(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Consuelo. A novel"



^^j,i&=s,.j 




©.NSQEtOi' 



^^^^^^^^^^*^^M 



Ail^'^i^^ycAikiS 



CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Prom 
H&Ur4 



Cornell University Library 
PQ 2400.A3R65 1870 

Consuelo. 



3 1924 027 303 274 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924027303274 



O O N" 8UEL O. 



A KOYEL. 



BY GEORGE SAND. 



"The character of 'Consuelo,' as developed in * Consuelo,' and its Sequel, 'The 
CuuntesB of Rudolstadt,' ia one of the noblebt ever drawn. The character is an ideal 
one, in essence, and as snch is as chaste, as pure, aud as lofty a creation as we have 
ever loved aud admired in all fiction. The whole book is written with great pcuer 
and delicacy." • Jt'ost. 

"The present is uniTersally admitted to be the master-piece of one of the most re- 
m^arkable of living noTeliscs." Atlas. 

"Her style is noble, and beautifully rich and pure. She has an exuberant imagina- 
tion, aud with it a veiy chaste style of expression. She never scarcely indulges in 
declamation, and yet her sentences are exquisitely melodious and full. * * * She 
leaves you at tlie end of one of her brief, rich, melancholy sentences, with plenty of 
food for future cogitation. I can't express to you the charm of them ; they seem to 
ine like the sound of country bells falling sweetly aud sadly upon the ear.'' 

T£U.CK£RAT. 

" She has naturalness, taste, a strong lore of troth, enthnsiasm, and all these 
qualities are linked together by the most severe, as also the most perfect, harmony. 
The genius of Madame George Sand has an amplitude exquisitely beautiful. What- 
ever she feels or thinks breathes grace, and makes you dream of immense deeps. Her 
Btyle is a revelation of pure and melodious form." H£in£. 

"No man could have written her books, for no man could have had her experience, 
even with a genius equal to her own. * * * Both philofi<*pher and critic must per- 
ceive that these writings of hers are original, are genuine, aie transcripts of expe- 
rience, and as such fulfil the primary condition of all literature." 

Geoeoe H. Lewes. 

"The grand jTToscrfeur of the Nineteenth Century." Michelet. 

" As a specimen of purely artistic excellence, there is not in all modern literature 

anything superior to the prose of Madame Sand, whose style acts upnn the nervous 
system like a symphony of Haydn or Mozart." John Stoart Mill. 

"George Sand has been, beyond any possible comparison, the most influential 
Woman-writer — perhaps the most infiuential writer whatever — of our day. Carlyle'a 
influence can hardly be said to pass outside the limits of the English tongne; but 
George Sand's power has stamped itself deeply into the mind, the moi-als, the man- 
ners, the very legislation gf every civilized country in the world." 

JtJSTiN McCaetht. "ffaloary." 

"In France, of all the novel writers of the last twenty years, the most instructive, 
the most genuine, the most original is George Sand. * * * Her best works remain, 
and will long remain, among the most characteristic and the most splendid monument 
of that outpouring of French literature, the period of which happened to be exactly 
coterminous with the duration of constilutioual government in France." 

Saturday Seview. 

"The noblest mind of our epoch.*' Edmond About. 

" As an example of genius, harmonioTis and unrestrained, T do not know her peer 
among contemporary names. And one of the most beautiful facts about her works is 
the dominance of the benevolent spirit. You recognize the maternal element as 
strongest. She yearns to do (rood, to influence, to ennoble, to stimulate; and by 
common consent, she in the noblest mind that, among European writers, has used the 
novel as a means of acting on the great reading public." 

Eugene Benson. " Galaxy," 

" She is no stranger in the supernatural world, she to whom nature, as to a favored 
child, has unloosed her gfrdle, and unveiled all the caprices, the attractions, the de- 
litrhts, which she can lend to bpnuty. * * * The realm of fantasy has no myth 
With whose secret she is not familiar." Libzt. 



C O N S IJ E L O. 



A NOVEL. 



BY GEOEGE SAND. 

AUTHOR OP " THE COUNTESS OF BUDOLSTADT," " THE CORSAIK," 

"FANCHON, the cricket," "INDIANA," "JEALOUSY," 

" FIRST AND TRUE LOVE," ETC., ETC. 



Translated from the French, 
BY FAYKTTE ROB INS ON. 



"The character of 'Coasaelo,' aa developed ia this book, is one of the nohlest 
ever drawn. The character is an ideal one, in es»eace, aud as such is as chaste, as 
pure, and as lofty a creation as we have ever loved and admired in all fiction. The 
whole book is written with great power and delicacy.'' — Post. 

*' The present is universally admitted to be the masterpiece of one of the most re- 
xaarkable of living novelists." — Aflas. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS; 

306 CHESTNUT STREET. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 

T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS, 

In the Clerlt'a Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the 
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, I 



GE'ORGE SAND'S BEST WORKS. 

Each work in this Series is Unabridged and Complete. 

■♦ 
CONSUELO. A Novel. By George Sakd. Translated from the 
French, by Fayette Eobinson. One volume, duodecimo, cloth, 
gilt. Price $1.50. 

THE COUNTESS OF RUDOLSTADT. A Sequel to "Consuelo." 
By Geoeqb Sand. Translated from the French, by Fayette 
Robinson. One volume, duodecimo, cloth, gilt. Price $1.50. 

INDIANA. A Love Story. By Geoegb Sand. Translated from the 
French, by George W. Richards. One volume, duodecimo, 
cloth, gilt. Price $1.50. 

JEALOUSY; OR, TEVERINO. A Romance. By George Sand. 
Translated from the French. With a Biography of the Distin- 
guished Authoress, by Oliver S. Leland. One volume, duode- 
cimo, cloth, gilt. Price $1.50. 

FANCHON; THE CRICKET. By George Sand. Translated from 
the French. One volume, duodecimo, cloth, gilt. Price $1.50. 

FIRST AND TRUE LOVE; OR, ANTOINE DE CHATEAU- 
BRUN. By George Sand. Translated from the French. 
Witfi Eleven Illustrations, including Portraits of " Monsieur 
Antoine De Chateaubrun," "Gilberte De Chateaubrnn," 
" Mademoiselle Janille," " Eraile Cardonnet," " Jean Jappe- 
loup, the Carpenter," and " Monsieur and Madame Cardonnet." 
One volume, octavo, paper cover. Price Seventy-five cents. 

THE CORSAIR'. A Venetian Tale. By George Sand. Translated 
from the French. One volume, octavo, paper cover. Price 
Fifty cents. 



Above books are for sale by all Booksellers and News Agents. 
Copies of any or all of the above books will be sent to any one, to any 
place, postage pre-paid, on receipt of their price by the Publishers, 
T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS, 

306 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 



COXSUELO. 



CHAPTEK I. 

"Tbs, yes, yoimg ladies, toss your heads as much as you please; 

the wisest and best among you is But I shall not say it: for she is 

the only one of my class who has a particle of" modesty, and I should 
fear, were I to name her, that she would forthwith lose that uncom- 
mon virtue which I could wish to see in you " 

"In nomine Fatris, etPilii, etSpirltuB Sancti," 

sang Costanza, impudently. 

" Amen I " exclaimed all the other girls, in chorus. 

" Tile slanderer," said Clorinda, making a pretty little mouth at 
him, and giving the bony and wrinkled fingers, which the singing 
master had suffered to rest idly on the keys of the silent instrument, 
a little tap with the handle of her fan. 

" Go on, young ladies — go on," said the old professor, with the re- 
signed and submissive air of one who for forty years had had to suf- 
fer for six hours daily the airs and contradictions of successive gene- 
rations of female pupils. " It is not the less true," added he, putting 
his spectacles into their case, and his snuff-box into his pocket, with- 
out raising his eyes towards the angry and railing group, " that this 
chaste, this docile, this siudious, this attentive, this good child, is not 
you, Signora Clorinda: nor you, Signora Costanza; nor you either, 
Signora Zulietta; neither is it Rosina; and still less Michela — " 

'■ In that case, it is 1 1 " 

"No it is I!" 

" By no means ; it is I ! " 

" 'tis I!" 

" 'Tis 1! " screamed out all at once, with their clear and thrilling 
voices, some fifty fair or dark-haired girls, darting like a flock of sea- 
birds on some poor shell-fish left stranded by the waves. 

The shell-fish, that is to say, the master — and I maintain that no 
other metaphor could so well express his angular movements, his 
filray eyes, his red-streaked cheeks, and more especially the innumer- 
able stiff, white, and_ pointed curls of professional periwig,' the master, 
I say, compelled thiice to seat himself after he ha4 risen to go away, 
but calm and indifferent as the shell-fish itself, rocked and hardened 

(21) 



22 CONSUELO. 

by the storms, had long to be entreated to declare which of his pupils 
deserved the praises of which he was usually so sparing, but of which 
he now showed himself so prodigal. At last, yielding as if with 
regret to tlie entreaties which his sarcasm had provoked, he took the 
. roll with which he was in. the habit of marking the time, and made 
use of it to separate and range in two lines his unruly row. Then, 
advancing with a serious air between the double row of these light- 
headed creatures, he proceeded toward the organ-loft, and stopped 
before a little figure who was seated, bent down, on one of the steps. 
She, with her elbows on her knees, and her fingers in her ears, in 
order not to be distracted by the noise, and twisted into a sort of coil, 
like a squirrel sinking to sleep, conned over her lessons in a low 
voice, so as to disturb no one. He, solemn and triumphant, with leg 
advanced and outstretched arm, seemed like the shepherd . Paris 
awarding the apple, not to the most beautiful, but to the most modest. 

" Consuelo ! the Spaniard ! " exclaimed all the young choristers, 
struck at first with the utmost surprise, but almost immediately join- 
ing in a general burst of laughter, such as Homer attributes to the 
gods of Olympus, and which caused a blyish of anger and indignation 
on the majestic countenance of the professor. 

Little Consuelo, with her closed ears, had heard nothing of this 
dialogue. Her eyes were bent on vacancy, and, busied with her task, 
she remained some moments unconscious of the uproar. Then, per- 
ceiving herself the object of general attention, she dropped her hands 
on her knees, allowed her book to fall on the floor, and, petrified with 
astonishment, not unmixed with fear, rose at length, and looked 
around, in order to see what ridiculous person or thing afforded mat- 
ter for such noisy mirth. 

" Consuelo," said the master, taking her hand without further ex- 
planation, "come, my good child, and sing me the 'Salve Begina' 
of Pergolese, which thou hast learned but a fortnight, and which Clo- 
rinda has been studying for more than a year." 

Consuelo, without replying, and without evincing either pride, 
shame, or embarrassment, followed the singing-master to the organ, 
where, sitting down, he struck with an air of triumph the key-note 
for his young pupil. Then Consuelo, with unafffected simplicity and 
ease, raised her clear and thrilling voice, and filled the lofty roof with 
the sweetest and purest notes with which it had ever echoed. She 
sang the " Salve Begina " without a single error — without venturing 
upon one note which was not just, full, sustained, or interrupted -at 
the proper place ; and, following with unvarying precision the instruc- 
tions which the learned master had given her, fulfilling with her clear 
perceptions his precise and correct intentions, she accomplished, with 
the inexperience and indifference of a child, that which science, prac- 
tice, and enthusiasm had not perhaps done for the most perfect sing- 
er. In a word, she sang to admiration. 

" It is well, my child," said the good old master, always chai-y of 
his praise. " You have studied with attention that which you have 
faithfully performed. Next time you shall repeat the cantata of Scar- 
latti which I have taught you." 

" Si, Signor Profesor," replied Consuelo—" now may I go?" 

" Yes, my dear. Young ladies, the lesson is over." 

Consuelo placed in her little basket her music and crayons, as well 
as her black fan— the inseparable companion alike of Spaniard and 
Venetian— which she never used, although she never wont without 



CONSUBLO. 23 

it. Then disappearing behind the fretwork of the organ, she flew as 
lightly as a bird down the mysterious stairs which led to the body of 
tlie cathedral, iinelt for a moment in crossing the nave, and, when 
just on the point of leaving the church, found beside the font a 
handsome young man, who, smiling, presented the holy water to her. 
Slie took some of it, looking at him all the time with the self-pos- 
session of a little girl who knows and feels that she is not yet a 
woman, and mingling her thanks and her devotional gesture in so 
agreeable a fashion that the signor could not help laughing outright. 
Consuelo began to laugh likewise; hut, all at once, as if she had 
recollected that some one was waiting for her, she cleared the porch 
and the steps at a bound, and was off in an instant. 

In the mean time, the professor again replaced his spectacles in his 
huge waistcoat pocket, and thus addressed his silent scholars: — 

" Shame upon you, my fair pupils ! " said he. " This little girl, the 
youngest of you all — the yo.ungest in the whole class — is the only one 
of you capable of executing a solo. And in the choruses, no matter 
what tricks are played on every side of her, I always find her firm 
and steady as a note of the harpsichord. It is because she has zeal, 
patience, and — what you will never have, no, not one of you — a con- 
science!" 

" Ah ! now the murder is out," cried Costanza, as soon as the pro- 
fessor had left the church. " He only repeated it some thirty-nine 
times during the lesson, and now, I verily believe, he would fall ill if 
he did not get saying it the fortieth." 

" A great wonder, indeed, that this Consuelo should get on ! " ex- 
claimed Zulietta: " she is so poor that she must work to learn some- 
thing whereby to earn her bread." 

" They tell me her mother was a gipsy," said Michelina, " and that 
the little one sang about the streets and highways before she came 
here. To be sure, she has not a bad voice; but then she has not a 
particle of intellige*e, poor girl! She learns merely by rote; she 
follows to the letter The professor's instructions, — and her lungs do 
the re?t." * 

" If she had the best lungs in the world, and the best brains into 
the bargain," said the handsome Clorinda, "I would not give my 
face in exchange for hers." 

" I do not know that- you would lose so much," replied Costanza, 
who had not had a very exalted opinion of Clorinda's beauty. 

" She is not pretty for all that," said another. " She is as yellow 
as a paschal candle. Her great eyes say just nothing at all, and then 
she is always so ill dressed ! She is decidedly ugly." 

" Poor girl! she is much to be pitied— no money — no beauty? " 

Thus finished the praises of Consuelo. They comforted themselves 
by their contemptuous pity, for having been forced to admire her 
singing. 



:CHAPTEE II. 

The scene just related took place in Venice about a hundred 
years ago, in the church of the Meudicanti, where the celebrated 
master Porpora had just rehearsed the grand vespers which he was 



24 CONSUELO. 

to direct on the following Assnmption-day. The yonng choristers 
wlKini he had so smartly scolded were pupils of the state schools, in 
which they were instructed at the expense of government, and after- 
wards received a dowry preparatory to marriage or the cloister, as 
Jean Jficques Rousseau, who admired their magnificent voices at the 
same period and in the same church, has observed. He mentions the 
circumstance in the charming episode in the eighth boolc of his Con- 
fessions. I shall not here transcribe those two delightful pages, lest 
tlie friendly reader, whose example under similar circumstances I 
."iliould certainly imitate, might be unable to resume my own. Hop- 
ing, then, that the aforesaid Confessions are not at hand, I continue 
my narrative. 

All those young ladies were not equally poor. Notwithstanding the 
strictness of the administration, it is certain that some gained ad- 
mission, to whom it was a matter of speculation rather than of need 
to receive an artistic education at the expense of the republic. For 
tills reason it was that some permitted themselves to forget the sacred 
laws of equality, thanks to which, they had been enabled to take 
their seats clandestinely along with their poorer sisters. All, there- 
fore, did not fulfil the intentions of the austere republic respecting 
their future lot. Prom time to time there were numbers who, having 
received their gratuitous ediScation, renounced their dowry to seek a 
more brilliant fortune elsewhere. The administration, seeing that 
this was inevitable, had sometimes admitted to the course of instruc- 
tion the children of poor artists, whose wandering existence did not 
permit them a long stay in Venice. Among this number was the 
little Consuelo, who was born in Spain and had come thence to Italy 
by the route of St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Mexico, Archangel, 
or any other still more direct, after the eccentric fashion of the 
gipsies. 

Nevei'theless, she hardly merited this appellation: for she was 
neither Hindoo nor gipsy, any more than ofjlny of the tribes of 
Israel. She was of good Spanish blood — donDtless with a tinge of 
the Moresco ; and though somewhat swarthy,, she had a tranquillity 
of manner which was quite foreign to any of the wandering races. I 
do not wish to say anything ill of the latter. If 1 had invented the 
character of Consuelo, I do not say but that I would have traced her 
parentage from Israel, or even farther; but she was altogether, as 
everything about her organization betrayed, of the family of Ishmael. 
To be sure I never saw her, not being a century old, but I was told 
so and I needs must repeat it. She had none of the feverish petu- 
lance, alternated by fits of apathetic languor, which distinguishes the 
zingarella; neither had she the insinuating curiosity nor the front- 
less audacity of Hebrew mendicancy. She was calm as the water of 
the lagunes, and at the same time active as the light gondolas that 
skimmed along their surface. 

As she was growing rapidly and as her mother was very poor, her 
clotlies were always a year too short, which gave to her long legs of 
fourteen years' growth, accustomed to show'themselves in public, a 
sort of savage grace which one was pleased and at the same time 
sorry to see. Whether her foot was large or not, it was impossible to 
say, her shoes were so bad. On the other hand, her figure, confined 
in narrow stays ripped at every seam, was elastic and flexible as a 
palm-tree, but without form, fulness, or attraction. She, poor girl ! 
thought nothing about it, accustomed as she was to hear herself 



CONSUELO. 



25 



called a gipsy and a wanderer by the fair daughters of the Adriatic. 
Her face was round, sallow, and insigiiiflcant, and would have struck 
nobody, if her short thick hair fastened behind her ears, and at the 
same time her serious and indifferent demeanor, had not given her a 
singularity of aspect which was but little attractive. Faces which do 
not please at first, by degrees lose still more the power of pleasing. 
The beings to whom they belong, indifferent to others, become so to 
themselves, and assume a negligence of aspect which repels more and 
more. On the contrary, beauty observes, admires, and decks itself as 
it were in an imaginary mirror which is always before its eyes. Ugli- 
ness forgets itself and is passed by. Nevertheless, there are two sorts 
of ugliness; one which suffers, and protests against the general disap- 
probation by habitual rage and envy — that is the true, the onl^ ugli- 
ness. The other, ingenuous, heedless, which goes quietly on its way, 
neither inviting nor shunning comparisons, and which wins the heart 
while it shocks the sense — such was the ugliness of Consuelo. Those 
who were sufficiently generous to interest themselves about her, at 
first regretted that she was not pretty ; and then correcting them- 
selves, and patting her head with a familiarity which beauty does not 
permit, added: " After ^ all, you are a good creature;" and Consuelo 
was. perfectly satisfied, "although she knew very well that that meant, 
" You are nothing more." 

In the mean time, the young and handsome signqy who had offered 
her the holy water at the font, stayed behind till he had seen all the 
scholars disappear. He looked at them with attention, and when 
Clorinda, the handsomest, passed near him, he held out his moistened 
fingers that he might have the pleasure of touching hers. The young 
*girl blushed with pride, and passed on, casting as she did so, one of 
those glances of shame mixed with boldness, which are expressive 
neither of self-respect nor modesty. » 

As soon as they had disappeared in the interior of the convent, the 
gallant patrician retuHied to the nave, and addressed the preceptor 
who was descending more slowly the steps of the tribune. 

" Corpo di'Bacco I dear maestro," said he, " will you tell me which 
of your pupils sang the ' Salve Regina f ' " 

"And why so anxious to know. Count Zustiniaui ? " asked the pro- 
fessor, accompanying him out of the church. v 

" To compliment you on your pupil," replied the patrician. " Ton 
know how long I have attended vespers, and even the exercises; for 
you are aware how very fond I am of sacred music. Well, this is the 
first time that I have heard Pergolese sung in so perfect a manner, 
and as to the voice, it is the most beautiful that I have ever listened 
to." 

" I believe it well," replied the professor, inhaling a large pinch of 
snuff' with dignity and satisfaction. 

" Tell me then the name of this heavenly creature who has thrown 
me Into such an ecstacy. In spite of your severity and your continual 
fault-finding, you have created the best school in all Italy. Your 
choruses are excellent, and your solos very good ; but your music is so 
severe, so grand, that young girls can hardly be expected to express 
its beauties." 

" They do not express them," said the professor mournfully, " be- 
cause they do not feel them. Good voices, God be thanked, we do 
not want; but as for a good musical organization, alas, it is hardly to 
be met with ! " 



26 CONSTJELO. 

" Tou possess at least one admirably endowed. Her organ is mag- 
nificent, Her sentiment perfect, her skUl remarkable— name her. 
then " 

"Is it not so?" said the professor, evading the question; "did it 
not delight you?" .i ,i,ot 

" It took my heart by stOi-m— it even drew tears from me— ana tnai 
by means so simple, combinations so little sought after, that at hrst l 
could hardly understand it. Then I remembered what you had so 
often told me touching your divine art, my dear master, and tor the 
first time I understood how much you were in the right." 
• " And what did I say to you ? " said the maestro, with an air oi 
triumph. .... 

"Ybu told me," replied the count, " that simphcity is the essence 
of the great, the true, the beautiful in art." 

" I also told you that there was often much to observe and applaua 
in the clever, and brilliant, and well combined." 

"Doubtless; but between these secondary qualities and the true 
manifestation of genius, there was an abyss, you said. Very well, dear 
maestro : your cantatrice is alone on one side while all the rest are on 

" It is not less true than well expressed," observed the professor, 
rubbing his hands. 

" Her name? " replied the count. 

"Whose name?" rejoined the malicious professor. 

" Oh, per Dio Santo 1 that of the siren whom I have just been 
hearing." 

" What do you want with her name, Signor Count ? " replied Pop- 
pora, in a tone of severity. 

"Why should you wish to make a secret of it, maestro? " 

" I will tell you why, if you will let me know what object you have 
in finding out." 

" Is it not a natural and irresistible feeling^to wish to see and to 
know the objects of our admiration? " 

" Ah ! that is not your only motive. My dear Count, pardon that I 
thus contradict you. You are a skilful amateur and a profound con- 
noisseur iu music, as everybody knows; but you are, over and above 
all, proprietor of the theatre of San Samuel. It is your glory and your 
interest alike, to encourage the loftiest talent and the finest voices of 
Italy. You know that our instruction is good, and that with us alone 
those studies are pursued which form great musicians. You have 
already carried off Gorilla from me, as she will one day. be carried off 
from you by an engagement in some other theatre; so you are come 
to spy about, to see if you can't get a hold of some other Corilla — if 
indeed, we have formed one. That is the truth, Signor Count, you 
must admit." 

" And were it even so, dear maestro," replied the count, smilin", 

" what would it signify to you ? — where is the harm ? " ° 

" It is a great deal of harm, Signor Count. Is it nothing to corrupt 

to destroy these poor creatures ? " ' 

" Ha I my most austere professor, how long have you been the guai^ 

diaii angel of their frail virtues ? " 

" I know very well, Signor Count, I have nothing to do with them, 
except as regards their talent, which you disfigure, and disgrace iu 
your theatres by giving them inferior m usic to sing. Is it not asorro w 
—is it not a sin — to see Corilla, who was j ust beginning to uudersUtud 



COKSUELO. 27 

our serious art, descend from the sacred to the profane — from prayer 
to badinage — from the altar to the boards — from the sublime to the 
absurd — from Allegri and Palestrina to Albinoul and the barber Apol- 
liui?" ^ 

" So you refuse, in your severity, to name a girl respecting whojfi I 
can have no intention, seeing that I do not know whether she has 
other necessary qualifications for the theatre ? " 

" I absolutely refuse." 

" And do you suppose I shall not find it out? " 

"Alas! you will do so if you are bent upon it, but I shall do my 
utmost to prevent you from taking her from us." 

" Very well; maestio, you are half conquered, for I have seen her — 
I have divined your mysterious divinity." 

"So, so," replied the master, with a reserved and distrustful air; 
" are you sure of that ? " 

" My eyes and my heart have alike revealed her to me ; and, that 
you may be convinced, 1 shall describe her to you. She is tall — taller, 
I think, than any of your pupils — fair as the snow on Friuii, and rosy 
as the dawn of a summer morn ; she has golden hair, azure eyes, au 
exquisitely rounded form, with a ruby on her'finger which burned my 
hand as I touched it, like sparks from a magic fire." 

" Bravo ! " exclaimed Porpora, with a cunning air; " in that case I 
have nothing to conceal. The name of your beauty is Clorinda. Go 
and pay your court to her; gain her over with gold, with diamonds, 
and gay attire. You will easily conclude an engagement with her. 
She will help you to replace Gorilla ; for the public of your theatre al- 
ways prefer fine shoulders to sweet sounds, flashing eyes to a lofty 
intellect." 

" Am I then mistaken, my dear maestro ? " said the count, a little 
confused ; " and is Clorinda but a common-place beauty ? " 

"But suppose my siren, my divinity, my angel, as you are pleased 
to call her," resumed the maestro, maliciously, " was anything but a 
beauty?" 

" If she be deformed, I beseech you not to name her, for my illusion 
would be too cruelly dissipated. If she were only ugly, I could still 
adore her: but I should not engage her for the theatre, because talent 
without beauty is a misfortune, a struggle, a perpetual torment for a 
woman. What are you looking at, maestro, and why do you pause ? " 

"Why? because we are at the water-steps, and I see no gondola. 
But you, Count, what do you look at ? " 

" I was looking to see if that young fellow on the steps there, beside 
that plain little girl, was not my protege, Anzoleto, the handsomest 
and most intelligent of all our little plebeians. Look at him, dear 
maestro. Do you not, like me, feel interested in him ? That boy has 
the sweetest tenor in Venice^ and he is passionately fond of music, for 
which be has an incredible aptitude. I have long wished to talk to 
you about it, and to ask you to give him lessons. Hook upon him as 
the future support of my theatre, and hope in a few years to be repaid 
for all my trouble. Hola, Zoto ! come hither, my lad, that I may pre- 
sent you to the illustrious master Porpora." 

Anzoleto drew his naked legs out of the water, where they hung 
carelessly, while he amused himself stringing those pretty shells which 
In Veiiice are poetically termed Hori di mare. His only garments were 
a pair of well-worn pantaloons and a.fine shirt, through the rents of 
which one could see his white shoulders, modelled like those of a 



28 CONSUELO. 

youthful Bacchus. He had all the grace and heauty of a young Faun, 
chiselled in the palmiest ^ays of Grecian art; and his features dis- 
played that singular union, not unfrequent in the creation of Grecian 
statuary, of careless irony with meditative sadness. His fine fair hair, . 
somewhat bronzed by the sun, clustered in Antinous-like curls about 
his alabaster neck; his features were regular and beautifully formed; 
but there was something bold and' forward in the expression of his 
jet-black eyes which displeased the maestro. The boy promptly rose 
■when he heard the voice of Zustiniani, pitched his shells into the lap 
of the little girl beside him, who %ithout raising her eyes went on with 
her occupation of stringing them along with golden beads, and com- 
ing forward, kissed the count's liaffd, after the fashion Of the country. 

" Upon my word, a handsome fellow ! " said the professor, tapping 
him gently on the cheek ; " but he seems occupied with amusements 
rather chUdish for his time of life ; he is fully eighteen years old, is he 
not?" 

" Nineteen shortly, Sior Profesor," replied Anzoleto, in the Vene- 
tian dialect ; " but if I amuse myself with shells, it is to help little 
Consuelo here to make her necklaces." 

" Consuelo," said the master, advancing towards his pupil with the 
count and Anzoleto, " I did not imagine that yon cared for ornaments." 

" Oh, it is not for myself, Signor," replied Consuelo, rising cau- 
tiously to prevent the shells falling from her lap; " I make them for 
sale, in order to procure rice and Indian corn." 

" She is poor, and supports her mother," said Porpora, " Listen, 
Consuelo : should you find yourselves in any diflSculty, be sure to come 
and see me; but I absolutely forbid you to beg, remember." 

" Oh, you need not forbid her, Sior Profesor," replied Anzoleto, 
with animation; " she will never do so ; and, besides, I would prevent 
her." 

" But you have nothing," said the count. 

" Nothing but your liberality, Eccellenza ; but we share together, 
tie little one and myself." 

" She is a relative then ! " 

" No ; she is a stranger — it is Consuelo." 

"Consuelo! what a singular name ! " said the count. 

"A beautiful name, Eccellenza," resumed Anzoleto; "it means 
Consolation." 

" Oh, indeed ? She is your friend then, it seems ? " 

" She is my betrothed, Signor." 

"So soon? Such children ! to think of marriage already ! " 

" We shall marry on the day that you may sign my engagement at 
San Samuel, Bccellenia." 

" In that case you will have to wait a long time, my little ones." 

" Oh, we shall wait," replied Consuelo, with the cheerful ffaietv of 
innocence. ^ 

The count and the maestro amused themselves for some time longer 
with the frank remarks and repartees of the young couple; then hav- 
ing arranged that Anzoleto should give the professor an opportuiiitv 
of hearing his voice in the morning, they separated, leaving him to 
his sei-ious occupations. 

" What do you think of that little girl ? " said the professor to Zus- 
tmiani. 

" I saw her but an Instant, and I think her sufficiently ugly to ius- 
tify the maxim, that in the eyes of a youth of eighteen everv woman 
IS handsome." - '' 



CONSUELO. 29 

" Very good," rejoined the professor ; " now permit me to inform 
you that your divine songstress, your siren, your mysterious beauty, 
was no other than Consuelo." ' 

" What! that dirty creature^ — that dark and meagre grasshopper? 
Impossihle, maestro." 

" No other, Signor Count. " Would she not malre a fascinating 
prima donna?" 

The count stopped, loolced back, and clasping his hands while he 
surveyed Coasuelo at a distance, exclaimed in mock despair, " Just 
Heaven ! how canst thou so err a^- to pour the fire of genius into 
heads so poorly formed ! " " 

" Ho you give up your culpable intentions? " said the professor- 

" Most certainly." 

" You promise me?" added Porpora. 

" Oh, I swear it," replied the count. 



CHAPTER III. 

BoEN in sunny Italy, brought up by chance, like a seabird sporting 
on its shores, poor, an orphan, a castaway, and nevertheless happy in 
the present and confiding in the future, foundling as he doubtless v^as 
— Anzoleto, the handsome youth of nineteen, who spent his days 
with little Consuelo, in perfect freedom on the footways of Venice, 
was not, as might be supposed, in liis first love. Too early initiated, 
he would perhaps have been completely corrupted and worn out, had 
he dwelt in our gloomy climate, or had Nature endowed him with a 
feebler organization. But early developed and destined to a long and 
powerful Career, his heart was pure, and his senses were restrained by 
his will. He had met the little Spaniard by chance, singing hymns 
before the Madonette ; and for the pleasure of exercising his voice he 
had joined her for hours together beneath the stars. Then they met 
upon the sands of the Lido to gather shell-fish, whicli he ate, and 
whicli she converted into chaplets and otlier ornaments. And then 
again they had met in the churches, where she prayed with all her 
heart, and where he gazed with all his eyes at the fine ladies. In 
all these interviews Consuelo had appeared to him so good, so sweet, 
so obliging, and so gay, that she had become his inseparable friend 
and companion — he knew not very well how or why. Anzoleto had 
known love's rapture only. He was attached for Consuelo ; and as he 
belonged to a country and a people where passion reigns over every" 
other feeling, he knew no other name for thiS attachment than that 
of love. Consuelo admitted this mode of speaking after she had ad- 
dressed Anzoleto as follows : — " If you are my lover, it is then with 
the intention of marrying me? " To which lie replied — "Certainly, 
if you wish it, we shall marry each other." From that moment it 
was a settled affair. Possibly Anzoleto was amusing himself, but to 
Consuelo it was a matter of firm conviction. Even already his 
young heart experienced those contradictory and complicated emo- 
tions which agitate and discompose the existence of those who love 
too early. 

Given up to violent impulses, greedy of pleasure, loving only what 



80 C0N8UEL0. 

promoted his happiness, hating and avoiding everything which o]^ 
posed his gratifications, at heart an artist— that is to say, feeling and 
revelling in life with frightful intensity— he soon found that his tran- 
sient attachments imposed on him the sufferings and dangers of a pa^ 
sion which he did not really feel ; and he experienced the want of 
sweet companionship, and of a chaste and tranquil outlet to his feel- 
ings. Then, without understanding the charm which drew him to 
Consuelo— having little experience of the beautiful— hardly knowing 
whether she was handsome or ugly— joining for her sake in amuse- 
ments beneath his age— he led with her in public, on the marble 
floors, and on the waters of Venice, a life as happy, as pure, as retired, 
and almost as poetic, as that of Paul and Virginia in the recesses of 
the forest. Although they enjoyed unrestrained liberty— no watch- 
ful, tender parents to form them to virtue— no devoted attendant to 
seek them and bring them back to the bosom of their homes — not 
even a dog to warn them of danger— they never experienced hann. 
They skimmed over the waters of the lagunes in all times and sea- 
sons in their open boat, without oars or pilot; they wandered oyer 
the marshes without guide, without watch, and heedless of the rising 
waters; they sang before the vine-covered chapels at the corners of 
the streets, without thinking of the hour, and sometimes with no 
other couch than the white tiles, still warm with the summer rays. 
They paused before the theatre of Punchinello, and followed with 
riveted attention the fantastic drama of the beautiful Corisanda, queen 
of the puppet show, without thinking of their breakfast, or the little 
probability there was of supper. They enjoyed the excesses of the 
carnival, he with his coat turned^inside Out, she with a bunch of old 
ribbons placed coquettishly over 'her ear. They dined sumptuously 
— sometimes on the balustrades of a bridge or on the steps of a palace 
— on shell-fish, fennel stalks, and pieces of citron. In short, they led 
a free and joyous life, without incurring more risk, or feeling more 
emotion, than might have been experienced by two young "people of 
tlie same age and sex. Days, years passed away. Anzoleto formed 
other connections, while Consuelo never imagined that he could love 
any one but her. She became a young woman without feeling it nec- 
essary to exercise any further reserve with her betrothed ; while he 
saw her undergo this transformation without feeling any impatience, 
or desiring to change this intimacy, free as it was at once from scru- 
ple, mystery, or remorse. 

It was already four years since Professor Porpora and Zustiniani 
had mutually introduced their little musicians, and during this period 
the count had never once thought of the young chorister. The pro- 
fessor had likewise forgotten the handsome Anzoleto, inasmuch as he 
had found him endowed with none of the qualities desirable in a 
pupil— to wit, a serious, patient disposition, submission to his teacher, 
and complete absence of all musical studies before the period of his 
instruction. "Do not talk to me," said he, "about a pupil whose 
mind is anything else than a tabula rasa, or virgin wax, on which I 
am to make the first impression. 1 cannot afford to give up a year to 
uiiteach what has been learned before. If you want me to write, 
give me a clear surface, and that too of a good quality. If it be too 
hard I can make no impression on it; if too soft, I shall destroy it at 
the first stroke." In short, although he acknowledged the extraordi- 
nary talents of the young Anzoleto,- he told the count with some tem- 
per and ironical humility, at the end of his first lesson, that his 



CONSUELO. 31 

metfiW was not adapted to a pupil so far advanced, and thalt amaster 
could only embarrass and retard the natural progress and invincible 
development of so superior an oi'ganization. 

The count sent his protege to Professor Mellifiore, who, with rou- 
lades and cadences, modulations and trills, so developed his brilliant 
qualities, that at twentv-three he was considered capable, in the 
opinion of all those who heard him in the saloons of the court, of 
coming out at San Samuel in the first parts. One evening the dilet- 
tanti, nobility, and artists of repute then in Venice, were requested to 
be present at a final and decisive trial, -For the first time in his life 
Anzoleto doffed his plebeian attire, put on a black coat, a satin vest, 
and with curled and powdered hair, and buckles in his shoes, glided 
over with a composed air to the harpsichord, where amid the glare of 
a hundred wax-lights, and under tlie gaze of two or three hundred 
persons, he boldly distended his chest, and made the utmost display 
of powers that were to introduce him into a career where not one 
judge alone, but a whole public, held the palm in one hand and 
downfall in the other. 

We need not ask whether Anzoleto was secretly agitated. Never- 
theless, he scarcely allowed his emotion to be apparent; and hardly 
had his piercing eyes divined by a stealthy glance the secret approba- 
tion which women rarely refuse to grant to so handsome a youth — 
hardly had the amateurs, surprised at the compass of his voice, and 
his facility of expression, uttered a few faint murmurs of applause — 
when joy and hope flooded his whole being. For the first time An- 
zoleto, hitherto ill-instructed and undervalued, felt that he was no 
common man ; and transported by the necessity and the conscious- 
ness of success, he sang with an originality; an energy, and skill, that 
were altogether remarkable. His taste, to be sure, was not^ always 
pure, nor his execution faultless; but he was always able to extricate 
himself by his boldness, his intelligence, and enthusiasm. He failed 
in effects which the composer had intended, but he realized others 
which no one ever thought of^neither the author who composed, the 
professor who interpreted, nor the virtuoso who rehearsed them. His 
originality took the world by storm. For one innovation his awk- 
wardness was pardoned, and for an original sentiment they excused 
ten rebellions against method. So true it is that in point of art the 
least spark of genius — the smallest flight in the direction of new con- 
quests — exercises a greater fascination than aU the resources and 
lights of science within known limits. 

Nobody, perhaps, was able to explain these matters, and nobody 
escaped the common enthusiasm. Gorilla began by a grand aria, well 
sung and loudly applauded ; yet the success of the young de'butant 
was so much greater than her own, that she could not help feeling an 
emotion of anger. But when Anzoleto, loaded with caresses and 
praises, returned to the. harpsichord where she was seated, he said, 
with a mixture of humility and boldness, " And you, queen of song 
and queen of beauty! have you not one encouraging glance for the 
poor wretch who fears even while he adores you?" The prima 
donna surprised at so much assurance, looked more closely at the^ 
handsome countenance which till then she had hardly deigned to ' 
notice — for what vain and triumphant woman cares to cast a glance 
on the child of obscurity and poverty? She looked, and was struck 
with his beauty. The fire of his glances penetrated her soul; and, 
vanquished, fascinated in her turn, she directed towards him a long 



32 CONSUELO. 

and earnest gaze, which served to seal his celehrity. In this memor- 
able meeting, Anzoleto had led the public, and disarmed his most re- 
doubtable adversary; for the beautiful songstress was not only queen 
of the stage, but at the head of the management, and of the cabinet 
• of Count Zustiniani. 



CHAPTER IV. 

In the midst of the general and somewhat exaggerated applause 
which the voice and manner of the de'butant had drawn forth, a single 
auditor, seated on the extreme edge of his chair, his legs close to- 
gether and his hands motionless on his knees, after the fashion of the 
Egyptian gods, remained dumb as a sphinx, and mysterious as a 
hieroglyphic. It was the able professor and celebrated composer 
Porpora. Whilst his gallant colleague, Professor Mellifiore, ascribing 
to himself all the glory of Anzoleto's success, plumed himself before 
the women and bowed to the men, as if to thank them even for their 
looks, the master of sacred song, with eyes bent on the ground, silent 
and severe, seemed lost in thought. When the company, who were 
engaged to a ball at the palace of the Doge, had slowly departed, and 
the most enthusiastic dilettanti, with some ladies, alone remained, 
Zustiniani drew nigh to the austere master. 

" You are too hard upon us, poor moderns, my dear professor," said 
he; " but your silence has no influence on me. Ton would exclude 
this new and charming style which delights us all. But your heart 
is open in spite of you, and your ears have drunk in the seductive 
poison." 

" Come Sior Profesor," said the charming Gorilla, resuming with 
her old master the childish manners of the sciiola, " you must grant 
me a favor." 

" Away, unhappy girl!" said the master, partly smiling and partly 
displeased at the caresses of his inconstant pupil: "there is no fur- 
ther communication between us. I know you no more. Take your 
sweet smiles and perfidious warblings elsewhere." 

" There now, he is coming round," said Gorilla, taking with one 
hand the arm of the debutant, without letting go her hold of the 
white and ample cravat of the professor. " Gome hitherto, Zoto, and 
how the knee before the most learned maestro in all Italy. Submit 
thyself, my child, and disarm his rigor. One word from him, if thou 
couldst obtain it, would be more to thee than all the trumpets of re- 
nown." 

" You have heen severe towards me, Signer Professor," said Anzo- 
leto, bendmg before him with mock humility; " nevertheless, my only 
wish for four years has been to induce you to reconsider a cruel 
judgment; and if I fail in doing so to-night, I fear I shall never have 

fi n'J^r?'??, '" ''PP'^^'' before the public, loaded with your anathema." 
Child! said the professor, rising hastily, and speaking with an 
earnestness which imparted something noble to his unimpressive fig- 
ure, ' leave false and honied words to women. Never descend to the 
language of flattery, even to your superiors— much less to those whose 
suttrage you disdain. It is but an hour ago since, poor, unbuowu, 



CONSUELO. 

timid, in this little corner, all your prospects hung upon a hair — o 
note from your throat — a moment's failure of your resouices, o 
mere whim of your audience. Chance, and the efforts of an insts 
have made you rich, celebrated, insolent. Your career is open bef 
you, and you have only to go on, so long as your strength sustd 
you. Listen then : for the first, and perhaps for the last time, ; 
are about to hear the truth. You are in a false direction ; you s 
badly, and love bad music. You know nothing, and have stud 
nothing thoroughly. All you have is the facility which practice 
parts. You assume a passion wliich you do not feel : you warble i 
shake like those pretty coquettish yoimg damsels whom one pardi 
for simpering where they know not how to sing. You know not h 
to phrase your music; you pronounce badly; 'you have a vulgar 
cent, a false and common style. Do not be discouraged, howei 
with all these defects. You have wherewithal to combat them. 1 
have qualities which neither labor nor instruction can impart, "i 
have that which neither bad advice nor bad example can take aw 
You have the sacred fire— you have genius! Alas! it is a fii'e wh 
will shine upon nothing grand, a genius that will remain for ever t 
ren ; for I have seen it in your eyes, aye 1 have felt it in your brei 
You have not the worship of art; you have not faith in the gr 
masters, nor respect for their grand conceptions; you love glory, ; 
glory for yourself alone. You might — you could — but, no! it is 
late ! Your destiny will be as the flash of a meteor — like that of — 

And the professor, thrusting his hat over his brows, turned 
back, and without bowing to any one, left the apartment, absorbed 
mentally completing his energetic sentence. 

Every one tried to laugh at the sententious professor; but his wo 
left a painful impression, and a melancholy feeling of doubt, wli 
lasted for some moments. Anzoleto was the first who apparer 
ceased to think of them, though they had occasioned him an inte: 
feeling of joy, pride, anger, and emulation, which was destined to 
fluence all his latter life. He appeared exclusively engaged in pie 
ing Gorilla, and he knew so well how to flatter her, that she was v 
much taken with him at this first meeting. Count Zustiniani was i 
jealous, and perhaps had his reasons for taking no notice of thi 
He was interested in the fame and success of his theatre more tV 
anything else in the world; not that he cared about money, biit 
cause he was a real fanatic in all that related to what are termed 
fine arts. This, in my opinion, is a phrase which is generally empl 
ed in a vulgar sense, and being altogether Italian, is consequently 
thusiastic and without much discernment. Tlie culture of an 
modern expression, which the world did not make use of a Iinnd 
years ago, has a meaning altogether different from a taste for thej 
arts. The count was a man of taste in the common acceptation 
the word — amateur, and nothing more; but the gratification of 
taste was the great I)usiness of his life. He loved to be busy about 
public, and to have the public busy about him — to frequent tlie so^ 
ty of artists — to lead the fashion — to have his theatre, his luxury, 
amiability, and his magnificence, made the subject of conversati 
He had, in short, the ruling passion of the great noblemen of 
country— rnamely, ostentation. To possess and direct a theatre ' 
the best means of occupying and amusing the whole city. He wo 
have been happy if he could have asked the whole republic to dim 
When strangers asked Professor Porpora who was the Count Zus 



34 CONSUELO. 

iani, he was accustomed to replv— " He is one who loves to give en- 
tertainments, and who serves up music at his theatre as he wouia 
pheasants on his table." j « * 

It was one in the morning before the company separated. -^™" 
leto," said Corilla, when alone with him in the embrasure of the bal- 
cony, " where do you live ? " At this imexpected inquiry, Anzoleto 
grew pale and red almost at the same moment; for how conld he con- 
fess to the rich and fascinating beauty before him, that he had m a 
manner neither house nor home? Even this response would have 
been easier than to mention the miserable den where he was in. the 
habit of taking refuge, when neither iucUnation nor necessity obliged 
him to pass the night in the open air. * 

" Well, what is there so extraordinary in my question ? said Coril- 
la, laughing. „ 
" I am asking myself," replied Anzoleto, with much presence ot 
mind, " what royal or fairy palace were fitting home for the happy 
mortal who is honored by a glance from Corilla." 

'■ What does all this flattery mean ? " said she, darting on him one 
of the most bewitching glances contained in the storehouse of her 
charms. 

" That I have not that honor," replied the young man ; but that, 
if I had, I should be content only to float between earth and sky, like 
the stars." 

"Or like the cuccali," said the songstress, bursting into a fit of 
laughter. It is well known that gulls {cuccali) are proverbially sim- 
ple, and to speak of their awkwardness, in the language of Venice, is 
equivalent to saying,in ours, " As stupid as a goose." 

" Eidicule me — despise me," replied Anzoleto ; " I would rather that 
you should do so than not think of me at all." 

" Well, then," said she, " since you must reply in metapliors, I shall 
take you with me in my gondola; and if I take you away from your 
abode, instead of taking you to it, it will be your own fault." 

" If that be your motive for inquiry, my answer is brief and expli- 
cit: my home is on the steps of your palace." 

" Go then, and await me on the stairs below,'' said Corilla, lower- 
ing her voice; " for Zustiniani may blame the indulgence with which 
I have listened to your nonsense." 

In the first impulse of his vanity Anzoleto disappeared, and darting 
towards the landing-place of the palace, to the prow of Gorilla's gondo- 
la, counted the moments by the beating of his fevered pulse. But be- 
fore she appeared on the steps of the palace, many thoughts had 
passed through the anxious and ambitious brain of the debutant 
" Corilla," said he to himself, " is all powerful ; but if by pleasing hei 
I were to displease the count, or if, in virtue of my too easy triumph, 
I were to destroy her power, and disgust him altogether with so in- 
constant a beauty " 

In the midst of these perplexing thoughts, Anzoleto measured with 
a glance the stair which he might yet remount, and was planning how 
to effect his escape, when torches gleamed under the portico, and the 
■ beautiful Corilla, wrapped in an ermine cloak, appeared upon the up- 
per steps, amid a group of cavaliers, anxious to support her rounded 
elbow ill the hollow of their hand, and in this manner to assist her to 
descend, as is the custom in Venice. 

" Well," said the gondolier of the prima donna to the confounded 
^.uzqletQ, " what are you dohig there ? Make haste into tli« gondola 



CONSUELO. 

if you have pemiission; if not, proceed on your way, for my 
count is with the signora." 

Anzoleto threw himself into the bottom of the gondola, wit 
knowing what he did. He was stupefied. But, scarcely did he 
himself there, when he fancied the amazement and indignation w 
the count would feel, should he enter into the gondola with Co 
and find there his insolent protegiS. His cruel anxiety was protrs 
for several minutes. The signora had stopped about half-way d 
the staircase; slie was laughing and talking with those about her, 
in discussing a musical phrase, she repeated it in several diffe 
ways. Her clear and thrilling voice died away amid the palaces 
cupolas of the canal, as the crow of the cock before the dawn, is 
in the silence of the open country. 

Anzoleto, unable to contain himself, resolved to escape by the o 
Ing of the gondola which was farthest from the stair. He had air 
thrust aside the glass in its panel of black velvet, and had passed 
leg through the opening, when the second rower of the prima do 
who was 'stationed at the stern, leaning over the edge of the little 
in, said in a low voice, " They are singing — that is as much as to 
' You may wait without being afraid.' " 

" I did not know the usual custom," thought Anzoleto, who 
tarried, not without some mixture of consternation. Gorilla am 
herself by bringing the count as far as the side of the gondola, 
kept him standing there, while she repeated the "felicissima no 
until she had left the shore. She then came and placed herself bf 
her new admirer, with as much ease and self-possession as if hii 
and her own fortune had not been at stake. 

" Look at Gorilla," said Zustiniaiii to the Count Barherigo. " 1 
I would wager my head that she is not alone in yonder gondola." 

" And why do you think so ? " replied Barberigo. 

" Because she asked me a thousand times to accompany her to 
palace." 

" Is that your jealousy ? " 

" 015, 1 have been long free from that weakness. I should be i 
glad if our prima donna would take a fancy to some one who w 
prevent her from leaving Venice as she sometimes threatens. I c 
console myself for her desertion of me, but I could neither replace 
voice nor her talents, nor the ardor with which she inspires the 
lie at San Samuel." 

" I understand; but who, then, is the happy favorite of this 
princess?" 

Tlie count aiid his friend enumerated all whom Gorilla appeare 
encourage during the evening. Anzoleto was absolutely the only 
whom they failed to think of. 



CHAPTEE V. 

A VIOLENT struggle arose In the breast of the happy lover, i 
agitated and palpitating, was borne on the waters through the t 
quil night, with the most celebrated beauty of Venice. Anzoleto 
transported by his ardor, which gratified vanity rendered still n 



36 CONSTJELO. 

powerful. On the other hand, the fear of displeasing, of being scorn- 
fully dismissed and impeached, restrained his impetuosity. Prudelit 
and cunning, like a true Venetian as he was, he had not aspired to the 
theatre for more than six years, without being well informed as to the 
fantastic and imperious woman who governed all its inti-igues. He 
was well assured that his reign would be of short duration, and if he 
did not withdraw from this dangerous honor, it was because he was 
taken in a measure by surprise. - He had merely wished to gain toler- 
rance by his courtesy; and, behold! his youth, his beauty, and bud- 
ding glory, had inspired love ! " Now," said Anzoleto, with the rapid 
perception which heads of his wonderful organization enjoy, " there 
is nothing but to make myself feared, if to-morrow 1 would not be 
ridiculous. But how shall a poor devil like myself accomplish this 
with a haughty beauty like Gorilla? " He was soon decided. He be- 
gan a system of distrust, jealousy, and bitterness, of which the pas- 
sionate coquetry astonished the prima donna. Their conversatiou 
may be resumed as follows : — 

Anzoleto — " I know that you do not love me — that you will never 
love me ; therefore am I sad and constrained beside you." 
Coriita— " And suppose I were to love you ? " 

Anzoleto — " I should be wretched, because that were to fall from 
heaven into the abyss, and lose you perchance an hour after I had 
gained you, at the price of all my future happiness." 

Gorilla — " And what makes you think me so inconstant? " 
Anzoleto — "First, the want of desert on my part; second, the ill 
that is said of you." 

Gorilla — " And who dares to asperse me ? " 
Anzoleto — " Everybody, because everybody adores you." 
Gorilla—" Then, if I were mad enough to like you, and to tell you 
so, would you repel me ? " 

Anzoleto—" I know not if I should have the power to fly: but if I 
had, I know that I should never behold you again." 

" Very well," said Gorilla, " 1 have a fancy to try the experiment— 
Anzoleto, I love you." 

" I do not believe it," replied he. " If I stay, it is because I think 

you are only mocking me. That is a game at which you shall not 

frighten me, and still less shall you pique me." 

" You wish to try an encounter of wit, I think." 

" No, indeed; I am not in the least to be dreaded, since I give vou 

the means of overcoming me ; it is to freeze me with terror and drive 

me from your presence, in telling me seriously what vou' have inst 

now uttered in jest." <>><= juoi, 

"You are a knowing fellow, and I see that one must be careftil 

what one says to you. You are one of those who not only wish to 

breathe the fragrance of the rose, but would pluck and preserve it T 

could not have supposed you so bold and so decided at vour asre " 

"And do you despise me therefore?" ^ 

" On the contrary, I am the more pleased with you. Good ni"ht 

Anzoleto; we shall see each other again." v^ooa nignt, 

She held out her white hand, which he kissed passionatelv «T 

&rthf *raS •" '''' ''' ^ ^^ ''-''' "^ "^ Pas"s:^:^lead^ 

Despairmg of ga,ining access to his nest at so late an hour he 

thought he would he down at the first porch, to gain the heave Iv r^ 

pose which mfaucy and poverty alone know ; but, for the first time in 



CONSUELO. 

his life, he could not find a slab snflBciently smooth for his pur] 
The pavement of Venice is the cleanest and whitest in the W( 
still, the light dust scattered over it hardly suited a dark dress of 
gant material and latest fashion. And then the propriety o< 
thing! The boatmen who would have carefully stepped over 
young plebeian in the morning, would have insulted him, and per 
soiled his parasitic livery during his repose. What would they 
thought of one reposing in the open air in silU stockings, fine 1: 
and lace ruffles? Anzoleto regretted his good woollen capa, ^ 
and old no doubt, but thick and well calculated to resist the unhe; 
morning fogs of Venice. • It was now towards the latter end of 
uary ; and, although the days at this period were warm and brill 
the nights at Venice were still very cold. Then he thought he vs 
gain admission into one of the gondolas fastened to the bank 
they were all secured under lock and key. At last he found or 
which the door yielded ; but in getting in, he stumbled over the 
of the barcarole, who had retired for the night. " Per diavoi 
said a rough voice from the bottom of the cabin, " who are you 
what do you want? " 

" Is it you, Zanetto? '' replied Anzoleto, recognizing the man, 
was generally very civil to him; "let' me stretch myself beside 
and dream a while within your cabin." 

" And who are you? " said Zanetto. 

" Anzaleto : do you not know me ? " 

" Per diavolo, no ! Tou have gaiments which Anzoleto never i 
unless he stole them. Be off! Were you the Doge in person, I vi 
not open my bark to a man who strutted about in fine clothes ' 
he had not a corner to rest in." 

" So, so," thought Anzoleto; " the protection and favor of C 
Zustiniani have exposed me to greater dangers and annoyances 
they liave procured me advantages. It is time that my fortune si 
correspond with my success, and I long to have a few sequii 
enable me to support the station which I have assumed." 

Sufiiciently out of sorts, he sauntered through the deserted sti 
not daring to pause a moment, lest the perspiration should be ch€ 
which anger and fatigue had caused to flow freely forth. " It is 
I do not grow hoarse," said he to himself; " to-morrow the c 
will show me ofi' to some foolish Aristarchus, who, if I have the 
feather in the throat in consequence of this night's want of rest 
say that I have no voice ; and the Signer Count, who knows b^ 
will repeat, ' If you had but heard him last night ! ' ' He is not e 
then,' the other will observe; ' or p'srhaps he is not in good hea 
' or perhaps,' as a third will aver, ' he was tired last night, 
truth is, he is very young to sing several days in succession, 
you not better wait till he is riper and more robust ? ' And the c 
will say, 'Diavolo! if he grows hoarse after a couple of songs, h« 
not answer me.' Then, to make sure that I am strong and well, 
will make me exercise every day till I am out of breath, and I 
my voice to prove that I have lungs. To the devil with their pr 
tion, I say 1 Ah ! if I were only free of these gieat folk, and in : 
with the public, and courted by the theatres, I could sing in 
saloons, and treat with them as equal powers." 

Thus plotting, Anzoleto reached one of those little spots tei 
corti in Venice. Courts indeed they were not, but an assembla 
houses opening on a common space, corresponding with what in ] 



38 CONSUELO. 

is caJled cite. But there is nothing in the disposition of these pre- 
tended courts like the elegant and systematic airangejnents ot our 
modern squares. They are obscure spots, sometimes impassable, at 
other times allowing passage; but little frequented, and dwelt m by 
persons of slender fortune — laborers, workmen, or washerwomen, 
who stretch their Imen across the road, somewhat to the annoyance 
of the passengers, who put up with it in return for permission to go 
across. Woe to the poor artist who is obliged to open the windows 
of his apartment in these secluded recesses, where rustic life, with its 
noisy, unclean habits, re-appears in the heart of Venice, not two steps 
from large canals and sumptuous edifices! Woe to him if silence be 
necessary to his occupation ! for, from morn till night, there is an in- 
terminable uproar, with children, fowls, and dogs, screaming and 
playing within the narrow space, the chatter of women in the porches, 
and the songs of workmen, which do not leave him a moment of re- 
pose. Happy, too, if impromnatori do not bawl their sonnets till they 
have gathered a coin from every window; or Brighella do not fix her 
station in the court, ready to begin her dialogue afresh with the " avo- 
cato, il tedesco, e il diavolo," until she has exhausted in vain her elo- 
quence before the dirty children — happy spectators, who do not scru- 
ple to listen and to look on, although they have not a farthing in their 
possession. 

But at night, when all is silent, and when the quiet moon lights up 
the scene, this assemblage of houses of every period, united to each 
other without symmetry or pretension, divided by deep shadows full 
of mystery in their recesses, and of a wild spontaneous beauty, pre- 
sents an infinitely picturesque assemblage. Everything is beautiful 
under the light of the moon. The least architectural effect assumes 
force and character, and the meanest balcony, with its clustering vine, 
reminds you of Spain and of romantic adventures with the cloak and 
sword. The clear atmosphere in which the distant cupolas rising 
above the dark mass are bathed, sheds on the minutest details of the 
picture a vague yet harmonious coloring, which invites one to reveries 
without end. 

It was hi the Corte Minelli, near the church of San Fantin, that 
Anzoleto found himself when the clocks of the different churches 
tolled the hour of two. A secret instinct had led his devious steps to 
the dwelling of one of whom he had not thought since the setting of 
the sun. ilardly had he entered the court, when he heard a sweet 
voice call him by the last syllables of his name; and raising his head 
he saw for an instant a faint profile shadow itself on one of the most 
miserable abodes of the place. A moment afterwards a door opened, 
and Con-suelo, in a muslin petticoat and wrapped in an old black silk 
mantle which had served as adornment for her mother, extended one 
hand to him, while at the same time she placed her finger on her lip 
to enforce silence. They crept up the ruined stair, and seated at 
length on the terrace, they began one of those long whispering con- 
versations, interrupted by kisses, which one hears by night along the 
level roofs, like the converse of wandering spirits wafted through the 
mist, amidst the strange chimneys, hooded with red turbans, of all the 
houses of Venice. 

" How, my poor Mend! " said Anzoleto ; " have you waited for mo 
until now? " 

" Did you not say you would give me an account of the evening, 
and tell me if you sang well — if you afforded pleasure — if they ap- 
plauded you — if they signed your engagement? " 



CONSUELO. 

" And you, my best Consuelo," said Anzoleto, struck with re 
on seeing the confidence and sweetness of this poor girl, " tell 
my long absence has made you impatient — if you are not tir 
you do not feel chill on this cold terrace — if you have already s 
— if you are not angry with me for coming so late — if you are i 
— if you found fault with me." 

" No such thing," she replied, throwing her arms about his 
" If 1 have been impatient, it was not with you ; if I felt weari 
I was cold — I am no longer so, since you are here. Whether '. 
supped or not, I do not know; whether I have found fault with 
— why should I find fault with you ? — if 1 have been disquiet 
why should I have been so? — if I have been angry with you?- 
er!" 

" Tou are an angel ! " said Anzoleto, returning her caress. "A 
only consolation ! how cold and perfidious are all other hearts ! ' 

"Alas! what has happened !— what have they done to the t 
my soul ? " exclaimed Consuelo, mixing with the sweet Venetia 
lect the passionate expressions of her native tongue. 

Anzoleto told her all that had happened — even to his galls 
with Gorilla, and more especially the encouragement which shi 
out to him ; only he smoothed matters over somewhat, saying n( 
that could vex Consuelo, since in point of fact he had been fait 
and he told almost all. But there is always some minute parti 
truth on which judicial inquiry has never thrown light — whi 
client has revealed to his advocate — which no sentence has ever 
at except by chance — because in these few secret facts or intent! 
the entire cause, the motive, the aim — the object in a word — of 
great suits, always so badly pleaded and always so badly judged, 
ever may be the ardor of the speakers or the coolness of the j 
Irate. 

To return to Anzoleto. It is not necessary to say what peca 
he omitted, what emotions in public he translated in his own fa 
what secret palpitations in the gondola he forgot to mention, 
not think he even spoke of the gondola at all, and as to his fla 
at the cantatrice, why they were adroit mystifications by mea 
which he escaped lier perilous advances without making her 
Wherefore, being unwilling, and I may add unable, to mention ; 
temptations which he had surmounted by his prudence and ca 
wiiy, dear lady reader, should the young rogue awaken jealo 
the bosom ot Coiisuelo ? Happily for the little Spaniard she 
nothing of jealousy. This dark and bitter feeling only afflicts 
that have greatly suffered, and hitherto Consuelo had been ha; 
her affection as she was good. The only thing that made i 
found impression upon her was the severe yet flattering den 
tion of Professor Porpora on\the adored head of Anzoleto. She 
him repeat all the expressions which the maestro had used, and 
he had done so, pondered on tliem long and earnestly. 

" My little Consuelo," said Anzoleto without remarking hi 
straction, " it is horribly cold here. Are you not afraid of g 
cold ? Think, my dear, that our prospects depend much more 
your voice than mine." 

" I never get cold," said she; "but you are so lightly dressei 
your fine clothes. Here now, put on this mantle." 

" What would you have me do with this fine bit of torn taffei 
would rather take shelter for half an hour in your apartment." 



40 CONSUELO. 

'"Tiswell," said Consuelo, "but then we must not speak; the 
neighbors would hear us, and we should be to blame. They are not ill- 
disposed ; they see us together without tormenting me about it, because 
they know very well you do not come here at night. You would do 
better to sleep at home." 

"Impossible! They will only open at daylight, and there are still 
three hours to watch. See, my teeth chatter with the cold ! " 

" Well," said Consuelo, getting up, " I shall let you into myroora 
and return to the terrace, so that if anybody should observe it, it will 
be seen there is nothing wrong." 

She brought him into a dilapidated apartment, where, under flowers 
and fiescoes on the wall, appeared a second picture, almost in a. worse 
condition than the first. A large square bed with a mattress of sea- 
weed, and a spotted muslin coverlet, perfectly clean but patched with 
fragments of every imaginable color; a straw chair, a little tal)le, an 
antique guitar, a filagree cross — the only wealth her mother had left 
— aspinet, a great heap of worm-eaten music, which Professor Propora 
was kind enough to lend — such was the furniture of the young artist, 
daughter of a poor Bohemian, the pupil of a celebrated master, and 
sweetheart of a handsome adventurer. As there was but one chair, 
and as the table was covered with music, there was no seat for Anzo- 
leto hut the bed, on which he placed himself without hesitation. 
Hardly was he seated, when overwhelmed with fatigue, his head fell up- 
on the woolen cushion which served as a pillow ; but almost immediately 
starting up again by a violent eifort, be exclaimed — 

"And you, my poor girl! are you going to take no rest? Ah! I 
am a wretch — I shall go and lie in the streets." 

" No," said Consuelo, gently thrusting him back; " you are ill and 
I am not. My mother died a good Catholic; she is now in heaven, 
and sees us at this very hour. She knows you have kept the promise 
you made to her, never to abandon me. She knows that our affection 
has been pure since her death as before. She sees at this moment 
that I neither do nor think what is wrong — that her soul may repose 
in the Lord ! " And here Consuelo made the sign of the cross. An- 
zoleto already slumbered. " I am going to tell my beads," continued 
Cousuelo, moving away, " that you may not take the fever." 

" Angel that you are ! " faintly murmured Anzoleto, and he did not 
even perceive that he was alone. She had gone, in fact, to the terrace. 
In a short time she returned to assure herself that he was not ill, and, 
finding that he slept tranquilly, she gazed long and earnestly at his 
beautiful face, as it lay lighted by the moon. 

Then, determined to resist drowsiness herself, and finding that the 
emotions of the evening had caused her to neglect her work she 
lighted the lamp, and, seated before the little tabTe, she noted a com- 
position which Master Porpora had required of her for the foUowino- 
day. ° 



CHAPTER VI. 

The Count Zustiniani, notwithstanding his philosophical composure 
was not so indifferent to the insolent caprices of Gorilla as he pre^ 
tended. Good-uatured, weak, frivolous, Zustiniani was only a rake in 



CONSUELO. 

appearance and by hia social position. He could not help feelir 
the bottom of his heart the ungrateful return which this insolent 
foolish girl had made to his generosity ; and though at that peril 
was considered the worst possible taste, as well at Venice as at P 
to seem jealous, his Italian pride revolted at the absurd and miser 
position in which Gorilla bad placed him. So, the same aften 
that had seen Anzoleto shine at the Palazzo Zustiniani, the cc 
after having laughed with Barberigo over the tricks of Gorilla, 
saloons being emptied and the wax-lights extinguished, took dowi 
cloak and sword, and, in order to ease his mind, setoff for the pal 
inhabited by his mistress. 

He found that she was alone, but still doubted her. He bega 
converse in a low voice with the barcarole who was mooring the 
dola of the prima donna under the arch reserved for that purp 
and, by virtue of a few sequins, he easily convinced himself tha 
was not mistaken, and that Gorilla had not been alone in the goncl 
but who it was that had accompanied her he could notascertain- 
gondolier knew not. He had met Anzoleto a hundred times in 
passages of the theatre, or near the Palazzo Zustiniani, but faile 
recognise liim when powdered and in his dark attire. 

Tills inscrutable mystery completed the count's annoyance, 
consoled himself with ridiculing his rival, the only vengeance w 
good breeding permitted, and not less cruel in a gay and frivolous 
than murder at more serious periods. He could not sleep; an 
the hour when Porpora began his instructions, he set out for 
Scuola dl Mendicanti, and the hall where the young pupils were v 
to assemble; 

The position of the count with regard to the learned professor 
for some years past much changed. Zustiniani was no longer 
musical antagonist of Porpora, but in some sort his associate 
leader. He had advanced considerable sums to the establishn 
over which the learned maestro presided, and out of gratitude 
directors bad invested him with the supreme control. The two i 
elates then were as good friends as could be expected from the ii 
erance of the maestro with regard to the music in vogue — an int( 
ance, however, which was considerably softened by the assistance 
resources lavished by the count in behalf of the propagatioi 
serious music. Besides, the latter had brought out at San Samue 
opera which the maestro had written. 

" My dear master," said Zustiniani, drawing Porpora aside, " 
must not only give me one of your pupils for the theatre, but 
which of them is best calculated to replace Gorilla. That art! 
worn out, her voice has decayed, her caprices ruin us, and the pi 
will be disgusted. Truly, we must obtain a succeditrice." Par 
dear reader, for this was said in Italian, and the count made no : 
take. 

" I have not got what you require," replied Porpora, dryly. 

"What! my dear maestro," exclaimed the count, "you are 
going to fall back into your dark moods ? Is it after all the sacri; 
and all the devotion which I have manifested towards you, that 
are going to deny me a slight favor when I ask your assistance 
advice iti my own behalf?"" 

"I should not be justified in doing so," replied the professor, " 
what I have just said is the truth, told you by a friend, and with 
desire to oblige you. I have not in my school a single person cap 



42 CONSUELO. 

of replacing Gorilla. I do not estimate her higher than she deserves, 
yet iu declaring that the talent of this girl has no real worth ni my 
eyes, I am forced to acknowledge that she possesses an experience, a 
skill, a facility, and a sympathy with the public, which can only be 
acquired by years of practice, and which could not be obtauied by 
other debutantes for a long time." 

" That is true," said the count; " but we made Gorilla, we saw her 
begin, we procured the approbation of the public; her beauty gained 
her three-fourths of her success, and you have individuals equally 
agreeable in your school. Tou cannot deny that, master. Gome, 
admit that Clorinda is the most beautiful creature in the universe. • 

" Yes, but saucy, simpering, intolerable.— The public perhaps may 
find her grimaces charming— but she sings false, she has neither soul 
nor intelligence. It is true that the public has only ears; but then 
she has neither memory nor address, and she could only save herself 
from condemnation by the happy charlatanism that succeeds with so 
many others." 

Thus saying, the professor cast an involuntary glance upon Anzo- 
leto, who, under favor of the count, and on pretence of listening to 
the class, had kept a little apart, attending to the conversation. 

"It matters not," said Zustiniani, who heeded little the master's 
rancour; " I shall not give up my project. It is long since I have 
heard Clorinda. Let her come with' five or six others, the prettiest 
that can be found. Come, Anzoleto," said he, smiling, " you are well 
enough attired to assume the grave air of a young professor. Go to 
the garden and speak to the most striking of these young beauties, 
and tell them that the professor and I expect them here.'' 

Anzoleto obeyed, but whether through malice or address, he brought 
the ugliest, so that Jean Jacques might have said for once with truth, 

Sofia was one-eyed, and Cattina was a cripple." 

This quid pro quo was taken in good part: and after they had 
laughed in their sleeves, they dismissed them, in order to send those 
of their companions whom the professor named. A charming group 
soon made their appearance, with Clorinda at their head. 

•' What magnificent hair ! " exclaimed the count, as the latter passed 
him with her superb tresses. 

" There is much more on than in that head," said the professor, 
without deigning to lower his voice. 

After an hour's trial, the count could stand it no longer, but with 
courteous expressions to the young ladies, retired full of consterna- 
tion, after saying in the professor's ear, " we must not think of these 
cockatoos ! " 

" Would your Excellency permit me to say a word respecting the 
subject which occupies you," said Anzoleto iu a low voice to the 
count as they descended the steps. 

" Speak," said the count; "do you know this marvel whom we 
seek?" 

" Yes, Excellenza." 

" In what sea will you fish up this precious pearl? " 

" At the bottom of the class, where the jealous Porpora places her 
on the day when you pass your female battalion in review." 

" What! is there a diamond in the school whose splendor has never 
reached my eyes ? If Master Porpora has played me such a trick ! — " 

" Illustrious, the diamond of which I speak is not strictly part of the 
Bchool : she is only a poor girl who sings in the choruses when they 



CONSUELO. 

require her services, and to whom the professor gives lessons pa 
through charity, but still more from love of his art." 

" In that case her abilities must be extraordinary, for the profe 
is not easily satisfied, and in no way prodigijl of his time and la 
Could I have heard her perchance without knowing it?" 

" Your Excellency heard her long ago when she was but a c) 
Row she is a young woman — able, studious, wise as the profe 
himself, and capable of extinguishing Gorilla on tlie first occasion 
she sings a single air beside her in the theatre." 

" Does she never sing in public ? Did she not sing sometime 
vespers?" 

" Farmerly, your Excellency, the professor took pleasure in hea 
her sing in the church : but since then the scolari, through jeak 
and revenge, liave threatened to chase her from the tribime if shi 
appears there by tlieir side." 

" She is a girl of bad conduct then ? " 

" Oh Heavens! she is a virgin, pure as the newly fallen snow! 
she is poor and of mean extraction — like myself, Eccellenza. wl 
you yet deign to elevate by your goodness — and these wicked bar 
have threatened to complain to you of bringing into their class ap 
who did not belong to it." 

" Where can I hear this wonder? " 

" Let your Highness order the professor to mate her sing be 
you, and' you can then judge of her voice and the amount of 
talent." 

" Your confidence inclines me to believe you. You say I heard 
long since? — I cannot remember when." 

" In the church of the Mendicanti, on a general rehearsal of 
' Saloe Begina ' of Pergolese." 

" Oh, I remember now,", exclaimed the count; " voice, accent, 
intelligence equally admirable I " 

" Shj was then but fourteen, my lord — no better than a child." 

" Yes — but now I think of it, I remember she was not handsoii 

"Not handsome, Excellenza!" exclaimed Anzoleto, quite 
tounded. 

" She was called — let me see — was it not a Spanish name ? — so 
thing out of the way ? " 

" It was Consnelo, my lord." 

" Yes, that is the name; you were to marry her then, a step wl 
made the professor and myself laugh alittle. Consuelo — yes, it is 
same ; the favorite of the professor, an intelligent girl, but very u§ 

" Very ugly? " repeated Anzoleto, as if stupefied. 

" Yes, my child. Do you still admire her? " 

" She is mon amie, Illustrissirao." 

" Amie I that is to say, sister or sweetheart, which of the two ? 

" Sister, my master." 

In that case I can give you an answer without paining you ; 3 
idea is devoid of common sense. To replace Gorilla it would req 
an angel of beauty, and your Consuelo, if I remember rightly, was 
only ugly but frightful ! " 

The count was accosted at this moment by one of his friends, 
left Anzoleto, who was struck dumb with amazement, and who 
peated with a sigh, " She is frightful ! " 



44 CONSUELO. 



CHAPTER VII. 



It may appear rather astonishing, dear reader, and yet it is very 
certain, that Anzoleto never hart formed an opinion of tlie beauty or 
the ugliness of Consuelo. Consuelo was a being so solitary, so un- 
known in Venice, that no one had thought of seeking whether, be- 
neath this veil of isolation and obscurity, intelligence and goodness 
had ended by showing themselves under an agreeable or msignihcant 
form. Porpora, who had no senses but for his art, had only seen in 
her the artist. Her neighbors of the Corte Minelli observed, without 
attaching any blame to it, her innocent love for Anzoleto. At Venice 
they are not particular on this score. They predicted indeed very 
often, that she would be unhappy with this youth without busuiess or 
calling, and they counselled her rather to seek to establish herself 
with some honest workman. But she replied to them that, as she 
herself was without friends or support, Anzoleto suited her per- 
fectly, and as for six years no day had passed without their seeing 
th^m together, never seeking any concealment and never quarreling, 
they had ended by accustoming themselves to their free and apparent- 
ly indissoluble union, and no neighbor had ever paid court to the 
arnica of Anzoleto. Whether was this owing to her supposed engage- 
ment or to her estreme poverty ! — or was It, perhaps, that her person 
had no attractions for them ? This last supposition Is the most pro- 
bable. 

Every one knows, however, that from fourteen to fifteen, girls are 
generally thin, out of sorts, without harmony either as to proportions 
or movements. Towards fifteen, to use a common expression, they 
undergo a sort of fusion, after which they become, if not pre-tty, at 
least agreeable. It has even been remarked that it Is not desirable 
that a young girl should grow good-looking too early. 

Consuelo, like others, had gained all the benefits of adolescence; 
she was no longer called ugly, simply because she had ceased to be so. 
As she was neither Dauphine nor infanta, however, there were no 
crowds of courtiers to proclaim that her royal highness grew day by 
day more beautiful; and no one was sufilciently solicitous to tell An- 
zoleto that he should have no occasion to blush for his bride. 

Since Anzoleto had heard her termed ugly at an age when the word 
had neither sense nor meaning, he had forgotten to think about it; 
his vanity had taken another direction. The theatre and renown 
were all his care, and he had no time to think of conquests. His 
curiosity was appeased — he had no more to learn. At twenty-two he 
was in a measure blasg; yet his affection for Consuelo was tranquil as 
at eighteen, despite a few chaste kisses, taken as they were given 
without shame. ' 

Let us not be astonished at this calmness and propriety on the part 
of a youth in other respects not over particular. Our yoimg people 
had ceased to live as described at the beginning of this history. Con- 
suelo, now nearly sixteen, continued her somewhat wandering lite 
leaving the conservatory to eat her rice and repeat her lesson on the 
steps of the Piazctta with Anzoleto. When her mother, worn out by 
fatigue, ceased to sing for charity in the coffee-houses in the evenino- 
the poor creature sought refuge in one of the most miserable garrets 
of the Corte Minelli, to die upon a pallet. Then the good Consuelo 



CONSUELO. 

luitting her no more, entirely changed her manner of life. Exclnsi 
)t' the hours when the professor deigned to give his lessons, she 
)ored sometimes at her needle, sometimes at counter-point, but 
vays at the bedside of her imperious and despairing mother, who h 
Tuelly ill-treated her in her infancy, and who now presented t 
rightful spectacle of a last struggle without courage and witho 
'irtue. The filial piety and devotion of Oonsuelo never flagged for 
ingle instant. The pleasures of youth and of her free and wand( 
ng life — even love itself— all were sacrificed without a moment's hi 
tafion or regret. Anzoleto made bitter complaints, but finding i 
)roaches useless, resolved to forget her and to amuse himself; but tl 
le found impossible. He had none of the industry of Consuelo; 
earned quickly but imperfectly the inferior lessons which his teachi 
o gain the salary promised by Zustiniani, gave him equally quicli 
ind equally ill. This was all very well for Anzoleto, in whom pro( 
;al nature made up for lost time and the effects of inferior instri 
ion, but there were hours of leisure daring which the friendly ai 
heerful society of Consuelo were found sadly wanting. He tried 
.ddict himself to the habits of his class; he frequented public-housi 
lUd wasted with young scapegraces the trifling bounties he enjoy 
hrough the favor of Count Zustiniani. This sort of life pleased hi 
or some weeks ; but he soon found that his health and his voice we 
lecoming sensibly iriipaired — that the far-niente was- not excess, ai 
hat excess was not his element. Preserved from bad passio 
hrough a higher species of self-love, he retired to solitude and stud 
lut they only presented a frightful mixture of gloom and diflicull 
le saw that Consuelo was no less necessary to his talents than to i: 
lappiness. She was studious and persevering — living in an atniosphe 
f music as a bird in the air, or a fish in the wave— loving to^overcor 
ifficulties without inquiring into their nature any more than a chi 
-but impelled to combat the obstacles and penetrate the mysteri 
f art, by an instinct invisible as that which causes the germ to pe 
trate the soil and seek the air. Consuelo enjoyed one of those ra 
nd happy temperaments for which labor is an enjoyment, a sort of i 
lose, a necessary condition, and to which inaction would be an effo: 
. waste, in short, a disease — if inaction indeed to such natures we 
lossible. But they know nothing of the Icind; in apparent idlene 
hey still labor, but it is not so much reverie as meditation. In se 
ng them act, one would suppose that they were creating, where 
hey but give expression to what has been already created. You w 
ell me, gentle reader, that you have never known such rare temper 
aents; to which I shall reply, dearly beloved reader, that I have m 
i'ith but one. If so, am I older than you? Why can I not tell yi 
hat I have analyzed in my own poor brain the divine mystery of tl 
iitellectual activity? But alas! friendly reader, it is neither you ni 

who shall study this in ourselves. 

