, in response to 
Amde's inquiry as to how he liked Maria, responded in but 
one word, "delicious," and changed the subject. 

Amde received his degree at graduation, and his father, 
repenting his former resolve to devote him to the dulness that 
office work implied, took him to his uncle, Gaufre, hoping he 
might be started on a business career. This uncle made him 
a careless offer, insolent to a degree, telling him he might do 
errands for the business, and asking Bgr&iice if he might possi- 
bly be allowed to eat with them. M. Violette took him at once 
back to his own office, where they were received with a dry cor- 
diality, and Amd6e was provided with a place at the very 
respectable sum of one hundred and twenty francs a month. 

Here he was bored by the heat of the office and the musty 
odor of old books, but he had time to dream, and in the many 
leisure moments between tasks, as well as in the early morning 
hours, he began his literary life by working at sonnets, princi- 
pally in honor of the beautiful Maria. Yet she was not the 
only one. Amde was in love with love, and his susceptible 
heart was stirred at the sight of any beautiful girl. He had a 
sensitive and refined nature and was frightened and repelled 
by the gay crowd that Maurice gathered around himself, al- 
though his friendship for the latter grew with the years. 

There were many things in Amde's life to deter him from 
passing his time in gaiety. He became uneasy about his father, 
whose fatal habit was increasing in strength. He sought coun- 
sel and help of the gentle Louise Gerard. This young girl, not 
pretty, but with fine eyes, was already marked for a life of self- 
sacrifice. She truly loved Amde, under her gentle and self- 
contained manner, and devoted herself to her family, teaching 
music that she might add to their resources. Her talk was very 
comforting to the young man. She told him that he must cul- 
tivate confidence in life and a sincere devotion to his loved ones, 
as all true happiness consisted in making them happy. After 
this he had a short talk with his father, who told him to live his 
life of youth and pleasure, and not to trouble about himself, 
whose happiness was all in the past. 

Accordingly, Am6d6e accepted an invitation to a restaurant 
dinner, given by Maurice. At this dinner he renewed his ac- 



FRAN9OIS COPPEE 5 

quaintance with his old schoolmates, Jocelet, studying at the 
Conservatoire to be an actor; Arthur Papillon, formerly an ex- 
cellent Latin scholar, now entering on a legal and political 
career, and Gustave, a rich man's son, giving himself up to wild 
dissipation. Their talk and revelry opened Amde's eyes still 
further to the life of the world around him, to the distaste of the 
young man, already growing in his intellectual powers and 
grasp of the ideal life. His reflections on going home were 
upon the nature of a true and high love in contrast with the 
follies of dissipation. 

He was warm with the pleasures his fancy called up, when 
a fearful shock awaited him on entering his own door. A 
stream of light was shining under the door of his father's sleep- 
ing-room. Am6d6e opened the door, and there lay his father 
dead. His shirt was covered with blood, and a razor was held 
in his right hand. Weary of his lonely life, M. Violette had 
committed suicide. 

Changes in life seldom come singly. The good friend, M. 
Gdrard, soon succumbed to a stroke of apoplexy, leaving his 
widow and daughters to face extreme poverty alone. They 
moved to a distant locality, Montmartre, and lived a life of 
extreme economy. In his own sorrow and the inability to see 
these friends daily as heretofore, Amdde threw himself With 
ardor into the expression of his inner life, tasting the glorious 
delights of pure enthusiasm and joy in the conscious power of 
creation, when the artist lives for his work alone, unaffected by 
the illusions of popularity and worldly success. He arose at 
six and worked by candle-light, and was proud to see that his 
mind expanded rapidly and was ready to receive the germs that 
were blown to him by the mysterious winds of inspiration. 

His Sundays were spent with the Grards. He now was in 
love unmistakably with Maria, and constantly thought how he 
might help them all in their poverty. Maria, petted and beau- 
tiful, wished to assist her mother and sister by earning, and 
went daily to copy pictures at the Louvre, notwithstanding the 
imprudence of her being there alone. She had a stroke of good 
fortune in that a dealer in antiquities gave her an order to 
paint a dozen "ancestors" for his nouveau riche clientele a 
paying business in the days of the exaltation of the bourgeoisie. 



6 A ROMANCE OF YOUTH 

At this time Amde had composed^some fine verses on a 
military subject. While still in the glow of enthusiasm over them, 
he ran across Jocelet, already famous as the coming actor. 
Jocelet, an egoist, inquired about his work and asked whether 
he had some verses fit for recitation. He instantly recognized 
the genius in the copy Amde showed him, and promised to 
recite them the next day at a benefit, which he did, and made 
an intoxicating success for himself and for the young poet. 
Jocelet introduced Amde also to the group of young poets 
and politicians who frequented the famous Cafe Seville. The 
poets all had long hair, and the politicians long beards, and 
they received Amdee fraternally. His progress, guided by 
these new friends, particularly Paul Sillery, the journalist, was 
rapid, and he began to know the joy of earning substantially by 
his writings. 

He then made up his mind to marry Maria Gerard and care 
for her and the family. But to his horror he learned from 
Louise that his friend Maurice, benefiting by the freedom of 
finding Maria alone in the Louvre, and the innocence of her 
youth, had ruined her, and that she was about to become a 
mother. 

Amde, in his misery, went to Maurice and accused him 
of this. Maurice admitted its truth, and said he had intended 
to marry her, but feared his mother's displeasure. Amde 
urged him to repair the wrong he had done, and so influenced 
his volatile friend that he at once went to the Guards' and 
married Maria without delay. Madame Roger forgave the 
young couple, and Maurice made a kind and loving husband 
to the adoring Maria. Their son was born, and Amde found 
a melancholy pleasure in visiting their home. 

With a bitter disappointment in his heart, Am6d6e now 
plunged into some of the pleasures of the world. His uncle 
had died, leaving him his property after all, and he was able to 
gratify his desires. But he soon wearied of this and settled 
to a life of quiet work. So matters went on until the breaking 
out of the Prussian war of 1870, when Amde entered the 
military service. Maurice also entered it and the aged Colonel 
Lantz as well. Maurice, now freed from the restraints of domes- 
ticity, plunged again into dissipation. 



FRANCOIS COPPEE 7 

At length, in an act of bravery, Colonel Lantz and Maurice 
were mortally wounded, and were carried where Amde could 
comfort them at the last. The last words of Maurice were a 
charge to Am6d6t to marry his widow and take care of her and 
of his son. 

Married to the woman he had always loved, successful in his 
chosen career of literature, possessed of a competence fully 
equal to his modest needs, Amde would seem in the years that 
followed to have all that man could wish. Yet he was con- 
scious of a melancholy, a sadness of the soul, that never could 
be cured. His wife, while gentle and loving with him, was in 
her heart Maurice's widow, and she kept his shrine forever 
guarded. His son was Maurice's son and promised to inherit 
the charms and faults of his father. The melancholy of autumn 
was upon him. As he stood in the garden of his pleasant home 
the leaves fell about him, and all Nature sympathized with the 
gentle sadness of his inner life. 



MARIE CORELLI 

(MINNIE MACKAY) 

(England, 1864) 

A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS (1886) 

This was the author's first book, and in reference to it she has said: "I 
wrote it simply because I strongly felt the force of the spiritual suggestions I 
have sought to convey in its pages." After its appearance the book became 
the subject of much discussion, and the author was subjected to no little 
cross-questioning concerning its theories; but she disclaimed all sympathy with 
hypnotism, clairvoyance, or mesmerism, and declared that in the teachings of 
Christ alone could be found the secrets of occult science. 

?N the winter of 188- I was afflicted by a series 
of nervous ailments, brought on by overwork and 
worry. Chief among them was a protracted and 
terrible insomnia, accompanied by the utmost 
depression of spirits and anxiety of mind. Work 
was impossible; music, my one passion, intoler- 
able, and even books became wearisome to my 
sight. 

In such a condition of health medical aid 
became a necessity, and I sought a physician of great repute 
who tried all his remedies upon me without avail. Finally, 
realizing that drugs were unable to meet the requirements of 
my case, the doctor suggested change of air and scene and 
urged me to leave London, with its darkness and fogs, and to 
try a winter among the sunshine and roses of the Riviera. 

The idea was agreeable to me, and I determined to take the 
proffered advice and set out at once. Hearing of my intention, 
some American friends, Colonel Everard and his charming 
young wife, decided to accompany me, and I was only too glad 
to have such pleasant traveling companions. 

We left London one damp and foggy evening, when the cold 

8 




MARIE CORELLI 9 

was intense, and arrived in Cannes two days later, to find roses 
and orange-trees in full bloom and casting their fragrance on 
the warm, delicious air. Amid these new and delightful sur- 
roundings I hoped to throw off the physical and mental misery 
against which I had fought for so many weary months; but, 
struggle as I might, I could not get away from the wretchedness 
of my condition. 

I began to lose hope of ever recovering my once buoyant 
health and strength, and the prospect of a brilliant career which 
once stretched brightly before me seemed shattered forever. 
I was still young, nevertheless I saw before me only a life of 
miserable invalidism, in which I should be a burden to myself 
and to those about me. 

But a rescue was approaching a rescue so sudden and 
marvelous that in my wildest fancies I never could have dreamed 
it possible. 

Staying at the hotel with us was a young Italian artist, named 
Raffaello Cellini, whose pictures were beginning to attract 
much attention both in Paris and Rome, not only for their fault- 
less drawing but for their wonderfully exquisite coloring. In- 
deed, so remarkable were the hues that Cellini transferred to 
his canvases that other artists declared he must have invented 
some foreign compound, or else discovered the secrets of the old 
masters. 

My friends and I were fortunate in forming an acquaintance 
with Signor Cellini, and our visits to his studio proved most 
delightful. Especially to me were these visits enjoyable, as, 
strange to say, they had a remarkably soothing and calming 
effect upon my suffering nerves. Cellini himself had a fas- 
cination for me, for he seemed to radiate serenity, and when in 
his presence I felt a sense of absolute rest. On one occasion, 
when seized with an attack of nervous agitation, I was pacing 
restlessly up and down the garden, I saw Cellini approaching; 
as he drew near me, he raised his eyes and regarded me stead- 
fastly, then passed on, saying nothing. The effect of his pres- 
ence upon me was remarkable; I was no longer agitated, but 
soothed and almost happy. 

I was utterly unable to account for the remedial influence 
Raffaello Cellini exerted over me, but so grateful was I for any 



io A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS 

respite from my sufferings that I counted my daily visits to his 
studio a privilege not to be foregone. 

One afternoon while Mrs. Everard and I were with Signor 
Cellini, he requested me to allow him to paint my portrait. I 
was filled with astonishment and expressed my surprise that 
he should desire a subject so unworthy. He responded that he 
sought intelligence and inward refinement, and added: "Made- 
moiselle, you have the face of one whom the inner soul con- 
sumes, and I plead that you will give me a little of your spare 
time; you will not regret it, I assure you." 

These words were said so impressively that a strange thrill 
ran through me, and I at once acceded to his request and agreed 
to come for a sitting the following day. 

At the appointed hour I entered the studio and found it 
deserted save for the presence of a magnificent Newfoundland 
dog; feeling somewhat thirsty I was about to drink some clear 
water, which sparkled temptingly in a decanter on the table, 
when the cup was suddenly snatched from my hand by Cellini, 
who had just entered and who forbade me to drink. 

He afterward explained to me that to have drunk of that 
liquid would have proved fatal, as it was a powerful elixir which 
would have rushed through the veins with the swiftness of 
electricity, bringing instant death, as I was not prepared to 
receive it. 

He then offered me some wine, which was delicious, and 
which I sipped with great satisfaction. 

I questioned Cellini with regard to the dog, and he told 
me he was only visiting him, having arrived from Paris bearing 
a message the evening before. He added: " He does not belong 
to me, Mademoiselle; his master is my master, one who among 
men is supremely intelligent ; among teachers, absolutely unself- 
ish; among thinkers, purely impersonal; among friends, inflex- 
ibly faithful. To him I owe everything even life itself. For 
him no sacrifice, no extreme devotion would be too great, 
could I hope thereby to show my gratitude. But he is as far 
above human thanks or human rewards as the sun is above 
the sea." 

My sitting followed, and during it a strange sensation took 
possession of me, which caused me to think I was affected by 



MARIE CORELLI n 

the wine I had taken, as I felt an unusual elation, accompanied 
by a feeling of calmness and peace. 

After leaving the studio, however, and returning to my room, 
the sense of exhilaration that had possessed me seemed to leave 
me and I was overcome with an intense weariness. I threw 
myself upon my bed and soon fell into a deep and tranquil 
slumber, during which I was visited by three wonderful visions. 

The first was of a mass of roses and, in the distance, the 
golden crescent of a new moon, which, as I gazed upon it, 
broke into a thousand points of vivid light and then met in bla- 
zing letters of fire. These letters formed the word Heliobas, and 
soon all became darkness and only this name in burning gold 
was written on the blackness of the heavens. 

I next found myself in a vast cathedral where priests in 
glittering raiment were conducting the service, while the tones 
of a magnificent organ were swelling through the incense-laden 
air. I was approached by twenty beautiful maidens, crowned 
with myrtle, who gazed at me with joyous eyes and murmured : 
"Art thou a) so one of us?" Then one of the number, leaving 
her companions, came to my side, holding a tablet in her hand, 
and said in a thrilling whisper: "Write, and write quickly! for 
whatever thou shalt now inscribe is the clue to thy destiny." 
I obeyed her mechanically, and some unknown, powerful force 
within me caused me to trace on the tablet the one word 
Heliobas. 

My third vision was of a man of noble features and com- 
manding ' presence seated at a table covered with books and 
manuscripts. He was in the full prime of life; his dark hair 
had no thread of silver to mar its luxuriance; his face was un- 
wrinkled; his forehead unfurrowed by care; his eyes, deeply 
sunk beneath his shelving brows, were of a singularly clear and 
penetrating blue, with an absorbed and watchful look in them. 
His hand rested on the open pages of a massive volume, and 
he was uttering words that held me spellbound. 

"Azul!" he exclaimed, "messenger of my fate, thou who 
art a guiding spirit of the elements, thou who ridest the storm- 
cloud and sittest throned on the edge of the lightning! By that 
electric spark within me, of which thou art the Twin Flame, I 
ask of thee to send me this one more poor human soul; let me 



12 A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS 

change its unrestfulness into repose, its hesitation to certainty, 
its weakness to strength, its weary imprisonment to the light 
of liberty! Azull" 

His voice ceased, his extended hands fell slowly, and grad- 
ually he turned his whole figure toward me. He faced me 
his intense eyes burned through me his strange yet tender 
smile absorbed me. Yet I was full of unreasoning terror; I 
trembled, I strove to turn away from that searching and mag- 
netic gaze. His deep, melodious tones again rang softly on the 
silence. He addressed me: 

" Fearest thou me, my child? Am I not thy friend ? Know- 
est thou not the name of Heliobas?" 

At this word I started and gasped for breath. I would have 
shrieked but could not, for a heavy hand seemed to close my 
mouth, and an immense weight pressed me down. I struggled 
violently with this unseen Power little by little I gained ad- 
vantage. One effort more! I won the victory I woke! 

I came to myself feeling somewhat drowsy, but thoroughly 
rested and marvelously tranquil. Upon arising I was amazed 
to see the change that had taken place in my appearance, for, 
as if by magic, the marks of illness had left me and my face had 
assumed the look of one in perfect health. 

At my next meeting with Cellini, he told me that he had 
given me the remedy as an experiment, and its beneficial effect 
upon me had exceeded his anticipations, but unfortunately it 
would prove only transitory. He said that after forty-eight 
hours I should relapse into my former prostrate condition and 
that he would be powerless to prevent it, but that I could be 
helped by a friend of his who had cured him from a long and 
hopeless illness. 

Laying my hand on his arm, and looking him full in the 
face, I said slowly and distinctly: 

"This friend of yours that you speak of is not his name 
Heliobas?" 

Cellini started violently; the blood rushed to his brows and 
as quickly receded; his dark eyes glowed with suppressed excite- 
ment, his hand tremoled. Recovering himself slowly, he met 
my gaze fixedly; his glance softened, and he bent his head with 
an air of respect and reverence. 



MARIE CORELLI 13 

"Mademoiselle, I see that you must know all. It is your 
fate. You are greatly to be envied. Come to me to-morrow, 
and I will tell you everything that is to be told. Afterward your 
destiny rests in your own hands. Ask nothing more of me just 
now." 

The following morning at the appointed hour I went to 
Cellini's studio, and he unfolded to me the wonderful experi- 
ence that had come to him and changed his life. He told me 
that, broken in health by overwork, fearing madness, and dis- 
couraged because he could not discover the secret of mixing 
colors like the old masters, which had been his one aspiration, 
he had decided one day to end his life. 

He was saved from this fatal step by the interference of a 
stranger, who took him to his home and by his marvelous mag- 
netic powers cured him of his ill health, showed him the art of 
mixing colors, and most inestimable of all taught him a re- 
ligious faith that was the joy of his whole existence. 

This stranger was one Heliobas, a rich and influential Chal- 
dean, residing in Paris, who, by exerting his powers as a "phys- 
ical electrician/' could bring about wonderful results. 

Cellini also informed me that he had felt, from his first meet- 
ing with me, that I possessed this same magnetic power; and 
now my visions proved that I was already in connection with 
Heliobas, who was beginning to exert his influence over me. 

He advised my going at once to Paris and putting myself un- 
der his master's care; and, being only too glad to follow his ad- 
vice, I parted with my friends, the Everards, and set out on 
my journey. After reaching Paris I hastened at my earliest 
opportunity to the house of Heliobas, and found it magnificent 
in every detail. Indeed, so luxurious was it in all its appoint- 
ments that I was almost bewildered by the loveliness that sur- 
rounded me, and felt as I gazed about as if I had entered upon 
a dream of the Arabian Nights. 

I was soon shown into the presence of the master, and I 
realized instantly that he was the man I had seen in my vision, 
and I felt that I knew him well. My interview with him proved 
most satisfying, and he assured me that if I would trust myself 
to him and follow his rules I should be well in a fortnight. He 
also informed me that his soul and mine were placed in the same 



i 4 A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS 

circle of electricity; for that reason a strong connection existed 
between us, he said, and he was compelled to help me by some 
inner force that could not be explained. 

When I tried to question him further with regard to this 
mysterious force he said: 

"All other explanations, if you desire them, shall be given 
you in due time. In the power I possess over you, and over 
some others, there is neither mesmerism nor magnetism nothing 
but a purely scientific fact, which can be clearly and reasonably 
proved and demonstrated. But, until you are restored to 
health, we will defer all discussion." 

The following day I sought Heliobas again, feeling already 
greatly benefited by his treatment, and looking forward with 
pleasure to dining with him and meeting his sister Zara, as he 
had invited me to do. 

My host greeted me cordially, and, telling me he was pleased 
to see that I was already feeling better, conducted me at once 
to his sister's apartments. Here a room of such wondrous 
beauty met my eyes that I should have been overwhelmed by 
its sumptuousness had it not been wholly surpassed by the love- 
liness of the woman that occupied it. Never shall I behold 
again any face or form so divinely beautiful! She was about 
medium height, but her small, finely shaped head was set upon 
so slender and proud a throat that she appeared taller than she 
actually was. Her complexion was transparently clear and 
her eyes were large, luminous, yet dark as night, fringed with 
long silky black lashes. Her rich black hair hung down in one 
long, loose, thick braid that nearly reached the hem of her dress; 
and she was attired in a robe of deep old-gold Indian silk, which 
was gathered around her waist by an antique belt of curious 
jewel-work, in which rubies and turquoises appeared to be 
thickly studded. On her bosom shone a strange gem, the 
color and form of which I could not determine. It glowed 
with many various hues and its luster was intense, almost daz- 
zling to the eye. Its beautiful wearer gave me welcome with 
a radiant soiile and a few cordial words, and, drawing me by 
the hand to a low couch she had just vacated, made me sit 
down beside her. 

Before long dinner was announced and we joined our host 



MARIE CORELLI 15 

and his friend, Prince Ivan Petroffsky, who was a handsome 
man, and evidently an ardent admirer of the beautiful Zara, 
who as evidently did not reciprocate his affection. 

After dinner Leo, the dog I had seen in Cellini's studio, 
made his appearance, and later his master explained to me 
what wonderful power he had developed in the animal, and 
how, by forcing him to receive a thought, he could make him 
do anything he desired. 

Before leaving my new friends I was invited by them to stay 
at their house during my sojourn in Paris, which invitation I 
gratefully accepted, and shortly after took up my abode with 
them. 

Under the treatment of Heliobas, my health improved rap- 
idly, my musical ability returned, and I was able to improvise 
and perform as I never had before. 

At last the day arrived when a wonderful experience was to 
come to me; my soul was to be released temporarily from this 
earthly body, through an electric trance into which I was to be 
thrown by Heliobas, and I was to have a glimpse of the wonders 
of the celestial world. 

Just before entering into this state, which was brought about 
by my taking a draught of a wonderful electric fluid, given me 
by Heliobas, I realized that he stood before me with arms ex- 
tended, repeating the following words: 

"Azul! Azul! Lift up this light and daring spirit unto 
thyself; be its pioneer upon the path it must pursue; suffer it 
to float untrammeled through the wide and glorious Continents 
of Air; give it form and force to alight on any of the vast and 
beautiful spheres it may desire to behold; and, if worthy, per- 
mit it to gaze, if only for a brief interval, upon the supreme 
vision of the First and Last of worlds. By the force thou givest 
unto me, I free this soul; do thou, Azul, quickly receive it I' 1 

A dense darkness now grew thickly around me; I lost all 
power over my limbs; I felt myself being lifted forcibly and 
rapidly up, up, into some illimitable, terrible space of blackness 
and nothingness. I could not think, move, or cry outr J could 
only feel that I was rising, rising, steadily, swiftly, breathlessly, 
when suddenly a long, quivering flash of radiance, like the 
fragment of a rainbow, struck dazzlingly across my sight. 



i6 A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS 

Darkness? What had I to do with darkness? I knew not the 
word; I was only conscious of light light exquisitely pure and 
brilliant light through which I stepped as easily as a bird flies 
in air. Perfectly awake to my sensations, I felt somehow that 
there was nothing remarkable in them; I seemed to be at home 
in some familiar element. Delicate hands held mine; a face far 
lovelier than the loveliest face of woman ever dreamed of by 
poet or painter, smiled at me, and I smiled back again. 

From that instant the scenes that I witnessed, guided by this 
wonderful spirit, were such that they remain beyond the power 
of human description. I learned that my celestial guide was 
Azul, the twin soul of Heliobas, and I realized that I was formed 
of an indestructible essence which was to exist forever, and that 
I was a part of the great universe which was constructed on so 
marvelous a plan. 

I began to understand the illimitable electrical force that 
governs the universe, and saw clearly how this spirit emanated 
from my Creator, whose power was so far beyond human 
conception. 

The religious doubts which previous to this time had as- 
sailed me were cleared away by the wonderful visions that were 
given me of the celestial world, and when I awoke from my 
trance I realized that at last I had come into a perfect faith. 

Upon recovering consciousness I saw Heliobas standing 
beside me, and learned that I had been absent for thirty-six 
hours, which was an unusually long period for the soul to be 
separated from the body. I related the scenes I had passed 
through to my master, and he told me mine had been a most 
wonderful and exceptional experience. 

The following day I received word that my friends the Ever- 
ards had arrived in Paris, and I hastened to call upon them, 
accompanied by Zara, who charmed them with her beauty and 
invited them to dine with us the next evening. 

On this occasion Zara was so gloriously beautiful that no 
words can adequately describe her. She was dressed in a cling- 
ing robe of the richest white satin, her only ornament being the 
dazzling electric jewel, which was supported by twelve rows 
of priceless pearls clasped around her slender throat. 

Before the arrival of our friends, I was impressed by some- 



MARIE CORELLI 17 

thing unusual in Zara's manner, but, knowing of her spiritual 
sympathies, and how closely she was in touch with her brother, 
who had imbued her with his own occult powers, I did not try 
to fathom the mystery. 

She asked me to kiss her before going down-stairs, and begged 
me never to forget her, even though she were no longer in this 
world. 

These remarks had a depressing effect upon me, though I 
tried to treat them lightly, and I could not fail to connect them 
with the assertion she had made to me earlier in the day that 
she was soon going on a long journey, in the event of which she 
asked me to execute certain commands for her. 

After the dinner, which was a most superb affair, we ad- 
journed to the drawing-room and had some music, during 
which Zara withdrew from her guests and went out on a bal- 
cony to watch a thunder-storm, which had come up with much 
violence. 

Suddenly a tumultuous crash of thunder made us look at 
one another with anxious faces. Horror! What was that? 
A lithe serpent of fire twisting venomously through the dark 
heavens! Zara raised her arms, looked up, smiled, and fell 
senseless, with such appalling suddenness that we had hardly 
recovered from the blinding terror of that forked lightning flash 
before we saw her lying prone before us on the balcony, where 
one instant previously she had stood erect and smiling! With 
exclamations of alarm and distress, we lifted and bore her within 
the room and laid her tenderly down upon the nearest sofa. 
Everything within human power was tried to restore life to the 
inanimate form lying before us, but without avail; Zara's spirit 
had soared to the celestial world with which she had been so 
closely connected while upon the earth. 

While we were hoping against hope that she might be re- 
stored, the physician that had been called in gave the terrible 
verdict that life was extinct, and, moving aside from her breast 
the electric jewel which now appeared merely a lusterless 
pebble he showed a small black spot where the fatal electric 
current had entered. 

In a short time Zara's body was prepared for burial and 
carried to the private chapel of her family, where I knelt heart- 

A.D., VOL. vi. 2 



i8 A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS 

broken beside it. Suddenly the sound of an organ fell upon 
my ears, and a flood of music drowned the noise of the storm 
without 

I hid my face in my hands and was praying earnestly when 
a touch aroused me, and looking up I beheld an airy brightness, 
like the effect of sunlight streaming through a cloud, hovering 
over Zara's bier. A face looked at me a face angelic, beau- 
tiful! It smiled. I stretched out my hands; I struggled for 
speech, and managed to whisper: 

"Zara! Zara! you have come back!" 

Her voice, so sweetly familiar, answered me: 

"To life? Ah, never again! I am too happy to return. 
But save him save my brother! Go to him; he is in danger; 
to you is given the rescue. Save him; and for me rejoice, and 
grieve no more!" 

The face vanished; the brightness faded; and I sprang up 
from my knees in haste. For one instant I looked at the beau- 
tiful dead body of the friend I loved, with its set mouth and 
placid features, and then I smiled. This was not Zara she 
was alive and happy; this fair clay was but clay doomed to per- 
ish, but she was imperishable. 

"Save him save my brother!" These words rang in my 
ears. I hesitated no longer, but determined to seek Heliobas 
at once. Swiftly and noiselessly I slipped out of the chapel. 
As the door swung behind me I heard a sound that first made 
me stop in sudden alarm, and then hurry on with increased 
eagerness. There was no mistaking it it was the clash of 
steel! 

I rushed to the study door, tore aside the velvet hangings, 
and faced Heliobas and Prince Ivan Petroffsky with drawn 
weapons, prepared for deadly conflict. 

With much difficulty I succeeded in restraining the com- 
batants, and the message from the dead which I delivered to 
them had the desired effect of quieting their angry excitement. 
I learned afterward that the Prince, upon hearing of Zara's 
death, had become frenzied with grief, rushed to Heliobas and 
accused him of causing his sister's death by his experiments, 
calling him a murderer and striking him violently in the face. 
Such an outrage had called forth the righteous wrath of 



MARIE CORELLI 19 

Heliobas, who had commanded him to choose his weapon 
and defend himself. 

After Zara's funeral I took leave of my friend and master, 
Heliobas, to whose influence I owed my recovered health and 
my strong belief in things spiritual and eternal. In bidding me 
farewell, he brightened the parting by assuring me that we 
should meet again in the future many times, and also by asking 
me to write to him and keep him informed of my movements. 

The last glimpse I had of Heliobas was his stately form as he 
stood on the steps of his mansion, watching my carriage out of 
sight; and the picture of his noble figure, erect in the light of 
the winter sunshine, was destined thenceforth to remain un- 
fading forever in my memory. 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 

(United States, 1854) 
MR. ISAACS (1882) 

Son of the American sculptor Crawford, this author was born in Lucca, 
Italy, and his adventurous spirit has made him a true cosmopolite, not only 
as a traveler but as a sojourner in many lands. Thus his novels, with the 
truthfulness of a keen observer, give varied pictures of social life and local 
color in Italy, Bohemia, Russia, England, Turkey, and India, while he has 
written two fine historical and descriptive works on Constantinople and Rome. 
Mr. Isaacs was his first tale. In it he introduces the figure of a capable Amer- 
ican newspaper man abroad Paul Griggs by name who tells the story, and 
who reappears in other tales in a similar convenient rdle. Mr. Isaacs well 
fulfils its sub-title as A Tale of Modern India, and the modernism of the char- 
acters combines with the ancientry of the adept philosophy of that venerable 
land to make an impressive and fascinating narrative. It is held by many the 
best as well as the first of Mr. Crawford's many prosperous essays in the broad 
field of fiction. 

September, 1879, I was at Simla, in the lower 
Himalayas, in the interests of an Anglo-Indian 
newspaper. In India there is only one health- 
resort " the hills," and chief of " hill-stations" 
is Simla. Thither in the summer migrates an 
endless variety of the Anglo-Indian population. 

Having established my servants and luggage 
in one of the hotels, at dinner I was placed oppo- 
site a man who arrested my attention. He was 
above the medium stature, and an easy grace marked every 
movement. An oval face of olive tint showed strikingly hand- 
some features; but I was enthralled by his large, dark eyes, full 
of life and light. I addressed him in Italian, but he did not 
understand until I spoke English, when he replied with ease. 
We readily became acquainted, and I accepted his invitation to 
smoke in his rooms after dinner. Learning from the hotel 
office that he was a "Mr. Isaacs," I went to his apartments. 
It seemed as if I had entered Aladdin's cave, so resplendently did 




FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 21 

the room gleam on all sides with gold, jeweled ornaments, and 
weapons. The floor was covered with rich rugs; divans and 
cushions heaped the sides and corners. Mr. Isaacs smiled at 
my amazement, but soon we were smoking on the veranda, and 
after a little he told me something of himself. 

He was a Persian: his name was Abdul Hafiz-ben-Isak, 
simplified to "Mr. Isaacs" for business convenience, as he was 
a dealer in precious stones. He was the son of a wealthy and 
learned father, but had been stolen and sold as a slave, and 
after many adventures in Turkey, Arabia, and India, had 
found friends and utilized opportunities of learning, and finally 
of trading, that had yielded him vast wealth and much knowl- 
edge of the world. 

For several days we were often together. I am not prone 
to confidences, but something about this man seemed to banish 
distrust, and I longed to know the fine spirit, while he seemed 
also ready to seek me. One day we talked of marriage. He 
had three wives, he said (he was a Mohammedan), and, find- 
ing it hard to keep peace among them, he wondered whether a 
fourth might act as a regulating fly-wheel. But suddenly he 
proposed a ride, and off we went, on two of his superb Arabian 
horses. As we rounded a sharp corner, we ran into an elderly 
man on a pony, and after suitable apologies, Mr. Isaacs intro- 
duced me, Mr. Paul Griggs, to Revenue Commissioner Ghyr- 
kins, and then to his elegant niece, Miss Katherine Weston- 
haugh, and her companion, Lord Steepleton Kildare, a fine, 
soldierly cavalry officer both handsomely mounted all of 
whom he knew well. Mr. Ghyrkins and I were soon on friendly 
terms. The lady, fair as a Swede, but with dark eyes and 
heavy lashes, was a splendid young Englishwoman, and I 
thought what a wife she would be for my delightful young Per- 
sian, to make him a real home and genuine happiness. Yet 
there was an incongruity in the idea, and I dropped it as absurd. 
We rode home with them, and parted after cordial invitations 
to call. In our talk that evening Isaacs talked again of mar- 
riage, affirming woman to be " a thing of the devil, jealous and 
hard to manage"; while I, though a bachelor, was eloquent on 
the joys of a life-companionship with the ideal woman. As 
the talk continued, I began to think him desirous of being con- 



22 MR. ISAACS 

verted; and when we became silent I mentally pursued my 
fancy of a union of those two interesting beings, at last asking 
myself: "Why not? " 

"You are right. Yes: why not?" said Isaacs in a sleepy 
voice. 

But his eyes were dreamy, and I went on wondering whether 
he were really converted, really sincere. 

"Yes I think I am," he said, in the same mechanical tone. 

Startled by this reading of my thoughts, I scrutinized him, 
and saw that he was asleep with his eyes open in a trance. I 
spoke : no answer. Then, having learned of such matters from 
my old Brahman teacher, I made the necessary passes; and on 
awaking he told me of a dazzling vision he had had of the fair 
Englishwoman. He ended by saying: "Griggs, this is all very 
strange. I believe I am in love for the first time. Good night!" 
and I left him. 

As the days passed, Isaacs and I called repeatedly on Mr. 
Ghyrkins, with whom I discussed Anglo-Indian politics, while 
it was evident that my friend was making a strong impression 
on Miss Westonhaugh. Lord Steepleton was often there, too 
no mean rival and the tactics of the young men were exceed- 
ingly interesting. One day a game of polo was proposed, in 
which they, I and Mr. John Westonhaugh, the lady's brother, 
were to play. Isaacs had discovered in the latter the English- 
man who had given him, during his poverty in Bombay, his 
first rupee, which he insisted was the foundation of his im- 
mense fortune ; and he expressed his gratitude to the elder man, 
who made little of it, yet was pleased. 

I had a plain talk with my friend that night, and, on his 
asserting that he meant to divorce and provide for his Indian 
women (the English hardly regard their facile relations as 
marriage) and to win and wed Miss Westonhaugh, holding 
to her alone in English fashion, I pledged him my aid. 

He took me one afternoon as witness to an interview with 
the Rajah of Baithopoor, then in Simla, concerning a large 
sum he had loaned the Rajah during the last famine. We were 
ushered into the presence of the old Maharajah in a darkened 
room, where he sat smoking cross-legged on his cushions. 
After the usual Oriental flatteries, Isaacs talked very plainly. 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 23 

The Rajah had offered to sell him the famous Afghan chieftain, 
Shere Ali, who had escaped from the English after his defeat at 
Ali Unsjid and taken refuge at Baithopoor, and the treacherous 
old man had imprisoned him. Showing him that, by informing 
the English about Shere Ali, he could plunge Baithopoor into 
danger, Isaacs demanded that the Emir of Afghanistan be 
safely delivered to him at Keitung, three weeks from that day, 
offering in return to remit the large amount of interest due on 
his loan, giving time for repayment of the debt itself. The 
trembling old rascal perforce agreed. 

When we had left, I asked Isaacs what he would do with 
Shere Ali, the "jewel" he had bought. 

" Do with him? He is a true believer and a brave man. I 
will give him money and letters, and he shall deport, free as air." 

On our return we met the Ghyrkins party, including Lord 
Steepleton, who had proposed to Mr. Ghyrkins a tiger-hunt, 
the party to consist of the commissioner, his niece, her brother, 
Isaacs, Kildare himself, and me. The careful uncle at first 
violently opposed taking his niece, but, as we all approved of it, 
and I recalled his old exploits with tigers, which had had some 
notoriety, the old fellow became as enthusiastic as any, and the 
affair was agreed upon. As Isaacs and I were riding home in 
the darkness, the horses suddenly reared, stopped, and trem- 
bled. Presently a low, musical voice on the other side of Isaacs 
said: "Peace, Abdul Hafiz." "And with you peace, Ram 
Lai," replied Isaacs quietly. Further saying that he had busi- 
ness with Abdul and would see him in the evening, the tall figure 
disappeared. Isaacs told me the man was a Brahman by birth, 
a Buddhist by religion, and an adept (Buddhistic miracle- 
worker) by profession. "A very wise man, who comes and 
goes like a shadow, and often advises me. He speaks many lan- 
guages, was educated as a physician in Edinburgh, and has 
great knowledge in all directions." 

In the evening I went to Isaacs, and he said smilingly : " So 
you would like to see Ram Lai. He will be here presently, 
unless he changes his mind." A voice outside was heard in- 
quiring for Isaacs, and a tall figure in a gray caftan and plain 
white turban entered. 

"I never change my mind," said the stranger in excellent 



24 MR. ISAACS 

English. "I am here. Is it well with you?" After seating 
himself on a divan, he proceeded: "Abdul, you have done a good 
deed to-day. I trust you will complete it before you alter your 
purpose." 

"I never change my mind," said Isaacs, smiling at the 
repetition. 

"Pardon me if I contradict you," replied Ram Lai. "Who 
was it that lately scoffed at women, their immortality, their 
virtue, their intellect? And do you now think of anything, 
sleeping or waking, but the one woman for whom you have 
changed your mind? I congratulate you. You have made a 
step toward a higher understanding of the world you live in." 

Evidently this was a seer and a knower of men's hearts. 

"I have come to give you some good advice," pursued the 
Buddhist. "Do not let this projected tiger-hunt take place if 
you can prevent it. No good can come from it, and harm 
may." 

Isaacs thanked Ram Lai for the counsel, which nevertheless 
he must disregard, but asked for some hint about getting Shere 
Ali off safely. "He will be escorted by a band of sowars; and, 
while I am alive to disgrace the Rajah with the British, he is 
safe, but the sowars could easily kill us both, since I must go 
without escort." 

Ram Lai promised to help him, though he would not say 
how. Then, pointing to the wall behind us, he said: "What a 
singular piece of workmanship is that yataghan!" We looked, 
and Isaacs turned again to reply, but the divan was vacant. 
Ram Lai was gone! 

"He would not allow this or any of his marvels to be a mir- 
acle," said Isaacs. "The Buddhist ' adepts ' claim only a bet- 
ter knowledge of natural forces than others possess. They be- 
lieve that by attenuating through fasting and meditation 
the bond between soul and body, the soul can be liberated, and 
can temporarily identify itself with other objects, animate or 
inanimate, besides the special body to which it belongs, acquir- 
ing thus direct knowledge of those objects, while also they cul- 
tivate a highly analytical knowledge of external nature through 
the senses, which they train to an infinite refinement of suscep- 
tibility by rigid abstention from indulgences not indispensable 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 25 

to maintaining the relation between the physical and the intellec- 
tual powers." 

With this, and much other talk, during which I spurred him 
on by questions, Isaacs gave me a clearer understanding how 
the Asiatic mind differs from our Occidental pursuit of facts 
and inductions; and his personality impressed me more and 
more. 

At the polo match Westonhaugh and Isaacs distinguished 
themselves; but the latter received an accidental blow on the 
back of the head which stunned him for a while. He was able 
to ride home, later, and under his direction I applied a powerful 
unguent to the wound, which was so effective that by morning 
he declared himself as well as ever, and on that day our party 
of six set out for the tiger-hunt. The first day we rode in 
tongas a strong-wheeled cart changing horses every five or 
six miles; that night we spent in a railroad express train; and 
another day on horses brought us to Pegnuggcr, where Isaacs 
and Ghyrkins had accumulated great store of tents, weapons, 
ammunition, edibles and potables, with guides and shikarries 
the native huntsmen and the little Collector of Pcgnugger, a 
famous tiger-slayer, to go with us. The first night in camp 
was gay with stories and songs; and the next morning, with four 
elephants for our party and twenty-odd to crush through and 
open the jungle and to beat up our game, we went to the field. 
Kildare shot the first tiger, a huge beast that had sprung upon 
his elephant's head. The Collector shot the second, and then 
we returned to camp. 

That evening a ryot, or peasant, told Isaacs where there was 
a great man-eating tiger. Miss Westonhaugh had laughingly 
wished for a pair of tiger's ears, which the natives always prompt- 
ly purloin as a charm against evil spirits. This was enough 
for Isaacs, who quietly went out alone, that night, with knife 
and gun, and the trembling ryot as guide, and returned before 
dawn with the ears, which he sent to Miss Westonhaugh in a 
beautiful silver box. Old Ghyrkins was indignant with his 
niece to have wished for tiger'.s ears, and she, poor girl, was 
shocked to find a life risked for her careless word. But the 
exploit again glorified Isaacs. 

Thus passed a week shooting, and resting every other day 



26 MR. ISAACS 

while the love-affair of our young folk prosperrxl, even Kildare 
mournfully seeing it. There was a mango grove near our 
tenting-place, and a well with a small temple where a Brahman 
dwelt, receiving the gifts of the neighborhood. One afternoon 
as I sat before my tent, reading, I saw Isaacs and the lady saun- 
tering toward the well, and soon the beautiful couple were joined 
by the old priest. Isaacs called me, and I went over, and 
offered the Brahman money if he would perform some wonder. 

"I will do no wonder for the unbeliever's bucksheesh," he 
replied, " but I will do it for the lady with shining hair, whose 
face resembles Chunder." 

At his direction I called a servant to draw water from the 
well; but while the old priest looked intently at the man he 
could not by the most violent efforts raise the bucket, until the 
priest's lips moved silently, when the bucket rose with a bound 
and the man fell backward, sprang up, and ran off, shouting, 
Shut I Bhut I ("devils") at the top of his voice. The old Brah' 
man then turned to Isaacs, and said: 

"I have done a wonder for you. I will also tell you a say- 
ing. You have done wrong in not taking the advice of your 
friend. You should not have brought the white-haired lady 
into the tiger's jaws. I have spoken. Peace be with you." 
And he moved away. 

I left them together. At dinner the lady was very serious. 
Isaacs had told her that he must go ciway on urgent business, 
although without mentioning the affair of Shere Ali; and, when 
he told the party, there was strong protest and regret 

After all had separated for the night Kildare and I strolled 
about for a while, when suddenly we saw among the trees the 
figures of a man and a woman, his arm about her, and her head 
on his shoulder. We turned away to our tents. That night 
Isaacs acknowledged to me that the old Brahman's words, show- 
ing that Ram Lai's warning had been for Miss Westonhaugh, 
had shocked him, and he concluded: 

"The light of life is woman; the love of life is the love of 
woman my light, my life, and my love!" 

It was a long and cheering talk, and at last, be getting my 
promise to join him if Ram Lai should need me, we separated. 
Before dawn he was in the saddle. Suddenly a figure swept out 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 27 

of the shadows to his side; he halted, bent over a whisper the 
sound of a kiss the figure disappeared, and he rode away. 
What I could do to cheer Miss Westonhaugh I did, and in a long 
morning together I told her our friend had gone to do a very 
noble deed to save the life of a man he never had seen; and 
her pale cheeks flushed with joyous color. That afternoon a 
messenger galloped up, and handed me a letter from Isaacs, 
informing me that Ram Lai desired that I should meet them 
below Keitung on the afternoon of the day when the moon 
should be full "for friendship's sake, for love's sake, come!" 
At dawn next morning I set out. At the same spot where Isaacs 
had been halted stood the same shadowy figure, awaiting me. 
"Give him this from me. God be with you!" And, putting 
into my hands a small package, she was gone. 

In order to reach Isaacs, I must ride more than two hundred 
miles up into the vast wilderness of the Himalayas. But, leav- 
ing the railroad at Zulinder, I found that relays of horses had 
been arranged, so on I galloped, getting a fresh pony every six 
or seven miles. In twenty-four hours I had climbed a hundred 
and thirty miles; after which relays of mountaineers bore me 
up into unimaginable heights, along the brink of profound 
abysses. At my journey's end I met the one man on earth who 
seemed worth having as a friend; and when he had beamed 
over the splendid tress of hair I had brought him in the silver 
box of the tiger's ears, we found Ram Lai, who greeted me in 
friendly fashion. 

The delivery of Shere Ali was to be in a neighboring valley. 
Rnm Lai said the intention of the band was to murder both the 
prisoner and Isaacs; the captain giving the signal by laying his 
hand on Isaacs' s shoulder. At that instant, he said, I must 
seize and cripple or kill the captain, and Ram Lai would attend 
to the rest. And so it fell out. While the captain pretended 
to compare two copies of the agreement with the Rajah, Abdul 
told Shere Ali of the plot. Presently the captain handed Isaacs 
a receipt to sign. Ram Lai stood, leaning on his staff and 
gazing intently at the moon. As Isaacs took the receipt the 
captain laid his hand on his shoulder, raising his other arm 
toward his men. Instantly I gripped the captain by his throat 
and the upraised arm, and held him helpless as he writhed and 



28 MR. ISAACS 

struggled, sinking my fingers ever deeper in his throat and bend- 
ing his arm back until it snapped like a pipe-stem, and he col- 
lapsed. Meantime, while Isaacs and Shere AH struck down 
the two nearest sowars, a heavy pall of freezing fog came down 
and hid all things. Isaacs seized Shere Ali, Ram Lai laid hold 
on me, and we rushed far up the stony pass. 

"Friend/' said Isaacs to the Afghan, "you are free. Praise 
Allah, and let us depart in peace." 

The savage old warrior grasped the outstretched hand of 
the Persian, and yelled aloud: 

" Illallaho-ho-ho-ho! " 

And Isaacs responded in clarion tones: "La illah il Allah! 1 ' 

"Thank God!" said I. 

"Call Him as you please, friend Griggs," answered Ram 
Lai serenely. 

And the next morning, provided with money, the grateful 
Shere Ali departed with Ram Lai, who would conduct him to 
Thibet. 

Isaacs and I returned slowly back to Simla. On my table 
were letters one from Mr. Ghyrkins, dated two days before, 
begging me to come to him immediately, adding that his niece 
was seriously ill. I thought the poor girl had worried herself 
into sickness, but that in this clear air and with her lover's re- 
turn, all would be well. I told Isaacs that I should be back 
in an hour to breakfast, and galloped to the bungalow. Mr. 
Ghyrkins, on my asking after Miss Westonhaugh, broke down, 
saying that she was desperately ill of jungle fever, and he feared 
the worst. Learning that she wished to see me, I found her 
lying on a long cane-chair, her face startling in its emaciation. 
She greeted me sweetly, and, inquiring after my friend, said: 

"Tell him to come to me now. I am dying. I shall be 
dead before night. Don't tell him that. Did he save the man's 
life?" 

"Yes, the man is safe and free in Thibet." 

"That was nobly done. You have always been kind to 
me, and you love him. Good-by, dear Mr. Griggs. God keep 
you!" 

I tore back to the hotel, and as gently as I could I told Isaacs 
of the jungle fever. He was brave, and of surpassing endur- 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 29 

ance, but great purple rings came out under his eyes, as, sup- 
pressing his profound emotion, he hastened away. And I sat 
thinking of his piteous case, and, bearded man as I was, I wept 
in bitterness of heart. 

" Oh, Ram Lai/' I cried aloud, "you are a wise man. What 
shall come of this?" 

A cold draught passed over my head, and in terror I saw 
Ram Lai quietly sitting by the door. 

"I come opportunely, it seems, Mr. Griggs, since you pro- 
nounce my name." 

"Will Miss Westonhaugh recover?" I asked. 

"No, she will die at sunset." 

"Why can you not save her? if I am talking to you at all. 
Perhaps you are in Thibet with Shere Ali, and this is your 
astral body." 

"Quite right, Mr. Griggs. My body is quietly asleep in a 
monastery in Thibet, and this is my astral shape, which I am 
getting to like almost as well. But I am not omnipotent. 
Given certain conditions and I can produce certain results; 
but my power, as you know, is merely the knowledge of laws of 
nature, which your wise Western scientists ignore. I can re- 
plenish the oil in the lamp, and while there is a wick the lamp 
will burn; but if the wick is consumed as in Miss Weston- 
haugh's case it is the lamp must go out. And yet even this 
is better for both of them. She is not suffering in body, and, 
as for 'the untold agony of souP you attribute to Isaacs" for 
we had altogether a long conversation "it is a wholesome 
medicine for such a soul as his. Believe me, these two will be 
happier far, and far more blessed, in a few short years, than 
ever you and I shall be." 

Ram Lai sighed as he spoke the last words, and was gone. 

After a miserable night of thinking and distorted dreaming, 
I awoke to find Isaacs standing by my bedside, himself grayer 
than the dawn. His hands were icy. I led him to the outer 
room, not knowing how to comfort him. 

"It is all over, my friend," said he. 

"It has but begun," said the solemn tones of Ram Lai from 
the door. He entered, and continued: "Friend Isaacs, I am 
not here to weary your strained heart-strings with petty con- 



3 o MR. ISAACS 

dolences. But I love you, my brother, and have somewhat 
to say to you. Let me show you three pictures of yourself." 

And the tenderly eloquent old man depicted the beauty and 
vigor of his first phase of life, its power, and wealth, and material 
enjoyment; then passed with sympathetic insight to his second 
destiny, learning the worth of a noble woman and the wealth 
of a true love; and finally he laid before the thoughtful, suffering 
man a third destiny, great and awful, but grand beyond telling. 

"Take my hand, brother," he continued, "and seek with 
me the path to the heights. You have endured too much to 
mix again with the world. Come forth, and your soul shall 
live forever, your grief shall be turned to joy, and the sinking 
heart be lifted above earthly sorrow. Remember the past, 
think also upon the future. Be bold, aspiring, firm of purpose. 
Tenfold is it truer now than when you said it, that with her was 
your life, your light, and your love; for with her is life eternal, 
light ethereal, love spiritual. Come, brother, come with me!" 

Gently Isaacs raised his head from his hands and gazed 
long on the old man, while over his pale face the burning spirit 
came and went and came again, like flashes in the northern sky. 
Slowly he rose, and, laying his hand in the Buddhist's, spoke 
at last. 
- "Brother, I come. Show me the way." 

Then, turning to me, he said: "My friend, I bid you fare- 
well. You will never see me again. I thank you for your 
friendship and kind offices, for the strength of your arm in time 
of need, for the gold of your words in time of uncertainty. I 
shall bestow my worldly possessions on the one man to whom, 
besides yourself, I owe a debt of gratitude, John Westonhaugh. 
Only this I beg of you : Take this gem, and keep it always for 
my sake. Think of me not as mourning for the departed day, 
but as watching longingly for the first dawn of the day eternal." 

One last loving look one more pressure of the reluctant 
fingers, and those two went out hand in hand, under the clear 
stars, and I saw them no more. 



A ROMAN SINGER (1883) 

This romantic tale first appeared in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly. It 
abounds in realistic touches which reproduce with great fidelity Italian home 
life. Modern Rome is vividly presented to the reader, who is given little 
glimpses of the side streets and of the quaint people, artists as well as artisans, 
who live in unbeautiful surroundings wnile evolving beautiful creations. Nino 
lived with the gentle old Count, who tells the story, in the Via dei Funari. The 
palace of one of the greatest nobles in Rome lies across the way, and the ancient 
Palazzo Gabrielli is not far distant 



CORNELIO GRANDI, who tell you these 
things, was not always poor, nor always a pro- 
fessor of philosophy, nor a scribbler of pedantic 
articles for a living. Many of you can remember 
why I was driven to sell my patrimony, the dear 
castello in the Sabines. But now that Nino is 
growing to be a famous man in the world, and 
people are saying good things, and bad, about 
him, I think it best to tell you the whole truth 
and what I think of it. 

Nino is just like a son to me; I brought him up from a little 
child, instructed him, and would have made a philosopher of 
him, but he had set his heart on being a singer. His mother 
used to sing and her voice was wonderful; but I never heard 
her sing after her husband was killed. One day the fever took 
her, and Nino was left a little baby. About the time of her 
death I came to live in Rome, for I had sold Castel Serveti, and 
a few years later Nino was brought to me here; he was an ugly 
little boy with great black eyes. Mariuccia, my old servant, 
begged that he should be left with us until the following day, 
and we could never let him go away again; that is how Nino 
came to live with us. 

The day came when the great singer, De Pretis, who had 
heard his voice, claimed him for his pupil. "He has a voice 

31 




32 A ROMAN SINGER 

like a trumpet and the patience of all the angels. He will be 
a great singer," said De Pretis, later. 

One Sunday afternoon I had gone with Nino to St. Peter's 
to hear Maestro de Pretis sing; in the crowd I found myself 
pushed against a tall man with an immense gray moustache 
standing out across his face like the horns of a beetle. When 
I apologized for crowding against him he said something with 
a German accent, which seemed to be courteous. 

The lady with him was dressed entirely in black, and her 
fair face stood out wonderfully clear and bright against the 
darkness. Truly she looked more like an angel than a woman. 
And now, as the people kneeled to the benediction, imagine a 
little what Nino did! He just dropped on his knees with his 
face to the white lady and his back to the procession, looking 
as if his heart would break. 

Nino, who had never before cared to look at a woman, 
learned afterward from De Pretis that she was a Prussian, 
daughter of the Count von Lira, a retired colonel. The name 
of the lady was Edvigia, or Hedwig, and the maestro had her 
upon his list of singing pupils. 

As we walked home Nino said : " I swear to you, here, that 
I will marry the Contessina di Lira if that is her name before 
two years are out. Ah, you do not believe me. Very well. I 
have nothing more to say." 

Nino appealed to De Pretis to aid him in meeting the Con- 
tessina, and the maestro consented when he detected the new 
quality which the young man's ardor had imparted to his voice; 
he said to himself: "In order to be a great artist, Nino must be 
in love always." 

And so De Pretis arranged with the Prussian Colonel to pro- 
cure for his daughter an instructor in literature; and the en- 
raptured Nino found himself engaged by the pompous for- 
eigner to teach his daughter three times a week. The training 
that I had given Nino in the Italian classics now stood him in 
good stead, and enabled him to act well the part of a professor 
of literature; and what days of happiness those were for him 
when he might sit close beside the lovely Contessina, reading 
Dante and at the same time studying her expressive face ! 

One day the Contessina began asking questions about the 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 33 

Pantheon, which she declared she must see at night, with just 
one ray of moonlight falling through the opening in the top of 
the rotunda. Nino volunteered to guide a party thither upon 
some moonlight night; and so it came about that on a certain 
evening four people were conducted through the little entrance 
at the back of the Pantheon by the sacristan, who struck a light to 
show them the way, and then put out his taper and left them. 
While they stood in the lonely place, illuminated only by the one 
ray of moonlight, a wonderful voice broke the silence; hidden 
by the darkness, Nino sang, putting his whole soul into those 
waves of sound. All were tremendously impressed and long- 
ing to meet the singer; but Nino said the singer was a cousin 
of his who had withdrawn as soon as he had finished singing. 

A charming Baroness in the party joined Hedwig in inquiries 
about the singer; and learning of Hedwig's lessons, engaged 
Nino to instruct her also, and made an appointment with him 
for the following day, which he kept with reluctance. 

Upon reaching the house of the Baroness he found her at the 
piano studying a certain song; she begged him to help her with 
it, and when he denied any understanding of music, urged him 
at least to assist her in pronouncing the words; as he followed 
the music, Nino unconsciously began to sing, when suddenly 
the Baroness turned on him, clapping her hands: "I have found 
you out," she cried. "You are the tenor of the Pantheon!" 

Nino was thoroughly alarmed by her discovery, for it por- 
tended the loss of everything most dear to him; let it once be 
known what he was, and there would be no more lessons with 
the lovely Hedwig. 

Then ensued a heated discussion with the wily Baroness, 
who, though ten years Nino's senior, had taken a sudden fancy to 
him. As she could easily reveal his secret to the irascible father 
of Hedwig, and so destroy his happiness, he agreed to come 
often to sing to her while she promised to aid him to the best 
of her ability. 

In the days that ensued Hedwig was by turns studious and 
neglectful of her lessons, and often asked Nino about his cousin 
with the wonderful voice. 

As the time approached for Nino to make his dbut, an- 
nouncements were placarded that "Giovanni Cardegna, the 

A.D., VOL. vi. 3 



34 A ROMAN SINGER 

most distinguished pupil of the Maestro Ercole de Pretis, 
will appear in Donizetti's opera, La Favorita" As he read 
these announcements Nino's heart sank, for he felt that the 
moment had almost arrived which was to separate him from 
his adored Contessina. 

Hedwig was filled with keen anticipation at the thought of 
hearing again the voice which had entranced her, and talked 
continually to Nino of his talented cousin, for whose perform- 
ance she and her father had secured the best possible seats. 

At last the crucial night arrived, and Nino, although dis- 
guised by his monk's costume, stood revealed before those who 
had thought him the humble professor of literature. His suc- 
cess was instantaneous; the audience sat entranced, and the 
maestro watched with delight the public recognition of the 
master-singer he had discovered and trained. But Nino sang 
only to one person in the crowded theater, and Hedwig saw him, 
the singer of her dreams, looking straight at her as if to say: 
"I have done it for you, and for you only." Nino, in the 
young innocence of his heart, had prepared such a surprise for 
his lady as might have turned the head of a hardened woman 
of the world, much sooner an imaginative German girl. 

On the morning following his dbut, a note summoned him 
to breakfast with the Baroness. During their conversation 
Hedwig was ushered in and stood transfixed to hear from the 
Baroness: 

" You are free now. Your appearance in public has put an 
end to all. You are not tied to me now unless you wish it." 

The Baroness, seeing Nino's sudden change of expression, 
turned to her feminine visitor with a ready explanation of her 
remark; but the effect was embarrassing to all concerned. 
Hedwig became cold and silent, and Nino soon withdrew. 

Nino's success was followed by advantageous offers from 
operatic managers in other cities, and he found himself all at 
once in affluent circumstances. This was, however, to him but 
a slight matter compared with the necessity for reinstating him- 
self with Hedwig, whom he fancied offended with him. A 
serenade under her window gave him a chance to express his 
emotions; and she in response dropped him a rose. 

Another note, filled with protestations of friendship, sum- 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 35 

moned Nino again to the side of the Baroness, who now exerted 
every wile to win from him some response to her passion. Be- 
ing repulsed, she turned upon him like a tiger, vowing to ruin 
his chances with the woman he loved. The interview was 
interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Conte di Lira, 
which gave the Baroness her coveted opportunity to denounce 
the man who had humiliated her. 

"This man, sir/ 7 she said, in measured tones, "this low- 
born singer, who has palmed himself off on us as a respectable 
instructor in language, has the audacity to love your daughter. 
For the sake of pressing his odious suit he has wormed himself 
into your house, as into mine; he has sung beneath your 
daughter's window, and she has dropped letters to him, love- 
letters, do you understand? And now he has the effrontery to 
come to me to me of all women and to confess his abomi- 
nable passion for that pure angel, imploring me to assist him in 
bringing destruction upon her and you." 

This outburst so roused the anger of the Count that he 
rushed upon Nino, brandishing his stick wildly to strike him; the 
other, seizing the sharp dagger which the Baroness used as a 
paper-cutter, forced the elder man to a seat and made him listen 
while he indignantly denied the false accusations of the jealous 
woman, stating his own position truthfully, and boldly asserting 
his love for the Count's daughter, whom he declared his in- 
tention of marrying if she would consent. This dramatic scene 
concluded with the fainting Baroness prostrate upon the floor, 
and with the angry retreat of the Conte di Lira. 

A tragedy followed this exciting day; for the next morning 
found the passionate and disappointed Baroness dead from 
poison taken in a moment of despair. Foul play was sus- 
pected; and Nino, who had been the last one to see her alive, 
was accused of murdering her; but it was soon ascertained that 
the poison must have been taken some hours after he left her. 

Nino now thought of nothing day or night but how he might 
see Hedwig, and at last hit upon the plan of visiting her during 
the funeral of the Baroness, when he knew the Conte di Lira 
would be absent; this he accomplished by bribing the servant 
to admit him to the room where his mistress was having her 
music-lesson with De Pretis. This amiable friend discreetly 



36 A ROMAN SINGER 

withdrew to the background while the young people con- 
versed; and during this brief interview Nino made the most of 
his opportunity to declare his love to Hedwig, who acknowledged 
that she returned it. According to agreement he waited under 
her window that night; a few words scrawled on a handkerchief 
told him to do nothing until he heard from her. 

The same night Nino made the acquaintance of the eccentric 
Baron Benoni, whom he chanced to encounter in the street and 
who persuaded him to spend a few hours with him that he might 
hear a great musician play on the violin. Nino returned with 
him to his palazzo, where his host himself proved to be the mar- 
velous musician, and also a man of extraordinary age and ex- 
perience, who now seemed brimming with youthful vitality, 
and anon aged and withered. From this time the Baron 
became a menace to the young man's happiness; he made the 
acquaintance of Hedwig and her father and proceeded at once 
to pay marked attention to the beautiful girl, who from the 
first shrank from him, -while her father encouraged the aged 
suitor on account of his reputed wealth. 

A few days after Nino's interview with Hedwig the Conte 
di Lira disappeared from Rome with his household. A parting 
line from Hedwig had told Nino that their destination was 
Paris, and he immediately accepted an engagement in that city; 
but no trace of Hedwig and her father could be found; and then 
he sang in London, searching that city also in vain. He was ill 
and worn with anxiety, and begged me to aid him, if it were in 
my power to do so; and I, Signer Grandi, made up my mind 
that I would leave no stone unturned to restore my boy's happi- 
ness and peace of mind. During a visit I had had from the 
eccentric Baron Benoni (who, some say, is no other than the 
Wandering Jew himself), I learned that in all likelihood the 
Conte di Lira had never left Italy, but had sought some mountain 
stronghold in which to immure his obstinate daughter. In the 
watches of the night I thought over my resources, which were 
but meager. In order to undertake my quest I must have at 
least a thousand francs; how was I to obtain such a sum? Then 
I bethought me of my little vineyard beyond Porta Salara; and 
after some difficulty, and by taking considerably less than my 
land was worth, I found myself in possession of the necessary 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 37 

funds, and started for Palestrina, because all foreigners go there, 
and also because there one gets news from all other parts of the 
mountains. 

I had not been long in this vicinity when I heard of a "gran 
signore, who had gone to live at Fillettino a crazy man, with 
a daughter as beautiful as an angel." 

It was a tiresome journey, but at last I found myself at 
Fillettino, and secured lodgings close by a certain frowning 
castle that loomed up high above the town; its new tenant had 
taken it for a year, I was informed, having already expended 
much money in furnishings. 

I learned also, that there was a third inmate of the castle: 
an elderly gentleman who rode out with the others frequently. 
This proved to be Baron Benoni, who had told me he was off 
for Austria. 

On the third day after my arrival I called upon the Baron; 
our interview was not marked by cordiality on his side, or friend- 
liness on mine; but as I left the outer hall I had a glimpse of the 
sad countenance of Hedwig; I had in my pocket a letter to her 
from Nino, which I had promised to deliver whenever the 
chance arose. After being bowed out by the Baron, I rang the 
bell again and when the servant reappeared gave him the 
letter for his mistress, and with it a hundred francs to deliver it 
to her. "If you bring me an answer here at this hour to- 
morrow," I told him, "I will give you as much more." 

The following morning I learned from the servant that at 
the earliest opportunity I should have an interview with the 
Contessina. He would come for me some evening after eight 
and would conduct me into the castle by a secret passage. 

A whole week passed without the coming of the summons, 
but I had cheering news in a letter from Nino, which told me 
his engagement was over and that he would join me at once. 

Picture to yourself how I looked and felt, a sober old pro- 
fessor, stealing out at night wrapped in a cloak, as dark and 
shabby as any conspirator's, threading my way behind the ser- 
vant who had come to guide me. It was a perilous trip, skirting 
rocks and mounting winding stairs and hurrying through narrow 
passages; at last I stood in the presence of Hedwig von Lira. 
In the brief interview that followed I learned of the mental 



38 A ROMAN SINGER 

sufferings which were her portion. Her father intended to keep 
her here a prisoner until she consented to marry the abhorred 
Benoni, who made her life miserable by his hated attentions. 
I learned from her sweet lips that she loved Nino madly and 
would love him forever. Poor, beautiful, tormented Hedwig! 
I did my best to cheer her and told her that Nino was on the 
way and might be there to-morrow. I asked if she could meet 
me at this place upon the following night; and she assured me 
she would do her best to be there. 

The next morning brought Nino, whose first words, after 
greeting me, were those of anxious inquiry concerning Hedwig; 
after I had told him my story, we discussed what course was 
best for him to pursue. Nino declared that he would see the 
Count once more and would again make honorable offer of his 
hand in marriage, from which I tried in vain to dissuade him. 

"Take my advice, Nino," I said. "Carry her off first, and 
ask permission afterward. It is much better." 

But he insisted that his was the more honorable way; and 
that Hedwig would be more inclined for flight after it had been 
tried if it should prove fruitless. 

Nino rode out planning to meet the Count, and before he 
returned the fateful meeting had taken place. Once more the 
young man had asked the Count for his daughter's hand, 
assuring him that he had now an ample income and an assured 
position as an artist. To all this the Count had responded that 
he would have none of an alliance with a "man of the people," 
a "plebeian," who was also a man of uncertain fortune, and, 
worst of all, an "artist." And so they parted. 

Hedwig meanwhile was left alone with Baron Benoni, who 
took this opportunity to press his suit, which the young lady 
coldly refused. Then, angered by her dismissal, the Baron 
became intolerably insulting, insisting that she must marry him 
to reclaim that reputation which she had thrown away for the 
young singer, who was not worth a thought from her; but his 
slanders did not trouble Hedwig, who loved and trusted Nino. 

Promptly upon the Count's return his daughter poured into 
his ears an indignant account of the Baron's insulting conduct 
and high-handed method of trying to wring from her a consent 
to his proposal. The Count, although himself something of a 



FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD 39 

tyrant, did not relish the treatment of his daughter by the Baron, 
and promised her that he would dismiss his suit at once and take 
her wherever she chose to go if she would relinquish all thoughts 
of the singer. Hedwig's gentle pleading proved of no avail; and 
so she made up her mind to take her happiness into her own 
hands, which meant to place it in those of Nino. 

Briefly, then, on this very evening Hedwig stole quietly down 
the long winding staircase, leaving a note to tell her father that 
she had gone; and a few moments later the lovers were locked in 
each other's arms. What Nino said, and what responses were 
made by his adored one, need not be chronicled by one who 
stood close by merely to keep guard over the stout mules which 
had been provided for the flight. The gorge we had to descend 
was steep and most precipitous; but there was some light from 
the moon to guide us and the trusty mules carried us safely. 
At last we reached a place where Nino could find lodgings for 
us at a little inn. Here we had rest and some refreshment, and 
here till dawn Nino kept guard outside his lady's door lest they 
should be overtaken and discovered; then early in the morning 
the ceremony was performed, at which I was a witness. 

This is the story of the Roman singer whose great genius is 
making such a stir in the world. I have told it to you, because 
people must not think that he did wrong to carry Hedwig von 
Lira away from her father, nor that Hedwig was so very unfilial 
and heartless. I know that they were both right, and the day 
will come when old Lira will acknowledge it. 

As for Benoni, the Count himself became convinced during 
a heated interview which took place between them, that he was 
hardly sane; and this belief was soon verified by the following 
line in a certain paper: " Baron Benoni, the wealthy banker, 
who was many years ago an inmate of a private lunatic asylum 
in Paris, is reported to be dangerously insane in Rome." 

They are happy and glad together, those two hearts that 
never knew love save for each other, and they will be happy 
always. Perhaps you will say that there is nothing in this 
story but love. And if so, it is well; for where there is naught 
else there can surely be no sinning, nor wrong-doing, nor weak- 
ness, nor meanness; nor aught that is not pure and undefiled. 



SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 

(Scotland, 1860) 
THE LILAC SUNBONNET (1894) 

This was its author's fourth novel, and it is one of the most popular and 
characteristic of his pictures of Scottish life. 

JALPH PEDEN lay well content under a thorn- 
bush that grew beside the Grannoch water. It 
was the second day of his sojourning in Galloway, 
as on the previous day he had arrived at the home 
of Allan Welsh, minister of the Marrow Kirk, in 
the parish of Dullarg, bearing with him a quaint- 
ly sealed and delicately written letter from his 
father in Edinburgh. 

This letter, which Ralph duly delivered, ex- 
plained that the bearer was being fitted for the ministry and 
was trysted to "the kirk of the Marrow, the sole repository of 
orthodox truth in Scotland." It also requested the recipient to 
take the young man under his guidance for a season, and to 
assist him with his studies, and also to discover whether the lad 
had a heart; " for," added the writer, who was Allan Welsh's 
old friend and fellow-minister, "he shews it not to me." 

The subject of these remarks was a tall, clean-limbed young 
fellow, with a student's pallor on his handsome, clear-cut face; 
he had dark-brown curls clustering over a white forehead, and 
eyes that were steadfast and true. He had lived all his life 
with his father in an old house in James's Court, Edinburgh, 
and had been trained to think more of a professor's opinion on 
his Hebrew exercise than of a woman's opinion on any subject 
whatever. 

Ralph, being a natural student, had devoted himself to his 

40 




SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 41 

books, and had found in them his greatest pleasure and recrea- 
tion. He was reserved and distant with his companions, and 
although he had reached the age of twenty-four years he never 
had felt aught but indifference for the other sex. 

On this summer day Ralph had come out into the morning 
air with his note-book and his Hebrew lexicon, prepared for a 
day of uninterrupted study. But soon his peace and quietude 
was disturbed by the arrival upon the scene of two young 
women carrying pails of water and other necessary adjuncts for 
a Galloway blanket-washing. This interruption, which was 
not at all pleasing to the devout student, would have had the 
effect of driving him away at once, had it not been that his atten- 
tion was arrested by the beauty and charm of one of the maidens. 

This was Winifred, better known as Winsome Charteris, a 
very important young person, to whose beauty and wit the poets 
of three parishes did vain reverence. 

She had golden hair, crisping and tendriling over her brow, 
blue eyes, to which no poet ever had done justice, and a mouth 
the description of which had already wrecked three promising 
literary reputations. Her figure was tall and shapely, and she 
wore a light summer gown and a lilac sunbonnet, which hung 
by the strings upon her shoulders. 

This seemed to Ralph a singularly attractive bit of color in 
the landscape, and he did not resent it, but continued to gaze 
upon it with increasing interest. 

Soon the blanket- washing reached a point where the delicacy 
of the onlooker's feelings would not allow him to linger longer, as 
he saw one maid tuck up her skirts in a professional manner and 
step barefoot into the tub, at which spectacle he fled precipitately. 

His departure was noted by Winsome just as he was disap- 
pearing from view, and she was much amused at the apparent 
timidity of the young stranger, who in his haste had left his 
books behind. These were at once discovered by the merry 
lass, who immediately appropriated them and took them home, 
prepared to restore them to their rightful owner the following 
day all but the note-book, in which she read these words 
faintly penciled: "Of all colors I do love the lilac. I wonder 
all maids do not wear gowns of that hue!" 

Winsome sighed a little and looked at the lilac sunbonnet. 



42 THE LILAC SUNBONNET 

"At any rate, he has very good taste/' she said, but the Ulac 
sunbonnet said never a word. 

The following day Winsome returned to the scene of the 
blanket-washing, taking with her the books, and came face to 
face with their owner, who had come in search of his property. 
He introduced himself to his fair companion, who returned his 
books, and when he began his search for his missing note-book 
he was aided in his quest by the deceitful Winsome, who had 
this property safely tucked away in the bosom of her gown. 

So Ralph and Winsome continued the search, and when 
from time to time they came close together, the propinquity of 
the girPs flushed cheek and mazy ringlets stirred something in 
the lad's heart that never had been touched before, and his 
father, had he witnessed the scene on that "broomy knowe," 
might have been fearful of that heart's too sudden awakening. 

Winsome, who found herself strongly attracted to the young 
stranger, conducted him to her home and introduced him to her 
grandparents, with whom she lived. Here Ralph received a 
cordial welcome; his father was an old and valued friend of the 
aged couple, and they offered the hospitality of their house to 
Gilbert Peden's son. 

Ralph's admiration for Winsome warmed rapidly into a love 
so intense that everything else paled before it, and his devotion 
to his books and his calling seemed completely overshadowed. 

The ministry of the Marrow Kirk, which called for his entire 
allegiance and forbade his thoughts to dwell on worldly things, 
no longer appealed to him, and he realized that the love Win- 
some had awakened in his heart took precedence over every 
other emotion he had experienced. 

The only obstacle to his love-making, besides Winsome's 
own reluctance to acknowledge her surrender, was Jess Kissock, 
a young and pretty serving-maid who had conceived a violent 
affection for the young student and did everything in her power 
to come between him and her mistress. She intercepted notes 
and did various things that caused trouble between the lovers, 
and endeavored to make Winsome believe that Ralph was dis- 
loyal to her. 

While affairs were in this unsettled condition, Ralph re- 
ceived a letter from his father requesting him to return to Edin- 



SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 43 

burgh to go before the presbytery of the Marrow Kirk to pass 
the examination for his license. Upon the receipt of this com- 
munication Ralph felt a tingling sense of shame, as he realized 
that he had of late neglected his studies, and had paid more 
attention to his growing volume of poems than he had to his 
discourses for a license. He spent a night and a day in silent 
self-accusation, during which he searched his heart and ques- 
tioned whether, indeed, he were fit for the high office of minister 
in Marrow kirk, and whether he could now accept that narrow 
creed and take up conscientiously the work for which he had 
been prepared. 

He recalled the years spent upon his Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew, and in acquiring the knowledge of the great truths of 
the protesting Kirk, though he realized that through it all his 
bent had really been toward literature. The books of verses 
that he kept under lock and key were the only things he ever 
had concealed from his father, and since he had come to man's 
estate, the articles he had covertly sent to the Edinburgh Maga- 
zine were manifest tokens of the natural trend of his mind. 

This call to Edinburgh, he reflected, did not mean the giving 
up of Winsome; his father could not utterly refuse his consent; 
and though he might urge a long delay, he surely would not 
blight his son's happiness. 

Ralph decided to write Winsome at once, asking her to see 
him again before his departure, and despatched a letter in which 
he said: 

" I am at the cross-roads, and I cannot tell which way to go. But I am sure 
that you can tell me, for your word shall be to me as the whisper of a kind 
angel. Meet me to-night, I beseech you, for ere long I must go very far away, 
and I have much to say to thee, my beloved. Believing that you will grant me 
this request for it is the first time and may be the last and with all my heart 
going out to thee, I am the man who truly loves thee. 

"RALPH PEDEN." 

This note fell into the hands of the unfaithful Jess, who 
opened it, perused it, and then, for reasons of her own, re- 
sealed it and delivered it to her mistress. With a tumultuous 
heart Winsome read her lover's words, and without a moment 's 
hesitation sat down and penned the following line, "I shall be 
at the gate of the hill pasture at ten o'clock to-night," and gave 
it to Jess to deliver to the messenger who waited for an answer. 



44 THE LILAC SUNBONNET 

But, before doing this, the wily Jess, who was clever with her 
pen, substituted another message, which read: "Meet me at the 
water-side bridge at ten o'clock." 

Thrilled with the subtle hope of strange possibilities, Ralph 
waited at the place of his love-tryst, and soon heard a light foot- 
step and saw a dark shape coming toward him against the 
faint gray glimmer of the loch. It was his love, and she had 
come out to him at his bidding; he opened his arms to receive 
her, and for the first time in his life drew them to him again 
not empty. 

The thrill electric of the contact, the yielding quiescence 
of the girl whom he held to his breast, stilled his heart's tumul- 
tuous beating. She raised her head, and their lips drew together 
in a long kiss. What was this thing? It was a kiss in which 
he tasted a strange alien flavor even through the passion of it. 
A sense of wrong and disappointment flowed round Ralph's 
heart. 

"Beloved," he said tenderly, looking down, "you are very 
good to me to come! " 

For all reply a face was held close pressed to his. He passed 
his hand across the ripples of her hair. 

It was harder in texture than he had fancied Winsome's hair 
would be. He had thought a woman's hair was like floss silk 
at least Winsome's, for he had theorized about none other. 

"Winsome, dear!" he said, again bending his head to look 
down, "I have to go far away, and I wanted to tell you. You 
are not angry with me, sweetest, for asking you to come? I could 
not go without bidding you good-by, and in the daytime I might 
not have seen you alone. You know that I love you with all 
my life and all my heart. And you love me at least a little. 
Tell me, beloved!" 

Still there was no answer. Ralph waited with some certitude 
and ease from pain, for indeed the clasping arms told him all 
he wished to know. 

There was a brightness low in the west. The shawl fell 
back like a hood from off the girl's shoulders. She looked up 
throbbing and palpitating. Ralph Peden was clasping Jess 
Kissock in his arms ! His heart stopped beating for a tremendous 
interval of seconds. Then the dammed-back blood-surge drovt 



SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 45 

thundering in his ears. He swayed, and would have fallen but 
for the parapet of the bridge and the clinging arms about his 
neck. All his nature and love in full career stopped dead. 
The shock almost unhinged his soul and reason. It was still so 
dark that, though he could see the outline of her head and the 
paleness of her face, nothing held him but the intense and vivid 
fascination of her eyes. Ralph would have broken away, in- 
dignant and amazed, but her arms and eyes held him close 
prisoner, the dismayed turmoil in his own heart aiding. 

"Yes, Ralph Peden," said Jess Kissock, cleaving to him, 
"and you hate me because it is I and not another. You think 
me a wicked girl to come to you in her place. But you called 
her because you loved her, and I have come because I loved you 
as much. Have I not as much right? Do not dream that I 
came for aught but that. Have I not as good a right to love as 
you? Yet I know you will despise me for loving you, and hate 
me for coming in her place." 

"I do not hate you!" said Ralph, striving to go, for in spite 
of his anger and disappointment his heart was somewhat touched 
by the girl's confession. 

Suddenly out of the darkness came a cry, a woman's cry of 
pain, anger, and danger, which said, "Ralph! Ralph! come to 
me come!" and recognizing the voice of his love, Ralph Peden 
sprang from the hands that were holding him and plunged into 
the darkness of the wood whence the cry had come. 

True to her promise, at the appointed hour Winsome had 
come to keep her tryst, and had found waiting for her a cloaked 
figure who instantly enclosed her in his strong arms. Suddenly 
she felt her breath shorten. She panted as if she could not get 
air, like the bird as it flutters and palpitates. 

"Oh, I ought not to have come!" she said, "but I could not 
help it!" 

There was no word in answer, only a closer folding of the 
arms that encircled her. 

When for the first time she looked shyly upward, Winsome 
found herself in the arms of Agnew Greatorix, a rejected suitor 
of rich and influential connections, who, on account of his un- 
principled life, was held in hatred and dread by those who knew 
him. 



4 6 THE LILAC SUNBONNET 

Wrapped in his great military cloak, with a triumphant look 
in his handsome face, he smiled down upon her. 

"Winsome, my darling!" he said, "you have come to me. 
You are mine" bending his face to hers. She pushed against 
him with her hands, straining him from her by the rigid tension 
of her arms, setting her face far from his, but she was still unable 
to break the clasp of his arms about her. 

"Let me go! let me go!" she cried, in a hoarse and laboring 
whisper. 

"Gently, gently, fair and softly, my birdie! "said Great- 
orix; "surely you have not forgotten that you sent for me to 
meet you here. Well, I am here, and I am not such a fool as 
to come for nothing!" 

The very impossibility of words steeled Winsome's heart. 

"I send for you!" cried Winsome; "I never had message or 
word with you in my life to give you a right to touch me with 
your little finger. Let me go, and this instant, Agnew Great - 
orix!" 

"Winsome, sweetest girl, it pleases you to jest. Have not 
I your own letter in my pocket telling me where to meet you? 
Did you not write it? I am not angry. You can play out your 
play and pretend you do not care for me as much as you like ; 
but I will not let you go. I have loved you too long, though 
till now you were cruel and would give me no hope. So when I 
got your letter I knew it was love, after all, that had been in your 
eyes as I rode away." 

"Listen," said Winsome eagerly; "there is some terrible 
mistake; I never wrote a line to you " 

"It matters not; it was to me that your letter came, brought 
by a messenger to the castle an hour ago. So here I am; and 
here you are, my beauty, and we shall just make the best of 
it, as lovers should when the nights are short." 

He closed his arms about her; a numbness and a deadness 
spread through her being as he compelled her nearer to him. 
Her head spun round with the fear of fainting. 

"Ralph! Ralph! Hdp me help! Oh, come to me!" 
she cried in her extremity of terror and oncoming rigor of un- 
consciousness. 

The next moment she dropped limp and senseless into the 



SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT 47 

arms of Agnew Greatorix, and he, laying her senseless body on 
the heather, was about to take his will from her lips, now pale 
and defenseless, when something that had been crouching, 
beastlike, in the heather for an hour, suddenly sprang upon 
him and gripping him by the throat bore him backward to the 
ground. This opportune interference came from demented Jack 
Gordon, usually harmless and inoffensive, but a warm cham- 
pion and admirer of Winsome, who, hearing her cries, had rushed 
to her rescue, and in his insane fury had almost killed Greatorix 
before he and his victim were dragged apart. 

Ralph reached the scene in time to carry his unconscious 
love to a place of safety, where she soon recovered her senses, 
and except for the shock was none the worse for her terrible 
experience. 

The following day Ralph had an interview with Allan Welsh, 
in which the latter expressed his strong disapproval of his mar- 
riage with Winsome and said he should do all in his power to 
prevent it. When Ralph declared he never would give her up, 
Welsh replied that there was an insurmountable obstacle which 
must prevent their union. He then explained that he was Win- 
some's own father, though the fact was known only to her grand- 
parents and to Ralph's father, who had been his dearest friend 
in their youth, when Gilbert Peden had been betrothed to Win- 
some's mother. He, Welsh, had played the false friend, and, 
winning the love of Peden's betrothed, had eloped with her when 
she was on the eve of her marriage. The eloping couple fled 
without the blessing of minister or kirk, but were joined by a 
"welder" of Gretna Green, which did not make the marriage 
legal, and in consequence, Winsome, who was the child of this 
union, was illegitimate and never could properly be mated with 
a minister of the Marrow Kirk. The mother, who had died 
in giving her birth, had left behind a broken-hearted com- 
panion who had tried in his long years of ministry to expiate the 
sin he had committed. 

After hearing this revelation, which greatly astonished him, 
Ralph was more than ever convinced that his duty to Winsome 
came before that to the kirk, and, telling Welsh of this decision, 
he took an affectionate farewell of his love and went to his father 
in Edinburgh. The elder Peden was much displeased when he 



48 THE LILAC SUNBONNET 

learned from his son that Allan Welsh had expelled him from 
his house, and said that he could not receive him under his roof 
until he had proved himself innocent of wrong-doing before 
the presbytery. 

Ralph went at once to the house of an uncle, who was an 
"outcast of the true faith," but who gladly sheltered his nephew 
during this trying time. 

Ralph, having made the decision to give up his ministerial 
career, devoted himself to literary pursuits, and was soon able 
to make Winsome his wife and to overcome his father's dis- 
pleasure. 

A parting glimpse of this united couple, some years later, 
shows them in their own home and with their children about 
their knees. They are the same devoted lovers as of yore. Lit- 
tle five-year-old Mistress Winifred appears upon the scene, be- 
decked in an old sunbonnet, which is frayed and faded and has 
lost both strings. Ralph stoops and kisses it and the face under 
it, and then looks up and kisses his wife, who is still his sweet- 
heart; for the love the lilac sunbonnet had brought them so many 
years ago is still fresh with the dew of their youth. 



GEORGE CROLY 

(Ireland, 1780 England, 1860) 

SALATHIEL, A STORY OF THE PAST, PRESENT 
AND FUTURE ( 1 8 2 7) 

This is the author's chief novel. It is founded on the ancient legend of 
the Wandering Jew. The first account of this legendary person is the narrative 
of Matthew Paris, of the thirteenth century, and he has since formed the in- 
spiration for many stories, notably that by Eugene Sue. He has been reported 
as having been met with in various lands and towns, the last rumor to that effect 
coming from England in the year 1830. 

jjARRY THOU TILL I COME!" The words 
shot through me I felt them like an arrow in 
my heart my brain whirled my eyes grew dim. 
The troops, the priests, the populace, the world, 
passed away from before my senses like phan- 
toms. But my mind had a horrible clearness. 
The whole expanse of the future spread under 
my mental gaze. I saw at once the whole guilt 
> of my crime the fierce folly the mad ingrati- 
tude the desperate profanation. I lived over again in fright- 
ful distinctness every act and instant of the night of my un- 
speakable sacrilege. Accursed be the night in which I fell 
before the tempter! Every fiber of my frame quivers, every drop 
of my blood curdles, as I still hear the echo of the anathema, 
that on the night of wo sprang first from my lips: "His BLOOD 

BE UPON US, AND UPON OUR CHILDREN!" 

I heard through all the voices of Jerusalem I should have 
heard through all the thunders of heaven the calm, low voice: 
"Tarry thou till I come!" 

I felt my fate at once! Immortality on Earth! the com- 
pulsion of perpetual existence in a world made for change. I 

A.D., VOL. vi. 4 49 




5 o SALATHIEL 

would rather have b ;en blown about on the storms of every 
region of the universe. 

Immortality on Earth! I was still in the vigor of life; but 
must it be always so? Might I not sink into a perpetual sick- 
bed, decrepitude, pain, disease, madness? Yet this was to be 
borne for ages and ages! 

Immortality on Earth! I was to survive my country. I 
was to feel the still keener misery of surviving all whom I loved. 
In the world I must remain, and remain alone. 

Overwhelmed with despair, I rushed through Jerusalem. 
It was the time of the Passover and the city was crowded. Ter- 
ror exhausted me; and, throwing myself on the ground under 
the shade of a palm-tree, I fell asleep. When I awoke a trum- 
pet sounded from the Temple. It was the signal for the daily 
sacrifice, and this day's service fell to me. I rose and found 
my way to my home, and dressed for the altar. At the close of 
the sacrifice the trampling of multitudes, and cries of fury and 
fear, echoed round the Temple, and a gloom overspread the sky. 
The darkness deepened, the blackness of night fell far and fear- 
ful upon the horizon. I felt that I was the cause of this calam- 
ity, and I determined at once to fly from my priesthood, from 
my kindred and my country. Through the solid gloom I made 
my way to my dwelling, and found my wife in terror. I threw 
off my priestly robe, and followed by my wife, with our child in 
her arms, I went forth. I left wealth behind me, but I cared 
not for that. 

I made my way among the crowds that strewed the court 
of the Gentiles. Everyone was prostrate with terror. Sud- 
denly a large sphere of fire shot fiercely through the heavens. 
It stopped above the city and exploded with a thunderous sound, 
covering the Temple with a blaze of light that showed every 
outline of the architecture. Again, all vanished, and I heard 
the roar of an earthquake. In the next moment I felt the 
ground give way beneath me, a sulphurous vapor took away my 
breath, and I was swept away in a whirlwind of dust and ashes! 

When I recovered all was changed. I was in a tent, and 
Miriam, my wife, was beside me. I had been flung under the 
shelter of one of those caves which abound in the gorges of the 
mountains around Jerusalem, and Miriam and her infant were 



GEORGE CROLY 51 

at my side. A troop of our kinsmen found us and brought us 
on their camels to Samaria. 

I pass over some years. The sunshine of life was gone; I 
found myself incapable of contentment. I protest against being 
charged with ambition; but I was weary of the utter unpro- 
ductiveness of the animal enjoyments with which the multitude 
round me were content. I longed for an opportunity of con- 
tributing my mite to the solid possessions by which posterity is 
wiser, happier, or purer than the generation before it. I was 
not grieved by the change which I saw overshadowing the gor- 
geous empire of Rome. 

I followed my tribe on their annual progress to the Holy 
City. Trumpets now rang; I recognized the charging shout of 
the Romans. I found my kinsmen in front, battling desperately 
against the long spears of a Roman column, and burst into the 
circle of their spears, waving my standard. I was hailed with 
shouts, and the men of Naphtali claimed me for their own. In 
one night the Holy City was cleared of every foot of the idolater. 

At a meeting of the council, Onias, who had been High Priest, 
was opposed to war with Rome. His had been a life of am- 
bition. By the dagger, and by subserviency to the Roman 
procurators, he had risen to the highest rank below the throne. 
He wished to send an embassy to the proconsul, and his words 
were received with applause. My voice was at length heard; 
the name of Salathiel had become powerful. 

"War," I exclaimed, "is wisdom, honor, security." 

My words were few, but they were followed by shouts for 
instant battle. The result of our deliberation was that Israel 
should make a last grand effort. With me, every pulse was 
now for war. Attempts had been made by our rulers to pro- 
pitiate the Roman emperor, but their answer was the march of 
a legion to Jerusalem. 

I returned to my home to find it in ruins, ind my wife and 
daughters gone, I knew not whert. My brain had received an 
overwhelming blow, and for a time I was mad, but not all my 
madness was painful. Books, my old delight, still lulled my 
mind. I imagined myself the great King of Babylon, Bd- 
shazzar. I sat in the halls of glory; then I was driven out to 
sea in a bark that let in every wave. I struggled to reach the 



52 SALATHIEL 

land. My visitation changed. ... I wandered at midnight 
through a country of mountains. Worn out with fatigue, I 
lay down upon a rock. I heard a thunder-peal, and soon the 
mountains were in flames. I ran, I flew, with scorching feet. 
The land afforded no further room for flight, and I stood on the 
verge of the ocean. Death was inevitable, and so I plunged 
into the sea. 

Then I was Prometheus on his rock. ... I strayed through 
an Egyptian city; all was silence. . . . I lay in the sepulcher, but 
with the full vividness of life, and with a perfect knowledge that 
there it was my doom to lie forever. 

The past returned to my mind. With the increase of my 
strength, I became a wanderer to great distances among the 
mountains. My kinsmen with whom I dwelt could not restrain 
me. One evening I wandered to the sea, and saw a large war- 
galley running before the wind. Constantius, the commander 
of the vessel, was a Greek. To warn the galley of the nearness 
of the shore, I gathered brushwood and set it on fire. I rushed 
into the surf as the wrecked vessel came to land, and grasped a 
human form that proved to be Miriam. My daughters, too, 
were rescued. 

We returned to our kinsmen, who had rebuilt our home. 
Public events had rapidly ripened in my absence. A menial 
in my house was detected with letters from an agent of the 
Roman governor. They required details of my habits and 
resources. 

Jubal, the son of Miriam's brother Eleazar, wished to marry 
my daughter Salome, but she refused him for she had given her 
heart to Constantius, who was our guest. I sternly reprimanded 
her, and commanded her to marry Jubal. She appeared to 
consent, and preparations for the marriage went forward. When 
the wedding-day arrived she had eloped with Constantius. A 
servant brought me a letter describing two fugitives who had 
made their escape to Cesarea. I was instantly on horseback, 
and entered the gates of the city just as they were about to be 
closed for the night. My attendant went forth to obtain in- 
formation. My door opened, soldiers entered, and I was ar- 
rested. They led me to the palace, where I was taken before 
Gessius Floras. I spent the night in prison, and was then put 



GEORGE CROLY 53 

on board ship for Rome. Nero was to be my judge, and I was 
brought before him in his palace, where he was teaching Greek 
words to a parrot. I was taken to a cell. As the sun sank, the 
door of my cell opened, and a masked figure stood upon the 
threshold. He gave me the dress of a Roman slave, which I 
put on, and followed him. The palace was in confusion. At 
the extremity of the gardens we found horses, and mounted. 
We rode furiously until we were a few miles from Rome. The 
city was on fire. We rode back through indescribable scenes 
of terror and confusion, and reached a palace where fire streamed 
from every window. My companion was in despair on seeing 
a woman at one of the windows. I plunged in and ran from 
room to room. I saw my child, Salome, insensible on the floor, 
and bore her in my arms to the window. She saw my dis- 
figured face and rushed away from me, and I fell to the floor. 

I awoke with a sensation of pain in every limb. An old 
woman and her husband had discovered me among the ruins, 
and I was now in their home. They were Jews, and the hus- 
band went out and brought some elders of our people. I was 
carried to their house of assemblage. The conflagration of 
Rome continued for six days. 

An imperial edict was proclaimed pardoning all offenses on 
the part of whosoever should discover any Christians. My 
safety was important to the Jewish cause. Money soon effected 
the discovery of a Christian assemblage; I appeared before the 
pretor with my documents, and received the imperial pardon. 
The Christians were seized; they were to be executed in the 
gardens of the imperial palace. I was to form a part of the 
ceremony, and my national dress fixed every eye on me. A 
portal of the arena opened and die combatant was led in. His 
eyes turned on mine. It was Constantius! All my rancor 
vanished. He fought a lion, and at last lay motionless on the 
ground. There was a struggle at the portal; a woman rushed 
in and flung herself upon the victim. It was Salome ! I sprang 
upon my feet; I called her name, then plunged into the arena 
by her side. The lion sprang upon me, but it was killed by 
Constantius. Nero waved a signal to the guards; the portal 
was opened, and my children led me from the arena. 

We returned to Judea. I was in the midst of our harvest 



54 SALATHIEL 

when I received the formidable summons to present myself 
before Florus, who had heard of my opulence. I determined to 
retire into the mountains and defy him, so I summoned the 
chief men of the tribe. With Eleazar and Constantius I cast 
my eyes over the map, and an attack on Masada was finally 
planned. Constantius was to march at dusk, and attempt the 
fortress by surprise. Meantime, Eleazar was to rouse his re- 
tainers, and I was to await at their head the result of the enter- 
prise, and if successful, unfurl the standard of Naphtali and 
advance on Jerusalem. 

My preparations were quickly made. I put on an Arabian 
turban, and mounted my favorite barb. After riding some dis- 
tance I was overtaken by a Roman squadron and made prisoner, 
and was taken before Florus. By pretending to be a juggler I 
escaped, and rode rapidly toward Masada, I lost my way, so 
1 dismounted, and wandered about in the darkness. Presently 
my foot struck against a human body. It was Constantius, 
who lay wounded. He had attacked the fortress, but without 
success. I suggested the possibility of gaining the fortress by 
a renewal of the attack. This was done; we overcame the 
Romans, and I became master of the strongest fortress in 
Palestine! The first decided blow of the war was given. I had 
incurred the full wrath of Rome; the trench between me and 
forgiveness was impassable. 

I ordered the great standard of Naphtali to be hoisted on 
the citadel. The huge scarlet folds spread out, majestically 
displaying the emblem of our tribe, the Silver Stag. 

I decided on making a rapid march to Jerusalem. Before 
the week was over T was at the head of a hundred thousand 
men, the champion of a great country. 

My family joined me in Masada. Eleazar took charge of 
them, and also of the command of Masada. By the next dawn 
the trumpet sounded for the march, and I went forth with my 
army. We repulsed the Romans outside the walls of Jerusalem, 
and I determined to give the enemy no respite. The whole 
preparation for the siege of Jerusalem fell into our hands. Then 
was the hour to have struck the final blow for freedom. The 
walls of Bethhoron, manned only with the wreck of the troops 
that we had routed from all their positions, could offer no im- 



GEORGE CROLY 55 

pediment to hands and hearts like ours. I ordered an immedi- 
ate assault. We were twice repulsed, and I headed the third 
attack myself. I was at the summit of fortune! In the next 
moment I felt a sudden shock; darkness covered my eyes, and 
I fell headlong. I awoke in a dungeon. 

In that dungeon I lay for two years! How I lived, or how I 
bore existence, I now have no conception. I was not mad nor 
altogether insensible to things about me, and I made no attempt 
to escape. Cold, heat, hunger, waking, sleep, were the calendar 
of my year. 

Here Jubal found me at last, and together we made our es- 
cape, taking refuge in a cave of smugglers. They had had 
word that the Romans were pursuing them, and they put to sea, 
though stormy the night, taking us with them. We met the 
Roman fleet and attacked it, doing considerable damage. I 
climbed up the side of a Roman trireme, torch in hand, and I 
was a wild and formidable apparition to men already harassed 
out of all courage. They plunged overboard, and I was mon- 
arch of the finest war-galley on the coast of Syria. But I was 
alone, and the ship was on fire. The first sense of triumph was 
past, and I found myself deserted. On the back of a huge wave 
the ship shot out to sea, a flying pyramid of fire. 

A sheet of lightning wrapped sea and sky. It struck the 
hold of my trireme, and there was an explosion. It rose to the 
surface from a prodigious depth, then I was engulfed in a whirl- 
pool. At last I was thrown up to the surface in a little bay 
sheltered by hills. The retiring waves left me; I lay down 
among some trees and fainted. This occurred on a small island 
near the mainland. After several days I swam across the water, 
and, reaching the mainland, set out for Jerusalem, guided by 
sun and star. I reached Masada only to find the city in ruins, 
the Romans having conquered and destroyed it. I wandered 
through the streets and cried aloud, and met Jubal, who told 
me my family had gone to Alexandria. 

"By dawn," said I, "we must set out for Jerusalem." 

That night a squadron of Roman cavalry, marching to Jeru- 
salem, entered the village where we were staying, and we were 
taken prisoners. The cavalry moved at daybreak, and at night 
we saw on the horizon the hills surrounding Jerusalem. Our 



56 SALATHIEL 

final station was upon the hill of Scopas, seven furlongs from 
Jerusalem. I now saw Jerusalem only in her final struggle. 
Others have given the history of that most memorable siege, 
but my own knowledge was limited to the last hideous days of 
an existence long declining. 

A midnight tempest aroused me; a flash of lightning struck 
the tower in which I was confined. A column of infantry passed 
while I was extricating myself from the ruins, and I followed 
them. 

I wandered day by day, an utter stranger, through Jerusa- 
lem. All the familiar faces were gone. I had rescued Con- 
stantius, but he was so severely wounded that I could not ques- 
tion him regarding my family. In the furious warfare that 
went on within the walls of the city, I took my share with the 
rest; handled the spear, and fought and watched without think- 
ing of any distinction of rank. 

On the night that the fatal wall was completed, and Titus 
was going its round in triumph, I led an attack against the 
Romans. They were surprised, and we repulsed them and 
fired the rampart. A fearful storm came up, and flight was in 
vain. The weapons were seen to drop from the Jewish host, 
and despair seized upon our souls. The whole multitude scat- 
tered silently, with soundless steps, like an army of specters. 

In the deepest dejection I returned to the city. On my way 
to my comfortless shelter I heard the singing of a hymn, as I 
passed a large building. I thought I knew the voices. I struck 
open the door, and beheld my wife and daughters. I took them 
to my lodging, and to Constantius. 

It was the season of the Passover, and the sons of Judea 
were once more filling the courts of the city. The enemy, evi- 
dently disheartened by their late losses and the destruction of 
the rampart, remained collected in their camps. The hope of 
treaty with the besiegers was now nearly desperate. My name 
was high; and my decided refusal of all command gave me an 
influence that threw more grasping ambition into the shade. 

I had rescued Septimius, a Roman officer, and brought him 
to my house, where he remained my guest for some weeks. On 
returning from a walk one day, I found that he had left us, and 
my daughter Esther was missing. It was nearly midnight, but 



GEORGE CROLY 57 

I set out at once to see the Roman general. On my way I was 
taken prisoner and confined in a tower. From this place I was 
helped to escape by a minstrel, but was again taken prisoner 
and brought before Cestus. I was imprisoned in a huge coun- 
try mansion, within sound of a fierce battle. 

The war had progressed from one cruelty to another. To 
the Roman the Jew was a rebel, and he had a rebel's treatment. 
I made my escape and flew to the tent of Titus, to implore him 
to spare the life of Eleazar, who was to be crucified. I was 
admitted to his presence, but he refused to save Eleazar, and 
begged me to join the Roman forces. I refused to desert my 
countrymen. 

"Spare Eleazar," was all that I could utter. Titus made a 
sign to a tribune, who flew to bear, if not too late, the command 
of mercy. 

I was about to depart when a note was brought to Titus of 
a tenor that caused him to suspect me of the design of intending 
to assassinate him. He said he felt that he must detain me, 
but that my treatment should be honorable. 

I was confined in a large building a few miles from the camp, 
but I made my escape at night and reached a little forest. On 
emerging from it, a long line of light to the south showed me 
where Jerusalem was struggling against an assault. I joined 
a multitude of Jews marching to the city. The Romans 
attacked us with partial success. But the population, once 
aroused, was terrible to an enemy fighting against walls and 
ramparts, and the assailants, after long slaughter on both sides, 
were drawn off at the sight of our columns moving from the 
hills. We thus marched in unassailed, a host of fifty thousand 
men. I was again arrested and confined in a dungeon, and 
shortly after midnight I was brought before the tribunal. Loud 
shouts soon put an end to the tribunal, and I was taken back to 
my dungeon. The enemy was attacking the citadel. In my 
cell daylight never came. The air grew close, as the heat in- 
creased, and at last the walls began to split under its intensity. 
There was an explosion, and I found myself at the bottom of a 
valley, with the tower of Antonia five hundred feet above me. 
I crept through the deserted entrenchments of the enemy, and 
reached the city. The whole force of the enemy had been 



5 8 SALATHIEL 

brought up for final assault, and every portion of the walls was 
<he scene of unprecedented fury of battle. The Jews fought 
the enemy with the rage of wild beasts, and the legions at length 
established themselves in front of the Sanctuary, whereat a howl 
of wrath rose from the multitude. My attack had repelled the 
legionaries, and Titus, exhausted and dispirited, began to with- 
draw the routed columns from the front of the Temple. The 
inner Temple was in a blaze, for a new enemy had come fire! 
The Romans rushed to the portal but they were doomed. They 
rushed back, tore down the veil, and the Holy of Holies stood 
open! On the sacred Ark the flames had no power. 