Consuelo worked on, amusing herself the while. She persisted f 
ours together, either by free and capricious flights of song or 1 
tudy on the book, to vanquish difficulties which would have repelh 
inzoleto if left to himself; and without any idea of emulation 
remeditated design, she forced him to follow her, to second her, 
omprehend and to reply to her — sometimes, as it were, in the mid 
f almost childish bursts of laughter — sometimes borne away by tl 
oetic and creative fantasia, which pei'vades the popular temper 
lent of Italy and Spain. During the many years in which he w 



46 CONSUELO. 

influenced by the genius of Consuelo — drinking at a source -which Iio 
did not compreliend — copying her without knowing it — Anzoleto,hel(i 
besides in cliains by his indolence, had become a strange compound 
of knowledge and ignorance, of inspiration and frivolity, of power 
and weakness, of boldness and awkwardness, such as had plunged 
Porpora at the last rehearsal into a perfect labyrinth of mMitation 
and conjecture. The maestro did not know the secret of the riches 
he had borrowed from Consuelo ; for having once severely scolded the 
little one for her intimacy with this great idler, he had never again 
seen them together. — Consuelo, bent upon maintaining the good-will 
of her master, took care whenever slie saw him at a distance, if in 
company with Anzoleto, to hide herself with agile bounds behind a 
column, or to disappear in the lecesses of some gondola. 

Tliese precautions were still continued, when, Consuelo having be- 
come a niu'se, Anzoleto, unable to support her absence, and feeling 
life, hope, inspiration, and even existence failing him, returned to share 
her sedentary life, and to bear with her the sourness and angry whims 
of the dying woman. Some months before the close of her life, tlie 
unhappy creature, broken down by her sufiferings, and vanquished by 
tlie filial piety of her daughter, felt her soul 0]»ened to milder emotions. 
She habituated herself to the attentions of Anzoleto, who, although 
little accustomed to acts of friendship and self-denial, displayed a zeal- 
ous kindness and good-will towards the feeble sufferer. Anzoleto had 
an even teniper and gentle demeanor. His perseverance towards her 
and Consufelo at length won her heart, and in her last moments she 
made them promise never to abandon each other.* Anzoleto promised, 
and even felt in this solemn act a depth of feeling to which he had 
been liitherto a stranger. The dying woman made the engagement 
easier to him by saying : — " Let her be your friend, your sister, or your 
wife, only leave her not; she knows none, has listened to noue, but 
you." 

Consuelo, now an orphan, continued to ply her needle and study 
music, as well to procure means for the present as to prepare for her 
union with Anzoleto. During two years he continued to 'risit her in 
her garret, without experiencing any passion for her, or being able to 
feel it for others, so much did the charm of being with her seem pref- 
erable to all other things. 

Without fully appreciating the lofty faculties of his companion, he 
could see that her attainments and capabilities were superior to those 
of any of the singers at San Samuel, or even to those of Gorilla her- 
self. To this habitual affection were now added the hope, and almost 
the conviction, that a community of interests'' would render their fu- 
ture existence at once brilliant and profitable. Consuelo thought lit- 
tle of the future: foresight was not among her good qualities. She 
would have cultivated music without any other end in view than that 
of fulfilling her vocation; and tlie community of interest which the 
practice of that art was to realise between her and her friend had no 
other meaning to her than that of an association of happiness and 
affection. It was therefore without apprising her of it, that he con- 
ceived the hope of realizing their dreams; and learrtng that Zustiui- 
ani had decided on replacing Corilla, Anzoleto, sagaciously divinino- 
the wishes of his patron, had made the proposal which has already 
been mentioned. - . ■' 

But Consuelo's ugliness— this strange, unexpected, and invincible 
drawback, if the count indeed were not deceived— had struck terror 



CONSUELO. 

i consternation to his soul. So lie retraced his steps to the Co 
nelli, stopping every instant to reca! to his mind in a new point 
w the lilceness of his friend, and to repeat again and again, " 1 
itty ?— ugly ?— frightful ? " 



CHAPTEK VIII. 

Why do you stare at me so?" said Consuelo, seeing him en 

• apartment, and fix a steady gaze upon her, without utterin; 
rd. " One would think you liad never seen me before." 

' It is true, Consuelo," he replied; "I have never seen you." 
' Are "you mad? " continued she; " I Icuow not what you mean.' 

■ Ah, Heaven ! I fear I am," exclaimed Anzoleto. " I have a da 
leous spot in my brain, which prevents me from seeing you." * 

' Holy Virgin ! you are ill, my friend ! " 

' No, dear girl ; calm yourself, and let us endeavor to see clear 

11 me, Consuelo, do you think me handsome ? " 

' Surely I do, since I love you." 

' But if you did not love me, what would you think- of me then ? 

'How can I tell?" 

' But when you look at other men, do you know whether they i 

[idsome or ugly ?" '* 

' Yes; But I think you handsomer than the handsomest." 

• Is it because I am so, or because you love me ? " 

' Both one and the other, I think. Everybody calls you handsoi 
J you know that you are so. But why do you ask? " 
' I wish to know if you would love me were I frightful? - 

■ I should not be aware of it, perhaps." 

' Do you believe, then, that it is possible to love one who is ugly 

' Why nq,t, since you love me ? " 

' Are you ugly, then, Consuelo ? Tell me truly — are you ind( 

y?" 

' They have told me so — do you not see it? * 

No; in truth, I see no such thing." 

In that case, I am handsome enough, and am well satisfied." 

Hold there, Consuelo. When you look at me so sweetly, so I 
ly, so naturally, I think you prettier far than Gorilla ; but I want 
Dw if it be an illusion'' of my imagination, or reality. I know i 
jression of your countenance; I know that it is good, and thai 
ases me. When I am angry, it calms me ; when sorrowful, it che 
; when I am cast down, it revives me. But your features, Coni 
, I carmot tell if they are ugly or not." 

But I ask you once more, what does it matter ? " 

I must know ; tell me, therefore, if it be possible for a handso 
n to love an ugly woman." 

You loved my dear mother, who was no better than a spectre, s 
)ved her so dearly ! " 

And did you think her ugly ? " 

No; did you?" 

I thought nothing about it. But to love Ti'ith passion, Consu 
ar, in truth, I lovayou passionately, do I not? 1 cannot live wi 
, you — cannot quit you. Is not that love, Consuelo ? " 



48 



C0N8UEL0. 



" Could it be anything else ? " 
" Could it be friendship?" 
" Yes, it might, indeed, be friendship — " 

Here the much surprised Consuelo paused and looked attentively 
at Anzoleto, while he, falling into a melancholy reverie, asked himself 
for the first time whether it was love or friendship he felt for Consue- 
lo, or whether the moderation and propriety of his demeanor were 
the result of respect or indifference. For the first time he looked at 
tlie young girl with the eyes of a youth; analysed, not without diffi- 
culty, her face, her form, her eyes — all the details in fine of which he 
had had hitlierto but a confused ideal in his mind. For the first time 
Consuelo was embarrassed by the denieajior of her friend. She blush- 
ed, her heart beat with violence, and she turned aside her head, una- 
ble to support Anzoleto's gaze. At last, as he preserved a silence 
which she did not care to break, a feeling of anguish took possession 
of her heart,' tears rolled down her cheeks, and she hid her face in her 
hands. 

".Oh, I see it plainly," she said; " you have come to tell me that 
you will no longer have me for your sweetheart." 

" No, no ; I did not say that — I did not say that ! " exclaimed Anzo- 
leto, terrified by the tears which he had caused her to shed for the 
first time; and, restored to all his brotherly feeling, he folded Consu- 
elo in his arms. But as she turned her head aside, he kissed, in 
place of her calm, cool cheek, a glowing shoulder, ill-concealed by a 
handkerchief of black lace. 

" 1 know not well what ails me," exclaimed Consuelo, tearing her- 
self from his arms; "I think I am ill; I feel ai if I were going 
to die." 

" You must not die," said Anzoleto, following and supporting her 
in his arms; " you are fair, Consuelo — yes, you are fair!" 

In truth, she was then very fair. Anzoleto never inquired how, 
but he could not help repeating it, for his heart felt it warmly. 

" But," said Consuelo, pale and agitated, " why do you insist so on 
finduig me pretty to-day ? " 
'• Would you not wish to be. so, dear Consuelo? " 
"Yes, for you!" 
" And for others too ? " 
" It concerns me not." 

"Butif it influenced our future prospects?" Here, Anzoleto see- 
ing the uneasuiess which he caused his betrothed, told her candidly 
all that had occurred between the count and himself. And when be 
came to repeat the expressions, anything but flattering, which Zus- 
tuiiani had employed when speaking of her, the good Consuelo, now 
perfectly tranquil, could not restrain a violent burst of laughter drv- 
iiig at the same time her tear-stained eyes. - & > j 

"Well?" said Anzoleto surprised at this total absence of vanity, 
CO you ta^e it so coolly? Ah ! Consuelo, I can see that you are a 
little coquette. \ ou know very well that you are not U"lv " 

T fiiwi' jTr,',„riif '/' '™"'"S.v;; ^'"<=e yo" are so serious°about trifles, 
I fiM i must satisfy you a little. I never was a coquette, and not 
being handsome, do not wish to seem ridiculous. But al to be"n' 
ugly, I am no longer so." "="'» 

" Indeed ! Who has told you ? " 

T i!7'Ii*i " ^ft "^ mother, who was never uneasy about ray ugliness. 
I heard her often say that she was far less passable than I in her hi: 



CONSUEL O. 

fancy, and yet when she was twenty she was the handsomest g 
Burgos. You know that when the people looked at her in the 
where she sang, they said, ' this woman must have been once bi 
ful.' See, my good friend, beauty is fleeting; when its possesf 
snnk in poverty it lasts for a moment, and then is no more. 1 1 
become handsome— who knows ? — if I was not to be too muc' 
hausted; if I got sound rest, aud did not suffer too much from 
ger." 

" Consuelo, we will never part. I shall soon be rich; you will 
want for nothing, and can be pretty at your ease." 

" Heaven grant it; but God's will be done! " 

" But all this is nothing to the purpose ; we must see if the ( 
will find you handsome enough for the theatre." 

" That hard-hearted count! Let us trust that he will not h 
exacting." 

" First and foremost then, you are not ugly ? " 

" No ; I am not ugly. I beard the glass-blower over the way 
say not long ago to his wife — 'Do you know that little Consni 
not so much amiss. She has a fine figure, and when she laugh 
fills one's heart with joy; but when she sings, oh, howbeautifu 
is!" , 

" And what did the glass-blower's wife say ? " 

" Slie said — ' What is it to you ? Mind your business. Wlis 
a married man to do with young girls ? " 

" Did she appear angry ? " 

" Oh, very angry." 

" It is a good sign. She knew that her husband was no 
wrong. Well, what more ? " 

" Why, the Countess Moncenigo, who gives out work, and hi 
ways been kind to me, said last week to Dr. Ancillo, who was 
when I called — ' Only look, doctor, how this Zitella has grown, 
fair she is and how well made ! " 

"And what did the doctor say ? " 

"'Very true, madam,' said he; 'per Bacco! 1 should not 
known her: she is one of those constitutions that become hand 
wlien they gain a little fat. She will be a fiue girl, you wil 
that.' " 

" And what more ? " 

" Then the superior of Santa Chiara, for whom I work embro 
for the altars, said to one of the sisters — ' Does not Consuelo rese 
Santa Cecilia? Every time tliat I pray before her image I cs 
help thinking of this little one, and then I pray for her that she 
ncTer fall into sin, and that she may never sing but for the churc 

"And what said the sister?" 

" The sister replied — ' It is true, mother, it is quite true.' 
for myself,! hastened to the church and looked at their Cecilia, v 
Is painted by a great master, and is very, very beautiful." 

"And like you?" 

" A little." 

"And you never told me that?" 

" I never thought of it." 

" Dear Consuelo, you are beautiful then ? " 

" I do not think so ; but I am not so ugly as they said. One i 
is certain — they no longer call me ugly. Perhaps they think it v 
give me paiu to hear it." 



50 CONSUELO. 

" Let me see, little Consuelo ; look at me. First, you have the 
most beautiful eyes in the world." 

" But my mouth is large," said Consuelo, laughing, and takmg up a 
brolven piece of loolfiiig glass, which served her as apysche. ^^ 

"It is not very small indeed,but then what gloiious teeth! saia 
Anzoleto; '"they are as white as pearls, and when you smile you 
show them all." i i i, 

" In that case you must say something that will make me laugn, 
when we are with the count." 

" You have magnificent hair, Consuelo." 

"Oh yes; would you like to see if?" And she loosed the pms 
which fastened it, and her dark shining locks fell m flowing masses to 
the floor; 

" Your chest is broad, your waist small, your shoulders— ah, they 
are beautiful, Consuelo ! " 

'• My feet," said Consuelo, turning the conversation, " are not so 
bad ; " and she held up a little Audalusian foot, a beauty almost un- 
known in Venice, 

" Your hand is beautiful, also," said Anzoleto, kissing for the first 
time the hand which he had hitherto clasped only in companionship. 
" Let me see your arms." 

" But you have seen them a hundred times," said she, removing 
her long gloves^ 

"No; I have never seen them," said Anzoleto, whose admiration 
every moment increased, and he again relapsed into silence, gazing 
with beaming eyes on the young girl, in whom each moment he dis- 
covered new beauties. 

All at once Consuelo, embarrassed by this display, endeavored to 
regain her former quiet enjoyment, and began to pace up and down 
the apartment, gesticulating and singing from time to time in asome- 
what exaggerated fashion, several passages from the lyric drama, just 
as if she were a performer on the stage. 

" Magnificent ! " exclaimed Anzoleto, ravished with surprise at find- 
ing her capable of a display which she had not hitherto manifested. 

" It is anything but magnificent," said Consuelo, reseating herself; 
" and I hope you only spoke in jest." 

" It would be magnificent on the boards, at any rate. I assure you 
there would not be a gesture too much. Corilla would burst with 
jealousy, for it is just the way she gets on when they applaud her to 
the skies." 

" My dear Anzoleto, I do not wish that Corilla should grow iealous 
about any such nonsense; if the public were to applaud mr- iiKM-ely 
because I knew how to ape her, I would never appear betuic lUem." 

'• You would do better, then ? " 

" I hope so, or I should never attempt it." 

" Very well ; how would you manage ? " 

" I cannot say." 

" Try." 

" No ; for all this Is but a dream ; and until they have decided 
whether I am ugly or not, we had better not plan any more fine pro- 
jects. Perhaps we are a little mad just now, and after all, as the count 
has said, Consuelo may be frightful." 

This last supposition caused Auzolcto to take his leave. 



CONSUELO. 



CHAPTEK IX. 



At this period of his life, though almost unknown to biogra 
Porpora, one of the best Italian composers of the eighteenth cf 
the pupil of Scarlatti, the master of Hasse, Farrinelli,Carfariell 
gotti, Salimbini, Hubert (suriiamed the Porporino), of Gabri( 
Monteni — in a word, the founder of the most celebrated school 
time — languished in obscurity at Venice, in a condition border 
poverty and despair. Nevertheless, he had formerly been diret 
the conservatory of the Ospedaletto in the same city, and this 
of his life, had been even brilliant. He had there written an 
duced his best operas, his most beautiful cantatas, and his 
church music. Invited to Vienna in 1728, he had there, after 
effort, gained the favor of the Emperor Charles VI. Patroni 
the court of Saxony, where he gave lessons to the electoral pr: 
Porpora from that repaired to London, where he rivalled for n 
ten years the glory of Handel, the master of masters, whose s 
that period had begun to pale. The genius of the latter he 
obtained the supremacy, and Porpora, wounded in pride and 
had returned to Venice to resume the direction of another con 
tory. He still composed opei'as, bnt found it difficult to get 
represented. His last, although written in Venice, was brougl 
in London, where it had no success. His genius had incurred 
serious assaults, against which fortune and glory might perhap: 
sustained him ; but the neglect and ingratitude of Hasse, Fai 
and Cafarielli, broke his heart, souredihis character, and poison 
old age. He is known to have died miserable and neglected 
eightieth year at Naples. 

At the period wheti Count Zustiniani, foreseeing and almost 
ing the defection of Gorilla, sought to replace her, Porpora wai 
ject to violent fits of ill-humor, not always without foundatioi 
if they preferred and sang at Venice the music of Jomelli, of 
of Carissimi, of Gaspiriui, and other excellent masters, the; 
adopted without discrimination the productions of Cocclii, of '. 
of Salvator Apollini, and other local composers, whose coramo: 
easy style served to flatter mediocrity. The operas of Hasse 
not please a master justly dissatisfied. The worthy but unfort 
Porpora, therefore, closing his heart and ears alike to modem pi 
tions, sought to crush them under the glory and authority of tl 
cients. He judged too severely of the graceful compositions o 
luppi, and even the original fantasies of Chiozetto, a favorite con 
at Veifiice. In short, he would only speak of Martini, Durante, 1 
Verde, and Palestrina; I do not know if even Marcello and 
found favor in his eyes. It was therefore with reserve and dissai 
tion that he received the first overtures of Zustiniani concernir 
poor pupil, whose good fortune and glory he nevertheless desii 
promote ; for he had too much experience not to be aware c 
abilities and her deserts. But he shook his head at the idea c 
profanation of a genius so pure, and so liberally nurtured on tl 
cred mauna of the old masters, and replied, " Take her if it mi 
so— this spotless soul, this stainless intellect— cast her to the 
hand her over to the brutes, for such seems the destiny of gen 
the period in which we live." 



52 CONSUELO. 

This dissatisfaction, at once grave and ludicrous, gave the count a 
lofty idea of the merit of the pupil from the high value which the 
severe master attached to it. 

" So, so, my dear maestro," he exclaimed, " is that indeed your 
opinion? is this Consuelo a creature so extraordinary, so divine. _ 

" You shall hear her," said Porpora, with an air of resignation, 
while he murmured, " it is her destiny." . 

The count succeeded in raising the spirits of the master from their 
state of depression, and led him to expect a serious refoi-m in the 
choice of operas. He promised to exclude inferior productions so 
soon as he should succeed in getting rid of Gorilla, to whose caprices 
he attributed their admission and success. He even dexterously gave 
him to understand that he would be very reserved as to Hasse; and 
declared that if Porpora would write an opera for Consuelo, the pupil 
would confer a double glory on her master in expressing his thoughts 
in a style which suited them, as well as realize a lyric triumph for 
San Samuel and for the count. 

Porpora, fairly vanquished, began to thaw, and now secretly longed 
for the coming out of his pupil, as much as he had hitherto dreaded 
it from the fear that she should be the means of adding fresh lustre 
to the productions of his rivals. But as the count expressed some 
anxiety touching Consuelo's appearance, he refused to permit him to 
hear her in private, and without preparation. 

" I do not wish you to suppose," said he, in reply to the count's 
questions and entreaties, "that she is a beauty. A poorly-dressed 
and timid girl, in presence of a nobleman and a judge — a child of the 
people, who has never been the object of the slightest attention — can- 
not dispense with some preparatory toilet. And, besides, Consuelo 
is one whose expression geniifs ennobles in an extraordinary degree. 
She must be seen and heard at the same time. Leave it all to me ; 
if you are not satisfied you may leave her alone, and I shall find out 
means of making her a good nun, who will be the glory of tlie school, 
and the instructress of future pupils." Such, in fact, was the destiny 
wliich Porpora had planned for Consuelo. 

When he saw his pupil again, he told her that she was to be heard 
and an opinion given of her by the count; but as she was uneasy on 
the score of her looks, he gave her to understand that she would not 
be seen — in short, that she would sing behind the organ-screen, the 
count being merely present at the service in the church. He advised 
her, however, to dress with some attention to appearance, as she 
would have to be presented, and though the noble master was poor, 
he gave her money for the purpose. Consuelo, frightened and agitat- 
ed, busied for the first time in her life with attention to her pereon, 
hastened to see after her toilet and her voice. She tried the last, and 
found it so fresh, so brilliant, and so full, that Anzoleto, to whom' she 
sung, more than once repeated with ecstasy, " Alas! why should they 
require more than that she knows how to sing ? " 



CHAPTER X. 

Os the eve of the important day, Anzoleto found Consuelo's door 
closed and locked ; and after having waited for a quarter of an hour 



C O N S. U E L . 

n the stairs, he finally obtained permission to see his friend ii 
istal attire, the effect of wiiich she wished to ti7 before hira. 
ad on a liandsome flowered muslin dress, a lace handkerchief 
ovvder. She was so much altered, that Anzoleto was for some 
lents-nncertain whether she had gained or lost by the change, 
esitatlon which Consuelo read in his eyes was as the stroke 
agger to her heart. 

" Ah ! " said she, " I see very well that I do not please you. 
an I hope to please a stranger, when he who loves me sees not 
greeable in my appearance ? " 

" Wait a little," replied Anzoleto. " I like your elegant figu 
liose long stays, and the distinguished air which this lace gives 
'lie large folds of your petticoat suit you to admiration, but I r 
our long black hair. However, it is the fashion, and to-morrovi 
lust be a lady." 

"And why must I be a lady? For my part I hate this poi 
rhich fades one, and makes even the most beautiful grow old b 
'er time. I have an artificial air under all these furbelows; in s 

am not satisfied with myself, and I see you are not so either, 
y-the-bye, I was at reliearsal this mornmg, and saw Clorinda, 
Iso was trying on a new dress. She was so gay, so fearless, so 1: 
orae, (oh! she must be happy! — you need not look twice at her 
ure of her beauty), that I feel afraid of appearing beside her b 
he count." 

" Tou may he easy; the count has seen her, and has heard 

DO." 

" And did she sing badly ? " 

•' As she always does." 

"Ah! my friend, those rivalries spoil the disposition. A 
rhile ago, if Clorinda, who is a good girl, notwithstanding her va 
lad been spoken of unfavorably by a judge, I should have been i 
Dr her from the bottom of my heart ; I should have shared her i 
nd humiliation; and now I find myself rejoicing at it! To strii 
nvy, to seek to injure each other, and all that for a man whor 
)ve not, nay! but whom we know not! I feel very low-spiritec 
ear love, and it seems to me as if I were as much frightened b; 
lea of succeeding as by that of failing. It seems as if our happ 
ras coming to a close, and that to-morrow, after the trial, wha 
lay be the result, I jhall return to this poor apartment a diiS 
erson from what I have hitherto lived in it." 

Two large tears rolled down over Consuelo's cheeks. 

" Well, are you going to cry now ?" said Anzoleto. " What car 
e thinking of? You will dim your eyes, and swell your ey 
four eyes, Consuelo! do not spoil your eyes, which are the 
eautiful feature in your face." 

"Or rather the least ugly," said she, wiping away her tears. " C 
'hen we give ourselves up to the world we have not even the 
3 weep." 

Her friend tried to comfort her, but she was exceedingly dej( 
11 the rest of the day ; and in the evening, when she was again a 
he brushed out the powder, uncurled her ebon hair, and sleek 
•ied on a little black silk dress, well preserved, and still nearly 
er usual Sunday garb, and regained a portion of her confidenc 
nee more recognising herself in her mirror. Then she praye( 
ently, and thought of her mother, until, melted to tears, she 



54 CONSUELO. 

herself to sleep. When Anzoleto came to see her the following day, 
to take her to church, she was sitting at her spiiuiet, practising her 
first air, and her hair dressed as on every Sunday.— V, hat. he ex- 
claimed, " not dressed yet ? unpowdered still ? It is almost the hour , 
what can von be about, Consuelo ? " -^ ■ t 

" My dear, she replied, steadily, " I wear my hair as it is. 1 am 
ready as I am. I am tranquil, and shall go thus. This fine black 
dress does not suit me. My black hair pleases you better than powder. 
These corsets do but check my breath. Do not endeavor to cliange 
my resolution ; I have made up my mind. I have prayed to Uod to 
direct me. and my mother to watch over my conduct. God has di- 
rected me to be quiet and simple. My mother has visited me in ray- 
dreams, and she said what she always used to say : ' Try to sing well, 
Providence will do the rest.' I saw her take my fine dress, my laces, 
and my ribbons, and put them away in the cupboard ; and then she 
laid my black frock and white muslin mantilla on the chair by the bed- 
side; when -I awoke, I locked up my full dress as I saw her do in the 
dream, and put on my black frock and mantilla, as you see me. I have 
more courage, now that I have given up the idea of pleasing by graces 
which I do not comprehend. Listen to my voice; alter all, every- 
thing lies in that," — and she sounded a note. 

" Good Lord ! we are ruined ! " cried Anzoleto. " Tour voice is 
voile* and your eyes are bloodshot. You have been crying all night, 
Consuelo. This is a pretty business ! I say we are ruined ! It is ab- 
surd to wear mourning on a holiday ; besides, it is unlucky, and it does 
not become you. Come, be quick — put on your fine full dress, while 
I go and get you some ronge. You are pale as a ghost! " 

The poor girl's mind was agahi agitated, and her tears flowed afresh. 
Anzoleto was vexed more and more, and while they were still debat- 
ing, the clock struck the fatal hour. Consuelo, pale and trembling, 
looked at herself for the last time in the little broken mirror. Then, 
turning round, sprang impetuously into Anzoleto's arms. " Oh, my 
beloved," she cried, " do not swear at me. Clasp me more closely in 
your arms, to give some color to my pale cheeks. Be your kiss to my 
cheeks as was the sacred fire which kindled Isaiah's lips, and may God 
pardon us for doubting His assistance ! " « 

Then she cast her mantilla eagerly over her head, snatched up her 
music books, and hurrying away her dispirited lover, made haste to 
the church of the Mendicanti, whither the crowd were already flock- 
ing, to listen to Porpora's admirable music. Anzoleto, more dead 
than alive, went to seek the count, who had given him the meeting in 
the organ-loft, while Consuelo went up to the organ-loft, in which the 
choirs were already in air, with the professor at his desk. Consuelo 
was not aware that the count's tribune was so contrived that he 
could look into the organ-loft more easily than into the church — that 
he had already fixed his eyes on her, and was watching her every ges- 
ture. 

Her features, however, he could not yet distinguish, for on entering 

" VolLB. We have thought it adviaablo to leave this word untran slated, although 
nothing in general is more abominable than to see booi£s professing to be written 
in the English lauguago, interlarded with foreign words or phrasrs. This word 
voile is. however, a musical technicality, and can be expressed by no English word. 
It does not mean husky exactly, nor hoakse, nor thick, but something interme- 
diate. The literal meaning of the word beinff vsii.ed or shsouded, which, as ap- 
plied to a voice in English, would bo simply nonsense. 



CONSUELO. 

he knelt down,, buried her face in her hands, and prayed ferver 
,nd devoutly. " Oh, my God," she cried, with the voice of the hei 
thou kiiowest that I seek not advancement for the humiliation 
ny rivals. Thou knowest that I have no thought to surrender mys 
o the viforld and worldly acts, abandoning thy love, and straying i; 
he paths of vice. Tliou knowest that pride dwells not in me, e 
hat I implore thee to support me, and to swell my voice, ai}d to 
)and my thoughts as I- sing thy praises, only that I may dwell v, 
lim whom my mother permitted me to love." 

When the first sounds of the orchestra called Consuelo to her pli 
he rose slowly, her mantilla fell from her shoulders, and her face i 
Lt length visible to the impatient and restless spectators in the nei 
joring tribune. But what marvellous change is here in this yoi 
;irl, just now so pale, so cast down, so overwhelmed by fatigue i 
ear! The ether of heaven seemed to bedew her lofty forehe 
vhile a gentle languor was diffused over the noble and graceful c 
ines of her figure. Her tranquil countenance expressed none 
;hose petty passions, which seek, and as it were, exact applai 
There was something about her solemn, mysterious, and elevated- 
)nce lovely and alfecting. 

" Courage, my daughter," said the professor, in a low voice. " 1 
ire about to sing the music of a great master, and he is here to lis 
;o you." 

" Who ? — Marcello ? " said Consuelo, seeing the professor lay 
ffymns of Marcello open on the desk. 

"Yes — Marcello," replied he. "Sing as usual — nothing more ; 
iothing less — and all will be. well." 

Marcello, then in the last year of his life, had in fact come o 
igain to revisit Venice, his birth-place, where he had gained reno 
IS composer, as writer, and as magistrate. lie had been full of cc 
;esy towards Porpora, who had requested him to be present in 
school,, intending to surprise him with the performance of Consui 
who knew his magnificent "/ deli imwensi narrano" by he 
Nothing could be better adapted to the religious glow that now 
mated the heart of this noble girl. So soon as the first words of I 
ofty and brilliant production shone before her eyes, she felt s 
wafted into another sphere. Forgetting Count Zustiniani — forgett 
the spiteful glances of her rivals — forgetting even Anzoleto — 
thought only of God and of Marcello, who seemed to interpret th 
wondrous regions whose glory she was about to celebrate. What s 
iect so beautiful ! — what conception so elevated ! — 

I cieli immeDSi narrano 
DhI grandj Iddio la gloria 

II firmamento liicldo 
All universe annunzia 
Qaanto Bieno mirabili 
Delia sua destra le opere. 

A divine glow overspread her features, and the sacred fire of gei 
3arted from her large black eyes, as the vaulted roof rang with i 
unequalled voice, and with those lofty accents which could only ] 
ceed from an elevated intellect, joined to a good heai't. After he 
listened for a few instants, a torrent of delicious tears streamed fi 
Marcello's eyes. The count, iniable to restrain his emotion, excia 
ed — " By the Holy Rood, this woman is beautiful ! She is Santa 
cilia, Santa Teresa, Santa Consuelo ! She is poetry, she is music, 



66 CONSUELO. 

is faith personified!" As for Atizoleto, who had risen, and whose 
tiv,iul)iing knees barely sufficed to sustain him with tlie aid of liis 
hands, whicli clung ccmvuUiveiy to the grating of the tribune he 
fell back upon his seat, ready to swoou, intoxicated with pride ana 

■""it required all the respect due to the locality, to prevent the numer- 
ous dilettanti in the crowd from bursting Into applause, as if they had 
been in the theatre. The count would not wait till the close ol tne 
service to express his enthusiasm to Porporaand Consuelo. bhe was 
obliged to repair to the tribune of the count to receive the thanks 
and gratitude of Marcello. She found him so much agitated as to be 
hardly able to speak. . ^ 1.1 • 

" My daughter," said he, with a broken voice, receive the blessing 
of a dying man. You have caused me to forget for an instant the 
mortal suffering of many years. A miracle seems exerted m my be- 
half and the unrelenting, frightful malady appears to have fled forever 
at the sound of your voice. If the angels above sing like you, I sbail 
long to quit the world in order to enjoy that happhiess wbich you. 
have made known to me. Blessings then be on you, oh my child, and 
may your earthly happiness correspond with your deserts ! I have 
heard Faustina, Eomanina, Cuzzoni, and the rest; but they are not 
to be named along with you. It is reserved for you to let the world 
hear what it has never yet heard, and to make it feel what no man 
has ever yet felt." 

Consuelo, overwhelmed by this magnificent eulogium, bowed her 
head, and almost bending to the ground, kissed, without being able to 
utter a word, the livid fingers of the dying man, then rising, she cast 
a look upon Anzoleto which seemed to say — " Ungrateful one, you 
knew not what I was ! " 



CHAPTER SI. 

Dttbikg the remainder of the service, Consuelo displayed energy 
and resources which completely removed any hesitation Count Znstiu- 
iani might have felt respecting her. She led, she animated, she sus- 
tained the choir, displaying at each instant prodigious powers, and the 
varied qualities of her voice rather than the strength of her lungs. 
For those who know how to sing do not become tired, and Consuelo 
sang with as little efliirt and labor as others might have iu merely 
breathing. She was heard above all the rest, not because she scream- 
ed like those performers, without soul and without breath, but be- 
cause of the tinimaginable sweetness and purity of her tones. Be- 
sides, she felt that she was understood in every minute particular. 
She alone, amidst the vulgar crowd, the shrill voices and imperfect 
trills of those around her, was a musician and a master. She filled 
therefore instinctively and without ostentation her powerful part, and 
as long as the service lasted she took the prominent place whicli she 
felt was necessary. After all was over, the choristers imputed it to 
her as a grievance and a crime; and those very persons who, failing 
and sinking, had as it were imploied her assistance with their looks| 
claimed for themselves all the enlogiums which were given to the 



CONSUELO. t) 

hool of Poi-pora at large. At these enlogiurns the master smile 
id said nothing: but he looked at Consuelo, and Anzoleto uudei 
ood very well what his look meant. 

Alter the business of the day was over, the choristers partook of 
lect collation which the count had caused to be served up in one o 
le parlors of the convent. Two immense tables in the form of 
ilf-moon were separated by the grating, in the centre of which, ov€ 
I immense gat^, there was an opening to pass the dishes, which th 
lunt himself gracefully handed round to the principal nuns and pi 
Is. The latter, dressed as Beguines, came by dozens alternately t 
!cupy the vacant places in the interior of the cloisters. The sup( 
ar, seated next the grating, was thus at the right hand of the count a 
garded the outer hall ; the seat on his left was vacant. Marcelk 
orpora,'the curate of the parish, and the officiating priests, som 
lettanti patricians, ami the lay administrators of the school, togethe 
ith the handsome Anzoleto with his black coat and sword, had 
ace at the secular table. The young singers, though usually ani 
ated enough on such occasions, what with the pleasure of teastins 
' conversing with gentlemen, the desire of pleasing, or at least o 
iing observed — were on that day thoughtful and constrained. Th 
■oject of the count had somehow expired — for what secret can b 
)pt in a convent without oozing out? — and each of these young girl 
cretly flattered herself that she should be presented by Porpora ii 
■der to succeed Gorilla. The professor was even malicious enougl 
encourage their illusions, whether to induce them to perform bet 
r before Marcello, or to revenge himself for the previous annoyanc' 
iring their course of instruction. Certain it is that Clorinda, win 
as one of the out^pupils of the conservatory, was there in full attire 
aiting to take her place beside the count; but when she saw thede 
lised Consuelo, with her black dress and tranquil mein, the ugl; 
eature whom she affected to despise, hencefortb esteemed a inusi 
an and the only beauty of the school, she became absolutely fright 
1 with anger — uglier that Consuelo had ever been — ugly as Venui 
irself would become were she actuated by a base and degrading mo 
^e. Anzoleto, exulting in his victory, looked attentively at her, seatec 
mself beside her, and loaded her with absurd compliments which shi 
id not sense to understand, but which nevertheless consoled her 
le imaghied she would revenge herself on her rival by attracting he; 
itrothed, and spared no pains to intoxicate him'Svith her charms 
le was no match however for her companion, and Anzoleto was 
;ute enough to load her with ridicule. 

In the mean time Count Zustiniani, npon conversing with Con 
elo, was amazed to find her endowed with as much tact, gooc 
nse, and conversational powers, as he had found in her talent anc 
lility at church. Absolutely devoid of coquetry, there was a cheer 
1 frankness and confiding good nature in her manner which in- 
ired a sympathy equally rapid and irresistible. When the repasi 
IS at an end, he invited her to take the air in his gondola with his 
ends. Marcello was excused on account of his failing health ; bul 
jrpora, Barberigo, and other patricians were present, and Anzoletc 
IS also of the party. Consuelo, who felt not quite at home among 
many men, entreated the count to invite Clorinda ; and Zustiniani, 
liodid not suspect the badinage of Anzoleto with tin poor girl, was 
)t sorry to see him attracted by her. The noble cou'it. thanks tn 
e sprightliness of his character, his fine figure, his wealth, his thea- 



g8 CONSUELO. 

tre, and also the easy manners of the country and of the time, had a 
strong si>ice of conceit in his character. Fired by the wme ol trreece 
and by his musical enthusiasm, and impatient to revenge himselt on 
tlie perfidious Gorilla, he thought there was nothing more natural 
than to pay his court to Consuelo. Seating himself therefore beside 
her in the gondola, and so arranging that the young people shoultt 
occupy the other extremity, he began to direct glances ot a very sig- 
nificant character on his new flame. The simple and upright Con- 
suelo took no notice. Her candor and good principle revolted at 
the idea that the protector of her friend could harbor ill designs ; 
hideed, her habitual modesty, in no way affected by the splendid tri- 
umph of the day, would have made it impossible for her to believe it. 
She persisted therefore in respecting the illustrious signer, who 
adopted her along with Anzoleto, and continued to amuse herself 
with the party of pleasure, in which she could see no harm. 

So much calmness and good faith surprised the count, who re- 
mained uncertain whether it was the joyous submission of an unre- 
sisting heart or the unsuspiciousness of perfect innocence. At eight- 
een years of age. however, now, as well as a hundred years ago, espec- 
ially with a friend such as Anzoleto, a girl could not be perfectly ig- 
norant. Every probability was in favor of the count ; nevertheless, 
each time that he seized the hand of his protegee, or attempted to 
steal his arm round her waist, he experienced an indefinable fear, and 
a feeling of uncertainty— almost of respect, which restrained him, he 
could not tell how. 

Barberigo thought Consuelo sufiiciently attractive, and he would In 
his turn gladly have maintained his pretensions, had he not been re- 
strained by motives of delicacy towards the count. " Honor to all," 
said he to himself, as he saw the eyes of Zustiniani swimming in an 
atmosphere of voluptuous delight ; " my turn will come next." 
Meanwhile the young Barberigo, not much accustomed to look at the 
stars when on excursions with ladies, inquired by what right Anzoleto 
should appropriate the fair Clorinda ; and approaching, he endeav- 
ored to make him understand that his place was rather to take the 
oar than to flirt with ladies. Anzoleto, notwithstanding his acute- 
ness, was not well-bred enough to understand at first what he meant ; 
besides, his pride was fully on a par with the Insolence of the pa- 
tricians. He detested them cordially, and his apparent deference 
towards them merely served to disguise his inward contempt. Bar- 
berigo, seeing that he took a pleasure in opposing them, bethought 
himself of a cruel revenge. " By Jove ! " said he to Clorinda, " your 
friend Consuelo is getting on at a furious rate; I wonder where she 
will stop. iVot contented with setting the town crazy with her voice, 
she is turning the head of the poor count. He will fall madly in love, 
and Gorilla's afiair will be soon settled." 

"Oh, there is nothing to fear," exclaimed Clorinda, mockingly; 
" Consuelo's afiections are the property of Anzoleto here, to whom in 
fact she is engaged. They have been burning for each other, I don't 
know how many years." 

" I do not know how many years may be swept away in the twink- 
ling of an eye," said Barberigo, " especially when the eyes of Zustin- 
iani take it upon them to cast the mortal dart. Do not you think so 
beautiful Clorinda?" ' 

Anzoleto could bear it no longer. A thousand serpents already 
found admission into his bosom. Hitherto such a suspicion had 



CONSUELO. 

never entered his mind. He was transported with joy at witnessin 
his friend's triumph, and it was as' much to give expression to h 
transports as to amuse his vanity, that he occupied himself in rallyin 
the unfortunate victim of tlie day. After some cross purposes wit 
Barberigo, lie feigned a sudden interest in a musical discussion whic 
Porpora was keeping up with some of the company in the centre ( 
the baric, and thus leaving a situation which he had now no long* 
any wish to retain, he glided along unobserved almost to the pro? 
He saw at the first glance that Zustiniani did not relish his attempt t 
interrupt this tete-Vtete with his betrothed, for he replied coolly, an 
even with displeasure. At last, after several idle questions badly n 
ceived, he was advised to go and listen to the instructions which th 
great Porpora was giving on counterpoint. 

" The great Porpora is not my master," said Anzoleto, concealin 
the rage which devoured him. " He is Cons»ielo's master; and if 
would only please your Highness," said he, in a low tone, bending, tc 
wards the count in an insinuating manner, " that my poor Consuel 
should receive no other lessons tlian those of her old teacher. — " 

" Dear and well-beloved Zoto," replied the count caressingly, but i 
the same time with profound malice, " I have a word for your ear; 
and leaning towards him he added : " Your betrothed has doubtles 
received lessons from you that must render her invulnerable; but if 
had any pretension to offer her others, I should at least have the rigi; 
of doing so during one evening." 

Anzoleto felt a chill run through his frame from head to foot. 

" Will your gracious Highness deign to explain yourself? " said h( 
in a choking voice. 

" It is soon done, my good friend," replied the count in a clear ton 
— " gondola for gondola." 

Anzoleto was terrified when l»e found that the count had disco\ 
ered his tete-k-tete with Gorilla. The foolish and audajCious girl hai 
boasted to Zustiiiani in a violent quarrel that they had been togethei 
The guilty youth vainly pretended astonishment. " You had bette 
go and listen to Porpora about the principle of the Neapolita; 
schools," said the count; " you will come back and tell me about 1 
for it is a subject that interests me much." 

" I perceive, your Excellency," replied Anzoleto, frantic with rag 
and ready to dash himself into the sea. 

" What! " said the innocent Consuelo, astonished at his hesitatior 
" will you not go ? Permit me, Signor Count; you shall see that I at 
willing to serve you." And before the count could interpose, sh 
bounded lightly over the seat which separated her from her old mastei 
and sat down close beside him. 

The count, perceiving that matters were not far enough advancec 
found it necessary to dissemble. "Anzoleto," said he, smiling, an 
pulling the ear of his protege a little too hard, " my revenge is at ai 
end. It has not proceeded nearly so far as your deserts; neither do 
make the slightest comparison between the pleasure of conversing ii 
the presence of a dozen persons with your fair friend and the t§te-& 
tete which you have enjoyed in a well-closed gondola with mine." 

"Signor Count! " exclaimed Anzoleto,-. violently agitated, " I pro 
test on my honor " 

" Where is your honor ? " resumed the count ; " is it in your lei 
ear?" And he menaced the unfortunate organ with an inflictloj 
similar to that which' he had just visited the right. 



60 CONSUELO. 

"Do you suppose your proteg^ has so little sense," said Anzoleto, 
recovering his presence of mind, " as to be guilty of such folly ? 

" Guilty or not," rejoined the count, drily, " it is aU the same to 
me." And he seated himself beside Consuelo. 



CHAPTER XII. 

The musical dissertation was continued until they reached the 
palace of Zustiniani, where they arrived towards midnight, to partake 
of coffee and sherbet. From the technicalities of art they had passed 
on to style, musical ideas, ancient and modem forms ; from that to ar- 
tists and their different modes of feeling and expressing themselves* 
Porpora spoke with admiration of his master Scarlatti, the first who 
had imparted apathetic character to religious compositions; but there 
he stopped, and would not admit that sacred music should trespass 
upon profane, in tolerating ornaments, trill, and roulades. 

"Do you, then, Signor," said Anzoleto, "find fault with these and 
other difficult additions, which have nevertheless constituted the glory 
and success of your illustrious pupil Farinelli? " 

"I only disapprove of them iu the church," replied the maestro; "I 
would have them in their proper place, which is the theatre. I wish 
them of a pure, sober, genuine taste, and appropriate in their modu- 
lations, not only to the subject of which they treat, but to the person, 
and situation that are represented, and the passion which is expressed. 
The nymphs and shepherds may warble like any birds; their ca- 
dences may be like the flowing fourUain ; but Medea or Dido can only 
sob and roar like a wounded lioness. The coquette, indeed, may 
load her silly cavatina with capricious and elaborate ornament. Go- 
rilla excels in this description of music; but once she attempts to ex- 
press the deeper emotions, the passions of the human heart, she be- 
comes inferior even to herself. In vain she struggles, in vain she 
swells her voice and bosom — a note misplaced, an absurd roulade, par- 
odies in an instant the sublimity which she had hoped to reach. Ton 
have all heard Faustina Bordini, now Madame Hasse: in situations 
appropriate to her brilliant qvialities, she had no equal; but when 
Cuzzoni came, with her pure, deep feeling, to sing of pain, of prayer, 
or tenderness, the tears which she drew forth banished in an instant 
from your heart the recollection of Faustina. The solution of this is 
to be found in the fact that there is a showy and superficial cleverness, 
very different from lofty and creative genius. There is also that 
which amuses, which moves us, which astonishes, and which com- 
pletely carries us away. I know very well that sudden and startling 
effects are now in fashion ; but if I taught them to ray pupils as use- 
ful exercises, I almost repent of it when I see the majority so abuse 
them — so sacrifice what is necessary to what is superfluous — the last- 
ing emotion of the audience to cries of surprise and the starts of a fe- 
verish and transitory pleasure. 

No one attempted to combat conclusions so eternally true with re- 
gard to all the arts, and which will be always applied to their varied 
manifestations by lofty minds. Nevertheless, the count, who was cu- 
rious to know how jConsuelo would sing ordinary music, preteuded to 



* CONSUELO. 61 

mbat a little the severe notions of Porpora; but seeing that the 

odest girl, instead of refuting his heresies, ever turned her eyes to 

:r old master as if to solicit his victorious replies, he determined to 

tack herself, and asked her " if she sang upon the stage with as 

uch ability and purity as at church ? " 

" I do not think," she replied, vpith unfeigned humility, "that I 

onld there experience the same inspirations, or acquit myself iiear- 

so well." 

"This modest and sensible reply satisfies me," said the count; 

md I feel assured that if you will condescend to study those bril- 

;nt difficulties of which we every day become more greedy, you will 

fficiently inspire an ardent, curious, and somewhat spoiled public." 

"Study!" replied Porpora, with a meaning smile. 

"Study!" cried Anzoleto, with superb disdain. 

" Yes, without doubt," replied Consuelo, with her accustomed 

reetness. " Though I have sometimes labored in this direction. I 

I not tliink I should be able to rival the illustrious performers who 

ive appeared in our time." 

" You do not speak sincerely," exclaimed Anzoleto, with anima- 

m. " Eccellenza, she does not speak tlie truth. Ask her to try the 

ost elaborate and difficult airs in the repertory- of the theatre, and 

a will see what she can do." 

"If I did not think she were tired," said the count, whose eyes 

arkled with impatience and curiosity. . Consuelo turned hers art- 

isly to Porpora, as if to await his command. 

" Why, as to that," said he, " such a trifle could not tire her; and 

we are here a select few, we can listen to her talent in every de- 
ription of music. Come, Signor Count, choose an air, and accom- 
ny it yourself on the harpsichord." 

" The emotion which the sound of her voice would occasion nie," 
plied Zustiniani, " would cause me.to play falsely. Why not accora- 
ny her yourself, maestro : " 

" I should wish to see her sing," continued Porpora: " for between 
be it said, I have never seen her sing. I wish to know how she de- 
dans herself, and what she does with her mouth and with her eyes, 
ime, my child, arise; it is for me as well as for you that this trial is 
be made." 

"Let me accompany her, then," said Anzoleto, seating himself at 
e instrument. 

" You will frighten me, O my master!" said Consuelo to Porpora. 
" Fools alone are timid," replied the master. " Whoever is inspir- 

with the love of art need fear nothing. If you tremble it is 
cause you are vain; if yon lose your resources, it is because they 
B false ; and if so, I shall be one of the first to s£|,y : ' Consuelo is 
od for nought.' " 

And without troubling himself as to what effect these tender en- 
ui-agements might produce, the professor donned his spectacles, 
iced himself before his pupil, and began to beat the time on the 
rpisohord to give the true movement of the ritornella. They choso 
jri.liant, strange, and difficult air from an opera buffa of Galuppi, 
The Diaiiolessa, — in order to test her in a species of art the most 
posite to that in which slie had succeeded in the morning. The 
ung girl enjoyed a facility so prodigious as to be able, almost with- 
t study, and as if m sport, to overcome, with her pliable and povv- 
Ful voice, all the difficulties of execution then known, Porpora had 



62 CONSUELO. 

recommended and made her repeat such exercises from t™e to time, 
in order to see that she did not neglect them ; but he was q" t? "»^- 
ware of the ability of his wonderful pupil m this respect. As it to re- 
7euge himself for the bluntness which he had d/^PlY^d Consnelo was 
roguish enough to add to The J>lavolesM a multitude of turns and or- 
naments until then esteemed impracticable, '"^«'h'<='' ^^^f, ""P'"7, f^ 
with as much unconcern and calmness as li she had studied them 

^'Thesr'embellishments were so skilftil in their modulations, of a 
character so energetic, wild, and startling, and mingled in the midst 
of their most impetuous gaiety witli accents so mournful, that a shud- 
der of terror replaced the enthusiasm of the audience; and I'orpora, 
rising suddenly, cried out with a loud voice: "You are the devil in 

Consuelo brought her air to a close with a crescendo di forza, 
which produced bursts of applause, and taking her seat again began 
lauscliing merrily. 

"Naughty girl," cried Torpora. " This trick you have played me, 
deserves the gallows. Tou have made a fool of me, concealing from 
me half your studies and powers. It is maTiy a day since you have 
had aught to learn of me; and you have taken my lessons treacher- 
ously ; to steal my secrets of composition and of teaching, I fancy, and 
so to outdo me in everything, and make me pass for an old-fashioned 
pedagogue." 

" Master mine," Consuelo made reply, " what have I done but imi- 
tate your trick upon the Emperor Charles? You have related that to 
me already, many times. — How his Imperial Majesty detested trills, 
and forbade your introducing one into your oratorio ; and how, after 
obeying his orders rigidly unto the very end of the piece, you gave 
him a divertissement at the last fugue, in perfectly good taste, begin- 
ning with four ascending trills, afterwards repeated infinitely in the 
stretto by all the parts. "You have discoursed all this evening on the 
abuse of ornament, and you end by ordering me to execute them. I 
executed too many, in order to prove myself capable of extravagance 
— a fault to which I willingly plead guilty." 

" I tell you that you are Beelzebub incarnate," answered Porpora, 
" Now then play some human air, and sing it according to your own 
notions, for I perceive that I, at least, can teach you no longer." 

" You will always be my revered, always my beloved master," cried 
she, falling on his neck and claspiiig him in her arras. " It is to you 
only thati owe my livelihood, my instructions for the last ten years. 
Oh, .master, I have heard say that you have formed but ungrateful 
pupils; but may God deprive me at once of the power of livmg and 
of singing, if my heart is tainted with the full venom of ingratitude ! " 

Porpora grew pale, spoke a few indistinct words, and kissed the 
brow of his pupil paternally; but with the kiss he left a tear, which 
Consuelo, who would not wipe it, felt drying on herforehead, — the icy 
bitter tear of unhappy age, and unappreciated genius. A sort of 
superstitious horror overwhelmed her with deep emotion, and her 
gaiety was overshadowed, and her liveliness extinguished for the 
night. An hour afterwards, when all the set terms of admiration had 
been lavished on her — not of that only, but of rapture and surprise 
— without drawing her from her gloom, they asked for a specimen of 
her dramatic skill. She sang a grand aria of Jomelli's opera, " IHdone 
Abandonata." Never had she felt before the wish to give her sadness 



CONSUELO. 63 

it. In the pathetic, the simple, the grand — she was sublime; and 
■ face showed fairer yet, and more expressive tlian It had done 
lie slie sang in church. Her complexion was flushed with a 
erlsh glow; her eyes lightened with a strange and lurid lustre. She 
s a saint no longer — ^'but what sxiited better far, she was a woman 
tured by devouring-Iove. The count, his friend Barberigo, Anzo- 
0, all the auditors, even, I believe, to old Porpora himself, were al- 
ist beside themselves. Clorinda was choking with envy. Then 
nsnelo, on the count's telling her that her engagement should be 
iwn and signed to-morrow, asked him to promise her yet another 
or, and to plight his word like a knight of old, to grant a request 
lich he had'iiot heard. He did so, and the party broke up, exhaust- 
with that sweet emotion which is produced by great effect, and 
sided at will by great intellects. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

While Consuelo was achieving all these triumphs, Arzoleto had 
3d so completely in her as to forget himself; nevertheless, when the 
mt in dismissing him mentioned the engagement of his betrothed, 
thout saying a word of his own, he called to mind the coolness 
th which he had been treated during the evening, and the dread of 
ng ruined without remedy poisoned all his joy. The idea darted 
■OSS his mind to leave Consuelo on the steps, leaning on Porpora's 
n, and to return to cast himself at the feet of his benefactor; but 
at this moment he hated him, we must say in his praise that he 
thstood the temptation to humiliate himself. When he had taken 
,ve of Porpora, and repaired to accompany Consuelo along the 
lal, the gondoliers of the count informed him that by the commands 
their master the gondola waited to conduct the signora home. A 
d perspii'ation burst upon his forehead. '■ The signora," said he, 
Jely, "is accustomed to use her own limbs; she is much obliged to 
! count for his attentions." 

' By what right do you refuse for her?" said the count, who was 
se behind him. Anzoleto turned and saw him, not with uncovered 
ad, as a man who dismissed his guests, but with his cloak thrown 
Br his shoulders, his hat in one hand, and his sword in the other, 

one who seeks adventures. Anzoleto was so enraged, that a 
3nght of stabbing him with the long nai-row knife which a Venetian 
I'ays carried about concealed on his person, flashed across his mind. 

hope, Signora," said the count, in a firm voice, " that you will not 
er me the affront of refusing my gondola to take you home, and 
asing me the vexation of not permitting me to assist you to enter 

Consuelo, always confiding, and suspecting nothing of what passed 
)und her, accepted the offer, thanked him, and placing her pretty 
anded elbow in the hand of the count, she sprang without cererao- 
into the gondola. Then a dumb but energetic dialogue took place 
tween the Count and Anzoleto. The count, with one foot on the 
nk and one on the bark, measured Anzoleto with his eye, who, 
mding on the last step of the stairs leading from the water's edge 



64 C N S U E I- o. 

to the palace, measured him with a fierce air in return, his hand in 
his breast, and grasping the handle of his knife. A single step, and 
the count was iSst. What was most characteristic of J^he Venetian 
disposition in this rapid and silent scene, was that the two rivals 
watched each other without either hastening the catastrophe, ihe 
comit was determined to torture his. rival by apparent irresolution, 
and he did so at leisure, although he saw and comprehended the ges- 
ture of Anzoleto. On his side, Anzoleto had strength to w^it, with- 
out betraying himself, until it would please the count to tinisii his 
malicious pleasantry or to surrender life. This pantomime lasted two 
minutes, wliieh seemed to Anzoleto an age, and which the count sup- 
port.ed with stoical disdain. The count then made a profound bow 
to Consuelo, and turning towards his protegfS, " I permit you also, 
said he, "to enter my gondola; in future you will know how a gallant 
man conducts himself;" and he stepped back to allow Anzoleto to 
pass into the boat. Then he gave orders to the gondolier to row to 
the Corte Minelii, while he remained standing on the bank, motionless 
as a statue. It almost seemed as if he awaited some new attempt 
at murder on the part of his humiliated rival. 

"How does the count know your abode?" was the first word 
which Anzoleto addressed to his betrothed, when they were out of 
sight of the palace of Zustiniani. 

" Because I told him," replied Consuelo. 

" And why did you tell him?" 

" Because he asked me." 

" Toil do not guess then why he wished to know? " 

" Probably to convey me home." 

"Do you think so? Do you think he will not come to see you?" 

" Come to see me ? what madness ! And in such a wretched abode ! 
That would be an excess of politeness which I should never wish." 

" You do well not to wish it, Consuelo ; for excess of shame might 
ensue from this excess of honor." 

" Shame! and why shame to me? In good faith I do not under- 
stand you to-night, dear Anzoleto; and I think it rather odd that you 
should speak of things I do not comprehend, instead of expressing 
your joy at our incredible and unexpected success." 

" Unexpected indeed," returned Anzoleto, bitterly. 

" It seemed to me that at vespers, and while they applauded roe this 
evening, you were even more enchanted than I was. Tou looked at 
me with such passionate eyes that my happiness was doubled in see- 
ing it reflected from you. But now you are gloomy and out of sorts, 
just as when we wanted bread, and our prospects were uncertain. 

" And now you wish that I should rejoice in the future? Possibly 
it is no longer uncertain, but assuredly it presents nothing cheering 
for me." 

" What more would we have? It is hardly a week since you ap- 
peared before the count and were received with enthusiasm." 

" My success was infinitely eclipsed by yours — you know it well." 

"I hope not; besides, if It were so, there can be no jealousy be- 
tween us." 

These ingenuous words, uttered with the utmost truth and tender- 
ness, calmed the heart of Anzoleto. "Ah, you are right," said he 
clasping his betrothed in his arms; " we cannot be je.-ilous of each 
other, we cannot deceive each other: " but as he uttered these words 
he recalled with remorse his adventure with Gorilla, and it occurred to 



CONSUELO. 65 

him that the count, in order to punish him, might reveal his conduct 
to Consuelo whenever he had reason to suppose that she in the least 
encouraged him. He fell into a gloomy reverie, and Consuelo also 
hecame pensive. 

"Wliy," said she, after a moment's silence, "did you say that we 
could not deceive each other? It is a great truth surely, but why did 
you just tlien think of it? " 

"Hush! let us not say another word in this gondola," said Anzo- 
leto; " they will hear what we say, and tell it to the count. This vel- 
vet covering is very thin, and these palace gondolas have recesses four 
times as deep and as large as tliose for hire. Permit me to accom- 
pany you home," said lie, when they had been put ashore at the en- 
trance of the Corte Minelli. 

" You Isnow that it is contrary to our usage, and engagement," re- 
plied she. 

" Oh do not refnse me," said Anzoleto, " else you will plunge me 
Into fury and despair." 

Frightened by his tone and his words, Consuelo dared no longer re- 
fuse;- and when she had lighted lier lamp and drawn the curtains, 
seeing him gloomy and lost in thought she threw her arms around 
him. "How unhappy and disquieted you seem this evening!" said 
she ; " what is passing in your- mind ? " 

" Do you not know, Consuelo? do you not guess? " 

" No, on my soul 1 " 

" Swear that you do not guess it. Swear it by the soul of your 
mother — by your hopes of heaven ! " 

"Oh, I swear it!" 

" And by our love ? " 

" By our love." 

" I believe you, Consuelo, for it would be the first lime you ever 
uttered an untrutli ! " 

" And now will you explain yourself" 

" I shall explain nothing. Perhaps I may have to explain myself 
soon ; and when that moment conies, and when you have too well 
comprehended me, woe to us both, the day on whicli you know what 
I now suifer!" 

"O Heaven! What new misfortune tiireatens us? what curse as- 
sails us, as we re-enter this poor cliamber, where hitherto we had no 
secrets from each other? Something too surely told me when I left 
it this morning that I should return with death in my soul. What 
have I done that I should not enjoy a day that promised so well? 
Have I not prayed God sincerely and ardently ? Have I not thrust 
aside.each proud thought? Have I not suffered from Clorinda's hu- 
miliation? Have I not obtained from the count a promise that he 
should engage her as seconda donna with us? What have I done, 
must I again ask, to incur the sufferings of which you speak — which 
I already feel since you feel them? " 

" And did you indeed procure an engagement for Clorinda? " 

"I am resolved upon it, and the count is a man of his word. This 
poor girl lias always dreamed of the theatre, and has no other means 
of subsistence." 

"And do you think that the count will part with Kosalbaawho 
knows something, for Clorinda, who knows nothing? " ™= 

" Rosalba wil 1 follow her sister Corilla's fortunes ; and as to Clorinda 
■we shall give her lessons, and teach l»er to turn her voice, which is not 
4 



66 CONSUELO. 

amiss, to the best account. The public, besides, will be indulgent to 
a pretty girl. Were she only to obtain a third place, it would be 
always something— a beginning— a source of subsistence." 

" You are a saint, Consuelo; you do not see that this dolt, in ac- 
cepting your intervention, although she should be happy in obtaining 
a third or even a fourth place, will never pardon you for being lirst. 

"What signifies her ingratitude ? I know already what ingratitude 
and the ungrateful are." 

" You ! " said Anzoleto, bursting into a laugh, as he embrace!^ her 
with all his old brotherly warmth. 

"Oh," replied she, enchanted at having diverted him from his 
cares, " I should always have before ray eyes the image of my noble 
master Porpora. Many bitter words he uttered which he thought 
me incapable of comprehending; but they sank deep into my heart, 
and shall never leave it. He is a man who has suffered greatly, and 
is devoured by sorrow. From his grief and his deep indignation, as 
well as what has escaped from him before me, I have learned that 
artists, my dear Anzoleto, are more wicked and dangerous than I 
could suppose— tliat the public is fickle, forgetful, cruel, and unjust— 
that a great career is but a heavy ci-oss, and that glory is a crown of 
thorns. Yes, I know all that, and I have thought and reflected upon 
it so often, that I think I should neither be astonished nor cast down 
were I to experience it myself. Therefore it is that you have not 
been able to intoxicate me by the triumph of to-day — therefore it 
is your dark thoughts have not discouraged me. I do not yet compre- 
hend them very well ; but I know that with you, and provided you 
love me, I shall strive not to hate and despise mankind like my poor 
unhappy master, that noble yet simple old man. 

In listening to his betrothed, Anzoleto recovered his serenity and 
his courage. She exercised great influence over him, and each day 
he discovered In her a firmness and rectitude which supplied every- 
thing that was wanting in himself. The terrors with which jealousy 
had inspired him, were forgotten at the end of a quarter of an hour's 
conversation; and when she questioned him again he was so much 
ashamed of having suspected a being so pure and so calm, that he 
ascribed his agitation to other causes. " I am only afraid," said he, 
" that the eount will find you so superior, that he shall judge me 
unworthy to appear with you before the public. He seemed this 
evening to have forgotten my very existence. He did not even per- 
ceive that in accompanying you I played well. In fine, when he told 
you of your engagement, he did not say a word of mine. How is it 
that you did not remark that? " 

" It never entered my head that I should be engaged without you. 
Does he not know that nothing would persuade me to it? — that we 
are betrothed ? — that we love each other? Have you not told him all 
this?" 

" I have told him so, but perhaps he thinks that I wish to boast, 
Consuelo." 

" In that case I shall boast myself of my love, Anzoleto: I shall 
tell him so that he cannot doubt it. But you are deceived, my friend ; 
the count has not thought it necessary to speak of your engagement 
becajise it was a settled thing since the day that you sung so well, 
afflis'house." 

" But sot yet ratified, and your engagement he has told you will 
be signed to-morrow." 



C O N S TJ E L O. 67 

" Do you think I shall sign the first? Oh, no ! you have done well 
to put me on my guard. My name shall be written below yours." 

'■ You swear it ? " 

" Oh, fie! Do you ask oaths for what you know so well? Truly 
you do not love rae this evening, or you would not make me suffer by 
seeming to imagine that I did not love you." 

At this thought Consuelo's eyes filled with tears, and she sat down 
with a pouting air, which rendered her charming. I am a fool — ^an 
ass ! thought Anzoleto. " How could I for one instant suppose that 
the coiuit could triumph over a soul so pure — an affection so full and 
entire ? He is not so Inexperienced as not to perceive at a glance that 
Oonsuelo is not for him. and he would not have been so generous as 
to offer me a place in his gondola, had he not known that he would 
have played the part of a fool there. No, no ; my lot is well assured 
— my position unassailable. Let Consuelo please him or not, let him 
love, pay court to her — all that can only advance my fortunes, for she 
will soon learn to obtain what she wishes without incurring any dan- 
ger. Consuelo will soon be better informed on this head than myself. 
She is prudent, she is energetic. The pretensions of the dear count 
will only turn to my profit and glory." 

And thus adjuring all his doubts, he cast himself at the feet of his 
betrothed, and gave vent to that passionate enthusiasm which he now 
experienced for the first time, and which his jealousy had served for 
some hours to restrain. 

" O my beauty — my saint — my queen ! " he cried " excuse me for 
having thought of myself before you, as I should have done, on finding 
myself again with you in this chamber. I left it this morning in anger 
with you. Yes, yes; I should have re-entered it upon my knees. 
How could you love and smile upon a brute like rae? Strike me with 
your fan, Consuelo; place your pretty foot upon ray neck. You are 
gre-ater than I am by a hundred fold, and I am your slave forever 
from this day." 

"I do not deserve these fine speeches," said she, abandoning her- 
self to his transports ; " and I excuse your doubts, because I compre- 
hend them. It was the fear of being serrated from me — of seeing 
our lot divided — which caused you all this unhappiness. You have 
failed in your faith in God, which is much worse than having accused 
me. But I shall pray for you, and say — ' Lord, forgive as I forgive 
him.'" 

While thus innocently and simply expressing her love, and mingling 
with it that Spanish feeling of devotion so full of human affection 
and ingenuous candor, Gonsuelo was beautiful. Anzoleto gazed on 
her with rapture. 

"Oh, thou mistress of my soul!" he exclaimed, in a suffocated 
voice, " be mine for ever more ! " 

" When you will — to-morrow," said Consuelo, with a heavenly 
smile. 

" To-morrow ? and why to-morrow ? " 

" You are right; it is now past midnight — we may he married to- 
day. When the sun rises let us seek the priest. We have no friends, 
and the ceremony need not be long. I have the muslin dress which 
I have never yet worn. When I made it, dear Anzoleto, I said to 
myself— ' Perhaps I may not have money to purchase my wedding 
dress, and if my friend should soon decide on marrying me, I would 
be obliged to wear one that I have had on already.' That, they say, 



bo CONSTIELO. 

is unlucky. So, when my mother appeared to me in a dream, to take 
it from me and lay it aside, she knew what slie did, poor soul ! There- 
fore, by to-morrow's sun we shall swear at San Samuel fidelity for 
ever. Did you wish to satisfy yourself first, wicked cue, that I was 
not ugly 1 " 

" O Consiielo ! " exclaimed Anzoleto, with anguish, " you are a 
child. We could not marry thus, from one day to another, \\ithout 
its being known. The Count and Porpora, whose protection is so 
necessary to us, would be justly irritated if we took tliis step without 
consulting or even informing them. Your old master does not like 
me too well, and the count, as I know, does not care much for mar- 
ried singers. We cannot go to San Samuel, where everybody knows 
us, and wliere the first old woman we met would make the palace ac- 
quainted with it in half an hour. We must keep our union secret." 

" No, Anzoleto," said Consuelo, " I cannot consent to so rash — so 
ill-advised a step. I did not think of the objections you have urged 
to a public marriage; but if they are well founded, they apply with 
equal force to a private and clandestine one. It was not I who first 
spoke of it, Anzoleto, although I thought more than once that we were 
old enough to be married; yet it seemed right to leave the decision to 
your prudence, and, if I must say it, to your wishes ; for I saw very 
well that you were in no hurry to rnake me your wife, nor had I any 
desire to remind you. Ton have often told me that before settling 
ourselves, we must think of our future family, and secure the needful 
resources. My mother said the same, and it is only right. Thus, all 
things considered, it would be too soon. First, our engagement must 
be signed — is not that so?^then we must be certain of the good will 
of the public. We can speak of all this after we make our debut. But 
why do you grow pale, Anzoleto ? Why do you wring your hands? 
O Heavens! are we not happy? Does it need an oath to insure our 
mutual love and reliance?" 

" O Consuelo ! how calm you are ! — how pure ! — how cold ! " ex- 
claimed Anzoleto, with a sort of despair. 

" Cold ! " exclaimed the young Spaniard, stupefied, and crimsoned 
with indignation. * God, who reads my heart, knows whether I love 
you ! " 

" Very well," retorted Anzoleto, angrily ; " throw yourself into his 
bosom, for mme is no safe refuge ; and I shaU fly lest I become im- 
pious." 

Thus saying he rushed towards the door, believing that Consuelo 
who had hitherto never been able to separate from him in any quar- 
rel however trifling, would hasten to prevent him; and in fact she 
made an impetuous movement as if to spring after him, then stopped 
saw him go out, ran likewise to the door, and put her hand on the' 
latch in order to call him back. But summoning up all her resolution 
by a superhuman effort, she fastened the bolt behind him, and then 
overcome by the violent struggle she had undergone, she swooned 
away upon the floor, where she remained motionless till daybreak. 



C O N S U E L 0. 69 



CHAPTER XIT, 

"iMtrsT confess that I am completely enchanted with her," said 
Count Zustinlani to his friend Barberigo, as they conversed together 
on the balcony of his palace about two o'clock the same night. 

" That is as much as to say that I must not be so," replied the 
young and brilliant Barberigo, " and I yield the point, for your rights 
take precedence of mine. Kevertheless, if Gorilla should mesh you 
afresh in her nets, you will have the goodness to let me know, that I 
may try and win her ear." 

" Do not think of it, if you love me. Corilla has never been other 
than a plaything. I see by your countenance that you are but mock- 
ing me." 

" No, but I think that the amusement is somewhat serious which 
causes us to commit such follies and incur such expense." 

'• I admit that I pursue my pleasures with so much ardor that I 
spare no expense to prolong them ; but in this case it is more than 
faopcy — it is passion which I feel. I never saw a creature so strangely 
beautiful as this Consuelo ; she is Kke a lamp that pales from time to 
time, but which at the moment when it is apparently about to expire, 
sheds so bright a light that the very stars are eclipsed." 

" Ah ! " said Barherigo, sighing, " th^ little black dress and white 
collar, that slender and half devout toilet, that pale, calm face, at first 
so little striking, that frank address and astonishing absence of co- 
quetry — all become transformed, and, as it were, grow divine when 
inspired by her own lofty genius of song. Happy Zustinlani, who 
hold in your hands the destinies of this dawning star! " 

"Would I were secure of the happiness which you envy! But I 
am discouraged when I find none of those passions with which I am 
acquamted,and which are so easy to bring into play. Imagine, friend, 
that this girl remains an enigma to me even after a whole day's study 
of her. It would almost seem from her tranquillity and my awkward- 
ness, that I am already so far gone that I cannot see clearly." 

" Truly you are captivated, since you already grow blind. I, whom 
hope does not ponfuse, can tell you in three words what you do not 
understand. Consuelo is the flower of innocence ; she loves tlie little 
Anzoleto, and will love him yet for some time ; but if you affront this 
attachment of childhood, you will only give it fresh strength. Ap- 
pear to consider it of no importance, and the comparison which slie 
will not fail to make between you and him will not fail to cool her 
preference." » 

" But the rascal is as handsome as an Apollo, he has a magnificent 
voice, and must succeed. Corilla is already crazy about him; he is 
not one to be despised by a girl who has eyes." 

" But he is poor, and you are rich — he is unknown, and you are 
powerful. The needful thing is to find out whether they are merely 
betrothed, or whether a more intimate connexion binds them. In 
the latter case Consuelo's eyes will soon be opened ; in the former 
there will be a struggle and uncertainty which will but prolong her 
anguish." 

" I must then desire what I horribly fear, and which maddens me 
with rage when I think of it. What do you suppose ? " 

" I think they are merely betrothed." 



70 C O N S U E L 0. 

" But it is impossible. He is a bold and ardent youth, and then the 
manners of those people ! " 

" Consuelo is in all respects a prodigy. Tou have had experience 
to little purpose, dear Zustiniaui, if you do not see in all the move- 
ments, all the looks, all the words of this girl, that she is pure as the 
ocean gem." 

" You transport me with joy." 

" Take care— it is folly, prejudice. If you love Consuelo, she must 
be married to-morrow, so that in eight days her master may make her 
feel the weight of her chain, the torments of jealousy, the ennui of a 
troublesome, unjust, and faithless guardian; for the handsome Anzo- 
leto will be all that. I could not observe him yesterday between Con- 
suelo and Clorinda without being able to prophesy her wrongs and 
misfortunes. Follow my advice, and you will thank me. The bond 
of marriage is easy to unloose between people of that condition, and 
you know that with women love is an ardent fancy which only in- 
creases with obstacles." 

" You drive me to despair," replied the count; "nevertheless,! feel 
that you are right. " 

Unhappily for the designs of Count Zustiniani, this dialogue had>.a 
listener upon whom they did not reckon, and who did not lose one syl- 
lable of it. After quitting Consuelo, Anzoleto, stung with jealousy, 
had come to prowl about the palace of his protector, in order to assure 
himself that the count did not intend one of those forcible abductions 
then so much in vogue, and for which tlie patricians had almost entire 
impunity. He could hear no more, for the moon, which just then 
arose over the roofs of the palace, began to cast his shadow on the 
pavement, and the two young lords, perceiving that a man was under 
the balcony, withdrew and closed the window. 

Anzoleto disappeared in order to ponder at his leisure on what he 
had just heard; it was quite enough to direct him what course to take 
in order to profit by the virtuous counsels of Barberigo to his friend. 
He slept scarcely two hours, and immediately when he awoke ran to 
the Corte Minelli. The door was still locked, but through tha chinks 
he could see Consuelo, dressed, stretched on tlie bed and sleeping, pale 
and motionless as death. The coolness of the morning had roused her 
from her swoon, and she threw herself on the bed without having 
strength to undress. He stood for some moments looking at her with 
remorseful disquietude, but at last becoming uneasy at this heavy sleep, 
so contrary to the active habits of his betrothed, he gently enlarged an 
opening through which lie could pass his knife and slide back the bolt. 
This occasioned some noise: but Consuelo, overcome witli fatigue, 
was not awakened. He then entered, knelt down beside her couch, 
and remained thus until she awoke. On finding him there, Consuelo 
uttered a cry of joy, but instantly taking away her arms, which sho 
had thrown round his neck, she drew back with an expression of 
alarm. 

" You dread me now, and instead of embracing, fly me," said he 
with grief. "Oh, I am cruelly punished for my fault; pardon me, 
Consuelo, and see if you have ever cause to mistrust your friend 
again. I have watched you sleeping for a whole hour; pardon me, 
sister — it is the first and last time you shall have to blame or repulse 
your brother; I shall never more otfend you by ray jealousies or pas- 
sions. Leave me, banish me, if I fail in my oath. Are you satisfied, 
dear and good Consuelo?" 



C O N S TJ E L 0. 71 

Consuelo only replied by pressing the fair head of the Venetian to 
her heart, and bathing it with tears. This outburst comforted her; 
and soon after falling back on her pillow, " I confess," said she, " that 
I ara overcome; I hardly slept all night, we parted so unhappily." 

" Sleep, Consuelo ; sleep, dear angel," replied Anzoleto. " Do you 
remember the night that you allowed me to sleep on your couch, 
while you worked and prayed at your little table? It is now my 
turn to watch and protect you. — Sleep, my child : I shall turn over 
your music and read it to myself whilst you repose an hour or two; 
no one will disturb us before the evening. Sleep, then, and prove by 
this confidence that you pardon and trust me." 

Consuelo replied by a lieavenly smile. He kissed her forehead and 
l^laced himself at the table, while she enjoyed a refreshing sleep, min- 
gled with sweet dreams. 

Anzoleto had lived calmly and innocently too long with this young 
girl to render it difficult after one day's agitation, to regain his usual 
demeanor. This brotherly feeling was, as it were, the ordinary condi- 
tion of his soul ; besides, what he had heard the preceding night un- 
der the balcony ofZustiniani, was well calculated to strengthen his 
faltering purpose. " Thanks, my brave gentlemen," said he to him- 
self; "you have given me a lesson which the rascal will turn to ac- 
count just as much as one of your own class. I shall abstain from 
jealousy, infidelity, or any weakness which may give you an advan- 
tage over me. Illustrious and profound Barberigo! your prophecies 
bring counsel ; it is good to be of your school." 

Thus reflecting, Anzoleto, overcome by a sleepless night, dozed in 
his turn, his head supported on his hand, and his elbows on the 
table ; but his sleep was not sound, and the daylight had begun to de- 
cline as he rose to see if Consuelo still slumbered. The rays of the 
setting sun streaming through the window, cast a glorious purple 
tinge on the old bed and its beautiful occupant. Her white mantilla 
she had made into a curtain, which was secured to a filagree crucifix 
nailed to the wall above her head. Her veil fell gracefully over her 
well-proportioned and admirable figure; and, bathed in this rose-col- 
ored light as a flower which closes its leaves together at the approach 
of evening, her long tresses falling upon her white shoulders, her 
hands crossed on her bosom as a saint on her marble tomb, she looked 
so chaste and heavenly that Anzoleto mentally exclaimed, "Ah, 
Count Zustiniani, that you could see her this moment, and behold the 
prudent and jealous guardian of a treasure you vainly covet, beside 
her!" 

At this moment, a faint noise was heard outside, and Anzoleto, 
whose faculties were kept on the stretch, thought he recognised the 
splashing of water at the foot of Consuelo's ruined dwelling, although 
gondolas rarely approached the Corte Minelli. He mounted on a 
chair, and was by this means able to see through a sort of loop-hole 
near the ceiling, which looked towards the canal. He distinctly saw 
Count Zustiniani leave his bark, and question the half-naked children 
who played on the beach. He was imcertain whether he should 
awaken his betrothed or close the door; but, during the ten minutes 
which the count occupied in finding out the garret of Consuelo, he 
had time to regain the utmost self-possession and to leave the 
door ajar, so that anyone might enter without noise or hindrance; 
then reseating himself, he took a pen and pretended to write music. 
He appeared perfectly calm and tranquil, although his heart beat vio- 
lently. 



72 CONSUELO. 

The count slipped in, rejoicing in the idea of surprising his protoge'e 
whose obvious destitution he conceived would favor his corrupt in- 
tentions. He brought Consuelo's engagement ready signed alt"}§ 
•with him, and he thought with such a passport his reception could 
not be very discouraging; but at the first sight of the strange sanctu- 
ary in which this sweet girl slept her angelic sleep imder the watch- 
ful eye of her contented lover, Count Zustiniani lost his presence of 
mind, entangled his cloak which he had thrown with a conquenng air 
over his shoulders, and stopped between the bed and the table, utter- 
ly uncertain whom he shojlld address. Anzoleto was revenged for the 
scene at the entrance of the gondola. 

" My lord," he exclaimed, rising, as if surprised by an unexpected 
visit, " shall I awake my betrothed ? " 

" JTo," replied the count, already at his ease, and afifecting to turn 
his back that he might contemplate Consuelo; "lam so happy to see 
her thus, I forbid you to awaken her." 

" Yes, you may look at her," thought Anzoleto; " it is all I wished 
for." 

Consuelo did not awaken, and the count, speaking in a low tone 
and assuming a gracious-and tranquil, aspect, expressed his admiration 
without restraint. "You were right, Zoto," said he with an easy air; 
" Consuelo is the first singer in Italy, and I was wrong to doubt that 
she was the most beautiful woman in the world." 

" Your highness thought her frightful, however," said Anzoleto, 
maliciously. 

"You have doubtless complained to her of all my folly ; but I re- 
serve to myself the pleasure of obtaining pardon by so honorable and 
complete an apology, that you shall not again be able to injure me iu 
recalling my errors." 

"Injure you, Signer Count! — how- could I do so even had I the 
wish ? " 

Consuelo moved. " Let us not awaken her too suddenly," said the 
count, and clear this table, that I may place on it and read, her en- 
gagement. Hold!" said he when Anzoleto had obeyed him; "cast 
your eyes over this paper, while we wait for hers to open." 

" An engagement before trial! — it is magnificent, ray noble patron. 
And she is to appear at once, before Gorilla's engagement has ex- 
pired ? " 

" That is nothing; there is some trifling debt of a thousand sequins 
or so due her, which we shall' p4y off." 

" But wha.t if Gorilla should rebel ! " 

" We will confine her imder the leads." 

" 'Fore Heaven ! nothing stops your highness." 

" Yes, Zoto " replied the count coldly; " thus it is: what we desire 
we do, towards one and all." 

" And the conditions are the same as for Gorilla — the same condi- 
tions for a debutante without name or reputation, as for an illustrious 
performer adored by the public. 

"The new singer shall have even more; and if the conditions 
granted her predecessor do not satisfy her, she has only to say a word 
and they shall be doubled. Everything depends upon herself," con- 
tinued he, raising his voice a little, as he perceived that Consuelo was 
awake : " her fate is in her own hands." 

Consuelo had heard all this partially, through her slef p. When sho 
liad rubbed her eyes, and assured herself that she was not dreaming 



CONSUELO. 73 

she slid down into the space between the bed and the wall, without 
considering the strangeness of her position, and after arranging her 
hair, came forward with ingenuous coniideoce to joiu in the conver- 
sation. 

" Signor Count," said she, " you are only too good ; but I am not 
so presumptuous as to avail myself of your offer. I will not sign this 
engagement until I have made a trial of my powers before the public. 
It would not be delicate on ray part. I might not please— I might in- 
cui' a fiasco and be hissed. Even should I be hoarse or unprepared, 
or even ugly that day, your word would still be pledged — you would 
be too prouil to take it back, and I to avail myself ofit." 

"Ugly on that day, Consuelo — you ugly I" said the count, looking 
at her with burning glances; " come now," he added, taklug her by 
the hand and leading her to the mirror, " look at yourself there. If 
you are adorable in this costume, what would you be, covered, with 
diamonds and radiant with triumph? " 

The count's impertinence made Anzoleto gnash his teeth; but the 
calm mdifference with which Consuelo received his compliments re- 
strained his impatience. " Sir," said she, pushing back the fragment 
of a lookingrglass which he held in liis hand, " do not break my mir- 
ror; it is the only one I ever had, and it has never deceived me. — 
Ugly or pretty, I refuse your liberality ; and I may tell you frankly 
that I shall not appear unless my betrothed be similarly engaged. I 
will have no other theatre nor any other public except his; we cannot 
be separate, being engaged to each other." • 

This abrupt declaration took the count a little unawares, but he soon 
regained his equanimity. 

" You are right, Consuelo," replied he ; "I never intended to sepa- 
arate you: Zoto shall appear with yourself At the same time I can- 
not conceal from you that his talents, although remarkable, are much 
inferior to yours." 

" I do not believe it, my lord," said Consuelo, blushing as if she had 
received a personal insult. ^ 

" 1 hear that he is your pupil, much more than that of the maestro 
I gave him. Do not deny it, beautiful Con.suelo. On learning your 
intimacy, Porpora exclaimed, ' I am no longer astonished at certain 
qualities he possesses,, which I was unable to reconcile with his de- 
fects.' " 

"Thanks to the Signor Professor," said Anzoleto, with a forced 
smile. 

"He will change his mind," said Consuelo, gaily — "besides, the 
public will contradict this dear good master." 

" The dear good master is the best judge of music in the world," re- 
jjlied the count. "Anzoleto will do well to profit by your lessons; 
but we cannot arrange the terms of his agreement before we have as- 
certained the sentiments of the public. Let him make his appear- 
ance, and we shall settle with him according to justice and our own 
favorable feeling towards him, on which he has every reason to rely." 

" Then let us both make our appearance," replied Consuelo : " but 
no signature— no agreement before trial ; on that I am determined." 

"You are not satisfied with my terms, Consuelo; very well, then 
you shall dictate them yourself; here is the pea — add — take away — 
my signature is below." 

Consuelo seized the pen ; Anzoleto turned pale, and tlie count, who 
observed hira, chewed with pleasure the end of the rufHe which ho 



74 C O N S U E L O. 

twisted in his fingers. Consuelo erased the contract, and wrote upon 
the portion remaining above the signature of the count — 

" Anzoleto and Consuelo severally agree to such conditions as it 
shall please Count Zustiniani to impose, after their first appearance, 
which shall take place during the ensuing month at the tlieatre of 
San Samuel." 

She signed rapidly, and passed the pen to her lover. 

" Sign without looking," said she. " You can do no less to prove 
your gratitude, and your confidence in your benefactor." 

Anzoleto had glanced over it in a twinkling ; he signed — it was but 
the work of a moment. — The count read over his shoulder. 

" Consuelo," said he, " you are a strange girl — in truth an admirable 
creature. Ton will both dine with me," he continued, tearing the 
contract and oifering his hand to Consuelo, who accepted it, but at the 
same time requested him to wait with Anzoleto in his gondola while 
she should arrange her toilet. 

" Decidedly," said she to herself when alone, " I shall be able to buy 
a new marriage robe." She then arranged her muslin dress, settled 
her hair, and flew down the stairs singing with a voice full of fresh- 
ness and vigor. The count, with excess of courtesy, had waited for 
her with Anzoleto at the foot of the stair. She believed him further 
off, and almost fell into Ills arras, but suddenly dlsengaghig 'herself, 
she took Ills hand and carried it to her lips, after the fashion of the 
country, with thC'-respect of an inferior who does not wish to infringe 
upon the distinctions of rank ; tlien turning she clasped her betrothed, 
and bounded with joyous steps towards the gondola, witTiout await- 
ing the ceremonious escort of her somewhat mortified protector. 



CHAPTER XY. 

The count seeing that Consuelo was insensible to the stimulus of 
gain, tried to flatter her vanity by offering her jewels and ornaments; 
but these she refused. Zustiniani at first imagined that she was 
aware of his secret intentions; but lie soon saw that it was but a 
species of rustic pride, and that she would receive no recompense un- 
til she had earned it by working for the prosperity of his theatre. 
He obliged her however to accept a white satin dress, observing that 
she could not appear with propriety In her muslin robe In his saloon, 
and adding that he would consider it a favor if she would abandon 
the attire of the people. She submitted her fine figure to the fashion- 
able milliners, who made the very most of it, and did not spare the 
material. Thns transformed in two days into a woman of the world, 
and induced to accept a necklace of fine pearls which the count pre- 
sented to her as payment for the evening when she sang before him 
and his friends, she was beautiful, if not according to her own peculiar 
Style of beauty, at least as she should be admired by the vulgar. This 
result however was not perfectly attained. At the first glance Con- 
suelo neitlier struck nor dazzled anybody; she was always pale, and 
her modest, studious habits took from her look tliat brilliant ^lanco 
which we witness in the eyes of women whose only object is to 
shine. The basis of her character, as well as the distinguishing 



CONSUELO. 75 

peculiarity of her countenance, was a reflective seriousness. — One 
miglit see her eat, and talk, and weary lierself with the trivial con- 
cerns of daily life, without even supposing that she was pretty ; but 
once the smile of enjoyment, so easily allied to serenity of soul, came 
to light up her features, how charming she became ! And when she 
was further animated — when she interested herself seriously in the 
business of the piece — when she displayed tenderness, exaltation of 
mind, the manifestation of her inward life and hidden power — slie 
shone resplendent with all the fire of genius and love, she was 
another being, the audience were hurried away — passion-stricken as it 
were — annihilated at pleasure — witliout her being able to explain the 
mystery of her power. 

What the count experienced for her therefore astonished and an- 
noyed him strangely. There were in this man of the world artistic 
chords which had never yet been struck, and which she caused to thrill 
with unknown emotions; but this revelation could not penetrate the 
patrician's soul sufficiently to enable him to discern the impotence and 
poverty of the means by whicli he attempted to lead away a woman 
so ditterent from those lie had hitherto endeavored to corrupt. 

He took patience and determined to try the effects of emulation. 
He conducted her to his box in the theatre that she might witness 
Gorilla's success, and that ambition might be awaliened in her; but 
the result was quite different from that which he expected from it. 
Consuelo left the theatre, cold, silent, fatigued, and in no way excited 
by tlie noise and applause. Gorilla was deficient in solid talent, noble 
sentiment, and well-fouTided power: and Oonsuelo felt quite compe- 
tent to form an opinion of this forced, factitious talent, already vitiated 
at its source by selfishness and excess. She applauded unconsciously, 
uttered words of formal approval, and disdained to put on a mask of 
enthusiasm for one whom she could neither fear nor admire. The 
count for a moment thought her under the hifluenceof secret jealousy 
of the talents, or at least of the person, of the prima donna. " This 
is nothing," said he, " to the triumphs you will achieve when you ap- 
pear before the public as you have already appeared before me. I 
hope that you are not frightened by what you see." 

"No, Signer Count," replied Gonsuelo, smiling; "the public fright- 
ens me not, for I never think of it. I only think of what might be 
realized in the part whicli Gorilla fills in so brilliant a manner, but in 
which there are many defects which she does not perceive." 

"What! you do not think of the public?" 

"No; I think of the piece, of the intentions of the composer, of the 
spirit of the part, and of the good qualities and defects of the oiches- 
tra, from the former of which we are to derive advantage, while wo 
are to conceal the latter by a louder intonation at certain parts. I 
listen to the choruses, which are not always satisfactory, and requiie 
a more strict direction; I examine the passages on which all one's 
strength is required, and also those of course where it may advan- 
tageously be reserved. You will perceive. Signer Gouiit, that I have 
many things to think of besides the public, who know nothing about 
all that I have mentioned, and can teach me nothing." 

This grave judgment and serious inquiry so surprised^ustiniani 
that he could not utter a single question, and asked himself, with some 
trepidation, what hold a gallant like himself could have on genius of 
this stamp. 

The appearance of the two debutants was preceded by all the u-sual 



76 CONSUELO. 

inflated announcements; and this was the source of continual discus- 
sion and difference of opinion between tlie count andPorpora, Consu- 
elo and lier lover. The old master and his pupil blamed tiie quack 
announcements and all those thousand unworthy tricks which have 
driven us so far uito folly and bad faith. In Venice during those days 
the journals had not much to say as to public affairs; they did not 
concern themselves with the composition of the audience; they were 
unaware of the deep resources of public advertisements, the gossip of 
biographical announcements, and the powerful machineiy of hired ap- 
plause. There was plenty of bribing and not a few cabals, but all 
'this was concocted in coteries, apd brought about through the instru- 
mentality of the public, warmly attached to one side or sincerely hostile 
to the other. Art was not always the moving spring; passions great 
and small, foreign alike to art and talent, then as now, came to do 
battle in the temple; but they were not so skilful in concealing these 
sources of discord, and in laying them to the account of pure love for 
art. At bottom, indeed, it was the same vulgar, worldly spirit, with a 
surface less complicated by civilization. 

Zustiniani managed these affairs more as a nobleman than the con- 
ductor of a theatre. His ostentation was a more powerful impulse 
than the avarice of ordinary speculators. He prepared the public im 
his saloons, and warmed up his representations beforehand. It is true 
Ills conduct was never cowardly or mean, but it bore the puerile stamp 
of self-love, a busy gallantry, and the pointed gossip of good society. 
He therefore proceeded to demolish, piece by piece, with considerable 
art, the editice so lately raised by his own hands to the glory of Corilla. 
Everybody saw that he wanted to set up in its place the miracle of 
talent ; and as the exclusive possession of this wonderful phenomenon 
was ascribed to him, poor Consuelo never suspected the nature of his 
intentions towards her, although all Venice knew that the count, dis- 
gusted with the conduct of Corilla, was about to introduce in heT place 
another singer; while many added, "Grand mystification for the 
public, and great prejudice to the theatre; for his favorite is a little 
street singer, who has nothing .to recommend her except her fine voice 
and tolerable figure." 

Hence arose fresh cabals for Corilla, who went about playing the 
part of an injured rival, and who implored her extensive circle of 
adorers and their friends to do justice to the insolent pretensions of 
the zingarella. Hence also new cabals in favor of Consuelo, by a 
numerous party, who, although differing widely on other subjects, 
united in a wish to mortify Corilla and elevate her rival in her place. 

As to the veritable dilettanti of music, they were equally divided 
between the opinion of the serious masters — such as Porpora, Mar- 
cello, and Jomelli, who predicted with the appearance of an excellent 
musician, the return of the good old usages and casts of performance 
— and the anger of second-rate composers, whose compositions Co- 
rilla had always preferred, and who now saw themselves threatened 
with neglect in her person. The orchestra, dreading to set to work on 
scores which had been long laid aside, and which consequently would 
require study, all those retainers of the theatre, who in every thorough 
reform always foresaw an entire change of the performers, even the 
very scene^shifters, the tirewoman, and the hair-dressers — all were in 
movement for or against the de'butante at San Samuel. In point of 
fact the debut was much more in everybody's thoughts than the new 
administration or the acts of tlip Doge. Pletro, Grimaldi, who had just 
then peaceably succeeded his predecessor, Luigi Pisani. 



CONSUBLO. 77 

Consuelo was exceedingly distressed at these delays and the petty 
quarrels connected with her new career; she would have wished to 
come ont at once, without any other preparation than what concerned 
herself and the study of the new piece. She understood nothing of 
those endless intrigues which seemed to her more dangerous than 
useful, and which she felt she could vei-y well dispense with. But the 
comit, who saw more clearly into the secrets of his profession, and 
who wished^to be envied his imaginary happiness, spared nothing to 
secure partisans, and made her come every day to his palace to be 
presented to all the aristocracy of Venice. Consuelo's modesty and 
reluetance ill supported his designs; but he induced her to sing, and 
the victory was at once decisive — brilliant — incontestible. 

Anzoleto was far from sharing the repugnance of- his betrothed for 
these secondary means. His success was by no means so certain as 
hers. In the first' place, the count was not so ardent in his favor, and 
the tenor whom he was to succeed was a man of talent, who would 
not be easily forgotten. It is true he also sang nightly at the count's 
palace, and Consuelo in their duets brought him out admirably; so 
that, urged and sustained by the magic of a genius superior to his 
own, he often attained great heights. He was on these occasions both 
encouraged and applauded; but when the first surprise excited by 
his fine voice was over, more especially when Consuelo had revealed 
herself, his deficiency was apparent, and frightened even himself. 
This was the time to work with renewed vigor; but in vain Consiielo 
exhorted him, and appointed him to meet her each morning at the 
Corte Minelli— where she persisted in remaining, spite of the remon- 
strances of the count, who wished to establish her more suitably. 
Anzoleto had so much to do — so many visits, engagements, and in- 
trigues ou hand — such distracting anxieties to occupy his mind — that 
neither time nor courage was left for study. 

In the midst of these perplexities, seeing that the greatest opposi- 
tion would he given by Gorilla, and also that the count no longer 
gave himself any troiible about her, Anzoleto resolved to visit her 
himself in order to deprecate her hostility. As may easily be con- 
ceived, she had pretended to take the matter very lightly, and treated 
the neglect and contempt of Zustiniani with philosopliical unconcern. 
She mentioned and boasted everywhere that she had received brilliant 
oifers from the Italian opera at Paris, and calculating on the_ reverse 
which she thought awaited her arrival, laughed outright at the illusions 
of the count, and his party. Anzoleto thought that with prudence 
and by employing a little deceit, he might disarm this formidable ene- 
my ; and having ijerfumgd and adorned himself, he waited on her at 
one in the afternoon — an hour when the siesta renders visits unusual 
and the palaces silent. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

AsrzoLBTO found Gorilla alone in a charming boudoir, reclining on 
a couch in a becoming undress; but the alterations in her features by 
daylight led hkn to suspect that her security with regard to Consuelo 
was not so great as her faithful partisans asserted. Nevertheless, she 



78 CONSUELO. 

received him with an easy air, and tapping him playfully on the cheet, 
wliile she made a sign to her servant to withdraw, exclaimed — "Ah, 
wiclced one, is it you? — are you come with your tales, or would you 
malie me believe you are no dealer in flourishes, nor the most intri- 
guing of all the postulants for fame ? You were somewhat conceited, 
my handsome friend, if you supposed that I should he disheartened 
by your sudden flight after so many tender declarations; and still 
more conceited was it to suppose that you were wanted, for in four- 
and-twenty hours I had forgotten that such a person existed." 

"Four-and-twenty hours!— that is a long time," replied Anzoleto, 
kissing the plump and rounded arm of Gorilla. " Ah, if 1 believed 
that, i should be proud indeed ; but I know that if I was so far de- 
ceived as to believe you when you said — " 

"What I said, I advise you to forget also. Had you called, you 
would have found my door shut against you. What assurance to 
come to-day!" 

" Is it not good taste to leave those who are in favor, and to lay 
one's heart and devotion at the feet of her who — " 

" Well, finish — lo her who is in disgrace. It is most generous and 
humane on your part, most illustrious friend ! " And Gorilla fell back 
upon the satin pillow with a burst of shrill and forced laughter. 

Although the disgraced prima donna was no longer in her early 
freshness — although the mid-day sun was not much in her favor, and 
although vexation had somewhat taken from the effect of her full- 
formed features — Anzoleto, who had never been on terms of intimacy 
with a woman so brilliant and so renowned, felt himself moved in re- 
gions of the soul to which Consuelo had never descended, and whence 
he had voluntarily banished her pure image. He therefore palliated 
the raillery of Gorilla by a profession of love which he had only inten- 
ded to feign, but which he now actually began to experience. 1 say 
love, for want of a better word, for it were to profane the name to 
apply it to the attraction awakened by such women as Gorilla. 
When she saw the young tenor really moved, she grew milder, and 
addressed him after a more amiable fashion. 

" I confess," said she, " you selected me for a whole evening, but I 
did not altogether esteem you. I know you are ambitious, and conse- 
quently false, and ready for every treason. I dare not. trust to you. 
Tou pretended to be jealous on a certain night in my gondola, and 
took upon you the airs of a despot. That might have disenchanted 
me with the inspired gallantries of our patricians, but you deceived 
me, ungrateful one ! you were engaged to another, and are going to 
marry — whom? — oh, I know very well — my rival, my enemy, the 
debutante, the new protegee of Zustiniani. Shame upon us two — 
upon us three— upon us all ! " added she, growhig animated in spite 
of herself, and withdrawing her hand from Anzoleto. 

" Cruel creature!" he exclaimed, trying to regain her fair fingers 
" you ought to understand what passed in my heart when I first%aw 
you, and not busy yourself with what occupied me before that terri- 
ble moment. As to what happened since, cau^you not guess it and 
is there any necessity to recur to the subject? "' 

"I am not to be put ofl" with half words and reservations; do you 
love the zingarella, and are you about to marry her?" 

" And if I loved her, how does it happen I did not marry her be- 
fore ?," •-.'.':;;' 
" Perhaps tl^j Count would have opposed it. Every one knows what 



C (> JN H U J!/ Ij V7. 



79 



he wants now. They even say that he has ground for impatience, 
and the little one still more so." 

The color raouuted to Auzoleto's face when he heard language of 
this sort applied to the being whom he venerated above all others. ' 

" Ah, you are angry at my supposition," said Gorilla; " it is well — 
that is wliat I wished to flud out. You love her. When will the 
marriage take place ? " 

" For the love of Heaven, madam, let us speak of nobody except 
ourselves." 

" Agreed," replied Gorilla. " So, my forme^ lover and your future 
spouse " 

Anzoleto was enraged; he rose to go away; but what was he to 
do? Should he enrage still more the woman whom he had come to 
pacify ? He remained undecided, dreadfully humiliated, and unhappy 
at the part he had imposed upon himself. 

Gorilla eagerly desired to win his affections, not because she loved 
him, but because she wished to be revenged on Gonsuelo, whom she 
had abused without being certain that her iusinuatious were well 
founded. 

" You see," said she, arresting him on the threshold with a pene- 
trating look, " that I have reason to doubt you; for at this moment 
you are deceiving some one — either her or myself." 

" Neither one nor the other," replied he, endeavoring to justify 
himself in his own eyes. " I am not her lover, and I never was so. 
I am not in love with her, for I am not jealous of the count." 

" Oh ! indeed ? You are jealous, even to the point of denying it, 
and y(ju come here to cure yourself or to distract your attention from, 
a subject so unpleasant. Many thanics ! " 

"I am not jealous, I repeat; and to prove that it is not mortifica- 
tion which makes me speak, I tell you that the count is no more her 
lover than I am; that she is virtuons, child as she is, and that the 
only one guilty towards you is Count Zustiniani." 

" So,so; then I may hiss the zingarella without afllWting you. Yoil 
shall be in my box on the night of her debut, and you shall hiss her. 
Your obedience shall be the price of my favor — take me at my word, 
or I draw back." 

" Alas ! madam, you wish to prevent me appearing myself, for you 
know I am to do so at the same time as Gonsuelo. If you hiss her, I 
shall fall a victim to your wrath, because I shall sing with her. And 
what have I done, wretch that I am, to displease you? Alas! I had 
a delicious but fatal dream. I tliought for a whole evening that you 
took an interest in me, and that I should grow gi'eat vuidei- your pro- 
tection. Now I am the object of your hatred and anger — 1, who 
have^o loved and respected you as to fly you! Very well, madam; 
satiate your enmity. Overthrow me — ruin me — close my career. So 
that you can liore tell me, in secret, that I am not hateful to you, shall 
I accept the public marks of your anger." 

"Sei^ent!" excl^injed Goring,- " where have you imbibed tha 
poison which your ti^^e and your eyes distil? — Much would I give 
to know, to comprehend you, for you are the most amiable of lovers 
and the most dangeroM of^enemies." 

" I your enemy ! h(>gjt-could T be so, even were I not subdued by 
your charms ? Ha^j^'u enemies then, divine Gorilla ? Gan you have 
them in Venice, whffl^^you are known, and where.- you rule over no 
divided empire? A lover quarrel throws the count'iuto despair: he 



80 CONSITELO. 

would remove you, since thereby he would cease to suffer. He meets 
a little creature in his path who appears to display resources, and who 
only asks to be heard. Is this a crime on the part of a poor child 
who only hears your name with terror, and who never utters it her- 
self without respect? And you ascribe to this little one insolent pre- 
tensions which she does not entertain. The efforts of the count to 
recommend her to his friends, the kindness of these friends, who ex- 
aggerate her deserts, the bitterness of yours, who spread calumnies 
which serve but to annoy and vex you, whilst they should but calm 
your soul in picturing to you your glory unassailable, and your rival 
all tiembling— these are the prejudices which I discover In you, and 
at which I am so confounded that I hardly know how to assail them." 

'• You know but too well, with that flattering tongue of yours," 
said Gorilla, looking at him with tenderness mixed with distrust; " I 
hear the honied words which reason bids me disclaim. I wager that 
this Constielo is divinely beautiful, whatever may have been said to 
the contrary, and that she haS merits, though opposed to mine, sintie 
the severe Porpora has proclaimed them." 

"You know Porpora; you know all his crotchety idfias. An ene- 
my of all originality in others, and of every innovation m the art of 
song, he declares a little pupil, who listens to his dotage, submissive 
to his pedantry, and who runs over the scale decently, to be preferable 
to all the wonders which the public adores. How long have you tor- 
mented yourself about this crazy old fool ? " 

" Has she no talent, then ? " 

" She has a good voice, and sings church music fairly, but she can 
know nothing about the stage; and as to the power of displaying 
what talent she has, she is so overcome with alarm, that there is 
much reason to fear that she will lose what little Heaven has given 
her."' 

■' Afraid ! — what, she ? I have heard say, on the other hand, that 
she is endowed with a fair stock of impudence? " 

"All, the poor girl! Alas! some one must have a great spite at 
her. You shall hear her, divine Gorilla, and you will be touched with 
sympathising pity, and will applaud her rather than have her hissed, 
as you said for her just now." 

" Either you are cheating me, or my friends have cheated strangely 
concerning her." 

" They have cheated themselves. In their absurd and useless ardor 
for you they have got frightened at seeing a rival raised up to you. 
Frightened at a mere child !— and frightened for you ! Ah, how little 
can they know you! Oh, were I your permitted friend, I should 
know better what you are, than to think that I was doing you aught 
but injury in holding up any rivalry as a fear to you, were it that of a 
Faustina or a Molteni." 

" Don't imagine that I have been frightened. I am neither envious 
nor ill-natured, and I should feel no regret at the success of any one 
who had never injured my own. But when I have cause to believe 
that people are injuring and braving me, then indeed — " 

"Will you let me bring little Consuelo to your feet? Had she 
dared it, she would have come to ask your aid and advice. But she 
is a mere shy child. And you, too, have been calumniated to her. 
She has been told that you are cruel, revengeful and bent on causin<' 
her fall." " 

" She has been told so? Ah,^hen I understand what brought you 
hither." 



vfJsnausiL,u. 



81 



" You understand nothing of the sort, madam. For I did not be- 
lieve at all, and never shall believe it. You have not an idea what 
brought me." 

And as he spoke, Anzoleto turned his sparkling eyes upon Gorilla, 
and bent his knee before her with the deepest show of reverence and 
love. 

Gorilla was destitute neither of acuteness nor of ill-nature; but as 
happens to women excessively taken with themselves, vanity sealed 
her eyes and precipitated her into the clumsy trap. 

She thought she had nothing to apprehend as regarded Anzoleto's 
sentiments for the debutante. When he justified iiimself, and swore 
by all the gods that he had never loved this young girl, save as a 
brother should love, he told the truth, and there was so much confi- 
dence in his manner that Gorilla's jealousy was overcome. At length 
the great day approached, and the cabal was annihilated. Gorilla, on 
her pait, thenceforth went on in a different direction, fully persuaded 
that the timid and inexperienced Consuelo would not succeed, and 
that Anzoleto would owe her an infinite obliga,tion for havhig con- 
tributed nothing to her downfall. Besides, he had the address to em- 
broil her with her firmest champions, pretending to be jealous, and 
obliging her to dismiss them rather rudely. 

Whilst he thus labored in secret to blast the hopes of a woman 
whom he pretended to love, the cunning Venetian played another 
game with the count and Gonsuelo. He boasted to them of having, 
disarmed this most formidable enemy by dexterous management, in- 
terested visits, and bold falsehoods. The count, frivolous and some- 
what of a gossip, was extremely amused by the stories of his proteg^. 
His self-love was flattered at the regret which Gorilla was said to ex- 
perience on account of their quarrel, and he urged on this young man, 
with the levity which one witnesses in atfairs of love and gallantly, 
to the commission of cowardly perfidy. Consuelo was astonished and 
distressed. " You would do better," said she, " to exercise your voice 
and study your part. You think you have done mucii in propitiating 
the enemy, but a single false note, a movement badly expressed, woidd 
do more against you with the impartial public than the silence of the 
envious. It is of this public that you should think, and X see with 
pain that you are thinking nothing about it." 

" Be calm, little Gonsuelo," said he ; " your error is to believe a pub- 
lic at once impartial and enlightened. Those best acquainted with 
the matter are hardly ever in earnest, and those who are in earnest 
know so little about it, that it only requires boldness to dazzle and 
lead them away." 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Iir the midst of the anxieties awakened by the desire of success, 
and by the ardor of Gorilla, the jealousy of Anzoleto with regard to 
the count slumbered. Happily, Consuelo did not need a more watch- 
furl or more moral protector. Secure in innocence she avoided the 
advances of Zustiniani, and kept him aft a distance precisely by car- 
ing nothing about it. At the end of a fortnight this Venetian liber- 
tine acknowledged that she had none of those worldly passions which 
5 



82 CONSUELO. 

led to corruption, though he spared no pains to malce them spring np. 
But even In this respect he had advanced no further than the first 
day, and he feared to ruin his liopes by pressing them too openly. 
Had Anzoleto annoyed him by I^eepiiig vpatch, an^er might have 
caused him to precipitate matters ; but AnzoJeto left him at perfect 
hberty. Consuelo distrusted nothing, and he only tried to make him- 
self agreeable, hoping in time to become necessary to her. There 
■was no sort of delicate attentions, or reiined gallantries, that he 
omitted. 'Consuelo placed them all to the account of the liberal and 
elegant manners of his class, united with a love for art and a natural 
goodness of disposition. She displayed towards him an unfeigned 
regard, a sacred gratitude, while he, happy and yet dissatisfied with 
this pure-hearted unreserve, began to grow uneasy at the sentiment 
which he inspired until such period as he might wish to break the 
ice. 

While he gave himself up with fear, aijd yet not without satisfac- 
tion, to this new feeling — consoling himself a little for his want of 
success by the opinion which all Venice- entertained of his triumph 
— Gorilla experienced the same transformation in herself. She loved 
with ardor, if not with devotion; and her Irritable and imperious 
soul bent beneath the yoke of her young Adonis. It was truly the 
queen of beauty in love witli the beautiful hunter, and for the first 
time humble and timid before the mortal of her choice. She affected 
with a sort of delight, virtues which she did not possess. So true it 
is that the extinction of self-idolatry in favor of anotlier, tends to 
raise and ennoljle, were it but for an instant, hearts the least suscep- 
tible of pure emotions. 

The emotion which she experienced reacted on her talents, and it 
was remarked at the theatre that she performed pathetic parts more 
naturally and with greater sensibility. But as her character and the 
essence of her nature were thus as it seemed inverted ; as it required 
a sort of internal convulsion to effect this change, her bodily sti-ength 
gave way in the combat, and each day tliey observed — some with ma- 
licious joy, others with serious alarm — the failure of her powei-s. Her 
brilliant execution was impeded by shortness of breath and false in- 
tonations. The annoyance and terror which she experienced, weak- 
ened her still further, and at the representation which took place pre- 
vious to the debut of Consuelo, she sang so false, and failed in so 
many brilliant passages, that her friends applauded faintlv, and were 
soon reduced to silence and consternation by the murmurs of her op- 
ponents. 

At length the great day arrived: the house was filled to suflbcation. 
Corilla, attired in black, pale, agitated, more dead than alive, divided 
between the fear of seeing her lover condemned and her rival tri ■ 
umph, was seated In tlie iccess of her little box in the theatre. Crowds 
of the aristocracy and beauty of Venice, tier above tier, made a brilliant 
display. The fops were crowded behind the scenes, and even in the front 
of the stage. The laily of the Doge took her place along with the sreat 
dignitaries of the i-epublic. Porpora directed the (U-chestra In pereon • 
and Count ZustinianI waited at the door of Consuelo's apartment till 
she had concluded her toilet, while Anzoleto, dressed as an antique 
warrior, with all the absurd and lavish ornaments of the age, retired 
behind the scenes to swallow a draught of Cyprus wino, in order to 
restore his courage. 

The opera was" neither of the classic period nor yet the work of aa 



C O N S U E L 0. 83 

innovator. It was the unknown production of a stranger. To escape 
the cabals whicli his own nartie or that of any other celebrated person 
would have caused, Porpoia, above all things anxious for the success 
of his pupil, had brought forward Ipermnestra, the lyrical production 
of a young Geiman, who had enemies neither in Italy nor elsewhere, 
and who was styled simply Christopher Gluck. 

When Anzoleto appeared on the stage a murmur of admiration 
burst forth. The tenor to whom he succeeded — an admirable singer, 
who had had the imprudence to continue on the boards till his voice 
became thin and age had changed his looks — was little regretted by 
an ungrateful public; and the fair sex, who listen oftener with their 
eyes than with their ears, were delighted to find, in the place of a fkt, 
elderly man, a fine youth of twenty-four, fresh as a rose, fair as Phce- 
bus, and formed as if Phidias himself had been the artist — a true son 
of the lagunes. Bianco crespo, e grassotto. 

He was too much agitated to sing his first air well, but his magnifi- 
cent voice, his graceful attitudes, and some happy turns, sufiicAi to 
propitiate the audience and satisfy the ladies. The debutant had 
great resources; he was applauded threefold, and twice brought back 
before the scenes, according to the custom of Italy, and of Venice iu 
particular. 

Success gave him courage, and, when he reappeared with Iperm- 
nestra, he was no longer afraid. But all the effect of this scene 
was for Consuelo. They only saw, only listened to her. They said 
to each other, "Look at her — yes, it is she!" "Who? — the Span- 
iard ? " " Yes — the debutante, I'amante del Zustiniani." 

Consuelo entered, self-possessed and serious. Casting her eyes 
around, she received the plaudits of the spectators with a propriety 
of manner equally devoid of humility and coquetry, and sang a re- 
citative with so firm a voice, with accents so lofty, and a self-possession 
so victorious, that cries of admiration from the very first resounded 
from every part of the theatre. " Ah ! the perfidious creature has de- 
ceived me," exclaimed Gorilla, darting a terrible look towards Anzo- 
leto, who could not resist raising his eyes to hers with an ill-disguised 
smile. She threw herself back upon her seat, and burst into tears. 

Consuelo proceeded a little further ; while old Lotti was heard mut- 
tering with his cracked voice from his corner, "Amid miei, questo e 
itn portento ! " 

She sang a bravura, and was ten times interrupted. They shouted 
" Encore ! " they recalled her to the stage seven times, amid thunders 
of applause. At length the furor of Venetian dilettantism displayed 
itself in all its ridiculous and absurd excesses. " Why do they ci-y out 
thus?" said Consuelo, as she retired behind the scenes only to be 
brought back immediately by the vociferous applause of the pit. 
" One would think that they wished to stone me." 

From that moment they paid but a secondary attention to Anzole- 
to. They received him very well indeed, because they were in a 
happy vein; but the indulgence with which they passed over the pas- 
sages in which he failed, without immediately applauding those in 
winch he succeeded, showed him very plainly, that however he might 
please the ladies, the noisy majority of males held him cheaply, and 
reserved their tempestuous applause for the prima doinia. Not one 
among all those who had come with hostile intentions, ventured a 
murmur; and in truth there were not three among them who could 
withstand the irresistible inclination to applaud the wonder of the 
day. 



84 CONSUELO. 

The piece had the greatest success, although it was not listened to 
and nobody was occupied with the music in itself. It was quite in 
the Italian style— graceful, touching, and gave no indication of tha 
author of Alcestes and Orpheus. Tl«ie were not many strikmg 
beauties to astonish the audience. After the first act, the German 
maestro was called for, with Anzoleto, the debutante, and Clorinda, 
who, thanks to the protection of Consuelo, had sung through the sec- 
ond part with a flat voice, and an inferior tone, but whose beautiful 
arms propitiated the spectators— Kosalba, whom she had replaced, 
being very lean. 

In the last act, Anzoleto, who secretly watched Gorilla, and per- 
ceived her Increasing agitation, thought it prudent to seek her 
in her box, in order to avert any explo-sion. So soon as she per- 
ceived him she threw herself upon him like a tigress, bestowed sev- 
eral vigorous cuffs, the least of which was so smart as to draw blood, 
leaving a mark that red and white could not immediately cover. The 
angry tenor settled matters by a thrust on the breast, which threw 
the singer gaspinginto the arms of her sister Eosalba. " Wretch ! — 
traitor ! " she murmured In a choking voice, " your Consuelo and you 
shall perish by my hand!" 

" If you make a step, a movement, a single gesture, I will stab you 
in the face of Venice," replied Anzoleto, pale and with clenched 
teeth, while his faithful knife, which he knew how to use with all the 
dexterity of a man of the lagunes, gleamed before her eyes. 

"He would do as he says," murmured the terrified Kosalba; "be 
silent — let us leave this ; we are here in danger of our lives." 

Although this tragi-comic scene had taken. place after the manner 
of the Venetians, in a mysterious and rapid sotto voce, on seeing the 
debutante pass quickly behind the scenes to regain his box, his cheek 
hidden in his hand, they suspected some petty squabble. The hair- 
dresser, who was called to adjust the curls of the Grecian prince, and 
to plaster up his wound, related to the whole band of choristere that 
an amorous cat had sunk her claw into the face of the hero. The 
aforesaid barber was accustomed to this kind of wounds, and was no 
new confidant of such adventures. The anecdote made the round of 
the stage, penetrated no one knew how, into the body of the house, 
foimd its way into the orchestra, the boxes, and with some additions, 
descended to the pit. They were not yet aware of the position of 
Anzoleto with regard to Gorilla; but some had noticed his apparent 
devotion to Glori'nda, and the general report was, that the seconda 
donna, jealous of the prima donna, had just blackened the eye and 
broken three teeth of the handsomest of tenors. 

This was sad hews for some, but an exquisite bit of scandal for the 
majority. They wondered if the representation would be put off, or 
whether the old tenor Stefanini, should have to appear, roll in hand 
to finish the part. The curtain rose, and everything was forgotten on 
seeing Consuelo appear, calm and sublime as at the beginning. Al- 
though her part was not extremely tragical, she made it so by the 
power of her acting and the expression of her voice. She called 
forth tears, and when the tenor reappeared, the slight scratch only 
excited a smile; but this absurd incident prevented his success frora 
being so brilliant, and all the glory of the evening was reserved for 
Consuelo, who was applauded to the last with fienzy. 

After the play, they went to sup at the Palace Zustiniani, and An- 
zoleto forgot Gorilla, whom he had shut up in her box, and who was 



CONSUELO. 85 

forced to burst it open in order to leave it. In the tumult which al- 
ways follows so successful a representation, her retreat was not no- 
ticed ; but the next day, this broken door coincided so well with the 
torn face of Anzoleto, that the love affair, hitherto so carefully con- 
cealed, was made known. 

Hardly was he seated at the sumptuous banquet which the count 
gave in honor of Consuelo, and at which the Venetian dilettanti 
handed to the triumphant actress sonnets and mandrigals composed 
the evening before, when a valet slipped under his plate a little billet 
from Gorilla, which he read aside, and which was to the following 
effect : — 

" If you do not come to me this instant, I shall go to seek yoa 
openly, were you even at the end of the world — were you even at tlie 
feet of your Consuelo, thrice accursed ! " 

Anzoleto pretended to be seized with a fit of coughing, and retired 
to write an answer with a pencil on a pjece of ruled paper which he 
had torn in the antechamber of the count from a music-book : — 

" Come if you will. My knife is ready, and with it my scorn and 
hatred." 

The despot was well aware that with such a creature fear was the 
only restraint; that threats were the only expedient at the moment; 
but in spite of himself he was gloomy and absent during the repast, 
and as soon as it was over he hurried off to go to Corllla. 

He found the unhappy girl in a truly pitiable condition. Convul- 
sions were followed by torrents of tears. She was sealed at the win- 
dow, her hair dishevelled, her eyes swollen with weeping, and her 
dress disordered. She sent away lier sister and maid, and in spite of 
herself, a ray of joy overspread her features, at flnding herself with 
him whom she had feared she might never see again. But Anzoleto 
knew her too well to seek to comfort her. He knew that at the first 
appearance of pity or penitence he would see her fury revive, and 
seize upon revenge. He resolved to keep up the appearance of in- 
flexible harshness ; and although he was moved with her despair, he 
overwhelmed her with cruel reproaches-, declaring that he was only 
come to bid her an eternal farewell. He suffered her to throw herself 
at his feet, to cling to his knees even to the door, and to implore his 
pardpn in the anguish of grief. When he had thus subdued aud 
humbled her, he pretended to be somewhat moved, and promising to 
return in the morning, he left her. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



WHBif Anzoleto awoke the following morning, he experienced a 
reverse of the jealousy with which Count Zustiniani had inspired 
him. A thousand opposing sentiments divided his soul. First, that 
other jealousy which the genius and success of Consuelo had awak- 
ened in his bosom. This sank the deeper in his breast in proportion 
as he measured the triumph of his betrothed with what in his 
blighted ambition he was pleased to call his downfall. Again, 



86 C O N S U E L O. 

the mortfication of being supplanted in reality, as he was already 
thought to be, with her, now so triumphant and powerful, and of 
whom the preceding evening he was so pleased to believe himself the 
only lover. These two feelings possessed him by turns, and he knew 
not to which to give himself up, in order to extinguish the other. 
He had to choose between two things, either to remove Consuelo 
from the count and from Venice, and along with her to seek his for- 
tune elsewhere, or to abandon her to his rival, and take his chance 
alone in some distant country with no drawback to his success. In 
this poignant uncertainty, in place of endeavoring to recover his 
calmness with bis true friend, he returned to Gorilla and plunged 
back into the storm. She added fuel to the flame, by showing him, 
even in stronger colors than he had imagined the preceding night, all 
the disadvantages of his position. " No person," said she, " is a 
prophet in his own country. This is a bad place for one who has 
been seen running about in rags, and where every one may say — (and 
God knows the nobles are sufficiently given to boast of the protec- 
tion, even when it is only imaginary, which they accord to artists) — 
' I was his protector; I saw his bidden talent; it was I who recom- 
mended and gave him a preference.' You have lived too much in pub- 
lic here, my poor Anzoleto. Your charming features struck those 
who knew not what was in you. You astonished people who have 
seen you in their gondolas singing tlie stanzas of Tasso, or doing their 
errands to gain the means of support. The plain Consuelo, leading a 
retired life, appears here as a strange wonder. Besides she is a Span- 
iard, and iises not the Venetian accent; and her agreeable, though 
somewhat singular pronunciation, would please them, even were it 
detestable. It is something of which their ears are not tired. Your 
good looks have contributed mainly to the slight success you obtained 
in the first act; but now people are accustomed to you." 

" Do not forget to mention that the handsome scratch yon gave me 
beneath the eye, and for which I ought never to pardon you, will go 
far to lessen the last-mentioned trifling advantage." 

" On the contrary, it is a decided advantage in the eyes of women, 
but frivolous in those of men. You will reign in the saloons with 
one party, without the other you would fall at the theatre. But how 
can you expect to occupy their attention, when it is a woman who 
disputes it with you — a woman who not only enthrals the serious 
dilettanti, but who intoxicates by her grace and the magic of her sex, 
all who are not connoisseurs in music. To struggle with me, how 
much talent did Stefanini, Savario — all indeed who have appeared 
with me on the stage, require ! " 

" In that case, dear Gorilla, I should run as much risk in appearing 
with you as with Gonsuelo. If I were mclined to follow you to 
France, you have given me fair warning." 

These words which escaped from Anzoleto were as a ray of li^ht to 
Gorilla. She saw that she had hit the mark more nearly than she 
had supposed, for the thought of leaving Venice had already dawned 
in the mind of her lover. The instant she conceived the idea of bear- 
ing him away with her, she spared no pains to make him relish the 
project. She humbled herself as much as she could, and even had 
the modesty to place herself below her rival. She admitted that she 
was not a great shiger, nor yet sufficiently beautiful to attract the 
public; and as all this was even truer than she cared to think, and as 
Anzoleto was very well aware of it, having never been deceived as to 



CONSUELO. 87 

the immense superiority of Consuelo, she had little trouble in per- 
suading him. Their partnership and flight were almost determined 
upon at this interview, and Anzoleto thought seriously of it, although 
he always kept a loop-hole for escape if necessary. 

Gorilla, seeing his uncertainty, urged him to continue to appear, in 
hopes of better success ; but quite sure that these unlucky trials would 
. disgust him altogether with Venice and with Consuelo. 

On leaving his fair adviser, lie went to seek his only real friend, 
Consuelo. He felt an unconquerable desire to see her again. It was 
the first time he had begun and ended a day without receiving her 
chaste kiss upon his brow ; but as, after what had passed with Gorilla, 
he would have blushed for his own instability, he persuaded himself 
that he only went to receive assurance of her unfaithfulness, and to 
undeceive himself as to his love for her. " Doubtless," said he, " the 
count has taken advantage of my absence to urge liis suit, and who 
can tell how far he has been successful?" This idea caused a cold 
perspiration to stand upon his forehead ; and the thought of Consu- 
elo's perfidy so affected him that he hastened his steps, thinking to 
find her bathed in tears. Then an inward voice, whicli drowned 
every other, told him tliat he wronged a being so pure and noble, and 
he slackened his pace, reflecting on his own odious conduct, his sel- 
fish ambition, and the deceit and treachery with which he had stored 
his life and conscience, and which must inevitably bear their bitter 
fruit. 

He found Consuelo in her black dress, seated beside her table, pure, 
serene, and tranquil, as he had ever beheld her. She came forv?ard 
to meet him with the same affection as ever, and questioned him with 
anxiety, but without distrust or reproach, as to the emplayment of 
his time during his absence. 

" I have been suffering," said he, with the very deep despondency 
which his inward humiliation had occasioned. " I hurt ray head 
against a decoration, and although I told you it was nothing, it so 
confused me that I was obliged to leave the Palazzo Zustiniani last 
night, lest I should faint aiid have to keep my bed all the morning." 

"Oh, Heavens!" said Consuelo, kissing the wound inflicted by her 
rival; " you have suffered, and still suffer." 

" No, the rest has done nie good : do not think of it; hut tell me 
how you managed to get home all alone last night." 

" Alone? Oh, no; the count brought me in his gondola." 

■• Ah, I was sure of it," cried Anzoleto, in a constrained voice. 
" And of course he said a great many flattering things to you in this 
interview." 

" What could he say that he has not already said a hundred times ? 
He would spoil me and make me vain, were I not on my guard 
against him. Besides, we were not alone; my good master accompa- 
nied me — ah ! ray excellent friend and master." 

"What master? — what excellent friend?" said Anzoleto, once 
more reassured, and already absent and thoughtful. 

" Why, Porpora, to be sure. What are you thinking of? " 

" I am thinking, dear Consuelo, of your triutiiph yesterday evening: 
are you not thinking of it too? " 

" Less than of yours, I assure you." 

" Mine ! ah, do not jest, dear friend ; mine was so meagre that it 
rather resembled a downfall." 

Consuelo grew pale with surprise. Notwithstanding her remarka- 



CONSUELO. 

! self-possession, she had not the necessary coolness to appreciate 

3 different degrees of applause bestowed on Ijerself and her liiver. 

lere is in this sort of ovation an intoxication which the wisest 

;ists cannot shun, and which deceives some bo widely as to induce 

3m to look upon the support of a cabal as a public triumph. But 

itead of exaggerating the favor of her audience, Consuelo, terrified 

so frightful a noise, had hardly understood it, and could not distiii- 

ish the preference awarded to her over Anzoleto. She artlessly 

id him for his unreasonable expectations; and seeing that she 

jld not persuade him, nor conquer his sadness, she gently re- 

lached him with being too desirous of glory, and with attaching too 

ich value to the favor of the world. " I have always told you," said 

3, " that you prefer the results of art to art itself. When we do our 

3t — when we feel that we have done well— it seems to me that a 

Je more or less of approbation can neither increase nor lessen our 

ernal content. Hold in mind what Porpora said to me, when I 

it sang at the Palazzo Zustiniani: 'Whoever feels that he is truly 

rvaded witii the love of his art has no room for fear.' " 

' Oh, your Porpora and you ! " cried Anzoleto, spitefiilly, " it is well 

' you to feed yourselves on those fine maxims. Nothing can he 

iier than to philosophise on the evils of life, when we are acquain- 

I only with its advantages. Porpora, though poor, aud his authori- 

disputed, has won himself a great name. He has gathered laurels 

ough to grow gray in peace beneatli their shade. You who know 

urself invincible, are of course fearless. You spring at one bound 

the highest step of the ladder, and reproach those who are lame 

It they are dizzy. It is scarce charitable, Coinuelo, and is horribly 

just. And, again, your argument applies not to me. You say that 

; applause of the public is not to be heeded as long as we have our 

n. But suppose I have not the inward conscience of weH-doing? 

id can you not perceive that I am wofnlly out of sorts with my- 

f ? could you not see that I was abominable ? could you not hear 

It I sang pitifully?" 

' I could not — for it was not so. Yon were nor greater nor less 

in yourself Your own emotions deprived you of almost all your 

lOTirces. That soon passed, and the music which you knew you 

ig well." 

' And the music which 1 did not know ? " said Anzoleto, fixing his 

;at hlack eyes, rendered cavernous by weariness and vexation, upon 

r, " what of that?" 

She heaved a sigh, and held her peace awhile. Tlien, embracing 

n as she spoke, — " The music wliich you do not know you must 

,rn. Had you chosen to study seriously during the rehearsals. 

d I not tell you so? But the lime for reproaches has gone by. 

me now, let us take but two hours a day, and you will see how 

ickly we will surmount the obstacles." 

' Can it be done in a day? " 

' It cannot be done under several months." 

■ And I have got to play to-morrow! Am I to goon appearin" 

fore an audience which attends to my defects more than it does to 

J good qualities? " 

'' It will soon appreciate your endeavors. 

" Who can say that? It may take a distaste for me." 

" It has proved the contrary." 

" Ah 1 so you think it has treated me with indulgence ? " 



coNsuELO. oy 

"If you ask me— it has, my dear; where you failed it was kind — 
where you made hits it did you justice." 

" But in the meantime I shall get but a miserable engagement." 

" The count is liberal to magnificence in all bis dealings, and counts 
no expense. Moreover, does he not offer me more than enough to 
main lain us both in opuleno* ? " 

" That is to say that I am to live on your success." 

" Why not? I lived long enough on your favor." 

" It is not merely money of which I am thinking. Let him engage 
me as low as' he please, I care not ; but he will engage me for second 
or third parts." jf 

" He cannot lay his hand on any other primo noma. He has reck- 
oned on you long, and thinks of none other than you. Besides, he is 
all on your side. You said he would oppose onr marriage. So far 
from it, he seems to wish it to take place, and often asks when I am 
going to ask, him to my wedding." 

" Excellent — good, forsooth I A thousand thanks, Signor Count! " 

" What do you mean ? " 

" jXothing. Only you were very wrong for riot hindering me from 
making my debut before I had corrected these faults, which, it seems, 
you knew better than I did myself, by better studies. For, I repeat, 
you know all my faults." 

"Have I ever failed in frankness with you? Have I not often 
warned you of them ? No ; you told me that the public knew noth- 
ing about it, and when I heard of the great success you had met with 
at the count's, the first time you sung in his palace, I thought 
that " 

" That the fashionable world knew no more about it than the vulgar 
world." 

" I thought that your brilliant qualities had struck them more for- 
cibly than your weak points, and, as I think, such has been the case 
with both parties." 

" In fact she is quite right," thought Anzoleto to himself. " If I 
could but defer my debut: but it would be running the risk of seeing 
another tenor called Into my place, who would never make way for 
me. Come," he added, after walking twice or thrice up and down the 
room, " what are my faults ? " 

" I have told you them very often — too much boldness, and not 
enough study. An energy factitious and feverish, rather than felt. 
Dramatic effects, the result of will rather than of sentiment. You 
never penetrated to the inner meaning of your part. You picked it 
up piecemeal. You have discovered in it only a succession of more 
or less brilliant hits. You have neither liit on the scale of their con- 
nexion, nor sustained, nor developed them. Eager to display your 
fine voice, and the facility which you possess In certain points, you 
showed as much power in your first as in your last entrance on the 
stage. On the least opportunity you strove for an effect, and all 
your effects were identical. At the end of your first act you were 
known, and known, too, by heart — but they were unconscious that 
there was nothing more to be Imown, and something prodigious was 
expected from you at the finale. That something you lacked. Your 
emotion was exhausted, and your voice had no longer the same ful- 
ness. You perceived this yourself, and endeavored to foi'ce both. 
Your audience perceived this, too, and to your great surprise they 
were cold where you thought yourself the most pathetic. The cause^ 



90 CONSUELO. 

was this, that when they looked for the actor's passion they found 
only the actor's struggle for success." 

" And how do others get on ? " cried Anzoleto, stamping his foot 
for rage. " Do you think I have not heard them all — all who have 
heen applauded m Venice these last ten years? Did not old Stefa- 
nini screech when his voice gave out? and was he not still applauded 
to the echo ? " 

" It is quite true ; and I never believed that the audience were so 
mistaken. I doubt not they bore in mind the time when he had all 
his powers, and felt unwilling to allow him to feel the defects and 
mfefortunes of his old age." 

"And Gorilla — what have you to say to her — the Idol whom you 
overthrew ? — did not she force her effects, did she not make exertions 
painful, both to the eye and ear? Were her passions, was her ex- 
citement, real when she was vaunted to the skies? " 

" It is because I knew all her resources to be fictitious, all her 
efforts atrocious, her acting, no less than her singing, utterly deficient, 
both in taste and dignity, that I came upon the stage so confidently, 
being satisfied, as you were, that the public did not know much about 
it." 

" Ah, you are probing my worst wound, my poor Consuelo ! " said 
Anzoleto, sighing very deeply ere he spoke. 

" How so, my well beloved ? " 

" How so ? — can you ask me ? —we were both deceiving ourselves, 
Consuelo. The public knows right well. Its instincts reveal to it all 
which its ignorance covers with a shroud. It is a great baby, which 
must have amusement and excitement. It is satisfied with whatever 
they give it ; but once show it anything better, and at once it compares 
and comprehends. Gorilla could enthral it last week, though she 
sang out of tune and was short-breathed. You made your appear- 
ance, and Gorilla was ruined ; she is blotted out of their memories — 
entombed. If she should appear again she would be hissed off the 
stage. Had I made my debut with her, I should have succeeded as 
thoroughly as I did on the night when I sang after her for the first 
time at the Palazzo Zustiniani. But compared with you I was eclips- 
ed. It needs must have been so; and so it ever willbe. The public 
had a taste for pinchbeck. It took false stones for jewels ; it was 
dazzled. A diamond of the first water is shown to it, and at a glance 
it sees that it has been grossly cheated. It can be humbugged no 
longer with sham diamonds, and when it meets them does justice on 
them at sight. This, Gonsuelo.h.isbeenmy misfortune: to have made 
my appearance, a mere bit of Venetian bead-work, beside an invalu- 
able pearl from the treasuries of the sea." 

Consuelo did not then apprehend all the bitterness and truth which 
lay in these reflections. She set them down to the score of the affec- 
tion of her betrothed, and replied to what she took for mere flatteries 
by smiles and caresses only. 



CONSUELO. 91 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Encotjbaged by Consuelo's frankness, and by the faithless Gorilla's 
perfidy, to present himself once more in public, Anzoleto began to 
work vigorously, so that at the second representation of Ipermnestra 
he sang much better. But as the success of Oonsuelo was propor- 
tionably greater, he was still dissatisfied, and began to feel discour- 
aged by this confirmation of his inferiority. Everything from this 
moment wore a sinister aspect. It appeared to him that they did n^t 
listen to him — that the spectators who were near him were making 
humiliating observations upon his singing — and that benevolent ama- 
teurs, who encouraged him behind the scenes, did so with an air of 
pity. Their praises seemed to have a double meaning, of which he 
applied the less favorable to himself. Gorilla, whom he went to con- 
sult in her box between the acts, pretended to ask him with a fright- 
ened air if he were not ill. 

"Why?" said he, impatiently. 

" Because your voice is dull, and you seera overcome. Dear Anzo- 
leto, strive to regain your powers, which were paralyzed by fear or 
discouragement.'' 

" Did I not sing my first air well? " 

" Not half so well as on the first occasion. My heart sank so that I 
found myself on the point of fainting." 

" But the audience applauded me, nevertheless." 

•'Alas! what does it signify? I was wrong to dispel your illusion. 
Continue then; but endeavor to clear your voice." 

" Gonsuelo," thought he, " meant to give me good advice. She acts 
from instinct, and succeeds. But where could I gaui the experience 
which would enable me to restrain the unruly public? In following 
her counsel I lose my own natural advantages; and they reckon noth- 
ing on the nnprovement of my style. Come, let me return to my 
early confidence. At my first appearance at the count's, I saw that I 
could dazzle those whom I failed to persuade. Did not old Porpora 
tell me that I had the blemishes of genius. Gome, then, let me bend 
this public to my dictation, and make it bow to the yoke." 

He exerted himself to the. utmost, achieved wonders in the second 
act, and was listened to with surprise. Some clapped their hands, 
others imposed silence, while the majority inquired whether it were 
sublime or detestable. 

A little more boldness, and Anzoleto might perhaps have won the 
day; but this reverse affected him so much that he became confused, 
and broke down shamefully in the remainder of his part. 

At the third representation he had resumed his confidence, and re- 
solved to go on in his own way. Not heeding the advice of Gonsuelo, 
he hazarded the wildest caprices, the most daring absurdities. Cries 
of " oh, shame ! " mingled with hisses, once or twice interrupted the 
silence with which these desperate attempts were received. The good 
and generous public silenced the hisses and began to applaud; but it 
was easy to perceive the kindness was for the person, the blame for 
the artist. Anzoleto tore his dress on re-entering his box, and scarce- 
ly had the representation terminated, than he flew to Gorilla, a prey 
to the deepest rage, and resolved to fly with her to the ends of the 
earth. 



92 C O N S U E L O. 

Three days passed without his seeing Consnelo. She inspired 
neither with hatred nor coldness, but merely with terror; for in the 
depths of a soul pierced with remorse, he still cherished her image, 
and suffered cruelly from not seeing'her. He felt the superiority o! a 
being who overwhelmed him in public with her superiority, but who 
secretly held possession of his confidence and his good will. In his 
agitation he betr^ed to Gorilla how truly he was bound to his noUie- 
hearted betrothed and what an empire she held over his mind. C'o- 
rilla was mortified, but knew how to'couceal it. She pitied him, elic- 
ited a confession, and so soon as she had learned the secret of his 
jealousy, she struck a grand blow, by making Zustiniani aware of 
their mutual affection, thinking that the count would immediately ac- 
quaint Consuelo, and thus render a reconciliation impossible. 

Surprised to find anotlier day pass away in the solitude of her gar- 
ret, Consuelo grew uneasy; and as still another day of mortal anguish 
and vain expectation drew to its close, she wrapped herself in a thick 
mantle, for the famous singer was no longer sheltered by her obscur- 
ity, and ran to the house occupied for some weeks by Anzoleto, a 
more comfortable abode than what he had before enjoyed, and one of 
inunerous houses which the count possessed in the city. She did not 
find him, and learned that he was seldom there. 

This did not enlighten her as to his infidelity. She knew his wan- 
dering and poetic habits, and thought that, not feeling at home in 
these sumptuous abodes, he bad returned to his old quarters. tUie 
was about to continue her search, when, on returning to pass the 
door a second time, she found. herself face to face with Porpora. 

" Consuelo," said he in a low voice, " it is useless to hide from rae 
your features. I have just heard your voice, and cannot be mistaken 
in it. What do you here at this hour, my poor child, and whom do 
you seek in this house? " 

" I seek my betrotlied," replied Consuelo, while she passed her arm 
within that of her old master; "and I do not know why.l should 
blush to confess it to my best friend. I see very well that you disap- 
prove of my attacliment, hut I could not tell an untruth. I am un- 
happy; I have not seen Anzoleto since the day before yesterday at 
the theatre ; he must be unwell." 

" He unwell ! " Said the professor, shrugging his shoulders. " Come, 
my poor girl, we must talk over this m'atter; and since you have at 
last opened your heart to me, I must open mine also. Give me your 
arm : we can converse as we go along. Listen, Consuelo, and attend 
earnestly to what I say. You cannot— you ought not— to be the wife 
of this young man. I forbid you, in the name of God, who has in- 
spired me with the feelings of a fatlier towards you." 

" Oh, my master," replied Consuelo, mournfully, " ask of me the 
sacrifice of my life, but not that of my love." 

" I do not ask it — I command it," said Porpora, firmly. " The lov- 
er is accursed— he will prove your torment and your shame, if you do 
not forswear him for ever." 

"Dear master," replied she, with a sad and tender smile, " you liave 
told me so very often ; I have endeavored in vain to obey you. You 
dislike this poor youth; you do not know him, and I am certain you 
will alter your mind." 

" Consuelo," said the master, more decidedly, " I have till now, I 
know, made vain and useless objections. I spoke to' you as an artist 
and as to au artist — as I only saw one in your betrothed. Now I 



CONSTJELO. 93 

speak to yon as a man — I speak to yon of a man — and I address you 
as a woman. This woman's love is wasted : the man is unworthy of 
it, and he who tells you so knows he speaks the truth." 

" Oh, Heaven ! Anzoleto — my only friend, my protector, my brother 
— unworthy of my love ! Ah, you do not know what he has done for 
me — how he has cared for me since 1 was left alone in the world. I 



must tell you all." And Consuelo related the history of her life and 
of her love, and it was one and ^e same history. W 

Porpora was affected, but notfo be shaken from his purpose. 

" In all this," said he, " I see nothing* but your innocence, your 
virtue, your fidelity. As to him, I see very well that he has need of 
your society and your instructions, to which, whatever you may think, 
he owes the little that he knows, and the little he is worth. It is not, 
however, the less true, that this pure and upright lover is no better 
than a castaway — that he spends his time and money in low dissipa- 
tion — and only thinks of turning you to the best account in forward- 
ing his career." 

" Take heed to what you say," replied Consuelo, in suffocating ac- 
cents. "I have always believed in you, oh, my master! after God; 
but as to what concerns Anzoleto, I have resolved to close my heart 
and my ears. Ah, suffer me to leave you," she added, taking her arm 
from the professor — " it is- death to listen to you." 

" I iCt it be death then to your fatal passion, and through the tnith 
let me restore you to life," he said, pressing hep arm to his generous 
and indignant breast. " I know that I am rough, Consuelo — I cannot 
be otherwise ; and therefore it is that I have put off as long as I 
could the blow which I am about to inflict. I had hoped that you 
would open your eyes, in order that yo\i might comprehend what was 
going on around you. But in place of being enlightened by expe- 
rience, you precipitate yourself blindly into the abyss. I will not suf- 
fer you to do so — you, the only one for whom I have cared for many 
years. Tou must not perish — no, you must not perish." 

" But, my kind friend, I am in no danger. Do you believe that I 
tell an xintruth when I assure you by all that i^acred that I have re- 
spected my mother's wishes ? I am not Anzoleto's wife, but 1 am his 
betrothed." , 

" And you were seeking this evening the man who may not and 
cannot be your husband." 

"Who told you so?" 

" Would Corilla ever permit him ? " 

" Corilla! — what has he to say to Corilla? " 

" We are but a few paces from this girl's abode. Do you seek your 
betrothed? — if you have courage, you will find him there." 

" No, no ! a thousand times no I " said Consuelo, tottering as she 
went, and leaning for supjiort against the wall. " Let me live, my 
master — do not kill me ere I have well begun to live. I told you that 
it was death to listen to you." 

" You must drink of the cup," said the inexorable old man ; "I but 
fulfil your destiny. — Having only realised ingratitude, and consequent- 
ly made the objects of my tenderness and attention unhappy, I must 
say the truth to those I love. It is the only thing a heart long with- 
ered and rendered callous by suffering and despair can *do. I pity 
you, poor girl, in that you have not a friend more gentle and humane to 
sustain you in such a crisis. But such as I am I must be ; I must act 
upon others, if not as with the sun's genial heat, with the lightning's 



94 C O N S U E L O. 

blasting power. So then, Consnelo, let there be no faltering between 
us. Come to this palace. You must surprise your faithless lover at 
the feet of the treacherous Gorilla. If you cannot walk, I ""^t^ "''^S 
you along— if you cannot stand, I shall carry you. Ah, old Porpora 
is yet strong, when the fire of Divine anger burns in his heart. 

"Mercy! mercy!" exclaimed Consuelo, pale as death. ftutterme 
yet to doubt. Give me a day, were it but a single day, to believe in 
liiiYi — I am not prepared for this affliction." 

" No, not a day— not a single hour," replied he inflexibly. Away ! 
I shall not be able to recall the jmssing hour, to lay the truth open to 
yon ; and the faithless one will take ailvantage of the day which you 
ask, to place you again under the dominion of falsehood. Come with 
me, I command you — I insist on it." 

" Well, I will go! " exclaimed Consuelo, regaining strength, through 
a violent reaction of her love. " I will go, were it only to demonstrate 
your injustice and the truth of ray lover; for you deceive yourself 
unworthily, as you would also deceive me. Come, then, executioner 
as you are, I shall follow, for I do not fear you." 

Porpora took her at her word ; and, seizing her with a hand of iron, 
he conducted her to the mansion which he inhabited. Having passed 
through the corridors and mounted the stairs, they reached at last a 
terrace, whence they could distinguish over the roof of a lower build- 
ing, completely uninhabited, the palace of Corilla, entirely darkened 
with the exception of one lighted window, which opened upon the 
sombre and silent front of the deserted house. Any one at this window 
miiiht suppose that no person could see them ; for the balcony prevent- 
ed any one from seeing up from below. There was nothing level with 
it, and above, nothing but the cornice of the house which Porpora 
inhabited, and which was not placed so as to command the palace of 
the singer. But Corilla was Ignorant that there was at the angle a 
projection covered with lead, a sort of recess concealed by a large 
chimney, where the maestro with artistic caprice came every evening 
to gaze at the stars, shun his fellows, and dream of sacred or dramatic 
svibjects. Chance had thus revealed to him the intimacy of Anzoleto 
with Corilla, and Consuelo had only to look in the direction pointed 
out, to discover her lover in a tender tete-ik-tete with her rivaJ. Sha 
instantly turned away: and Porpora, who dreading the effects of the 
sight upon her, had held her with superhuman strength, led her to a 
lower story in his apartments, shutting .the door and window to con- 
ceal the explosion which he anticipated. 



CHAPTER XX. 

But there was no explosion. Consuelo remained silent, and as it 
were stunned. Porpora spoke to her. She made no reply, and si<»ned 
to him not to question her. She then rose, and going to a lar^e 
pitcher of iced water which stood on the harpsichord, swallowed 
large draughts of it, took several turns up and down the apartment, 
and sat down before her master without uttering a word. 

The austere old man did not comprehend the extremity of her 
sufferings. 



CONSUELO. 95 

"Well." said he, "did I deceive you? Wliat do you think of 
diiing?' 

A painful shudder shook her motionless figure — she passed her 
hand over her forehead. 

" I can think of nothing," said she, " till I understand what has 
happeued to me." 

" And what remains to be understood ? " 

" Everything ! because I understand nothing. I am seeking for the 
cause of my misfortune without linding anything to explain it to me. 
What have I done to Anzoleto that he should cease to love me? 
What fault have I committed to render me anworthy iu his eyes ? 
You cannot tell me, for I searched into my o*vn heart and can find 
there no key to the mystery. O ! it is inconceivable. My mother be- 
lieved in the power of charms. Is Gorilla a magician ?" 

" My poor child," said the maestro, " there is indeed a magician, 
hut she is called Vanity ; there is indeed a poison, which is called 
Envy. Gorilla can dispense it, but it was not she who molded the 
sold so fitted for its reception. The venom already flowed iu the im- 
pure veins of Anzoleto. An extra dose has changed him from a 
knave into a traitor^aithless as -well as ungrateful." 

" What vanity, what envy ? " 

" The vanity of surpassing others. The desire to excel, and rage 
at being surpassed by you." 

" Is that possible? Can a man be jealous of the advantages oft a 
woman ? Gan a lover be displeased with the success of his beloved ? 
Alas ! there are indeed many things which I neither know nor under- 
stand." 

" And will never comprehend, but which you will experience every 
hour of your existence. You will learn that a man can be jealous of 
thesuperiorityof a woman, when this man is an ambitious artist: and 
that a lover can loathe the success of his beloved wiien the theatre is the 
arena of their efforts. It is because the actor is no longer a man, Oonsu- 
elo — he is turned into a woman. He lives but through the medium of 
his sickly vanity, which alone he seeks to gratify and for which alone he 
labors. The beauty of a woman he feels a grievance; her talent ejs- 
tinguishes or competes with his own. A woman is liis rival, or rather 
he is the rival of a woman; he has all the littleness, all the caprice, 
all the wants, all the ridiculous airs of a coquette. This is the char- 
acter of the greatest number of persons belonging to the theatre. 
There are indeed grand exceptions, but thoy are so rare, so. admirable, 
that one should bow before tliein and render them homage, as to the 
wisest and best. Anzoleto is no exception ; he is the vainest of the 
vain. In that one word you have the explanation of his conduct." 

" But what unintelligible revenge! What poor and insufficient 
means! How can Gorilla recompense him for his losses with the 
public? Had he only spoken openly to me of his sufferings (alas! it 
needed only a word for that,) I should have understood him perhaps 
— at least I would have compassionated him, and retired to yield him 
the first place." 

" It is the peculiarity of envy to hato people in proportion to the 
happiness of which it deprives them ; just as it is the peculiarity of 
selfish love to hate in the object which we love, the pleasure which we 
are not the means of procuring him. Whilst your lover abhors the 
public which loads you with glory, do you not hate the rival who in- 
toxicates him with her charms ? " 



yo CONSUELO. 

" My master, you have uttered a profound reflection, which I wonlc 
fain ponder on." 

"It is true. While Anzoleto detests you for your happiness on th( 
Btage, you hate him for his liappiness in the boudoir of Gorilla. 

" It is not so. I could not hate him ; and you have made me fee 
that it would be cowardly and disgraceful to hate my rival. As to thi 
passion with which she fills him, I shudder to think of it— why, I know 
not. If it be involuntary on his part, Anzoleto is not guilty in hatmj 
my success." 

" You are quick to interpret matters, so as to excuse his conduci 
and sentiments. No ; Anzoleto is not innocent or estimable in his suf 
f«ring like you. He deceives, he disgraces you, whilst you endeavor tc 
justify him. However,! did not wish to inspire you with hatred anc 
resentment, but with calrauess and indifference. The character of 
this man influences his conduct. You will never change him. De 
cide, and think only of yourself." 

" Of rayself-^of myself alone ? Of myself, without hope or love ? ' 

" Think of music, the divine art, Consuelo; you would not dare t< 
say that you love it only for Anzoleto ? " 

" I have loved art for itself also ; but I never separated in mj 
thoughts these inseparable objects — my life and that of Anzoleto 
How shall I be able to love anything when the half of my existence 
is taken away ? " 

" Anzoleto was nothing more to you than an idea, and this idea ira 
parted life. You will replace it by one greater, purer, more elevating 
Your soul, your genius, your entire being, will no longer be at th( 
mercy of a deceitful, fragile form ; you shall contemplate the sublimt 
ideaJ stripped of its earthly covering; you shall mount heavenward 
and live in holy unison with God himself." 

" Do you wish, as you once did, that I should become a nun? " 

" No ; this would confine the exercise of your artistic faculties U 
one direction, whereas you should embrace all. Whatever you do, oi 
wherever you are, in the theatre or in the cloister, you may be i 
saint, the b^ide of heaven." 

" What you say is full of sublimity, but shrouded in a mysteriou! 
garb. Permit me to retire, dear master; I require time to collect m; 
thoughts and question my heart." 

" You have said it, Gonsuelo ; you need insight into yourself. Hith 
erto in giving up your heart and your prospects to one so much youi 
inferior, you have not known yourself. You have mistaken your des 
tiny, seeing that you were born without an equal, and consequent!! 
without the possibility of an associate hi this world. Solitude, abso 
hite liberty, are needful for you. I would not wish you a husband, o: 
lover, or family, or passions, or bonds of any kind. It is thus I havi 
conceived your existence, and would direct your career. The day oi 
which you give yourself away, you lose your divinity. Ah, if Mingott 
and Moltini, my illustrious pupils, my powerful creations, had believec 
in me, they would have lived unrivalled on the earth. But woman i 
weak and curious; vanity blinds her, vain desires agitate, caprice 
Imrry her away. In what do these disquietudes result? — what bu 
in storms and weariness, in the loss, the destruction, or vitiation ol 

their genius. Would you not be more than they, Consuelo ? doe 

not your ambition soar above the poor concerns of this life? — o 
would you not appease these vain desires, and seize the gloriou 
crown of. everlasting genius ? " 



CONSTJELO. 97 

Porpora continued to speak for a long time with an eloquence and 
energy to whieli I cannot do j ustice. Consuelo listened, her looks bent 
upon the ground. When he had finished, she said, " My dear master, 
you are profound ; but I cannot follow you sufBciently throughout. 
It seems to me as if you outraged human nature in proscribing its 
most noble passions — as if you would extinguish the instincts which 
God himself has implanted, for the purpose of elevathig what would 
otherwise be a monstrous and anti-sopial impulse. Were I a better 
Christian, I should perhaps better understand you; I shall try to be- 
come so, and that is all I can promise." 

She took her leave, apparently tranquil, but in reality deeply agita- 
ted. The great though austere artist conducted her home, always 
preaching, but never convincing. He nevertheless was of infinite ser- 
vice in opening to her a vast field of serious thought and inquiry, where- 
in Anzoleto's particular crime served but as a painful and solemn in- 
troduction to thoughts of eternity. She passed long hours, praying, 
weeping, and reflecting; then lay down to rest, with a virtuous and 
confiding hope in a merciful and compassionate God. 

The next day Porpora announced to her that there would be a re- 
hearsal of Iperinnestra for Stefaiiiui. who was to fill Anzoleto's part. 
The latter was ill, confined to bed, and complained of a loss of voice. 
Cunsuelo's first impulse was to dy to him and nurse him. " Spare 
yourself this trouble," said the professor, " he is perfectly well ; the 
physician of the theatre has said so, and he will be this evening with 
Gorilla. But Count Zustiniani, who understands very well the mean- 
ing of it, and who consents without much regret that he should put 
off his appearance, has forbidden the physician to reveal the falsehood, 
and has requested the good Stefanini to return to the theatre for soma 



' But, good Heavens ! what does Anzoleto mean to do ? is he about 
to quit the theatre ? ' ' 

" Yes — the theatre of San Samuel. In a month he is off with 
Gorilla for Prance. That surprises you? He flies from the shadow 
which you cast over him. He has entrusted his fate to a woman 
whom he dreads less, and whom he will betray so soon as he finds he 
no longer requires her." 

Consuelo turned pale, and pressed her hands convulsively on her 
bursting heart. Perhaps she had flattered herself with the idea of 
reclaiming Anzoleto, by reproaching him gently with his faults, and 
offering to put off her appearance for a time. This news was a dag- 
ger stroke to her, and she could not believe that she should no more 
see him whom she had so fondly loved. " Ah," said she, " it is but 
an uneasy dream; I must go and seek him; he will explain every- 
thing. He cannot follow this woman ; it would be his destruction. I 
cannot permit hira to do so; I will keep him back; I will make him 
aware of his true interests, if indeed he be any longer capable of com- 
prehending them. Come with me, dear master; let us not forsake 
him." 

■' I will abandon yon," said the angry Porpora, " and forever, if you 
commit any such folly. Entreat a wretch — dispute with Gorilla? 
Ah, Santa Cecilia! distrust your Bohemian origin, extinguish your 
bUnd and wandering instincts. Come! tliey are waiting for you at 
the rehearsal. You will feel pleasure in singing with a master like 
Stefanini, a modest, generous, and well-informed artist." 