Bleeding, blind, frantic, I still fought until I sank under a 
heap of dead. In defiance of all prediction, I now believed my 
death inevitable. Simultaneously I heard the shouts of the 
conquerors and the fall of the pillars of the Temple. I wel- 
comed the living grave! In all the wildness of the uproar again 
I heard the voice: "TARRY THOU TILL I COME!" The world 
disappeared from before me! 



Here I pause. My life as father, husband, and citizen was 
at an end. Thenceforth I was to be a solitary being. In re- 
venge for the fall of Jerusalem, I traversed the globe to seek 
out an enemy of Rome. I stirred up the soul of Alaric and led 
him to the rock of Rome. In revenge for the insults heaped on 
the Jew in the city of Constantino, I sought out an instrument 
of compendious ruin, and found him in the Arabian sands, and 
I poured ambition into the soul of the enthusiast of Mecca. In 
revenge for the pollution of the ruins of the Temple, I roused 
the iron tribes of the West, and at the head of the crusaders 
expelled the Saracens. 

A passion to pry into the mysteries of nature seized me, and 
I toiled with the alchemist. A passion for fame seized me, and 
I drew my sword in the Italian wars. Then a passion for gold 
seized me, so I found a bold Genoese and led him to the dis- 
covery of a new world. 

But calmer and nobler aspirations were to rise in my melan- 
choly heart. I saw at last the birth of true science, true liberty, 
and true wisdom. I lived with Petrarch, and stood enraptured 



GEORGE CROLY 59 

beside the easels of Angelo and Raphael. I conversed with the 
merchant kings of the Mediterranean, and stood at Mentz be- 
side the wonder-working machine that makes knowledge im- 
perishable. At the pulpit of the mighty man of Wurtemberg 
I knelt; Israelite as I was, and am, I did voluntary homage to 
the mind of Luther! 

I have more to tell strange, magnificent, and sad. 

But I must wait the impulse of my heart. Or, can the happy 
and the high-born, treading upon roses, have an ear for the 
story of the Exile, whose path has for a thousand years been in 
the brier and the thorn? 



MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 

(United States, 1827-1866) 
THE LAMPLIGHTER (1854) 

This story for young readers has been in constant demand for half a century. 
At the time of its publication it enjoyed an immediate popularity, second only 
to Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Scarlet Letter, which were then the most recent 
successes in American fiction. Forty thousand copies of The Lamplighter were 
sold within the first two months and its authorized sales soon exceeded one hun- 
dred and twenty thousand copies. It was its author's first book and by far the 
most popular of her works. Originally written for the entertainment of a sick 
niece, to whom it brought great joy during a long illness, its author had no 
thought of its publication. The manuscript, however, soon found friends, at 
whose urgent request it was brought out anonymously. But its writer was 
soon identified as Miss Cummins, the fact that one of its characters was drawn 
closely from a recognizable person leading to the discovery of the author. 

was growing dark in the city. Upon the door- 
step of a low-roofed, unwholesome-looking house 
sat a little girl, gazing up the street with much 
earnestness. She was scantily clad in garments 
of the poorest description, and her uncombed 
hair hung in a thick mass about her sharp and 
sallow little face. Her eyes were dark and hand- 
some, but so unnaturally large that in contrast 
to her pinched features, they only increased the 
peculiarity of her appearance. She was but eight years old, 
and all alone in the world; no one loved her or treated her 
kindly, and she loved no one. 

There was one thing only in which she found pleasure, and 
that was in watching for the coming of the old man who lighted 
the street-lamp in front of the house. To see the bright torch 
he carried flicker in the wind and then to see him run up his 
ladder and light the lamp so easily, was the one gleam of joy 
that was shed daily on her desolate little heart. She had never 




MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 61 

spoken to the lamplighter nor had he ever apparently noticed 
her; nevertheless she felt as if he were a friend. 

"Gerty," suddenly exclaimed a harsh voice within, "have 
you been for the milk?" 

The child made no answer, but, gliding off the doorstep ran 
quickly round the corner of the house and hid a little out of 
sight. Her hiding-place was soon discovered by Nan Grant, 
the owner of the voice, and with one blow for her "ugliness" 
and another for her "impudence" Gerty was despatched for 
the milk. 

She ran fast, fearing the lamplighter would come in her 
absence, and was rejoiced on her return to catch sight of him 
just going up his ladder. She stationed herself at the foot of it, 
and was so engaged in watching the bright flame that she did 
not observe when the man began to descend; and as he sprang 
to the ground he struck against her and she fell upon the pave- 
ment. "Hullo, my little one!" exclaimed he, "how's this?" 

She was upon her feet in an instant; for she was so used to 
hard knocks that she did not mind a few bruises. But the milk! 
it was all spilt. 

"Well, now, I declare!" said the man, "that's too bad! 
what'll mammy say? Never mind if she does scold you a lit- 
tle. Tell her I did it. I'll bring you something to-morrow 
that I think you'll like. But didn't I hurt you? What was you 
doing with my ladder?" 

"I was seeing you light the lamp," said Gerty, "and I ain't 
hurt a bit; but I wish I hadn't spilt the milk." 

When Nan Grant came to the door she saw what had hap- 
pened, and pulled the child into the house, with blows, threats, 
and profane and brutal language. The lamplighter tried to 
appease her; but she shut the door in his face. Gerty was 
scolded, beaten, deprived of the crust she usually got for her 
supper, and shut up in her dark attic for the night. Her mother 
had died in Nan Grant's house five years before; and she had 
been tolerated there since, because Nan had reasons of her own 
for keeping her, not caring to excite inquiries by trying to dis- 
pose of her elsewhere. 

When Gerty found herself locked up for the night in the 
dark garret, she began to stamp and scream, tried to open the 



62 THE LAMPLIGHTER 

door, and shouted: "I hate you, Nan Grant! Old Nan Grant, 
I hate you!" But nobody came near her; and, after a while, 
she grew more quiet, went and threw herself down on her mis- 
erable bed, and sobbed and cried until she was utterly ex- 
hausted; then gradually growing calmer she looked out of her 
miserable little window and saw shining down upon her one 
bright star. It seemed to say : " Gerty, poor little Gerty ! " She 
thought it seemed like a kind face that she had seen a long time 
ago, and she fell asleep wondering who had lit it, and how the 
person who did so had managed to get up so high. 

The following night Gerty was at her post to watch for her 
friend the lamplighter. When he came he greeted her kindly 
and put into her arms a little gray and white kitten. Gerty was 
delighted with the gift, but knowing Nan Grant would never 
consent to her keeping it, resolved to hide it in her garret. 

For a month Gerty was able to keep her secret, feeding the 
kitten with scraps from her own poor meals, carrying it in and 
out of the house tucked away in her clothing and lavishing upon 
it all the affection of her half-starved nature. Then came the 
terrible moment when Nan, discovering the kitten devouring 
some remnants of food on the table, seized it and flung it into 
a kettle of boiling water, where the poor little animal struggled 
and writhed in torture for a moment and then died. 

All the fury of Gerty's nature was aroused by this cruel ac- 
tion, and seizing a stick of wood which lay near her, she hurled 
it at Nan with all her strength, striking her in the head and 
making a wound that caused the blood to flow. 

Nan's anger against Gerty was so great that she hardly felt 
the blow, and seizing her roughly she thrust her out of the house, 
saying, "Ye'll never darken my doors again, yer imp of wick- 
edness"; and the child was left alone in the cold, dark night. 

When Gerty found herself in the street, horror and grief 
at the fate of the only thing she loved in the world filled her 
soul, and crouching against the house with her face hid in her 
hands she gave vent to a succession of piercing shrieks. From 
this state of misery she was rescued by Trucman Flint, the lamp- 
lighter, who, after fruitlessly endeavoring to make her peace 
with Nan Grant, took her with him to his own home. 

Trueman. or True Flint, as he was generally called, was a 



MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 63 

middle-aged bachelor who lived by himself in the rear of a two- 
story house, where he took the entire care of himself and his 
rooms. He had come to Boston (where the scene of this story 
is laid) at the age of fifteen, a penniless orphan, and since that 
time had supported himself by whatever employment he could 
obtain. 

Before becoming a lamplighter he had worked for a wealthy 
merchant, Mr. Graham, in whose employ he had sustained an 
injury which had incapacitated him for further hard labor. 
Appreciating his faithful services Mr. Graham had secured for 
him his present place, and he and his blind daughter Emily had 
been True's generous benefactors for many years. 

Gerty's first real experience of comfort and happiness was 
when, seated by True's blazing fire, she shared his simple sup- 
per. Later, when she had fallen into a troubled sleep she mur- 
mured plaintively: "Dear, good old man, let me stay with you, 
do let me stay." 

To this petition, True, who was of a kind and deeply re- 
ligious nature, responded: "Stay with me, so you shall, poor 
little birdie, all alone in this big world; so am I. Please God 
we'll bide together." 

Through a severe illness that followed, Gerty was tenderly 
nursed by her kind protector, assisted by a sympathetic neigh- 
bor, Mrs. Sullivan, the widow of a clergyman, who had died 
when her only son, Willie, was an infant; since that time she 
had made her home with her father, a sexton named Cooper, a 
warm friend of Trueman Flint's. 

Mrs. Sullivan was a noble and God-fearing woman whose 
life was an example to all who knew her. Her son was a hand- 
some and manly little fellow three years Gerty's senior, who 
showed plainly the result of his mother's careful training. 

Several years of happiness for Gerty followed her advent 
into the home of Trueman Flint; and in the Christian atmos- 
phere which surrounded her she became a docile and obedient 
girl. Her devotion to the kind lamplighter was unbounded 
and she endeavored in every way to repay him for the kindness 
he had shown her. The last year of True's life he was a great 
invalid, being rendered almost helpless by a paralytic shock, 
and Gerty was his devoted nurse and loving companion. Be- 



64 THE LAMPLIGHTER 

fore his death the anxiety he felt with regard to leaving Gerty 
was greatly relieved by the assurance of Miss Graham that 
Gerty should always have a home with her. 

Gerty had now reached the age of thirteen, and ever since 
her coming to the home of Trueman Flint she and Willie Sulli- 
van had been inseparable companions. The two children 
loved each other deeply, and Willie's influence over Gerty, 
which was always of the best, inspired in her a feeling akin to 
worship. 

After going to live with Miss Graham, Gerty was sent to a 
private school and educated to become a teacher. 

A great sorrow came to her before long in the departure of 
Willie for Calcutta, where he was sent by his employer for a 
stay of several years. Before leaving, Willie took an affection- 
ate farewell of Gerty and received her promise to look after his 
mother and grandfather. 

By the time Gerty had reached the age of eighteen years she 
had developed into a charming and lovable girl, and while she 
was not strictly handsome, possessed a winning personality 
which made her greatly admired. 

She was devoted to her dear friend Emily Graham, whose 
beautiful nature inspired her with an affection which showed 
itself in untiring service. 

Gerty's life in the Graham household was most agreeable, 
as she had the constant companionship of Emily and was sur- 
rounded by all the comforts and luxuries which wealth could 
supply. Mr. Graham, a stern and quick-tempered man, 
idolized his blind daughter and did everything in his power to 
make her happy, gratifying her every wish. For this reason he 
gladly educated Gerty and gave her a home, feeling repaid by 
the pleasure which his daughter derived from this arrange- 
ment. 

When Gerty finished school, Mr. Graham made a plan for a 
Southern trip to last for several months and to include a visit 
to Bermuda and to several other places. He counted on 
Gerty's accompanying his daughter as her companion. There 
was nothing that the girl would more thoroughly have enjoyed; 
but just at this time Mrs. Sullivan was taken seriously ill, and 
Mr. Cooper being in failing health, Gerty felt it her duty to 



MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 65 

minister to them. This decision, which meant real self-sacri- 
fice on her part, was received by Mr. Graham with much anger 
and indignation. He upbraided her for her ingratitude and 
told her he would have nothing more to do with her. 

Gerty was deeply hurt by Mr. Graham's attitude toward 
her, but feeling it was her duty to stay with Mrs. Sullivan she 
did not alter her decision. 

She tended Willie's mother and grandfather faithfully till 
their deaths, and wrote the sorrowing son long letters acquaint- 
ing him with all details of his mother's last days on earth. 

When all was over, Gerty found herself once more alone; 
and so taking a room with some friends she continued her teach- 
ing, which she had taken up upon leaving the Grahams. 

In course of time Gerty learned that during the Southern 
trip Mr. Graham had contracted a second marriage with a dis- 
agreeable woman who was not at all congenial to his daughter 
Emily. This news was soon followed by plans for a European 
trip, in which Gerty was ungraciously requested by Mr. Graham 
to join them as his daughter's companion. 

Gerty overlooked Mr. Graham's discourteous letter and de- 
cided on account of Emily to accept; but before the trip ma- 
terialized Mr. Graham was taken ill and Gerty and Emily 
took merely a trip to Saratoga. 

On the journey Gerty became acquainted with an interesting 
man named Phillips, who conversed with her at every oppor- 
tunity, but avoided meeting Miss Graham. He was prema- 
turely gray, seeming like a man who had known deep sorrow, 
and was quite a mystery to those who came in contact with him. 

While in Saratoga, to Gerty 's intense surprise she recog- 
nized one day on the street her old friend, Willie Sullivan, whom 
she supposed still in Calcutta. He was handsomer than ever, 
and was with his employer's daughter, Isabel Clinton, a school- 
mate of Gerty 's, to whom he seemed to be paying marked 
attention. 

He passed Gerty without recognizing her and this seemed to 
her the tragic ending of the dream she had lived in so long. 
For years she had looked forward to Willie's return as the 
climax of all her hopes; and now he had come back and the 
friend of his childhood was apparently completely forgotten. 
A.D., VOL. vi. 5 



66 THE LAMPLIGHTER 

Gerty was heart-broken and was glad that she and Emily 
were to leave Saratoga on the following day. When taking the 
steamer on the Hudson, Gerty again saw Willie, apparently 
taking an earnest farewell of Miss Clinton, who was taking 
passage on the same boat with them. 

Before reaching their destination the steamer was discov- 
ered to be on fire, and a horrible scene ensued. The passengers 
were frenzied with fear; shrieks rose upon the air, and many 
a brave heart sickened in the terrible ordeal. Gerty suddenly 
felt herself encircled by a pair of powerful arms while a familiar 
voice gasped the words: "Gertrude, my child! my own darling! 
Be quiet be quiet! I will save you!" 

Well might he urge her to be quiet, for she was struggling 
madly. "No, no!" shouted she. "Emily! Emily! Let me 
die! let me die! but I must find Emily!" 

"Where is she?" asked Mr. Phillips; for it was he. 

"There, there," pointed Gertrude, "in the cabin. Let me 
go! let me go!" 

He cast one look around him, then said in a firm tone : " Be 
calm, my child! I can save you both; follow me closely!" 

With a leap he cleared the staircase, and rushed into the 
cabin. In the farthest corner knelt Emily, her head thrown 
back, her hands clasped, and her face like the face of an 
angel. 

Gertrude and Mr. Phillips were by her side in an instant. 
He stooped to lift her in his arms, Gertrude at the same time 
exclaiming: "Come, Emily, come! He will save us!" 

But Emily resisted. "Leave me, Gertrude leave me, and 
save yourself!" and to the stranger: "Oh, leave me, and save 
pay child!" Ere the words had left her lips, however, she was 
borne half-way across the saloon, Gertrude following closely. 

"If we can cross to the bows of the boat, we are safe!" said 
Mr. Phillips in a husky voice. 

To do so, however, proved impossible. The whole center 
of the boat was now one sheet of flame. "Good heavens I" 
he exclaimed, "we are too late! we must go back!" 

Mr. Phillips's first thought, on gaining the saloon, was to 
beat down a window-sash, spring upon the guards, and drag 
Emily and Gertrude after him. Some ropes hung upon the 



MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 67 

guards; he seized one, and with the ease and skill of an old sailor 
made it fast to the boat; then turned to Gertrude, who stood 
firm and unwavering by his side. 

"Gertrude," said he, speaking distinctly and steadily, "I 
shall swim to the shore with Emily. If the fire comes too near, 
cling to the guards; as a last chance, hold on to the rope. Keep 
your veil flying; I shall return." 

"No, no!" cried Emily. "Gertrude, go first!" 

"Hush, Emily!" exclaimed Gertrude; "we shall both be 
saved." 

"Cling to my shoulder in the water, Emily," said Mr. Phil- 
lips, utterly regardless of her protestations. He took her once 
more in his arms; there was a splash and they were gone. At 
the same instant Gertrude was seized from behind. She turned, 
and found herself grasped by Isabel Clinton, who, kneeling 
upon the platform and frantic with terror, was clinging so closely 
to her as utterly to disable them both, at the same time shrieking 
in pitiable tones: "O Gertrude! Gertrude! save me!" And 
now a new and heroic resolution took possession of the mind of 
Gertrude. One of them could be saved, for Mr. Phillips was 
within a few rods of the wreck. It should be Isabel! She had 
called on her for protection, and it should not be denied her! 
Moreover, Willie loved Isabel. Willie would weep for her loss, 
and that must not be. He would not weep for Gertrude at 
least not much; and if one must die, it should be she. 

This unselfish resolve taken, Gerty slipped her veil over 
Isabel's face and after seeing her safe in Mr. Phillips's arms, 
seized a piece of rope and gave herself to the mercy of the 
waves. 

It was not meant, however, that this noble life should be 
sacrificed, and Gerty was rescued. Neither she nor Emily suf- 
fered except from the shock of the terrible experience through 
which they had passed. 

Soon after their return home Gerty received a letter from 
Mr. Phillips which filled her with amazement and joy. 

In it he explained that he was her father, that his real name 
was Philip Amory and that he had been Emily Graham's un- 
fortunate lover, whom she had thought dead for many years. 
He told of the terrible experience in which he had accidentally 



68 THE LAMPLIGHTER 

caused Emily's blindness and which had blighted his whole life 
as well as hers. 

While engaged to her, and in her father's employ, the latter 
had falsely accused him of forgery, while in her presence, and 
Emily fainting from the shock, he had snatched what he sup- 
posed was a restorative and dashed it wildly into her face. To 
his horror he found he had seized a violent poison which ruined 
her eyesight forever. His anguish knew no bounds, and while 
Emily lay in her darkened room the family gave him to under- 
stand that she would never forgive him; and so, nearly crazed 
with grief, he embarked on a vessel bound for a foreign land. 
While on the voyage the captain died leaving his daughter, a 
gentle young girl, who had been kind to Philip in his grief, 
orphaned and alone. 

Philip felt deep sympathy for her in her lonely condition 
and decided to marry her as she had no one else in the world 
to whom to turn. 

A little daughter was born of this union, and two months 
after this event Philip was called to a foreign land on business, 
where he was stricken with a fever and lay for weeks at the 
point of death. After his recovery, months later, he returned 
to his home to find it deserted and his wife and child gone. He 
was unable to trace them, though he searched for them un- 
ceasingly, but after many years he learned their history through 
a sailor named Ben Grant in whose home his wife had died. 

Learning that his lost child had been adopted by Emily 
Graham, he returned to his early home to see her without ob- 
truding himself on the Grahams, who, he presumed, retained 
the same bitter feeling against him. 

Gerty responded at once to her father's appeal for her affec- 
tion and after the many years of separation the sorrowing parent 
and his child were at last happily reunited. 

This event was speedily followed by the reconciliation of 
Philip and Emily, as the latter had always loved him and had 
mourned him for years as dead, so that his return brought her 
unspeakable happiness. 

Soon also was the misunderstanding between Gerty and 
Willie cleared away, the former realizing how entirely mistaken 
she had been in her hasty judgment of her old friend. 



MARIA SUSANNA CUMMINS 69 

After her return from Saratoga, Willie immediately sought 
her out and greeted her with his old-time affection, but Gerty 
felt he could not be sincere in his expressions and treated him 
coldly. 

On the seventh anniversary of Uncle True's death, Gerty 
went to the cemetery to put flowers on his grave, and while there 
sadly uttered the following words: "Oh, Uncle True! you and 
I are not parted yet; but Willie is not of us!" 

"Oh, Gertrude," said a reproachful voice at her side, "is 
Willie to blame for that?" 

She started, turned, saw the object of her thoughts with his 
mild eyes fixed inquiringly upon her, and without replying to 
his question buried her face in her hands. 

He threw himself upon the ground at her feet, gently lifted 
her bowed head from the hands upon which it had fallen, and 
compelled her to look him in the face, saying at the same time, 
in the most imploring accents: "Tell me, Gerty, in pity tell me 
why am I excluded from your sympathy?" 

But still she made no reply, except by the tears that coursed 
down her cheeks. 

"You make me miserable," continued he vehemently. 
"What have I done that you have so shut me out from your 
affection? Why do you look so coldly upon me and even 
shrink from my sight?" added he, as Gertrude, unable to en- 
dure his steadfast, searching look, turned her eyes in another 
direction, and strove to free her hands from his grasp. 

Then she explained that she had witnessed his apparent de- 
votion to Isabel Clinton in Saratoga, and had become con- 
vinced that he loved her and no longer cared for his childhood's 
friend. 

Willie was amazed at Gerty 's words, and at once explained 
how he was called to Saratoga to the bedside of his sick em- 
ployer, as soon as he reached his native land, and in that way 
was prevented from going first to her, as he had intended doing. 
If Gerty had heard him urge Miss Clinton not to leave Saratoga, 
it was entirely on her father's account that he had done so, as 
he could not believe she could be so heartless as to leave the 
sick man in his miserable condition of health. 

When Willie had finished, Gerty looked up at him through 



70 THE LAMPLIGHTER 

a rain of tears and said: "You understand my coldness now, 
you know why I dared not let my heart speak out?" 

"And this was all, then?" cried Willie; "and you are free 
and I may love you still?" 

"Free from all bonds, dear Willie, but those which you your- 
self clasped around me, and which have encircled me from my 
childhood." 

And now, with heart pressed to heart, they pour in each 
other's ears the tale of a mutual affection, planted in infancy, 
nourished in youth, fostered and strengthened amid separation 
and absence, and perfected through trial, to bless and sanctify 
every year of their after-life. 

Very soon the two loyal and devoted lovers were married, 
and this happy event was shortly followed by the marriage of 
Philip and Emily; the latter, in spite of her frail health and 
great infirmity, finally agreeing to give herself to the man who 
loved her so truly and who desired nothing in life but to make 
her declining years happy. 



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 

(United States, 1824-1892) 
TRUMPS (1856) 

This is the second of the two novels by this author, who was destined to 
be known rather as a political reformer and an essayist on uncompromising 
moral standards than as a novelist. It is specially noted in American literature 
as foreshadowing those characteristics which have been since raised by the 
preaching and practise of William Dean Howells into a distinct school of fiction. 

^MONG the principal senior boys in the boarding- 
school of Mr. Gray at Delafield were Abel Newt, 
Gabriel Bennett, and a lad known as Little 
Malacca. The beauty of the young heiress, 
Hope Wayne, granddaughter of the rich manu- 
facturer Burt, whose residence was near by, had 
occasioned much discussion among the students. 
They greatly desired to obtain the entree of the 
house, which was jealously guarded. Abel, au- 
dacious and unscrupulous as he was good-looking, succeeded 
by representing himself as an artist desiring to sketch. He 
made an impression on her innocent nature; and the fact that 
she witnessed, when passing in her carriage, a cruel battering 
given by Abel Newt to his school-fellow Gabriel Bennett, did 
not lessen the feeling. Gabriel was taken to her own house to 
be nursed, but she nevertheless clung to the image of his con- 
queror as a bold and dashing hero. When he had completed 
his eighteenth year he was taken from school by his father, a 
commission dry-goods merchant, and inaugurated into business 
with the purpose of his early becoming a partner in the firm of 
Boniface Newt and Company. 

The Newt family, reputed among the New York aristoc- 
racy of trade and society, was represented by two brothers totally 

71 




72 TRUMPS 

different in taste, temperament, and character; Lawrence, the 
younger, also a successful merchant, being as generous and 
high-minded as Boniface was hard and self-seeking. The 
former, in his earlier life an East Indian resident, had mellowed 
much in foreign travel. Boniface, a Tammany Sachem as well 
as a man of business, aspired to all that came within the ten- 
tacles of that intersecting sphere. His philosophy of life was 
expressed in a homily to his son, shortly after the young man 
had entered his counting-room: "In this world we must do the 
best we can. As a rule, men are rascals. Because your neigh- 
bors are dishonest, why should you starve? People are goug- 
ing, and skimming, and sucking all around. A lie well stuck 
to is better than the truth wavering. The only happy people 
are the rich. I am not here to look out for other men I am 
here to take care of myself, for no one else will." Abel received 
this with tongue stuck in check, as if saying to himself: "You 
old innocent, don't you suppose I know these things already?" 

Miss Fanny Newt, a handsome, bold-eyed girl, twin to her 
brother's character, and a younger sister, May, of more gentle 
and shrinking temper, completed a typical New York house- 
hold; for Mrs. Newt was little else than her husband's sounding- 
board. About the same time that Abel entered his father's 
business, Gabriel Bennett was accepted as a clerk by Lawrence 
Newt, who recognized speedily, in the applicant's account of 
himself, the son of a lady he had known. Mr. Bennett, a gen- 
tle, scholarly man, had failed in business and was now book- 
keeper for an ignorant curmudgeon, yet a highly successful 
banker and money-lender, Jacob Van Boozenberg. 

At a party given by Mrs. Newt, Abel was making violent 
love to Miss Grace Plumer, a rich Southern heiress, when the 
two passed close to a settee in the conservatory where sat Law- 
rence Newt and Hope Wayne; for Abel's uncle had recently 
made the acquaintance of the young lady in virtue of having 
been a former friend of her family. Hope heard the ardent 
words spoken, and colored deeply as she met this pseudo-ad- 
mirer's eye. Already had the ambition of Abel planned a rich 
marriage and the pursuit of every trail thitherward. When he 
had to leave Grace to another wooer, Sligo Moultrie, also a rich 
Southerner, and turned in vain to recover the favor of Miss 



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 73 

Wayne, she eluded him, and Abel thought bitterly to himself: 
"What a fool I am: I have lost Hope Wayne before I had won 
her!" 

If the brother was thus animated by the commercial ideal 
of love, it was also the guiding animus of his sister Fanny. She 
had fixed her eyes on Alfred Binks, a stupid young man of for- 
tune, the son of a man of reputed wealth, a cousin, too, of Hope 
Wayne, with some expectations from the Burt importance. 
There had been a rumor that the two would marry. To win 
young Binks then would be to Fanny's intriguing mind a double 
coup in the interests of the Newt family. 

Lawrence Newt introduced Hope at the same party to Miss 
Amy Waring, a beautiful girl whose charm and goodness ex- 
pressed themselves with winning directness in her face, and 
the two became great friends in after-time. Nor did this lessen 
because Miss Waring, who had begun to entertain a half- 
unconscious affection for Lawrence, suspected that, singularly 
young in heart and nature though a middle-aged man, he was 
drawn powerfully to Hope Wayne. She was yet to learn that 
this evident tenderness grew from the fact that Lawrence in 
early manhood had been the accepted lover of Hope's mother, 
whose heart was broken by an enforced marriage with the bril- 
liant and heartless Colonel Wayne, supposed to be a man of 
large estate. The memory of this disappointment had kept 
Lawrence a bachelor for many years; and it was not till he met 
Amy Waring, a cousin of Gabriel Bennett, that his heart blos- 
somed anew with a passion as genuine as that of his youth. 
Then frequent association in enterprises of human sympathy 
and helpfulness had drawn them the more closely together, 
though this sort of rapprochement perhaps deceived them a little 
as to the real nature of the mutual sentiment. 

During the Saratoga season Fanny Newt threw herself 
constantly in the way of the young exquisite who gave his par- 
ents, General and Mrs. Budlong Binks, reason to suppose that 
he was devoting his sedulous attentions to Hope. She so en- 
meshed Alfred Binks with flattery and enticing coquetries that 
she snared him into an offer of marriage, which for some time 
was kept secret, and the pretense of his prior devotion was con- 
tinued. 



74 TRUMPS 

If Fanny had won her prize, Abel had made no further 
progress in securing a conjugal conquest, except by striving to 
impress society with a dazzling conception of his gifts as a man 
of the world and a personage of great future mark. Young as 
he was, he had succeeded in inspiring his pompous father with 
a notion of his business and social diplomacy. He had been 
taken into partnership, persuading the senior that great com- 
mercial success needed a life of show and glitter, as well as 
devotion to the duties of the counting-room and sagacity in the 
transactions of buying and selling. Abel remitted the latter 
to his father, and disported himself to the extreme length of the 
tether in performing the more agreeable function. 

He established an elaborate suite of apartments, equipped 
with all the accompaniments of art and luxury. He dressed in 
the most elegant manner of the day, and aped the ideal of 
Bulwer's Pelham, which at that time was the rage in literary 
fashion. He and the set of whom he aspired to be the leader 
"did all they could to repair the misfortune of being born 
Americans by imitating the habits of foreign life." His rooms 
were the club and lounging-place of gay gentlemen about town, 
many of them with much larger incomes than he could control. 
He gave frequent dinners here to little parties, which some- 
times included vivacious and fashionably dressed young women, 
whom he would hardly have ventured to introduce to his own 
family. All this cost a good deal of money, till his hitherto 
:redulous partner and father began to remonstrate: "How 
do you suppose I can pay, or that the business can pay, for such 
extravagances?" Abel propounded the answer to this indict- 
nent in the assertion that this was all necessary to his marriage 
tfith a wealthy woman, which would recoup everything. It 
ivas a frequent jest of his, with the elder Newt, after this con- 
versation, that "credit was the most creditable thing going." 
3is easy-going sophistry and selfishness, behind which was an 
mperious will, had its way, and affairs went on as before, in 
ipite of the fact that the firm was beginning to struggle with 
inancial trouble. Abel's peculiar beauty of face and carriage 
telped to make him a social favorite. 

Arthur Moslin, an artist, who had in hand a picture of 
'Diana and Endymion," for which Hope Wayne, whom the 



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 75 

painter secretly loved, had inspired the ideal of the goddess, 
saw Abel one night at Delmonico's in a party of gay revelers. 
"There," said he, turning to Lawrence Newt, who sat with him, 
" is my notion of Endymion." 

Fanny Newt, who had begun to be uneasy in the knowledge 
that the Binks family would try to break off her relations with 
their son if they knew of the betrothal, persuaded her foolish 
fianct to an immediate secret marriage. Then she led him 
into the presence of the parents, and the disagreeable truth was 
made known. She found that her husband had really but 
little expectation from the Burt estate, only a small allowance 
from his father, and, worse even than that, her own father could 
do but little for them. Her intrigue had only saddled her with 
a poverty-stricken fool, perhaps for life; and there was nothing 
ahead for her but penury and obscurity. 

Business had begun to go badly for Boniface Newt and 
Son. Abel's reckless extravagance had become known where 
it would hurt the most. The discounting of a large note quite 
essential to the firm was refused by Van Boozenburg; and what 
that sharp financier denied no other bill-broker would accept. 
Abel, in prosecuting his designs on the beautiful and wealthy 
Grace Plumer, invited her and her mother with several other 
brilliant social personages to a banquet at his rooms. His 
rival, Sligo Moultrie, was also present, but Abel hoped by the 
superior charm of his conversation and the favoring auspices of 
the occasion to make a permanent impression on the lady's 
heart. The function passed delightfully, and everyone was 
quite rapturous over a perfect dinner presided over by a perfect 
host. As the guests were departing, to the strains of music 
of the fine band which had been provided, Abel pressed forward 
to conduct Grace to her carriage, but found that Sligo Moultrie 
had secured the privilege before him. Something peculiar in 
the manner of the couple, which had been noticeable during the 
dinner, struck a cold chill to the heart of the host. A few days 
later he called on the Plumers to find Moultrie sitting with 
Grace as if he had a right there, and he was speedily convinced 
that his chance was gone. 

His sordid hopes might have gone to Hope Wayne, who had 
now come into the fortune of her grandfather, whose will 



76 TRUMPS 

totally cut off the Binks family from any participation in a great 
estate. But his reckless attitude in pursuing that adventure 
had chilled the strong interest which at one time had been felt 
by the young heiress. His moral repute, too, which to many 
would offer no insuperable bar, had suffered some eclipse, 
which would strongly affect a woman of Hope Wayne's tem- 
perament. Intensely egotistic as Abel was, his conscience 
could not be fully stifled. His Uncle Lawrence had taken 
occasion to remonstrate with him and point out the inevitable 
end of the career he was running. But he rejoined with shrugs 
and sneers. Perhaps there would have been a better fruition 
had not Abel regarded his uncle as being in the running for 
Hope Wayne's hand. This impression had affected others, too, 
and it had caused Amy Waring no little pain. It had prevented 
her from showing her feeling. That revelation would have 
caused Lawrence to speak plainly, and thus have cleared up 
all misunderstandings. But the delicacy of the man made him 
the last to suspect a false interpretation of his strong fatherly 
affection for the daughter of her mother. It had been Law- 
rence's desire to foster an attachment between his artist friend, 
Arthur Moslin, and Hope; but, much as the lady liked the 
painter, she seemed to construe his attentions from the esthetic 
rather than from the personal standpoint. This, combined 
with a lingering penchant for the brilliant Abel, which per- 
sisted in spite of better judgment, shut her susceptibilities against 
the timid approaches of the artist. 

Lawrence Newt gave a birthday dinner in honor of his 
favorite clerk, Gabriel Bennett, at which his small circle of 
intimates was present. In offering the toast he gave them all a 
pleasant surprise, especially the principal guest. He ended his 
brief speech with these words: "Any firm that gets an honest 
man into it gets an accession of the most available capital in 
the world. This little feast is to celebrate the fact that my 
firm has been so enriched; I invite you to drink the health of 
Gabriel Bennett, junior partner of the firm of Lawrence Newt 
and Company." Gabriel's heart beat with a double pleasure, 
not the least being that he was in love with May Newt, the 
pearl of that family, and all obstacles would be thus removed. 

The happy pair went next day to see Mrs. Fanny Binks, 



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 77 

whom May alone of her kin continued to visit. During their 
call the husband, who had become a drunken reprobate, lurched 
into the room and said with surly brutality: "Look here, don't 
be fooling around. The old man's bust up." This brutal 
announcement was indeed true. A large note given by Boni- 
face Newt, Son and Company had gone to protest, and the firm 
once so prosperous had gone into bankruptcy. Abel's prof- 
ligacy and spendthrift habits, his gambling losses, his utter 
inattention to business, had borne their inevitable harvest. 
Yet Fortune had not altogether turned her back on the cause 
of disaster. He received a note from General Arcularius Belch, 
one of the most unscrupulous of Tammany lawyers and poli- 
ticians, appointing an interview. The result was a gathering 
at a "champagne supper" attended by several "molders of pub- 
lic opinion," desperate gamblers in politics, who were in it for 
what it was worth. It was important to put a disreputable job, 
carrying large spoils, through Congress, and difficult to find 
a candidate so devoid of all righteous instinct as to manipulate 
it, when he should be seated in the national legislature. Con- 
gressman Bodley had been induced to resign at the dictate of 
his masters, and Abel Newt was deemed the most fitting person 
to be the instrument of a nefarious scheme. The political man- 
agement was successful, and Abel Newt became an M.C. with 
the understanding that he should be the servile mouthpiece of 
a Tammany cabal of spoilers. 

In the mean while Abel's father with his family had been 
compelled to vacate his fashionable home and seek a humble 
domicile. The generosity of Lawrence eased the friction of 
downfall in many ways, though he had not been disposed to 
buttress business interests in which Abel was a partner. The 
commercial management of Lawrence had received an acces- 
sion in Little Malacca, otherwise Edward Wayne, the old school- 
mate of Gabriel and Abel. The mystery of his parentage, which 
alone stood in the way of his wooing of Ellen Bennett, Gabriel's 
pretty sister, was finally solved. He proved to be the offspring 
of an unfortunate union in which "Aunt Martha," the sister of 
Mrs. Bennett and of Amy Waring's mother, had been betrayed 
into a "sinless sin." The memory of this misfortune had made 
her a melancholy and isolated ascetic. The child had been 



78 TRUMPS 

placed at school by the connivance of Lawrence Newt, and the 
whereabouts of the mother was known only to him and to Amy, 
who had visited her aunt with watchful solicitude. The father 
of the lad was the same Colonel Wayne who had wrecked the 
happiness of Hope's mother, and thus Little Malacca turned 
out to be her half-brother. The shadow on the happiness of the 
circle of friends was the dismal apparition of Boniface Newt, 
broken down in mind and body, on the verge of insanity, who 
could do little all day but brood over his miseries, wring his 
hands, and mumble to himself: "Riches have wings, riches have 
wings." 

Before going to Washington the new legislator forged notes 
and acceptances, with his Uncle Lawrence's name indorsed on 
them, which he put by for future use. He also called on Hope 
Wayne to make his last throw of the dice in that quarter. He 
offered his hand, and told her he was utterly ruined and she 
alone could save him. A brief hesitation moved her, a surge 
of memory, but she returned a firm negative. Shrieking male- 
dictions, he rushed away, and she shuddered, as if something 
demoniac had come and gone from her presence. Shortly after 
the new representative arrived at the capital, his shrewdness 
mrmised the presence of a spy in the handsome person of Mrs. 
* Delilah Jones"; and through the disguises of an artificial toilet 
lie identified a woman of questionable antecedents whom he 
himself had often entertained. She became his ally rather than 
that of his Tammany owners, who had been obliged already to 
bleed largely at his compulsion. By skilful handling he and 
she got the bill for the big " grant" reported, and he supported 
it with such dexterous eloquence on the floor that it easily passed 
the House. 

A nature so profoundly demoralized could find no satisfac- 
tion in the rewards of ambition and political success. He con- 
fided to Mrs. Delilah Jones, alias Kitty Dunhaus, the brilliant 
coup he contemplated, of which she consented to become the 
sharer. The twain returned to New York, and he secured 
passage in a brig that would clear a day later for the Mediter- 
ranean- With the forged acceptances indorsed by Lawrence 
Newt be had no difficulty in raising one hundred thousand dol- 
lars in bills on London and Paris. The brig would sail with 



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 79 

the morning tide, but some irresistible temptation carried him 
back in the evening to visit some of his old haunts. On his 
way back, half-intoxicated, he yielded to his raging alcoholic 
thirst; and in a low dive on the river-front he was assaulted 
with a fatal blow in a quarrel which his recklessness provoked. 
Gabriel speedily discovered the forgery, and the bUls of ex- 
change found on the body of the murdered man explained the 
episode and its animus. 

All the reticences and misunderstandings of love had been 
explained between Lawrence Newt and Amy Waring and they 
had been united before fate had finally wrought its justice on 
Abel Newt, whose end so terribly contrasted with the other lives 
in the web of which his thread had been crossed. Hope Wayne 
did not marry, in spite of the lifelong devotion of Arthur Mos- 
lin; but she remained a sort of fairy-godmother to the groups 
of blooming children that rapidly grew around her, heirs by 
wholesale adoption. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 

(France, 1840-1897) 
TARTARIN OF TARASCON (1872) 

The figure of Tartarin is the first sustained character created by this author. 
In it he intended to draw a humorous portrait of the exaggerated, self-deceived 
romancer, the native of the south of France. "The man of the South," says 
Daudet, "does not lie; he deceives himself. He does not always tell the truth, 
but he thinks he does. A lie to him is not a lie, it is a species of mirage. Yes, 
mirage. In order to understand me perfectly, go to the South. You will see 
that devil of a land where the sun transfigures everything and makes it greater 
than nature. You will see those little hills of Provence that are no higher than 
Montmartre, and yet they will seem to you gigantic. The sole liar (if there 
be one) in the South is the sun. All he touches he exaggerates." That the 
citizens of Tarascon were grievously offended at this story is perhaps one of 
the highest tributes to the accuracy of the picture. 

IASCON is an ancient town (the Romans 
knew it as Tarasco) situated on the Rh6ne, ten 
miles north of Aries. It holds an annual festival 
in commemoration of the legendary preserva- 
tion of the town from a gigantic monster, known 
as La Tarasque. 

So Tartarin, the mightiest of the hunters of 
Tarascon, came rightly by his desire to kill "big 
game." Small game long ago fled the region. 
When the wild ducks, flying south in long Vs, perceive from 
afar the steeples of the town, the leader screams, " Tarascon! 
there's Tarascon 1" and the flock makes a detour around it. 

For hunting is the passion of the Tarasconese. Every Sun- 
day morning all Tarascon issues into the fields, gun on shoulder, 
game-bag on back, with a turmoil of dogs, ferrets, and hunting- 
horns. 

"But," you will say, "if game is so scarce in Tarascon, what 
do these hunters shoot at?" 

Caps, my dear sir, caps flying through the air, for no gunner 

So 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 81 

of Tarascon is .so unsportsmanlike as to shoot at a stationary 
target. Each gentleman tosses his cap as high as he can send 
it, and fires at it on the wing. He who hits his mark oftenest is 
hailed king of the hunt, and returns triumphant to town amid 
the barking of dogs and blare of trumpets, with hiss riddled cap 
on the muzzle of his gun. 

These triumphs, which fell almost invariably to Tartarin, 
palled upon him. He had heard of the exploits of one Bom- 
bonnel among the giant felines of Algeria, and the triumphs of 
this Miltiades would not let him sleep. He burned to add to 
the name that had made Tarascon famous the surname Afri- 
canus, which should similarly endow the most neglected of 
continents with immortal glory. 

That is, one of his natures burned to do so; for Tartarin of 
Tarascon, the mighty hunter of whom his townsmen said in 
tones of admiring awe, "He has double muscles!" had also a 
double personality, but half of which we have as yet presented. 
There were two very distinct natures in him. He had the 
passion for the romantic and grandiose which characterized 
the famous Knight of La Mancha, but unfortunately he was 
without that hidalgo's thin and bony frame on which material 
life could get no grip. Tartarin's body, on the contrary, was 
very fat and very sensual, full of bourgeois appetites and domes- 
tic requirements, the short and pot-bellied body on paws of the 
knight's immortal squire. 

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the same man! what 
struggles! what wrenchings! 

Oh, the fine dialogue that a Lucian could 'write of it! Tar- 
tarin- Quixote, inspired by the exploits of Bombonnel, crying, 
"I go!" Tartarin-Sancho, thinking only of his rheumatism, 
mumbling, "I stay." 

TARTARIN-QUIXOTE, all enthusiasm: "Cover thyself with 
glory, Tartarin!" 

TARTARIN-SANCHO, calmly: "Cover thyself with flannel, 
Tartarin." 

TARTARIN-QUIXOTE, more and more enthusiastic: "Oh, 
the double-barreled rifles! Oh, the fine revolvers! the keen 
hunting-knives!" 

A.D., VOL, VL 6 



82 TARTARIN OF TARASCON 

TARTARIN-SANCHO, more calmly still: "Oh, those knitted 
waistcoats! those good, warm caps with ear-pads!" 

TARTARIN-QUIXOTE, beside himself: "A horse! a horse! 
bring me an Arab steed!" 

TARTARIN-SANCHO, ringing for the maid: " Jeannette, my 
chocolate." 

It needed that most awe-inspiring of all sounds in nature, 
the roar of a lion, to bring Tartarin-Quixote uppermost in the 
struggle. 

The Menagerie Mitaine, returning from the fair at Beau- 
caire, had consented to halt for a few days at Tarascon. It 
exhibited in the Place du Chateau a mass of boas, crocodiles, 
trained seals, and a magnificent lion of the Atlas! 

Standing in the shop of the gunsmith Costecalde, explaining 
the mechanism of a needle-gun, then a novelty, to a group of his 
fellow-huntsmen, Tartarin heard the distant voice of a beast 
in the menagerie. Costecalde heard it, too, and said: "One of 
the sea-lions." "No!" cried Tartarin, who, though he had 
never before heard the sound, recognized instinctively the chal- 
lenge of the monarch of beasts; "it is the lion; it is Himself!" 

His eyes flamed. He flung the needle-gun upon his shoul- 
der, and, turning to his comrades, cried: "Let us go and see 
THAT!" 

"Hey! but hey! My gun, my needle-gun, you are taking 
with you!" objected timidly the prudent Costecalde. But Tar- 
tarin was already in the street, at the head of the cap-hunters, 
proudly keeping step. 

When they reached the menagerie a crowd had already col- 
lected. Tarascon, race heroic, too long deprived of sensations, 
had rushed to the barrack Mitaine and taken it by storm. 
Walking tranquilly before the cages, without weapons, without 
a thought of fear, they felt a natural sense of terror on seeing 
the great Tartarin enter the tent with his formidable engine of 
war. Surely there must be something to fear, since he, that 
hero In the twinkling of an eye the space before the cages 
was left vacant; the children screamed with terror; the ladies 
moved toward the door; Bzuquet, the apothecary, slipped out, 
muttering something about getting his gun. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 83 

Gradually Tartarin's attitude reassured the crowd. Calm, 
his head held high, that intrepid man walked slowly the circuit 
of the cages, finally pausing before the king of beasts. 

Terrible and solemn interview ! The lion of Tarascon and 
the lion of the Atlas, face to face ! 

Scenting one who was to become the enemy of his race, the 
beast, who up to this time had looked with lordly contempt upon 
the Tarasconese, yawning even in their faces, arose, erected 
his noble head, shook his tawny mane, opened his vast jaws, 
and uttered a formidable roar. 

A cry of terror answered him. All Tarascon, mad with 
fright, rushed to the door, children, women, even the cap- 
hunters. Tartarin alone did not stir. He stood there with that 
terrible expression the whole town knew so well upon his face. 
After a time the cap-hunters, reassured by the attitude of their 
leader, stole back. They heard him murmur, as he gazed at 
the lion: "That, yes, that is game." 

It was Tartarin-Quixote who said it. It was all he said, but 
for Tartarin-Sancho it was far too much. 

The next day nothing was talked of in the town but the com- 
ing departure of Tartarin for Algeria to hunt lions. You are 
witnesses, dear readers, that he said not one word about it; but 
that bounding ability of the Southern temperament to leap to 
conclusions well, you understand how it is. 

The most surprised man in all Tarascon at the news that 
Tartarin was going to Africa was Tartarin himself. But see 
what vanity will do! Without intending in the least to go, Tar- 
tarin at first answered, with an evasive air: "Hm! hm! perhaps 
I can't say." The second time the subject was mentioned, 
he answered: "Probably"; the third time: "Certainly." 

Then the whole town gave him a grand serenade. While it 
was still sounding beneath his windows Tartarin-Sancho made 
Tartarin-Quixote a terrible scene, picturing the many catas- 
trophes that awaited him: shipwreck, rheumatism, fevers, ele- 
phantiasis, and .finally utter demolition in the jaws of the lion. 
The heroic Tartarin could only pacify the prudent one by re- 
minding him that after all they were not yet gone there was 
no hurry. 

For one must carefully prepare for such an expedition. So 



84 TARTARIN OF TARASCON 

Tartarin procured all the books he could find on African ex- 
ploration. From these he learned that the explorers prepared 
themselves to endure hunger and thirst, forced marches, etc., 
by fasting, and by hardening their muscles by exercise, long 
beforehand. From that day forth he fed on nothing but eau 
bouillie, a Tarascon dish consisting of bread steeped in hot 
water and seasoned with a clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme, and 
a pinch of bay-leaf. You can fancy what a face poor Sancho 
made at it! 

To harden his muscles for the long marches, Tartarin every 
morning compelled himself to walk around the town seven 
times elbows at sides and pebbles in mouth according to the 
rules of classic training. To accustom himself to night air and 
to learn to see in the dark, he stood sentinel, gun on shoulder, 
every evening until midnight in his garden, watching for cats 
on the wall. After midnight, belated townspeople saw a mys- 
terious figure pacing up and down behind the tent of the 
Menagerie Mitaine. 'Twas Tartarin, getting used to hear 
without a shudder the roaring of the lion through the darksome 
night. 

But the menagerie had departed more than three months, 
and still the lion-killer remained in Tarascon. The cap- 
hunters began to murmur. Judge Ladevfcze composed a song 
called "Maitre Gervais," relating to a doughty lion-hunter 
whose gun was always loaded but never went off I 

In a trice that song became popular. When Tartarin passed 
the porters on the quay or the little shoeblacks in the street, 
they sang or whistled it but at a distance on account of his 
double muscles. 

One man alone stood by Tartarin. It was Commander 
Bravida, captain of equipment. One evening while our un- 
fortunate hero sat in his study alone with his melancholy 
thoughts (for Tartarin had by this time discontinued his self- 
imposed sentinel duty), the commander opened the door 
grave, wearing black gloves, with coat buttoned to the chin. 

Rigid and grand as duty, Bravida stood in the door-frame: 
" Tartarin, you must go!" 

Tartarin rose; he looked about his warm and cozy room; 
he sighed; then, advancing to the brave commander, he took 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 85 

his hand, wrung it, and said in a voice suffused with tears: "I 
will go, Bravida." 

But he did not depart immediately. There was the outfit 
to procure: preserved aliments, pemmican, portable shelter- 
tent, sailor boots, two umbrellas, a waterproof, blue spectacles 
to prevent ophthalmia, portable pharmacy, etc. 

This was to appease the wrath of Tartarin-Sancho, who 
night and day called down maledictions on Tartarin-Quixote. 

At last no reason for further delay remained. Tartarin, 
dressed in Algerian costume, with a heavy gun on each shoulder, 
a large hunting-knife in hi3 belt upon his stomach, a revolver 
upon his hip, and blue goggles over his eyes, stood in the sta- 
tion among innumerable boxes waiting for the express to Mar- 
seilles. All the cap-hunters, even Judge Ladevfcze, crowded 
about him. Tartarin promised to send each a lion's skin. 

The train -men wept in corners. Outside, the populace 
gazed through the bars and shouted: " Vive Tartarin!" 

The train arrived. 

"Adieu, Tartarin! adieu !" 

" Adieu, all!" murmured the hero, and on the cheek of 
Commander Bravida he kissed his dear Tarascon good-by. 

Then he jumped into a carriage. It was full of gay Parisian 
women, who nearly died of fright at the sudden appearance 
among them of this strange man with the carbines, knives, and 
revolvers. 

Ah, if the Tarascon cse could have looked within the packet 
Zouave during its three days' voyage from Marseilles to Al- 
giers, and seen the man whom their taunts drove into exile, 
how remorse had struck through their hearts! Suddenly over- 
taken by nausea, poor Tartarin had neither time nor spirit to 
strip himself of his arsenal. The hunting-knife bruised his 
stomach, the revolver-sheath flayed his hip. And to cap it all, 
the moanings and maledictions of Tartarin-Sancho never 
ceased to excoriate his soul: "Imbecile! I told you so. You 
would go to Africa. Well, here you are going. How do you 
find yourself?" 

Suddenly the boat stopped. The heavy boots of the sailors 
were running overhead. The Captain was shouting hoarse 
orders. 



86 TARTARIN OF TARASCON 

"Mercy on us! we are sinking !" shrieked Tartarin, and, 
recovering his strength as if by magic, he bounded from his 
berth and rushed on deck with his arsenal. 

The first thing he saw was a row of big black hands clutching 
the bulwarks from the outside. These were followed by a row 
of woolly heads and swarthy faces; and before he had time to 
cry out in warning to the other passengers, the deck was in- 
vaded by a swarm of half-naked men, black, yellow, hideous, 
terrible. 

Unsheathing his knife, Tartarin ran toward them. " Pirates ! 
To arms! to arms!" he cried. 

The Captain caught him by the belt just as he was about to 
hurl himself on a negro who was stooping to pick up the port- 
able pharmacy from a heap of luggage on the deck. 

"Be quiet, you idiot! Those are not pirates; there are 
no pirates nowadays those are porters. Follow that man to 
your hotel." 

'Twas a great wild desert on the outskirts of Algiers, all 
bristling with fantastic plants that in the starlight looked like 
savage beasts. With one gun laid before him, the other in hand, 
Tartarin knelt one knee to earth and waited. One hour, two 
hours passed. Nothing! Then he remembered that in the 
books no great lion-hunter ever lay in wait without a kid 
tethered hard by, which he forced to cry by pulling its foot 
with a string. So Tartarin bleated in imitation of a kid: 
"Mea! mea!" 

Nothing appeared. He bleated again, more loudly. Still 
nothing. At last he was bellowing, "Mea! mea!" with the 
voice of an ox. 

Suddenly the dark form of an animal appeared before him. 
Two terrible eyes glared at him from the darkness. Pan! pant 
with one gun; pan! pan! with the other. One bound back- 
ward with hunting-knife drawn to receive the attack of the 
wounded lion. 

But it fled, roaring. The wise Tartarin did not stir. He 
awaited the female, as the books had warned him. He waited 
till daybreak. Then she came! 

She came terrible and roaring, under the form of an old 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 87 

Alsatian woman in whose garden Tartarin had made his am- 
bush. She came flourishing a great red umbrella, and demand- 
ing back her donkey from the echoes of Algeria. And Tartarin, 
ready to face a lioness, fled before the infuriated woman. She 
fell upon him and beat him to earth with the umbrella. 

The upshot was that Tartarin paid two hundred francs for 
a donkey worth ten. He was informed that lions did not infest 
the market-gardens of Algiers. Away to the south, perhaps, 
in the Atlas mountains 

Lions of Atlas, sleep! For some days yet you will not be 
massacred by your terrible enemy from Tarascon. Tartarin is 
in love with a Moorish lady in Algiers. How they met we need 
not relate. Suffice it to say that it was she who, fascinated by 
his noble appearance, made the first advances. 

She knew not a word of French, and their wooing was con- 
ducted in the primitive and romantic language of signs. Tar- 
tarin rented for themselves a gem of a cottage in the native 
quarter, furnished with every Moorish comfort. All day long 
Sidi Tart'ri, as he was called, lay on a divan, puffing at his 
narghile, eating sweetmeats flavored with musk, and watching 
Bai'a perform the stomach-dance as only a native can, or lis- 
tening as, guitar in hand, she sang lulling, monotonous airs 
through her nose. 

Every night, on the minaret of a neighboring mosque, stood 
a stately muezzin, his white form outlined on the deep blue of 
the night, and chanted the glory of Allah in a marvelous tone 
beyond the power of earthly passion to inspire. 

Bai'a, letting fall her guitar, would stand quivering in 
religious fervor. Tartarin, looking at her as she prayed, 
thought to himself: "What a beautiful faith to cause such 
ecstasy!" 

Tarascon, toll thy bells! thy Tartarin is on the point of 
becoming a renegade. 

One day when Baia had gone shopping, a ship-captain passed 
his garden. It was Barbassou, of the Zouave. "Hello! Mon- 
sieur Tartarin," he cried; "so it is true you've turned Turk. 
And little Bai'a, does she still sing Marco la Belle ? " 

" Marco la Belief cried Tartarin indignantly. "I would 



88 TARTARIN OF TARASCON 

have you know that the person of whom you speak is a vir- 
tuous Moorish lady who does not know a word of French." 

"Boujrel" exclaimed the Captain, laughing. Then, seeing 
how the face of Sidi Tart'ri was lengthening, he changed the 
subject. "Here is the latest Marseilles newspaper." 

After the Captain had passed on, Tartarin read a paragraph 
in the journal telling of the great anxiety in Tarascon over the 
fate of its leading citizen, who had plunged into the wilds of 
Africa some months ago to hunt lions, and who had not been 
heard of since. When he read this, Tartarin, blushing with 
shame, bounded to his feet. 

"To the lions! to the lions I" he cried. 

He took the diligence for the south. A Trappist monk, 
two cocottes rejoining their regiment, and a photographer with 
his camera, were the other passengers. At Blidah a small, 
bald-headed man got on, who had some trouble in finding 
room for himself and umbrella by Tartarin's side, on account 
or our hero's arsenal, at the extent of which the newcomer 
seemed excessively amazed. 

"Does that surprise you?" asked Tartarin. 

"No; it inconveniences me." 

"Do you suppose that I am going to hunt lions with your 
umbrella?" 

"Then, Monsieur, you are " 

" Tartarin of Tarascon, lion-slayer." 

The monk crossed himself, the cocottes shrieked with alarm, 
the photographer began to adjust his camera as if preparing 
to take the hero's picture. The little gentleman, however, was 
not disconcerted. 

"Have you killed many lions, Monsieur Tartarin?" he asked 
quietly. 

"Many? I wish you had as many hairs on your head." 

All the diligence looked at the newcomer's shining pate, and 
laughed. 

The photographer now spoke up: "Terrible profession, 
yours. For instance, that brave Monsieur Bombonnel " 

"Brave killer of panthers," said Tartarin disdainfully. 

"Did you know him?" asked the little gentleman. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 89 

"Know him! We have hunted together a score of times." 

The little gentleman smiled. "Oh, then you do hunt 
panthers, Monsieur Tartarin?" 

"Occasionally, to pass the time," said the ruffled Tartarin; 
" but they are nothing to lions. I am after these now." 

"Then," said the little gentleman, "you had better return 
to Tarascon. There's not a lion left in Algeria. My friend 
Chassaing killed the last. There are still a few panthers, but 
fie! that is much too small game for you." 

Here the diligence stopped. The conductor, opening the 
door, respectfully addressed the little old gentleman: 

"Here we are, Monsieur Bombonnel." 

Nevertheless, Tartarin continued his journey. He got out 
at Milianah, and, buying a camel, set off across the vast plain 
of the Chliff. But riding camelback made him seasick, so he 
walked. He poked among the dwarf palm-trees with his car- 
bine, and called "Scat!" at every bush; every night he lay in 
wait for two or three hours but no lion appeared. 

At last he came upon a marabout (tomb of a saint) within a 
grove. The branches before him parted, and there stalked 
forth a gigantic lion, with erect head and roars that shook the 
white walls of the tomb and rattled the saint's bones within it. 

But the hero was not alarmed. "At last!" he cried, and 
pan! pan! two explosive bullets scattered blood and brains and 
tawny fur over the white marabout. Out of the tomb rushed 
two big negroes with cudgels keepers of the blind old lion 
that they had taught to beg for alms from pilgrims. 

To pay for the damage he had wrought, Tartarin had to 
part with all his possessions, save the camel. This was an old, 
mangy beast, and for it he could not get a cent. So he de- 
cided to abandon it. Begging the lion's skin of the negroes, he 
sent it on by diligence to Tarascon. Then he set out to walk 
to Algiers. His faithful camel would not be left behind, but 
followed him. 

Tartarin tried to run; the camel ran faster. He shouted 
"Go away!" and flung stones at him; the camel stopped, gazed 
at him with mournful eye and followed on. 

In eight weary days they reached Algiers. On the out- 



90 TARTARIN OF TARASCON 

skirts Tartarin eluded his follower by slipping into a ditch. 
He entered the town by a byway that ran by the wall of his 
garden. 

Within the garden he heard a woman's voice singing. It was 
Marco la Belle! Clambering over the wall he saw Bala in a 
gauze chemise and pale rose trousers, and, with the cap of a 
naval officer on one ear, singing and dancing for Barbassou! 

The ship's captain was not disturbed at the apparition of 
Tartarin, dusty, haggard, wild with rage. 

"Hey! Monsieur Tartarin, what do you say now? Doesn't 
she speak French?" 

Tartarin sank in a heap on the ground. "Come," said 
Barbassou, "don't take it so hard. Of course Ba'ia can't help 
making love to every man she sees. It's in her Marseilles blood. 
Why, she even flirts with the muezzin, who fixes his meetings 
with her while invoking the name of Allah." 

That night Tartarin went to the mosque, pounced upon the 
muezzin and frightened him into giving over his turban and 
mantle. Putting these on, Tartarin ascended the minaret and 
intoned : 

"La Allah il Allah! Mohammed is an old rogue. Orient, 
Koran, lions, Moorish women are not worth a damn. There 
are no Turks only swindlers. Vive Tarascon /" 

From minaret to minaret the clear, solemn voices of the 
other muezzins answered him, and all the faithful beat their 
breasts. 

The next day Tartarin took ship for Marseilles with Bar- 
bassou. After they had left the dock the Captain saw a camel 
swimming after the boat. "Is it yours?" he asked of Tartarin. 

"Not at all." 

"Well, anyway, I'll take him aboard, and present him to 
the Zoological Garden in Marseilles." 

Tartarin hid himself from the camel during the voyage. 
When, however, he took train for Tarascon, it caught sight of 
him, and followed after, loping along the track. 

Tartarin leaned back in his seat with bitter reflections. 
Good God, what was this for a triumphant return! Not a sou; 
not a lion; nothing. Yes, that cursed camel! 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 91 

" Tarascon ! Tarascon ! " 

He had to get out. 

Oh, stupefaction! what an ovation! 

" Vive Tartarin! Long live the lion-killer!" All Tarascon 
was there, cheering and waving its arms. The noble army of 
cap-hunters was in front and these bore him off upon their 
shoulders. 

It was the lion's skin that had done it. Placed on exhibi- 
tion at Costecalde's gun-shop, it had turned the heads of the 
people. A drama was constructed. It was not one lion that 
Tartarin had killed, it was ten lions, twenty lions, a marmalade 
of lions! Barbassou had telegraphed the news of Tartarin's 
home-coming, and they were ready for him. 

But it was the camel that capped the climax of the triumph. 
This strange, fantastic beast descended, clopetty-clop, the 
stairway of the station behind Tartarin and his bearers. Tar- 
ascon fancied for a moment that La Tarasque had returned. 

" That is my camel," announced Tartarin proudly. " J Tis a 
noble beast! he saw me kill all my lions." 



FROMONT AND RISLER (1874) 
(Fromont Jeune et Risler Ain) 

This is the novel that first made Daudet famous. He had won a creditable 
literary place for himself before its publication, but when Fromont Jeune et 
Risler Atnc appeared, he was at once hailed as one of the few really great 
novelists of his time, one of the few who knew how to deal adequately with the 
mysteries, the complexities, and the subtleties of human nature and human 
passion. The novel was crowned by the French Academy, but that was a 
small and insignificant part of its success. It was everywhere read and talked 
of by the people, from the highest to the lowest ranks of those who read at all. 
Numberless editions of the book were printed sumptuous editions, library edi- 
tions, and editions so cheap that the gamins of the streets might buy and read ; 
and clamorous demands poured in for the privilege of translation into the Ian- 
guages of other countries. 

was at the Cafd Ve*four that the wedding of 
Risler, a man in middle life, with Sidonie Chebe 
was celebrated. Risler was an employ^ of the 
ancient and honored house of Fromont, makers 
of wall-paper; and on this same happy day there 
had come to him the two crowning glories of 
his life, admission to a partnership in the house 
of Fromont henceforth to be known as Fro- 
mont and Risler and his marriage with the 
beautiful Sidonie. He could only go about saying to everyone : 
"I am happy! I am happy!" 

Madame Chfcbe, Sidonie's mother, was there ; so was Madame 
Georges Fromont Claire Fromont, Sidonie's best friend, the 
wife of Georges Fromont, Risler's partner, and the daughter of 
the late head of the house, whom Risler had worshiped. Claire 
Fromont was to Risler, with his half-German Swiss-French, 
" Madame Chorche." 

Everybody whom Risler loved was there to rejoice in his 
happiness everybody except Frantz, his younger brother, who 
was off engineering in Africa. Monsieur Chfebe, Sidonie's 
father, a little man full of pretension, was there; so was Mon- 

o* 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 93 

sieur Gardinois, the very rich ex-peasant, grandfather of Georges 
Fromont and of Claire, Georges's recently married wife. There 
was Delobelle, too, the old retired actor, whose glory lay in the 
histrionic things he had never had a chance to do, but of which 
he dreamed incessantly while living and indulging his every 
whim of luxury upon the proceeds of the toil of his wife and 
daughter as makers of articles de Paris. 

When the dancing began, Risler rejoiced to see his young 
wife dancing with Georges Fromont, they seemed to him to 
dance so well. He did not hear what they said in undertones: 
"You lie," Sidonie said. "I do not lie," answered the other. 
"My uncle insisted upon my marriage. You were away. 
What could I do?" 

Behind those words was a story. This is the story: 

Sidonie was the daughter of Ferdinand Ch&be, a visionary 
who had wasted his wife's little fortune in futile projects. 
Sidonie had been brought up in the precincts of the Fromont 
wall-paper factory. Across the hall from her apartments were 
those of the Delobelles, where Madame Delobelle and her 
deformed daughter, Ddsirde, toiled day and night to provide 
the worthless actor with a living. Also across the hall was the 
apartment of the Rislers, two brothers, the elder of whom was 
a designer of patterns for the Fromont factory, and the younger 
a student of engineering, whom the older man cherished in 
boundless affection. 

The kindly elder Risler was a sort of divine Providence 
both to the Chfcbes and to the Delobelles. He took them to the 
theaters and on Sunday excursions; and if unusual distress fell 
upon them, he was always generously ready to aid. But Risler 
worked day and night at his trade of pattern-designing; and so 
he was only tolerated by Chfebe and Delobelle, and graciously 
permitted to pay for the beer when they drank together at the 
brewery. 

The boy, Frantz Risler, and Sidonie were playfellows; and 
as they grew older they learned to love so far at least as the 
selfish nature of Sidonie could feel a passion so unselfish as 
love. As a child Sidonie had become acquainted with the Fro- 
monts Claire and her Cousin Georges and was the playmate 
of both. They loved her; she bitterly envied them their wealth 



9 4 FROMONT AND RISLER 

and all that it gave to them. Child as she was, she had begun 
to see visions and dream dreams. 

The time of separation came. Georges was sent to college, 
Claire to a convent, with an outfit becoming a queen; Sidonie 
was apprenticed to a trade. It was old Risler who suggested 
the apprenticeship. He promised later to set the girl up in 
business for herself. 

The years passed. Frantz graduated as an engineer, and 
his brother celebrated the event with a theater-party, where 
Frantz and Sidonie were thrown close together. That night 
they became engaged, and D^sire'e, the poor lame girl, who 
loved Frantz, was left desolate but unselfishly patient and 
submissive. 

In the summer Claire lived with her grandfather, the rich 
old peasant Gardinois, at his beautiful place at Savigny, near 
Paris. She was lonely and begged Sidonie to come to her. 
Her letter was suggested by Gardinois himself, who liked " the 
little Chfcbe." 

At Savigny Sidonie again met Georges Fromont, the younj; 
heir to the Fromont factory and to all the wealth it represented. 
He was predestined to marry Claire; but the fact did not pre- 
vent him from making love to Sidonie. She, dazzled and in- 
toxicated by the prospect of wealth, fine clothes, jewels, and 
luxury, decided that she would become his wife, supplanting 
Claire. He wrote her surreptitious love-letters which she was 
delighted to receive; but her final reply to all of them was that 
the man she loved must be her husband, not merely a lover. 

An accident occurred. Monsieur Fromont the elder, the 
uncle of Georges, was shot in the hunting-field. The merry 
party must disperse. Sidonie returned to her unlovely home in 
Paris, after she and Georges Fromont had promised to love 
each other always and some day to be man and wife. 

Frantz Risler, as Sidonie's betrothed, began now to insist 
upon the fulfilment of his desires; and Sidonie had no excuse 
with which to put him off. He had secured a good position 
in the south as an engineer, and was able to support a little 
establishment. Why should not the marriage be celebrated? 
But Sidonie had made up her mind to marry Georges Fromont. 
In default of other excuse she pleaded the love that D&ire'e, 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 95 

the litde lame girl, felt for Frantz. Posing as a woman of 
heroic self-sacrifice, she refused to stand in De*sireVs way. 
Frantz went to Suez, where the canal was in construction, and 
Sidonie waited in vain for the promised letters from Georges 
Fromont. At last old Risler, bubbling with joy, brought the 
news that in accordance with his uncle's last wishes, Georges 
Fromont had married Claire; that he had become head of the 
Fromont firm, and that he old Risler had become his partner 
in the factory. 

Sidonie posed as a heart-broken maiden for a time; and 
then, through her mother, she informed old Risler that it was 
for love of him that she pined. If she could not marry Fro- 
mont she would marry his new partner, Risler, and after that 
she had visions. 

Fromont and Claire lived on one floor of the factory build- 
ing; Risler and Sidonie, after their marriage, on the floor 
above. Risler was inventing a new machine the Risler press 
which would reduce the cost of manufacture to one fourth 
and make the firm's fortune a colossal one. His mind was so 
absorbed in his machine that he was heedless of everything 
else. To Claire a little daughter had been born and she was 
so absorbed in the child that she, too, was heedless of everything 
but the child's welfare. 

Thus conditions were created in which the liaison between 
Fromont and Sidonie was easy. Sidonie's pleasure in it was 
largely gratified jealousy and spite. She hated the friend who 
had done so much for her because that friend was better placed 
than she, and felt savage delight in knowing that she was be- 
traying that friend and wronging her. Still more she delighted 
in the luxuries Fromont gave her the jewels, the costly gar- 
ments, the luxurious apartments he hired for her in a good 
quarter of Paris, where he and she met when he was supposed 
to be at his club talking business, apd she was understood to be 
enjoying herself at the theater. She had her own coupe* also, 
furnished by Fromont and charged to the firm's expense account, 
on the ground that a certain style of living on the part of the 
members of the firm and their families was a valuable advertise- 
ment. She had jewels of fabulous cost, which poor, innocent 
Risler supposed to be gewgaws of almost no cost at all. Fro- 



96 FROMONT AND RISLER 

mont sent her a single shawl, the bill for which, six thousand 
francs, frightened old Sigismund Planus, the lifelong cashier 
of the firm; and he was still further frightened by the heavy 
drafts Fromont was constantly making upon his cash-box. 
He spoke to Risler about these extravagant drafts, but, in 
his loyalty to the Fromont name and family, Risler paid no 
attention, leaving all finance to his partner and devoting him- 
self night and day to his work upon the new machine. 

Finally Fromont set up a costly, toylike country-place for 
Sidonie, and spent most of his time there, though he was sup- 
posed to be all the time in Paris engaged in business negotiations. 

After a while Fromont's drafts upon the cash-box ceased; 
but old Sigismund Planus discovered that the young man had 
been collecting heavy sums from the customers of the firm and 
not reporting the collections. 

Old Planus's eyes were opened. He saw clearly what was 
going on, but he misinterpreted it. He believed that Risler 
also knew and consented to the infamy. Revolted and shocked, 
he ceased to meet Risler with his old cordiality, and spoke to 
him only when business necessity required. 

Finally he made up his mind to act. He wrote to Frantz 
Risler, summoning him home to save the honor of his family 
name; and Frantz came, full of anger and determination. Ar- 
riving on a Saturday afternoon, he found nobody at the factory 
but old Sigismund Planus, paying off the hands. The Fro- 
monts and the Rislers had gone to their chateaux. 

Planus told him of the situation and the squandering and 
all the rest of it. Then Frantz visited the Delobelles, and the 
old wreck of an actor declaimed to the same effect. He had 
planned to return to the stage as manager and star of a theater 
of his own, for which he had intended that the elder Risler 
should furnish the money. As Risler had declined to do so, 
old Delobelle was full of criticism of Sidonie's luxurious 
squandering. 

Frantz found his old room to let and hired it. He met 
D6sire and in some degree fell in love with her. But he had 
come from Suez to Paris to deliver a stern judgment, and the 
culprits were not yet arraigned before him. 

On the Sunday morning the elder Risler returned to the 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 97 

factory to work upon his machine, and learning that his brother 
was there, seized upon him and took him to Sidonie's chAteau 
at Asniferes. Their talk was all of Risler's machine, which was 
perfected now; but in the course of it Risler spoke so much of 
Sidonie, and so unsuspectingly, that Frantz was reassured. 
Whatever might be true of Sidonie, his brother, he was sure, 
remained an honest man a husband wronged, perhaps, but 
not disgraced by consent to the wrong. 

Sidonie had not expected Risler to quit his machine that 
day and return to the ch&teau. So when the brothers arrived 
they found young Fromont there, in suspiciously close inter- 
course with his partner's wife. 

Sidonie was ready with explanations, and Risler's faith in 
his wife was so unquestioning that no explanation at all seemed 
necessary to satisfy him. 

Frantz understood, however, and he sought occasion to 
challenge Sidonie. So far from shunning the ordeal, Sidonie 
courted it; and when Frantz accused her of betraying her hus- 
band, she frankly admitted the fact. When he asked for ex- 
planation or excuse, she told him that she cherished an unholy 
passion for himself Frantz; and Frantz fell a victim to her 
wile. He had loved her before; he loved her even more pas- 
sionately now. He cast honor and all else to the winds and 
began planning to rob his brother of his wife. 

Sidonie managed the affair so adroitly that presently she was 
in possession of a mad letter from Frantz, proposing that she 
should meet him at a railway terminus, where he would have 
tickets ready, and they two should elope. 

With such a letter in her hands, Sidonie could afford to dis- 
regard Frantz as a factor in the complicated problem of her 
life. Should he accuse her she had only to produce the letter 
and attribute his accusation to the vengeance of a scorned 
lover, who had shamefully sought to betray his own brother. 
She did not meet him at the station, but she jealously preserved 
his letter. She had ahready sunk under Fremont's care from 
the position of a well-considered bourgeoise to that of a mis- 
tress surrounded only with such companions as a courtesan 
might have. She was engaged in a second liaison, with a cer- 
tain Italian tenor, Cazabon, alias Cazaboni. But she had 
A.D., VOL. vi. 7 



98 FROMONT AND RISLER 

now no fear. When Frantz came to reproach her with her 
betrayal, she bade him remember the letter she held from him, 
and not to tell ugly stories about her, lest she should show the 
missive. 

Frantz suddenly left Paris, and poor little Ddsire'e, to whom 
he had made love before his infatuation with Sidonie, wandered 
to the Seine and threw herself into the water. She was rescued, 
for the sake of the reward the law offers in such cases; but she 
fell ill with pneumonia and died. 

The day of reckoning for the firm of Fromont and Risler 
drew near. There were notes to be met in January, amounting 
to a hundred thousand francs; and for the first time in a genera- 
tion the strong-box was empty. Worse still, when old Planus 
tried to collect sums due the house he found that they had been 
collected already and squandered by Fromont upon Sidonie. 
It was useless for the old cashier to appeal to the members of 
the firm. Risler was absorbed in the final perfecting of the 
machine that promised limitless profit to the factory. Fromont 
put everything aside because he was insanely perplexed with 
his own affairs. He had discovered that Sidonie was unfaithful 
to him, precisely as she had been unfaithful for him, and that 
the Italian tenor was her lover. When charged with this she 
had not taken the trouble to lie in denial. 

In the midst of his anxiety over the notes, Georges Fromont 
slept uneasily, and the loving, faithful Claire waked him to 
question him. She guessed that he had been gambling, and 
he let her think so. But she offered to go to old Gardinois, 
her grandfather, and persuade him to lend the money necessary 
for the emergency. 

But old Gardinois knew what had been going on and what 
had become of the firm's money. With merciless frankness he 
told her of her husband's unfaithfulness and of Sidonie's per- 
fidy. When he saw that she doubted he gave her proofs, re- 
ferring her to the jewelers, the shawl-importers, and the rest, 
and giving dates of purchases made and prices paid. He told 
her of a diamond necklace, bought for thirty thousand francs 
only a fortnight before and given to Sidonie. 

Claire's first impulse was to take flight; but, believing that 
her husband was financially ruined, she resolved not to desert 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 99 

him. He fell ill and, without aught of love left and in pure 
loyalty to duty, she attended him. 

Then Risler learned the truth from old Sigismund Planus; 
his horror of the disgrace and degradation of his wife quickly 
convinced Planus that he had really not known before; and 
instantly their old friendship was restored. But Risler decided 
to act at once. Angry, insulted, desperate, he went to his 
apartments where Sidonie was holding a dance, seized the 
jewels and everything else of value, and placed them in Planus's 
hands that they might be sold and their proceeds used to meet 
the notes and avert disaster from the house of Fromont. He 
placed the chateau, too, and all it contained in Planus' s hands 
for sale, and Planus advanced enough money of his own upon 
the property to meet the emergency. Risler threw into the 
strong-box every article he possessed of any value, his watch 
and chain, his portfolio of designs. He gave his now perfected 
Risler press to the firm without charge or conditions. He re- 
signed all his claims as a partner in the house and made himself 
again merely an employ^. 

Bringing Sidonie into the presence of Planus and Claire, he 
compelled her to kneel. Claire begged him to spare the woman 
who had so grievously wronged her; but, wrathfully determined 
as he was to exhaust every possibility of atonement, Risler in- 
sisted that his wife should from her knees beg forgiveness of 
Claire Fromont, repeating the words as he should dictate them. 
She began, but, suddenly springing up, escaped through the 
door and fled into the night. 

Claire begged the two men to follow and save her from her- 
self; but Risler refused on the ground that they had done with 
Madame Risler and had more important matters to discuss. 

Sidonie fled to old Delobelle's newly established quarters, 
where he was supported in comfort by the underpaid toil of his 
wife. She was convinced that it was Frantz Risler that had in- 
formed her husband of her sins and that he had done so in re- 
sentment of the humiliation she had inflicted upon him by her 
failure to elope with him. Ruined, disgraced, outcast as she 
was, her thought now was solely for revenge. She still had 
Frantz Risler' s mad, compromising letter. She would send it 
to her husband in order to break his heart and at the same time 



ioo FROMONT AND RISLER 

be revenged upon Frantz. Then she would join her Italian 
tenor. 

Having saved the firm at this crisis, Risler went to work to 
meet other obligations that must soon fall due. He toiled day 
and night to set the new Risler press at work and to enrich the 
house by its wonderful productiveness. Not one franc would 
he take for himself except his clerk's wages; and he managed 
matters so successfully that within a brief time the old house 
was as prosperous as ever. 

Sidonie had sought her revenge by sending a packet to Ris- 
ler; he had feared to open it until his work of saving the house 
should be done, and, fearing to keep it in his possession lest he 
should be tempted to open it, had placed it in old Planus's 
hands, begging him to keep it until called for. He had sold out 
even his furniture, to the last piece, and had turned the proceeds 
into the firm as a part of his restitution in behalf of his aban- 
doned and repudiated wife. He had returned to his lodgings 
under the eaves and was toiling night and day for the firm, re- 
joicing in his ability to save its good name and restore it to its 
old commanding place in the trade. He continued his allow- 
ance to the Chfebes Sidonie's father and mother paying it 
out of the meager salary he allowed himself as an employ^. 

At last, feeling that his work of restitution was accom- 
plished, he went to old Planus and asked for the packet so long 
ago committed to his friend's care. The time had come when 
he could dare open it and learn what message Sidonie had sent 
him. 

The package was not at hand. It was locked in a drawer at 
Planus's house at Montrouge. Planus proposed that the two 
should enjoy an evening at a ca)& chantant and then go for the 
night to Montrouge. 

Feeling that he had at last earned a right to an evening's 
pleasure, Risler accepted the invitation. 

At the ca]i chantant they saw Sidonie, sunk now to the 
depths and earning her way by singing risque songs to an 
audience of "lewd iellows of the baser sort." 

The shock to Risler was terrible. He had believed that 
Sidonie was living with her parents upon the allowance he made 
to them. He learned now for the first time what the extent of 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 101 

her degradation was; but still he did not fail of courage. This 
was only one more affliction added to the burden of sorrows he 
was so bravely bearing. 

He went with his friend to Montrouge to pass the night. 
Planus gave him the key to the drawers in his room, bidding 
him use it at will. 

In the morning Risler was missing. 

In his dead hand, when they found him hanging in the 
quarries, was Sidonie's packet. It contained the letter that 
Frantz had written to her proposing an elopement. 

He had endured Sidonie's betrayal of his trust and had 
bravely met the proofs of her shame. But the knowledge that 
his own Frantz, whom he had cherished from childhood, had 
been untrue to him, was more than he could bear. Upon read- 
ing the letter that revealed the terrible truth he had destroyed 
himself, saying no word of farewell to a world in which he had 
suffered so much wrong. 




JACK (1876) 

As was Daudet's usual habit, he took a framework of fact upon which 
to build the present story. In its main outlines the tale is true, and Daudet 
published a sketch of the original of his hero after the publication of the novel. 

JACK ("with a k, Father Superior," insisted his 
mother) was to be entered at the fashionable 
Jesuit school at Vaugirard. The boy was seven 
or eight years of age, and was dressed in a High- 
land costume, grotesque on a lad of his physical 
development. The keen Father Superior had 
his doubts about the mother, despite her elegance 
and beauty. She gave her name as Ida de Ba- 
rancy, and claimed to belong to an ancient family 
of Touraine; he was from Touraine himself, and knew that there 
was no noble family there of that name. He found it necessary 
to speak frankly and advise her to take the boy elsewhere, since 
only boys of unimpeachable birth and social standing could be 
received there. Moved by her frantic entreaties, he finally 
consented to accept Jack, on condition that all the boy's holi- 
days should be passed at the school, and that she should be seen 
by no one on her visits to him. She indignantly refused, as the 
Superior had expected. He understood that she had counted 
upon boasting of her encounters with the aristocratic mothers 
of other pupils in the reception-room. Jack, returning from 
the garden, heard the Superior murrrur, "Poor child! " as the 
"Countess de Barancy" dragged him wrathfully away. He 
wondered why he was being pitied. 

While his mother was amusing herself at balls and else- 
where, Jack was in the care of Mademoiselle Constant, her 
maid, who ruled the household in the elegant little h6tel kept 
up for Ida de Barancy by the elderly admirer known to its 
occupants as " Bon Ami." His mother, no longer interested in 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 103 

his education, accepted the advice of Constant to send him to 
the Gymnase Moronval, situated in a dilapidated mews and 
thieves' paradise adjoining the Champs Elyses. The stu- 
dents were all foreigners; Moronval himself was a fluent, pre- 
tentious mulatto adventurer from Guadaloupe, who avenged 
himself for his own black blood on his half-breed pupils. The 
little King of Dahomey, who had been his special pride for a 
time, was converted into a slave of all work when a revolution 
deprived him of his throne and remittances ceased. 

The professors were a set of Failures, each in his chosen line : 
a doctor without a diploma, a poet without a publisher, a singer 
without an engagement. In the "great poet," Amaury d'Ar- 
genton, the professor of literature, Jack had a premonition that 
he saw a future implacable enemy. His sole friend was the 
little negro servant-king, who told him about his happy days in 
his own sunny land far away. He also told Jack that Moronval 
had said to his wife that the boy's mother was a cocotte, and he 
asked what that meant. 

For a few months Jack was happy. Everyone treated him 
well and affectionately, and listened eagerly to his mother's 
absurdly boastful stories when she visited him. Moronval 
cherished hopes of inducing her to furnish the money for a 
review devoted to colonial interests and, incidentally, to ad- 
vertising himself. But Ida de Barancy fell hopelessly in love, 
for the first time in her life, when she heard Amaury d'Argenton 
recite his threadbare, empty poem, " The Creed of Love." D'Ar- 
genton allowed himself to be won, and, having come into an in- 
heritance, went off to the country with her. Moronval, seeing 
that his plan for his review was ruined, vented his rage on Jack. 
The little King of Dahomey, worn out with homesickness and 
ill-treatment, ran away, was brought back a week later, and 
died shortly after of despair and the hardships he had under- 
gone. While walking back from his funeral, wretched little 
Jack ran away to his former home, and finding that his mother 
was at Etiolles, walked the twenty-four miles that night, and 
fell unconscious before her house. He was taken in and cared 
for by his conscience-stricken mother, and attended by good old 
Dr. Rivals. 

D'Argenton, who grudged the expense of the school, was not 



104 JACK 

greatly incensed by Jack's flight, and even undertook to teach 
the lad many incoherent things himself. But he soon wearied 
of this and devoted himself to writing poetry, never getting 
beyond ambitious titles to works that were never written. He 
had renamed Ida "Charlotte," and blamed her for the inartistic 
atmosphere which prevented his emitting works of immortal 
genius. Charlotte listened in reverential silence; even believed 
him when he accused famous dramatists and poets of having 
stolen his unwritten works. Jack spent happy days roaming 
the forest with the old gamekeeper, whose wife acted as servant 
to the household. 

D'Argenton had a weak digestion, and now fancied himself 
dangerously ill. Dr. Rivals declared that all he needed was 
amusement; and Charlotte hit upon the idea of inviting some of 
his former friends to visit them. D'Argenton brightened up; 
Jack was terrified. Dr. Hirsch, the physician-Failure, estab- 
lished himself permanently in the house as Assistant-Dictator. 
All the other Failures came down, sometimes accompanied by 
the wives who supported them. One Sunday the Vicomtesse 
d'Argenton (as she was known at Etiolles) offered the pain btni 
at the village church. At the beadle's suggestion, she appointed 
Dr. Rivals's little granddaughter, Ccile, to carry the collection- 
bag, while Jack walked in front with the big decorated candle. 
Madame Rivals invited Jack to breakfast; and this was the be- 
ginning of a happy friendship for the lonely little boy. Soon he 
spent all his time at the Rivals's; and the doctor, who had begun 
by believing D'Argenton's assertion that Jack was stupid, soon 
thought it worth his while to forego his daily siesta for the pur- 
pose of teaching the boy. Charlotte and D'Argenton knew 
nothing of this. At the end of ten months Dr. Rivals proudly 
told them of Jack's wonderful progress and guaranteed that, if 
they would send him to a public school, he would make a name 
for himself. Charlotte was delighted; D'Argenton's opportunity 
for revenging himself on the doctor and the child had come. 
He consulted Labassindre, the singer, and decided to make an 
iron-worker of Jack, because, as he pompously told Charlotte, 
"the man of the future is the working man." Labassindre's 
real name was Roudic; he was from the Breton village of La 
Basse Indret, on the Loire, and had been employed in the iron- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 105 

works at Indret until two fine bass notes in his voice had at- 
tracted attention, and he had become a conceited pretender to 
operatic fame. Through his brother, who was foreman of a 
department at Indret, he got a promise that Jack should be re- 
ceived as an apprentice. Dr. Rivals indignantly warned d'Ar- 
genton and the mother that not only was the child unfit for such 
a life, but that he had a fine mind which would be killed by the 
forced inaction. This rendered D'Argenton more determined 
than ever. At his instigation, Charlotte argued fluently with 
Jack; to no avail, until she told him that some day she might 
be obliged to have recourse to him as her only friend and pro- 
tector. Jack yielded. A week later, Labassindre took him to 
Indret and handed him over to his brother, Roudic, in whose 
house the lad was to live. 

Jack did his best, thinking always of his mother. But his 
health was soon affected. At first he tried to continue his edu- 
cation and offset the repulsive coarseness of the men by read- 
ing, on Sundays, the classical books of which good Dr. Rivals 
had given him a boxful. Sometimes he read aloud to Roudic 
and his family, which consisted of his wife and a daughter by 
a former marriage. Pretty Clarisse, his second wife, was many 
years his junior, and was in love with his nephew, Chariot, from 
Nantes "the Nantais," as he was generally called. Roudic 
was very proud of her, and suspected nothing; but his daughter, 
Zenaide, watched over and remonstrated with her stepmother. 
One day Jack found an old acquaintance, Blisaire, a seller of 
hats, to whom he had once done a kindness, now acting as 
postman between the Nantais and Madame Roudic. They 
were in the habit of meeting at a house hired on the shore 
opposite the island. Everyone in the place, from manager 
to ferryman, including Jack, knew of their relations, except 
Roudic. 

Jack slept in an attic, reached by a ladder from Zenaide's 
room, which was burning hot in summer, icy cold in winter. 
His health continued to deteriorate. At the end of a year he 
received a letter from his mother urging him to take care of his 
health and work well, as the day might not be far distant when 
she would require his support. Jack resolved to conquer his 
repugnance, and become a good artisan. As a beginning, he 



io6 JACK 

sorrowfully nailed up all his books in their box and strove more 
heroically than ever to learn. 

Zenaide had relaxed her watchfulness over her stepmother. 
She had no thought except for her betrothal and approaching 
marriage to a good-looking brigadier in the Custom House, 
Mangin. He had cost her father dear, seven thousand francs, 
the savings of twenty years; but his wife had persuaded him to 
pay it, as he could put by more. Zenaide was perfectly con- 
scious of her own unattractiveness, her squat, uncouth figure, 
her ugly face, and that she was being married for her money; 
but she was very happy. The banns for the marriage had al- 
ready been published once, the wedding was only a fortnight oil, 
when Jack received from his mother one hundred francs, pain- 
fully economized from her meager allowance. She suggested 
that he buy a little gift for Zenaide and some clothing for him- 
self. He was trying to think of a suitable gift when, one dark 
evening, he brushed against someone who was running past 
the house. Zenaide had been showing her trousseau to friends 
during the day, and it was scattered over her room when Jack 
passed through to his attic. She proudly exhibited it to him, 
and wound up by showing him the cash-box containing her 
dowry, which was concealed under her great store of linen in 
her big wardrobe. 

When the house was still, Madame Roudic went down- 
stairs to meet the Nantais, who had written that he was coming. 
She thought it was for a love- meeting she had never admitted 
him to her house like that before; but she had yielded. What 
he wanted proved to be Zenaide's dowry as a loan for two days; 
five thousand francs would pay his gambling debt, and the re- 
maining two thousand would enable him to win a fortune. 
Madame Roudic refused; the absence of the money would be 
noticed, she said; Zenaide counted it over every day, and that 
very night she had heard her showing it to the apprentice. The 
Nantais threatened to kill himself. Clarisse declared that she 
would die also she was weary of this life of sin and falsehood. 
The Nantais rushed up the stairs; she tried to detain him, 
threatened to cry for help; but he conquered. 

The next day the Nantais met Jack and induced him to 
drink at a tavern. Proud of his money, Jack insisted upon pay- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 107 

ing for the third round of drinks, displaying a gold piece, and 
saying he had more and was going to buy a gift for Zenai'de. 
He met other acquaintances, drank more, and was arrested for 
drunkenness; and the next day, Zenai'de's loss having been dis- 
covered, he was accused of the theft upon circumstantial evi- 
dence. The manager and Roudic promised forgiveness if he 
would restore the rest of the stolen funds. Jack firmly denied 
the theft, but would not tell where he had got his money because 
his mother had bade him say that it was his own savings which 
was a manifest impossibility. Zenaide visited him in his prison, 
whither he was relegated until the evening, and entreated him, 
on her knees, to restore the money, without which Mangin would 
not marry her. The manager wrote to "the young villain's " 
mother, giving her three days in which to replace the money. 

D'Argenton's eyes flashed with cruel triumph as he read 
this letter. Charlotte felt that it was her fault for having aban- 
doned Jack, and suggested that she apply to "Bon Ami," 
whose offer of several thousand francs when she left him for 
D'Argenton she had rejected. D'Argenton hated the child, 
and was avaricious. He approved her plan, and escorted her 
to Tours, where the kindly aristocrat gladly gave her the money. 
The two set out for Indret. D'Argenton, leaving Charlotte at 
a roadside inn on the shore, went to Roudic's, where he found, 
to his amazement, a lively wedding festival in progress, and 
Jack, "the thief, the future convict," skipping gaily about in 
the dance. What had happened? This: on the day after the 
manager had written to Charlotte, Madame Roudic had pre- 
sented herself to him, and had declared that she had stolen the 
money herself, and given it to the Nantais, who had been in 
the house that night. The manager sent for the Nantais, who 
was known to be in Indret, and confronted him unexpectedly 
with Madame Roudic. The Nantais cast a look of agonized 
gratitude at his mistress, whose lie had saved him, and pro- 
duced the money, minus eight hundred francs, which, he as- 
serted, he had lost. The manager promised to replace that sum 
himself, then forced the Nantais to write a confession that he 
himself had stolen the money, threatening to have Madame 
Roudic arrested if he did not sign it. The spell was broken: 
Madame Roudic gave her lover not a glance at parting; and 



io8 JACK 

the manager persuaded her to relinquish her avowed intention 
of committing suicide by way of expiation. Jack, under- 
standing only that the poet had made a long journey to bring the 
money and save him from disgrace, assumed that the money 
was D'Argenton's own, and that he had been mistaken in the 
man's character. D'Argenton exhorted him to "work, work" 
told him that "dreamers" were the most mischievous people 
in the world ; and went away without letting the boy know that 
his mother was near; and it was many a year before Jack saw 
his mother again. 

Two years elapsed. Jack's life had been utterly uneventful. 
Letters from his mother had been rare. The Rivals family and 
little Ccile had twice omitted to answer his yearly letter at the 
New Year. One thought alone sustained him: "Earn your 
living; your mother will, some day, have need of you." Alas! 
his wages continued very low, and Roudic declared that he had 
no knack, would always be employed only on the coarsest work. 
He suggested that the lad ship aboard the Cydnus, just about 
to sail, as stoker the common resource of unskilled iron- 
workers and see the world. Jack assented, and Roudic took 
him aboard at Nantes, after four years spent at Indrel. He 
was now sixteen. At first he resisted the craving for liquor 
which the terrible life of the stoker engenders; but soon he was 
compelled to yield. This mad dream of drunkenness and tor- 
ture lasted three years, during which he sailed all over the 
world, seeing nothing of it. In the night of this abyss there 
was one spot of light, like a Madonna in a dark chapel his 
mother. Once, at Havana, a packet reached him the first 
number of The Review o] the Races of the Future, edited by the 
Vicomte d'Argenton, who contributed two articles. Labassindre 
also contributed two, while the names of Dr. Hirsch and of 
Moronval were each appended to one. The Moronvals had 
long since found it expedient to forgive D'Argenton for having 
robbed them of their intended prey, Jack's mother. As the 
coarse stoker read this collection of absurdities, and beheld the 
names of all his executioners on the smooth, daintily colored 
cover, upon which his rough hands left black marks, he shook 
his fist in a thrill of rage and indignation, exclaiming: "Ah> 
wretches, wretches, see what you have made of mel" Not long 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 109 

after this the Cydnus was run into by an American vessel, off 
Cape Verde, and sank. 

So far the Review had found only two stockholders, D'Argen- 
ton and Jack. Jack's name was down for ten thousand francs 
the money Charlotte had got from "Bon Ami" to save her 
boy. She had wished to keep it, and hand it over to him at his 
majority; but D'Argenton had insisted that the Review was 
a magnificent investment just look at the Revue des Deux 
Mondes and the price of its shares! and had wrested consent 
from her. In the first six months he had sunk more than thirty 
thousand francs himself in the publication. 

One evening Dr. Hirsch entered and contrived to tell D'Ar- 
genton, with his lips only, that the Cydnus had gone down in the 
open sea, and all lives on board had been lost. D'Argenton 
felt that he must get into the open air to allay the agitation this 
news caused him. Charlotte, thus left alone, with the storm 
beating heavily outside, fancied she saw a wreck, that she heard 
a faint voice call, "Mother!" The sound seemed to come from 
the staircase; and when she looked, there was her Jack, a big, 
wounded working man, on crutches, so overcome, so trembling 
at the idea of seeing his mother again, that he had had to halt 
half-way up and emit a cry of distress. Not a word did mother 
and son utter; they only gazed at each other and wept. D'Ar- 
genton received the news of Jack's safety with a sickly smile. 

One day Jack told his mother that he must have made a 
voyage in his very early youth ; everything had seemed so famil- 
iar to him when he shipped on the Cydnus. Charlotte confessed 
that she had brought him from Algeria at the age of three, his 
father having died suddenly. What was his father's name? 
She hesitated, was much upset, but could not refuse to tell him. 
His father had borne one of the greatest names in France, 
which she and Jack would also have borne had not a terrible 
catastrophe interfered, just as he was about to make reparation. 
She had met him this Marquis de PEpan, of the Third Regi- 
ment of Hussars at a wild-boar hunt in Algeria. Jack took 
the news of his father's great name calmly; he, at least, had no 
illusions. 

D'Argenton soon began to complain that Jack was well 
enough to go to work again; the young man's cough did not 



no JACK 

matter Dr. Hirsch said he would cough all his life and he 
ate like a wolf. Eventually, it was decided to send him down 
to the house at Etiolles, the lease of which still had two years to 
run, in order that he might grow stronger and, incidentally, 
help lease the house by inhabiting it. Jack, conscious of his 
own roughness and of the long silence on the part of Dr. Rivals, 
was embarrassed at his first meeting with the doctor, who at- 
tributed this embarrassment to his consciousness of his theft, 
Dr. Hirsch having taken pains to inform Dr. Rivals of the accu- 
sation, but not of Jack's innocence. An explanation ensued, 
and Dr. Rivals read and reread, with delight, the Indret mana- 
ger's certificate of Jack's good character. He insisted that 
Jack should come to his house as of yore; his wife was dead, 
but Cecile would welcome him heartily. Ccile was beautiful, 
gentle, friendly. Jack was overwhelmed with the conscious- 
ness of his physical uncouthness, and his moral deterioration. 
He soon became conscious that he loved Cecile. The question 
of his birth engrossed his mind, and he walked to Paris to see 
his mother, who told him that his father was Baron de Bulac, 
lieutenant in the navy, and had died long ago. Yes, probably 
that much was true, Jack reflected bitterly; his father was dead. 
He resisted his first impulse, which was to take to drink again, 
on hearing this; but, utterly crushed, he fell ill with grief, and 
Dr. Rivals carried him to his own house for treatment and care. 
At last, feeling that he could never ask for Cecile, Jack de- 
termined to go away. But Dr. Rivals divined the cause, and 
offered him Ccile, encouraging him also to work, so that he need 
no longer be a mechanic. Jack was illegitimate? Well, so was 
Cecile; and he narrated the history of his daughter's supposed 
marriage to a " Count Nadine," who had turned out to be a 
Jew from South Russia, with several wives. She had died in 
giving birth to Cecile; and as soon as old Mother Archambauld 
had informed him, years ago, of Jack's standing, he had decided 
upon him as a suitable husband for his granddaughter. He 
now suggested that Jack should study medicine and become his 
successor at Etiolles, four years of hard work being sufficient 
to win the degree of health officer all that was required at such 
a small place. Jack must find work in Paris, and in the eve- 
nings he must study at home and attend medical lectures, spend- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET m 

ing his Sundays with C&ile and himself. At the doctor's sug- 
gestion Jack at once spoke to Ccile, who confessed her love 
for him and promised to wait for him forever. 

Jack promptly found work at a good shop in Paris and set 
out in search of a lodging. During his quest, he came across 
Bflisaire; and having convinced the hawker (who was now 
established in Paris) of his innocence in the matter of the theft, 
he was invited to become the "mate" the paying third person 
whose sharing of expenses would render possible Blisaire's 
marriage with a thrifty, energetic bread-carrier, Madame 
Weber. Jack accepted and settled down to work and study. 
He took an interest in life hitherto unknown to him, and was 
making splendid progress when, one morning, Charlotte dashed 
into the attic he was occupying with B&isaire and begged him 
to protect her. D'Argenton had taken, of late, to spending his 
time at the cafes and taverns with low women; and when she 
had dared to remonstrate he had beaten her. She enlightened 
Jack as to the use which had been made of his ten thousand 
francs. She had asked her poet to return them; but he had 
drawn up a bill of fifteen thousand francs for Jack's board at 
Etiolles and at Indret. Jack's friend gave up his place to Char- 
lotte, who declared that she had left D'Argenton forever; but 
he sent her a copy of the Review, with some verses entitled 
" Broken Vows," which flattered her, and followed it up with 
a visit, resulting in a reconciliation; and when he afterward 
wrote pretending that he was ill, she went back to him. 

Jack made such progress in his studies that Dr. Rivals said 
he would be able to pass his examination for the medical college 
in less than a year; but in the autumn his cough returned; and 
a new trouble came upon him, Cecile having let him know 
through her grandfather that she could not marry him. One 
night the doctor was called to attend a dying man, who insisted 
that his wife should make a confession to the doctor. It ap- 
peared that Dr. Hirsch had given her twenty francs if she would 
tell Cecile the story of her father and mother. Dr. Rivals, hav- 
ing thus found the key to Ccile's refusal to marry Jack, nar- 
rated to her the history of patient, loving Jack's martyred life, 
and his parentage. This blow, like all the rest of his niisfojj 
tunes, had come to the poor fellow through his mother. Jack 



ii2 JACK 

had told her C6cile's history; and from her D'Argenton and 
Hirsch had learned it. 

D'Argenton was giving a grand literary evening party to 
celebrate the return of Charlotte. He had completed his great 
poem, " Broken Vows," and was reading it aloud to the assem- 
bled Failures in her presence, when he was called out by a 
messenger, who told him that Jack was ill and not expected to 
live a week. He sent the man away and did not tell Charlotte. 

Jack's savings had been exhausted on his mother, and he 
was obliged to go to the Charity Hospital. His messengers 
having failed to reach Charlotte, Madame Bflisaire declared 
that she would go herself and bring his mother. But Jack rose 
up in a sort of frenzy, crying that she was a bad, heartless 
mother, who had caused every grief of his life. She had gone 
at once to "the other one" when he pretended to be ill; but she 
had killed him, Jack, and now would not even come to see him 
die. 

As Madame Bflisaire left the hospital Dr. Rivals and Ccile 
arrived. Ccile assured Jack that she had never loved, never 
would love, anyone but him. Jack told her that she had given 
him all he had lacked in life and had been everything to him 
friend, sister, wife, mother. 