He led her to the theatre, and then for the first time she felt an ab- 
6 



98 CONS Uj|; L o. 

horrence of this artist life, chained to the wants of the public, am 
obliged to repress one's own sentiments and emotions to obey thos 
of others. This very rehearsal, the subsequent toilet, the perforni 
ance of the evening, proved a frightful torment.- Anzoleto was stil 
absent. Next day there vras to be an opera buffa of Galuppi's- 
Arcifanfano Be de' Matii. They had chosen this farce to please Stf 
fanini, who was an excellent comic performer. Consueio must no^ 
make those laugh whom she had formerly made weep. She was bril 
liant, chai-ming, pleasing to the last degree, though plunged at tin 
same time in despair. Twice or thrice sobs that would force thei 
way found vent in a constrained gaiety, which would have appearei 
frightful' to those who understood it. On retiring to her box, she fel 
down insensible. The public would have her return to receive thei 
applause. She did not appear; a dreadful uproar took place, benche 
were broken, and people tried to gain the stage. Stefanini liastenei 
to her box, half dressed, his hair dishevelled, and pale as a spectre 
She allowed herself to be supported back upon the stage, where sli 
was received with a shower of bouquets, and forced to stoop to pick u; 
a laurel crown. " Ah, the pitiless monsters ! " she murmured, as shi 
retired behind the scenes. 

" My sweet one," said the old singer, who gave her his hand, " yoi 
Butfer greatly; but these little things," added he, picking up a bunc] 
of brilliant flowers, " are a specific for all our woes; you will becora 
used t)o it, and the time perhaps will arrive when you will only feel fa 
tigue and uneasiness when tliey forget to crown." 

" Oh, how hollow and trifling they are!" thought poor Consuelc 
Having re-entered her box, she fainted- away, literally upon a bed o 
flowers which had been gathered on the stage and thrown pell-mel 
upon the sofa. The tire-woman left the box to call a physician 
Count Zustiniani remained for some instants alone by the side of hi 
beautiful singer, who looked pale and broken as the beautiful jasmine 
which strewed her couch. Carried away by his admiration, Znstiu 
iani lost his reason, and yielding to his foolish hopes, he seized he 
hand and carried it to his lips. But his touch was odious to the pure 
minded Consueio. She roused herself to repel him, as if it had beei 
the bite of a serpent. "Ah! far from me, said she, writhing in ; 
species of delirium ; '• far from me all love, all caresses, all honiei 
words! — no love — no husband — no lover — no family for me! my dea 
master has said it — liberty, the ideal, solitude, glory ! " And sh 
meltefl into tears so agonizing that the count was alarmed, and cast 
ing himself on his knees beside her strove to tranquilize her; but he 
could find no words of soothing import to that pierced soul; and de 
spite his efforts to conceal it, his passion woiild speak out. He per 
fectly understood the despairing love of the betrayed one, and he le 
too much of the ardor of the hopeful lover escape him. Consueh 
seemed to listen, and mechanically drew her hand away from his 
with a bewildered smile, which the count mistook for encouragement 

Some men, although possessing great tact and penetration in thi 
world, are absurd in such conjunctures. The physician arrived an( 
administered a sedative in the style which they called drops. Consu 
elo was then wrapped up in her mantle and carried to her gondola 
The count entered with her, supporting her in his arms, and alway 
talking of his loves, with some degree of eloquence, which, as he im 
agined, must carry conviction. At the end of a quarter of an hour 
obtaining no response, he implored a reply, a glance. 



CONSUEtO. 99 

"To what then shall I answer?" said Consuelo, "I have heard 
nothing." 

Zustiniani, although at first discouraged, thought there could not be 
a better opportunity, and that this afflicted soul would be more acces- 
sible than after reflection and reason. He spoke again, but there was 
the same silence, the same abstraction, only that there was a not-to- 
be-mistaken effort, though, without any angry demonstration, to repel 
his advances. When the gondola touched the shore, he tried to de- 
tain Cousuelo for an instant to obtain a word of encouragement. 
"Ah, siguor," said she, coldly, "excuse my weak state. I have 
■ heard badly, but I understand. Oh yes, I understand perfectly. I 
ask this night, this one night, to reflect, to recover from my distress. 
To-morrow, yes, to-morrow, I shall reply without fail." 

"To-morrow! dear Consuelo, oh, it is an age! But I shall submit 
^-only allow me at least to hope for your friendship." 

" Oh, yes, yes! there is hope," replied Consuelo, in a constrained 
voice, placing her foot upon the bank; " but do not follow me," said 
she, as she motioned him with an imperious gesture back to the gon- 
dola; " otherwise there will be no room for hope." 

Shame and anger restored her strength, but it was a nervous, fev- 
erish strength, which found vent in hysteric laughter as she ascended 
the stairs. 

" You are very happy, Consuelo," said a voice in the darkness, 
which almost stunned her; " I congratulate you on your gaiety." 

" Oh, yes," she replied, while slie seized Anzoleto's arm violently, 
and rapidly ascended with him to her chamber. " I thank you, An- 
zoleto. Ton were right to congratulate me. I am truly happy — oh, 
so happy ! " 

Anzoleto, who had been waiting for her, had already lighted the 
lamp, and when the bluish light fell upon their agitated features, they 
both started back in affright. 

" We are very happy, are we not, Anzoleto ? " said she, with a 
choking voice, while her features were distorted with a smile that 
covered her cheeks with tears. "What think you of our happi- 
ness ? " 

" I think, Consuelo," replied he, with a calm and bitter smile, " that 
we have found it troublesome ; but we shall get on better by-and- 
bye." 

" You seemed to me to be much at home in Gorilla's boudoir." 

" And you, I find, very much at your ease in the gondola of the 
count." 

" The count ! You knew, then, Anzoleto, that the count wished to 
supplant you in my affections ? " 

" And in order not to annoy you, my dear, I prudently kept in the 
background." * 

" Ah, you knew it ; and this is the time you have taken to abandon 
me." 

" Have I not done well ? — are you not content with your lot ? The 
count is a generous lover, and the poor, condemned singer would have 
no business, I fancy, to contend with him." 

" Porpora was right ; you are an infamous man. Leave my sight ! 
You do not deserve that I should justify myself. It would be a stain 
were I to regret you. Leave me, I tell you; but first know, that 
you can come out at Venice and re-enter San Samuel with Corilla. 
Never shall my mother's daughter set foot upon the vile boards of a 
theatre again." 



100 CONSUELO. 

" The daughter of your mother the zingara will play the great lady 
in the villa of Znstiiilani, on the shores of the Brenta. It will be a 
fair career, and I shall be glad of it." 

" Oh my mother I " exclaimed Consuelo, turning towards the bed 
and falling on her knees, as she buried her face in the counterpane 
which had served as a shroud for the zingara. 

Anzoleto was terrified and afflicted by this energetic movement, and 
the convulsive sobs which burst from the breast of Consuelo. Ke- 
morse seized on his heart, and he approached his betrothed to raise 
her in his arras; but she rose of herself, and pushing him from her 
with wild strength, thrust him towards the door, exclaiming as she 
did so, " Away — away ! from my heart, from my memory ! — farewell 
forever ! " 

Anzoleto had come to seek her with a low and selfish design ; nev- 
ertheless it was the best thing he could have done. He could not 
bear to leave her, and he had struck out a plan to reconcile matters. 
He meant to inform her of the danger she ran from the designs of 
Zustiniani, and thus remove her from the theatre. In this resolution 
he paid full homage to the pride and purity of Consuelo. He knew 
her incapable of tampering with a doubtful position, or of accepting 
protection which ought to make her blush. His guilty and corrupt 
soul still retained unshaken faith in the innocence of this young girl, 
whom' he was certain of finding as faithful and devoted as he had left 
her days before. But how reconcile this devotion with the precon- 
ceived design of deceiving her, and, without a rupture with Corilla; 
of remaining still h-er betrothed, her friend ? He wished to re-enter 
the theatre with the latter, and could not think of separating at the 
very moment when his success depended on her. This audacious and 
cowardly plan was nevertheless formed in his mind, and he treated 
Consuelo as the Italian women do those madonnas whose protection 
they implore in the hour of repentance, and whose faces they veil in 
their erring moments. 

When he beheld herso brilliant and so gay, in her bufia part at the 
theatre, he began to fear that he had lost too much time in maturin" 
his design. When he saw her return in the gondola of the count, and 
approach with a joyous burst of laughter, he feared he was too late, 
and vexation seized him ; but when she rose above his insults, and 
banished him with scorn, respect returned with fear, and he wan- 
dered long on the stair and on the quay, expecting her to recall him. 
He even ventured to knock and implore pardon through the door; but 
a deep silence reigned in that chamber, whose threshold he was never 
to cross with Consuelo again. He retired, confused and chagrined 
determined to return on the morrow, and flattering himself that he 
should then prove more successful.—" After all," said he to himself 
" my project will succeed; she knows the count's love, and all that is 
requisite is half done." 

Overwhelmed with fatigue, he slept: long in the afternoon he went 
to Corilla. 

" Great news ! " she exclaimed, running to meet him with out- 
stretched ^rms ; " Consuelo is off." 
" Off! gracious Heaven ! — whither, and with whom ? " 
"To Vienna, where Porpora has sent her, intending to join her 
there himself She has deceived us all, the little cheat. She was on- 
gaged for the emperor's theatre, where Porpora proposes that sha 
should appear in his new opera." 



CONSUELO. 101 

" Gone ! gone without a word ! " exclaimed Anzoleto, rushing to- 
wards the door. 

" It is of no use seelcing her in Venice," said Gorilla with a sneer- 
ing smile and a look of triumph. " She set out for Palestrina at day- 
break, and is already far from this on the mainland. Zustiniani, who 
thought himself beloved, but who was only made a. fool of, is furious, 
and confined to his couch with fever; but he sent Porpoca to me just 
now, to try and get me to sing this evening; and Stefanini, who is 
tired of the stage, and anxious to enjoy the sweets of retirement in 
his cassino, is very desirous to see you resume your performances. 
Therefore prepare for appearing to-morrow in Jpermnestra. In the 
mean time, as they are waiting for me, I must run away. If you do 
not believe, you can take a turn through the city, and convince your- 
self that I have told you the truth." 

" By all the furies 1 " exclaimed Anzoleto, "you have gained your 
point, but you have taken my life along with it." 

And he swooned away on the Persian carpet of the false Gorilla. 



CHAPTER tXSI. 

Of all others the Count Zustiniani was the person most put out in 
his part by the flight of Consuelo. After having allowed it to be said 
and, indeed, induced all Venice to believe, that the wonderful new 
actress was his mistress, how was hei, to explain, in a manner 
tolerably satisfactory to his own self-love, the fact, that on his first 
word of declaration, she had abruptly and mysteriously evaded his 
hopes and desires? Some persons were of opinion that, jealous 
of his treasure, he had concealed her in onds of his country houses. 
But when Porpora was heard to declare, with his wonted stern grav- 
ity, the part which his pupil had adopted — of going in advance of 
him into Germany — there was no more to be done, but to seek the 
causes of her singular resolution. The cpunt, in order to divert men's 
minds, affected to be neither vexed nor surprised; but still his annoy- 
ance leaked out in spite of him, and the world ceased to attribute to 
him, in this instance, the success on which he so greatly prided him- 
self. The greater part of the truth, in fact, soon became known to 
the public — to wit: Anzoleto's faithlessness, Gorilla's rivalry, and the 
despair of the poor Spaniard, who was now warmly pitied and ten- 
derly regretted. Anzoleto's first impulse was to hurry to Porpora; 
but he had met with the sternest repulses from him. " Cease ques- 
tioning me, young ambitious fool, heartless and faithless that you 
are," replied the master, with noble indignation. " You never de- 
seiTcd that noble girl's affection, and never shall you learn of me 
what has become of her. I will exert all my cares to prevent you 
from ever getting on her traces; and I hope that, should you ever 
chance to meet her at some future day, her image will be effaced from 
your heart and memory, as completely as 1 hope and endeavor to ef- 
fect that it shall be." 

From the house of Porpora, Anzoleto had hastened to the Corte 
Minelli, where he found Consuelo's room occupied by a new tenant, 
who was already in possession, — and fitted up with the instruments 



102 CONSUELO. 

and materials of his trade. He was a glass-worker, who had long 
dwelt in the same hq|^se, and was now gaily moving his workshop in- 
to his new premises. 

"Ah, ha! so this is you, my boy?" he cried to the .young tenor 
" so you have come to see me in my new lodging? I shall do verj 
well here, and my wife is delighted at having means to lodge hei 
children here down stairs. What are you looking for ? Has Consuek 
forgotten anything? Look away, my boy, look away; you cauuo 
disturb nle." 

" What have they done with her furniture? " asked Anzoleto, dis 
turbed, and really cut to the heart at seeing no vestige more of Con 
suelo in this spot^ consecrated to the only pure joys of his whole pas 
existence. 

" The ftirnlture is down yonder In the court; she made a presen 
of it to mother Agatha, and a good deed that was. The old womai 
is poor, and will make a little money out of it. Oh ! Consuelo had i 
good heart. She has not left a farthing of debt in the court, aiK 
made every one a slight gift at her departure. She took nothing will 
her but Jier crucifix. It is strange, nevertheless, that she should havi 
gone off in the dead of night without letting a soul know of it 
Master Porpora came here this morning, and settled all her business 
it was just like executing a will. All the neighbors were sorry for it 
hut after a while they all consoled themselves, knowing that she i; 
gone to live in a fine palace on the Canalazzo, now that she has be 
come rich and a great lady. For my part, I was always sure that shi 
would make a fortune with her voice, she worked- so hard. And whei 
are you to be married, Anzoleto ? I hope that you will buy sonii 
trifles of me to make presents to the girls of the neighborhood." 

" Oh, surely, surely," answered Anzoleto, without knowing what h( 
said ; and he hurried away with hell in his heart, and saw all thi 
beldames of the place bidding at auction in the court-yaid for Con 
suelo's bed and table — that bed on which he had so often seen he: 
sleep, that table at which she had sat so often ! '" Oh, my God ! aljead; 
not a sign left of her!" he cried, wringing his hands involuutarily 
and be felt pretty well inclined to go and stab Gorilla. 

Three days afterwards he came upon the stage again with Gorilla 
They were hissed tremendously, one and the other, and the curtain tel 
amid a storm of censure, with the piece unfinished. Anzoleto wa: 
furious, and Gorilla utterly unmoved. "Behold the worth of yi^u 
protection to me," he cried, in threatening tones, as soon as he wa: 
again alone with her. The prima donna answered him with iniiniti 
composure — " You worry youi-self about nothing, my child,'' taici ^l■ll■ 
"it is not difficult to perceive that you know nothing abdUt Uii 
world, and are unused to its caprices. I was so well prepared for lliii 
evening's reception, that I did not even give myself the trouble of gn 
ing over my part; and the only reason why I did not warn von wha 
was to come, is, that I knew you had not the courage to come iipoi 
the stage at all, with the certainty of being hissed. Now you must bi 
made aware what we have to look for. The next time we sli:ill bi 
treated worse yet. Three, four, perhaps six or eight appearances ol 
this kind will pass in succession. But, if we were the most wretchec 
bunglers in the world, the spirit of independence and contrarlictioi 
will raise up for us some zealous partisans. There are so many folk 
who think to elevate themselves by running down others, that theri 
must needs be some who think to raise themselves by helping other 



U- V/ !> O U JC( Jj W. 



103 



forward. After ten or a dozen contests, during which the theatre 
will be a battle field — half hissing, half applause — the opposition will 
get tired, our obstinate supporters will get sulky, and we shall enter 
iipon a new state of affairs. That portion of the public which sup- 
ported us, why, itself knew not, will listen to us very coldly; we shall 
have, as it were, a new debut; and then all is our own way, thank 
God! for we have but to fire the audience, and to remain masters of 
the field. I promise you great success from that moment, dear An- 
zoleto ; the charm which weighed you down of late, is dissipated. 
Tou will breathe, thenceforth, an atmosphere of unmixed favor and 
sweet praises, and your powers will be restored straightways. Re- 
member the effect of your first appearance at Zustiniani's; you had 
not then the time to establish yourself firmly on that victorious foot- 
ing — a star, before which yours paled, culminated in the sky; but that 
star has, in its turn, been uusphered, and you may prepare yourself 
again with nie to scale the empyrean." 

All fell out to the letter, as Gorilla foretold it. For, of a truth, the 
two lovers were made to pay very dearly for the first few days, for the 
loss the public had undergone in the person of Consuelo. But the 
hardihood which they exerted in braving the storm, lasted longer than 
the indignation, which was too lively to be durable. The count lent 
his encouragement to Gorilla's efforts. As to Anzoleto, — not until he 
had made every exertion in vain, to attract a prima noma to Venice 
at so. advanced a season, when all the engagements have been made 
with all the principal theatres in Europe, did the count come to a de- 
cision, and receive him as his champion in the strife which was about 
to commence between his theatre and the public. The career and 
reputation of that theatre'had been, by far too brilliant, that it should 
lose it with this or that performer. Nothing of the nature of the 
present contest was likely to affect the course of usages so long estab- 
lished. All the boxes had been hired' for the season ; and the ladies 
were in the habit of receiving their visits, and chatting in them as 
usual. The real amateurs of music were out of sorts for some time, 
but they were too few in number to produce any perceivable effect. 
Moreover, in the long run, they got bored by their own anger, and 
Gorilla, having sung one evening wit^i unwonted animation, was 
unanimously called for. She reappeai'ed, drawing Anzoleto on the 
stage along with her, although he had not been recalled, appearing to 
yield to her gentle violence with modest timidity. In a word, before 
a month had elapsed, Consuelo, was forgotten like the lightning which 
flashes and vanishes along a summer sky. Gorilla was the rage as 
much as ever, and perhaps deserved to be so more than ever; for 
emulation had given her an enthusiasm, and love an expression of 
sentiment which she had lacked before. As for Anzoleto, though he 
had got rid of no one of his faults, he had contrived to display all the 
unquestionable qualities which he did possess. His fine personal ap- 
pearance captivated the women; ladies vied for his presence at even- 
ing parties, the more so that Gorilla's jealousy added something 
piquant to the coquetries which were addressed to him. Clorinda, 
moreover, devolved all her theatrical resources, that is to say, her 
full blown beauty and the voluptuous nonchalance of her unexam- 
pled dulness, which was not without its attraction for spectators of a 
certain order. Zustiniani, in order to divert his mind from the real 
disappointment- he had undergone, had made her his mistress, loaded 
her with diamonds, and thrust her forward into first parts, hoping to 



104 CONStTELO. 

fit her to succeed Gorilla in that position, since she was definitively 
engaged at Paris for the following season. 

Gorilla regarded this rivalry, from which she had nothing whatever 
to apprehend, either present or future, without a touch of annoy- 
ance or of alaiin ; she even took a mischievous pleasure in displayhig 
the coldly impudent incapacity of her rival, which was daunted by no 
difliculties. 

In the full tide of his prosperity and success, (for the count had 
given him a very good engagement,) Anzoleto was weighed down by 
disgust and self-reproach, which prevented his enjoying his onerons 
good fortune. It was truly pitiful to see him dragging himself to re- 
hearsals, linked to the arm of Gorilla in her haiighty trnimph, pale, 
languid, handsome, as a man can be, ridiculously over-dressed, worn 
out like one overdone with adoration, fainting and imbraced among 
the laurels and the myrtles which he had so liberally and so indolently 
won. Even when upon the stage, when in the midst of a scena with 
his fiery mistress, he could not refrain from defying her by his haughty 
attitude and the superb languor of his impertinence. When she 
seemed to devour him with her eyes, he replied to the public by a 
glance, which appeared to say — " Fancy not that I respond to all this 
love! Far from it; he who shall rid me of it, shall serve me largely." 

In real truth, Anzoleto, having been corrupted and spoiled by Go- 
rilla, poured out upon her those phials of selfishness and ingratitude, 
which she urged him to pour out against all the World beside. There 
was hut one true, one pure sentiment which now remained in his 
heart ; it was the indestructible love which he still cheiished, in de- 
spite of all his vices, for Consuelo. He could divert his mind from it, 
thanks to his natural levity, but cure it he could not; and that love 
came back upon him as a remorse^-as a torture — in the midst of his 
guilty excesses. Faithless to Gorilla, given up to numberless intrigues 
— avenging himself to-day upon the count with Gorilla, to-morrow 
amusing himself with some fashionable beauty — the third day with 
the lowest of their sex; passing from mystic appointments to open 
revelries, he seemed struggling to bury the past in the oblivion of the 
present. But in the midst of these disorders, a ghost seemed to 
haunt him ; and sighs would burst from his breast, as he glided in his 
gondola at dead of night, with his debauched companions, beside the 
daik buildings of the Gorte Minelli. Co*illa, long since conquered by 
his cruel treatment, and inclined, as all base spirits are — to love the 
more in proportion as they are the more scorned and outraged^begaii 
herself to hate him, and to grow weary of her fatal passion. 

One night as Anzoleto floated with Cloriuda through the streets of 
Venice in his gondola, another gondola, shot by them rapidly — its ex- 
tinguished lantern proving its chiudestine erraiid. He scarcely heed- 
ed it; but Cloiinda, who was ever on thorns from her fear of discov- 
ery, said to him — " Let us go slower; 'tis the comit's gondola; I know 
his barcarole." 

" Is it— Oh, then," cried Anzoleto, " I will overtake him, and find 
out what infidelity he is at to-night." 

" No, no ; let us go back," cried Glorinda. " His eye — ^his ear, is so 
quick. Do not let us intrude upon his leisure." 

" On ! I say, on ! " cried Anzoleto to the gondolier; " I must over- 
take that gondola ahead of us." 

Spite of all Glorinda's tears, all her entreaties, it was but a second ere 
the boats clasped together, and a burst of laughter from the other "Jon- 



\j \j xy a \j a ij \Jt 



105 



dola fell upon Anzoleto's ear. " Ah ! this Is fair war — It Is Corilla 
enjoying tlie breeze with the count." As he spoke, Anzoleto jumped 
to the bow of his gondola, snatched the oar from liis barcarole, and 
darting on the tracl^ of the other gondola, again grazed its side; and, 
whether he heard his own nan4e among Corilla's bursts of laughter, 
or whether he was indeed mad, he cried aloud, " Sweetest Clorinda, 
unquestionably, you are the loveliest and the dearest of your sex." 

'• I was just telling Co)-illa so," said the count, coming easily out of 
his cabin, and approaching the other barque.- " And now as we have 
both brought o>n' excursions to an end, we can make a fair exchange, 
as honest folks do of equally valuable merchandise." 

" Count, you but do justice to my love of fair play," replied Anzo- 
leto, in the same tone. " If he" permit me, I will offer him my arm, 
that he may himself escort the fair Clorinda into his gondola." 

The count reached out his arm to rest upon Anzoleto's ; but the 
tenor, inflamed by hatred, and transported with rage, leaped with all 
his weight upon the count's gondola and upset it, crying with savage 
voice—" Signor count, gondola for gondola ! " Then abandoning his 
victims to their fate, and leaving Clorinda speechless with terror and 
trembling for the consequences of his frantic conduct, he gained the 
opposite bank by swimming, took his course through the dark and 
tortuous streets, entered his lodging, changed his clothes In a twink- 
ling, gathered together all the money he had, left the house, threw 
himself into the first shallop which was getting under way for "Trieste, 
and snapped his fingers in triumph as he saw in the dawn of morn- 
ing, the clock-towers and domes of Venice sink beneath the waves. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



In the western range of the Carpathian mountains, whi'ch separ- 
ates Bohemia from Bavaria, and which receives in these countries tlie 
name of the Boehmer Wald, there was still standing, about a century 
ago, an old country seat of immense extent, called, in consequence of 
some forgotten tradition, the Castle of the Giants. — Though present- 
ing at a distance somewhat the appearance of an ancient fortress, it 
was no more than a private residence, furnished in the taste, then 
somewhat antiquated, but always rich and sumptuous, of Louis XIV. 
The feudal style of architecture had also undergone various tasteful 
modifications in the parts of the edifice occupied by the Lords of 
Kudolstadt, masters of this rich domain. 

The family was of Bohemian origin, but had become naturalized in 
Germany, on its members changing their name, and abjuring the 
principles of the Reformation, at the most trying period of the "Thirty 
Tears' War. A noble and valiant ancestor, of inflexible Protestant 
principles, had been murdered on the mountain in the neighborhood 
of his castle, by the fanatic soldiery. His widow, who was of a Sax- 
on family, saved the fortune and the life of her young children by de- 
claring herself a Catholic, and entrusting to the .Jesuits the education 
of the heirs of Rudolstadt. After two generations had passed away, 
Bohemia being silent and oppressed, the Austiiau power permanently 
established, and the glory and misfortunes of the Reformation at last 



106 C0N8UEL01 

apparently forgotten, the Lords of Eudolstadt peacefully practised the 
Christian virtues, professed the Romish faith, and dwelt on their es- 
tates in unostentatious state, like good aristocrats, and faithful ser- 
vants of Maria Theresa. They had formerly displayed their bravery, 
in the service of their emperor, Charles VI; but it was strange that 
young Albert, the last of this illustrious and powerful race, and the only 
son of Count Christian Eudolstadt, had never borne aims in tlie War of 
Succession, which had just terminated; and that he had reached his 
thirtieth year without having sought any other distinction than what 
he inherited from his birth and fortune. This unusual course had in- 
spired his sovereign with suspicion of collusion with her enemies; 
but Count Christian, having had the honor to receive the empress in 
his castle, had given such reasons for the conduct of his son as seemed 
to satisfy her. Nothing, however, had transpired of the conversation 
between Maria Theresa and Count Eudolstadt. A strange mystery 
reigned in the bosom of this devout and beneficent family, which for 
ten years a neighbor had seldom visited ; which no business, no pleas- 
ure, no political agitation, induced to leave their domains; which 
paid largely and without a murmur all the subsidies required for the 
war, displaying no uneasiness in the midst of public danger and mis- 
fortujie ; which in fine seemed not to live after the same fashion as 
the other nobles, who viewed them with distrust, although knowing 
nothing of them but their praiseworthy deeds and noble conduct. 
At a loss to what to attribute this unsocial and retired mode of life, 
they accused the Eudolstadts sometimes of avarice, sometimes of 
misanthropy; but as their actions uniformly contradicted these impu- 
tations, their maligners were at length obliged to confine their re- 
proaches to their apathy and indifference. They asserted that Count 
Christian did not wish to expose the life of his son — the last of his 
race — in these disastrous wars, and the empress had, in exchange for 
his services, accepted a sum of money sufficient to equip a regiment 
of hussars. The ladies of rank who had marriageable daughters ad- 
mitted that Count Christian had done well ; but when they learned the 
determination that he seemed to entertain of providing a wife for his 
son in his own family, in the daughter of the Baron Frederick, his 
biotlier — when they understood that the young Baroness Amelia had 
just quitted the convent at Prague, where she had been educated, to 
reside henceforth with her cousin in the Castle of the Giants — these 
noble dames unanimously pronounced the family of Eudolstadt to be 
a den of wolves, each of whom was more unsocial and savage than 
the others. A few devoted servants and faithful friends alone knew 
the secret of the family, and kept it strictly. 

This noble family was assembled one evening round a table profuse- 
ly loaded with game, and those substantial dishes with which our an- 
cestors in Slavonic states still continued to regale themselves at that 
period, notwithstanding the refinements which the court of Louis 
XV. had introduced into the aristocratic customs of a great part of 
Euiopo. An immense hearth, on which burned huge billets of oak, 
dill'used heat throughout the large and gloomy hall. Count Christian 
in a loud voice had just said grace, to wihich tlie other members of the 
family listened standing. Numerous aged and grave domestics, in 
the. costume of the country — viz. : large mamaluke trousers, and long 
inustacluos — moved slowly to and fro, in attendance on their honored 
masters. The chaplain of the castle was seated on the right of the 
count, the young baroness on his left — " next his heart,"'^as he was 



CONSUELO. 107 

■wont to say, with austere and paternal gallantry. The Baron Fred- 
erick, his junior brother, whom he always called liis " young brother," 
from his being more than sixty years old, was seated opposite. The 
Canoness Wenceslawa of Rudolstadt, his eldest sister, a venerable 
lady of seventy, afflicted with an enormous hump, and a frightful 
leanness, took her place at the upper end of the table ; while Count 
Albert, the son of Count Christian, the betrothed of Amelia, and the 
last of the Rudolstadts, came forward, pale and melancholy, to seat 
himself at the other end, opposite his noble aunt. 

Of all these silent personages, Albert was certainly the one least dis- 
posed and least accustomed to impart animation to the others. The 
chaplain was so devoted to his masters, and so reverential towards the 
head of the family in particular, that he never opened his mouth to 
speak unless encouraged to do so by a look from Count Christian ; 
and the latter was of so calm and reserved a disposition that he sel- 
dom required to seek from others a relief from his own thoughts. 

Baron Frederick was of a less thoughtful character and more active 
temperament, but he was by no means remarkable for animation. — 
Although mild and benevolent as his eldest brother, he had less intel- 
ligence and less enthusiam. His devotion was a matter of custom and 
politeness. His only passion was a love for the chase, in which he 
spent almost all his time, going out each morning and i-eturning each 
evening, ruddy with exercise, out of breath, and hungry. He ate for 
ten, dranlc for thirty, and even showed some sparks of animation 
when relating how his dog Sapphire had started the hare, how Pan- 
ther had unkeimeled the wolf, or how tis falcon Attila had taken 
flight ; and when the company had listened to all tliis with inexhaus- 
tible patience, he dozed over quietly near the fire in a great black 
leathern arm-chair, and enjoyed his nap until his daughter came to 
warn him that the hour for retiring was about to strike. 

The canoness was the most conversable of the party. She might 
even be called chatty, for she discussed with the chaplain, two or 
three times a week, for an hour at a stretch, sundry knotty points 
touching the genealogy of Bohemian, Hungarian, and Saxon families, 
the names and biographies of whom, from kings down to simple gen- 
tlemen, she had on her finger ends. 

As for Count Albert, there was something repelling and solemn in 
his exterior, as if each of his gestures had been prophetic, each of his 
sentences oracular to the rest of the family. — By a singular peculiarity 
inexplicable to any one not acquainted with the secret of the mansion, 
as soon as he opened his lips, which did not happen once in twenty- 
four hours, the eyes of his friends and domestics were turned upon 
him ; and there was apparent on every face a deep anxiety, a painful 
and aflFectionate solicitude; always excepting that of the young Ame- 
lia, who listened to him with a sort of ironical impatience, and who 
alone ventured to reply, with the gay or sarcastic familiarity which 
her fancy prompted. 

This young girl, exquisitely fair, of a blooming complexion, lively, 
and well formed, was a little pearl of beauty ; and when her waiting- 
maid told her so, in order to console her for her cheerless mode of 
life, " Alas!" the young girl would reply, " I am a pearl shut up in 
an oyster, of which this frightful Castle of the Giants is the shell." 
This will serve to show the reader what sort of a petulant bird was 
shut up in so gloomy a cage. 

On this evening the solemn silence which weighed down the family 



108 CONSUELO. 

part*cnlarly during the first course (for the two ofe gentlemen, the 
can on ess, and the chaplain were ppssessed of a solidity and regularity 
of appetite which never failed), was interrupted by Count Albert. 

" What frightful weather," said he, with a profound sigh. 

Every one looked at him with surfft-ise ; for if the weather had he- 
come' glooniy and threatening during the hour they h.ad been shut up 
in the interior of thejeastle, nobody could have perceived it, since the 
thick shutters were closed. Everything was calm without and within, 
and nothing announced an approaching tempest. 

NoB'ody, however, ventured to contradict Albert; and Amelia con- 
tented hjgrself with shrugging her shoulders, while the clatter of 
knives and forks, and the removal of the dishes by the servants, pro- 
ceede^,after a moment's interruption, as before. 

" Do not you hear the wind roaring amid the pines of the Boehmer 
Wald, and the voice of the torrent sounding in your eai-s ? " continued 
Albert, in a louder voice, and with a fixed gaze at his father. 

Count Christian was silent. The baron, in his quiet way, replied, 
without removing his eyes from his venison, which he hewed with 
athletic hand, as if it had been a hraip of granite; " yes, we had wind 
and rain together at sunset, and I should not be surprised were the 
weather to change to-morrow." 

Albert smiled in his strange manner, and everything again became 
still ; but five minutes had hardly elapsed when a furious blast shook 
the lofty casements, howled wildly around the old walls, lashing the 
waters of the moat as with, a whip, and died away on the mountain 
tops with a sound so plainfive, that every face, with the exception of 
Coimt Albert's, who again smiled with the same indefinable expres- 
sion, grew pale. 

" At this very instant," said he, " the storm drives a stranger to- 
wards our castle. You would do well. Sir Chaplain, to pray for those 
who travel beneath the tempest, amid these rude mountains." 

" I hourly pray from my very soul," replied the trembling chaplain, 
" for those who are cast on the rude paths of life amid the tempests 
of human passions." 

" Do not reply, Mr. Chaplain," said Amelia, without regarding the 
looks or signs which warned her on every side not tp continue the 
conversation. " You know very well that my cousin likes to torment 
people with his enigmas. For my part, I never think of finding them 
out." 

Count Albert paid no more attention to the railleries of his cousin 
than she appeared to pay to his discourse. He leaned an elbow on 
his plate, which almost always remained empty and unused before 
him, and fixed his eyes on the damask table-cloth, as if making a 
calculation of the ornaments ou the pattern, though all the while ab- 
soibed in a reverie. 



CHAPTER XXin. 



A FUKiors tempest raged during the supper, which meal lasted just 
two hours, neither more nor less, even ou last days, which were reli- 
giously obsei-ved, but which never prevented the coiuit from indulgino- 
his customary habits, no less sacred to him than the usages of the Ko- 



CONSUELO. 109 

mish Church. Storms were too frequent in these ntountains, and the 
immense forests whicli then covered their sides imparted to the echoes 
a character too well known to the inhabitants of the castle, to occa- 
sion them even a passing emotion. Nevertheless, the unusnal agitai» 
tion of Count Albert communicated itself to the rest of the fainily,,8nd 
the baron, disturbed in the usual current of his reflectioois, might 
have evinced some dissatisfaction, had it been possible for his imper- 
turbable placidity to be for a moment ruffled. He contented Ijimself 
with sighing deeply, when a frightful peal of thunder, occurringwith 
the second remove, caused the carver to miss the clioice morsel of 
boar's ham, which he was just then engaged in detacliing. , 

" It cannot be helped," said the baron, directing a compassionating 
smile towards the poor carver, who was quite downcast with his'mis- 
hap. 

" Yes, uncle, you are^ right," exclaimed Count Albert, in a loud 
voice, and rising to his feet; "it cannot be helped. The Hussite is 
down; the lightning consumes it; Spring will revisit its foUage no 
more." 

"What say you, my son?" asked the old count, in a melancholy 
tone. " Do you speak of the huge oak of the Sciireckenstein ? " * 

" Yes, father ; I speak of the great oak to whose branches we hung 
up some twenty monks tlie other day." 

" He mistakes centuries for weeks just now," said the canoness in 
a low voice, while she made the sign of the cross. " My dear child," 
she continued, turning to her nephew, " if you have really seen what 
has happened, or what is about to happen, in a dream, as has more 
than once been the case, tills miserable withered oak, considering the 
sad recollections associated with the rock it shaded, will be no great 
loss." 

'• As for me," exclaimed Amelia, " I am derighted that the storm 
has rid us of that gibbet, with its long, frightfnl skeleton arms, and its 
red trunk which seemed to ooze out blood. I never passed beneath 
it when the breeze of evening moved amid its foliage, without hear- 
ing sighs as if of agony, and commending my soul to God while 1 
turned away and fled." 

" Arnelia," replied the count, who just now appeared to hear her 
words for the first time perhaps for days, " you did well not to remain 
beneath the Hussite as I did for hours, and even, entire nights. You 
would have seen and heard things wliich would have chilled you with 
terror and never_have left your memory." 

" Pray, be silent, ' cried the young baroness, starting and moving 
fiorathe table where Albeit was leaning: "I cannot imagine what 
pleasure you take in terrifying others every time you open your lips." 

" Would to Heaven, dear Amelia," said .the old baroc, mildly, "it 
were indeed but au amusement Which your cousin takes in uttering 
such things."- 

" No, my father; I speak in all seriousness. The oak of the Stone 
of Terrqr is overthrown, cleft in pieces. You may send the wood- 
cutters to-morrow to remove it. I sliall plant a cypress in its place, 
which I shall name, not the Hussite, but the Penitent, and.the Stone 
of Terror shall be called the Stone of Expiation." 

"Enough, enough, my sqn!" exclaimed the agonized old man. 
" Banish these melancholy images, and leave it to God to judge the 
actions of men." 

* " Stone of Terror,"— a name not unfrequently used in these regions. 



110 CONSUELO. 

" They have disappeared, father— annihilated with the implements 
of torture which the breath of the storm and the fire of Heaven have 
scattered in the dust. In place of pendent skeletons, fruits and flow- 
ers r9Ck themselves amid the zephyrs on the new branches; and in 
placeSof thS'ma.n in black who nightly lit up the flames beside the stake, 
I see a pure celestial soul, which hovers over my head and yours. The 
storm is gone — the danger over; those who travelled are in shelter; 
my soul is in peace, the period of expiation draws nigh, and 1 am about 
to be born again." 

" May what you say, O well-beloved child, prove true! " said Chris- 
tian, with extreme tenderness ; " and may you be freed from the phan- 
toms which trouble your repose. Heaven grant me this blessing, and 
restore peace, and hope, and light to my son ! " 

Before the old man had finished speaking, Albert leaned forward, 
and appeared to fail into a tranquil slumber. , 

"What means this?" broke in the young baroness; " what do I 
see ? — Albert sleeping at table ? Very gallant, truly ! " 

" This deep and sudden sleep," said the chaplain, surveying the 
young man with intense interest, "is a favorable crisis, which leads 
me to look forward to a happy change, for a time at least, in his situa^ 
tion." 

" Let no one speak to him, or attempt to arouse him," exclaimed 
Covin t Christian. 

" Merciful Heaven," prayed the canoness, with clasped hands, 
" realize this prediction, and let his thirtieth year be that of his re- 
covery ! " 

" Amen ! " added the chaplain devoutly. " Let us raise our hearts 
with thanks to the God of Mercy for the food which he has given us, 
and entreat him to deliver this noble youth, the object of so much so- 
licitude." 

■ . They rose for grace, and every one remained standing, absorbed in 
prayer, for the last of the Eudolstadts. As for the old count, tears 
streamed down his withered cheeks. He then gave orders to his 
faithful servants to convey his son to his apartment, when Baron 
Frederick, considering how he could best display his devotion towards 
his nephew, observed with childish satisfaction; "Dear brother, a 
good idea has occurred to me. If your son awakens in the seclusion 
of his chamber, while digestion is going on, bad dreams may assail 
him. Bring him to the saloon, and place him in my large arm-chair. 
It is the best one for sleeping in the whole house. He will be better 
there than in bed, and when he awakens he will find a good fire and 
friends to cheer his heart." 

" You are right, brother," replied Christian, " let us bear him to the 
saloon aTid place him on the large Sofa." 

" It is wrong to sleep lying after dinner," continued the baron ; "I 
believe, brother, that I am aware of tliat from experience. Let him 
have my arm-chair— yes, my arm-chair is the thing." 

Christian veiy well knew that were he to refuse his brother's ofier, 
It vrould vex and annoy him : tlie young count was therefore propped 
up m the hunter's leathern chair, but he remained quite insensible to 
the cliange, so sound was his sleep. The baron placed himself on an- 
other seat, and warming his legs before a fire worthy of the times of 
old, smiled with a triumphant air whenever the chaplain observed 
that Albert's repose would assuredly have happy results. The good 
Boul proposed to give up his nap as well as his chair, and to join the 



CONSUEIO. Ill 

family in watcTiing over the youth ; but after some quarter of an hour, 
he was so much at ease that he began to snore after so lusty a fashion 
as to drown tlie last faint and now far distant gusts of the storm. 

The castle bell, which only rang on extraordinary occasions, was 
now heard, and old Hans, the head domestic, entered shortly after- 
wards with a letter, which he presented to Couijt Christian without 
sayingaword. He then retired into an adjoinin'g apartment lo await 
his master's commands. Christian opened the letter, cast his eyes on 
the signature, and handed the paper to the yoitng baron ess,, with a 
request that she would peruse the contents. Curious and excited, 
Amelia approached a candle, and read as follows: — 

" Illtjstrioits and well-bbi,oved Lord Count : — 

" Your Excellency has conferred on me the favor of asking a ser- 
vice at my hands. This, indeed, is to confer a greater favor than all 
those which I have already received, and of which my heart fondly 
cherishes the remembrance. Destpite my anxiety to execute your es- 
teemed orders, I did not hope to find so promptly and so suitably the 
hidividual that was required; but favorable circumstances having 
concurred to an unforseen extent in aiding me to fulfill the desires of 
your Highness, I hasten to send a young person who realizes at least 
in part, the required conditions. I therefore send her only provision- 
ally, that your amiable and illustrious niece may not too impatiently 
await a more satisfactory termination to my researches and proceed- 
ings. 

" The individual who has the honor to present this is my pupil, and 
in a measure my adopted child ; she will prove, as the amiable baron- 
ess has desired, an agreeable and obliging companion, as well as a 
competent musical instructress. In other respects, she does not pos- 
sess the necessary information for a governess. She speaks several 
languages, though hardly sufficiently acquainted with them perhaps 
to teach them. Mtisic she knows thoroughly, and she sings remarka- 
bly well. You will be pleased with her talents, her voice, her de- 
meanor, and not less so with the sweetness and dignity of her char- 
acter. Your Highness may admit her into your circle without risk of 
her infringing hi any way on etiquette, or affording any evidence of 
low tastes. She wishes to remain free as regards your noble family, 
and therefore will accept no salary. In shoil, it is neither as a du- 
enna nor as a servant, but as companion and friend to the amiable 
baroness, that she appears: just as that lady did me the honor to 
mention in the gracious post scriptum which she added to your Excel- 
lency's communication. 

'• Signor Corner who has been appointed ambassador to Austria, 
awaits the orders for his departure; but these he thinks will not ar- 
rive before two months. Signora Corner, his worthy spouse and my 
generous pupil, would have me accompany them to Vienna, where 
she thinks I should enjoy a happier career. Without perhaps agree- 
ing with her in this, I have acceded to her kind offers, desirous as I 
am to abandon Venice, where I have only experienced annoyance, 
deception, and reverses. I long to revisit the noble German land, 
where I have seen so many happy days, and renew my intimacy with 
the venerable friends, left there. Your Highness holds the first place 
in this old, worn-out, yet not wholly chilled heart, since it is actuated 
by eternal affection and deepest gratitude. To you, therefore, illustri- 
ous signor, do I commend and confide my arlo^ted child, requestins 



112 CONSUBLO. 

on her behalf hospitality, protection, and favor. She will repay your 
goodness by her zeal and attention to the young baroness. In three 
months I shall come for her, and offer in her place a teacher who 
may contract a more permanent engagement. 

" Awaiting the day on which I may once more press the hand of 
one of the best of men, I presume to declare myself, with respect and 
pride, the most humbfe and devoted of the friends and servants of your 
Highness, chiarissima, stimatissima, illustrissima. 

Nicolas Poepoka. 
" Chapel Master, Composer, and Professor of Vocal Music. 
" Venice, the of 17—." 

Amelia sprang up with joy on perusing this letter, while the old 
count, much affected, repeated — "Worthy Porpora! respectable man! 
excellent friend ! " 

" Certainly, certainly," exclaimed the Canoness Wenceslawa, divided 
between the dread of deranging their family usages and the desire of 
displaying the duties of hospitality towards a stranger, " we must re- 
ceive ajid treat her well, provided she do not become weary of us here." 

"But, uncle, where is this precious mistress and future friend?" 
exclaimed the young baroness, without attending to her aunt's reflec- 
tions. "Surely she will shortly be here in person. I await her with 
impatience." 

Count Christian rang. " Hans," said he, " by whom was this de- 
livered ? " 

" By a lady, most gracious lord and master." 

" Where is she ? " exclaimed Amelia. 

" In her post-carriage at the drawbridge." 

■■ And you have left her to perish outside,'instead of introducing 
her at once ? " 

" Yes, madam ; I took the letter, but forbade the postilion to 
slacken rein or take foot out of the stirrup. I also raised the bridge 
behind me imtil I should have delivered the letter to my master." 

" But it is unpardonable, absurd, to make guests wait outside in 
such weather. Would not any one think we were in a fortress, and 
that we take every one who comes for an enemy ? Speed away then, 
Hans." 

Hans remained motionless as a statue. His eyes alone expressed 
regret that he could nut obey the wishes of his young mistress; but 
a cannon-ball whizzing past his ear would not have deranged by a 
hair's-breadtli the impassive attitude with which he awaitedtfie sov- 
ereign orders of his old master. 

" The faithful Hans, my child," said the baron slowly, " knows 
nothing but his duty and the word of command. Now then, Hans, 
open the gates and lower the bridge. Let every one light torches, 
and bid the stranger welcome." 

Hans evinced no surprise in being ordered to usher the unknown 
into a house where the nearest and best friends were only admitted 
after tedious precautions. The canoness proceeded to give directions 
for supper. Amelia would have set out for the drawbridge; but her 
nude holding himself bound in honor to meet his guest there, offered 
his arm to his niece, and the impatient baroness vvas obliged to pro- 
ceed majestically to the castle gate, where the wandering fugitive 
Cunsuelo had already alighted. 



CONSUELO. 113. 



CHATTEE XXrV. 

DtrKiifG the three months that had elapsed since the Baroness 
Amelia had taken it into her head to liave a companion, less to in- 
struct her than to solace lier weariness, she had in fancy pictured to 
herself a hundred times the form and features of her future friend. 
Aware of Porpora's crusty humor, she feared he would send some 
severe and pedantic governess. She had therefore secretly written to 
him to say (as if her desires were not law to her doting relatives,) that 
she would receive no one past twenty-five. On reading Porpora's 
answer she was so transported witli joy that she forthwith sketched 
in imagination a complete portrait of the young musician — the adopt- 
ed child of the professor, young, and a Venetian — that is to say, in 
Amelia's eyes, made expressly for herself, and after her own image. 

She was somewhat disconcerted, therefore when, instead of the 
blooming, saucy girl that her fancy had drawn, she belield a pale, mel- 
ancholy, and embarrassed young person; for, in addition to the pro- 
found grief with which her poor heart was overwhelmed, and the fa- 
tigue of a long and rapid joiu-ney, a fearful and almost fatal impres- 
sion had been made on Consuelo's mind by the vast pine forest tossed 
by the tempest, the dark night illumniatedat intervals by livid flashes 
of lightning, and, above all,"by the aspect of this grim castle, to which 
the bowlings of the baron's kennel and the light of the torches borne 
by the servants, lent a strange and ghastly effect. What a contrast 
with the Jlrmamento lucido of Marcello — the harmonious silence of the 
nights at Venice — the confiding liberty of her former life, passed in the 
bosom of. love and joyous poesy! When the carriage had slowly 
passed over the drawbridge, which sounded hollow under the horses' 
teet, and the portcullis fell with a startling clang, it seemed to her as 
if she had entered the portals of the "Inferno" of Dante; and, seized 
with terror, she recommended her soul to God. 

Her countenance therefore showed the symptoms of extreme agita- 
tion when she presented herself before her hosts; and the aspect of 
Count Christian, his tall, wasted figure, worn at once by age and vex- 
ation, and dressed in his ancient costume, completed her dismay. 
She imagined she beheld the spectre of some ancient nobleman of 
the middle ages; and looking upon everything that surrounded her 
as a dream, she drew bade, uttering an exclamation of terror. 

The old count, attributing her hesitation and paleness to the jolting 
of the carriage and the fatigue of the journey, offered his arm to as- 
sist her in mounting the steps, endeavoring at the same time to utter 
some kind and polite expressions. But the worthy man, on whom 
Nature had bestowed a cold and reserved exterior, had become, dur- 
ing so long a period of absolute retirement, such a stranger to the 
usages and conventional courtesies of the world, that this timidity was 
redoubled ; and under a grave and severe aspect he concealed the hes- 
itation and confusion of a child. The obligation which he considered 
himself under to speak Italian, a language which he had formerly 
known tolerably well, but which he had almost forgotten, only added 
to his embarrassment; and he could merely stammer out a few words, 
which Consuelo heard with difiiculty, and which she took for the un- 
known and mysterious language of the Shades. 

Amelia, who had intended to throw herself upon Consuelo's neqk, 
7 



♦114 CONSUHLO. 

and at once appropriate her to herself, had nothing to say — such is 
the reserve imparted, as if by contagion, even to tlie boldest natures, 
when the timi(tity of others seems to slftin their advances. 

Consuelo was introduced into the great hall where they had snpped. 
The count, divided between the wish to do her honor and the fear of 
letting her see his son while buried in his morbid sleep, paused and 
hesitated; and Consuelo, trembling and feeling her knees give way 
under her, sank into the nearest seat. 

" Uncle," said Amelia, seeing the embarrassment of the count, " I 
think it would be better to receive the signora here. ." It is warmer 
than in the great saloon, and she must be frozen by the wintry wind 
of our mountains. I am grieved to see her so overcome with fatigue, 
and I am sure that she requires a good supper and a sound sleep much 
more than our ceremonies. Is ft not true, my dear signora? " added 
she, gaining coiirage enough to press gently with her plump and pret- 
ty fingers the powerless arm of Consilelo. 

Her lively voice, and the German accent with which she pronounced 
her Italian, reassured Consuelo. She raised her eyes to the charming 
countenance of the young baroness, and, looks once exchanged, re- 
serve and timidity were alike banished. The traveller understood 
immediately that this was lier pupil, and that this enchanting face at 
least was not that of a spectre. She gratefully received all the atten- 
tions offered her by Amelia, approached the fire, allowed her cloak to 
he taken off, accepted the offer of supper, although she was not the 
least hungry ; and, more and more reassured by the kindness of her 
young hostess, she found at length the faculties of seeing, hearing, 
and replying. 

Whilsit the domestics served supper, the conversation naturally 
turned on Porpora, and Consuelo was delighted to hear the old count 
speak of him as his friend, his equal — almost as his superior. Then 
they talked of Consuelo's journey, the route by which she had come, 
and the storm which must have teri-ified her. " We are accustomed 
at Venice," replied Consuelo, " to tempests still more sudden and 
perilous; for in our gondolas, in passing from one part of the city to 
another, we are often threatened with shipwi'eck even at our very 
thresholds. The water wliich serves us instead of paved streets,' 
svvells and foams like the waves of the sea. dashing our frail birks 
with such violence against the walls, that they arein danger of de- 
struction before we have time to land. Nevertheless, althougli I have 
frequently witnessed such occurrences, and am not naturally very 
timid, I was more terrified this evening than I have ever been before, 
by the fall of a huge treg, uprooted by the tempest in the mountains 
and crashing across our path. The horses reared upright, while the 
postilion in terror exclaimed — 'It is the Tree of Misfortune !— it is the 
Hussite which has fallen ! ' Can you explain what that means, Sig- 
ndra Baronessa ? " 

Neither tlie count nor Amelia attempted to reply to this question; 
they trembled while they looked at each other. " My son was not de- 
ceived," said the old man. " Strange ! strange in truth ! " 

And excited by his solicitude for Albert, he left the saloon to rejoin 
him, while Amelia, clasping her haiids, murmured : " There is magic 
here, and the devil in presence bodily." 

These strange remarks re-awakened tlie superstitious feeling which 
Consuelo had experienced on entering the castle of E\Klolstad't.. The 
sudden paleuess of Ameliii, the solemu silence of tbe old servants in 



CONSUELO. 115, 

their red liveries— whose square bulky figures and whose lack-lustre 
eyes, which their long servitude seemed to have deprived of all sense 
and expression, appeared each the counterpart of his neighbors — the 
immense hall wainscotted with black oak, whose gloom a chandelier 
loaded with lighted candles did not suffice to dissipate ; the cries of 
tlie screech-owl, which had recommenced its flight round the castle, the 
storm being over; even the family portraits and the huge heads of 
stags and boars carved in relief on the walnscotting — all awakened 
eniotions of a gloomy cast that she was unable to shake offi The ob- 
servations of the young baroness were not very cheering. " My dear 
signora," said she, hastening to assist her, "you must be prepared to 
meet here things strange, inexplicable, often unpleasant, sometimes 
even frightful; true scenes of romance which no one would believe if 
you related them, and on which you must pledge your honor to be 
silent forever." 

While the bai'oness was thus speaking the door opened slowly, and 
the Canoness Wenceslawa, with her hump, her angular figure, and 
severe attire, the eflect of which was heightened by the decorations 
of her order which she never laid aside, entered the apartment with 
an air more affably majestic than she had ever worn since the period 
when the Empress Maria Theresa, returning from her expedition to 
Hungary, had conferred on the castle the unheard-of honor of taking 
there a glass of hippocras and an hour's repose. She advanced to- 
wards Consuelo, and after a couple of courtesies and a harangue in 
German, which she had apparently learned by heart, proceeded to 
kiss her forehead. The poor girl, cold as marble, received what she 
considered a death salute, and murmured some inaudible reply. 

When the canoness had returned to the saloon, for she saw that she 
rather frightened the stranger than otherwise, Amelia burst into 
laughter long and loud. 

'• By my faith," said she to her companion,* " I dare swear you 
thought you saw the ghost of Queen Libussa; but calm yourself; it 
is my aunt, and the best and most tiresome of women." 

Hardly had Consuelo recovered from this emotion when she heard 
the cieaking of great Bungai-ian boots behind her. A heavy and 
measured step shook the floor, and a man with a face so massive, red, 
and square, that those of the servants appeared pale and aristocratic 
beside it, traversed the hall in profound silence, and went out by the 
great door which the valets respectfully opened for him. Fresh 
shuddering on Consuelo's part, fresh laughter on Amelia's followed. 

" This," said she, " is Baron Kudolstadt, the greatest hunter, the 
most unparalleled sleeper, and the best of fathers. His nap in the 
saloon Is concluded. At nine he rises from his chair, without on that 
account awaking, walks across this hall without seeing or hearing 
anything, retires to rest, and wakes with the dawn, alert, active, vig- 
orous as if he were still young, and bent on pursuing the chase anew 
with falcon, hound, arid horse." 

Hardly had she concluded when the chaplain passed. He was 
stout, short, and pale as a dropsical patient. A life of meditation 
does not suit the dull Sclavonian temperament, and the good man's 
obesity was no criterion of robust health. He made a profound bow 
to the ladies, spoke in an under tone to a servant, and disappeared in 
the track of the baron. Forthwith old Hans and another of these 
automatons, which Consuelo could not distinguish, so closely did they 
resemble each other, took their way to the saloon. Consuelo, unable 



,116 \j \j n a u Ci Juu, 

any longer even to appear to eat, followed tliera with her eyes. 
Hardly had they passed the door, when a new apparition, more strilv- 
ing than all the rest, presented itself at the threshold. It was a youth 
of lofty stature and admirable proportions, but with a countenance of 
corpse-like paleness. He was attired in black from head to foot, 
while a velvet cloak trimmed with sable and held by tassels and clasps 
of gold, hung from his shoulders. Hair of ebon blackness fell in dis- 
order over his pale cheeks, which were further toncealed by the curls 
of his glossy beard. He motioned away the servants who advanced 
to meet him, with an imperative gesture, before which they recoiled 
as if his gaze had fascinated them. Then he turned towards Count 
Christian, who followed him. 

" I a.ssure you, father," said he, in a sweet voice and winning ac- 
cents, " that I have never felt so calm. Something great is accom- 
plished in my destiny, and the peace of heaven has descended on our 
house." 

" May God grant it, my child!" exclaimed the old man, extending 
his hand to bless him. 

The youth bent his head reverently under the hand of his father; 
then raising it with a mild and sweet expression, he advanced to the 
centre of the hall, smiled faintly, while he slightly touched the hand 
which Amelia held out to him, and looked earnestly at Consuelo for 
some seconds. Struck with involuntary respect, Consuelo bowed to 
him with downcast eyes; but he did not return the salutation, and 
still continued to gaze on her. 

" This is the young person," said the canoness in German, 
" whom — ." But the young man interrupted her with a gesture 
which seemed to say, " Do not speak to me — do not disturb my 
thoughts." Then slowly turning away, without testifying either sur- 
prise or interest, he deliberately retired by the great door. 

"You must excuse him, my dear young lady," said the canoness; 
" he " 

" I beg pardon, aunt, for interrupting you," exclaimed Amelia; 
" but you are speaking German, which the signora does not under- 
stand." 

" Pardon me, dear signora," replied Consuelo, in Italian ; " I have 
spoken many langUEiges in my childhood, for I have travelled a good 
deal. I remember enough of German tu understand it perfectly. I 
dare not yet attempt to speak it, but if you will be so good as to give 
me some lessons, I hope to regain my knowledge of it in a few days." 

" I feel just in the same position," replied the canoness, in Ger- 
man. " I comprehend all the young lady says, yet I could not speak 
her language. Since she understands me, I may tell her that I hope 
she will pardon my nephew the rudeness of which he has been guilty 
in not saluting her, when I inform her that this young man has been 
seriously ill, and that after his fainting fit he is so weak that probably 
he did not see her. Is not this so, brother?" asked the good Wen- 
ceslawa, trembling at the falsehood she had uttered, and seeking her 
pardon in the eyes of Count Christian. 

" My dear sister," replied the old man, " it is generous in you to ex- 
cuse my son. The signora, I trust, will not be too much surprised on 
learning certain particulars which we shall communicate to her to- 
morrow with all the confidence which we ought to feel for a child of 
Porpora, and I hope I may soon add, a friend of the family." 

It was now the hour for retiring, and the habits of the establishment 



CONSUELO. 117 

■were so uniform, that if the two young girls had remained much 
longer at table, the servants would doubtless have removed the chairs 
and extinguislied the liglits, just as if they had not been there. Be- 
sides, Consuelo longed to retire, and tlie baroness conducted her to 
tlie elegant and comfortable apartment which liad been set apait for 
her accommodation. 

"I should like to have an hour's chat 'with you," said she, as soon 
as the canoness, who had done die lionors of the apartment, had left 
the room. " I long to make you acquainted with matters here, so as 
to enable yon to put up with our eccentricities. But you are so tired 
that you nmst certainly wish, in preference, to repose. 

"Do not let that prevent you, signora," replied Consuelo; "I am 
fatigued, it is true, but I feel so excited that I am sure I shall not close 
my eyes during the night. Therefore talk to me as much as you 
please, with this stipulation only, that it shall be in German. It will 
serve as a lesson for me; fori perceive that the Signor Count and the 
canoness as well, are not familiar with Italian." 

'• Let us make a bargain," said Amelia. " You shall go to bed to 
rest yourself a little, while I throw on a dressing-gown and dismiss 
my waiting-maid. I shall then return, seat myself by your bedside, 
and speak German so long as we can keep awake. Is it agreed ? " 

" With all my heart," replied Consuelo. 



CHAPTER 5XV. 



" Know, then, my dear," said Amelia, when slie had settled herself 
as aforesaid — " but now that I think of it, I do not know your name," 
she added, smiling. " It is time, however, to banish all ceremony be- 
tween us ; you will call me Amelia, what shall I call you — " 

" I have a singular name, somewliat difficult to pronounce," replied 
Consuelo. " The excellent Porpora, when he sent me hither, re- 
quested me to assume his name, according to the custom which pre- 
vails among masters towards their favorite pupils. I share this privi- 
lege, therefore, with the great Huber, surnamed Porporina; but, in 
place of Porporina, please to call me simply Nina." 

" Let it be Nina, then, between ourselves," said Amelia. " Now, lis- 
ten, for I have a long story to tell you; and if I do not go back a little 
into the history of the past, you will never understand what took 
place in this house to-day." 

" I am all attention," replied the new Porporina. 

" Of course my dear Nina," said the young baroness, "you know 
something of the history of Bohemia." 

"Alas!" replied Consuelo, "as my master must have informed 
you, I am very deficient in information. I know somewhat of the 
history of music, indeed ; but as to that of Bohemia or any other 
country. I know nothing." 

" In that case," replied Amelia, " I must tell you enough of it to 
render my story intelligible. Some three hiuidred years ago, the peo- 
ple among whom you find yourself, were great, lieroic, and uncon- 
querable. They had, indeed, strange masters, and a religion which 
they did not very well understand, but which their rulers wished to 



118 CONSUELO. 

impose by force. They were oppressed by hordes of monks while a 
cruel and abandoned king insulted their dignity, and crushed their sym- 
pathies. But a secret fury and deep-seated hatred fermented below; 
the storm broke out ; the strangers were expelled ; religion was re- 
formed; convents were pillaged and razed to the ground, while the 
drunken Wenceslas was cast into prison, and deprived of his crown. 
The signal of the revolt had been the execution of John Huss and 
Jerome of Prague, two wise and courageous Bohemians, who wished 
to examine and throw light upon the mysteries of Catholicism, and 
whom a council cited, condemned, and burned, after having promised 
them safe conduct and freedom of discussion. This infamous treason 
was so grating to national honor, that a bloody war ravi^ed Bohemia, 
and a large portion of Germany, for many years. This exterminating 
war was called the war of the Hussites. Innumerable and dreadful 
crimes were committed on both sides. The manners of the times 
were fierce and cruel over the whole earth. Party spirit and religious 
fanaticism rendered them still more dreadful; and Bohemia was the 
terror of Europe. I shall not shock your imagination, already unfa- 
vorably impressed by the appearance of this savage country, by recit- 
ing the horrible scenes which then took place. On one side, it was 
nothing but murder, burnings, destructions ; churches profaned, and 
monks and nuns mutilated, hung, and thrown into boiling pitch. On 
the other side, villages were destroyed, whole districts desolated, trea- 
sons, falsehoods, cruelties, abounded on every side. Hussites were cast 
by thousands into the mines, filling abysses with their dead bodies, 
and strewing the earth with their own bones and those of their ene- 
mies. These terrible Hussites were for a long time invincible; even 
yet their name is not mentioned without terror ; and yet their patri- 
otism, their intrepid constancy -and incredible exploits, have be- 
queathed to us a secret feeling of pride and admiration, Wliich young 
Minds, such as mine, find it somewhat difficult to conceal." 

" And why conceal it? " asked Consuelo, simply. 

" It is because Bohemia has fallen back, after many struggles, under 
the yoke of slavery. Bohemia is no more, my poor 2^^ina. Our mas- 
ters were well aware that the religious liberty of our country was 
also its political freedom ; therefore they have stifled both." 

" See," replied Consuelo, " how ignorant I am ! I never heard of 
these things before, and I did not dream that men could be so un- 
happy and so wicked." 

" A hundred years after John Huss, another wise man, a new sec- 
tarian, a poor monk called Martin Luther, sprang up to awaken the 
national spirit, and to inspire Bohemia, and all the independent pro- 
vinces of Germany, with hatred of a foreign yoke and revolt against 
popedom. The most powerful kings remained catholics, not so much 
for love of religion,as for love of absolute power. Austria united with 
them m order to overwhelm us, and a new war, called the Thirty Tears' 
War, came to shake and destroy our national independence. From 
the commencement of this war, Bohemia was the prey of the strong- 
est; Austria treated us as conquered; took from us our faith, our 
hberty, our language, and even our name. Our fathers resisted cour- 
ageously, but the imperial yoke has weighed more and more heavily 
upon us. For the last hundred and twenty yeai-s, our nobility, ruined 
and decimated by exactions, wars, and torments, have been forced to 
expatriate themselves, or turn renegades by abjuring their orio-in 
Germanismg their names (pay attention to this), and renouucin^the 



CONSUELO. 119 

liberty of professing their religious opinions. They have burned our 
books, destroyed our schools — in a word, made us Austrians. We are 
but a province of the empire, and you hear German spoken in a 
Sclavonic state; that is saying enough." 

" And you now sufler and blush fot this slavery ? I understand you, 
and 1 already hate Austria with all my heart." 

" Oh ! speak low," exclaimed tlie young baroness. " No one can, 
without danger, speak thus under the black sky of Bohemia; and in 
this castle there is but one person, my dear Nina, wlio woukl have the 
boldness or the folly to say what you have just said: that is my cous- 
in Albert." 

" Is this, then, the cause of the sorrow which is imprinted on his 
countenance? I felt au involuntary sensation of respect on looking 
at him." 

" Ah, my fair lioness of St. Mark," said Amelia, surprised at the 
generous animation which suddenly lighted up the pale features 
of her companion ; " you take matters too seriously. I fear that in a 
few days my poor cousin will inspire you rather with pity than with 
respect." 

" The one need nqt prevent the other," replied Consuelo, " but ex- 
plain yourself, my dear baroness." 

" Listen," said Amelia; " we are a strictly Catholic family, faithful 
to chu rch and state. — We bear a Saxon name, and our ancestors, on 
the Saxon side, were always rigidly orthodo.i:. Should my aunt, the 
canoness, some day undertake to relate, unhappily for you, the ser- 
vices whicli the counts and German barons have rendered to the holy 
cause, you will find that, according to her, there is not the slightest 
stain of heresy on our escutcheon. Even when Saxony was protest- 
ant, the Eudolstadts pi'eferred to abandon their Protestant electors, 
rather than the communion of the Romish church. But my aunt 
takes care never to dilate on these things in presence of Count Albert; 
if it were not for that, you should hear the most astonishing things 
that ever liuman ears have listened to." 

" You excite my curiosity without gratifying it. I understand this 
much, that I should not appear before your noble relatives, to share 
your sympathy and that of Count Albert for old Bohemia. You may 
trust to my prudence, dear baroness ; besides, I belong to a Catholic 
country, and the respect which I entertain for my religion, as well as 
that which I owe your family, would ensure my silence on every occa- 
sion." 

"It will be wise ; for I warn you once again that we are terribly 
rigid upon that point. As to myself, dear Nina, I am a better corajjound 
— neither Protestant nor Catholic. I was educated by nuns, whose 
prayers and paternosters wearied me. The same weariness pursues 
me here, and my aunt Wenceslawa, in her own person, represents the 
pedantry and superstition of a whole community. But I am too 
much imbued with the spirit of the age, to throw myself, through 
contradiction, into the not less presumptuous controversies of the 
Lutherans: as for the Hussites, their history is so ancient that I have 
no more relish for it than for the glory of the Greeks and Eoraans. 
The French way of thinking is to my mind; and I do not beheve 
there can be any other reason, philosophy, or civilization, than tliat 
which is practised in charming and delightful Prance, the writings of 
whicli I sometimes have a peep at in secret, and whose liberty, hap- 
piness, and pleasures, I behold from a distance, as in a dream, through 
the bars of my prison." 



I a V n, lj\Jt 



" Tou each moment surprise me more," said Consuelo, innocently. 
' How does it come that just now you appeared full of heroism, in 
recalling the exploits of your ancient Bohemians? I believed you a 
Bohemian, and somewhat of a heretic." 

"I am more than heretic, and more than Bohemian," replied 
A^melia, laughing; " I am the least thing in life incredulous altogeth- 
sr; I hate and denounce every kind of despotism, spiritual or tem- 
poral ; in particular I protest against Austria, which of all old duen- 
nas is the most wrong-headed and devout." 

"And is Count Albert likewise incredulous? Is he also imbued 
with French principles? In that case, you should suit each other 
wonderfully ? " 

" Oh, we are the farthest in the world from suiting each other, and 
now, aft^r all these necessary preambles, is the proper time to speak 
of him." 

" Count Christian, my uncle, was childless hy his first wife. Mar- 
ried again at the age of forty, he had five girls, who as well as their 
mother all died young, stricken witli the same malady — a continual 
pain, and a species of slow brain fever. This second wife was of pure 
Bohemian blood, and had besides great beauty and intelligence. I 
did not know her. Tou will see her portrait in the grand saloon, 
where she appears dressed in a bodice of precious stones and scarlet 
mantle. Albert resembles her wonderfully. He is the sixth and last 
of her children, the only one who has attained the age of thii-ty ; and 
this not without difficulty; for without apparently being ill, he has 
experienced rude shocks and strange symptoms of disease of the 
brain, which still cause fear and dread as regards his life. Between 
ourselves, I do not think that he will long outlive this fatal period 
which }iis mother could not escape. Although born of a father al- 
ready advanced In years, Albert is gifted with a strong constitution, 
but, as he himself says, the malady is in his soul, and has ever been 
increasing. From his earliest infancy, his mind was filled with 
strange and superstitious notions. When he was four years old, he 
frequently fancied he saw his mother beside his cradle, although she 
was dead, and he had seen her buried. In the night he used to awake 
and converse with her, which terrified ray aunt Wenceslawa so much 
that she always made several women sleep in his chamber near the 
child, whilst the chaplain used I do not know how miich holy water, 
and said masses by the dozen, to oblige the spectre to keep quiet. - 
But it was of no avail, for the child, although he had not spoken of 
his apparitions for a long time, declared one day iii confidence to his 
nurse, that he still saw his own dear mother; but he would not tell, 
because Mr. Chaplain had said wicked words in the chamber to pre- 
vent her coming back. 

" He was a silent and serious child. They tried to amuse him ; 
they overwhelmed him with toys and playthings, but these only 
served for a long time to make him more sad. At last they resolved 
not to oppose tlie taste which he displayed for study, and in effect this 
passion being satisfied. Imparted more animation to liim, but only 
served to change his calm and languishing melancholy into a strange 
excitement, mingled with paroxysms of grief, the cause of which it 
was impossible to foresee or avei-t. For example, when he saw the 
poor, he melted into tears, stripped himself of his little wealth, even 
reproaching himself that he had not more to give. If he saw a child 
beaten, or a peasant ill-used, he became so indignant that he would 



C O N S U E I. O. 121 

swoon away, or fall into convulsions for hours together. All this dis- 
played a noble disposition and a generous heart; but the best quali- 
ties, pushed to extremes, become defective or absurd. Reason was 
not developed in young Albert in proportion to feeling and imagina- 
tion. The study of history excited without enlightening him. When 
he learned the crimes and injustice of men, he felt an emotion like 
that of the barbarian monarch, who, listening to tlie history of Christ's 
passion and death, exclaimed while he brandished his weapon, 'Ah! 
had I been there, 1 should have cut the wicked Jews into a thousand 
pieces ! ' 

" Albert could not deal with man as they have been and are. He 
thought Heaven unjust in not having created them all kind and com- 
passionate like himself; he did not perceive that from an excess of 
tenderness and virtue, he was on the point of becoming impious and 
misanthropic. He did not understand what he felt, and at eighteen 
was as unfit to live among men, and hold the place which his position 
demanded in society, as he was at six months old. If any person ex- 
pressed in his presence a selfish thought, such as o>ir poor world 
abounds with, and without which it could not exist, regardless of the 
rank of the person, or the feelings of the family towards him, he dis- 
played immediately an invincible dislike to hiuj, and nothing could in- 
duce liim to make the least advance. He chose his society from 
among the most humble, and those most in disfavor with fortune and 
even nature. In the plays of his childhood he only amused himself 
with the children of the poor, and especially with those whose stu- 
pidity or infirmities had inspired all others with disgust or weariness. 
This strange inclination, as you will soon perceive, had not abandoned 
him. 

"As in the midst.of these eccentricities he displayed much intelli- 
gence, a good memory, and a taste for fine arts, and his father and 
his good aunt Wenceslawa, who tenderly cherished him, had no cause 
to blush for him in society. They ascribed his peculiarities to his 
rustic habits; and when he was inclined to go too far, they took care 
to hide them under some pretext or other from those who might be 
offended by them. But in spite of his admirable qualities and happy 
dispositions, the count and tlie canoness saw with terror this inde- 
pendent, and in many respects insensible nature, reject moru and 
more the laws of polite society and the amenities and usages oi lue 
world." 

" But as far as you have gone," interrupted Consuelo, " I see noth- 
ing of the unreasonableness of which you speak." 

" Oh," replied Amelia, " that is because you are yourself, so far as I 
can see, of an open and generous disposition. But perhaps you are 
tired of my chatter, and would wish to sleep ? " 

" Not at all, my dear Baroness," replied Consuelo. " I entreat you 
to continue." 

Amelia resumed her narrative in these words. 



122 CONSUELO. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



"You say, dear Nina, that hitherto you discover nothing extrava- 
gant in the actions or manner of my poor cousin. I am about to give 
you better proofs of it. My uncle and aunt are without doubt the 
best Christians and the most charitable souls in the world. They 
liberally dispense alms to all around them, and it would be impossible 
to display less pomp or pride in the use of riches than do these wor- 
thy relatives of mine. Well, my cousin made the discovery that their 
manner of living was altogether opposed to the spirit of the Gospel. 
He wished that, after the example of the early Christians, they 
should sell all they had, and become beggars, after having distributed 
the proceeds among the poor. If, restrained by the respect and love 
which he bore them, he did not exactly use words to this effect, he 
showed plainly what he thought, in bitterly deploring the lot of the 
poor, who are only born to toil and suffer, whilst the rich live in lux- 
ury and idleness. When he had given away in charity all his pockets 
money, it was in his estimation but as a drop of water in the sea, and 
he demanded yet larger sums, which they dared not refuse him, and 
which flowed through his hands as water. He has given so much 
that you. will no longer see a poor person in all the country which 
surrounds us, and I must add that we find our position nothing the 
better for it; inasmuch as the wants and demands of the lower orders 
increase in proportion to the concessions made to them, and our good 
peasants, formerly so mild and humble, begin to give themselves airs, 
thanks to the prodigality and flue speeches of their young master. If 
we had not the power of the imperial government to rely upon, 
which affords us protection on one hand, while it oppresses us on the 
other, I believe that, more especially since the succession of the Em- 
peror Charles, our estates and castles might have been pillaged twen- 
ty times over by the bands of war-famished peasants which the inex- 
haustible benevolence of Albert, celebrated for thirty leagues round, 
has brought upon our backs. 

" When Count Christian attempted to remonstrate with young Al- 
bert, telling him that to give all in one day was to deprive us of the 
means of giving any the next, ' Why, my beloved father,' he replied, 
' have we not a roof to shelter us which will last longer than ourselves, 
whilst thousands of unfortunates have only the cold and inclemeut 
sky above their heads ? Have we not each more clothes than would 
suffice for one of these ragged and shivering families? Do I not see 
daily upon our table more meats and good Hungarian wine than 
would suffice to refresh and comfort these poor beggars, exhausted 
with fatigue and hunger? Have we a right to refuse when we have 
so much more than we require? Are we even permitted to use what 
is necessary whilst others are in want? Has the law of Christ 
changed ? ' 

"What reply could the count, the canoness and the chaplain, who 
had educated this young man in the austere principles of religion, 
make to these fine words ? They were accordingly embarrassed when 
they found him take matters thus literally, and hold no terms with 
those existing arrangements on which, as it appears to me, is founded 
the whole structure of society. 

" When these affectionate and sensible parents perceived that he 



CONSUELO. 123 

was in full train to dissipate his patrimony witliin a few years, and to 
get himself immured iu a prison, as a rebel to the holy church and 
holy empire, they at last adopted, but not without much pain, the de- 
vice of sending him to travel, hoping that when he should come to 
mix with men, and to observe the fundamental laws, which are nearly 
identical in every part of the civilized world, he would become habit- 
uated to live like other people. They committed him therefore to the 
charge of a crafty Jesuit, a man of the world, and a man of intellect, 
if ever there was one, who comprehended his part at half a word, and 
conscientiously undertook to perform all that they dared not ask of 
him in direct words. To speak plainly it was judged necessary to 
corrupt and tame his wild spirit, and to fashion it to tlie yoke of social 
life, by infusing into it, drop by drop, the fascinating, yet necessaiy, 
poisons of ambition, of vanity, of indifference to all matters, religious, 
moral, or political. Do not frown so, as you listen to me, my dear 
Porporina. My worthy uncle is a good and simple-minded person, 
who has always, from his youth upwards, received all these things 
precisely as they were set before his mind, and who has had the good 
fortune through his whole life to reconcile toleration with religion, 
and that without hypocrisy or over-deep scrutiny. In a century and 
a state of society like ours, in which but one such man as Albert is 
found among millions snch as we, he who keeps pace with the world 
and its progress is the wise man ; he who would recede two thousand 
years into the past, merely scandalises his fellows, and makes not a 
single convert. 

" For eight successive years Albert travelled in Italy, France, Eng- 
land, Prussia, Poland, Russia, nay, even among the Turks. He re- 
turned home through Hungary, Southern Germany, and Bavaria. 
He conducted himself with perfect prudence during his travels, not 
spending anything above the liberal allowance which his relatives had 
assigned to him, writing them very gentle and affectionate letters, in 
which he never alluded to anything beyond the things which had ac- 
tually fallen under his eyes, and without making any deep observa- 
tions on any matter whatever, or giving his tutor reason to reproach 
him either with offence or ingratitude. 

" On his return hither, at the beginning of the last year, after the 
first embraces of his family, he withdrew himself, they say, entered 
the room iu which his mother died, remained shut up there for sev- 
eral hours, and then came forth alone, all pale and haggard, to wander 
alone on the mountain. 