Madame B61isaire found Charlotte and D'Argenton, attired 
in velvets and furs, alighting from a carriage, and insisted that 
the mother should come to her son; and she went, notwithstand- 
ing D'Argenton's protests. Suddenly, as Jack was talking with 
Ccile, he exclaimed, with the prescience of the dying, that his 
mother was coming. In fact, she and Madame Bdlisaire were 
on the stairs. It was past the visiting hour, but all rules give 
way on occasion, and they entered, Charlotte hanging back 
with dread. C&ile was supporting Jack's head. He did not 
answer his mother's frantic appeal, and she uttered a cry of 
horror: "Dead?" 

"No," said old Dr. Rivals, in a stern voice, "no! RE- 
LEASED!" 



KINGS IN EXILE (1879) 

The monarchs of whom this novel treats are of course the imaginary rulers 
of unreal kingdoms; yet there is traceable an attempt at the delineation of actual 
character, especially in some of the minor personages. The Duke of Palma, 
for instance, is evidently the Spanish pretender, Don Carlos, while the disrepu- 
table Prince d'Axel is the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, once a notorious 
figure in Paris. It has been guessed that the Mexican experience of Maxi- 
milian and Carlotta had something to do with the genesis of this story. Daudet 
could hardly have published it in the days of the Empire, and we are probably 
indebted for its appearance to the 'all of Napoleon III. The tutor, Me*raut, 
may have been Auguste Brachct, a teacher of the Empress Eugenie. 

^UEEN FREDERICA of Illyria had slept since 
morning a sleep shaken with remembrances of 
fatigue, bloody siege, and exile, from which she 
had awaked with a start of terror. The little 
Prince, the Comte de Zara, had been sleeping 
quietly in his room, and the King had been out 
since midday. The Queen stepped to the long 
balcony of the Hotel des Pyramides, and looked 
down on the Rue de Rivoli the long stream of 
carriages, the crowd in the Tuileries garden, the military music. 
"Paris is fine, isn't it?" said a voice behind her. The King 
had returned, and he had little Zara in his arms. The crowd 
began to notice the royal exiles; a man leaped to the top of the 
railing. Frederica jumped back, half expecting a shot, but he 
held up his hat and shouted: " Vive le roil" Such a welcome 
in republican France to the discrowned sovereigns of Illyria 
warmed her to the heart. 

She was called within to welcome the Baron de Rosen. 
The exiled Illyrian minister, unavailingly displaced three years 
before by a Liberal, had unselfishly come to offer his services to 
his sovereign and to present his son, Herbert, and his son's 
wife, who had been Colette Sauvadon, a rich Parisian bour- 
geoise. It was settled that the Duke, according to his earnest 
request, should assume charge of the King's new household, 

A0>., VOL. VL8 "3 




ii 4 KINGS IN EXILE 

that Herbert should act as his aide-de-camp, and that Colette 
should be the Queen's maid of honor. The Duke returned to 
suggest that hdtel life would be beneath the royal dignity, but 
Christian II was sure that their exile would be but temporary. 
They might, he thought, be summoned to reign again at a day's 
notice. The Rosens stayed until after dinner, when the exiled 
Queen of Palermo was announced. While the two royal cousins 
went over together the weary days of the siege of Ragusa, and 
while Pfere Alphe, the King's chaplain, a rough Dalmatian 
monk, told tales of the same to Rosen, relating how the Queen 
had visited the outposts on horseback while her royal spouse 
dallied, God knows where that royal spouse inhaled the 
Parisian air and proposed to Herbert that they should have a 
taste of the pleasures of Paris, Colette meanwhile wondering 
what affairs of state the King was discussing with her husband. 

They descended to the street and took a cab. "Whereto, 
my Prince?" said the cabman, little suspecting that he spoke 
true. The King answered, with the joy of an emancipated 
schoolboy: "To MabUle!" 

The first necessity was a tutor for the little Prince, and for 
this post Pre Alphe recommended Elyse Mraut, a Gascon, 
brought up by a Royalist father in an atmosphere of respect for 
kings and for monarchy. To educate a prince for his royal 
career was a work for which he had longed. But before he be- 
gan this work the court of the exiled Illyrian monarchs had 
already been set up in the suburb of St. Mand, the Duke de 
Rosen having won his point. The house was of comfortable 
size, with grounds; and in it the royal family lived in considerable 
style and luxury. The Duke de Rosen managed the finances 
and paid the bills. "I am sure I don't see how he manages," 
said the King. "We may be certain none of the money is from 
his own pocket." In Illyria the Duke had a reputation for 
stinginess, though in Paris his great h6tel was filled with treas- 
ures the spoil of more than one foreign war. 

The King was enjoying Paris to the full. Welcomed at the 
great clubs, sought in the salons, his delicate, sarcastic profile 
became a familiar sight in the theaters, at the races and in the 
cafes. The Queen he seldom saw except on Sundays; but she 
had long lost her respect for him as a man, though she rever- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 115 

enced him as a sovereign. For him, while he became more and 
more intoxicated in the diabolical whirl of Paris life, she con- 
spired, she corresponded, she planned to regain their lost crown. 
The society of exiled royalties which they frequented looked 
at her with amusement. That sort of thing was long ago over 
for them; their motto was: Cui bono! 

On a rainy winter morning Elyse Mraut gave his first im- 
portant lesson to the royal child while his mother sat near by. 
And while he explained to the boy in simple words, yet straight 
from his heart, the duties, privileges, and responsibilities of a 
king, Frederica listened in delighted surprise. These were the 
words for which she had despairingly waited for years. If 
Christian had been like that he would still have been on the 
throne. Her eyes shone, her bosom heaved, and Mraut 
thought he could almost see the diadem on her brow. The 
midday hour struck before the lesson was over. The little court 
awaited the royal pair for the ceremonial breakfast, but to its 
dismay the King appeared not. The pleasures of Paris had 
detained him and his night was not yet over! The Queen hesi- 
tated for an instant and then she said, "Let us go to breakfast," 
and, turning to the little Zara: "Come, Sire!" So the King 
who was to be that day took the place of the King who had 
deserved to lose his crown. 

Christian II was "making file" as they called it then in 
the fashionable Paris clubs; that is, he was going the full round 
of dissipation. Always unfaithful to his wife, he had at first 
taken to himself the little Colette, who, after a brief dream of 
royal favor, was cast aside for Amy Ferat, an actress. Step 
by step, then, he abandoned himself to the pleasure of the de- 
scent that leads at last to the gutter. He took with fervor to 
Parisian slang. Everything he liked was rigolo ("comical"), 
so that Rigolo became his nickname, just as his boon com- 
panion Prince d'Axel, the disgraced Crown Prince of Finland, 
was known as Qtteue-de-Poule ("Chicken-tail"). 

One day, after breakfast, Frederica, glancing at the Illyrian 
papers, cried out aloud. "Read that!" she said to Boscovich, 
the King's secretary, as she handed the paper to him. The 
Illyrian Diet had passed a resolution to return to the exiled 
sovereigns the crown property, valued at two hundred millions 



ii6 KINGS IN EXILE 

of francs, on condition that Christian II should renounce for 
himself and his descendants all rights to the throne. 

The salon resounded with indignation. "We cannot keep 
silent under this blow," cried the Queen, turning involuntarily 
to Mraut, who was feverishly writing something with a pencil. 
It was a proclamation rejecting the conditions and reassuring 
the King's faithful adherents. All glanced at the King, who 
stood biting his nails. "That's all very fine," he muttered. 
" But can we keep to it ? " The Queen turned pale. " Is it the 
King who speaks?" 

"When Ragusa had no food, it had to surrender Rosen! 
You alone can tell us. How long can we go on?" "Five 
years, Sire." "Very good. Mfraut, give me the letter; I will 
sign it." 

The proclamation had a good effect in Illyria. The people, 
moved by the eloquence of their King, began to send in patri- 
otic addresses, and soon pilgrimages and deputations began to 
arrive. These bored Christian excessively; they interfered with 
his pleasures. Finally, on a Sunday afternoon, preparations 
were made to receive an unusually important delegation a 
royalist party from the Diet itself to consult the King regarding 
the best way to bring about his restoration. The house was 
alive with coming and going, and the gravel outside was echo- 
ing with the roll of the state coaches. Mdraut was sitting alone 
in his schoolroom, expecting to hear the King's voice, reading 
his speech. But there was only silence. Suddenly he saw 
Christian II outside, sidling toward the house slowly and awk- 
wardly. He disappeared within; then there was the sound of 
a fall in the room above. Meraut ran up and threw open the 
door. The King stood leaning against the wall, pale and with 
rumpled linen. His condition was only too plain. The Queen 
was speaking in a low voice but sternly: "You must come; you 
must!" "I cannot; you see I cannot!" Then he stammered 
excuses in a silly, childish voice. She tried to steady him, but 
even as she held him he collapsed; and letting him fall on a 
divan she left the room. 

It was not long after this that Christian II made a momen- 
tous acquaintance that of Sdphora, the beautiful wife of Tom 
Levis, the English broker and dealer in curios. "Tom" was 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 



117 



really a Parisian who chose to masquerade as a cockney, and 
she was a Jewess with a past. To the King she seemed emi- 
nently desirable, and he gave up all his other pleasures in her 
pursuit. His boon friend, Queue-de-Poule, assured him that 
she was unapproachable; but the King had not been flattered 
by all Paris to believe that. There was a wager a large one 
which was duly recorded on the club-books and duly read and 
laughed over by its members. 

Not long after this the Queen discovered by accident that 
the greater part of the royal expenses were paid out of the 
pocket of the faithful Baron Rosen. There was a scene, but 
she was inexorable. Servants were dismissed and carriages 
and horses were sold. A sad state of affairs for a high-flying 
monarch ! Soon there were disquieting rumors that the national 
orders and decorations of Illyria could be had for money. To 
such expedients was the King put to pay the costs of " making 
fete." The Bohemia of exile was beginning to swallow the 
house of Illyria. More and more stringent became the ne- 
cessities of the royal household, until one night the Queen, with 
Mraut to aid her, actually pried some of the jewels from the 
royal crown the only valuable relic of the exiled Illyrian 
couple. 

But the next day Elyse brought back the jewels, pale and 
agitated. "What is the matter?" faltered the Queen. "They 
are all false!" "False?" "Yes, quite worthless; very care- 
fully imitated in paste!" 

His Majesty, Christian II, had been before them! 

But events spell ruin or good fortune, as you look at them; 
and all these things suggested to the fertile brain of Tom Levis 
what he called his Grand Stroke. The idea of it pleased him 
so much that he danced a frantic jig as he and his wife stood 
alone in the little basement office of the " Levis Agency." When 
he was tired he whispered a name in Sphora's ear. Her face 
fell. 

"What! that great baby! . . . Why, he hasn't a sou." 

"Don't scoff at the Lion of Illyria, my girl," said Tom. 
"His skin alone is worth two hundred millions!" 

This was his plan: Christian must be induced to accept the 
proposition of the Diet, ceding his rights in return for a fortune. 



n8 KINGS IN EXILE 

He must come to it sooner or later. Poverty was pressing; 
creditors became importunate; he had grown to think con- 
stantly of the wealth to be had by the scratching of a pen. It 
was the plan of this worldly couple to increase the pressure, to 
multiply the debts, and to make the creditors bolder. Two 
things were needed : a considerable sum of money and a clever 
woman. The money they trusted to worm out of Sphora's 
father, who had plenty. But the woman? 

" S^phora, you've begun; you must go on," said Tom. "He 
makes no secret of his infatuation; why, he has even recorded 
a wager in the club-book!" The tranquil Sphora was roused. 
"He has, has he? Upon my word!" 

That decided her. Christian II had fallen into the habit 
of frequenting the "Levis Agency." Sphora had been calm 
and cold, but on the day after her talk with Tom there was a 
change. They fell into a conversation. Sphora longed to 
go to Les Fantaisies, but her husband never would take her to 
the theater. His Majesty offered to accompany her. The 
evening was delightful; but before it ended Sphora took occa- 
sion to let him know that she knew of his wager and to reproach 
him with it an admirable stroke, for she meant to be cold 
and to lead him on gradually; and the insulting bet was a 
fine excuse for coldness. They grew, however, more and 
more friendly. The King was seen with her everywhere; Paris 
began to talk. But whenever Christian declared his love the 
coy one sighed and said that royalty was too far above her. 
"That can be remedied," said Christian; "I will make you a 
countess." 

Matters had now gone far enough to bring in her father, 
who was to furnish the sinews of war. She showed him a great 
package of the King's notes of hand, and asked if he would 
cash them. The old man laughed at her, but grew serious 
when she explained the Grand Stroke. " We will see we will 
see," he said; "but we must be very sure of the woman. Who 
is she?" "You don't know her," replied Sphora. "Yes; 
but what is her name?" Sephora stopped a moment to tie her 
bonnet-strings, and incidentally to look at her beautiful face. 

"She is the Comtesse de Spalato," said she gravely. 

Not long after this there was a notable gathering in the gray 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 119 

old building of the Institute of France, a meeting of the Acad- 
mie Franf aise, at which was present all the royalist society of 
Paris, which rarely shows itself nowadays at a public function. 
The occasion was the crowning of the Memorial of the Siege of 
Ragusa, by the Duke de Rosen's son, Prince Herbert. Elys6e 
Mdraut had written the book for him, and so it really had merit. 
It was regarded as in some wise a Royalist manifesto. But the 
principal honors of the day were not for Prince Herbert. While 
the amphitheater rang with applause for him, the slam of a 
door drew all eyes to a box in which a very beautiful woman 
had just taken her seat. All Paris knew her, her magnificent 
house, her royal protector. The poor Queen of Illyria, who 
sat in the next box, knew also, but her face betrayed no con- 
sciousness. The clubmen whispered: "Very chic"', the jour- 
nalists: "That's pluck!" And all smiled benevolently. 

Meanwhile the magnificent sentences of the Memorial rang 
out from the rostrum. The virtues of the exiled Christian, his 
heroism in the siege, were duly celebrated. The Queen's eyes 
filled with tears; she had no illusions; she thought only of 
Elyse, who had created this ideal king, so different from the 
base reality. Mraut was in the rear of her box, and she turned 
to him with the words: "Thank you; thank you!" Baron 
Rosen took her outstretched hand. He thought she was con- 
gratulating him on his son's success! 

That evening Mraut, walking in the garden, encountered 
poor Councilor Boscovich in tears. Seeing Elysee, he sobbed 
out that Christian was even now signing his Act of Renuncia- 
tion in an upper chamber. Mraut was stunned for a moment; 
then he ran off to find the Queen, into whose presence he almost 
forced himself. At his first word she bounded. "It shall not 
be!" Giving orders to waken the little Prince, she ran up the 
stairs and burst into the room where the King had just affixed 
his name to the fatal document. For a time she pleaded in vain; 
then she brought in the child, and, causing him to kneel, made 
him plead in turn for his crown, his royal rights. She poured 
into the King's ears what had hitherto been kept from him a 
plan to invade Illyria, to win back the crown on the field of 
battle. It seemed in vain. Then she caught up the child and 
going to the window threatened to leap from it, to destroy her- 



120 KINGS IN EXILE 

self and him in the wreck of their throne. Then Christian re- 
sisted no longer. His heart burst in his bosom; and, flinging 
away the crumpled deed, he fell sobbing into his chair. 

In the house of old Leemans, S^phora's father, the conspir- 
ators were assembled, gleefully discussing the success of their 
plot. Christian's extravagances had driven him to the ex- 
tremity of debt; his renunciation could not be much longer 
delayed. Into this happy group like a bombshell fell Lebeau, 
the King's faithless valet and the conspirators' go-between. 
He had been watched for days, he said, but he had finally eluded 
his guards and flown to tell them bad news. The Queen had 
won; the renunciation, already signed, had been destroyed, and 
a plan for the invasion of Illyria was well advanced. Conster- 
nation reigned. "It is robbery!" "The Government must 
prevent it," cried the disappointed plotters. Suddenly Sphora 
cried out: "Listen, Lebeau. If the King goes with the expe- 
dition, warn me. If I know one hour in advance, I swear to 
you that it shall not take place!" 

Not long afterward there was a grand jete at a Royalist 
garden on the Quai d'Anjou. The Illyrian volunteers, and 
with them the flower of the French Royalist youth, were dan- 
cing farewell to Paris. On the morrow they were off, taking 
separate trains to Marseilles, the point of embarkation, in order 
not to engender suspicion. Lebeau saw and understood; and 
the promised warning was sent to the "Comtesse de Spalato." 
In her magnificent palace she awaited the King, for she was 
sure he would come to bid her good -by. Then? But she had 
reckoned without her host. Christian vacillated, it is true, 
but he knew that danger lurked in such a farewell and he held 
himself from it. Almost to the surprise of his incredulous fol- 
lowers, he was at the station in time for the midnight train. 
He flung himself into the corner of a carriage and was off. At 
first he did not notice the woman in the opposite corner. He 
prepared to sleep, when of a sudden he felt a caress on his 
cheek, and heard a murmured word: "Cruel! without bidding 
me farewell!" 

Ten hours later Christian awoke in the Hdtel du Faisan at 
Fontainebleau. One day with Sphora would not matter, he 
thought he could take a later train to Marseilles. His day 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 121 

was enjoyable indeed, but when he finally reached the seaport 
it was only to walk into the arms of a commissary of police. 
The French Government, he was told, could not countenance 
an attempt against a sister power. His Majesty must return 
to Paris. S^phora's plans had worked well! 

And what of the expedition, which had set sail as planned, 
though without a leader? The first news reached Paris through 
a letter from Herbert de Rosen to Colette, his wife the farewell 
of a condemned man to the woman soon to be his widow. The 
ill-fated expedition, betrayed into an ambush, had been over- 
whelmed almost as soon as it had landed, and its leaders were 
to be executed. And so it was. 

There was now but one course for Christian to take, Mdraut 
advised him. He must abdicate in favor of his son. Christian 
was quite willing, and the ceremony took place soon afterward, 
in the midst of a throng of exiled royalties, all alas! in black, 
for the unfortunate expedition to Illyria had claimed a victim 
from each of them. The King signed the document and then 
made homage to the little Zara, who by this act became, in the 
eyes of those present, Leopold V, King of Illyria and Dalmatia. 
Then the boy darted away to play, and the ex-King, with his 
dear Queue-de-Poule, departed in his phaeton. The Queen 
heard him go, for the first time without regret. What mattered 
it now? It was no longer the King of Illyria that the women 
of Paris were taking from her. 

On the day after the news of the disaster to the expedition, 
Christian had sworn that he would never see Sdphora again; 
and he had indeed kept away from her for a long time, during 
which she and Tom Levis were spending a delightful holiday 
in the palatial house on the avenue. But one day the bell rang 
hurriedly. "The King!" Tom vanished. Sphora prepared 
herself, for she understood that something new had happened. 
Christian knelt before her. "It is I really I and forever!" 
She looked at him wildly. "Yes, I am no longer the King; 
only a man who will spend his life in loving you." 

"I cannot believe it; have you really renounced " 

"Better than that read this!" and he thrust the abdication 
into her hand. 

She read slowly, and as she gradually saw the two hundred 



122 KINGS IN EXILE 

millions crumbling and sinking from her grasp her face fell. 
Her six months of useless sacrifice the fury of the conspirators, 
robbed by this ninny's false maneuver, all rose before her, while 
Christian stood smiling, expecting an explosion of tenderness! 
It was so droll! She rose with a frantic laugh, and shouting 
to the stupefied ex-King, "Idiot, begone!" she bolted into her 
own chamber. 

Without a sou, without crown, without wife, without mistress, 
he cut a sorry figure as he went down that staircase. 

After the abdication life went on much as usual in the royal 
household, but a change had taken place in the Queen-mother. 
She loved the boy now not only as her son but as her sovereign. 
One day as she took her morning walk with him, the news came 
that the abdication had had an excellent effect in Illyria and 
that the name of little Leopold V was becoming popular. Al- 
ready she saw him with the crown on his head. While she 
dreamed, Mraut led the lad away to practise shooting at a tar- 
get. Of a sudden the Queen heard a shot and a loud piercing 
cry. Leaping up and running to where her child was, she saw 
him lying on the ground, while Mraut cried out despairingly: 
"I did it!" The little King had been struck by a shot fired 
by Elyse, which had rebounded from a trellis. There was a 
moment of awful suspense. She watched the wounded boy 
until she saw him move. "He lives!" she shouted deliriously. 
Then her gaze rested on M&raut faithful Mraut, whose mind 
and soul had upheld them all through these years. The mem- 
ory of it all passed quickly through her mind. His devotion 
his love was it all for the sovereign or partly for the woman? 
Had he dared! "Begone! Begone!" she cried. "Let me 
never see you again!" 

The little King had lost the sight of one eye. His general 
health recovered, but would the Illyrians restore a one-eyed 
monarch? One day a mother, closely veiled, brought a little 
boy to the rooms of a great Parisian oculist. "This lad will 
lose also the sight of his other eye," said the physician, "unless 
he is operated upon at once. But his constitution would not 
bear it; it would kill him. The alternatives are death or 
total blindness." 

"Poor little Zara!" cried the agonized mother, as she led him 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 123 

away. "What matter whether he reign; oh, my God! ... let 
him livel let him livel" 

In the carriage the child turned to her: 

" Mamma, if I am no longer a king, will you love me just the 
same?" 

"Oh, my treasure!" 

She pressed the little hand passionately. Warmed and 
comforted by that clasp, Frederica was then a mother only; 
and as she passed the ruined Tuileries, where once, as a young 
Queen, she had danced in the clays of the Second Empire, she 
gazed on them without emotion, as if she looked on some 
ancient ruin of Assyria or of Egypt. 



THE NABOB (1878) 

This novel, considered by many critics and readers as the finest of Daudet's 
sustained efforts, probably aroused more speculation and complaint than any 
other of his books upon its first appearance. As the author said: "Not a line of 
my work, not one of its heroes, not even a character of secondary importance, 
but has become a pretext for allusions and protestations." Daudet admitted 
and defended his taking the Due de Morny for the character of the minister of 
state in this much-discussed novel; he also acknowledged having known, in 1864, 
the real Nabob, whose dazzling career shot swiftly across the Parisian sky like 
a meteor, and "evidently served as the framework of The Nabob, a picture 
of manners and morals at the close of the Second Empire," to quote the author's 
own words. But Daudet never permitted it to be said that the other characters 
were drawn from those real personages which commentators presumed to 
identify in The Nabob that Sarah Bernhardt served for the delineation of 
Felicia, for instance. Usually a Daudrt novel is a gallery of pictures presented 
by a master craftsman, and The Nabob is a noteworthy example of this; as 
Henry James has observed, it is "full of episodes which are above all pages of 
execution, triumphs of translation." 

j(NE misty morning toward the end of November, 
1864, Dr. Robert Jenkins, the fashionable phy- 
sician of Paris, and inventor of the Jenkins 
Arsenical Pills, stood on the stoop of his little 
house to bid his wife adieu before starting upon 
his daily round. He told her he would breakfast 
with the Nabob, that personage out of the 
Thousand and One Nights, of whom all Paris 
was then talking. The coupe* stopped first at 
the H6tel de Mora, where the suave Irish doctor examined his 
illustrious patient, the highest functionary of the Empire, and 
simply recommended the Due to continue with the " Jenkins 
Pearls." They talked of the Nabob, otherwise Monsieur Jan- 
soulet, who had made a colossal fortune in Tunis, and the Due 
de Mora consented that the bronzed Croesus should be pre- 
sented to him at a forthcoming affair to be given by Madame 
Jenkins. Delighted, the physician sped on to his next patient, 
the old dandy, the Marquis de Monpavon, who was in the 
midst of his matutinal make-up. He declared the pearls were 
working wonders in his worn-out system. Dr. Jenkins in- 

"4 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 125 

cautiously betrayed the fact that Monsieur le Due had promised 
to meet the Nabob, whereupon Monpavon became greatly 
agitated, and warned the speaker that it was long understood 
that he, the Marquis, would present the golden parvenu to his 
Excellency. Blandly acquiescing, Jfcnkins took his departure 
for the studio of Felicia Ruys, whom he found at work upon her 
new animal group. This famous, erratic sculptor received him 
coldly, even contemptuously, while he fawned for a kind word. 
Again the Nabob was talked about, and the strange, capricious 
girl said she would like to model "that white Ethiopian visage." 
Dr. Jenkins soon left his hostile hostess for an equally unfriendly 
host, Andre Marannc, his stepson, who had taken cheap quar- 
ters as a photographer. The Irish physician made that dis- 
agreeable call because his wife had urged it; now the determined 
Andr refused all conciliation, and rejected every gilded offer 
advanced by his mother's second husband, who angrily closed 
the interview with the words: "Never apply to us." Andr6 
was bound to earn his own living, and devote his leisure to 
literature. So be it! Jenkins dismissed the subject and bade 
the coachman drive to the Place Vend6me mansion, where the 
Nabob lived. 

Breakfast at the Nabob's was merely a feast for the para- 
sites, whereat they fell upon the rich man to carry off some of 
the spoil so good-naturedly given. Monpavon and his con- 
fr&re, Paganetti, secured a big check for the Caisse Territorial 
of Corsica, a vast financial enterprise; Jenkins easily obtained 
two hundred thousand francs for his humanitarian scheme of 
the Work of Bethlehem, which fed infants artificially. Then 
there was Cardailhac, a theatrical manager, whose theater was 
supported by the generous Nabob, and Moessard, a journalist, 
who " puffed " the millionaire for a substantial consideration. 
Many other leeches attended these wonderful morning meals, 
but the aforesaid individuals led the van, with their early prom- 
ises of the cross, and the possibility of becoming a deputy. 
Nabob Jansoulet eagerly swallowed all baits. But it was a 
relief when a young man, Paul de G&y, fresh from the beloved 
mother of the Nabob, appeared on the scene, not to solicit money, 
but to offer his services to the wealthy parvenu, which the latter 
gladly accepted. De Gery was at once appointed his secretary. 



126 THE NABOB 

In due time, the ardent wish of Jansoulet was fulfilled: he 
met the Due de Mora, and that great personage was conde- 
scending enough to play cart6 with him, during which the 
Nabob gratefully lost thousands of francs. Paul de G&y ac- 
companied his patron to this Jenkins party, and witnessed the 
insult hurled at the Nabob by Baronne Hemerlingue, a former 
odalisque of a harem in Tunis. She and her husband were 
desperate and deadly enemies of Jansoulet, though Banker 
Hemerlingue had once been his closest friend in their days 
together of hardship and struggle. To Paul, Parisian society 
seemed a hideous, fantastic farce. He overheard several bits 
of scandal that caused him bewilderment and pain. Someone 
said that the Jenkins couple were not married, another whis- 
pered of a liaison between the lovely Felicia Ruys and the im- 
passible Due de Mora; then Paul was more horrified than ever 
to learn the things in circulation about the Nabob, whom gossip 
reported to have stolen his millions from the Bey of Tunis, among 
other nefarious deeds. The young secretary was shocked, but 
did not believe these rumors, and he resolved to watch over the 
interest of his simple and trusting master. One of the steps 
toward this protective attitude was that of acquiring financial 
and banking knowledge. 

Chance led the young mentor to Monsieur Joyeuse, late 
cashier for the Hemerlingue establishment, who was glad to 
give instructions that he might support his motherless family of 
four fair daughters, Aline, known as " Grandmamma " in that 
charmed circle, Elise, Henrietta, and Yaia. Chance also would 
have it that the literary photographer, Andr6 Maranne, lived 
upstairs in the same house with this Joyeuse family, and was 
on friendly terms with its members, especially with Elise. De 
Gry was enchanted by the domestic harmony and purity of 
the old cashier's household, and he could not refrain from con- 
trasting it with the discordant homes of so-called society. 

Felicia was at work on the bust of the Nabob, and Paul 
never missed one of the Sundays on which the artist allowed 
her friends access to her studio. The young fellow felt an irre- 
sistible attraction to the wild, brilliant girl, who seemed to vent 
all her sarcasm and scorn on the willing head of Dr. Jenkins. 
Paul did not know of a dark and dastardly attempt, made by 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 127 

the smug physician, upon the virtue of Felicia, when she was 
merely a girl, and which had destroyed her faith in mankind; 
for her father had singled out Jenkins as her protector! That 
estimable guardian still retained an incurable passion for his 
charge, but she repulsed him with verbal vitriol. Jenkins was 
now jealous of the sittings given the Nabob. Once he broke in 
upon them; Felicia was incensed, and Jenkins was taken to 
task mercilessly. When the Nabob had passed out of hearing, 
Felicia announced that she intended making him marry her. 
Jenkins went livid, and informed her that Jansoulet was a 
married man. It was only too true. Angry, disgusted, the 
sculptor overturned the clay model of her latest subject and it 
fell to the floor a shapeless mass. 

Not long after Madame Jansoulet arrived in Paris with her 
three children and retinue of servants. She was an obese Le- 
vantine, useless to herself and to everybody else. Paris nau- 
seated her, and she spent her days hi seclusion, smoking, and 
amusing herself criticizing manuscripts sent her by the accom- 
modating Cardailhac, manager of the Nouveautls. The Nabob 
employed his time in numerous ways, working particularly for 
the cross of the Legion of Honor, and for a seat in the Chamber 
of Deputies. These were absorbing ambitions. He thought 
himself a sure candidate for both houses, through founding the 
Work of Bethlehem and by supporting the Caisse Territoriale. 
It was therefore a keen disappointment when Dr. Jenkins re- 
ceived the coveted order, as a tribute to his artificial nursing 
establishment, which, by the way, killed more infants than it 
saved. Of course the smooth Irishman offered his cross and 
letters patent to Jansoulet, who very naturally rejected them, 
though the distinction had cost him four hundred and thirty 
thousand francs! 

Meanwhile Paul de Ge*ry shouldered most of the Nabob's 
responsibilities, and went thrice a week to M. Joyeuse for 
lessons hi accounting. Paul began to feel extraordinary interest 
in Aline Joyeuse "Grandmamma," as her father and sisters 
called her while the photographer, Andre* Maranne, who 
worked on his drama, R&uolte, day and night, showed de- 
cided predilection for the society of Elise. And many were the 
merry evenings passed together, with Pfere Joyeuse watching the 



x*8 THE NABOB 

young folks and building innumerable air-castles, as was his 
habit. About this time, too, Paul discovered that Felicia Ruys 
and Aline had been chums during school-days, though so 
widely different in disposition. Silently he contrasted the two 
and realized that while the artist fascinated, enthralled him, 
" Grandmamma " exercised a gentle, irresistible influence over 
him. Paul was often puzzled to know which of the girls he pre- 
ferred. As for them, they both treated him as an exceptionally 
welcome visitor and friend. This attitude was more noticeable 
in Felicia, as she was brusque, bitter-tongued with everybody, 
the Due de Mora not excepted. That gentleman of the world, 
however, stood her rebuffs with good grace. It may be said 
here, also, that the Nabob had won high favor with his Ex- 
cellency, and the strange companions were frequently together, 
usually at the gaming-table. 

Baron Hemerlingue and Jansoulet were deadly rivals, in 
spite of their former friendship in Tunis. The latest move 
made by the latter to retain the Bey's good-will was a loan of 
fifteen million francs; and that African ruler was now expected 
to visit Paris. The Nabob made the most elaborate prepara- 
tions at his chateau, St. Romans, to receive the monarch. 
FHes were planned for several days, Cardailhac assuming the 
management of them and sparing no expense. Excitement 
was at fever pitch, and even that hard-working, good old peasant, 
Mfere Jansoulet, flew about as never before. Imagine the con- 
sternation, then, when the royal train passed by the Nabob and 
his corps of merrymakers, only stopping long enough to allow 
the Bey of Tunis to call the master of St. Romans a thief, and 
Hemerlingue and his son witnessed this cruel scene, for they 
were in the car beside the dusky Prince. Through some under- 
hand trick the enemy of Jansoulet had triumphed over him. 
The poor Nabob reflected what the Bey's insult meant the 
confiscation of his vast estates and property in Tunis. But 
while he was on the verge of despair, a despatch arriving from 
the Due de Mora conveyed the glorious news that he was the 
official candidate of Corsica. A deputyship meant salvation, 
for the Bey of Tunis would not dare treat a representative of the 
French nation without a fair trial in reference to any accusa- 
tion; and of this the Nabob had no fear. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 129 

An electoral cyclone enveloped Corsica, which cost the 
Nabob a mint of money; but he was elected, and all that re- 
mained to make him a deputy indeed was verification of his 
credentials to use parliamentary parlance. But his enemies 
were at work, circulating slanderous stories against him. The 
Hemerlingues were waging a war of hatred and spite. It was 
a crisis in the Nabob's financial, political, and social life. 
Either all or nothing. The strain was terrible. Disgusted 
with the swarm of parasites and blackmailers filling the house 
morning, noon, and night, Paul de Gry decided to leave the 
employ of the Nabob; but the latter pleaded with him to remain 
until the agony was over; and the young man, realizing the 
plight of the tormented rich man, resolved to see him through 
at any cost. And the first thing he did toward helping his 
patron out of the mire was to persuade the capricious Felicia to 
\\ork over and finish the bust of him begun some months ago. 
It would then be exhibited at the Salon, which would in a way 
help him to regain prestige. Ah, that interview between Paul 
and Felicia how by a hair's breadth it escaped being a declara- 
tion of love! But two things prevented it: the Due de Mora 
had been expected to dinner, and Felicia herself drew a sketch, 
from memory, of Aline's pure profile, which was eriven to Paul. 
And even when the enigmatical daughter of Sebastian Ruys re- 
fused to see the Due, evidently preferring the company of Paul, 
whom she coaxed to dine with her, not a word betraying his 
emotion came from the lips of the favored guest. 

Both the animal group and the bust of the Nabob won dis- 
tinction at the Spring Exhibition. Felicia had honors heaped 
upon her; but at last she saw with her own eyes the love between 
Aline Joyeuse and Paul de Gry, and became desperate. She 
told the Due de Mora she would accept him as a lover, which 
startled him out of his usual reserve. He was exultant, and 
greeted the Nabob, when he caught sight of him, as "my dear 
Deputy," a salutation that made Jansoulet's heart leap, his 
brain whirl. That day was altogether a triumph for the Nabob, 
whose bust attracted hundreds of visitors, among whom were 
the Bey and his suite. The ruler of Tunis had been duly im- 
pressed by the position evidently accorded his former subject 
in the French capital. Hemerlingue, fatter and yellower than 

A.D., VOL. vi. 9 



i 3 o THE NABOB 

ever, felt himself losing ground in that variable royal mind. 
Had he known of one fatal mistake made by the Nabob dur- 
ing his intoxicating triumph, the Baron would have rejoiced. 
Jansoulet had snubbed his insolent creature, the journalist 
Moessard, whose pen would henceforth be dipped in gall, in 
return for the slight. And it was. Vituperative articles ap- 
peared regularly in the Messager, setting forth supposed shame- 
ful enterprises engaged in by Jansoulet some years ago. Hemer- 
lingue therefore employed Moessard to keep up the nefarious 
attack. 

Intensely wrought up over the calumnious stories, the poor 
Nabob sought the Due de Mora, who assured him that he would 
stand by him and have his election confirmed by the Chamber; 
but his Excellency was in bad health, and when Jansoulet had 
this encouraging interview, the affable Dr. Jenkins was present, 
ascertaining the condition of his anaemic patient, which led to 
the advice that he should change his dissolute habits. Monsieur 
le Due laughed as he requested plenty of the Jenkins Pearls, and 
toyed with a scented note in his hand a missive which bore 
every characteristic of Felicia, a fact that almost maddened the 
dissembling physician. 

The Nabob carried away the sage counsel of De Mora to 
keep cool under fire; but when he read the next article in the 
Messager, branding his mother with infamy, "the drunkenness 
of blood demanding blood enveloped him." Unfortunately 
Moessard hove in sight; and but for the spectators the Nabob 
would have killed the wretch; as it was, he administered a 
thrashing to the contemptible blackguard. 

To return to our friends, the Joyeuses, Andr Maranne, and 
Paul de Gry, a multiplied happiness had come to them. R6- 
volte, the drama of the poet-photographer, had been accepted by 
Monsieur Caxdailhac. To celebrate the memorable event they 
all went on a picnic; and before that outdoor excursion was over 
two pairs of lovers had plighted troth: Andrg and Elise, Paul 
and Aline. One thing only marred the family rejoicing, and that 
was when Felicia Ruys and the Due de Mora passed on horse- 
back, in an out-of-the-way path. The riders were linked in an 
affectionate attitude, and their direction indicated the Duke's 
private ch&let, the rendezvous of his assignations. "Grand- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 131 

mamma" pitied her reckless friend, but Paul sadly felt the 
truth of his intuition. 

About a week after the Moessard-Jansoulet encounter and 
that ride in the woods of Felicia and the Due de Mora, the latter 
was taken hopelessly ill, and after a brave fight, died like the 
man of the world he prided himself on being. This casualty 
destroyed the Nabob's last hope, withdrew powerful protection 
from Monpavon against his creditors, which caused the Marquis 
to take to his bed at such a calamity, and, finally, deprived 
Jenkins of a profitable patient, but gave the conniving doctor 
an opportunity of gaining possession of Felicia's letters to the 
departed statesman. The unlucky Nabob had but one vague 
hope now. Paul de Gdry had gone to Tunis to negotiate with 
the Bey for a percentage of his patron's vast wealth tied up 
there. Jansoulet imagined that with a remnant of his fortune 
he might still fight his powerful, relentless enemies, and win 
his election as a Deputy. 

Nothing could surpass the magnificence of the Minister of 
State's funeral. All Paris mourned, or seemed to, for the de- 
ceased Duke. Business was suspended during the obsequies. 
Felicia, stricken with an indefinable dread, fled from the city 
and turned her face toward the kingdom of the Bey, who had 
offered her magnificent chances for work in Tunis. In the 
cemetery where De Mora was laid at rest, Baron Hemerlingue 
and the Nabob met, and the latter humbly sought reconciliation. 
Hemerlingue said they might again be friends if Madame Jan- 
soulet would only call upon the Baronne Hemerlingue, and thus 
make peace possible; for his wife could not forget nor forgive 
till that time the insults Jansoulet's wife had heaped upon her 
in the Orient, by despising her as a harem slave. The Nabob 
must also placate Monsieur Le Merquier, of the Chamber, who 
had charge of his case before it. As Le Merquier was a creature 
of Hemerlingue nothing could be easier to arrange. Every- 
thing again looked rosy in the anxious eyes of the Nabob until 
his wife, his obstinate, brainless Levantine wife, refused to call 
upon Baronne Hemerlingue. She could not, would not, meet 
a harem slave as her equal, and that settled the matter ! Driven 
to desperation, the Nabob paid the promised visit alone; but 
the vindictive Baronne was not appeased; instead she became 



I 3 2 THE NABOB 

more enraged than ever at the affront. Then the harassed 
man solicited an interview with Le Merquier, only to be repulsed; 
for that hypocrite belonged body and soul to the Hemerlingues. 

At last the day dawned during which the validity of M. 
Jansoulet's election was to be decided before the Chamber of 
Deputies. Led by some strange instinct, Mfere Jansoulet left 
the Chateau St. Romans in time to witness her boy's trial, 
though he was not aware of her presence until he stood upon 
his feet in brave defense of his honor against the insidious and 
false charges read before the Assembly by Le Merquier. He 
had won the sympathy of the audience for his political cam- 
paign in Corsica, and was about to explain the unsavory repu- 
tation given to the name of Jansoulet, in the city, when he 
caught sight of his dear old mother's face. Poor Nabob! he 
could not go on and smirch his brother's character in her eyes. 
That elder brother had been the one guilty of the misdemeanors 
attributed to the candidate; but he suddenly resolved to with- 
hold his vindication, the presentation of which might mean 
election, fame, fortune. The Nabob sat down amid wild con- 
fusion. M. Jansoulet's election was declared void. It was then 
that Mere Jansoulet understood her boy's supreme sacrifice; 
and she endeavored to tell the crowd about her two sons, but her 
effort was fruitless. She was found by the Nabob, who gently 
guided her to their carriage, and as they rolled away he laid his 
head against her shoulder and wept like a child. 

If the Jansoulet household was disrupted, the Jenkins 
manage kept it company. The inventor of the Pearls, the 
arsenic charlatan, disappeared, leaving instructions to sell 
everything he possessed. Madame Jenkins, practically aban- 
doned, and not the rascal's legal wife, was forced out of her 
home. With mind on suicide bent, she paid a farewell visit to 
Andre*, her son. Guessing, ay, knowing her straits, he saved 
her from the rash deed, and declared she should always share 
his home. Another remnant of the general upheaval was not 
so fortunate. The Marquis de Monpavon, without friend or a 
sou, made his way to a cheap bath and cut his throat. Two 
slashes of the razor, and all his factitious majesty burst like a 
bubble. Of course the Caisse Territoriale went into insolv- 
ency, and Paganetti became a fugitive. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 133 

Paul de G6ry really succeeded in wresting ten millions of 
francs from the rapacious Bey; and, this in hand, he hastily 
made his exit from the atmosphere of injustice and fraud. But 
a fearful experience was in reserve for the clever emissary ere 
he reached Paris. At Bordighera, in a hotel where he stopped 
a few hours, he happened to be assigned the room adjoining 
that of Felicia Ruys, still bound on her trip to Tunis. Loud 
voices attracted his startled attention. A few moments passed, 
and Paul realized that Dr. Jenkins had pursued her and was 
with her in the room. Wildly he pleaded his love with the en- 
raged girl, who lashed him with words that stung like whips. 
Jenkins grovelecl, while Felicia launched forth her pitiless ar- 
raignment. The unwilling listener, horrified, at length left his 
apartment and rushed down-stairs. As the post-chaise started, 
he saw a pale face, black hair, and blazing eyes watching at a 
window for him to pass. Felicia knew him. To banish the 
memory of that passionate interview Paul held before him a 
sketch of Aline's face, which had effectually cured him of the 
fascination once exercised by the unhappy Felicia. 

Revolte, the play with a virtuous theme, by an unknown 
writer, was ready for its presentation to the blast Parisian 
theater-goers. A magnificent audience filled the hall to the 
ceiling that unforgetable first night. From the opening act 
the drama was an assured success. Its author, in the back 
of a box with his mother, who desired to remain unseen, trembled 
with excitement, while she shared his every apprehension. 
Not far off one could catch a glimpse of Pfere Joyeuse and his 
pretty daughters, all eager anticipation. Moessard was present, 
as well as Hemerlingue and his snakelike wife. Apparently 
all were enjoying the performance. Suddenly the Nabob en- 
tered his large proscenium box, looking fully twenty years 
older since his last public appearance. That morning word 
from Paul had reached him; and in view of the speedy receipt 
of the ten million francs, he had shaken off his despair and 
resolved to face the world once more, to battle with its edict of 
shame. Now the great audience of Revoke leveled their glasses 
at him. Sneers were depicted on many faces, insulting ex- 
clamations were heard on every side. Between the acts cruel 
remarks, spoken aloud, reverberated through the house. The 



T 3 4 THE NABOB 

poor wretch was pilloried in his own theater! Precious Parisian 
society had ostracized him; but the kindly Pere Joyeuse came 
to the Nabob's box to salute him, an act which delighted the 
dear daughters. Nevertheless, the play of Revoltc, despite the 
added sensation, was a great success. Its satirical lines were, 
in the heartless audience's opinion, directed at the Nabob, too. 
And how did the victim, the cynosure of these mocking 
glances, stand the terrible ordeal? He sat silent; but madness 
was swooping down upon him, when a light touch caused him 
to turn; then two convulsive hands grasped those of Paul de 
Gry. "Ah! my dear my dear " stammered the poor man. 
The Nabob melted into a sob of tears, of blood, of choking 
speech. He became unconscious and was borne to a couch, 
where he lay inert. All expedients failed to resuscitate him 
from the attack of apoplexy. Paul, broken-hearted, gazed sadly 
at that homely though kindly face. At that moment the young 
protcgt felt how ineffectual had been his efforts against the am- 
buscades of Paris. Even his rescued fragment of the once 
colossal fortune was useless now. Before the Nabob died his 
lips moved, and his eyes turned toward De Gry with a sorrow- 
ful, imploring, rebellious expression, as if entreating him to 
bear witness to one of the greatest, the most cruel acts of injus- 
tice ever committed by Paris. 



SAPPHO (1884) 

Sapho, which is the French spelling of the name of the Greek poetess, cor- 
rectly written in English as Sappho, although universally, by usage dating 
even from her lifetime, erroneously pronounced safo, is a psychological study 
of the ruin of a young man wrought by a courtesan. The author called it a 
novel of Parisian manners, and inscribed it: "For my sons, when they are 
twenty years of age." It has been dramatized in several unauthorized versions, 
more or less prurient, and there has been much controversy over the production 
of these on the stage, leading to a general misconception of the nature and 
purpose of the original novel. 



j[HE Gaussins of Armandy had lived "for all time'* 
on the wine-growing estate of Castelet in Pro- 
vence. Generation after generation held it in 
common, but by custom it was managed by a 
younger son, since the eldest, also by custom, 
was destined to the consular service. 

Unfortunately, Nature does not always adapt 
herself to human arrangements, and if there ever 
was a person incapable of managing an estate, or 
of managing anything else, it was surely Cdsaire Gaussin, on 
whom at twenty-four this responsibility devolved. 

After some years of neglect, silly waste, and ruinous gambling 
at the clubs of Avignon and Orange, Cdsaire, or Lc Final (" the 
Scamp "), as he had come to be known, was at the end of his 
resources. He had sold all the stores of wine, disposed of the 
growing crop in advance, and mortgaged the estate to the 
greatest possible extent. Then, just before the final seizure, 
forging the name of his elder brother, a consul at Shanghai, he 
drew three bills on that consulate, hoping that he would be able 
to find the money to take them up before they became due. 

This hope proved false, and the bills reached the Consul in 
the same mail with a desperate letter from Csaire confessing 
his crime. 

The Consul paid the bills at the cost of his entire private 




136 SAPPHO 

fortune, threw up his position, which promised a brilliant career, 
and hurried home to Castelet to preserve the family honor and 
restore the estate, resigning himself to remain a simple wine- 
grower throughout the rest of his life. 

He proved to be as clever an agriculturist as he had been an 
official. Under his efforts Castelet prospered greatly. A son 
was born to him whom he named Jean; in him he hoped to see 
achieved for the family all the honors in the public service that 
he had foregone. 

All this time Csaire, the Scamp, wandered idly about the 
estate borne down by the burden of his Jns, scarcely daring to 
look in the face of his brother, who crushed him with con- 
temptuous silence. At table he never spoke, notwithstanding 
the kindly smile of his sister-in-law, who had great compassion 
upon him. She supplied him with pocket-money, unknown to 
her husband, who kept the Scamp very close, less in punishment 
of past follies than for fear of new ones. 

With all his caution, however, the pride of the elder Gaus- 
sin was destined to endure a new trial. There came to do sew- 
ing at Castelet a fisher-girl, Divonne Abrieu, who, though 
peasant-born, was superb as a done (lady) of the Courts of 
Love which were held in olden days in that region. With her 
the Scamp fell madly in love. He endeavored to take liberties 
with her, and she sent him rolling ten yards away. Thereafter 
she kept him at a distance with her sewing-shears. 

C6saire confided his passion to his indulgent sister-in-law, 
announcing his desire to marry Divonne. Madame Gaussin, 
hoping that a marriage to a good woman, however humble in 
birth, might be the saving of the Scamp, encouraged him in 
the plan, and secured her husband's consent to the misalliance, 
but only on condition that the couple should remove themselves 
from Castelet, where the sight of them would form too poignant a 
reminder of how low the proud Gaussins d'Armandy had fallen. 

Divonne's consent was even more difficult to secure. While 
the Scamp had lovable traits, there was nothing about him 
which the peasant woman could respect. It was chiefly out of 
regard for Madame Gaussin that she finally assented to the 
marriage. 

The banishment of the strangely matched pair came to an 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 137 

end when girl twins were born to the Consul and his wife. The 
mother became a permanent invalid after the double birth, and 
Divonne came to take charge of her and of the household. 
Gradually Cesaire crept back into his old place in the house. 

Divonne was a second mother to the little boy, Jean, and 
his baby sisters, Martha and Mary. After Jean had gone to 
Paris to prepare for his consular examination, he was vastly 
comforted by the thought that the great-hearted, calm-souled 
peasant woman was keeping guard over Castelet and sustain- 
ing it by her will. 

Jean had been in Paris a month, studying faithfully to pre- 
pare for the examination, and he felt that he owed himself a 
treat. So he accepted an invitation to go with a fellow-student 
to a masked ball given by Ddchelette, the famous engineer. 

Dechelette now was constructing a railroad between Tauris 
and Teheran. During the two months of the hot season he 
lived in Paris in a mansion on the Rue de Rome, which was 
furnished like a summer palace. Here he refreshed himself for 
his arduous work among the wild Kurds by giving a succession 
of magnificent entertainments to his friends in the artistic 
bohemian circle of the pleasure-loving metropolis who had not 
gone to the country. 

Jean was attired in the hot sheepskin dress of a Savoyard 
bagpipe-player. He felt disgusted at his choice of costume 
when he saw all the other guests more lightly and comfortably, 
though far less decently attired. His friend had become lost 
in the crowd. He knew no one else, not even his host. So he 
wandered lonely about, not noticing that wherever he went 
there was a buzz of admiration over his beautiful sun-browned 
face and fair hair, crisping in close, short curls about a head so 
shapely that every sculptor in the room desired to model it. 
He seemed to himself to be far apart in kind from the gay artists 
about him. 

Leaving the crowd, he entered a gallery where it was cooler, 
and seated himself on a divan under some tropic greenery. A 
woman followed and sat down beside him. She was dressed 
as an Egyptian princess. A long blue gown fell over a voluptu- 
ous form; her rounded arms were bare to the shoulder, save for 
a number of bracelets and armlets of antique pattern; her 



138 SAPPHO 

small hands were laden with rings; her large gray eyes were 
intensified in prominence by a circlet of heavy iron ornaments 
hung across her forehead. 

It seemed to Jean that he had seen her before, that, in fact, 
he had always known her. An actress, no doubt, he thought, 
whose portrait he had seen in the public prints. This reflection 
was not calculated to put him at his ease, for he had rather a 
fear of the bold women of the stage. 

She certainly was most familiar. 

"Look at me!" she commanded. "So! I like the color of 
your eyes. What is your name?" 

"Jean Gaussin." 

"No more?" 

"D'Armandy." 

"Ah, from the South. And with such fair hair! How ex- 
traordinary! You are not an artist, are you? I picked you out 
as not being one. I hate artists!" 

She extorted from him much of his family history, and all 
of the circumstances of his being in Paris. Jean reasoned that 
this questioning must be a habit of hers, for she seemed to know 
all the guests at the ball, and all about them. Dancing had 
begun in the great hall, and as each fantastic mummer went 
skipping by the door before them, she named and described 
him: There were Pfere Corot in a pensioner's cap, Couture as 
a bulldog, Cham as a tropical bird; D^chelette, the host, as a 
Tatar; the sculptor Caoudal, in kilts, dancing the Highland 
fling; De Potter, the musician, dressed as a muezzin, performing 
the "stomach-dance," and squalling Allah il Allah! at the top 
of his voice. 

" And there is the poet Gournerie, dressed as a village bride- 
groom." 

What! that fat, sweating little man the author of the grand 
despairing cries of the Book of Love? It could not be. Jean 
began to murmur one of his favorite passages in the work: 

"To quicken the cold marble of thy form, 
O Sappho, have I given my heart's hot blood!" 

His companion spoke sharply: "What are you muttering 
there?" 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 139 

"Verses of Gournerie." 

"I don't like verse," she said curtly. " Good night." And 
she was gone. 

While Jean was wondering what he had said to displease 
her, the friend with whom he had come to the ball discovered 
him. "I have been looking everywhere for you!" he cried. 
"That girl in Japanese costume over at yon table is crazy to 
meet you. Come along," and he darted away. 

Jean turned to follow, when a voice behind him said: 
"Don't go to that woman. Come with me." 

It was his former acquaintance, who had returned to claim 
his attendance. He followed her without hesitation. Why? 
She was not as pretty to his taste as the dainty little geisha 
yonder, who was even now beckoning to him. But he was 
obeying a force stronger than his will, the impetuous violence 
of a desire. 

Suddenly he found himself and his companion in the street. 

"To your house or mhic?" she asked. 

"My house," he answered; and they took a fiacre to the Rue 
Jacob. 

His lodging was four flights up. She was so sleepy that he 
asked laughingly: 

"Would you like me to carry you up?" 

She did not reply, but gave him a disdainful yet tender 
glance that seemed to gauge him from a rich experience, and 
said : " Poor little man ! " 

Piqued by it, he took her up and carried her like a child, for 
he was stout and lusty for all his feminine fairness. He as- 
cended the first flight without pausing, thrilling with the clasp 
of her naked arms about his neck. Up the second flight the 
woman was a dead weight, and her iron armlets indented his 
neck cruelly. At the third landing he was panting like a piano- 
carrier, while she sleepily murmured: "How delicious!" It 
seemed to him that he would never reach the last landing. The 
stairway wound in an interminable spiral. He was no longer 
carrying a woman, but something heavy, horrible a suffocating 
vampire, which he felt tempted to throw from him at risk of a 
brutal crash. 

Arrived before his door, "So soon?" she said, opening her 



i 4 o SAPPHO 

eyes. He was thinking "At last!" but could not have said so. 
He leaned against the door, deadly pale, and with hands upon 
his chest, which felt ready to burst. 

Their whole future history, this ascent of the staircase in 
the sad, gray light of the morning! 

Fanny Legrand, as she gave her name, visited Jean with 
greater and greater frequency. 

"Oh, I know quite well I bore you," she said. "I ought to 
have more pride. Every morning as I leave your room, I swear 
I will never enter it again, but I come back in the evening as if 
I were possessed." 

Fanny differed from all girls the young countryman had 
known. She had a smattering of art, music, poetry, sculpture, 
which rendered her conversation very interesting. Then she 
made a most admirable companion upon excursions into the 
country, where she knew all the charming corners. 

One day he proposed going to the Vaux de Cernay. She 
cried: "No, no! there are too many artists there." He re- 
membered that this antipathy for artists had led to their ac- 
quaintance. When he inquired the reason for it, she answered: 
"They have done me a great deal of injury." 

One day when they were dining at a lakeside inn, Caoudal, 
the sculptor, happened in on them. 

"Hello, Fanny!" he cried familiarly, and sat down with 
them. He began talking of old times. 

"Do you remember, little one, a breakfast we had here a 
long time ago? Ezano, Dejoie, and all the set were along. 
You fell in the pond, and they dressed you up in the landlord's 
clothes. They suited you to perfection." 

"I don't remember," she said, coldly, and probably truth- 
fully; for women of her class forget the past and refuse to think 
of the future, living wholly in the present. 

They returned from this excursion late, and Fanny per- 
suaded Jean to go to her rooms, which were nearer than his, 
for the night. The apartments were voluptuously furnished, 
and an old woman was in attendance who set out champagne 
at Fanny's orders. 

In the morning Jean was awakened by the servant calling 
to Fanny: 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 141 

" He is here, and he says he will speak to you." 

She sprang up in a rage and ran out of the room in her night- 
gown. Jean heard a man's voice imploring, and another which 
at first he did not recognize answering with curses of inconceiv- 
able foulness. Slowly it came to him that this was Fanny's voice. 
Jean arose and dressed. How he had degraded himself! All 
the amorous luxuriousness about him was stained with vileness. 

She came in breathless. "What a fool a man is who cries!" 
she exclaimed. Then seeing Jean dressed, she realized that he 
was leaving her, and for what reason. 

"Don't go away!" she pleaded. "For if you do I know 
you'll never return." 

He insisted on going. She detained him by embraces. 
Finally he tore himself away. As they approached the door a 
letter was thrust under it. She opened it and cried triumphantly: 
"Look, I am free!" She gave him the missive: a humble love- 
letter written on a caf table by the man she had scorned, prom- 
ising to grant her everything if only he did not lose her! O 
God, not to lose her! 

Fanny's cruelty to a man who had given her every luxury 
appalled Jean. The next time she came to his room he refused 
to see her. She waylaid him at his restaurant, humbly begged 
leave to come to him, and patiently accepted what pretext he 
chose to give for not receiving her. 

The shame of his situation caused Jean to fall ill. For 
several days he was out of his head. One morning he felt a 
cool hand on his head. 

" Thank you, Divonne," he murmured. 

"It is not Divonne; it is Fanny." 

She had been tending him all through his illness, sleeping on 
his hard, lumpy lodging-house sofa. 

"I had no other place to stay," she said. "I gave every- 
thing back to the man the man who was before you." 

Jean and Fanny set up housekeeping in a little flat on the 
Rue d' Amsterdam. He had no fears that his home circle would 
discover that he was living with a mistress. He also kept the 
fact secret from his Parisian acquaintances. During the fol- 
lowing summer he met Caoudal and D^chelette at a cafe. When 
the sculptor inquired about Fanny, Jean lied: 



I 4 2 SAPPHO 

"Oh, that's done with long ago." 

"Fanny Legrand who's she?" asked the engineer. 

"Why, Sappho, don't you know?" answered Caoudal. 
''She was at your ball last summer, superb as an Egyptian 
princess. She has the gift of immortal youth. Last fall I saw 
her with this handsome fellow here looking like a seventeen- 
year-old bride. She was just seventeen years old when I used 
her as the model of my ' Sappho.' " 

"What, that bronze Fve been seeing everywhere since I was 
a young man?" asked D^chelette. And Jean with a pang 
learned why Fanny's features had from the first seemed so 
familiar, for a copy of Caoudal's " Sappho " had graced his 
father's library ever since he could remember. 

" Yes, that was twenty years ago," said the sculptor. " What 
a woman she has been, what experiences she has had! 'The 
whole gamut,' as Gournerie used to say." 

Jean, very pale, asked: "Was he her lover, too?" 

"I should think so. After I had taken her from the gutter, 
and cleaned and polished and set her like a precious stone in 
my immortal art, that rhymester came and took her from the 
table whereat I had welcomed him every Sunday. And he 
treated her shamefully. Gournerie was a maniac. He would 
beat her, and thrust her out of doors, and she would lie on his 
door-mat till morning. Once he called the police to take her 
away. But cruelest of all, he finally emptied on her head a 
Volume of driveling, spiteful verses, called the Book of Love. 

" She then took up with Dejoie, the novelist he died. Then 
Ezano he married she made a terrible scene at the wedding. 
Afterward came the engraver Flamant, a handsome man, such 
as she always selects and you know the terrible sequel." 

"What?" asked Jean, sucking assiduously through the straw 
in his empty glass. 

"The engraver was poor; Sappho extravagant. He forged 
bank-notes to keep her in luxury. He was almost immediately 
discovered, and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. When 
they took him away, she threw a kiss to him in the court-room, 
and promised to be waiting for him when his sentence expired." 

Jean was pleased at the last story. It revealed that there 
was a basis of loyalty in her nature. Perhaps he could rebuild 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 143 

her character upon it. Still, he felt that he ought to leave her 
while it was possible to do so amicably. How fortunate that 
none of his family knew of the entanglement ! 

On his return to the flat he found his Uncle C^saire playing 
cards with Fanny. 

Said the Scamp: "You see, I've made myself at home. 
I'm playing bzique with my niece." 

His niece! the Scamp was certainly accepting the situation 
very thoroughly. 

Indeed, he congratulated his nephew on the possession of 
such a charming mistress. She reminded him of his own 
Pellicule in the days when he was a young man in Paris. 

Csaire brought bad news from home. The phylloxera was 
devastating the vineyards. The present crop was a total loss, 
and the Consul was bent on planting new vines, which, in 
Csaire's opinion, were certain to be destroyed in turn, instead 
of cultivating olives and capers. 

Fortunately Cesaire had an inheritance from an old friend 
who had lately died in Paris eight thousand francs. He had 
come to the city to receive it. He was going to take this and 
experiment with a new process that had been discovered for 
protecting vines from the pest, on a small vineyard belonging 
to Divonne and himself. Divonne had the fullest faith in it. 
She was a jewel! Would his niece like to see her portrait? 

Jean had so often spoken with filial regard of his aunt that 
Fanny expected to see a motherly matron of fifty or sixty years 
of age. She was therefore completely taken aback when she 
saw the beautiful face, with its pure lines set off by the white 
head-dress, and the elegant form of a woman of thirty-five. 

"Very pretty," she said, in a curious tone. 

When the Scamp had gone to his h6tel an old one where 
he had lodged in his youthful Parisian days Fanny said in a 
careless tone: "That aunt of yours is a pretty piece. No won- 
der you talk of her so much. Better quit doing so before your 
uncle, or he'll be jealous." 

Divonne! who had been a second mother to him, dressing 
him as an infant, nursing him in sickness! Faany's suggestion 
was shameful. 

"Go along with you!" she cried harshly. "Such a pretty 



144 SAPPHO 

woman is not insensible to the charms of a handsome young 
man like yourself, I'll warrant. On the banks of Rh6ne or Seine 
we are all alike." 

Uncle C^saire received his eight thousand francs, and gam- 
bled them all away the next day. In his remorse he burst out 
to Jean before Fanny in wild confession of his misdeeds past 
and present. 

Fanny put on her hat and went out. Some time later she 
returned with eight thousand francs that Ddchelette had given 
her. She gave it as an indeterminate loan to C^saire. 

The Scamp was transported with gratitude. " What a treas- 
ure you have!" he said to Jean at the railroad station. "You 
must do your best to make her happy." 

Thereafter Fanny made to Jean no reference to the service 
she had rendered his uncle. Neither did she speak of the 
family skeleton that the Scamp had disclosed, until one day an 
old dirty, drunken cabman hailed her on the street as she was 
walking with Jean. "It is my father," she whispered. 

Jean walked along moodily, comparing the disgusting fellow 
with his own noble father. Fanny rightly construed from his 
silence his repugnance against the social quagmire into which 
he was sinking through her. 

"After all," she said philosophically, "there is something 
of this kind in every family. One is not responsible. I have 
Father Legrand, you have Uncle Csaire." 

That he might escape meeting Father Legrand again, Jean 
decided to move to the country. They settled at Chaville in 
an old hunting-lodge. Life was more comfortable for Jean, 
who went to Paris every day to his studies; but Fanny, who was 
lazy and had no lesources within herself for amusement, be- 
came very lonesome. She begged Jean to permit her to adopt 
an orphan child that she knew, a country lad of six, and he 
finally consented. After Josaph, as he was called, came, Fanny 
was much happier. 

Within a year Uncle Csaire returned to Fanny the loan she 
had made him. The experiments against the vine-pest had 
proved a great success. 

Fanny said: "We must invest this money." 

"But it is not yours!" objected Jean. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 145 

"Well, the fact is, D6chelette learned what we were doing 
for Josaph, and wrote me to keep the money for his education." 

Jean knew now that she was lying, and had lied all along 
about the money. It had been a gift, which she now was ap- 
plying to a child that was her bastard. Yet so involved had he 
become in this mesh of deceit that he could not protest. In- 
deed, he was beginning to feel that he never would break his 
shameful bonds. 

One day he came home with the news: "I am nominated." 

"Ah, to what place?" She asked the question with as- 
sumed indifference, but there was such distress in her face that 
he said: 

"I am not going yet. I relinquished my turn. This will 
give us six months more together." 

She laughed, cried, covered his face with kisses. "What a 
happy life I shall make yours now! It was the thought that 
you wanted to leave me that made me naughty." 

She kept her word. She sent the child to a boys' school. 
She wooed Jean as in the first days of their acquaintance, and 
refused to think of the coming separation. 

But Jean could not forget this. His life with Fanny had 
killed his ambition. Had it not been for his parents and 
Divonne, he would have thrown up the consulate. 

And for whom? For an elderly, faded woman, such as 
Sappho was rapidly becoming, a woman he no longer cared for, 
yet to whom he was bound by a kind of witchcraft the spell of 
circumstance. She had killed his youth and love, as well as 
his ambition, he thought, until one day in the car he saw the 
face of a girl-woman, so pure and sweet that all the lost glories 
of manhood returned to his heart. He saw her often in the 
car, and by inquiry learned that she was the daughter of a re- 
tired merchant living in a suburb near to his own. He ob- 
tained an introduction to her father, and in a short time became 
her accepted suitor. 

He delayed until the last day to announce to Fanny that he 
must leave her. He took her for a walk in the woods. On 
their way they met a forester who was carrying his little girl, 
wasting away with malaria. 

"She is trembling," said Fanny. 

A.D., VOL. vi. 10 



i 4 6 SAPPHO 

"It is the chill of her fever, ma'am." 

"Then we will soon warm her," and Fanny took the lace 
mantilla she was carrying, and wrapped it around the little 
girl. 

"Keep it for her wedding- veil," she said to the protesting 
father. 

Fanny clung to Jean with that tenderness which com- 
passion for the unfortunate makes a woman feel toward the 
man she loves. 

"What a good girl she is!" thought Jean. It made his task 
all the harder, but he stuck to his purpose to go through with it. 

They sat down on a fallen tree. She leaned languidly on 
his shoulder and sought a place on his neck to kiss. He drew 
away. 

"Why, what is the matter?" 

"Bad news, my poor dear. The man who took the consu- 
late in my place is ill and wishes to return home. I am ordered 
to relieve him at once." 

She was calm, but deathly pale. 

"When do you start?" 

"To-night." 

"You lie!" she burst forth. "You are leaving me for a 

woman, either that of a Divonne, or some girl your parents 

have selected for your wife. And you dragged me out in the 
woods to tell me, so that nobody should hear my screams. 
No, there will be no screaming and no tears. I have had 

enough of you, handsome though you be. You !" and she 

called him all the vile names in her vocabulary of slime. 

Jean was glad she was thus low and ' insulting the true 
daughter of Father Legrand; it made the separation less cruel. 
Some thought of this must have occurred to Fanny, for she 
suddenly fell forward and buried her face on her lover's knees 
with a great sob. 

"Forgive me. I love you so. I have no one but you. Do 
not leave me. What do you expect I shall become? You have 
plenty of time to marry you are so young. I shall soon be 
an old woman, and then we shall separate naturally." 

Jean was firm, however, and left her that evening by the 
last train to Paris. He busied himself making arrangements 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 147 

*or his marriage and his departure immediately thereafter for 
his consulate. Every day a letter came from Fanny beseeching 
him to have pity on her and pay her one last parting visit. 
She wrote that little Josaph had returned from school, and 
missed his "Papa Jean." On being informed that he had 
gone away, the child had said: "All my papas go away." 

One letter he found thrust under his door. She had been 
in Paris and delivered it herself. Jean thought of the day 
when she had heartlessly laughed at the letter his predecessor 
had put under her door. He who contemned her then, him- 
self, was he not equally heartless? 

One day he learned from Caoudal that Flamant, the forger, 
the former lover of Fanny, was pardoned. Jean recalled that 
she had promised to receive him when he came out of prison. 
He became alarmed at the thought that Flamant might gain 
possession for evil ends of the love-letters he, Jean, had written 
to Fanny. So he went to get them from her, much as he feared 
the result of seeing her again. 

On the way from the station to the cottage he met a man 
and a boy, followed by a railroad porter pushing a barrow of 
luggage. The boy averted his face. "Why, it is Josaph," 
said Jean to himself, sad at the child's ingratitude. He looked 
at the man, and from his pallor surmised him to be Flamant. 
In his intelligent face he saw a resemblance to Josaph. Father 
and son ! He had been supporting the convict's bastard. 

Flamant and Josaph were departing. Would he find Fanny 
at the cottage? 

She was in bed, though it was noon. She uttered an ex- 
clamation: "Oh, they have gone; do not be angry! I ought 
to have told you about Josaph. But I was afraid you would 
turn him out, poor child and I had promised his father." 

Jean said he had come for his letters. She brought out a 
packet. " They are all here." 

Jean asked bitterly: "And when do you follow Flamant? " 

She muttered a half denial that she was going anywhere. 

"You may as well say at once you are going to rejoin your 
convict. Bad woman and forger go well together. He stayed 
here last night and with you." 

"Well, what of it?" She brought her face close to his, her 



i 4 8 SAPPHO 

great gray eyes lighted with passion. "Having lost you, what 
did all the rest matter?" 

He lifted his hand. She saw the blow coining, but did not 
avoid it, receiving it full in the face. Then, with an exultant 
cry she leaped upon him, clasping him in her arms: "My own, 
my own, you love me still!" 

Jean was too honorable to return to his fianc&e after this 
treason. He said to Fanny: "1 can get an appointment at 
Arica in Peru. We will go there together." He closed his 
eyes and let himself sink gently into the mire. 

There was a terrible scene at Castelct when Jean confessed 
his degradation, and announced his determination to abide by 
its consequences. At the end he fled away, disowned, a prey 
to remorse that he must carry through every day of his life. 

He went to the h6tel in Marseilles where Fanny was to 
await him. Their ship left the next day. She was not there. 

" A letter for Monsieur le Consul," said the portier. It was 
from Fanny. He tore it open and read : 

"I cannot go. The transplanting of one's life alarms me I, who have 
never been farther from Paris than St. Germain. And women age so rapidly 
in the tropics. I should be yellow and wrinkled before you are thirty. I have 
heard that down there, when a woman deceives her husband, they sew her up 
in a bag with a cat, and each tears the other to pieces fighting for life. It may 
not be in Peru, but no matter. That's the kind of life we should lead. 

"I am going to Flamant. Don't think I love him. My heart is dead. 
But I cannot exist without the boy, and I have pity for the father, who ruined 
himself for love of me. I tell you now he did not sleep in my bed that night. 
He passed the long hours weeping on my shoulder. You have no cause to be 
jealous. 

"Flamant is the one man with whom I can spend the rest of my days in 
peace. He will never see a wrinkle in my face, a gray hair in my head, and if 
I conclude to marry him, it will be a favor on my side. And you, too, will some 
day find peace, for you shall never hear of me again. Adieu, one last kiss, on 
the neck, my own!" 




NUMA ROUMESTAN (1881) 

The author intended first to call this novel North and South, a title indica- 
tive of his purpose, which was to contrast the north and south of France, not 
exactly to the credit of the section where he was born. In the chief character 
he draws the portrait of his friend Gambetta, the great French statesman. 

?N open-air festival was held in the amphitheater 
of Aps, in Provence, one hot Sunday in July, 
1875. The greatest attraction was Numa Rou- 
mestan, for ten years leader and deputy. Every 
summer when he went to Aps, during the vaca- 
tion of the Chamber of Deputies, he received an 
ovation. 

Numa heard the talk of his services going on 
about him, and he became exhilarated, but Ma- 
dame Roumestan appeared indifferent. She did not care for the 
turbulent gaiety of the South; it was opposed to her self-con- 
tained nature; she saw enough of it in her husband, to whom 
she had been married for ten years. Hortense, her sister, was 
with her. 

Roumestan shook hands with everyone, making promises 
to all. 

"But, my dear Numa," cried Hortense, "where will you find 
all these tobacco-shops you have been promising them ? ' ' 

"They are promised, little sister, not given," he answered. 
He added, laughing, that people in Provence understood each 
other's language, and the value of a promise: they did not ex- 
pect promises to be fulfilled. Promises excited their imagination, 
and gave them pleasure. In Provence words had a relative 
meaning. "It is merely putting things in their proper focus." 
Valmajour, a taborist, appeared, and his playing produced 
enthusiasm. Numa, with his eyes full of tears, embraced the 
taborist and told him he must come to Paris and make a for- 
tune. Valmajour played the farandole, and everyone danced. 



ISO NUMA ROUMESTAN 

Numa was twenty-two when he went to Paris to study law. 
He lived in the Quartier Latin, and took the lead in his circle, 
playing cards and billiards, and taking no interest in study or 
reading; but Southern audacity and slyness carried him through 
his examinations. 

He had a good voice, and was invited to sing at the house of 
the Duchesse de San Donnino, where he met Sagnier, a music 
enthusiast and a distinguished Legitimist lawyer, who offered 
Numa a place in his office. While with Sagnier Numa adopted 
his politics, and became ambitious for political honors and 
glory. After a few years he made some success as a lawyer and 
gained the approbation of his Aunt Portal, who wrote him that 
she wished him to marry Mademoiselle Le Quesnoy, the daugh- 
ter of a councilor in the court of appeals, promising that on 
his wedding-day she would give him one hundred thousand 
francs. Madame Le Quesnoy had been her schoolmate. 

The Le Quesnoy family received Numa cordially. Rosa- 
lie, the elder daughter, fell in love with him and they were 
married. They kept open house; Numa had many intimate 
friends who came and went, but Bompard, who was born in the 
same street at Aps with Roumestan, stayed ; he served to adver- 
tise Roumestan. Rosalie did not like him: she said he told lies. 
Roumestan laughed and said it was not lying; it was using the 
imagination. 

They were in the country for the summer, when one day 
Rosalie, being in Paris to do some shopping, went to her house. 
As she opened the door of the library she saw her husband and 
Madame Escarbfes. The shock to the young wife resulted in 
a miscarriage. She forgave Numa, but warned him that she 
would not forgive him a second time. 

Numa was a Legitimist. He had met many Imperialists 
at the house of Madame Escarbfes, and the Emperor offered 
him the position of councilor of state. He was writing a letter 
of acceptance, when Rosalie interfered; and so the fine phrases 
were used in the letter of refusal and won him great favor for 
his incorruptibility. He was made councilor-general in his own 
department by his own party. After the fall of the Empire 
his father-in-law became first president of the court of 
appeals. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 151 

Numa, his wife, and Hortense spent two months with Aunt 
Portal in Aps. Hortense and Numa drove to see Valmajour 
and his sister, Audiberte, and urged them to come to Paris. 

Three months later Parliament met at Versailles. Roumes- 
tan was excited; he addressed various meetings. He continued 
to practise law, and for two hours every evening received his 
clients in his office. He had three secretaries, Mdjean, De 
Rochemaure, and De Lappara. 

Roumestan was appointed Minister of Public Instruction. 
On the same evening he was to dine with the Marshal at Ver- 
sailles; when Valmajour, whom he had forgotten, insisted on 
seeing the Minister. Valmajour told him they had sold their 
farm, and his father and sister were with him in Paris. Numa 
was embarrassed : he would do what he could. His wife's words 
came to his mind: "Still, words must mean something^ He 
had made trouble for himself by being too kind! 

Many times after that Valmajour tried to see Numa, but 
without success. "The great Numa" was too much occupied 
to pay attention to a peasant. Finally, Audiberte went to see 
Hortense, who arranged that Valmajour should play at a con- 
cert to be given by Monsieur and Madame Roumestan. 

A stage was being erected for the concert. The rehearsal 
was over, when a footman announced Mademoiselle Bachellery, 
a girl of sixteen who was to sing at the concert and had brought 
her mother. Numa turned scarlet; he was in love with this 
child. 

Valmajour played at the concert and created great en- 
thusiasm, which he took coolly. He played the farandole again, 
and again everybody danced. 

Audiberte went often to see Hortense, flattering the young 
girl, and talking to her of her brother; she desired to bring about 
a marriage between them. Hortense possessed much of the 
Southern vivacity and imagination, inherited from her mother, 
who was from the South. 

Hortense had a severe cold which did not yield to treatment, 
and following the doctor's advice Madame Le Quesnoy took 
her to Arvillard. Mademoiselle Bachellery was there with her 
mother. 

Numa came to Arvillard, ostensibly to lay the corner-stone 



IS* NUMA ROUMESTAN 

of a new college at Chambry, near that town, remembering, 
when he found that Alice Bachellery was there, that he had 
promised to make a speech on the occasion. During a flirtation 
lasting five months she had kept him at arm's length. She 
wanted a nomination as prima donna at the Opra, a contract, 
and various perquisites. She had no faith in Roumestan's 
promises; she would be satisfied only with a signed contract. 
So she went to Arvillard. 

His arrival created a great sensation: he was "the great 
Numa." He became the chief subject of conversation, and 
people promenaded before his windows merely to get a glimpse 
of him. His good looks, his manners, won all hearts. Es- 
pecially was he liked for his sympathy for the poor. All the 
distinguished residents called on him. But he pleaded for rest: 
he wanted to enjoy a few quiet days with his family, and leisure 
to write his Chamb^ry speech, an important one. 

Mademoiselle Bachellery kept him at a distance, and went 
off on picnics every day with a lively party of young people. 

One day Numa had a talk with the famous Dr. Bouchereau, 
who was at Arvillard for his health; the doctor, not knowing 
his relationship to Hortense, told him that she would not live 
a year. 

Hortense was talking to Numa when Bompard appeared 
with a newspaper and began to read an account of Valmajour's 
d^but at the opera, which turned him and the Minister of Pub- 
lic Instruction into ridicule. Numa took the paper from 
him. Hortense turned pale and asked Numa if he intended 
to abandon Valmajour. He replied that it would be useless 
to fight for him if Paris did not want him. Hortense was 
indignant, but declared that she should remain true to her 
enthusiasms. She went to her room, wrote a line on a photo- 
graph of herself wearing the Arlesian head-dress, and sent it to 
Valmajour. 

A few days later the Le Quesnoys returned to Paris. As for 
Numa, he would stay a few days longer, for a little medical 
treatment, and would write his speech. It would make a great 
sensation. 

Mademoiselle Bachellery was finishing her toilet prepara- 
tory to going on a picnic. There was a knock at the door and 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 153 

Roumestan entered. He was excited, and handed her an en- 
velope containing the contract she wished for: it was an engage- 
ment at the Opra for five years with all the desired perquisites. 
She read the paper through from beginning to end with busi- 
ness coolness. Then she raised her veil and said: 

" You are very good I love you " 

The great man forgot all the troubles that he knew this en- 
gagement would cause him. However, he said coldly that he 
did not wish to disarrange her plans for the day. She insisted 
that he should accompany her; they were going to the Chateau 
Bayard. 

When it became known that Roumestan was to join the 
picnic there was great excitement; everyone crowded to see 
him pass, and saluted him, " the grand master of the University 
of France." 

They drove on. Numa admired the landscape; his "dear 
Provence " could hardly provide a better. His happiness was 
complete; he felt neither anxiety nor remorse. His trusting 
wife, the near prospect of a child, Bouchereau's prophecy re- 
garding the fatal termination of Hortense's illness, the troubles 
which would be caused by his nomination of Cadaillac as direc- 
tor of the Opra these things, for the moment, ceased to exist 
for him; he was absorbed in Alice Bachellery. 

After breakfast on the terrace Numa began to think of his 
speech: ideas came to him in the home of the chevalier sans 
peur el sans reproche. He would write it and date it from 
Chateau Bayard. He was shown to a small room and sat down 
to write. After a time he fell asleep, but was awakened by a 
thunder-clap, and went into the garden. A maid told him that 
the young lady had a headache, and had gone to lie down in 
Bayard's room. 

Numa returned to his writing; but the knowledge that Alice 
Bachellery was in the next room was strangely exciting. He 
struggled with himself against the temptation, repeating the 
phrases of his speech. 

Then he went into the next room. 

Valmajour was admitted to Roumestan's office only to re- 
ceive abuse. Numa was in a rage. The Chambry speech, 



154 NUMA ROUMESTAN 

and other "oratorical triumphs," had elated him, and brought 
him extra glory. His head was turned, and his amiability had 
passed into irritability. 

Madame Roumestan entered. She wanted Numa to go 
with her to her mother's house; he said he ought to be at Ver- 
sailles at noon; however, he would drive with her to her des- 
tination. 

Rosalie was so happy at the prospect of having a child that 
she wanted everyone to be as happy as she was. Roumestan 
talked to his friends with tears in his eyes of the expected child. 

In the carriage he spoke of his troubles, of Cadaillac. Ros- 
alie mentioned Mademoiselle Bachellery; said it was unfortu- 
nate that Cadaillac had engaged her; spoke of a report of in- 
fluence in high quarters that had brought it about. Numa 
turned red. They saw placards with portraits of Valmajour 
in a ridiculous costume in which he was to appear at a skating- 
rink. Rosalie told him of Hortense' s infatuation for the man, 
caused by Numa's enthusiasm and romantic stories about him. 
Numa was indignant. "One of his dupes," she called Val- 
majour. Numa held her hand and tears came to his eyes. He 
told her that she alone understood him, and ought never to 
leave his side for a moment. 

He left her at her mother's door, and ordered the coachman 
to drive to the Rue de Londres. Rosalie heard, but she was 
not suspicious, although he had said that he was going to the 
St. Lazare station. She asked herself why his words and his 
acts were always at variance. 

When Rosalie entered her sister's room, Audiberte was 
there, urging Hortense to go and hear her brother play his 
tabor at the skating-rink. Audiberte and Rosalie had a mutual 
aversion to each other. 

Hortense no longer cared for Valmajour. Absence and mis- 
fortune had transfigured him; but on her return to Paris she 
saw matters more clearly, and she perceived that she had made 
a terrible mistake in sending her photograph to him. He had 
come to see her and had put his arm around her waist. She 
shrank from him, and Audiberte reprimanded him. 

Hortense went with Audiberte to the skating-rink to hear 
Valmajour play. The whole affair was pitiably grotesque; the 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 155 

place was low and vulgar; Valmajour's playing was a failure. 
Back in her own room Hortense looked at herself in the mirror 
and suddenly saw her doom in her hollow cheeks and narrow 
shoulders. 

Hortense was very ill. 

Roumestan sent Mjean to Audiberte with five thousand 
francs to pay the Valmajours for their losses, and a request that 
they should leave Paris without delay. Also, he would give 
them another five thousand francs for the photograph of Hor- 
tense. Audiberte refused the money and would not surrender 
the photograph. The Commissary of Police sent for her and, 
frightened, she gave up the photograph, and signed a receipt 
for ten thousand francs, renouncing all suits at law. 

Audiberte was revengeful. She hated the Roumestans, be- 
lieving them the cause of her brother's failure in Paris. She 
learned that, at a certain shop, Roumestan ordered once a week 
a codfish a la brandade, a famous Southern dish. She learned 
further that the fish was to be sent on a certain day, not to his 
home, but to Mademoiselle Bachellery's house in the Rue de 
Londres. And at this shop, kept by Southern people, there was 
much talk and laughter about the establishment set up by 
Numa. They knew all about Alice Bachellery and her mother. 

Madame Roumestan was in her room looking over the little 
garments made for the expected child some time before. She 
thought of that sad past and then of the present, and her happy 
expectations. Her husband was much improved; he now dis- 
played less of the excitement and violence of the Southerner. 

A letter was brought to her. It was some time before she 
opened it. In it she read that a codfish a la brandade would be 
served for supper that evening at Mademoiselle Bachellery's 
house in the Rue de Londres, and that M. Roumestan would 
pay for it. 

Rosalie recalled certain phrases of Numa's, articles in the 
papers concerning Mademoiselle Bachellery, the address Numa 
gave the coachman in her hearing; she remembered how he had 
lingered at Arvillard. She knew now that she was his dupe a 
second time, and blamed herself for being so easily taken in by 
his lies and pretended affection. She thought of her child and 
tried to be calm. When Numa came in she was embroidering. 



156 NUMA ROUMESTAN 

She asked him to dine with her, but he pleaded a business en- 
gagement. As soon as he was gone she sent for a cab and 
ordered a box containing the baby's layette put into it. She 
told her maid she should dine at her father's, and should prob- 
ably spend the night there. 

But perhaps there was a mistake; she must make sure. 
She ordered the coachman to drive to the Rue de Londres. 
Rosalie entered the house, and saw an unforgetable scene. 
Numa, in his shirt-sleeves, had his arm around Alice Bachellery, 
who wore a loose morning-gown. He was flushed, and in an 
excited manner was calling for the brandade. 

Eight days later the formal New Year's reception at the 
Ministry was a gloomy affair. Everybody knew of Rosalie's 
departure and the cause. But, for the sake of appearances, 
Numa had caused it to be said that his wife had gone to be with 
her father while Madame Le Quesnoy was in the South with 
Hortense. 

Rosalie's father wished her to give up all idea of a divorce 
and return to her husband. Madame Le Quesnoy begged her 
to forgive Numa. But Rosalie was obdurate. She said her 
husband was a hypocrite, a man of two characters, and not to 
be believed or depended upon. As a last argument Monsieur 
Le Quesnoy persuaded his wife to tell Rosalie of his own delin- 
quency in a similar affair. Rosalie was terribly hurt, for she 
had placed her father on a pedestal. But for her parents' sake 
she decided to renounce the suit for divorce, and would go 
South with her sister. 

It was with a feeling of intense relief and happiness that 
Numa heard Rosalie had left the city and that there would 
be no suit for divorce. He thought he would make a call, 
friendly, of course, on Alice Bachellery, and relieve her anxiety. 
He had kept away from her for a fortnight. He entered the 
house with his key, and ran up-stairs, where he found his secre- 
tary, De Lappara, with the girl. Numa was beside himself with 
rage, and got away as quickly as possible, fearing what he might 
do. At the Ministry he found a telegram from his Aunt Portal 
saying that Hortense was dying, and wished to see him. The 
next morning he took the train for Aps. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 157 

At Hortense's bedside Rosalie became reconciled to her 
husband. It was the dying girl's last request. 

Rosalie's son was baptized in February. It was a ftte day 
for the townspeople. The son of "the great Numa" must be 
driven through the market-place and be shown off to the people; 
they would have it so. The women praised his beauty and said 
he was just like his father. Crowds followed the carriage to 
the Portal mansion, and Numa made one of his customary 
speeches from the balcony. There were the usual phrases: 
the patriotr moral, and religious references. And Rosalie 
sat in her room hearing the cheers, and feeling that because of 
her child she could never be unhappy again. Numa went to 
her, wrought up to a pitch of tenderness and enthusiasm by his 
speech and the kindness of the people. She asked him what 
the proverb was that Aunt Portal had quoted a few days ago, 
and he told her: 

"Happiness of the street, sorrow of the house." 



THE EVANGELIST (1883) 

The departure of the great French novelist from the wider field of human 
observation, denoting the comedy and tragedy of contemporary life, perceptible 
in the every-day phases of society and its varied humors, to a specialized study 
in the somber secrets of psychology innate in religious fanaticism, is an inter- 
esting literary fact. It primarily denotes the breadth of the author's perspective. 
More than that, it indicates the significance of movements in French society, 
which respond curiously to the recognition of religious force whether in the 
perverse and abnormal way or in its more wholesome evolution. The per- 
sonality and propaganda of Madame Autheman, which constitute the imme- 
diate object of L'Evangeliste, envisage a conception appalling as that of a 
demon masking itself in the livery of heaven," and yet so vivid on the human 
side that it escapes the grotesque and imaginary. The stir the story made in 
the reading public at the time of publication testified to the realism of the theme 
and its atmosphere. 

SALINE EBSEN, living with her mother, and earn- 
ing a comfortable income by teaching, in which 
both were successful, had lost the old Danish 
grandmother, whose sweet, homely nature was 
delightfully reproduced in the young girl's grace 
and freshness. When she who had been the 
tutelary deity of a serene household, where all 
was love and mutual devotion, had passed away, 
the bereaved mourners turned to each other with 
an accent of even tenderer feeling. "Let us love each other 
dearly, my Linette, and let us never part," said Madame Ebsen, 
embracing her daughter with tearful fondness, filine answered 
with equal emotion: "Never, you know it, mother, never." It 
was a dedication much savored by the holiest sentiment, and 
perhaps transfused, on the part of filine, by a certain capac- 
ity of spiritual exaltation, of which she, in the wholesome 
exercise of domestic and professional life full of pleasant occu- 
pation, was scarcely conscious. What her grandmother had 
been in cheerful self-sacrifice and family devotion, that she 
would be, she thought, as her heart overflowed with memories 
of the past and the responsibilities of the present. 

158 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 159 

The ground-floor apartment of the same little house in the 
Rue du Val-de-Gr&ce was occupied by an ex-functionary 
Charles Lorie-Dufresne, formerly subprefect in Algeria, but 
now straitened in means, while awaiting further appointment 
to office. His little daughter, Fanny, a lovable sprite of eight 
years, was a pupil of Mademoiselle Ebsen; and the father, still 
a young man, who had been widowed several years, as familiar 
intercourse made him acquainted with the charming character 
of feline, not less marked than her graces of person, was strongly 
moved to solicit her hand. But his own comparative penury 
restrained him. feline appeared to harbor no thought of love 
and marriage. Her fine, large nature, however rich in emo- 
tional capacity, found sufficient outlet in the radiation of kind- 
ness and good offices toward all who came within her sphere, 
and her amiable pupil Fanny gave a field to her latent maternal 
tenderness. It was in a hope allied to this that Monsieur Lorie- 
Dufrcsne warmed with a little glow against the chill of feline's 
friendly indifference. Her hand had been previously sought by 
a young army physician, the son of Pastor Aussandon, the dean 
of the Protestant faculty and a noted preacher, with whose 
family the Ebsens had always been intimate, as they lived near 
each other. Madame Aussandon, however, had been a little 
hurt and estranged by feline's rejection of the young doctor's 
suit. Sylvanire, a rough but faithful peasant woman, who had 
been the nurse of the Lorie-Dufresne children and was devoted 
to Fanny, was the wife of Remain, the quondam gardener of the 
ex-prefect. She had refused to live with him while her young 
charges needed her services. But when he secured an appoint- 
ment as lockkeeper at the canal passing through Port-Sauveur, 
near Paris, and it seemed likely that Fanny would find in feline 
of whom Sylvanire had ceased to be jealous when she fully 
recognized the goodness of the young teacher the love and 
guidance of a second mother, she consented to go to Remain's 
cabin at the lock. 

feline, who augmented the family income by playing on the 
organ in church and by making translations, as she was an excel- 
lent linguist, came home one day to find her mother pleasantly 
excited. She had received a call from one who proved to be a 
former pupil, Madame Autheman, now the wife of the richest 



160 THE EVANGELIST 

banker in Paris. Madame Ebsen's teaching reminiscences in- 
cluded experience at Madame de Bourlon's seminary for rich 
young demoiselles. Among these had been Lonie Rougier, 
now Countess d'Arlat; Deborah Becker, a Hebrew heiress, now 
Baroness Gerspach, and Jeanne Chatelus, daughter of a rich 
silk manufacturer of Lyons, a pretty, singular girl, who, a 
fanatical Protestant and incessant Bible-reader, was wont to 
hold little religious meetings on the playground every day, when 
she could persuade her companions to listen. 

It was rumored, Madame Ebsen said, that she was to marry 
a young missionary and go out to Africa to convert the Basutos. 
But she returned from a vacation in Switzerland only to leave 
school and become Madame Autheman. Hllas, what courage ! 
Croesus as he was, all one side of his face was a gigantic blazing 
wen, which could be only partly concealed by a silk band, a skin 
disease hereditary in his family and their Semitic kin, obvious, 
in lesser degree, in his cousin, Baroness Gerspach. The visitor 
had brought a book full of meditations and prayers, Morning 
Hours, which she wished translated into English and German. 

filine glanced over the book with a vehement gesture of re- 
pulsion, as she read such fragments as these: "Laughter and 
gaiety are the accompaniments of a corrupt heart. Our hearts 
have no need of these things when the peace of God reigns in 
them. ... A father, a mother, husband, and children deceive 
the affection. To attach one's heart to them is to make a poor 
reckoning. ... It is for this reason we make war on idols and 
expel from our hearts everything that might rival Him." She 
was not disposed to undertake the commission under the first 
force of her shock, but Madame Ebsen, who had been flattered 
by the visit of the wealthy Madame Autheman, overpersuaded 
her,. A little additional money was always welcome. Such 
work, too, if it continued, might pay, by and by, for Lina's trous- 
seau, if she should ever marry. They discussed such matters 
openly before M. Lorie, who came and went as an inmate; and 
the lonely man, who had secured a small official place at last, 
felt the whole being of himself and his family sweetened in the 
mellow sunshine of filine's daily life. When the translations 
were done they were taken to Madame Autheman at her office. 
The girl was ushered into the presence by Anne de Beuil, the 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 161 

familiar of the mistress of that great establishment, a tall; 
haggard person with the blaze of insane enthusiasm in her 
sunken eyes. Madame Autheman, who preserved the remains 
of much beauty, and was richly garbed with a kind of austere 
coquetry in the gown of a religious order, received her effusively. 
She gave her a check with much flattery, and then spoke of 
her dead grandmother. "I hope she knew the Saviour before 
she died?" 

filine could not say she did her grandmother was not a 
professing Christian. Thereupon Madame apostrophized the 
grandmother, sighing oratorically: "Where are you now, poor 
soul? How you must suffer; how you must curse those who 
eft you without succor!" 

filine's heart was wrung by such an allusion, but there was 
something fascinating in the basilisk look, that strangely moved 
the occult mysticism and sentiment of the woman of the North, 
even in her recoil. The sensitive girl burst into tears which 
the other soothed with practised skill, and finally extorted half 
a promise to attend some of her prayer- meetings at Paris, or at 
Port-Sauveur, where she would hear soul-comforting confessions 
and pledges. At the latter place the Authemans had their 
country establishment and by their wealth largely controlled 
its municipal affairs. 

Jeanne Chatelus, as a child serious and absorbed in relig- 
ious problems, had been brought up by an aunt ascetic in tem- 
perament and steeped in the narrowest Protestantism. All the 
proclivities of her nature were thus accentuated by her training; 
and, as her youth passed into womanhood, she became so thin 
and nervous that she was ordered to the Swiss mountains. There 
she met a young theological student, preparing for the mission- 
ary field, whose shrewd mother noted in the young girl an ad- 
mirable wife for her son, since there was large wealth as well 
as fitness of temperament. What little emotion lay in Jeanne 
responded to the addresses of a handsome young fellow, reek- 
ing with piety. So they became betrothed on the congealed 
waves of the Mer de Glace, though their avowals and promises 
were as cold as the north wind that blew across the icy peaks. 
She returned to enter Madame de Bourlon's school to study 
English and geography; but she had been there only a few 

A.D., VOL. VI. II, 



162 THE EVANGELIST 

months when her father's firm became bankrupt. Her theo- 
logian quickly found a polite pretext to break the engagement. 
This humiliation was a terrible blow to Jeanne, though no one 
but Deborah Becker, who was of the Autheman kin, was made 
a confidant, the emotional Jewess having fallen much under 
her domination. 

Old Madame Autheman one day called and formally asked 
Jeanne's hand in marriage for her son. The pale, silent young 
man, depressed on account of his facial deformity, had seen 
and fallen in love with the peculiar beauty of the girl. All men 
were alike to her, then, in her fierce abasement; and the great 
wealth which would be at her disposal made temptation suc- 
cessful, in spite of the Hebraism of the family. After mar- 
riage she soon made a convert of her timid and adoring spouse, 
and the reception of the young Israelitish banker into the Tem- 
ple of the Oratory was one of the sensations of the time. The 
frozen soul of Jeanne Autheman, lighted by the fires of fanati- 
cism, like a glacial peak glittering in the sun, exorcised every 
other sympathy and ardor and sentiment as born of Satan. 
She devoted herself and her husband's colossal wealth to the 
evangelization of Paris, and her spiritual pride became an in- 
satiable ogre devouring all the resources of her being. She 
had seen filine, of whom she had heard in connection with her 
former teacher, and in this tender soul her depraved instincts of 
salvation sensed another fit victim to be melted and recast in her 
terrible crucible, a soul to be saved and refined at the expense 
of the body, even at the expense of her happiness, and the hap- 
piness of all others connected with her. 

filine had finally determined to marry her friend, M. Lorie, 
the assent having come to her thought in a visit they made to 
the humble home of Sylvanire. She heard Fanny scream in 
her novel excitement and filine turned pale with fear. 

"How good you are to that child," he murmured; and she 
answered: "I love her as if she were mine, and the thought of 
giving her up causes me so much pain!" This plastic mood 
led to further exchanges of confidence. She would not be 
obliged to leave her home, and she told the happy man she 
would be a mother to his children. 

As the holiday-makers floated on the canal, Sylvanire 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 163 

pointed out the memorial chateau of Autheman with its tur- 
reted and balustraded roofs, its park, its lawns, and a massive 
marble cross marking what looked like a great tomb or temple. 
There came across Eline an inexplicable shiver of uneasiness, 
dimming the beautiful spring morning and the lucent air fra- 
grant with violets. The gossip of the place was full of strange 
stories about Madame Autheman. She bribed Catholics and 
other reprobates to attend chapel and the Protestant commun- 
ion; and gathered the children into her schools with a scoop- 
net which permitted no escape. One beautiful young girl had 
tried to escape, but had been beguiled back and died at the 
chateau of some strange medicine, which drugged her sensi- 
bility and made her a raving maniac. The great manor was 
always buried in gloomy silence, though Madame Autheman 
lived there eight months in the year. Toward evening there 
came a little change. The gates would open, showing the 
mausoleum-like chapel more clearly as wheels ground over the 
gravel. 'Twas then that the banker returned, always in a close 
carriage, from Paris. He shrank from showing his dreary face 
to public curiosity. To receive a chilly salute, then to be 
dropped out of Jeanne's thoughts, to know that her room was 
nightly locked against him, to feel his tender devotion thrust 
back into his face, as if love were an outrage that was the 
great banker's home-life. Better, he thought, as he sometimes 
brooded behind the marble balustrade and watched the pass- 
ing trains, to hurl his quivering body under those roaring wheels. 
But the poor wretch would yet linger, for he sometimes per- 
mitted his heart to hope that marble might soften into flesh. 

One day Eline received a note from Madame Autheman 
asking her to attend a meeting at Hall B, Avenue des Ternes. 
The curiosity of mother and daughter led them to accept. A 
dreary shop turned into a prayer-room, deal benches, a queer, ill- 
assorted audience, with the gaunt fanatic, Anne de Beuil, beat- 
ing time to shrill hymns and the statue-like Madame Authe- 
man, watching everything with cold, gray eyes the ensemble 
was not inspiring. The high priestess deduced with withering 
logic from her arid premises that there were no consistent Chris- 
tians now, no more devotees suffering and struggling for Christ; 
but instead of that, mumbled prayers and easy sacrifices costing 



164 THE EVANGELIST 

nothing. Then young Nicholas, a lad from the Port-Sau- 
veur schools, his young-old face etched with vice and ignoble 
instinct, with a sing-song whine intoned a pious profession, 
gesticulating with the license of a street gamin and winking 
with a cunning leer. Then Watson of Cardiff, an apparition 
with bloodshot eyes, took part in the show, feline had been 
motioned by the stage-director to assume a seat on the plat- 
form, and translate the story into French. The demented 
creature had deserted her husband and children, after one had 
been drowned, that she might give her testimony for an inex- 
orable and jealous God. feline shuddered as she fluently trans- 
lated, to the delight of her doting but shallow mother; yet the 
fascination of the scene sank into her soul and she felt the in- 
fection of the hysteric creature panting out its crazy babble, 
as if it were a hypnotic spell. 

Soon afterward the Ebsen household was again visited by 
Madame Autheman. feline was absent, but the great lady 
made a proposition to utilize the accomplished young girl's 
talents in her schools, for which she would pay double what 
could be earned anywhere else by teaching. To Madame 
Ebsen it appeared a windfall, and the arrangement was made. 

A terrible conflict had already begun to rage in feline's soul, 
as if a monster had raised its head from unknown depths. With 
her growing absorption in Madame Autheman's propaganda, 
feline becam ecold and abstracted from the things which had 
formerly given her all the joy of accomplished duty. She re- 
turned every night to her home, but with a physical lassitude 
which betrayed the exhaustion of battle. The prattle of Fanny 
irritated hen and the little girl said sobbingly to her father: 
"Mamma feline no longer loves me." She listened to M. 
Lorie's talk about their coming marriage, as if she hardly 
knew the meaning of his words. At last she peremptorily said 
to her fianc6 that, unless he and his children accepted her re- 
ligious faith they were Catholics there could be no marriage. 
The distracted man went for advice to the good old Aussandon, 
who united the robust sense of the man of the world with the 
piety of the Christian. 

"Oh! yes, I know her, that Jeanne Autheman ... a 
woman who breaks and tears the closest ties, a creature with- 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 165 

out heart, without pity. . . . Warn the mother. . . . See that 
she takes Lina away at once . . . from this living death, from 
this devourer of souls, who is as cold as a ghoul in the cemetery." 
That is what the old man thought and longed to say, but he did 
not, as he caught the warning glance of his more prudent wife. 

At last line remained altogether at the Autheman retreat 
except at rare intervals; and Madame Ebscn received a letter 
from her saying that God had called her and that thenceforward 
till the day of probation was over they could not see each other, 
but only communicate occasionally by letter. The distracted 
mother hastened to Port-Sauveur, and with difficulty secured 
an interview with Madame Autheman, who quoted to her 
pious phrases from sermons and tracts with the monition: "It 
is you, wretched woman, that line wishes to save. Your deep 
sorrow is the beginning of salvation." She had fainted at the 
chateau gate; but finally found her way to Sylvanire's cottage, 
where she was ill a week before returning to Paris, bent on in- 
voking the intervention of public justice. At the very time that 
the mother had sought her at the chateau, line, on the eve of 
departure to carry on the Work, was, day after day, alternating 
between the convulsions of religious ecstasy and the agony of 
sundering her dearest ties. Almost mad as she tossed in the 
darkness, she would put out her hand for the sleeping-draught 
prepared for her and sink into a prolonged coma. 

Madame Ebscn appealed to her friends, such as the Countess 
d'Arlat and Baroness Gerspach, to intervene through their hus- 
bands' political and social influence. Tears and sympathy were 
profuse; but the name, Madame Autheman, with the great 
banking-house behind, paralyzed all effort on the part of the 
men. She was at last introduced by the Countess to the great 
lawyer, Monsieur Raveraud, who heard her story with a burst 
of fierce indignation. This reached its climax when she showed 
him a vial discovered among filine's things since her departure. 
It had been analyzed and found to be an extract bringing on 
stupor and convulsions. "Who is this monster?" asked the 
lawyer. The answer, "Madame Autheman," chilled his ar- 
dor, and he advised her to apply to the Danish Consul, a rich 
manufacturer, Monsieur Desnos. But he, too, when he heard 
the magical name, grew cold. He could not listen to such 



166 THE EVANGELIST 

calumny. The honor of the Authemans was the backbone of 
commercial Paris. Everywhere Madame Ebsen went it was 
either disbelief or the "no" of sordid business policy. The 
last news she received from filine was a postcard, marked 
Jersey, with the heartless words from one who once had the 
tenderest of hearts: "These trials draw you every day nearer 
to God. As for me, my sole concern is for your salvation and 
my own. I must live far from the world and keep myself from 
evil." She was weeping over this at the window when she 
saw the noble white head of Monsieur Aussandon in his garden. 
"I am going to preach to-morrow in the Oratory. It is for you. 
. . . Come and hear me," he said. 

The good dean had not been able to stifle his conscience. 
He resolved to trumpet the affaire Ebsen from the pulpit of 
God, regardless of all consequences to self. The great church 
was packed, for it was Communion Sunday, and the Oratory 
was the Protestant cathedral of Paris. The preacher painted 
the outlines of the case with pathetic eloquence and force. 
When he came to speak of the pitiless woman, who sheltered 
herself and her deeds behind a respectable name and a colossal 
fortune, all knew it to be an indictment of Madame Autheman, 
who sat, an impassive listener, before him. The thunders of 
his denunciation rang through the arches, yet there was scarcely 
a flush on her face. When he dispensed the sacramental bread, 
he paused before this human statue and said, with a tense whis- 
per and a piercing eye: "Where is Lina?" Silence. Again 
he put the query. "I know not. . . . God has taken her." 
"Retire," was the stern rejoinder, "you are unworthy. There 
is nothing for you at the table of the Lord." With serene, hard 
eyes, proud and erect in figure, Madame Aulheman, after this 
insult, disappeared in the audience, far less agitated than the 
pastor. Bonne, his wife, met him in the robing-room, and, 
prudent woman as she was, approved him with streaming eyes. 
She had not known his intention. Let the authorities dismiss 
him, if they would; her heart would still rejoice in the castiga- 
tion of that robber of the soul. 

M. Autheman adored his wife with a passion which nothing 
could quench. To her he was but the miner's pick, the car- 
penter's chisel, the mason's trowel. Despair convulsed hi& 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 167 

spirit before this iceberg, that yet consumed him with fire. 
One day he sought her in the chateau garden with anguish in 
his burning eyes, and heard her say, "The soul that wishes to 
be united to God must forget all created things, all perishable 
persons," as he burst into her presence. The attendant was 
ordered to retire, and the man poured out his soul at the feet of 
the woman. It was a volcanic gush of ardor and tenderness. 
He besought her to be his loving wife or he would die. A blush 
stained her pallor at the insult and she exclaimed: "Enough! 
not another word. I thought you understood me. God and 
my work! Nothing else exists for me." 

The express train an hour later stopped to investigate a mass 
of mangled flesh which clogged the metals. It was identified 
by a silk bandage concealing an enormous wen, on what seemed 
to be a human head. Yet the shock which perturbed the 
Parisian world at the accident to the great banker did not 
prevent the widow from writing to filine Ebsen, that she must 
return at once to her mother for a little, to allay rumor and 
suspicion, as the newspapers had begun to spread scandal. 

Madame Ebsen's delight in seeing her daughter again was 
short-lived. Kline's face was pale and haggard, and on it were 
etched the marks of weariness and suffering. Her answers to 
questions as to her wanderings were vague and embarrassed, 
as if she had been in a dream, and they would more often take 
the shape of Biblical quotations than of plain statements. 
Madame Ebsen would go to her room at night and find her 
kneeling on the rug, at which filine would say harshly: "Leave 
me with God, mother." Her eyes had the hard, vacant stare of 
a somnambulist. Little Fanny she looked at as if she were a 
stranger. Her whole manner was that of one performing a 
difficult and enforced duty, and awaiting some order of libera- 
tion. Three weeks thus dragged themselves by when one day 
the girl appeared dressed for travel. "I can save you only by 
tearing myself away," she said mechanically, as she allowed 
icy lips to touch her mother's cheek. "It is for our salvation." 

She departed, and Madame Ebsen never saw nor heard from 
her again. 



THE IMMORTAL (1888) 

This novel was published as a serial in L? Illustration, May 5 to July 7, 
1888, and soon thereafter in book form. Being a sweeping and trenchant 
attack upon the French Academy, the self -perpetuating body of forty authors, 
known as "The Immortals," founded by Cardinal Richelieu, it at once 
called forth a storm of criticism. Defenders of the Academy, such as Mon- 
sieur Brunetiere, charged that Daudet had written the novel out of revenge 
for being excluded from the institution. In reply the author prefixed to the 
subsequent editions of his work the following quotation from a letter he had 
written in 1883 to Figaro: "I am not now a candidate, I never have been a 
candidate, and I never shall be a candidate for the Academy." The incident 
of the forged letters foisted on the historian Astier-Re'hu by Fage, the book- 
binder, is founded on an occurrence in real life. Monsieur Michel Chasles, a 
distinguished geometrician, produced between 1867 and 1869 certain auto- 
graph manuscripts which gave evidence that Pascal should have all the 
credit for the great discoveries of Newton. The discussion which arose over 
these documents ended in the disclosure that M. Chasles had been for eight 
years the dupe of a forger named Vrain-Lucas, who had sold him twenty-seven 
thousand spurious documents for one hundred and forty thousand francs. 
Among the manuscripts were letters purporting to be from Lazarus and Mary 
Magdalen to St. Peter, from Pythagoras to ^schylus and Sappho, and from 
Cleopatra to Caesar, and a passport from Vercingetorix, all written in old French! 

IDER the title ASTIER-REHU, in the Dictionary 
of Contemporary Celebrities, edition of 1880, we 
read the following: 

"AsxiER, otherwise ASTIER-REHU, Leonard, 
born in 1816 at Sauvagnat (Puy-de-D6me) of a 
family of humble farmers, displayed in early 
childhood a rare aptitude for history. His par- 
ents made great sacrifices to give him an aca- 
demic education. He began his studies at the 
college of Riom and completed them at Louis-le-Grand, whither 
he was destined to return later as professor of history. His 
first published work, an Essay on Marcus AureUus, was crowned 
by the French Academy; and the young student was encouraged 
thereby to go to Paris and devote himself to historical author- 
ship. He published in rapid succession The Great Ministers 
of Louis XIV (crowned by the Academy), Bonaparte and the 

1 68 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 169 

Concordat (crowned by the Academy), and the admirable In- 
troduction to the History of the House of Orleans, that noble 
gateway to the work to which the historian was to give twenty 
years of his life. Then the Academy, having no more crowns 
to offer him, chose him to a seat among its elect. He was al- 
ready, in a certain sense, in the family of the Immortals, having 
married Adelaide Rhu, granddaughter of Jean Rhu, the 
venerable dean of the Academy, whose hale old age, verging 
upon one hundred, is the admiration of the Institute. 

" Professor Astier-Re*hu announces for early publication an 
Unknown Galileo, based upon most interesting documents 
hitherto unpublished. All of his works are for sale by Petit- 
Se*quard, at the publishing house of the Academy." 

The authenticity of this account is beyond question, since it 
is the practise of the editor of the Dictionary of Celebrities to 
allow each subject to prepare his own notice. 

The same could not be said, however, of the documents 
upon which the monographs of the historian were based. Schol- 
ars of other lands scouted his claim to erudition (Mommsen in 
one of his notes has written ineptissimus vir Astier-R6hu), and 
refused to accept his authorities as genuine. Even in France 
Astier had his detractors. Baron Huchenard, a famous auto- 
graphile, spread widely the rumor that many of the documents 
upon whose possession Astier particularly prided himself were 
clumsy forgeries in particular, three letters, from Charles the 
Fifth to Rabelais, wherein the Emperor addresses the author as 
Maitre, instead of Frbre. However, Astier had many warm 
friends who stoutly contended that it is just such slips as this 
which prove authenticity. Indeed, they succeeded in placing 
on the minutes of the Academy an indorsement of this princi- 
ple of paleography in the case of a letter from Rotrou to Car- 
dinal Richelieu concerning the Academy, which was presented 
to it by Astier-Rhu, and had been objected to as spurious, 
because of inherent errors. 

Professor Astier had stumbled upon what was apparently 
an inexhaustible mine of autographic wealth, which was guarded 
by a gnome who doled it out piecemeal at prices that kept the 
collector and his family continually pinched for living expenses. 
Albin Fage was the name of the treasure's guardian. He was 



I7 o THE IMMORTAL 

a hunchback; by vocation a bookbinder, and by avocation a 
lady-killer. Pretty actresses and handsome women of the demi- 
monde seemed infatuated with his wizen face and distorted 
figure. 

Page had first called upon Professor Astier shortly after an 
announcement by Petit-Squard that a monograph on Galileo 
was in preparation by the distinguished historian. He diffi- 
dently explained that he was an ignorant bookbinder, who had 
been engaged by a maiden lady of noble birth but in reduced 
circumstances to prepare for sale certain old manuscripts which 
seemed to be of rare value. As some of the documents related 
to Galileo, he had come to the acknowledged authority upon 
that subject to find whether they were genuine. If Professor 
Astier gave a favorable opinion he purposed selling the letters to 
Baron Huchenard, the rich collector. 

They were indeed treasures correspondence between Maria 
de' Medici and Pope Urban VIII, concerning the heretic who 
was overturning the foundations of belief by his astounding 
theory that the earth moved about the sun. 

Astier at once said : " You need not go to Huchenard. Bring 
me all the manuscripts you have concerning Galileo. I will 
buy them." 

And when the monograph on the Italian philosopher was 
finished, Fage brought other manuscripts which very well fell 
in with whatever work was engaging at the time the historian's 
attention. Astier never had a doubt as to their authenticity. 
The venomous observations of Huchenard upon his Galileo he 
laid to the jealousy of a disappointed collector. He stinted his 
family to buy one treasure after another. If his wife had only 
known what these repeated calls of the bookbinder meant! 

For Madame Astier was hard pressed for other than house- 
hold outlays. Paul, the only child, was an architect, who, on 
the pretense of furthering his professional ambitions, was living 
in extravagant style, far beyond his earnings. He was a hand- 
some, athletic young fellow and knew how to make the most 
of his attractions with women, his mother among the rest. He 
was the great passion of her life. She had married Leonard 
Astier as a coming academician and not as a man. The affec- 
tion which at different stages in other women is given to lover, 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 171 

to husband, to child, she reserved for her son and poured it out 
upon him alone. She could deny him nothing. 

To provide Paul with money she was, unknown to him, 
acting as matrimonial agent for a certain Prince d'Athis, for- 
merly known as Monsieur Samy, endeavoring to procure a wife 
for him in the person of a recently bereaved young widow of 
enormous wealth, the Princess Colette von Rosen. Samy for 
fourteen years had been the openly accepted lover of Maria 
Antonia, Duchess of Padovani, a Corsican noblewoman of 
mature age but well-preserved charms, who lived apart from 
her husband. To her were due all of Samy's honors; she had 
bought for him his title from a petty Italian state; and, through 
her connection with royalty, and by her shrewd but not flatter- 
ing advice always to look wise and keep silent, he had risen to 
high position in the diplomatic service, receiving only recently 
appointment as Ambassador to Russia. Now he needed a rich 
wife to support the new position. He preferred a young widow 
to a divorcee of middle age if indeed the Duchess were willing 
to seek a legal separation from her husband, whose tide, if not 
person, she prized. Certainly Prince d'Athis did not question 
her upon this subject. She had taught him to say nothing. 
He merely prepared to drop her when his marriage with the 
Princess von Rosen had been definitely decided upon. 

This royal lady, however, was still in the depths of bereave- 
ment. She had employed Paul Astier to build a mausoleum 
to her dear Herbert in Pere Lachaise, where she was in frequent 
consultation with the handsome young architect. For consul- 
tation with his clients, especially when they were beautiful 
young women, was Paul's specialty. He had a sculptor named 
Wdrine to supply him with ideas and to do the work on his 
jobs. 

Before these consultations began, Madame Astier had been 
making satisfactory progress in her mission. By carefully 
graduated depreciation of the dead Prince, she had brought his 
widow to note the contrast to him in many respects which the 
live Prince presented. Soon Colette agreed that D'Athis alone 
could induce her to renounce her widowhood. But suddenly 
she changed, and ordered Madame Astier never again to men- 
tion marriage to her. Her heart was in her husband's tomb. 



i 7 2 THE IMMORTAL 

And this expression was true in the letter if not in spirit. 
Unknown to his mother, Paul had conceived the idea of bringing 
the whole of the Von Rosen millions into the Astier family, in- 
stead of a mere broker's commission thereon. So he brought 
all his practised arts in feminine conquest to bear on the widow 
with such success that it was to meet the fascinating young 
architect rather than to commune with the memory of "dear 
Herbert" that she daily frequented the unfinished mausoleum. 

Mother and son were thus playing at cross purposes. He 
believed that he might bridge the social gap between himself 
and the Princess by entering her world as a brilliant and suc- 
cessful architect. To do this he required money. So he asked 
his mother to get for him by hook or crook twenty thousand 
francs. With her matrimonial plans for D'Athis blocked by 
the very purpose for which the money was wanted (though of 
this purpose she was ignorant) she was in despair. Where 
could she raise such a large sum? Ah, her husband's manu- 
scripts! 

That night she slipped from the side of her snoring spouse, 
rifled his pockets of his keys, and robbed his collection of its 
latest and chief acquisition, the letters of Charles the Fifth to 
"Maitre" Rabelais. Early next morning she took them to 
Monsieur Bos, a dealer in antiquities. Because of the public 
controversy over their authenticity between Astier-Rhu and 
Baron Huchenard, Bos knew that the Baron would pay a high 
price for them, whether genuine or not indeed, that he would 
prefer them to prove spurious. So he readily paid Madame 
Astier the twenty thousand francs she required. 

After she had placed the money irretrievably in the hands of 
Paul, Madame Astier openly confessed her theft to her hus- 
band. He stormed savagely at wife and son, and threatened 
to expose them. They dared him to do his worst. "What? 
air a family scandal the man who expects to step into the sine- 
cure of Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy when the 
present incumbent, now on his death-bed, shall have expired? 
Ridiculous!" So the trunk which the historian packed for 
going back to Sauvagnat and leaving them in their infamy, re- 
mained in the hall for a month, until, at a wink from her mis- 
tress, Corentine, the servant, dumped the clothing out of it, and, 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 173 

unopposed by the master, restored it to its former office of wood- 
box. 

With the twenty thousand francs Paul made a brilliant dis- 
play in society, and greatly impressed the young Princess von 
Rosen with his importance. In their meetings at the tomb of 
the Prince, the widow gave indications that she was coming to 
look upon the handsome architect as a possible successor to 
that empty bed which was represented by the granite sarcoph- 
agus a bare couch within a tent awaiting the warrior that 
was never to return. One day she came in advance of Paul's 
arrival. She entered the tomb and kneeled at a prie-dieu be- 
fore a Gothic cross. It was sweet to pray there in the cool dusk 
of the mausoleum, amid the black marbles whereon Prince 
Herbert's name stood forth with all his titles opposite verses 
from the " Song of Songs." 

She heard the step of the architect without on the gravel. 
It was beginning to rain, but he did not enter. She ap- 
proved this evidence of his delicacy of feeling. She called to 
him: 

"Monsieur Paul, pray come in." 

He replied, very low : 

"I cannot you love him too dearly." 

She went outside and, taking his hand, drew him within. 
They stood by the sarcophagus looking out through the rain 
upon the old Paris of the dead. The flowers filled the air with 
a fresh and penetrating fragrance brought out by the shower. 
Man and woman stood so still and silent, like mortuary stat- 
u"fcs, that a little rust-colored bird hopped in, shook its feathers, 
and began pecking for worms between the flag-stones. 

"It is a nightingale," said Paul, under his breath; "the 
bird of" 

"Love," her lips moved to say in completing the sentence, 
but her voice refused to sound. 

He seized her, and, sittiijg upon the edge of the granite bed, 
drew her down upon his knee; then, putting her head back, he 
pressed upon her parted lips a slow, deep kiss, which she 
passionately returned. "Because love is stronger than death," 
said the verse of the Sulamite, written on the marble wall above 
them. 



174 THE IMMORTAL 

It was in the Turkish bath of the "Keyser Hydropathic 
Establishment," whither he was wont to resort, that there fell 
upon Paul Astier's soul, glowing with his conquest, the sudden 
douche of cold disillusionment. Lavaux, scandal-monger of 
the Academy circle, pointed out to him a lean, stooping figure, 
in an ample india-rubber cap which concealed the features, 
coming up from the tank. 

" There's Samy. He comes here every day to rejuvenate 
himself. Going to marry a young wife, you know. The Prin- 
cess left to-day for St. Petersburg. Tried to keep it secret for 
some reason, but I know. He follows to-morrow. Will be 
married there at the Embassy." 

Paul had an instinctive feeling of disaster. 

"The Princess! Whom is he going to marry?" 

"Why, Colette, of course. Don't you know? They say 
your mother arranged it." 

Paul Astier, naked as the primitive man, was seized with 
a brute impulse to pounce on the stooping form of the retreating 
Prince, who was, as it were, running away with the fortune he 
had thought in his own hands, and to wrench from him an 
explanation. Then the second thought of civilized, sophisti- 
cated man came to him, and he decided first to see his mother, 
have it out with her, and get his exact bearings. He found her 
with the Duchess Padovani in the latter's box at the Com&lie 
Franf aise. Mother and son conversed in undertones. 

"Answer me plainly," he began. "Prince d'Athis is to be 
married?" 

"Yes, the Duchess found it out yesterday. But she came 
none the less. These Corsicans are so proud." 

"And the woman's name?" 

"Why, Colette, of course. Didn't you suspect it?" 

"Not the least in the world. How much do you get for 
this?" 

"Two hundred thousand," she whispered triumphantly. 
"She almost backed out at the last moment, but I had com- 
mitted her too deeply for her to do so without scandal." 

"Well, your intriguing has cost me twenty millions! twenty 
millions and the woman!" he crushed her wrists, and hissed, 
"Meddler!" 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 175 

The next day Paul sought out D'Athis, insulted him on 
some trivial pretext, and accepted his challenge to a duel with 
rapiers. Astier was an accomplished swordsman. His ex- 
pectation that he would kill the Prince, an older and weaker 
man than he, was as certain as his determination to do so. In 
the encounter he was pressing his antagonist hard, when fate, 
contrary to all anticipation, all logic, took a hand, and, hidden 
in the cloud by which the attendant god in Homeric combat is 
enshrouded, dealt a final blow to the seeming victor. The fresh 
young athlete was spitted by the worn-out rout. 

The surgeon examined the wound. "A close shave to the 
carotid. You'll be all right in three weeks." 

The Prince went home in Paul's hired caliche, courteously 
leaving his own more comfortable carriage to convey the wounded 
man and his second. In the coup Paul reflected upon the 
situation. The Princess was hopelessly lost to him; but what 
of the Duchess? His eyes flashed; he would yet retrieve him- 
self. He scrawled upon one of his visiting cards: "Fate is as 
treacherous as men are. I tried to avenge you. I failed. 
Forgive me." He signed his name. When the carriage was 
passing a grocery store, he had the driver stop and procure an 
envelope, a shocking affair, adorned with flowers. He ad- 
dressed it "Duchess Padovani," enclosed the card within it, 
and begged his second to post it at once. 

The sword-thrust which nearly killed Paul brought peace 
between his parents. Moreover, prosperity had at last come 
to them. Loisillon, Perpetual Secretary of the Academy, was 
deatl, and Professor Astier had been appointed in his stead. 
The family moved into the commodious secretarial apartments 
at the Institute. To Madame Astier, who found souvenirs of 
her childhood in every paving-stone in the courtyard, it was like 
coming home after a long absence. To Professor Astier it was 
the culmination of his ambition. He at once began preparing 
a second edition of his House of Orleans, that he might intro- 
duce in it a number of his newly discovered documents, and 
might place beneath his name on the title-page, "Perpetual 
Secretary of the French Academy." 

He sat writing a letter one day, enthusiastically recounting 



176 THE IMMORTAL 

the new glory and power he had achieved to a former pupil of his 
professorial days, and a present protg&. This was Abel de 
Freydet, a minor poet, known to the scoffing authors outside 
of the Academy as the "perpetual candidate " from his repeated 
and unsuccessful efforts to secure an election to that august 
body. 

"My dear pupil," he wrote, "my recent appointment has 
made me all-powerful in the Academy. I shall be able to block 
once and for all the absurd attempt of my detractor, Baron 
Huchenard, to force his way into our honored circle. And it is 
you who shall fill the vacant chair; for at last I am in a position 
to fulfil my promise. You may safely count upon the votes of 
your old professor and his friends, who now constitute a major- 
ity" 

At this point the door of the study was burst in by M. 
Bos, who had bought from Madame Astier the letters of Charles 
the Fifth. With haggard face and arms in air, the dealer cried 
out: "The letters are forged! I have proofs of it proofs!" 

Baron Huchenard entered behind the excited man. He 
unbuttoned his coat and drew forth the letters in question. 
They had been bleached from their former smoky hue to dead 
white. On each was clearly legible this water-mark : 

BB 

Angouleme 
1836 

"Delpech, the chemist, " began the Baron. 

"The twenty thousand francs will be at your house this 
evening, Monsieur Bos," said the professor. 

"But Monsieur le Baron gave me twenty-two thousand/' 
whined Bos. 

"Very well, twenty-two thousand," said Astier-R6hu, and 
bowed him out. He detained the Baron, and begged him to 
say nothing of the unfortunate affair. 

"Certainly not, my dear master that is, on one condition." 

"What is it? what is it?" 

"I am a candidate for Loisillon's chair, and " 

The Perpetual Secretary grasped the Baron by the hand and 
pledged him the votes of himself and friends. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 177 

Alone, Astier-R^hu sat stunned in the midst of his manu- 
scripts. There were thousands of them, and they had cost him 
hundreds of thousands of francs. All came from the same 
source. All were undoubtedly forged. And his books, founded 
on these documents oh, the thought of them was intolerable! 
He would die with the shame of it. 

The next morning he went to Page's bindery; but the forger, 
who had evidently heard of Delpech's investigations, had flown. 

On the day following the performance at which she had 
shown a smiling face, despite her lover's desertion, the Duchess 
Padovani left Paris for her estate at Mousseaux. For two days 
her fierce Corsican temper plotted all sorts of schemes for ven- 
geance upon the man whom she had lifted as high as she could, 
only to find herself spurned and prostrated in the last upward 
spring that landed him beyond her reach. On the third day 
came Paul's note, and newspapers containing an account of 
the duel. She had something like the joyous sensation of an 
embrace. Noble, gallant boy! She sent him her physician, 
and invited him to come to Mousseaux as soon as he was recov- 
ered. She decided to reconstruct her chateau in order to give 
him employment. 

When, one evening, three weeks later, the young architect 
put in an appearance, still pale from his wound, she could not 
wait until morning but entered his apartment to pour forth her 
pent-up woes. 

She paced the room like a tigress. "Think of it!" she cried, 
in a broken voice, "twelve years of my life to such a man! 
And now he has no further use for me, and leaves me it is he, 
he, who has broken it off!" Her pride rebelled at the idea, 
and she strode from the broad, low bed, within the shadow of 
whose old-fashioned curtains Paul reclined, resting from his 
journey, and the luminous circle of the central hanging-lamp, 
asking herself aloud the reasons for the rupture. Was it that 
little fooFs fortune? As if she, too, had not great wealth. She 
would rebuild her chateau with such magnificence that the 
fame of it would spread to St. Petersburg, and taunt the am- 
bassador with the thought of what he had lost. Was it in- 
fluence? As if the widow of a German princeling, herself a 
A.D., VOL, vi. 12 



178 THE IMMORTAL 

nobody, could compare with a duchess connected by blood 
with half the royalty of Europe. What was it, then? Youth? 
She gave a savage laugh. "Ha! poor little fool! little he cared 
for her youth!" 

"So I imagine," murmured Paul, sitting up upon the edge 
of the bed. This was the sore point; she dwelt upon it as if to 
cause herself pain. Youth! does a woman's age depend on the 
almanac? Standing underneath the lamp, within the full glow 
of its radiance, she turned toward Paul and impulsively, with 
both hands, put aside her lace peignoir from her firm, beautiful 
neck, her fair and rounded breast. "There," she exclaimed 
to the young man, who had risen and was drawing near her, 
"there is where women show their youth." 

She had come in a rage of grief and jealousy and wounded 
pride, thinking only of vengeance on her recreant lover; her 
impetuous action was not, as Paul was justified in thinking, an 
intended invitation to him. But she was in a mood to be won 
by his bold advances; the old love died, the desire for vengeance 
faded away; and the mercenary architect had secured his prize. 
She loved him. 

A few days later news came of the death in Corsica of the 
Duke of Padovani. Within a month thereafter his widow 
married her architect. 

The French Academy was in a ferment of excitement. A 
morning paper had printed in full a scathing report of the 
Academy at Florence on Astier-Rehu's Galileo, charging that 
the documents on which the monograph was based were im- 
pudent and farcical forgeries. The historian had promised 
to reply at a meeting of the French Academy in the evening. 
When his confreres assembled, he rose in his place and said : 

" Messieurs, I have unpleasant news for you. I have sub- 
mitted to experts the twelve thousand and odd autographs 
which compose what I called my collection. Messieurs, they 
are all forged, every one. The Academy of Florence told the 
truth. I am the victim of a most extensive fraud." 

The speaker wiped his brow, on which stood great drops of 
perspiration. There was silence in the hall. Each member 
thought: "How shall we escape the odium of this disclosure?" 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 179 

Answering this universal query, deaf old Rhu, the centenarian, 
illumined by one of those curious flashes of divination which 
sometimes come to the most hopeless cases of deafness, arose 
and said: 

"Under the Restoration we turned out eleven members for 
purely political reasons." 

One cynical member observed: "All organized bodies are 
cowardly; it's the law of nature; we must live." 

At this juncture Picheral, the secretary, forestalled the im- 
minent action of the Academy by reading an extract from its 
former minutes, in which that most palpable of the forgeries, 
the letter from Rotrou to Cardinal Richelieu, was officially de- 
fended by the body. "You see," he observed, "we shall cut a 
very poor figure visiting our wrath on our unfortunate confrere. 99 
Then, turning to the Perpetual Secretary, he adjured him to 
forego the scandal of a prosecution. 

But Astier-Rhu was set in his determination to punish 
Fage, who had been found by the police and was incar- 
cerated : 

"You talk of ridicule! Why, the Academy is far too ex- 
alted to fear anything of the sort. As for me, ruined, scoffed 
at as I am, I shall at least have the proud satisfaction of having 
plated my name, my work, and the dignity of history beyond 
reach of calumny. I ask no more." 

The trial of Fage, the little imp that had made fools of the 
learned Academy, was one of the notable events of the season. 
Every order of society was represented in its audience and all 
wtre convulsed with laughter as letters of kings, popes, em- 
perors, too clumsily concocted to deceive even a child, were 
read in evidence. The little hunchback was well salted: five 
years' imprisonment; but how funny his advocate was! His 
sly gibes at the learned historian and his confreres were more 
amusing than a play. Marguerite Oger, the leading actress 
of the day, was present; she laughed as in the second act of 
Musidora: "Oh! children! children!" 

Astier-Rfliu returned home at dusk with that insulting 
laughter ringing in his ears. "Laugh, laugh, ye baboons! 
posterity will judge!" He consoled himself thus as he crept 
up-stairs to his study. There he discovered an indistinct figure 



i8o THE IMMORTAL 

by the window. It was his wife waiting to add the last possible 
insults to his load of humiliation: 

" You would have your way, and bring Page to trial. Now 
you are covered with ridicule mired with it from head to foot, 
so you will never dare show yourself again. Oh! it was very 
fine to shriek that your son was dishonoring the name of Astier 
by marrying an old woman for her money; but thanks to you 
that name has become the synonym of fatuous credulity no 
one will mention it without a laugh. And all to save your his- 
torical work. Fool! who knows or cares anything about your 
historical work? You know very well that nobody reads what 
you write. Why, it was not your books that got you in the 
Academy. It was I, by my intrigues, by my endurance of the 
disgusting advances of lecherous old men, who secured your 
election. Why, your remark that my violets always smelled 
of tobacco, though you never smoked, has made you more 
famous than all your books!" 

The broken man made a feeble attempt to assert his au- 
thority. 

The virago continued: "Oh, nobody minds your bluster. 
Pack your trunk once for all. Leave us. Paul is rich and 
will send you money; for you will never find a publisher after 
this who will look at your twaddle. So your son's 'dishonor' 
will keep you from starving to death!" 

"This is too much," muttered the poor man, and left the 
room. He finds his way to the Pont des Arts, where the cool 
air from the water revives his benumbed faculties. At the end 
of the bridge he sees a black mass in the darkness, surmounted 
by a dome. It is the Academy. Thither he had gone in 
search of a wife, without love, simply to gain admission within 
its portals and now he knows how he gained it! 

The veil has fallen. He would like to cry out with a hun- 
dred voices to the young men of France: "The Academy is a 
fraud, a mirage! Do your work and make your way outside 
of it. It has nothing to give you of what you do not bring to it 
neither talent, nor fame, nor self-content. They who turn to 
it in distress embrace naught but a shadow and emptiness 
emptiness." 

When they drew his body from the water the next day, the 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 181 

clenched teeth and the fierce protruding jaw, which had pro- 
cured for him the nickname of "Crocodilus" among his pupils, 
told of his stern determination to die. 

The first to recognize the corpse was Freydet, the "per- 
petual candidate," who had sacrificed his estate, his budding 
fame as a poet, even the life of his sister, who, an invalid, wore 
herself out entertaining Academicians in his behalf, in his 
attempts to become one of the "Immortals." Though Astier- 
Rhu had broken his pledge to vote for his former pupil by 
joining in the election of Baron Huchenard to fill the latest 
vacancy, Freydet was on his way to express to his old master 
his love and loyalty in the hour of anguish. 

Nevertheless, as Freydet wiped from his eyes his tears for 
the dead man, he thought deep down in his heart, not withou/ 
a sense of shame, that another chair was vacant. 



ROSE AND NINETTE (1892) 

The author heads this story with a quotation from Alfred de Vigny, as 
follows: "After clearly perceiving that study of books and striving after nicety 
of language merely lead us into paradoxes, I have resolved never to make any 
sacrifices save in favor of conviction and truth, in order that a complete and 
profound sincerity shall dominate my works, and lend them that consecrated 
character which the divine presence of the truth ought to give, that character 
which makes tears come to our eyes when a child bears witness to what it has 
seen." 



^IFTEEN days after his divorce, Rgis de Fagan 
was expecting his daughters, Rose and Ninette, 
to spend the day with him, as the law permitted 
them to spend two Sundays every month with 
their father. Rose was sixteen and Ninette 
nearly twelve. 

With those two days every month he felt that 
he could retain the love of his children. They 
came in suddenly, looking to him taller and more 
womanly than when he last saw them. He was agitated as he 
helped them to take off their jackets and hats. The children 
were a little embarrassed; but of course he was still their father, 
although he was no longer the husband of their mother. He 
was to take them to the Theatre Franf ais to see one of his plays. 
Madame de Fagan, or, rather, Madame Ravaut, as she pre- 
ferred to call herself by her maiden name, had warned the chil- 
dren that they must not talk about her to their father, or give 
him any information regarding her plans. Rose was ingenuous 
and thoughtless, but Ninette was shrewd and sharp. 

In the dining-room there was a bouquet at each plate, 
placed there by Madame Hulin, the landlady, as De Fagan ex- 
plained. She was a widow and lived on the ground floor with 
her little boy. Rgis learned from the conversation of his daugh- 
ters that "Cousin" had taken them to the Opra Comique. 
" Cousin " was a forbidden subject. They told their father 

182 




ALPHONSE DAUDET 183 

they were glad to leave the convent, and he expressed surprise, 
as they had always been glad to return. But that was because 
of the quarrels between their parents. Fagan saw that Madame 
Ravaut meant to win the hearts of her daughters in order to 
make him unhappy. 

Maurice Hulin called to them from the garden to come 
down and play with him, and Fagan urged them to go down 
and meet Madame Hulin, the mother, but they would not. 

Fagan and Pauline Hulin became very friendly, and he often 
passed the evening with her. She wondered at the quiet life he 
led he, a successful dramatist. He told her that actresses 
did not attract him; they were too artificial. He went on to 
speak of his wife, how she liked going about to all the theaters, 
her love of petty gossip, her indifference to his happiness. When 
Madame Hulin referred to his divorce he related the truth: 
they were tired of each other, and Counselor de Malville said 
there must be proofs in order to obtain a divorce; so a scandal 
was arranged, and he was found at a hotel with a woman. 

Perhaps the friendship of Madame de Fagan and her cousin, 
La Posterolle, would have furnished proofs enough for a divorce; 
but he had encouraged the young man to come to the house, and 
if a woman is blamed the odium falls upon her daughters. He 
was thankful to be rid of an abominable woman; she was false 
in every way, and she lied persistently, lied without reason, tell- 
ing the most abominable falsehoods about everybody. Then 
she had pretended he was intimate with a perverted woman 
whom he had never seen; and she appeared so unhappy that her 
friends advised her to get a divorce. 

One day the two young girls asked their father to increase 
the allowance made to their mother, and when he refused they 
said it was for their clothes. They spoke of a marriage, and 
Fagan asked if Madame Ravaut intended to marry "Cousin." 
The girls were embarrassed and did not answer. Fagan was 
angry and jealous; he feared they might become more fond of 
La Posterolle than of himself. He showed his anger like the 
Creole that he was, then suddenly became calm. 

He met Madame Ravaut by appointment in the Avenue de 
1'Observatoire to discuss her marriage. She told him that it 
was not decided; but it would give her a good social position, 



184 ROSE AND NINETTE 

and opportunities to marry their daughters well. She promised 
she would not take them away from Paris. She advised him to 
many, and said it was a pity that Madame Hulin was not free; 
she was separated from her husband. Fagan had believed her 
a widow. On his return home he learned that Maurice was ill, 
and that Madame Hulin had sent for a surgeon. Later he 
heard a dispute on the floor below, and opened his door. An 
angry man was leaving the house; he was abusive and slammed 
the door. Fagan went into the drawing-room and saw Madame 
Hulin. She told him that the man was her husband, and that 
she had left him because he was brutally jealous. In a fit of 
jealous anger he had expressed doubt as to their son's legitimacy, 
and thrown him on the floor. After that she obtained a separa- 
tion, and Counselor de Malville gave the father the right to 
direct the education of the child after he should reach the age of 
ten years. That evening he had come to inquire for the child, 
and approached her while she was with the boy; when she re- 
fused to have anything to do with him he became angry and 
abusive. Fagan told her she should get a divorce and marry 
again, but she said she would never ask for a divorce. 

Madame Ravaut understood the character of her daughters, 
and knew how to arouse ill feeling toward their father; Rose was 
jealous of Madame Hulin taking any place in her father's heart; 
Ninette was encouraged to believe that Fagan would adopt 
Maurice and leave him a fortune. 

Madame Ravaut married Monsieur La Posterolle, and a 
few weeks later the bridegroom was made Prefect in Corsica. 
Three months later Madame La Posterolle was giving a ball 
at the prefecture in Ajaccio. A note from Rdgis was brought to 
Rose, who took it to her mother. Rgis was at the H6tel de 
France waiting to see his daughters, and if they did not come 
in half an hour he would go to the prefecture for them. Rose 
and Ninette, with Mademoiselle, their governess, went to see 
their father, whom they met affectionately, but remonstrated 
gently with him for his imprudence in coming to Ajaccio. No 
one knew of the divorce, and it might interfere with Rose's 
marriage if it were known. A Monsieur Rmory, a deputy at 
Bastia, had made proposals of marriage. 

Rdgis spent his days in his room, and in the evening met his 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 185 

daughters and their governess on the beach. Madame La Pos- 
terolle was to give a fancy-dress and mask ball on Shrove Tues- 
day; Pagan regretted that he was to sail for home on that day, 
and so could not see his daughters in their costumes. He sailed 
as he intended, but a violent storm coming up, the steamer was 
much disabled, and was obliged to return to Ajaccio. Fagan 
met Baron Rouchouze, an old acquaintance, who took him to 
his house to dinner, and provided him with a fancy costume and 
mask, for he wished Fagan to accompany him and a few others, 
in visiting several houses on this last night of the Carnival. They 
went to the prefecture, where Rdgis spoke a word to his daugh- 
ters, and Madame La Posterolle recognized him. She vowed 
that he should pay for his boldness. 

On his return to Paris, Fagan found that Madame Hulin 
and her boy had gone to Havre. A few days later the news- 
papers announced that Regis de Fagan, the dramatist, had gone 
insane, the result of malarial fever contracted in Ajaccio; that 
the first manifestations of the dread disease had appeared at a 
ball in Ajaccio. Fagan showed himself everywhere in Paris 
that day in order to prove to the world his perfect sanity. 

Rdgis learned that Monsieur Hulin had committed suicide, 
and felt that now the obstacle to a second marriage was removed, 
and he would ask Pauline to marry him. He was strangely 
happy. That night he was taken ill. After several days he 
opened his eyes and saw Madame Hulin and Maurice sitting by 
the window. The boy rushed into his arms, and Fagan wept 
and kissed the hands of Pauline, telling her she was free at last; 
but^she begged him not to speak of that. 

Mademoiselle, the governess, came to inquire for Fagan's 
health. Madame La Posterolle and her daughters had been in 
Paris three days, but she did not wish the girls to go to see their 
father for fear they might meet Madame Hulin. Rose thought 
''that was over long ago." Mademoiselle was sent to fmd out 
the state of affairs, and reported that she was received by 
Madame Hulin. Rose was wounded, and thought he did not 
need her, and neither she nor Ninette went to see him. 

One day Madame Hulin spoke of her husband, and told 
Rdgis she did not know why he had committed suicide. While 
they were talking Rose and Ninette entered suddenly; Fagan 



i86 ROSE AND NINETTE 

stretched out his arms; but Rose stood still and told her father 
that neither she nor Ninette would remain a moment longer 
unless he ordered Madame Hulin to leave the room. He re- 
fused, saying that they, "the undutiful daughters," might leave 
the room, but not the woman who had nursed him faithfully. 
Suddenly, with much tenderness, he asked Rose to beg Madame 
Hulin's pardon, and insisted, although Madame Hulin protested. 
The two girls refused to do his bidding. Then he told them to 
leave him, that he was " divorced from his wife, and henceforth 
he would be divorced from his children." 

Fagan met Madame La Posterolle in the Avenue de 1'Ob- 
servatoire to consult about Rose's wedding; Rose wished to 
enter the church on her father's arm. La Posterolle, too, must 
be in the procession. It was amicably arranged, and then she 
asked him when he intended to be married. Hulin had com- 
mitted suicide, she said, after a night spent with his wife, she 
having yielded to his demands in order to keep her son; he 
really was not her husband, for they had been legally separated 
for five years; and he wrote De Malville that he did not care to 
live "after that happiness without a morrow." She enjoyed the 
look of pain that came into Pagan's face. Telling him the 
children were near there, waiting for her, she asked if he would 
like to see them; but he felt he could not see them just then. 

Fagan rejoined Madame Hulin and Maurice, who had ac- 
companied him. He understood her scruples now. She had 
spent the night with a man whom she detested, a man not her 
husband! Pauline was right, and her scruples were his. 

" Where there are children, divorce does not solve the prob- 
lem," he said to her, and she replied that neither did a separation. 

"Perfect purity in marriage that would be the only true 
happiness," Fagan said. 

He saw his daughters driving away with their mother, while 
he stood with a woman and child into whose past he could not 
enter, and to whom he should remain forever a stranger. 




THE LITTLE PARISH CHURCH (1895) 

Baudot's psychological study of the passion of jealousy in the novel of La 
Petite Paroisse, which has in the French the phrase Mceurs Conjugate ("con- 
jugal habits") as its sub-title, hinges on what allies it to the problem novel. It 
suggests another solution of conjugal infidelity in the forum of justice than that 
of vengeance either personal or legal. Forgiveness of the repentant sinner is 
the text of this vivid homily in fiction. 

RICHARD FENIGAN, an enthusiastic hunter and 
fisherman of Seine-et-Oise, had inherited a for- 
tune from his father, a notary, and lived with his 
mother the year round in the country. The 
Uzellcs estate consisted of a park with two build- 
ings, the chateau occupied by the dowager, 
Madame Fenigan, who ruled the domestic 
regime with a somewhat imperious hand, and the 
Pavilion, an old structure of earlier date, separated 
by a hedgerow, where Richard and his wife were domiciled. On 
the Corbeil road, which bordered the property, and not far from 
the park-gate, was a white church with this inscription on its 
rough-cast wall: "Napol&m Merivet, Chevalier of the Order 
of St. Grgoire-lc- Grand, built this church in memory of his 
wife, Ir&ne, and Presented it to the Village of Uzelles." Mon- 
sieur Merivet, a pious Christian, had been betrayed by his 
spouse, and, having fully forgiven and taken her back, had 
thereafter preached this doctrine of pardon with increasing 
unction. The satire of the neighborhood had therefore char- 
acterized the little edifice as "The Church of the Good Cuck- 
old." Monsieur Richard, one morning on his return from 
drawing his nets, was met near the church by his wife's maid, 
who asked, to his consternation, if his wife had not gone with 
him, as she had sometimes been wont to do. Madame could 
nowhere be found. Then came his mother, of whom he asked. 
"Where is Lydie, mother?" to be answered with: "Your 

187 



188 THE LITTLE PARISH CHURCH 

wife has gone, my child, and it's the only favor she ever did us. 
And not alone, as you may imagine." 

The younger Madame Fenigan, who had been adored by 
her husband, a shy, taciturn man with but little power to ex- 
press his strong emotions, was an inmate of the orphanage in the 
village, with no knowledge of her origin. When Richard had 
avowed his predilection for the pretty face, doomed to the 
cloister unless its owner should marry, the mother had con- 
sented; for in such an alliance she could see no danger of that 
rivalry in domestic authority which she dreaded. If Lydie 
had escaped the fate of the nun, she had yet found herself 
exiled from the active occupation of mind and heart which 
maternity and household responsibility give to a woman; while 
her husband's deep-rooted reserve concealed from her the depth 
and strength of his tenderness. If her life was free from care, 
it was yet devoured with ennui. It was from the acquaintance 
of the Dauvergne family that the tragical episode came to pass. 

Under the First Empire, Charles Dauvergne had risen to 
be Marshal, Due d' Alcantara, and Prince d'Olmutz. His son, 
Alexis Dauvergne, became a general of rank, and, succeeding 
to the family title and wealth, greatly increased the latter by his 
marriage with the daughter of a millionaire banker of Vienna. 
The heir, known as the Prince d'Olmutz and christened Char- 
lexis, concealed under his adolescence the finished depravity of 
a Don Juan, and was rotten to the core with vice and sensuality. 
Young as he was, woman to him was merely the object of licen- 
tious pursuit; and all the energy and ambition which had made 
his forebears distinguished in soldiership and public service were, 
in this decadent, poured into the cowardly mold of iniquity. 

Grosbourg, the seat of the noble family, was just across the 
Seine from Uzelles, and a sort of business intimacy, begun be- 
tween the great soldier and Fenigan pere, the bourgeois notary, 
had been transmitted to the next generation. Young Charlexis, 
as he grew toward manhood, found in his neighbor, the hunter 
and fisherman, an agreeable companion for his many idle hours. 
In that neighbor's wife he realized a more piquant intercourse 
in the appeal to propensities far advanced beyond his years. 
What had at first amused and interested her idle thoughts, in 
the devotion of a handsome youth, became finally infected with 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 189 

an emotional taint under his cunning assiduity, which her ig- 
norance of the world did not allow her to interpret. When the 
moral catastrophe came she scarcely realized her tremendous 
lapse, though she knew it opened a gulf between herself and the 
husband, whose utter devotion she had not grasped. The father 
of the young Prince had banished him to a preparatory school 
for St. Cyr, expressly to separate him from Lydie Fenigan; but 
through an ex-intendant of the Duke, who had been the pander 
of his vices, he had made an arrangement for a considerable 
sum of money, and had hired a fully equipped yacht, which 
waited his arrival at Brest. This was the destination of the 
elopers. 

The point of view of the D' Alcantaras, when Madame Feni- 
gan went to Grosbourg to unbottle her wrath, was indicated by 
the shrug and sneer of the Duke. Their dear innocent had de- 
parted with a hundred thousand borrowed francs, which would 
cost them twice that amount, whereas his Danae had fled with 
only the chemise to her back. The grotesqueness and horror 
of the episode to the husband had been the thought that his wife 
had seduced and carried off a schoolboy. It was expressed in a 
sentence: "Let her go where she pleases; we will never mention 
her name again." He tried to regard her as a diseased creature, 
an hysterical subject, though his heart-strings quivered at her 
memory. M. Napoleon Mrivet, his elder brother in misfor- 
tune, sought to comfort him and urged him to the policy of for- 
giveness, but to little immediate purpose. Much as Richard 
Fenigan sought to feed the conviction of Lydie's worthlessness, 
the -spirit of jealousy and vengeance grew amain in his dis- 
turbed spirit. He could not bridle his imagination from dwell- 
ing on her happiness in the arms of her lover. But he became 
doubly taciturn, and schooled himself to bide his time. It be- 
came known, however, that he spent much time in practising 
with sword and pistol, vastly to the alarm of Madame la Duch- 
esse. She sent word to her son of his danger through Monsieur 
Alexandre, the ex-intendant, who had helped the successful 
intrigue with Lydie, and was also the medium of lavish money- 
supplies to Charlexis. The youthful roue, disporting himself 
at Monte Carlo, soon made it clear to his mistress that he was 
incapable of even short-lived fidelity. The scales fell from 



THE LITTLE PARISH CHURCH 

Lydie's eyes, and she began to measure the hideous folly and 
wickedness of the step she had so rashly taken. 

When M. Alexandre arrived without warning and apprised 
the Prince that Fenigan was searching for him in Monaco, bent 
on bloody vengeance, it suited them to take flight in the yacht, 
he, through prudence, she through poignant shame at meeting 
the man whose life she had blighted, much as she had begun 
to deplore the sin now so naked in her eyes. Lydie was landed 
again and hurried across France by the perfidious M. Alexan- 
dre, while the Prince, putting to sea in the Red, White, and Blue, 
was wrecked in a collision and barely escaped with his life. The 
victim of her own folly and man's perfidy, who had begun to 
fear that she might be enceinte, found in Quiberon in Brittany 
so remote a place that she could hope to escape from all but the 
tortures of her own conscience. 

Richard's mother sought diligently to make her son forget 
his misfortune. She invited his cousin, filise, a pretty widow, 
once Richard's child-sweetheart, to visit them. There was a 
vague hope that divorce and remarriage might restore her son's 
peace of mind. But while he was affectionate to the guest, his 
demeanor proved that he continued to brood over his lost wife. 
One day Madame Fenigan mbre ventured to chide him and 
openly exulted over her son's freedom. He turned fiercely on 
her and told her she had spoiled his life, and dwarfed his de- 
velopment even in youth by her selfish and domineering rule. 
It was she who had thrown Lydie into his arms, in hope of find- 
ing a mere household appendage in her son's wife. It was her 
despotic jealousy and Phariseeism that had alienated Lydie 
and had driven her to ruin. Finally, he loved the fugitive yet, 
and was determined to forgive her when the time should come, 
and restore her to her lost happiness and virtue. This bolt 
shattered the maternal armor, and soon after pregnant sentences 
in the prayers of the church so haunted her conscience that she 
began to realize that she herself had been largely responsible 
for the domestic wreck. 

The hasty flight from Monte Carlo was not compelled by 
Fenigan's persistent pursuit, as the pretext was a mere deceit 
of M. Alexandre, at the instigation of Madame la Duchesse, to 
break up the relation of Charlexis to his mistress. The victim 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 191 

was to be bought off, if possible, by a lavish money-settlement. 
The Prince had already determined to forsake his conquest, 
and, when he returned after his sea-adventure, his facile mind 
easily accorded with the sordid views of his mother on the effi- 
cacy of such a compensating salve. It relieved him of fear of 
consequences; and on his appointment to a military sinecure in 
the district, he made bold to appear openly at Grosbourg. The 
family learned at once that they had reckoned too hastily. 
Richard Fenigan despatched a cartel to the young Prince 
demanding satisfaction. This was suppressed by the Due 
d' Alcantara, but was followed by others in still more imperative 
terms. The worried father, though an invalid, proposed to 
meet Fenigan on the dueling-ground in his son's place if he 
could be permitted to receive and deliver fire sitting. But this 
substitution was, of course, refused. The injured man did not 
succeed in getting his enemy on the field of honor, but he im- 
pressed on the D'Alcantaras a sense of his deadly purpose. 

Madame Fenigan in the mean time was deeply agitated by 
the new light which had illuminated her conscience. Her very 
force of character made her all the more firm to make prompt 
reparation, and she told her son that she should accompany 
filise back to Brittany. She had been led to suspect that Lydie 
was at Quiberon from clues indiscreetly revealed by M. Alex- 
andre. The small port narrowed the field of inquisition, and 
she had no difficulty in finding the forlorn waif, of whom she 
was in search. Lydie, given over to grief and despair, believing 
that she was abandoned by God and man, had attempted sui- 
cide, and had undergone a severe operation. Madame Feni- 
gan's womanly tenderness, fully aroused under her stern nature, 
found, at first, difficulty in wakening a response from Lydie; 
but at last it won its way, and the word "mother" again flut- 
tered to her lips. When the sick woman was able to travel, 
the two returned to Uzelles, and Lydie was placed for tem- 
porary seclusion in the convent home whence she had emerged 
to be married. Here she now received the tenderest nursing 
from the good nuns, who had never ceased to love her. Madame 
Fenigan told Richard of her journey to Quiberon, and that she 
had reconciled the unhappy wife again to life, though she did 
not reveal that Lydie was then very near his house. 



i 9 2 THE LITTLE PARISH CHURCH 

One day he met Eugene Sautecceur, head gamekeeper of 
the Grosbourg preserves, and went with him to his house, 
known as the Hermitage, where the daughter-in-law of the 
"Indian" (as the man was dubbed from his saturnine com- 
plexion and fierce black eyes) was visiting. The son and hus- 
band, a floor-walker in a Paris magasin, a good-natured, easy- 
going fellow, had married a shop-girl, who was a typical Parisian 
coquette. Young Sautecoeur was with his battalion, the same 
in which the Prince d'Olmiitz was serving, in the military 
maneuvers. The Indian was disturbed over the handsome 
earrings which the young wife had received through M. Alex- 
andre, as she said, from the Duchesse d' Alcantara. When he 
thanked the great lady for a gift far too handsome, her amazed 
expression, and the manner of M. Alexandre, who was present, 
had at once revealed the truth. He had then waited for Alex- 
andre, and warned him he would put a bullet through his fore- 
head if he ever dared to undertake such a commission again. 
The dark shadow of Charlexis arising from this episode again 
fevered Richard's jealousy, and when he saw his wife for the 
first time after their separation, even the raptures of the meet- 
ing could not banish the ominous specter. He felt that he 
could not yet fully forgive the woman, for whom he had a 
stronger passion than ever before, much as his heart longed for 
her, under that resurgent memory. In consequence, he ac- 
cepted an invitation from M. Mdrivet, who had business in 
Algeria, to be a companion of the trip. Lydie was now at the 
chateau, living in great amity with her mother-in-law, who was 
as devoted to her as she had once been cold. 

Interesting as Algeria might be, Richard was so eager to 
see Lydie again that he could scarcely wait for the time to roll 
by. He would not abide the delay of old Mdrivet's affairs in 
Marseilles, but caught the first express for Paris. The omnibus 
carried his luggage to his park-gate; but having walked through 
the forest, he was astonished to see a large concourse of excited 
people in the road; and lying there, too, a lifeless form partly 
covered with a great yellow umbrella. " Ah, my dear Fenigan, 
this is horrible," cried Monsieur Delcrous, the district magis- 
trate. "What! you don't know? Why, it's the Prince d'Ol- 
miitz. He has been dead, as we suppose, for two or three days." 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 193 

Richard's lips paled, as he gasped with amazement. God had 
taken vengeance out of his hands. 

They had just been putting the body back where Alexandra 
had found it some hours before to await medical examination. 
The Prince had lef Grosbourg on Friday evening after dinner, 
and this was Monday morning. But no one had been alarmed 
till Sunday evening, as he had been in the habit of sudden dis- 
appearances. That being the arrival of his nineteenth anni- 
versary, to celebrate which the whole neighborhood had been 
invited to dinner, his absence had inspired alarm. M. Alex- 
andre, on being notified, had told the Duke that he had seen 
the Prince both Sunday and Saturday, lying under a big um- 
brella in the ferns, apparently waiting for someone. The ex- 
steward went to search again and found the body with the same 
umbrella near the Fenigan's gate. The head was a hideous 
mask of disfigured death, where the ravens had had their will, 
and ants and maggots and worms swarmed in sickening riot. 
That was what so many women had loved and caressed, and 
had driven so many men mad with jealousy. M. Delcrous and 
the physicians were inclined to believe that death came of a 
sudden congestion of the heart, a family trouble. Yet there 
was a possibility of murder, too, he said, though far less prob- 
able. When Madame Fenigan first heard of it, she had said to 
herself: "How fortunate that Richard is away!" When Lydie 
saw the luggage betokening Richard near at hand, it went 
through her heart like a daj^er. " It was he who killed Char- 
ley." The two women had looked at each other with terror. 
Yet pven in Lydie's agony she felt a wave of affection, a fever of 
intense love in the thought of what her Richard had done. As 
he, too, pressed her to his heart, a thrill of passion and admira- 
tion shook him in the fancy: "What if Charlexis had ap- 
proached her again, and she herself had killed him?" 

M. Delcrous had been the successful suitor for the hand of 
Elise, and was looking forward to a superior Paris appointment 
through the powerful influence of the Due d'Alcantara. He 
was greatly surprised when his patron insisted that Richard 
Fenigan had killed his son. To the logic of motives he added 
circumstantial proof of violent threats and persistent hatred. 
So venomously in earnest was the indictment of the magnate 

A.D., VOL. VI. 1^ 



194 THE LITTLE PARISH CHURCH 

that the magistrate yielded inclination to self-interest, and caused 
the arrest and confinement of Richard. Active investigation 
of all the circumstances was entered on, and, pending conclu- 
sion, the hideous remains were laid in a brick vault in the Gros- 
bourg woods, where tennis balls and rackets had been kept. 
The Duchesse, one day, insisted on the building being opened 
she knew nothing of her son's terrible fate to get out some 
balls, and saw the awful figure; and the ghastly shriek that 
pealed from her lips had been repeated intermittently ever since 
in her lunacy. 

M. Delcrous came to see the Duke the paralytic sat help- 
lessly in his chair to say that the proof of Fenigan's innocence 
was overwhelming; that he positively could not have committed 
the crime, as he was absent at that time. To which the Duke 
had answered with rage: "Here am I in my invalid's chair 
between that dead boy and that mad woman. And you talk to 
me about letting the assassin go." But even as they were talk- 
ing, the gamekeeper, Sautecceur, demanded admittance. The 
Indian, a mere ghost of a figure, then confessed that he had 
fired the fatal shot. He had received warning that someone 
had an assignation with his daughter-in-law, and had lain in 
wait with his gun. When, near daybreak, a figure had slipped 
out of her window and raised the umbrella against the rain, he 
had fired. By the light of the lantern, he saw whom he had 
killed, and with the aid of the horrified woman he had first 
dragged the body to an old stone quarry, then into the ferns; 
chen to the grass bordering the Fenigan park on the night before 
discovery. The Duke could not make him admit that he had 
been instigated by another. He reiterated that he confessed 
because an innocent man was accused. The Duke did not 
think it politic to press the matter against Sautecoeur, and 
Richard Fenigan was released from confinement. When he 
and Lydie met that night there was the fullest outpouring of 
mutual love and confidence. Each had fancied the other the 
perpetrator of the deed, in a cause which each justified. 

Richard's refusal to exculpate himself had been the final 
test of his single-minded devotion, as he had been willing to 
take any risk in his determination to avert possible suspicion 
from his wife. 




THE SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY (1899) 

This tragic little tale was dramatized for the French stage under its original 
title, Ije Soutien de Famille. 

office-boy brought Pierre Izoard a letter, as he 
was sitting down to breakfast. Without read- 
ing as far as the signature, he sprang up, and, 
calling the first cab, jumped into it, shouting 
above the rattling of the wheels: 

"Eudeline take his own life! Eudeline for- 
feit his honor! Macareul I must see that be- 
fore I believe it!" 

But when, on alighting, he saw the placard, 
Premises to Let, and was confronted with the despairing family, 
the Marseillais felt a pang. 

Victor Eudeline, involved in hopeless business complica- 
tions, had, for the sake of his wife, two boys, and little girl, left 
them to gain by compassion what he could not gain by justice. 
Marc Javel, the Under-Secretary of State, his new land- 
lord, who had been about to commit him for arrears of rent, 
when confronted by his orphaned boys and the fear of news- 
paper notoriety, forbade the sale he had ordered, and declared 
himself their friend and protector. 

"Children," he said at the funeral, "all that Victor Eude- 
line, in his letter from beyond the tomb, asks of us for Raymond 
Eudeline, his oldest son and the support of the family, shall be 
done." From that day Javel became popular. 

The dead man's one wish had been that his boys should 
learn Latin and get away from business. He had risen from 
the ranks, and had married his employer's daughter, making 
havoc, by his violent temper and impractical methods, of the 
old and flourishing establishment. 

Raymond continued his studies at the Lyce, but the little 
one, Antonin, was apprenticed to an electrical contractor. The 

195 



196 THE SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY 

mother and little Dina were sent south to live with relatives 
till Raymond should send for them to come back to Paris. 

Izoard, the children's godfather, lived at Morangis, a hamlet 
in the suburbs. He was a stenographer to the Government and 
knew all the political celebrities. He had an invalid wife and a 
daughter, Genevi&ve, a pure and beautiful girl, four years older 
than Raymond, whose education he entrusted to Sophia Cas- 
tagnozoff, an ugly, but amiable and learned woman, and a kind- 
hearted Russian, who harbored many refugees. Next door to 
Izoard lived Mauglas, the journalist, who always seemed to be 
smiling at his own thoughts, and who was in love with Gene- 
vifeve. Grandfather Aillaume, too, owned an old chateau near, 
and the families, all together, made happy parties every Sunday. 
Tantine, as they called Genevi&ve, helped them with their les- 
sons; and Raymond fell in love for the first time as he leaned 
against her knees and looked into that beautiful face. She, 
too, loved him, though hardly realizing it; but at their first kiss, 
in the gardens of the chateau, when he was about seventeen, 
she knew that she would never love anyone else, although she 
would marry where her father wished. 

On that very day, her father was obliged to confess to her 
avowed suitor, a government clerk, that he had lent part of her 
dowry to Raymond's father; and with the confession Genevifcve's 
prospect of a husband had disappeared; for the young man 
bowed his departure, saying he had been deceived. 

Raymond did not make brilliant progress in his education, 
but the little Antonin went forward steadily in his business. 
He felt himself hopelessly inferior to his handsome brother, who 
was the head of the family, as his hands were hard and stubbly 
from work and his manners timid. He made so much money 
that, after a time, he rented a small shop near the Seine for his 
mother and Dina, filled with electrical lampyres of beautiful 
shapes and shades, and bearing the sign "The Wonderful 
Lamp"; and here the widow with her long English curls sat and 
read novels, while Dina worked as a telegraph clerk, and Ray- 
mond, now in the employ of the Government, with a small 
salary, but very much taken up by fashionable society, came 
and went, waited on by the two women, who lent him money 
and cooked him dainty dishes. 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 197 

Raymond's great friend was Marques, whose mother had 
married, for her second husband, Monsieur Valfon, one of the 
ministers. Valfon was a hideous person, the son of an actor, 
who in the changes possible in democratic France had risen 
to power. This amiable man fell in love with his wife's daugh- 
ter, the beautiful Florence Marques; and it required all her 
mother's care and jealousy to guard the girl from him. Madame 
Marques, to be requited, fell in love with the handsome Ray- 
mond; this brilliant intrigue turned his head, and he needed all 
the money he could borrow from his mother to keep up the 
necessary appearance. The old friends, the Izoards, were 
somewhat lost sight of for a time, but Genevifcve loved Ray- 
mond, and when in need, the Eudelines looked to her for 
comfort. 

A very grand minuet was to be danced at Madame Valfon's. 
Madame Eudcline and Dina taxed themselves to the utmost to 
dress Raymond in a manner befitting his character. As he 
drove off in his coach, which could hardly turn in the little alley, 
he looked like some grand prince, waving farewell to his humble 
subjects. They were making merry contentedly in the humbly 
furnished back room, with the Izoards, when suddenly their 
prince reappeared with the news that the leader of the shep- 
herdesses had sprained her ankle, and that he had bespoken 
that office for his beautiful little sister, Dina, so piquant and 
fascinating. Ah, then he was indeed the "support of the 
family," the hero! All flew about, and the charming Dina was 
dressed in costume, with wig, powder, and patches, and flew 
off in the coach to all the splendors of the grand ball, where the 
little Cinderella made the hit of the evening, and captivated 
the lover of Mademoiselle Florence herself, who quarreled with 
that young lady and canceled his wedding on Dina's account. 

This evening was an eventful one for Raymond as well; for 
Madame Valfon had declared her love for him, and had ap- 
pointed a rendezvous for the first time. Then indeed he felt 
himself to be a successful man, the lover of a lady so highly con- 
nected; and his only regret was that he had no suitable rooms 
where he might receive her, the poor place where his mother and 
sister lived being out of the question. 

It was necessary, however, that she should come to see him. 



198 THE SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY 

A little ready money must be forthcoming, and where could he 
turn for this? He had borrowed all possible, and Tonin was 
away on business. He bethought himself of Marqufes, Madame 
Valfon's son. This young man was very willing to lend his 
friend a few louis, and an embarrassing difficulty was thus 
overcome. 

Raymond took Madame Valfon to an inn in an obscure part 
of Paris. Somewhat timid, the young man did not conduct the 
affair with the abandon of a practised gallant. Alone together 
in the little room, the lovers were embarrassed and self-con- 
scious. As Raymond was beginning to feel somewhat easier, 
they were both horrified to hear the sound of a violent quarrel 
in the adjoining apartment. A loud shriek and then a heavy 
fall proclaimed a tragedy. Raymond, gasping in terror, looked 
out of the window just in time to gaze into the face of a man, 
crawling by on the roof a face ghastly white, and eyes that 
looked into his own with an expression strangely familiar. 

Horrified, the couple took advantage of the confusion to 
make their escape from the place; and the incident put an end 
to their love-making for some time. 

The next day the papers were full of the horrible murder of 
General Dejarinc, the former Prefect of Police at St. Peters- 
burg, taken at a rendezvous, a furnished lodging-house near the 
Bastile. Only by an oversight of the coroner had they failed 
to search the house with all in it at the time. Raymond shud- 
dered to think of his escape. 

It soon appeared that Marqufcs was also in love with Dina 
and wished to marry her. He enlisted Raymond's cooperation 
by the threat of defeating him in his running for the presidency 
of the Association, a much-coveted honor, which would bring 
the young man no money, but further honors and social obli- 
gations. Dina was in love with Claudius Jacquand, however, 
and refused to listen to the suit of Marques. Soon after, 
Claudius and Madame Eudeline began to be pestered with 
anonymous letters, assailing the character of Dina. A violent 
scene between the brother and sister ensued, in which he re- 
minded her of the sacrifices he had made for the family, and 
she taunted him with his selfishness and constant change of 
plans. He had tried to enter the Normal School, to be a lawyer, 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 199 

to go to Indo-China, she exclaimed; all of which truths further 
enraged the pious Raymond. 

Tonin, who was constantly increasing his fortune, now felt 
himself able to provide his beloved brother with a set of rooms, 
a dignity which the latter sorely needed. Weeks of preparation, 
of choosing furniture, of measuring and putting up curtains, 
of selecting ornaments, were necessary before the presentation 
could be made. Great was Tonin's joy when that charming 
little suite, overlooking the Seine, and shaped so curiously like 
a steamboat, was ready, and the head of the family introduced 
to his new possessions. Raymond was gratified; tears of pat- 
ronizing affection stood in his eyes as he complimented the 
humble brother on his taste. Now, he reflected, he should be 
able to receive Madame Valfon as befitted her dignity. He 
accepted the rooms, but insisted upon giving his brother his 
bond, the money being not forthcoming, and thus ridding him- 
self of all sense of obligation. 

In leaving his family and taking up independent existence, 
Raymond felt dethroned. There was something annoying to 
his pride in taking so much from his brother, in spite of the bond 
just given. He could hardly forgive the little one for having 
accumulated the necessary money. He needed affection and 
admiration, and thought of his old friends, the Izoards, who 
had gone to the country shortly before. 

To them he confessed that his life had been a failure; with 
tears and protestations he declared the burden his father had 
laid upon him had been too heavy. 

Greatly comforted, he left these dear friends and returned 
to his new rooms late that night. 

Who was it that awaited him tremblingly in the recesses of 
the tiny bedroom? Who but the pure, the lovely Genevifeve? 
Touched to the quick by his recital of his shortcomings and un- 
happiness, the young girl, loving him all her life, had determined 
to surrender herself to him herself and her thirty thousand 
francs, all that was left of her fortune, which he scorned to 
take, but did not prevent her from putting in a cabinet drawer 
in case he should change his mind. 

Genevifcve's motive in this was of the highest. True love 
illuminated her mind. She felt herself to be Raymond's lawful 



aoo THE SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY 

wife. Moved by her unselfishness, Raymond determined to be 
always true to her, and ordered the conc&rge to admit no other 
woman to his apartment. 

One day, however, owing to some disturbance in the street, 
the doors were left open; and Raymond returning, found the 
apartment tenanted and by Madame Valfon, who had come 
to give him a charming surprise. The support of his family 
yielded, with his usual facility, to circumstances, and his days 
passed smoothly and agreeably. 

Where did the money come from that supported this little 
manage? Luxury and display marked all Raymond's sur- 
roundings. He was now devoting himself to literature; and it 
was said that, contrary to usage, it rewarded him substantially. 
The roll of francs in the cabinet drawer grew less, but Gene- 
vifcve never looked. 

She, poor child, was living a life of deception. Her old 
friend, the Russian Castagnozoff, was living for the poor and 
sick in the hospitals; and her father, who was obliged by busi- 
ness to spend his nights away from home, imagined that Gene- 
vifeve was with her. 

Sophia still continued to harbor refugees, and it was sup- 
posed that she knew the whereabouts of the fearful Lupniak, 
who had killed D^jarine, and whom they had all known in the 
old days when they were living happily in the country. 

Mauglas, the journalist, was enabled to make himself valu- 
able to the Russian Government as a spy. Naturally this was 
not known, though it was in some quarters suspected. M. Val- 
fon, whom little escaped, was, as became his governmental 
position, aware of it; and he employed the spy to watch the 
movements of Madame Valfon, discovering, as he expected to, 
her liaison with Raymond. He thus knew to whom the drafts 
of passionate love-letters, discovered in his wife's desk, were 
addressed. Mauglas, in his turn, found out the secrets of Ray- 
mond's life, his luxury, extravagance, and near approach to 
poverty, Genevifeve's fortune being nearly spent. 

He therefore renewed his acquaintance with the young man, 
and telling him the story of his own life his passion for letters 
and for spending time in polishing his sentences that were paid 
for by the line, the slight remuneration resultant, his enormous 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 201 

responsibility, the responsibility of a wife who must feed all her 
relatives and friends, and of his successful following of the 
well, perhaps at first sight, not altogether admirable profession 
of getting information for a foreign government came round to 
the real object he had in view the suggestion that Raymond 
should help him. There were some quarters in which he was 
a little too well known, and the services of a younger man were 
needed. Raymond repelled these advances with scorn. 

Raymond's rooms now became the rendezvous of a set of 
young men who followed the newer lights of literature. Their 
writing consisted of a series of sharp, elliptical expressions, 
which had but slight meaning for the old-fashioned reader. 
Of these, Raymond became the chief, and was dubbed by them 
the Symboliste. 

Tonin, coming home from England, on one of his vacations, 
saw flaming advertisements of a new novel, A French Family. 
With pride he purchased a copy, and holding it conspicuously, 
endeavored to read it on the train. The short, crisp sentences 
puzzled him, and he contented himself with regarding the cover 
and signature with brotherly affection. 

When he reached "The Wonderful Lamp," he found the 
little circle there somewhat distraite and depressed. At last it 
all came out. Raymond had written a disgraceful book a 
book which travestied them all and which represented them as 
parasites hanging on himself, preventing him, the patient, self- 
denying one, from achieving his true success. They were all 
in the book, and all were travestied. The home ones asked 
awkward questions about Raymond, too. Where did he get 
his money? Tonin's loving heart was sadly troubled. 

Madame Valfon, being of a deeply religious nature, and 
feeling that Raymond's love for her was practically dead; more- 
over, being confronted with her husband's threats and reproaches 
at the discovery of her unfaithfulness, carried out a determina- 
tion she had formed some time before, and departed with Sophia 
Castagnozoff to nurse the wounded in Indo-China. Her daugh- 
ter was thus left at the mercy of her stepfather, who did not 
hesitate to make use of his opportunity. The girl, half dead 
from wounded pride and fury, cut off her magnificent hair, and 
was discovered by her friend, Jeannette, in a fainting and do 



202 THE SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY 

spairing condition. Jeannette, frivolous and longing for gaiety 
herself, persuaded her to go to a luncheon, given for a colonel, 
who had just returned from Africa, bringing with him a queen of 
the dwarfs and a collection of curiosities. The beautiful girl, 
with the strange, feverishly excited expression, and cropped 
head, aroused more interest than the Colonel, with his tales of 
African swamps and wild adventures. The tiny queen herself 
hardly awakened more than a perfunctory comment, so deeply 
did they all feel that a tragedy was being enacted before them. 
Among his curiosities, the Colonel showed five poisoned arrows, 
which, he said, would cause death within five minutes after 
even scratching the flesh. He left these, with the other curi- 
osities, in one of the state rooms, while most of the party went 
for a drive. 

When Valfon returned from the drive, he went at once to 
the shelf where these curiosities lay. " Duperron," he called, to 
the usher, "did the Colonel leave four of these arrows or five?" 
"Five, Monsieur," was the reply. There were but four on the 
shelf. Valfon, possessed by a fearful thought, rushed into his 
stepdaughter's room. 

That night, as Raymond perused the evening papers, his 
eye caught the headlines: "Fearful catastrophe in the family 
of the Minister of Accounts. Instant death of Mademoiselle 
Florence Marques, stepdaughter of the Minister, Valfon." 

The good Tonin had but one dread that he should be 
drafted for the army. What, in this case, would become of the 
little family at the sign of " The Wonderful Lamp " ? When one 
dreads a thing, is it not sure to happen? At the drawing, the 
unlucky number came to poor Tonin, and great was the grief 
of the little circle. 

At this juncture, who should step forward and offer himself 
in Tonin's place but Raymond? Raymond, now indeed the 
support of the family, now that he would leave the one who 
could earn for them free to pursue his humble way; Raymond, 
who had spent the last cent of Genevifcve's money; Raymond, 
whose book had failed to make the sensation he had expected! 
He was at last the hero, the unselfish one, and could be wor- 
shiped to their heart's content. 

After he sailed, a letter came from Raymond, a letter in 



ALPHONSE DAUDET 203 

which he laid bare as well as he was able, the mainspring which 
had governed his actions. This letter ran as follows: 

"AT SEA, STRAITS OF BONACO. 

"This is my confession, written for you, my Antonin, for you alone. I 
shall not go away behind a hypocritical mask, applauded as a hero, when in 
reality I am a coward. I am a weakling, and still I have this excuse for my 
weakness, that it dates from my father's death. That tragical shock, too 
violent for young children, caused in your case embarrassment of speech, in 
mine, nothing apparent, but some organic disturbance. Until then, I had 
been very strong in my studies; afterward I was simply a passable scholar, 
diligent as before, but one whose efforts never once succeeded. Was it that my 
will-power had been impaired? Probably. It seemed to me that after that 
day only the outside of me lived; beneath, everything was empty, hollowed out. 

"In spite of everything, I have delightful memories of my life at the Lycde, 
because all there was ordered for me. I did not have to think for myself. I 
was too weak, when it came to real life, to hold the burden imposed upon me. 

"Ah, the irony of life! To think that at home all are praising me, when I 
am simply running away! I know that if I stay Pierre Izoard will make me 
marry his daughter. I am fleeing from a family that I could not support, the 
prospect of a family of my own, for Gcnevieve will soon be a mother. I was 
incapable of doing that thing, simple as it seems, and dreaded it almost as much 
as death a household, a home to construct, children to rear, an example to set 
them, and a career to choose for them. It was in face of all this that I was 
afraid and recoiled. 

"Before long, our little Cinderella's miraculous marriage will have made 
the family burden less heavy for you. Dina, when she is Madame Claudius 
Jacquand, will not leave her mother behind a shop-counter. 

"Oh, my brother, I implore you, do not desert Genevieve. She knows 
my weakness better than anyone, but she loves me through it all. She has been 
more of a mother than anything else to me. 

"And, above all, Tonin, Tantine, I implore you, do not let my child learn 
Latin, do not let him study the classics! By making the opposite request for 
his son, my father spoiled my life." 



REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 

(United States, 1831) 
WAITING FOR THE VERDICT (1867) 

To the reader unfamiliar with this novel as a whole, the following abridg- 
ment of it will not give the significance of its title, because "waiting for the 
verdict," according to the author's intention, meant the momentous decision 
which would be rendered to the freed negro by the white man; whether the 
four millions of emancipated slaves should remain "beasts or men," as Mrs. 
Davis phrased it. Indeed this novel, aside from its diversified characters and 
plot, is nothing short of a powerful plea for equality for the negro. The dedi- 
cation indicated this purpose: "To my friend, who is a friend to all the weak 
and wronged among God's creatures, they owe the few words which he urged 
me to write in their behalf." 

COWARD the close of a chilly, pale, November 
day in the late 'forties, the ferry-boat plying be- 
tween the great flat Quaker City and the oppo- 
site shore was making her final trip. There were 
not many passengers: Ann Gates, a little apple- 
cheeked Quakeress; James Strebling, a gentle- 
man from Alabama, with his mulatto slave-boy, 
Sap; and old Joe Burley, who came aboard guid- 
ing his big Conestoga wagon, while his diminutive 
granddaughter, Rosslyn, watched his skilful management of 
the eight roadsters. The mulatto boy helped the jolly drover 
with the horses, eliciting thereby a cry of admiration from the 
Quakeress, who conversed with his thin master about the past, 
bringing out the information that his wife had died, and that 
he had a boy, Bob, now eight years old. James Strebling 
evinced extraordinary interest in the child, Rosslyn, the market 
herb-girl, as she played with Sap's dog, Luff. When he had 
ascertained her identity it had even a more marked effect upon 
him. He scrutinized keenly the yellow hair and brown eyes. 
"I mean to be a good friend to you, child," he said. "It is not 




REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 



205 



my fault if I have been late." Little Ross did not understand, 
but she was glad that the kind gentleman gave her Luff. This 
disposal of his property almost broke Sap's heart, and before 
the trip across the water was over, he had killed the dog rather 
than let another possess him. Then the poor lad lost con- 
sciousness. Rosslyn was sorry, and took hold of the yellow 
fingers. Ann Gates was deeply moved, too. When they 
landed she detained him in the darkness. "Here, boy, I must 
have a word with thee," she said. 

Meanwhile Strebling was following the big Conestoga as it 
lumbered into the country beyond Camden, and drew up in 
front of a house as square, and short, and dumpy as Ross 
herself. Old Joe fed and stowed away his horses, while his 
capable little granddaughter prepared supper. After the meal 
the two comrades talked of the child's mother, who had died 
when Ross was born. There was a strained, strange something 
in the good old fellow's voice as he talked of his daughter. Ross- 
lyn vaguely understood that some wrong had been done, and 
she strove to soothe her agitated grandfather. After she had 
climbed the crooked stairs to bed, a long, tense argument en- 
sued between the two men, in which the gentleman from Ala- 
bama tried to prove that the drover should relinquish Rosslyn. 
" I'd like a daughter about me in my old age . . . you are mak- 
ing a market huckster out of her/' said Strebling. He pushed 
the point. Old Joe was sorely bewildered by the man he thor- 
oughly hated, when Ross appeared. She had overheard the 
heated conversation, and understood the men were going to 
allow her to choose her own course. Facing Strebling, the 
child told him never to come back again. She rejected his 
proffered gift of a watch and chain, and clung to her grand- 
father. The Alabama gentleman hastily took his leave. From 
that night Rosslyn Burley made a child's resolve, but one worthy 
of a mature woman, to raise herself above the circumstances 
sneered at by James Strebling. 

Fifteen years passed, bringing the time to the early days of 
the Civil War. A young woman, Margaret Conrad by name, 
a guest of Garrick Randolph, living beside the Cumberland 
River in Kentucky, discovered the body of a dead scout in a 
thicket. Though Rob Strebling, a soldier in the Confederate 



206 WAITING FOR THE VERDICT 

ranks, and his father were visiting their kinsman, Randolph, 
who was a scholar and book-worm, Miss Conrad revealed her 
discovery to the student, rather than to the soldier. Thereupon 
Garrick had the scout buried secretly; and a sham bullet, held 
in the clenched hand, containing a cipher message, was un- 
screwed by Margaret. Upon sudden and unusual impulse, 
Garrick decided to deliver this despatch, fulfilling the com- 
mission of the slain man, despite all danger. It was the least 
service he could render the Federal cause, in which his sympa- 
thies were enlisted, though he was of the Randolph-Page blood. 
Margaret Conrad tried to dissuade him, reminding him of the 
terrible hazard of crossing into Ohio. As she had come from 
Pennsylvania into Kentucky to sell mules for her blind father, 
and was under a flag of truce, she offered to smuggle the cipher 
message through on her way home; she would start the next 
day. But Garrick was firm in his purpose. He insisted upon 
taking the risk. Even Aunt Laura could not deter him from 
his quixotic quest, so the cultured, honorable scion, who proudly 
traced his lineage back to the Champernouns of Elizabeth's 
time, set forth in the night. The next day Margaret Conrad 
started for Philadelphia. Before she left, the elder Strebling 
told her that he had known some persons in that city : a Quakeress 
named Gates, who had taken an odd fancy to his boy, Sap, a 
mulatto. Sap had died, he believed. Then there had been a 
girl, Rosslyn, but of course Miss Conrad would never meet her 
because she was a market huckster. James Strebling spoke 
vehemently, and an awkward silence succeeded his unusual 
outbreak. 

It was in November, 1861, when the forces of North and 
South were grappling in every county of Kentucky to end her 
sham of neutrality, that Garrick escaped pursuit and certain 
death, and was enabled to deliver the cipher despatch within 
the Federal lines at Louisville. But it was owing first to the 
quick wit of a negro driver, who changed places with him, and 
then to the courage of Rosslyn Burley, who happened to be in 
the neighborhood with her aged friend and companion, Abigail 
Blanchard, a Quakeress. Indeed, the latter proved to be an 
old-time associate of the Randolph-Page clan, and had known 
Coyne Randolph, the father of Garrick. This chance meeting 



REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 207 

developed into closer association; and after Garrick had ascer- 
tained that the name of the poor scout whose place he had 
taken would receive proper recognition for service rendered 
the Government, he accompanied Friend Blanchard and Miss 
Burley to Philadelphia, where he hoped to obtain a commission 
and enter the army. 

Long before these events had taken place, Margaret Conrad 
had reached the Quaker City; and her sole object seemed to be 
the restoration of her father's sight. Hugh Conrad was a 
Methodist preacher of the old-fashioned type, strong, rugged, 
and eloquent in his own rough way. Margaret was devoted to 
him. His blindness was a deep grief to her, though, like every 
other emotion of hers, it was concealed under a mask of seem- 
ingly imperturbable calm. As a last resort, she had determined 
that her father should be examined by Dr. Broderip, a very 
famous surgeon and oculist, who also bore a reputation for ex- 
tortion, strange vagaries, and noble charities. Hugh Conrad 
was prejudiced against the physician, but Margaret brought 
about their meeting by means of a ruse. Contrary to all ex- 
pectation, the dogged old preacher took a great fancy to Dr. 
Broderip, in spite of his singular whims and unfathomable 
actions. The men began an odd friendship, but there was no 
help for the stricken sight of Conrad, and nothing could induce 
the celebrated surgeon to accept any payment for his examina- 
tion and opinion. However, he would like to retain a bracelet 
of rose-colored shells, worn by Margaret and dropped by her 
during the first visit to his house. Of course this apparently 
childish fancy was gratified, and the sallow, insignificant-looking 
doctor seemed highly pleased with the pretty bauble. 

That was a memorable journey from Louisville to Phila- 
delphia for Garrick Randolph. The trip was made partly by 
water, and there was plenty of time in which to study and ad- 
mire the character and mind of Rosslyn Burley. He grew to 
consider the girl a part of his daily life, and the shrewd old 
Quakeress speculated on the outcome, for the difference between 
the two was vast in birth, breeding, and ideas. Garrick was a 
conservative, a representative of the old regime, while Ross was 
an ardent radical, and an active apostle of equality. Yet their 
friendship progressed, though the golden-haired, brown-eyed 



2 o8 WAITING FOR THE VERDICT 

girl felt that an indefinable barrier separated her from the aris- 
tocratic Southerner, whose pride of blood and family honor 
were always in evidence. He, too, was aware of an obstacle to 
their companionship; once when he asked to be admitted into 
her life as a friend, with all that term signified, she had warded 
off his protestations. Rosslyn Burley could not forget the past. 
She knew, moreover, that he was the cousin of James Strebling. 
Mention of that man had also revealed an unknown circum- 
stance in the life of his father to Garrick. Friend Blanchard 
told him in confidence that she had been witness to a will, drawn 
by his irascible grandfather, in which his father, Coyne Ran- 
dolph, had been disinherited, and James Strebling made bene- 
ficiary instead. Why? Because Garrick's father had been 
fond of a gay, careless life, spending money lavishly, and incur- 
ring debt. Abigail Blanchard wondered what had happened to 
that will, which would have beggared Coyne Randolph and his 
son. If anyone knew, the old slave Hugh was the man, for he 
had been body-servant, aye, foster-brother, to the late Coyne 
Randolph. Garrick listened to the gossipy old Quakeress, and 
was startled and stung to the quick; he dwelt on every detail of 
the painful story, rejecting every suggestion of guilt as to his 
dear, dead father's conduct. It galled, angered him to enter- 
tain such notions, but he resolved to interview old Hugh, who, 
he recalled, had two sons long ago, one of whom was a boy 
called Sap. 

After their arrival in Philadelphia, Friend Blanchard went 
to live with Rosslyn Burley in her small farmhouse beyond 
Camden, where the girl resumed her designing work, at which 
she had achieved a reputation. The good Quakeress had not 
been able to obtain a commission for Garrick and he was lonely 
and disheartened, when one day he ran across Margaret Conrad, 
who gave him cordial greeting and congratulations on his suc- 
cess in carrying the cipher to the authorities. She invited him 
to come home with her, and he was introduced to the blind 
preacher and Dr. Broderip, who had become an habitu of the 
Conrad household; the latter regarded Garrick with a curious 
expression, but evinced an uncalled-for desire to please him; 
Garrick experienced an unusual twinge of envy at seeing the 
famous surgeon, a man no older than himself, yet so renowned. 



REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 209 

Dr. Broderip soon left them, and extended a cordial invitation 
to Garrick for his reception on the next night. But the phy- 
sician was in a dangerous, evil humor upon reaching the hos- 
pital, where his assistants, knowing the mood, trembled for his 
patients. Certainly this man was an odd mixture of kindliness 
and brutality, one moment as winning as a woman, the next a 
surly misanthrope. 

The following day a lawyer named Ottley, a friend of the 
Conrads and of the surgeon, visited Broderip to urge that the 
powerful doctor interest himself in securing an appointment 
for Garrick Randolph. A queer look came into the intent, sal- 
low face; but its owner did not exactly promise his aid. When 
the lawyer had gone the physician sought his mother's apart- 
ment. She was a very old woman and partially paralyzed. 
Conversation with her son was full of mysterious allusions; 
there was some unmentionable secret between them. Love and 
marriage were under discussion, but, judging by their oblique 
colloquy, John Broderip had an ineffaceable stain upon his life 
that would forever bar him from domestic felicity. His aged, 
weak -brained mother saw that he was in love, and her distress 
almost equaled his agony. Yet before he quitted the room 
Dr. Broderip had determined on two heroic measures : to extend 
a helping hand to an enemy bitterly hated, and to confide the 
truth of his past to Margaret before declaring his passion. 

Among his guests that night the little surgeon singled out 
Garrick to tell him that he had written to Washington a letter 
which would secure him a place in the civil service. Air. Ran- 
dolph was elated but bewildered at this sudden step. Brod- 
erip watched his opportunity of being alone with Margaret, 
and when it came he fairly overwhelmed the stately, reserved 
girl. She felt the power, the magnetism of this man as of no 
other, but there was also an undefined fear of him in her con- 
sciousness. He caressed the string of rose-colored shells which 
had been around her wrist, and in other subtle ways acknowl- 
edged his love. Margaret was pale and trembled with emo- 
tion, but forbade him telling her a certain story he was anxious 
to narrate. Thus ended a strange interview, one that had 
stunned Margaret Conrad, but had given Broderip a sense of 
delirious pleasure. To see that strong, impassive girl so mov*4 

A.D., VOL. vi. 14 



210 WAITING FOR THE VERDICT 

had been a sweet triumph to the imagination of the man. In 
the same gathering that night two others began to understand 
the bond between them, for without a word Rosslyn Burley and 
Garrick Randolph knew that they loved each other. 

And Garrick spent several hours of the following day at the 
old farmhouse. Rosslyn was supremely happy for a while, un- 
til their talk revealed more sharply and surely than ever the 
gap between them. His life had been so unsullied, while hers 
she thought of the circumstances of her birth, the years at the 
market. Garrick talked on. He told her of the will which 
had been made in favor of his cousin, Strebling, and of the part 
the negro Hugh had supposedly played in concealing or de- 
stroying it. Dully the girl listened, but she advised him to in- 
vestigate the affair, prove its truth or falsity, and abide by the 
consequences, even if they meant transferring the property over 
to the detestable James Strebling. After Garrick had taken 
his departure, Rosslyn flung herself on her knees to pray. Now 
she knew the bitter path she must tread; never to marry the 
man she loved, but remain content to devote all thought and 
tenderness to that grandfather who had nursed her and cared 
for her through childhood and girlhood. 

Meanwhile where was old Joe Burley? Out among the 
snow-covered Cumberland hills, in the Federal uniform, search- 
ing for a lost comrade, Lieutenant Markle, who had strayed while 
reconnoitering. For days he had tramped amid dangers, and 
when rations had vanished, and death was nigh, he found the 
missing man in a hut. Markle had been shot, but a negro was 
caring for him. This fair-skinned member of the black race 
had taken a fancy to the young lieutenant, who expected to be 
well enough to walk within a few days. Then Markle planned 
to escape with Nat, the slave, and take him to the Union camp, 
where he would be free. Poor Nat was looking forward to this 
great event that he might search for his wife and little boy, from 
whom he had been separated for years. Incidentally, it came 
out that Nat had once been a Strebling chattel, and that he had 
had a brother, Sap, and a father, Hugh, the latter being with the 
Randolphs of Kentucky. Old Joe grimly listened to the in- 
formation. "That cuss Strebling " seemed bound to cross his 
life. 



REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 211 

Plans were laid, and Joe, Lieutenant Markle, and Nat had 
apparently solved every difficulty; but there was always danger 
of pursuit. Nat secured a skiff and they were to make their 
way to camp by water. Big Joe carried the wounded lieutenant 
down to the stream, where Nat was to meet them. The boat 
was there, but when Nat appeared, it was simultaneously with 
men giving chase. The moonlight revealed them to be James 
Strebling and his son, Major Bob. Alas, for the poor negro 
with his dreams of family reunion! He was caught in a spot 
where his companions were helpless to lend succor. Burley 
and Markle, indeed, had to use all their time to escape them- 
selves. In this they barely succeeded. As it was, Major Bob 
fired upon them in their tiny boat, and the bullet hit old Joe in 
the shoulder. But their pursuers were baffled in the long run. 

Hugh Conrad had lost his money, and was compelled to 
sell his place and move West. Margaret looked forward to 
the change like the stoic she was. Relations between her and 
Broderip were at the same tensity the atmosphere required 
clearing. A second time had he attempted the task of telling 
her his secret, but a trifling incident prevented the revelation. 
Margaret was puzzled and pained, yet she trusted him, allowing 
for his peculiarities. With the blind preacher it was otherwise. 
He grew jealous of his daughter's happiness, and the move 
West would be a good thing for her. Therefore the Conrads 
left Philadelphia, prepared to battle against adverse circum- 
stances. But the misunderstood little surgeon was alert for 
their welfare, and became the means of their renting the Markle 
farm in the region in which they had settled. Both the Markle 
boys had gone to the war, and the place needed a caretaker. 

Old Joe reached home at last. His wound had laid him 
low. Rosslyn was a capital nurse, and coddled the incapaci- 
tated, aged soldier. It was during these convalescent days of 
the brave old man that Garrick Randolph, back from Washing- 
ton and civil service, pleaded his love. Rosslyn heard him with 
sore misgiving, but she did not hesitate to tell her proud suitor 
of her ignominious origin. Though it was a shock to his sen- 
sibilities and ideals, he was man enough to sweep all caste preju- 
dice aside; and ere he left Rosslyn they were betrothed. In- 
describable was their happiness, and old Joe participated in the 



212 WAITING FOR THE VERDICT 

joyous compact. Dr. Broderip attended the wounded man, and 
sneered at the engagement, but then everybody knew that the 
surgeon was unbalanced. No time was lost in celebrating the 
nuptials of Rosslyn and Garrick, in spite of the caustic com- 
ments of Broderip and the antagonism of Abigail Blanchard, 
who was loath to lose her favorite friend. However, she did 
not immediately suffer separation from Rosslyn, for Garrick 
went South to prepare the way for his wife. Upon reaching his 
plantation Garrick hastened to cross-question Hugh about the 
will drawn in Strebling's favor, and learned many bitter, humili- 
ating truths. Troubled, tempted, Garrick, under a pretense, 
delivered the old slave over to a taskmaster, without discover- 
ing that the faithful servitor possessed the very document which 
deprived him of his birthright. But in ridding himself of the 
old slave he felt he had saved the honor of the Randolphs. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Markle, on a furlough, had fallen 
in love with Margaret Conrad; and when he returned to camp 
he was full of her praise. The advent of old Burley, cured, 
prevented further expatiation on the subject. And then, to- 
gether, the friends effected the rescue of Nat, who had been 
imprisoned in a calaboose in a neighboring town. Not till then 
did Joe Burley trace a striking resemblance between the tired- 
out, sanguine Nat and the Philadelphia surgeon, Dr. Broderip. 
Bluff and outspoken, he remarked it, and the opinion impressed 
Nat. This idea also disturbed Markle so that he could not 
sleep; for he had heard of Broderip's vacillating attentions to 
Margaret Conrad. Forty miles away from this scene there was 
sleeplessness, too, for if one could pierce the darkness one might 
see Anny and Tom, the wife and son of Nat, plodding along 
the weary roads, walking miles and miles, tirelessly seeking 
Nat, the weak, shivering mulatto, whose life meant everything 
to them. 

Markle's injury produced a nervous disease, and he was 
advised to go to a Philadelphia hospital, where relief might be 
obtained. At first he demurred, but, learning that Margaret 
Conrad and her father had returned there, he delayed no longer. 
Faithful Nat went with him. Fate had a finger in the affair. 
One day the ailing Lieutenant and Nat saw Dr. Broderip in 
the company of Hugh Conrad and his haughty daughter. The 



REBECCA HARDING DAVIS 213 

negro was startled. He asked permission to leave Ma'kle for 
a short time, a privilege readily granted. Nat made his way to 
Dr. Broderip, who received him coldly, discourteously. The 
former slave asked the fastidious surgeon to examine a wound. 
Then, incoherently, he talked of slave days, of slave life; he 
even dared to call Broderip his brother! Though reputed cold, 
merciless, and cruel, the little physician was moved to hysterical 
tears. He sought Margaret Conrad and told his long-post- 
poned story. He met the issue, the call of the blood! Yes; he 
was the brother of Nat, the despised negro slave. Miss Conrad 
heard the narrative, hardly believing her ears, and at the end 
turned away from him in horror. 

The action of Margaret was but a prelude of what followed. 
Courageously, Broderip made known the so-called taint of his 
blood. All the world, with the exception of a few tried, liberal 
friends, forsook him. He faced contumely at every turn. Such 
treatment he expected. Filled with enthusiasm for his down- 
trodden people, the famous Dr. Broderip once the neglected, 
obscure Sap sold all his possessions, gave the price to the 
cause of freedom, and enlisted at the head of a regiment of 
negroes. He had lost Margaret, but he had gained the glory 
of self-renunciation. 

Bewildered, sorrowing, Nat made his way to the home of 
Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. The moment was propitious at which 
he appeared. Garrick had suffered, and longed to atone for 
his wrong to old Hugh. Eagerly he accompanied Nat in search 
of his father, whom they eventually found, and touching was the 
reunion of father and son. 

The war was over. Joe Burley Captain Burley now 
received his honorable discharge. On the journey home to 
Rosslyn, he stopped for Anny and Tom, wife and child of Nat's, 
having kept track of their whereabouts. Generous soul, he did 
not pause here, but found James Strebling, and persuaded the 
tottering old man to join him. Major Bob was dead, and his 
father had little now to live for. It was not long before the 
broken old fellow died, but he had the happiness of dying in the 
arms of Rosslyn, who tearfully forgave him the wrong he had 
done her. 

Aged Hugh, his son Nat, Anny, and Tom were at length 



2i 4 WAITING FOR THE VERDICT 

united in a cozy home provided by Rosslyn. As for her, she 
was thankful for all God's blessings. Her grandfather had re- 
turned safe and sound from the war's bloody ground; Garrick 
was a new man; and her child her boy crowed in her arms. 
If there was a shadow in her home it fell upon Hugh Conrad 
and his pale, immovable daughter, who had given up her life to 
educating the negro. Broderip had died, after serving his race 
and country, at the hands of a cowardly assassin. Lieutenant 
Markle had brought Margaret the sad tidings. She listened 
with bowed head. After he had told her the pitiable tale, he 
asked if he might not see her again. Realizing his sincerity and 
truth, she replied that they must see each other. Enough. 
The little soldier drew a long, brave breath: "Come what may, 
what better thing is there for a manly man to do than to share in 
her despised work?" 



RICHARD HARDING DAVIS 

(United States, 1864) 
SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE (1899) 

This story was dramatized by Augustus Thomas, and was played first at 
the Hyperion Theater, New Haven, February 17, 1902. Robert Edeson starred 
for the first time in the role of Robert Clay. A month later it began its success- 
ful run at the Savoy Theater, New York City. We present here the author's 
own version of the story. 

LICE LANGHAM, a society beauty of inter- 
national reputation, was placed between Reggie 
King and Robert Clay at a certain New York 
dinner-party. That King should have been 
seated next to her was taken as a matter of 
course. For several successive seasons, it had 
been generally understood that the agreeable mil- 
lionaire, who by birth and breeding was in every 
way desirable, was waiting to marry Miss Lang- 
ham as soon as she gave any evidence that she was ready; but 
with Clay it was different. No one knew anything about him, 
save that he had come from Mexico with a good letter of intro- 
duction and that he talked very little. During a conversation 
about civil engineering, in which King spoke in high praise of 
the Jalisco and Mexican Railroad, Clay was forced to explain 
that he had built that railroad. 

Urged by the thought that he was sailing the next day for a 
long absence, he took the liberty of telling Miss Langham, when 
they were alone together after dinner, how, through the news- 
papers, he had followed her social career since her dbut; how 
he always knew they should meet; and he showed her her pic- 
ture, reduced from a photograph he had bought, which he al- 
ways carried in his watch. 

Immediately after returning home, Alice sought her father 

215 




2i6 SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE 

and asked him if he knew of a Robert Clay. He told her Robert 
Clay was going to sail the next morning for Valencia, the capital 
of Olancho, one of the South American republics, to open up 
the largest iron deposits in that country for the Valencia Mining 
Company and that he, her father, was the company. 

Clay accomplished the herculean task of throwing out a 
pier, building a freight railroad, and dumping five mountains 
of ore into the cars, helped by an unruly gang of lazy natives 
and a man named Mac Williams, a humorous chap, who had 
had charge of the railroad when Clay arrived as general mana- 
ger and resident director. 

Shortly after his arrival, Teddy Langham came to learn 
engineering and to look after his father's interests. Then fol- 
lowed the announcement that Mr. Langham and his two daugh- 
ters, Alice and Hope, were coming, the doctors having ordered 
him South for rest and quiet. 

A charming bungalow was built for them near the mines. 
Clay's dreams of future happiness were interwoven with every 
effort they put forth to make the place attractive to Alice Lang- 
ham. One of these dreams was interrupted by an unexpected 
call from General Mendoza, the leader of the opposition in the 
Senate. Ostensibly he came in behalf of his party, which he 
represented as being dissatisfied with the Government's disposal 
of the mines for ten per cent, of their profits. Really he came 
to get Clay to bribe him with a handsome profit to keep silent 
about the mines. Clever subterfuge on Clay's part soon made 
it evident that Mendoza was the opposition; and then Clay 
called Langham and MacWilliams, whom he had sent away 
so that they could be unseen witnesses of the interview, and 
dismissed the irate and defeated General, who swore revenge, 
and predicted a new government, a new president, and a new 
director for the mines within two months. He was enraged that 
the fearless Clay should have fifteen hundred of his men work- 
ing in the mines and devoted to him. 

On the night of the Langhams' arrival, the boys called at 
the bungalow; and Clay, although he felt that he could love 
Alice Langham as he believed her to be, was not so bold as he 
had been the first night he met her, because, after all, he had 
only a drawing-room knowledge of her. 



RICHARD HARDING DAVIS 217 

Before the evening's pleasure had come to an end, they 
sighted Reggie King's yacht in the harbor. Clay contrasted 
his childhood of poverty, when his mother taught a little school 
at Pike's Peak, his early orphanage, his life as a sailor, as a 
cowboy, in the mines of South Africa, his war experiences in 
Madagascar, Egypt, and Algiers, with King's life of ease; and 
he determined to fight for the girl, if she proved to be worth 
fighting for. 

It was a gay party that set out to see the beauties of Valen- 
cia; and the excursion ended by Clay's calling and introducing 
them all to President Alvarez and his wife, also to an attractive 
English youth, Captain Stuart, of the President's household 
troops, in whom he had the most perfect trust, knowing full well 
the young man's regard for his wife. 

The charm of the place, the novel dinners, the unusual dis- 
tinction of the men, all had its effect; but in time Alice Langham, 
although delighted, was forced to caution Clay that if they were 
to remain good friends he must be more reserved ; she told him 
that he really did not know what his own feelings about her 
were; and until he did, there should be less said about them. 
Clay needed no second reprimand. 

Her younger sister, Hope, found Clay a most romantic and 
interesting figure. She liked to hear of his building the highest 
bridge in Peru, of his bravery, of his marksmanship, of his being 
made a baron by the German Emperor in recognition of his 
engineering feats; and she enjoyed every minute she spent with 
him, whether it was on King's yacht, where they entertained 
the President and Madame Alvarez, or on her pony inspecting 
the mines, in which she was deeply and intelligently interested, 
much to Clay's surprise and pleasure. Miss Langham and 
King, who were bored, and had dropped out of the party of in- 
spection on one occasion, sought the shelter of the bungalow, 
where they learned that Madame Alvarez, who before her mar- 
riage was a Spanish countess, wished to overthrow the Republic, 
establish a monarchy and proclaim her husband king and her- 
self queen at the very least, report had it, she was plotting to 
make Olancho into a Spanish dependency. General Mendoza 
was the leader against her and, as commander-in-chief of the 
army, was a formidable antagonist. The Vice-President, Gen- 



218 SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE 

eral Rojas, stood high in popular favor; and if the people were 
allowed to vote he would be their choice for the next President. 