" During this time the abbe spoke in confidence with the Canoness 
Wenceslawa, and with the chaplain, who had required of him a full 
and sincere relation of the condition, moral and physical, of the 
young count. ' Count Albert,' said he to them, ' whether he has 
been changed in character in the coarse of his travels, or whetlier I 
had formed a false impression of him from the description which you 
gave me of his childhood, has behaved towards me from the first 
hour of our acquaintance precisely as you see him to-day — gentle, 
calm, long-suffering, patient, and exquisitely polite. This excellent 
conduct on his part has never varied for a single instant, and I should 
be the most unjust of men, could I devise a complauit of any kind 
against him. Nothing of those things which I apprehended, nothing 
of ill-regulated expenses, of rude habits, of wild declamations, of en- 
thusiastic asceticism, have occurred. He has never once asked me 
to allow him to administer himself the little fortim.e with which you 



124 CONSUELO. 

charged me for his uses, and never once expressed the slightest dissat- 
isfaction at iny application of it. It is true that I always took care to 
anticipate his wislies, and if a beggar approaclied the carriage I made 
haste to send him away perfectly satisfied, almost before he had time 
to stretch out his hand. This mode of acting appears to have snc~ 
ceeded perfectly, and as his lordship was never again saddened by the 
contemplation of misery, his ancient prejudices on that subject ap- 
parently ceased to trouble him. I have never heard him scold or 
blame any person, or express an unfavorable opinion on any institu- 
tion. That ardent devotion, the very excess and extravagance of 
which alaimed you, made way for a regularity of conduct, and for 
practices entirely becoming a man of the world. He was present iu 
the most- brilliant courts, and participated in the noblest entertain- 
ments without manifesting either enthusiasm or disgust for anything. 
Everywhere his fine face, his handsome carriage, his unemphatio 
politeness, and the good taste which always guided his conversation, 
weie subjects of remark and approbation. His morals have remained 
ever as pure as those of a perfectly well-conducted girl, without ever 
declining into prudery or bad taste. He visited theatres, nunneries, 
monuments, conversed soberly and judiciously of the fine arts. In a 
word, I cannot conceive in what respect he can have caused your 
lordship and ladyship any uneasiness, never having, for my part, seen 
a gentleman more perfectly reasonable. If there be anytliing ex- 
traoi-dinary about him, it is precisely this moderation, prudence, and 
self-possession — this absence of all the excitements and passions, such 
as I have never met in any other young man, so advantageously cir- 
cumstanced by nature, birth, and fortune. 

" This; moreover, was but the natural confirmation of the frequent 
letters which the abbe had written to the family, but in which they 
had always apprehended some exaggeration on his part, so that they 
were, in fact, never perfectly reassured imtil at the moment when he 
affirmed the complete cure of my cousin, without seeming to fear that 
his conduct before the eyes of his parents would belie his asseveration. 
The abbe was overloaded with gifts and caresses, and the return of 
Albert from his walk was eagerly expected. His absence was long, 
and when at length he returned, just as they were about to sit down 
to supper, he was so pale, and the gravity of his countenance was so 
remarkable, that all were struck by it. In the first moment of his af- 
fectionate pleasure, on his return, his features had expressed a calm 
and settled satisfaction, which had already vanished. All were aston- 
ished, and questioned the abbe in whispers concerning the change. 
He looked at Albert, and then turning with some surprise to those 
who were questioning him, in a corner of the apartment — ' I see noth- 
ing unusual,' he said, ' in the expression of Monsieur le Corate. This 
is the calm and peaceful aspect which he has ever worn during the 
eight years that I have had the honor of accompanying him.' 

" Count Christian seemed content with this answer. ' When we 
last saw him,' said he to his sister, ' he was still bedecked with all 
the florid beauty of youth, and was sometimes, alas! fired by some 
touch of Internal fear, which kindled his cheeks and fired his eyes. 
He has now returned to us emboldened by the sun of southern 
climes, a little aged, perhaps, by fatigue, and a little touched wi;h that 
gravity which so well becomes a finished and mature man. Do you 
Dot think, my dear sister, that, after all, he is better so? ' 

" ' I think his expression is very sad ui»der the mask of this gravity,' 



CONSUELO. 125 

answered my excellent aunt, ' and I have never seen a man of 
twenty-eight so phlegmatical, and so little given to conversation. He 
only replies to us in monosyllables.' 

" ' Monsieur the count has always been very sparing of his words,' 
answered the abbe. 

" ' Such was not his habit formerly,' said the canoness, ' if he had 
his weeks of silence and meditation, he had likewise his days of ex- 
pansiveness, and his hours of eloquence.' 

" ' I have never seen him,' resumed the abbe, ' to vary from the re- 
serve which your lordships notice in him at this moment.' 

" ' Were you then better satisfied with his demeanor when he talk- 
ed too much, and too wildly, and used expressions which made us all 
tremble ? ' said Count Christian to his frightened sister ; ' of a truth 
this is the very way with women.' 

" ' But he at least existed then,' she replied ; ' now he resembles the 
inhabitant of some other sphere, who takes no interest in the affairs 
of this world.' 

" ' That is the constant and enduring character of the count,' said 
the abbe, ' he is a man entirely concentrated within himself— who im- 
parts none of his impulses to any one — and who, if 1 must speak out 
exactly what I think, is very slightly affected by any impressions from 
things external. Such is the case with many cold, sensible, and reflec- 
tive persons; he is so constituted, and I am of opinion that by en- 
deavoring to excite him, the only result would be to disturb'and con- 
fuse a mind disinclined to action and to every perilous exertion.' 

" ' Oh, I could swear that this is not his true and natural character,' 
said the canoness. 

" ' I have little doubt, however,' returned the priest, ' that madajne 
the canoness will see cause to overcome the prejudices she seems to 
have formed against so rare an advantage.' 

" ' Indeed, my sister,' said the count, ' I think that monsieur the 
abbe speaks very wiselj'. Has he not brought about, by his care and 
condescension, the result which we have so earnestly desired ? Has 
he not turned aside the calamities which we dreaded? Albert gave 
us every token of turning out a prodigy, an enthusiast, a rash-headed 
visionary. He comes back to us just such as we ought to desire him 
to be, in order to command the esteem, the confidence, and the con- 
sideration of his equals.' 

'" But as lifeless as an old volume!' cried the canoness; 'or per- 
haps hardened to everything or disdaining everything which does not 
answer to his hidden instincts. He does not even seem glad to see 
us, who awaited his return with such impatience.' 

" ' Monsieur le Comte was himself impatient to return,' said the 
abbe ; ' I saw it clearly enough, though he did not manifest it openly. 
He is by no means of a demonstrative character. Nature framed him 
of a reserved temper.' 

" ' On the contrary,' she exclaimed, 'nature framed him deraonstrar 
tive. Sometimes, indeed, he was tender, sometimes he was violent, 
even to excess. He often vexed, but then again he would cast him- 
self into my arms, and I was at once disarmed.' 

" ' To me he has never been guilty of aught for which to make a 
reparation.' 

" ' Believe me, sister, things are much better as they now are.' 

" ' Alas ! ' said the canoness, ' and will he always wear that calm 
and constrained face, which chills my very soul ? ' 



126 CONSUELO. 

" '4t is the prond and noble face which becomes a man of his 
rank,' replied the abbe. 

" 'It is a face of marble! ' cried the canoness. ' When I loolt at 
hira I think I see my mother, not as 1 knew her, warm, sympathizing 
and benevolent, but as they have painted her, motionless, and icy 
cold, in her frame of black oak.' 

" ' I repeat to your ladyship, that for eight years, Count Albert has 
wore no other than that one habitual expression.' 

" ' Alas! and it is then eight years since he hassmiled on any per- 
son ? ' said the good aunt, unable any longer to restrain her tears. 
' For during two whole hours which I have spent in gazing on him, 
not the slightest symptom of a smile has animated his wan, set lips I 
Oh! I feel inclined to spring upon him, and clasp him to my heart, as 
of old, reproaching him with his indifference, and blaming him, as I 
was wont, in order to see whether he will not, as he used, cling to my 
neck and sob forth his affection.' 

" ' Beware of committing any such imprudence, my dear sister,' said 
Count ChrisWan, compelling her to turn away her eyes from Count 
Albert, wliom she still gazed at through her tears. ' Listen not to 
the weakness of a maternal heart. Surely we know but too well that 
an excessive sensibility has been the scourge of our beloved son's life 
and reason. By diverting his thoughts, and removing from him all 
over-violent emotions, monsieur the abbe, in conformity with our ad- 
vice, and with the recommendations of his physicians, has succeeded 
in calming his agitated soul. Do not then undo all that he has done, 
by yielding to tlie whims of a childish affection.' 

" Tlie canoness yielded to his reiisoning, and endeavored to habitu- 
ate herself to the icy exterior of Count Albert, hut she could by no 
m&ans accustom herself to it, and she often whispered in her broth- 
er's ear, ' you may say as you will. Christian, but I fear that they have 
rendered him idiotic, by treating him, not as a man, but a peevish in- 
fant' 

" In the evening, when they were parting for the night, they all 
embraced. Albert received his father's blessing with deep affection, 
and when the canoness pressed him to her bosom, he perceived thiit 
she was trembling, and that her voice faltered perceptibly. Then he 
began to tremble likewise, and tore himself from her arms as if a keen 
pang had shot through him. ' You see, sister,' whispered the count 
in her ear, ' he is no longer used to encounter such emotions, and 
yon are only giving him pain.' At the same time, scarcely satisfied 
with his own argument, he watched him narrowly, by no means free 
himself from emotion, in order to discover if, by his conduct toward 
the abbe, he manifested any particular predilection for that person ; 
but Albert merely bowed to his tutor, with distant and resei-ved po- 
liteness. 

" ' My son,' said the count, ' I believe that I have fulfilled your in- 
tentions, and satisfied the desires of your heart, in requesting mon- 
sieur the abbe not to leave you, as he had expressed some idea of do- 
ing, and in prevailing on him to remain with us as long as possible. 
I would not have your happiness at rejoining our family embittered 
to you by a single regret, and I trust that your worthy friend will as- 
sist us In procuring you this unmingled happiness.' 

" Albert replied only by a low bow, and at the same moment a 
strange smile quivered across his lips. 

'" Alasl' cried the canoness, as he withdrew, 'is that the fashipn 
of his smjle now ? ' 



CONSUELO. 127 



CHAPTER XXVlf. 

" DuEiNG Albert's absence, the count and the canoness had formed 
innumerable projects for the future welfare of their dear child, among 
which that of marrying him occupied a prominent place. With his 
fine face, his noJtjle birth, and his fortune still unimpaired, Albert 
could have aspired to a connection witli tlie noblest families in the 
kingdom. But in case his indolence, and shy, retiring disposition 
should make him unwilling to bring himself forward, and push his 
fortune in the world, they kept in reserve for him a young person of 
equally high birth with himself, since she was his cousin-gerraain, and 
bore the same name; she was not so rich, indeed, but was young, 
handsome, and an only daughter. This youn^ person was Amelia, 
baroness of Eudolstadt, your humble servant and new friend. 

" ' She,' said they, when conversing together, by the fireside, ' has 
as yet seen nobody. She cannot liope for a better matclSf; and as to 
the eccentricities of her cousin, the old associations of their child- 
linod, the ties of relationship, and a few months' intimacy with us, 
will go far to overcome her repugnance to them, and bring her round 
to tolerate, were it only for the sake of family feeling, what might be 
imendurable to a stranger.' They were sure of the consent of my 
father, who never had any will but that of his elder brother and his 
sister Wenceslawa; and who, to say the truth, has never had a will 
r)f his own. 

" When, after a fortnight's careful observation of his manners, the 
constant melancholy and reserve, which appeared to be the coiifin^edl 
.Uaracter of my cousin, became evident to them, my uncle and auht 
concluded, that the last scion of their race was not destined to win 
renown by great or noble deeds. He displayed no inclination for a 
bright career in arms, diplomacy, or civil affairs. To every proposal 
he mildly replied that he should obey the wishes of his relations, byt 
that for his own part he desired neither luxury nor glory. After all, 
this indolent disposition was but an exaggerated copy of his father's, 
a man of such calm and easy temperament, that his imperturbability 
borders on apathy, and his modesty is a kind of self-denial. What 
gives to my uncle's character a tone which is wanting in his son's, is 
his strong sense, dgvoid of pride, of the duties he owes to society. 
Albert seemed formerly to understand domestic duties, but public ones, 
as they were regarded by others, concerned him no more than (in his 
childhood. His father and mine had followed the career of arms 
under Montecudnlli against Turenne. They had borne with them 
into the war a kind of religious enthusiasm, iuspii'ed by the Emperor. 
A blind obedience to their superiors was considered the duty of their 
time. This more enlightened age, however, strips the monarch of 
his false halo, and the rising generation believe no more in the divine 
right of the crown than in "that of tlie tiara. When my uncle en- 
deavored to stir up in his son's bosom the flame of ancient chivalric 
ardor, he soon perceived that his arguments had no meaning for a 
reasoner who looked on su^ things with contempt. 

" ' Since it is thus,' my uncle observed to my aunt, ' we will not 
thwart him. Let us not counteract this melancholy remedy, which 
has at least restored to us a passionless, in place of an impetuous man. 
Let his life, in accordance with his desire, be tranquil, and he may be- 



128 CONSUELO. 

come studious, and philosophic as were many of his ancestors, an ar- 
dent lover of the chase like our brother Frederick, or a just and be- 
neficent master, as we ourselves trv to be. Let him lead from hence- 
forward the untroubled and inoffensive life of an old man ; he will be 
the first Rudolstadt whose life shall have known no youth. But as he 
must not be the last of his race, let us marry him, so that the heir of 
our name may fill up this blank in the glory of our house. Who 
knows but it may be the will of Providence that t)ie generous blood 
of his ancestors now sleeps in his veins only to reawaken with a fresh 
impulse in those of his descendants? ' 

'■ So it was decided that they should break the ice on this delicate 
subject to my cousin Albert. 

" They at first approached it gently ; but as they found, this propo- 
sal quite as luipalatable as all previous ones had been, it became nec- 
essary to reason seriously with him. He pleaded bashfulness, timid- 
ity, and awkwardness in female society. 

" ' Certainly,' said my aunt, ' in my young days I would have con- 
sidered a lover so grave as Albert more repulsive than otherwise; and 
I would not have exchanged my hmnp for his conversation." 

" 'We must then,' said my luicle, 'fall back upon our last resource, 
and persuade him to marry Amelia. He has known her from infancy, 
looks upon her as a sister, and will be less timid with her; and, as to 
firmness of character she unites animation and cheerfulness, she will 
by her good-humor dissipate those gloomy moods into which he so fi-e- 
quently relapses.' 

" Albert did not condemn this project, and, without openly saying 
so, consented to see and become acquainted with me. It was agreed 
that I should not be informed of the plan, in order to save me the 
mortification of being rejected, which was always possible on his part. 
They wrote to my father, and as soon as they had secured his consent, 
they took steps to obtain the dispensation from the Pope which our 
consanguinity rendered necessary. At the same time my father took 
me from the convent, and one fine morning we arrived at the Castle 
of the Giants — I very well pleased to breathe the fresh air, and impa- 
tient to see my betrothed ; my good father full of hope, and fancying 
that he had ingeniously concealed from me a project which he had un- 
consciously betrayed in every sentence he uttered in the course of the 
journey. 

" The first thing that struck me in Albert was his fine figure and 
noble air. I confess, dear Nina, that my heart beat almost audibly 
when he kissed my hand, and that for some days I was charmed by 
his look, and delighted by the most trifling word that fell from his 
lips. His serious, thoughtful manner was not displeasing to me. 
He seemed to feel no constraint in my society; on the contrary, he 
was unreserved as in the d.iys of childhood; and when, from a dread 
of failing in politeness, he wished to restrain his attention, our parents 
urged him to continue his ancient familiarity with me. My cheerful- 
ness sometimes caused him to smile involuntarily, and my good aunt, 
transported with joy, attributed to me the honor of this improvement 
which she believed would be permanent. At length he came to treat 
me with the mildness and gentleness one displays towards a child, and 
I was content— satisfied that he would shortly pay more attention to 
my little animated countenance, and to the handsome dresses by 
which I studied to please him. But I had soon the martiiication to 
discover that he cared little for the one, and that he did not even ap- 



C O N S U E L 0. 129 

pear to see the other. One day my good aunt wished to direct his at- 
tention to a beautiful bhie dress, which suited my figure admirably. 
Would you believe it? — he declared its color to be a bright red! His 
tutor, the abbe, who had honied compliments ever ready on his lips, 
and who wished to give his pupil a lesson in gallantry, insinuated that 
he could easily guess why Count Albert could not distinguish the 
color of my dress. Here was a capital opportiuiity for Albert to ad- 
dress to me some flattering remarks on the rose of ray cheeks or the 
golden hue of r% hair. He contented himself, however, with drily 
telling the abbe that he was as capable of distinguishing colors as he 
was, and with repeating his assertion that my robe was red as blood. 
I do not know why this rudeness of manner and eccentricity of ex- 
pression made me shudder. I looked at Albert, and his glance terri- 
fied me. From that day I began to fear him more than I loved him. 
In a short time 1 ceased to love him at all, and now I neither love nor 
fear him : I merely pity him. You will by degrees understand why. 

" The next day we were to go toTauss, the nearest village, to make 
some purchases. I had promised myself much pleasure from this ex- 
cursion, as Albert was to accompany me on horseback. When ready 
to set out, I of course expected that he would offer nie his arm. The 
carriages were in the court, but he did not make his appearanoe, al- 
though his servant said that he had knocked at his door at the usual 
hour. They sent again to see if he were getting ready. Albert al- 
ways dressed by himself, and never permitted a servant to enter his 
chamber until he had quitted it. They knocked in vain; there was 
no reply. His father, becorriing imeasy at this continued silence, went 
himself to the room, but he could neither open the door, which was 
boiled inside, nor obtain a reply to his questions. They began to Ije 
frightened, when the abbe observed in his usual placid manner, that 
Coimt Albert was subject to long fits of sleep, which might almost be 
termed trances, and if suddenly awakened, he was agitated, and ap- 
parently suffered for many days, as from a shock. ' But that is a dis- 
ease,' said the canoness, anxiously. 

'• ' I do not think so,' said the abbe. ' He has never complained of 
anything. The physicians whom I brought to see him when he lay 
in this state, found no feverish symptoms, and attributed his condition 
to excess of application to study; and they earnestly advised that this 
apparently necessary repose and entire forgetfulness should not be 
counteracted by any mode of treatment.' 

" 'And is it frequent?' asked my uncle. 

" ' I have observed it only five or six times during eight years; and 
not having annoyed him by my attentions, I have never found any 
unpleasant consequences.' 

""'And do these last long?' I demanded in my turn, Tery impa- 
tiently. 

" ' Longer or shorter, according to the want of rest which precedes 
or occasions these attacks; hut no one can know, for the count either 
does not himself recollect the cause, or does not wish to tell it. He 
is extremely studious, and conceals it with unusual modesty.' 

" ' He is very learned then? ' I replied. 

" ' Extremely learned.' 

" 'And he never displays it? ' 

" ' He makes a secret of it — nay, does not himself suspect it.' 

" ' Of what use is it, in that case ? ' 

" ' Genius is like beauty,' replied this Jesuit courtier, casting a soft 
8 



130 CONSUELO. 

look upon me ; ' both are favors of Heaven which occasion neithei 
pride nor agitation to those who enjoy them.' 

" 1 understood the lesson, and only felt the more annoyed, as yoi 
may suppose.. They resolved to defer the drive until my cousin shoulc 
awake; but when at the end of two hours I saw that he did not stir 
I laid aside my rich riding-dress, and set myself to my embroidery 
not witliout spoiling a good deal of sillv and. missing many stitches 
I was indignant at the neglect of Albert, who over his books in the 
evening liad ibrgotten'his promised ride with me, and who had now 
left me to wait, in no very pleasant humor, wliile he quietly enjoyed 
his sleep. The day wore on, and we were obliged to give up our pro- 
posed excursion. My father, confiding In the assurance of the abbe, 
took his gun, and strolled out to kill a few hares. My aunt, who had 
less faith in tlie good man's opinion, went up stairs more than twen- 
ty times to listen at her nephew's door, hut without being able to heai 
the faintest breathing. The poor woman was in an agony of distress. 
As for my uncle, he took a book of devotion, to try its effect in calm- 
ing his inquietude, and began to read in a corner of the saloon with 
a resignation so provoking that it half tempted me to leap out of the 
window with chagrin. At length towards evening, my aunt, over- 
joyed, came in to inform us that she had heard Albert rise and dress 
himself. The abbe advised us to appear neither surprised nor un- 
easy, not to asli the count any questions, and to endeavor to divert 
his mind and his thoughts, if he evinced any signs of mortification at 
what had occurred. 

" But if my cousin be not ill, then he is mad ! " exclaimed I, with 
some degree of irritation. 

" I observed my uncle change countenance at this harsh expression, 
and I was struclt with sudden remorse. But when Albert entered 
without apologizing to any one, and without even appearhig to be 
aware of our disappointment, I confess 1 was excessively piqued and 
gave him a very cold reception, of wliich, liowever, absorbed as he 
was in tliought, he toolc not 'the slightest notice. 

" In the evening, my father fancied that a little mnsic would raise 
his spirits. 1 liad not yet sung before Albert, as my harp had only ar- 
rived the preceding evening. I must not, my scientific Porporina, 
boast of my musical acquirements before you; but you will admit that 
I have a good voice, and do not want natural taste. I allowed them to 
press me, for I had at the moment more inclination to cry than to 
sing, but Albert offered not a word to draw me out. At last I yield- 
ed, but I sang badly, and Albert, as if 1 had tortured his ears, had the 
rudeness to leave the room after I had gone through a few bars. I 
was compelled to summon all my pride to my assistance to prevent me 
from bursting into tears, and to enable me to finish the air witliout 
breaking the strings of my harp. My aunt followed her nephew: my 
father was asleep; my uncle waited near the door till his sister should 
return, to tell him something of his son. The abbe alone remained to 
pay me compliments, which irritated me yet more than the indiffer- 
ence of the otliers. ' It seems,' said I to him, ' that my cousin does 
not like nuislc' 

" ' On the contrary, he likes it very much,' replied he, ' but it is ac- 
cording ' 

" ' According to the manner in which one performs ' said I, uiter- 
rupting him. 

" ' Yes,' replied he, in no wise disconcerted, ' and to the state of 



CO ]>( S 11 B1.0. 131 

his mind. Sometimes music does him good, sometimes harm. Tou 
have, 1 am certain, agitated liim so much that he feared he should 
not be able to restrain his emotion. This retreat is more flattering 
to you than the most elaborate praise.' 

" The compliments of this Jesuit had iu them sometliing so sinister 
and sarcastic that it made me detest him. But I was soon freed from 
his annoyance, as you shall presently learn. 



CHAPTER XX"f III. 



" On the following day, my aunt, who never speaks unless strongly 
moved, took it into her head to begin a conversation with the abbe 
and the chaplain, and as, with the exception of her family affections 
which entirely absorb her, she is incapable of conversing on any topic 
but that of family honor, she was )ere long deep in a dissertation 
on her favorite subject, genealogy, and laboring to convince the two 
priests that our race was the purest and the most illustrious, as well 
as the most nobie, of all the families of Germany, on the female side 
particularly. The abbe listened with patience, the chaplain with pro- 
found respect, when Albert, who apparently had taken no interest ia 
the old lady's disquisition, all at once interrupted her. 

" ' It would seem, my dear aunt,' said he, ' that you are laboring 
under some hallucination as to the superiority of our family. It is 
true that their titles and nobility are of sufficient antiquity, but a 
family which loses its name, abjures it in some sort,- in order to as- 
sume that of a woman of foreign race and religion, gives up its right 
to be considered ancieilt in virtue, and faithful to the glory of its 
country.' 

" This remark somewhat disconcerted the canoness, bnt as the 
abbe had appeared to lend profound attention to it, she thought it in- 
ciunbent on her to reply. 

" ' I am not of your opinion, dear child,' said she; ' we have often 
seen illustrious houses render themselves still more so, and with rea- 
son, by uniting to their name that of a maternal branch, in order not 
to deprive their heirs of the honor of being descended from a woman 
so illustiiously connected.' 

" ' But this is a case to which that rule does not apply,' answered 
Albert, with a pertinacity for which he was not remarkable. ' I can 
conceive the alliance of two illustrious names. It is quite right that 
a woman should transmit to her children her own name joined with 
that of her husband ; but the complete abolition of the latter would 
appear to me an outrage on the part of her who woidd exact it, and 
an act of baseness on the part of him wlio would submit to it.' 

" ' You speak of matters of very remote date, Albert,' said the can- 
oness, with a profound sigh, ' and are even less happy than I in the 
application of the rule. Our good abbe might, from your words, sup- 
pose that some one of our ancestors had been capable of such mean- 
ness. And since you appear to be so well informed on subjects of 
which I supposed you comparatively ignorant, you should not have 
made a reflection of this kind relative to political events, now, 
thank God, long passed away I ' 



.32 CONSUELO. 

" ' If my observation disturb you, I shall detail .the facts, in order to 
lear the memory of our ancestor, Withold, the last Count of Rudol- 
tadt, of every imputation injurious to it. It appears to interest my 
Busin,' he added, seeing that my attention had become riveted upon 
im, astonished as I was to see him engage in a discussion so contrary 
3 his philosophical ideas and silent habits. ' Know, then, Amelia, 
aat our greal>great-grandfather, Wratislaw, was only four years old 
'hen his mother, Ulrica of Eudolstadt,took it into her head to inflict 
pon him the insult of supplanting his trae name — the name of bis 
ithers, which was Podiebrad — by this Saxon name which you and I 
ear to-day — you without blushing for it, and I without being proud 
fit.' 

" ' It is useless, to say the least of it,' said my uncle, who seemed 
1 at ease, ' to recall events so distant from the time in which we 
ve.' 

" ' It appears to me,' said Albert, ' that my aunt has gone much fur- 
tier back, in relating the high deeite of the Rudolstadts, and I do not 
now why one of us, when he recollects by chance that he is of Bo- 
emian and not of Saxon origin — that he is called Podiebrad, and 
ot Kudolstadt — should be guilty of ill-breeding in speaking of events 
?hich occurred not more than one hundred and twenty years ago.' 

" ' I know very well,' said the abbe, who had listened to Albert, 
^ith considerable interest, 'that your illustrious family was allied 
1 past times to the royal line of George Podiebrad; but I was not 
ware that it had descended in so direct a line as to bear the name.' 

" ' It is because my aunt, who knows how to draw out genealogical 
rees, has thought fit to forget the ancient and venerable one from 
fhich we have sprung. But a genealogical ti-ee, upon which our glo- 
ious but dark history has been written in characters of blood, stands 
et upon the neighboring mountains.' 

" As Albert became very animated in speaking thus, and my uncle's 
ountenanoe appeared to darken, the abbe, much as his curiosity was 
xcited, endeavored to give the conversation a different turn. But 
nine would not suffer me to remain silent when so fair an opportu- 
lity presented itself for satisfying it. " ' What do you mean, Albert?' 

exclaimed, approaching him. 

" ' I mean that which a Podiebrad should not be ignorant of,' he re- 
ilied: ' that the old oak of the Stone of Terror, which you see every 
lay from your window, Amelia, and under which you should never 
it down without raising your soul to God, bore, some three hundred 
'ears ago, fruit rather heavier than the dried acorns it produced to- 
lay.' 

" ' It is a shocking story,' said the chaplain, horror-struck, ' and I 
lo not know who could have informed the count of It.' 

" ' The tradition of the country, and perhaps something more cei^ 
,ain still,' replied Albert.—' You have in vain burned the archives of 
he family, and the records of history, Mr. Chaplain^ in vain imposed 
iilence on the simple by sophistry, on the weak by threats: neither 
;he dread of despotic power, however great, nor even that of hell It- 
ielf, can stifle the thousand voices of the past which awaken on 
ivery side. No, no! they speak too loudly, these terrible voices, for 
;hat of a priest to hush them! They speak to our souls in sleep, iu 
;he whisperings of spirits from the dead ; they appeal to us in every 
iound we hear in the external world; they Issue even from the 
;runks of the trees, like the gods of the olden time, to tell us of tho 
:nmes, the ipisfortunes, and the noble deeds of oui- ancestors! ' 



CONSUELO. 133 

" ' And why, poor child,' said the canoness, ' why cherish in your 
mind such bitter thought-s — such dreadful recollections? ' 

" ' It is your genealogies, dear aunt — it is your recurrence to the 
times that are gone — which have pictured to my mind those fifte^ 
monks hung to the branches of the oak by the hand of one of my an- 
cestors — the greatest, the most terrible, the most persevering^he who 
was surnamed the Terrible — the blind, the invincible John Ziska of 
the Chalice ! ' 

" The exalted, yet abhorred name of the chief of the Taborites, a 
sect which, during the war of the Hussites, surpassed all other reli- 
gionists in their energy, their bravery, and their cruelty, fell like a 
thunderbolt on the ears of the abbe and the chaplain. The latter 
crossed himself, and my aunt drew back her chair, which was close to 
that of Albert. ' Good Heaven ! ' she exclaimed, ' of what and of 
whom does this child speak ? Do not heed him, Mr. Abbe I Never — 
no, never — was our family connectejj by any ties, either of kindred or 
friendship, with the odious reprobate whose name has just been men- 
tioned.' 

" ' Spfeak for yourself, aunt,' said Albert, with energy ; ' you are a 
Kudolstadt to the heart's core, although in reality a Podiebrad. As 
for myself, I have more Bohemian blood in my veins — all the purer, 
too, for its having less foreign admixture. My mother had neither 
Saxons, Bavarians, nor Prussians, in her genealogical tree; she was 
of pure Sclavonic origin. And since you appear to care little for no- 
hility, 1, who am proud of my descent, shall inform you of it, if you 
are ignorant, that John Ziska left a daughter, who married the lord 
of Prachalitz, and that my mother lierself, being a Prachalitz, de- 
scends in a direct line from John Ziska, just as you yourself, my aunt, 
descend from tlije Rudolstadts.' 

" ' It is a dream, a delusion, Albert ! ' 

" ' Not so, dear aunt; I appeal to the chaplain, who is a G-od-fearing 
man, and will speak the truth. He has had in his hands the parch- 
ments which prove what I have asserted.' 

" ' I? ' exclaimed the chaplain, pale as death. 

" ' You may confess it without blushing, before the abbe,' replied 
Albert, with cutting irony, ' since you only did your duty as an Aus- 
trian subject, and a good Catholic, in burning them the day after my 
mother's death.' 

" ' That deed, which ray conscience approved, was witnessed by 
God alone,' falteringly replied the chaplain, terror-stricken at the dis- 
closure of a secret of which he considered himself the sole human re- 
pository. ' Who, Count Albert, could have revealed it to you ? ' 

" ' I have already told you, Mr. Chaplain — a voice which speaks 
louder than that of a priest.' 

" ' What voice, Albert? ' I exclaimed, with emotion. 

" ' The voice which speaks in sleep,' replied Albert. 

" ' But that explains nothing, my son,' said Count Christian, sigh- 
ing. 

" ' It is the voice of blood, my father,' said Albert, in a tone so 
sepulchral that it made us shudder. 

"'Alas!' said my uncle, clasping his hands, 'these are the same 
reveries, the same phantoms of the imagination, which haunted his 
poor mother. She must have spoken of it to our child in her last ill- 
ness,' he added, turning to my aunt, ' and such a story was well cal' 
culated to make a lively impression on his memory.' 



34 \ C O N S U E L O. 

" ' That, brother, were impossible,' replied the canoness, ' Albert 
'as not yet three years old when he lost his mother.' 
" ' It is more reasonable to suppose,' said the chaplaui, in a. whisper, 
that some of those accursed heretical documents, full of lies and tis- 
les of impiety, which she had hoarded up from family pride, and 
hioh she had yet the virtue to deliver up to meat her last hour, must 
ave been preserved In the house.' 

"'Not one of these remained,' returned Albert, who had not missed 
ne syllable that the chaplain had uttered, though he spoke very low, 
nd Albert was striding about in great agitation at the farthest ex- 
•emity of the grand saloon. ' You knew right well. Monsieur Chap- 
in, that you destroyed them all, and that the very day after fter 
sath, you searched and rummaged every comer of her apartments.' 
" ' Who has thus presumed to assist, or rather, bewilder your mem- 
ry ? ' asked Count Christian sternly. ' What unfaithful or imprudent 
irvant has ventured to disturb your young spirit by a recital, of course, 
I exaggerated and distorted, of these domestic events ? ' 
" ' No one, my father. On my religion and my couscience I swear 
to you.' 

" ' The arch enemy of man has interfered in all this!' exclaimed 
be chaplain, in utter consternation. 

" ' It would be more consistent with reason and with Christianity,' 
bserved the abbe, ' to conclude that Count Albert is endowed with a 
rodigious memory, and events, the sight of which rarely produce 
rong impressions on the minds of the young, have beome fixed in 
is memory. All that I have seen of his extraordinary intellect leads 
le easily to accept the belief that his reason was most precociously 
liveloped, and as to his faculty of retaining the remembrance of 
lings, I have often taken note of it as extraordinary.' 
" ' It only appears extraordinary to you, because you do not jwssess 
in the least,' replied Albert, drily. ' For instance, you do not remem- 
jr what you did in the year 1619, after Withold Podiebrad, the 
roiestant, the valiant and the faithful — your grand-sire, my dear 
ant — the last who bore that name, reddened the Stone of Terror with 
is blood. You have forgotten, I would lay any .wager, your own 
mduct at that crisis. Monsieur Abbe.' 

" ' I have indeed forgotten it entirely,' said the abbe, with a sneer- 
ig smile, which was in the very worst taste at a moment when it 
as becoming apparent to us all that Albert was totally out of his 
inses. 

" 'Well, then,' resumed Albert, in no sort disconcerted, ' I will re- 
ill it to your memory. You went with all speed, and advised the 
nperialist soldiers, who had done the deed, to take hiding or to fly, 
"cause the mechanics of Pilsen, who were courageous enough to 
3ast themselves Protestants, and who adored Withold, were already 
Toot to avenge their lord's death, and bent on hewing them to 
ieces. Then you came to my ancestress, Ulrica, the terrified and 
■embling widow of Count Withold, and pledged yourself to make her 
sace with the Emperor Ferdinand II., to procure the preservation to 
er of all her possessions, of all her titles, of her own liberty, and the 
fe of her children, if she would follow your advice, and pay your 
irvices at the rate of their weight in gold. She consented, or rather 
er maternal love, not she, consented to that act of weakness. She 
ispected no longer the martyrdom of her noble spouse. She was a 
athollo by birth, and had abjured her own faith only through love - 



CONSUELO. 135 

for him. She could not, therefore, contemplate the endurance of 
misery, proscription, persecution, in order to preserve to the children 
of Withold a faitli to which he had signed his own adherence with his 
blood, and a name which he had rendered of late more famous than 
that of all his ancestors, whether they were called Hussites, Galixtins, 
Taborites, Orphans, United Brethren, or Lutherans' All these 
names, my dear Porporina, are the titles of different sects, which ad- 
hered to the heresies of John Huss and of Luther, and to which it is 
pi'obable that branch of the Podiebrads from which we are descend- 
ed had attached itself. 'At length,' continued Albert, 'the Saxon 
woman was terrified, and yielded. You took possession of the castle, 
compelled the withdrawal of the Imperialists, caused our territories 
to be respected, and made a public anto da fe of all our titles and 
hereditary archives. It was therefore that ray aunt, to her own 
great satisfaction, has been prevented from re-establishing the gene- 
alogical tree of the Podiebrads, and has fallen back upon the more 
sterile pastures of the Kudoistadts. To reward your services you 
were made rich, vastly rich. Three months later, permission was 
given Ulrica to go to Vienna, there to embrace the knees of the Em- 
peror, who very generously consented to her denationalising her chil- 
dren and causing them to be educated by yoti in the Roman Catholic 
faith, and to be enrolled under those very banners against which their 
father and their forefathers liad fought so valiantly and so long. We 
were incorporated, I and my sons, in the ranks of Austrian tyranny. 

" ' You and your sons! ' cried my aunt in despair, seeing that he 
was now utterly astray. 

" ' Yes, my sons Sigismund and Rudolph,' replied Albert, very seri- 
ously. 

"" Those are the names of my father and my uncle!' cried Count 
Christian. ' Albert, where is your reason ? Be yourself again, my 
son. Above a century has elapsed since those sad events were 
wrought out by the will of Providence.' 

" Albert would not give up the point. He had persuaded himself, 
and would have persuaded us, that he was the same Wratislaw, the son 
of Podiebrad, who bore the maternal name of Rudolstadt. He related 
to us all the events of his childhood, the distinct recollection which he 
preserved of the execution of Count Withold, an execution which he as- 
cribed solely to the odious Jesuit, Dithmar, who, according to him, was 
no other than the abbe, his present tutor, — the deep hatred which he 
had entertained from his childood upward for this Dithmar, for Austria, 
and in a word, for all Imperialists and Catholics. Beyond this' recollec- 
tion all appeared to become chaotic, and he uttered a thousand incom- 
prehensible dicta about eternal said perpetual life, asserting the reap- 
pearance of men on earth, that John Huss was predestined to return 
to Bohemia a hundred years after his death — a prediction which, as he 
asserted, had already met its accomplishment — since, as he insisted, 
Luther was no other tlian John Huss resuscitated. In a word, his 
conversation became a confused jargon of heresy, supecstitiou, dim 
metaphysics, and poetical raving, and yet all was uttered with such an 
air of conviction, with such a preservation of details, and with state- 
ments so interesting of what he pretended to have seen, not only in 
the person of Wratislaw, but also in that of John Ziska, and I know 
not how many dead persons beside, whom he maintained to have been 
no other than previous incarnations of himself in a prior state of ex- 
istence, that we all stood listening to him with open mouths, without 



36 CONSUELO. 

e power of either interrupting or contradicting him. My nncle and 
mt, who were ineffably horror-stricken by these hallucinations, which 
jre in their eyes actually impious, were anxious, at least, to pene- \ 
ite them to the bottom, for they had never developed themselves 
lenly at any prior period ; and in order to cure, it was necessary, be- 
md doubt, to comprehend them. The abbe parsisted in endeavoring 
attribute the whole matter to a joke, and to make ns believe that 
e Count Albert's temper was a compound of malicious drollery, and 
at he was amnsing himself by mystifying us with his unparalleled 
udition. ' He has read so much,' said he, ' that he can re-word the 
story of all ages, chapter by chapter, with such minute details, that 
> one who hears him, how little inclined he may be soever to give 
edit to the marvellous, can easily doubt that he must have been pres- 
et at the scenes which he describes so much to the life.' The can- 
mess, who, in her ardent devotion, is not, after all, very far removed 
)m superstition, and who was beginning to believe her nephew on 
s word, took the abbe's iusiuuatiwns altogether in a false light, and 
Id him that she would advise him to keep his jocose explanations for 
me gayer occasion, and then made an earnest effort to induce Al- 
rt to retract the efiforts of which his head was so full. 
" ' Beware, aunt ! ' exclaimed Albert, impatiently, ' beware lest I he 
mpelled to tell you who you are. Hitherto I have avoided the 
iDwledge, but something is whispering to me, even now, that the 
ixon Ulrica is beside me ! ' 

" ' What, my poor son,' she answered, ' do yon take me for that 
nd and devoted ancestress who had wit to preserve to her descend- 
Lts independence, life, and the honors which they still enjoy? Do 
)U think that she is raised to life in my person? Well, Albert, I 
ve you so well that I would do yet more than she for you; I would 
crifice my life if I were able at tMs very moment to give rest and 
!ace to your perturbed spirit.' 

" Albert gazed at her for some seconds with eyes of blended steni- 
!ss and affection, but at length, kneeling down before her, he ex- 
limed, ' No, no, you are an angel, and you were a communicant of 
tl in the wooden chalice of the Hussites. But the Saxon woman is 
ire, notwithstandiug, and already several times her voice has this day 
hoed in my ears.' 

" 'Beware lest it should prove to be I,' said I in my turn, persist- 
g in the endeavor to give a gay turn to the whole subject; ' and at 
; events blame me not that I would not surrender you to the execu- 
)ners in the year 1639.' 

" ' You, my mother ! ' he then cried, gazing on me with an expres- 
m that really alarmed me; 'for:f it be so, I cannot pai-don you. 
)d caused me, when born again, to be born of a stronger woman ; he 
baptised me in my own substance, which had been lost, I know not 
iw, in the blood of Zisca. Amelia, look not at me, above all, speak 
it to me, for it is your blood that inflicts upon me all that I this day 
dure.' 

" And with these words he left the room hastily, and we all stood 
iconcerted at the fatal discovery which we had made, at length, of 
e total derangement of his intellects. 

"It was at that time about two hours after noon; we had dined 
ry quietly; Albert had drank nothing but water, so that we could 
it even deceive ourselves into the idea that his hallucinations were 
e result of intoxication. My aunt and the chaplain, who fancied 



CONSUELO, 137 

that he must he exceedingly ill, rose at once and followed him, in or- 
der to give him their care. But what is quite incomprehensible, he 
had already disappeared, as if by enchantment. He was not to be 
found in his own apartment, nor in that of his mother, where he was 
often wont to conceal himself, nor hi any comer of the castle. He 
was sought for in the gardens, in the warren, in the surrounding 
woods, among the mountains, but far or near, no one had laid eyes on 
him. Not a track of his footsteps were to be discovered. Thus pass- 
ed the day and night. Not a soul in the house closed an eye or lay 
down to rest. 

" The whole family went to^raj'ei'S, and the servants were on foot 
until daybreak, seeking him with torches. The next day passed amid 
the like solicitudes, the next night amid the like terrors. I cannot 
describe to you the terrors which I suffered — I, who had never be- 
fore known what it is to suifer, never had to tremble during all my 
life before at any domestic events of importance. I begun seriously 
to believe that Albert had either committed suicide, or made his es- 
cape forever. I fell into convulsions, and afterwards contracted a 
violent fever. I had still a remnant of love left within me, in spite 
of all the terror with which this fatal and fantastical being inspired 
me. My father still kept up his courage enough to go out hunting 
daily, in the conviction that he should one day find Albert in the 
woods. My poor aunt, consumed by her sorrow, but still courageous 
and energetic, nursed me tenderly, and endeavored to keep up tlie 
courage of every one. My uncle prayed both night and day, and 
when I observed his faith and stoical resignatioH to the will of heaven, 
I regretted that I could not participate in his devotion. 

" The abbe affected a little annoyance. ' It is true,' said he, ' that 
Albert has never before departed in the like manner from my pres- 
ence, but he has always appeared to stand in need of moments of 
solitude and self-examination.' It was his idea that the only mode of 
conquering these notions of his, was never to contradict them. In 
fact, this under-bred person was a mere selfish and subtle intriguer, 
who only cared to gain the large salai^y attached to his duties as 
tutor and in order to make thera last as long as possible, liad deliber- 
ately deceived the family as related to his good offices. Engaged in 
his own pleasures or occupations, he had abandoned Albert to his 
own utmost irregularities. It is probable that he had often seen him 
sick, and often in his fits of delirium, but undoubtedly he had always 
given free scope to all his fantasies. One thing is certain, that he had 
possessed the ability to conceal them from all who had the means of 
giving us information concerning them, as all the letters which my 
uncle ever received on the subject of his son, were.filled with admir- 
ation of his manners and person, and congratulations on his advan- 
tages of bearing and appearance. Albert seems nowhere to have left 
the impression on any mind that he was either ill in body or in mind. 
Whatever he may be now, his mental existence during these eight 
years is to this very hour an impenetrable secret, withheld from all of 
us. At the expiration of three days, the abbe, seeing that he did not 
return, and fearing that his own prospects would be ruined by this 
catastrophe, left the castle, stating himself that he was setting out for 
Prague, whither, according to his assertions, the wish to obtain some 
rare book might have led his pupil. 'He is,' said he, 'like those 
learned men who bury themselves alive in their searches after know- 
ledge, and who forget the whole world in the pursuit of their ^unocent 



138 CONSITELO. 

passion.' So, with such consolation as his words imparted, the abbe 
took himself away and we saw him no more. 

"At length, when seven days of mortal anguish had expired, and 
we had begun utterly to despair, my aunt, happening to pass by Al- 
bert's open door, in the afternoon, saw him seated in his arm-chair, 
caressing his dog, which had followed him mysteriously in his jour- 
ney. His garments were neitlier soiled nor rent, but the gold em- 
broideries were tarnished, as if he had been dwelling in a damp place, 
or had been passing his nights in the open air. His shoes did not 
show as though he had wallted far, but his beard and hair shewed 
that for a long time past he had utterlyjieglected the care of his person. 
From that day forth he has constantly refused either to shave his 
beard, or powder his hair, like other men of his rank. That is what 
made you fancy that he looks like a ghost. 

" My aunt rushed up to him with an exclamation of surprise. 

"'What ails you, my dear aunt?' said he, kissing her hand; 'one 
would suppose you had not seen me in the last century.' 

" ' Unhappy boy ! ' she answered, ' it is seven days since you have 
left us; seven days of anguish, seven nights of horror, that we have 
Bought you, bewept you, prayed for you ! ' 

"'Seven days!' cried Albert, gazing at her in wonder; 'seven 
hours you mean, I fancy; for I went out this morning to take a walk, 
and here I am home in time to snp with you. How then can I have 
alajmed you so by so short an absence ? ' 

" ' Ah ! I have made a slip of the tongue,' she answered readily, 
afraid of aggravating his mood. ' I meant to say seven hours, of 
course. I grew uneasy, because you are not wont to take such long 
walks; and, again, I had a horrible dream this evening. I was very 
silly, indeed.' 

" ' Ah, my dear good aimt,' said Albert, still kissing her hands, ' you 
dote ou me still as if I were a little child. I hope my father has not 
been equally alarmed about me.' 

" ' By no means ! He is waiting supper for you ; you must be very 
hungry ? ' 

" ' No, not very. I made a very good dinner.' 

" ' Where, and when, Albert?' 

" ' Here at noon, with all of you, my good aunt ; where else ? You 
have not come to yourself, I see ; oh ' ho w much I reproach myself for 
so alarming you. But how could I foresee it ? ' 

" ' You know that it is often thus with me. Let me then enquire 
what you have eaten, and where you have slept since you left us.' 

" ' How should I be disposed to eat or sleep since this morning? ' 

" ' And do you not feel ill ? ' 

" ' Not a particle.' 

" ' Nor fatigued ? I doubt not you have walked far, and climbed the 
hills — such walks are very toilsome. Where have you been?' 

" Albert covered his eyes with his hand, as if he were anxious to 
recollect himself, but he could tell nothing. 

"'I suppose I walked,' he said at length, 'as I did when I was a 
child, without seeing anything, for I must admit that I know nothing 
about it. I suppose I was very absent. You know I have never had 
the power of giving you the facts when you questioned me.' 

" ' And While you were travelling have you paid no more attention 
than of old to what you saw? ' 

" ' Sometimes, yes— sometimes, no. I remember much that I have 
seen, but, thank God! 1 forget much more.' 



CONSUELO. 139 

"'Why thank Godf 

" ' Because there is so much misery to be seen in the world,' said 
he, rising, with a gloomy expression, whicli my aunt had not previous- 
ly observed in him. She saw that it would not do to prolong the con- 
versation with him, and hurried away to announce his son's return to 
my uncle. No one in the house as yet knew it; no one had seen him 
come in. His return had left no visible marks more than his depar- 
ture. 

*' My poor uncle, who had borne his sorrow with so much constancy 
and courage, was found wanting in the first moments of joy. He 
fainted away, and, when Albert made his appearance, was the most 
altered of the two; but in that time Albert, who, since his long jour- 
neying, had seemed insensible to every emotion, was once more en- 
tirely changed, and different from all that he had been hitherto. He 
offered his father a thousand caresses, became very uneasy at seeing 
the change which had taken place in him, and was anxious to learn 
the cause of it. But when they felt themselves capable of telling him 
the reasons of it, he never could understand what had passed, and 
everything he said bore on it such a stamp of sincerity and good faith, 
that they could not doubt that he was really ignorant where he had 
been during his seven days' absence." 

" What you tell me," said Consuelo, " is like a dream, and is more 
like, my dear baroness, to set me musing, than to put me to sleep. 
How can it be that a man should live seven days unconscious of all 
things ? " 

" This is nothing to what I have yet to tell you, and until you have 
seen with your own eyes that instead of exaggerating I extenuate 
matters, and abridge them, you will, I can easily conceive, have no 
trouble to believe me. I tell you that which I myself have seen ; and 
I sometimes ask myself, even now, whether Albert is a sorcerer, or is 
merely amusing himself at our expense. But it is growing late, and 
I am .exhausting your good-nature." 

" I rather am exhausting yours," said Consuelo ; " you must be tired 
of talking. Let us, if you will, put off the sequel of this strange tale 
till to-morrow evening." 

" To-morrow be it then," said the young baroness, taking leave of 
her with a kiss. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



The strange story to which she had been listening kept Consuelo 
long awake. The night, dark, rainy, and full of wild resounding gusts, 
added not a little to superstitious dreams, of which she had never 
dreamed before. " Is there, then," she mused with herself, " some 
itrange destiny which weighs down certain beings? How can this 
girl, who has been speaking to me for the last half hour, have so 
offended Providence, when she is so frank and sincere as to her 
wounded self-love, and her bright dreams overcast? Nay, how can I 
myself so have sinned as to deserve such a disruption of my love, such 
a shock to my heart? And, alas! what can this frenzied Albert of 
Eudolstadt have committed, that he has thus lost all self-knowledge,, 
and all self-governance ? What detestation could have moved PrqVi- 



140 CONSUBLO. 

dence so to abandon Anzoleto to all depraved senses and perverse 
temptations?" 

Overpowered at last by weariness, she slept, and lost herself in s 
maze of unmeaning and inconsequential dreams. Twice or thrice 
she awoke and slept again, ignorant where she was, and fancying her- 
self still on her journey. Porpora, Anzoleto, the Count Zustiniani, 
and Gorilla, all floated before her, repeating strange and doloi-ous 
words, charging her with crimes, the penalty of which she seemed to 
hear, without any memory of their commission. But all her other 
visions waned before that of Count Albert, who ever flitted across her 
eyes, with his black beard, his glassy eye, and his gold-laced sable 
gsirb, now sprinkled with tears, like a moist cloth. 

At length, awaking with a start, she saw Amelia, already dressed, 
all fresh and smiling, by her bed-side. 

"Do you know, dear Porporina," said the young baroness, kissing 
her on the brow, " that you, too, have something strange about you? 
Am I fated to live with supernatural persons? for certainly you, too, 
are one. I have been watching you asleep this half hour, to see if 
you are prettier than I by daylight. I confess I should be vexed if 
you were, for though I have utterly and earnestly discarded all my 
love of Albert forever, I should be piqued to see him smitten with 
you. What would you have ? He is the only man here. Hitherto I 
the only woman. Now we are -two, and we shall have a crow to pick 
if you outshine me wholly." 

" You love to jest ! " said Consuelo, " but it is not kind of you. But 
leave off such nonsense, and tell me what there is odd about me. Per- 
haps I am grown uglier than ever ; I dare say it is so." 

" To tell you the truth, Nina, my first look at you this morning, 
with your pale face, your great eyes, half shut, and rather fixed than 
sleeping, and your thin arm lying on the coverlid, did give me a mo- 
mentary triumph. Then, as I gazed on you still, J grew frightened at 
your motionless attitude, and your truly royal air. Your arm is 
queen-like, I insist on it; and your calmness has a dominion and a 
power in it of which I can give no account. Now I think you hor- 
ribly beautiful, and yet there is gentleness in all your aspect. Tell me 
what you are, who at once attract and alarm me. I am ashamed of 
all the follies I told you of myself last night As yet you have told 
me nothing of yourself, and yet you are aware of almost all my faults." 

" If I have a queenly air, I certainly never dreamed I had it," re- 
plied Consuelo, with a wan smile. " It nuist be the sad air of a dis- 
crowned one. As to my beauty, I have always considered that more 
than doubtful ; but as to my opinion of you, my dear Baroness Amelia, 
I have no doubt of your frankness or kindness." 

" Oh! frank I am — but are you so, Nina? Surely, you look as if 
you had the nobleness of truth; but are you commuiiicative? I fancy 
not." 

" It would not have become me to be so the first. It was for you, 
new patroness and mistress of my destiny, to make the first advances 
to me." 

"You are right; but your good sense chills me. If I seem too 
hairbrained you won't preach at me too much, will you? " 

" I have no right to do so at all. I am your music-mistress — no 
more. Besides, 1 am a poor girl of the people, and how should I pre- 
sume to aspire above my place ? " 

" You a poor girl of the people, my proud Porporina ? Oh ! it caa- 



CONSUELO. 141 

not be — impossible ! I would rather believe you the mysterious child 
of some princely race. What was your mother's profession? " 

" She was a singer, as I am ! " 

"And your father?" 

Consuelo was speechless; she had not prepared answers for all the 
rash familiar questions of the young headlong baroness. In truth, 
she had never heard her father named, nor had thought of enquiring 
if she had a father. 

" Come ! " said Amelia, bursting out laughing, " it is so : I was sure 
of it ; your father was some Spanish Grandee, or Doge of Venice." 

But to Consuelo such expressions souiided light — almost insulting. 

" And so," she said, " I presume an honest mechanic, or a poor ar- 
tist, has not the right to transmit to his children any natural distinc- 
tions! Must the children qf the poor be necessarily coarse and 
deformed ? " 

" My aunt Wenceslawa would hold that to be a sarcasm ! " said the 
baroness, laughing louder yet. " Come, dear Kina, pardon me if I hare 
made you a little angry, and let me build a better romance upon you, 
in my head. But dress yourself quickly, my dear; the bell is going to 
ring, and my aunt would rather let all the family die of hunger than 
breakfast without you. I will help you to open your trunks. I am 
sure you have brought some pretty dresses ft-om Venice, and that you 
will put me up to the last fashions — me, who have lived here so long 
among savages." 

Consuelo gave her the keys, scarce listening to her, while she made 
haste to dress her hair; and Amelia hastened to open the trunks, which 
she expected to find full of clothes; but, to her great surprise, she saw 
nothing but old music books, loose sheets of music, tattered with 
much use, and inanuscripts apparently undecypberable. 

"Ah! what is all this? " she cried, wiping the dust from her pretty 
fingers; " you have a mighty odd wardrobe, my child." 

" They are treasures; treat them with respect, baroness. Some are 
autographs of the greatest masters, and I would rather lose my voice 
than miss returning them to Porpora, who lent them to me." Ame- 
lia opened another box, which was filled with ruled paper, treatises 
on music, and other works on composition, harmony, and counter- 
point. 

"Ah! I understand," said she, laughing. "This is your jewel 
box." 

" I have no other," replied Consuelo, " and I trust that you will 
often use this one." 

" Well — well — I see that you are a stern mistress. But may I ask 
you, my dear Nina, where you have put your dresses? " 

" There, in that little paper box," said Consuelo, going to fetch it, 
and showing the baroness a little black silk dress, neatly and freshly 
folded. 

" Is this all ? " asked Amelia. 

"That is all, except my travelling dress," said Consuelo. "But 
when I have been a few days here I will make another, just like this, 
that I may have a change." 

" Ah, my dear, then you are in mourning? " 

" Perhaps so, signora," said Consuelo, sadly. 

" Pardon me, I pray. I ought to have Isnown from your manner 
that you were sad at heart, and I love you even better so. We shall 
sympathise with each other all the more quiclUy. For I also have 



142 C O N S U E L O. 

causes enough for sorrow, and might as well wear mourning now for 
the husband who is destined for me. Ah, my dear Nina, be not 
scared at ray wildness, it is often put on to conceal deep sorrows." 

They kissed each other affectionately, and went down into the 
breakfast room, where they were waited for. 

Consuelo saw at a glance that her modest black dress, and white 
handkerchief, closed quite to her chin by a broach of jet, had given 
the canoness a favorable opinion of her. The old Count Christian 
was something less reserved, and all were as affable to her as on the 
previous evening. The Baron Frederick, in his courtesy, had refrain- 
ed from going out hunting this day, but he could not find a word to 
say, though he had prepared a thousand courtesies in advance for the 
care she was about to take of his daughter. But he sat down by her 
at the table, and loaded her plate so assiduously that he had no time 
to attend to his own meal. The chaplain enquired of her concerning 
their order of processions in Venice, the luxury and decorations of 
the churches, and the like, and seeing by her replies that she had 
irffich frequented them ; learning moreover, that it was in them she 
had been taught to sing, he showed her much consideration. 

As to Count Albert, Consuelo scarce dared raise her eyes to him, for 
no other reason than that about him only was she curious. She knew 
not what notice he had taken of her. Only as she crossed the room 
she saw his reflection in a mirror, and observed that he was dressed 
with some taste, though always in black. It was evidently the figure 
of a man of noble rank, hut his dishevelled hair and beard, and his 
darkly pale complexion, gave him the aspect of wearing the neglected 
head of a handsome fisher of the Adriatic, on. the shoulders of a no- 
bleman. . 

The music of his voice, however, soon attracted Consuelo, and ere 
long she took the courage to look at liim. She was surprised then to 
find in him the air and mannere of an extremely sensible man. He 
spoke little, but with judgment, and when she rose he offered her his 
hand — without looking at her it is true, for he had not done her that 
honor since the previous evening — but with much courtesy and grace. 
She trembled from head to foot as she placed her hand in that of the 
romantic hero of all the strange tales she had heard the last evening. 
She expected to find it cold, as that of a corpse. But it was soft and 
warm, as that of a gentleman. To say the truth, Consuelo could 
scarce admit the fact. Her internal agitation rendered her almost 
giddy, and Amelia's eye. which followed her every movement, would 
have completed her confusion, had she not armed herself with dignity 
to confront the sly and heedless girl. She returned the low bow 
which Albert made her, as he led her to a seat, but not a glance, much 
less a word, was exchanged between them. 

" Do yon know, O, false Porporina," said Amelia in her ear, as she 
came down to sit close beside her, " that you are working wonders on 
my cousin ? " 

" I certainly have not seen it yet," said Consuelo. 

" That is because you do not deign to observe his manners 
toward me. For a year past he has not offered me his hand to pome, 
or to go, and lol now he is executing it with all grace. It is true 
that he is now in one of his most lucid intervals. One would say 
that you had brought him both reason and health. But trust not too 
much to appearances, Nina. It will be with you as with me. After 
three days' cordiality he will not even remember your existence." 



CONSUELO. 143 

" I see," said Consuelo, " this at least, that I must get used to jolc- 
iug." 

" Is it not true, little aunt," whispered Amelia, addressing the can- 
oness, who had just taken her seat beside her and Amelia, " that my 
cousin is quite charming to our dear Porporina?" 

"Do not ridicule him, Amelia,"' Wenceslawa answered, gently. 
"Mademoiselle will learn the cause of our regrets speedily enough." 

" I am not ridiculing him, aunt, but Albert is quite well this morn- 
ing, and I rejoice to see him, as I have not seen him so before, since I 
have been here. If he were sliaved, and had his hair powdered, like 
the rest of the world, no one would believe he had ever been sick." 

" His calm and healthful aspect does strike me favorably," said the 
canoness, " but I never dare to hope for the continuance of so favor- 
able a state of things." 

" How noble and good an expression he has," said Consuelo, eager 
to gratify the canoness. 

"Do you think so?" said Amelia, riveting on her a sportive, yet 
half-malicious, glance. 

" Tes, I do think so," said Consuelo, firmly, " and I told you so last 
night, mademoiselle. No human face ever inspired me with more .re- 
spect." 

" Ah ! dear girl ! " cried tlie canoness, changing at once from her 
stiff manner, and clasping Consuelo's hand affectionately. " Good 
hearts readily recognise each other. I feared that my poor nephew 
would alarm you. It is such sorrow to me to perceive the. disgust 
which some faces sliow on observing his sufferings. But yon have 
kind feelings, I see clearly, and you have distinguished at once that 
this ailing and blighted frame contains a noble spirit, worthier of a 
better lot.'> 

Consuelo was moved almost to tears by the words of the good old 
canoness, and kissed her withered hand respectfully. Her heart felt 
and sympatlrised more deeply with the old hunchback than with the 
brilliant and frivolous Amelia. 

They were soon interrupted by the Baron Frederick, who, counting 
on his courage more than on his power, came up with the idea of ask- 
ing a favor of la Signora Porporina. More awkward with ladies than 
even his elder brother — for that sort of awkwardness seemed to be so 
far a family ailment that it was scarcely wonderful to see it developed 
into wild rudeiless in the case of Albert— lie began to stammer out 
an address full of excuses, which Amelia undertook to translate to 
Consuelo. " My father asks you," said she, " if you feel courage 
enough to undertake a little music after so tedious a journey, and if 
it will not be imposing too much on your good nature, to ask you to 
hear my voice, and judge of my method." 

" With all my heart," said Consuelo, jumping up quickly, and go- 
ing to the piano. 

" You will see," whispered Amelia, arranging her music on the 
desk, " that this will soon put Albert to flight, in spite of both our 
bright eyes." 

And, in fact, Amelia had scarcely began her prelude, before Albert 
rose and left the room on tip-toe, as if he hoped that he should not 
be seen. 

" It is a great thing,* said Amelia, still speaking in a whisper, 
" that he did not bang the doors together furiously, as he very often 
does when I am singing. He is quite amiable, one might say gallant, 
to-day." 



144 CONSUELO. 

The chaplain now approached the harpsichord, hoping, as it would 
seem, to mask Albert's flight; the rest of the family stood around in 
a semicircle, to hear Consuelo's judgment of her pupil. 

Amelia dashed bravely into an air of Pergolese's Archilles in Scy- 
ros, and sang it intrepidly from end to end, with a fresh shrill voice, 
accompanied by so comical a German accent, that Consuelo, who 
never had heard aught the least like it, could hardly restrain a smile, 
at every word. She had no need to listen to four bars, before she 
saw that the young baroness had no true notion, no intelligence for 
music whatsoever. A flexible tone she had, and good lessons she 
might have taken, but her character was too trifling to allow of her 
studying anything faithfully. For the same reason she had no dis- 
trust whatever of her own powers, but hammered away with German 
matter-of-fact coolness at the most difllcult and daring passages, and 
Ijanging her accompaniment most strenuously, correcting her time 
as she best might, adding time to the bars following other bars which 
she had curtailed, and so utterly changing the character of the music, 
tliat Consuelo would really have doubted what she was listening to 
had the music not been before her eyes. 

Nevertheless, Count Christian, who knew nothing at all about the 
matter, but who imagined his niece to be as shy as he would have 
been in her place, kept crying, to encourage her, " Very well — very 
well, Amelia! Beautiful music — truly beautiful music ! " 

The canoness, who was but little better informed, looked anxiously 
into Consuelo's eyes, to read her opinion ; and the baron, who liked 
no music but the tantaras of the hunting-horn, and believing tliat hei 
song was above his comprehension, confidently expected the approval 
of the judge. -The chaplain also was charmed with her flourishes, 
nothing like which had ever reached his ears before Amelia's arrival 
at the castle, and nodded his great head to and fro, in absolute con- 
tentment. 

Consuelo saw that to tell them the truth bluntly would be to thun- 
derstrike the whole family. She reserved herself, therefore, for the 
enlightenment of her pupil in private, on all that she had forgot, and 
all that she had to learn ; praised lier voice, asked some questions as 
to her studies, approved the masters she had been taught, and forbore 
to tell her that she had studied the wrong end foremost. 

The party then separated, all very well pleased with a trial which 
had really been a very severe one to Consuelo. She was obliged to go 
and shut herself up in her own room, with the music she had heard 
so profaned, and to read it over with her eyes, and sing it mentally, 
in order to efface from her brain the disagreeable impression which 
she had received. 



—4 » ■ ■ -»— 



CHAPTER XXX. 

When the family came together again in the evening, Consuelo, 
who was beginning to be more at her ease with these people, with 
whom she was gradually becoming acquainted, answered the ques- 
tions, which, in their tnin, they took courage to ask her, concerning 
her country, her art, and her travels, less briefly aud more freely than 



CONSUELO. 145 

she had cared to do before. She, however, still carefully avoided, ac- 
cording to the rule which she had laid down to herselfj to speak of 
her own concerns, and talked of the things among which she had 
lived, without any allusion to the part she had played therein. It 
was all in vain that the inquisitive Amelia endeavored to turn the 
conversation to points which should compel her to enter upon her 
own personal career, for Consuelo, easily perceiving her artifices, did 
not for a single instant betray the incognito which she had resolved 
to maintain. It would be difficult to explain why she found a pecu- 
liar charm in this sort of mystery. Several reasons conduced to it. 
In the first place she had promised, nay, even sworn, to Porpora to 
hold herself in such secresy and solitude as should render it impossi- 
ble for Anzoleto to discover her traces, even if he should endeavor to 
do so. A very needless precaution, by the way, for Anzoleto was now 
occupied only by his career and success at Venice. 

In the second place, Consnelo, who was of course desirous of gain- 
ing the esteem and regard of a family which had so kindly granted a 
temporary asylum to her while thus sorrowful and deserted, felt in- 
stinctively that she should be much better regarded as a simple musi- 
cian, a pupil of Porpora's, and a teacher of singing, than as a. prima 
donnct, a woman of the theatre, and a celebrated cantatrice. She 
knew that such a situation, once avowed, would leave her a vei-y diffi- 
cult part to play with that simple and religious family ; and it is more 
than probable, that even iu despite of Porpora's introduction, the ar- 
rival of the actress Consnelo, the wonder of San Samuel, would have 
surprised and dismayed them. But if these two powerful motives had 
not existed, Consuelo would have still felt an anxious desire to conceal 
from every one the splendors and the misery of her destiny. Every- 
thing in her whole life was so singularly complicated, her power with 
her weakness, her glory with her love, mat she could not raise a cor- 
ner of her mask without uncovering some wounded spot. 

This renunciation of vanities, which might have solaced another 
woman, proved the salvation of this courageous being. In renounc- 
ing all compassion, as well as all human glory, she felt celestial 
strength come to her aid. " I must regain some portion of my for- 
mer happiness," she said; " that which I so long enjoyed, and which 
consisted in loving and being beloved. The moment I sought the 
world's admiration it withdrew its love, and I have paid too dear for 
the honors men bestowed in place of their good-will. Let me begin 
again, obscure and insignificant, that I may be subjected neither to 
envy not ingratitude, nor enmity on the earth. The least token of 
sympathy is sweet, and the highest testimony of admiration is min- 
gled with bitterness. If there be proud and strong hearts to whom 
praise suffices, and whom triumph consoles, I have cruelly experi- 
enced that mhie is not of the number. Alas! glory has torn my lov- 
er's heart from me; let humility yield me in return at least some 
friends." 

It was not thus that Porpora meant. In removing Consuelo from 
Venice, and from the dangers and agonies of her love, he only in- 
tended to procure her some repose before recalling her to the scene 
of ambition, and launching her afresh into the storms of artistic life. 
He did not know his pupil. He believed her more of a woman — 
that is to say, more impressionable than she was. In thinking of her, 
he did not fancy her as calm, affectionate, and busied with others, as 
she had already been able to become, but plunged in tears aud de- 
9 



146 CONSUELO. 

voured with vam regret. But he thought at the same time that a re 
action would take place, and that he should find her cured of her love 
and anxious to recommence the exercise of her powers, and enjoy thf 
privileges of her genius. 

The pure and religious feeling conceived by Consnelo, of the par 
she was to play in the family of Eudolstadt, spread from this day t 
holy serenity over her words, her actions, and her countenance 
Those who had formerly seen her dazzling with love and joy beneatl 
the sun of Venice, could not easily have understood how she coul< 
become all at once calm and gentle in the midst of strangers, in thi 
depths of gloomy forests, with her love hlighted, both as regarded thi 
past and the future. But goodness finds strength where pride onl; 
meets despair. Consuelo was glorious that evening, with a beaut; 
which she had not hitherto displayed. It was not the half-developec 
impulse of sleeping nature waiting to be roused, nor the expansion oi 
a power which seizes the spectators with sin-prise or deliglit; neithe 
was it the hidden, incomprehensible beauty of the scolare zingarella 
no, it was the graceful, penetrating charm of a pure and self-possesse( 
woman, governed by her own sacred impulses. 

Her gentle and simple hosts needed no other than their generou 
instincts to drinlc in, if I may use the expression, the mj'sterious in 
cense which the angelic soul of Consuelo exlialed in their intellectua 
atmosphere. They experienced, even in loolciug at her, a moral ele 
vation which they might have found it difficult to explain, but thi 
sweetness of which filled them as with a new life. Albert seemed fo 
the first time to enjoy the full possession of his faculties. He wa 
obliging and good-natured with eveiy one. He was suitably so wit] 
Consuelo, and spoke to her at different times in such terms as showe( 
that he had not relinquished, as might be supposed, the elevated in 
tellect and clear judgment wtth which nature had endowed him. Thi 
baron did not once fall asleep, the canoness ceased to sigh, and Coun 
Christian, who used to sink at night into his arm-chair, bent dowi 
under the weight of old age and vexation, remained erect with lii 
back to the chimney, in the centre of his family, and sharing in thi 
easy and pleasant conversation, which was prolonged till nine in thi 
evening. 

" God has at length heard our prayers," said the chaplain to Coun 
Christian and the canoness, who remained in the saloon after the de 
parture of the baron and the youngpeople. " Count Albert has thi 
day entered his thirtieth year, and this solemn day, so dreaded b' 
him and ourselves, has passed over calmly and with unspeakable hap 
piness." 

"Yes, let us return thanks unto God," said the old count. " It ma' 
prove but a blessed dream, sent for a moment to comfort us, but' 
could not help thinking all this day, and this evening in particulai 
that my son was perfectly cured." 

" Brother," replied the canoness, " and you, worthy chaplain, I en 
treat pardon, but you have always believed Albert to be tormente( 
hy the enemy of human kind. For myself, I thought him at issu 
with opposing powers which disputed the possession of his poor souJ 
for often, when he repeated words of the bad angel. Heaven spoki 
from his mouth the next moment. Do you recollect what he sail 
yesterday evening during the storm, and his words on leaving us?- 
' The peace of God has come down on this house.' Albert experi 
enced the miracle in himself, and I believe iuhis recovery as in th 
divine promise." 



CONSUELO. 147 

The chaplain was too timid to admit all at once so bold a proposi- 
tion. He extricated himself from his embarrassment by saying — "Let 
us ascribe it to eternal goodness ; " " God reads hidden things ; " " The 
soul should lose itself in God ; " and other sentences, more consola- 
tory than novel. 

Count Christian was divided between the desire of conforming to 
the somewhat exaggerated asceticism of his good sister, and the re- 
spect imposed by the prudent and unquestioning orthodoxy of his 
confessor. 

He endeavored to turn the conversation by speaking of the charm- 
ing demeanor of Porporina. The canoness, who loved her already, 
praised her yet more; and the chaplain sanctioned the preference 
which they experienced for her. It never entered their heads to at- 
tribute the miracle which had taken place among them, to Consnelo. 
They accepted the benefit without considering its source. It was 
what Consuelo would have asked of God, could she have been con- 
sulted. 

Amelia was a closer observer. It soon became evident to her that 
her cousin could conceal the disorder of his thoughts from persons 
whom he feared, as well as from those whom he wished to please. 
Before relations and friends of the family whom he either disliked or 
esteemed, he never betrayed by any outward demonstration the eccen- 
tricity of his character. When Consuelo expressed her surprise at 
what had been related the preceding evening, Amelia, tormented by a 
secret imeasiness, tried to make her afraid of Count Albert by reci- 
tals which had already terrified herself. " Ah, my poor friend," said 
she, " distrust this deceitful calm; itisapauf.e which always inter- 
venes between a recent and an approaching crisis. You see him to- 
day as I first saw him, when I arrived here in the beginning of last 
year. Alas! if you were destined to become the wife of such a vis- 
ionary, and if, to combat your reluctance they had determined to keep 
you prisoner for an indefinite period in this frightful castle, with sur- 
prises, terrors, and agitations for your daily fare — nothing to be seen 
but tears, exorcisms, and extravagances — expecting a cure which will 
never happen — you would be quite disenchanted with the fine man- 
ners of Albert, and the honied words of the family." 

"It is not credible," said Consuelo, "that they would unite you 
against your will to a man whom you do not love. Tou appear to be 
the idol of yoiu' relatives." 

" They will not force me ; they know that would be impossible. 
But they forget that Albert is not the only husband who would suit 
me, and God knows when they wiU give up the foolish hope that the 
affection with which I at first regarded him will return. And then 
my poor father, who has here wherewith to satisfy his passion for the 
chase, finds himself so well ofi' in this horrible castle, that he will 
always discover some pretext for retarding our departure. Ah ! if 
you only knew some secret, my dear Nina, to make all the game in 
the country perish in one night, you would render me an inestimable 
service." 

" I can do nothing, unfortunately, but try to amuse you by giving 
you lessons in music, and chatting with you in the evening when 
you are not inclined to sleep. I shall do ray utmost to soothe and to 
compose you." 

" Tou remind me," said Amelia, " that I have not related the re- 
mainder of the story. I shall begin at once, that I may not keep yoa 
up too late." 



148 C0N8TTEL0. 

" Some days after his mysterious absence, which he still believei 
had only lasted seven hours, Albert remarked the absence of the abb« 
and asked where he had gone. 

"'His presence was no longer necessary,' they replied; he re 
turned to his own pursuits. Did you not observe his absence? ' 

" ' I perceived,' replied Albert, ' that something Is taken from tb 
sum of my suffering, but I did not know what it was.' 

" ' You suffer much then, Albert,' asked the canoness. 

" ' Much ; ' he replied, in the tone-of a man who is asked what sor 
of night he has passed. 

" ' And the abbe was obnoxious to you? ' said Count Christian. 

" ' Very,' he replied, in the same tone. 

" ' And why, my son, did you not say so sooner? Why have yoi 
borne for so long a time the presence of a man whom you so raucl 
disliked, without infoiming me of it? Do you doubt, my dear child 
that I should have quickly terminated your sufferings? ' 

" ' It was but a feeble addition to ray grief,' said AJJjert, with fright 
fut tranquillity ; ' and your kindness which I never distrusted, my dea 
father, would have but sightly relieved it, by giving me another super 
intendent.' 

" ' Say another travelling companion, my son; you employ an ex 
pression injurious to my tenderness.' 

" ' Your tenderness was the cause of your anxiety, my father. Yoi 
could not be aware of the evil you inflicted on me in sending me froH 
this house, where it was designed by Providence I should remain til 
its plans for me should be accomplished. You thought to labor fo: 
my cure and repose; but I knew- better what was good for us both — 
knew that I should obey you — and this duty I have fulfilled.' 

'" I know your virtue and your affection, Albert ; but can you no 
explain yourself more clearly? ' 

"' That is very easy,' replied Albert; and the time is come that 
should do so.' 

"Albert spoke so calmly that we thought the fortunate momen 
had arrived when his soul should cease to be a melancholy enigma 
We pressed aroiind him, and encouraged him by our looks and cares 
ses to open his heart for the first time in his life. He appeared a 
length inclined to do so, and spoke as follows : — 

"' You have always looked upon me,' said he, 'and still continu 
to look upon me, as in ill-health and a madman. Did I not feel fo 
you all infinite respect and affection, I should perhaps have widenei 
the abyss which separates us, and I should have shown you that yoi 
are in a world of errors and prejudices, whilst Heaven has given m 
access to a sphere of light and truth. But you could not understam 
me without giving up what constitutes your tranquillity, your secui 
ity, and your creed. When borne away by my enthusiasm, impru 
dent words escaped me, I soon found I had done you harm in wish 
ing to root up your chimeras and display before your enfeebled eye 
the burning flame which I bore about with me. All the details an 
the habits of your life, all the fibres of your heart, all the springs o 
your intellect, are so bound up together, so trammelled with falsehoo 
and darkness, that I should but soem to inflict death instead of lift 
There is a voice, however, which cries to me in watching and in sleej 
in calm and in storm, to enlighten and convert you. But I am to 
loving and too weak a man to undertake it. When I see your eye 
full of teai'S, your bosoms heave, your foi-eheads bent down — when 



CONSUELO. 149 

feel that I bi'ing only sorrow and terror — I fly, I hide myself, to resist 
the cry of conscience and the commands of destiny. Behold the 
cause of my illness! Behold my torment, my cross, my suffering! 
Do you understand me now?' 

" My uncle, my aunt, and the chaplain, understood this much — that 
Albert had ideas of morality and religion totally different from their 
own ; but, timid as devout, they feared to go too far, and dared not 
encourage his frajikness. As to myself, I was only imperfectly ac- 
quainted with the peculiarities of his childhood and youth, and I did 
not at all understand it. Besides, I was at this time, like yourself, 
Nina, and knew very little of this Hussitism and Lutheranism which 
I have since heard so much of, whilst the controversies between Al- 
bert and the chaplain overwhelmed me with weariness. I expected a 
more ample explanation, but it did not ensue. ' I see,' said Albert, 
struck with the silence around him, ' that you do not wish to under- 
stand me, for fear of understanding too much. Be it so, then. Your 
blindness has barne' bitter fruits. Ever unhappy, ever alone, a 
stranger among those I love, I have neither refuge nor stay but in the 
consolation which has been promised me.' 