Mendoza had threatened to take the mines, to turn the whole 
plant into a government monopoly; and while he was trying to 
make himself President, Alvarez was waiting to proclaim him- 
self Dictator. 

Shortly after the visit to the mines, President Alvarez gave 
a ball in honor of the Langhams; and Alice, when Hope was all 
dressed to go, decided against her going because she was not 
yet " out." Clay, who had begun to think, since the visit to the 
mines, that Alice and he had not much in common particularly 
after she had told him that the work he had done was not worth 
while slipped away from the ball on the pretext of riding back 
to the bungalow for Alice's lost fan, which he found in the 
carriage and sent back to her by Stuart, while he called on 
Hope, whom he saw that evening for the first time in evening 
dress and realized that she was grown up. Hope's pleasure at 
seeing him so unexpectedly was genuine, although she told him 
jestingly that he only came back to see if she were crying. He 
blurted out that he came to tell her he thought she had been 
treated abominably; then they ate the bonbons he had stolen 
for her; and she insisted that he tell her all about the decora- 
tions he wore. He went further and told her of his early life 
and ambitions; and when he left her, he felt that her sympathy 
with his experiences and work was the sweetest thing that had 
ever come into his lonely life. 

On his return to the ball, Stuart asked him to meet him 
secretly later; and then he found that the revolution was im- 
minent. Placards concerning Stuart and Madame Alvarez 
detrimental to her honor had been pasted up in the street, and 
Stuart's men had been tearing them down. Mendoza' s troops 
were crowding into the city for the annual review, which was 
to take place in a day or two. Alvarez, fearful of the upris- 
ing, had all the drafts and his wife's jewels packed ready for 
flight. 

Early the next day, Clay, by accident, met a professional 
filibuster whom he had known in some of his past war experi- 
ences and quietly arrested him; and later it was learned from 
him where he had hidden the arms he had brought into the 



RICHARD HARDING DAVIS 219 

country for Mendoza, who ordered Clay's miners to appear in 
the review, and said if Clay refused he would fetch them. 

Clay had been waiting for this. With the knowledge of 
where the hidden firearms were, they took a force of his men, 
found them, loaded them on the waiting cars that MacWilliams 
had run down to the place of concealment, and had them in the 
mines before midnight, much to the rage of Mendoza's men, 
who arrived only to find the men who were left in charge gagged 
and the firearms gone. 

The review was a brilliant sight. Madame Alvarez spied 
Hope, who had stolen away to see the excitement, and Clay, 
who, she knew by what he had said, cared for her. She was 
made to come close to Madame Alvarez. 

There in full view, amid his own army troopers, Mendoza 
galloped up to President Alvarez and arrested him for high 
treason, and arrested the Vice-President also. Stuart without 
waiting for orders galloped off to rescue the state carriage, and 
seizing the bridle of the nearest horse, shouted to his men: "To 
the palace shoot anyone who tries to stop you!" Effort was 
made to guard the palace from the mob. Hope got in through 
the rear and went to Madame Alvarez, who had left the drafts, 
but had packed her jewels ready for flight. All the servants had 
fled at the first sound of the uproar. Stuart, with his men at his 
heels, rushed up the stairs of the palace on his way to protect 
Madame Alvarez. Noticing that his men grouped themselves 
at the foot of the staircase and stopped, he turned and went down 
several steps to meet them, asking them what it meant. Clay, 
who had just reached the top of the stairs and saw Hope and 
Madame Alvarez coming toward them, yelled to him to come 
back and reached him just in time to catch him as he fell, shot 
dead by the maddened turncoat soldiers, whom Mendoza had 
bought for his own ends. Stuart, whose innocent and loyal 
love for Madame Alvarez was returned in kind, was avenged by 
Clay's shooting as many of the panic-stricken and retreating 
soldiers as he could before he left the palace. 

Hope and Madame Alvarez were concealed in the state car- 
riage and with MacWilliams on the box with the driver, and 
Langham and Clay riding beside them, they started out of 
the city to the chosen place where King was to meet them 



2*0 SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE 

with his yacht, on which Madame Alvarez was to make her 
escape. 

It was a perilous journey; they drove at high speed, being 
stopped by Mendoza's men, who were fooled by subterfuge 
and bribery as to Madame Alvarez; there was a price on her 
head, as it was believed she was leaving the country with the 
government drafts in her possession. 

Finally they reached the beach off which King's yacht was 
anchored. Madame Alvarez was escorted to the launch by the 
three men, who had left Hope in charge of the driver. When 
Madame was finally safe in the launch and the men turned to 
come back to Hope, they were shot at by concealed marksmen 
on all sides. Escape seemed an impossibility, when suddenly 
they saw coming toward them the forgotten carriage, being 
driven furiously by Hope, who was alone on the box. Taking 
in the situation, she cried to them as she got within calling 
distance: "I am going to turn slowly; run and jump in." This 
they managed to do, Clay working his way finally to Hope and 
taking the reins from her. That ride sealed their fate; and at its 
termination, they told her brother and Mac Williams of their 
engagement. 

When they returned to the Langhams they learned that 
Alvarez had been shot, that Mendoza was Dictator, and that 
General Rojas was still imprisoned. 

Disappointed with Mendoza's attitude, the soldiers begged 
Clay to take his men and lead them against Mendoza, which 
he was compelled to do; and Fate so favored him that it was he 
who shot Mendoza and proclaimed Rojas President. And so, 
with Mendoza dead and Rojas imprisoned, he found himself 
for a brief hour Dictator of Olancho. 

With Rojas President, Langham had nothing to fear for his 
mines; and at midnight the whole party were aboard a steamer 
bound for New York. 

In the cabin Alice Langham smiled across her book at King, 
who smiled back contentedly, while Clay and Hope went on 
deck planning to have Mac Williams for their best man and 
discussing where they should spend their honeymoon. 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 

(Italy, 1846-1908) 
THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER (1876) 

This is the only work of fiction by this author, who is known chiefly by 
his accounts of travel in the Orient and elsewhere. This story was bitterly 
condemned in Italy, because of its frank revelations of the peculiar methods 
followed in the Department of Public Instruction. 

CIRCUMSTANCES, as well as temperament and 
innate aptitude, conspired to make of Emilio 
Ratti an ideal schoolmaster. His father, the pro- 
prietor of a small printing-office, died suddenly, 
just as he was on the highroad to fortune, leav- 
ing penniless his widow and four children, of 
which Emilio was the eldest. Near relatives 
there were none, with the exception of a cross- 
grained uncle, whose only daughter had been 
obliged to leave home, and was studying to become a school- 
mistress. The distant relatives did not help, and strangers 
provided for the children. A well-to-do and childless family 
named Goli took charge of the little girl, and maintained Emilio 
until he could refresh his memory of his studies (which he had 
abandoned to work in his father's printing-office) sufficiently 
to enter the local Normal School as a free pupil. His mother 
died on the day he announced to her his admission to the school. 
Meanwhile, Emilio's love for children had been awakened by 
the pity he felt for his unattractive little brothers and sister, 
as he dragged them about in his efforts to provide for them. 

The students at the Normal School came from the most 
varied social classes, and ranged from seventeen to thirty years 
of age. The two with whom Ratti was thrown almost ex- 
clusively were Lrica, a former corporal, of somewhat violent 




222 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

disposition, who had huge moustaches, protruding eyes, enor- 
mous fists, a cannon-like voice, and a face to inspire terror in 
small boys; and Labaccio, an industrious, tranquil fellow, proud 
of his uncle, the Mayor of Azzorno. The best of the professors 
was Megari, instructor in pedagogy, beloved by all the students. 
This man placed his own individual stamp upon young Ratti. 
It seemed to Ratti that the professor sometimes looked at him 
in a particular manner; and, in fact, when they parted, Megari 
gave him a note which his mother had written in pencil the last 
day of her life: " I commend to you, from my death-bed, my poor 
young son." 

When he was graduated, the Goli family (who had become 
much attached to his sister and were greatly pleased at his 
success) presented Ratti with the money they would have spent 
upon him had he not obtained a scholarship, and found him a 
place in the neighboring village of Garasco. He was to serve 
as substitute, for a year, for the schoolmaster who was ill in 
Turin, at a salary of seven hundred lire. 

The Mayor of Garasco, a very wealthy landowner, spent 
most of his time in the country, rarely going to Turin, but de- 
voted rather too little time to his duties because of hunting and 
social distractions. His plans for improving everything were 
magnificent; but pending these improvements, the conditions 
were extremely bad, including the state of the schools. He had 
appointed an old college friend as the Communal Secretary, 
and when any troublesome affair cropped up the two young 
men mounted their bicycles and rode off, leaving the burden 
on the shoulders of Toppo, the assessor, who was much dis- 
liked in the village. Contrary to the law, he allowed his sister 
to keep a private school alongside the communal school, rather 
than support her, although she w r as an old peasant who knew 
nothing beyond the alphabet. The parish priest, a decrepit 
old man of more than eighty years, was ruled by his house- 
keeper who, having been in the service of the school superin- 
tendent for ten years, aspired to rule the schools by becoming 
an inspectress. The other schoolmaster, Don Leri, was a 
priest, most majestic of aspect, with a fine, grave, dignified face 
fit for a cardinal. He welcomed Ratti cordially, and expressed 
the hope that he would call occasionally; but not in the evening, 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 223 

as for years he had consecrated his evenings to a very important 
work which he had begun in his youth, and which still required 
much reading. Don Lri always seemed anxious to avoid 
Ratti when the latter tried to avail himself of the invitation, 
which wounded the young man until he accidentally discovered 
that Don Llri's "great work" was imaginary, and that his eve- 
nings were devoted to reading works of fiction. 

Ratti's first impressions of his pupils were not favorable. 
They were chiefly peasants, over whom his predecessor had 
evidently exercised no authority. He had been engaged to 
teach the first elementary class, but found the second class also 
imposed upon him. Full of good-will, he did not refuse the 
burden, and found his task, in general, infinitely more difficult 
than he had expected. He had to contend with a sort of leaden 
inertia, not only in the schoolboys, but in everything else. 

He led a solitary life; especially after yielding to the urgent 
invitations of the assessor to call, when he began to receive 
hints to marry the assessor's niece, and discovered that he was 
regarded in the community as an aspirant to her hand. His 
best friend was Schoolmistress Strinati, an old woman of the 
village, who counseled him not to cease his visits too abruptly, 
lest Toppo should play him some scurvy trick with the author- 
ities. Moreover, no one knew whether the girl's license to 
teach was genuine or had been forged, for a consideration. 
But in spite of his precautions, Toppo took umbrage, made 
things as unpleasant as possible for him and was aided therein 
by the parish priest's ambitious servant, who spied on him, 
tattled disingenuously to Toppo, and instigated parents to find 
fault. The servant's grievance was that Ratti did not take his 
hat off to her in the street. As to the dispositions of pupils 
and parents, Ratti began from the first day to accumulate a 
stock of surprising knowledge. One result of this was to con- 
vince him that his theory of ruling by kindness was wrong, and 
that the opposite theory was correct, namely, that neither boys 
nor men can be governed or improved by gentleness; that they 
respect only that which they fear. In this conviction he was 
confirmed by the advice of the Inspector, and resolved to adopt 
a sterner method in his next post, for which he had already 
applied 



224 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

With the warm weather arrived numerous summer resi- 
dents, and Ratti, who was agreeable and adaptable, speedily 
acquired the polish that made him a welcome guest among them. 
But he was soon disillusioned as to the estimation in which his 
profession was held. He found that, while these well-born 
people expected schoolmasters to impart culture to their chil- 
dren, they regarded the masters themselves and their profession 
as petty, inferior, and rather ridiculous. 

A part of his vacation he passed with the Goli family; then 
went to call upon his cousin in the mountain village of Pilona, 
where she was schoolmistress. As they dined under an open 
shed, where his cousin caused the meal to be served, she nar- 
rated to him a most astonishing history of her experiences with 
the school authorities and scandal-mongering villagers, and with 
the pupils, whom she loved and taught with enthusiasm. 

Ratti's next post was at Piazzena, a village on the plain. 
He bore a letter of recommendation to Don Pirotta, the chaplain 
of a fraternity and founder of an orphan asylum, which had 
procured him an order of knighthood. But the dominating 
party of the village was headed by Don Pirotta's enemy, the 
parish priest, who was jealous, and exercised his authority to 
render life unpleasant accordingly. Here the school building 
was good, and Ratti's colleagues were worthy and agreeable. 
It was contrary to his nature, and correspondingly difficult, for 
him to carry out his plan of severity, especially as some of the 
boys inspired him with sympathy, which he dared not show. 
He soon found that the Mayor was inclined to correct his Italian 
in school, and the priest was given to preaching against persons 
whose identity was perfectly plain to the congregation. School- 
mistress Fanari was the priest's pet detestation, because she 
had chosen Don Pirotta as her confessor instead of himself. 
The Mayor soon began to find fault with Ratti's choice of sub- 
jects for his pupils' compositions; and the priest himself ques- 
tioned them as to Ratti's remarks on religion in school. One 
compensation for many of these annoyances was a visit from the 
Inspector, who happened to be the one of whom Ratti had 
asked advice the year before. The Inspector approved of 
Ratti's methods, and comforted him when he complained that 
he could not force his heart to be as severe as his exterior by 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 225 

telling him that if a schoolmaster were resigned inwardly he 
would no longer be a good teacher, since he would not love his 
boys sufficiently. 

After the examinations, Ratti tried to apply himself to his 
studies, with a view to passing the examinations for a place in 
Turin. But, to his surprise, he found that he could not work; 
there was an absolute lack of stimulus in the atmosphere and 
people. His friend Don Pirotta died suddenly in September; 
and, hearing that the Council intended to engage a priest for a 
schoolmaster, he decided not to renew his contract with them 
for an extra term of two years, at the expiration of the two for 
which he had signed, and resigned. This had the effect of 
rendering somewhat less acrid the parish priest's rancor toward 
him. But the priest gave such an outrageous sermon against 
Signorina Fanari (inspired by some advice she had given con- 
trary to his, and by a new gown she wore and a call made upon 
her by a good-looking stranger) that the schoolmistress instituted 
a suit for defamation of character. Almost everyone was against 
her, chiefly because they suspected her of being happy, and be- 
cause she had committed no other fault, or even unpleasant 
action against them. It ended in the schoolmistress withdraw- 
ing the suit on the eve of the trial ; and the priest paying her an 
indemnity of a thousand lire, and giving her a document wherein 
he stated that he had had no intention of attacking her honor. 
For the rest of that year the priest and his assistant did not 
meddle with the schools, and Ratti was relieved from the 
Mayor's interference with his choice of themes. 

Meantime, Ratti had competed for a post in the mountain 
commune of Altarana, where the democratic and progressive 
Mayor wanted a young master. The indirect recommenda- 
tions of the Goli family had settled the choice in his favor. But 
some time before his departure from Piazzena he abandoned his 
strictness for his previous milder methods, partly to rest his 
spirit, partly by way of experiment. Only four or five of the 
very best and most docile boys refrained from abusing this 
slackening of the reins. The rest, in less than a week, were so 
transformed with a so/t of savage joy that he was instantly con- 
vinced that, while it may sometimes be possible, though with 
difficulty, to pass from gentleness to severity, it is absolutely 

A.D., VOL. vi. 15 



226 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

impossible to reverse the operation without reducing the school 
to a bedlam. Threats proved useless; he was an abdicated sov- 
ereign. Enlightened by this experience, he resolved to adopt the 
severe method with his future pupils, and swore to himself a 
solemn oath nevermore to abandon it. 

Ratti's new post, Altarana, was a village in the western Alps. 
It was the first year of obligatory school attendance, and Ratti's 
official list of pupils numbered seventy-four. The Mayor in- 
structed all the teachers to exact with the utmost rigor the fines 
for non-attendance; but, in practise, this proved impossible. 
Some of the parents even calmly argued that they were rendering 
the Government a service in sending their children to school, 
and demanded a recompense. Ratti's schoolroom was badly 
lighted, dirty, inadequately furnished. Warned by his experi- 
ence in Piazzena, Ratti went at once to call on the parish priest. 
To his amazement, the priest declared that Ratti had disturbed 
himself unnecessarily; he, the priest, did not bother himself 
about the schools in the least, as he disapproved of the manner 
in which religion \vas spoken of in them. To avoid complica- 
tions, he never set his foot inside them. Altogether, Ratli 
thought, for three months, that he had reached a harbor of peace. 
But Schoolmistress Falbrizio revealed to him that there were 
troubled waters even in Altarana. The Mayor, a widower and 
a ladies 7 man, had had her discharged, because he wished to 
have her predecessor brought back. The predecessor had a 
husband now, and so there would be no more of the scandal 
about her and the Mayor which had forced her to leave. How- 
ever, men were changeable, and Signora Falbrizio thought the 
Mayor did not care for that woman any longer. He was inter- 
esting himself in a competition for the place of Schoolmistress 
Pezza, who had resigned. The competition had already been 
advertised, and candidates had been requested to send their 
photographs along with their papers, young teachers being in 
demand, "as if it were a matrimonial competition!" com- 
mented Ratti. When the photographs arrived (only three can- 
didates sent them), the one that pleased the Mayor and the 
Council showed a Madonna-like face, with smooth bands of 
hair and a very beautiful mouth. Its possessor had good 
recommendations, and was chosen. 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 227 

The state of Ratti's finances did not permit him to leave 
Altarana that summer. But he was drawn into the life of the 
summer residents, to which, after his previous experience, he 
no longer aspired, by the visit of one of them, who was cordial, 
without arrogance, and invited Ratti to his villa. This visitor 
was a wealthy lawyer named Samis, a native of the place, who 
lived in Turin, and had made a name for himself. He was 
interested in elementary education, and told Ratti of an ex- 
periment he was desirous to make. He wished to take a coun- 
try lad, willing and talented, and make him study, in order that 
he might observe, step by step, the moral and intellectual trans- 
formation that would be produced in him by instruction and 
civil education; and the progressive alteration, so to speak, of 
his horizon in life. Ratti began to frequent Signer Samis's 
house, where he was well received by Signora Samis, a very 
charming woman, whose exquisite manners put him at his ease 
and removed all suspicion that he was being patronized or 
scorned. Shortly after this agreeable family had departed, the 
schoolmistress arrived with her small, aged, half -paralyzed 
father, and took up her abode in the quarters vacated by the 
former incumbent, on the same floor with Ratti. She was small, 
not pretty, but had fine chestnut hair and tiny hands. Ratti 
thought he never had beheld so tiny, so beautiful, so good and 
sweet a mouth as this Signorina Faustina Galli possessed. 

The wing of the house in which Ratti lived opened on a 
little terrace at right angles to which ran the terrace upon 
which Signorina Galli's quarters opened. The two terraces 
were separated by a wooden balustrade. Before long Ratti 
and Signorina Galli were saying "good morning" to each other, 
and exchanging their views on children and education. Ratti 
was astonished to find how exactly her views as to the gentle 
treatment of children, and on many other points, coincided with 
his own. At first no one else paid much attention to her, as she 
was small, delicate, and badly dressed. But the Mayor soon 
began to take an interest in her school, and the doctor's wife 
(who had been apj. Dinted inspectrcss at the beginning of the 
scholastic year) called one morning to inspect the woman. The 
mother of the praetor seemed friendly, at first; but turned cold 
when Signorina Galli repelled the advances of her idolized son. 



228 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

The woman clerk at the post-office, whose aspiration toward 
the young praetor had been scorned by his mother, was insolent 
to the new schoolmistress, and the Communal Secretary (to 
whom Ratti had applied for an explanation of the mysterious 
cause) advised that Signorina Galli should "look out for her- 
self. " Enmities were accumulating, as usual. Ratti called on 
the young lady two or three times, and felt his affection for her 
steadily increasing; so much so that the sight of the Mayor at 
his neighbor's door one evening rendered him jealous, and he 
questioned her the next morning. The Mayor had called on a 
matter connected with some of her pupils, the girl told Ratti, 
with apparently complete indifference. Ratti suggested cau- 
tiously that perhaps the Mayor was so foolish as to be capable 
of hoping that his time was not wasted. "That hope cannot 
last long in my case," the girl curtly replied. 

By this time Ratti admitted to himself that he was in love 
with Faustina Galli. Consequently, he was deeply wounded 
by the coldness which she began to display toward him im- 
mediately after this conversation. He caught the Mayor's 
official servant spying on his brief talks with her, and presently 
the Mayor began to turn his, back instead of responding to 
Ratti's salute. The Mayor's persecution of Signorina Galli 
promptly made itself felt. First he tried to transfer her to a 
remote suburb, which was contrary to her contract. Next she 
was ordered to report at Turin, and on arriving there she found 
that the Mayor had recommended the transfer "in the inter- 
ests of morality" because she had received calls from Ratti, 
in the presence of her father. (The Mayor asserted that the 
father was too old to be a proper protector, though he had him- 
self called under the same auspices.) In the ensuing long and 
bitter struggle between the Mayor and Signorina Galli, the 
authorities at Turin sometimes upheld one, sometimes the 
other. The Mayor closed the school, and the girl was deprived 
of her paltry salary. She was obliged to encroach on her tiny 
hoard, saved for giving her aged father a proper burial ; and she 
showed signs of starvation, as matters grew worse daily. Ratti 
repeatedly offered her his small savings, which she refused. 
Everyone turned against her, for one petty reason or another. 
No one except Ratti and Signora Falbrizio showed her any 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 229 

sympathy, and the shopkeepers refused her credit, or gave il on 
exorbitant terms. The local authorities even refused to p.iy 
her the salary due her for the time she had taught. When the 
Turin authorities ordered the school reopened, the Mayor, in- 
stead of obeying, flew to Turin and invented fresh calumnies. 

One evening, when Ratti knocked at her door and again 
offered her his savings, she broke down, after refusing, dropped 
her head on his shoulder, crying, "I can endure it no longer!" 
and wept. Ratti wept with her, and kissed her. Three days 
later an official was sent down from Turin to order the reopen- 
ing of the school, to see that it was done, and that the salary 
was paid. The Mayor and his allies were quelled; the general 
public became friendly and admiring toward Signorina Galli; 
but Ratti's love-making was checked to his great surprise 
by a definitive refusal from the girl. The Mayor revenged him- 
self on Ratti by preventing the municipal servant from cleaning 
the school, which encouraged the pupils to insolence and insub- 
ordination. In their faces he could read a set intention to do 
him serious harm. He was so unhappy that he took to drink. 
Signorina Galli eventually begged him to abandon it, matters 
having become very desperate. Ratti found himself obliged 
to use strenuous measures to repress the insolence of the liquor- 
dealer's son; and a few days later the father made his appear- 
ance in the school in the quality of school superintendent. With 
a view to injuring Ratti, the Mayor had secretly retired the 
former superintendent and appointed this irate father. Ratti 
vigorously remonstrated, and ordered the lad out of the school, 
along with the father. Both parties appealed to Turin, and 
Ratti was ordered to report there. By the time he was admitted 
to the officiars presence he was intoxicated almost to the point 
of stupidity. Happily, the official proved to be his old friend 
and professor, Meglri, who treated him with all possible consid- 
eration, brought him to a sense of his position, and gave him 
a chance to retrieve himself. 

On returning to the village he ceased to drink, confided to 
Signorina Galli the whole truth about his trip to Turin, and 
resumed his studk >, hoping that time would plead for him 
with the girl. The advent for the summer of the Samis family 
rekindled his ambition to rise in the world. Several things, 



230 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

however, had disgusted him both with his own condition and 
with Altarana. A visit from his easy-going comrade of the 
Normal School, Labaccio (who had thriven exceedingly), was 
one item; another was an unpleasant experience connected with 
some private lessons which he had been requested to give to 
the son of one of the Samises' friends, resulting, among other 
things, in a coldness on the part of Schoolmistress Galli. He 
decided that he could not pursue his studies for a post in Turin 
in this uncongenial atmosphere, where the Samis family alone 
now attracted him. Samis asked him, in pursuance of the plan 
he had already outlined the previous summer, to give private 
lessons to a peasant lad whom he had selected for experiment; 
and Ratti consented. This occupation, and the observation of 
the clear-headed, cold-hearted peasant boy in process of evolu- 
tion, served him as an agreeable distraction. Ratti left Altarana 
with regret, chiefly on account of Signorina Galli; his former 
admiration for her heroic life and his love for her having 
returned. 

That summer he passed two months in the house of the 
Goli family, with his sister. Later, Ratti betook himself to his 
new post, Camina, refreshed and encouraged by this brief taste 
of family life. The most interesting features of his experience 
here were the two schoolmistresses. Signorina Pedani was a 
cool, athletic young woman, with a magnificent figure, who took 
her girls on long walks, and attended so strictly to her duties 
that it was not easy either to make trouble for her or love to 
her, and she was much respected. The other teacher, Signorina 
Adelina Gamelli, suffered from the fame which had preceded 
her. Some injudicious friend had sent on in advance a journal 
containing an extremely sentimental article from her pen (she 
had an extraordinary mania for writing about every trifle), and 
the community supposed she had done it by way of heralding 
herself. Though outwardly courteous, the people ridiculed 
her incessantly, without her suspecting it. The Mayor, a self- 
made man, held no great opinion of schooling as an essential, 
would not furnish Ratti with the proper lists of pupils, and 
frankly declared that Italy would not suffer if a few boys played 
truant for weeks at a time; men could become great without 
schooling! This reasoning confounded Ratti, who could find 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 231 

no reply. Here he returned to his early method of gentleness 
and persuasion, with good results, on the whole. When the 
vacation arrived, he would have been glad to rest for a month; 
but he was obliged to qualify for his license in gymnastics, and 
consequently applied for admission to a course of training in 
his native town. Among other old acquaintances whom he 
met at the exercises was Schoolmistress Strinati, from whom he 
learned the news at Garasco. His old enemy, Toppc, had 
fallen into utter disgrace. It had been proved that the niece's 
license to teach was forged, and not only had she been excluded 
for life from examinations, but Toppo had been forced to resign 
as superintendent. The news which interested him most was 
furnished by Signora Falbrizio, of Altarana. Signorina Galli's 
father was dead, and the vindictive Mayor had allowed her only 
three days' vacation, though she had spent twenty nights at 
the dying man's bedside. The peasant prottge of Signer 
Samis was performing wonders at the Technical School in Turin, 
and his manners had become so refined that he would no longer 
eat at table with his father, because, he said, the old man had 
no teeth and spat in his plate! 

The second year at Camina was not agreeable. The au- 
thorities appropriated Ratti's schoolroom for other uses, and 
installed the school in the theater, to the delight of the boys; 
but the unsuitable arrangements added greatly to the master's 
difficulties. One of the lads who had responded best to his 
efforts was the son of the Deputy. Ratti learned that the boy 
had never known affection or happy family life, as his father 
and mother fought continually, and the Deputy, in addition, 
was jealous of his wife, a woman of easy virtue. This winter 
the woman began to accompany her boy to school, and to in- 
veigle Ratti into the house, under various specious pretexts, so 
that he could not avoid going in, despite the warnings that had 
been given him. His repulse of her advances resulted in acri- 
monious hostility on her part, as well as on the part of her hus- 
band, which last Ratti had been utterly unable to avoid. The 
Mayor and the Deputy began to prowl about and watch him with 
menacing looks. Conscious of his own rectitude, Ratti paid no 
heed. He felt more and more as though all the lads were his 
little brothers. The boys responded, and during leisure hours 



232 THE ROMANCE OF A SCHOOLMASTER 

many came to him for explanations of difficult points. To 
some he gave lessons in free-hand drawing; to others he lent 
books or journals. Suddenly they ceased to come, and when, 
suspecting some plot against him, he asked explanations, they 
became confused, and would not even tell him whether they 
had been forbidden by their parents. Matters at last reached 
such a pass that he demanded an explanation from the Mayor 
and the Deputy, and, after considerable evasion, received from 
the latter an insulting reply which resulted in his dealing the 
man a heavy blow, sending him reeling against the wall. The 
whole place rose against him; but he appealed to the Proveditore 
and Prefect of Turin, who were convinced of his uprightness; 
and this conviction was confirmed by the report of the Inspector, 
who was sent to obtain testimony at Camina. So evident was 
it that Ratti had a strong case of defamation of character 
against the Deputy, that the latter even prudently refrained 
from claiming indemnity for his broken spectacles. 

Ratti was so determined to obtain a post at Turin that he 
now regarded his provincial peregrinations as practically at an 
end, and took very little interest in Bossolano, where he passed 
his last winter. The persons who most attracted his sympathy 
were the organist, Schoolmaster Delli, and Schoolmistress Mar- 
ticani, whose boy was in his school. Signora Marticani's hus- 
band had never been seen in Eossolano; he was a very busy 
official of the post-office in Turin, she said. The village busy- 
bodies began to calumniate her and her boy, and to doubt the 
husband's existence to such an unpleasant extent that she was 
obliged to send for him and exhibit him. 

During the last months of his stay in Bossolano Ratti lived 
in almost complete seclusion. A competitive examination for 
sixteen posts at Turin had been announced, and he had sent in 
his papers, which spurred him on to intensified preparations. 
At Turin he would feel sure of the stability of his post, would 
have the opportunity to attend university courses, and the 
society of cultivated colleagues. When he set out, at the end 
of July, he was accompanied by the hearty good wishes of the 
community. Most of the vacancies were for schoolmistresses. 
Out of the three men who passed the examinations successfully 
were Ratti and the ex-corporal, Carlo Lrica. His nomination 



EDMONDO DE AMICIS 233 

to the suburban school of Lucenta, in the environs of Turin, at 
a salary of one thousand lire, promptly followed, to the great 
gratification of his relatives and the Goli family. His career 
as a rural schoolmaster was concluded by an important event. 

A pedagogical conference for the school-teachers throughout 
Piedmont had been appointed for RattFs native town, and im- 
mediately followed the examinations at Turin. 

One morning, as he was crossing the public square, Ratti 
came face to face with Faustina Galli. Ratti already knew, 
through his friend Samis, that, unable to endure the village 
where her father had died, Signorina Galli had succeeded in 
obtaining a place in the suburbs of Turin, where she had been 
for the past year. The three years which had elapsed since 
their meeting had not passed over them without leaving visible 
traces; but their former sympathy survived. At the end of 
their brief conversation they expressed the hope that they would 
meet in Turin, but the young woman evaded Ratti's suggestion 
that they bear each other company in the train thither. Never- 
theless, the young man became more and more engrossed with 
the thought of the straightforward, charming girl, which out- 
weighed all the pleasant meetings of old friends and the new 
friendships begun at the Conference. Eventually they traveled 
to Turin together, with a throng of other schoolmasters and 
mistresses, yet isolated by their feeling for each other and their 
dreams of what might be. When the train stopped, they were 
conscious of each other's feeling, dreaded parting; and then 
suddenly exchanged a fervent kiss, just before they alighted and 
joined the undulating throng that surrounded the white-haired 
Proveditore. 



CHARLES DE BERNARD 

(France, 1805-1850) 
GERFAUT (1838) 

Charles de Bernard was at one time Balzac's secretary, as well as his pro- 
fessed disciple. He had a great knowledge of life in Paris and the country round 
about, a knowledge upon which he drew extensively in writing this book, which 
was crowned by the French Academy soon after its publication. 

JARLY in September, 1832, a man about thirty 
years of age was walking through a valley of 
Lorraine, which was watered by a little river. 
The road climbed the hills as they closed in upon 
the stream. The man was in workman's dress, 
but his white hands showed that it was an as- 
sumed costume. At last he came out upon the 
river-bank, opposite an immense chateau built 
on a thirty -foot rocky bluff. 
"An ugly castle," said a gruff voice behind him. "But the 
cage is fit for the bird. The Baron de Bergenheim is a rich 
nobleman, and I a poor carpenter. I have been carving his 
wood-work for six months, but yesterday that wild boar turned 
me out because they said I talked too much with the servants. 
I have cut this cudgel in his own woods, and shall use it on him." 
Just then, the energetic, soldierly, handsome Baron rode up, 
and, as the carpenter threatened him, he quietly dismounted, 
took the stick away, thrashed the man well, and whirled him 
into the ditch. The young man, concealed in a thicket, saw it 
all. A furious thunderstorm now suddenly broke, the Baron 
spurred across the bridge, and the young man sought an inn. 

On the first floor of the chdteau was a very large room, 
lighted by three windows, the middle one opening like a door 
upon the balcony over the river. A graceful young woman 

234 




CHARLES DE BERNARD 235 

was watching the storm outside. Suddenly an old voice, from 
an armchair near the fire, said: 

"You are crazy, Clmence, to leave that window open: air- 
currents attract lightning. Pray close it." The speaker was 
Mademoiselle de Corandeuil, a withered crone, about seventy 
years of age, who then went on to chide her niece for her 
restlessness. 

"Have you had trouble with your husband?" she asked. 

"No, aunt, Christian is very kind and full of good- humor. 
He tries to do everything for my pleasure." 

"What is it, then? Two months ago, in Paris, you insisted 
on coming hither to rejoin your husband; now, you yearn for 
Paris. Whom have you left there to regret some of your 
adorers? Monsieur de Maul eon, Monsieur d'Argenac, Mon- 
sieur de Gerfaut?" 

"Ah, aunt, you do them too much honor. As to Monsieur 
de Gerfaut, he writes books that one hardly dares read and 
plays that it is almost a sin to sec." 

"Well, he is very clever. I never could understand your 
dislike of him, nor your haughty treatment of him, especially 
during the latter part of our stay in Paris." 

"But, aunt, it is no one of those gentlemen that I think 
about only, I want some amusement." 

The old lady resumed her Gazelle, while the younger took 
up La Mode. Soon she gave a cry of surprise. On the first 
page, where the Duchesse de Berry's coat-of-arms was engraved, 
in the shield now empty of the fleur de Us was sketched a 
bird, its head surmounted by a baron's coronet. Curious to 
see, Mademoiselle de Corandeuil said: "A cock! Upon Ma- 
dame's shield! What can that mean?" 

"It is not a cock," said Clmence, "it is a coroneted gerfaut 
[gerfalcon]." 

" Bah! I tell you it is a cock, and what you take for a crown 
is a badly drawn cock's comb. Who can have done it?" And 
the old lady summoned the ancient servitor, who confessed that 
at the inn the daughter of the inn-mistress had looked at La 
Mode, and that, later, of two young men sitting there, one 
smoked while the other looked at the same journal. 

With a reprimand the old man was dismissed, as a slight, 



236 GERFAUT 

pretty girl bounced in Aline, the Baron's sister gleeful at 
having defeated her brother at billiards. Mademoiselle de 
Corandeuil reproved her for her rough tastes billiards and 
horses (since she was in riding-habit) and left the room. As 
soon as Aline and Christian had clattered out of the courtyard 
on their side, Cldmencc descended to the gardens, passed the 
gate in the shrubbery, and walked slowly along the river- 
avenue. Presently a man wearing a blouse followed and joined 
her. 

"It is you!" he exclaimed, "you, whom I had lost and now 
find again." 

"What madness, Monsieur!" 

"Ctemence!" 

"Call me Madame, Monsieur de Gerfaut," she interrupted 
severely; but she slowly withdrew to a retired place in the park, 
granting him "one moment," after which he promised to leave 
her. She reproached him with endangering her peace and 
safety. He pleaded the long two-months' absence, and his 
urgent desire to see her. But she denied his prayer that she 
would meet him occasionally in the park, adding: 

"You do not know Monsieur de Bergenheim; you cannot 
come to the chdteau. I recognized your peculiar visiting-card, 
drawn in La Mode, and was astonished and afraid. The whole 
thing is perilous and crazy. You shall see me next winter in 
Paris. Adieu, Monsieur." 

But Gerfaut declared that if she would not meet him outside 
he would shortly, in some way, be admitted to her drawing- 
room. Cldmence replied: 

" Since I am to see you to-morrow, I will leave you to-day. 
I should not stand here in the wet grass," and, raising her skirt 
a trifle, she showed her slipper, beaded with rain. Gerfaut 
quickly kneeled, and with his handkerchief began wiping off the 
water. She drew back her foot and the slipper remained in 
his hand. At last he restored it, with the privilege of putting 
it on, concluding by kissing the pretty instep through its open- 
work stocking. 

"My husband!" she exclaimed, at the rattle of horses' 
hoofs, and fled to the chateau. Gerfaut disappeared in the 
woods. 



CHARLES DE BERNARD 237 

A league below the castle was the inn of La Femme-Sans-TSte. 
In the great room, this evening, sat peasants drinking, and at 
one end a buxom damsel, while an artistic-looking, bearded 
young fellow was painting her portrait, and grumbling because 
"that Gerfaut" did not come to supper. At last he came, and, 
after supping, the two friends retired to their room, where Ger- 
faut related his love affair. 

Gerfaut was a talented writer. He had been bred to the 
law, but had been drawn into literary work, achieving success 
in all departments by his versatility and industry. Marillac, 
his fellow law-student, had also entered the literary life, but had 
accomplished little besides showing himself a brave, happy 
fellow and a sterling friend to Gerfaut. 

The tale recalled to Marillac how worn out Gerfaut had 
been the year before, until his physician ordered him to Swit- 
zerland. One day, climbing the road to the Mer dc Glace, feel- 
ing renewed vigor, he threw his alpenstock across the road at a 
tree, frightening a mule just turning the corner, on which rode 
a charming young woman, ahead of her party. The pass was 
narrow and the mule balky, but Gerfaut seized the bridle and 
led the animal to safer ground. The young woman looked 
up as he apologized, and, seeing some rhododendrons he had 
gathered, exclaimed with pleasure, when he presented them to 
her. Her friends coming up, they all passed on. But in the 
afternoon he saw them descending from Montanvert to the 
Mer de Glace and followed them. His imagination was al- 
ready fired by the simple charms of the young woman, and he 
saw her lightly running upon the ice, bounding over the small 
crevasses, while her friends remained at the border of the gla- 
cier. Suddenly she stopped, paralyzed, at the edge of a deep 
crevasse. Knowing the dangerous attraction of such abysses, 
he ran, and, putting his arms about her, led her back to her 
friends. When they departed he saw her name on the register 
Baroness Clmence de Bergenheim. 

In Paris Gerfaut had heard that name among the families 
of the Faubourg St. Germain, and he determined to find her, 
recalling every slightest circumstance of their meeting and 
every impression and fleeting sensation he hacj experienced. 
Before her return to Paris, he discovered in his family records 



238 GERFAUT 

that in 1569 one of his ancestors had married a Yolande de 
Corandeuil; so that, the first time he met Madame de Ber- 
genheim and her aunt, he claimed kinship with the old lady, 
securing her regard by sacrificing himself at whist with her. 
He was invited to call; and, as the Baron de Bergenheim was 
at his estate, pursuing his country duties and his hunting, 
Gerfaut could devote himself to the younger dame. Ma- 
dame de Bergenheim had admirers, but no lovers, and soon 
Gerfaut dared to intimate, to say, and at last to write, the senti- 
ment with which she inspired him. She never had loved even 
her handsome husband, whom she had married because he was 
an eligible parti, approved by her aristocratic aunt her guar- 
dian since orphaned childhood. But, while susceptible to the 
charm of this famous and fascinating young author, the lady 
was self-respecting and careful. She enjoyed attention, and 
though not seemingly responsive to his love, she did not repel 
or reprove it. One day, however, by her manner she incau- 
tiously betrayed a weakness she had not acknowledged to her- 
self, and he clasped her in his arms. The next day he had to 
go to Lyons, and she fled and took refuge with her husband. 
Gerfaut had not seen her since until this very day. 

On the morrow Marillac, who knew De Bergenheim well, 
called at the chateau; but, while he was making his visit, the 
Baron and Aline were out riding; her horse ran, and was stopped 
by a young gentleman, who was thrown against a tree, cutting 
his head. Of course he was taken to the chateau; and thus was 
Gerfaut introduced to the household, paeans of gratitude at- 
tending. Clemence received him politely, but coldly, and 
Gerfaut devoted himself to the rescued Aline and to Made- 
moiselle de Corandeuil. 

That night Clemence spent hours in her own apartment, 
contrasting her manly husband with the pale and rather tired- 
looking poet, whose intelligent eyes and arch smile were his 
only beauty. She reviewed all Christian's fine qualities, but, 
at last, burying her face in her pillow, sobbed "I cannot, I can- 
not love him!" and wept bitterly. Having virtuously deter- 
mined to plead illness and remain in her room the next day, 
hoping that Gerfaut would go, she arose, and from a secret 
closet in the wall-paneling took some letters of his, then return- 



CHARLES DE BERNARD 239 

ing to bed to enjoy a brief, sad happiness. But alas! the wine 
of the letters ran through her veins, and, closing her eyes, she 
murmured softly, "I love thee! I am thine !" 

The next day Clmence remained in bed, saying that she 
was ill with neuralgia. But Aline, and then Christian, came 
to her, begging her to get well, and to come down to dinner. 
They were followed by Mademoiselle de Corandeuil, scolding 
her for pretending illness just to show discourtesy to a man 
she disliked, although he was a relative. When the old lady 
had gone, Clmence leaped from her bed. 

"He has bewitched everybody," she cried; " Aline, my hus- 
band, my aunt to say nothing of myself. I shall end by 
going mad." And sitting at her desk she wrote, dashing her 
pen along, and ending with an energetic flourish. 

That evening, when Madame de Bergenheim accepted Ger- 
faut's arm from dinner to the drawing-room, she gave him 
her note. After reaching his room, he kissed it ecstatically. 
On opening it, he saw first the vigorous final word "Adieu!" 
Then he read it all, and raged inwardly, so that when Marillac 
came in, trying to joke with him, he broke forth. 

"She has treated me shamefully," he told Marillac. "This 
note was a most insolent dismissal. The woman is a monster. 
I hate her! I abhor her!" 

But, after he had unpacked his heart of its anger, sundry 
philosophical reflections upon woman's nature cooled Ger- 
faut's ire, and he affirmed that she loved him, and that it was 
written in eternity that she should be his. 

The next morning Marillac rode off early to meet the buxom 
daughter of the inn, to finish her portrait, in the woods. They 
were broken in upon by Lambernicr, the carpenter, in scornful 
mood. Marillac quarreled with him and struck him with his 
riding- whip, when the carpenter pulled out his compasses and 
rushed at his opponent. Marillac drew a poniard, and Lam- 
bernier halted. Then they talked. Finally Marillac gave him 
ten francs, promising ten napoleons if he should come at four 
o'clock the next Monday afternoon to the rocks above the park, 
with proof that Madame de Bergenheim had a lover which 
accusation had come out amid Lambernier's denunciations of 
the chateau and everyone in it. 



240 GERFAUT 

Festive entertainments enlivened the castle during the next 
few days. Cl^mence remained cool and polite, while Gerfaut 
tried to arouse her jealousy by attentions to the pretty Aline, 
and pleased the Baron by searching the library for material 
with which Marillac should engross a Bergenheim genealogical 
tree. Clmence began to fear him less, and to wonder what 
attraction he found in Aline. Gerfaut was bringing her to 
wish for an explanation. One day, none being about except 
the old lady in the drawing-room and Clmence in her boudoir, 
Gerfaut mounted a staircase from the library to a small ward- 
robe-room, separated only by a muslin-curtained glass door 
from Madame dc Bergenheim's private parlor. Clmence lay 
on her divan. Presently Aline came and talked with her, 
finally telling her that recently, when she teased her brother 
for a watch, he said: "It is hardly worth while now; when you 
are the Vicomtesse de Gerfaut your husband will give you one." 
Clemence assured Aline that her brother was joking: this led 
to sharp talk, during which Aline flung out of the room. While 
Gerfaut was considering whether he should enter, Clemence 
sprang up and hurried out. Gerfaut, returning to the library, 
presently heard from the drawing-room such a Niagara of 
piano-playing that he recognized the woman's way of relieving 
her mind. He went to the drawing-room door and listened. 
The storm gradually subsided to gentle melancholy, and then 
to tenderness and he entered. He was taken aback by seeing 
the old aunt asleep by the fireplace, but he passed on to the 
piano, and a mutual smile over the sleeper brought him into 
amicable relations with Clemence, who began with her right 
hand playing a dreamy waltz, while he deftly took up the bass 
with his left hand. Then, what could the two unoccupied 
hands do but gently join! Silently he raised her fingers to his 
lips. He was understood and forgiven. They sat happily a 
long time, without speaking, when suddenly a terrific trumpet- 
blast burst upon them. All sprang up, including the awakened 
old lady. It was Christian, who slowly pushed open the door. 

"Aha!" he cried. "You did not expect such an accom- 
paniment. Come, Vicomte, take a gun and come along. 
We're going to shoot in the woods before dinner." 

They set out the Baron, Gerfaut, Marillac, some neighbors, 



CHARLES DE BERNARD 241 

and the dogs. Some distance up the road they jumped a ditch 
to a field leading to the woods. Gerfaut saw Clemence strolling 
in the other direction, and in jumping he stumbled over a vine, 
twisting his foot, and fell. The Baron sent him back. Of 
course he found his lady; the interrupted drawing-room inter- 
view was renewed and completed with a final kiss, that sent 
Clemence to rapid flight. 

Gerfaut stood awhile, reflecting, and then, turning away 
from the chateau, climbed the river-rocks. But he quickly 
stopped, shocked to see the Baron in the bushes at the top, as 
if watching whom, was not clear. It was the afternoon when 
Lambernier was to meet Marillac on the rocks. On his way 
thither he had quarreled with two of the Bergenheim servants, 
stabbing one of them with his compasses. The Baron, passing 
through the woods, had seen this, and had cut off the carpenter's 
retreat, awaiting him at the top of the path. 

Lambernier soon appeared, haggard and bloody. Desper- 
ate at being halted, he again drew his compasses, but the 
Baron's leveled gun stopped that. Finally he threatened that, 
if delivered to the police, he would tell what the Baron would 
not like to have told. Forced to reveal it, he related how, at 
Maclamc's request, he had finished the paneling in her chamber 
with a secret closet; and how later, examining the wood-work 
for shrinkage, he had found in the closet some letters, one of 
which he had taken. 

" And what has that to do with your attempt at murder?" 

"Oh, nothing; only I thought you would not care to have 
people know that Madame has a lover. " 

The Baron paled, forced the letter from Lambernier, read 
it, and then told the carpenter that he might go. ''Leave the 
country," he said. "But if you breathe a word of this I shall 
find you, and kill you. Go!" And he pushed the man toward 
the downward path. But the push was so sudden and so un- 
intentionally vigorous, that Lambernier, weakened by struggles 
and emotions, fell, struck his head on the rocks, and with a 
shriek rolled into the river. Gerfaut had seen it ; but the unwitt- 
ing Baron, with a double torture in his heart, went gloomily home. 

That evening there was a men's hunting-supper at the cha- 
teau, and the guests became excited with wine, especially Maril- 
A.D., VOL. vi. 16 



242 GERFAUT 

lac; but two the gloomy Baron and the pale Gerfaut re- 
mained sober. At last, in his intoxicated vanity, Marillac began 
a story: subject, "The husband, the wife, and the lover." The 
more Gerfaut tried to stop him, the more he drunkenly persisted, 
until, when he called for water, Gerfaut filled his glass with the 
clear but potent Kirsch } and Marillac fell like a log. 

This broke up the party, and the Baron, who had been 
roused by the talk and the story, rushed out for air, and for 
reflection. After a while he went to his wife's chamber, and, 
sending her on an errand to her aunt, he opened the secret re- 
pository, read some of Gerfaut's later letters, and replaced 
them before her return. Then he told her he had to go away 
on business, but should return on Wednesday. 

All day Tuesday Ckfmence remained with her aunt; for it 
seemed base to take advantage of Christian's absence: and she 
spent the entire evening in her little parlor, dreaming of Gerfaut, 
but bitterly. She must choose between two abysses, shame in 
her love, or despair in her virtue. At midnight she heard a 
slight noise that petrified her. " It is he! " she thought. It was. 
As she felt Gerfaut's hands touch hers, she drew back and said: 

"You deceive me when you say you love me. I will accept 
only one proof of it go away ! ' ' 

Instead of going, he seized her in his arms. She reeled, 
and fell over, fainting. He bathed her temples and chafed her 
hands until the spasm relaxed, and unconsciously she passed her 
arm over his neck as he kneeled by the divan. When she was 
once again awake, she again repulsed him; but at last allowed 
him to sit beside her, and they talked in low tones. A distant 
noise startled her, but he calmed her, and they continued their 
loving discourse, until the glass door quietly opened, and Chris- 
tian stood on the threshold. Clemence fell lifeless to the floor. 

The Baion made a step backward. "Come, Monsieur/' 
he said ; and they silently left the room and traversed the castle 
to the Baron's apartment. 

As they faced each other, Gerfaut declared that he had en- 
tered Madame de Bergenheim's apartment without the slightest 
authorization from her. "There is only one guilty person in 
this affair," he said, "and I am the one. Necessity obliges me 
to admit a love that is an outrage to you, and I offer any rep- 



CHARLES DE BERNARD 243 

aration you demand. But I insist upon exculpating Madame 
de Bergenheim from any accusation against her reputation or 
her virtue." 

"As to her reputation I will watch over that," replied the 
Baron; "as to her virtue " and his face took on an ironical 
expression. 

Gerfaut passionately persisted in his defense of Cl^mence, 
but the Baron said: 

"Enough, Monsieur. A false oath under such circum- 
stances is no dishonor to you, but let us return to facts. One of 
us must die. I might have killed you, but that would have been 
inconvenient. It is necessary to guard my wife's name." And 
then he unfolded a plan for a boar-hunt, in which he and Ger- 
fant should be stationed fifty paces apart, and when he should 
cry "Take care!" as the boar sped by, one or the other should 
fire first. Gerfaut acceded, and a tossed coin gave the lover the 
first shot. The Baron asked that, whatever the result, it should 
all be kept profoundly secret. And Gerfaut, agreeing, asked 
the Baron's intentions concerning his wife, if he should survive, 
again asseverating her innocence. The Baron coldly denied 
his right to concern himself with that matter. 

"But I have ruined her," cried Gerfaut, "while her inno- 
cence is unsullied, and I will protect her." Then, leaning over 
the table, he said savagely, "You killed Lambernier!" 

Christian bounded back. 

"It is true, I am a gentleman and not an informer," pur- 
sued Gerfaut, "but I shall write a deposition of what I wit- 
nessed on the rocks, and place it in trustworthy hands. You 
will be watched after I am dead, and when you abuse your 
power over her the deposition will be given to the authorities 
and you will be condemned, thus giving her a legal separation 
from you. Yes: I will pick up this stone from the mud, and I 
will crush your head with it." 

When Gerfaut had departed, the Baron went to his wife, 
and, after making her swear to her innocence, got out Ger- 
faut's letters, and shamed her with them. A pebble struck her 
blinds. Christian ordered her to open them, when there came 
in another wrapped around a letter from Gerfaut a letter of 
farewell, and finally of a craving for pardon in that his love had 



244 GERFAUT 

ruined her life. This frightened Cl^mence, who saw that the 
men were to fight, and she begged Christian to kill her, and let 
that end it. But he cut her with sarcasms, and crushed her 
with reproaches, ending by cursing her if he being killed she 
should follow her lover. He left her more dead than alive. 

The next day was gloriously brilliant. The boar-hunt began 
in gaiety, which was checked by the dogs discovering the body 
of Lambernier, cast up by the current. One of the hunters, the 
public prosecutor, remained by the body to prepare a report, 
and the rest rode on, Gerfaut casting a keen glance at the Baron. 

The boar was located; the hunters were placed along his 
probable route; and, at the end, fifty paces apart, stood Ger- 
faut and the Baron. The dogs gave tongue; distant shots were 
heard; the trampling of the boar sounded from the wood. 

"Take care!" shouted the Baron, and after the report of a 
single gun, the boar vanished, and De Bergcnheim lay bleeding. 

The morning scene in the drawing-room showed Made- 
moiselle de Corandeuil reading, Aline at the piano, and 
Clmence embroidering. A disturbance in the court-yard 
aroused them, and Aline rushed out, soon coming back with 
a piercing shriek as the Baron was borne in. He roused, 
called his wife, and sent all others away. 

Clmence, racked with remorse, devoured with fever, knelt 
by her husband, begging him to live and to forgive her, while 
the Baron taunted her, savagely reproached her, and with his 
failing breath said: 

"Some women do not see their husband's blood on their 
lover's hands, but I would curse you" his eyes closed and his 
mouth frothed: "I would curse you I would curse " and 
Clmence rushed from him, and like an insane woman gazed 
at herself in the mirror. Her face, her hands, her clothing, were 
stained with blood. Then, in sheer madness, she ran out on 
to the balcony, and, before he died, De Bergenhcim heard his 
wife's body fall into the river. 

The world saw only a sad hunting accident, and the suicide 
of a devoted wife. Gerfaut wore his mourning in his heart, 
and the exquisite tone of his lyre was evermore softened by 
the sad memory of the woman he had loved and ruined. 



DANIEL DEFOE 

(England, 1661-1731) 
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE (1719) 

The most widely known work of fiction in any language, The Adventures 
of Robinson Crusoe, ran through four editions in four months after its publica- 
tion. A second part was then added, and a year later a third part, the "Serious 
Reflections" now rarely included in the volume. DeFoe was charged with hav- 
ing obtained the material for his masterpiece from Alexander Selkirk, a South 
Sea buccaneer, who in a quarrel with his captain was left (1704), by his own 
request, on the desolate island of Juan Fernandez, where he lived alone four 
years; but the whole construction of the story is proof that DeFoe obtained 
nothing more than a suggestion from Selkirk's experience. The association of 
Crusoe with Juan Fernandez has persisted in the general mind to the present 
time. The press continually refers to it as Crusoe's island. But the scene of 
DeFoe's story was a totally different one, on the northeast coast of South America, 
just off the mouth of the Orinoco. A charge was also made that the Crusoe 
story was written by DeFoe's patron, Lord Oxford, in 1715, while confined on an 
accusation of high treason in the Tower of London. It was also ascribed to 
Arbuthnot. Many imitations have appeared and the stage has seen its repre- 
sentation in various ways. 

WAS born in the year 1632 in the City of York 
of a good family, though not of that country, 
my father being a foreigner from Bremen, named 
Kreutzner. My mother was from York, of a 
family named Robinson, after whom I was called, 
that is to say, Robinson Kreutzner; but by a cor- 
ruption of the name such as is frequent in Eng- 
land, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves, 
and write our name, Crusoe. As I was the third 
son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head began to be 
filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father designed 
me for the law, but I would be satisfied with nothing but going 
to sea. When I was eighteen years old, being one day at Hull, 
whither I went casually, I met one of my companions then going 
to London by sea in his father's ship, who invited me to go with 

245 




246 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE 

him free. I consulted neither father nor mother nor so much 
as sent them word of it, but embarked on the first of September, 
1651. We had a storm; and, as I had never been at sea be- 
fore, I was most inexpressibly sick in body and terrified in mind. 
On the sixth day we came to anchor in Yarmouth Roads, and 
there it blew a terrible storm; and all the vessels around us, as 
well as our own, were in distress. Our ship at length was but 
a wreck upon the water; but another ventured a boat to help us, 
and with much difficulty we all got safe to shore. 

I now should have gone back to Hull; but my ill fate pushed 
me on with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and I went 
on board a vessel bound for Africa, not as a sailor, but as a 
gentleman and a friend of the Captain. This was the only 
voyage in all my adventures which I may say was successful. 
I then set up for a Guinea trader and resolved to make the 
voyage over again. But I was doomed to misfortune. Our 
ship was surprised in the gray of the morning by a Turkish 
rover of Sallee and we were carried all prisoners into that port, 
which belongs to the Moors. Being young and nimble I was 
kept by the Captain as his proper prize, and for two years I 
served him, continually thinking to make my escape. He 
caused the long-boat of our English ship to be comfortably made 
over to be used for cruising after fish; and we frequently went 
out in it for that purpose. One day this boat was provided 
extraordinarily for a pleasure cruise; but his guests put off 
going; and I was ordered to go out with a man and boy as usual 
and catch some fish, for his friends were to sup at his house. 1 
prepared not for fishing but for a voyage I knew not where: 
anywhere to get out of this place. We put out, and I maneu- 
vered to get as far away as possible and then brought to as if I 
would fish. Then, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward 
to where the Moor was and took him by surprise, with my arm 
under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. 
He swam like a cork, begged to be taken in, and would have 
reached me very quickly, there being little wind; but I stepped 
into the cabin and fetching a fowling-piece, presented it at him, 
and told him I had done him no hurt. "But," said I, "you 
swim well enough to reach the shore, and the sea is calm; make 
the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but 



DANIEL DEFOE 247 

if you come near the boat I will shoot you through the head." 
So he turned himself about and swam for the shore; and I make 
no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent 
swimmer. 

I would have been content to take this Moor with me and 
drown the boy; but there was no venturing to trust him, and the 
boy, Xury, swore to be faithful to me and to go all over the 
world with me. We kept the boat's course down the coast of 
Africa, from time to time going on shore for water and meeting 
with some negroes, who offered me no harm. After twenty-five 
days or more, doubling a point at about two leagues from the 
land, I saw plainly land on the other side to leeward. I con- 
cluded this was the Cape de Verd and those the islands called 
from thence Cape de Verd Islands. I now could not tell what 
I had best do; but in this dilemma a sail appeared. They saw 
my signals, and in about three hours I came up with them. It 
was a Portuguese ship; and the Captain treated me very gener- 
ously and told me he would take me free with him to the Brazils, 
whither he was bound. He bought my boat for eighty pieces 
of eight and gave me sixty pieces of eight for my boy Xury, with 
an obligation to set him free in ten years if the boy turned 
Christian. In the Brazils I sold all those things which I had 
brought away from the Moors, and resolved to turn planter. 

When I had prospered here about four years, some of my 
fellow-planters, knowing I had been on the coast of Africa, pro- 
posed secretly to fit out a ship to go to Guinea to secure negroes 
for their plantations. If I would go as supercargo, they offered 
to give me an equal share of the negroes without my providing 
any part of the stock. I told them I would go with all my 
heart if they would undertake to look after my plantation in 
my absence, and would dispose of it as I should direct if I mis- 
carried. I also made a will. In short, I took all possible pre- 
caution to preserve my effects and to keep up my plantation. 
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, 
carried six guns and fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, 
and myself. We set sail, standing away to the northward. In 
about twelve days' time we passed the line and were by our 
last observation in 7 22' north latitude, when a violent tornado 
took us quite out of our knowledge. We could do nothing but 



248 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE 

drive before the hurricane, which settled in the northeast. 
When the weather abated a little, the master found that he was 
upon the north part of Brazil, toward the river Orinoco. 

We resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; but when we 
were in latitude 12 18', a second storm carried us westward. 
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men 
early in the morning cried out, "Land!" and we had no sooner 
run out of the cabin than the ship struck upon the sand; and 
in a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over 
her in such manner that we were driven into our close quarters. 
We knew nothing of where we were. The boat we had at our 
stern broke away; but we had another on board which we flung 
over the ship's side; and all getting into her we let go, and com- 
mitted ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and 
the wild sea. After we had driven about a league and a half, 
a raging wave came rolling astern and took us with such fury 
that it overset the boat at once; and separating us, as well from 
the boat as from one another, gave us hardly time to say " O 
God!" for we were all swallowed up in a moment. The wave 
carried me a vast way on toward the shore, and went back only 
to come on me again and again, the shore being very flat. At 
last I got to the mainland and sat me down on the grass, free 
from danger. Then I walked about on the shore lifting up my 
hands, my whole being, as I may say, wrapped up in the con- 
templation of my deliverance. As for my comrades, I never 
saw them afterward or any sign of them, except three of their 
hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows. 

About a furlong from the shore I found some fresh water, 
to my great joy. The night I passed in a tree with a truncheon 
for my defense. When I waked it was broad day, the weather 
clear, and the storm abated. By the swelling of the tide the 
ship was driven within a mile of the shore, seeming now to stand 
upright, so that I wished myself on board that I might save some 
necessary things for my use. I saw the ship's boat tossed on the 
land about two miles on my right, but an inlet of water, I found, 
lay between. A little after noon the sea became very calm, and 
the tide ebbed so far out that I could come within a quarter of 
a mile of the ship. I pulled off my clothes and took to the 
water; for though it was October the weather was hot to ex* 



DANIEL DEFOE 249 

tremity. By the help of a rope I got into the forecastle. First 
I found that all the ship's provisions were dry; and being well 
disposed to eat, I filled my pockets with biscuit and ate as I went 
about. Instead of a boat, I flung over some spars and made a 
raft of them. On this I laid all the planks and boards I could 
get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I loaded 
my raft with provisions, viz., bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, 
five pieces of dried goat's flesh, and some other like things. 
There had been some barley and wheat together; but to my 
great disappointment, I found that the rats had eaten or spoiled 
it all. As for liquors, I found several cases of bottles belonging 
to our skipper, and these I stowed by themselves. Of clothes 
I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present 
use. After long searching, I found the carpenter's chest and 
took that. My next care was for ammunition and arms. There 
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin and two 
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns and a 
small bag of shot and two rusty swords. With much search I 
found three barrels of powder, two of them dry and good; the 
third had taken water. Those two I got on the raft, with the 
arms. 

Having found two or three broken oars belonging to the 
boat, and, besides the tools in the chest, two saws, an ax, and 
a hammer, I put to sea with this cargo. I saw the mouth of a 
little river, where I succeeded in landing in a small cove on the 
right-hand side. My next work was to view the country and 
seek a proper place to build my habitation and store my goods 
to secure them from whatever might happen. Whether I was 
on a continent or an island I knew not, nor whether the land 
was inhabited. I traveled for discovery to the top of a hill; 
there I saw my fate, to my great affliction, viz., that I was on an 
island environed every way with the sea, with two small islands 
which lay about three leagues to the west. 

I made eleven voyages to the ship and brought away all that 
one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring; but 
the twelfth time the wind rose very hastily and soon it blew a 
storm. But I returned home to my little tent, where I lay with 
all my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that 
night and in the morning when I looked out, behold, no more 



250 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE 

ship was to be seen. I now made for my dwelling a strong 
place like a fortification, semicircular before a large rock, with 
strong stakes in two rows about six inches apart, which inter- 
vening space I filled in up to the top with pieces of cable from 
the ship. The entrance to it was by a short ladder over the 
top, which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over after me. Here 
I placed all my possessions, and I made within a large hut to 
preserve me from the rains, with a tarpaulin over the top. I 
discovered that there were goats on the island, very shy, but 
I finally killed one. I divided my powder into near a hundred 
parcels laid in different places, in hope that whatever might 
come it might not all take fire at once. I had a dismal prospect 
before me. In this desolate place, and in this desolate man- 
ner, I should end my days. The tears would run plentifully 
down my face when I made these reflections. To prevent los- 
ing my reckoning, I cut with my knife upon a large post which 
I made into a cross and set up on the shore where I had first 
landed: viz., "I came on shore here on the 3oth of September, 
1659." Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a 
notch with my knife, and every seventh day was as long again 
as the rest, and every first day of the month as long again as 
that long one. We had in the ship a dog and two cats. I car- 
ried both cats with me and the dog swam to shore, so now I had 
their company. I found pens, ink, and paper in rummaging 
the chests, and I kept a journal, till having no more ink I was 
forced to leave it off. This place I called the Island of Despair. 
Having no light, I made a little dish out of clay, which I baked 
in the sun, and with the tallow of the goat and some oakum for 
a wick I made me a lamp; and this gave me a light, though not 
like a candle. The bag of corn, or what was left by the rats, I 
emptied by my rock, needing the bag for another purpose. 
There was liitle besides dust and husks in it ; but about a month 
afterward, the great rain having set in, I saw some stalks of 
something green shooting out of the ground. After a little 
longer time I saw that it was English barley and rice. I care- 
fully saved the seed and in successive years so husbanded it that 
I came to have crops of a goodly magnitude. 

When I went to explore the other or west side of my island, 
it being a clear day I fairly descried land. It lay very high and 



DANIEL DEFOE 



25* 



was not less than fifteen or twenty leagues off. Whether it was 
an island or continent I could not tell, though I knew it must 
be a part of America. I soon left off afflicting myself with use- 
less wishes of being there. I was comfortable in my island with 
meat and food in plenty, then why go there, perhaps among 
wild savages? But nevertheless I made a large canoe from the 
trunk of a tree. Many a weary stroke it cost me; and then I 
could neither get it down to the sea nor the sea up to it, and so 
I left it. This was in my fourth year on the island. The cloth- 
ing I had brought from the wreck now was near worn out, but 
I had saved the skins of all the creatures I had killed, and from 
these I made a cap and a suit of clothes. And I made an um- 
brella, as I was in great want of one, and covered it with skins, 
the hair upward, which both shed the rain and kept off the sun 
effectually. For five years more I lived on in the same course 
just as before, and I built another canoe, but a smaller one. I 
filled a mast in this and went on a cruise around my island. 
As I came near being carried out to sea, I made no more long 
voyages in this craft. It was in the eleventh year of my 
residence that I trapped three kids and reared them; and in 
about a year and a half I had about twelve goats, and in 
two years more I had forty-three. Sometimes I had a gallon 
of milk a day. 

It happened one day about noon, going toward my boat, I 
was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot 
on the shore. I stood like one thunderstruck. I listened, I 
looked round me, but I could hear nothing nor see anything. 
I slept none that night thinking of how this footprint got there. 
For two years I lived in apprehension. Then, going to a part 
I had not before visited, I was confounded to find the shore 
spread with skulls, hands, feet, and other bones of human bodies; 
and there was a spot near where a fire had been. I had been 
here now almost eighteen years, and I observed that these 
wretches who had sat at their inhuman feastings never came 
to search for what they could get, and I might be here eighteen 
years more as entirely concealed as now. In the month of De- 
cember of my twenty-third year on the island I was going out 
early in the morning and was surprised by the light of some fire 
on the shore. It proved to be from the fire of nine naked sav- 



252 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE 

ages, whom I could see with my perspective glass from my safe 
position. As soon as the tide was right they took to their canoes 
and paddled away. I then examined the place and also the 
spot where I had first found signs of them, and all about I saw 
the marks of horror the blood, the bones, and part of the flesh 
of human bodies, eaten and devoured by these wretches with 
merriment and sport. I was so filled with indignation that I 
now began to premeditate the destruction of the next that I 
saw there, let them be how many soever. 

It was the next year that I saw them again, just after the 
wreck of an unfortunate ship on the rocks. All from the ship 
were lost, to my deep regret. From the wreck I obtained many 
stores as well as a great deal of money, which I put with that 
which I had obtained from our own vessel. Following this I 
was surprised one morning to see no less than five canoes all :>n 
shore together and at least thirty savages with a fire kindled 
and meat dressed, as I plainly saw with my perspective glass. 
Two wretches were brought out for slaughter, one knocked 
down immediately; and two or three set to work cutting him 
open for their cookery, while the other victim was left standing 
by himself. This one suddenly darted away and ran with in- 
credible swiftness along the sands directly toward me. He 
outstripped his pursuers exceedingly, only two at last following 
him. It came upon my thoughts that now was the time to get 
me a servant. With my two guns I placed myself in the way, 
hallooing aloud to him that fled and beckoning him to come 
on. Rushing upon the foremost pursuer I knocked him down 
with the stock of my piece. The other fixed an arrow to his 
bow but I killed him at the first shot. The savage who fled 
was so frightened that he stood stock-still. I got him to come 
to me a little at a time, and then he kneeled down, kissed the 
ground, and set my foot on his head. The savage I had knocked 
down now revived. Upon this the one I had rescued spoke 
some words to me, and though I could not understand them, 
yet I thought they were pleasant to hear; for they were the first 
sound of man's voice that I had heard, my own excepted, for 
above twenty-five years. My savage, for so I called him now, 
made a motion to me to lend him my sword, which I did. He 
no sooner had it but at one blow he cut off his enemy's head 



DANIEL DEFOE 253 

so cleverly no executioner in Germany could have done it bet- 
ter. Then he came laughing to me in sign of triumph. He 
was a comely fellow of a tawny color, and he had a very good 
countenance. In a little while I taught him to speak to me, 
and I let him know his name should be Friday, which was the 
day I saved his life. I likewise taught him to call me Master. 
He was the aptest scholar that ever was. Now my life began 
to be so easy that could I have been safe from more savages I 
cared not if I was never to remove from the place where I lived. 
But I determined to go to the land to the west, which Friday 
said was his; and we built a canoe for that purpose. This plan 
was frustrated by the arrival of another band of savages with a 
bearded man as a captive. There were twenty of these wretches 
this time; but with Friday I attacked them, and with the fire- 
arms routed them and saved the man. The living fled to their 
canoes and escaped. In a canoe that was left behind we found 
another living victim. When Friday saw this man he went 
into a frenzy of joy, for it was his father. The bearded man 
was a Spaniard, one of seventeen who had been wrecked on the 
mainland, his companions being still alive there, but sore pressed 
for necessaries. 1 planned to send him and Friday's father 
over to get them to come to my island; but he was not to bring 
any man who would not first swear that he would in no way 
injure me. While waiting for his return I discovered a ship 
one day at anchor about two leagues distant from me. This 
turned out to be an English vessel with a mutinous crew, who 
brought their captain on shore to kill him. By my strategy 
and timely help the wretches were overpowered and some of 
them killed; and he regained his command, whereupon he said, 
as I was his deliverer, the ship and all that belonged to her were 
mine. I was at first ready to sink down with surprise, for I 
saw my deliverance. It was then arranged that I should de- 
part with my man Friday in this ship, while several of the worst 
of the mutineers were left there. And thus I left the island 
the nineteenth of December, after I had been upon it eight and 
twenty years, two months and nineteen days. I arrived, a per- 
fect stranger to all the world, in England the eleventh of June, 
1687, having been thirty-five years absent. 

My estate had been well administered and I found myself 



254 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE 

a rich man. After some eventful travel on the Continent, re- 
turning from Lisbon, I settled down in England and married, 
and had three children; but my wife dying I went on a voyage 
as a private trader, on the eighth of January, 1695. I visited 
my island and took out supplies for those who might be there. 
The Spaniards had come over and with the mutineers, who had 
taken wives from among some savages, the population was 
greatly increased. I was able to arrange the troubles that had 
beset the island during my absence, and I left them all in good 
circumstances and in a flourishing condition and proceeded 
on my voyage after twenty-five days among them. On the way 
to the Brazils poor Friday was killed by savages who attacked 
us. From the Brazils we made the Cape of Good Hope, then 
Madagascar and so on, with some adventure, around to the 
China coast. While in the city of Nanquin I saw a great cara- 
van of Muscovite and Polish merchants preparing to start by 
land to Moscow; and I resolved to join them, which, indeed, I 
did, and spent that winter at Tobolsk! in Siberia, letting the 
caravan go on. The following year I went on to Archangel, 
whence I sailed for Hamburg. From there I went to The Hague 
where I got passage for London, arriving there the tenth of 
January, 1705, having been absent from England ten years and 
nine months. And here I resolved to prepare for a longer 
journey than all these, having lived a life of infinite variety for 
seventy-two years, and learned sufficiently to know the value of 
retirement and the blessing of ending our days in peace. 



STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 

(France, 1746-1830) 
LOUISA DE CLERMONT (1802) 

This story, which appeared in a series of moral tales by the author, is 
characteristic of a style of thought and speech in vogue at the time of its produc- 
tion. It was translated into English in 1825. The character of Louisa de 
Clermont was drawn from life, this heroine being an interesting historical per- 
son, sister of the Duke of Concle", who was Prime Minister during the minority 
of Louis XV. 

^OUISA DE CLERMONT had received from 
nature and fortune every enviable endowment. 
She had royal birth, enchanting beauty, and a 
meekness and equability of temper seldom met 
with in persons of her rank and station. Pos- 
sessing great intellect and a soul of deep 
sensibility, she was simple and unaffected in 
her ways and was admired and beloved by all 
who knew her. 
At the ago of twenty Louisa de Clermont, a princess in rank, 
a favorite of the King, and courted by many suitors, was as yet 
untouched by love or passion. Her brother, who was Prime 
Minister, and with whom she made her home, was her only 
relative, and on account of the superiority to which his age and 
character entitled him, he was regarded by his sister with timid- 
ity and reserve. 

With this brother she visited Chantilly, a place rich in nat- 
ural beauties, which comprised, besides an excess of social 
magnificence, the rural seclusion and peaceful retreats that 
appeal to the heart of the sentimentalist. In this beguiling 
place, Mademoiselle de Clermont, who had always loved books, 
found her taste for them becoming a passion, and devoted a 
large portion of her time to this congenial pursuit. Besides the 

255 




256 LOUISA DE CLERMONT 

enjoyment that she herself derived from this source, she added 
much to the pleasure of others by frequently reading aloud 
from her favorite romances. On these occasions the favored 
company never failed to praise the exquisite manner in which 
she rendered her selections, and she was warmly applauded by 
her admiring audiences, who alternately wept and smiled. 

One man alone, who was always present at these readings, 
preserved a frigid and melancholy silence, and his apparent 
indifference did not escape the notice of Mademoiselle de Cler- 
mont. This was the Due de Melun, the last descendant of an 
illustrious house. His character and virtues gave him personal 
consideration independent of his fortune and birth, and he was 
endowed with a noble form, expressive features, and a brilliant 
mind. In society his manner was apt to be distant and re- 
served, his indifference, however, not being caused by pride or 
disdain, but by his entire lack of dissimulation and of the en- 
deavor to captivate. In spite of his coldness, he was generally 
beloved and respected, and Mademoiselle de Clermont realized 
with an emotion of pain that he was the only one who withheld 
from her his tribute of applause. She finally inquired of his 
relative, the Marchioness de G , as to the cause of his aloof- 
ness, and learned that he did not listen to her reading, but re- 
mained in the room simply because the atmosphere was more 
quiet than that of the billiard-hall or the saloon. Piqued by 
this information, she resolved to question the Duke with regard 
to the matter, and find out whether the frivolous character of her 
reading repelled him. 

Upon being interrogated, the Duke was astonished and re- 
mained for a moment speechless, and then recovering from his 
confusion, said: 

"I see, without pain, people of middling condition and 
talents squander their youthful faculties in vain and frivolous 
pursuits; but this abuse of them in persons whom rank and 
superiority elevate above others afflicts me most sensibly. 
Mademoiselle orders me to lay my heart open to her; she now 
has read it." 

The Duke pronounced these last words feelingly. Made- 
moiselle de Clermont blushed, looked down, and was silent. 

The next day, at the reading-hour, a novel was handed to 



STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 257 

Mademoiselle de Clermont, which she had begun the evening 
before. 

"I am tired of novels/' said she, looking at the Due de 
Melun. "Can we not read something more useful and im- 
proving ?" 

A volume of history was brought, which she began with a 
look of interest and attention which did not escape the Duke. 
That evening at the supper-table she placed him at her side. 
They were both silent until the general gaiety became so ex- 
cited as to favor a private conversation. 

"You saw, a while ago,' 7 said Mademoiselle de Clermont, 
"that I know how to benefit by the advice that is given to me; 
I hope this fact will encourage you." 

"The fear of displeasing you," answered the Duke, "can 
alone repress my zeal; sanctioned by you, I feel that hereafter 
it will be boundless." 

These words, uttered with warmth, affected Mademoiselle 
de Clermont; and a look of feeling was her only answer. Never 
had she felt so lively a desire to please, and she displayed that 
evening all the fascinations of her wit. On his side, the Duke 
astonished her by a vivacity which she had never observed in 
him before, and by the choice, as well as delicacy, of his ex- 
pressions. 

The following days, Mademoiselle de Clermont dared not 
show for the Due de Melun that preference which would not 
have escaped the prying eyes of courtiers, but she lavished her 

attentions on the Marchioness de G , cousin to the Duke, 

whom he had loved from his infancy. In friendship, as well as 
in love, princesses are obliged to make the first overtures, but the 
Duke, who appreciated the distance in rank that lay between 
them, dared not give rein to the fancies with which this intimacy 
inspired him. 

Although Mademoiselle de Clermont, who was surrounded 
by her attendants, found difficulty in indulging in any private 
interviews, she did on one occasion succeed in eluding her 
companions and joined the Marchioness and the Duke in 
an evening walk. This event proved most enjoyable and 
Mademoiselle de Clermont found herself becoming more and 
more interested in her new friend. 

A.D., VOL. vi. 17 



258 LOUISA DE CLERMONT 

While she and the Duke were conversing together they were 
interrupted by an elderly man who approached Mademoiselle, 
presented her with a petition which he said was of great im- 
portance, and begged her to secure for him her brother's signa- 
ture that very evening. With this request she gracefully com- 
plied, assuring the man that his commission should be executed 
without fail. Upon returning to the castle, however, she became 
interested in discussing the fancy-dress ball that was to take 
place later in the evening, and learning that her new ball-gown 
had arrived during her absence, she hurriedly went to her room. 
In her haste the petition was completely forgotten, and was 
left lying on the table, where the Duke found it and took it into 
his possession. 

Louisa de Clermont arrayed herself for the ball with most 
joyful anticipations as she looked forward to the attentions of 
the Duke, who was accounted one of the best dancers at court, 
and to whom she was desirous of displaying her own accom- 
plishments in that line. What were her disappointment and 
chagrin, when she appeared in her dazzling attire, which won 
for her universal admiration, to learn that the only person whose 
applause she desired had absented himself from the ball. Irri- 
tated and vexed, she endeavored to assume a gaiety that she did 
not feel; but after a time this effort became irksome and she 
left the ball, filled with unconquerable disgust and with the 
desire to be alone. 

Sorrowful reflections filled her thoughts during the remain- 
der of the night, and rising early the following morning she was 
setting out for a walk when she was confronted by the man 
who had given her the petition the night before. Her first feel- 
ing was that of acute self-reproach for her forgetfulness, but 
to her astonishment the man approached her with a beaming 
face and, thanking her, told her that to her goodness he owed 
the happiness of his future life. 

When she questioned him on the subject he responded that 
the Due de Melun had condescended to hand him the petition 
with his signature affixed, telling him he was indebted to the 
kindness of Mademoiselle de Clermont for this fortunate con- 
clusion. 

Louisa de Clermont at once sought her brother, who con- 



STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 259 

firmed the man's statement that the Duke's intercession had 
procured his desired signature, and she was overcome by her 
varied emotions. Seeking the Duke at her earliest opportunity, 
she acknowledged her shame and mortification and said that 
in reparation of her fault she would make a vow to pass a whole 
year without dancing. 

Soon after this conversation the Duke, realizing how deep 
his infatuation was becoming for the lovely Princess, decided 
that he must tear himself away from her before he had betrayed 
the secret of his heart. Besides feeling that it was dishonorable 
to try to win the affection of one destined for a royal alliance, 
he was opposed to offending the Duke her brother, who was a 
warm friend, and to whom he felt he owed a strict allegiance. 
Accordingly, he returned to Paris, causing Mademoiselle de 
Clermont to experience such melancholy and ennui that she 
hailed with joy the day that conducted her back to the capital. 

After her return, she saw with solicitude that the Duke 
shunned her society, but this fact only attracted her more 
strongly to him. Winter was approaching, and a dress ball 
was announced at Versailles, in which the King, condescending 
to dance a quadrille, selected Mademoiselle de Clermont for his 
partner. The favored lady, however, remembering her vow, 
notified the court that a sprained ankle would prevent her 
dancing at the coming ball and would oblige her to keep her 
room for six weeks; and this position she maintained for that 
period, reclining on her sofa and receiving her friends who 
flocked to do her homage. When visited by the Duke she ex- 
plained to him her stratagem, and he was greatly overcome by 
this proof of her loyalty. 

From this time he was assiduous in his attentions, and finally 
on one occasion, finding himself alone with her, he threw him- 
self upon his knees and declared that human reason could no 
longer withstand the feelings that were agitating him. Before 
the lovers were able to indulge in any further conversation, 
steps were heard approaching ; but this interruption did not pre- 
vent the vehement words, " Forever/' which fell from Made- 
moiselle de Qermont's lips, while the response, "Till death," 
came in the passionate accents of the Duke. 

The recollection of this scene engrossed the whole soul of 



2<5o LOUISA DE CLERMONT 

Mademoiselle de Clermont. Nothing now could affright her. 
She saw her lover faithful till death, and thenceforth no obstacle 
could daunt her. 

In the mean time, the Duke, reflecting upon his infatuation, 
was struck with horror at his own weakness. He was thirty, 
was one of her brother's friends, and possessed his full confi- 
dence; he was under the highest personal obligations to him, 
and he had just declared an extravagant passion to his sister, 
to a Princess of the blood, youthful and inexperienced. He 
knew that, even at that moment, her brother was engaged in a 
negotiation, the object of which was to form a matrimonial 
connection between Mademoiselle de Clermont and a crowned 
head. Under these circumstances, to take advantage of her 
partiality for him, to seduce her affections, was to mar her bril- 
liant destiny, and to be wanting in all the duties of gratitude 
and honesty. He hesitated not for a moment to sacrifice his 
love to his duty; but how could he restrain, how hope to conceal 
it, after his imprudence of the preceding evening? As the result 
of these reflections, he addressed to Mademoiselle de Clermont 
a letter, couched in the following terms: 

" MADEMOISELLE: 

"Yesterday, I was but a madman; to-day, I should be the vilest of men 
if I felt aught but the deepest remorse. Would that, at the expense of my 
blood, I could recall the rash and guilty avowal; but I swear, at least, even by 
the feelings that have led me astray, hereafter to preserve an eternal silence. 
This idea, become my only resource, will make everything possible to me. I 
will exile myself, but it shall be for your repose, for your reputation, for your 
glory; I shall suffer, but it will be for you Ah! fulfil your noble destiny, and 
do not pity me. During six months, has not my very existence been identified 
with yours ? Is it not as indispensable for me to see you the object of universal 
admiration, as it is for me to preserve my own esteem ? Live happy, live peace- 
ful, and my own fate will yet be enviable. 

"DE MELUN." 

He had just finished this letter, when a page entered and 
handed him a note from the Princess, the first he had ever 
received from her. He opened it with extreme perturbation to 
find it merely contained a few formal lines, but upon examining 
it further, to his great surprise, he discovered stamped upon 



STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 261 

the sealing-wax his own words, "Till death." This note was 
followed by another, which was in response to his own, and this 
bore simply the words, " Forever." 

This affecting billet he kissed passionately and, putting it 
in his bosom, said: "Thou shalt remain there till the last flutter 
of this agonized heart is over." 

Soon after this he took his departure, but after an absence 
of several months returned to find the love between himself 
and Mademoiselle de Clermont unabated. He departed again, 
this time to return and find her the victim of a violent illness 
brought on by her disappointment and sorrow. 

His anguish was extreme when he learned of her pitiable 
plight, and he haunted her bedchamber, listening to her fevered 
accents. The disease, a dangerous case of measles, had proved 
almost fatal when one day he stole a short interview with her in 
the absence of her nurse, and this caused a crisis, which was 
followed by her recovery. 

The Duke himself contracted the disease and after a severe 
illness was forced to seek health in a milder climate, where he 
remained many months. Upon his return, Mademoiselle de 
Clermont and her brother were on the point of setting out for 
another sojourn in Chantilly, and he had the pleasure of accom- 
panying them. 

With what joy the Princess found herself again at Chantilly 
with her lover! After two years of love, surrounded by diffi- 
culties, and strengthened by mental sacrifices, what happiness 
to be at last together! The only way that they could secure any 
private interview was by meeting at the cottage of one of the 
Princess's dairymaids, who had been taken into their confidence, 
and finally a secret marriage in this place was decided upon. 

After this event, great preparations were made at Chantilly 
for the coming of the King, who was to pass a few days there. 
During the festivities that attended his arrival the most con- 
spicuous ornament was Mademoiselle de Clermont, whose 
loveliness was so enhanced by her perfect happiness that she 
attracted all eyes, and the young King singled her out for his 
attentions. 

The devotion of the Duke was noted by her brother with 
much displeasure, and on the occasion of a stag-hunt in which 



262 LOUISA DE CLERMONT 

all were to participate, he approached his sister as she was 
about to enter her carriage and sternly commanded that she 
should forbid the Duke to follow her calash. 

This command filled the Princess with agitation and alarm, 
and as soon as her husband approached her she leaned toward 
him and whispered: " Leave me; go and rejoin the King and 
my brother; this evening I will tell you why." 

The Duke made no further inquiry; but saying that he in- 
tended to join the hunt by the shortest route, he took leave of 
the Princess, and set off at full gallop, followed by a single 
groom. Before entering a little side alley, he turned his head 
and looked at the Princess, who followed him with her eyes. 
This sad look was a last, an eternal adieu. He entered the 
fatal alley and disappeared forever. At the end of two or three 
minutes a piercing shriek was heard, and at the same moment 
the Duke's groom was seen coming at full speed toward them. 
The calash stopped, while, pale and trembling, Mademoiselle 
de Clermont interrogated the groom, who exclaimed that the 
Duke had just been unhorsed and wounded by the stag, which 
had burst through the alley. 

The unfortunate Princess, stupefied by grief and despair, 
indicated that she wished to alight. She was supported out of 
the carriage; she could neither speak nor stand, and they placed 
her at the foot of a tree. She again expressed, by a gesture, 
that they should all hurry to the Duke's assistance, with the 
calash, and she was immediately obeyed. The Marchioness, 
in tears, placed herself on her knees beside her, and, supporting 
her fainting head on her bosom, told her they were far from the 
castle, and that the Duke would be promptly succored. Made- 
moiselle de Clermont, looking at the Marchioness, with an air 
of stupefaction, said: 

"It is I who told him to leave me!" 

With these words, she made an attempt to rise, intending to 
go toward the fatal spot, but she fell back into the arms of the 
Marchioness. 

In a short time the news was brought that the Duke, though 
seriously wounded, still lived; and the Princess, who refused to 
return to the gaiety of the castle, remained for several hours 
in the forest accompanied by her ladies in waiting. 



STEPHANIE DE GENLIS 263 

When returning to the castle the first thing that greeted her 
was the sound of the funeral bell, which announced the admin- 
istration of the last sacraments to the dying. With death in 
her heart, the Princess alighted, and saying, "At least I shall 
see him once more," joined the procession of priests that was 
then crossing the courtyard. As they entered the palace they 
met the Duke, her brother, hastening to meet the procession, 
and he was greatly surprised and displeased to note his sister's 
presence. He at once requested her to withdraw, and on her 
refusing to do so, he waited until they had reached the Duke's 
apartments, and then, drawing her into an anteroom, forbade 
her to enter the dying man's chamber. 

The Princess then proclaimed that the Duke was her hus- 
band, to the astonishment and rage of her brother, who still 
declined to allow her to go to him. Finally, persuaded that the 
injured man was in no immediate danger, the Princess returned 
to her own apartment, where later the news of her husband's 
death was brought to her by his confidential servant, who also 
presented a letter from his dead master. 

The wretched Princess threw herself on her knees to re- 
ceive it, and rallying the little strength that remained to her, 
she opened the fatal scroll ; it was the first note she had formerly 
written to her lover, which contained only these words: " For- 
ever!" But her dying husband, before he uttered the last 
sigh, had also retraced, on the note, his own declaration, add- 
ing these affecting words: "I deposit in your hands all I held 
most sacred. Farewell; forget not him who loved you 'Till 
death!' " 



EDMOND AND JULES DE GONCOURT 

(France, 1822-1896; 1830-1870) 
RENEE MAUPERIN (1864) 

In a preface to an edition of this novel published in 1875, Edmond de Gon- 
court writes: "Would not the title under which we first announced this book, 
The Young Bourgeoisie, have been better than the present? Did it not better 
define the psychological analysis of the contemporaneous youth which we have 
attempted? It is now too late to change the name, but I wish to warn the 
possible reader that, unlike other novels, the plot of this story is secondary. 
The authors have rather preferred to paint, with the least amount of literary 
elaboration, the modern young woman as she is; the product of the artistic and 
masculine system of education in force during the last thirty years. We have 
also attempted to portray the modern young college man influenced by the 
republican ideas of the time since Louis Philippe." 

DISLIKE society; perhaps it is that I have met 
only poor representatives of it. My brother's 
friends do nothing but quote. As to the women, 
with them you can only discuss the latest sermon, 
the latest concert, or the latest fashion in dress"; 
and Rene turned in the water toward the man 
who was swimming beside her. 

"Nor must you read," she continued; " every- 
thing you undertake has its limits of decency. 
I paint in oils; everybody is shocked. I ought only to paint 
roses in water-colors. To swim here is indecent; on the sea- 
shore it would be quite proper. Why should the waters of the 
Seine be indecent?" 

Rente's father, Charles Louis Mauperin, born in 1787, was 
of good family, and had been educated for the army. He had 
participated in the Russian campaign, and had undergone all 
the vicissitudes of the politics of that time. He had married a 
cousin, by whom he had a boy, and a year later a girl. To these 
children he remained indifferent; for the boy developed into 
an effeminate prig, while the girl was an intellectual nonentity. 

264 




EDMOND AND JULES DE GONCOURT 265 

Several years later Rene was born; and on her Mauperin 
centered all his affections. Rende was now twenty, and heiress 
of a fair fortune. 

Her sister had married and lived an empty society life. 
Now all Madame Mauperin's efforts were engaged in finding 
a suitable match for Renee. But Rende was a wilful child. 
Every eligible man presented to her she soon shocked by 
some exceptionally unconventional bit of behavior. Her mother 
was each time indignant; but her father was secretly pleased 
and encouraged her, seconded by an old family friend, Denoisel. 

Denoisel was a true Parisian, a middle-aged man who lived 
economically on the income from a small fortune. He was 
clever, intelligent, and universally esteemed. He came often 
to the Mauperins' and was an intimate friend of Renee. 

In disgust, Madame Mauperin turned her attention to her 
son, Henri. He was a discreet young man; he had made up 
his mind that the way to good position was through an ad- 
vantageous marriage, and he frequented those social functions 
that seemed likely to serve his purpose. His mother adored him; 
his every action was to her perfect. 

Renee had undertaken to organize an amateur theatrical 
company, and had chosen Le Caprice to be played; but it was 
difficult to find women suitable for the parts. Henri, who had 
volunteered to play, casually suggested that Noemi Bourjot be 
invited into the company. Rene was delighted, for Noemi 
had been her school comrade, though Madame Bourjot had 
displayed a decided coldness toward Madame Mauperin. 

Renee persuaded her mother to visit the Bourjots, who 
lived showily in a luxurious, fashionable house. Madame 
Bourjot this time received her cordially, deploring the length 
of time between her visits. Henri had been coming frequently 
to her salons. She eagerly consented to her daughter's taking 
part in the amateur theatricals. 

The rehearsals were under DenoiseFs management. Noemi, 
a shy girl, of a tender, timid nature, attended; and she and 
Rene renewed the intimacy of their school-days. 

At last came the evening of the performance; and the salon 
of the Mauperins was crowded with a brilliant assembly of 
bejeweled women. Madame Bourjot feared that Noemi's timid- 



266 RENEE MAUPERIN 

ity would cause her to fail in her part; but to her gratification, 
Noemi came through brilliantly. Henri, whose part was that 
of lover to Noemi, surprised those that knew his cold nature 
with his successful acting. He was just in the middle of a 
passionate love-scene when a commotion arose amid the audi- 
ence. Madame Bourjot had fainted. 

"You cannot deny it," she whispered, after she had recov- 
ered, to Henri, who had followed when she was carried out. 
"You love her. I saw it in your acting." 

"Laure," replied Henri sadly, "I cannot deny it. I have 
learned to love her, though I have struggled against it." 

Madame Bourjot returned to the drawing-room, but despair 
had gripped her heart. She had never loved her husband, but 
for twenty years she had been a faithful wife. Then Henri 
came, and to him she had given herself up entirely. 

After the revelation of that evening, she sought an interview 
with him, which he reluctantly granted. She told him then 
that she had grown reconciled to the situation; more, she would 
even use all her influence with her husband to obtain his con- 
sent. But she warned him that Monsieur Bourjot was am- 
bitious; he wished a title for his daughter. She suggested then 
that Henri add "de Villacourt" to his name, the title that went 
with the estate his father had bought from the last of the De 
Villacourt family. 

The marriage was successfully arranged. Noemi was 
deeply depressed; and one day she confided to Rene that she 
knew of the relations between her mother and Henri. Rente's 
indignation was intense. That night she entered her brother's 
room and made a futile appeal to his better nature. He rose 
from his chair, white with rage, and pointed to the door. 

"Go!" he commanded. 

For a week after this interview, Rene was confined to her 
room, suffering from palpitation of the heart. Henri, fearing 
her now, attempted with assiduous attentions to regain her con- 
fidence; but her repugnance for her brother was insurmountable. 

Henri found that the last of the Villacourt family was dead; 
so he began the necessary legal proceedings for assuming the title. 
One day he took Rene with him to the public library, leaving 
her in the reading-room while he went into the reference annex. 



EDMOND AND JULES DE GONCOURT 267 

Two attendants, behind her, were carrying on a whispered, 
though, to her, perfectly audible conversation. On hearing 
that her brother was the subject of their remarks, she listened 
intently. 

"Yes, he has taken the title," said one. "He believes the 
last of the family dead." 

"And that is true, is it not?" asked the other. 

"The last of the Villacourts is not dead," came to Renee 
distinctly. "He lives like a peasant, at La Motte-Noire, in the 
woods of Croix-du-Soldat." 

Rene made a note of the address. 

The legal assumption of the title of the extinct family of De 
Villacourt by Henri Mauperin was officially announced in the 
papers. Noemi seemed reconciled now to her coming mar- 
riage, more, even happy. Rendc, in conversation with her 
one day, became convinced that Noemi now regarded Henri 
in a different light than she had when she had confided 
to her the repugnance with which she regarded the proposed 
marriage. 

One day Denoisel and Henri were sitting in the latter's 
comfortable quarters in Paris when a commotion was heard 
in the outer hall; and a stranger, a roughly clad man, broke 
into the room. 

"Monsieur Mauperin de Villacourt?" demanded the 
stranger, with a fierce glare. Henri rose. 

"I, sir, am Boisjorand de Villacourt." And with a sudden 
swing he struck Henri a savage blow in the face. 

"Monsieur," calmly replied Henri, wiping the blood from 
his cheek, "leave your address with my servant; my second 
shall call on you to-morrow. Evidently there is one De Villa- 
court too many." 

Denoisel, as Henri's second, made the necessary arrange- 
ments; and next day the two principals met in a wood outside 
the city. The measurements were made; the two, with loaded 
pistols, advanced toward each other. Henri fired first, and De 
Villacourt fell to his kneas. 

"I am done for!" he gasped. 

Henri was turning away when suddenly De Villacourt 
called hoarsely. 



268 RENEE MAUPERIN 

"Monsieur, to your place." 

Henri stood. His antagonist, with a violent effort, crawled 
to the barrier between them, leveled his pistol, and fired. Henri 
staggered and sank on his hands, digging his fingers into the 
soil convulsively; then rolled over on his side. 

Next day Denoisel appeared at Villacourt and broke the 
news of the calamity to the family. 

"Rene," he said, taking the girPs hand, "this is the work 
of an enemy." 

She raised her terrified eyes to his, then dropped them, 
cowering. 

"That man," continued he, "living a hermit's life, outside 
the world, would otherwise not have known. He was not a 
subscriber to Le Moniteur, but his second showed me a copy 
of it with the announcement of Henri's taking up the title under- 
scored. It had been sent to him." 

Renee raised her hands to her temples; the self-accusing 
words she thought she uttered became an inarticulate shriek, 
and she sank fainting to the floor. 

Never had her malady gripped her so firmly. She rallied 
apparently, for a while; and noted specialists who were sum- 
moned spoke hopeful words; but Rente's form wasted day by 
day. Then it dawned on the distracted parents that the girl's 
life was doomed. 

Denoisel came. At first she feared him, believing that that 
last shriek had betrayed her guilty secret; but she soon realized 
that he did not know. 

"My friend," she told him, smiling wanly, "I shall leave 
you soon. No, do not weep so, for then I, too, shall weep." 

The end came soon. And when the last repose came over 
the wasted face, all traces of suffering were gone, as though she 
lay in a serene and beautiful dream. 

An old, gray-haired couple are often met, on boats, on rail- 
roads, in hotels, ever traveling one day in Russia, another 
day in Egypt seeking forgetfulness in the fatigues of constant 
movement. They are Monsieur and Madame Mauperin, child- 
less now for their eldest daughter had died in childbirth 
homeless, hopeless wanderers. 



EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 

(Holland, 1820-1887) 
MAX HAVELAAR (1860) 

The public of Holland, and to some extent of Continental Europe and of 
Great Britain, was much aroused by the publication of this work of fiction, 
which described with literal truth the cruel oppression of the native Javanese 
by their chiefs, with the connivance of the Dutch Government at home and in 
Batavia, and of the great commercial forces behind. For that reason it has 
been called the Uncle Tom's Cabin of Holland. Mynheer Douwes Dekker, the 
author, had been for sixteen years an officer in the service of the Dutch East 
Indian Government. Mynherr Dekker challenged the Parliament and official- 
dom of Holland to contravene the substance of the allegations; but no serious 
attempt to invalidate them ever was made, except through the medium of abuse 
and slander. The translation into English was made in 1868 by Baron Alphonse 
Nahuys from the original Dutch manuscript. 




ten Vc lock one morning there was an un- 
usual bustle on the frontiers between Lebak and 
Pandaglang, in the residency of Bantam, Java. 
The Regent of Lebak, Radien Adhipatti Karter 
Natter Negara, with a big retinue, mounted men 
and foot-runners, had come from Rankas-Be- 
tong, thirteen miles away, notwithstanding his 
great age, to receive the new Assistant Resident 
in accordance with the fixed custom in the Dutch 
Indies. The Controller, a man of middle age, who had filled 
the functions of the last Assistant Resident since the latter's 
death, was with him. The Dutch and native officials were 
assembled under a peradoppo (a great thatch of palm leaves 
supported on bamboo canes) to meet their new chief. 

To understand something of the situation, it is necessary 
to explain briefly the machinery of government in these regions. 
The Dutch Indies are divided into residences where the burden 
of administrative government is carried on. The Governor- 
General, though assisted by a Senate, is practically all-powerful; 

260 



270 MAX HAVELAAR 

and the chiefs of the government departments at Batavia are 
the connecting links between the Viceroy and the Residents, 
except that in political matters the latter apply directly to the 
Supreme head. Each residency has from three to five depart- 
ments, controlled by Assistant Residents, and under these are 
controllers, military commandants, overseers, and other offi- 
cers. In every department the Assistant Resident is aided by 
a native chief of high rank, known as the Regent, who is a paid 
official and always belongs to the highest Javanese aristocracy, 
usually of princely rank. The feudal rule of the princes still 
remains a part of the religious cult, and thus Dutch adminis- 
tration is the regime of an olden time. The mass of the natives 
know nothing of the Batavian Government, only submission 
to the Regents who are hereditary, the Assistant Residents, and 
the Resident. Nominally the Assistant Resident is higher in 
authority, but practically he is compelled to pay great deference 
to the native functionary, who has so much power and influence 
over the people as to make him a very dangerous factor in 
possible disturbance. The Assistant Residents live simply in 
single houses and have moderate salaries; the Regents are domi- 
ciled in palatial quarters with a great retinue of retainers, and 
thus incur heavy expense. Many of these chiefs, with incomes 
of two or three hundred thousand guilders, are always heavily 
in debt. The revenues of such native grandees are derived 
from monthly pay, subsidies to indemnify their bought-up rights, 
premiums on all products, and arbitrary disposal of the labor 
and property of subject peasantry. The Javanese obey their 
chiefs. It was only necessary for Dutch intrigue to win the 
chiefs to subdue the country. When the Regent is displeased 
with the action of an Assistant Resident he can appeal to the 
Resident, who is usually disposed to get along with as little 
trouble as possible. Each native chief pushes too far the lim- 
its of the lawful disposal of labor and property, and all Assistant 
Residents axe under oath to resist this. As Regents are rarely 
accused of arbitrary conduct, it shows some insurmountable 
difficulty in keeping the oath to protect the native population 
against tyranny and extortion. 

At the very time that the Regent and Controller Verbrugge 
were awaiting the arrival of the Resident of Lebak with the 



EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 271 

newly appointed Assistant Resident, the Military Commandant, 
Duclari, who had ridden up, was commenting to Verbrugge 
in Dutch, to escape the suspicious ears of the Regent on the 
strange conduct of a common Javanese, so different from the 
ordinary native reticence. The petitioner had complained bit- 
terly of the tyranny of the Adhipatti, and asked him if nothing 
could be done to lighten the pressure. The arrival of a mud- 
bespattered coach relieved the suspense. The Resident as- 
sisted a lady and a child from the carriage and the respectful 
homage of the Regent and the Controller bespoke his impor- 
tance. But the keener curiosity was to behold the newcomer, 
Max Havelaar, now to be inducted in district authority. Im- 
mediately after salutations Havelaar began to question his pre- 
ceding locum tenens on taxation in the district. To Verbrugge's 
wonder, he proved himself already a master of main facts and 
statistics. 