" '"What is this consolation, my son ? ' said Count Christian, deep- 
ly afflicted. ' Could it not come from us ? Shall we never understand 
each other ? ' 

"' Never, my father; let us love each other, since that alone is al- 
lowed. Heaven is my witness, that our vast and irreparable misun- 
derstanding has never diminished the love I bear you.' 

" ' And is not that enough ? ' said the canoness, taking one hand, 
while her brother pressed Albert's other hand in his own. ' Can you 
not forget your wild ideas, your strange belief, and live fondly in the 
midst of us ? ' 

" ' I do not live on affection ,' replied Albert. ' It is a blessing which 
produces good or evil, according as our faith is a common one or other- 
wise. Our hearts are in union, dear Aunt Wenceslawa, but our intel- 
lects are at war; and this is a great misfortune for us all. I know it 
will not end for centuries. Therefore I await the happiness that has 
been promised me, and which gives me power to hope on.' 

" ' What is that happiness, Albert? can you not explain ? ' 

"'No,for I am myself ignorant of it; but it will come. My mother 
has never missed a week without announcing it to me in my dreams, 
and the voices of the forest whisper it back to me, whensoever I in- 
terrogate them. An angel often flutters around me, showing me its 
pale bnt lustrous countenance above the Stone of Horror, whither, at 
the time when my contemporaries called me Ziska,I was transported 
by the indignation of the Lord, and became for the first time the 
minister of his vengeance — that stone, whereon, when I was called 
Wratislaw, I saw the mutilated and disfigured head of my father 
Withold roll beneath the sabre's edge — horrible expiation, which 
taught me the meaning of sorrow and of pity — day of fatal remuner- 
ation, when the Lutheran blood washed the stain of Catholic blood, 
and made me a man of tenderness and mercy, instead of the man of 
fanaticism and horror I had been for a hundred years before.' 

" ' Merciful Providence ! ' cried my aunt. ' His madness is coming 
on him again.' 

"'Do not vex him, sister,' said Count Christian, making a great 
effort over himself; ' suffer him to explain himself. Speak, my son, 
what has the angel told you about the Kock of Horror ? ' 



150 CONSUELO, 

" ' He has told 'me that my consolation was near at hand,' Albei 
answered him, with a face radiant With enthusiasm, 'and that i 
would descend upon my heart so soon as my twenty-ninth yea 
should be fulfilled.' 

" My uncle let his head droop wearily on his breast, for Albei 
seemed to him to allude to his own death by mentioning the s^e a 
which his mother had died; and it seems that she had often predictec 
during her malady, that neither herself nor her son should ever af 
tain the age of thirty; for it would seem that my aunt Wanda wa 
somewhat given to supernatural sights also; but I knew nothing pre 
else on the subject. It is too painful a recollection for my uncle, am 
no one dares to awaken it in his bosom. 

" The chaplain then proceeded to make an endeavor at removinj 
the sad thoughts created by this moumfid prediction, by inducing Al 
hert to explain hiijiself in regard to the abbe, which was the poin 
from which the conversation had branched off. 

" Albert, in his turn, made an effort to reply to him. ' I talk to you 
said he, 'of things everlasting and divine; you recal me to swit 
fleeting instants, puerile cares, which I at once forget.' 

"'Speak, my son, nevertheless; let ns try at all events this day ti 
comprehend you.' 

" ' You never have understood, never will understand me, father, ii 
what you call this life,' said Albert. ' But if you would know why '. 
travelled, why I endured that faithless and careless guardian whon 
you tied to my steps like a greedy and lazy dog to a blind man's arm 
I will tell yon, and briefly. 1 had seen you suffer cruelly. It was nee 
essary to withdraw from your eyes the sight of a son rebellious tt 
your lessons, deaf to your reproaches. I knew that I should never re 
cover of what you termed my insanity, but I desired to give you resl 
and hope, and withdrew mj'self voluntarily. Ton asked my promisj 
that I would not without your consent rid myself of the guide you hac 
given me, and that I would let him conduct me through tlie world. 1 
was resolved to keep my promise ; I wished also that he should keej 
up your hopes and your tranquillity. I was gentle and enduring, bul 
I closed both heart and ears against hira , and he had at least the 
sense never to attempt the opening them. He led me to walk 
dressed me, fed me, as if I were a child. I gave up living as I wished 
to live; I grew accustomed to see misery, injustice, and madness reign 
over the earth ; I looked on men and their institutions, and indigira- 
tion made way for pity in my heart, as I perceived that the misery of 
the oppressed is inferior to that of the oppressors. In my childhood 
I had no love but for victims ; now I learned to compassiouate theii 
executioners, unhappy penitents, who undergo in this generation the 
penalty of crimes committed by them during their previous existences, 
and whom God has condemned to.be wicked, a punishment a thous- 
and times severer than it is to be their innocent prey. It is tlierefore 
that I gave no charities any longer, except to rid myself personally of 
the weight of wealth, without tormenting you by my preachings, 
knowing now that the time to he happy has not arrived, because, to 
speak the language of men, the time to be good is yet afar off.' 

"'And now that you are free from this supervisor, as you call him 
— now that you can live in tranquillity, beyond the sight of miseries 
which you extinguish, one by one, as they occur aroiuid you — now 
that no one will counteract your generous enthusiasm, will you not 
make an effort with vourself to renel and couauer vour mental smita. 



CONSUELO. 



151 



" ' Ask me no further, my beloved parents,' replied Albert, ' for this 
day I will speak no word more.' 

" And he kept his promise ; and yet more, for he never unclosed his 
lips for an entire week." 



CHAPTEK XXXI. 



■' A PEW words will conclude Albert's history, my dear Porporina, 
for this reason, that unless I were to repeat what I have already told 
you, I have but little more to mention. My cousin's whole conduct 
during the year and a half which I have spenl|liere, has been one 
continued repetition of the whims and fantasies of which you are 
now aware. Tlie only exception is, that his pretended recollection of 
bye-gone ages began to assume a really alarming character of reality, 
when Albert suddenly manifested a particular and mai-vellons faculty, 
of which you have, pei-haps, heard tell, but which I certainly had 
never believed till he gave indubitable proofs of it. This faculty is 
called, as I learn, second sight in other coimtries, and those who pos- 
sess it are often the objects of a sort of religious veneration among 
superstitious persons. As to me, I know not what to thiiik of it; 
but I find in it another reason for never becoming the wife of a man 
wlio could see all my actions at the distance of a hundred leagues, 
and who could read my very thoughts. Such a woman should at the 
very least be a saint; and how should one be such toward a man who 
seems to be devoted to the devil ? " 

- "You have the faculty," said Consuelo, "of jesting at everything, 
and I caimot but admire the merriment with which you talk of things 
that make the- very hair stand up on my head. In what does this 
gift of second sight consist? " 

" Albert sees and hears that which no one but he can see or hear. 
When a person whom he likes is a,bout to arrive here, he announces 
his coming, and goes forth to meet him an hour before the time. In 
like manner he retires, and goes and shuts himself up in his own 
room, when he feels the approach of any one who is disagreeable to 
hira. 

" One day when he was walking with my father alongthe mountain 
path, he stopped short on a sudden, and made. a great circuit over 
stones and through briars, to avoid a certain spot which did not seem, 
however, to have any peculiarity. They returned the same way, and, 
at the expiration of a few minutes, Albert performed the same manoeu- 
vre. My father, pretending to have lost something, endeavored to 
bring him to the foot of a fir tree which appeared to be the object of 
his repugnance. Not only, however, did Albert a"void approaching it, 
but took pains not so much as to tread upon the shadow which the 
tree projected across the road ; and while my father crossed and re- 
crossed the spot, he showed a disturbance and agony of mind that 
were really remarkable. At length, when my father stopped close to 
the foot of the tree, Albert uttered an outcry, and called him back 
hastily. It was a long time, however, before he could be induced to 
explain this whim, and it was only when completely overcome by the 
prayers of the whole family, that he declared this tree to be the mark 



152 CON80ELO. 

of a burial place, and asserted that a gi-eat crime had been covamittei 
there. 

" The chaplain thought that if Albert was cognizant of any miirde; 
committed in that place, it was his duty to be informed of it, in orde: 
to give Christian burial to those abandoned relics of humanity. 

" • Beware what you shall do,' said Albert, with the melanchol; 
and sarcastic expression which he sometimes assumes. ' The man 
woman and child whom you will find there, were Hussites, and it ii 
the drunkard, Wenceslawa, who caiised them to be slaughtered by hii 
soldiers, one night when he was hiding in the woods, and expected t( 
be observed or betrayed by them.' " 

" No more was said on the subject to my cousin ; but my uncle 
who was anxioiis to discover whether this was merely fancy on hii 
part, or a species of inspiration, caused the place to be explored b; 
night, and the skeletons of a man, a woman and a child were then 
discovered. The man was covered by one of those enormous wooder 
shields worn by the Hussites, which are easy to be recognised by thi 
chalice which is engraved upon tliem, with this device around then 
in Latin — " O, death,* how bitter is the memory of thee to the unjus 
^how quiet and calm to the man, all whose actions are orderei 
rightly, and with a view to this end." 

" These bones were removed and re-interred in a different part oi 
the forest; and when Albert passed several times close to the foot oi 
the fir tree, my father observed that he had not the least repugnanci 
to walking over the spot, although it had been carefully filled up a 
before with sand and stones, so that no traces were left of what hac 
occurred. He did not even remember the emotion which he had tes 
tified, and had some trouble in recalling it to mind when mentionei 
to him. 

" ' You must be mistaken, father,' he said, ' and it must have beer 
in some other place that I was warned. I am certain that there ii 
nothing here. Por I have neither chill nor pain, uor trembling oi 
my body.' 

" My aunt is much inclined to ascribe this poetic power to the es 
pecial favor of Providence. But Albert is so gloomy, so unhappy, anc 
suffers so much from it, that it is difBcult to conceive to what enc 
Providence should have endowed him with a gift so fatal. 

" If I believed in the existence of Ihe devil, the chaplain's sugges 
tion would leave i( on far more reasonable grounds, who lays all Al 
bert's hallucinations to his charge. My uncle Christian, who is i 
man of more sense and firnuiess in his religious views, sees for al 
these things explanations which are probable enough on common 
sense considerations. lie thinks that, notwithstanding all the paini 
the Jesuits took for so many years, after the Thirty Years' War, ii 
forming all the heretics in Bohemia, and especially in the vicinity ol 
the Giant's Castle, — in spite of the close investigation made in ever 
nook after the death of my aunt Wanda, there nuist have remainei 
in some corner, of which no one was aware, some historical docu 
ments which have been found by Albert — that the reading of thosi 
unlucky papers musfliave taken strange effect on his diseased imag 
ination — and that he attributes, unconsciously of the self-deceit, t( 
those wonderful memories of a prior existence on earth, the impres 
sion which he has received from documents now wholly unknown 

A French version of Eccleainsticus xli, 1, 3. 



CONSUELO. 153 

which he, nevertheless, repeats with the minute details and close con- 
nection of historic chronicles. By these means are easily accounted 
for all the strange tales he tells us, as well as his disappearance for 
days and weeks together; for it is i-jght to tell yon that these disap- 
pearances have several times recurred, and that it is impossible to 
suppose that he spends the time out of the castle. Whenever lie has 
disappeared it has proved utterly impossible to discover him, and we are 
certain that no peasant has ever given him either food or shelter. We 
know also that he has fits of lethargy which keep him confined to his 
chamber for whole days; and when the doors are forced, or any dis- 
turbance is made about him, he falls into convulsions so that great 
care is now taken not to disturb him. Free scope is now given to his 
lethargic seizures, during which extraordinary things seem to pass 
through his mind; but no sound, no outward agitation, betray them, 
and it is from his conversation only that we learn their character. 
When he recovers, he is calmer and more reasonable for a few days, 
but by degrees his agitation returns, and goes on increasing until the 
recurrence of his seizure, the period and duration of which he ap- 
pears to foresee; for when they are long, be either retires to some 
distant place, or takes refuge 'in his hiding place, which we imagine 
must be some vault of the castle, or some cavern in this mountain, 
known to himself alone. Up to this time, it has been impossible to 
discover him, which is the more difficult that he will not endure to be 
watched, and that to be followed, observed, or even serionsly ques- 
tioned, renders him seriously ill. Thus the plan has been adopted of 
leaving him entirely free, and we have now accustomed ourselves to 
regard these disappearances, which were at first so fearfully alarmhig, 
as favorable crises in his malady ; when they come about, my aunt is 
miserable, and my uncle prays, but no one stirs; and as for me, I 
confess that I have become very much hardened oji this account. 
Vexation has brought in its train weariness and disgust. I should 
prefer death to marriage with this maniac. I admit his noble quali- 
ties; but, although you may think that I ought to pay no regard 
to his fantasies, I confess that 1 am irritated by them as the torment 
of my life, and of my whole family." 

" That seems to me a little unjust, my dear baroness," said Consu- 
elo. ''How repugnant soever you may feel to becoming the wife of 
Count Albert, I can well conceive ; but how you should lose all inter- 
est in him, is beyond my comprehension." 

" It is because I cannot avoid believing that there is something vol- 
untary in this man's madness. It is certain that he has great strength 
of character; and on a thousand occasions, he has much command 
over himself. He has the power of retarding, when he chooses it, the 
approach of these attacks. I have seen him master them with great 
power when persons seemed indisposed to treat them seriously. On 
the contrary, when he sees us disposed to credulity or fear, be seems 
to desire, by his extravagances, to produce an eifect upon us, and he 
abuses our weakness toward him. It is on this account that I feel 
bitterly toward him, and often ask Beelzebub, his patron, to come and 
rid us of him, once for all." 

" These are very cruel jokes," said Consuelo, " to be used concern- 
ing a man so unhappy, and one whose affiiction seems to me roman- 
tic and poetical, rather than marvellous or repulsive." 

" Take it as you please, my dear Porporina," resumed Amelia. 
"Admire his sorceries as much as you please, but I do as our chaplain 



164 CONSUELO. 

does, who commends his soul to God, and seeks not to comprehe 
I take shelter in the bosom of reason, and do not attempt to expl 
to myself that which, I doubt not, has a very simple explanati 
though it is utterly unknown to all of us at present. The only th 
that is certain about my unfortunate cousin is, that his reason 1 
completely packed its baggage — that his imagination has unfolc 
within his brain wings so wide, that the case is bursting with their 
pansion. And, since I must speak out clearly and say the word wh 
my poor uncle Christian was compelled to utter in tears at the feet 
the Empress Maiia Theresa, who will not be satisfied with half 
swers, or half afiarmations, in three words, ' Albert Rudolstadt is n 
— deranged,' if you think that a more genteel expression." 

Consuelo replied only by a deep sigh. Amelia appeared to her 
that moment a hateful and iron-hearted person. She strove to exc 
her in her own eyes, by conjuring up to herself all that she m 
have suffered during eighteen months of a life so sad, yet filled w 
emotions so strange and varied. Then recollecting her own misi 
tunes — " Ah ! " she said to herself, " why cannot I lay tlie blame 
Anzoleto's faults to madness. Had he fallen uito delirium in 
midst of the intoxications and deceptions of his debut, I feel, for 
own part, that I should have loved him no less; and I should oi 
ask to know that his infidelity and ingratitude arose from frenzy, 
adore him as before, and to fly to his succor." 

Some days elapsed without Albert's manner, conversation, or 
meanor, giving the slightest confirmation to his cousin's assertio 
relative to the derangement of his irrtellect. But, on a day when 1 
chaplain chanced unintentionally t-o cross him, he began talking in 
herently, and then, as if he became himself aware of it, left 1 
drawing-room abruptly, and went away to shut himself up in the 
elusion of his own cliamber. All expected that he would remi 
there some time ; but within an hour he returned, pale and disord 
ed, moved himself languidly from chair to chair, and kept hoveri 
around Consuelo, although he did not appear to take any more not 
of her than usual. At length he retreated to the embrasure o 
window, in which he sat down with his face buried in his hands, a 
so continued wholly motionless. 

It was now about the time at which Amelia was used to take 1 
music lesson, and she now desired to do so, as she whispered to C( 
suelo, if it were only for the purpose of driving away that ill-omen 
face, which banished all her gaiety, and seemed, as she said in 1 
fancy, to fill the very room with odors of the grave. " I think," si 
Consuelo, in answer to her, " that we shall do better to go up to yc 
room, where we can make your spinet serve us for accompauime 
If it be true that music is disagreeable to Count Albert, to what e 
increase his disturbance, and Ijy that means the sufferings of ; 
parents?" And to this consideration Amelia having yielded, tli 
went up together to her chamber, the door of which they left aj 
because there was some smoke in the room. Amelia wanted to ha 
her own way, as usual, and to sing loud, showy cavatinas; but tl 
time Consuelo showed that she was in earnest, and made her 1 
some very simple movements and some serious passages from Pal( 
tina's sacred songs. The young baroness began to yawn, grew fretf 
and declared that the music was barbarous, and would put her 
slem 

"That is because you do not understand it," replied Consue 



CONSUELO. 155 

" Suffer me to sing you a few airs, to show you how admirahly it is 
adapted for the voice, in addition to the grandeur and sublimity of its 
thoughts and suggestions." 

She seated herself at the spinet, and began to sing. It was the 
first time she had awatiened the echoes of tlie old chateau, and she 
found the bare and lofty walls so admirably adapted for sound, that 
she gave herself up entirely to the pleasure which she experienced. 
Her voice, long mute, since the last evening when she sang at San 
Samuel— that evening when she fainted, broken down by fatigue and 
soirow — instead of being impaired by so mnch suffering and agitation, 
was more beautiful, more marvelons, more thrilling than ever. 
Amelia was at the same time transported and affrighted. Slie was 
at length beginning to understand that she did not know anything, 
and that perhaps she could never learn anything, when the pale and 
pensive figure of Albert suddenly appeared in the middle of the 
apartment, in front of the two young girls, and remained motionless 
and apparently deeply moved until the end of the piece. It was only 
then that Consuelo perceived him, and was somewhat frightened. 
But Albert, falling on his knees, and raising towards her his large 
dark eyes, swimming in tears, exclaimed in Spanish, without the least 
German accent, " O Consuelo ! Consuelo ! I have at last found 
thee!" 

"Consuelo?" cried the astonished girl, expressing herself in the 
same language, " Why, senor, do you call me by that name ? " 

" 1 call you Consolation," replied Albert, still speaking in Spanish, 
" because a consolation has been promised to my desolate life, and be- 
cause you are that consolation which God at last grants to my solitary 
and gloomy existence." 

" I did not think," said Amelia, with suppressed rage, " that music 
could have produced so prodigious an effect on my dear cousin. 
Nina's voice is formed to accomplish wonders, 1 confess ; but I may 
remark to both of you, that it would be more polite towards me, and 
more according to general etiquette, to use a language which I can 
understand." 

Albert appeared not to have heard a word of what his betrothed 
had said. He continued icneeling, and looking at Consuelo, with eyes 
beaming with delight and wonder, and reiterated in a soft, low tone, 
the words, " Consuelo ! Consuelo ! " 

" What is this name that he is calling you?" asked Amelia of her 
companion, somewhat angrily. 

" He is asking me," replied Consuelo, now a good deal embarrassed, 
for a Spanish air with which I am unacquainted ; and I think, more- 
over, that we had better stop where we are, for the music appears to 
affect him to-day far too strongly." And with these words she arose 
to leave the room. 

" Consuelo," repeated Albert, in the Spanish tongue, " if you de- 
part from me, my life is over, and I will never return to the earth for 
evermore." And as he spoke thus, he fell at her feet and fainted, 
while the two frightened girls called servants to his aid, who cai'ried 
him away to his own room. gf* 



156 



CONSUELO. 



CHAPTER XXXIl. 



Count Albert was gently deposited on his own ted, wLile two of 
the servants who had brought him thither, went in search of the 
chaplain, who was in some sort tl)e family physician, and for Count 
Cliristian, who liad left directions that he should be informed of the 
slightest affection of his son, while the young ladies setoff to find the 
canoness. Before, however, any one of these several persons had re- 
turned to his bed, though each and all made the best speed, Albert 
had disappeared. His door was discovered open, his bed scarcely dis- 
arranged by the momentary repose which he had taken upon it, and 
his chamber in its accustomed order. He was sought for everywhere, 
as was always the case when events of this nature occurred. He was 
nowhere to be found ; whereupon the family at once relapsed into 
one of those states of gloomy resignation which had been described 
to Consuelo by Amelia, and all appeared to be awaiting, in that duml 
consternation, the expression of which they no longer sought to con- 
ceal, the return, rather to be hoped for than expected, of the young 
and extraordinary baron. 

Although Consuelo would have desired to make no allusion to his 
parents of the singular scene which had been transacted in the cham- 
ber of the young baroness, the latter failed not to recount to them, ir 
the warmest and most vived colors, the instantaneous and potent ef 
feet which Porporina's song liad produced on her cousin. " It is ther 
very certain that music has a bad effect on him," observed the chap- 
lain. 

" If that be the case," Consuelo answered him, " I will take goot 
heed that he shall not hear me : and when I shall be at work with oui 
young baroness, we shall take heed to shut ourselves up so closely tha 
no sound may by chance reach the ears of Count Albert." 

" It will be very irksome to you, my dear young lady," said the can 
oness. " Ah ! it is not in my power to render your sojourn hen 
agreeable to you." 

" I am willing to participate both in your sorrows and your pleas 
ures; and 1 seek no other satisfaction than that of being permitted t( 
share in both, through your confidence and friendship." 

" Ton are a noble girl," the canoness made answer, offering he 
long and emaciated hand to her pressure; " but listen to me, I am ol 
opinion that music is not in reality injurious to my dear Albert. Ac 
cording to what I have gathered from Amelia of this morning's scene 
I judge contrariwise — that lie was too powerfully delighted. It ma; 
e\'en be that his illness was occasioned by the too sudden suspensioi 
of your adniii-able melodies. What said he to you in Spanish? Tha 
is a tongue which he speaks thoroughly, as I am told, with man 
others which he acquired during his travels with prodigious quickness 
If asked how he retains in memory so many languages, he replies 
that he knew them before he was born, and remembers them — th'i 
one, because he spoke it twelve hundred years ago — that, when h 
was at'^the crusades, or I know not where. Alas! vou will hea 
strange narratives of his anterior existences, as he calls them. Bu 
translate for me into our German language, which you already spea 
so well, the meaning of what he said to you in your language, whicl 
none of us knows." *• 



CONSUELO. 



157 



Consuelo was for a moment embarrassed to a point which she 
could not explain, even to' herself. She determined, however, to tell 
nearly the whole truth, explaining that Count Albert had begged her 
to remain with him, declaring that she afforded hira exceeding consol- 
ation. 

" Consolation ! " said Amelia, who was not lacking in qnickness. 
" Did he use that word ? You know, aunt, the peculiar signification 
which he attaches to that word." 

" Truly it is 9, word which he uses often," said Wenceslawa, " and 
to which he appears to attach a prophetic meaning; but I do not see 
any reason for applying any other than its ordinary meaning to the 
use of it, on that occasion." 

" But what means the word wliieh he repeated to you so often, dear 
Porporina," persisted Amelia. " I thought lie used one word very 
often, though in my agitation I lost its sound." 

" I did not understand it myself," said Consuelo, not speaking 
falsely without an effort. % 

"My dear Nina," Amelia whispered to her, "you are as quick as 
you are prudent. I am not myself quite an idiot, and I perfectly com- 
prehend that you are the mystical consolation promised to Albert by 
the vision, duringhis thirtieth year. Do not endeavor to conceal from 
me that you have understood it as I — for I assure you I am in nowise 
envious of a mission so celestial." 

" Listen to me, dear Porporina," interposed the canoness, who had 
been musing for a minute or two. " It has ever been a fancy of ours 
that when Albert disappears from us, as I miglit say magically, he is 
hidden not far from us, perhaps in this very house, in some secret 
place known to himself alone. I know not why, but I have an idea 
that were yon to sing now, he might hear you and return to us." 

" Could I but suppose so," said Consuelo, doubtfully. 

" Suppose, however, if Albert be so near us, that music augments 
his delirium," interposed Amelia, who was really jealous. 

" At all events," exclaimed Count Christian, " it is an experiment 
that must be tried. I have heard that Parinelli had a charm in his 
song to dissipate the black melancholy of the King of Spain, as had 
young David to appease the fury of Saul by the witchery of his harp. 
Make the trial, then, Porporina; a soul so pure as yours can have 
none but beneficent influences on all around." 

Consuelo, who was now touched, sat down at the piano and began 
to sing a Spanish canticle in honor of our Lady of Consolation, which 
her mother had taught her in her childhood, beginning with the words 
" Consuelo de mi alma — O solace of my soul," &e. She sang it so 
purely and with so marked an accent of piety, tliat the owner of the 
old manor-house almost forgot the subject of their anxieties in the 
sentiments of faith and hope which the music excited within tliem. 
Deep silence dwelt within and without the castle wall; the doors and 
windows had been thrown open, in order to give its widest and fullest 
scope to the voice of Consuelo, and the moon was pouring her pale 
bluish lustre through the embrasures of the large windows. All was 
calm; and a sort of serenity of soid had succeeded to despairin the 
hearts of all — when a deep long sigh, like that of a human beii^, was 
heard at the close of Consuelo's last tones. That sigh was so long 
drawn and so well defined, that every person present heard it, even 



158 CON SUET, 0. 

each at the other, as it to say—" It is not I; is it you who did that' 
—and Consuelo, who fancied that the sigh was uttered close besi 
her at the piano, though slie sat apart from all the family, was so ti 
rifled that literally she could not spealc. 

" Mercy of heaven ! " cried the canoness aghast; " seemed not tl 
sigh to exhale from the bowels of the earth ? " 

" Say^wather, aunt," exclaimed Amelia, " seemed it not to pi 
over our heads like the night-wind ? " 

"Perhaps some screech-owl, attracted by the lights, flitted throu 
the room while we were all suspended on the music, and we caug 
the rustle of his pinions as he passed through the windows." Su 
was the chaplain's explanation, but for all that, his teeth chatter 
with very fear. 

" Perhaps it is Albert's dog! " said the Count Christian. 

" Cynabre is not here," replied Amelia; " Wherever Albert is, C 
nabre is with him theie. Some one hereabout, undoubtedly, sigh 
strangely. If I were not afraid of going to the window, I would i 
and see if some one be not listening in the garden; but were my li 
at stake, I have not strength to do it." 

" For a person so free from all .prejudice," said Consuelo with ale 
voice and a forced smile ; " for one boa.sting herself a little Fren 
philosopher, you are not very courageous, dear baroness. I will s 
if I cannot prove myself more so." 

" Do not try it, my dear," answered Amelia aloud ; " and don 
affect to be brave, for you are as pale as death now, and you will be 
the next thing." 

" What silly whims you indulge in, my dear Amelia," answer 
Count Christian, directing his steps firmly and gravely to the op 
window. — " There is no one," he said, after looking out; and th^ 
added, after shutting the casement — ^"it seems to me that real a 
ments are not keen enough for the excited fancies of women ; ai 
that they must always add the creatures of their own brains to re 
sorrows which need no addition. There is assuredly nothing myste 
ous in that sigh. Some one of us, moved by the signora's fine sin 
Ing, probably without self-consciousness, uttered that deep-drawn £ 
piration. Perhaps it is I who did so, yet I know it not. Ah, Porp 
rina, though you succeed not in curing Albert, at the least you ha 
discovered how to pour a heavenly balm into wounds as deeply seat 
as his own." 

The words of this good old man, who was ever calm and self-i 
strained amid the deepest domestic troubles, were in themselves 
some sort a healing balm, and as such Consuelo felt them. She f< 
almost inclhied to cast hei-self on her knees before him, and impio 
his benediction, such a benediction as she had received from Porpo 
before leaving him, and from Marcello, on that brightest day of h 
existence, which had been to her but tie beginning of an unbrok( 
series of misfortunes. 



CONSUELO. 159 



CHAPTEK XXXin. 

SjsveeAL days passed over without their hearing any news of 
Count Albert; and Consuelo, to whom this position of things ap- 
peared dismal in the extreme, was astonished to see the Eudtilstadt 
family bear so frightful a state of uncertainty without evincing either 
despair or much impatience. Familiarity with the most cruel anxie- 
ties, produce a sort of apparent apathy, or else real hardness of heart, 
which wounds and almost irritates those minds whose sensibility has 
not yet been blunted by long-continued misfortune. Consuelo, sub- 
ject to assort of nightmare in the midst of these doleful impressions 
and inexplicable occurrences, was astonished to see that the order of 
the house was hardly distuibed, that the canoness was equally vigi- 
lant, the baron equally eager for the chase, the chaplain regular %s 
ever in the same devotional exercises, and Amelia gay and trifling as 
usual. The cheerful vivacity of the latter was what particularly 
offended Consuelo. She could not conceive how the baroness could 
laugh and play, while she herself could hardly read or work with her 
needle. The canoness, however, employed herself in embroidering 
an altar front for the chapel of the castle. It was a masterpiece of 
patience, exquisite workmanship, and neatness. Hardly had bhe 
made the tour of the house, when she returned to seat herself at her 
work, were it only to add a few stitches, whil waiting to be called by 
new cares to the barng-, the kitqhens, or the cellars. One should have 
seen with how much importance these little concerns were treated, 
and how that fragile being was hurried along, at a pace always regu- 
lar, always dignified and measured, but never slackened, through ail 
the corners of her little empire; crossing a thousand times daily in all 
possible directions the narrow and monotonous surface of her domes- 
tic demesnes. What also seemed strange to Consuelo was the respect 
and admiration which the fajnily and country in general attached to 
this indefatigable housekeeping — a pursuit, which the old lady seemed 
to have embraced with such ardor and jealous observance. To see 
her parsimoniously regulating the most trivial afl'airs, one would 
have thought her covetous and distrustfiil ; and yet on important oc- 
casions she displayed a soul deeply imbued with noble and generous 
sentiments. But these excellent qualities, especially her motherly 
affections, which gave her in Consuelo's eyes so sympathizing and ven- 
erable an air, would not of themselves have.been sufficient in the eyes 
of others to elevate her to the rank of the heroine of the family. 
She required, besides, the far more important qualification of a scru- 
pulous attention to the trifling details of the household, to cause her 
to be appreciated for what she really was, notwithstanding what has 
been said, a woman of strong sense and high moral feeling. Not a 
day passed that Count Christian, the baron, or the chaplain, did not 
repeat every time she turned her back, "How much wisdom, how 
much courage, how much strength of mind does the canoness dis- 
play I " Amelia herself, not distinguishing the true and ennobUng 
purpose of life, in the midst of puerilities which, under another form, 
constituted the whole of hers, did not venture to disparage her aunt 
under this point of view, the only one that, in Consuelo's eyes, cast a 
shadow upon the bright light which shone from the pure and loving 
soul of the hunchback Wenceslawa. To the zingarella, born upon the 



160 CONSUELO. 

highway and thrown helpless on the world withont any other i 
or any other protection than her own genius, so much care, so 
activity and intensity of thought to produce such miserable i 
as the preservation and maintenance of certain objects and c 
provisions, appeared an absurd perversion of human intelli 
She who possessed none and desired none of the world's riche 
grieved- to see a lovely and generous soul suffer itself to be abi 
wholly in the business of looking after wheat, wine, wood, 
cattle, and tiirniture. If they had offered her all these goc 
much desired by the greater part of mankind, she would have 
Instead, a moment of her former happiness, her rags, the cles 
lovely sky above her head, her fresh 'young love and her libertj 
the lagunes of Venice — all that was stamped on her memory ir 
and more glowing colors, in proportion as she receded from th 
and laughing horizon to penetrate into the frozen sphere wl 
called real life! 

She felt her heart sink in her bosom when at nightfall she s! 
old canoness, followed by Hans, take an immense buuch of ke; 
make the circuit of all the buildings and all the courts, closing tli 
openings, and examining the smallest recesses into which an ev 
could liave crept; as if no one could sleep in security within 
formidable walls, until the water of the torrent, which was rest 
behind a neighboring dam came rushing and roaring into the tr 
of the chateau, whilst in addition the gates were locked and the 
bridge raised. Consuelo had so often slept, in her distant wane 
by the roadside, with no covering save her mother's torn cloak t 
over her for shelter ! She had so often welcomed the dawn up 
snowy flagstones of Venice, washed by the waves, without ha 
moment's fear for her modesty, the only wealth she cared to prt 
" Alas!" said she, " how unhappy are these people in having sc 
things to take care of! Security is the aim of their pursuits 1 
and night, and so carefully do they seek it, that they have no 1 
find or enjoy it." Like Amelia, therefore, she already pined 
gloomy prison— that dark and sombre Castle of tlie Giants, win 
sun himself seemed afi-aid to penetrate. But while the young ba 
only thought of- tetes, of dresses, and whispering suitors, Co 
dreamt of wandering beside her native wave-washed shores — a 1 
or a fisher-boat for her palace, the boundless heavens for her co' 
and the starry firmament to gaze on ! 

Forced by the cold of the climate, and the closing of the 
gates, to change the Venetian custom which she had retain 
watching during a part of the night, and rising late in the mc 
she at last succeeded, after many hours of sleeplessness, agitatic 
melancholy dreams. In submitting to the austere law of "the c 
and recompensed herself by undertaking, alone, several m 
walks in the neighboring mountain. The gates were opened a 
bridges lowered at the first dawn of day, and while Amelia, si 
occupied in reading novels during one half the night, slept 
awakened by the first breakfast bell.Porporina sallied forth to b 
the fresh air, and brush the early dew from the herbage of the 
One morning, as she descended softly on tiptoe, in order to a 
no one, she mistook the direction she ought to take, among tht 
berless staircases and interminable corridors of the chateau, of 
she had not yet informed herself. Embarrassed in a maze of gs 
aud passages, she passed through a sort of antechamber, whl 



CONSUELO. 161 

had never seen before, still expecting to find a way throtigh it into the 
garden. But she merely reached the entrance of a little chapel, built 
in a beautiful but antique style, and dimly lighted from above by a 
circular window of stained glass in the vaulted ceiling, which threw a 
feeble light upon the centre of the pavement, and left the extremities 
of the building in mysterious gloom. The sun was still below the 
horizon, and the morning grey and foggy. At first, Consuelo thought 
herself in the chapel of the chateau, where she had heard mass the 
preceding Monday. She knew that the chapel opened upon the gar- 
dens; but before crossing it to go out, she wished to honor the sanc- 
tuary of prater, and knelt upon the first step of the altar. But, as it 
often happens to artists to be preoccupied with outward objects in 
spite of their attempts to ascend into the sphere of abstract ideas, her 
'prayer could not absorb her sufficiently to prevent her casting a glance 
of curiosity around her; and she soon perceived that she was not in 
the chapel, but in a place to which she had not before 'penetrated. 
It was neither the same shrine nor the same ornaments. Although 
this unknown chapel was very small, she could hardly as yet distin- 
guish objects around her; but what struck Consuelo most was a 
marble statue kneeling before the altar, in that cold and severe atti- 
tude in which all figures on tombs were formerly represented. She 
concluded that she was in a place reserved for the sepulchres of some 
distinguished ancestors, and having become somewhat fearful and 
superstitious since her residence in Bohemia, she shortened her 
prayer, and rose to retire. 

Biit just as she was turning a last half-timid glance toward the 
kneeling statue which was scarce ten paces distant, she saw the mar- 
ble figure unclasp its stony fingers, and make the sign of the cross. 

Consuelo was on th6 pftint of fainting, yet she lacked power to 
withdraw her glaring eyes from that horrible statue. What held her 
firm in the conviction that it was but a statue, was perceiving that it 
did not hear the outcry which broke from her lips, and that it again 
folded its massive white hands, all unconscious iu appearance of any 
exterior world. 



•CHAPTER XXXIV. 



Had the ingenious and imaginative Anne Eadcllffe found herself 
in the place of the candid and unskilful narrator of this true narra- 
tive, she would not have allowed so good an^opportunity to escape, 
of conducting you, fair reader, through corridors, trap-doors, winding 
staircases, and subterraftean passages, through half-a-dozen flowery 
and attractive volumes, to reveal to you only at the seventh, all the 
mysteries of her skilful labors. But the unsuperstitious reader, whom 
it is for me to entertain, would not probably lend herself so willingly, 
at the present period, to the innocent stratagem of the romancer. 
Besides, as it might be difficult to make her believe them, we will give 
her the key to all our mysteries, as quickly as we can. And to ex- 
plain two of them at once, we will confess that Consuelo, after some 
moments of self-collectedness, recognised, in the animated statue be- 
fore her eyes, the old Count Christian, who was mentally reciting his 
morning prayers in his oratory, and in the sigh of compunction 



162 



O N S IT E L O. 



which unconsciously escaped from him, the same mysterious sia;! 
which she thought she had lieaid close beside her, on the eveniui 
when she sang the hymn to Our Lady of Consolation. 

A little asTiamed of her fears, Ciinsuelo remained rooted to he: 
place by veneration, and "a dislike to interrupt a prayer so fervent 
Nothing could be more solemn or more touching than to behold tha: 
old man, prostrate upon the stone pavement, offering his heart t( 
God at the opening of the day, and steeped in a liind of heavenly ec 
Stacy, which appeared to close his senses to all perception of the out 
ward world. His noble features did not betray any emotion of giiei 
A gentle breeze, penetrating by the door which Consuelo had lef 
open, agitated the semi-circle of silvery hair which still remainet 
upon the baclc part of his liead, and his massive brow, bald to the 
very crown, wore the lustrous yellowish hue of antique marble. Clar 
in an old-fashioned morning-gown of white flannel, falling about hii 
slender frame like the frock of a monk, in stiff and massive draperies 
gave him a certain resemblance to a monumental statue, so thai 
Consuelo had to look at him twice after he had resumed his fixed at 
titude, to assure herself that her first impression was illusory. 

After gazing at him attentively for a while, and changing her owe 
position so as to see him in a better light, she inquired of her owr 
heart, half imW'ittingly, still touched and imbued with veneration 
whether such prayer as this old man put up to heaven could really be 
eflicacious to the recovery of his hapless son, and whether a spirit so 
passively subjected to dogmatic rules, could at any time possess the 
warmth, the appreciation and the zealous love wliicli Albert looked tc 
find within the soul of his father. There was something mystical in 
the very soul of Albert. He also had led a life of devotion and con- 
templation, but according to all that Consuelo had heard from Ame- 
lia, according to all that she had beheld herself, since her abode in 
the castle, Albert had ever lacked the counsellor, the guide and the 
friend, who might have directed his imagination aright, softened the 
over-excitement of his feelings, and turned to tenderness the nigged 
fervor of his austere virtue. Site saw that of necessity he must have 
felt himself alone among a family resolute either to contradict, ot 
silently to pity hiin as either heretic or madman ; she even felt some- 
thing of the kind herself, in the half impatience which arose within 
her at sight of that impassive and interminable prayer put up to 
Heaven, as if for the purpose of casting upon Heaven the cares which 
it was for those, who prayed, inactive, to take themselves in the search 
after the fugitive, his recovery, his persuasion, ai\d his restoration to 
reason. For there must, she thought, be some deep-rooted despair, to 
wrench a young man, so affectionate and kindly-natured, from the 
bosom of his friends, to render him altogether self-forgetful, and even 
to destroy within him the knowledge of the inieasiuess and sorrow 
which his conduct must needs cause to his nearest and his dearest. 

The course which they had fallen upon of never arguing with him, 
and of affecting calmness while feelin-g consternation, seemed to the 
firm and well-balanced mind of the girl either a culp.ible jiiece of 
neglect or a blunder the most obvious. She saw in it something of 
that pecidiar pride and self-conceit which is imposed by a narrowband 
intolerant creed on people who consent to wear the bands of self- 
righteousness, and who can see but one road to heaven, and that 
traced by the undeviating finger of the priest. 

"Heavenly powers!" exclaimed Cov(suelo, half praying mentally; 



CONSUELO. 163 

" is it possible that the expansive, ardent, charitable soul of Albert, 
devoid as it is of human passions, can be less acceptable in your sight 
than those patient and slotliful spirits which submit themselves to the 
injustice of the world, and see truth and Justice daily violated on this 
earth? Could he be acting under Satanic inspiration, who jphen a 
child at the first dawning or intellect, gave his toys and decorations 
to the children of poverty ? and who, when early reflection began to 
mature, would have abandoned all his wealth for the consolation of 
human suffering? And can these mild and gentle noliles, who de- 
plore the woes of others with barren tears, or solace them with inef- 
fective griefs, be wise in the belief that they are gaining heaven by 
mere prayers and acts of submission to the Emperor or the Pope, 
rather than by great works and greater sacrifices? No, Albert is not 
a madman. A voice cries to me from the bottom of my heart that he 
is the finest type of a good, just man that ever had its being from the 
hands of Nature. If he have his painful visions, if fantastic ideas 
have obscured his reason — if even, as they suppose, he be deranged, 
■it is blind contradiction, it is the craving for sympathy — it is the lone- 
liness of the heart, that have brought him to a condition deplorable. 
Have not I seen the cell in which Tasso was immured for a madman, 
and felt that what they called madness might have been but the in- 
dignation of genius burning beneath oppression? Have not I heard 
in the saloons of Venice the august saints and martyrs of Christianity 
treated as fools and madmen — they whose histories called forth my 
tears and awoke . wild musings in my childhood? And what right 
have these tSlk, this pious old man, this timid canoness, who believe, 
nevertheless, in the niiracles of saints and the genius of poets, to 
pronounce on their child a sentence of shame and reprobation which 
should attach to knaves and weak fools only? Mad! no. But mad- 
ness is horrible, repulsive — it must be God's judgment on great crimes. 
How should a man become mad by excess of virtue? And were it 
so, I should deem the being, bowed beneath the weight of a misery so 
unmerited, entitled to the respect no less than to the pity of men; 
and bad I become mad — had I blasphemed when I became awake to 
Anzoleto's infidelity, should I have lost all right to the encourage- 
ment and spiritual support of Christians? Would they have cast me 
out, or let me die in the street saying — ' There is no help for her, 
through over-misery she has lost her reason?' Yet it is thus they 
treat this hapless Albert. They feed him, clothe htm, tend him, ren- 
der him', in fact, the alms of a puerile aflTection. They converse not 
with him — if he question, they hold silence; if he seeks to persuade, 
they bow the head, or turn away from him in horror. When his 
very disgust of solitude, drives him into solitudes deeper yet, they 
await his return, praying God to watch over him and to bring him 
back to them safe and sound, as though the ocean rolled between 
him and the objects of his affection. And yet they believe he is not 
far off— they call on me to sing in order to awaken him, as though 
he slept a lethargic sleep in the thickness of some wall, or within the 
cavity of some huge hollow tree. And yet they have neither explored 
the secretsof this antique dwelling, nor hollowed out the entrails of 
this cavernous rocky region. Ah ! were I Albert's aunt or father, I 
would not have left stone on stone until I had recovered him ; not a 
tree should have stood erect in the forest till he had been restored to 
my arms." 
Absorbed in sad musings, Consuelo had Issued noiselessly from 



164 CONSUELO. 

Count Christian's oratory— had found, she knew not how, the gate 
into the country. She wandered among the forest paths, seeking the 
wildest and most intricate, led by romantic heroism, and burning with 
the desire of finding Albert. 

Yet in all this, there was nothing of vulgar attraction, or imprudent 
fantasy prompting her to do this. It was not the handsome and en- 
thusiastic youth, whom she sought to eilcounter, but the hapless no- 
ble, whom she hoped to save or at least to soothe ; as she would have 
done for an old and hapless hermit, or as a child which had strayed 
from its mother. She mused, aiid undertook her pilgrimage, as Joan 
of Arc mused, and undertook to deliver her country. Nor did she 
dream that such a project would be regarded with ridicule, or that 
Amelia herself, led by the cry of kinship, would have failed to attempt 
or succeed in the same. 

She walked on rapidly, undeterred by any obstacle. The silence 
of the mighty woods neither saddened nor alarmed her spirits. She 
saw the slot of wolves in the sand, yet felt no apprehensions of their 
gaunt and famished pack. She fancied herself impelled by a protect- 
ing hand from heaven. Knowing Tasso by heart, so often liad she sung 
him whole nights through on the lagunes, she fancied herself sheltered 
by a talisman, as the noble Ubaldoiu. search of Rinaldo through the 
perils of the enchanted forest. Swift and light-footed she passed 
through briars, over rocks, her eyes beaming and her cheeks glowing 
with a sort of secret pride. Never in her days of scenic heroism had 
she looked handsomer, yet she thought no more of herself at this in- 
stant than she did when she trod the boards of the theatre. 

From time to time she paused to think and recollect herself; doubt- 
ing what she should do in case of meeting him ; conscious that she 
knew nothing of the deep mysteries which disturbed him ; aware tliat 
she saw but dimly through a poetic veil, and with eyes dazzled by 
these novel visions. Again she felt something more than ardor and 
devotion to bring back to the society of the common-place people 
among whom he had lived a man so superior to herself, a madman so 
wise and learned, while she knew hereelf to lack the eloquence, the 
learning to persuade so singular a being. She went, however, confi- 
dent tllat heaven would inspire her at the moment of need, and 
though convinced that she was destitute of historic and religious lore, 
she was yet convinced that there was more power, as she half whis- 
pered to herself, in the resolution of her own sympathizing heart, 
than in all the studied doctrine of his parent, kind and gentle as they 
were, yet undecided and cold as the mists on the snow-wreaths of 
their native mountains. 



CHAPTER XXXT. 



Aftee going and returning many times to and fro amid the wind- 
ing paths of that wilderness, scattered at random over a hilly and 
broken district, she came at length upon an elevation, so covered with 
splintered rocks and ruined walls, that it was not easy to discern 
whether the hand of man or of time had been the most destructive. 
It was no more now than a hill of fragments, where once had stood a 



CONStlELQ. 



165 



Tillage, burned by the orders of the terrible blind man, the dread <jal- 
ixtin chief, John Ziska, from whom Albert imagined himself to be 
descended, and perhaps was so in reality. During a dark and gloomy 
night, so ran the tale, that fierce and indefatigable warrior, having 
given orders to his troops to attack the Giant's Castle, then garri- 
soned for the king of Saxony, had heard one of his soldiers exclaim 
angrily, " that cursed blind man fancies that every one can do with- 
out daylight as well as himself," whereat, turning to one of his disci- 
ples who drew his car, enquired according to the guidance of memory, 
or that instinct which directed him in lieu of the other senses, " Is 
there not a village hereaway? " and being answered in the affirma- 
tive, he desired the mutinous soldier to go at once and fire the village, 
telling him that the flames would give ample light by which to man- 
oenvre and to fight. The terrible order was given and executed, and 
aided by the glare of the burning village, the Taborites stormed the 
Giant's Castle, and Ziska was in quiet possession of it before the 
morning. On the following day, at dawn, he was informed that in 
the midst of the ruins of the burnt village, there was standing on a sort 
of a platform, whence the soldiers had observed the attack of the for- 
tress, a young and thriving oak, not a leaf of which had been withered 
by the heat, having escaped destruction, as it would seem, owing to 
its roots being watered by a deep cistern beneath its shade. 

" I know the cistern well," cried Ziska. " Ten of our people were 
drowned in it; and since that day the stonewhich covers it never has 
been raised. Well, let it remain, and serve them for a monument, 
since we are not of those who believe that souls perish because the 
bodies rot in unconsecrated groun-d. Let the bones of our brothers 
rot where they lie, since their souls are alive, and doing battle for us, 
though we see them not. For the inhabitants of the village, they 
have received their punishment ; for the oak, it has been preserved for 
ajiother destiny than giving shade to miscreants. We have need of a 
gallows ; bring me the twenty Angustin monks whom we took in their 
convent yesterday, and hang them high- on the branches of the brave 
oak. That ornament will give it all its ancient health." 

It was done as quickly as commanded, and from that day the oak 
was named the Hussite, the stone over the cistern, the Stone of Ter- 
ror, and the ruined village on the deserted hill, the Shrecfcenstein. 
Consuelo had already heard this tale of horror from the Baroness 
Amelia, with all its terrible details; but, since hitherto she had seen 
it only from a distance, save during the night of her arrival at the cas- 
tle, she would not have recognized it, had she not discovered on cast- 
ing her eyes downward into the deep ravine, through which wound 
the high road, the fragments of the thunderstricken oak, which no 
villager or vassal of the castle had dared to remove, owing to the su- 
perstitious awe which had attached for centuries to that monument 
of horror, that contemporary of the fierce John Ziska. 

The predictions and visions of Count Albert had also invested the 
place with a touching and tragic character, so that even Consuelo felt 
a thrill of terror as she found herself seated on that Stone of Terror 
so unexpectedly. Nor was her alarm wholly groundless, for, since in 
the belief not only of Albert, but of all the mountaineers, the hill was 
invested with strange terrors and haunted by terrible apparitions. 
Close as it was to the castle, the Shreckenstein was often the haunt of 
wild beasts, safe from the pursuit not only of the hunters by profes- 
sion, but evea of Count Frederick and of his trusty heath-hounds. 



166 CONSUELO. 

The impassive baron cared not, it is true, much for the demons which 
•were held to haunt the spot; but he did dread, in his own peculiar 
line, a pernicious influence which he believed to threaten all dogs 
which drank of the clear rills which burst out on all sides from the 
rocky hill, issuing probably from the dreaded cistern, that ancient bur- 
ial place of the Hussites. So that he sternly recalled his greyhound 
Sapphyr, or his double-nosed Pankin, whensoever they invaded the 
neighborhood of the Schreckenstein. 

Ashamed, however, of her own weakness, Consnelo determined on 
the instant to conquer it, and resolved as a duty to sit a moment 
longer on the fatal stone, and to retire from it only with the slow pace 
becoming a determined spirit. But just as she withdrew her gaze 
from the blasted oak, which lay perhaps a hundred feet below her in 
the gorge, to look on nearer objects, she perceived that she was no 
longer alone on the Stone of Terror, but that a strange figure had 
seated itself beside her, without giving token of- its approach by the 
slightest sound. 

It was a round, gaping head, moving to and fro, on a deformed body, 
lean and distorted as that of a grasshopper, covered witli an indescri- 
bable costume belonging to no date or country, and so dilapidated as 
to be more than slovenly. The figure was still in no degree alarming 
beyond its strangeness, and the suddenness of its appearance, for it 
showed no symptoms of hostility — on the contrary, a soft and caress- 
ing smile played around its wide mouth, and a mild, child-like expres- 
sion softened dewn the want of intellect, which was evident from its 
wandering eye and hurried gestures. Yet Consuelo, when she found 
herself alone with an idiot, in a place where assuredly no person could 
come to her aid, was really afraid, in spite of the numerous reverences 
and affectionate smiles which the poor fool offered to her. She judged 
it for the best to return his smiles, and bows, so to avoid irritating him, 
but slie arose in haste, and hurried away, pale and trembling. 

The idiot did not offer to follow or recall her, but jumped on the 
Stone of Terror, following her with his eyes, jumping about, and 
throwing his hands and arms wildly to and fro, articulating many times 
in succession certain Bohemian words of which Cousuelo could not 
comprehend the import. 

When she saw that he did not attempt to molest her, she recovered 
courage to look at and listen to him, reproaching herself with the 
dread she felt of his natural deformity and mental aiBiction. Then 
she began to weave a hundred wild fancies concerning the cause and 
nature of his insanity, and concerning the contempt and hatred of 
men which she supposed him to be undergoing while under the espe- 
cial protection of Providence. 

The idiot, seeing that she slackened her pace, and seeming to com- 
prehend the gentleness of her looks, began to talk to her iu Bohemian 
with extreme volubility, and in a voice the softness of which was 
strangely contrasted by the hideousness of his appearance. Not com- 
prehending him at all, Consuelo thought to offer him alms, and drew 
a coin from her pocket, which she laid on a large stone, first Ufting it 
on high that he might see it. But the idiot only laughed the louder, 
rubbing his hands, and crying in bad German. "TJseless! useless! 
Zdenko needs it not. Zdenko needs nothing. Zdenko is happy, very 
happy. Zdenko has consolation ! consolation ! consolation ! " Then, 
as if he suddenly remembered a word which he had long been seeking, 
he cried out with delight, and quite intelligibly, though very ill pro- 



CONSUELO. 167 

nounoed, the words, " Comuelo ! Consuelo I Consueh ! Consuelo, de 
mi alma ! ! " 

Consuelo stopped short in astonishment, and addressing him in 
Spanish, asl^ed, •' Wherefore do you address me thus? Who taught 
you that name? How came you to miderstand the language which 
I speak ? " 

But to all these enquiries Consuelo awaited a reply in vain, for the 
idiot did nothing but jump about, repeating tlie word in a hundred 
ditferent tones, apparently charmed with liimself, and reiterating it 
like a bird which has picked up some articulate word, and delights to 
intermingle it with its natural strains. 

As she returned toward the castle, Consuelo mused deeply on this 
odd occurrence, and at first tried to remember the face of'the idiot 
wlio thus recognized and named her at first sight, as one of the Vene- 
tian vagabonds and beggars, whom she had been wont to meet on the 
quays and on the place of St. Mark; but though many recurred easily 
'to her recollection, the idiot of the Stone of Terror had no place 
among them. 

But as she crossed over the Pont Levis, a more logical and far 
more interesting explanation of what had passed, occurred to her. 
She resolved to enlighten herself carefully as to her suspicions, and 
went so far even as to congratulate herself that her expedition had not 
been altogether unsuccessfuL 



CHAPTER XXXVL 



Wheit she ^siin found herself in the midst of that melancholy 
and dejected family, while she now felt both hope and animation, she 
began to reproach herself for the severity with which she had 
judged these worthy and afflicted persons. Count Christian and the 
canoness ate not a morsel during breaRfast; Amelia was in desper- 
ately ilUhiimor, and the chaplain dared not indulge his unflagging 
appetite. So soon as they rose from the table, the count stopped 
sadly for a moment at the wiitdow, gazed out upon> the sandy road, 
across the warren, by whicli he hoped that Albert might return 
homeward, and then shook his head sadly, as who should say, " Here 
is another day iil begun, wliich will terminate as ill." 

Consuelo tried to divert their thoughts by playing sorpe of Por- 
pora's latest religious compositions, to which they ever listened with 
unfailing interest and admiration. It grieved her to feel their grief, 
and yet not dare inform them of the better hopes she cherished. 
But when she saw the count resume his book, and the canoness her 
needle — when she found herself called upon to decide whether a cer- 
tain ornament in the ceiitre of the embroidery ought to have white 
or blue points, she could not refrain from returning in her tliouglits 
to Albert, whom she fancied dying in his hideous catalepsy upon 
some lonely rock in the forest, or perhaps a prey to wolves and ser- 
pents, while under the industrious fingers of Wenceslawa a thousand 
brilliant flowers were glowing on the tapestry, watered perehance at 
intei-vals by a furtive but sterile tear. 

As soon as she had an opportmiity of questioning Amelia, who was 



168 CON8UELO. 

in the pouts, she inquired of her who was the strangely dressed fool 
who roamed the country, laughing idiotically at all whom he met. 

" Oh ! it is Zdenko," replied Amelia. " Have you not met him be- 
fore in your rambles ? One is certain to meet him sooner or later, for 
he has no settled abode." 

" 1 saw him this morning for the firet time, and fancied him the 
spirit of the Schreckenstein." 

"Ah! is it there you have been wandering since day-break. I 
almost begin to think you mad yourself, ray dear Nina, to go alone at 
dawn into those desert spots, wliere you miglit well meet worse cus- 
tomers than an inoffensive jdiot such as Zdenko." 

" Some hungry wolf, perhaps," said Consuelo, smiling, " But I fan- 
cy that your father, the baron's, rifle is a safeguard against such for the 
whole country." 

" I do not speak of wild beasts only," said Amelia. " The country 
is infestedj more than you imagine, with the most dangerous animals 
on earth, brigands and vagabonds. Whole tribes of families, ruined 
in the wars, roam about, demanding alms at the pistol's muzzle. Be- 
sides which, there are swarms of Egyptian Zingari, whom the French 
have honored us by calling Bohemians, as if they were aboriginal na- 
tives of our mountains. These people, rejected on all sides, and cow- 
ardly enough before armed men, might be bold enough to a hand- 
some young girl, like you; and your adventurous walks might expose 
you to risks which should not be lightly encountered by a person so 
reasonable as you affect to be." * 

" Dear baroness," replied Consuelo, " although you seem to think so 
lightly of the fangs of a wolf, in comparison of the dangers which, as 
you say, threaten me, I confess that I should fear them far more than 
the Zingari. They are old acquaintances of mine, and I cannot fiincy 
how one should fear beings so weak, so poor, and so persecuted. On 
the contrary, I have always felt that I could so speak to those people 
as to win their confidence, for if they be ill clad, and despised on all 
sides, it is impossible for me to avoid feeling a stong interest in them." 
1 "Bravo! my dear," cried Amelia, with increased bitterness; "you 
have got so far, even, as Albert's fine sentiments in behalf of beggars, 
bandits, and aliens; nor shall I be sui'prised to see you, like him, 
leaning some fine morning on the frail and filthy arm of Zdenko." 

These words struck Consuelo like a gleam of light, and she asked 
with a satisfaction which she sought not to conceal, " And does Couut 
Albert live on good terms with Zdenko ? " 

" He is his most familiar and intimate friend," replied Amelia, scorn- 
fully. " He is the companion of his walks, the sharer of all his secrets, 
the messenger, as tolks say, of his private correspondences with the 
devil. Zdenko an^l Albert liold conferences, for hours, on the Stone 
of Terror, concerning all sorts of abs\n'dltles, which they choose to call 
religion. Albert and Zdenko alone blush not to sit down on thegrass 
witii the Zingari, who halt under the shadow of our pine trees, and to 
share their disgusting meals from their wooden trenchei's. They call 
this connnunicating — and it may well be called communicating, in 
every sense. A desirable husband, truly, my cousin Albert would be, 
who should grasp in his hand, lately sullied by the pestilential touch of 
the Zingari, the fingers of his betrothed, and raise them to lips which 
have drank the wine of the chalice from the same cup with Zdenko." 
" This may be all vastly witty," said Consuelo ; " but for my pait, I 
do not understand one word of it." 



C O N S U E I. O. 



169 



" That is because you have no taste for history, and have not listen- 
ed to rae, wlien I have been talking myself hoarse in telling you about 
the riddles and mysterious acts of my cousin. Have I not told you 
how the great quarrel between the Hussites and tlie Romanists arose 
in relation to the two elements— the council of Bale insisting that it 
■was a profanation to give the blood of our Saviour to the laity, in the 
element of wine, alleging — a fine argument, indeed— that as both his 
body and blood are contained in both elements — who eats the oue 
drinks the other! Do you understand? " 

" No. Neither did the council, I think. Logically, they might have 
said it was useless; but how profanation, if to eat implies drinking 
also?" 

Thereupon, Amelia entered into a long discussion on the tenets of 
the two hostile churches, speaking equally in ridicule of each ; con- 
demning the luxury of the Catholics, and the fanaticism of the Hus- 
sites, who affected to use wooden cugs and platters at communion, 
imitating the poverty of the Apostles. 

" This," she pursued, " is the reason why Albert, who has taten it 
into his head to be a Hussite, after all the symbols of old have lost all 
signification ; Albert, who affects to know the true doctrine of John 
Huss better than John Huss did himself, invents all sorts of commun- 
ions, and goes about communicating, as he calls it, on the high road, 
With lieggars, idiots, and even heathens. For it was a mania with the 
Hussites to communicate in all places, at all times, and with every- 
body." 

" All this Is fantastical enough," said Consuelo, and I can only as- 
cribe it to an exalted patriotism, carried, I must admit, to delirium in 
Count Albert. There may be a deep meaning Iti the thought, but the 
formulae are childish for a man so serious and learned. The tiue com- 
munion should rather be charity. For what can avail the empty cere- 
monies of the past, which can, by no possibility comprise the persons 
■with whom he associates ? " 

" As for charity, Albert in no wise lacks that. If he were left to him- 
self, he would strip himself of everything; and, for my part, I wish 
they would let him scatter all he possesses into the hands of vaga- 
bonds." 

" And wherefore ? " 

" Because, then my father would give up the idea of enriching me 
by marrying me to this demoniac: for you nmst know that they have 
not given up this precious idea, and during the last few days, during 
■which my cousin showed a glimpse of reason, attacked me on that head 
more strenuously thaij ever. We had a sharp quarrel, the result of 
which seems to be that my father is about to endeavor to reduce me, 
as they do castles, by blockade. If I yield, therefore, you see I shall 
be married to him, in spite of myself, of him, and of yet a third person, 
■who affects not to care a particle about it." 

"Here we are again, eh?" said Consuelo, laughing, "I expected 
some such sarcasm as that, and I see clearly that you have only done 
me the honor of conversing with me this morning, in order to arrive 
at it. I am glad to see it, however, for iil this little comedy of jealousy, 
I discover a remnant of afiection for Count Albert, which you will not 
confess." 

" Nina ! " exclaimed the young baroness, energetically, " if you think 
you see that, you lack penetration. If you rejoice at it, you lack re- 
gard for me. I am violent and proud, but I know not how to dis- 



170 C N S U E I, o. 

Bemble. I have told you that Albert's preference for you enrages me 
against him, not against you. It woiuids my self-pride, and yet flat- 
ters my hopes and gratifies my wishes. I now only desire hira to com- 
mit some notorious folly for you, which may rid me of all half meas- 
ures, by justifying the aversion against which I have so long striven, 
but which I now feel towards him, unmixed with love or pity."' 

" God grant," cried Consuelo, " that this be the language, not of 
truth, but of passion ; for it would be a very harsh truth in the hands 
of a very unfeeling person." 

The bitterness which Amelia had shown during this conversation 
did not greatly affect Consuelo's generous spirit. She now thought 
only of her enterprise, and the dream which she cherished of restor- 
ing Albert to his family, cast a sort of pleasure over the monotony of 
her occupations. It was necessary, however, that she should occupy 
herself, in order to guard against the ennui which was growing upon 
her, and which, as it had been the disease most unknown to her ac- 
tive and laboiious life, was that most painful to her. She had"no re- 
source, then, but, after giving Amelia a long and fastidious lessou, but 
to practice her own voice, and to study the ancient masters; but even 
this occupation, which as yet had never failed her, was now denied; 
for Amelia, with her idle curiosity, persisted in coming, interruptmg 
and annoying her every five minutes, with childish questions and un- 
meaning observations. The rest of the family were horribly out of 
spirits, for already five mortal days had passed, since the disappearance 
of the young count, and every fresh day added to the consternation 
and dejection of the last. 

That same afternoon, while Consuelo was strolling in the garden, 
with Amelia, she saw Zdenko on the farther side of tlie moat, which 
divided them from the open country. He was busy talking to himself, 
in a tone which seemed to indicate that he was relating a story. 
Consuelo stopped her companion, and begged her to translate the 
words of this strange being. 

" How can I translate rhapsodies, without connection or meaning?" 
returned Amelia, shrugging up her shoulders. " He is muttering 
thus, if you care to hear it: 

" ' There was once a great mountain, all white, all white ; and hard 
by it a great mountain, all black, all black; and hard by it a great 
moiuitain, all red, all red.' Does this interest you much ? " 

" Perhaps it would, if I but knew the end. Oh ! how I do wish I 
understood Bohemian. I will learn it" 

"It is not quite so easy to learn as Italian or Spanish; still, 
you are so industrious, that you wiil soon master it, if you set to 
work. I will teach you, if it will give you any pleasure. 

" You will be an angel to do so, provided always that you are more 
patient as a mistress than as a pupil. And now what is Zdenko 
saying? " 

" Now the mountains are conversing, ' Wherefore, O red moun- 
tain, all red, hast thou crushed the mountain all black ? And thou 
white mountain, all white, wherefore hast thou suffered the black 
mountain, all black, to be crushed ? ' 

Here Zdenko began to sing with a shrill and broken voice, but so 
sweetly and truly, that Consuelo felt her heart thrill to the core. 
His song proceeded: 

" Black mountains and white mountains, then, will need much 
vpater, much water, to bleach your garments — " 



CONSUELO. 171 

" Your garments black with crime, and white with idleness — your 
garments soiled with falsehood, your garments glittering with pride. 

"Now they are both bleached, well bleached. Your garments 
which would not change their hues — behold ! they are worn, much 
worn, your garments which would not sweep the dust. 

" Lo ! all the mountains are red, all red. These will need all the 
waters of heaven, all tlie waters of heaven to bleach them clean." 

" Is this Ibiprovised, or is it an old national song ? " added Consuelo. 

"Who can tell? Zdenko is either an inexhaustible improvisateur 
or a most learned rhapsodist. Our peasants delight to hear him, re- 
spect him as a saint, and regard his insanity as a gift rather than as a 
misfortune from the hand of heaven. They feed and cherish him, 
and if he would, he might be the best clad and best lodged man in the 
country, for every one strives for the pleasure and advantage of being 
his host. He is regarded as a luck-bearer, as a good omen. When a 
storm threatens, Zdenko says, 'It is nothing; the hail will not fall 
here ! ' If the harvest is bad, they entreat Zdenko to sing, and as he 
always promises years of fertility and increase, they console them- 
selves for the present, expecting a better future. But Zdenko will 
abide nowhere. His vagabond nature leads him away into the depths 
of forests. No one knows where he sleeps of nights, or where he 
shelters himself from storm or tempest. Never, in ten years, has he 
been seen to pass beneath any roof but that of the Giant's Castle, for 
he pretends that his ancestors are in all the other houses of the coun- 
try, and that he is forbidden to appear before them. Nevertheless, he 
follows Albert to his chamber, fur to him he is as faithful and obedient 
as his dog Cynabre. Albert is the only being who controls at his 
pleasure the wild independence of his nature, and who can bid cease 
at a word his unflagging gaiety, his eternal songs, and unwearied bab- 
ble. Zdenko, they say, had once a very fine voice, but he has ex- 
hausted it by singing, chattering, and laughing. He is scarcely older 
than Albert, though he looks like a man of fifty. They have been 
comrades from childhood. At that time Zdenko was but half an 
idiot. Descended from an ancient family — one of his ancestors hav- 
ing figured in the Hussite wars — he had enough memory and quick- 
ness to be destined, by his parents to the cloister. For a long time, he 
wore the garb of a mendicant novice, but when he was sent out with 
the ass and wallet, accompanied by a brother, to seek gifts from the 
charitable, he absconded into the woods, leaving ass, friar, and wallet, 
and was not seen for many a day. When Albert went abroad, he fell 
into deep melancholy, cast his frock to the winds, and became entirely 
a vagabond. By degrees his melancholy passed away, but although 
his gaiety returned, the gleams of reason which had previously shone 
out through the oddities of his character, became entirely extinct. 
He talks no longer, except incoherently, displays all sorts of straiige 
manias, and is really quite mad ; but as he is always sober, peaceful, 
and inofiensive, and may be rather looked on as an idiot than as a 
madman, our peasaiitry call him the innocent, and no more." 

" All that you tell me of the poor creature," said Consuelo, " only 
the more awakens my sympathies in his behalf. I wish I could talk 
to him. Does he speak German at all? " 

" He understands, and can speak it better, or worse, but like all 
Bohemian peasants, he detests the language ; aiid being always busied 
in reveries, as he is now, it is more than doubtful if he will listen to 
you when you address him.'' 



172 CONSUELO. 

" Try to speak to him In his own language, and attract his atten- 
tion to us," said Consuelo. 

Amelia called several times to Zdenlto, asking him in Bohemian if 
he was well, and if he wished for anything, but she could not make 
him lift his head, or intermit a game wliicli he was playing with three 
pebbles, one black, one white, and one red, throwing them one at the 
other, and laughing when any fell. 

" You see it is in vain," said Amelia. " When he is not! hnngry he 
never speaks to us, unless he is in search of Albert. In either of 
these cases he comes to the castle gate, and if he is only hungry, he 
stands still on the threshold. Whatever he wants is given to him ; he 
returns thanks, and goes his way. If he wishes to see Albert he en- 
ters, and goes and knocks at his chamber door, which is never closed 
against him, and there he remains, silent and docile as a timid child, 
if Albert is studying; full of clatter and mirth, if Albert is inclined 
to listen to him ; never troublesome, as it appears, to my cliarming 
cousin, and happier in that respect than any member of the family." 

"And when Count Albert becomes invisible, as at present, does 
Zrlenko, who loves him so dearly, and who so deplored his absence 
when abroad, manifest no uneasiness? " 

" None. He says that Albert has gone to see the Almighty, and 
that he will bring him back when he pleases. That was what he said 
while Albert was travelling." 

"And do you not suspect, dear Amelia, that Zdenko may have bet- 
ter reasons than any of you for his security? Has it never struck 
you that he may be in Albert's secret, and may watch over him while 
in his lethargic or delirious state? " 

" We once thought so, and long watched his movements, but, like 
his patron Albert, he cannot endure supervision, and more cnnning 
than a fox, he eludes all vigilance, outwits all stratagems, and has, it 
is said, like Albert, the power of rendering himself invisible when he 
pleases. He has sometimes disappeared as suddenly from eyes rivet- 
ted upon him, as if he had dived into the earth, or been swallowed in 
a cloud. At least, so says my aunt Wenceslawa, who, for ail her 
piety, has not the strongest head in the world as regards diabolical 
influences." 

" But you, my dear baroness, cannot credit these absurdities ? " 

" No. But I agree with my uncle Christian, in thinking that if 
Albert, in his mysterious disappearances, has no aid but that of this 
vagabond, it would be very dangerous to deprive him of it, of which 
there is much risk, by watching Zdenko, and annoying him in his m.v 
noeuvres. But for heaven's sake, dear Nina, let us turn to some other 
subject. We have had enough on this chapter, for I do not feel the 
same interest with you in this idiot. I am wearied of his endless ro- 
mances and songs, and his broken voice gives me a sore throat." 

" I wonder," said Consuelo, following her compaiiion, " that his 
voice has no charm for your ears, for all broken as it is, on me it has 
a more powerful effect than that of the finest singei-s." 

" That is because you are blasie with fine singing, and love novel- 
ty." 

" The language which he sings is peculiarly melodious," replied 
Consuelo, " and the monotony of his tones is not what you think it. 
The ideas are, on the contrary, very sweet and original." 

" For my part, I am weary to death of them," answered Amelia. 
" At first I took some interest in them, thinking, with the people of 



CONSUELO. 173 

the country, that they might be old national songs, curious in an his- 
torical connection, but as he never repeats tiiem twice alike, I aiji sat- 
isfied that he improvises them, and at a hearing or two I was satisfied 
that they were not worth listening to, although our moiuilainaers 
find in them at their will a symbolical meaning." 

As soon as Consuelo could rid herself of Amelia, she ran back to 
the garden^where she found Zdenko still playing as before, on the 
outer side of the moat. Being now assured that this wretched being 
had relations of some kind with Albert, she had secretly provided her- 
self with a cake of the canoness' making, which she had observed 
that Albert preferred, and wrapping it in a white handkerchief, which 
she wished to throw across the moat to Zdenko, she took the chance 
of calling him by name. But he took no notice of her. Then, 
remembering the eagerness with which he had repeated her own 
name, she repeated it in German, but' he was in a melancholy mood, 
and without looking at her he only repeated, in German, " Consola- 
tion ! Consolation ! " as who should say, " for me there is no consola- 
tion." 

Then, desirous of seeing if her name in Spa.nish would produce the 
same effect it had in the morning, she said, " Consuelo." 

On the instant Zdenko left, his pebbles, and began jumping and 
gesticulating on the edge of the moat, waving his bonnet over his 
head, stretching his arms toward her, with very animated Bohemian 
words, and a face beaming with pleasure. 

" Albert! " cried Consuelo, and threw the cake to him. 

Zdenko picked it up, laughing, and without unfolding the handker- 
chief; but he said many things which Consuelo was in despair at not 
being able to understand. She listened attentively, and succeeded in 
catciiiog one phrase which he repeated many times, always bowing as 
he uttered it. Her musical ear enabled her to seize the exact pro- 
nunciation, and as soon as Zdenko was gone, for he took to his heels 
at full speed, she wrote it in her pocket-book, spelling it in Venetian, 
with the intent to- learn' its meaning from Amelia. But before she 
left Zdenko, being desirious of giving him something which should 
denote more delicately the interest she took in Albert, she recalled 
the innocent, and as he returned, obedient to her voice, she thresv 
him a bouquet, which she had gathered an hour before in the hot- 
house, and which still remained fresh and perfiuned at her belt. 
Zdenko picked it up, repeated his salutation, his exclamations, and 
his bounds, and then, plunging into the brushwood, through which 
one could liave supposed that a hare oiTly could make its way, disap- 
peared altogether. For a few moments Consuelo watched his rapid 
flight with all her eyes, judging that he was going to the south-eastward 
by the Agitation of the top of the bushes. But a slight breeze soon set 
her observation at nought, by shaking equally the tops of all the cop- 
pice, and Consuelo returned to the castle, more set than ever to per- 
severe in her determination. 



174 C J!J S U E L O. 



"^ CHAPTER XXXVII. 

When Amelia was asked to interpret whatConsuelo had written on 
her tablets and engiuved in- her memory, she said she knew notliing 
about the matter, though she was able to translate literally these 
words: ** 

" Let the person you have injured salute you." 

" Perhaps," said she, " he wishes to speak of Albert or of himself, 
saying that an injury has been done them, by taxing them with mad- 
ness. You must know they think themselves the only two reasonable 
men alive. Why, though, look for sense in the conversation of a 
madman ? This Zdeuko occupies more of your thoughts than you 
think." 

" The people everywhere," said.Consnelo, " attribute to madmen a 
kind of intelligence altogether superior to that perceived by colder 
minds. I have a right te preserve the prejudices of my class, and I 
cannot think a madman speaks ad libitum, when he utters things 
which seem to us unintelligible." ^ 

" Let us see," said Amelia, " if the chaplain, who is well versed in 
all the formidable formulas of the old world lore our parents are 
familiar with, is acquainted with this." Going to the good man, she 
asked him to translate the phrase of Zdenko. 

These obscure words, however, seemed to cast a terrible light into 
the chaplain's heart. " Living God ! " said he, " was such a blasphe- 
my ever beard ! " 

" If there ever was," said Amelia, " I cannot conceive what it is. 
For that reason I asked you to translate it." 

" Word for word in good German it means ' let the person you have 
injured save you.' If though, you wish to know the meaning loud, 
(I dare scarcely to pronounce it,) — the meaning is — 'Let the devil be 
with you ! ' " 

"In plain language," said Amelia, "it means, 'Go to the devil.' 
Well, that is a pretty compliment, and tliis is all we make, dear Nina, 
by talking to fools. You did not think that Zdenko, with his affable 
smile and pleasant grimaces, played so ungallant a part with you?" 

"Zdenko?" said the chaplain. "Ah! none but an idiot speaks 
thus. Very well : I was afraid it was some one else — I was wrong. 
Such a series of abominations could only come from a head filled up 
with old heresy. Whence did he obtain a knowledge of things either 
unknown now or forgotten ? The Spirit of Evil alone can suggest it 
to him." 

" Bah ! that is nothing but a simple asseveration, nsed by the popu- 
lace in every country. "The Catholics are no worse than others." 

" Think not so, baroness," said the chaplain. "This is riot a male- 
diction in the understanding of him who uses it. On the contrary, it 
is a benediction — in that consists the crime. This is an abomination 
of the Lollards, a detestable sect which begot the Vaudois, from whom 
come the Hussites." 

" And they will beget many others," said Amelia, gravely, as if she 
wished to laugli at the good priest. " Let us see, though, father. 
How can one gain another's thanks by recommending his neighbor 
to the Devil?" - 

" The reason is, that, as the Lollards think, Satan was not the ene- 



CONSUELO. 175 

my of humanity, but on the contrary, its protector and patron. They 
said he was the victim of injustice and jealousy. As they thinli, the 
arcliangel Michael and the other celestial powers who precipitated 
him into darkness were true devils, while Lucifer, Beelzebub, Asta- 
rotb, Astarte, and the monsters of hell, wei'e iiinocence itself. They 
thought the reign of Michael and his glorious ai'my soon would end, 
and that the devil and his phalanxes would be restored. They also 
paid him an impious worship, atid when they met, said, ' May the 
one who has been wronged salute you,' that is to say ' salute and 
assist you.' " 

" Well," said Amelia, laughing loud, " Kina is under the most fkvor- 
able auspices. I shall not be amazed if we should have to use exor- 
cisms to destroy the effects of Zdenko's incantations." 