The journey, after refreshments, was resumed to Rankas- 
Betong, the capital, where the simple ceremony of installa- 
tion was performed at once at the Regent's palace. All the 
Dutch officials and the native grandees were present. When 
Havelaar took the oath, which included protecting the native 
population against oppression, ill-treatment, and extortion, there 
was that in his expression, voice, mien, and uplifted finger which 
spoke eloquently to everyone present. It was as if he had said : 
" I should do all that without any oath." Havelaar had recently 
returned from Europe, after resigning from an Assistant Resi- 
dentship at Amboyna in the Moluccas, where he had done ster- 
ling work in suppressing rebellion and straightening the affairs 
of an embarrassed district. He had spent most of his resources 
in recuperating health broken by faithful and intelligent per- 
formance, and had a right to expect a full Residentship. Yet 
he did not complain when he was appointed Assistant to manage 
the poor district of Lebak. His ambition was of that noble 
kind which appraised itself for valuable service rather than 
for emolument. So when he took possession of his mansion, 
with its large garden, he and his wife, who was completely iden- 
tified with his disinterested ambition, saw themselves happy in 
a long term of fruitful and faithful devotion to duty. Perhaps 
by simple living, too, he would be able to pay his debts. 



272 MAX HAVELAAR 

Havelaar requested the chiefs who had assembled at Rankas- 
Betong to convene for a council the next morning. He then told 
them his plans, his hopes, his wishes for the good of the people, 
speaking in Malay, of which he was a master. He appealed to 
them to cooperate with him in the enforcement of the laws and 
in the administration of evenhanded justice. He would be 
lenient in ordinary mistakes or negligences. 

" Only," he said, "where negligence becomes a custom I will 
oppose it. Of faults of a graver kind of tyranny and extor- 
tion I do not speak; such a thing shall not happen is it not 
so, Regent?" That dignitary gave him grave assurance, and 
he concluded: "Well, then, gentlemen, Chiefs of Bantam 
Kidool [the native name of the province], let us be glad that our 
province is so poor. We have a noble work before us. If 
Allah preserves us alive, we shall take care that prosperity 
comes. The ground is fertile enough, the population willing. 
If everyone is suffered to remain in the enjoyment of the fruits 
of his labor, there is no doubt that within a short time the popu- 
lation will improve as well both in the number of souls as in 
possessions and civilization, for these things usually go hand in 
hand." 

The Adhipatti accompanied Max Havelaar to his house, 
and as soon as he took his leave the new official turned sharply 
to Verbrugge and said: 

"People at Lebak abuse their power in a fearful way, you 
ought to know it do you know it?" 

Verbrugge was silent. 

"I know it," said the other. "Did not Mr. Slotering [the 
preceding Assistant Resident] die in November? Well, the day 
after his death, the Regent forced the population to labor in his 
rice-fields without payment." 

Havelaar by questions compelled the Controller to admit 
that previous reports made by the Adhipatti and other chiefs 
were false, and that the unopened reports just received were 
probably so; that what the Regent himself had not dared to 
take from the people by seizing their goods and sequestrating 
their labor in his own fields many times more than was allowed 
by law, the other officials especially his son-in-law, the De- 
meny of Porang-Koodjang completed by their extortion. 



EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 273 

" I do not care to know too exactly what has happened. But 
all that happens henceforth is on my responsibility," said he. 

An examination of Mr. Slotering's papers fully verified all 
his suspicions. That official, an honest and able man with an 
alert conscience, had reported the facts to the Resident by word 
of mouth, as the latter objected to written reports. All that had 
resulted was quick information given to the Regent, which en- 
abled that chief to terrify the witnesses into denying what they 
had before declared. Vcrbrugge was an honest but a timid 
man, willing to cooperate as long as he did not need to take the 
initiative. 

That night at dinner Max Havelaar gave to his two guests, 
Verbrugge and Commandant Duclari, a sketch of his official 
experiences in Sumatra, where he had filled similar offices. He 
had been suspended or relieved or compelled to resign in several 
instances because he had stirred up hornets' nests by insistence 
on telling the truth and attempting to make reforms in dealing 
with the same kind of problems. He had angered Residents 
General, even the Governor-General, who would obstinately 
remain blind whatever the effort made to open their eyes and 
minds. But an honest man, with a single eye to duty and con- 
science, he thought, had but one pathway to travel, whatever 
the consequences. The latest instance of his misfortune had 
been a suspension on the pretext of dishonesty, as his accounts 
had been technically defective. Yet this malfeasance had oc- 
curred through his books being in the hands of incompetent 
clerks, when he himself was away prosecuting successful at- 
tempts to prevent a revolt, which otherwise would have renewed 
a war with the Atchincse, entailing large cost of life and 
treasure. 

The little Havelaar family lived for a while in peace at 
Rankas-Betong. Havelaar was indefatigable in his work, 
riding every day through the district with the keenest inspection, 
often without the knowledge of the Regent or of the Controller. 
His relations with the Resident, with the Commandant, and 
with Verbrugge were cordial. He treated the Regent, who 
called him his "elder brother," with great consideration, and 
gave this aged spendthrift financial assistance when he could 
do so consistently with official duty. One thing he had occasion 
A.D., VOL. vi. 18 



274 MAX HAVELAAR 

to note with curiosity : Madame Slotering, widow of his prede- 
cessor, occupied, with her children, a cottage in the grounds. 
She was a native Javanese of superior intelligence and birth, 
to whom Madame Havelaar made the friendliest overtures. 
Yet she could rarely be persuaded to join the Havelaar family 
even at their veranda teas. She spoke little, and spent much 
of her time in watching everyone that approached her own 
or Havelaar's house. It was almost a monomania. Natives 
sometimes came to her gate stealthily by nightfall and ex- 
changed a few words. 

One thing distressed the Havelaars, for it curtailed the hap- 
piness of little Max: they were able to keep only a small portion 
of their large grounds free from grass and weeds where venom- 
ous snakes flourished in excess. To pay a premium for every 
reptile killed by native help in that serpent-breeding climate 
would have taxed Havelaar's slender resources. He would not 
levy unpaid labor, which he could easily have done. That would 
be an example, even if a trifling one, to betray his own set 
policy, the prevention of that system of semi-slavery which he 
recognized as the great economic and social wrong of the Dutch 
Indies. So little M'ax was not allowed to play far from his 
father's bungalow, and Lina, the mother, had not the pleasure 
in the flowers she had hoped for. 

But it was not this that accounted for the growing gloom 
that clouded Havelaar's brow. As time passed, his convictions 
of the rottenness of conditions in Lcbak were fully confirmed. 
He had spoken to the Chief of the whole regency about prevalent 
abuses and wrongs while with him at Serang, and had been 
answered "that this was everywhere the case in greater or less 
degree." He had responded that the question was not of abuses 
"more or less," but of abuses on a very large scale, whereon 
the Resident had dryly answered that "it was still worse at 
Tjiringien" [also belonging to Bantam]. The whole Dutch 
Government seemed to be pervaded by the spirit of brutal 
optimism, which completely veiled the truth. The reports of 
Controllers to Assistant Residents, of these two Residents, of 
Residents to the Senate and Governor- General, and of these 
high functionaries to The Hague, were always couleur de rose. 
Any irrepressible misfortune was painted as mere exception 



EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 275 

and accident, and never of misgovernment. The memorandum 
of Havelaar's predecessor, who had probed the rampant evils 
of the district, was unofficial, and such as the Resident need not 
place among the public archives; and rebuke had been forth- 
coming for even that. Slotering had had good intentions and 
burned with indignation; but he had many children, and needed 
the salary, so he for the most part spoke to the Resident about 
excessive abuses, and did not incorporate them with definite 
exactness in an official indictment. Often the Government 
was directly interested in these abuses, too. In many of the 
provinces the Government had its coffee-plantations on a large 
scale; and those gave the greatest yield to which the Regent 
drove men, women, and children to work for nothing, the ob- 
sequious tyrant of course receiving a percentage. The whole 
affair in its wide ramifications was a dangerous subject to 
touch. 

The story of the Javanese Saidjah, to which Havelaar, in 
the course of his constant investigation, secured ample testi- 
mony, illustrates another form of extortion of which this is 
but one of many cases, the wholesale robbery of buffalos, the 
draft animals of agriculture, from the people for the benefit 
of the Regent. This, indeed, was one of the causes that de- 
populated the district. Saidjah \s factor had had several buffa- 
los taken from him on different pretexts; and finally one of 
them, to which the boy was very much attached, killed a tiger, 
which had leaped on the lad, with his sharp horns. So every- 
body wept when the faithful animal was taken away by the 
Regent's emissaries to be butchered for meat. The family 
without any buffalo, for they had no means to buy another, 
managed to live, but were at last forced, by starvation and 
inability to pay their land laxes, to emigrate. 

Saidjah, setting forth on his wanderings, had a promise from 
his sweetheart, and his bosom was full when after three years 
he returned with a little money to marry Adinda. She and 
her people were gone, driven out of the district, for their buf- 
falos, too, had been taken. The factor had heard how Said- 
jah' s factor had been whipped near to death for leaving without 
a passport, so he concealed himself and his family in the woods 
by the sea. Others, exiled for a similar cause, joined them, 



276 MAX HAVELAAR 

and they seized a fishing-smack and sailed to the Lampoons, 
where the inhabitants were in rebellion against the Dutch. 

'Saidjah, after much wandering, arrived there, seeking his 
betrothed. He found her in a burning village, which had just 
been taken by the Dutch troops, her father and brothers lying 
dead with wounds, herself naked, outraged, and mutilated. 
The maddened lover sought his own instant death by rushing 
on the soldiers' bayonets. The wholesale robbery of their 
draft cattle not only depopulated districts, but was one of the 
principal causes of native outbreaks, to be suppressed after- 
ward by fire and sword. Havclaar was fully armed with a 
variety of such and correlated facts. Not only had he learned 
these in the villages, but hundreds of natives had stolen to his 
house at night, appealing to his chivalry. They had instinc- 
tively recognized the man, and knew of the solemn public oath 
he had taken. He had frequently expostulated, pleaded, 
warned, threatened the Regent; he had made informal state- 
ments to the Resident, but all in vain. Still he restrained him- 
self from more explicit action till that occurred which set a torch 
to his heaped-up resentment. 

One afternoon he observed Madame Slotering ordering a 
man at the gate away with violent gestures. When he asked 
her why she always dismissed persons that were trying to enter 
the grounds, she, after much urging, told her story. She re- 
minded Havclaar that her husband, who had been his prede- 
cessor, like himself had been true to his oath in seeking to pro- 
tect the people against oppression. Finally he had said openly 
that if no alteration took place by the end of the year, he should 
make a direct report to the Governor-General. A few days 
after this, in a journey of inspection, he dined at the house of the 
Demang of Parang-Koodjang, whom Havelaar knew to be one 
of the most unscrupulous of the Regent 's underlings. Sloter- 
ing returned agonized with pain, and died in a few hours. The 
woman knew the cause her husband had beeri a very healthy 
man for poison administered to remove one's enemies is almost 
as common in Java as the venom of serpents' fangs. She had 
not dared to whisper her suspicion even to the doctor, for fear 
of consequences. But she now was determined, as far as she 
could, to keep anyone from approaching the Havelaar kitchen. 



EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER 277 

Verbrugge, on being questioned, quaintly acknowledged his 
belief that, if the dead Slotering had not been poisoned, he 
would have been had he lived much longer. 

Havelaar proceeded at once to draw up a formal indictment 
of the Regent, demanding his removal pending investigation. 
He accused him of unlawfully compelling the labor of the people, 
and of extortion by taking property and fixing arbitrary prices. 
He included in these charges also the Regent's son-in-law, the 
Demang of Parang-Koodjang. A private letter came in answer, 
from Mr. " Slymering/' not from the Resident. It deplored the 
fact that the Assistant Resident had not first communicated his 
intention verbally, but said he would arrive next day at Rankas- 
Betong. Havelaar provided that another missive should meet 
him en route, with the information that there were still other 
charges which would be made later. lie asked that there 
should be no communication with the Regent till the Resident 
had seen him; but, instead of complying, Slymering promptly 
visited the Regent and gave him more than a hint of the situa- 
tion. He urged the Assistant Resident to withdraw his accu- 
sation and compromise the matter, but without avail; and the 
affair as interpreted by the Resident was placed in the hands 
of the Governor-General. The papers relating to the affirma- 
tion of the charges had also been sent in duplicate by Havelaar, 
with Verbrugge's affirmation of their truth. Of course the 
Havelaar charges had not been officially sanctioned by the 
Resident. 

In due time a portentous document arrived from Buitenzorg, 
the viceregal palace, which severely disapproved the course of 
Havetaar. "Such conduct," said the great dignitary, "merits 
all disapprobation, and sanctions belief in your incapacity to 
bear office in the interior government of Java. I am therefore 
obliged to dismiss you from your employment as Assistant 
Resident of Lebak." He was named to a temporary office in 
another district, but with the intimation that he must conduct 
himself very carefully if he would retain that or any post in 
Java. 

The righteous man, wounded to the soul, went to Batavia to 
make personal protest and present his case viva voce. He was 
refused an interview time and again. At last he was informed 



278 MAX HAVELAAR 

that the Viceroy had resigned office and had sailed the night 
before for home on a man-of-war. His conscience and sense 
of personal honor united in compelling him to think no more 
of official work in a country where doing his duty would only 
bring him into perpetual collision with higher authorities. The 
last episode was only a more bitter repetition of earlier experience. 
So Max Havclaar was disgraced and impoverished, for he had 
spent his life in the official service because he had sought to 
introduce a nobler principle into the performance of duty than 
sordid acquiescence with gigantic wrongs. 




CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 

(France, 1794-1871) 
THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE (1830) 

This lively tale has long been a favorite with the French public, in its 
dramatic version as well as in its original form. 

JIRGINIE TROUPEAU, to whom her fond 
father was accustomed to allude as "The Maid 
of Belleville/' was a very pretty girl of seventeen, 
full of life, and very restive under the severe rule 
of her old and prudish great- aunt. But she wa^ 
politic, and concealed her dislike for reading 
aloud the arid parts of the Old Testament, and 
similar exercises, because she hoped to inherit 
the old lady's income of twenty-five thousand 
francs a year, and a pretty country-seat. 

Virginie's parents shared the old lady's view, and thought a 
young girl should be reared like a hothouse plant. Under this 
system, they flattered themselves that she was absolutely ig- 
norant of coquetry. Their friends, the Vauxdores, on the con- 
trary, thought that plants were rendered more hardy by the 
fresh- air plan, and had reared their orphan niece, Adrienne, 
accordingly. Virginie, the demure, and Adrienne, the merry, 
were intimate friends, despite the difference in their future for- 
tunes; for Adrienne would have no dowry. 

Monsieur Troupeau was much addicted to the expression, 
"My means permit me to do it," and easily flattered (now that 
he had retired from business) by allusions to his wealth. On 
one of the frequent trips which he and his friend Vauxdore* 
made from Belleville to Paris, he called upon the Count de 
Senneville, who had owed him four thousand crowns for five or 
six years. The Count was a spendthrift, overwhelmed with 

279 



280 THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE 

debts, and had original methods of dealing with his creditors. 
When Trotipeau called, he was penniless, having gambled away 
his last sou the night before. He was intending (as often be- 
fore) to borrow some money from his lady-love; but by dint 
of grossly flattering Troupeau, inviting him to breakfast, and 
inquiring after his family, he contrived (while pretending to in- 
sist upon paying his debt) to borrow four thousand francs more. 
To cap the climax, when he heard that Troupeau had a pretty 
daughter, he promised to call upon the family in Belleville, and 
invited Troupeau to visit him again whenever he was in Paris. 

Thenceforth the Troupeau family existed, practically, for 
that happy day. But they unintentionally wounded the fine 
sense of modesty of Mademoiselle Bellavoine (Virginic's great- 
aunt); whereupon she hastily departed for her own home in 
Senlis. The next day, the Vauxdor family came, as was their 
wont, to spend the evening; and while their elders played cards, 
the two young girls chatted in Virginie's chamber. Adrienne, 
Virginie's elder by two years, a frank, lively girl, told her friend 
about a young man who had recently come to live in Belleville 
with his mother: Monsieur Ledoux, generally called Doudoux. 
Adrienne had been eavesdropping, and had heard him tell his 
friends that he w r as too shy to declare his feelings, though he was 
always falling in love. Virginie said nothing, but thought a 
great deal. 

The following evening, the Troupeau family went to the 
Vauxdords', and young Doudoux w r as among the guests. He 
was given to quoting Latin, on slight (or no) provocation; 
and Virginie, thanks to the prudish training of her aunt, called 
ordinary things by extraordinary names for example, she 
alluded to the cat's tail as its "superfluity." This sympathy 
of souls, aided by certain sly tricks of glance and manner, en- 
abled Virginie to flatter herself, on her return home, that Dou- 
doux had begun to look at her more than at Adrienne; a fact of 
which Adrienne was also sadly aware. After a few more meet- 
ings, varied by hand-pressures and tender words, Virginie sug- 
gested that the young man might promenade in front of the 
house, and see her, as she took the air at a window, a cough on 
her part signifying that she was not alone, while permission to 
talk to her would be indicated by her singing. But this afforded 



CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 281 

him no opportunity to express his sentiments; accordingly she 
told him to come, on a certain evening, to a little gate (usually 
kept locked) which opened into the garden. He had made 
some progress in expressing his feelings, and was about to risk 
a kiss, when the aged wooden bench on which they were seated 
collapsed. At this moment, Adrienne happened to pass the 
open door (having been sent for some rolls and milk by her 
aunt), and announced herself. Virginie hastily thrust Dou- 
doux into the street, slammed the gate in his face, and scurried 
to her room, resolved to maintain that she had never left it, in 
case Adrienne should say anything. Adrienne, left in the little- 
frequented street with Doudoux, proceeded to tell him her 
opinion of his conduct in plain terms, but was suddenly in- 
terrupted by Troupeau, who was returning from Paris, whither 
his wife had insisted upon his going to call upon the Count de 
Senneville. Shocked at this apparent rendezvous, Troupeau 
decided that Adrienne was not a fit companion for his immacu- 
late Virginie, and he even went so far as to warn Vauxdor 
about his niece. The latter, when interrogated by her aunt, 
frankly said that she had encountered the young man by chance 
in the street; and, although she might have justified herself and 
condemned Virginie with a word, she refrained. 

Shortly afterward a troop of cuirassiers were quartered in 
Belleville, and distrusting the gallantry and charms of the mili- 
tary, Troupeau contrived to have the keep of four horses allotted 
to his share, instead of any soldiers. The Vauxdors found that 
their handsome, dashing nephew, Godibert, whom they had 
not seen for years, was assigned to them. One evening, Adri- 
enne proudly introduced Godibert to Virginie, to show that she 
also could have a cavalier. Virginie promptly attracted his 
attention by hiding behind the window-curtains and feigning 
fear of the cuirassier when she was discovered there; after which 
she riveted it by a few well-chosen words and timid but effective 
glances. Godibert could talk of nothing but Virginie as he 
escorted Adricnne homeward. Soon afterward Virginie's 
parents celebrated her name-day by a dinner and an excursion 
to the forest of Romainville, to which the Vauxdor^s, Adrienne 
and Godibert (among others) were invited. At Romainville 
Virginie insisted upon mounting a horse, although she had 



282 THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE 

never ridden, while Adrienne was restricted to a donkey. The 
handsome Godibert undertook to guard Virginie, and presently 
they galloped out of sight of the rest, when Godibert persuaded 
the young girl to dismount. As he was about to kiss her, Adri- 
enne arrived on her donkey, saw the horses, and hunted up the 
pair. Virginie made haste to decamp, leaving Adrienne to re- 
proach her cousin, and quietly appropriating Adrienne's don- 
key, trotted back to the party, where she informed her mother 
that she had lent Adrienne her horse, whose return alone had 
already alarmed them. Troupeau and Vauxdor went in 
search of Adrienne, apprehending an accident, and found her 
sitting on the grass with Godibert, weeping, and with reddened 
eyes. As they approached, Godibert begged his cousin not to 
compromise Virginie, to which she readily agreed, again as- 
suming the consequences of her former friend's indiscretion. 
People chattered and gossiped, and Virginie's parents re- 
solved to appease the wrath of her wealthy great-aunt and 
remove her from the pernicious society of Adrienne by sending 
her to Senlis for a prolonged visit. Vauxdor6 demanded his 
nephew's intentions in regard to Adrienne, and the nephew 
announced that as he was not in love with her he declined to 
marry her. Attracted by Virginie's coquetry and money, he 
resolved to retire from the army and marry her. Meanwhile 
Doudoux's mother, fearing that he was studying too hard, 
ordered him off to England for his health; and while Adrienne 
speedily consoled herself for Godibert's absence, and had long 
since banished Doudoux from her mind, the demure Virginie 
found it extremely stupid to have no one to whom she could 
make signs from the windows. Before Mademoiselle Bella- 
voine relented and replied to M. Troupeau's letter, a new 
young man came on the scene. The Vauxdors had a small 
bachelor apartment in their house, which was taken by a good- 
looking lodger, so one of the gossips informed Troupeau, in 
Virginie's absence. The young man was rather mysterious in 
his actions, passed all his evenings with the Vauxdorifs, had a 
superb piano, and appeared to be wealthy. As Virginie's 
parents were obdurate about her associating with Adrienne, she 
was in despair; she could bethink herself of no means whereby 
she could meet him. But suddenly a Monsieur Tir, who was 



CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 283 

an enthusiastic inventor of fireworks, invited them to an ex- 
hibition of his latest designs, for which he had borrowed the 
courtyard of the Vauxdor house. By an accident, too many 
of the fireworks were set off together, a panic ensued, the 
scaffolding seats began to give way, and a cry was started that 
the house was on fire. The young man, named Auguste Montre- 
ville (who had been Adrienne's escort), seeing the distress of 
M. Troupeau, went to the rescue of Virginie, who was in no 
danger, and offered her his hand to descend. She preferred to 
swoon in his arms. Her parents overwhelmed him with thanks; 
and Adrienne felt uneasy, being now fond of Montreville. 

Three days later, M. Montreville called on the Troupcaux, 
and they learned that he was not only wealthy but well con- 
nected. When he dined with them, a few days after this, 
he said that he had come to Belleville to get away from his 
relatives, who did not approve of his vocation, which was that 
of a composer; and that the music which he had written for a 
little comic opera had just achieved success. Before going to 
this dinner, he had promised to tell Adrienne the secret of his 
actions, and of his evident gratification over that morning's 
journals, if she would allow him to do so in private, that eve- 
ning. The argument which finally conquered her resistance was 
his promise never to go to the Troupeau house again. This 
promise he kept, although Virginie had given him very marked 
reasons for thinking that his presence would not be disagreeable 
to her; and her efforts to induce her parents (who scorned his 
profession) to bring him to the house again were soon inter- 
rupted by a call from the Count de Senneville and its conse- 
quences. The Count pretended that a bag of gold, which he 
had brought to pay his debt, had been stolen from his carriage. 
Virginie gave him a chance to admire her by fainting; the Trou- 
peaux were so overjoyed by this aristocratic acquaintance that 
they piled wood into the fireplace until the Count was nearly 
roasted, and the chimney set afire; and having inquired as to 
her financial prospects, the young man, swearing Troupeau to 
secrecy, gave him to understand that he would speedily propose 
for her hand. On the strength of this half-promise, Troupeau 
eagerly offered another loan of five thousand francs. Virginie 
soon learned of the project from the hints of her parents, but 



s&4 THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE 

thought Montreville nicer than the Count; and she particularly 
disliked the latter because, in her quality of a future countess, 
she was no longer allowed to see any men at all. 

By this time it was generally known that Montreville was 
Adrienne's lover; and now Doudoux returned from England, 
and Godibert having secured his release from the service 
were also in Belleville again. At this juncture, Mademoiselle 
Bellavoine sent her cabriolet, with her old horse and coachman, 
in charge of Monsieur Baisemon, her manager, to bring Vir- 
ginie to her for a visit of several months. Virginie protested; 
but her parents, with an eye to the heritage, as well as to the 
presence in town of the two undesirable young men, were stern, 
and confided her to Baisemon, explaining to him her future 
grandeur and the necessity for strict supervision. Virginie con- 
trived to inform Doudoux and Godibert, as they patrolled the 
street in front of the house, of this decree, and that she should 
die of ennui if she had no one to amuse her. Both young men 
took the hint, and followed the cabriolet, one on foot, the other 
on horseback. Godibert even contrived to clamber up behind 
the cabriolet and make love to Virginie through the window, 
while Baisemon slept, and the coachman wondered at the 
weight of the vehicle and the slow progress of the aged steed. 
Eventually, the coachman and Baisemon got a good look at the 
two suitors even suspected Virginie of knowing them, which 
she roundly denied and only escaped their pursuit when the 
rivals fell to pummeling each other out of jealousy. 

Mademoiselle Bellavoine's house was an isolated dwelling 
on the verge of the town, with iron bars on the ground-floor 
windows, and double shutters on those of the first story, while 
the garden walls were eleven feet in height. Outwardly sub- 
missive, Virginie inwardly rebelled. When she found herself 
in her chamber, with a little light reading supplied, such as 
The Perfect Gardener, The Bourgeoise Kitchen, and A 
Treatise on Mushrooms, she resolved to "amuse" the family. 
The first night, after everyone was asleep, she roused the entire 
household to find out whether there was anyone under her bed. 
The second night she hurled every movable object in her room 
on the floor in the noisiest possible manner, then pretended that 
she was in a somnambulistic slumber from which they dared 



CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 285 

not awaken her too suddenly. On the ninth night, just as the 
girl began to fear that her ingenuity was exhausted, the big 
watch-dog began to growl and bark, as if burglars had 
effected an entrance. But while Virginie (who suspected that 
Doudoux and Godibert might be at the bottom of the matter) 
stifled her laughter in bed, the harassed household could detect 
no cause. This continued night after night, the fact being that 
the young men had entered into an agreement to aid each other, 
and abide by the girPs choice, when she should have an oppor- 
tunity of pronouncing it which it was their object to provide. 

Meanwhile matters were reaching a crisis in Belleville. 
Montreville had decided to atone for his misconduct by mar- 
rying Adrienne. He was talented, had some fortune, more 
expectations, wealthy parents, a distinguished family. Adrienne 
had nothing. He promised her that he would never abandon 
her, and thus cheered, she made no secret of the matter. Her 
aunt interceded for her with her angry uncle, and the marriage 
was to take place as soon as Montreville could make certain 
family arrangements. Unhappily, Montreville encountered one 
of the male busybodics of the place, who officiously informed 
him that Adrienne had had little adventures with Ledoux and 
her cousin Godibert. This was just as the wedding had been 
postponed because of old Madame Vauxdor's sudden death. 
Montreville jumped to the conclusion that Adrienne was perfidi- 
ous, and that fear lest he should discover this fact had caused 
her to exact the promise that he would not go to the Troupeau 
house. Having (apparently) obtained confirmation from various 
persons acquainted with the local gossip, he departed that night 
without saying farewell, leaving notes for Adrienne and her 
uncle. To the latter he wrote merely that he could not marry 
Adrienne. To Adrienne he wrote that he would have pardoned 
her and married her, had she frankly confessed her intrigues, 
instead of making him believe that he alone possessed her heart. 
Vauxdor promptly ordered Adrienne out of his house. Re- 
penting, two hours later, and returning home to pardon and 
detain her, he found that she had departed, leaving no trace. 

Virginie had worn out her aunt's household: Baisemon had 
taken to his bed, the maid-servant had her hands full with the 
work and with waiting upon him; while the coachman was in 



286 THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE 

an equally feeble state. Perpdtue, the maid, suggested that 
the fruit-vender had highly recommended two young men, who 
might be hired, one for the garden, the other for the stable work. 
In truth, Doudoux and Godibert had bribed the fruit-vender 
to get them into the house, and now presented themselves dis- 
guised with wigs and long blue smocks. Virginic recognized 
them at once; and her aunt was satisfied, now that the dog had 
ceased to bark by night. They proved unsatisfactory as ser- 
vants, chased away the dog, deliberately ruined the dinners 
and contrived to obtain brief interviews with Virginie, but 
without in the least advancing their cause. Eventually, when 
Baisemon and the coachman were able to be about, the young 
men were recognized as the suspicious characters who had 
pursued the cabriolet on the way from Belleville; but out of 
fear, they were allowed to remain one night longer. Aided by 
accident, and (half-intcntionally) by the mischievous Virginie, 
they had some startling midnight adventures with the supposed 
peasants, which Virginie discovered by eavesdropping, and 
which gave her a valuable hold over her aunt. 

The old aunt owned another house, in the center of the 
town. Thither she removed soon afterward; and although a 
rear chamber was allotted to Virginie, she determined to get 
the advantages of the lively street-front when her aunt's back 
should be turned. As she was gazing from the window one 
morning, with this laudable object in view, she recognized 
Montreville, and promptly tossed out the first thing which 
came- to hand her scissors; then she ran down-stairs and 
cajoled the old coachman to unlock the street-door, and let her 
get them. In the conversation which ensued, she learned from 
Montreville that he had been living in Paris, but had been 
ordered to the country for his health, and so was visiting a rela- 
tive in Senlis. As she did not see him pass the house again, she 
adopted other means to meet him. First she fascinated old 
Baisemon; then she begged her aunt to allow her to go out 
walking under Baisemon's charge (as the town house had no 
garden for exercise) ; but although she kept the old man on his 
feet for hours during the first two days, she did not succeed in 
encountering Montreville. On the third day, she recognized 
him, seated at the foot of a tree, in a little grove, and plunged 



CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 287 

in meditation. Pretending that she wished to sleep, leaning 
against a tree, she induced Baisemon to sleep in reality, a little 
way off, then uttered a cry and attracted Montreville's atten- 
tion, which resulted in a long conversation. On the following 
days Virginie repeated the maneuver, and Montreville, though 
at first too reserved for her taste, gradually allowed himself to 
relax his severe resolve never to love again, after Adrienne's 
perfidy. 

He soon began to court her mildly, and Virginie told him 
that while she loved him, her parents were determined upon 
marrying her to the Count de Senneville. Just as he was em- 
bracing her, and vowing nevermore to think cf any ether wom- 
an, an insect stung Baisemon and awakened him. Virginie 
promptly introduced Montreville as the Count de Senneville, 
saying that he was there incognito, to discuss certain matters 
with her, and therefore would not present himself to her aunt. 
Thereafter, their daily interviews were superintended by the 
vigilant Baisemon, who slept no more. But one afternoon 
Troupeau unexpectedly arrived, to entreat Mademoiselle Bella- 
voine to make them a visit at Belleville, bringing Virginie with 
her, as he and his wife were horribly lonely without their daugh- 
ter. Baisemon, thinking to give him pleasure, betrayed the 
secret of the meetings between Virginie and the " Count de 
Senneville" the real Count being in England, as Troupeau well 
knew. Accordingly, with the collusion of Baisemon, Troupeau 
joined the young pair on the following day, recognized Montre- 
ville (he had hoped it was really the Count), and was horrified 
when his daughter informed him that she loved Montreville', 
wished to be his wife, and expected to become so, as her parents 
would hardly wish to render their only child unhappy. Trou- 
peau announced his intention of taking her home on the follow- 
ing day, and Mademoiselle Bellavoine undertook to reprimand 
her severely, and subdue her before they set out. But Virginie 
subdued her great-aunt by a brief allusion to the facts which 
she had learned by eavesdropping; after which the old lady 
refused to meddle, or to hear another word about the matter 
from Troupeau. 

The wilful damsel remained firm in her determination 
to wed Montreville, even after her parents had shut her up in 



288 THE MAID OF BELLEVILLE 

her room for six weeks. When they gave her permission to 
walk in the garden, she refused. She did not complain; but 
her health began to suffer, and Mademoiselle Bellavoine au- 
thorized Madame Troupcau to tell her daughter that she would 
cut her off from the inheritance if she did not forthwith consent 
to marry the Count. Virginia again brought her great-aunt to 
terms by an allusion to some of the occurrences at Scnlis; so 
thoroughly, in fact, that the old lady advised the parents to 
marry the girl to Montreville. Then Troupeau wrote to sum- 
mon Montreville. A fortnight sufficed for him to procure the 
necessary papers. It was decided that the young couple should 
live in Paris, as Montreville did not seem to like Belleville. 
Only ten days remained to the wedding, when a letter came 
from the Count de Senneville, in England, announcing his arri- 
val in a week. To avoid complications it was decided to has- 
ten the wedding, and Virginie decided to go to Paris in person, 
to see about her unfinished frocks, while her father arranged 
the affair to take place two days before the Count could arrive. 
Accompanied by Baisemon, the girl visited the dress- 
maker, and found that her frock for the wedding-ball was done, 
but not the one for the wedding. It appeared that the very 
clever seamstress who was at work upon the latter lived in the 
attic of the same house, and being a young mother, could not 
leave her baby. Virginie insisted upon going to the room 
and there found Adrienne. For the first time she learned the 
truth, including the name of the infant's father, which she could 
not doubt, so strong was the resemblance between the two. 
Adrienne even showed Virginie Montreville's letter which con- 
tained the accusation of intrigues with Doudoux and Godibert. 
Virginie wept, refused to try on her frock, refused to tell Adri- 
enne whom she was about to marry, and affectionately kissing 
her unhappy friend, and promising to return, hastened away. 
She made Baisemon drive with her to Montreville's apartment, 
and wait in the carriage while she had an interview with her 
betrothed. To him she frankly confessed that it was she with 
whom Ledoux and Godibert had had rendezvous not Adri- 
enne; but that she had always managed to make good her escape, 
leaving the odium to fall upon Adrienne, who had nobly refused 
to betray her. Montreville on hearing this, and learning that 



CHARLES PAUL DE KOCK 289 

Adrienne still loved him, begged to be taken to her and his son. 
Virginie released him from his engagement to her, and took 
him to Adrienne. Before she left them, she announced that 
she was going to wed the Count of Senneville. On reaching 
home, she astounded her parents by declaring that she had 
changed her mind, and would marry the Count. 

The Count arrived on time (the first instance in his life), 
having spent his last sou, squandered his estate in Touraine, 
and realized that he must make a good marriage at once. Vir- 
ginie paid a private visit to the notary, and arranged that her 
dowry should be used to buy back the Touraine property, while 
reserving for herself the inheritance from her aunt. The Count 
was not well pleased with this arrangement, but Virginie gave 
him leave to break off, if he cared nothing for her and objected 
to this wise precaution for their future. 

The wedding took place a fortnight later (Adrienne and 
Montreville having been married in the interim), and Virginie 
particularly requested her parents to invite to the feast (at a 
fashionable Paris restaurant) "those very amiable young men, 
Lcdoux and Godibert," whom she wished to introduce to her 
hnsband. This she did, and the Count invited them to visit 
at the estate in Touraine, and to call at the apartment in town, 
which as the invitation was cordially seconded by the Countess 
they promised to do. 

Vauxdore* took his niece into favor again, and frequently 
visited her pretty home, where happiness reigned. 



A.D., VOL. vi. 19 



MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 

(United States, 1857) 
THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE (1906) 

The scene of this story is in Old Chester, the half-mythical Pennsylvania 
town that Mrs. Deland has made famous in other stories. Persons who are 
already familiar friends of many readers reappear here, playing their respective 
parts in the solution of Helena Richie's problem without becoming new char- 
acters. The main action of the story, covering a few months, is in the present 
day. We present here the author's own synopsis of the story. 

?R. LAVENDAR was somewhat perplexed by a 
request from a country parson that he find a 
home for a seven-year-old boy, the last of 
whose relatives had died; he asked Dr. William 
King whether he knew anybody who might 
take the lad. 

"Well," said King, "there's Mrs. Richie." 
The clergyman demurred that they knew 
very little about the lady. She was a widow who 
had taken possession of the Stuffed Animal House as tenant of 
Sam Wright; she lived simply, but with evidence of having 
plenty of money; once in a while she attended church, but she 
was so reserved that nobody felt acquainted with her, and nobody 
visited her except her brother, Mr. Lloyd Pryor, of whom the 
Old Chester people knew less than they did of his sister. Dr. 
King, who was better acquainted with her than Dr. Lavendar 
was, because the ailments of her servants had made him a com- 
paratively frequent caller at the Stuffed Animal House, was sure 
she was a nice woman, shy but not really unsociable. Sam 
Wright had told him she thought of buying the house. " Sam's 
Sam," as the villagers called Wright's son, called on her fre- 
quently. It was said he was making sheep's eyes at her. 

Dr. Lavendar hoped she did not encourage the young man ; 

290 




MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 291 

Sam's Sam was twenty-three, and Mrs. Richie was, according 
to feminine Old Chester, forty-five, or, to avoid exaggeration, 
forty. (As a matter of fact, she was thirty-three.) King was 
sure she did not encourage Sam's Sam, and, recurring to the 
original subject of the conversation, said he would sound Mrs. 
Richie about taking the boy, David Allison. 

This he did when professional duty next took him to the 
Stuffed Animal House. Mrs. Richie was so astonished at the 
suggestion that she laughed; it was not to be thought of; but she 
talked about it, and thus William King came to know more 
about her early life than had been known by anybody in Old 
Chester before that day. She did not volunteer her story. He 
dragged it from her, bit by bit, questioning her as if she were a 
patient whose symptoms he must know. It seemed that she 
had had a baby boy of her own twelve years ago; his father 
was a brute; he hurt the little one when he was only eight 
months old, and the baby died soon afterward. It was evident 
to sympathetic Willy King that here was mother-love waiting 
for the hapless David; but Mrs. Richie still shook her head. 
She might take the boy for a week, perhaps two, if that would 
help Dr. Lavendar; and King was sure that it would. 

The physician's visit awakened many memories of her life 
that she had not confided to him. Her childhood had passed 
with her father's mother, a silent woman who, with bitter ex- 
pectation of success, had set herself to discover in Helena traits 
of the poor, dead, foolish wife who had broken her son's heart. 
"She begrudged me the least little bit of pleasure," thought 
Helena; "why didn't she like me to be happy?" That was 
ever the cry of her heart happiness! It was her one unques- 
tioned conviction that she had a right to be happy. She had not 
desired love, but escape from her grandmother's gray life had 
seemed an avenue to happiness, and at the age of eighteen she 
had married Frederick. He had made such promises! She 
was to have every kind of happiness. Of course she had mar- 
ried him. As for love, she never thought of it. She married 
him because he wanted her to, and because he would make her 
happy. And, oh, how glad her grandmother had been! At 
the memory of that passionate satisfaction, Helena laughed 
aloud. Happy ! 



292 THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE 

If she could only have forgotten the baby! Lloyd had told 
her she would. Lloyd's tenderness had been convincing, twelve 
years ago. He had let her talk of the baby all she wished. 
Of course, after a while he got tired of the subject, and naturally. 
It was Frederick's boy! And Lloyd hated Frederick as much 
as she. How they used to talk about him in those days ! " Have 
you heard anything?'' "Yes, running down hill every day." 
"Is there any news?" "Yes, he'll drink himself into his grave 
in six months." Ah, that was happiness indeed! "His grave, 
in six months!" . . . She flung herself back in her chair, her 
hands dropping listlessly in her lap. "Oh, my little dead 
baby!" 

Mrs. Richie wrote to Lloyd about David Allison, and the 
moment Mr. Pryor, in Philadelphia, read her letter, he ex- 
claimed: "Just the thing for her!" He was so sure of it that 
he went down to Old Chester to say so in person. It was six 
weeks since he had visited Helena. There was a long stage 
journey from Mercer, the nearest railway station, and it hap- 
pened that his fellow-passenger in the stage-coach was young 
David, then on his way to Dr. Lavendar's. Mr. Pryor spoke 
to the little fellow in a friendly way, and gave him an apple. 
Presently the boy asked him whether he had any little boys and 
girls. Yes, Lloyd Pryor had a girl. He smiled as he answered. 

"Is she as old as me? I'm seven, going on eight." 

"Well, then, let's see. Alice is she is twice and five years 
more as old. What do you make of that?" 

The child began to count on his fingers, and Mr. Pryor re- 
sumed the reading that the conversation had interrupted. After 
a while the boy said suddenly : " In the flood the ducks couldn't 
be drowned, could they?" Mr. Pryor told the boy that he 
talked too much, and for the rest of the journey there was n 
talking. 

Lloyd had not been long at the Stuffed Animal House when 
Helena interrupted her joy in his presence to ask: "Have you 
heard anything of Frederick?" 

He replied curtly: "No, nothing. Perfectly well, the last 
I heard. In Paris, and enjoying himself in his own peculiar 
fashion." 

She drew in her breath, and turned her face away; they were 



MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 293 

both silent for a time, and when they spoke again it was of other 
matters. 

Mrs. Richie had a caller that afternoon, old Benjamin Wright, 
grandfather of Sam's Sam. He lived with his canaries and one 
aged man-servant, in a great house farther up the hill. He was 
the only man in Old Chester who came anywhere near under- 
standing Sam's Sam. Everybody else called young Sam a fool; 
so did old Benjamin, for that matter, and cursed him roundly 
for his follies; but it was Benjamin who encouraged the boy's 
taste for literature, and who stimulated his endeavors to express 
himself in verse. He loved the dreamy, impulsive, utterly ''un- 
practical" youth the more, perhaps, because between himself 
and young Sam's father a feud of such bitterness had existed 
that for thirty-two years neither had spoken a word to the other. 
The aged man knew that his grandson spent many long eve- 
nings at Mrs. Richie's, and that she had praised a drama that 
Sam had just brought to completion. He had called to invite 
her to come to his own house for the purpose of hearing the 
drama read through in its finished form. Mrs. Richie ner- 
vously feared that she must decline. Old Benjamin thought it 
was because she had a visitor, and told her to bring her brother 
as a matter of course. That, too, she said would be impossible. 

"Well, then," said old Benjamin, "wait till he goes. Come 
Monday night." 

"Oh," she said, her voice fluttering, "I really can't." 

He insisted querulously on knowing the reason why. "I 
don't make visits," she stammered. "Gad-a-mercy! Why 
not?" he interrupted. "Do you think you are too good for us 
here in Old Chester? Or perhaps Old Chester is too good for 
you?" 

He was looking at her with the same quizzical delight with 
which he would look at one of his canaries when he caught it 
and held it struggling in his hand. " Are we too good for you?" 
he jeered. 

He stopped abruptly, and his mouth fell slowly open in blank 
amazement. "Where is that gentleman?" he demanded. 

"Mr. Pryor went in to dinner," she said faintly. "Please 
excuse him. He was tired." 

Mr. Wright pulled himself to his feet and felt his way around 



294 THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE 

the table until he stood directly in front of her; he put his face 
close to hers and stared into her eyes. Then he groped for his 
hat and stick. "I will bid you good-day," he said. Without 
another word he shuffled out. At the front door he turned and 
looked back at her; then slowly shook his head. 

Mrs. Richie and Mr. Pryor quarreled more than once during 
his brief visit. That had come to be no uncommon matter 
in recent years. He was finical about his food, and on this 
occasion Helena's cook was ill. Little things went wrong, and 
Pryor was impatient. Helena was sensitive, and showed it. 
But the worst came when they were discussing young Sam 
Wright's attentions, which amused Pryor at first, and then in- 
terested him. "I suppose," he said, "your adorer is a good 
deal younger than you are?" 

She lifted her head sharply. "Yes; what of it?" 

"Oh, nothing. In the first place the health of our friend, 
Frederick, is excellent. But if this fellow were not younger 
Of course, Helena, my great desire is for your happiness; but in 
my position I I am not as free as I once was to follow my own 
inclinations. And if Frederick should " 

"Oh, my God!" she said violently, and fled from the room- 
It was hours before she would speak to him, but he was per- 
sistent, and persuaded her at last that he had been joking. 

Lloyd Pryor urged Helena to take little David. She visited 
the lad at Dr. Lavendar's and speedily came to want him with 
a great longing. Dr. Lavendar shrewdly contrived delays un- 
til the three were better acquainted, but the end of it was 
that David went to the Stuffed Animal House where, out of 
school hours, he had a playmate who never tired. Helena 
romped with him in the yard, took her turn at being a pirate 
king, or a shipwrecked maiden, according to David's inventive 
turn of the moment, played backgammon with him in the eve- 
ning, heard his prayers she, who never prayed and actually 
got up to breakfast, something she had not done since she could 
remember. There were hours, aye, days on end, when she was 
jubilantly happy. She loved the lad, and if he did not respond 
as fully as she wished, that was but incentive for loving him 
more; and her life became in away a courtship of the little boy, in 
which there was every wholesome indication that she would win. 



MARGARETTA WADE DELANO 295 

Meantime Sam's Sam continued to call and lay his calf-love 
at her feet. She snubbed him repeatedly, but without diminish- 
ing his ardor. And this, viewed from a distance by Old Chester, 
was causing anxiety in three places and gossip everywhere. 
Sam's father had no influence with him whatever. The young 
man endured his scolding without hearing it. Grandfather 
Benjamin offered young Sam money to go away and see the 
world, suggesting, as an object for a journey, a search for a 
publisher for his play. Young Sam declined. He preferred 
to stay in Old Chester. Dr. Lavendar did not share the anxiety 
of grandfather and father on the young man's score, but he tried 
to make the situation a means to a reconciliation between the old 
men. He, too, advised that young Sam be got out of town, and 
lie succeeded just so far as in getting Benjamin and his son 
together to discuss the matter. It was the first time they had 
met in thirty-two years. They passed a stubborn, uncomfort- 
able hour, and did not discuss young Sam's affairs. Young 
Sam settled the matter in his own way. He proposed mar- 
riage to Helena and was decisively, unmistakably rejected. 

That was on a Sunday evening, the same evening when Dr. 
Lavendar's meeting between Benjamin and his son failed to 
effect a reconciliation. Next day Benjamin called again on 
Helena. His purpose this time was to persuade her to send 
young Sam about his business. "I want you to forbid his 
visits," he said, in his domineering way. 

David stood by. "You are not very polite, Mr. Old Gen- 
tleman," he said thoughtfully. 

"Is that your child?" Wright demanded, seeing David for 
the first time. 

Helena told him it was a boy who was visiting her. Wright 
sneered. "Rather remarkable that a child should visit you," 
said he. "I should think his parents " 

"Hush!" she broke in violently, and sent David away. 
Then, turning on her visitor: "How dare you? Dr. Lavendar 
brought him to me. I never asked your grandson to come here. 
I don't want him." 

Benjamin Wright bent his fierce brows upon her. "What 
does Lavendar mean by sending a child to you?" he growled. 
"What's he thinking of? But of course he never had any 



396 THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE 

sense. Well, madam, you will, I know, protect yourself by for- 
bidding my grandson to inflict further calls on you?" 

The color faded out of Helena's face, and, when Wright went 
tottering down the path, she staggered after him. He turned 
and waited. "Mr. Wright, you won't " Her face trembled 
with dismay. His hard eyes softened. "You think I'll tell," 
said he. " Gad-a-mercy, madam, I'm a gentleman. I shall 
say nothing to Lavendar, or anybody else. You and I under- 
stand each other. I'm a man of the world. But with Sam, 
it's different, isn't it? He's in love with you, and I thought 
you might but I see you wouldn't think of such a thing. I 
make you my apologies." And he turned away, mumbling, 
"Poor bird!" 

Shortly after his return to the great house up the hill, young 
Sam came to say that he would take money now, and go away 
from Old Chester. The money was supplied in liberal measure, 
and he departed on the following day. 

Helena soon forgot her terror at the old man's discovery of 
her secret in anger at his insinuation that harm could come to 
David by being with her. Of course her way of living was con- 
sidered "wrong" by people who could not understand such 
situations, but the idea of any harm coming to David was 
ridiculous! As for Sam Wright, all that sort of thing was im- 
possible because it was repugnant. She detested his love-mak- 
ing. As she thought of it all she fell in a fury of temper against 
old Benjamin, against Old Chester, against respectability. She 
determined to leave Old Chester. 

Mrs. Richie was independently wealthy, but she gave no 
personal attention to her business affairs, which were in the 
hands of an agent. From him she received a telegram an- 
nouncing the death of Frederick in Paris. She immediately 
telegraphed the glad news to Lloyd Pryor, and then watched 
the road for the coming of a messenger with a reply from him 
that he was on his way to see her. No reply came, and, with 
her heart heavy with apprehension, she concluded that he would 
come without announcing his journey. But the week passed, 
and instead of Lloyd a letter came from him, coldly inform- 
ing her that he was setting out on a journey of several weeks' 
duration. A uostscript referred to her telegram. "We must 



MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 297 

talk things over the next time I come to Old Chester," he 
wrote. 

The passion of disappointment, which endured long, was 
followed by hope that he would write fully in a few days. He 
did not, and Helena found it hard to excuse him, though she 
tried to, for she had to have excuses. She played with David 
as eagerly as ever, but her spirits drooped. Then young Sam 
came home. "I had to come back," he told his mother, kissing 
her, and her heart leaped with joy. "I had to come back," he 
told his grandfather a few hours later. Old Benjamin supposed 
he had run out of money, but he still appeared to have had 
plenty. Had he found a publisher for his drama? No, it had 
been rejected once, and he had destroyed it. "Fool!" said 
grandfather; "but I hope you've got over your fool falling in 
love with a woman old enough to be your mother?" 

"I love Mrs. Richie as much as I ever did," said Sam. Old 
Benjamin flew into a rage, storming mainly about the disparity 
in years. Sam made nothing of that saying that Mrs. Richie 
would overlook it. 

"Damnation!" roared Benjamin. "She, overlook! She 
isn't fit to marry." 

The young man gaped at him blankly. 

"She's bad/' Benjamin Wright said in a low voice. 

"How dare you!" cried Sam, in a sudden fury. "If her 
brother were here, he'd shoot you, but she has me, and I " 

"Her brother!" sneered Benjamin Wright. "He is her 
lover, my boy." 

Sam gasped, and swayed from side to side for a moment. 
Then he struck his grandfather full in the face. " You old fool ! 
You lie! You lie! Do you hear me?" 

The boy dashed away and ran straight to the Stuffed Animal 
House. Helena met him in the doorway, and he grasped her 
arm so hard that his nails cut into her flesh. 

" You will tell me that he lied," said Sam. " My grandfather 
said your brother was not your brother. He said he was your 
lover. My God! did he lie?" 

She tried to pull her wrist away from his grasp, but he pressed 
after her, his face dreadfully close to hers. She stared at him 
in a trance of fright for a long minute of silence. Then Sam 



298 THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE 

said slowly, as if reading the words from the open page of her 
face: "He did not lie." He dropped her wrist. "So this 
is life," he added thoughtfully. "Well, I have had enough 
of it." 

He went quickly out into the night, and for an hour Helena 
was dazed. Slowly the idea of immediate flight began to form 
in her mind, when suddenly the significance of Sam's last words 
occurred to her. She leaped to her feet and ran all the way to 
William King, to whom she told her fear that Sam meant to kill 
himself. King laughed at the thought, but, to comfort her, 
went with her to the Wright home. Sam shot himself in his 
room, and died instantly, while Dr. King and Helena were at 
the gate. 

It was given out, and his mother believed it, that the weapon 
was discharged accidentally. Three persons, at least, knew 
better, and each of them charged himself with the fault. Sam's 
father, because he had not welcomed his son's return, but had 
scolded him contemptuously; Sam's grandfather, for having 
betrayed Helena's secret; and Helena, for reasons so deep that 
she herself could not have explained them clearly at that time. 

After the shock of the tragedy she accomplished what she had 
told Willy King would be impossible: she attended Sam's funeral. 
It was a terrifying episode. When the coffin was borne down 
the aisle, the solid ground of experience heaved and staggered 
under her feet, and in the midst of the elemental tumult she had 
her first glimpse of responsibility a blasting glimpse that sent 
her cowering back to assertions of her right to her own happi- 
ness; but these assertions now found weak arguments to sus- 
tain them. In the crack of the pistol and the crash of ruined 
family life she heard for the first time the dreadful sound of the 
argument of her life to other lives; and at that sound the very 
foundation of those excuses of her right to happiness rocked 
and crumbled, and left her selfishness naked before her eyes. 
She was driven to the shelter of marriage: obedience to the letter 
of the law, for in her confusion she mistook marriage for moral- 
ity. At once! And she left the church determined to hold 
Lloyd Pryor to his promise. 

Dr. King called on her. He observed her somber mood 
and took her kindly to task for it. "You mustn't be morbid," 



MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 299 

he said. "You are no more responsible for young Sam's folly 
than I am." 

She shook her head dubiously, and the physician proceeded 
to argue with her. How could she help it if Sam did love her? 
Her gentleness and goodness were like something he had never 
seen before. Willy here had pronounced a text that stirred his 
warm heart to extended utterance. He preached away about 
her goodness, in spite of her interruptions and protests, until 
he frenzied her, and she blurted the truth about herself. Willy 
was inexpressibly shocked, and the pain in his white face tor- 
tured her further. "But I am going to be married !" she cried 
desperately as he turned away. 

At last Lloyd came. He told her he would keep his promise 
if she insisted on it, but he begged her to release him. Marriage 
with her would put him in a very awkward position with regard 
to his daughter Alice. How could they hope to deceive her, a 
grown woman, about their past relations? And Alice was so 
devoted to truth; she had such implicit confidence in him as the 
soul of honor; she was so pure, he said. 

"Alice is not the only person in the world," said Helena, and 
held him to his promise. He yielded, and they discussed de- 
tails. A casual allusion to David brought out Lloyd's indiffer- 
ence to the boy and Helena's profound love for him. She had 
not dreamed that Lloyd would not take David when he should 
take her, but had no intention of doing anything of the kind. 
"I can't give him up," Helena pleaded. "You needn't," Lloyd 
replied. "Of course you'll leave Old Chester. Very well, 
take him with you and I will visit you as often as I can." 

She fled from him again, and this time he did not try to per- 
suade her that he was joking. He sent a note to her room, giv- 
ing it as his opinion that she had settled the problem wisely. 
She penciled a reply: "I will never see you again. I never 
want to hear your name again." 

Just at this time David went with Dr. Lavendar on a long 
contemplated but brief visit to Philadelphia. During the boy's 
absence Willy King nerved himself to the performance of a most 
painful duty. 

It was unthinkable to him that a woman of Helena's manner 
of life should be entrusted with the care and bringing up of a 



300 THE AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE 

child. He had to tell her so, and to assure her that if she did 
not return David voluntarily to Dr. Lavendar, he would tell 
the clergyman what ought to be known about her. She re- 
belled at his cruelty, but she dared not defy him; and, to gain 
time for thought, she wrote Dr. Lavendar, asking him to keep 
David for a few days. The doctor did so, and the days passed 
without bringing her any light. At last she saw there was no 
choice, and herself told Dr. Lavendar the truth. 

The shock did not paralyze him, as it had paralyzed King, 
but he was firm in his attitude: she was not a proper person to 
rear a child, though he did not say that in so many words. On 
the contrary, when she pleaded that her wickedness had gone 
with the past, that she would be good and sacrifice herself for 
David, he told her that it was not his intention to take the boy 
from her. The substance of his argument was this: she had 
given up Lloyd because she would be happier with David; she 
had, therefore, made no sacrifice, but had chosen her course 
solely with a view to her own good ; the real question was, could 
she do David any good? And this question he pressed upon 
her until in shameful humility she answered: "No." 

"I am not worthy to have him/' she moaned at last. "I 
give him up." 

Dr. Lavendar then sought to guide her future. That she 
should leave Old Chester admitted of no argument. He recom- 
mended her to go to a Western town where he had friends to 
whom he would introduce her, and who would welcome her for 
his sake. Helena agreed humbly to all his suggestions. They 
talked the matter over and over for many days, and never once 
did she let her yearning for the boy overcome the new con- 
victions as to the life that Dr. Lavendar had awakened in her. 
On the day before her departure she had David with her for a 
last visit, and the boy protested bitterly because she was going 
to leave him. Helena's wooing of the lad had triumphed. He 
loved her! But she put him by, and next morning climbed into 
the stage to begin her journey. The vehicle stopped at the 
rectory and Dr. Lavendar came out to say good-by. He asked 
her whether she would take a package with her. Of course 
she would; where was it? The driver had it, Dr. Lavendar 
said. She looked pathetically about for David. 



MARGARETTA WADE DELAND 301 

"Oh, Dr. Lavendar," she said, "tell him I love him! 
Don't let him forget me!" 

"He won't forget you," replied the doctor. "Helena, your 
Master came into the world as a little child. Receive him in 
thy heart with thanksgiving." 

She looked at him, trembling and without words, but he 
understood her. Then she said faintly: "Good-by." She was 
so blinded with tears that she stumbled back into the stage be- 
fore she saw David, buttoned up to his ears in his first great- 
coat, and bubbling over with excitement. Even when she did 
see him she did not at first understand. She looked at him, and 
then at Dr. Lavendar, and then back at David, to whom it was 
all a delightful game which, the night before, Dr. Lavendar and 
he had got up between them. It served its purpose, for the 
child had no suspicion of anything unusual in the situation. 

"I'm the package!" said David joyously. 

The stage rumbled down the road, and Dr. Lavendar went 
back to his empty house. 



PHILIPPE DE MASSA 

(France, 1831) 
ZIBELINE (1892) 

As a writer of stories depicting the gaiety and amusements of polite French 
society, De Massa has always been a favorite, and the following example was 
crowned by the French Academy soon after its publication. 




Marquis Henri dc Prerolles, a young sub- 
lieutenant of chasseurs, stationed at Vincennes, 
had won the great military steeplechase at La 
Manche, and one of his debtors had offered to 
liquidate his obligations by a supper at the Res- 
taurant des Frkres Provenfeaux, largely patron- 
ized in the days of the Second Empire. 

About half-past eleven o'clock the dining- 
table was turned into a gaming-table; and before 
the night was over the Marquis had lost four hundred thousand 
francs to a certain Paul Landry, an ambitious and calculating 
plebeian, addicted to high play, and something of an adventurer. 
Reaching the barracks in time for roll-call, the Marquis went 
through the duties of the morning as if nothing had happened, 
for, in order to escape the inevitable gossip over his escapade, 
he had fully determined to ask to be transferred to Africa; but 
his plans were suddenly changed, for at noon orders came for 
the eighteenth battalion of infantry to go, in less than a month, 
to assist the Emperor Maximilian in his invasion of Mexico. 
He at once sought his brother-in-law, the Due de Montgeron, 
proprietor of the estate of La Sarthe, deputy of the Legitimist 
Opposition of the Empire, who lent him some money until the 
Marquis's ancestral chateau and lands could be sold to liquidate 
his gaming debt. This was soon done, and on the eve of 
his departure for Mexico, Henri found himself, after all hk 

302 



PHILIPPE DE MASSA 303 

debts had been settled, with only sixteen thousand francs and 
his pay. 

In a farewell visit to the house of his ancestors, he vowed 
before the portrait of that Marshal of France whose name he 
bore either to vanquish the enemy or to add glory to his family's 
history. He served the doomed cause in Mexico with dis- 
tinction; and on one occasion, after capturing a band of guer- 
rillas, he found among them the reckless adventurer, Paul 
Landry, the chief cause of his ruin. With noble generosity, he 
restored to the astonished Landry his accouterments and let 
him escape, saying simply: "This is my revenge!" 

Twenty-three years later, one cold afternoon in February, 
when the Bois de Bologne was covered with snow, the Marquis 
de Prrolles, now a general in command of one of the infantry 
divisions of the army of Paris, and retaining at forty-five the 
slight figure, quick eye, and strong voice of his youth, saw at 
the Skaters' Club a young woman with dark waving hair, small, 
well-set head, brilliant eyes, pale complexion, and a dignified 
and graceful carriage, of whom Parisian society had been gos- 
siping all winter, since she had, unchaperoned, set up an ele- 
gant establishment and appeared in all fashionable public 
places. It was said that she was a rich American, and she was 
known as Mademoiselle de Vermont; but because of her fond- 
ness for wearing the fur of an extremely rare animal found in 
Alaska and Greenland, some of the envious Parisiennes had 
given her the nickname of "Zibeline." 

That evening the Marquis saw the fair stranger in her box 
at the Comdie Fran^aise, and she observed him in the third 
row of orchestra seats. Valentine de Vermont was not yet 
twenty-two years old, and, having only recently come to Paris, 
she knew few people in society; but she had with her in her box 
a distant relative, the elderly Chevalier de Sainte-Foy, who 
presently was seen by interested observers of all that went on 
in that box to confer with Monsieur Durand, a notary, and the 
Baron de Samoreau, a banker. 

The next day, the committee of the Industrial Orphan Asy- 
lum met at the house of the Duchess de Montgeron, the Gen- 
eral's sister, and a statement was made that it had become 
necessary to purchase a new site for the institution; a motion 



304 ZIBELINE 

followed to ascertain whether the annual resources of the or- 
ganization would be sufficient to conduct the asylum, and at 
this point its treasurer, M. Durand, appeared, and said one of 
his rich clients had offered to assume all expenses provided she 
be allowed to choose the site herself, stipulating that her name 
be unknown until the offer was accepted; when, within three 
months, she agreed to make over to the society in a formal 
deed of gift the title of the real estate. This munificent offer 
was accepted with alacrity, and then the name was revealed. 
The generous donor proved to be Valentine de Vermont. The 
Duchess, finding that the young American was in her carriage 
at the gates, awaiting the return of M. Durand, invited her in, 
the Duke himself escorting her, and she was invited to sit in their 
box that evening at the opera. 

About this time the Due de Montgeron told his brother-in- 
law, the Marquis de Prrolles, that his intimacy with the actress 
Mademoiselle Eugenie Gontier, of the Comdie Franchise, was 
beginning to reflect upon his military standing, and the General 
at once determined to break it off. He told the actress his 
reason, and she soon consoled herself very philosophically by 
marrying the rich banker, the Baron de Samoreau. 

The afternoon after the opera Mademoiselle de Vermont 
called upon the Duchess de Montgeron and presented her with 
the signed contract which she had undertaken for the Orphan 
Asylum; and the Duchess, who was the president of the or- 
ganization, gave a dinner in her honor. A fortnight later Val- 
entine entertained the Due and Duchesse de Montgeron, with 
their friends, at dinner in her own magnificent hotel; and during 
the dancing that followed the dinner Henri de Pr6rolles became 
more deeply interested than before in the beautiful American. 
From a feeling of pride, and remorse at having thrown away 
his patrimony that mad night years before, he had forbidden 
himself ever to think of marriage. To defy this self-punish- 
ment, should he allow himself to ask for the hand of Made- 
moiselle de Vermont, would seem to sacrifice to the allurement 
of wealth the proud poverty he had borne so long. But temp- 
tation lurked in the shadow, the witness of this duel between 
pride and love. Valentine was often in the country, but Henri 
saw her at the review of the troops at Vincennes, and also on a 



PHILIPPE DE MASSA 305 

May morning where the Bagatelle road crosses the Pr-Catelan. 
She was mounted on her favorite horse, Seaman, and he on his 
famous charger, Aida. She challenged him to a race, and when 
they reached the Auteuil Hippodrome, which, although it was 
a race day, was not yet open to the public, she entered on the 
steeplechase track. In vain the General, knowing the dangers 
ahead, pleaded with her to desist. Their horses leaped all ob- 
stacles until Seaman, now beyond Zibeline's control, and not 
having taken sufficient time to prepare for the leap, struck the 
heavy beams put to obstruct further progress on the opposite 
side of a brook with such force that he fell with broken bones 
on the other side. Unhorsed by the shock, Valentine had gone 
over the animal's head and lay insensible on the grass. The 
General knelt beside her, and listened to her labored breathing. 
Assisted by two laborers and her groom, he placed her on a 
litter, and had her taken in a spring carriage to her home, 
where the surgeon said there was no fracture, but that he could 
not answer for the consequences of the shock; if she revived soon, 
her faculties would be unimpaired; if not, her condition was 
serious. But youth triumphed over death, and her first word 
was " Henri!" Valentine was saved, but from that word almost 
unconsciously spoken the General had learned her secret, and 
he felt more than ever the loss of his property and the family 
chateau, and his scruples about marrying returned. While 
Valentine was regaining consciousness, he left her to summon 
his sister, the Duchess, and Valentine's elderly relative, the 
Chevalier de Sainte-Foy. 

Two days later Mademoiselle de Vermont went to the 
country to recover from the shock, and from there she sent a 
note to the Marquis, asking him to accompany his sister to 
inspect the Orphan Asylum before it was formally handed over 
to the Society. Therefore, the next day he went with the Due 
and the Duchesse de Montgeron to Proles, and after driving a 
quarter of an hour they stopped at Valpendant, a feudal manor 
which had formerly belonged to the lords of Prrolles. The 
exact location of the asylum had been kept a secret, and it was 
a great surprise to Henri de Pr^rolles to find on this old place 
two fine buildings thoroughly equipped with everything neces- 
sary for the intellectual and manual training of children. The 
A.D., VOL. vi. 20 



306 ZIBELINE 

old tower alone remained, and even that had been turned into 
an abode for the future Director. 

The General did not seem as much interested as Zibeline 
had expected, but when he expressed a wish to see the old 
chateau she offered to drive him there. What was his astonish- 
ment to find, instead of the factory and cottages which he and 
the Duchess had seen erected there nine years after the property 
was sold to pay Henri's debts, the chateau restored, its garden- 
wall rebuilt, and instead of kitchen-gardens, the green fields as 
smooth as they used to be. Then Zibeline told Henri that she 
was the daughter of Paul Landry, who had won from him the 
four hundred thousand francs, with which he had founded and 
built up a great fur-trading business in America. She said 
that when her father was on his death-bed he had told her that 
the ruin he had brought upon the Marquis had been the re- 
morse of his whole life; and that after his death she had resolved 
to take her mother's name of De Vermont, to return to France, 
and restore to the Marquis his ancestral estates. They then 
drove up to the door of the chateau and entered Pr^rolles. The 
Duchess had assisted in arranging the interior, especially the 
gallery, where the family portraits had been rehung. Among 
them was now that of the General of Divisions, Henri, Marquis 
de Prerolles, in full uniform, mounted on Ai'da a portrait which 
Zibeline had secretly engaged a distinguished artist to paint. 
The Marquis was deeply touched by her though tfulness in 
placing his own portrait among those of his ancestors. Lead- 
ing her to that picture of the ancestral Marshal of France before 
which he had made his vow twenty-three years before either to 
vanquish the enemy or to regain with honor all that he had lost 
at play, he said, "I have kept my word," and asked her to be 
his wife. She promised him, and he turned to meet the Duke 
and Duchess, who were entering the room, and presented 
Zibeline to them as " the Marquise de Prerolles." 

At the opening of the Orphan Asylum the next day their 
engagement was made known by the announcement that the 
Marquis and Marquise de Prdrolles would assume the re- 
sponsibility of the support of the Orphan Asylum, and that this 
promise would form a special clause in their marriage contract. 



HENRI RENE ALBERT GUY DE 
MAUPASSANT 

(France, 1850-1893) 
MONT ORIOL (1883) 

The following talc was the first full-length novel from the pen of De Maupas- 
sant, who was aptly called "the master of the short story." In alluding to his 
own first attempt at writing a sustained narrative, he says: "After a succession 
of literary schools, which have given us deformed, superhuman, poetic, pathetic, 
charming, or splendid pictures of life, a naturalistic school has arisen, which 
maintains that it shows us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." 

BONNEFILLE discovered a great spring in 
Enval, Auvcrgne, and called it the Bonnefille 
Spring. Some landed proprietors in the neigh- 
borhood put up a building designed to serve as 
bathing establishment and casino; baths were to 
be had on the first floor, and music and wine on 
the floor above. Three hotels also were built 
for the accommodation of patients, and two new 
doctors soon made their appearance, the one from 
Paris, Dr. Latonne, and Dr. Honorat, an Auvergnat. 

The Marquis de Ravenel, his daughter, Madame Ander- 
matt, and her husband were at Enval. The Marquis met Dr. 
Bonnefille and asked him to come to see his daughter. Mon- 
sieur Andermatt had a letter to Dr. Latonne, but he, the Mar- 
quis, had perfect confidence in Dr. Bonnefille. 

Madame Andermatt was not very ill; she was nervous and 
anaemic, and disappointed at not having a child in her two 
years of married life. M. Andermatt, a Jew, devoted to busi- 
ness, related to the doctor his wife's symptoms and their dis- 
appointment at having no offspring, which disappointment they 
hoped would be turned to joy, as Dr. Bonnefille's pamphlet on 
the waters of Enval declared they were a cure for sterility. 

307 




308 MONT ORIOL 

Madame Andermatt, Christiane, was twenty-one. She knew 
nothing of love, and did not look below the surface of things, 
but took life as she found it. At first she had not liked the idea 
of marrying M. Andermatt, because he was a Jew. But Ma- 
dame Icardon, an old friend of her mother, persuaded the Mar- 
quis that it would be a good match for his daughter, as William 
Andermatt was very rich and amiable. 

Christiane's brother, Gontran, arrived at Enval, and brought 
with him his friend, Monsieur Paul Brctigny. 

Pfere Oriol, the richest peasant in the neighborhood, was 
going to blast his hill, which he had talked of doing for six 
years. He owned large tracts of land, including extensive vine- 
yards, and this hill threw a shadow over half of a large field. 
It would be a great event, this blasting, and everyone went to 
see it. After it was over a spring gushed out from the exposed 
ground, and everyone was excited about it. Andermatt, also, 
was excited over the new spring; if the analysis of the water 
should prove satisfactory he would establish a spa. He re- 
quested Gontran to take him to see Pfcre Oriol. Andermatt 
told Gontran that business was very amusing; one must be al- 
ways on the lookout for something new; the great battle of to- 
day is fought with money, and he fought continually. The rich 
business men, he said, are the men of might to-day. He should 
succeed, because he had the money and knew how to lead men. 

They found Pfere Oriol, his son, and two daughters, at home. 
Andermatt asked the old man how much he would take for his 
spring, and a certain portion of land, if the analysis of the water 
proved satisfactory, and told him to think the matter over and 
let him know. 

Pre Oriol and his son were excited over the discovery of 
the spring, and over Andermatt' s offer. The old man woke 
early the next morning, and, fearing the spring might have 
disappeared, he and his son went to look at it. On their way 
they met Pfcre Clovis, a paralytic, well known in the neighbor- 
hood; he had been a poacher, and became rheumatic from ex- 
posure in the streams and damp grass, watching for his prey. 
For ten years he had been going about on crutches, dragging 
his right leg behind him. There were those who declared that 
his lameness was assumed in order to deceive the gendarmes. 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 309 

The water was gushing from the spring and showing un- 
mistakable evidences of iron. The two Oriols then went to 
Pfere Clovis and by offering him money persuaded him to con- 
sent to take a bath in the spring every day, and to be cured 
at the end of the month. And if he became lame again that 
would be a matter of no consequence, for the cure would have 
been made through the use of the water. When Andermatt 
and Dr. Latonne appeared, Pfcre Oriol suddenly seemed to see 
Pfere Clovis, and arranged with the two men to try the effect 
of the water on the paralytic. 

Christiane asked Gontran to tell her something about his 
friend, who, she said, did not attract her. Gontran told her 
that Paul was very impetuous; he yielded to every impulse, not 
controlling any desire, whether virtuous or otherwise. He had 
had many love-affairs, and had fought several duels. 

Bretigny, talking to Christiane, was enthusiastic about Na- 
ture and perfumes. Christiane was astonished, as she had never 
heard anyone talk like that before. 

The Marquis told his daughter that her husband wished to 
win over to his views the whole Oriol family, and in order that 
it might be done with tact, they would organize a fete, and 
Christiane should make the acquaintance of the Oriol girls. 
The lite was a success, and raised a large sum of money for 
the parish. 

Paul talked to Christiane about music, and his enthusiasm 
about such things continued to astonish her. Although she 
had felt a slight repugnance to him at first, it had passed off, and 
they were now friends. He appealed to her intellect in a way 
that no man ever had before; he discoursed of art, of beauty, and 
quoted poetry. 

The Oriol girls had been educated at a convent, and were 
ladylike and pleasing, and Christiane became very friendly 
with them. Andermatt, full of his project to build a spa, went 
to Paris for a fortnight. 

The conversations between Paul and Christiane became 
more intimate. He related to her many of his experiences, and 
talked of love, of jealousy, of many romantic incidents that 
touched her heart. She became aware that he was paying 
court to her. Other men had done this, but she had laughed 



310 MONT ORIOL 

at them. Paul found her inexperienced in love, but was at- 
tracted by her ingenuousness. He treated her as a young girl; 
he desired her, but he would not touch her; he felt he should 
like to protect her from harm and trouble of all kinds. 

There was an excursion to the lake of Tazenat, and the re- 
turn was by moonlight. Paul was just behind Christiane in 
the moonlight, and she heard him say: "I love you! I love 
you! I love you!" When she awoke the next morning she 
remembered these words, and she was very happy. 

A few days later, Christiane, her father, and Paul went to 
see the ruins of Tournoel by moonlight. The Marquis was 
tired and sat down to rest, while the others went on. Chris- 
tiane was agitated; Paul took her in his arms, and kissed her 
lips. Her strength seemed to leave her and she yielded. 

The next morning Andcrmalt returned. Christiane did not 
wish him to come near her, so she told him she thought she was 
pregnant, and he was delighted. When she saw Paul she said: 
"I belong to you, body and soul. Do with me henceforth what 
you please.' ' 

Andermatt went to see how Pre Clovis was getting on, and 
to see P&re Oriol about the land. The analysis of the spring 
water was satisfactory, and Andermatt was now more enthusi- 
astic than ever about his project, and returned to Paris 
that evening. Christiane was glad to have him go. She 
went to her room early and sat in the moonlight; a shadow 
fell across her balcony; it was Paul, and she sprang into his 
arms. 

The whole town and the surrounding country were ab- 
sorbed in Andermatt's project; a brilliant future was predicted 
for the place, and nothing else was talked of. And in perfect 
security Paul and Christiane met and loved each other without 
anyone paying the slightest heed to them. Christiane saw only 
one man in the world, and that was Paul; she was oblivious of 
everything but his love. 

One evening the Marquis told them that Andermatt would 
return in four days, as everything was settled, and they should 
leave the day after his arrival. Andermatt brought friends 
with him, members of the new company, and a meeting was 
held, Pfere Oriol and his son being present. Final matters were 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 311 

discussed, and Mont Oriol was the name selected by Ander- 
matt for the new establishment. 

The lovers were distressed at the idea of a separation, and 
Paul asked Christiane to meet him at a group of chestnut-trees 
on the road to La Roche Pradifere. He arrived first, and 
watched her as she approached him in the moonlight. Her 
shadow on the white, dusty road preceded her, and when it 
reached him he went down on his hands and knees and kissing 
the outline of it, came to her, and, still on his knees, clasped her 
in his arms. They made plans to meet frequently in Paris. 

The following summer at Mont Oriol everything was going 
on well; there were a casino and a new hotel, and the baths were 
opened in June, but the official opening of the grand new estab- 
lishment was postponed until the first of July. There was to 
be a fete, the naming and blessing of the springs, and in the 
evening fireworks and a ball. 

In the evening Andermatt took Gontran aside for a talk. 
He had lent his brother-in-law large sums with great amiability; 
now he advised him to marry, and suggested one of the Oriol 
girls, as they would be rich. Pere Oriol had told him that cer- 
tain vineyards near the hotel and casino would be the dowries 
of these girls, and if they could be added to the establishment 
they would enhance its value greatly. Gontran said he would 
consider the matter. 

Christiane looked ill, and as if her accouchement were very 
near. She was looking at the fireworks with Paul, and asked 
him why he had not come sooner to Enval. He replied that he 
was detained by business, and moved his chair away from hers 
a little, as she leaned toward him. She was very happy at hav- 
ing him with her, and told him she wished to go at once to the 
place near La Roche Pradiere where they had said good-by the 
year before. He begged her not to think of it, for she was 
not able to walk so far; but she insisted, and he was obliged to 
go with her. He told her they might be seen, and she replied 
that he had not said that last year. She said she was very 
happy at the prospect of having a child that would be hers and 
his. She did not know that Paul had little of the paternal in- 
stinct, and that she was repugnant to him in her present con- 
dition. The "soaring of two hearts toward an inaccessible 



3 i2 MONT ORIOL 

ideal" was delicious and poetic to him; but the idea of a child 
of which he was the father coming from the ugly body of this 
woman, was disgusting to him. 

When they reached the road she would go through a scene 
resembling that of last year. She moved from him and drew 
his attention to her shadow on the road; and when he saw the 
shadow of her altered shape he was angry -with her that she 
could not understand his feelings, and told her that she was 
childish and ridiculous. She threw herself on his breast, telling 
him that she knew he loved her less. He felt some pity for 
her, and kissed her eyes. 

It was soon rumored that Gontran was paying attention to 
Charlotte Oriol, the younger of the two sisters. Christiane 
and Paul spoke to him, telling him not to compromise the girl. 
Gontran laughed, and said that perhaps he wished to marry 
her, and if he should marry her it would be the only sensible 
thing he ever had done. One day he told Andermatt he thought 
the time had come to propose to Charlotte; he had not committed 
himself, but he felt that she would accept him. But first he 
wished Andermatt to sound Pfcre Oriol, and his brother-in-law 
agreed to do so. Gontran went to Royat for the day, and on 
his return he sought Andermatt, who told him that Louise's 
dowry would be the lands near the casino, that were valuable, 
while Charlotte would have as dowry the land on the other side 
of the hill, which was of no value. Gontran was stunned, and 
knew not what to say or do. Andermatt would not advise him, 
but told him to think over the matter before deciding. 

The next day Gontran brought the two sisters to dine with 
Christiane. With much tact he made himself very agreeable to 
Louise without appearing to neglect Charlotte. He preferred 
Charlotte; she was more engaging, but his interests compelled 
him to court Louise, and it irritated him to be obliged to do so. 
But Louise, more dignified than Charlotte, would perhaps make 
a more distinguished appearance as Comtesse de Ravenel. 

For some time Christiane had felt that there was a change in 
Paul's love for her; it made her unhappy, but she had no idea 
of the cause. It began on the day when she told him that she 
was really enceinte] so happy was she to be in that condition that 
she talked of it incessantly. To him the affair was ugly and re- 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 313 

pugnant, and he thought she should have kept away from him, 
to reappear afterward more attractive than ever. He had ex- 
pected her to show tact enough to permit him to remain in Paris 
during the summer, while she was at Mont Oriol, and so pre- 
vent his seeing her ungainly shape and hollow cheeks. But she 
had written him urgent letters, and he came out of pity. She 
wearied him with her caresses and talk of love, and he had a 
strong desire to leave her. His irritation and weariness often 
showed in his words. They wounded her, for in her condition 
she needed sympathy more than ever. She loved him utterly, 
completely; she felt more like his wife than his mistress. She 
made him promise that he would tell her when he should no 
longer love her. 

Andermatt told Paul that he looked very unhappy since his 
arrival at Enval, and that one would think he was losing a great 
deal of money every day. 

For two years Gontran had been in great pecuniary distress, 
and a rich marriage was the only thing that could help him; yet 
so irritated was he to be obliged to turn his attentions to Louise 
that he almost resolved to remain a bachelor forever. But a 
loss at the casino strengthened his determination to marry. 

In the presence of Paul and Christiane, Charlotte showed 
distress at Gontran' s desertion, and they felt much sympathy 
for her. Paul spoke to Gontran about the girl's grief, and 
Gontran replied that he found he preferred Louise, adding 
allusions that disturbed Paul, as they made him fear Gontran 
knew of his intimacy with his sister. 

Christiane being no longer able to go out, Gontran was 
obliged to find someone to replace her as a companion, in order 
that he might see Louise frequently. He decided upon Dr. 
Honorat's wife, a rather common person, who was delighted to 
further any plans of the Comte de Ravenel, and Dr. Honorat 
had been intimate with the Oriol family for many years. Gon- 
tran took Paul into his confidence, and the two young men went 
often to the doctor's house, where they met the two sisters. 
When Gontran told Paul that he had declared himself to Louise, 
Paul felt a great tenderness for Charlotte. For some time he 
had been attracted by her goodness and her ingenuousness; 
there was no artificiality about her; she was simple and natural. 



314 MONT ORIOL 

After an interview with Pere Oriol, in which everything was 
arranged, Andermatt announced to the Marquis that Gontran 
would marry Louise Oriol in about six weeks. 

Paul went to see Christiane, who now kept her room. She 
looked at him reproachfully, asking many questions as to how 
he spent his days; for she was jealous, fearing he was falling in 
love with some other woman. 

Paul's visits to the Oriols continued, and he soon became 
jealous of Dr. Mazelli, who was there frequently. Paul looked 
upon the man as an adventurer, and resolved to warn Charlotte 
of him. He spoke to Gontran, who arranged an interview, 
which ended in a declaration and an embrace, cut short by the 
entrance of Pere Oriol. Charlotte fled, leaving her lover with 
the angry old man. Paul assured him solemnly that he had 
never embraced his daughter before, and that he desired to 
marry her. 

Dr. Latonne told Andermatt that Paul was to marry Char- 
lotte Oriol. Christiane, being in bed and feeling very miser- 
able, asked her husband to send for Dr. Black, and he con- 
sented to do so. Gontran and Andermatt were astonished at 
the news of Paul's engagement. He requested them not to tell 
Christiane, as he preferred to tell her himself. Dr. Black went 
in to see Christiane; and after he had prescribed for her, he be- 
gan to talk of various matters in Enval, and mentioned Paul's 
engagement. As soon as she realized what the doctor was 
saying, Christiane fainted. Suddenly pains came upon her, 
and she screamed. Fifteen hours later her daughter was born, 
and she felt that she never could touch it. But when her hu.-- 
band brought the child to her later, her repugnance vanished; 
she kissed the infant and held it in her arms, and felt a little 
less unhappy. 

Gontran spoke to her of Paul's marriage, every word piciv ing 
her heart. Madame Honorat came to take care of her, and 
Christiane asked her innumerable questions about Paul and 
Charlotte. Christiane was delirious all that night. The next 
day she was calm, but felt that after this terrible crisis she could 
never be the same again. Even in her lover's arms, she now 
understood, when they sought to intermingle body and soul, 
they had not, and never could succeed in really coming close 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 315 

together. She saw that from the beginning of the world it had 
been so, and that it would be so even unto the end. 

Andermatt told Christiane that Paul wished to know whether 
she had heard of his intended marriage, and she sent him word 
that she entirely approved of it. Paul desired to see the child, 
and to know what name she would give it, whether Marguerite 
or Genevieve. Christiane said she should call the child Arlette. 

On the first day that Christiane was able to sit up there was 
to be a public exhibition and experiments at the establishment, 
in which Pere Clovis was to take part. Christiane asked her 
husband to tell Paul that she would like to see him, and he 
could keep her company while the others were enjoying the 
experiments. 

For some days Paul had thought of their first meeting and 
dreaded it. He feared to meet Christiane's eyes, the eyes of the 
woman whom he had loved so fiercely and for so short a time. 
What would be her attitude, and how should he conduct himself? 

She was lying down, one hand on the cradle beside her, the 
curtains of which were closely pinned together. A few com- 
monplace remarks regarding her health passed between them, 
and then the child began to cry. Christiane excused herself, 
saying that she must attend to her daughter. Paul kissed the 
hand she held out to him, as she said: 

"I pray that you may be happy." 




A LIFE (1883) 

The controversy over the following story among French critics was long and 
spirited; some declared that such revelations of vice and domestic infelicity 
should find no place in modern fiction; others maintained that its truth over- 
shadowed its unpleasantness. 

JEANNE had left the convent of the Sacred Heart, 
in Rouen, the second of May, after five years of 
residence there, and now, a tall, well-developed 
girl of seventeen, looking like a portrait by Paul 
Veronese, with an appetite for happiness, she 
was eager to taste all the joys of life. Her eyes 
were of the opaque blue of Holland faience; her 
hair was fair and shining. Her parents had come 
to take her to The Poplars, an old family chateau 
on the cliff, near Yport, which was to be hers when she married. 
Of late years, Jeanne's mother had grown enormous, and she 
suffered from hypertrophy of the heart. Her husband used to 
address her as "Madame Adelaide." * 

Baron Simon- Jacques Le Pcrthuis des Vaucls was an aris- 
tocrat, a disciple of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, immensely good- 
natured. The family lived simply, and their income of twenty 
thousand livres would have amply sufficed but for their good- 
natured generosity. The chateau of The Poplars was an 
enormous Norman residence of gray stone. The drawing- 
room was hung with tapestries, and the furniture was up- 
holstered in the same, illustrating La Fontaine's Fables. 
Jeanne's apartment had been newly refurnished, and the girl 
uttered a cry of delight over the superb canopied bed, whose 
tapestries represented "Pyramus and Thisbe" very naively. 
An Empire clock represented a golden beehive, the pendulum 
an enameled bee swinging over a bed of golden flowers. 

The little park was bounded by avenues of enormous pop- 
lars, which bordered two of the farms. Beyond, a long plain, 

316 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 317 

thick with furze, fell in a cliff steep and white, whose base the 
ocean bathed. The perfumed air had a saline odor. As Jeanne 
looked at it all, strange shivers ran through her, and she began 
to dream of love. When would He oome? 

Her life became a free and dreamy existence. She loved to 
wander along the cliff, and took a passionate delight in long 
baths in the cool blue ocean. Her white-haired father busied 
himself about the estate, and her stout mother would dream, 
motionless, or take very short walks. 

One Sunday the two women met the cur after mass, and 
he presented to them an elegant young man, the Vicomte de 
Lamare. His black, curly hair shaded a smooth brow, and 
perfectly curved eyebrows gave his dark eyes, fringed with long 
lashes and with a bluish tinge to the whites, an eloquent, lan- 
guorous charm. A thick beard, glossy and fine, concealed a 
rather heavy chin. Two days later he called, and his glances, 
admiring and sympathetic, awoke a singular perturbation in 
Jeanne. He talked with the Baronne about the aristocrats in 
the neighborhood, the Marquis dc Coutelier, the De Brisevilles, 
and Comte de Fourville, a great hunter, whose chateau was 
called " La Vrillitte" a sort of bogey who was said to be kill- 
ing his wife with sorrow. These were the only neighbors in 
their class. 

They invited the Vicomte to dinner the next Sunday, and 
after that he called frequently. There was an excursion to 
Etretat, and Jeanne and the Vicomte walked and exchanged 
views, aspirations, and personal sentiments. When Jeanne re- 
tired that night she hunted up an old doll and cuddled and 
kissed it, and wondered whether the Vicomte were the husband 
Providence had sent her. 

In six weeks they were married, and after the ceremony 
they strolled through the wooded valley. His arm stole about 
her waist. " This evening you will be my wife." She, who had 
thought only of the poetry of love, was surprised. Was she 
not his wife already? 

Suddenly, placing his hands upon her shoulders, he planted, 
full on her mouth, a long kiss. It penetrated her veins, her 
marrow, giving her such a shock that she wildly pushed him 
away. "Let us go away from here/' she stammered. 



3 i8 A LIFE 

When Jeanne went up to her bed-room that evening, Rosalie, 
weeping so that she could hardly undress her mistress, got her 
into her night-robes and fled, still sobbing. She seemed much 
more moved than her mistress. Jeanne, in the cool sheets, 
shivered and waited, anxious and oppressed. Then she heard 
a light tap at the door, and he entered. Later, she asked her- 
self, despondent, disillusioned: "So this is what he calls being 
his wife?" She pondered thus a long while, disconsolate. 
Then, as Julien neither spoke nor moved, she turned her head 
slowly toward him. He lay at her side asleep, and she felt more 
outraged than by his brutality. Was what had passed between 
them nothing more to him than that? 

Four days later they set out on their bridal tour to Corsica, 
the Baroness slipping a purse into her hand. Toward evening, 
Julien asked how much her mother had given her. She looked. 
It was two thousand francs. She clapped her hands. " I will 
do all sorts of foolish things with it." His solicitude as to how 
much would do for this or that "tip" during the trip annoyed 
Jeanne. He was captious about the bills, and when he secured 
a slight reduction he would rub his hands and say: "I don't 
like to be robbed." He persuaded Jeanne to give him her purse, 
later, as it would be safer in his belt. 

After their arrival in Paris, on their return, she asked for 
this money of hers for purchases, and he gave her a hundred 
francs, with the advice not to waste it. 

" We have the same purse now, but you see I do not refuse 
you money," he said. 

In a week they were again at The Poplars. But how changed 
everything seemed! Was it the same place she had known and 
Drilled over in May? A presentiment of the long weariness of 
the monotonous life awaiting her weighed on Jeanne's soul. 
Her relations with Julien changed completely. He was like an 
actor who had played his part and can be himself again. He 
assumed control of the property, neglected his clothes and the 
care of his person, and met Jeanne's tender reproaches with a 
"Let me alone, won't you?" which checked her effectually. 
They became as strangers to each other. Julien's economy 
made many changes, some of them ridiculous. In a fit of 
anger, he beat poor Marius, the boy that drove for him, until 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 319 

the Baron sternly made him desist. But at dinner, Julien was 
as charming as if nothing had happened. 

At Christmas, the Baron and his wife went to Rouen, to 
their house there, leaving The Poplars to the two. They played 
cards, Jeanne embroidered, and Julien's parsimony kept him 
busy in retrenching needless expenses, including a little Nor- 
man cake the baker used to bring for Jeanne's breakfast! 

"Will you ever learn the worth of money ?" he used to say 
to her. Her mother had taught her that " money was made to 
spend." 

Jeanne's sadness did not prevent her remarking a fearful 
change in her light-hearted maid, the once round and pink- 
cheeked Rosalie. 

"Are you sick?" she would ask. 

"No, Madame," the girl answered, her pale, hollow cheeks 
flushing as she hurried away. One dismal morning Rosalie 
was seized with labor pains as she was making the bed, and 
gave birth to a boy. Julien's one concern was to get the two 
out of the house after this; but Jeanne's kind heart was bent 
on discovering the father and making him marry the girl. 

"She has sinned; but she is my foster-sister, and I will not 
put her out. And, if necessary, I will raise her child." 

Her husband went out, furious, and slammed the door. 
But he was more considerate of his wife after this, and visited 
her before retiring almost every three days. Jeanne waited 
anxiously for the return of spring. One bitter cold night he 
said to her good-naturedly: 

"This is a good night to cuddle up, isn't it, little one?" with 
a happy laugh. 

She put her arms around him, whispering why she preferred 
to be alone, telling her hopes and fears. Julien had a fire made 
in her room, and went to his own. 

Her fears and oppression and chilliness during the night 
made Jeanne afraid she might be dying. Rosalie did not hear 
her ring. She went up-stairs to her room, but it had not been 
occupied that night. Jeanne was irritated that she should have 
gone out in the snow. She was still fearful, and went to 
Julien's room. The candle-light showed her Rosalie lying by 
her husband's side! She gave a horrible scream, which awak- 



320 A LIFE 

ened them, and then ran to her room. Julien had called to 
her. She could not see him. She rushed out into the snow, 
barefoot, with only her night-robe on. Better die; then all 
would be over! She stumbled on, until she paused on the 
cliff, ready to throw herself over, the word on her lip which the 
young soldier on the battle-field murmurs with his dying 
breath "Mother!" She fell back in the snow, powerless; 
and then came blankness. 

When she came to her senses, in her own bed, she knew she 
had been ill. She told her mother of her discovery, and Julien 
declared it was a hallucination of her brain-fever. Jeanne 
had Rosalie brought before them and the priest, and the girl, 
sobbing, confessed everything. Julien had secreted himself in 
her room the first time he had come to The Poplars for dinner. 
He had resumed his relations with her the first night of his re- 
turn from the bridal tour. Her child was his. 

A dull despair, which nothing could ever allay, penetrated 
Jeanne's soul now. Her eyes filled with tears. Her servant's 
child belonged to the same father as her own! Julien had left 
her to go to this girl! 

"Make her go. Take her away," said she to her father. 

Rosalie left The Poplars, and through the Abb Picot's inter- 
cession an open rupture was averted. 

"In your child's name, forgive your husband. Your child 
will be a bond between you: a pledge of his future faithfulness." 

The gentle Baronne urged this also. Bruised and weary in 
soul and body, Jeanne had strength for neither anger nor for- 
giveness. 

A stout peasant woman took Rosalie's place at The Poplars. 
The spring came, and one day the De Fourvilles called. A 
pretty, blonde woman, with large luminous eyes, presented her 
husband to Jeanne. He was a giant, with a large, red mustache. 
The lady was so charming and refined that Jeanne loved her at 
once. Julien entered, looking so handsome and attractive that 
his wife wondered. The lady invited Julien to ride with her 
the following Thursday. 

"When you are well," she said to Jeanne, "we three will 
take long rides together." 

In July, Jeanne was delivered of a son, and her joy knew no 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 321 

bounds. That little child was her safeguard against despair. 
When she became stronger, Julien and she and the De Four- 
villes took their rides together. A change seemed to have come 
over Madame de Fourville; she was so tender and gay. 

One day Jeanne felt a dreamy, springtime fancy to revisit 
the woods near Etretat, where Julien had spoken his first words 
of love to her. Therefore, she rode thither. She discovered 
two horses tethered near the spot, while a woman's glove and 
two riding-whips lay on the grass. She called to them; but 
neither Gilberte nor her husband responded. A sudden sus- 
picion entered her mind. She saw it all now, and rode home 
very seriously. Julien's course did not distress her, but the 
treachery of the Countess her friend! was revolting. 

Her parents visited her in May, and she was never so glad to 
see them. But the Baroness had aged terribly and could hardly 
move. The poor lady was listless, and spent hours reading her 
old letters in the "souvenir drawer." When alone, she would 
kiss some of them, and weep. When the Baron caught his wife 
thus, he would say to Jeanne: "Burn your letters. They will 
sadden you some day." 

One day, in taking her walk, the Baroness fell to the ground, 
black in the face. They brought her in, and summoned the 
doctor, but she never revived. Jeanne insisted on spending the 
night alone by her dead mother, and as she watched there a 
sweet, consoling inspiration seized her. She would read her 
mother's letters, as she would read a pious book. This would 
please her mother in the other world. 

She drew them out, and read them. One package con- 
tained burning love-letters, and at last she found the name of 
the writer her mother's lover appended to the acceptance of 
a dinner invitation. It was that of her father's "old friend 
Paul," whose wife had been the Baroness's best friend! She 
cast the letters from her, and burst into bitter tears. But as her 
father might come and surprise her and the letters she gath- 
ered them all and burned them in the fireplace. 

Gloomy days followed. Jeanne's mangled heart refused to 
heal; her last confidence and last belief had disappeared together. 
Her father went away for change of scene, and then Paul, her 
son, was taken ill, and she watched twelve nights by him, frantic 

A.D., VOL. VI. 21 



322 A LIFE 

with anxiety. He recovered; but what would she have done if 
he had died? A longing for another child possessed her. 
Every night she saw in her dreams a little girl playing under the 
plane-tree with Paul. Twice she crept softly to her husband's 
door, despite remembrance of Rosalie and her conviction that 
he had now another attachment. But without turning the knob 
she went back, burning with shame. 

She discovered that Julien wished for no more children. It 
was only by diplomacy and a little lying that she accomplished 
her desire, and became happy at finding herself enceinte. She 
now thought that nothing could ever hurt her. Her children 
would grow up and cherish her, and she could spend her old 
age in peace under their fostering care. 

A new abb had succeeded Abbd Picot. He was of the 
narrowest and most dogmatic type, and soon made himself 
universally detested. What most aroused his intolerance was 
illicit love. He discovered the liaison of Julien and the Countess 
Gilberte, and even hinted at it from the pulpit. They often 
saw him when they were out riding. They used to avail them- 
selves of a shepherd's traveling-hut on wheels, abandoned on the 
crest of the hilly clifif of Vaucotte. The Abb Tolbiac apprised 
Comte de Fourville of his wife's treachery, and he took a fright- 
ful revenge. He trailed the pair to their hut, slid the bolt, and 
then sent the thing rolling down the hill, while those inside were 
shrieking. It reached the verge, shot into the air, and was 
crushed like an egg-shell on the beach. When the two bodies 
were discovered they were so shattered that their mangled 
remains seemed boneless. 

When Julien's corpse was brought to The Poplars Jeanne 
fainted with horror, and that night she gave birth to a dead 
baby, a girl. For three months she kept her room, and when 
she raflied she had a nervous malady. She remembered only 
the brief happy days of her married life. 

Her father and Aunt Lison, her mother's sister, an old 
maid, lived with her at The Poplars, and the three united to 
spoil young Paul, who was nicknamed " Poulet." Jeanne could 
hardly consent to his going to college, even when he was a big, 
turbulent lad of fifteen. He showed little interest in his studies, 
and after four years had got no farther than rhetoric. He used 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 323 

to ride over to see them, at first, but his visits grew fewer and 
shorter. They discovered that he gambled, and had to pay a 
thousand francs to save his honor. The Baron went to Rouen. 
"Poulet" had not been there for a month. They found him 
with a loose woman, and brought him back to The Poplars, but 
he was idle, irritable, and brutal. A month later, he disap- 
peared, and they learned that he had gone to England with the 
same woman. A letter found in Paul's room showed her pas- 
sionate love for him, and that she was supplying the money for 
this journey. 

Jeanne's hair had become almost white. The women of 
position in the neighborhood had discontinued visiting The 
Poplars, because the fanatical zeal of the Abb Tolbiac had 
turned its inmates from religious observances. 

Then Paul wrote from London. He wished Jeanne to ad- 
vance him fifteen thousand francs of his father's inheritance, as 
he would soon attain his majority, and they were very poor, as 
the woman, "whom I love with all my soul," had spent her five 
thousand francs in order to live with him. 

Jeanne sent the money, but she realized that this woman 
was her rival in Paul's love. They heard nothing more from 
him for five months. Then he returned to Paris and received 
Julien's legacy of one hundred and twenty thousand francs. 
In the next six months four curt, cool notes came from him. 
Not a word of his mistress. A long time elapsed, and then a 
letter that announced the failure of a speculation he had en- 
gaged in, and such need of forty-five thousand francs that he 
would be ruined without it. "I will blow out my brains rather 
than survive disgrace," he wrote. The Baron mortgaged his 
estates for that sum. 

A year passed, without Paul's coming to see them, although 
he wrote three letters saying in each that he would. He had 
organized a steamboat company now, which would bring in a 
fortune; but the company failed. Jeanne had hysterics for 
several hours, and the Baron heavily mortgaged the chateau of 
The Poplars, and farms, to meet the liabilities. Shortly after- 
ward her father was stricken with apoplexy, and died before 
Jeanne could reach his side. 

Abb Tolbiac refused a church funeral to the free-thinking 



324 A LIFE 

Baron; so he was buried at nightfall without any religious 
ceremonies. Paul wrote to Jeanne that he had heard the news 
too late to come to the funeral, but would soon return from 
England to see her. At the end of the winter Aunt Lison passed 
away with pneumonia. 

Jeanne sank to the ground as she saw the earth fall on the 
coffin, with a yearning for death in her soul. A strong peasant 
woman lifted her in her arms and carried her home, undressed 
her gently, and put her to bed, as if she were a child. She be- 
gan to cry and to kiss Jeanne's cheeks, her eyes, her hair. 

"My poor mistress, Mam'zelle Jeanne, don't you remember 
me?" she exclaimed tenderly. 

"Rosalie!" cried Jeanne, and they clung to each other, and 
sobbed as if their hearts would break. They had not met for 
twenty-four years. Rosalie was a widow, with a snug fortune, 
and a good son who had charge of the farm. She had come to 
devote herself to her impoverished mistress, now little richer 
than herself. 

"But I will look after all that now, and quick, too," she 
said, in indignant tones. "For I am going to serve you. But 
not for money, you understand." 

In eight days Rosalie had taken into her own hands the 
management of all the household affairs. One day she startled 
Jeanne by saying that she must sell The Poplars. Jeanne 
sprang up in revolt; but the level-headed peasant woman soon 
convinced her of the reasonableness of this. Soon afterward a 
letter from Paul demanded ten thousand francs, and Jeanne 
wrote: 

MY DEAR BOY : I can do nothing more for you. You have ruined me. I 
have been obliged to sell The Poplars. But never forget you will always find a 
home with your poor mother, whom you have made to suffer so much. 

Through Rosalie, she bought a little farmhouse in Batte- 
ville. It was hard to determine what familiar household objects 
to take with her when Denis Lecoq, a red, vigorous, blue-eyed 
peasant, came to drive her to her new home. He was her ser- 
vant's son, Julien's son, Paul's half-brother. Jeanne felt her 
heart stop beating, and yet she could have kissed him. 

The arranging of her new home occupied her awhile. Then 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 



3*5 



she became despondent. There was no distraction; she saw 
no one; she missed the ocean; her one thought was Paul. 
Spring and summer passed, and in the autumn she wrote to 
Paul, entreating him to return to her, saying she was ill, alone, 
longing for him. "Come back to me, oh, my little Poulet! 
Come back to your old mother Jeanne, who stretches her arms 
to you." In a few days he wrote to say that he would come, 
but that he must marry the woman who had been so loyal to 
him. He asked her consent to the marriage, and that they all 
might live together. 

Jeanne, stunned by this, went to Paris to rescue her boy. 
But he had removed, and she could not find him. So she re- 
turned one cold snowy morning to Batteville, and lived on list- 
lessly, dreaming over her life and murmuring, "Poulet, my 
little Poulet," as if he were beside her. 

One day, Rosalie took her to The Poplars. A letter from 
Paul was under the door when she returned to her farm. It 
said his wife was dying after the birth of a little girl; he had no 
money, and he feared the baby would die. 

"I will go and get the child," said Rosalie. 

Three days later she returned, and Jeanne met her at the 
station. 

"Well, she died last night," said Rosalie. "They were 
married, and here's the child. Paul will come as soon as the 
funeral is over." 

As they drove back, an infinite peace lay over the earth. 
Jeanne watched the sky. Suddenly the warmth of the little 
creature penetrated her lap, and she uncovered its face. Her 
son's daughter, so frail, opened blue eyes on the glaring light. 
Jeanne kissed it rapturously and pressed it to her breast. 

Rosalie, as if answering a thought of her own, said: "You 
see, life is never quite so bad, or so pleasant, as one imagines 
it is." 




BEL AMI: OR, THE HISTORY OF A 
SCOUNDREL (1885) 

No less excitement was caused in France by this story than by its prede- 
oessors; but, in spite of the severe censure it met, it was pronounced a master- 
piece of analytical writing. 

GEORGES DUROY had come to his last two 
francs when pay-day was still forty-eight hours 
distant. He was the son of ignorant peasants, 
but had been fairly educated, had served as a 
soldier more than two years in Algeria, and now, 
having become discontented with army life and 
prospects, was clerk in a railway office at a piti- 
ably small salary. He was immeasurably dis- 
contented with his present career and prospects, 
but saw no way to improve either. He wandered in the boule- 
vards, clinging to his remnant of money lest he go hungry during 
the next two days, when he chanced to encounter Forestier, an 
army comrade who was now a political writer for La Vie Fran- 
faise, an obscure newspaper. When they had done with 
reminiscences and come to the present, and Forestier had 
learned of his friend's pinched condition, he suggested that 
Duroy try journalism, and promised to use his influence to get 
him a place as reporter. He lent Duroy money that he might 
obtain suitable clothes to attend a private dinner and meet 
Monsieur Walter, the editor of La Vie Fran$aise. Duroy ac- 
cepted the money and used part of it in entertaining a woman 
who had smiled at him; but he presented himself at the dinner 
suitably garbed and made a favorable impression on Walter, 
who asked him to prove his ability by writing a paper on Algeria, 
a subject then of great interest to all Frenchmen. 

There were present at the dinner, besides Forestier and his 
wife, and Walter, Madame Clotilde de Marelle and her little 

3*6 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 327 

daughter, Laurine. Duroy, who felt very awkward in his 
ignorance of etiquette, devoted himself as much as possible to 
the child, with the effect of charming not only the little girl but 
her mother also, who invited him to call. 

Duroy went to his cheap lodging feeling that his future was 
assured. He began at once to prepare the special article or- 
dered by Walter, but he could get no further than to lay paper 
on the table and dip his pen in ink. He never had written more 
than short letters to his parents, and he struggled helplessly with 
the first sentence. It was just as difficult next morning, and in 
despair he went to Forestier to beg assistance. Forestier was 
hurrying to his office, and told Duroy to ask his wife's aid. He 
did so, and Madame Forestier dictated the article to him after 
he had told her, in an offhand way, some of his experiences in 
Algeria. 

While they were at work, Duroy writing, Madame leaning 
against the mantel and smoking cigarettes as she dictated, an 
elderly man entered unannounced. He appeared to be sur- 
prised at finding anybody with Madame, and she was the least 
bit confused for an instant; but she recovered immediately and 
introduced the gentlemen in a natural manner. The new- 
comer was the Count de Vaudrec, "our best friend." Duroy 
bowed stiffly and took his departure as soon thereafter as he 
could, feeling strangely uncomfortable. 

Walter was highly pleased with the article on Algeria, and 
ordered another, which Duroy found it equally difficult to 
write. Again he sought his friend's assistance; but when he 
called Madame was dictating a political leader to her husband, 
and Forestier irritably told him to help himself. In a rage, 
he returned to his lodging and scribbled several pages of im- 
possible stuff, which, naturally, were returned as unsatisfactory. 

But Duroy obtained employment as a reporter and quickly 
developed a knack at news-gathering which made him valuable 
to the paper, and before long he acquired some facility in the 
composition of extended articles. But there were not many 
subjects on which he was qualified to write as yet, and his in- 
come remained small. It was larger than his pay as a clerk, 
but was far too little for the needs that developed from his new 
mode of life. 



328 BEL AMI 

One day he bethought him of Madame de Marelle's in- 
vitation, and he called on her. She was glad to see him, and 
little Laurine was delighted. The child promptly nicknamed 
him "Bel Ami," an appellation that eventually came into com- 
mon use among his new friends. Duroy learned that Madame 
de Marelle was married to a railway contractor, who passed 
no more than one week in every month at home. She was very 
pleasant; he called again, and presently he was launched on his 
first intrigue. She visited him at his cheap lodgings until in- 
considerate remarks by other tenants of the building offended 
her. Then she engaged a room on the ground floor of a house 
in the Rue de Constantinople. It was in Duroy's name, but 
she had paid the rent. He protested somewhat, but she told 
him he could take her to see things in Paris that were strange 
to her, which he did, and fell rapidly into debt. The time came 
when he could not conceal from her his utter poverty. She 
willingly gave up the excursions and dinners that cost money, 
and slipped a gold piece into his pocket, which he found after 
they parted. He swore to himself that he would not use it, 
but he had to breakfast, and when the coin had been broken, 
he assured himself that he would repay her soon. Before he 
had repaid a sou he had borrowed two hundred and eighty 
francs from her, and then they quarreled over something that 
had nothing to do with money. In a rage of wounded dignity, 
he tried to borrow enough from his newspaper associates to 
repay her in full. He scraped together in this way all of eighty 
francs, and gave it up. The debt could wait, and he spent the 
eighty francs on his own devices. 

Meantime, Duroy was an occasional visitor at the For- 
estiers', where he often met persons of importance. One eve- 
ning he was frozen to the marrow by the discovery that Clotilde 
de Marelle was among the guests. He tried to avoid seeing 
her, dreading a scandalous scene, but presently she accosted 
him suavely and talked with him as if nothing had happened. 
The meetings in the Rue de Constantinople were resumed, and 
Duroy also called on Clotilde at her own apartments and met 
her husband. It was embarrassing at first, but he soon accus- 
tomed himself to the situation and enjoyed its humorous aspect. 

His advance in journalism was steady, though not rapid. 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 329 

Something was necessary to establish him firmly in his pro- 
fession, and a duel did it. A writer on a rival sheet took ex- 
ception to one of Duroy's most commonplace paragraphs, and 
there were two or three days of controversy, ending in such an 
insulting statement by the adversary that Duroy was compelled 
to challenge. The affair was conducted with all solemnity and 
realism, so far as Duroy was concerned. He could not under- 
stand why he should have to shoot at a man and be shot at. It 
all seemed cruelly absurd, but he was not afraid. He told him- 
self so at every stage in the proceeding, and on the field itself 
his deportment outwardly was unexceptionable. Both adver- 
saries fired at the word, and two bullets went somewhere out 
of harm. The seconds, in preparing the necessary account of 
the combat for publication, interpreted the fact that each fired 
once as "two shots were exchanged," and Duroy was thence- 
forth an undeniable journalist of the first rank. Clotilde was 
so wrought up by the account she read that she telegraphed for 
him to meet her at once, and there were raptures to compensate 
Duroy for his ordeal. 

Forestier had been an invalid from the time when Duroy re- 
newed his acquaintance. He died after a lingering illness, and 
his wife had sent for Duroy, as their closest friend, to be with 
him at the last. Forestier was not yet buried when Duroy 
delicately intimated to Madame that he loved her. She re- 
ceived the declaration calmly, and within a year accepted him; 
but she made certain terms. There was to be no jealousy; she 
was to be free to do as she pleased, to see such friends as she 
liked, without question. Duroy consented, for he knew that in 
her he would have an ally who would make his professional work 
doubly effective. Madeleine also asked him to change his name, 
confessing with charming frankness that she thought Duroy just 
a little plebeian, and that she longed to be distinguished. They 
experimented with names. Duroy was born at Canteleu. By 
modifying this, and dividing his right name, they arrived at 
Georges du Roy de Cantel, which signature thereafter was 
appended to his serious articles. 

They were married, and Du Roy succeeded to Forestier's 
work for the paper. Some time before the ceremony he told 
Clotilde of his marriage, anticipating a troublesome scene. 



330 BEL AMI 

She took it sadly, but there was no scene, for she seemed to be 
convinced, as he was, that it was a step necessary to his ad- 
vancement. Count de Vaudrec called on Madeleine as he had 
done during Forestier's lifetime, and Du Roy tolerated him. 
Important persons came to his apartment. Indeed, Madeleine's 
political salon was of much more consequence than she had been 
able to make it during her first husband's life. One of the most 
frequent visitors was Deputy Laroche-Mathieu, a stockholder 
in La Vie Fran$aise, and a rising man in the Government. He 
inspired many articles for Du Roy, who in turn helped the 
paper to increase in influence. It was already a sheet that had 
to be reckoned with. 

Monsieur and Madame Walter occasionally graced the 
political salon, and once Madame Walter brought her two 
grown-up daughters, one of whom, Suzanne, the elder, was 
rather attractive. Du Roy thoughtfully, and with remarkable 
moderation, began to make himself agreeable to Madame 
Walter. There was no difficulty in winning her esteem, for 
everybody liked Du Roy, he was so unassuming and so hand- 
some, but it was not easy to bring his employer's wife to the 
expression of any deeper sentiment. She was startled, ap- 
parently unspeakably shocked, when he despairingly made 
known the hopeless passion he had conceived for her. She 
wept violently, and Du Roy was sure she loved him. So it 
proved, after a tactful and patient wooing. They met in the 
Rue de Constantinople at hours when Clotilde could not possibly 
be there. Madame Walter became madly infatuated, and she 
was able to be of material benefit to her lover in one instance. 
A conversation she overheard at home convinced her that 
Laroche-Mathieu was purposely misinforming Du Roy about 
the contemplated action of the Government in a certain matter, 
meaning through the newspaper to mislead the public so that 
he and Walter could profit by an unexpected rise in the shares 
of a great enterprise. Madame W T alter bought a considerable 
number of shares for Du Roy and held them until she sold at 
a profit and had seventy thousand francs for him. 

Before the profit was taken, however, he had grown desper- 
ately tired of her, and other things had happened. Vaudrec died, 
leaving all his property, more than a million, to Madeleine; and 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 331 

Du Roy considered this matter with his usual gravity and 
moderation. 

" We cannot accept this legacy," he said, " because it would be 
tantamount to an admission that your relations with Vaudrec 
were improper." 

His wife replied that he, as head of the household, had the 
right to decline the legacy. It was a matter of indifference to 
her. Her coolness annoyed him. He tried in every way he 
could think of to induce her to confess that she had sustained 
illicit relations with Vaudrec. She refused contemptuously to 
answer him, one way or the other. After announcing for a 
dozen times that dignity forbade the acceptance of the legacy, 
he had Vaudrec's attorney draw up a deed by the terms of which 
Madeleine made over one half of the legacy to her husband. 
This, Du Roy argued, made it appear that Vaudrec had divided 
his fortune between them, and relieved him of any mortification 
in accepting the Count's money. 

At this critical period he became so tired of Madame 
Walter that he ignored her letters and avoided meeting her. 
Laroche-Mathieu and Walter had profited enormously by the 
scheme which Du Roy, for a time unwittingly and afterward 
consciously, had fostered by his articles in the paper. Laroche- 
Mathieu became a minister, Walter was a multimillionaire, 
La Vie Fran$aise a power. Du Roy was maddened by jealousy 
when he contemplated his employer's wealth, and cursed him- 
self for having married Madeleine. Why should he not have 
waited, and paid court to one of Walter's daughters? He be- 
gan forthwith to cultivate the friendship of Suzanne Walter. 

This beautiful girl was already his friend, and he counseled 
with her in an elder-brotherly way. 

"You are an heiress now, and therefore a great catch," 
said he. "There is the greatest danger that you will be thrown 
away on some worthless fellow who may have a title but nothing 
more to recommend him. Promise me that, before you accept 
any of the suitors who will be thrown at you, you will ask my 
advice." 

Suzanne promised. In order to meet her and make as 
much headway as this, Du Roy had to be present at one of the 
extravagant entertainments that now were frequently given by 



332 BEL AMI 

the over-wealthy Walter. Madame Walter managed to get a 
moment alone with Du Roy, in which she protested that she 
must see him occasionally or die. Merely to look at him would 
suffice, but she could not endure his utter absence from her 
monotonous life. 

"Very well," he replied coldly, "you see I am here." 

He gave her no further comfort, and roughly refused the 
packet of bank-notes representing the profits she had gained 
for him in the transaction engineered by Laroche-Mathieu. 
Madame Walter had been carrying it for weeks without oppor- 
tunity to give it to him. When he refused it, she cried that she 
would throw it into the sewer; and then he took it. 

Laroche-Mathieu obtained for Du Roy the decoration of 
the Legion of Honor, at which Madeleine thought her hus- 
band would be delighted; but he affected to despise the dis- 
tinction. 

"Laroche-Mathieu owes me much more," he grumbled. 

This was quite true, and Du Roy forced him to pay. He 
visited the Walters on Fridays throughout the winter. Made- 
leine accompanied him sometimes, but she usually remained at 
home on one pretext or another. When March came, gossip 
began to busy herself with rumors about the marriage of 
Suzanne to a man of title, and Du Roy reminded the girl of her 
promise. She remembered, and he proceeded to abuse her 
suitor for a fop and an intriguer. 

"What ails you?" she cried, astonished. 

He replied, as if tearing a secret from the depths of his 
heart: "I am jealous of him. I love you, and you know it." 

She said severely: "You are mad, Bel Ami!" 

He replied: "I know it! Should I, a married man, make 
such confession to you, a young girl? I am worse than mad. 
When I hear that you are to be married, I feel murder in my 
heart." 

The young girl murmured half sadly, half gaily: "It is a 
pity you are married." 

"If I were free, would you marry me?" he asked abruptly. 

"Yes, Bel Ami, for I love you better than any of the others." 

"Then," said he, "do not, I implore you, say yes to anyone. 
Wait a while. Promise." 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 



333 



Suzanne, confused, not half comprehending what he asked, 
promised. 

Du Roy was wholly prepared for this contingency. He had 
been watching Madeleine all winter. A day or two after his 
interview with Suzanne he summoned a police commissioner 
and conducted him to an apartment where Madeleine and 
Laroche-Mathieu were found under circumstances that made 
divorce proceedings absurdly easy. Three months later, Du 
Roy, a free man, asked Suzanne to elope with him. She con- 
sented and fled with him that very night. He took her to a 
quiet place in the country, where she passed as his sister, and 
they spent a week in innocent enjoyment while Du Roy was 
negotiating by letter with her father. 

There was a serious division in the Walter household. 
Madame cried frantically that the marriage must never be 
permitted; while her husband, at first shocked and enraged, 
came presently to admire Du Roy's ability. A title in the 
family would have been agreeable, yes; but Du Roy was shrewd ; 
he succeeded; there were those shameful revelations, whatever 
they might be, that were so pointedly hinted at in the letters 
that came from the summer place. So at last, despite Madame 
Walter's undiminished hysteria, terms were made. It had 
been given out that Suzanne had gone to visit her old convent, 
and when she returned her engagement was announced and 
preparations for her marriage were begun at once. 

Of course Clotilde de Marelle learned that Du Roy was to 
be married again. She had quarreled with him when she found 
evidence that he received somebody besides herself in the Rue 
de Constantinople, and on that occasion she struck him in the 
face and left him; but they had made it up and resumed their 
meetings. On this occasion, when they discussed the forth- 
coming marriage, and Clotilde was furiously angry, he lost his 
temper and struck her. Indeed, he struck her more than once, 
and when he left the place, she lay on the floor, moaning, almost 
unconscious. 

In September, Du Roy became the editor-in-chief of La Vie 
Fran$aise, Walter retiring under the vague title of manager, and 
shortly afterward a great throng assembled at a church for the 
wedding. Madame Walter wept throughout the ceremony, 



334 BEL AMI 

which was so impressive and beautiful, and the Bishop's ad- 
dress so respectful, that Du Roy felt almost pious. At the 
end, he gave his arm to his wife and they passed into the sacristy, 
where they met a stream of people. Georges shook hands with 
many, and murmured words of appreciation for their con- 
gratulations. 

Suddenly he saw Madame de Marelle, and the recollection 
of all their caresses possessed him with the mad desire to re- 
gain her. She advanced somewhat timidly and offered him 
her hand, which he took, retained, and pressed, as if to say: 
"I shall love you always, I am yours." 

Their eyes met, smiling, bright, full of love. "Until we 
meet again," she murmured softly, and he gaily repeated her 
words. 

With his bride upon his arm, he leisurely descended the steps 
between two rows of spectators, but he did not see them; his 
thoughts had returned to the past, and before his eyes floated 
the image of Madame de Marelle, rearranging the curly locks 
upon her temples before the mirror in their apartment. 




PIERRE AND JEAN (i 

The greater fame of De Maupassant as a short-story writer does not eclipse 
the standard reached in a few of his novels, among which Pierre et Jean is the 
die) d'auvrc. In his latter years the effervescence of youth, running to natural- 
ism and sensuality, gave way to something akin to pessimism; but the morbid 
quality in Pierre et Jean is qualified by severe restraint. 

D ROLAND, a retired Parisian jeweler, had 
settled at Havre, where a moderate fortune allowed 
him to indulge in his love of the sea and of fishing. 
Madame Roland, a woman of forty -eight, looking 
younger than her years, though a good and pru- 
dent housewife, had a vein of sentiment which 
was lost on her prosaic husband, however sin- 
cerely attached to his family, of whom he was 
proud, for there were two fine sons. Pierre, 
older than his brother Jean by five years, was, after making 
several professional essays that proved futile, finally gradu- 
ated as a physician. The younger brother had, on the other 
hand, pursued one aim with steadfastness that of the law 
and became a licentiate. The two were as different in their 
persons as in their temperaments. The senior was dark, thin, 
and nervous, while the junior was blonde, a little lymphatic, and 
handsome. Answering to these exteriors, the one was satur- 
nine, jealous, and easily moved by the vagaries of his imagina- 
tion; the other had always been a model of sweetness, gentle- 
ness, and good nature, inclined to take the things of life as they 
came, without too much question. There had always been 
little rivalries between the brothers, mostly initiated by Pierre, 
whose ever-alert suspicion made him sensitive and disposed to 
brood over apparent slights. Yet they had always loved each 
other, and, up to the time of their arrival at Havre, after they 
had completed their professional studies, there had never been 
any serious disagreement between them. 

33$ 



334 BEL AMI 

which was so impressive and beautiful, and the Bishop's ad- 
dress so respectful, that Du Roy felt almost pious. At the 
end, he gave his arm to his wife and they passed into the sacristy, 
where they met a stream of people. Georges shook hands with 
many, and murmured words of appreciation for their con- 
gratulations. 

Suddenly he saw Madame de Marelle, and the recollection 
of all their caresses possessed him with the mad desire to re- 
gain her. She advanced somewhat timidly and offered him 
her hand, which he took, retained, and pressed, as if to say: 
" I shall love you always, I am yours." 

Their eyes met, smiling, bright, full of love. "Until we 
meet again," she murmured softly, and he gaily repeated her 
words. 

With his bride upon his arm, he leisurely descended the steps 
between two rows of spectators, but he did not see them; his 
thoughts had returned to the past, and before his eyes floated 
the image of Madame de Marelle, rearranging the curly locks 
upon her temples before the mirror in their apartment. 




PIERRE AND JEAN (r 

The greater fame of De Maupassant as a short-story writer does not eclipse 
the standard reached in a few of his novels, among which Pierre et Jean is the 
chef d'ceuvre. In his latter years the effervescence of youth, running to natural- 
ism and sensuality, gave way to something akin to pessimism; but the morbid 
quality in Pierre et Jean is qualified by severe restraint. 

j(LD ROLAND, a retired Parisian jeweler, had 
settled at Havre, where a moderate fortune allowed 
him to indulge in his love of the sea and of fishing. 
Madame Roland, a woman of forty-eight, looking 
younger than her years, though a good and pru- 
dent housewife, had a vein of sentiment which 
was lost on her prosaic husband, however sin- 
cerely attached to his family, of whom he was 
proud, for there were two fine sons. Pierre, 
older than his brother Jean by five years, was, after making 
several professional essays that proved futile, finally gradu- 
ated as a physician. The younger brother had, on the other 
hand, pursued one aim with steadfastness that of the law 
and became a licentiate. The two were as different in their 
persons as in their temperaments. The senior was dark, thin, 
and nervous, while the junior was blonde, a little lymphatic, and 
handsome. Answering to these exteriors, the one was satur- 
nine, jealous, and easily moved by the vagaries of his imagina- 
tion; the other had always been a model of sweetness, gentle- 
ness, and good nature, inclined to take the things of life as they 
came, without too much question. There had always been 
little rivalries between the brothers, mostly initiated by Pierre, 
whose ever-alert suspicion made him sensitive and disposed to 
brood over apparent slights. Yet they had always loved each 
other, and, up to the time of their arrival at Havre, after they 
had completed their professional studies, there had never been 
any serious disagreement between them. 

13$ 



336 PIERRE AND JEAN 

Among the intimates of the family Roland was Madame 
Rosmilly, the charming young widow of a sea-captain, who 
had left her with a comfortable fortune. The two brothers, 
meeting her for the first time, were both attracted; but Pierre 
instantly surmised that her preference was for his brother. 
This was accentuated one day when they had been on a fishing 
excursion. The wind failing, they had to betake themselves to 
the oars; and the look of admiration in the widow's eyes, when 
the more enduring strength of Jean was made manifest, gave 
point to Pierre's quick jealousy. Curiosity, on their return 
home, was piqued by the report that the well-known lawyer, 
Maitre Lecanu, had called three times during their absence, 
and left word that he would come again in the evening on 
what was evidently an affair of moment. 

The lawyer arrived promptly and informed the family that 
an old bachelor friend of Monsieur and Madame Roland, Mon- 
sieur Leon Mar&hal, head-clerk of the Exchequer Office, had 
died and left his entire fortune, about twenty thousand francs 
a year, to Jean Roland, the younger son. Madame Roland was 
greatly affected, tears and sobs attesting her grief. Her hus- 
band was evidently more gratified by the bequest than grieved 
at the loss of the friend. Both sons looked sorrowful, and Jean 
stroked his fair beard cogitating deeply, till he finally murmured: 
"Yes! he was certainly fond of me. He always embraced me 
when I went to see him." 

"You used to know this Marshal well, then?" asked Pierre 
curiously of his father. 

Old Roland, who had been capering about the room with 
crazy antics, replied that the testator had been their guest at 
breakfast the day Jean was born, and had gone for the ac- 
coucheur. "Surely," the father chuckled, "he must have con- 
cluded that, having helped to bring the boy into the world, he 
would help him to live in it." Alone with his wife, M. Roland 
remarked that Jean would surely help his brother now. " No!" 
said Madame Roland, "Pierre would not accept. This legacy 
is Jean's and his alone. " 

Pierre paced up and down on the Rue de Paris that night, 
uneasy and gloomy, as one suffering from some indescribable 
wound he could not locate. He turned in aversion from the 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 337 

invitation of the brilliant cafes. Why should such an irritable 
mood obsess him, he pondered, as he emerged on the Grand 
Quay. It could not be that he was jealous about Madame 
Ros^milly; and as to the inheritance he shuddered at the 
thought of such despicable meanness. A man sat at the ex- 
treme end of the breakwater whom, on approaching, he found 
to be his brother Jean, lost in thought. He squeezed Jean's 
hand, offering sincere congratulation and assurance of his own 
warm brotherly love in a husky voice, then turned away with a 
heavy step and thought he would go to see old Marowsko, a 
Polish chemist, recently come to Havre, whom he had met in a 
Parisian hospital. He loved to chat with the old man, who was 
much attached to him. As he sat sipping a glass of cordial, he 
mentioned the news of Jean's inheritance of a large fortune from 
an old friend of his father. Marowsko looked astonished and 
vexed and repeated more than once, with a strange shake of the 
head: "It will not look well." The next day Pierre con- 
tinued distrait, except that he was calculating on the preliminary 
expense of beginning practise with the thought that, perchance, 
Jean would loan him the money. Taking his afternoon walk, 
the restless man, his imagination full of vague phantoms, 
stopped at a cafe where he had often been served. In an absent 
way he told the barmaid of his younger brother's fortune. She, 
too, commented with a queer smile: "My word! no wonder he 
is so different from you!" An explicit thought at once sounded 
an unknown abyss in his soul. Could it be the girl hinted at 
MarechaTs paternity of the heir? He quivered as he recalled 
the enigmatic expression of Marowsko. The awful doubt of 
his mother's honor obsessed him like a waking nightmare. He 
must speak to Jean about this, and tell him what the acceptance 
of the fortune would entail imperiling one so dear to both. 

When he arrived home, worn with his thoughts, he found all 
arrangements made for a splendid feast. Jean had formally 
accepted the bequest, and the family were intoxicated with joy. 
Madame Rosdmilly, who was present, reproached him for his 
gloom during the gay repast, where so much fine wine made 
thought effervescent, as if to say: "You are jealous; it is 
shameful!" She gave a toast to the memory of M. Marshal; 
and Beausire, another guest, asked about him. M. Roland, 

A.D., VOL. vi. 22 



338 PIERRE AND JEAN 

made emotional with champagne, wept and said: "Like j, 
brother a friend we were inseparable dined with us every 
day would treat us to the play a real, true friend, wasn't he, 
Louise ?" His wife merely answered: "Yes! he was a faithful 
friend." 

Pierre arose next morning in more cheerful mood. After 
all, what substantial reason had he for such a dreadful and un- 
filial conclusion? It must be that his imagination had fed on 
jealousy of his brother's luck; and he determined to tear up by 
the roots an envy so ignoble. Yet when he met his mother at 
dinner, her face radiant with pleasure, and she told him that 
she had found a most charming apartment for Jean, who would 
make his dbut as a wealthy bachelor, he found his blood cor- 
roding again with venomous thought over which will could ex- 
ercise no control. He thought again over the meetings in Paris 
when M. Mar&hal had entertained himself and his brother at 
dinner, and had shown no difference of manner toward them. 
Yet to that uprose a dreadful corollary: " There must have been 
some very strong private reason why he should have left his 
entire fortune to Jean." His mind went back to the period, 
before he could remember M. Marshal, to reconstruct that 
pregnant beginning of things with remorseless logic. His 
mother, a handsome woman, had always cherished sentiment, 
a love of poetry and the ideal. Yoked to a man prosaic and 
commonplace, she had met Marshal, a gentleman, a man of 
culture, and well-to-do, who from buying things in the shop had 
gradually become intimate with these bourgeois friends. So 
love had come, that love which she could not give her dull hus- 
band, and which must seem to the heart of every young and 
romantic woman as her rightful due. Then there flashed across 
his brain the memory of a photograph which had of late years 
disappeared from view, a picture of M. Mar&hal in his prime. 
Both he and Jean were blond and rosy. Pierre lashed himself 
with savage remorse for accusing the mother who had given him 
birth; but the terrible specter would not down. 

Time and again as the days went by he burned to say to 
Jean, "You should not keep this legacy which may bring sus- 
picion and dishonor on our mother"; but the odious words 
froze on his lips when he sought to utter them. 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 339 

One day he asked her what had become of the photograph, 
which he dimly remembered. The words faltered, but some 
inward compulsion drove them through his teeth. She said 
she would look for it, and a few days afterward Pierre asked 
again. "Oho!" said his father, who was present, "was it not 
a queer coincidence that it should have turned up only two or 
three days before Jean got news of his legacy a presentiment 
indeed?" 

"So she has lied to me," whispered the son's angry heart, 
while she went to get the picture. Perhaps there was nothing 
striking in the likeness, yet there was a certain kinship of 
physiognomy. As the younger son looked at it in turn, Madame 
Roland said it must be his, as he was the heir, and Pierre went 
out with a gloomy brow just as Madame Rosmilly rang the bell 
for an evening call, while Jean muttered: "What a bear the 
fellow has become!" 

When his father scolded him for his moodiness of habit, the 
unhappy man offered the excuse that he was lamenting the loss 
of one he had loved very deeply, a woman who was ruined. 
His mother, who heard Pierre speak thus, looked as if she would 
collapse, and became so ill that M. Roland insisted on Pierre's 
prescribing for her. Her pulse was high, her skin feverish, 
and she rushed from the room swiftly to shut herself up in her 
own. Yet Pierre's anguish was no less than hers; for he 
suffered frightfully from the fact that he could love and respect 
her no more do nothing but torment her. As the days went 
by he was so stung by remorse and crushed by pity that he 
would have liked to drown himself in the sea, because he could 
do nothing but yield to some fatal impulse leading him to give 
signs of unfilial scorn. 

Whatever Jean noticed he put down to jealousy, and prom- 
ised himself that some day he would have it out with Pierre. 
But the young fellow was very happy and busy with his own 
new plans. These were soon to receive a fresh and delightful 
factor in their evolution. On a shrimping excursion one day, 
Jean, who soorted the pretty widow, was so carried away by 
her charm and gaiety that he confessed his sentiments; and 
Madame Rosmilly gave him the answer he hoped for. Pierre 
and his mother, who had not joined in the sport, sat at some dis- 



340 PIERRE AND JEAN 

tance, each dreading to speak to the other. Suddenly they 
noted the forms of Madame Rosmilly and Jean outlined 
against the sky, looking as if there was something peculiar and 
unusual between them; and both divined the truth. Pierre 
burst into a hoarse and sneering laugh. "I am learning how a 
man lays himself out to be managed by his wife," said he. 

When the engagement was made known that evening at 
Jean's apartment, Pierre's satirical bitterness provoked Jean to 
charge his brother with jealousy as to both Madame Rosdmilly 
and the fortune. With that, all of the elder brother's latent 
venom exuded: "It is not right," said he, "to accept a fortune 
from one man so long as another has the repute of being your 
father. . . . Everybody is whispering that you are the son of 
the man who left you his fortune. ... I am so wretched with 
sorrow that I scarcely know what I am doing." And so with 
almost maniacal passion and choked with sobs he poured forth 
in a flood his suspicions, his doubts, and what he regarded 
as circumstantial proofs. "I am a brute," he ended with a 
quick revulsion, " to have told you this," and rushed bareheaded 
downstairs. 

Madame Roland was in the adjoining room, and Jean, who 
had tried in vain to stop his brother's speech, knew this; she 
must have heard every word. 

After a few moments of stupefaction, the sense of misery 
arose in such unendurable degree that he opened his mother's 
door as if he had been an automaton. The poor woman lay 
with her face buried in the pillows. "Mother," he cried, "I 
know it is not true. Do not weep; I know it." 

After gasping a while for breath, the pale woman said: "It 
is true, my child; why should I lie about it? you would not be- 
lieve me." As Jean kissed her with the utmost tenderness, she 
told him that his forgiveness had saved her life, but that she 
must go away and never see him or the others again; that her 
presence would condemn them all to the torments of hell. She 
said she had known his brother's suspicions for a month; that 
his guesses at the truth had made her life a constant and ex- 
cruciating martyrdom. He begged her passionately to stay. 

"If I am to stay," she answered, "you must not forgive me; 
nothing is so hurtful as forgiveness. You must simply bear me 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 

no grudge, and be able to own to yourself the fact that you are 
not Roland's son without a blush and without despising me." 
Then she spoke of Mar&hal, his father: " Listen, my boy! I 
declare before God that I should never have known a joy in life 
had I not met him, not a touch of love or kindness, not an hour 
which would have made me regret growing old. To him I owe 
everything; I had but him and you two boys. ... I belonged 
to him forever; for ten years we were husband and wife before 
God, who made us for each other. And then I saw he began to 
care less for me by degrees. He was kind and gentle always, 
but things became different. After we came here I never saw 
him again, though he often promised in his letters to come. I 
always expected him now he is dead. But his remembrance 
of you showed he still cared. I shall never cease to love him 
and will never deny him; and I love you because you are his son. 
I could never be ashamed of him before you, and you must love 
him a little. If you cannot do this, then it must be good-by, my 
child, for we could not live together. I shall act as you decide." 
Jean told her with tender caresses to stay. 

All this had occurred at Jean's apartment, and he succeeded 
in finally soothing her only by promising that he would find 
some way of relieving her of Pierre's silent reproaches. 

He left her at her own house as the town clock was striking 
three in the morning. There was a light in Pierre's room, but 
M. Roland was placidly snoring. The next morning a cold 
kiss passed between Pierre and his mother at the breakfast- 
table. Neither had slept during the night. Jean, too, had 
pondered, but his lawyer's mind had been less confused. At 
first his conscience had said: "You cannot keep the fortune." 
Would not that be giving up Madame Rosemilly? Instinctive 
selfishness had then hunted for some pretext which would satisfy 
his natural probity. He had asked himself over and over: 
" Since I am this man's son and acknowledge it, why should I 
not accept the inheritance?" Then followed the thought that 
he could give up his share in the Roland estate, so that each son 
would have his own father's money. Thus the delicate question 
was disposed of on that side. But what about the continual ap- 
parition of Pierre, the knowledge of whose conviction would 
haunt their peace of mind, like some grim phantom? 



342 PIERRE AND JEAN 

Conversation at the breakfast-table turned on the splendid 
new transatlantic liner, Lorraine, just about to go into com- 
mission. Her officers would be finely paid, suggested Jean, 
into whose shrewd brain a swift thought had leaped. He had 
been told by some of the company's directors that none of her 
staff had yet been assigned. The ship-doctor's position was 
an excellent one. Pierre looked up, with an eager question as 
to the difficulty of obtaining such a position. This led to the 
determination to bring every pressure to bear to secure the ap- 
pointment for him. There would be no difficulty in obtaining 
the best recommendations from the medical faculty at Paris, 
and so all the mechanism of influence was set at work that very 
day. 

As Madame Roland and Jean went to call on Madame Rose- 
milly in the afternoon, the mother said with passionate regret: 
"How happy I might have been with another man!" She 
wished to throw all the responsibility on the stupidity, dulness, 
and vulgarity of Roland. Jean, too, was thinking of his puta- 
tive father, and how he had long unconsciously chafed under the 
sense of being the son of this well-meaning boor. Even Pierre 
had continually satirized him, and the very kitchen-wench 
treated him with contempt. They found the fair widow at 
home, tired after her fishing excursion; and the three proceeded 
to make arrangements for an early espousal. The common- 
place pathos of the pictures, the showy furniture, the brilliancy 
of the carpets and draperies pleased Jean, who thought what 
charming taste his fiancee possessed. Complacency even 
smoothed the anxieties out of Madame Roland's face for a little. 
She had lost a son, but had gained a grown-up daughter. That 
night she put her arm about Jean's neck with a tender kiss and 
pressed into his hand a small packet; he recognized the shape of 
the photograph frame. 

Pierre received his appointment, and in spite of the misery 
of the immediate past a dreadful nostalgia seized his soul. His 
mother asked him for a list of the necessaries he must take with 
him; and, as she looked into his face, her eyes were full of the 
humble, beseeching expression of a dog that has been beaten. 
She expressed a desire to see the quarters where Pierre would 
spend so much of his life, only to be told harshly that there was 



GUY DE MAUPASSANT 343 

nothing to see but a very small and ugly cabin. His rough 
tongue girded savagely at everything till immediately on the 
eve of departure. He then asked them all, Monsieur and 
Madame Roland, Madame Ros^milly, and Jean, to wish him 
bon voyage on board, as with a revulsion of feeling. After 
the parting they sailed down the harbor in Roland's boat to see 
the last of the ship. They watched him through their glasses, 
blowing the conventional kisses. Madame Roland's eyes were 
suffused, and to her husband, who asked her why she cried, 
she answered: "I don't know; I cry because I am hurt." She 
felt then as if half her heart were gone, and that she never would 
see her elder boy again. The mother's passion and tenderness 
reigned in spite of all. 



JAMES DE MILLE 

(Canada, 1837-1880) 
CORD AND CREESE (1867) 

This story exploited a society which the British Government first tried to 
exterminate about seventy-five years ago. The Thugs were a sect of assassins 
who professed to regard the murders they committed as religious acts; but as 
their victims were usually wealthy persons, they were also looked upon as 
robbers. The sect flourished in northern India, where many travelers were 
found evidently strangled in their sleep. Though membership in the society 
is punishable with imprisonment for life, it is by no means extirpated at the 
present day. 

j[N the morning of July 21, 1846, Louis Brandon, 
of the firm of Compton and Brandon, at Sydney, 
New South Wales, received a letter by the Eng- 
lish mail from his aged father, who, feeling him- 
self at the point of death, sought to effect a recon- 
ciliation and to make clear some events of the 
past. He told his son that the great poverty to 
which they were reduced was due entirely to a 
man named John Potts, who had come to him 
with a recommendation from his friend General Despard just 
a year after that officer's mysterious murder at sea. He heard 
nothing more of Potts till two years later, when he returned 
with such glowing accounts of tin mines he had been develop- 
ing that Mr. Brandon at once took many shares of the stock. 
The large dividends and increasing values caused him to 
put so much trust in the man that he refused to listen to the 
warnings of his friends, and had commanded Louis to apologize 
or leave for having denounced Potts as a villain; now he mourned 
the departure of his son. He had lost everything, and Brandon 
Hall and his estates were in the hands of Potts. He now had 
suspicions as to the murder of his friend. Potts was with him 
at the time and was the chief witness against the Malay who was 

344 




JAMES DE MILLE 345 

executed for the murder. A fear haunted him that he should 
have investigated his friend's murder more closely; and that, be- 
cause he had not, punishment had been sent to make the same 
man his ruin also. Reminding his son of his helpless mother, 
of his brother and sister, he begged him to leave all and come 
home. He warned him of Potts's hatred of him and urged him 
to be on his guard, but yet to take vengeance. He had nothing 
of all his estates to leave his son, but enclosed a coarse paper 
covered with faded but still legible writing. 

The paper had been in the family for centuries and was 
written by a certain Ralph Brandon, who, when he went down 
with his ship, Phcenix, sent the communication by a sailor. 
The document said that the owner, surrounded by Spaniards, 
was about to sink his ship, loaded with treasure, near the island 
of Santa Cruz, north of San Salvador. 

Brandon at once prepared to go to the aid of his family and 
communicated his plans to the senior partner. Mr. Compton 
was much grieved at his decision and insisted upon an equal 
division of the business profits as only a fair recompense for 
Brandon's efforts. There was a condition attached, which 
necessitated his telling Brandon some facts from his life. He 
acknowledged that he had a wife and son. During the son's 
childhood, they had lived happily in York, but the boy became 
the victim of evil companions. Three were arrested for bur- 
glary, one turned King's evidence, while his son and the other 
miscreant were condemned to transportation. To pacify the 
mother, Compton then moved to Australia, and, changing their 
names, they took their son as a nominal servant, since the Gov- 
vernment gave him permission to hire out on account of good 
conduct. When his term expired the boy again joined his old 
associates and went to India. The parents followed and found 
him at last. The companions had given assumed names; one 
was Clark and the other Potts. " Potts! " cried Brandon. " Yes/ 1 
said the other, not noticing the surprise of Brandon. "He was 
in the employ of Colonel Despard at Calcutta and enjoyed much 
of his confidence." He continued, saying that he was obliged 
to return to his business, but that his wife, preferring to be near 
her boy, refused to come with him and remained as a nurse in 
Colonel Despard's family. Three years later he received a 



346 CORD AND CREESE 

letter and papers from his wife telling of Colonel Despard's 
murder on board the Vishnu, bound for Manila. A boat had 
arrived at Manila bringing the crew of the Vishnu, Potts, Clark, 
the Colonel's Malay attendant, and the Captain, an Italian 
named Cigole. They all swore that the Malay was the mur- 
derer and that they caught him just as he was about to leap 
overboard with his creese in his hand covered with blood. On 
their testimony the fellow was condemned and executed. They 
said that a storm had come up, the Vishnu had sprung a leak, 
and they all had had to take to the boat. 

After this narrative, Brandon readily agreed to the elder 
man's condition and promised to help him find his family. 
His suspicions were roused when he found that the only passen- 
ger with himself on the ship bound for England was Cigole, an 
Italian, who represented himself as a wool merchant. One 
day during a hurricane, Cigole darted quickly toward Brandon 
and fell against him, pushing him headlong into the sea, and 
shouted: "Man overboard!" The Captain thrust out a hen- 
coop and two wooden pails, but could do nothing. The ship was 
at the mercy of the hurricane. 

With the aid of the hen-coop Brandon, who was a good 
swimmer, succeeded in reaching the shore. He was on a sand 
island where he found a cistern of fresh water and some clams 
along the shore, which sustained him for several weeks. At 
length there was a terrific storm, which swept the sand from 
the mound on his island and revealed a long-buried ship. He 
at once began investigating, but the mold and sand had so 
worn it away that the parts he touched fell to pieces in his hands. 
To his astonishment, he made out the name Vishnu. In the 
last room he entered, he discovered lying on a bunk the skeleton 
of a man. As he prepared to give it decent burial, he found the 
hand still grasping a bottle tightly corked. The bottle was 
filled with paper, but before reading this, he noticed on break- 
ing the bottle that there also fell from it a plaited cord with a 
piece of bronze the size of a marble at one end, carved with the 
hideous face of a Hindu deity. The manuscript began: "Brig 
Vishnu, Adrift in the Chinese Sea, July 10, 1828. Whoever 
finds this, let him know that I, Lionel Despard, Colonel of H. M. 
37th Regiment, have been the victim of a foul conspiracy per- 



JAMES DE MILLE 347 



formed against me by the Captain and crew of the brig 
and especially by my servant, John Potts." The writer then 
went on to instruct the finder to bear the contents to his friend, 
Ralph Brandon, of England. He told how he had been sent 
into a district in India to put down a band of assassins, members 
of a society called the Thuggee. They had captured a band of 
them and found among the number an Englishman and his 
little boy. The man, who said his name was John Potts, said he 
had been captured and his life spared only on condition that he 
would join them. Both he and his son were branded with the 
name of their god Bowhani in Hindu characters. He said their 
method of assassination was to throw a cord with a peculiar 
jerk around the neck of the victim. The weight of bronze at 
the end swung the cord round and round and the result was 
inevitable. The motive was purely religious zeal, and the more 
persons a thug could kill the more of a saint he became. 

Great sympathy was felt for Potts, and Colonel Despard 
engaged him at once as his servant. After three years, he de- 
sired to go to England and then it was Despard wrote the letter 
of introduction. Before his departure, Mrs. Despard died and 
the Colonel went on this voyage with a crew all of whom he now 
believed to be hirelings of Potts. The Malay servant was de- 
voted to his master, and Potts tried every device to get him 
away. One night Colonel Despard was awakened by a tre- 
mendous struggle in his cabin between Potts and the Malay. 
Someone had tried to put the cord about his neck. When he 
fircvl, Potts went out dragging the Malay with him and leaving 
hi:n locked behind. After much noise and trampling above, 
all became quiet; and when he finally broke out, he found him- 
self alone on the ship. A fire had been started in the cargo of 
staves, but had not spread, and for three months lie had drifted 
about on those lonely seas. Evidently his life had ended with 
the wreck of the ship. 

Brandon took from Despard' s Deck a locket containing his 
wife's miniature and buried the crumbling remains. He then 
watched more eagerly for rescue; and when one day he saw a ship 
he waved his coat all day from a frail staff he had made, and at 
night built a fire by shooting his revolver into the dry staves 
he had spread in the sun; but the ship went out of sight. How- 



348 CORD AND CREESE 

ever, another passed that way and he found himself surrounded 
by friendly faces and was quickly borne on board their vessel. 
Only two days had passed after his rescue when by certain 
ominous sounds they knew there were pirates in the vicinity at- 
tacking a ship. The Captain at once manned his boat and set 
out to the relief of his countrymen. The pirates were in pos- 
session, but were forced to retire. Brandon held down the 
leader of the band and was about to kill him when the man spoke 
in English, saying that he had fought for vengeance, and had 
killed every Englishman, hoping thereby to kill John Potts, who 
was the murderer of his brother, Colonel Despard's Malay ser- 
vant. He drew out his creese and Brandon read carved on it the 
name John Potts. Brandon took the knife and let the man escape. 

The pirates had left only two persons alive, the Hindu cook 
Cato and a beautiful girl on her way from China to join her father 
in England, who were taken on board. The girl was a musician 
of great ability, and talked often to Brandon of her art and of 
her teacher, Langhetti, whom she loved with great devotion. 
The girl had no occasion to tell her name for some time and 
when she did, Brandon, who had become greatly interested in 
her, was completely overcome. The name was Beatrice Potts, 
and she was the daughter of his deadly foe. She saw clearly 
the effect her name had upon him and marveled greatly. 

When they were in the latitude of the Guinea coast, a ter- 
rific storm assailed them, which shook the ship to its very cen- 
ter. The Captain and the officers were swept overboard. 
Brandon with great presence of mind took command of the 
ship and for four days they weathered the storm. Then it be- 
came evident that the ship was doomed. Brandon ordered the 
boats lowered, but all capsized save the one holding Beatrice 
and himself with the Hindu servant Cato. On the afternoon 
of the seventh day they reached the coast, but Brandon, over- 
come by the heat and toil, fell headlong into the water just as 
he was landing. 

While Brandon was lying helpless, the fortunes of his family 
were being eagerly discussed in a small English town by Cour- 
tenay Despard, the young rector, and his friend, Mrs. Thornton. 
Mrs. Thornton was in receipt of a letter from her brother, Paolo 
Langhetti, who had gone to Canada on the Tecumseh. 



JAMES DE MILLE 349 

He told her of the horrors of the sickness among the emigrants 
and the discovery of the Brandons, who had once greatly assisted 
their own father. The mother had died at sea tind the son 
must have died soon after landing. During Langhetti's own 
temporary illness, Edith Brandon had been buried while in a 
trance, but he had caused her to be disinterred and she had 
regained consciousness. 

These letters stirred Despard and Mrs. Thornton deeply, 
and they at once took steps to find the remaining relative of 
Edith Brandon. A notice of the death of Louis by falling over- 
board from the ship bound from Sydney was found in an old 
paper. 

Brandon, overcome by the heat, had lain for three weeks in 
a stupor. Beatrice, thinking him dead, had read his papers and 
learned of the awful part her wicked father had played in the 
life of this man and his friends, and on his recovery told him she 
knew all. Both confessed their love, but recognized the barrier 
that stood between them. As soon as he was able, Brandon 
assisted Cato to row the boat to Sierra Leone and from here 
they took passage to England. Brandon did not desert his 
charge until he had put her in the carriage for her father's house, 
which was no other than Brandon Hall. 

Brandon then made inquiries concerning his family in the 
village and learned that his father had died in the almshouse 
and the family had emigrated to America. He went immedi- 
ately to Canada, and by means of advertisements found his 
brother Frank, who agreed to join in the search for the lost 
treasure, that they might make themselves as powerful as their 
enemy. 

Brandon bought diving armor and learned the art himself. 
His servant Cato was an experienced pearl-fisher; so having 
equipped their own ship, they went in search of Santa Cruz 
and the Phcenix. When they had decided upon the spot, Cato 
first went down, but after twelve trials and a desperate encounter 
with sharks, returned with no news. At length Louis himself, 
clad in the diving armor, went to the bottom of the sea and 
searched till what appeared to be a rock in the distance finally 
proved to be the hull of a ship. To his delight, he found the 
name, Phcenix. Going through room after room, he was about 



3SG CORD AND CREESE 

to give up the search for the treasure, convinced that after all 
the Spaniards had found their booty, when suddenly standing 
before the grim skeleton, whose seal ring had proved him to be 
the brave ancestor, he felt the floor giving away and soon his 
hands grasped the rich metallic bars. Besides the bars of yel- 
low gold, he found caskets of jewels in countless store and could 
hardly tear himself away to take the news to his brother, who 
was still pumping down to him the necessary air. 

While Brandon was searching for his family and his treasure, 
Beatrice was accustoming herself to her new home. She found 
nothing congenial in her surroundings, and even her music was 
denied her. Potts, eager to advance in society, tried to draw 
people to his house by giving a ball for his daughter; but no 
one came. When she sought to go abroad, she found herself a 
prisoner. Her only companion was an old woman, Mrs. Comp- 
ton, who lived in constant terror of Potts. The only one who 
treated her with any respect was Potts's secretary, Phillips, a 
meek, inoffensive man. When Potts found that society wat 
not to be won by balls, he tried another scheme and opened a 
bank. This soon drew the patronage he wished and he felt his 
wealth was fast making him a power in the county. He was 
encouraged in this belief by a call from an old, gray-bearded 
man named Smithers, the head of the famous banking-house 
under which the minor banks of the country flourished. Smith- 
ers assured Potts his credit with them was good and encouraged 
him in many wild investments. 

Meanwhile Paolo Langhetti, accompanied always by his 
charge, Edith Brandon, arrived at Mrs. Thornton's. Under 
Edith's inspiration, he had written an opera, which he wished 
to produce in London. He was looking everywhere for his 
former pupil, Beatrice Potts, who alone, he felt, had the voice 
to make it a success. The rector told him such a person was 
then with Potts, but how to get her was a serious problem. 
Beatrice, little knowing that such good friends were near, now 
found her life unbearable and resolved to make her escape. 
As she crept through the darkened house and into the grounds, 
she came upon the Malay, who was in Potts's service. Mindful 
of a past kindness, he helped Beatrice over the wall, and by 
morning she was well on her way from the hated place. Just 



JAMES DE MILLE 351 

as she was quite worn out by her unwonted exercise, she met 
Despard and Langhetti in a carriage. She fainted with joy at 
sight of her old teacher, and they determined to save her at any 
cost. To make explanations unnecessary, she was to pass as 
Despard's sister; and as soon as possible they put her in Mrs. 
Thornton's charge. When she recovered sufficiently to take 
up her music again, she entered heartily into the plans for 
Langhetti's opera. 

Unknown to Langhetti, Frank Brandon, though not yet 
ready to disclose himself, turned his great fortune to make the 
production a success. Beatrice's voice did all the rest. One 
night when the opera was over, Langhetti could not take her 
home as usual; so, stepping into the only cab standing near, she 
was soon speeding through the streets. To her surprise she was 
put down at a strange house and before she could cry out, she 
found herself in the hands of John Potts. He conveyed her 
quickly to the Hall, but on the way there Smithers met them 
at the inn and managed to make Beatrice aware that he was 
her friend, Louis Brandon; to insure her safety, he had asked 
Mr. Potts to take into his household his servant Cato. 

Potts now took every precaution to make his captive secure, 
and as a last resort resolved to marry her to his friend, Clark, 
the escaped convict. On the eve of this event Beatrice was 
about to end her life with a draught of poison, when Mrs. 
Compton brought a letter from her son, the secretary, Phillips, 
telling them both to be ready to escape with Cato that very 
night. The party were taken to a little cottage opposite the 
inn, where Brandon met them. 

Soon after, Brandon called on Courtenay Despard and giv- 
ing an assumed name told him of his discovery of the Vishnu 
and gave him his father's letter and his mother's picture. 
Despard read the manuscript and vowed to avenge his fa- 
ther's wrongs. He told all to Langhetti, and together they 
came to the conclusion that the stranger could be only Louis 
Brandon. 

Despard now displayed renewed energy in helping Lang- 
hetti in his search for Beatrice. While they were deliberating 
on what plans to pursue, an anonymous letter was handed them 
telling where she was to be found. As they reached an inn 



352 CORD AND CREESE 

near the place, they saw Clark. Langhetti rode ahead, but 
Despard became suspicious of Clark and followed. Clark with 
his ferocious bulldog had attacked Langhetti and would have 
killed him, but for Despard's timely arrival. Despard shot the 
dog and bore Langhetti to the cottage after a struggle with 
Clark, whom he left bound, the three red scars of the branded 
convict plainly visible on his back. 

At Brandon Hall there was great gloom. There had been 
a fatal run on the bank and now the dread of settling with 
Smithers and Co. was facing them, when a stranger was an- 
nounced. Father and son welcomed him in a somewhat threat- 
ening manner, which the stranger never heeded. "Perhaps 
you, too, have a draft on me," sneered Potts. "Yes," replied 
the stranger, "and my draft was drawn twenty years ago by 
Colonel Lionel Despard." Pie then recalled to Potts the hor- 
rible details of his crime, and ordered him to pull up his sleeve 
to show the Bowhani characters on his arm. "This," he said, 
" is the draft you will not reject," and he flung at Potts the cord, 
at the end of which was the metallic ball. "Thug," he cried, 
"do you know what that is?" 

Potts summoned his servants. They gathered in the hall, 
but not one would lift his hand in behalf of his master. 

"Who are you?" cried Potts. " I am Louis Brandon," was 
the answer. 

At the end of an hour, Brandon of Brandon Hall was the 
master in the home of his ancestors, and John Potts and his 
son had left. 

On the following morning, as Brandon was riding out, he 
was overtaken by Potts 7 s Malay servant; but Brandon caught 
him as he was about to throw the cord at his neck. When he 
had the Malay in his power, he learned that the man believed 
he was avenging his father's murder, for Potts had told him 
Brandon was the one who killed his father, Colonel Despard's 
servant. Brandon then told him of his encounter with his 
uncle, Zangorri, and unbuttoning his coat, drew out the Malay 
creese. The man read the words, " John Potts." 

The Malay was convinced; he rode back to the village of 
Brandon and that night went to the hotel where Potts's son 
was sleeping. The next morning the father found his son dead 



JAMES DE MILLE 353 

in his bed, and around his neck was a faint line, which might 
have been made by a cord. 

The following day, when Brandon went to the cottage he 
learned of his sister's existence. Shortly after his arrival all 
the family were summoned to Langhetti's bedside, as he felt 
himself to be dying and wished to talk with Mrs. Compton 
before them all. Being convinced that the master whom she 
had so long feared was now powerless, she declared that Beatrice 
was the daughter of Colonel Despard; and Langhetti's surmise 
as to the markings B. D. on her clothing was at last confirmed. 

"Beatrice," said Brandon when he was master of himself, 
" Beatrice, I am yours and you are mine. It was a lie that kept 
us apart." 

Still Despard' s vengeance was not satisfied, but another did 
the work. Some hours later when he rode along the way he 
knew Potts to have taken, he came upon a group of men about 
a prostrate body. Around the neck he could see the cord with 
the leaden bullet hanging at the end, and on the hilt of the 
weapon plunged in his heart he saw carved the name JOHN 
POTTS. The weapon was a Malay creese. 

Louis Brandon did not forget his promise to his former part- 
ner, and Mrs. Compton and her son, Philip, were returned to 
their home. 

As Langhetti lay dying at the cottage, Edith Brandon came 
to him. He played for her daily on his violin till one day her 
soul went out never to return and soon after he, too, was dead. 

Frank Brandon continued to look after the business, and at 
Brandon Hall, Beatrice, who had so long been a prisoner there, 
was mistress. 



A.D, VOL. VI. 23 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 

(France, 1810-1857) 

CONFESSIONS OF A CHILD OF THE 
CENTURY (1836) 

This novel was the result of the author's liaison and quarrel with George 
Sand, who also wrote a book on this episode in their lives, entitled Rile et Lui 
("She and He"). The two were very bitter after the separation, and friends 
on either side were drawn into the recriminations and accusations in which 
they indulged. De Musset's story was crowned by the French Academy and 
has become the most popular of his works. 

(N the time of Napoleon, when the men of France 
were at war, the spirit of the age was one of fever- 
ish unrest, and anxious mothers gave birth to 
an ardent, pale, neurotic generation. 

When nineteen years old, I was attacked by 
the abnormal moral malady of the age, and these 
memoirs relate to my life during the three years 
that it lasted. 

The attack began as follows. After a mas- 
querade, I was seated at supper with my mistress by my side. 
I had drunk rather heavily, and my fork having dropped under 
the table I stooped to pick it up. I saw that the foot of my mis- 
tress touched that of a young man. I watched, and saw that 
their feet remained in the same position during the supper, al- 
though the man was talking to another woman all the time. 

My mistress was a widow, and lived with an elderly rela- 
tive. I was to see her home. 

"Come, Octave," she said at last, "let us go! Here I am!" 

I laughed, and left her there without saying a word. I did 

not think much about this incident until I was in bed, but then 

I became very angry, and was seized with desire for revenge. 

That young man had been my dearest friend from child- 

354 




ALFRED DE MUSSET 355 

hood, which made the matter worse. The next day we went to 
the woods of Vincennes and fought a duel, in which I was 
wounded in the arm, and a fever followed. 

My friend Desgcnais, who had been my second, told me 
that my mistress was unworthy, and made me promise not to 
see her again. But, notwithstanding my promise, I went to 
see her as soon as I was able. I abhorred her, but at the same 
time I idolized her. I reproached her with being false to me, 
with flirting with my friend in fact, I was beside myself with 
jealousy. She was greatly moved at my harsh words, flung her- 
self on the floor and implored my forgiveness. Her hair fell 
about her shoulders like a halo. She was beautiful. When I 
left her I wished never to see her again; but in a quarter of an 
hour I retraced my steps and walked softly up to her room. 
There I found the woman, her hair perfectly arranged; her face, 
which had been suffused with tears, was now wreathed with 
smiles, and her dressing-table was covered with jewels. She 
was arraying herself for a ball to which my rival was to take her. 
When I looked at her she compressed her lips and frowned. I 
turned to leave the room, then suddenly stepped back and 
slapped her on her beautiful white shoulders. She cried out in 
terror, and buried her face in her hands. 

When I reached home my wound had reopened, and the 
fever had returned. About midnight I awoke from a restless 
sleep, and there before me stood my mistress. 

" It is I!" she said, as she threw her arms around me. 

"What do you want of me?" I cried. " Leave me! I am 
afraid I shall kill you." 

"Very well, kill me," she said. "I have deceived you; but 
I love you and I cannot live without you." 

She looked so beautiful that I took her in my arms. 

"Very well," I said, "but before God, who sees us, by the 
soul of my father, I swear that I will kill you, and that I wili 
die with you." 

I saw a knife on the table and I placed it under my pillow. 
"Come, Octave," sht said, as she kissed me, "don't be foolish, 
These horrors have unsettled your mind. Give me the knife/' 

"Listen to me," I said. "You have told me that you love 
me, and I hope that it is true, but I would not take you back as 



356 A CHILD OF THE CENTURY 

my mistress, for I hate you as much as I love you. Before 
God, if you wish to stay here to-night I will kill you in the 
morning. " 

Then I became delirious, and she left me. Desgenais said 
I must find another mistress and so forget her. After he left, I 
wrote to her that I wished never to see her again. I had no 
occupation. My days had been spent with my mistress, and 
now I was turned adrift. I could think only of women, and I 
did not believe in true love. I was in despair. Though I had 
written to my mistress that I did not wish to see her again, I 
passed the nights on a bench under her window; I saw the light 
jn her room; I listened to the sound of her piano; and sometimes 
I thought I saw a shadow passing to and fro. 

One night, while watching there, I saw an intoxicated man. 
"He has forgotten his sorrows," said I, "let me do likewise." 
Then I entered the nearest tavern and drank my fill. The next 
morning I was disgusted with myself and lay in bed looking at 
a brace of pistols that hung on the wall, when in walked Des- 
genais. He told me that my mistress had not only two, but 
three lovers. "One moonlight night," said he, "while they 
were quarreling and threatening to kill her, down in the street a 
shadow was seen that resembled you most closely." 

"Who says so?" 

"Your mistress herself." 

" I in the street, bathed in tears of despair, and during that 
time, that encounter was going on within! Can it be possible, 
Desgenais?" 

"My friend," said Desgenais, "don't take things too seri- 
ously. Come to supper with me this evening, and to-mcrrow 
morning we will go to the country." 

I spent the entire season at Desgenais's house. We had 
many jetes which ended in general intoxication and riotous be- 
havior. I took a prominent part in these, wishing to appear 
blase, but at last I became thoroughly disgusted with that life. 

One evening a servant came to me and whispered: "Sir, I 
have come to inform you that your father is dying." 

I set out at once for my father's house, which was some dis- 
tance from Paris. The doctor met me at the door, and told me 
that I was too late, and that my father had desired to see me be- 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 357 

fore he died. I went to his room without delay. As soon as I 
was alone, I looked on that beloved face, now so motionless. 

" What did you wish to say to me, father?" I said. "What 
was your last thought concerning your child ?" 

His diary lay open on the table. I knelt before it and read 
the last sentence he had written. It was this: "Adieu, my son! 
1 love you and I die." 

My father had been greatly worried because I led such a dis- 
sipated life; yet in these, the last words he had written, he only 
wrote how he loved me. I was deeply moved. 

Every day I sat by his grave in the village cemetery, and 
thought of him. I lived quietly in his house and saw no visitors. 
I tried to read, but had no comprehension of what I read. As 
I sat in my father's armchair, a feeble voice seemed to whisper: 
"Where is the father? It is plainly to be seen that this is an 
orphan." 

I wandered in the woods almost every day, and then I would 
return and read his diary, and learn of his devotion to his 
friends, his appreciation of nature, his sublime love of God. I 
contrasted this with the dissipated life I had been leading, and 
I determined to follow in the footsteps of my father. For the 
first time in my life I was happy. 

One evening while I was out walking near the village, I saw 
a charming young woman crossing a field. A white goat ran up 
to her. I plucked a branch of wild mulberry for the goat, then 
I bowed to the lady and passed on. 

When I readied home I questioned our old family servant, 
and learned that the lady I had seen was Madame Pierson, a 
widow; that she lived quietly with her aunt not far from our 
estate, and that she spent most of her time doing good among 
the poor. 

I returned at once to the spot where I had met her, and 
followed the path I had seen her take to the mountains. I had 
proceeded but a short distance when a thunder-storm came up 
and I had to seek shelter in a farmhouse. The farmer took me 
into a lighted room, and there I saw a tall, slender woman with 
ash-blond hair and large, dark eyes. It was Madame Pierson. 
She was bending over the farmer's wife, who was dying. I sat 
silently by, awestruck. One of the children sat on my knee. 



358 A CHILD OF THE CENTURY 

"That is Brigitte la Rose," said the child; "don't you know 
her?" 

Presently the storm passed over, and the farmer's boy was 
about to see her home, but I offered my escort. When she 

learned that I was Octave de T she said that she had known 

my father, and allowed me to accompany her. On the way 
I told her how lonely I was, and she invited me to visit her. 

The next morning I was at her house. I found her on the 
piazza. We talked of literature, music, and art, and she showed 
me her greenhouse. "This is my little world," she said. "You 
have seen all I possess, and my domain ends here." 

Three months passed, and I called on Madame Pierson al- 
most every day. We read together, walked together, and visited 
the poor together. When she sang for me I lived in the dream- 
land of love. O God! of what do men complain? What is 
there sweeter than love? I had fallen in love with Madame 
Pierson at first sight, but dared not tell her that I loved her. 

One night after I had been at her house, instead of returning 
home I wandered about in the woods. About midnight I re- 
traced my steps, and saw her standing at her window. She was 
singing. She saw me. 

"Who is there at this hour?" she said. "Is it you, Octave?" 

I opened the gate. By the light of the moon I could see her 
open the door, hesitate, and then walk toward me. I was com- 
pletely overcome. I could not speak. I knelt and held her 
hand. 

"Listen to me," she said; "I know all, but if it has come to 
this, Octave, you must go away. My friendship you have won ; 
1 wish I had been able to keep yours longer." 

She waited a moment, and then went into the house. 

I reached home exhausted. My thoughts were confused. I 
made up my mind to go away but where? 

Madame Pierson then wrote to me that she esteemed me, 
but that she was several years older than I, and that she did not 
wish to see me again. "I do not take leave of you with sor- 
row," she said. "I expect to be gone some time. If, when I 
return, I find that you have gone away, I shall appreciate your 
action." 

For a week I was ill in bed with a fever. I wrote to Madame 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 



359 



Pierson that I would go away; and I actually set out for Paris, 
but my resolution failed me, and I told the coachman to drive 
me to N , where Madame Pierson was. 

As soon as I reached there, I called on her, and told her that 
I would never breathe another word of love if she would permit 
me to see her as before. 

She gave me a cold reception, told me I had been very im- 
prudent to follow her, and gave me an errand to do for her at a 
distance, bidding me stay away a month or two. 

In three weeks I had returned. I found her looking pale 
and ill. I, too, had greatly changed. 

"All my dream of happiness," said I, "all my hopes, all my 
ambition are enclosed in the little corner of the earth where you 
dwell; outside of the air that you breathe there is no life for me." 

One day a priest brought me a message from Madame Pier- 
son that she was ill and could not see me that day. I did not 
believe him. For three weeks I called three times a day, but 
was always refused admittance. Then she wrote me a letter, in 
which she said that my frequent calls were causing gossip in the 
village, and begged me not to come so often. 

Once, when I met her in the woods, I could not restrain my 
tears. She turned pale, and as I was leaving, she said: 

"To-morrow I am going to Sainte Luce. Be here with your 
horse early in the morning, if you have nothing to do, and go 
with me." 

The next morning we rode along in silence for some time, but 
when we reached the foot of the mountains I felt that a crisis 
had come. I took her hand. 

"Brigitte," I said, "are you weary of my complaints? Do 
you realize that I love you?" 

"Let us return!" she said. 

I seized her horse's bridle. "No," I replied, "for I have 
spoken. If we return I lose you." 

I clasped her in my arms and pressed my lips to hers. Her 
cheeks grew white, her eyes closed, her bridle slipped from her 
hand, and she sank to the ground. 

" God be praised ! " I said, " she loves me ! She has returned 
my kiss!" 

Two days after this I was Madame Pierson's lover. Then she 



360 A CHILD OF THE CENTURY 

showed me her diary. She said she wished me to see what she 
had written about me. But while I was reading, suddenly she 
said: "Do not read that!" What secret can she have from 
me? 

I had now known Madame Pierson four months and had no 
definite knowledge as to who she was. So on my return home 
I asked my faithful servant whether he knew anything of her, 
and he told me that she was the ministering angel of the valley, 
and lived quietly with her aunt, receiving no one but the cure 
and a certain Monsieur Dalens. 

Who can this M. Dalens be? Another lover, perhaps! I 
am determined to find out. 

When I next called on Madame Pierson I was extremely 
jealous, and I asked her about this M. Dalens in such a cruel 
way that she suddenly placed her hand to her heart and swooned. 
I was overwhelmed with remorse. I restored her to conscious- 
ness, and made her listen to me. 

"Alas! alas!" I said, "my dear mistress, if you only knew 
whom you love! Do not reproach me, but rather pity me. 
God intended me to be a better man than the one you see before 
you." 

Then she told me that Dalens had loved her, but that she 
never had cared for him. Then we made peace, and sealed it 
with a kiss. But even after this, we often had stormy scenes, 
owing to my uncontrollable emotions. 

1 had told her about my former mistresses, and one day 
when she saw me looking sad, she said : "I know you are think- 
ing of the mistress you loved so well. Let me try to be like her. 
Teach me how to please you always. I am perhaps as pretty 
as those you mourn ; if I have not their skill to divert you, 1 beg 
that you will instruct me." Then she would be wildly gay, and 
dress herself in ball costume. "Am I to your taste?" she would 
ask. "Which one of your inamoratas do I resemble?" 

"Stop!" I would cry. "You resemble but too closely that 
which you imitate, that which my lips have been vile enough to 
conjure up for you. Lay aside those flowers and that dress. 
Do not remind me that I am a prodigal son. I remember the 
past too well." 

One night, when we had lost our way in the woods, we sat 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 361 

down on a rock to wait for morning. Brigitte threw hex arms 
around me and said: 

" Do not think that I do not understand your heart, or that 
I would reproach you for what you make me suffer. It is not 
your fault, my friend, if you have not the power to forget your 
past. You thought that you were entering a new life, and that 
with me you would forget the woman who had deceived you. 
I thought I had but to will it, and all that was good in your heart 
would come to your lips with my first kiss. You, too, believed 
it, but we were both mistaken. You do not know my life. You 
do not know that I who speak to you have had an experience as 
terrible as yours. There is hidden in my heart a fatal story 
that I wish you to know." 

Then she told me that when very young she had been en- 
gaged to be married. The wedding-day had been set, and her 
lover had told her that consequently they were as good as mar- 
ried, so she had yielded to his entreaties, with the result that a 
week later he had left his father's house and gone to Germany 
with another woman. He wrote that he never should return. 

Brigitte's eyes were full of tears; she could not finish. 

All was silent about us; above our heads spread the heavens, 
resplendent with stars. 

One day Brigitte sent for me to come to her. 

"My aunt is dead," she said. "I have lost the only relative 
I had on earth. I am now alone in the world, and I am going 
to leave the country." 

"Leave the country if you choose; I will either kill myself or 
follow you." 

Then she told me that she could no longer endure the gossip 
about herself and me. In fact, the news had spread that 
Brigitte was living openly with a libertine from Paris, and that 
he ill-treated her. But I persuaded her to remain and to pay 
no attention to these reports; and so we spent many more happy 
days together, though at times I became madly jealous, without 
any apparent cause. 

One night about one o'clock we sat down to a late supper, 
and I picked up Brigitte's diary, which lay on the table. I 
opened it, with her permission, and read: "This is my last will 



362 A CHILD OF THE CENTURY 

and testament." She had written that she would endure every- 
thing in the way of jealousy and selfishness so long as I loved 
her, but that should I leave her she would take poison, though 
she charged that her death should not be attributed to me. This 
strange entry closed with the words: "Pray for him!" 

On a shelf near by I found a little box containing a bluish 
powder. I raised it to my lips. Brigitte screamed, and flung 
herself upon me. 

"Brigitte," I said, "bid me farewell. I shall carry this box 
of poison away with me. You will forget me, and you will live 
if you wish to save me from becoming a murderer. I shall set 
out this very night. Give me a last kiss." 

"Not yet!" she cried. But I pushed her back and left the 
room. 

Three hours later the coach was at the door and I stepped 
in to leave the place forever. But Brigitte followed me, threw 
her arms about me, and entreated me to take her with me. My 
remonstrances were unavailing. 

" Drive on," I said at last to the coachman. We threw our- 
selves into each other's arms, and the horses set out. 

We went to Paris, where we hired an apartment, and from 
there we intended to go to Geneva, to live in fairyland among 
the Alps. But letters for Brigitte arrived, and I noticed that 
after reading them she looked sad; later I saw that she had been 
crying, and when I showed her our tickets for seats in the car- 
riage to Besanfon, she screamed, and sank at my feet. 

I told her that I must know what was grieving her, so she 
showed me the letters. Her relatives had written to her that 
they knew she was living openly as my mistress, and that she 
had disgraced the family. After reading these letters, I asked 
her whether she preferred to remain, or to go away, or whether 
she wished me to go alone. 

"I will do as you please," she said. 

I called to see Mr. Smith, the young man who had brought 
the letters, and talked to him about the journey and other mat- 
ters. When he heard that Brigitte was ill he could not conceal 
his grief. 

" Pardon me," he said; " I fear I am not well. When I have 
recovered sufficiently I will return your visit." 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 363 

Brigitte soon improved in health, and soon Mr. Smith came 
to see her every day. Although his presence in the house was 
the cause of great anxiety to me, I was not jealous of him at 
first; besides, Brigitte was always very reserved in his presence. 
But why were they both ill and sad? What secret were they 
hiding from me? 

Mr. Smith was a very ordinary kind of man, but he was good 
and apparently a devoted friend. I often left him alone with 
Brigitte, and sometimes I would send them to the theater; then 
I would conceal myself in the auditorium and watch them. 

One night on my return I saw that the man had been weep- 
ing. After that I was disturbed whenever he came to the house. 

This could not last long. Tired of uncertainty, I deter- 
mined to discover the truth. So one night I ordered the car- 
riage to be at the door to take us away. I said nothing about it 
to Brigitte; Mr. Smith came to dinner, and the evening was 
spent pleasantly. But suddenly I announced that we were 
about to depart at once, that the carriage was waiting at the 
door. While Brigitte was getting ready, I sat on the sofa watch- 
ing Mr. Smith, who did not seem troubled or surprised. He 
held out both his hands to us. 

"Bon voyage, my friends!" he said. 

A few kind words were said, and then Mr. Smith rose to go. 
I left the room before him, and then, in jealous rage, I pressed 
my ear to the keyhole. 

"When shall I see you again ?" he asked. 

" Never," said Brigitte; "adieu, Henri." 

Once more I was alone with Brigitte, and my heart was 
troubled. I told her that the change in her had driven me to 
despair. I asked her the cause, and said that if she preferred 
to remain I would be resigned. 

"Let us go! let us go!" she replied. 

"Brigitte," I asked suddenly, "what secret are you conceal- 
ing from me? If you love me, what horrible comedy is this you 
are acting?" 

"Let us go, let us go," she repeated. 

"No, on my soul! No, not at present! No, not while there 
is between us a lie, a mask. I like unhappiness much better 
than cheerfulness like yours." 



364 A CHILD OF THE CENTURY 

She begged me not to press her further. "I love you, Oc- 
tave; cease tormenting me," she said. "Let us go away to- 
gether; the carriage is waiting. // must be" 

"It must be" I repeated to myself. "What do you mean by 
that, Brigitte? Why must you love me?" 

She wrung her hands in grief. I insisted that she should 
tell me at last the secret that was oppressing our lives. 

"No, I will not speak," she said. 

" I have loved long enough in the dark. Yes or no, will you 
answer me?" 

"No." 

"As you please; I will wait." 

I told the driver we should not depart that night. After a 
long conversation, during which, however, I could elicit no real 
information, I accused Brigitte plainly of deceiving me, and of 
loving another man. 

"Who is it?" she inquired. 

"Smith." 

"What do you mean?" she asked. "What do you wish me 
to tell you?" She became greatly agitated, and we had a 
fiercely stormy scene, during which she spoke of her happy life 
before she had known me, and reproached me bitterly for what 
I had made her suffer. At last she said: "Oh, Octave! Why 
have you loved me if it is all to end thus?" and fainted. When 
she regained consciousness I kissed her tenderly; we were tem- 
porarily reconciled, and she slept tranquilly on my breast. But 
I realized that there was no hope of our living together in peace, 
and as I did not wish to kill her, there seemed nothing for me 
to do but to go away. I determined to leave her the next day, 
and rose to make my final preparations. 

I was beside myself with grief. I walked to and fro, not 
knowing what I did, hoping to find some instrument of death. 
Then I recoiled in horror. "If I kill myself," I said, "I shall 
be sleeping underground, and Brigitte will probably take another 
lover!" 

I took up a knife I found on the table. " What will be said 
if I should kill Brigitte?" I reflected a moment, pointed the 
knife at her bosom, and drew back the covers to find her heart. 
Then I saw an ebony crucifix fastened to a chain about her neck. 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 365 

I drew back; the knife fell to the floor. I leaned once more 
over this sleeping woman whom I loved, and kissed the crucifix. 

"Sleep in peace!" I said, "God watches over you. But 
while your lips were parted in a smile, you were in greater dan^ 
ger than you have ever known." 

Then I swore never to kill either her or myself. 

The first rays of morning light were illuminating the room, 
and I was going to take a little rest, when I saw a dress on a 
chair; it fell to the floor, and out of it slipped a piece of paper. 
It was a letter addressed to Mr. Smith, in which Brigitte told 
him that her destiny was bound up in mine, and that as I could 
not live without her, she intended to die for me. The last words 
were: "I love you; adieu, and pity us." 

When I read this my resolution was taken. The next day 
was cool and clear, and a young man and a woman were seen 
in a jeweler's shop. They chose two similar rings. Then they 
breakfasted in a private room at the restaurant. The man's 
face shone with joy. At times he looked at the woman and 
wept, smiling through his tears. The woman was pale and 
thoughtful. They spoke in low tones. The clock struck one. 
The woman sighed, and said: 

"Octave, are you sure of yourself?" 

" Yes, my friend, I am resolved. I shall suffer much, a long 
time, perhaps forever; but we will cure ourselves, you with 
time, I with God. I do not believe we can forget each other, 
but I believe that we can forgive; and it is that which I desire, 
even at the price of separation." 

"Why can we not meet again?" she said. 

"No, my friend, I could not see you again without loving 
you. May he to whom I bequeath you be worthy of you. 
Smith is a brave, good, and honest man. Let us be friends and 
part forever." 

The woman wept, then she stood before the mirror and cut 
off a long lock of her hair, which she gave to her lover. Then 
they left the restaurant, and were soon lost in the crowd. 

Some time after this, a young man rode away from his native- 
town, alone, thanking God that, of the three people who had 
suffered through Jiis fault, only one remained unhappy. 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY 

(England, 1785-1859) 
THE AVENGER 

This story was first published in book form in America in 1853, when the 
author's works were collected by Mr. James T. Fields and issued by the firm of 
Ticknor and Fields. Like the writer's other works, The Avenger had previously 
appeared in an English periodical. Although De Quincey had been urged to 
make a collection of his writings, he had excused himself from doing so, and no 
collection was made until the enterprising American publisher accomplished the 
task of gathering the scattered writings of which the author himself had lost 
all track. 

IAT series of terrific events by which our quiet 
city and university in the northeastern quarter of 
Germany were convulsed during the year 1816, 
is too memorable to be forgotten or to be left 
without its own separate record. No tragedy, 
indeed, among all the sad ones by which the 
affections of the human heart or of the fireside 
have been outraged, can better merit a chapter in 
history than this unparalleled case. And in re- 
lating the horrors of that period no one can put in a better claim 
to be the historian than myself. 

I was at the time, and still am, a professor in that city and 
university which had the melancholy distinction of being its 
theater. I knew familiarly all the persons who were concerned 
in this tragedy either as sufferers or as agents, and I was present 
during the whole course of the mysterious storm which fell 
upon our quiet city with the streagth of a West Indian hur- 
ricane and threatens d at ooc time to depopulate it. 

In September, 1815, 1 received a friendly letter from the 

chief secretary to the Prince of M , a nobleman connected 

with the diplomatic service of Russia, introducing to me a young 

366 




THOMAS DE QUINCEY 367 

man who was about to put himself under my instruction in the 
university. The letter described him as rich and handsome 
and already far advanced in a military career, although only in 
his twenty-second year. He was English by birth, being a 
nephew of the Earl of E , and heir presumptive to his im- 
mense estates. His father and mother were both dead; and there 
was a rumor current to the effect that the latter had been a gipsy 
of marvelous beauty, which might account for the somewhat 
Moorish complexion of the son. Of military honors he had 
already accumulated an unusual share, as he had been aide-de- 
camp to a Dutch officer at the battle of Waterloo, and had 
been decorated for distinctions won on that day. He had 
served under various banners, but, though he was an English- 
man of rank, he did not belong to the English service, being at 
present in the cavalry of the Imperial Guard of Russia; and the 
Czar himself had taken an especial interest in him. His devo- 
tion to military life had interfered with the cultivation of his 
mind, and for that reason he wished to put himself under my 
tutelage for the study of Greek. 

After some correspondence on the matter, it was arranged 
that Mr. Maximilian Wyndham, for this was the new student's 
name, should take up his residence at my monastic abode for 
one year. He was to keep a table and an establishment of ser- 
vants at his own cost; was to have a large suite of apartments, 
unrestricted use of the library and other privileges not usually 
accorded. In return he was to pay me the sum of one thousand 
guineas, and, in acknowledgment of various courtesies granted 
him, he sent in advance a sum of three hundred guineas to be 
given in charity to those institutions for the poor that most re- 
quired it. 

The news of the expected arrival of this wonderful young 
Englishman aroused great excitement in our stagnant town; 
and every tongue was busied in discussing his probable appear- 
ance and character. 

When he finally arrived I was at once struck with the fact 
that the letter had failed to give any adequate idea of the gran- 
deur of his personal appearance, as it transcended anything I 
had ever previously met with. Indeed, his countenance so ex- 
pressed the supremacy of beauty and power that my composure 



3 68 THE AVENGER 

almost left me as I gazed upon him. He bowed, and then raised 
his eyes to mine; and I was instantly impressed by the profound 
look of sadness which seemed settled in them, and which seemed 
so unaccountable in one of his years and station. 

Mr. Wyndham was at once warmly received into the best 
social circles of our town and was universally admired and 
sought after. He was the recipient of numerous invitations, 
which he usually accepted courteously ; but on all social occa- 
sions the profound melancholy which possessed him outweighed 
the general frankness and kindness of his manner, and seemed to 
cast a feeling of awe on those about him. 

One person only seemed able to penetrate this atmosphere 
of sadness and not be affected by it, and that was Margaret 
Liebenheim, whose wondrous beauty and charm seemed to 
make a complete conquest of the young guardsman at the 
moment of their first meeting. 

Indeed, a rapturous interchange of sympathy appeared in- 
stantly to take place between these two young hearts, each find- 
ing in the other the realization of its dream. After a very short 
acquaintance the lovers became engaged, in spite of the oppo- 
sition of Margaret's aged grandfather; he refused his consent 
and favored the suit of Ferdinand von Harrelstein, who had loved 
Margaret with the ardor of his whole soul for many years. Fer- 
dinand was the son of a German baron of good family but small 
estates, and was a general favorite on account of his amiable 
temper and agreeable manners. But his great disappointment 
at seeing Margaret won by another seemed wholly to unbalance 
his nature; and he became irritable and moody, and given to 
fits of muttering and wrath, appearing as if he were mentally 
distraught. 

So matters stood among us, when on the night of January 
twenty-second, 1816, while a large ball was in progress at the 
residence of one of our wealthy townsmen, the joyous company 
were suddenly startled by the sound of a piercing shriek. This 
was followed by a succession of shrieks so blood-curdling that 
faces blanched and the scene was turned into one of consterna- 
tion and fear. Suddenly in the midst of the dancers appeared 
a young rustic girl, who had recently come to live with her uncle, 
a tradesman, who resided in the neighborhood. The girl was 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY 369 

exhausted with excitement and with the horror of the shock she 
had sustained; but finally was able, through her weeping, to tell 
her tragic story. She explained that her uncle's whole family, 
consisting of himself, two maiden sisters, and an elderly female 
domestic, had been foully murdered in their home, and no clue 
remained to show who had perpetrated the horrible deed. 

Immediately all was confusion and excitement; ladies 
fainted, and men rushed out to see if any trace of the murderer 
could be found. No motive could be assigned for this crime, 
as no robbery had occurred, and the victims were quiet persons, 
not known to have any enemies. 

Our peaceful town was shaken to its foundation by this un- 
accountable crime; and the fact that no trace of the assassin 
could be discovered caused much consternation among our 
people. Three weeks passed, and the first flutterings of the 
panic were beginning to subside when suddenly, in the middle 
of a cold and frosty night, the church-bell pealed a loud alarm. 

Another dastardly murder had taken place, and again there 
was no clue to the mystery; two aged brothers and their two 
sisters who resided with them, had been the victims; and as 
before, no robbery had occurred. Wild excitement now pre- 
vailed in our quiet town ; a mounted patrol was organized at the 
suggestion of Maximilian, and he and a number of the university 
students formed a mounted guard which patrolled the street 
from sunset to sunrise. In spite of this surveillance, however, 
murder followed murder in horrible succession, until this reign 
of terror seemed to have reached the acme of its height. 

During this period the conduct of the Russian guardsman 
evoked much criticism among our people: he took reasonable 
interest in every case and listened to the details with attention, 
but manifested a coolness almost amounting to carelessness, 
which to many appeared revolting. 

It soon became apparent that these terrible outrages were 
being committed by a band of assassins, since on one or two oc- 
casions eye-witnesses that had escaped the fate of those about 
them had described the assailants as a band of masked ruffians, 
who had managed to secrete themselves in the homes which they 
were to lay waste, and at a given signal had attacked their help- 
less victims. Added to this report was the startling declaration 
A.D., VOL. vi. 24 



370 THE AVENGER 

that a servant in one of the houses, who had discovered two of 
the murderers stealing up the stairs, had recognized the aca- 
demic dress of the students belonging to the university. This 
sensational charge added to the mystery and horror of that 
terrible time. 

While these strange and unaccountable outrages were taking 
place another of entirely different nature occurred. The chief 
jailer of our city, who was in the habit of taking long rides in 
the forest, was suddenly missed; and it was some months before 
his body was discovered crucified there in a most brutal manner. 
Ferdinand von Harrelstein, who was now a ruin of what he 
once had been, both morally and intellectually, was thought by 
some to have been guilty of this crime, but his innocence was 
proved later. 

Meantime the marriage of Margaret and Maximilian was 
supposed to be drawing near, and her friends were looking for- 
ward to this happy event, when, suddenly, a thunderbolt de- 
scended upon our city. For several months the murderer's 
hand had been stayed; and encouraged by the thought that the 
storm had passed over, confidence had been restored and peace 
and tranquillity had returned to our firesides. 

But, alas, this peace was soon to be shattered, for Mr. Lie- 
benheim and his household, with the exception of Margaret, 
were suddenly felled by the assassin's hand. This atrocious 
deed renewed the horror, and was followed by a succession of 
calamities. 

Margaret, who was at home at the time of the murder, in- 
stead of being away on a visit as she had planned, was found 
lying in her boudoir in an unconscious condition. 

It was some time before she recovered from her swoon, and 
the following evening the shock was succeeded by thr premature 
birth of a male child which lived only a few hours. But before 
a breath of scandal could reach her, Maximilian appeared with 
the family confessor and produced the proofs of his secret mar- 
riage with Margaret eight months before. 

Upon the night of Mr. Liebenheim's murder Maximilian 
had been away on a hunting trip; and on his return the following 
morning he seemed greatly agitated by the news which greeted 
him, and was convulsed with anxiety regarding Margaret. The 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY 371 

latter lay for several weeks in a condition of insensibility alter- 
nating with delirium, during which time Maximilian's grief and 
anxiety were intense; and then she passed away after a short 
period of consciousness in the arms of her heart-broken husband. 

Maximilian, to the astonishment of everybody, attended the 
funeral, which was celebrated in the cathedral, and appeared 
like a pillar of stone, motionless, torpid, frozen. When the 
ceremony was concluded he strode rapidly homeward and half 
an hour later I was summoned to his bedroom. 

He was in bed, calm and collected, and what he said I re- 
member as if it were but yesterday, though twenty years have 
passed since then. 

"I have not long to live," he declared; and seeing me start, 
he added: "You fancy I have taken poison; no matter whether 
I have or not; if I have, the poison is such that no antidote will 
now avail; or if any would, you well know that some griefs are 
of a kind that leave no opening to hope. Be assured that 
whatever I have determined to do is beyond the power of human 
opposition, and I beg you to listen calmly to me as my time is 
short." 

Maximilian then handed me his will, in which he had com- 
mitted all his immense property to my discretion, and with it 
another paper which he said was of even more importance in 
his life, and which he begged me to read at once and promise 
to keep the contents secret until three years had passed. He 
then made me promise that he should be buried in the same 
grave with his wife; and when I had acceded to his requests he 
asked me to leave him and return again in three hours. 

Feeling extremely uneasy, I returned to him when half that 
time had elapsed, and finding his form quiet in death realized 
that he and all his splendid endowments had departed from this 
world forever. I took up his two testamentary documents and 
found that the first was a rapid though distinct appropriation 
of his enormous property, general rules for which were laid 
down, but the details were left to my discretion. I then took 
up the second document, and looking for a solution of the pro- 
found sadness which had enveloped this gifted and mysterious 
writer, I seated myself beside his corpse and read the statement 
which he had committed to my care: 



372 THE AVENGER 

"MARCH 36, 

"My trial is finished: my conscience, my duty, my honor, are liberated; my 
warfare is accomplished. Margaret, my innocent young wife, I have seen for 
the last time. Her, the crown that might have been of my earthly felicity, even 
her, I have sacrificed. Before I go, partly lest the innocent should be brought 
into question for the acts almost exclusively mine, but still more lest the lesson 
and the warning which God, by my hand, has written in blood upon your guilty 
walls, should perish for want of authentic exposition, hear my last dying avowal: 
that the murders which have desolated so many families within your walls, and 
made the household hearth no sanctuary and age no charter of protection, are 
all due originally to my head, if not always to my hand, as the minister of a dread- 
ful retribution. 

"That account of my history and my prospects which you received from 
the Russian diplomatist is essentially correct. 

"My father claimed descent from an English family of even higher dis- 
tinction than that which is assigned in the Russian statement; but his immediate 
progenitors had been settled in Italy, and so his whole property, large and 
scattered, came by the progress of the Revolution under French dominion. 
Many complications arose through this state of affairs; and my father at length 
under pressure of necessity accepted the place of commissary to the French forces 
in Italy. This position brought him many enemies and into many difficulties, 
and while serving in the German campaign he was caught in one of the snares 
laid for him and thrown into prison in your city. Here he was subjected to most 
atrocious treatment by your inhuman jailer, and sinking under the torture and 
degradation, he soon died. Before his death he had sent for his wife and 
children, who reached him in time for the sad parting. 

"My mother, whom he had married when holding a brigadier-general's 
commission in the Austrian service, was by birth and religion a Jewess, and was 
of exquisite beauty. Upon reaching your city she was subjected to insults and 
indignities on account of her nationality, which later took the form of the grossest 
outrages. 

"After my father's death and burial, which had been connected with insults 
and degradation too outrageous for human patience to endure, my mother, in 
the fury of her righteous grief, publicly and in court, denounced the conduct of 
the magistracy. 

"She taxed some of them with the vilest proposals to herself, with having 
used instruments of torture upon my father, and finally of being in collusion with 
the French military oppressors of the district. 

" My heart sank within me when I looked up at the bench, that tribunal of 
tyrants, all purple with rage; when I looked alternately at them and at my noble 
mother with her weeping daughters these so powerless, those so basely vindictive 
and locally so omnipotent. Willingly would I have sacrificed all my wealth for 
a simple permission to quit this infernal city with my mother and sisters safe and 
undishonored. But far other were the intentions of that incensed magistracy. 
My mother was arrested, charged with some offense equal to petty treason, 
and sentenced to be twice scourged upon the bare back upon the street at 
noonday. 

"After once enduring the horrible torture and degradation, which she did 
without uttering a sound, my mother succumbed to the shock of her terrible 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY 373 

txpcrience and died before the second part of her sentence could be executed 
upon her. 

" My two poor sisters were then left to their fate, as I, though but a young 
boy, was forced to leave them and go to Vienna to sue for their release. After 
an absence of eight months, caused by delay in securing an audience with the 
Emperor, I returned to find both sisters dead from the abuse and ill-treatment 
they had received. They had fallen into the insidious hands of your ruffianly 
jailer, who, attracted by my elder sister's wondrous beauty, had wreaked his 
worst vengeance upon her. The misery of my two innocent sisters can better 
be imagined than described. 

"I now vowed before Heaven to avenge the wrongs of my family, and 
devoted the rest of my life to that end. I entered the Russian service with the 
view of gaining some appointment on the Polish frontier that might put it in my 
power to execute my vow of destroying all the magistrates of your city. This 
course proving unavailing, I secured eight men from an assembly of Jews at 
Paris, who were hardened by military experience and unsusceptible to pity, and 
enrolled them with myself as students at the university. 

"Then followed the vengeance which for years I had sought. The details 
of the cases I need not repeat; but all those who suffered were either the guilty 
magistrates that condemned my mother, or those that turned away with mockery 
from her son when he supplicated for her pardon. Who I was, what I avenged, 
and whom, I made every man aware, and every woman, before I punished them. 

"It pleased God, however, to place a mighty temptation in my path in 
the person of Margaret Liebenhcim; her devotion to her grandfather, who had 
been one of the guiltiest toward my mother, made me hesitate to wreak my 
vengeance upon him. I delayed his punishment till the last, and then might 
have pardoned him had it not been that one of my agents, a fierce Jew, who 
had a personal hatred for him, swore he would kill him, and perhaps Margaret 
too, if I longer hesitated. Accordingly, a night was chosen when I knew Mar. 
garet was to be absent; but what was my horror when I saw her flying to het 
grandfather's rescue 1 She recqgnized me as his murderer; but in our parting 
interview I explained my course to her and a few words righted all misunder. 
standing between us. 

"The fate of the jailer needs no further reference; but had he possessed 
forty thousand lives my thirst for vengeance would not have been gratified. 

"Now then, all is finished, and human nature is avenged. Yet, if you 
complain of the bloodshed and the terror, think of the wrongs which created 
my rights; think of the sacrifice by which I gave a tenfold strength to those 
rights; and ye, victims of dishonor, will be glorified in your deaths; ye will not 
have suffered in vain, nor died without a monument. Sleep, therefore, sister 
Berenice sleep, gentle Mariamne, in peace! And thou, noble mother, let the 
outrages sown in thy dishonor rise again and blossom in wide harvests of honor 
for the women of thy afflicted race! Sleep, daughters of Jerusalem, in the 
lanctity of your sufferings! And, thou, if it be possible, even more beloved 
daughter of a Christian fold, whose company was too soon denied to him in life, 
open thy grave to receive him who, in the hour of death, wishes to remember 
no title which he wore on earth but that of thy chosen and adoring lover, 

" MAXIMILIAN." 



HENRI JACQUES BERNARDIN DE 
ST. PIERRE 

(France, 1737-1814) 
PAUL AND VIRGINIA (1788) 

Although this charming romance is usually published and treated as an 
independent work, its author, in his own introduction, described it as " only an 
episode" of his "Studies of Nature," "the application of her laws to the happi- 
ness of two unfortunate families." For some time before its publication it lay 
in his portfolio, and the author had read it to various persons of distinction and 
culture. They had shed tears over the narrative, but had given it no praise. 
When it came from the press to the public, however, it obtained an enthusiastic 
reception. Not only men of science, like Humboldt, but generals like Napoleon 
were among its admirers. The latter was in the habit of saying, whenever he 
saw De St. Pierre: "Monsieur Bernardin, when do you mean to give us more 
Pauls and Virginias and Indian cottages ? You ought to give us some every six 
months." It was translated into the chief European languages; gave rise to 
idyls and dramatic versions, and received the most undoubted proofs of its 
popularity in the host of children who thereafter were baptized with the names 
of its youthful hero and heroine. These names were not accidents. In child- 
hood the author had known a friar named Paul, for whom he had the warmest 
admiration. In Berlin, he and a German maiden, named Virginia Taubenheim, 
had been in love with each other, but he was too poor to marry her. Nor were 
these the only respects in which his writings grew out of his personal experience. 
Many of the most apparently imaginative passages of Paul and Virginia are 
drawn from actual incidents in his visit to the Isle of France, where he went 
as a civil engineer about 1767. In reply to many inquiries, De St. Pierre 
averred both in speech and in print that the families he describes had had 
an actual existence, and that the narrative was in most respects true. "I 
have described real places and customs, examples of which may perhaps still 
be found in some retired spots of the Isle of France or the neighboring Isle 
of Bourbon, and an actual catastrophe for which I can produce unimpeach- 
able witnesses even in Paris." For one day in Paris, at the Jardin du Roi, 
he says, a lady, Madame de Bonneud, accosted him, and, having learned that 
he was the author of Paul and Virginia, she told him that the young woman 
whose mournful fate he had described in the wreck of the Saint Gtran was 

374 




BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 375 

a relative of hers; and, besides giving her testimony to the truth of the catas- 
trophe, Madame de Bonneud added further circumstances adapted, to use 
De St. Pierre's own words, " to heighten the interest inspired by the death of 
this sublime victim to modesty." 

the eastern coast of the mountain which rises 
above Port Louis in the Mauritius, in the center 
of a secluded valley surrounded by immense 
rocks, stood, in the early part of the eighteenth 
century, two cottages, each occupied by a small 
family, who found happiness in this beautiful 
nook. In the lower cottage dwelt a peasant 
woman from Brittany, Margaret by name, and 
her babe, Paul. Misled by the weakness of a 
tender heart, Margaret had yielded to the passion of a gentleman 
in her neighborhood. He had promised to marry her, but when 
she proved likely to become a mother he inhumanly abandoned 
her. To conceal the loss of her virtue, Margaret left her native 
village, purchased an old negro slave, Domingo by name, and 
began to cultivate a little piece of land in this sequestered spot. 
The cottage near by, built soon after this, was occupied by 
Madame de la Tour, a lady from Normandy. She belonged to 
a rich and ancient family, but her husband had married her 
without fortune and in opposition to the will of his relatives, who 
objected to her because she was descended from parents who 
had no claim to nobility. Leaving his wife at Port Louis, Mon- 
sieur de la Tour sailed to Madagascar on a business venture, 
caught a fever and died. Madame de la Tour was left a poor 
widow in a strange land, with no one to aid her except her 
negro woman, Mary. Seeking some retired shelter where the 
calm of Nature might hush the tumults of the soul, she happened 
to come to the same valley where Margaret and her babe were 
already settled. Margaret hospitably opened to the newcomer 
her hut, and offered her aid and companionship. Drawn to- 
gether by similar trials, the two families soon became devoted 
friends. Another cottage was built for Madame de la Tour, a 
little farther up the valley. Hardly was it finished before 
Madame de la Tour gave birth to a girl, who was christened 
Virginia. Margaret's slave, Domingo, who had already be- 
:ome attracted to Madame de la Tour's negro woman, Mary, 



376 PAUL AND VIRGINIA 

drew the two households still more closely together by marrying 
her. The two Africans, with cheerful zest and indefatigable 
industry, cultivated the land of both families, and sold at Port 
Louis the superfluous produce of the two plantations. Thus 
the two families found in their retreat neatness, independence, 
health, and a modest subsistence; all the services and blessings 
which spring from honest toil and mutual affection. All their 
possessions were in common and they had but one table, one 
will, one interest. The two mothers, looking on each other as 
sisters, delighted in washing their infants in the same bath, 
putting them to rest in the same cradle, and sometimes they 
even exchanged the babes at the breast. "My friend," ex- 
claimed Madame de la Tour, "we shall each of us have two 
children, and each of our children will have two mothers." 

While the children were still in their cradles their mothers 
talked of their marriage, and soothed their own cares and re- 
grets by this happy anticipation of the conjugal felicity and 
blessings of equality which their more fortunate offspring, far 
from the cruel prejudices of Europe, would enjoy. 

Nothing could exceed the attachment which the two children 
displayed for each other. They walked together hand in hand, 
and at night often refused to be separated and were found sleep- 
ing in the same cradle, locked in each other's arms. As they 
grew up, they continued inseparable. When you met one, you 
would be sure to find the other near by. 

When a summer shower began to descend, you might see 
their two faces laughing under the swelling petticoat that Vir- 
ginia had pulled up to screen them from the rain. Whenever 
and wherever Virginia wished to go, to discover new nooks in 
the forest, or to ask pardon for some poor slave-woman, there 
Paul was ready to accompany her. If they came to a stream 
so deep that the girl dared not wade through it, the boy took 
her up in his arms, and carried her over. If she cut her feet on 
the sharp stones, Paul made buskins for her out of leaves. 
When they got lost in the forest depths, Paul kindled a fire by 
rubbing dry sticks together, burned down a young palm-tree 
and fed Virginia with the edible head at the top. At twelve he 
was stronger and more mature than European boys at fifteen, 
and with all kinds of lovely flowers and fruit-trees had em- 



BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 377 

bellished the plantations, where Domingo had raised only what 
was useful. In the neighboring woods Paul made all sorts of 
picturesque paths and nooks, greenswards for dancing, and 
other pleasant meeting-places for the two families, and he bap- 
tized them with delightful names such as " Concord," "The 
Discovery of Friendship," "Virginia's Resting-place." When 
the rising sun lighted up the points of the rocks that towered 
above the valley, Margaret and Paul went to the dwelling of 
Madame de la Tour, and all offered up together their morning 
prayers and then partook of the first repast, usually on the 
grass under the grateful shade of a plantain-tree. When night 
came they all supped together, and the mothers told moving 
stories of adventure on land or sea; or perhaps Madame de la 
Tour would read some affecting history from the Bible. When 
the weather was fine, they went to church at the Shaddock 
Grove. Invitations from the wealthier members of the com- 
munity, which they often received, were respectfully declined, 
but they were always ready to go to the poor and ill with com- 
fort and help. Instead of the conventional gaieties of polite 
society, the young folks swam in the surf, or danced and enacted 
pantomimes, often in the manner of the negroes. 

With a few exceptions, they had no particular days, some 
being devoted to pleasure and others to sadness. Every day 
was to them a holiday, and all which surrounded them one holy 
temple. The birthdays of their mothers, however, were cele- 
brated in an especial fashion. Virginia made white wheaten 
cakes for the poor, to whom it was a thing unknown, and Paul 
carried the cakes about and distributed them, with cordial in- 
vitations to visit their homes on the coming birthdays. When 
the poor whites came, all the household united in entertaining 
them in the most hospitable fashion possible; for, as they told 
their guests: "We are happy only when we are seeking the 
happiness of our guests." 