" Consuelo was amused by this sport. She was not very sure that 
the devil was a chimera and hell a poetic fable. She would have been 
inclined to think that the indignation and terror of the chaplain was 
serious, had not the latter, offended by Amelia's scoffs, been perfectly 
ridiculous. Amazed, troubled in all her childish opinions by the scene 
of strife into which she had been cast, between credulity and supersti- 
tion, Consuelo bad not a little trouble in saying her prayers. Slie 
passed in review all forms of worship which she had hitherto received 
blindly, but which no longer satisfied her. As far as I can see, there 
are two kinds of devotion at Venice. That of the convents and of the 
populace, and that of the people, which perhaps goes too far; for 
under the guise of religion it receives all kinds of superstitious acces- 
sories, the Orco, (the devil of the Lagunes,) the sorceries of Malam- 
occo, the search after gold, the horoscope and vows to the saints for 
the success of the m'ost impious wishes. Tln're is also that of the 
fashionable world and of the higher clergy, which is but a mere type. 
They go to church as they do to the theatre, to hear music and to 
show themselves, laughing at everything, even at religion, thinking 
nothing is serious or exerts.an influence over their conscience — that 
form and custom are everything. Consuelo continued to think of 
these things, to express her regret that Anzoleto was not religiously 
inclined ; th3.t Porpora had faith in nothing. She was herself in tlie 
greatest trouble, and said, "For what shall I toil? Why shall I be 
l^itiful, brave or generous, who am alone in the world, unless there be 
a Supreme Being, intelligent and full of love? who judges not, but 
approves and aids me? who also blesses me. What power, what in- 
toxication do they infuse into life, whq'can pass from hope and love 
above all the vicissitudes and all the illusions of life? 

" Supreme Being ! " cried she in her heait. forgetting the accustom- 
ed form of her prayer, ''teach me what I ought to do. Infinite 
Love! teach me what I ought to love. Infiuite'Wisdom! teach me 
what I ought to believe." 

While thus praying and meditating, she forgot the flight of time, 
and it was past midnight when before retiring to bed she f^ast a glance 
over the landscape now lighted by the moon's pale beams. The view 
from her window was not very extensive, owing to the surrounding 
mountains, but exceedingly picturesque. A narrow and winding val- 
ley, in the centre of which sparkled a mountain stream, lay before 
her, its meadows gently undulating until they reached the base of the 
surrounding hills, which shut in the horizon, except where at inter- 
vals they opened to pei-mit the eye to discover still more distant and 
steeper ranges, clothed to the very summit with dark green firs. The 



176 CONSUEI,0. 

last rays of the setting moon shone full on the principal features of 
thisifomhre but striking landscape, to which the dark foliage of the 
evergreens, the pent-up water, and the rocks covered with moss and 
ivy, imparted a stern and savage aspect. 

While Consuelo was comparing this country with those she had 
travelled through in her childhood, she was struck With an idea she 
had not known before. It seemed that what passed before her was 
not entirely new, either because she liad been in Bohemia or in some 
very similar place. " My mother and myself," said she, " travelled sc 
much, that it would not be at all surprising had lever been here; and 
often I have a distinct idea of Dresden and Vienna. We may have 
passed through Bohemia to go to one or the other of those capitals, 
It would be strange, however, if we had received hospitality in some 
barn where I am now welcomed as a lady; or if we earned by oui 
songs a "piece of bread at the door of some hut where Zdenko now 
sings bis old songs. Zdenko, the wandering artist, is my equal, 
though he does not seem to be." 

Just then her eyes fell on the Schreckenstein, the brow of which 
she saw above a nearer peak, and it seemed to her to be crowned with 
a ruddy color, which feebly changed the transparent blue of heaven. 
She looked closely at it, and saw it become more indistinct, disappear, 
and come again, until it was so distinct that it could not be an illusion 
of the senses. Whether this was but the passing abode of a band of 
Zingari, the haunt of some brigands, or not, it was very evident that 
the Schreckenstein was now occupied by living beings; and Consuelo, 
after her fervent prayer to Almighty God, was no longer disposed to 
believe in the stranger beings with which popular tradition peopled 
the moimtain. Did not Zdenko kindle the fire to ward off the chill 
of the night? If Zdenko was there, was not that fire kindled for Al- 
bert's sake? This light had often been seen on the monntain, and 
all spoke of it with terror, attributing it to some supernaturalism. 
It had a thousand times been said that it came from the enchanted 
trunk of Ziska's tree. The Hussite, however, no longer existed; at 
all events he wiis at the bottom of the ravine, and the red light now 
burned on the top of the mountain. Whither could this mysterious 
light call lier, if not to Albert's retreat? 

" Oh, apathy of immortal souls," said Consuelo, " you are a blessing 
of God or an infirmity of incomplete natures." She asked herself 
if she would have courage to go alone, and her heart replied that for 
a charitable purpose she certainly would. She was, however, flatter- 
ing herself pej-fectly gratuitously in this respect, for the severe disci- 
pline of the castle left her no chance of egress. 

At dawn she awoke, full of zeal, and hurried to the mountain. All 
was silent and deserted, and the grass around the Rock of Terror 
seemed undisturbed. There were no traces of fire, and no evidence 
that any one had been there on the night before. She examined the 
whole mountain, but found nothing; She called for Zdenko, whis- 
tled to arouse the barking of Cynabre, called him again and again. 
She called " Consolation " in every tongue she knew, and sung several 
verses of her Spanish song, and even some of the Bohemian airs of 
Zdenko, which slie remembered perfectly. She heard no r^ply. The 
moss rustled beneath her feet, and the murmur of mysterious waten 
beneath the rocks alone broke on her ear. 

Exhausted by this useless search, she was after a few moments' rest 
about to retire, when she saw at her feet a pale and withered roge-leaf 



CONSUELO. 177 

Sl\e picked it np, unfolded it, and became satisfied that it could not 
but be a leaf of a bouquet she had throwu to Zdeuko. The mountain 
produced none but wild roses, and besides, this was not the season of 
their blooni. Tliis faint index consoled her for all her fatigue and tlie 
apparent uselessness of her walk, persuading her fully that she must 
expect to meet Albert at the Schreckenstein. 

In what impenetrable cavern of the mountain though was he con- 
cealed ? He either was not there all the time, or now had some vio- 
lent cataleptic attack. Perhaps Consuelo was mistaken ^ii thinking 
her voice had any power over him, and liis delight at seeing her was 
but an access of madness, which had left no trace in his memory. 
He now, perhaps, heard and saw her, laughed at her efforts and her 
useless advances. 

At this idea Consuelo felt her cheeks flush, and she left the moun- 
tain at once witli a determination never to return thither. She left 
behind her, though, the basket of fruits she had brought with her. 

On the next day', she found the basket in the same place, perfi?ctly 
untouched, and even the leaves which covered it wei-e undisturbed. 
Her offering had been even dis<1ained, or Albert and Zdeuko had not 
passed it. Yet the red light of the pine-wood fire had burnt all 
night on the mountain brow. 

Consuelo watched until dawn to ascertain this. She had more 
than once seen the light grow bright and dim, as if a careful hand 
attended it. No one had seen Zingari in the vicinity. No stranger 
had been observed on the ourskirts of the forest, and all t'le peasants 
Consuelo examined in relation to the Stone of Teri-or told her in bad 
German, that it was not right to inquire into such things, for that 
people should not look into the affairs of the other world. 

Albert, then, had not been seen for nine days. He had not been 
absent so long before, and this fact, added to the unlucky presages in 
relation to his thirtieth year, were not calculated to revive the hopes 
of his family. They began to be uneasy, and Count Christian began 
to sigh in a most inihappy manner. The baron went out shooting 
but killed nothing, and the chaplain made the most extraordinary 
prayers. Amelia neither laughed nor sung; and her aunt, pale and 
feeble, neglected her domestic- cares, telling lierchaplet trom morning 
till night. She seemed bent a foot more than usual. 

ConsueW ventured to propose a scrupulous and careful exploration 
of the mountain, confessed the examination she had made herself, and 
confided to the canoness the circumstance of the rose-leaf, and the 
careful manner in which she Iiad examined the surface of the moun- 
tain, the arrangements Wenceslawa made for the exploration soon 
induced Consnelo to repent of her confidence. The canoness insisted 
on securing Zdenko's person, or terrifying him, and on sending out 
fifty men with torches and guns. She also wished the chaplain to 
pronounce an exoi'cism over the fatal stone, while the baron, accompa- 
nied by Hans and his most faithful companions, besieged the mountain. 
This was the very way to make Albert staring mad, and by means 
of prayer and persuasion, Consuelo induced Wenceslawa to imder- 
take nothing without her consent. This was her final proposition, 
and the one determined on: they were to leave the chateau on the 
next night and go alone, being followed in the distance by Hans and 
the chaplain, to examine the fire of Schreckenstein. This, however, 
was too much for the canoness. She was satisfied the witches held 
their Sabbath on the Stone of Terror, and all Consuelo eould obtaitt 
" 11 



178 CONSUELO. 

was, that the gates might he opened to her at midnight, and that t 
haron and a few other persons should accompany her without an 
and in silence. It was arranged that Count Christian was to knc 
nothing of this, because his advanced age and feeble health would r 
permit him to do so during the cold and unhealthy season. All kne 
however, he would insist on accompanying them. 

All this was done, as Consuelo had desired. The baron, the cha 
lain, and Hans accompanied them. She went alone a hundred pac 
in advance'of their escort, ascending the mountain with a coura 
worthy of Bradamante. As she drew near, however, the light whi 
seemed to radiate from the fissures of the rock became gradually di 
and when she had come there a deep obscurity enveloped the moii 
tain from the base to the summit. All was silent and solitary. S 
called for Zdenko, Cynabre, and Albert, though when she uttered 1 
name she was terrified. All was silent, and echo replied alone. 

Perfectly discouraged, she soon returned to her guides. They e 
tolled her courage greatly, and ventured to examine the places s 
had left.- They found nothing, and all returned in silence to the ct 
teau, when the canouess, as she heard their story, felt her last ho 
decay. 



CHAPTER XXXVni. 



CoN8TlEi,o, after having received the thanks and the kiss of t 
kind Wenceslawa. went carefully to her room, taking precaution r 
to waken Amelia, from whom the enterprise had been conceali 
She was on the first story, the rooms of the canoness being on t 
ground floor. As she went up the stairway, though, she let fall li 
tight, which went out before she had time to pick it up. She thoug 
she could find iier way without its aid, especially as day was about 
break. Whether, because her mind was strongly engrossed, or tl: 
her courage after such an unusual exertion had been exhausted, it 
once left her, and she trembled so that she went on until she car 
to the upper story, and reached the corridor of Albert's room, ji 
above her own. Completely terror-stricken, she saw a dj^k shade 
I'ctire before her, and glide away as if its feet did not touch the floi 
into the room Consuelo was about to enter, thinking it was her ow 
Amid all her terror, she had enough piesence of mind to examine t 
-figure, and see that it was Zdenko. What business had he to enl 
ner room at that hour, and what had he to say to her? She did r. 
feel disposed to meet him face to face, and went down stairs to s 
Wenceslawa. Not until after she had passed down stairs, a 
through a whole corridor, did she become aware she had seen Zdeu 
enter Albert's room. 

Then a thousand conjectures suggested themselves to her mir 
which was become perfectly cahn and attentive. How had the id 
been able to penetrate by night into a chateau so closely watched a 
examined every night? The apparition of Zdeiiko confirmed an id 
she had always entertained, that the castle had a secret outlet. S 
hurried to the door of the canoness, who had already shut herself 
in her austere cell, and Who shi'ieked aloud when she saw het so pi 
and without a light. 



CONSUELO. 179 

"Do not be uneasy, dear madam," said the young girl to her. 
" This is a new event, whimsical enough, perhaps, which need not 
make you afraid. I have just seen Zdenlvo in Albert's room." 

" Zdeiiko ! You are dreaming, my dear child. How could he have 
got in ? I shut all the gates carefully, as usual ; and all the time you 
were on the mountain 1 kept a close watch. The drawbridge was up, 
and when you passed over it on your return I remained behind to see 
it lifted up again." m 

" Be that as it may, madam, Zdenko is in Albert's room. You can 
satisfy yourself." 

" I will, and will have him put out. He must have come in during 
the day. That proves, my child, that he knows no more where Al- 
bert is than we do." 

" At all events, let us see," said Consuelo. 

" One moment," said the canoness, who, being about to go to bed, 
had taken oflf some of her under-garments, and fancied herself too 
lightly clad. " I cannot thus present myself before a man. Go for 
the chaplain or the baron, the first you see. We cannot expose our- 
selves to meet this madman. Now, though, I think, it will not do for 
a woman like you to knock at their doors. Well, I will soon be ready. 
Wait for me." 

She dressed herself as quickly as possible, acting, though, as if the 
interruption of her usual habits had completely crazed her. Con- 
suelo, impatient lest during the delay Zdenko might leave Albert's 
room and conceal himself somewhere in the castle, regained all her 
energy. " Dear madam," said she, lighting her lamp, " will you call 
the gentlemen, while I take care Zdenko does not escape." 

Going hastily up two flights of stairs, she' opened Albert's door 
without any difficulty. The room, however, was deserted. She went 
into the cabinet, examined every curtain, and even looked imder the 
bed and behind the curtains. Zdenko was not there, and had left no 
trace. 

" Nobody is there," said she to the canoness, who came np-stairs 
with Hans and the chaplain. The baron was in bed and asleep, and 
they had not been able to wake him. 

" I begin to_ be afraid," said the chaplain, rather out of humor at the 
new alarm, " that Porporina is the dupe of her own illusions." 

"No, sir," Said she; " no one of this company is less so than I am." 

" Aud no one," said the good man, " has more true good will. In 
your ardent wish to discover some traces of Albert, you have suffered 
yourself to be deceived." 

" Father," said the canoness, " la Porporina is brave as a lion, and :;» 
prudent as a doctor. If she saw Zdenko, he was here. We must have - 
the house searched, aud, as it is closed, he cannot escape us, thank 
God." 

The other servants were awakened, and every place was searched. 
Every dormitory was opened, every article of furniture was deranged. 
The forage even of the stables was examined. Hans looked even into 
the big boots of the baron. Zdenko was neither in them nor in any 
visible place. All began to think Consuelo had been dreaming. She, 
though, was more satisfied than ever that there was a mysterious 
outlet to the castle, and this she resolved to discover. After a few 
hours' rest, she resolved to look again. The building in which her 
rooms were (Albert's were there too), was, as it were, hung on the 
bill side. This picturesque position had been selected by Albert, be- 



180 CONSUELO. 

cause it enabled him to enjoy a fine southern yiew, and on the ea 
overlook a pretty garden on a level with his workshop. He was foi 
of flowers, and cultivated some rare plants in beds on the terrace, tl 
earth to form which had been brought thither from below. The te 
race was surrounded by a heavy stone wall, breast high, overlookii 
rough rocks and a flow«ry belvidera on one side, and on the other a lari 
portion of the Boehmer-wald. Consuelo had never yet been in tli 
place, and admired its fine position and picturesque arrangeraer 
She then made the chaplain tell her what had been the use of th 
terrace since the time the castle had been transformed from a fortre 
into a residence. 

He said it was an old bastion, a kind of fortified terrace, when 
the garrison were able to watch the motions of troops in the valley i 
mountains around. Every pass was visible hence. Once a high wi 
with loopholes surrounded the platform, and protected the garrist 
from the arrows of the enemy. 

" What is this? " said Consuelo, approaching a cistern in the mid 
of the parterre, and in which was a narrow winding stairway. 

" This once supplied the garrison abundantly with spring watt 
It was of vast importance to the fortress." 

" This water is then fit to drink," said Consuelo, as she looked 
the green and slimy water of the cistern. " To me it looks as if 
had been disturbed." 

" It is not good now, or, at least, it is not always good, and Coui 
Albert uses it only to water his flowers. I must tell you that aboi 
two months ago a strange phenomenon took place in this fountai 
The spring (for there is one in the mountain) became intennltter 
For several weeks the water sinks rapidly, and Count Albert maki 
Zdenko bring up buckets-full to water his plants. All at once, somi 
times during one night or one hour, the cistern becomes filled wil 
warm troubled water, as you see now. Some phenomenon of th 
kind must have taken place during the night, for on yesterday on 
the cistern was clear and full, and now it looks as if it had" bee 
empty and filled again." 

" These phenomena do not recur regularly? " 

" No. I would have examined them carefully, had not Count A 
bert, who keeps all from entering his room and his garden, with tl 
sternness he exhibits in every respect, forbade me to do 'So." 

" How, then, do you explain the disappearance of the water i 
other times? " 

" By the great quantity required for the Count's flowers." 
^^; " Many hours, it seems to me, would be required to empty this ci 
tern. Is it not deep ? " 

" Not deep ? It has no bottom." 

" Then your explanation is not satisfactory," said Consuelo, amaze 
at the chaplain's folly." 

"Find a better one, then," said he, sharply. 

"Certainly I will," said Consuelo, completely engrossed by th 
caprices of the fountain. 

"Oh! if you ask Count Albert about it," said the chaplain, wh 
would have willingly acquired an ascendency over the clear-sisshte 
stranger, " he would tell you they are the tears of his mother, collec 
ed in the centre of the mountain. The famous Zdenko, to j^hom yo 
attrilnite so much penetration, would say that some syren "sang tliei 
to those who had ears to hear. They have baptised this well ' tl 



CONSTJELO. ' 181 

fountain of tears.' All that may be very fenclful to persons who are 
satisfied with Pagan fables." 

" They do not satisfy me, and I will find out this secret." 

" For my part," said the chaplain, " I think there must be an 
escapement in some other part of the fountain." 

" Certainly," said Consuelo, " otherwise it would always overflow." 

" Certainly, certainly," said the chaplain, unwilling to confess that 
the idea occurred to him for the first time. " One need noj go far to 
ascertain so simple a thing. Thei-e must, though, be some derange- 
ment in the canals since the spring does not maintain its old level." 

"Are those natural veins, or artificial aqueducts?" said the self- 
willed Consuelo. " It is important to ascertain this." 

" No one can do so," said the chaplain ; " for Count Albert will per- 
mit no one to interfere with his fountain, and has positively ordered 
that it shall not be cleaned out." 

"I was sure of it," said Consuelo, going away. "I think yon are 
right to respect his wishes; for God only knows what may be the 
result if his syren be contradicted." 

" It seems clear to me," said the chaplain, as she left, " that that 
young lady's mind is as much out of order as Count Albert's. Folly 
is contagious. Perhaps Porpora has sent her hither to be revived 
by country air. If I did not look at the obstinacy with which she 
insisted on explaining away the mystery of the fountain, I would be 
half inclined to think her the daughter of some canal-maker of Ve- 
nice, and pretending to know all about such things. I can see, 
though, from her last words, and her hallucination about Zdenko this 
morning, and taking us up in the mountain, that it is a fancy of the 
same kind. She takes it into her head Count Albert is in the well. 
Poor children, will they ever become reasonable? " 

The good chaplain then went to tell his beads until diimer time. 

Consuelo said to herself, " Idleness and apathy miist beget a strange\ 
weakness of mind, to make this holy man, who has read and learned 
so much, have no idea of my suspicions about this fountain. Forgive 
me, oh God! but that servant and minister of thine makes little use 
of his reason. They say Zdenko is imbecile! " Consuelo then went 
to give the young baroness a lebson in music, to while away the time, 
until she might be at liberty to begin her examination again. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



" Havk you ever been present at the falling of the water, or seen 
it re-ascend?" said Consuelo, in a low voice, to the chaplain, as he 
sat comfortably digesting his dinner during the evening. 

" What — what did you say ? " cried he, bounding up in his chair, 
and rolling his great round eyes. 

" I was speaking to you of the cistern," returned she, without be- 
ing disconcerted : " have you ever yourself observed the occurrence 
of the phenomenon ? " 

" Ah, yes — the cistern — I remember." replied he, with a smile of 
pity. " There," thought he, " her crazy fit has attacked her again." 

" But you have not answered my question, my dear chaplain," said 



182 CONSUELO. 

Consuelo, who pursued her object with that kind of eagerness whic 
characterised all her thoughts and actions, and which was m 
prompted in the least by any malicious feeling towards the wortl 
man. 

" I must confess, mademoiselle," replied he, coldly, " that I w; 
never fortunate enough to observe that to which you refer; and 
assure you I never lost my sleep on that account." 

" Oh, I am very certain of that," replied the impatient Consuelo. 

The (ihaplain shrugged his shoulders, and with a great eifort ro; 
from his chair, in order to escape from so very ardent an inquirer. 

" Well, since no one here is willing to lose an hour's sleep for so ir 
pdrtant a discovery, I will devote my whole night to It if necessary 
thought Consuelo ; and while waiting for the hour of retiring, si 
wrapped herself in her mantle, and proceeded to talie a turn in tl 
garden. 

The night was cold and bright, and the mists of evening dispers( 
in proportion as the moon, then full, ascended towards the empyrea 
The stars twinkled more palely at her approach, and the atmosphe 
was dry and clear. Consuelo, excited, but not overpowered, by tl 
mingled effects of fatigue, want of sleep, and the generous, but pe 
haps rather unhealthy sympathy she experienced for Albert, felt 
slight sensation of fever, which the cool evening air could not diss 
pate. It seemed to her as if she touched upon the fulfilment of b 
enterprise, and a romantic presentiment, which she interpreted as 
command and encouragement from Providence, kept her mind ui 
easy and agitated. She seated herself upon a little grassy hilloc 
studded with larches, and began to listen to the feeble and plaintii 
sound of the streamlet at the bottom of the valley. But it seemed : 
her as if another voice, still more sweet and plaintive, mingled wil 
the murmurings of the water and by d-egrees floated upwards to hi 
ears. She stretched herself upon the turf, in order, being nearer tt 
earth, to hear better those light sounds which the breeze waft* 
towards her every moment. At last she distinguished Zdenko's voic 
He sang in German, and by degrees she could distinguish the follo\ 
ing words, tolerably well arranged to a Bohemian air, which wi 
characterised by the same simple and plaintive expression as tho; 
she had already heard : — 

" There is down there, down there, a soul in pain and in labo 
which awaits her deliverance. 

" Her deliverance, her consolation, so often promised. 

" The deliverance seems enchained, the consolation seems pitiless. 

" There is down there, down there, a soul in pain and in labor whii 
Is weary of waiting." 

When the voice ceased singing Consuelo rose, looked in every c 
rection for Zdenko, searching the whole park and garden to find hii 
called him in various places, but was obliged to return to the cast 
without having seen him. 

But an hour afterwards, when the whole household had joined in 
long prayer for Count Albert, and when everybody had retired to res 
Consuelo hastened to place herself near the Fountain of Tears, ar 
seating herself upon the margin, amid the thick mosses and wat 
plants which grew there naturally, and the irises which Albert lu 
planted, she fixed her eyes upon the motionless water, in which tl 
moon, then arrived at the zenith, was reflected as in a mirror. 

After the lapse of about an hour, as the courageous girl, overcome I 



CQNSUELO. 183 

fetigue, felt her eyelids close, she was awakened by a light murnnir on 
the surface of the water. She looked around, and saw the reflection 
of the moon vibrating on tlie mirror of the fountain. At the same 
time a bubbling and an indistinct noise, at first imperceptible, but 
growing gradually impetuous, was heard. She saw the water gradu- 
ally sink; and in a quarter of an hour disappear. She ventured to 
descend a few steps. The stairway, which seemed to have been made 
to enable the tide level of the water to be reached, was formed of vast 
blocks of granite cut in a spiral form. The slippery steps afforded her 
no resting-place, and descended to a great depth. Darkness, the drip- 
ping of the rest of the water down the immeasurable precipices, and 
the impossibility of a steady step, put an end to the mad attempt of 
Consuelo. She ascended, with her face looking downwards, with great 
difficulty, and pale and terrified, sat on the first step. 

The waters seemed to sink in the bowels of the earth. The noise 
became more and more indistinct, and Consuelo had almost resolved 
to go for a light to examine the interior of the cistern. She was, how- 
ever, afraid that the person she expected would not come, and there- 
fore was motionless for half an hour. At last she fancied that she 
saw a faint light at the bottom of the well, which seemed gradually to 
grow near her. -She was soon relieved of all doubt, for she saw Zden- 
ko come up the stairway, holding on by an iron cli^ain which was fas- 
tened to the rock. The noise he made, as he took hold of the chain 
and again let it go, informed Consuelo of the existence of a regular 
stairway, and relieved her from all anxiety. Zdenko had a lantern, 
which he hung on a hook, intended to be used for the purpose, and 
which was about twenty feet below the ground. He then came rapr 
idly up the rest of the stairway without using the chain or any appar- 
ent aid. Consuelo looked at him with the greatest attention, and saw 
him assist himself by various points of the rock, and by several para- 
sitic plants which seemed more vigorous than the other, and it may 
be, by various nails driven into the wall, with the position of which 
he was familiar. As soon as he was able to see Consuelo, she hid her- 
self behind the balustrade, at the top of the stairway. Zdenko went 
out and began to gather with much care certain choice flowers. He 
then went into Albert's room through a glass door, and Consuelo saw 
him look among the books for one which he seemed at last to find. 
He then returned to the cistern with a smile on his face, and at the 
same time talking almost inaudibly, as if he was afraid to' awaken the 
inmates of the house, and yet was anxious to talk to himself 

Consuelo had not, as yet, asked herself whether she should speak to 
him and ask him to take her to Albert. To tell the truth, she was at 
this time amazed at what she saw, and rejoiced at having had a pre- 
sentiment of what she saw to be the truth. She had not courage 
enough, though, to venture to descend into the bowels of the earth, 
and suffered Zdenko to descend again, take his lantern and disappear 
— his voice resuming its power as he went into the depths of his re- 
treat: — " Liberty is manacled and consolation is pitiless." 

With a beating heart and a neck outstretched. Consuelo ten times 
at least was on the point of recalling him. She was resolved at one 
time to make a heroic effort, when she remembered that from surprise 
the poor man might quail and tremble, and that dizziness might cause 
his death. She did not therefore call, but resolved on the next day to 
be more courageous, and to call him at the proper time. 

She waited to see the water rise, and on this occasion it did so more 



184 coJ?rsuK^,o. 

rapidly. Scarcely a quarter of an hour had passed since Zdenko* 
Voice became inaudible and the light of his lantern invisible, when 
hoarse noise, not unlike the rolling of distant thunder, was hearc 
The water rushed up violently, whirling around the walls of the we! 
and boiling impetuously. This sudden rush of water was so violen 
that Consuelo trembled for poor Zdenko, and asked herself if in thu 
sporting with danger and controlling the powers of nature, he was no 
in danger of being carried away, and some day of reappeanng on th 
surface of the water crushed and bruised, like the slimy plants sh 
saw floating on the surface. 

" Yet everything must necessaiily be very simple. He needed onl; 
to lift up or shut down a flood-gate — perhaps he had only to pusj 
down a stone as he entered, and remove it as he left. Might not thi 
man, always preoccupied and immersed in reveries, Ije mistaken somi 
day and move the stone a moment too soon ? Did lie come up by tin 
same passage which led from the spring? 1 must go through, though 
either with, or without him, and that at no more remote an hour thar 
the next night — 'For a soul is in toil below waiting for, and anxioni 
because I do not come.' Tliat was not sung by chance, and not vvitli 
out diflSculty did Zdenko, who hates German and pronounces it im 
perfectly, speak to-day .in that tongue." 

At last she wenlito bed, but passed tlie whole night a prey to terri 
ble night-mares. JFever was beginning; she was not aware of it, s< 
full was she of power and resolution. Every now and then, though 
she awoke suddenly, imagining that she was yet on the stairs of tha: 
terrible well, williout being able to ascend them, while the water ros< 
around her rapidly as possible. 

She was on the next day so changed that everybody remarked it 
The chaplain could not help saying to the canoness, that this " agi-ee 
able and obliging person " seemed to be a little deranged. The good 
Wenceslawa, who was unused to see so much courage and devotion, 
began to fancy that the young daughter was very excitable and ner- 
vous. She had too much confidence in her iron-bound doors and the 
keys which always hung at her belt, to fancy it possible for Zdenko to 
enter and leave at night. She then spoke kindly to Consuelo, and be- 
sought ber not to identify herself with their family misfortunes, and 
endanger her health. She also sought to give her hopes of the speedy 
return of her nephew, though she had began to lose all hope of it her- 
self. Indeed, she was under the influence of both hope and fear 
when Consuelo replied to her with a glance brilliant with satisfac- 
tion — 

"You are right to think and hope so, madara. Count Albert is 
alive and not sick, I hope. He yet is anxious about his books and 
flowers in his retreat— I am ceitain of it. and can satisfy you." 

" What mean you, my child?" said Wenceslawa. overcome by her 
manner. " What have you discovered ? Tell me, for heaven's sake. 
Eestore peace to our family." 

" Tell Count Chi-istian that his son is alive and not far away. It is 
as true as that I love and respect you." 

The canoness went at once to her brother, who had not yet come 
down stairs. A glance and sigh, however, from the chaplain, induced 
her to pause. " Let us not without care give such pleasure to my 
poor Christian," said she. " What if the fact should soon contradict 
your promises! Ah! my child, we would then be the murdereis of 
the uufortimate father." 



CONSUELO. 1S5 

" Do yon tTien doubt my word ? " said Coiisnelo, amsized. 

"God keep me from doing so, my noble Niiui: you may bp mis- 
taken. — Alas! that often happens to us. You say you liave pi'oofs, 
my dear cliild — can you not mention them? " 

"I cannot — at least it seems to me that I cannot," said Coiisiielo, 
witli embarrassment. "I have discovered a secret, to whicii Count 
Albert ci'rtainly attaches much importance, and I cannot betiay it 
■without his consent." 

" Without his consent! " said the canoness, looking at tlie chaplain 
with an expression of doubt. " Can she have seen him ? " 

The chaplain shrugged his shoulders imperceptibly, without under- 
standing the grief he thus inflicted on Wenceslawa. 

" I have not seen him," said Consuelo; " I will soon, however, do 
so, and so too will you. For that reason I shall be afraid, if I contra- 
dict his wishes, to prevent his return." 

" May divine truth make its liome in your heart, generous being," 
said Wenceslawa, looking at her anxiously and sorrowfully. " Keep 
your secret, if you have one, and restore Albert to us if you can. All 
I itnow is, that if this be ever realized, I shall kiss your knees as I now 
do your poor brow — humid and burning as it is," said she. After 
having kissed the young girl, she looked towards tlie chaplain with an 
excited air. 

"If she is mad," she said to the latter, as soon as slie could speak 
without witnesses, " she is yet an angel of goodness, and seems to be 
more occupied with our sufferings than we are ourselves. Ah ! my 
father, there is a malediction weighing over this house. All that have 
any sublimity of feeling are attacked witli madness, and our life is 
passed m complaining of what we are forced to admire." 

"I do mnch admire the kind emotions of this young stranger," said 
the cha|)lain. " You may, however, be sure that she is mad. Slie 
dreamed of Count Albert last niglit, and represents her visions as cer- 
tainties. Be careful to leave undisturbed the pious and submissive 
heart of your brother. Perhaps, too, you should not encourage the 
temerity of this Signorina Porporina. They may precipitate her into 
dangers of another kind than those she has hitherto been willing to 
brave." 

" I do not understand you," said the canoness, with grave naiveU. 

" I find not a little difficulty in explaining myself," said the worthy 
man. " Yet it appears to me, that if a secret understanding, innocent 
though it be, should be established between this young artist and the 
count " 

" Well ? " said the canoness, staring. 

"Weill madam, do you not think that sentiments of interest and 
anxiety, innocent however they might be at first, from the force of 
circumstances and the influence of romantic ideas, may become dan- 
gerous to the repose and quiet of the young artist? " 

" I never would have thought of that," said the canoness, who was 
struck with the reflection. " So you think, father, that Porporina 
can so far forget her humble and uncertain position, in associating 
with one so far above her as the Count of Rudolstadt, my nephew? " 

" The Count of Rudolstadt might himself aid her iri doing so, with- 
out the intention, however, from the manner in which he spoke of 
the advantage of rank and bii-th." 

" You malse me very uneasy," said Wenceslawa, all the family pride 
of whom was awakened. — " This was her only bad trait. Can the 



186 CONSUELO. 

idea have germinated in the young girl's mind ? Can there be in hi 
agitation and anxiety to find Albert, more than her attachment ' 
us?" 

" As yet I think not," said the canon, who had no wish but by h 
advice and counsel, to play an important part in the family, thou' 
he all the time preserved the air of obsequious submission. " Yc 
must, however, my dear daughter, keep your eyes open to the cour 
of events, and your vigilance must never forget such dangers. Th 
is a delicate rule, and it suits you precisely. It requires the consol 
tion with which God has gifted you." 

After this conversation, the canoness seemed completely overcora 
She forgot that Albert was, as it were, lost to her, and was now dyii 
or dead, and remembered only the horrors of an imequal match, 
she called it. She was like the Indian in the fable, who having a 
cended a tree while under the influence of terror in the form of 
tiger, amused himself by driving a fly from his head. 

She watched all day every motion of Porporina, and carefully a 
alyzed every word and act. Our heroine — for such she was in eve 
sense of the term — saw this, but did not attribute it to any other m 
tive than the desire to see her keep her promise, by restoring Albei 
She did not think it worth while to conceal her own agitation, so cal 
and quiet did her conscience seem, for she was rather proud of h 
plan than ashamed of it. This modest confusion, which a few da 
before had awakened the young count's enthusiasm, was dissipated 
the touch of a serious determination, free from any personal vanit 
The bitter sarcasms of Amelia, who had a presentimejit of her ente 
prise, without any knowledge of its details, did not at all excite he 
she scarcely heard her and replied to her by smiles. She sufferi 
the canoness— the ears of whom were always open — the care of regi 
tering, commenting on, and interpreting them. 



CHAPTER' XL. 

Yet, when she saw herself watched by Wenceslawa as she ha 
never been, Consuelo was afraid of being contradicted by mistake 
zeal, and remained calm, cold, and cautious as possible, by means < 
which she escaped during the day, and went with a light heart 
Schreckenstein. In doing so she had no idea but to.meet Zdenko, ai 
force him to an explanation, and make him inform her if he wnu 
take her to Albert. She found him near the castle, on the road to tl 
mountain. He seemed to come towards her, and spoke Bohemis 
with great rapidity. 

"Alas ! I do not understand you," said Consuelo, when she was ab 
to interrupt him. " I scarcely know G-erman, that harsh langua< 
you hate, as the badge of slavery, and wliicli reminds me of exil 
Since, though, there is no other means for us to understand ea< 
other, speak it with me. We each understand it slightly, and I w 
learn Bohemian if you will teach me." 

These words appealed to Zdenko's sympathies, and he gave Consu 
lo his hard hand, which she did not hesitate to clasp. '-Blessed child 
said he, " I will teach you my language and all my songs. \Vh 
shall I beain with ? " 



C0N3UBL0. 187 

Consnelo thought she would humor his whim hy making use of the 
same means of interro£;ation. " I wish you," said she, " to sing me 
the ballad of Count Albert." 

" There are," said he, " more than two hundred thousand ballads 
about my brother Albert. I cannot teach them to you, for you can- 
not understand them. I make new ones every day altogether differ- 
ent from the old ones. Ask something else." 

"Why shall I not understand- them? I am consolation. I am 
named Consuelo to you and to Count Albert, who alone knows me 
here." 

" You Consuelo," said Zdenko, laughing in derison. " Tou do not 
know what you say; deliverance is bound." 

" I know that; consolation is pitiless. You, though, know nothing, 
Zdenko. Liberty has broken its chains, and consolation its fetters." 

"No, no. Folly and German words," said Zdenko, repressing his 
tricks and laughter, " you cannot sing." 

" Yes, I can. Listen," — and she sang the first verse of his song on 
the three mountains, which she had retained in her memory, and 
which Amelia had taught her to pronounce. 

Zdenko listened with delight, and said, with a sigh, " I love you 
dearly; shall I teach you another song? " 

"Yes; that of Count Albert, first in German; the Bohemian you 
shall teach me at some oiher time." 

" How does it begin ? " said Zdenko, looking mischievously at her. 

Consuelo began in a low tone the song she had heard on the pre- 
vious evening. " There is below, there is below, a soul in labor and 
pain." 

" Ah ! that was yesterday's song ; to-day I have forgotten it," said 
Zdenko, interrupting her. 

" Well, tell me to-day's." 

" Let me have the first words. That you must tell me." 

" The first words ? Here they are, — ' Count Albert is below in the 
cavern of Schreckenstein.'" 

No sooner had she pronounced these words than Zdenko at once 
changed his air and manner. He stepped backwards several paces 
and lifted up his hands as if he was about to curse her. At the same 
time he began to speak Bohemian with all the energy of anger and 
menace. 

At first she was alarmed, but seeing that he was about to go, she 
sought to retain him. He turned round, and seizing a stone, so large 
that he could scarcely hold it with his thin, skeleton hands, be said — 
"Zdenko hitherto has done wrong to no one; Zdenko would not 
break the wing of a fly, and if a child wished to kill him he would 
submit. If you look at me again — if you speak to me, false and 
treacherous Austrian, daughter of the evil one — Zdenko will crush 
you as he would a worm, and then cast himself into the torrent to 
wipe away the stain of human blood ! " 

Consuelo fled in terror, and met at the end of the path a peasant, 
who, amazed at seeing her run so pale and terror-stricken, asked her 
if she had met a wolf 

Consuelo, anxious to ascertain if Zdenko was liable to such attacks, 
told him she had met the innocent, who had frightened her. 

" You should not fear him,"' said the peasant, smiling at what he 
thought her timidity. " Zdenko is a good fellow, and either laughs 
or sings, or tells stories which we do not understand, but which are 
very beautiful." 



188 C O N S U E L O. 

" But he gets angry sometimes, and, then threatens and throws 
stones." 

" No, no," said the peasant, " that never has happened, and nevei 
will. You must not be afraid of Zdenko, who is hu angel." 

When she had recovered, Consuelo thought tlie peasant must be 
right, and that by her imprudence she had provoked the only attack 
of madness he had ever suffered with. She reproached herself bit- 
terly, and said — " I was too eager, and have awakened in the quiel 
soui of this man, deprived of what they proudly call reason, a suffer- 
ing he has hitherto been ignorant of, but which will now take posses- 
sion of him on every opportunity. He was a maniac, and perhaps ] 
have made him incurably mad." 

She became yet more sad when she sought for the motives of Zden- 
ko's auger. It was now certain that her suspicions were verified of 
Albert's retreat in Schreckenstein. With what zealous care did Albert 
and Zdenko conceal the secret from them. She was not privileged- 
she had no influence over Count Albert, and this feeling which had 
induced liim to call her his Consolation, the care he had taken the 
evening before to attract her attention by a symbolic chaunt, had 
been but a momentary whim, without any true and constant inspira- 
tion pointing to her rather than another as his consoler and libera- 
trix. This very word. Consolation, pronounced and divined by him, 
was a mere matter of chance. She had concealed from no one thai 
she was Spanish, and her maternal language was yet more familiar to 
her than Italian. Albert, enchanted by her voice, and aware of no 
more energetic expression than tliat which expressed the idea lie was 
so anxious about, and which so completely engrossed his imagination, 
had spoken in a tongue he knew perfectly, and which no one else 
about them understood. 

Consuelo had never been so mucli deceived in this respect Still, so 
fanciful and so ingenious a coincidence had seemed to her something 
providential, and her imagination had seized upon it without much 
examination. 

But now everything was once more douhtfiil. Had Albert, in some 
new phase of his mania, forgotten the feeling he had experienced for 
her? Was she henceforth useless for his relief, powerless for his wel- 
fare? or was Zdenko, who had appeared so iutelligeut and earnest in 
seconding Albert's designs, more hopelessly deranged than Consuelo 
had been willing to suppose ? Did he merely execute the ordere of 
his friend, or did he completely forget them, when he furiously foi^ 
bade to the yourig girl all approach to the Schreckenstein, and all in- 
sight into the truth ? 

" Well," whispered Amelia on her return, " did you see Albert this 
evening floating in the sunset clouds? or will you make him come 
down the chimney to-night by some potent spell ? " 

" Perhaps so," replied Consuelo, a little provoked. It was the first 
time in her life that she felt her pride wounded. She had entered upon 
her enterprise with so pure and disinterested a feeling, so earnest and 
high-minded a purpose, that she suffered deeply at the idea of being 
bantered and despised for want of success. 

She was dejected and melancholy all the evening; and the canoness, 
who remarked the change, did not fail to attribute it to her fear of 
having disclosed the fatal attachment which had been horn in her 
heart. 

The canoness was strangely deceived. If Consuelo had nourished 



' CONSUELO. 189 

the first seeds of a new passion, she would have heen an e^tire^stran- 
ger to the fervent faith and holy confidence which had hitherto guid- 
ed and sustained her. But so far frqm this, she had perhaps never 
experienced the poignanp return of lierrformer passion more strongly, 
than under these circuuKtances, when she strove to withdraw herself 
from it by deeds of heroism and a sort of exalted humanity. 

When she returned to her room, she saw on her spinet an old gild- 
ed book with the coats of arms engraved on it. She saw at once it 
was an old book she had seen in Albert's room, and that Zdenko Iiad 
taken away on the previous night. She opened it at the place where 
there was a mark. This was at the place where tlie psahn De pro- 
fundis ciamavi ad te begins. These Latin words were underlined 
with an ink which was as yet scarcely dried, for it had run into the 
next page. She looked through the whole book, which was a famous 
old Bible, known as that of de Kralic's, and published in 1579. Slie 
found in it no note, no indication whence it came. A simple cry, 
though, seemed to come from the earth, as it were from the abyss ; 
not, perhaps, significative, but eloquent. What a contradiction there 
was between tlie formal and constant vow ot Albert and the recent 
behavior of Zdenko. 

This last idea arrested Consnelo's attention. Albert was sick and 
overcome at the depth of the cavern, whiclj she supposed was beneath 
the Schreckenstein, and was perhaps retained there by the mad love 
of Zdenko. Perhaps he was a victim to this madman, who perhaps 
loved, though he kept him liis prisoner. Yielding sometimes to his 
wish to return to the upper earth, and fulfilling all his messages to 
Conuelo, though sometimes he prevented his success, by interpos- 
ing a kind of indefinite terror. 

" Well," said she, " I will go, if I even have to confront the ridicu- 
lous foliy of fooih and egotists ; 1 will go. even if the person who calls 
me dares to humiliate me by his U)difference. How, though, can I be 
humiliated, if he is, perhaps, as mad as poor Zdenko ? I shall only 
have to pity both of them; and then, I will have done mv duty. I 
sliall have obeyed the voice of God who inspires me, and his hand, 
which impels me with irresistible foi'ce." 

The feverish state in which she had been for some days, and which 
since she had seen Zdenko, had replaced a painful languor, again ex- 
hibited itself in her soul and body. She regained all her power, and 
concealing from Amelia both her design and the book, exchanged va- 
rious pleasant words with her, saw her go to sleep, and set out for the 
fountain of tears-, with a little dark lantern she had procured on that 
very morning. 

She waited for a long time, and was forced to go more than onci- 
into Albert's studio, to revive her half-chilled limbs by a warmer at- 
mosphere. She ventured to look over this enormous mass of books, 
not arranged on shelves as in a library, but cast pell-mell on the floor, 
as if in contempt and disgust. She ventured to open several of them. 
Almost all of them were in Latin, and Consueloatonce conceived the 
idea that they were on religious controversy, and had either emanated 
from the Roman church, or been approved by it. She sought to as- 
certain their titles, but, just then, heard the water bubbling in the 
fountain. She went thither, putting out her light, and hid herself 
until Zdenko came. He, on this occasion, paused neither in the par- 
terre nor in the library. He went through the two rooms, and left 
Albert's apartment, as Consuelo ascertained at a later time, to go and 



190 CONSUELO. 

listenlit the oratory of Count Christian, to ascertain if the old man 
was awake in trouble, or sound asleep. This anxiety was always ex- 
erting not a little influence over him, though Albert, as we shall see 
by-and-by, had never thought|^bout it. 

Consuelo did not at all doubt about the course she should adopt: 
her plans had already been formed. She bad no longer any confi- 
dence either in the honor or the benevolence of Zdeulro, and wished 
to see him whom she considered a prisoner, and, as it were, under 
guard. There was certainly but one way of passing under ground 
from the castle cistern to Schreckenstein. If this way was difficult 
and dangerous, at all events, it was pi-acticable, for Zdenko passed 
through it every night. At all events, light would be of advantage; 
and Consuelo had provided herself with light, a piece of steel, wad- 
ding, and a flint, to be able to strike a light whenever she pleased. 
What made her sure of reaching Schreckenstein in this manJiier, was 
an old story she had heard told by the canoness, in relation to a siege 
of the Teutonic knights. 

'• The knights," said Wenceslawa, " had in their very refectory a 
cistern, through which they obtained water from the neighboring 
mountain, and vphen their spies went out to watch the enemy, they 
exhausted the cistern, and passed through its subterranean conduits 
to a village whicii belonged to them." 

Consuelo remembered that, according to the chronicle of the coun- 
try, the village which was on the hill, known as Schreckenstein, had, 
since the conflagration, depended on the Giant's fortress, and had, in 
time of siege, maintained secret communications with it. She had, 
then, sufficient reason to search out this commimication and this 
issue. 

She took advantage of Zdenko's absence to descend into the well. 
Before she went, she recommended herself to God, and made the 
sign of the cross, as she did in the theatre of Saint Samuel, before -she 
appeared on the stage, for the first time. She then descended the 
winding staircase, and looked for the chain, &c., which she had seen 
Zdenko hold on by, taking care, to avoid vertigo, not to look down. 
She got hold of the Iron chain without any difficulty, and when she 
had done so, felt herself at ease. Then she ventured to look down. 
There was yet some water, and this discovery caused her not a little 
ernotlon. Soon, however, she recovered her presence of mind — the 
well might be very deep, yet the opening through which Zdenko came 
could not be very far down. She had already gone down fifty steps, 
with au address and activity of which young girls educated in draw- 
ing-rooms are ignorant, but which people of the lower orders acquire 
in their childhood's games, and the hardy -confidence of which they 
presei-ve through all their life. The only real danger was In passing 
over damp steps. Consuelo found in one of the corners an old hat 
the Baron Frederick used to wear when he hunted. She took pos- 
session of It, and made sandals which she tied on her shoes, after the 
fashion of the old cothurni. She had observed that Zdenko was sim- 
ilarly shod. With his felt shoes Zdenko passed noiselessly through 
the corridors of the castle, and seemed to glide rather than walk. 
Thus the Hussites had been wont to shoe their spies, and evffll their 
horses, when they wished to surprise the enemy. At the fifty-second 
step, Consuelo found a kind of landing-place, with a stairway. She 
did not hesitate to enter it, and to advance, half-bpnt, into a narrow 
subterranean gallery, dripping with water, and which evidently had 



* CONSUELO. 191 

She proceeded dowii it without any difficulty, for some minutes, 
when she fancied she heard a slight noise beliind her. Zdenkn. per- 
haps, was returning to the mountain. _She was, however, in advance 
of him, and increased her pace to avoid jso dangerous a companion. 
He could not suspect that she was in advance of him. He had no 
reason to run after her; and, while he amused himself by muttering 
alone his complaiuts and interminable stories, she would be able to 
place herself under Albert's protection. 

The noise she had heaj-d increased, and became like that of water, 
which growls, struggles,''''and bursts forth. What had happened? 
Had Zdenko becom"e aware of her intention ? Had he pulled up the 
floodgate to destroy her? He could not do so, however, until he had 
passed her, and now he was behind her. This reflection gave her 
very 'little confidence. Zdenko was capable of destroying and of 
drowning Ijimself rather than betray Albert. Consuelo, nevertheless, 
saw no floodgate, nothing to restrain the water. It must, therefore, 
come from below, yet the noise seemed to have its origin behind her. 
It increased, however, came nearer to her, and seemed to have the 
voice of thunder. 

Suddenly Consuelo made a horrible discovery, and saw that the gal- 
lery, instead of ascending, descended, at first, gently, and then by a 
more rapid inclination. She had mistaken, her way, in her anxiety, 
and in the dense vapor exhaled from the cistern, she had not seen the 
second and larger entrance, which was opposite the one she had taken. 
She had gone into the passage way, which served as a kind of escape 
pipe," instead of ascending the one which led to the reservoir or to the 
source. Zdenko, who had taken the opposite direction, had quietly 
lifted up the flood-gate, and the cistern was already filled to the level 
of the escape pipe. The water was already rushing into the gallery 
where Consuelo was, completely overcome by amazement. Ere long, 
this gallery, which was so contrived that the cistern, losing less water 
than it received, became filled, and had something to spare. In the 
twinkling of an eye, the escape was inundated, and began to roll down 
the declivity. The vault, already humid, bade fair, ere long, to be filled, 
and there was no prospect of escape. Eapidity of ilight would not save 
the unhappy fugitive from the torrent. The air was already intercept- 
ed by tlie mass of water which was rushing down with a great noise. 
A stifling heat interfered with respiration, and did as much as fear and 
despair to suspend animation. Consuelo already heard the nmtter- 
ing of the stream. A red foam, the unpromising lierald of the flood, 
sped over the pavement, and preceded the uncertain steps of the terri- 
fied victim. 



CHAPTER SLI. 

"O MY mother!" she cried, "open thine arms to receive me! O 
Anzoleto, I love thee! O my God, receive my soul into a better 
world ! " 

Hardly had she uttered this cry of agony to heaven, when she 
tripped and stumbled over some object in" her path. O surprise! O 
divine goodness 1 It is a steep and narrow staircase, openiuij from 



192 C O N S U E L O. 

one.of ^e walls of the gallery, and up which she rushes on the wing 
of fear and of hope ! The vault rises before her— the torrent dashe 
forward— strikes the staircase which Consuelo had just time to clea 
—engulfs the first ten steps— wets to the ankle the agile feet whicl 
fly before it, and filling at last to the vaulted roof the gallery whicl 
Consuelo had left behind her, is swallowed up in darkriess, and fall 
with a horrible din into a deep reservoir, which the heroic girl look 
down upon from a little platform she lias reached on her knees an( 
iu darkness. 

Her candle had been extinguished. A vioJent gust of wind ha( 
preceded the irruption of the mass of waters. Consuelo fell prostrati 
upon the last step, sustained hitherto by the instinct of self-preserva 
tion, but ignorant if she was saved — if the din of this cataract wa 
not a new disaster which was about to overtake her — if the cold spra; 
which dashed up even to where she was kneeling, and bathed he 
hair, was not the chilling hand of death extended to seize her. 

In the meantime, the reservoir is filled by degrees to the height of 
other deeper waste ways, which carry still farther into the bowels ol 
the earth the current of the abundant spring. The noise diminishes 
the vapors are dissipated, and a hollow and harmonious murmu 
echoes through the caverns. With a trembling hand, Consuelo sue 
ceeds in relighting her candle. Her heart beats violently against he; 
bosom, but her courage is restored, and throwing herself on he; 
knees, she thanks God. Lastly, she examines the place in which sh( 
is, and throws the trembling light of her lantern upon the surround 
ing objects. A vast cavern, hollowed by the band of nature, is ex 
tended like a roof over an abyss into which the distant fouutair 
of the Schreckenstein flows, and loses itself iu the recesses of th( 
moimtain. This abyss is so deep that the water which dashi^s iutc 
it cannot be seen at the bottom; but, when a stone is thnnvji iji, il 
is heard falling for the space of two minutes, with a noise resera 
bling thiuider. The echoes of the cavern repeat it for a limg time 
and the hollow and frightful dash of the water is heard still longer 
and might be taken for the bowlings of the infernal pack. At om 
side of this cavern a narrow dangerous path hollowed out of th( 
rocks runs along the margin of the precipice, and is lost in anothei 
gallery where the labor of man ceases, and which talces an upward 
direction and leaves the course of the current as it turns toward! 
more elevated regions. 

This was the course Consuelo had to take. There was no other 
tlie water having completely filled the one through which she hac 
come. It was impossible to wait in the cavern for Zdenko. Tlif 
dampness was deathly, and the torch began to grow pale, threateuinj 
to go out. 

Consuelo is not paralysed by the horror of her situation. She ii 
well aware that she is not going towards Schreckenstein. The subter- 
raneous galleries which open before her are a sport of nature, and 
lead to impassable places or labyrinths, an outlet- to which she can 
never find. She will yet venture to enter them, though only for the 
purpose of having an asylum until the next night. On the next nighl 
Zdenko will return ; he will shut ofl' the current, and the captive will 
be able to retrace her steps, and see the light of the stars again. 

Consuelo then soiiglit to penetrate again the mysteries of the cav- 
ern. Her couraj;i' luid revived; and, on this occasion, she was atten- 
tiie to all the accidcjits of the soil, and was careful to follow only the 



* CONSUELO. 198 

ascending paths, without consenting to turn aside to enter the more 
spacious galleries which she passed. By doing so, she was sure not 
to encounter any currents of water, and was able to retrace her steps. 

She passed over a thousand obstacle: vast stones encumbered her 
route ; from time to time huge bats, roused from their slumbers by the 
light of tlie lantern, came in whole battalions against her, and whirl- 
ed around her steps. After the first emotions of surprise, she felt her 
courage increase at every new terror. Sometimes she ascended vast 
blocks of stone which had fallen from the vaults above, sliowing that 
other masses were ready to follow them, being now retained by but 
a slight hold in fissures, twenty feet above them. Then the passage 
became so narrow, that ConSuelo was forced to crawl through an in- 
tensely close air to force her way. She had been walking thus for 
about half an hour, when having turned a sharp angle, where her lithe 
and supple body hail niuJl difficulty in passing, she fell from Charyb- 
dis into Scylla, meeting Zdenko face to face. Zdenko at first was pet- 
rified witli surprise, and chilled by terror; but soon became indignant 
and furious as we Iiave already seen him. 

In this labyrinth, amid countless obstacles, by the quivering light of 
a torch, which, from want of air, was almost ready to go out — it was 
impossible to fly. The wild eye, the foaming lips of Zdenko, proved 
clearly enough that, on this occasion, he would not stop at menaces. 
He at once became strangely ferocious, and began to pick up large 
stones, placing them between Consuelo and himself, as if he would 
wall up the narrow gallery in which she was. Thus he was sure that 
if lie did not empty the cistern for several days, she must die of hun- 
ger, precisely as the drone is starved to death, when 'the bee closes up 
its cell with wax. 

Zdenko, however, made use of granite, and worked with strange 
rapidity. The physical power of this emaciated and apparently feeble 
man was so perfectly displayed, that Consuelo saw that resistance 
would be impossible, and that it was far better for her to find some 
means of escape by-retracing her steps, than to irritate and force him 
to extremities. She sough* to soothe, to persuade, and to subdue him 
by words. 

" Zdenko," said she, "what are you at? Albert will never forgive 
you. He calls me; lam his friend, his consolation, and salvation. 
You destroy him when you destroy me." 

Zdenko, afraid of being persuaded, and determined to carry out his 
idea, began to sing in his own tongue, in a loud and animated strain, 
working all the time at his Cyclopian task. 

One stone alone was required to complete the edifice. Consuelo 
saw him place it with terror. " I shall," said she, " never be able to 
pull down that wall. To do it a giant's hands will be required." The 
last stone was put up, and she saw that Zdenko was beginning an- 
other, leaning on the first. He was erecting a perfect fortress be- 
tween Albert and herself. He continued to sing, and seemed to take 
pleasure in his toil. 

A wonderful inspiration at last took possession of Consuelo. She 
remembered the famous heretical formula which had been explained 
by Amelia, at which the chaplain had been so much offended. 

" Zdenko," said she, in Bohemian, througli one Of tlie orifices of 
the disjointed wall, " let the one who has been injured salute you." 

Tills phrase worked on Zdenko like magic. He let tlie enormous 
block he held fall, uttering at the same time a deep sigh, and began to 
12 



194 CONSUELO. 

destroy his wall with more rapidity than he had erected it. Tie the 
gave his hand to C'onsuelo, and assisted her to pass over the ruir 
after which he looljed attentively at her, sighed strangely, and, givin 
her three keys tied tosether by a ribbon, pointed out the way to he 
saying, " Let the one who has been injured salute you." 

" Will you not be my guide ? " said she. " Take me to your ma 
ter." 

Zdenko shook his head, saying, " I have no master. I had a friem 
You took him from me. Fate Is being fulfilled. Go whither Gc 
directs you. I shall weep until you return." 

Sitting down then on the ruins, he hid his face in his hands, an 
remained silent. 

Consuelo did not wait to console him. She was afraid his madnei 
would return ; and, taking advantage of the moment when he respec 
ed her, set out like an arrow from the bow. In her uncertain an 
difficult journey Consuelo had not gone far, for Zdenko, proceedir 
by a longer route, but which was inaccessime to the water, had mi 
her on the junction of the two caverns — tlie one made by the ban 
of man — and the other, strange, distorted and dangerous, surrounds 
the castle and its dependencies, and even the hill on which it wa 
Consuelo at this time had no doubt that she was under the park.ji 
she passed through the gratings in a manner that all the keys ot'tl 
canoness could not prevent. She had an idea, after having proceode 
for some distance on this route, to retrace her steps, and abandon a 
enterprise, In carrying out which she had already met with so mai 
difficulties. Perhaps new difficulties yet awaited her. The ill tempi 
of Zdenko might be aroused. What if she- were pursued by hir 
He might build up "a wall again to prevent her return. If, howeve 
she abandoned her plan, and asked him to show her the way to tl 
cistern, she might find him kind and gentle. She was too much e: 
cited, however, to venture again to meet this strange person. Hi 
dread of him increased as she withdrew from him, and after havir 
boldly confronted his anger, she became afraid when she thought t 
it. She fled from hhn -without daring to do any thing to win his favo 
and hoped alone to find one of the magic doors, the keys of which 1 
had given her, to thus put a barrier between the madman and herse 

Was she not, however, about to meet Albert, another madman, who 
she rashly persisted in thinking gentle and manageable, in a positic 
similar to that of Zdenko towards her? Over the whole affair the 
was a thick veil; and when she had divested herself of the influeni 
of romantic ideas, Consuelo thought herself the most delirious of tl 
three, in having ruslied into this abyss of dangers and mysteries, wit 
out being sure of a favorable result. 

She passed through a spacious cavern, which had been admirab 
wrought by the iron hands of the men of the middle age. AH the pa 
sages were cut in regular elliptical arches. The less compact portion 
or chalky parts of the soil, wherever anything might give way. we 
sustained by well-cut stone columns, which united by the l;ey-slones ( 
this quadrangular vault. Consuelo lost no time in admiring this in 
mense work, which bad been constructed with a solidity that yet migl 
defy centui'ies. She did not even ask how it chanced to be that tl 
present owners of the castle were ignorant of so important a wor 
She might have explained it, had she remembered that all the histo 
ical papers of the family had been destroyed more than a hundri 
years before, at the epoch of the war of the Keformation. She did ni 



CONSUELO. 195 

however, look around her, for she thought of nothing but her own 
safety, being perfectly satisfied could she but Htid a plain surface, 
healthy air, and room to walk in. She liad yet a long way to go, tliis 
direct path being longer than the tortuous winding of tlie mountain 
road, and being unable to find the Uglit, she did not know whetlier the 
passage led to Schreckenstein or to some far more distant spot. 

After walking about a quarter of an hour, she saw the arches ex- 
pand again, and all traces of the work of art disappear. Man, how- 
ever, had yet toiled in these vast passages and majestic grottoes, but 
vegetation having made its inroads, and receiving tlie air by numerous 
fissures, they looked a little leas stern than tlie galleries. There were 
a thousand ways to avoid the pui'suit of an angry enemy. A noise 
of rushing water, however, terrified Consuelo, and had she been able 
to jest in such a place', she would have confessed that Baron Freder- 
ic^ on his return frorn^ hunting had never been so much afraid of 
water as she was. 

Yet she made use of her reason. She had constantly ascended 
since she left the precipice; and, imless Zdenko had control of an hy- 
draulic machine of immense power, he could not bring his terrible 
auxiliary, the torrent, to act against her. It was also evident that 
somewhere or other she must meet the current, the flood-gate, or the 
spring itself. Had she used more reflection she would have been 
amazed at not having met this mysterious fountain of tears which 
filled up the cistern. The reason was, the fountain had its origin in 
the hidden veins of the mountain, and the gallery ran at right angles 
with it, only very near the cistern, and again at the mountain, in the . 
same direction as she herself had come. The flood-gate was then far 
behind her, in the route Zdenko had gone alone, and Consnelo was 
drawing near tlie spring which for two centuries no one but Albert 
and Zdenko had seen. She soon saw the current, and followed it 
without either fear or danger. 

A path of fresh sand led along this limpid and transparent stream, 
which ran with a cheerful noise tlirough a bed carefully walled in. 
Here human labor again became apparent. This path was graded 
witii rich and fertile soil, for beautiful aquatic plants, enormous wall-, 
flowers, and wild brambles grew without shelter or protection. The 
external air penetrated through a multitude of orifices and crevices 
sufficiently to support vegetation, but wliich did not sufiice to enable 
them to be seen from without. It was as it were a natural hot-house, 
protected from frost and snow, but ventilated by countless loopholes. 
One might have thought these beautiful plants had been carefully 
protected, and that the sand had been heaped up on the stones, to 
keep them from injuring the feet. This really was the case, for Zden- 
ko had made Albert's retreat beautiful and approachable. 

Consuelo had begun to feel the influence of a. less stem and poetic 
aspect of external things on her imagination. When she saw the pale 
rays of the moon pass through the orifices of the rock and fall on the 
quivering water, when she felt the forest air from time to time fall on 
the motionless plants which were above the reach of the water, she 
knew she approached the surface of the ground and felt her strength 
revive. She began to picture to herself in the most lively colors the 
reception which awaited her. At last she saw the path turn aside from 
the stream and enter a newly-made gallery. She paused at a little door 
which seemed made of metal it was so cold, and around which a huge 
ivy hung like a frame. 



193 CONSUELO. 

When she saw herself at the termination of all her fatigues an 
doubts, when slie placed her weary hand on this last obstacle, whic 
she could pass instantly, for she had a key in the other hand,Consue 
hesitated, and experienced a timidity which was less easy to overcon 
than all her terrors. She was now about to enter a place closed I 
every eye, to every human thought, to disturb the slumbers or mediti 
tious of a man whom she scarcely knew, who was neither her fathe 
brother, nor husband — who loved her, perhaps, but whom she neithi 
could nor would love. "God," said she, "has led me hither, ami 
the most wonderful dangers. Through his aid and protection I ai 
come hither. I came with a fervent soul, a resolution full of charit; 
a tranquil breast, pure conscience, and a heart entirely sincere. Pe 
haps death awaits me, yet I am not afraid. My life is lonely, and 
shall not be sorry to lose it. That I proved but a few moments ag< 
and only an hour since, I saw myself devoted to a horrible death wit 
a calmness which amazed myself. This is, perhaps, a grace God voucl 
safes me at my last hour. I shall, it may be, fall beneath the blow b 
a madman, yet I march to that catastrophe with the firmness of 
martyr. I have an ardent faith in the Eternal, and feel that if 1 peris 
here the victim perhaps of useless devotion, deeply religious though 
be, I will be rewarded in a happier existence. What delays me ? Wh 
do I experience inextricable trouble, as if I were about to err, .an 
blush before him I would save?" 

Thus Consuelo, too modest to comprehend her very modesty, strus 
gled against herself, and looked on the delicacy of her emotion almos 
.as a crime. It, however, occurred to her that perhaps she might be ej 
posed to a danger greater than death. Her chastity could not coi 
ceive the idea of her becoming the victim of a madman's brutal pai 
sions.' She became, however, instinctively afraid at seeming to obey 
less exalted and less divine sentiment than that which animated he 
She put the key in the lock, and made more than ten efforts before sh 
could determine to turn it. An overpowering fatigue, an excessiv 
■weakness in her whole frame, destroyed her. resolution, at the very mc 
ment she was abnut to be rewarded — on earth, by the performance o 
a noble act of charity ! — in heaven, by a sublime death! 



CHAPTER SLII. 

Nkvektheless, her part was taken. She had received three keyi 
■whence she judged that sh^ had three doors to open and two aparl 
ments to traverse, before reaching that in which she supposed Albei 
to be a prisoner. She had, therefore, time enough to stop, in case he 
strength should fail her. She entered a vaulted chamber, containin 
no other furniture than a bed of dry heather, covered with a slieej 
skin. A pair of old-fashioned shoes, however, in a most remarkabl 
state of dilapidation, served to indicate to her that this was Zdenko' 
bed-chamber. She also recognised the small fruit-basket which sh 
had left on the Stone of Terror, and which, after a lapse of two day! 
had at length disappeared. She detennined now to open the secon- 
door, after having carefully closed the first; for she still reflected witl 
terror on the possible return of the fierce possessor of that Strang 



CONSUELO. 19T 

abode. The second apartment into which she passed was vaulted like 
the first, but the walls were liung with matting and with wiclcer-work, 
stiiiFed with moss. A stove diffused a pleasant warmth through the 
chamber, and it was, beyond dojibt, from its chimney pierced through 
the solid rock that the dreary light which Consuelo liad seen on the 
summit of the Schreckenstein was produced. Albert's bed, like that 
of Zdenko's, was no more than a mass of dry leaves and grass; but 
Zdenko had covered it with a superb bear-skin, in spite of the abso- 
lute equality on which Albert insisted in their relations, and to which 
Zdenko agreed on all respects, where it did not clash with the extreuje 
love he bore him, and tlie anxious preference which' he himself 
awarded to his patron. In this apartment Consuelo was received by 
Cyftabre, who wlien he heard the key turn in the lock, had taken his 
post on the threshold with a menacing eye and erected ear. But 
Cynabre had been educated by his master not as a guardian, but as a 
friend. He had been prohibited from his earliest youth to bay or 
howl, so that he had lost the natural habit of his species. Still, had 
any one approached Albert with evil intentions, he would have recov- 
ered his Voice; had any one attacked, he would furiously have defend- 
ed him. But, prudent and circumspect as a- hermit, he never made 
the slightest noise without being sure of his ground, and without hav- 
ing carefully examined persons and scented their garments. He ap- 
proached Consuelo with a look almost as intelligent as that of human- 
ity, smelt her dress for some time, as well as her hand, in which she 
had been holding Zdenko's keys, and, as if completely satisfied by 
that circumstance, abandoned himself to the friendly recollections he 
had retained of her, and, rearing himself up on his hind legs, laid his 
great hairy paws on her shoulder, while he swept the ground with his 
fine tail in mute and stately .joy. After that grave and decorous 
greeting, he returned and lay down on the corner of the bear-skin 
which covered Albert's bed, and stretched himself out on it with 
something of the lassitude of old age, but uot without watching 
every movement of Consuelo with steady eyes. 

Before she dared to approach tlie third door, Consuelo cast a glance 
over the arrangement of that hermitage, in order to derive from 
it if possible, some information as to the moral state of its occupant. 
She found in it no trace either of frenzy or despair. The greatest 
cleanliness, and even a sort of order, reigned throughout all its details. 
There was a cloak together with a change of garments hanging on 
the horns of the auroch — ^curiosities which Albert had brought home 
with him from the interior of Lithuania, and which here answered the 
purpose of clothes-hooks. His numerous books were all arranged on 
shelves of unplaned timber, supported by rustic branches, artistically 
interwoven by an intelligent hand. The table and two chairs were 
of the samemateiial and workmanship. An herbal and some books 
of old music, unknown entirely to Consuelo, with titles in the Scla- 
vonic tongue, completed the evidences of the calm and peaceful life 
led by the studious anchorite. An iron lamp, curious only from its 
antiquity, hinig from the roof, burning with a clear light in the eter- 
nal gloom of that mournful sanctuary. 

Consuelo further remarked that there was nothing like a weapon in 
the place. For, notwithstanding the taste of the magnates of that 
land for the chase, and the objects of luxury which accompany it, Al- 
bert possessed neither gun nor knife; and his old dog had never 
learned the graud science, on which account Cynabre had ever been 



198 CONSUELO. 

an object of contempt and pity to the Baron Frederick. Albert ha( 
a perfect horror of bloodshed, and, although he appeared to enjoy lif 
less than any other person, he possessed a religious and unlimited re 
spect for the idea of life in general. He could neither himself inflic 
death, nor look upon its infliction, even on the lowest animals of ere 
ation. He would have loved all natural sciences, but he had stoppe( 
short at botany and mineralogy. Entomology seemed even too cruel i 
science for his prosecution, for he could not endure to sacrifice evei 
an insect to his curiosity. 

Consuelo was aware of these peculiarities, and she recalled then 
all to mind as she looked on the various attributes of Albert's inno 
cent pursuits. " No, I will not be fearful," she said to herself, " of ; 
being so gentle and pacific. This is rather the cell of a saint than^;h 
dungeon of a madman." But the more she argued with herself oi 
the nature of his mental malady, the more she felt embarrassed am 
agitated. She half regretted that she had not found him ill or de 
ranged, and the very certainty that she was about to visit an actua 
man made her but hesitate the more. 

She mused for a few moments, undecided how she should announc 
herself, when the sopnd of an admirable instrument fell upon he 
ear. It was aStradSrius, uttering an air of grand and mournful sub 
limity, under iEne touch of a pure and scientific hand. Never ha( 
Consuelo heard so perfect a violin, never an amateur whose style wa 
so simple yet so touching. The music was unknown to her, but sbi 
judged from its singular and artless character that it was older thai 
the oldest music she had ever heard. She listened in ecstacy, am 
now understood how it was that Albert had so perfectly compre 
bended her on hearing her sing one single passage. It was that In 
had himself the revelation of true and grand music. He might no 
be thoroughly scientific at all points — he might not possess all thi 
dazzling resources of the art, but he had in him the divine inspiration 
the intelligence and love of the beautiful. When he had ended. Con 
Buelo was entirely reassured, and animated by a more lively sympathj 
was on the point of knocking at the door which alone separated them 
when it opened slowly, and the young count made his appearance 
with his head bent forward, his eyes lowered, and his violin and bov 
hanging from his nerveless hands. His pallor was alarming, hi 
clothes were in disorder, such as Consuelo had never seen before 
His abstracted air, his sad and depressed carriage, the despairing 
carelessness of his movements, announced, if not total derangement 
at least the last disorder and abandonment of human will and energj 
He might have been taken for one of those dumb and senseless phan 
toms in whom the Sclavonic races believe, who are seen at night U 
enter houses mechanically and to perform actions without end or ob 
ject, obeying, as if by instinct, the habits of their past life, withou 
recognising or even seeing their terrified friends or servants, wh( 
either fly from them or gaze at them in silence, frozen by fear and as 
tonishmeut. 

Such was Consuelo as she beheld Count Albert, and perceiving tha 
he beheld her not, although she was within two paces of him. Cyna 
bre had arisen from his bed, and was licking the hand of his master 
who spoke to him kindly in the Bohemian tongue; then followins; th( 
dog with his eyes, as he proceeded to offer his quiet caresses to Con 
suelo, still without lifting his head, he looked attentively at her feet 
which were covered at this moment by shoes somethuig like those ol 



CONSUELO. 199 

Zdenko, and then spoke some more Bohemian words, which she did 
not understand, but wliich appeared to be an interrogation, and which 
terminated with her own name. 

Seeing him in tliis state, Consuelo felt all her timidity vanish. Ab- 
sorbed now entirely in compassion, she saw only the heart- sick invalid, 
who called for her, yet failed to recognise her when present; and, lay- 
ing her hand firmly and confidently on the young man's shoulder, said 
to him in Spanish, in her pure and thrilling tones, "Consuelo is 
here," 



CHAPTER XLIII. 



ScAECKLT had Consuelo mentioned her name, before Count Albert 
raising his eyes and looking her full in the face, altered his attitude 
and expression altogether. He let fall his precious violin on the 
ground, as recklessly as though he knew not the use of it, and clasp- 
ing his hands together with an air of the deepest tenderness, and most 
respectful grief, " It is tliou, tlien, whom I see at tength m this place 
of suffering and exile, O my unhappy WandaJ" he exclaimed, utter- 
ing a sigh which seemed to rend his heart asunder. " Dear, dear, un- 
happy sister! unfortunate victim, whom I avenged too late, and whom 
I failed to defend ! Ah ! thou knowest, then, that the wretch who out- 
raged thee perished in tortures, and tliat my hand was bathed ruth- 
lessly in the blood of his accomplices. I opened tlie deepest vein of 
the accursed church, I washed away thy affront and iny own, and that 
of my people, in rivers of gore — what wouldst thou more, unquiet 
and vindictive spirit? The tiine of zeal and wrath hath passed away, 
the time of penitence and expiation is at hand. Ask from me tears 
and prayers, but ask for no more blood. Oh ! I am henceforth sick 
of blood. I will shed none of it — no, not a drop ! Johri Ziska will 
no longer flU his (dialice save with tears inexhaustible and sighs of 
bitterness." 

As he spoke thus, with bewildered eyes, and features animated by 
sudden enthusiasm, Albert moved around Consuelo, and recoiled from 
her in a sort of horror, at every movement she made to stop his fan- 
tastical adjuration. 

Consuelo had no need of long reflection to comprehend the turn 
■which his insanity had now taken. She had heard the history of 
John Ziska often enough to know that the sister of that formidable 
fanatic, being a nun before the outbreak of the Hussite war, had been 
outraged by an atrocious monk, and that the whole life of Ziska had 
been but one act of long and solemn vengeance for that crime. At 
this moment Albert, drawn back by I know not what transition of 
ideas, to his prevailing mania, believed himself John Ziska, and was 
addressing her as the shade of his unhappy sister Wiinda. 

She resolved not to contradict him too suddenly in his illusion, but 
said to him gently, "Albert, for thy name is no longer John, as mine 
is no longer Wanda, look at me steadfastly, and sea that I am changed 
in character and countenance even as thou art. I come to remind 
thee of that, of which thou hast but now reminded me. Human 
justice is more than satisfied, and it is the day of heavenly justice 



200 CONStJELO. 

■which I now annonnce to thee. God commands ns to pardon ar 
forget; these fatal recollections, this pertinacious resolution to exe 
cise In thy person faculties which he grants not to other men, th 
fierce and perilous memory which thou dost retain of thy past exi 
tences, God now withdraws from thee, offended, because thou lia 
abused them. Dost thou hear me, Albert, and dost tliou now con 
preliend me?" 

" Oh ! my mother," cried Albert, pale and trembling, falling on h 
knees and gazing at Consuelo with extraordinary dismay, " I hei 
you, and comprehend your words. I see that you have transforms 
yourself, in order to convince and subdue me. No: you are no longt 
the Wanda of Zislca, the outraged virgin, the weeping nun. You ai 
the Wanda of Paiaehalitz, whom men have named the Countess o 
Eudolstadt, and who didst bear the wretch whom men now call A 
bert." 

" It is not by the caprice of men that you are so called," replie 
Consuelo, fervently, "for it is God who caused you to live again, undc 
new circumstances, and with new duties. These duties you linoi 
not, Albert, or if you do know, you despise them. You reascend tli 
ladder of ages with an unholy pride ; you aspire to pry into the secret 
of destiny ; you think to equal yourself to a God, embracing at aglane 
the present and the past. This is the truth. It is I who tell it to yoi 
It is faith which inspires me to do so. This retrogressive thouglit i 
impious — it is a crime, a madness. This supernatural memory whicl 
you affect is an illusion. You have mistaken vague and fugitiv 
gleams for a certain light, and your own imagination has made ; 
mockei-y of you. Your own pride has built an edifice of chimeras 
■when you attribute to yourself the great deeds of your heroic ances 
try. Beware that you become not that which you believe youi-self ti 
be. Fear, lest to punish you. Eternal Wisdom open not your eyes fo 
one instant, and suffer you to beliold in your own past life crimes lea 
illustrious and subjects of remorse less glorious than those of whici 
you dare to boast yourself." 

Albert listened to this harangne with a sort of timid self-restraint 
his face buried in his hauds, and his knees pressed hai-d upon th( 
ground. 

" Speak — speak ! " he cried, " O voice of heaven which I hear, yei 
fail to recognise," he murmured in half-smotliered accents. " If yoi 
be the angel of this mountain, if you Be, as 1 believe you are, the ap 
parition which has appeared to jue so often on the Stone of Terror 
speak, command my will, my conscience, my imagination. You wil 
know that I seek for the light with anguish ; and, if I lose my way it 
the darkness, it is through the earnestness with which I strive to dis- 
sipate that darkness, in order to meet you." 

•' A little humility, a little confidence and submission to the decrees 
of that wisdom which is incomprehensible to men, these are for you 
Albert, the road to truth. Eenoimce in your soul, renounce firmly 
once, and that forever, the desire of knowing yonrself beyond the ex- 
istence of this transitory life which is imposed on you, and you will 
again become acceptable to God, useful to other men, and at peace 
with yourself Descend from your haughty science, and without los- 
ing faith in your immortality, withotit doubting the divine goodness 
which pardons the past and protects the future, attach yourself to 
th^ attempt of rendering humane and pleasant this present life 
■which you despise, when you ought rather tu respect it, and to devote 



CONSUELO. 201 

tn it entire yourself, with all your energy, yonr self-denial and your 
cliaiity. Now, Albert, look at me, and let your eyes be unsealed. I 
am noitlier your mother nor youc sistei-, I am a friend sent to you by 
heaven, and led hither by miraculous ways to reconduct yon from the 
regions of pride and insanity. Look at me, and tell me, in your 
heart, and on your conscience, who am I ? " 

Albert, trembling and erabariassed, raised his head, and looked at 
her once more, but with less wildness and alarm than before. '' Ton 
compel ine to croos abvsses," he said. '■ Tou confound my I'eason by 
the depth of your words, wliich I believed superior to my misfortune 
to that of all other men, and you command me to comprehend the 
present time and the things of humanity. I cannot do it. In order 
to lose the memory of certain phasei of my life, I must undergo ter- 
rible crises; and in order to discover the sentiment of a new phase, I 
must transform myself by efforts which lead me to agony. If you 
command me by virtue of a power wliich X feel superior to my own, 
to assimilate my thoughts to yours, I must obey; but I know the ter- 
ror of these struggles, and I know that death is at the end of them. 
Have p'ty on me, you who govern me with a sovereign spell, aid me 
or I fall. Tell me who you are, for I know you not. I remember 
having seen you, I know not of what use you are, yet here yon stand 
before me like some mysterious statue, the type of which I vainly 
seek in my recollections. Help me! help me! or I feel that I die." 