Thus grew up these children of Nature. Neither ambition 
nor envy disturbed them. "No care had troubled their peace, 
no intemperance had corrupted their blood; no misplaced pas- 
sion had depraved their hearts. Their countenances beamed 
with purity and peace. Love, innocence, and piety were each 
day unfolding the beauty of their souls. Such in the garden of 



3 ?8 PAUL AND VIRGINIA 

Eden appeared our first parents when, coming from the hand 
of God, they first saw, approached, and conversed together, like 
brother and sister. Virginia was as gentle, modest, and con- 
fiding as Eve; and Paul, like Adam, united the figure of man- 
hood with the simplicity of a child. 

When Paul confided to Virginia that the azure of the skies 
was less charming to him than the blue of her eyes, and that if 
he only touched her with the tip of his finger his whole frame 
trembled with pleasure, Virginia would assure him in return 
that the rays of the sun in the morning, brightening the tops of 
the rocks, gave her less joy than the sight of his face. And in 
reply to his question as to why he loved her, she ingenuously 
answered: "Why! all creatures that are brought up together 
love one another. Look at our birds! Reared in the same 
nests, they love as we do; they are always together, as we are." 

But new and strange sensations came to agitate the heart 
of Virginia. She fled her innocent sports and wandered alone 
in unfrequented paths. At the sight of Paul, she advanced 
sportively ; then was seized with sudden confusion, and her pale 
cheeks were overspread with blushes. Paul endeavored to 
soothe her with his embraces, as in former days. But she fled, 
trembling, to her mother. The caresses of her brother excited 
too much emotion in her agitated heart. Paul could not com- 
prehend these novel caprices. But the more experienced 
mother, discerning this strong attachment between the two 
young people, proposed to Madame de la Tour to unite them 
in marriage. To the latter, however, the proposal seemed pre- 
mature, and the young lovers too young and too poor. A com- 
mercial trip that might increase Paul's fortune and add to his 
years was therefore proposed. 

But before anything of this sort could be arranged, a letter 
came from Madame de la Tour's wealthy aunt in France, in- 
viting her and Virginia to come to Paris and let her daughter be 
educated there, and become the heiress of the aged relative who 
now feared she might soon pass away. Margaret and Paul 
warmly protested against this suggestion, declaring that they 
would so labor for Virginia and her mother that they should 
never feel any want. 

The next day, at sunrise, the Governor of the Colony, Mon- 



BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 379 

sieur dc la Bourdonnais, appeared at Madame de la Tour's 
door, and in the most emphatic way told her that she could not, 
without injustice, deprive her daughter of the noble inheritance 
that the rich aunt in France promised. The Governor brought 
with him a great bag of money allotted by the aunt for the 
preparations for the voyage, and taking Madame de la Tour 
aside, he informed her that a vessel would soon sail on which 
would go a lady, related to him, suitable to chaperon Virginia. 

To Madame de la Tour it seemed best to provide in this 
way for the education and comfortable maintenance of her 
daughter, and at the same time separate her from Paul until he 
was older and Virginia was better prepared to choose a husband. 

Virginia was at first resolved not to leave her mother and 
the lover who she confessed was so dear. But when the coun- 
sels of her mother and the Governor were reenforced by those 
of the priest, who was her confessor, and who assured her that 
it was the command of God and her duty to her relatives, Vir- 
ginia, trembling and weeping, consented to make the sacrifice. 

In reply to Paul's excited expostulations and gloomy appre- 
hensions, Virginia, with a heart broken with sobs, assured him 
that she was going chiefly for his sake, to relieve him from the 
burden of two infirm families, under which he was bowed down, 
and that she would live but for him and one day would return 
to be his wife. 

The agitation of the two families over the parting was so 
great that Madame de la Tour declared that this painful sep- 
aration should not take place. But in the morning Paul was 
overwhelmed by the news that in the night the Governor him- 
self had come with a palanquin for Virginia, as the ship was 
about to weigh anchor; and, in spite of Madame de la Tour's 
tearful opposition, Virginia, almost dying, was carried away to 
the ship. From a rocky cone called "The Thumb," Paul, 
stunned with grief, watched the ship for the greater part of the 
day, until it was lost in the mists of the horizon. 

For several days, the poor young lover wandered about in 
melancholy despair, now visiting the various resorts where he 
had walked and sat with his beloved companion; now gathering 
together and gazing again at everything that had belonged to 
her. Then he began eagerly to learn to read and write, that 



380 PAUL AND VIRGINIA 

he might correspond with his dear Virginia; and he wished to be 
instructed in geography and history, that he might have a juster 
idea of the country to which she had gone. 

More than a year and a half passed before Madame de la 
Tour received the first tidings from her daughter. Virginia 
had been placed in a great abbey near Paris, where she had 
masters of all sorts, was waited on by finely dressed maids, 
clothed in elegant robes, and given the title of Countess. Her 
aunt had forbidden Virginia to correspond with her mother, 
and even caused her early letters home to be intercepted. It was 
only by strategy that after more than a year she had at length 
been able to send this letter. No one was allowed to see her 
at the abbey grating except her aunt and an old nobleman, whom 
the aunt wished her to marry. Though she lived in the midst 
of affluence, she had not a sou at her disposal, and her aunt had 
cruelly refused to give the least assistance to Madame de la 
Tour. The only gifts she was able to send were a few products 
of her needle and some seeds of the flowers and trees in the 
abbey park. The seeds were put in a little purse of her own 
handiwork, embroidered with a P and a V entwined together 
and formed of Virginia's own hair. 

Paul and Madame de la Tour promptly wrote to Virginia in 
reply to the welcome letter. But for long, long months no 
further message came. 

Paul, sad and depressed, knew not what to do. Often he 
would talk over the situation with an old friend of the two fam- 
ilies, who lived a solitary life in a hermitage in the forest a league 
and a half away. Paul was eager to embark for France, enter 
the army, make a fortune, and demand of the aunt Virginia's 
hand. But his aged counselor warned him of the insuperable 
obstacles to this in his poverty, low birth, and especially his hon- 
esty. For it had come about, said the old man, that the dis- 
tinctions which should be reserved for virtue could be obtained 
only by money. To marry a lady in France with rich relatives, 
such as Virginia had, it was necessary that the suitor also be 
rich, and able to live without work. 

In the fullest and plainest manner the old man disclosed to 
the ingenuous Paul the political and social corruption and un- 
natural customs of marriage that existed in France. It was 



BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 381 

not possible, the old man told Paul, for one educated according 
to Nature, as his young friend was, to comprehend this de- 
praved state of society. " You are in a country and a condition 
in which, in order to live, it is not necessary for you to deceive 
nor flatter nor debase yourself, as most of those who seek for- 
tune in Europe are obliged to do. You are in a land in which 
the exercise of no virtue is forbidden to you. Heaven has given 
you liberty, health, a good conscience, and friends; the kings 
whose favor you desire are not so happy." 

By such sage counsels, in many and lengthy conversations 
under the papaw-tree, did Paul's wise old friend seek to instruct 
and console him and lead him to contentment with his lot. But 
Paul could think only of Virginia; and because no letter had 
come from her for a long time, he was persuaded she had for- 
gotten him and had taken some rich husband in France. 

At length one day a vessel, the Saint Geran from France, was 
signaled, four leagues out at sea, and letters conveyed by it were 
brought in by the pilot-boat. Among them was a letter from 
Virginia, who was on board. 

She wrote that her aunt had quarreled with her because she 
would not marry the rich and aged suitor whom the aunt had 
selected for her niece. Not only had her aunt disinherited Vir- 
ginia, but she had summarily sent her home on the Saint Geran, 
although it was a time of the year when she would arrive at the 
Isle of France in the hurricane season. Virginia wrote that she 
was delighted at the prospect of so soon embracing her beloved 
family, and had been eager to go ashore in the pilot-boat; but the 
Captain, on account of the distance and the threatening swell, 
had not allowed it. 

Hardly was the letter read before all the family, transported 
with joy, cried: "Virginia has arrived!" 

Paul and his friend, the old soldier, started for the port. 
But as they were walking through the woods in the darkness of 
the night, they were overtaken by a negro messenger who told 
them that a vessel from France had anchored off the shore three 
leagues away and was firing guns to obtain help, as the sea was 
dangerously rough. Paul and his friend turned to the north 
shore of the island through a suffocating heat and a frightful 
darkness, occasionally lighted up by flashes of distant lightning. 



382 PAUL AND VIRGINIA 

When morning came, and the increasing hurricane dispelled 
the fog that for so many hours had shrouded the coast, the ill- 
fated ship on which Virginia had embarked was clearly seen, its 
deck crowded with people. The ship was moored by cables 
between the adjacent Isle of Amber and the mainland, and in- 
side the belt of reefs that encircles the island. In this unfortu- 
nate position, driven by the wind and waves, it was impossible 
for her to get out to the open sea, through the narrow entrance 
by which, on account of the Captain's mistake, she had entered; 
nor, on the other hand, was it possible to reach the beach with- 
out being wrecked on the intervening reefs of rocks. The whole 
channel was a sheet of white foam, full of yawning black depths. 
The hawsers broke, and the Saint Geran was dashed on the 
rocks, half a cable's length from shore. Paul, distracted, pre- 
cipitated himself into the boiling waves, sometimes swimming, 
sometimes walking on the rocks. Sometimes he nearly reached 
the ship; then he was buried under mountains of water and 
thrown back bleeding on the shore. The crew, despairing of 
safety, threw themselves into the raging sea, clinging to what- 
ever might help them to float. Then Virginia was seen at the 
stern of the Saint Geran, stretching out her arms toward her 
lover, whom she recognized by his intrepid and repeated efforts 
to rescue her. Virginia, with a noble and dignified bearing, now 
waved her hand to her friends, as if bidding them an eternal 
farewell. One sailor, however, still remained on deck, anxious 
to save the poor girl. Already prepared to swim for his life, he 
stood before Virginia, naked and strong as Hercules. He ap- 
proached her with respect, knelt at her feet, tried to make her 
also throw off her clothes; but the modest maiden repelled him 
and turned away her head. The spectators cried: "Save her! 
save her!" At that moment a mountain of water, of frightful 
size and aspect, advanced with a roar upon the vessel. Vir- 
ginia, seeing death inevitable, pressed one hand to her heart 
and with the other held her robe about her and raising upward 
her serene eyes, appeared like an angel ready to take her flight. 

It was at first feared that the body of the unfortunate girl 
never would be recovered. But at length, on the shore of the 
opposite bay, it was found, half covered with sand. On her 
cheeks the livid hue of death blended with the blush of virgin 



BERNARDIN DE ST. PIERRE 383 

modesty. One hand still held her robe; in the other, pressed 
against her heart, was the picture of St. Paul, that she had prom- 
ised her lover never to part with while she lived. 

The funeral services were held in the church of Shaddock 
Grove, attended by a deeply sympathizing throng of the island- 
ers and accompanied with all the honors that the Governor 
could give. 

The young girls of the neighborhood touched her coffin with 
handkerchiefs and crowns of flowers and invoked her as a saint. 
Mothers asked of heaven a daughter like Virginia; lovers, a 
heart as faithful; the poor, a friend as tender; slaves, a mistress 
as good. 

It was three weeks before Paul could walk, and when he 
regained his physical powers his grief seemed increased. The 
wise old man, his friend, employed every means to divert his 
thoughts. But the soul of a lover finds everywhere traces of the 
beloved object, and there was no other recourse but to address 
to him the plainest and most serious remonstrances upon his 
useless grief. His friend pointed out to Paul that his inconso- 
lable sorrow was bringing his mother and Virginia's mother to 
the grave. Neither Virginia's end nor her present state was a 
thing for which to grieve, his friend assured him. Death is a 
benefit to all. Everything changes in this earth, but nothing 
is lost. 

" Without doubt there is some place where virtue receives its 
recompense. Virginia is now happy. Ah! if from the abode 
of angels she could communicate with you, she would say, as in 
her last adieu : ' O Paul! Life is only a trial. I have been found 
faithful to the laws of Nature, of love and virtue. Heaven found 
my probation sufficient. I have escaped forever from poverty 
and calumny, and from the sight of others' griefs. Support the 
trials that are assigned you, that you may heighten the hap- 
piness of your Virginia by a love which shall have no end. 
Oh, my friend, my husband, raise your thoughts toward the 
infinite, that you may endure the pains of a moment ! ' " 

By such lofty expostulations and many other consolatory 
counsels did Paul's gray-haired friend seek to moderate his 
despair. But it was of no avail. Paul died two months after 
the fatal shipwreck, with Virginia's name on his lips. A week 



384 PAUL AND VIRGINIA 

after his death, Margaret saw her own last hour approach with 
a joy which only the pure-hearted can experience. A month 
later Madame de la Tour passed on to join her loved ones beyond 
the veil. As for the unnatural aunt, her very wealth com- 
pleted her ruin. Endeavoring to save her fortune from falling 
into the hands of relatives whom she hated, she found herself 
confined by their orders as a lunatic, and soon died. 

Paul was laid by the side of Virginia, and near them their 
tender mothers and their faithful servants also were buried. 
"No marble marks the spot of their humble graves." "Their 
spirits do not need the display that they shunned during their 
lives. But if they still take an interest in what passes on earth, 
they no doubt love to wander beneath the roofs of those dwell- 
ings, inhabited by industrious virtue, to console unhappy pov- 
erty, to cherish in the hearts of lovers unchanging fidelity, a taste 
for the blessings of Nature, the love of labor, and the fear of 
riches." 



ANNE LOUISE GERMAINE NECKER 
DE STAEL-HOLSTEIN 

(France, 1766-1817) 
CORINNE: OR, ITALY (1807) 

When this story first appeared it aroused the greatest enthusiasm; a success 
which so enrajv'd Napoleon, who hated the author, that he himself wrote an 
unfavorable criticism, which appeared in Le Moniteur. The author intended to 
represent the ideal woman of Italy in the heroine of this romance, and also to 
embody her own feelings concerning the art and literature of that country. 
The novel, indeed, served for many years as a guide-book for travelers in Italy, 
until modern discoveries made it of less value in that respect. 

^SWALD, LORD NEVIL, a handsome Scotch 
nobleman of fine mind, good name, and inde- 
pendent fortune, left Edinburgh to spend the 
winter of 1794 in Italy, hoping to regain his 
health, which had been impaired through grief 
for the death of his father. 

When visiting in Innsbruck, he became inter- 
ested in Count d'Erfeuil, a French nobleman of 
cheerful disposition, who had lost his fortune and 
was maintaining himself by his musical talents, and invited him 
to accompany him to Rome. Neither he nor the Count under- 
stood Italy or the Italians. The Roman campagna was to 
them but so much uncultivated land, and historic spots possessed 
no interest; for travel, instead of diverting Oswald's grief, had 
redoubled his despondency until he was unable to find solace 
in nature or art; while the Count, guide-book in hand, com- 
pared everything with Paris, even the dome of St. Peter's with 
that of Les Invalides. 

Their first morning in Rome opened by a ringing of bells and 
firing of cannon; and they found the streets decorated in honor 
of the poet and improvisatrice who was to be crowned with 
A.D., VOL. vi. 25 3 8 S 




386 CORINNE 

leaves at the Capitol. Though the fortunate fair one was one 
of the loveliest women in Rome, nearly twenty-six years old, 
and apparently noble, besides being wealthy, her history and 
family were unknown, and she was called by the name under 
which her first book was published Corinne. 

Wending his way with the triumphal procession, Oswald 
saw her received at the Capitol by the most distinguished citi- 
zens of Rome. After listening to tributes of praise, she im- 
provised upon her lyre an ode to the glory of Italy. Noticing 
that the Englishman did not applaud, and that he seemed to be 
in grief, she took up her lyre again, and improvised verses cal- 
culated to assuage sorrow. Oswald was enchanted, and ap- 
plauded vehemently. 

The Count also had been at the Capitol, and the next day, 
unknown to Oswald, he obtained invitations for them both to 
call upon the fair Corinne. For a fortnight after this, Oswald 
devoted himself exclusively to her. Corinne, accustomed to the 
lively and flattering tributes of the Italians, found in Oswald's 
calmness an elevation of character which enveloped her in a 
purer, sweeter atmosphere, giving her a happiness she did not 
seek to define. Finding that he was seeing nothing of Rome, 
and desirous that he should appreciate Italy and make it his 
home, she offered to guide him through the principal buildings. 
Oswald was delighted, and they visited many places of interest, 
until one morning, just after they had spent two days exploring 
the Seven Hills, she received a ceremonious note saying that an 
indisposition would confine him to the house for some days. 
Corinne's hopes were shattered, and even Count d'Erfeuil, who 
called occasionally, failed to relieve her anxiety and met her 
ardent inquiries with imperturbable silence. 

Oswald, remembering his father's wish that he marry Lucy 
Edgarmond, the daughter of his old friend, felt, although he 
had made no promise, that he could no longer be thrown into the 
constant companionship of Corinne without succumbing to her 
charms; and he doubted that his father would approve of any- 
one who led a life so independent. He first thought of leaving 
Rome and writing Corinnne an explanation; but, not having 
sufficient resolution, he simply denied himself the pleasure of 
her society. On the evening of the fourth day of absence from 



ANNE LOUISE DE STAEL 387 

her, torn by the emotion caused by his self-inflicted punishment, 
he went to the fountain of Trfeve in the heart of Rome. Corinne, 
unable to sustain the thought of never seeing him again, had 
also gone thither, and when they unexpectedly discovered each 
other in the reflection of their profiles in the water, their friend- 
ship was renewed. 

About this time Lucy Edgarmond's nearest relative called 
on Oswald, on his way to join his regiment embarking from 
Naples, and asked the favor of an introduction to Corinne. 
He was entranced, but announced his intention of leaving the 
following day, saying that, even at fifty years of age, he would 
not risk being enslaved by Corinne, adding a homily on the 
superiority of Englishwomen as wives, and especially of his 
young cousin Lucy. He alluded also to Oswald's sainted 
mother and revered father, all of which so affected Oswald that 
he was seized with a serious attack of the trouble that affected 
his lungs. 

Corinne, upon receiving a line from him to account for his 
absence, instantly went to see him, and in six days nursed him 
back to health, exacting a promise that he would not leave Italy 
without informing her. Thenceforth she endeavored to make 
his life calm, carefully avoiding explanations, and taking him 
on pleasant strolls through the galleries and museums. When 
he told her he was going to Naples she suggested accompanying 
him, and while there, near the hermitage of St. Salvadore, he 
told her the story of his life. 

He had been educated at home until nearly twenty-one 
years old, and was then sent to France for six months. There 
he met Count Raimond and his widowed sister, Madame d'Ar- 
bigny. A letter from his father recalled him to Scotland, where 
he stayed a year, and then was sent to London on business. He 
had been there only a week when he received a letter from 
Madame d'Arbigny, saying that her brother had been killed at 
the Tuileries while defending King Louis XVI, and that he had 
taken all her fortune, with his own, to settle in England, and 
asking Oswald whether he had received it or knew to whom 
he had entrusted it. She entreated him, as she was obliged to 
flee, and as English people could still travel in France with 
safety, to come and save her. 



388 CORINNE 

Without hesitation, after sending word to his father, Oswald 
set out for Paris, and there he learned that Corinne was at a 
provincial town sixty miles away. Later one of her kinsmen 
told him that her fortress was safe, and that never at any time 
had she cause for uneasiness, adding that her letter was but a 
ruse to bring him back to her. 

Although Corinne gave Oswald the rights of a husband after 
he rejoined her, she refused to go to England with him in order 
that he might implore his father's consent to their union, as she 
wished to be married in France. His father, hearing of his 
danger, entreated him to take no important step without his 
advice. 

About this time Oswald fought a duel with one of the rela- 
tives of Corinne, who wished to marry her; and out of gratitude 
for mercy shown by his adversary, this rival handed over to 
Oswald a packet of letters which Corinne had written to him. 
After reading these letters, Oswald decided to leave her forever; 
and, remembering the last letter of his father, full of anxiety for 
his future, he journeyed night and day toward England, only 
to find his father had died from grief at his son's prolonged 
absence, and fear lest he renounce his military career, marry 
unhappily, and settle in France. Although twenty months had 
passed since his father's death, Oswald was pursued by remorse 
and grief. 

Corinne had promised to tell him the history of her life 
upon their return to Naples. As they were landing, Oswald, 
in saving an old man from drowning, wet the portrait of his 
father, which he always wore around his neck. Overcome 
with sorrow that these beloved features should be dimmed, he 
showed the portrait to Corinne, who volunteered to restore it. 
In three days she returned him a perfect likeness, which seemed 
as if done by inspiration. In his gratitude he drew from his 
finger the ring his father had given his mother, and offered it to 
Corinne, but she refused it, saying that her work was done not 
through inspiration; that she had seen his father many times; 
and, in reply to his astonishment, she sent him the papers she 
had prepared for his perusal. 

From these he learned that Corinne was the daughter of his 
father's old friend, Lord Edgarmond, whose first wife was a 



ANNE LOUISE DE STAEL 389 

Roman, and that she was born in Italy; also that Lucy, whom 
his father had wished him to marry, was her half-sister, Lord 
Edgarmond having married again in England. Corinne's 
mother had died when the little girl was ten years old, and she 
had lived with her aunt until she was fifteen; when, at her 
death, she went to England. Her father received her with 
tenderness, but his second wife was a cold, dignified, silent 
woman who was displeased with her Italian manners. The 
winters of the northern provincial town were damp and cold, 
and there were no theaters, music, or pictures, nor any of the 
things to which Corinne was accustomed in sunny Italy. The 
conversation of the women was insipid, and the faces, even of the 
young girls, were immovable as that of an automaton. No one 
showed any interest in science, art, or literature; and the young 
girl's only amusement was to teach her little blue-eyed, fair- 
haired half-sister drawing and Italian. When she was nearly 
twenty years old, her father wished her to marry Lord Nevil, 
but his father, when on a visit, was so alarmed by her vivacity 
that he said his son was too young, being eighteen months her 
junior. She was then urged to marry her stepmother's eldest 
brother, a thrifty, rich, well-born and honorable man of no 
imagination. Her refusal was upheld by her father, though 
his wife and everyone else upbraided her. When she was 
about twenty-one, her father died, and, being most unhappy 
in England, she went to Italy, accompanied by her faithful 
Thdresine. Her disagreeable stepmother wrote to her that her 
departure had been accounted for by spreading the report that 
the voyage had been ordered by the physicians, and that she 
had died on the passage. Five years after this time she met 
Lord Nevil in Rome, where she had settled under the name of 
Corinne. During that time the fame of her talents had spread, 
and two noblemen, one a German and the other an Italian, 
had been affianced to her; but she broke both engagements, 
feeling that neither man could satisfy her soul. Her half-sister, 
Lucy, as she remembered her, was quiet and gentle, and was 
twelve years her junior. 

Oswald was disturbed by these revelations, and they re- 
turned to Rome, to find there an epidemic of fever. Corinne 
took it, but recovered. Later they went to Venice, where she 



390 CORINNE 

was overwhelmed with tributes of praise. While there Oswald 
was summoned to join his regiment in England, to sail for the 
West Indies. He promised Corinne to try to restore her to her 
rank in English society, and should he fail, to return and live 
with her in Italy. He wished to marry her at once, but she 
said he must first see his country and his friends. 

Once in London, surrounded by old associations, Oswald 
wished only to live in Scotland with Corinne, He went to Lady 
Edgarmond, who was then in London, and tried in vain to make 
her recognize her stepdaughter; then he went to Scotland, where, 
at Lady Edgarmond's request, he received the letter his father 
wrote to Lord Edgarmond in regard to the marriage of his son, 
in which he spoke of Corinne as charming, but as one who 
would wean his son from England; he urged him to try to bring 
about a union with Lucy, who was a true Englishwoman and 
who would constitute his happiness. After reading this letter, 
Oswald felt that he must either break the heart of Corinne or 
outrage the memory of his father; and his irritation showed 
itself in his letters. 

Corinne, hearing that his regiment was detained, sailed for 
England. Upon her arrival, she heard that it was still further 
delayed, and that Lord Nevil had gone to Scotland, but must 
shortly return to join it. One evening she saw him unexpectedly 
at the theater, but he was so engrossed in looking at Lady Ed- 
garmond and Lucy, now a beautiful girl of twenty, that he 
did not see her. She sent to his house to see whether he were 
there, but word always came back that he was at Lady Edgar- 
mond's, and finally that he had gone to Scotland. Then Cor- 
inne resolved to go to her father's estate in Scotland. Suppos- 
ing Lady Edgarmond and Lucy to be still in London, she was 
surprised to find a ball in progress at the castle in Scotland, 
and to hear that Lord Nevil was leading it with Lucy, the 
heiress. Hiding in the shadows of the garden, Corinne saw 
Oswald for a moment on a balcony; and later Lucy looked out 
of a window and pointed at what she supposed was an appa- 
rition of her dead sister. Recovering, she went to their father's 
tomb, followed by Corinne, and uttered a prayer so sweet and 
gentle that Corinne resolved to send Oswald the ring he had 
given her, and to break all ties between them forever. Already 



ANNE LOUISE DE STAEL 391 

she had been told that he loved Lucy, and that his love was 
returned; she heard also that he had said only three days before 
that he would marry Lucy if he were free from entanglements, 
and Corinne believed it. 

Oswald, not having heard from Corinne for several months, 
believed himself forgotten; and when he received the ring with 
the words "You are free," he was overcome with emotion. 
Lady Edgarmond, observing his distraction and knowing that 
her daughter loved him, and that she herself was suffering from 
a fatal illness, at last offered to recognize her stepdaughter. 
Lord Nevil then demanded Lucy's hand and the mother gave 
her consent, though the instant it was done Oswald was plunged 
into memories of Corinne, and with difficulty recalled himself 
to his duty to Lucy. 

Corinne read among the society news in the London news- 
papers that her presence in England, as the daughter of Lord 
Edgarmond, was recognized by Lady Edgarmond, and then, 
with the aid of Count d'Erfeuil, who had come to England to 
see Oswald, she and Thresine sailed to Italy. 

Lord Nevil and Lucy were married immediately, but he 
soon left England for the West Indies. In four years he re- 
turned, and for the first time saw his little daughter, who had 
dark eyes and hair like Corinne's. Later, after the death of 
Lady Edgarmond, he and his wife and child went to Italy for 
his health. Corinne was ill at the villa on the Paventa, which 
she had taken at the time Oswald left Italy. The child was 
sent to visit Corinne every day, and toward the end of her illness 
Lucy also went; but Corinne would not receive Oswald until 
the day when she summoned them all to hear her improvise 
for the last time publicly. Oswald fainted from sadness, and 
Corinne returned home to die. Her former lover followed the 
funeral procession to Rome, then, after spending some time in 
seclusion in Tivoli, he returned with his family to England. 



ALFRED VICTOR DE VIGNY 

(France, 1797-1863) 
CINQ-MARS (1826) 

Before writing this historical romance its author had published a volume 
of poems and several dramas, of which Chatterton, based on the career of the 
young English poet, is the most notable, having been produced on the stage 
with immense applause. But his most famous work is Cinq-Mars, which was 
crowned by the Academy. It adheres closely to historic fact as to the course 
of the conspiracy of the Marquis de Cinq-Mars, and gives what is regarded as 
the most masterly portrait in fiction of the groat Cardinal Richelieu, the minister 
of Louis XIII, who saved the monarchy and broke the power of the French 
nobility. 

"**""! 

j(HE first scene of the brief, stormy career of Cinq- 
Mars opens at the stately chateau of Chaumont, 
near the famous chateau of Chambard, in the 
province of Touraine. Chaumont was the seat 
of the family of the late Marechal d'Effiat, dead 
six months. Marie de Gonzaga, Duchess of 
Mantua, with her Italian retainers, had also re- 
tired at Chaumont at that time for reasons of 
state. This, too, was the birthplace and home 
of Henri d'Effiat, Marquis of Cinq-Mars, a name taken from 
a family estate. All the morning a certain subdued bustle had 
been evident at the chateau. The Marchale d'Effiat, the 
stately mother of Cinq-Mars, was dressed in deeper mourning 
than usual, and her eyes were moist with tears. Word had 
been received that the King had summoned Cinq-Mars to the 
court, being interested in what he had learned of the capacity 
of this noble youth of seventeen. News of this nature, usually 
received with joy as the precursor of position and power, had 
quite the opposite effect on the widowed mother. Intrigue was 
rife. The air was tainted with suspicion. No one in the circles 
of the great knew the intentions of the Cardinal Due de Riche- 

392 




ALFRED VICTOR DE VIGNY 393 

lieu, who practically ruled the weak monarch and through him 
the nation. No one knew what dark purposes might be con- 
cealed under the velvet-lined, far-reaching policy of the inex- 
orable Prime Minister. Therefore, the Marchale d'Effiat wept 
with forebodings when she saw the royal messenger enter the 
gates of her castle with a mandate for her son. But no pleas 
on her part would avail, while the rest of the family and guests 
saw in this simple incident a first step up the ladder of fame. 
The message admitted of no delay. Immediate preparations 
were therefore made for departure. The horses were saddled, 
and old Grandchamp, a lifelong, faithful servitor of the house, 
who, with the death of his old master, supposed his active 
duties were closed, now found himself the one selected to ac- 
company his new and younger master on a journey full of 
possibilities and results not to be foreseen. A troop of mounted 
servants attended them. 

The entire family were at last assembled at dinner, a for- 
mal, stately function. Marie de Gonzaga, her eyes red with 
weeping, came in last but one, followed by Cinq-Mars. She 
glanced significantly toward him, while he turned pale in return. 

The hour came for the departure of Cinq-Mars. The Mare'- 
chale rose from the table in tears. Everyone rose with her. 
She took two steps, and sank into another chair. All gathered 
anxiously around her. 

"Pardon, my friends! It is foolish of me but I am weak at 
present. We were thirteen at table! and you, my dear Duchess, 
were the cause of it. Farewell, my child; give me your fore- 
head to kiss, and may God guide you. Be worthy of your 
name and of your father!" 

Then, smiling through her tears, she pushed her son from 
her, and said: "Come, let us see you on horseback, fair sir!" 

Cinq-Mars set off at a gallop, with old Grandchamp follow- 
ing close after. 

"Oh, heavens!" cried the young Princess, retiring from the 
window. 

"What is the matter?" said the mother. 

"Nothing, nothing!" said Monsieur de Launay, a secret 
agent of Richelieu. "Your son's horse merely stumbled under 
the gateway; but he soon pulled him up." 



394 CINQ-MARS 

"Another ominous presage!" gasped the Marquise, retiring 
to her apartments. 

After night set in Cinq-Mars returned on his tracks, and 
under the gloom of the wood which grew on that side of the 
chateau, this youth, with the ambitions and maturity of man- 
hood, climbed by the vines which clung to the western tower 
and reached a window where a dim light was burning. At a 
given signal, the window was opened and Marie de Gonzaga 
appeared. Although his superior in rank, she discerned his 
precocious talents and loved him with all the fervor of her Italian 
blood. There the lovers conferred and plighted their love with 
eternal vows, which, in his case, at least, were doomed to aid in 
shaping his destiny. Under the guise of marblelike apathy or 
self-control, he carried a passion, a tumult of emotions and 
ambitions unchangeable, resolute until death, while suspected 
by few. And then they parted, she to hope and despair, he to 
plan, plot, and meet with unsurpassed heroism what destiny 
had in store for him. 

Proceeding south toward Perpignan, then besieged by the 
King and the Cardinal Duke, Cinq-Mars arrived in five days 
at Loudun, where he met the Abbe* Quillet, his faithful pre- 
ceptor, who was very suspicious as to the designs of the Car- 
dinal on Cinq-Mars, and gave him some really sincere counsel 
as to how he should conduct himself in the new and difficult 
circumstances into which he was about to enter. Cinq-Mars 
was thus placed on his guard. But his eyes were still further 
opened by a dreadful tragedy that occurred at Loudun. At the 
instigation of Richelieu, a monk named Urbain Grandier, of 
high character but somewhat independent spirit, was under 
accusation of witchcraft, and various other equally unfounded 
charges. Grandier was at any rate obnoxious to the Cardinal, 
who, by his fierce, unscrupulous instrument, Laubardemont, 
and especially by the artful methods of the notorious Capuchin 
monk, Father Joseph, the right-hand assistant of his master, 
and for that reason often called his Gray Eminence, caused the 
death of Grandier at the stake. The execution occurred at 
night, in the midst of a dreadful thunder-storm. An immense 
throng surrounded the scene of horror, expressing its indigna- 
tion in various ways that alarmed the authorities; for, notwith- 



ALFRED VICTOR DE VIGNY 395 

standing the credulous and superstitious nature of the people in 
those days, this tragedy was generally regarded as purely a 
question of politics undoubtedly selfish and personal. The 
niece of the presiding Judge, Laubardemont, one of the nuns 
accused of complicity with the slaughtered victim, became from 
that day a raving maniac, who lived to bring much tribulation 
on her diabolical uncle. 

Now Cinq-Mars, by being at Loudun at that very time, was 
driven by the rush of the crowd through the dark, narrow streets 
to the square where this bloody scene was to be enacted. He 
saw it all with rising indignation, and unable longer to control 
his rage, led the mob to fall on the tribunal and the troops, 
drove them in terror to fly, and attempted, when it was too late, 
to rescue the innocent being roasting at the stake. It is from 
such events, altogether unforeseen and unexpected, that one's 
destiny is often irrevocably shaped. Up to that day Cinq-Mars 
had apparently been indifferent to the policy and character of 
the Cardinal Duke, who, however, had his eye on him with a 
view to using his talents for his own purposes, because nothing 
had yet occurred to suggest other than liking and respect on the 
part of the young Marquis of Cinq-Mars. But from that hour 
the young noble, who had learned enough to know who was 
behind this tragedy, was the bitter enemy of the terrible Car- 
dinal; while, on the other hand, some of the Cardinal's minions, 
who had recognized Cinq-Mars, secretly reported the facts to 
their master. Richelieu saw that instead of an ally he had 
brought to the court one who needed close watching; and the 
man who was closely watched by the Cardinal Duke and his 
chief lieutenant, Father Joseph, walked thenceforth in the 
shadow of the scaffold. 

The court happened at that time to be in camp with the 
army besieging Perpignan, on the Spanish border. The siege 
had lasted long; it would be terminated only as might suit the 
plans of the Cardinal. In the mean time fighting was going on 
and men were killed and wounded to keep up the show for the 
diplomats, to whom soldiers were pawns. In one of these actions 
Cinq-Mars displayed notable courage and skill and received a 
ball in his leg that he made light of, but which aroused the 
friendly concern of King Louis XIII himself, who early took a 



396 CINQ-MARS 

great liking to the singularly mature young Marquis from Tou- 
raine, and soon after gave him the honorary position of Grand 
Ecuyer, or head squire of the realm. Henceforth Cinq-Mars 
was usually called Monsieur le Grand. Richelieu submitted to 
this action of Louis without displaying open opposition, but 
still kept a jealous watch on the ambitious protg of the King. 

At Perpignan Cinq-Mars also met his friend, De Thou, the 
son of the great jurist of that name. The youths had studied 
together, and a very warm friendship had sprung up between 
them which lasted to the close of life. This would appear 
singular if we did not know that friendship is usually between 
opposites rather than between those who resemble each other. 
The one was precocious, ambitious, mysterious, reserved, and 
inspired by overwhelming passion. De Thou, somewhat the 
elder, was primarily a student, happier among his books than 
in camp, although, like all gentlemen of the time, not without 
knowledge and practise of arms. The most remarkable trait 
of De Thou, unsurpassed either in romance or history, was his 
high sense of real, not conventional, honor, joined to his 
amazing capacity for friendship. For leadership in this field 
of ethical activity the name of Francois Auguste de Thou 
ranks with the immortals whom Destiny has crowned with 
unfading laurel. The less known of the two friends, he was 
still the greater of the two. 

In one respect, De Thou perhaps gave to his friend counsel 
which, good in itself, was untimely or at least injurious to the 
interests of Cinq-Mars at that particular juncture of events. 
He urged him to employ every effort to influence the King, who 
had made him a confidential favorite, to banish the Cardinal 
Duke and liberate France from the tyranny that was deluging 
the country with the blood of those who had built up the power 
and splendor of the kingdom. In a general way the advice may 
have been just, but it was imprudent, as such a course was sure 
to be discovered and followed with the destruction of Cinq- 
Mars, owing to the weakness of the King. This advice was 
also needless; for Cinq-Mars finally admitted to his friend that 
he had already formed such a purpose. But he refrained on 
this occasion from revealing even to De Thou the nature of the 
methods he proposed for carrying out his plans. 



ALFRED VICTOR DE VIGNV 397 

Cinq-Mars returned to Paris with the court. Months went 
by, but the friends rarely met. Each was occupied with his own 
pursuits. De Thou was so deeply immersed in his professional 
studies that he knew next to nothing of what kept Cinq-Mars 
absent for such long intervals. Nor did he suspect that he 
himself had a mortal enemy in the Cardinal Duke, who was 
simply abiding his time. If he had but known, the good De 
Thou might perhaps have avoided the stern decree of Fate. 
He forgot that in his book the elder De Thou, his father, had 
published words not agreeable to the cruel Cardinal. 

"Do you see that man?" said Richelieu one day to Father 
Joseph, pointing to the young counselor De Thou. "Well, his 
father put my name in his book, and I will write the name of the 
son in my book." 

Marie de Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua, had left the cha- 
teau of Chaumont, and was now the guest of Anne of Austria, 
Queen of France. Months, nearly two years in fact, had passed 
since the Duchess and her young lover had plighted their love 
in the tower window of Chaumont. He, in the mean time, 
had been busy with affairs of tremendous character besides the 
duty of being the favorite of the King. 

About this time a violent riot occurred near the Louvre, 
in the middle of the night, incited by whom it was difficult to 
tell. But many shots were fired, although few were hurt, and 
it ended with an irruption of the rabble from all quarters, and 
cries for the success of Cinq-Mars, called Monsieur Ic Grand. 

The Queen and her ladies were greatly alarmed, while many 
gentlemen of high rank, more or less mixed up with the tumult, 
gathered in the palace, some for refuge and others apparently 
to talk about the causes of the cmeute. 

In their confusion and fear the Queen and the Duchess en- 
tered into confidential conversation, and, as happens sometimes 
on such occasions, made mutual confessions and divulged im- 
portant secrets that not only compromised them in a trust that 
either might betray, but actually contributed to hasten plans 
hardly yet ripe for action. The Queen out of a secret casket 
produced letters from the recently assassinated Duke of Buck- 
ingham, and avowed her affection for him, while the Duchess, 
when the question of her proposed marriage to the King of 



398 CINQ-MARS 

Poland was broached, disclosed for the first time the fact that 
she was formally affianced to Cinq-Mars, the ceremony having 
been performed before the Abb6 Quillot, then considered as 
binding as marriage. 

Later Cinq-Mars himself appeared with other gentlemen. 
Monsieur the Due d'Orleans, brother to the King, was in an 
adjoining apartment. All present were known to each other as 
sworn enemies to Richelieu the Cardinal Duke, and anxious 
for his fall. But not all present knew that a conspiracy had 
actually been formed to produce such a result. The Queen 
listened with qualified approval; but when the point was reached 
where it was divulged that a secret treaty with Spain was being 
negotiated, whereby seventeen thousand Spanish troops would 
aid the conspirators, the Queen stepped proudly back. Al- 
though born in Spain, she was Queen of France; and no Spanish 
troops should step foot with her consent on the soil of her adopted 
land. But she added that, while no longer of their number, 
she would not betray the conspirators. 

De Thou, who had come in with the other gentleman, now 
heard of the conspiracy for the first time, and was deeply moved 
that Ins friend Cinq-Mars should take such advantage as to 
make him a confidant in a scheme that might cost him his life. 
But he, too, promised, in the name of friendship, to stand by 
Cinq-Mars, whatever might be the cost, although he clearly 
saw the ultimate doom. As a patriot he was bound to disclose 
the whole affair to the Government, while as a friend he could 
hold his peace and probably die. He chose the latter, purely 
out of friendship, although resolute in avoiding any further 
participation with the conspirators. 

The result was inevitable. Father Joseph traced every step 
of the conspiracy. Laubardemont, another of the instruments 
of Richelieu already mentioned, traced to the passes of the 
Pyrenees the messenger who was carrying the signed treaty 
in a hollow stick shaped like a smuggler's staff. The bearer of 
the treaty was the son of Laubardemont, in the service of Cinq- 
Mars; and to get that treaty the father killed the son in a terrific 
night storm on the mountains. That dreadful tragedy sealed 
the doom of Cinq-Mars and De Thou! The treaty was essen- 
tial to justify the Cardinal Duke with the King in demanding 



ALFRED VICTOR DE VIGNY 399 

the death of Cinq-Mars, De Thou, and Gaston, the very brother 
of the King, and to force the latter, as it were, to grant the de- 
mand. That consent was wrenched from Louis by the tremen- 
dous will of the Cardinal Duke, who actually resigned his ex- 
alted post, and only resumed it when the weak King, unable 
to conduct his dominion alone, agreed to give Richelieu the 
heads of his victims. But, ere the tribunal had closed its 
bloody session, Monsieur, the King's brother, dishonorably 
saved his life and accepted banishment by promising to turn 
state's evidence. 

Arrested at Narbonne, Cinq-Mars and De Thou were drawn 
down the Loire in a barge behind the one which contained the 
consumptive Cardinal Duke and his miserable puppet King. 
At Lyons the victims were brought up for their perfunctory 
trial, and proceeded thence to the scaffold. Cinq-Mars suf- 
fered first; and the heroic martyr to friendship, De Thou, kissed 
the blood of his friend as he laid his own head on the block. 

After this grim tragedy Marie de Gonzaga, to marry whom 
her lover confessed he had undertaken such a desperate under- 
taking, became Queen of Poland. 



CHARLES JOHN HUFFHAM DICKENS 

(England, 1812-1870) 

POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF THE PICKWICK CLUB 

(183?) 

Dickens was twenty-five years old when he wrote the Pickwick Papers. 
It was his second work of large dimensions, and it established him at once as 
the foremost humorist of the time. The work has a much deeper significance, 
however, than is to be found in its humor, for it marks the beginning of an era 
in English literature. It was the first of a long series of works of fiction ex- 
pressing the life and manners of the middle and lower classes. Dickens wrote 
this work to order, and it is evident that he did not himself perceive its possi- 
bilities in the beginning. It consisted of twenty self-dependent and fairly 
complete instalments, each written just in time to meet the demands of the press, 
but all unified by the presence of Mr. Pickwick as hero or deus ex machina of 
the separate adventures. Another unifying figure is Mr. Alfred Jingle, the 
pursuit and regeneration of whom make the only complete long story in the 
book. Sir Ilciiry Irving used to play "Alfred Jingle " in a comedy of that name, 
and in the United States an American actor organized a company that played 
a comic opera called Mr. Pickwick. The Adventures begin in May, 1827, and 
cover a period of about two years. The scenes are in London and various 
English towns within easy coaching distance of the metropolis. 

SAMUEL PICKWICK, ESQUIRE, had attained 

one of the dizziest pinnacles of fame by the wri- 
ting of a profound paper on " The Source of the 
Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the 
Theory of Tittlebats/' when his gigantic intellect 
conceived and gave birth to an idea that justified, 
nay, rendered inevitable, his elevation to the ranks 
of the Immortals. This stupendous project was 
no less than an extension of his researches, and 
thus of his contributions to human knowledge, by a series of 
journeys to regions remote from London and little within the 
ken of civilization. He proposed to the club of which he was 
the founder and perpetual president that he and three other 
Pickwickians should make these journeys at such peril to them- 

400 




CHARLES DICKENS 401 

selves as might be, and at their own expense both for travel and 
the postage on their reports to the organization. The club at 
a general meeting passed a formal vote acknowledging the cor- 
rectness of the economic principles involved in the president's 
proposal, in accordance with which, a day or two later, Mr. 
Pickwick, accompanied by Mr. Tracy Tupman, Mr. Nathaniel 
Winkle, and Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, took coach from the 
Golden Cross for Rochester. 

Unhappily, Mr. Pickwick's insatiate thirst for knowledge 
and his stern adherence to scientific methods for the attainment 
of accuracy plunged him into a perilous adventure before the 
journey was begun; for he conscientiously took notes of some 
observations on horses uttered by his cabman on the way to the 
Golden Cross, and the cabman misinterpreted this action as the 
vile tactics of an informer. So, when Mr. Pickwick emerged 
from the cab and joined his friends, the cabman pitched into 
them. He knocked Mr. Pickwick's spectacles off and punched 
his nose, landed on Mr. Snodgrass's eye, butted heavily into Mr. 
Tupman's capacious abdomen, and batted the whole temporary 
supply of breath out of Mr. Winkle's body. Naturally enough 
a mob gathered, each precious member eager to have a share 
in the mix-up; and the Pickwickians, taken by surprise and 
vastly outnumbered, might have been then and there deterred 
from contributing to the cause of science but for the timely in- 
terposition of a gentleman in a shabby green coat, who emerged 
from the coffee-room, elbowed through the crowd, convinced 
the cabman and his satellites that there had been a mistake, and 
hustled the bewildered Pickwickians into the shelter of the inn. 
There he promptly ordered brandy and water for all, at Mr. 
Pickwick's expense, and lightly brushed aside that great man's 
expressions of gratitude for his timely interference. This was 
Mr. Alfred Jingle. As he also was going to Rochester, the 
Pickwickians arranged to sit with him on the coach, and for 
many days they saw much of him. 

Indeed, the versatile and loquacious Mr. Jingle was the main 
cause of some of their most exciting adventures. For example, 
there was a ball at Rochester which Mr. Jingle and Mr. Tup- 
man wished to attend; but Mr. Jingle's luggage had gone mys- 
teriously astray, and he had no clothes suitable for the occasion. 

A.D., VOL. vi. 26 



402 PICKWICK PAPERS 

This difficulty was resolved by the fact that Mr. Winkle was 
very drunk at the moment, and it was an easy matter, therefore, 
to borrow Mr. Winkle's evening-clothes. Clad in these, Mr. 
Jingle was a festive figure at the ball and succeeded in offending 
a military officer to such extent that a challenge to a duel was 
forthcoming on the following morning. At that time Mr. 
Jingle had gone on his way ; and the offender was identified by 
his clothes as Mr. Winkle, whereby that young gentleman found 
himself in a plight of the gravest character. Of course, after 
no end of negotiations and misunderstandings, Mr. Winkle was 
exonerated, and nobody's blood was shed. 

It was doubtless the happy ending of this episode that 
prevented the Pickwickians from perceiving the rascally char- 
acter of their traveling-companion; but on the very next occa- 
sion when they came across him he displayed his true colors 
unmistakably. Mr. Pickwick and his friends were the guests 
of Mr. Wardle, a fine country gentleman. Mr. Tupman was 
paying decorous court to Miss Wardle, the elderly sister of his 
host, when Jingle, a much more dashing fellow, persuaded her 
to elope with him. Mr. Pickwick felt in duty bound to join in 
the pursuit. Jingle reached London first, but Mr. Wardle and 
Mr. Pickwick, accompanied by a lawyer, patiently made the 
rounds of several popular inns, coming eventually to the White 
Hart, where they asked questions of a sharp-featured young man 
who was cleaning boots in the yard. He identified their quarry 
by the boots, and for a sovereign conducted them to a room, 
which they entered just as Jingle was displaying his recently 
acquired license to marry. There was a painful scene; but Jin- 
gle proved amenable to argument in the shape of money, and 
relinquished his claims to the lady for one hundred and twenty 
pounds. 

This episode satisfactorily terminated, Mr. Pickwick retired 
to his rooms in Goswell Street for a short time. He had been 
favorably impressed by the "Boots" at the White Hart, and 
contemplated engaging him as his servant. Such was his 
kindly nature that he could not venture to bring an extra person 
into the house without consulting the convenience of his land- 
lady, Mrs. Bardell, a widow with one small son. He intro- 
duced the subject to her with his characteristic delicacy, ani- 



CHARLES DICKENS 403 

madverting on the presumably slight extra work it would be to 
care for two persons instead of one, dwelling pleasantly on the 
companionship that would be afforded to her son, and so forth, 
all of which was perfectly clear to the benevolent Pickwick, but 
to Mrs. Bardell was nothing short of preliminary to a proposal 
of marriage. Taking it thus, and being already greatly pre- 
disposed to her lodger, she was so overwhelmed by joy that she 
could not wait for the definite announcement of Mr. Pickwick's 
intentions, but precipitated herself into his astonished arms, 
where she promptly fainted. In this embarrassing, mortifying, 
and dreadfully compromising situation his friends found him; 
for Messrs. Tupman, Snodgrass, and Winkle had the misfortune 
to enter before he could so much as lay his lovely burden on a 
chair. 

Sam Weller, the " Boots" of the White Hart, was also in the 
house, come to see what it was that Mr. Pickwick wanted of him. 
That gentleman explained; and Sam gladly accepted the prof- 
fered place; but Mrs. Bardell could not be persuaded that this 
had been the sole purpose of her lodger's misleading words; 
and when at last she did understand that Mr. Pickwick had no 
thought of marrying her, she astounded him by entering suit 
for breach of promise. Investigation showed that she was in 
earnest, or rather that her lawyers were; for they had under- 
taken to prosecute for a contingent fee, believing that the 
worthy Pickwick would settle rather than face the ordeal of a 
trial. Mr. Pickwick would not be bled, and, pending the call- 
ing of the case, such was his admirably philosophical nature, he 
resumed his travels with undisturbed serenity. 

The Pickwickians, attended now by Sam Weller, went to 
Eatanswill for the purpose of observing an election at short 
range. The distinguished visitors were seized upon by Mrs. 
Leo Hunter, who invited them to attend a fancy-dress party. 
Mr. Pickwick accepted on condition that he be not required to 
put on anything except those dignified habiliments with which 
he graced all assemblages of a public or formal nature. Mr. 
Tupman announced that he should go to the party as a bandit. 

"You don't mean to say," said Mr. Pickwick, gazing with 
solemn sternness at his friend, " that it is your intention to put 
yourself into a green velvet jacket with a two-inch tail?" 



404 PICKWICK PAPERS 

"Such is my intention, sir," replied Mr. Tupman warmly. 
"And why not, sir?" 

"Because, sir," said Mr. Pickwick, considerably excited, 
"you are too old, sir." 

"Too old!" exclaimed Mr. Tupman. 

"And if any further ground of objection be wanting, you are 
too fat, sir." 

"Sir," said Mr. Tupman, his face suffused with a crimson 
glow, "this is an insult." 

"Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, "it is not half the insult to you 
that your appearance in my presence in a green velvet jacket 
with a two-inch tail would be to me." 

"Sir," said Mr. Tupman, "you're a fellow." 

"Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, "you're another." 

Mr. Tupman advanced a step or two, and glared at Mr. 
Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick returned the glare, concentrated into 
a focus by means of his spectacles, and breathed a bold defiance. 
There was a fearful pause. 

"My attachment to your person, sir," said Mr. Tupman, in 
a voice tremulous with emotion, and tucking up his wristbands 
meanwhile, "is great, very great; but upon that person I must 
take summary vengeance." 

"Come on, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick. Stimulated by the 
exciting nature of the dialogue, the heroic man actually threw 
himself into a paralytic attitude, confidently supposed by Messrs. 
Snodgrass and Winkle to have been intended as a posture of 
defense. 

"What!" exclaimed Mr. Snodgrass, rushing between the two 
at the imminent hazard of receiving an application on the tem- 
ple from each. "What! Mr. Pickwick, with the eyes of the 
world upon you! Mr. Tupman! who, in common with us all, 
derives a luster from his undying fame! For shame, gentle- 
men, for shame!" 

The unwonted lines which momentary passion had ruled on 
Mr. Pickwick's clear and open brow gradually melted away, as 
his young friend spoke, like the marks of a black lead-pencil 
beneath the softening influence of india-rubber. 

"I have been hasty," said Mr. Pickwick, "very hasty. 
Tupman, your hand." 



CHARLES DICKENS 405 

The dark shadow passed from Mr. Tupman's face as he 
warmly grasped the hand of his friend. "I have been hasty, 
too," said he. 

"No," interrupted Mr. Pickwick, "the fault was mine. 
You will wear the green velvet jacket ?" 

"No, no," replied Mr. Tupman. 

"To oblige me, you will," said Mr. Pickwick. 

"Well, well, I will," said Mr. Tupman. 

So Messrs. Tupman, Snodgrass, and Winkle went to the 
party in fancy dress, which was much against Mr. Pickwick's 
judgment, but a credit to the amiability of his character. They 
were enjoying themselves there when a familiar voice caused 
Mr. Pickwick to start violently. A person introduced as Cap- 
tain FitzMarshall was entering the crowded rooms; and, al- 
though he was now fashionably dressed, all the Pickwickians 
recognized him as Alfred Jingle. He fled the house as soon as 
he saw Mr. Pickwick's indignant countenance; and nothing 
would do but Mr. Pickwick must pursue him to apprise his 
intended victims of his reprehensible conduct. So, having 
learned that " FitzMarshall " was staying at the Angel, Bury St. 
Edmunds, Mr. Pickwick posted off to that establishment to 
circumvent such rascality as might be under way. 

It seemed that Jingle had risen to the lofty height of travel- 
ing with a servant, Job Trotter, with whom Sam Weller quickly 
got on good terms. Job pretended to be ashamed of his mas- 
ter, and confessed that he was actually about to elope with a 
young lady student at a seminary on the outskirts of the town. 
This was too horrible to contemplate. Encouraged by Mr. 
Pickwick's money, Job indicated how the elopement might be 
frustrated. In accordance with his instructions, Mr. Pickwick 
repaired at night to the school, and Sam Weller helped him over 
the garden-wall. At half-past eleven he knocked at a rear 
door. According to arrangements, Job should then have ap- 
peared; but a female servant opened it, and there followed a 
hysterical outcry that spread from one end of the establishment 
to the other. A man on the premises! and a man who insisted 
on remaining to explain himself; who bawled at the top of his 
lungs over the feminine clamor, that he must see the lady of the 
house. After much excitement, the lady abbess consented to 



406 PICKWICK PAPERS 

hold converse with him if he would consent to be incarcerated. 
Mr. Pickwick felt in honor bound to submit to the terms im- 
posed, and stepped into a closet, the door of which was then 
securely bolted. The conversation that followed developed the 
annoying fact that the distinguished gentleman and his shrewd 
servant had been hoaxed by Job Trotter. Neither " Captain 
FitzMarshall" nor Alfred Jingle had ever been heard of by any- 
body in the establishment, and Mr. Pickwick had to stay in the 
closet till two servants brought Sam Weller from the hotel to 
identify and vouch for him. 

While Mr. Pickwick was thus engaged, Jingle slipped out of 
town; but his indomitable adversary was not defeated. He 
was merely repulsed momentarily, and he continued to pursue 
the malefactor with undiminished ardor. Some time passed, 
however, before he again found the trail; and meanwhile there 
were other adventures. Among them was a shooting party at 
Mr. Wardle's. The younger Pickwickians took eagerly to the 
guns and banged away at the birds to the imminent peril of 
themselves; but Mr. Pickwick contented himself with the 
pleasure of being in the open air, which gave him a robust appe- 
tite, so that, when luncheon was spread from a barrow on which 
it had been brought to the field, he ate most heartily. Likewise 
he drank freely of some excellent cold punch, so freely that, at 
the end of the luncheon, having tried vainly to remember the 
words of a song that he felt compelled to sing, he fell into the 
barrow and fast asleep immediately. As it was impossible to 
arouse him, the party left him there for one more hour of 
shooting. 

It happened that the sportsmen in their enthusiasm had 
wandered from Mr. Wardle's ground to the estate of an irascible 
neighbor; and this neighbor, as ill luck would have it, came 
that way and found Mr. Pickwick asleep in the barrow. 
"Poachers!" cried the irascible man. "Who are you, fellow?" 
and he prodded Mr. Pickwick's rotund abdomen with a cudgel. 

" Cold punch," murmured Mr. Pickwick, and went to sleep 
again. 

That was all they could get from him; and, in great wrath, 
the owner of the ground ordered his servants to wheel the bar- 
row, with Mr. Pickwick in it, to the pound. There, at evening, 



CHARLES DICKENS 407 

Sam Weller found him, just awakened, a prey to bewilderment 
and the jeers of small boys and loafers of a larger growth. Sam 
cuffed the boys, smote such men as he could reach, and carried 
his master off without process of law, thus bringing to a trium- 
phant conclusion what otherwise might have been a very morti- 
fying adventure. 

A clue to Jingle's whereabouts was supplied eventually by 
Sam Weller's father, a venerable coachman, whom Mr. Pick- 
wick and Sam encountered in a public house where they had 
paused for refreshment. 

"How's mother-in-law?" asked Sam, alluding to his father's 
second wife. 

" Vy, I'll tell you what, Sammy," said the elder Weller sol- 
emnly, "there never was a nicer woman as a widder than that 
'ere second wentur' o' mine, and all I can say is that she was 
such an uncommon pleasant widder it's a great pity she ever 
changed her condition. I've done it once too often, Sammy. 
Take example by your father, Sammy, my boy, and be werry 
careful o' widders all your life." 

Mr. Pickwick, interested by these observations, joined in 
the conversation, which, as conversations will, presently swung 
clear away from its original course and brought up with an 
account of how Sam had been fooled by Job Trotter. Old 
Weller was much concerned on account of his son's discom- 
fiture, but he was sure, from the description, that he had carried 
Jingle and Job on his coach a few days previously to Ipswich. 
That was quite enough, and off to Ipswich went Mr. Pickwick 
as fast as coach-horses could drag him. 

The clue was a good one. It was discovered speedily that 
Jingle had won the confidence of Mr. Lupkin, the local magis- 
trate; but as this information came late at night, Mr. Pickwick 
postponed seeing Mr. Lupkin until the next day. When he was 
about to go to bed he found that he had left his watch below 
stairs, and went down to get it. Returning, he lost his way in 
the maze of passages, but at last thought he recognized his 
chamber, entered, ard began to disrobe. His night-cap was 
already settled on his head when a middle-aged lady came calmly 
in and began to take down her hair preparatory to retiring. 
Horrified and alarmed, Mr. Pickwick coughed. The lady, 



4 o8 PICKWICK PAPERS 

though infinitely startled, was good enough not to scream or 
faint; and presently, with many profuse apologies, Mr. Pickwick 
gathered up his raiment and shambled awkwardly from the 
room. To his great joy, Sam was passing. 

"Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, "where's my room?" 

Silently, though his face almost cracked with unuttered 
questions, Sam piloted his master to the long-sought apartment. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, as he got into bed, " I have made 
a most extraordinary mistake. If I were to stay in this house 
for six months I never again would trust myself about it alone." 

"That's the wery prudentest resolution you could come to, 
sir," said Sam. "You rayther want somebody to look artcr 
you, sir, ven your judgment goes out a-wisitin'." 

"What do you mean, Sam?" Mr. Pickwick asked; but Sam 
somewhat unceremoniously said "Good night," and left the 
room, shaking his head and thinking profound thoughts. 

Next morning, a chance acquaintance of his journey begged 
Mr. Pickwick's permission to introduce his fiancte, and led 
him forthwith into the presence of the lady of the midnight ad- 
venture. Both were sadly embarrassed, and delicacy forbade 
either to explain; whereupon the lady's intended became sus- 
picious to such a degree that he insulted Mr. Pickwick, and there 
were high words ending in a demand for satisfaction on one 
side, and a retort that it might be had and welcome on the other. 
The lady in the case, dreadfully alarmed for her intended, ppsted 
off to the authorities and gave warning that a duel was in pros- 
pect. In consequence of this action, Mr. Pickwick was ar- 
rested and haled before the magistrate. Mr. Lupkin purposed 
to deal most severely with him; but Mr. Pickwick's gigantic 
intellect perceived how to wrest advantage from misfortune, and, 
by exposing the rascality of Jingle he brought about not only 
that impostor's speedy departure from Ipswich, but his own 
discharge from court. 

This was highly satisfactory, but not so the court proceed- 
ings in London which followed soon thereafter. His friends 
had to give evidence against him, for all had seen Mrs. Bardell 
in their leader's arms; and the jurors were so impressed that 
they brought in a verdict for the plaintiff, with costs. Mr. 
Pickwick thereupon arose in the might of his character and 



CHARLES DICKENS 409 

vowed he would never pay. Never! The whole proceeding 
was an outrage on justice, a conspiracy on the part of petti- 
fogging lawyers, and they should never benefit from it. Never! 
For some months he continued to travel, and his own lawyer 
thought that enjoyment of freedom would make him yield, but 
when the time finally came, and he had to choose between pay- 
ing damages and costs or going to prison, he chose prison and 
was locked up in the Fleet. 

Many weeks were passed there, during which Mr. Pickwick 
bore his own burden with philosophical tranquillity, and light- 
ened the burdens of such a number of his fellow -prisoners by 
buying food for them, and by other acts of benevolence, so that 
he became beloved by all. He had not been long in durance 
before he found that Jingle was also a prisoner. Jingle was 
broken in health and spirits. His swindling had run its normal 
course, and now he was on the actual verge of starvation. In 
this instance Mr. Pickwick's magnanimity shone most bril- 
liantly. He provided his former adversary with food and cloth- 
ing, encouraged him to hope for new opportunities to live hon- 
estly, and when he was certain that Jingle was truly repentant, 
he actually paid the fellow's debts and obtained him employ- 
ment in one of the West Indian colonies. 

This matter reached its head just about the time when Mrs. 
Bardell's lawyers, despairing of getting their costs, had her also 
locked up in the Fleet. That broke Mr. Pickwick's obstinate 
will. He could not bear the thought of a woman condemned 
to such a fate; and for the sake of humanity generally, not so 
much for Mrs. Bardell in particular, and not at all for himself, 
he finally paid the costs and was released. 

After that he devoted some time to straightening out sundry 
entanglements of his fellow-Pickwickians, who had been plung- 
ing into matrimony while bereft of his daily guidance; and when 
all these things were satisfactorily accomplished, he retired to 
a pretty villa in Dulwich to pass the rest of his days in quiet. 



OLIVER TWIST (1838) 

The greater part of this story was published in 1837-1838, in Bentley's Maga- 
zine, then edited by Dickens, with illustrations by George Cruikshank; and it 
was afterward brought out by Bentley in three volumes. Cruikshank is re- 
ported to have said that before it was written he had made drawings illustrating 
the life of London thieves, with portraits of Fagin, Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger, 
and perhaps others; that Dickens, seeing these, had asked permission to use the 
idea in a story he was then writing, which he changed accordingly. Perhaps 
he had originally intended only to expose the abuses in the poor-laws and the 
workhouse system, as now in the first part. He says he believed it would be 
a service to society to show the life of criminals as it really is their skulking 
path through dirt and squalor with "the great, black, ghastly gallows closing 
the prospect." The original of Fang was one A. S. Laing, senior magistrate of 
Hatton Garden Police Court, noted for his arrogant and brutal manner toward 
witnesses and others that came before his court. The likeness was so unmis- 
takable that Laing was removed from his office by the Home Secretary. 

<{HEN a puny, nameless baby was born, not an 
hour before its young mother died, in the work- 
house of a certain town where Mr. Bumble filled 
the responsible office of beadle, it was named 
according to the original alphabetical system de- 
vised by that gentleman, a system which called 
out from an admiring subordinate the remark 
that he was "quite a literary character." The 
workhouse baby last preceding had beenSwubble, 
and it was now the turn of a T; and so little Oliver became Twist. 
A reward of ten pounds, afterward increased to twenty, 
failing to discover anything of his parentage, he was "farmed" 
at a branch workhouse, where he underwent a course of starva- 
tion and ill usage with a score or more other young offenders 
against the poor-laws until he was nine years old, when he was 
returned to his birthplace. His career there was cut short by 
an outrageous offense on his part. The boys in the workhouse, 
made desperate by the meager allowance of one porringer of 
thin gruel at a meal, cast lots to determine who should ask for 
more, and the lot fell upon Oliver. 

410 




CHARLES DICKENS 411 

His bold demand for more was reported by the scan- 
dalized officials to the Board, which, scandalized no less, 
ordered the boy into confinement and caused a notice to be 
posted offering five pounds to anyone that would take him off 
the parish. 

As a result he was given into the keeping of an undertaker, 
whose professional genius soon saw possibilities in the boy's 
beautiful face and sad expression. To have for children's 
funerals a mute "in proportion" was Mr. Sowerberry's original 
inspiration; and as an unusually virulent epidemic of measles 
was about at the time, little Oliver headed many a mournful 
procession in a hatband reaching to his knees, arousing the in- 
tense admiration and emotion of onlooking mothers. 

Sowerberry was not unkind to his young apprentice, but he 
had an older one, a coarse and brutal charity boy, Noah Clay- 
pole, who bullied Oliver from the first and became more cruel 
from jealousy when Oliver was promoted to the beautiful gar- 
ments of the mourner. 

Oliver bore his ill treatment with meekness until one occa- 
sion when Noah threw out insulting taunts about his mother. 
This roused the boy's spirit, and he promptly knocked the 
bully down. Noah's cowardly cries summoned the servant, 
Charlotte, his sweetheart, and Mrs. Sowerberry; and Oliver was 
beaten and scratched by the three and then thrown into the 
dust-cellar. 

Early the next morning he crept out before dawn and set 
out for London. At the little town of Barnet he was accosted 
by a strange-looking and strangely dressed, swaggering and 
slangy boy of about his own age, who, finding that he had no 
place to go, offered to take him to a benevolent old gentleman, a 
friend of his own, who would give him lodgings "for nothink, 
and never ask for the change." He gave his name as Jack 
Dawkins, but said he was known among his intimate friends as 
the Artful Dodger. 

Accepting the offer, Oliver was taken to London that night 
and through filthy slums to a house near Field Lane, where he 
was introduced to his future benefactor, Mr. Fagin. 

The old gentleman, his young friend Jack, and another 
boy, Charley Bates, were quite a puzzle to Oliver. The boys 



4 i2 OLIVER TWIST 

seemed to be very skilful workmen, sometimes bringing in pocket- 
books they had made and lined and sometimes silk handker- 
chiefs they had made and marked; but the old gentleman was 
not pleased with the marking, and taught Oliver to take out the 
marks. Then their games were so funny; the merry old gen- 
tleman would put a watch in his waistcoat pocket, a pin in his 
shirt-bosom, and other things in his coat and trousers-pockets, 
and then pretend to go staring into shop-windows like an old 
countryman; the two boys would follow him, and while one 
was distracting his attention the other would relieve him of 
these various articles. 

An understanding of the puzzle came suddenly to Oliver 
one day when he had permission to go out with the boys. They 
came across an old gentleman quite absorbed in a book he had 
picked up at a book-stall; and Oliver to his horror saw the 
Dodger draw a handkerchief from the old man's pocket, which 
he handed to Charley; and then both disappeared around the 
corner. In an instant Oliver understood; and in his fright and 
confusion he ran away as fast as he could. 

Just then the gentleman missed his handkerchief and nat- 
urally inferred that the running boy was the thief. Shouting 
"Stop thief !" he made after Oliver; the two boys, who had hid- 
den around the corner, seeing how matters stood, joined in the 
cry and pursuit, and soon a mob was in full chase. 

Felled at last by a blow, Oliver lay on the pavement, whence 
a police officer took him before a magistrate, Mr. Fang. Noth- 
ing was found upon him, and the gentleman, Mr. Brownlow, 
said he was not at all sure of the boy's guilt; but Fang, after 
bullying Mr. Brownlow, had just committed the boy to hard 
labor for three months when the bookseller appeared and 
cleared him. He had seen the robbery committed by another 
boy, but could not get to court sooner, as he had had no one to 
leave in charge of the stall. 

Finding that Oliver was ill from excitement and fright, Mr. 
Brownlow took him in a coach to his own home at Pentonville, 
where he was tenderly cared for by the housekeeper, Mrs. Bed- 
win, during the fever which held him for many days. While 
he was recovering he noticed the portrait of a young lady that 
had great attraction for him; and Mr. Brownlow called the 



CHARLES DICKENS 

housekeeper's attention to a strong resemblance between it and 
Oliver himself. 

When he was well enough, Mr. Brownlow asked him for 
the story of his life and promised to befriend him. Oliver was 
about to comply when they were interrupted by a visitor, Mr. 
Grimwig; and before he had gone, Mr. Brownlow sent Oliver 
to the bookseller with some books to return and five pounds 
to pay for some he had kept. 

Meantime Fagin had been much disturbed and very angry 
at the loss of Oliver; and it had been agreed that Nancy, a clever 
girl who lived with a brutal burglar, Bill Sikes, a confederate in 
villainy with Fagin, should try to get the boy back. She had 
traced him to Pentonville, and meeting him now as he was on 
his way with the books and money, claimed him as her runaway 
brother. With the help of Sikes she held him fast, the by- 
standers believing her story, and advising them to punish the 
young rascal well advice which Sikes had anticipated by many 
heavy blows. Threatening the child that at the least cry Sikes's 
dog Bull's-eye would be at his throat, they dragged h;m back to 
Fagin, where he was quickly relieved of the books and money 
and the clothes Mr. Brownlow had given him. 

An attempt of Oliver to run away was quickly foiled; but 
Fagin's intention to beat him for it was interfered with by 
Nancy, the owner of the only conscience among them, which 
conscience was already accusing her for the part she had played. 
And thereafter, at much risk to herself, she did what she could 
to befriend Oliver. 

Mr. Brownlow's advertisement of five guineas reward for 
the discovery of Oliver Twist, or anything that would throw light 
on his past, was seen by Mr. Bumble, who answered in person. 
Inferring from a remark of Mr. Grimwig that an unfavorable 
report would be most acceptable, he told them that Oliver 
was the treacherous and ungrateful son of low and vicious 
parents; that he had run away from his employer after a bloody 
and cowardly attack upon an unoffending lad. When Mr. 
Brownlow paid the reward with the remark that he would gladly 
have given twice as much for a good account of the boy, Mr. 
Bumble saw his mistake. 

After keeping Oliver a close prisoner for some time and 



4 i4 OLIVER TWIST 

trying to get him committed to some act that would give a tight 
hold upon him by working upon his fears and his ignorance, 
Fagin delivered him to Sikes and one Toby Crackit to help in a 
burglary they were planning, where a boy was needed who 
could be put through a small window, the only one left unlocked 
in the house to be robbed. 

This was clone. Sikes put Oliver into the window with 
orders to go to the street-door and unbolt it for them, warning 
him that he would be covered all the way by the pistol in the 
burglar's hand. 

Oliver was resolved that even if he died in the attempt he 
would try to dart up the stairs and alarm the family. But as 
he advanced Sikes called: " Back! " There was a noise, a cry, 
two men appeared at the head of the stairs a flash, a report; 
Oliver staggered back, was caught by Sikes and pulled through 
the window. 

" They've hit him! Damnation, how the boy bleeds! " said 
Sikes. 

Oliver heard the ringing of a bell and the noise of shouting 
and felt himself carried away rapidly, then knew no more what 
was happening. The burglars found themselves hard pressed, 
dropped him in a ditch and fled. The pursuers Giles, the 
butler, Brittles, the boy of all work, and a traveling tinker 
called back the dogs and returned to the house. 

In the course of the forenoon Oliver came to himself, rose 
feebly, and staggering to the road reached the house; recognizing 
it, his first impulse was to fly; but he was too weak to go farther; 
so he climbed the steps, knocked faintly and sank on the porch, 
where he was found by the servants and was carried into the 
hall. 

Hearing the excited talk below, a young lady came to the top 
of the stairs to inquire the cause. Giles told her they had one 
of the thieves, wounded; and added with great complacency: 
"I shot him, Miss, and Brittles held the light." 

The young lady, who was the adopted daughter of Mrs. 
Maylie, the owner of the house, ordered them to carry the bur- 
glar to the butler's room and send for a constable and a doctor. 

Mr. Losberne, the doctor, having bound up the wounded 
arm, took Mrs. Maylie and Rose to look at the desperate house- 



CHARLES DICKENS 415 

breaker. Surprised and touched at sight of the delicate boy, 
Rose begged that he might not be sent to a prison, which would 
be the grave of all chances of amendment charitably surmising 
that he might have been driven by want and ill treatment to 
herd with criminals; and the doctor, though not so sure of his 
innocence, promised to do his best to save the boy if upon ex- 
amination he proved not to be "a thorough bad one"; if other- 
wise, he was to be left to his fate. 

When Oliver regained consciousness he told his miserable 
story so simply as to convince them of its truth. The doctor 
then talked to Giles and Brittles till they were bewildered and 
scared into acknowledging that they could not swear that Oliver 
was the boy they had seen in the house; and the Bow Street 
officers whom they had summoned in their excitement were 
led to believe that he was a child who had been injured by a 
spring-gun in some boyish trespass on a neighbor's grounds; 
this was corroborated by the fact that the fellow-pistol to the 
one Giles had fired was found to have no loading but gun- 
powder and paper, the doctor having secretly drawn the ball. 

So Oliver was left with the Maylies, the doctor and Mrs. 
Maylie giving bail for his appearance at court if he should be 
wanted. 

His great anxiety was to set himself right with Mr. Brown- 
low; and as soon as he was well enough the doctor took him to 
Pentonville, only to find that Mr. Brownlow had gone to the 
West Indies six weeks before with the housekeeper and Mr. 
Grimwig. 

Sitting one warm evening over his books for Rose was 
teaching him Oliver fell into a light slumber, and while half 
conscious heard voices, first the familiar one of Fagin, who said : 
"It is he, sure enough." 

"He!" another voice answered. "Could I mistake him? 
If a crowd of devils were to put themselves into his exact shape, 
and he stood amongst them, there is something that would tell 
me how to point him out. If you buried him fifty feet deep and 
took me across his grave I should know it if there wasn't a mark 
above it, I should! " 

He spoke with such venom that Oliver awoke and saw at 
the window the face of Fagin and that of another man whom 



416 OLIVER TWIST 

he had seen once before glaring at him in the inn-yard at "The 
Three Cripples." He called for help, but the men could not 
be found. 

Meantime, Mr. Bumble had married the matron of the 
workhouse and become the nominal head of that institution 
only nominal, to his mortification and sorrow. There he was 
visited by Monks, the man Oliver had seen, who asked for the 
old woman that had been nurse to Oliver's mother. She was 
dead; but Bumble remembered that his wife had had an inter- 
view with her on her death-bed, at her request. He therefore 
told Monks that he thought he could bring someone that could 
give him intelligence of her, and made an appointment to meet 
him the next evening at an obscure address by the waterside. 

Mrs. Bumble's information, which she gave to Monks only 
after bargaining for a payment of twenty-five pounds, was that 
the old woman had told her that Oliver's mother had given into 
her care for the boy a little gold locket containing two locks 
of hair and a wedding-ring with the name "Agnes" inside and 
a date within a year before her death. These the old woman 
had pawned; but she had kept the ticket and with this Mrs. 
Bumble had redeemed the trinkets, which she now gave to 
Monks. 

He opened a trap in the floor beneath which the water, 
swollen from recent rains, was rushing turbidly, and dropped 
the little packet into it. 

Although Fagin and Sikes cherished a deadly hatred for 
each other, they were held together by a bond of crime. About 
this time Bill was recovering from an illness in which he had been 
faithfully tended by his brutally ill-treated slave, Nancy. When 
Fagin came to see him he demanded some money, which Fagin 
promised and Bill sent Nancy home with him to get it. Sus- 
pecting that some plot against Oliver was on foot, she concealed 
herself whera she could overhear Monks's confidence to Fagin, 
and learned what had been done with Oliver's property. 

The next night, having given Bill a dose of laudanum, she 
went to Rose Mpylie, confessed her part in entrapping Oliver 
and told what she knew; how Monks had expressed bitter hatred 
for the boy, declaring that if he could take Oliver's life without 
endangering his own neck he would; but, as he :oukbrt, he 



CHARLES DICKENS 4*7 

would be on the watch for every opportunity to lay a snare for 
his young brother. 

"His brother!" said Rose. 

"Those were his words. And he said you would give thou- 
sands of pounds, if you had them, to know who your two-legged 
spaniel was." 

Protesting that it was too late for her to follow Rose's advice 
to leave Sikes and lead a better life, and exacting a promise that 
he should not be betrayed, Nance made an appointment to be 
on London Bridge every Sunday evening from eleven to twelve, 
where Oliver's friends might find her if necessary. 

Noah Claypole, having taken secret leave of Mr. Sower- 
berry, went to London with his wife, Charlotte, and some of 
Mr. Sowerberry's money, and drifted to "The Three Cripples," 
a low inn frequented by Fagin and his intimates. There he met 
Fagin; they soon understood each other, and Noah put himself 
under Fagin's direction, only stipulating that his work should 
be light and not dangerous. It was decided that he should take 
the "kinchin lay," that is, look out for children going on errands 
with sixpences or shillings, take their money, knock them down, 
and walk off as if nothing more was the matter than a child 
fallen down. 

The next Sunday night Nancy was prevented from keeping 
her promise to be at the bridge by the obstinacy of Bill, who 
locked her up on suspicion when he saw her preparing to go. 

Fagin, who was present, conceived the idea that she had 
wearied of the burglar's abuse and had formed an attachment 
to someone else. When she went to the door to let him out, he 
hinted to her that he could show her a safe and easy way to rid 
herself of Sikes, hoping thus to satisfy his hatred and be free 
of a dangerous confederate. But she received the hint coldly; 
and his next plan was to have her watched and by threatening 
to reveal her infidelity to Sikes secure her compliance. 

He therefore employed Claypole to shadow her, the result 
being that the spy heard and reported an interview the next 
Sunday night between Nancy and Rose and Mr. Brownlow, 
who had now returned to London, and was trying with the 
Maylies and Mr. Losberne to discover the facts about Oliver. 
In this interview, having received a promise that nothing should 
A.D., VOL. vi. 27 



4 i8 OLIVER TWIST 

be done against Sikes or Fagin, Nance told them where Monks 
could be found and by what marks they might recognize him 
marks that caused Mr. Brownlow to start and acknowledge that 
he believed he knew him. 

Fagin, maddened at the setback to his schemes, for he had 
a heavy stake on Monks's success in ruining Oliver, and dis- 
trustful of the pledges not to give him up to the law, formed a 
plan to revenge himself on both Sikes and Nancy. 

He told Sikes that Nance had given him laudanum two 
weeks before, and that she had met people with whom she was 
plotting to give him up. As he had foreseen, Sikes rushed 
home in a rage, murdered the girl most brutally and then took 
flight. After wandering about in the country, he went back to 
his old haunt, London, to find that Fagin had been taken, and 
that his own crime had been too atrocious for even his old com- 
panions to tolerate him. Charley Bates himself gave the alarm 
that brought not only the police but a furious mob in pursuit. 
Sikes took refuge upon the roof with a rope, by which he hoped 
to let himself down into a ditch at the back of the house. But 
as he was slipping the noose over his head, intending to draw 
it beneath his armpits, the dead eyes of his victim, which had 
pursued him all the way, came up before him in a vision. He 
screamed, staggered, lost his balance, and fell over the para- 
pet. The noose ran up with his weight, tightened about 
his neck, and left him hanging, strangled, five-and-thirty feet 
below. 

The information Nance had given, together with Mr. Brown- 
low's previous knowledge, sufficed to clear up the mystery of 
Oliver's origin and the cause of the pursuit of him by Monks. 

Many years before, Mr. Brownlow's betrothed had died on 
the eve of their marriage. His intimate friend, her brother, 
named Leeford, had been driven by ambitious relatives, while 
he was a mere boy, into a distasteful marriage with a woman 
ten years his senior. Monks, or Edward Leeford, was the 
child of this marriage; he had shared his mother's gay life in 
Paris after she had separated from her husband. 

Some years later, Leeford had met Agnes Fleming and they 
had become passionately attached to each other, the girl not 
knowing that he could not be free to redeem his promise of 



CHARLES DICKENS 419 

marriage, as he told her some secret mystery prevented his doing 
at once. Leeford was called to Rome, where a rich kinsman 
had died, leaving him his property; there he was seized with 
mortal illness and died the day after the arrival of his wife, who 
hastened from Paris when she heard of his inheritance. His 
will, which she destroyed, left annuities to her and Edward, and 
the bulk of the estate to Agnes and her expected child. 

On his way to Rome, Leeford had visited Brownlow and 
told him of his troubles and his intention to leave the country 
with Agnes; and had left with him a picture of her, the one whose 
resemblance to Oliver had given Mr. Brownlow his first suspicion 
of the truth. When he had gone to find her after Leeford's 
death, he had found that the whole family had disappeared. 

Mr. Brownlow had a hold on Monks through the knowledge 
of his crimes and forced him to reveal the facts that made the 
story complete. His mother had written to the father of Agnes, 
giving him the truth with every aggravation her hatred could 
add. Mr. Fleming had taken up his residence in Wales under 
an assumed name. Agnes had left her home, and after a fruit- 
less search for her, her father had died believing she had de- 
stroyed herself. He left a little daughter, who was rescued from 
a wretched existence and adopted by Mrs. Maylie. This was 
no other than Rose. 

Monks had promised his dying mother to hunt down the 
child of Agnes, to do all he could to plunge it into crime, drag- 
ging it, if possible, to the very foot of the gallows. This he had 
sought to do with the help of Fagin. 

The Artful Dodger had been caught, convicted, and trans- 
ported some time before. Fagin was brought to trial and 
executed. Charley Bates took warning and reformed. The 
Leeford property had been so reduced by the dissipations of 
Edward and his mother that only six thousand pounds re- 
mained. Mr. Brownlow divided it between the sons, hoping 
that Edward might make good use of it and begin a better life; 
but he fell into his old courses, and finally died in prison. 

Rose was married to Harry Maylie, whom she had stead- 
fastly refused, lest the cloud upon her origin should bring a 
blight upon his career; and Oliver became the adopted son 
of Mr. Brownlow. 



NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (1839) 

Issued originally in monthly shilling numbers, with illustrations by "Phiz" 
(Hablot Knight Browne), this novel was brought out on its completion in volume 
form, with a portrait of the author after a painting by Maclise, and a dedication 
to William C. Macready, the English actor. Its purpose was to expose the 
abuses in the cheap private board-schools the mercenary character of their 
management, the coarseness and ignorance of many of the teachers, and the 
neglect of real education. It had the effect of drawing public attention to these 
abuses and doing away with some of the worst of them. The character of Mrs. 
Nickleby is said to have been drawn from that of the author's mother, and the 
originals of the Cheeryble Brothers to have been the Brothers Grant, cotton- 
spinners and calico printers near Manchester. 



j(ALPH NICKLEBY, money-lender, was right in 
lamenting the fatal tendency for getting poor, 
the most distinguishing characteristic of his 
brother Nicholas. Nicholas died after losing the 
family estate in Devonshire by speculation, and 
his simple-minded widow, with her children, 
Nicholas, about nineteen, and Kate, about six- 
teen, went to London. " There, I knew it!" 
said Ralph, when he received the news. 
"Knew what?" asked Newman Noggs, from the little closet 
where he kept the books that showed the results of old Ralph's 
villainies. 

Newman had been a gentleman once; now he was a shabby 
person with a red nose and an overwhelming thirst. He had 
begun by borrowing money from Ralph Nickleby, and had bor- 
rowed many thousands of pounds at usurious interest; at length 
even his request for one pound was refused ; but Ralph happened 
to want a clerk who would work cheap so Newman Noggs re- 
ceived that office instead of the pound. 

When Newman asked, "Knew what?" old Ralph replied 
that that brother of his down in Devonshire being dead, he, 
Ralph, would be expected to "feed a great, hearty woman and 
two growing children." Then in high ill-humor the money- 




CHARLES DICKENS 421 

lender sought the modest apartments over Miss La Creevy's 
miniature shop, where his brother's wife had taken refuge. 

" Mine was no common loss," said the widow, after the first 
words of greeting had passed. 

" It was no uncommon one, ma'am," replied Ralph. " Hus- 
bands die every day." 

"And brothers, too, it would seem," said young Nicholas. 

"Yes, sir, and puppies likewise," growled the uncle. 

As he looked at Nicholas and the boy looked at him, it was 
evident that two antipathetic natures gazed at each other. 
Still, when Ralph proposed that Nicholas take a place he thought 
he could procure for him as teacher in Mr. Wackford Squeers's 
academy, Dotheboys Hall, in Yorkshire, "where young gentle- 
men and young noblemen were educated and generally done 
for," and when he further offered Kate a place in Mrs. Man- 
talini's dressmaking establishment, the young man thought he 
might have judged his uncle harshly, and wrung the old money- 
lender's hand in an excess of joy and gratitude. 

Nicholas found Squeers not prepossessing. He had but one 
eye, which was greenish, and resembled in shape a fanlight over 
a door. The blank side of his face was much wrinkled and 
puckered up. His hair was flat and shiny, except where it was 
brushed straight up from a low, protruding forehead. He was 
short of stature, rough of voice and coarse of manner, as well as 
dirty in dress. 

Old Ralph and Squeers greeted each other in a way that 
showed they had done business together before and that, some- 
how, either by his knowledge of Squeers's methods of education or 
of his past, the money-lender had power over the schoolmaster. 

As the coach was about to start, Newman Noggs handed 
Nicholas a letter, intimating that Ralph, who was saying a few 
earnest words to Squeers, was not to know of it. " I know the 
world," said Noggs in his epistle. "Your father did not, or he 
would not have done me a kindness when there was no hope of 
return. If you should ever want shelter in London, I live at the 
sign of the Crown in Silver Street, Golden Square." 

It was a winter's night, with the snow lying white over a wild 
country, when Nicholas was ushered into the cheerless house 
of Dotheboys Hall. A large, bony woman, half a head taller 



4*2 NICHOLAS NICKLEBY 

than Squeers, seized the schoolmaster by the throat and gave 
him two loud kisses. This was Mrs. Squeers. "How is my 
Squeery?" she inquired playfully, in a deep, hoarse voice. The 
rest of the Squeers family was made up of Master Wackford 
Squeers, Jr., a boy of ten, who bullied the other boys and took 
their clothes away from them for his own use when they hap- 
pened to have any worth taking, and Miss Fanny Squeers, about 
sixteen. Miss Fanny at once began to make eyes at Nicholas, 
for he dined with the family that night. But Nicholas was more 
interested in the appearance of a youth called Smike, who waited 
on the table and appeared to be a common drudge. 

Smike, though approaching twenty, and tall for his age, 
wore a skeleton suit, such as is usually put on little boys, which, 
though absurdly short for his frame, was abundantly wide 
enough for his attenuated form. Around his neck was a tat- 
tered child's frill, half concealed by a man's neck-cloth. 

"Well, Smike, what is it?" asked Squeers, seeing that the 
strange creature showed a desire to speak to him. 

"Is there has there," hesitatingly began Smike, "any- 
thing been heard about me?" 

u No!" roared Squeers. "Nor ain't likely to be either. 
Pretty thing, ain't it, that you should have been here all these 
years and no money paid for you after the first six? Get out!" 

The next morning Nicholas found that the schoolroom was 
squalid, dirty, miserable to the last degree; but the pupils the 
young noblemen! Pale, haggard faces, lank and bony figures, 
children with the countenances of old men, deformities with irons 
on their limbs, boys of stunted growth, and others whose long, 
meager legs would scarcely bear their stooping bodies, all were 
crowded together the harelip, the blear eye, deformity, neg- 
lect, cruelty, and horrible endurance. Little faces were there 
that should have been handsome and instead were those of 
sullen and vicious-faced boys brooding like malefactors in a 
jail! And yet this dreadful scene had its ludicrous features, for 
Mrs. Squeers was stationed at one end of the room, where she 
was feeding out brimstone and treacle to each boy in turn. 
"Medicates 'em," said Squeers. "Rot!" said Mrs. Squeers. 
"It takes away their appetites, and that's good for us. It 
purifies their blood, and I hope that's good for them." 



CHARLES DICKENS 423 

Every day Nicholas grew more desperate at the scenes of 
oppression. At last Smike, whom he had taken under his 
special protection, so far as he could, ran away and was brought 
back to be treated with such exaggeration of cruelty that Nicholas 
could bear it no longer. In the presence of the whole school he 
cast off all self-control, thrashed Squeers savagely, and departed 
with Smike. 

After he had trudged some miles with the poor, half-witted 
boy through the wintry country lanes, resolved to walk to Lon- 
don, he began to realize that he had done a hasty thing. He 
had but two shillings in his pocket, and the way was long. 
But relief appeared in the shape of John Browdie, a hale young 
Yorkshire farmer, with whom Nicholas had become acquainted 
during his stay at Dotheboys Hall, and who had recently mar- 
ried "'Tildy Price, a friendly enemy of Fanny Squeers." 

"Ho, ho, ho!" laughed the big fellow. "Giv' us thy bond, 
yoongster. Beaten the schoolmaster, hast thee? Dang it, I 
love thee for it," and then honest John insisted on lending 
Nicholas sufficient money for his trip to London. 

Arrived there, Nicholas sought Newman Noggs, and in his 
quarters found a refuge for himself and his charge. Newman 
told him that Ralph Nickleby had given Kate and her mother 
quarters in a half-ruinous, deserted house of his, and that Kate 
was still working for Madame Mantalini. 

The next morning, after Nicholas arrived at the new home 
of his mother and sister, he found there Ralph, who had re- 
ceived a letter from Miss Squeers, her "pa" being still too ill to 
write, in which Nicholas was accused not only of having beaten 
the schoolmaster within an inch of his life, but also of having 
abducted Smike and stolen a ruby ring from Mrs. Squeers. 

Ralph had just read this letter, and Kate and her mother 
were in tears when Nicholas entered. "It is a lie!" he shouted. 
"I did thrash Squeers, and he deserved it. I have rescued from 
his cruelty a poor, half-witted boy. But there has been no 
theft, as you well know." 

"Oh, dear!" sobbed poor, simple-minded Mrs. Nickleby, 
"I don't know what to think. Nicholas is so violent and his 
uncle has so much composure. But I suppose we can go to the 
workhouse or the refuge for the destitute, or Magdalen Hospital." 



4 2 4 "NICHOLAS NICKLEBY 

Kate indignantly disclaimed belief in the accusations, but 
Ralph sternly said that if Nicholas would go away he would see 
that his mother and sister did not want. If he stayed, all his help 
would be withdrawn at once. 

Nicholas departed. At first he tried giving French lessons 
to the Miss Kenwigses, the four daughters of Newman Noggs's 
landlord, but that was hardly remunerative enough to support 
himself and Smike. He tried other things and at last resolved 
to go down into the country, where competition was less keen. 
There he fell in with a strolling company, and became an actor, 
under the tuition of the Crummies family. Smike was drilled 
into playing a walking part, and for a time Nicholas pros- 
pered. 

But Newman Noggs had promised to let Nicholas know 
should his presence in London be required. 

The storm broke suddenly. A letter from Newman warned 
him that there was wrong in Ralph's treatment of Kate, and 
Nicholas hastened to London at once. 

He left Smike at Newman's lodgings and went out for a 
walk, planning to be back there by the time Noggs should arrive 
home. But he was hungry. He saw a restaurant, "a rather 
expensive place," he thought but went in and called for re- 
freshments. 

It was a highly decorated place, and highly decorated men, 
evidently of the ornate and sporting class, were sitting about, 
talking loudly. Suddenly, in a box behind him, a man shouted : 
" Here's to the little Nickleby pretty little Kate. We'll give the 
first glass of the fresh magnum to her." 

"She's a true Nickleby," said another. "She's a true niece 
of her Uncle Ralph's. She hangs back, the jade, to be more 
sought after!" 

" Yes, infernal cunning," simpered two other voices. " Right 
you are, Sir Mulberry." 

Nicholas sprang from his seat and approached the group. 
"I would have a word with you, sir," he said to the man ad- 
dressed as Sir Mulberry. 

"Upon my word, I don't know you," said the Baronet, eye- 
ing Nicholas insolently. Nicholas threw his card on the table, 
saying: "That is my name. My business you can guess." 



CHARLES DICKENS 425 

"Here, you, sir!" cried Sir Mulberry to a waiter. "Throw 
this card in the fire." 

"Give me your name," shouted Nicholas. "You cannot 
escape me." 

For reply the stranger coolly adjusted his neck-cloth, walked 
out of the place and entered a waiting cabriolet. "Let go her 
head," said he to the groom. 

Nicholas sprang on the step and seized the reins. The mare 
was high-spirited and plunged violently, and the groom re- 
leased his hold of the frightened animal's head. Sir Mulberry 
brought his whip down violently on Nicholas. It was broken 
in the struggle, and Nicholas, gaining possession of the heavy 
end, laid open the Baronet's face from the eye to the lip. 

It was all done in a second, and then Nicholas lay stunned 
on the pavement, while the runaway mare went wildly careering 
up the sidewalk, dragging the cabriolet from side to side, until 
there came a loud cry, the smashing of a heavy body, and Sir 
Mulberry Hawk was picked out of the ruins, nearly dead, and 
disfigured for life. 

As soon as Nicholas recovered he returned to Noggs's quar- 
ters, told hastily what had happened, and learned the name of 
the man whom he had assaulted and why Newman had recalled 
him to London. 

Ralph Nickleby, for his own purposes, had introduced to 
Kate young Lord Verisopht and Sir Mulberry Hawk, two rakes 
to whom he loaned money at fat rates. The young lord was a 
simple fellow, and Ralph and Sir Mulberry were plucking him, 
the money-lender incidentally winding his toils around Sir Mul- 
berry. 

The old rascal was using the innocent charms of Kate to 
bind the two men closer to him. He had said, when their at- 
tentions to his niece had been particularly outrageous: "Phoo! 
What of it? The girl can take care of herself. No real harm 
will come to her." 

Kate had tried in vain to escape from the persecutions of 
her uncle's clients, and had become terrified at the toils in which 
she felt herself becoming enmeshed, when Newman had sum- 
moned Nicholas to London. 

The Mantalini establishment having failed when Ralph 



426 NICHOLAS NICKLEBY 

stopped lending it money, the girl was now companion to a 
certain lady of fashion, Mrs. Wititterly. Nicholas went there 
early the next morning. "I have been so unhappy, dear 
brother," sobbed Kate, when she saw him. "Oh, take me 
away." 

He took her away immediately, and, getting his mother, 
told her that none of them could any longer inhabit Ralph 
Nickleby's house, and bestowed them in the lodgings over little 
Miss La Creevy's miniature shop. 

And now behold Nicholas with his mother and sister and 
Smike to support, only a few pounds left, no employment, and 
no friends able to help him. 

Again he began the search for employment. One day, as he 
stood looking at the cards in the window of an employment 
agency, he noticed an old gentleman also regarding them. He 
was such an open-hearted, kind-appearing old gentleman that 
Nicholas ventured to ask whether he knew of any employment 
for a young man. Something about him so inspired confidence 
that the first thing Nicholas knew he had revealed his entire story. 

The old gentleman was Charles Cheeryble, and before the 
interview ended Nicholas had obtained a place as clerk to the 
brothers Charles and Ned, whose old clerk, Tim Linkinwater, 
was getting along in years, and, as Brother Charles said, they 
did need assistance, though they would not have him think so 
for the world, Tim was such a terrible fellow if he took a notion. 

There was a little house at Bow belonging to the Cheeryble 
brothers, which they let to Nicholas for a nominal rent. There 
Smike tended the garden and worshiped Kate, as a devotee 
might worship a saint. 

Frank Cheeryble, nephew of the brothers, came out to see 
the family at Bow, and it was not difficult to perceive what an 
impression Kate made on him. 

There was content and comfort in the little cottage now. 
The poor Nicklebys were happy. The rich Nickleby was lonely 
and unhappy and planning revenge on his kind. 

And now Nicholas awoke to the fact that he had a heart. It 
fluttered in the presence of a certain young woman Madeline 
Bray, who lived with her selfish invalid father, a debtor in the 
"Rule of the King's Bench Prison." 



CHARLES DICKENS 427 

The Cheeryble brothers were assisting the gentle Madeline 
by buying little sketches that she made, pretending in their 
delicate way that they were bought for a firm of print-sellers of 
which Nicholas was the agent. Nicholas went on this business 
often to the home of Madeline, and when he saw the patient, 
high-bred girl he somehow always forgot that he was in the 
confines of a debtor's "limits." It seemed to him as if the 
scene were Italy, the hour sunset, and the place a stately terrace. 

One day in the street Smike was brought up with a sudden 
jerk, felt his leg grasped, and heard a boy's voice shout: "Hoo- 
ray! Here he is, father!" 

Smike was a prisoner; but John Browdie, who was in Lon- 
don with Squeers, let him out of the room the schoolmaster 
had locked him in, and he returned to the Bow cottage. 

An attempt was made by Squeers, aided by Ralph Nickleby, 
to regain possession of Smike by the use of forged documents 
to prove that he was the son of one Snawley; but they were 
promptly turned out by Nicholas. 

A few days later, Nicholas learned from Newman that his 
uncle had arranged a marriage between old Arthur Gride, a 
money-lender, and Madeline Bray, by working on her love for 
her father and on his selfishness. 

Nicholas sought Madeline and remonstrated. 

"You say you have a duty to perform," said Madeline, "and 
so have I. And with the help of heaven I will perform mine." 

"Say rather with the help of devils," cried Nicholas. 

"I must not hear this," said Madeline. "My father's 
health, perhaps his life, depends upon my obedience. He was 
talking as you came in, with his old smile, of the freedom which 
would soon be his. Oh, pity me and leave me." 

Her tears fell fast. After more fruitless expostulation Nicho- 
las departed. Promptly at the appointed hour next day old 
Arthur Gride, chattering and grinning, came in a coach with 
Ralph Nickleby to claim his victim. Bray himself met them 
as they came into the house. 

"She was very ill last night," said he, "but she is calmer 
now. She will be down presently." Then, drawing Ralph 
aside, he whispered: "This seems a cruel thing, after all, 
doesn't it?" 



NICHOLAS NICKLEBY 

<'No," said Ralph. 

"Look at that man," repeated Bray, "that soulless old ras- 
cal. It is cruel, by all that's bad and treacherous." 

Leaving the two aged rascals alone, Bray went to fetch his 
daughter. Soon they heard the rustling of a woman's dress in 
the hall and the step of a man. Springing up to receive the 
bride and her father, vast was their astonishment to see Nicholas 
and Kate confronting them. 

The altercation that followed was interrupted by the sound 
of a fall in the room above. Mr. Bray was dead of heart disease. 
That night Madeline became an inmate of the cottage at Bow, 
under Kate's care, by direction of Cheeryble brothers. 

Smike's health was failing rapidly, and by a physician's ad- 
vice Nicholas took him to Devonshire for a change of climate. 
One day, when Nicholas had left Smike alone in the garden, he 
returned to find him in a state of agitation, believing he had 
seen the man that took him to Squeers. 

Ralph Nickleby, having learned that some papers of value 
had been stolen from Arthur Gride by his former housekeeper, 
Peg Sliderskew, engaged Squeers to recover them for him, hop- 
ing to get a hold on Gride by means of them. But Noggs and 
Frank Cheeryble discovered the scheme and caused the arrest 
of Squeers just as he was receiving the papers from Peg. 

When Squeers was searched, one of the papers was found 
to be a will leaving a large fortune to Madeline Bray. It had 
been concealed by Gride, who had once been an agent of her 
uncle. 

When Ralph heard of the arrest of Squeers, he hurried to 
see him, and told him all would be well if he would hold his 
tongue. But Squeers had decided that Ralph was on the losing 
side, and refused to have anything more to do with his schemes; 
and Ralph found himself deserted by Snawley and Gride as 
well. In this extremity he sought the Cheerybles and found 
with them Newman Noggs, who confronted him with the evi- 
dence of his misdeeds. 

Ralph's angry reply was interrupted by one of the brothers, 
who said: 

"And we have some awful news for you personal news, 
Mr. Nickleby; your son is dead." 



CHARLES DICKENS 439 

"I have no son," said Ralph. 

The door opened, and a man appeared who gazed at Ralph 
with a fixed eye. 

" You know me, Ralph Nickleby," said the stranger. 

Ralph could not speak. 

"This man/' continued the stranger, "was secretly married 
and had one son. When his wife died he employed me to 
bring the son to London, where he was kept for a time in a gar- 
ret of his father's house. Then I was told to place him in a 
school in Yorkshire. Out of revenge for this man had ruined 
me I reported to him that the boy had died on the way, and 
forged a death-certificate. But, in reality, I did place him in a 
Yorkshire school, under the name of Smike. A while ago I 
thought that I might exact money from this man by revealing to 
him that his son still lived. I found, however, that the boy 
had been taken from the school. I traced him out, but he died 
a few days after I had found him, and the young man who res- 
cued him from the school is on his way back to London. He 
will be here to-morrow." 

Ralph arose from his chair, still outwardly calm. "A lie," 
he said; "a blackmailing scheme." 

"But," said one of the brothers, "the other charges? If 
you would leave the country now? " 

"Come and see me to-morrow and it shall be arranged," 
said Ralph, and he named the hour at which they were to wait 
upon him. "I will leave the country," said the money-lender; 
"yes, I will leave it." 

When they kept the appointment with the money-lender the 
next day they found him hanging to a beam in the attic of his 
house. 

When Frank Cheeryble married Kate Nickleby there was a 
double wedding, for Nicholas married Madeline Bray on the 
same day. The Nicklebys refused to make any claim for the 
estate left by Ralph, and so the money for which the money- 
lender had toiled all his days was swept into the coffers of the 
state. 




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