As he spoke thus, Albert's face, which bad at first been flushed with 
a feverish return of animation, again became fearfully pale. He 
stretched his IiandS olit for a moment towards Consuelo, and then 
lowered them to the ground, as if to save himself from falling under a 
■weakness which he could not resist. Consuelo, who began by degrees 
to comprehend the nature of his mental malady, felt herself animated 
witli renewed strengtn, and inspired as it were by anovel intelligence 
and power. She took his hands, gently compelled him to arise, and led 
him to a seat beside the table. He let himsalf sinlc upon it, overpow- 
ered by ineffable weariness, and bowed forward as if he were on the 
point of fainting. The strife of which he spoke was but too real. Al- 
bert had the faculty of recovering his reason and banishing the sug- 
gestions of that delirium which sulfused his brain; but he only suc- 
ceeded in doing so, through efforts which exhausted all his powers. 
When this reaction occurred spontaneously, he found himself refresh- 
ed, and as it were renewed. But when he brought it on by a resolu- 
tion of his own will, his body failed under the crisis, and all his limbs 
were seized with catalepsy. Consuelo understood what was passing 
within him. "Albert," said she, laying her cold hand on his burning 
head, " I know you, and that suffices. I take an interest in you, and 
that ought to satisfy you for the present. I forbid you to make any 
effort to recognise or speak to me at present; listen to me only, and 
do not even exert yourself too much to undei-stand me, I only ask of 
you passive submission and a total abandonment of all reflection. 
Can you not descend into your heart, and there concentrate the whole 
of your existence." 

" Oh ! how much good you do me," exclaimed Albert. " Speak to 
me yet again — speak to me ever thus. You hold my soul in your 
hands. Whoever you be, keep it; suffer it not to escape, or it will go 
knock at the gates of eternity, and there will perish. " Tell me, who 
are you? Tell me quickly; and if I understand not, explain to me; 
for, in my own despite, I seek and am agitated." 



202 CONSUELO. 

" I am Consnelo," replied the young girl; " and you know it, sine 
you converse with me instinctively in a language which I alone of al 
your friends can understand. I am the friend whom yon have loni 
expected, and whom you recognised that day when I was singing 
From that day, you forsook your family and concealed yourself here 
and you summoned me hither several times by means of Zdenko 
while Zdenko, thoiigh to a certain degree he obeyed your commands 
would not conduct me hither. I have come, however, through i 
thousand dangers." 

" You could not have come if Zdenko had not permitted you," re 
plied Albert, raising his body, which had rested heavily and faintly oi 
the table. " You are a dream, I perceive it clearly, and what I hea 
you say, is the mere effect of my own imagination. Oh! my God 
you excite me with false joys, and on a sudden the disorder and inco 
herency of my dreams reveal themselves, even to myself, and I fine 
myself alone — alone in the world — with my despair and my madness 
Oh ! Consuelo, Consuelo ! — fatal, yet delicious dream ! — where is th( 
being who assumes your name, and sometimes wears your likeness 1 
No! save in myself, you have no existence; and it is my deliriun 
only which gave you birth." 

Albert sank down again on his extended arms, which became ai 
cold and stiff as marble. Consuelo saw that be was fast falling intc 
his lethargic crisis, and at the same time felt herself so much ex- 
hausted, aTid so near to fainting, that she doubted her power to con- 
quer the crisis. She strove, however, to revivify the hands of Alberl 
between her own, which were, in truth, liardly more living than hei 
patient's. " Heaven !" she said, in a faltering voice, and with a bro- 
ken spirit, " aid two unhappy beings who lack the power to assist one 
another!" She felt hereelf alone, shut up with a half-dying man, 
half dead herself, and with no hope of assistance for either, unless ii 
were from Zdenko, whose return she looked for with far more of 
alarm than hope. 

Her prayer, however, appeared to strike Albert with an unexpected 
emotion. " Some one," said he, endeavoring to raise his bewildeied 
head, " some one is praying near me. I am not alone," he added 
looking at Consuelo's harid, which he held firmly grasped between his 
own. "Oh! aiding hand — mysterious pity — human, fraternal sym- 
pathy — you render my agony less agonizing — you fill my heart witli 
gratitude." And he pressed his icy lips on the hand of Consuelo, and 
remained long in that attitude. 

An emotion of modesty recalled Consuelo to the consciousness of 
life. She dared not withdraw her hand from the poor wretch; bul 
divided between her embarrassment and her exhaustion, unable tc 
hold herself any longer erect, she was forced to lean upon him, auc 
to rest her other baud upon Albert's shoulder. 

" I feel myself revived," cried Albert, after a few moments hac 
elapsed. "I fancy that I am in the arms of my mother. Oh! mj 
aunt, Wenceslawa, if this be you, pardon me that I have forgottei 
you — you, and my father, and all my family, whose very names hac 
fallen from my memory. I return to you ; leave rae not, but restore 
to me Consnelo, Consuelo — her whom I so long awaited — her whom ] 
found at last, only to love again ; for without her I cannot breathe." 

Consuelo would have spoken to him ; but in proportion as Albert'i 
memory and life seemed to retui-n, in like porportion did Consuelo'i 
seem to fail her. Such a succession of fears, fatigues, emotions 



CONSUELO. 2C3 

efforts, almost supevhuman, had broken her down so that she could 
struggle against them no longer. The words died on Iier lips, hhe 
felt her knees give way under her, and her eyes lose their vision. She 
dropped on lier knees by Albert's side, and lier fainting head fell lu'iiv- 
ly against the young man's bosom. Tlien Albert, starting as if frcm 
a dream, saw her, recognised her, uttered a loud cry, and, reco,veiiiig 
himself, cauglit her energetically in his arms. Throngli the veils of 
death which appeared to be closing over her eyelids, Consuelo lieheld 
the joy which beamed from all his features, and was not alarmed by 
it; for it was a chaste and holy joy. She closed her eyes and fell into 
that state of languid unconsciousness which is neitlier sleep nor wak- 
ing, but a sort of indifference and insensibility to all things present. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 



So soon as she recovered the use of her faculties, before she was 
yet able to lift her eyelids, finding herself seated on a hard bed, slie 
endeavored to collect her memories. But her prostration had been 
so complete that her powers returned to her but slowly, and, as if the| 
sum of the fatigues and emotions which she had endured for so long a 
time had completely overpowered her, she sought in vain to remember 
what had befallen her since leaving Venice. H«r very departure from 
that adopted country, in which her days had flowed away so softly, 
appeared to her a dream ; and it was a consolatioii to her — though, alas 1 
too short — to be able to doubt for an instant her exile and the misfor- 
tunes which had led to it. She persuaded hei-self, then, that she was 
still in her poor chamber in the Corte Minelli, on her motlier's pallet, 
and that, after a violent and bitter scene with Anzoleto, some confused 
memory of which floated through her spirit, she was recovering life 
and hope, finding him by her side, hearing his interrupted breath, and 
the sweet words wliicli he whispered in her ear. A languid and de- 
licious joy filled her heart at the idea, and she made an effort to rise 
and look at her repentant lover, and offer him her hand. But the hand 
which she encountered was a cold and strange one ; and in lieu of 
the smiling sun which she was wont to see shining redly through her 
white curtains, she saw only a sepulchral light, streaming downward 
from a dark vault, and floating through a damp and misty atmospliere ; 
she felt the skin of some wild beast stretched out beneath her, and^ 
in the midst of an appalling trauce, she saw the pale face of Albert 
leaning over her like a spectre. 

Consuelo believed that she had gone down alive into the tomb, and 
fell back on the bed of dry leaves with a groan of horror. It re- 
quired yet that several minutes should pass before she understood where 
she indeed was, and to the care of how fearful a host she was en- 
trusted. Fear, which up to this moment the enthusiasm of her de- 
votedness had combatted and conquered, took possession of her to 
such a degree, that she was afraid to open her eyes, lest they should 
meet some hideous spectacle — the preparations of a death-bed, or a 
grave open before her. She felt something upon her brow, and raised 
her hand to it. It was a wreath of foliage with which Albert had 
crowned her; she took it off and looked at it, it was a cypresa 
wreath. 



204 CONSUELO. 

"I thought thee dead!— O, ray soul!— O, my Consolation!" sa 
Albert, kneeling beside her, " and I wished before following thee I 
the grave to adorn thee with the symbols of hymeneals. The dark c; 
presses were the only branches from which my hand could pluck the bi 
dal wreath. Behold it! Refuse it not! If we must die here, let n 
swear to thee that, restored to life, never could I have any bride bi 
thee, and that I die with thee, united to thee by an Indissolub 
oath ! " 

" AflBanced! united!" exclaimed Consuelo, in terror. "Who is i 
then, that has pronounced this decree? Who, then, has celebrate 
these hymeneals? " 

" It is destiny, my angel," replied Albert, with inexpressible swee 
ness and melancholy. "Dream not that you can escape from it. 
is a strange destiny for thee — a stranger yet for me. Yon compr 
hend me not, Consuelo, and yet you must learn the^ truth. You fo 
bade me but now to look, back into the past; you Interdicted to ii 
the memory of those by-gone days, which are called the night c 
ages. My whole being obeyed you, and I know no more of my ant 
rior existences; but my present life I have interrogated — I know it- 
I have it all before me in one eye-glance; It appeared before me ii 
stantaneously, while you appeared to be reposing in the arms ( 
death. Yonr destiny, Consuelo, is to belong to me, and yet you w: 
r never be mine. You love me not; you will never love me as I !oi 
■you. Your love for me is only charity, and the devotedness of hen 
ism. You are a saint whom God has sent to me, and to me you w; 
never be a woman. I must die consumed by a love which you cai 
not partake; and yet, Consuelo. you will be my bride, as you are no 
my betrothed, whether we perish here, and your pity consent to gii 
me that title of husband, which no kiss will ever ratify; or wheth( 
we revisit the sun, and thy conscience compel you to accomplish tl 
designs of God toward me." 

" Count Albert," said Consuelo, endeavoring to arise from that be 
covered with a black bear-skin, wiiich resembled a pall ; " I know n( 
whether it is the enthusiasm of a gratiude far too lively for its objec 
or the consequences of your delirium, which lead you to speak thn 
X have no longer the power to combat your illusions, and if they ai 
now to be turned against me — against me, who have come at the ris 
of my life to succor and console you — I feel that it is not in my powi 
to dispute with you, either my liberty or my life. If the sight of n 
irritate you, and God forsake me, let the will of God be done ! Yoi 
who think you know so much, must know how my life is poisone 
and with how little regret I should surrender it." 

" I know that you are miserable, my poor saint! I know that yo 
wear on your brow a crown of thorns, which I cannot tear from i 
The cause and the consequence of thy misfortunes, I know not, an 
I ask them not. But I should love thee much less, and I should I 
much less worthy of thy compassion, if on the day when I first uk 
thee, I had not perceived the sadness which fills thy soul and stee{ 
thy life in bitterness. What can you fear from me, Consuelo ? Yo 
who are so firm and prudent; you to whom God has inspired wore 
which subjugated me and conquered me in an instant. You must fei 
a strange falling off in the light of your reason and your faith, sine 
you so dread your friend, your servant, and your slave? Return t 
me, my angel— look at me. Behold me at your feet, for I am eve 
prostrate in the dust What sacrifice do you require of me ? Wh< 



C O N S TJ E L O. 205 

oath must I offer you? 1 can promise to obey you in all things. Tes, 
Consuelo, I could become a self-controlled man, submissive, and to all 
appearance as reasonable as other men. Hitherto I have never had 
the power to do that which I desire to do; but henceforth all that 
thou wouldst of me shall be granted. Perhaps I may di« in the act 
of transforming myself in accordance to your desire, but it is my part 
to tell you that my life would always have been poisoned, and that I 
should not regret it so long as I lost it for you." 

" Generous and noble Albert," said Consuelo, " explain yourself 
more clearly, and let me understand the depths of your impenetrable 
spirit. In my eyes you are the greatest of men, and from the first 
day of my beholding you, I conceived a respect for you, which I had 
no cause to dissemble. I was always told that you are mad — I always 
disbelieved it. All that was said to me of you, added to my esteem 
for you. Still I was compelled to admit, that you were overpowered 
by a deep and fantastical moral disease. I persuaded myself, pre- 
sumptuously perhaps, but sincerely, that I could assuage this disease. 
Tou led me yourself to believe so. I came to seek you out, and now 
you speak to me in a manner that would fill me with conviction, re- 
spect, and veneration for you and for myself, to a degree for which I 
cannot accoimt, if you did not mingle with your arguments strange 
ideas, intermingled with a spirit of fatalism, of whicli I never covdd 
be a partaker. May I say all that I would say, without wounding 
your feelings? " 

" Speak what you will, Consuelo ; I know beforehand all that you 
would say to me," replied Albert. 

" I will speak, then, for I had promised myself so to do. All those 
who love you, despair of you. It is their duty, they imagine, to re- 
spect — or, in other words, to deceive your delirium. They are afraid 
of exasperating you, by suffering you to perceive that they are aware 
of it — that they pity it, and fear it. I have no such terrors, nor have 
I the least hesitation in asking you — ' Whgrefore, being so wise, you 
act at times like a madman? wherefore, being so good, you commit 
acts of ingratitude and pride? wherefore, being so enlightened and so 
religious, you abandon yourself to the reveries of a diseased and de- 
spairing spirit? wherefore, in conclusion, I find you here buried in a 
melancholy cavern, afar from your family, wlilch seeks you and de- 
plores your absence; afar from your equals, who love you with ardent 
affection ; afar from me, last of all, whom you summon, and whom 
you say that you love, and who has found you by a miraculous exer- 
tion of will, and by divine protection? ' " 

" Yon ask me the secret of my life, the key-word of ray destiny, and 
you know it better than I do myself. Consuelo, it is from you that I 
expected the revelation of my existence, and you question me of it. 
Oh ! I understand yon; you desire to lead me to confession, to an effi- 
cacious repentance, to a victorious resolution. Yon shall be obeyed. 
But it is not now that I can recognise myself, judge myself, transform 
myself, at a moment's notice. Give me a few days, give me at least a 
few hours to learn myself, and thereafter to teach you, whether I am 
indeed a madman, or whether I enjoy my reason. Alas! alas! both 
are true, and it is my misfortune that I doubt it. But to ascertain 
whether I must entirely lose my judgment and my reason, or whether 
I can triumph over the demon which*besets me —this is what I cannot 
make out at this instant. Have pity on me, Consuelo ; I am still over- 
powered by emotions too strong for my control. I am ignorant what 



206 CONSUELO. 

I have said to you; I know uot how many hours have elapse^ sini 
you have been here; I know not how yon can be here at all withui 
Zdenko, who would not bring you hither; I know not where n 
thoughts were wandering when you entered ! Alas ! I know not ho 
many centuries I have been shut up here, struggling with unheard c 
sufferings, against the plague which devours me. Of these sufferini 
themselves, I have no consciousness when they are once ov^past; 
only feel the fatigue which remains after them ; a stupor and a sort < 
terror, which I strive in vain to banish. Consuelo, suffer me to fo 
get, if it be but for a few minutes. My ideas will become more lum 
nous, my tongue will be relaxed. I promise you, I swear it to yo 
Give me only by degrees this light of reality, which has been so lor 
closed against me by hideous darkness, and which my eyes cannot, ; 
yet, endure. Tou have commanded me to concentrate my whole lii 
in my heart. I remember that you told me that, for from that iustar 
date my memory and my reason. Well ! that one word has poured a 
angelic calmness into my bosom. My heart now lies entire and ui 
wounded, although my reason slumbers yet. I could still bewild* 
myself, and terrify you by my reveries. I will henceforth live only i 
my feelings, which to me will be a life unknown ; but it will be a lil 
of delight, if I could but abandon myself to it without displeasin 
you. Ah ! Consuelo, wherefore did you command me to concentrat 
my whole life within my heart: explain yourself. Suffer me to hav 
no object in life save yourself only. To occupy myself with yo 
alone — to see, to comprehend you only — ^in one word, to love yoi 
Oh, Heaven ! I love — I love a being similar to myself; I love with a 
the power of my existence; I lavish on her all the ardor, all the sin 
cerity, all the sanctity of my affection. It is surely happiness enoug] 
for me to be allowed this, and I will ask no more." 

" Be it so, dear Albert. Kepose your diseased spirit in that swee 
sentiment of peaceable fraternal tenderness. God is my witness tha 
you may do so without fear or danger, for I feel toward you a ferven 
friendship, and a sort of veneration which no frivolous conversation 
or vain reasonings have power to shake. You have understood b' 
some mysterious and strange instinct, that my life also is broken b' 
sorrow. You said so, and it is truth from on high, that must have in 
spired you with the knowledge. I could not love you otherwise thai 
as a brother; yet, say not that it is charity or pity only which is m' 
guide. If humanity and compassion gave me the courage to comi 
liither, a sympathy, nay a particular esteem for your virtues, give mi 
also the courage and the right to speak to you as I do. Abjure, then 
now and forever, the illusion under which you labor concerning th( 
nature of the sentiment you feel toward me. Speak to me of love n< 
more, nor of marriage. My past years, my memories, would rendei 
that Impossible, and the difference of our conditions. If you returr 
to such ideas, you will render my devotion to you rash, perhaps im 
proper. Let us seal this engagement which I now make, to be youi 
sister, your friend, your consoler, by a sacred oath. Swear to me thai 
you will never look for aught else in me, and that you will never love 
me otherwise." 

" Generous woman," said Albert, growing pale, " you reckon mucl 
on my courage, and muctf on my love, when you ask such a pledge of 
me. I might be base enough to speak falsely, nay, to swear falsely 
should you require it of me. But you will not require it, Consuelo! 
You will nerceive that this were but to asitate ino anam n^ „„i 



C O N S U B I. o, 207 

uneasy, therefore, as to how I love yoii ; I scarcely know that myself; 
only i feel that to withdraw the name of love from the sentiment 
which I feel were blasphemy. I accept yonr pity, your care, yonr sis- 
terhood, your passionless and peaceful attentions. I will not have so 
much as one expression of the face or a glance of the eye, that should 
offend you. Be at ease, therefore, my sister, and my consoler. I 
swear to be your hrother, and your servant. But ask no more of me. 
I will be neither importunate, nor Indiscreet. It will suffice me that 
you know you may command me, and govern me despotically, not as 
a bi-other is governed, but as a being who is given up to you, wholly 
and for ever." 



CHAPTER XLV. 



Fob the moment CoHsuelo was satisfied with this language, though 
it d id not leave her without much apprehension for the future. The 
almost fanatical self-denial pf Albert, evidently had its source in a 
deep and real passion, of the truth of which his serious countenance 
and solemn speech left no possible doubt. Consuelo, though deeply 
touched, was greatly disturbed, and asked herself secretly how she 
could devote herself to the Tiare of a man so deeply and unreservedly 
attached to herself. She had never thought lightly of such relations, 
and she saw at a glance that Albert was not a man with whom any 
woman could incur them without the risk of perilous consequences. 
She did not doubt either his good faith, or his plighted word, but she 
saw that the calmness to which she had hoped to restore him, was not 
compatible with ties of this nature. She offered him her hand with 
a sigh, but she continued for a few momentsin deep thought; at last 
she said, raising her eyes from the ground, '* Albert, you do not know 
me when you ask me to undertake such a charge. No woman could 
undertake it, but one capable of abusing it. I am neither proud, nor 
a coquette, and I do not believe myself to be vain ; but I have no de- 
sire for domination. Yoiir love would flatter me, could I return it, 
and if it were so I would tell you foithwith. To afflict you, in your 
present condition by reiterated assurances to the contrary is an act 
of cold-blooded cruelty wliich you ought to spare me, and which is, 
nevertlieless, forced upon me against my will. Pity me, then, for be- 
ing forced to distress you, perhaps to offend you, and at a moment 
when I would give up my own life to restore you to health and to 
happiness." f^ 

" I know it, high-souled maiden," said fAlbert, with afeelancholy 
sniile. "You are so good, so great, that you would give your life for 
the meanest creature; but I know that your conscience will bend to 
no one. Do not then fear to offend me in displaying this stenmess 
■which I admire— this stoical coldness, which your virtue maintains 
along with the most moving pity. It is not in your power to afflict! 
me, Consuelo. lam not the sport of illusion ; I am accustomed to! 
hitter grief; my life has been made up of painful sacrifices. Do not 
then treat me as a visionary, as a being without heart, and without 
self-respect, in repeating what I already Snow, that you will never 
Jove me. Consuelo, I am acquainted with the circumstances of your 



208 C O N S U E I, o. 

life, although I know neither your name, nor family, nor any impo 
tant fact concerning you. I know the history of your soul ; the re 
does not concefn me. »You loved, you still love, and you will alwa; 
love, one of whom I know nothing, whom I do not wish to kno' 
and with whom I shall never compete. But know, Cuiisuelo, th 
yon shall never be his, or mine, or even your own. God has reserve 
for you a separate existence, of which the events are hiddeivfroin m 

I but of which 1 foresee the object and end. The slave and victim ( 
your own greatness of sonl, you will never receive in this life, othi 
recompense than the consciousjaess of your own power and goodnes 
Unhappy in the world's estimation, you will yet be the most serei 
and thd most fortunate of human creatures, because you will ever be tl 
I best and the most upright; for the wicked and the base, dearest siste 
I are alone to be pitied, and the words of Christ will remain true i 
j long as men continue blind and imjust: — 'Happy are those who a 
persecuted ; happy those who weep, and who labor in trouble.' " 

The power and dignity which were at this moment stamped upo 
the lofty and majestic forehead of Albert exdfcised over Consuelo ! 
great a fascination that she forgot the (^art of proud sovereign ar 
austere friend, which she had imposed upon ; herself, to bow to tl 
spell of this man's influence, so inspired by faith and enthusiast 
She supported herself with difficulty, still overwhelmed with fatigi 
and emotion, and trembling from excess of weariness, she sank o 
her knees, and clasping her hands, began to pray fervently and aloui 
" If thou, ray God," she exclaimed, " dost put this prophecy in tl 
mouth of a saint, thy holy will be done ! In my infancy I besougl 
from thee an innocent and childlike happiness; but thou ha 
reserved for me happiness under a severe and rude form, which I ai 
unable to comprehend. Open thou mine eyes — grant me an humbl 
and contrite heart. I am willing, oh, my God, to submit to this de 
stiny, which seems so adverse, and which so slowly revealed itself, an 
only ask from thee that which any of thy creatures is entitled to ej 
pect from thy loving justice, faith, hope, and charity." 

While praying thus, Consuelo was bathed in tears, which she di 
not seek to restrain. After such feverish agitation, this paroxysi 
served to calm her troubled feelings, while it weakened her yet niori 
Albert prayed and wept along with her, blessing the tears which h 
had so long shed in solitude, and which now mingled with those of 
pure and generous being. 

" And now," said Consuelo, rising, " we have thought long enoug 
of what concerns ourselves; it is time to think of others, and to reco 
lect our duties to them. I have promised to restore you to your fan 
ily, who already mourn and pray for you as for one dead. Do you ni 
desire, my deal- Albert, to restore joy and peace to your afflicted rel; 
lives? Will you not follow me? " 

"So soon!" exclaimed the young count in despair; "separate s 
soon, and leave this sacred asylum, where God alone is with us — th 
cell, which I cherish still more since you have appeared to me in it- 
this sanctuary of a happiness which I shall perhaps never again e: 
perience — to return to the false and cold world of prejudices and cu 
toms. Ah ! not yet, my soul, my life ! Suffer me to enjoy yet a da 
yet an age of delight. Let me here forget that there exists a wori 
full of deceit and sorrow, which pursues me like a dark and trouble 
dream ; permit me to return by slow degrees to what men call reasoi 
I do not yet feel strong enough to bear the light of their sun, aud tl 



CONSUELO. 209 

spectacle of their madness. I require to gaze upon your face and 
listen to your voice yet longer. Besides, I have never left my retreat 
from a sudden impulse, or without long reflection — my endeared, yet 
frightful retreat, this teri-iflc yet salutary place of expiation, whitiier 
I am accustomed to hasten as with a wild joy, without once looking 
back, and which I leave with doubts but too well founded, and with 
lasting regret. You Icnow not, Consuelo, what powerful ties attach 
me to this voluntary prison— you know not that there is here a second 
self, the true Albert, who will not leave it — a self which I ever find 
when I return, and yet which besets me like a spectre when I leave 
it. Here I have conscience, faith, light, strength — in aWord, life. In 
the world there are fear, madness, despair — passions which sometimes 
Invade my peaceful seclusion, and engage with me in a deadly strug- 
gle. But behold ! behind this door there is an asylum where I can 
subdue them and become myself again. I enter sullied with their 
contact, and giddy from their presence — I issue purified, and no one 
knows what tortures purchase this patience and submission. Force 
me not hence, Consuelo, but suffer me gradually and by prayer to weau 
my attachment from the place." 

"Let us then enter and pray together," said Consuelo; " we shall 
set out Immediately afterwards. Time flies; the dawn is perhaps 
already near. They must remain ignorant of the path which leads 
to the castle, they must not see us enter together; for I am anxious 
not to betray the secret of your retreat, and hitherto no one suspects 
my discovery. I do not wish to be questioned, or to resort to false- 
hoods. I must be able to keep a respectful silence befoi'e your rela- 
tives, and suffer them to believe that my promises were but presen- 
timents and dreams. Should I be seen to return witli you, my 
absence would seem disobedience; and although, Albert, I would 
brave everything for you, I would not rashly alienate the confidence 
and affection of your family. Let us hasten then ; I am exhausted 
witli fatigue, and if I remain here much longer I shall lose all my re- 
maining strength, so necessary for this new journey. We shall pray 
and then depart." 

"Exhausted, say you? Repose here, then, beloved one. I will 
guard you religiously, or if my presence disturbs you, you shall shut 
me up in the adjacent grotto ; close this iron door between us, and 
■whilst, sunk in slumber, you forget me, I shall, until recalled by you, 
pray for you in my church." 

"But reflect that while you are praying and sunk in repose, your 
father suffers long hoin-s of agony, pale and motionless as I once saw 
him, bowed down with age and grief, pres|ing with feeble knees the 
floor of his oratory, and apparently only awaiting the news of your 
death to resign his last breath. And your poor aunt's anxiety will 
throw her into a fever, incessantly ascending, as she does, the highest 
towers of the castle, vainly endeavoi-ing to trace the paths to the 
mountain, by one of whicli it is supposed you departed. This very 
morning the members of your family, when they assemble together 
in the chateau, will sorrowfully ^pcost each other with fruitless in- 
quiries and conjectures, and again separate at night with despair and 
anguish in their hearts. Albert, you do not love your relatives, other- 
wise you would not thus, without pity or remorse, permit tliem to 
suffer and languish." — 

" Consuelo ! Consuelo ! " exclaimed Albert, as if awaking from a 
dream, " do not speak to me thus; your words torture me. What 
13 



210 CONSUELO. 

crime have I committed ?— what disasters have I "caused ? — Why are 
my friends thus afflicted? How many hours have passed since I left 
them ? " * 

" You aslt how many hours ! Aslc rather how many days — how 
many nights — nay, how many weeks ! " 

"i)ays!— nights! Hnsh! Consuelo, do not reveal to me the full 

! extent of my misfortune. I was aware that I here lost correct ideas 

* of time, and that the remembrance of what was parsing on the earth 

did not descend with me into this tomb; but I did riot think that the 

duration of this unconsciousness could be measured by days and 

weelcs." 

" Is it not, my friend, a voluntary obliviousness? Xothing in this 
place recalls tiie days which pass away and begin again : eternal dark- 
ness here prolongs the night. Tou have not even a glass to reckon 
the hours. Is not this precaution to exclude all means of measuring 
time, a wild expedient to escape the cries of nature and the voice of 
conscience ? " 

"I confess that when I come here, I feel it requisite to adjur^pvery- 
thing merely human. But O God ! I did not know that grief and 
meditation could so far absorb my soul as to make long hours appear 
lilfe days, or days to pass away as hours. What am I, and why have 
they never informed nie of this sad change in my mental organiza- 
tion ? " ' 

" This misfortune is, on the contrary, a. proof of great intellectual 
power, but diverted from its proper use, and given up to gloomy rev- 
erie. They try to hide from you the evils of which you are the cause. 
They I'espect your suffeiings whilst they conceal their own. But in 
my opinion it was treating you with .little esteem; it was doubting the 
goodness of your heart. But Albert I do not doubt you, / conceal 
nothing from you." 

" Let ns go, Consuelo, let us go," said Albert, quickly throwing his 
cloak over his shoulders. '• I am a wretch ! I have afflicted my fa- 
ther whom I adore, my annt whom I de^ly love. I am lunvorthy to 
behold them again. Ah! rather than again be guilty of so much 
cruelty, I would impose "upon myself the sacrifice of never revisiting 
this retreat. But, no: once more I am happy, for I have found a 
friend in you, Consuelo, to direct my wandering thoughts and restore 
me to ray former self. Some one has at length told me the truth, and 
will always tell it to me. Is it not so, my dear sister?" 

" Always, Albert ; I swear to you that you shall ever hear the truth 
from me." 

" Power divine ! and th%being who comes to mv aid is she to whom 
alone I can listen — whom alone I can believe. Tlie ways of God are 
known but to himself. Ignorant of my own mental alienation, I 
have always blamed the nialness of others. Alas, Consuelo! had my 
noble father himself told ine of that which you have just disposed, I 
would not have believed him. But you are life and truth; you can 
bring conviction, and give to ray troubled soul that heavenly peace 
which emanates from yourself." ♦ 

" Let us depart," said Consuelo, assisting him to fasten his cloak, 
which his trembling hand could not arrange upon his shoulders. 

" Yes, let us go," said he, gazing tenderly upon her as she fulfilled 
this friendly oflice; " but first swear to me, Consuelo, that if I return 
hither you will not abandon me, swear that you will come to seek me, 
were it only to overwhelm me with reproaches — to call me ingrate, 



CONSUELO. 211 

parricide — and to tell me that I am imworthy of your solicitude. 
Oil I leave me not a prey to myself now that you see the Influence 
you have over my actions, and that a word*from your lips persuades 
and heals, where a century of meditation and prayer would fail." 

" And will yoii, on your part," replied Consuelo, leaning on his 
shoulder, and smiling expressively, " swear never to return hither with- 
out me ? " 

" Will you indeed return with me ! " he rapturously exclaimed, look- 
ing earnestly in her face, but not daring to clasp her in his arms; 
" only swear this to me, and I will pledge myself by a solemn oath never 
to leave my father's roof without your command or permission." 

" May God liear and receive our mutual promise ! " ejaculated Con- 
snelo,,^transported with joy. "We will come back to pray in your 
church; and you, Albert, will teach me to pray, as no one has taught 
me hitherto; for I have an ardent desire to know God. You, my 
friend, will reveal heaven to me, and I when requisite will recall your 
thoughts toHerrestrial things and the duties of human life." 

" Divine sister I " exclaimed Albert, his eyes swimming in tears of 
delight, " I have nothing to teach you. It is you who must be the 
agent in my regeneration. It is from yon I shall learn all things, even 
prayer. I no longer require solitude to raise my soul to God. I no 
longer need to prostrate myself over the ashes of my fathers, to com- 
prehend and feel my own immortality. To look on you is sufficient to 
raise my soul to heaven in gratitude and praise." 

Consuelo drew him away, she herself opening and closing the doors. 
"Here, Cynabre!" cried' Albert to his faithful hound, giving him a 
lantern of better construction than that with which Consuelo was fur- 
nished, and better suited to the journey they were about to undertake. 
The intelligent animal seized the lamp with an appearance of pride 
and satisfaction, and preceded them at a measured pace, stopping when 
his master stopped, increasing or slackening his speed as he did, and 
sagaciously keeping the middle of the path, in order to preserve his pre- 
ciouscharge from injury by contact with the rocks or brushwood. 

Consuelo walked with great difficulty, and would have fallen 
twenty times but for Albert's arm, which evefy moment supported 
and raised her up. They once more descended together the course 
of the stream, keeping along its fresh and verdant margin. 

" Zdenko," said Albert, " delights in tending the Naiad of these 
mysterious grottoes. He smooths her bed when encumbered as it 
often is with gravel and shells; he fosters the pale flowers which 
spring up beneath lier footsteps, and protects them against her kisses, 
which are sometimes rather rude." ■ * 

Consuelo looked upwards at the sky through the jjlefts of the rock, 
and saw a star glimmer in its blue vault. "That," "said Albert, "is 
Aldebaron, the star of the Zingari. The day will not dawn for an 
hour yet." 

"That is my star," replied Consuelo, "fori am, my dear Count, 
though not by race, by calling, a kind of Zingara. My mother bore no 
other name at Venice, though in> accordance with her Spanish pre- 
judices, she disclaimed the degrading appellation. As for myself I am 
still known in that country by the name of the Zingarella." 

"Are you indeed one of that persecuted race," replied Albert; "if 
so, I should love yon yet more than I do, were that possible." 

Consuelo, who had thought it right to recall Count Rudolstadt to 
the disparity of their birth and condition, recollected what Amelia 



212 CONSUELO. 

had said of Albert's sympathy for the wandering poor, and, fearing lest 
she had involuntarily yielded to an instinctive feeling of coquetry, she 
kept silence. 

But Albert thus interrupted it in a few moments : 

" What you have just told me," said he, " awakens in me, I know 
not by what association of ideas, a recollection of my youth, childish 
enough it is true, but which I must relate to you: for since I have 
seen you, it has again and again recurred to my memory. Lean 
more on me, dear sister, whilst I repeat it." 

" I was about fifteen, when, returning late one evening by one of 
the paths which border on the Schreckensteiu, and which wind 
through the hills in the direction of the castle, I saw before me a tall 
thin woman, miserably clad, who carried a burthen on her shoulders, 
and who paused occasionally to seat herself, and to recover breath. 
1 accosted her. She was beautiful, though embrowned by the sun 
and withered by misery and care. Still there was in her bearing, 
mean as was her attire, a sort of pride and dignity, mingled', it is true, 
with an air of melancholy. When she held out her hand to me, she 
rather commanded pity than implored iL My purse was emp^. I 
entreated her to accompany me to the castle, where she could have 
help, food, and shelter for the night. 

" ' I would prefer remaining here,' replied she, with a foreign accent 
which I conceived to be that of the wandering Egyptians, for I was 
not at that time acquainted with the various languages which I after- 
wards learned in my travels. ' I could pay you,' she added, ' for the 
hospitality you offer, by singing songs of the different countries which 
I have traversed. I rarely, ask alms unless compelled to do so by ex- 
treme distress.' 

"'Poor creature!' said I, 'you bear a very heavy burden; your 
feet are wounded and almost naked. Entrust your bundle to me ; I 
will carry it to my abode, and you will thus be able to walk with more 
ease.' 

" ' This burden daily becomes heavier,' she replied, with a melan- 
choly smile, which imparted a charm to her features, ' but I do not 
complain of it. I have borne it without repining for years, and over 
hundreds of leagues. I never trust it to any one besides myself; but 
you appear so good and so innocent, that I shall lend it to you until 
we reach your home.' 

" She then unloosed the clasp of her mantle, which entirely covered 
her, the handle of her guitar alone being visible. This movement 
discovered to me a child of five or six years old, pale and weather- 
beaten like its mother, but with a countenance so sweet and calm 
that it filled my heart with tenderness. It was a little girl, quite in 
tatters, lean, but hale and strong, and who slept tranquilly as a slum- 
bering cherub on the bruised and wearied back of the wandering 
songstress. I took her in my arras, but had some trouble in keeping 
her there: for, waking up and finding herself with a stranger, she 
struggled and wept. Her mother, to soothe her, spoke to her in her 
own language; my caresses and attentions comforted her, and on ar- 
riving at the castle we were the best friends in the world. When the 
poor woman had supped, she put her infant in a bed which I had 
prepared, attired herself in a strange dress, sadder still than her rags, 
and came into the hall, where she sang Spanish, French, and German 
ballads, with a clearness and delicacy of voice, a firmness of intona- 
tion, united to a franlvuess and absence of reserve in her manner, 



CONSUELO. 213 

which charmed us all. My good aunt paid her every attention, which 
the Ziiigara appeared to feel ; but she did not lay aside hor pride, and 
only gave evasive answers to our questions. The child interested me 
even more than its mother; and I earnestly wished to see her again, 
to amuse her, and even to keep her altogether. I know not what 
tender solicitude awoke in my bosom for this little being, poor, and a 
wanderer on the earth. I dreamt of her all night Jong, and in the 
morning I ran to see her. But already the Zingara had departed, and 
I traversed the whole mountain around witliout being able to discover 
her. She liad risen before the dawn, and, with her child, had taken 
the way towards the south, carrying with her my guitar, which I had 
made her a present of, her own, to her great sorrow, being broken." 

"Albert! Albert!" exclaimed Consuelo, with extraordinary emo- 
tion; -' that guitar is at Venice with Master Porpora, who keeps it for 
me, and from whom I shall reclaim it, never to part with it again. 
It is of ebony, witli a cipher chased on silver — a cipher which I well 
remember,** A. R.' My mother, whose memory was defective, from 
having^een so many things, neither remembered your name nor that 
of ydur castle, nor even the' country where this adventure liad hap- 
pened; but she often spoke of. the hospitality she had received from 
the owner of the guitar, of the touching charity of the young and 
handsome signor, who had carried lue in his arms for half a league, 
chatting with lier the while as with an equal. Oh, my dear Albert, 
all that is fresh in my memory also. At each word of your recital, 
these long-slumbering images were awakened one by one; and this is 
the reason why your mountains did not appear absolutely unknown 
to me, and why I endeavored in vain to discover the cause of these 
confused recollections which forced themselves upon me during my 
journey, and especially why, wlien I first saw you, my heart palpi- 
tated and my head bowed down respectfully, as if I had just found a 
friend and protector, long lost and regretted." 

" Do you think, then, Consuelo," said Albert, pressing her to his 
heart, "that I did not recognise you at the first glance? In vain 
have years changed and improved the lineaments of childhood. I 
have a memory wonderfully retentive, though often confused and 
dreamy, which needs not the aid of sight or speech to traverse the 
space of days and of ages. I did not know that you were my cher- 
ished Zingarella, but I felt assured I had already known you, loved 
you, and pressed you to my heart — a heart which, although unwilr 
tiugly, was from that instant bound to yours for ever." 



CHAPTER XL VI. 



Thtjs conversing, they arrived at the point where the two paths 
divided, and where Consuelo had met Zdenko. They perceived at a 
distance the light of his lantern which was placed on the ground be- 
side him. Consuelo having learned by experience the dangerous 
whims, and almost incredible strength of the idiot, involuntarily 
pressed close to Albert, on perceiving the indication of his approach. 

" Why do you fear this mild and affectionate creature?" said the 
young count, surprised, yet secretly gratified at her terror. " Poor 



214 CONSUELO. 

Zdenko loves you, although since yesternight a frightful dream has 
made him refractory and rather hostile to your generous project of 
coming to seelc me. But he is, when I desire it, as submissive as a 
child, and you shall see him at your feet if 1 but say the word." 

" Do not humiliate him before me," replied Consuelo; " do not in- 
crease the aversion which he already entertains for me. I shall by- 
and-by inform you of the serious reasons I have to fear and avoid him 
for the future." 

" Zdenko," replied Albert, " is surely an ethereal being, and it is 
difficult to conceive how he could inspire any one whatever with fear. 
His state of perpetual ecstacy confers on him the purity and charity 
of angels." 

" But this state of ecstacy when it is prolonged becomes a disease. 
Do not deceive yourself on this point. God does not wish that man 
should thus abjure tlie feeling and consciousness of his real life, to ele- 
vate himself— often by vague conceptions — to an ideal world. Mad- 
ness, the general result of these hallucinations, is a punisbmeut for 
his pride and indolence." 

Cynabre stopped when he saw Zdenko, and looked at him with an 
affectionate eye, expecting the customary caress, which his friend now 
withheld from hiiu. His head was buried in his hands as it had been 
when Consuelo left liira. Albert spoke to him ui Bohemian, but he 
scarcely made any reply. His cheeks were bathed in tears, and he 
would not so much as look at Consuelo. But Albert raised his voice, 
and spoke to him firmly ; but there was still more of exhortation than 
of anger in his tones. He rose and offered her his hand, which she 
took, though not without trembling. 

"Now," he said to her in German, looking at her mildly, although 
sadly, " you ought to fear me no longer; but you have done me great 
injury, and I feel that your hand is full of misfortune to me." 

He walked on before, now and then exchanging a word with Albert. 
They followed the solidly-built and spacious gallei-y, which hitherto 
Consuelo had not yet traversed, which led them to a round, vaulted 
Jiall, in which they again encountered the water of the spring, flowing 
into a large basin, made by the hand of man, and walled up with hewn 
stone. Two streams flowed from it, one losing itself in the ramifica- 
tions of the cavern, the other rushing towards the castle cistern. The 
latter of these Zdenko closed, placing in its channel three huge blocks 
of stone, when desired to lower the cistern to the level of the sluice- 
way, and of the stairway by which to gain Albert's terrace. 

" Let us sit down here awhile," said Albert, to his companion, " to 
give the water of the well time to run off by the waste-way " 

" Which I know but too well," said Consuelo, shuddering from head 
to foot. 

" What do yon mean ? " asked Albert, in astonishment. 

" I will tell you some other time," said Consuelo. " At this moment 
I do not wish to alarm and sadden you by the idea of the perils I have 
gone through." 

" What does she mean ? " asked Albert of Zdenko, in astonishment. 

Zdenko replied in Bohemian, while he was kneading some clay 
wherewith to fill up the interstices of the blocks of stone. 

"Explain yourself, Consuelo," said Albert, earnestly. "I cannot 
make out what he means. He says that he did not guide you hither, 
that you came through subterraneous passages, which I know to be 
impenetrable, and through which no delicate woman would or could 



CONSUELO. 215 

attempt to pass. He says that destiny led you, and that the Arch- 
angel Michael, whom he calls the haughty and imperious, guided you 
through the waters, and across the abysses." 

"I dare say it was the Aichangel Michael," said Consuelo, with a 
smile, " for it is very certain that I came by the waste-way of the 
fountain, and outstripped tlie torrent in its course. That I lost my 
way two or three times, passed caverns and quarries in which I ex- 
pected to be smothered or drowned at every step I took ; and yet all 
these things were less ten-ible to me than the rage of Zdeulvo, when 
chance or Providence brought me back to the true road." 

And here Consnelo, who was still speaking Spanish to Albert, told 
him in a few words of the reception the pacific Zdenkohad given her, 
and of .his attempt to biu-y her alive, which he would unquestionably 
have accomplished had she not fortunately remembered the singu- 
larly heretical phrase by which to appease him. Cold sweat rolled 
down the face of Albert, and his eyes shot fiery glances of wrath 
against Zdenko, who returned them with defiance and disdain. Con- 
suelo trembled at the idea of a conflict between these two madmen, 
and tried to reconcile them by gentle words, but Albert rose, and giv- 
ing the keys of his hermitage to Zdenko, addressed him very coldly, 
when Zdenko instantly submitted, and went away, singing some of 
his wild and antique airs. 

" Consuelo," said Albert, as soon as he was gone, " if this faithful 
animal now crouchiaig at your feet, if poor Cynabre were by involun- 
tary rage to put your life in peril, he should die for it, aiid my hand, 
which has never shed the blood even of the lower animals, would not 
hesitate to slay him. Fear not, then ; no further peril shall assail 
you." 

"Of what are you speaking, Albert? " she cried, alarmed at this 
sudden illusion. "I fear nothing; Zdenko is still a man, if he have 
lost his reason — in part by his own fault, and in part it may be by ,, 
yours. Speak not of blood or punishment; it is for you to lead him 
back to truth and reason. But come, let us go. I fear that the day 
may dawn, and that we may be seen as we re-enter the castle." 

" Tou are right, Consnelo," said Albert, proceeding on his way. 
" Wisdom speaks by thy mouth. My madness has been contagious to 
the poor wretch, and myself, cured by you, it is for me to cure him. 
But if I fail, although Zdenko be a man in the eyes of God, and an 
angel for his tenderness to me, although he be the ouly true friend on 
earth, be sure that I will tear him from my heart, and that you shall 
never see him more." 

" Hold ! Albert, hold ! " cried Consuelo. " Dwell not on sach ideas. 
I would rather a hundred fold myself die, than force on you a neces- 
sity so terrible." 

But Albert heard her not. He was again bewildered. And as he 
was no longer compelled to support her, he seemed to forget her very 
existence, and walked rapidly forward, making the cavern re-echo 
with his broken exclamations, and leaving her to drag herself as best 
she might, behind him. 

In this alarming situation Consuelo could think of nothing but 
Zdenko, who was behind, and might follow her- and of the torrent, 
which he might unchain at any moment, in which case she would 
perish miserably, deprived of Albert's aid. For he was now the vic- 
tim of a new phantasy, and appeared to see her before him, and to be 
in pursuit of a fleeting phautom, while she was really behind him in 



216 CONSDELO. 

the darkness. Cyiiabre, who carried the li!;ht, ran as ?wiftly as liis 
master walked; tlie lii^ht vanished behind tlie angles of the sinuous 
road, and at length, overcome with fatigue and terror, Consnelo stum- 
bled over a fragment of rock, fell, and could not rise again. 

" It is all over!" she thought within herself, after a vain effort to 
raise herself on her knees. " I am a victim to a pitiless destiny, and 
never more shall look upon the light of heaven." A thicker darkness 
than that of the cavern overspread her eyes. Her hands grew chill, 
an apathy like that of the last sleep overjiowered lier, when suddenly 
she was raised in a pair of strong arms, and pressed closely to a lov- 
ing hreast, while a fi-iendly voice addressed her with kind words. 
Cynabre bounded before her, shaking his lantern joyously, for it was 
Albert, who had recovered his senses, and returned, just in time to res- 
cue her from certain death. In three minutes they reached the cistern, 
into which the water was already beginning to flow. Cynabre, accus- 
tomed to the way, rushed fleetly up the steps, as if he feared to be in 
the way of his master, while Albert, clinging to tlie chain with one 
liand while he iipheld her with the other, ascended with wonderful 
speed. At any time his muscular strength was ten-fold that of Zden- 
ko, and now he was animated by an almost supernatural power. 
When he deposited his precious burthen on the margiu of the well, 
the day was dawning. 

" My friend," said she tenderly, ■' I was about to die when you saved 
me. You have returned all that I have done for you, but now I feel 
your fatigue more than you do yourself and I feel as if I should give 
way under it." 

" Oh, my little Zingarella," cried Albert, enthusiastically, " I feel 
your weight as little as on that day when I bore you. yet a child, down 
the steep descent of the Shreckenstein into the castle." 

" Whence you are never to issue more, without my permission, Al- 
bert. Remember your promise." 

" I will. Do you, likewise." 

He then helped her to wrap herself in her veil, and led her through 
his room, whence she escaped to her own apartment unseen of any 
one, although the people were beginning to rise in the castle, and the 
dry morning cough of the canoness was heard from the lower story. 

Hastily she took off and concealed her garments, soiled and torn by 
her wild nocturnal adventures, for she had recovered strength enough 
to be aware of the necessity of secrecy. But no sooner had her head 
touched the pillow than a heavy and unrefreshing sleep fell on her, 
and she remained as it were nailed to her pillow by the oppression of 
fierce and fiery fever. 



— <- »»^ » 



CHAPTER XL VII. 

The Canoness Wonceslawa, after praying that morning abont half 
an hour, went up-st^irs, and walked straight to the door of her neph- 
ew's chamber. She was charmed to hear some slisht sounds from 
within, which served to announce his return. She entered .softly, and 
what was her rapture to see Albert sleeping peacefully in his own bed, 
and Cynabre curled up in an arm chair. At once she ran down to 



CONSUEXO. 217 

the oratory, wTiere tlie old Count Christian was praying, as was his 
wont, that heaven would restore his son to him, either on earth or in 
heaven . 

" Brother," she cried kneeling by his side, " suspend your prayers 
and laise your highest benedictions toward heaven. Tour prayers 
are granted." 

She had no need to utter anotlier word. The old man understood 
her, raised his withered hand toward heaven, and cried in a fahit 
voice, " My God, you have restored my son to me 1 " 

And then both, as if by a sudden inspiration, began to recite alter- 
nately the verses of the beautiful canticle of Simeon, " Lord, now 
lettest thou thy servant depart in peace ! " 

Albert they determined not to awaken ; but the baron, the chap- 
lain, and all the -servants were summoned, and listened devoutly to 
a mass of thanksgiving in the Castle chapel. Amelia alone greatly 
disapproved of being awakened at five o'clock in the morning, to 
yawn through a sleepy mass, though she was rejoiced at her cousin's 
return. 

" Why did not your good friend, Porporina, join us in returning 
thanks to Providence," said Count Christian to his niece, when mass 
was over. 

" I tried to waken her," answered Amelia, " but in vain. I called 
her, shook her, did all I could to arouse her, but in vain. I should 
have thought her dead, but she was as hot as fire, and her face was 
crimson. She must have slept ill, and is feverish." 

" The excellent young lady must be sick, then," said Count Chris- 
tian, " and, my dear sister, you ought to go and give her that care 
which her situation requires. I trust the happy day of our sou's re- 
turn will not be saddened by the illness of that noble girl." 

" I will go, brother," replied the canoness, who never took a step or 
said a word in relation to Consuelo, without consulting the chaplain's- 
eye. " But do not be alarmed, Christian. The signora Nina is very ' 
nervous, and will soon be well. Is it not, however, a very singular 
thing," said she, aside to the chaplain^i;Tvhen she could do so unob- 
served, " that this girl should have foretold Albert's return so confi- 
dently and so surely. Perhaps we may have deceived ourselves about 
her, and she may be a sort of saint." 

" A saint would have come to mass, instead of having a fever at 
such a time," said the chaplaiy, gravely. 

This judicious remark drew a sigh from the canoness; but she went 
to see Consuelo, and found her in a burning fever and heavy lethargic 
sleep. The chaplain was summoned, and declared that, should this 
condition last, slie would be very ill. The young baroness was next 
questioned as to whether her neighbor had passed a restless niglit. 

'• Far from it," said Amelia, '' I never heard lier move. I expected, 
after the predictions and strange tales witli which she has been regal- 
ing us of late, to have heard the sabbat danced in lier room; but 
whether the devil carried her far hence, or whether she deals with 
very clever imps I know not; she never stirred to my knowledge, for 
my sleep was not once broken." 

The chaplain thought these jests very wicked, and the canoness, 
whose good heart ever counteracted the errors' of her judgment, 
thought theriiHery nuich misplaced by the bedside of a sick compan- 
ion. She said nothing, however, attributing her niece's spite to well- 
fonnded jealousy, and only asked theNjJiaplain what medicine ought to 
be given to Porporiua. 



218 CONSUELO. 

He ordered a sedative, but, as her teeth were hard clenched it could 
not be administered, and this he pronounced a bad sign. But in tliat 
house apathy was contagious, and he put off his judgment until after 
a future examination, saying " If this state continues, we must think 
of sending for a physician ; for I should not feel justified in undertalc- 
ing a case Where the ailment is not moral. In the meantime I will 
pray for her, and it may be, to judge from her recent state of mind, 
that the aid of God will be most effective in her case." 

A servant maid was left with Consuelo. The canoness went to 
prepare a dainty breakfast for Albert; Amelia put on a brilliant cos- 
tume to captivate him. Every one prepared some gratification for 
the young count, while no one thought of poor Consuelo, to whom 
his return was due. 

Albert soon awoke, and, instead of making useless efforts to re- 
. member what had passed, as he usually did after his fits of delirium 
and visits to the cavern, he speedily remembered his love and the hap- 
piness which he had derived from Consuelo. He hastened to arise, 
dressed and perfumed himself, and hastened to throw himself into 
the arms of his father and his aunt, whose.joy was at its height when 
they observed that Albert was perfectly sensible, conscious of his long 
absence, and penitent for the uneasiness he had caused them. He 
begged their pardon earnestly, and promised to give them no cause 
fbr further annoyance. He saw their delight at his return to a per- 
ception of reality, but, at the same time, he remarked that they pei^ 
Bisted in flattering him as to his true position, and he felt humiliated 
at being treated as a child, when he knew himself again a man. 

When they sat down to table, in the midst of the caresses of his 
family and their tears of joy, he looked anxiously around for her who 
was become necessary to his happiness and peace, so that his aunt, 
seeing him start at the opening of every door, thought it best to re- 
lieve his anxiety by stating that their young guest had slept badly, 
and wished to remain in bed part of the day. 

Albert well understood that his deliverer must naturally be much 
fatigued; nevertheless, fear was manifest in all his features at this 
news. 

" But, aunt," said he, at length, unable to control his emotion, "I 
think if Porpora's adopted daughter be seriously ill, we might be bet- 
ter employed than sitting here round the table, eating and drinking 
and chatting at our ease." 

"Don't be alarmed, Albert," said 'Amelia, blushing with spite, 
" Nina is busy dreaming about you, and auguring your return, which 
she awaits in tranquil sleep, while we are joyously celebrating it 
here." 

Albert turned pale with indignation, and replied with an angry 
glance — 

" If any one here has slept while awaiting me. It is not the person 
whom you have named that deserves thanks for it. The rosiness of 
your cheeks, fair cousin, shows that you have not lost a moment's 
sleep in my absence, and therefore now require no rest. I thank you 
for it with all my heart, for it would have been very painful to me to 
beg your pardon with shame and penitence, as I have done of all the 
rest of the family." 

" Thanks for the exception," answered Amelia, crimson with rage, 
" I will try always to deserve it, by keeping my watchings and anxieties 
for some one who will care for them — not turn them into jest." 



CONSUELO. 219 

This little altercation, which was no new affair between Albert and 
his betrothed, though it was unusually bitter, in despite of all Albert's 
efforts to the contrary, threw some constraint and sadness over tlie 
rest of the morning. The canoness went several times to see her 
patient, whom she found still more feverish and more lethargic. 
Amelia, who regarded Albert's anxiety as a personal insult, went to 
cry in her own room. The chaplain told the canoness that if the 
fever lasted until evening, they must send for a physician. Count 
Christian, who could not comprehend his son's anxiety, and who 
thought him still in ill health, kept his son close to his side all the 
morning. But in spite of his elforts to soothe him by affectionate 
wtirds, the old man could not hit upon a single topic by which he 
c iiild awaken Albert's sympathies, fearing to sound the depths of his 
mind, through a vague apprehension of being overcome in ai'gument, 
wUich had ajlways befallen him, whenever, wanting as he was both in 
eloquence and that logical art of special pleading which supplies the 
want of It, he had attempted to attack what he-called the heresies of 
Albert, and to combat the vivid gleams which pierced through the 
gloom of his Insane fits, with the feeble and modest arguments of a 
weak and narrow-minded, though sincere Catholic. And he even 
dieaded, lest by giving him the victory, he should but add to his pride 
and attachment in the wrong, and so do him injury rather than good. 
Their conversation was, therefore, broken, at least twenty times, by a 
sort of mutual alarm, and twenty times resumed with constraint on 
both sides, and, at last, sunk of itself into silence. The old count 
fell asleep In his own arm-chair, and Albert went to inquire after Con- 
siielo's health, concerning whom he was the more alarmed, the more 
they endeavored to conceal from him her ailment. 

He passed two hours and upwards roaming about the corridors of 
the castle, lying In wait for the canoness or the chaplain, in hopes of 
gaining tidings from them. The chaplain persisted in answering hira % 
concisely and reservedly; the canoness put on a forced smile when 
she saw him, and affected to talk of other things, as if to lull him into 
a false security. But it was not long before Albert perceived that she 
was really uneasy, that her visits to Consuelo's chamber became much 
more frequent, and that she did not hesitate about opening and shut- 
ting the doors constantly, as if the sleep, which they pretended to be 
so peaceful and necessary, was one which could not be interrupted by 
any noise or uproar. He took courage, therefore, to approach the 
room, to enter which he would almost have given his life. It had an 
antechamber, "Separated from tlie passage by two massive doors, in 
which there was no chink or cranny penetrable to the eye. So soon 
as she observed this attempt, the canoness bolted both these securely, 
and thereafter, visited her patient only through Amelia's room, which 
was adjoining, and which she well knew Albert would not visit in 
or<ler to seek tidings, save with the last reluctance. At length, seeing 
that he was growing angry, she resolved to deceive him; and, while 
asking pardon of the Lord in her heart, announced that the invalid 
was much better, and would come down to dinner with the family. 

Albert, in the meantime, returned to his father, anxiously awaiting 
tlie hour which should give him bade happiness and Consuelo. 

But the bell rang in vaiu; noCon-^uelo made her appearance, and the 
canoness, who seemed to become rapidly an adept in the art of false- 
hood, said that she had risen, but feeling herself still weak, had pre- 
ferred to take her dinner in her own room; and she even carried the 



220 C O N S U E L o. 

deceit so far as to send delicate dishes to her from the table. These 
stratagems at last convinced Albert, though he still felt an invincible 
presentiment of evil, and only preserved the appearance of calmness 
by the exertion of a powerful effort. 

In the evening, Wenceslawa again announced, with an air of satis- 
faction, that the Porporina was much better, that the feverish redness 
of her complexion had subsided, that her pulse was rather feeble 
than full, and that she would undoubtedly pass an excellent night. 

"And, wherefore," muttered Albert to himself, " am I frozen with 
terror, in spite of this favorable news? " 

In truth, the good canoness, who, despite her leanness and deform- 
ity, had never been sick an hour in her life, understood nothing of the 
sickness of others. When she saw Consuelo's flushed cheek alter to a 
pale bluish hue, her agitated blood become stagnant in her veins, and 
her oppressed bosom cease to labor; she really believed that she was 
convalescent, and gave notice of the occurrence with childish gladness. 
But the chaplain, who knew a little more, saw at once that this ap- 
parent ease was but the precursor of a violent crisis. So soon as Al- 
bert had retired, he told the canoness that the moment had arrived 
when the i)hysiclaij must be summoned. Unfortunately the town 
was distant, the night dark, the roads execrably bad, and Hans, the 
messenger, though zealous enough, as slow as the horse that carried 
him. The storm arose, the rain fell in torrents. The old horse, 
which carried the old servant, tripped a hundred times, and, at length, 
lost his way with his master, who took every hill for the Schrecken- 
stein, and every flash of lightning for the fiery flight of an evil spirit. 
It was broad day before he recovered his way, and it was late before 
the physician could be aroused, induced to dress himself, and proceed 
on his way. More than four-and-twenty hourshad been lost in de- 
termining and performing this. 

Meanwhile, Albert vainly endeavored to sleep. His evil auguries 
and the wild sounds of the distant storm, kept him awake all night 
long. He dared not go down stairs, fearing the oflended dignity of 
his aunt, and her remarks on the impropriety of his visit to the 
chamber of two young ladies.- He left his door open, however, and 
listened to the footsteps as they passed to and fro, on the lower floor. 
Hearing nothing of moment, he was compelled to be calm, and in 
obedience to Consuelo's orders, he watched over his reason and his 
moral health, with firmness and patience. But, on a sudden, above 
the peals of thunder and the crashing of the timbers of the old cas- 
tle under the fury of the hurricane, a long and piercing cry reached 
his ear, like the thrust of a keen weapon. Albert, who had lain 
down on the bed in his clothes, with a full resolution of sleeping, 
sprang to his feet, rushed down stairs, and knocked at Consuelo's 
door. All was again silence. No one replied or came to open the 
door. Albert almost fancied he had been dreaming, when another 
ci'y followed, yet wilder than the first. He hesitated no longer, ran 
round a gloomy corridor, arrived at Amelia's door, and announced 
his name. He heard her bolt it from within, and her voice impe- 
riously commanded him to begone. Nevertheless, the cries and 
groans redoubled. It was the voice of Consuelo in the extremity of 
suffering. He even heard his own name uttered in tones of anguish 
by that adored mouth. He drove the door in furiously, making'botli 
lock and bolt fly, and casting Amelia, who, in a damask dressing- 
gown and lace cap, played the part of injured modesty, violently back 



CONSUELO. 221 

on the sofa, rushed into Consuelo's apartment, pale as a spectre, and 
with his hair bristling ^ect on his head. 



CHAPTEK XL VIII. 

CoifSTjEi.o, who was now violently delirious, was struggling furi- 
otisly in the arms of the two strongest maid-servants in the house. 
Assailed, as is usually the case in all affections of the brain, by appall- 
ing terrors, the poor girl was endeavoryig to escape from the visions 
which beset her. She could see only in the persons who were trying 
to restrain and reassure her, enemies and monsters. The chaplain, 
terroi--stricken and expecting to see her fall at each moment, over- 
powered by the violence of her fit, could only pray for her, while she 
took him for Zdenko, building the wall against her in the cavern. 
The trembling canoness who was assisting the other women to hold 
her in bed, she took for the phantom of the two Wandas, the sisters 
of Ziska, and the mother of Albert, confronting her, one by one in 
the cavern, and accusing her of invading their demesnes. Her cries, 
her groans, her words, all incomprehensible to the bystanders, all re- 
lated to the events of the past night. She heard the roar of the tor- 
rents, and moved her arms as if she would have swam. She shook 
her black hair, dishevelled from' her shoulders, and thought she saw 
the foam-flakes fall from it. Ever she fancied Zdenko behind her, 
opening the sluice-gates, or before her, blocking her way with granite. 
She only spoke of water and of stones, and that with a pertinacity 
that led the chaplain to say — " This is a very long and painful dream. 
I cannot conceive what has so rivetted her thoughts on that cistern. 
It is evidently the beginning of her fever, and her delirium refers to 
nothing else." -*► 

At the moment when Albert entered her chamber in dismay, Con- 
suelo, exhausted with the violence of her delirium, was uttering only 
inarticulate words and piercing cries. The power of her will, no 
longer resisted her terrors, as it had done when she encountered 
them, and the reaction which she now experienced was intensely 
horrible. She recovered her voice, however, by a sort of instinct pre- 
dominant over her dehrium, and began to call Albert, with shrieks 
BO wild and piercing, that the whole house rang. 

" Here — I am here!" he cried, rushing towards the bed. Consuelo 
heard him — recovered all her energies, and fancying that he was fly- 
ing from her, darted out of bed, escaping the liands of Iier attendants, 
with that rapidity of motion and muscular power, which fever often 
lends even to the weakest frames. She sprang into the middle of the 
room with dishevelled hair and bare feet, and her body covered only 
by a slight, and ruffled night-dress, looking almost Uke a spectre, just 
issued from the tomb. At the very moment when they were on .the 
point of seizing her, she sprang with a light bound to the top of the 
harpsichord, and thence to the sill of the window, which she evi- 
dently took for the opening of the fatal cistern ; and calling again on 
the name of Albert through the wild and stormy night, would have cast 
herself out headlong, had not Albert, yet more active and far stronger 
than she, caught her in his arms, and carried her back to her bed. 



222 CONSUELO. 

She did not recognise hira,bnt she made no resistance and ceased to 
cry. He addresse:! her in Spanish, lavishing, on her the tenderest 
names and epithets. She listened, but appeared neither to hear or 
see him : but suddenly rishig on her l^nees in bed, she began to sing 
Handel's Te Damn, wliich slie had recently read and adrairedr Never 
had she looked more lovely than in that attitude of ecstasg.with her 
hair loosely flowing, her cheeks flushed with fever, andvher eyes 
turned lieavenward, and conscious of heaven only. The canoness 
was so much moved that she. sank on her knees at the foot of the 
bed, and burst into tears; and the chaplain, unsympiithetic as he was, 
bowed his head in religious veneration. As soon as she had ended 
her chant, she heaved a deep sigh, and exclaiming—" I am saved," 
fell backward, pale as marble,. with her eyes wide open, but devoid of 
life or lustre, her lips ashy white, and her arms rigid. 

An instant of terror and silence followed the catastrophe. Amelia, 
who had watched this terrible scene motionless at the door of her 
own room, without daring to move a step, fell backward fainting. 
The canoness and the two "women ran to succor her, wliile Consuelo 
lay cold and niotic^iless on the arm of Albert, who had let fall liis 
head upon her bosom, and seemed scarce more alive than she. The 
canoness had no sooner laid Amelia on the bed, tlian she returned to 
the door of Consuelo's room. ^ 

" Well, Monsieur Chaplain ? " she asked mournfully. 

" Madam, it is death! " replied the chaplain in a deep voice^ letting 
fall Consuelo's arm, the pulse of which he had been questioning. 

" No, it is not death," cried Albert impetuously. "*TJ tell you it is 
not death. I have consulted her heart better than you have lier 
pulse. It beats still; she breathes, she is alive. Oh! she will live. 
It is not thus, nor is it now that she is to pass away. Now is tlie mo- 
ment to act with energy. Now, Monsieur Chaplain, give me your 
medicine che^t; I know how to treat her, which you do not. Wretch 
that you are, obey me. You have done her no good. You might 
have prevented fflls fearfid crisis; you have not done so. You hid 
her illness from me. You have all deceived me. Did you then wish 
to destroy her? Your cowardly prudence, your stupid apathy, have 
tied up both your tongue and your hands. Give me your medicine 
chest. I say, and let me act." 

And as the chaplain still hesitated to give his medicines, which might 
easily, in the bauds of one inexperienced, much more of one half-mad, 
be considered poisons, he snatched it violently out of his hands. 
Without paying any regard to his aunt's observations, he chose out 
and weighedKliimself, the powerful sedatives, which could alone act in 
such a crisis. Albert was learned in many things, of which no one 
believed that he knew anything. He had experimented upon himself 
at one period of his life, when he was himself attending to the dis- 
ordered functions of his own brain, and had studied the effect of the 
m ist potent anti-spasmodics. Prompt of judgment, bold and zealous, 
he administered a dojUwhich the chaplain would not have ventured to 
recommend. With great gentleness he succeeded hi opening her 
clenched teeth, and got her to swallow some drops of the efficacious 
raedieiue. At the end of an hour, during which he repeated the prac- 
tice several times, her breathing was free, her hands had recovered 
their warmth, and her features their elasticity. Sjje neither saw nor 
heard anything as yet, but her lethargy had assumed the form of sleep 
and a pale color was returning to her lips. The physician arrived, and 



CONSUELO. 223 

seeing that the case was a serious one, declared that he had been 
calleditoo late^and woiilc%jinswer for nothing. She ought to have been 
bled last nigffl;," he said, " but now tlie moment was not favorable. 
To bleed*would bring back the crisis, and this would be embarrass- 
ing." *^ 

" It will bring it back," said Albert, " and yet she must be bled." 

The German physician,. who was a heavy person, accustomed to be 
regarded as an oracle in his part of the coiintry, where he had no 
rival or competitor, raised his bushy eyes,' and looked frowningly to 
see who dared questiou his diction. 

" I tell you she must be bled," said Albert, authoritatively.. " The 
crisis will return with or without the bleeding." 

" Permit me," said the doctor; " that j^ less certain than you seem 
to think." 

" If the crisis do not return all is lost," replied Albert, " and you 
ought to know it.- This lethargic state tends to congestion of the 
brain, .paralysis, and death. It is your duty to possess yourself of the 
disease, to rekindle its intensity, and then combat it, and subdue it. 
What can you do beside here? Prayers and f\meral ceremonies are 
not your duty. Bleed her, or I will do so myself" 

The doctor knew well that Albert's reasoning was jnst, but it was 
not his rule that a man so grave and important as he, should decide 
promptly^ Moreover, our German had a habit of pretending perplex- 
ities, in order to come out of them triumphantly, as if by a sudden flash 
of genius, so as to lead persons to speak of him as a very great and 
skilful practilioner, without his equal, even in Vienna. 

When he foimd himself contradicted, therefore, and driven to the 
wall by Albert's impatience — " If you are a physician," he replied, 
" and if yon have authority here, I do not see why I was called in, and 
1 shall go home." 

" If you don't chose to decide while there is yet time, you may do 
so," returned Albert. 

Doctor Wetzelius, who was desperately offended at being associated 
with an unknown brother of the profession, rose, and went into 
Amelia's room, to attend to the nerves of that young person, who was 
urgently solicitous to see him, and to take leave of the canoness; but 
she insisted on his remaining. 

" Alas ! my deal' doctor," said she, " you cannot abandon us in such 
a situation. See what heavy responsibility weighs on ns. My neph- 
ew has offended you^^ but you should not resist so sei'iously Lhe hasti- 
ness of a young man who is so little master of liimself." 

" Was that Count Albert?" asked the doctor, amazed.' "I should 
never have recognised him, he is so much altered." 

"Without doubt, the ten years which have elapsed since you saw 
him, have made a great change in him." 

" I thought him completely cured," said the doctor, maliciously; " for 
I have not been sent for once since his return." 

"Ah ! my dear doctor, you are aware that Albert never willingly 
submitted to the decision of science." 

"And now he appears to be a physician himself!" 

" He has a slight knowledge of all sciences, but he carries into all his 
uncontrollable impatience. The frightful state in which he has just 
seen this young g|jl has agitated him terribly, otherwise you would 
have seen him more polite, more calm, and grateful to you for the cara 
you bestowed on him in his infancy." 



224 CONSUELO. 

4 

"I think he requires care more than ever," replied the doctor, who, 
in spite of liis respect fo(- the Eudolstadt famij^, preferred aflflicting the 
canoness by this harsh observation, to stooping from his professional 
position, and giving up the petty revenge of treating Albert as a mad- 
man. 

The canoness suiTered the more from this cruelty, that the exasper- 
ation of the doctor might lead him to reveal the condition of her neph- 
ew, which she took such pains to conceal. She therefore laid aside her 
dignity for the moment to -disarm this resentment, iind deferentially 
inquired what he thought of the bleeding so much insisted on by Al- 
bert. 

" I think it is absurd at present," said the doctor, who wished to 
maintain the initiative, and allow the decision to come perfectly free 
from his respected lips. '• X shall wait an hour or two ; and if the right 
moment should arrive sooner than I expect, I shall act: but in the 
present crisis, the- state of the pulse does not warrant me taking any 
decisive step." 

" Then you will remain with us? Bless you, excellent doctor! " 

" When I am now aware that my opponent is the young count," 
replied the doctor, smiling with a patronising and compassionate air, 
" I shall not be astonished at anything, and shall allow liim to talk as 
he pleases." 

And he was turning to re-enter Consuelo's apartment, the door of 
which the chaplain had closed to prevent Albert hearing this collo- 
quy, when the chaplain himseli pale and bewildered, left the sick 
girl's couch, and came to seek tfle physician. 

" In the name of Heaven! doctor!" he exclaimed, " come and use 
your authority, for mine is despised, as the voice of God himself 
would be, I believe, by Count Albert. He persists in bleeding the 
dying girl, contrary to your express prohibition. I know not by what 
force or stratagem we shall prevent him. He will maim her, if he do 
not kill her on the spot, by some untimely blunder." 

" So, so," muttejed the doctor in a sulky tone, as he stalked leisure- 
ly towards the door, with the conceited and insulting air of a man 
devoid of natural feeling, " we shall see fine doings if I fail in divert- 
ing his attention in some way." 

But wlien they approached the bed, they found Albert with his 
reddened lancet between his teeth: with one hand he supported 
Consuelo's arm, while with the other he held tlie basin. The vein 
was open, and dark-colored blood flowed in an abundant stream. 

The chaplain began to murmer, to exclaim, and to take Heaven to 
witness. The doctor endeavored to jest a little, to distract Albert's 
thoughts, conceiving he might take bis own time to close the vein, 
were it only to open it a moment after, that his caprice and vanity 
might tlius enjoy all the credit of success. But Albert kept them all 
at a distance by a mere glance; and as soon as he had drawn a suffi- 
cient quantity of blood, he applied the necessary bandages, with the 
dexteiity of an expej-jenced operator. He then gently replaced Con- 
suelo's ai'in by her side, handing the canoness a phial to hold to her 
nostrils, and called the chaplain and the doctor into Amelia's cham- 
ber. 

" Gentlemen," said he, "you can now he of no further use. Inde- 
cision and prejudice united, paralyze your zeal and your knowledge. I 
here declare that I take all the responsibility on myself, and that I will 
not be either opposed or molested' in so serious a task. 1 beg there- 



coNSUEto. 225 

fore that the chaplain may recite his prayers and the doctor adminis- 
ter his potions to my CQUsin. I shall suffer no prognostics, nor sen- 
tences of death around the bed of one who will soon regain her con- 
sciousness. Let this be settled. If in this instance X offend a learned 
man — if I am guilty of culpable conduct towards a friend — I shall ask 
panlon when X can once more think of myself." 

After having thus spoken in a tone, the serious and studied polite- 
ness of wlilch was in strong contrast With the coldness and formality 
of his words, Albert re-entered Consuelo's apartment, closed the door, 
put the key in his pocket, and said to the eanoness : " No one shall 
either enter or leave this room without my permission." 



CHAPTEK XLXX. 



The terrified eanoness dared not venture a word in reply. There ' 
was something so resolute in Albert's air and demeanor that his good 
aunt quailed before it, and obeyed him with an alacrity quite surpris- 
ing in her. The physician finding his authority despised, and not car- 
ing, as he afterwards affirmed, to encounter a madman, wisely deter- 
mined to withdraw. The chaplain betook himself to his prayers, and 
Albert, assisted , by his aunt and tw%of the domestics, remained the 
whole day with his patient, without relaxing his attentions for an in- 
stant. After some hours of quiet the paroxysm returned with an inten- 
sity almost greater than that of the preceding night. It was however 
of shorter duration, and then it yielded to the effect of powerful reme- 
dies.. ■ Albert desired the eanoness to retire to rest, and to send him 
another female domestic to assist him while the two others took some 
repose. 

" Will you not also take some rest?" asfeed Wenceslawa, trem- 
bling. 

" No, my dear aunt," he replied, " I require none." 

•• Alas ! my child," said she, " you will kill yourself, then ; " and she 
added as she left the room, emboldened by the abstraction of the 
count, " This stranger costs us dear." 

He • consented however to take some food, in order to keep up his 
strength. He ate standing in the corridor, his eye fixed upon the 
door ; and as soon as he had finished his hasty repast, he threw down 
the napkin, and re-entered the room. He had closed^the comrauui- 
cation between the chamber of Consuelo and that of Amelia, and 
only allowed the attendants to gain access by the gallery. Amelia 
wished to be admitted to tend her suffering companion ; but she went 
so awkwardly about it, and, dreading the return of convulsions, dis- 
played such terror at every feverish movement, that Albert became 
irritated, and begged her not to trouble herself further, but retire to 
her own apartment. 

" To my apartment ! " exclaimed Amelia ; " impossible ! — do you 
imagine J could sleep with those frightful cries of agony ringing in my 
ears?" 

Albert shrugged his shoulders, and replied that there were many 
other apartments in the castle, of which she might select the best, 
14 



226 coNSUEto. 

until the invalid could be removed to one where her proximity should 
annoy no one. 

Amelia, irritated and displeased, followed the advice. To witness 
the delicate care which Albert displayed towards her rival was more 
painful than all. " O, aunt!" she exclaimed, throwing herself into 
the arms of tiie canoness, when the latter had brought her to sleep 
in her own bedroom, where she had a bed prepared for her beside her 
own, " we did not know Albert. He now shows how he can Inve." 

For many days Consuelo hovered between life and death ; but Al- 
bert combated her malady with snch perseverance and skill as finally 
to conquer it. He bore her through this rude trial in safety; and as 
soon as she was out of danger, he caused her to be removed to an 
apartment in the turret of the castle, where the sun shone for the 
longest time, and where the view was more extensive and varied than 
from any of the other windows. This chamber, furnished after an 
antique fashion, was more in unison with the serious tastes of Consu- 
elo than the one they had first prepared for her, and she had long 
evinced a desire to occupy it. Here she was free from the importuni- 
ties of her companion, and in spite of the continual presence of a 
nurse, who was engaged each morning and evening, she could enjoy 
the hours of convalescence agreeably with her preserver. They al- 
ways conversed in Spanish, and the tender and delicate manifestation 
of Albert's love was so much the sweeter to Consuelo in that lan- 
guage which recalled her country, her childhood, and her mother. 
Imbued with the liveliest gratitude, weakened by sufferings in wJiich 
Albert alone had effectively aided and consoled her, she submitted to 
that gentle lassitude which is the result of severe indisposition. Her 
recollections of the past returned by degrees, but not with equal dis- 
tinctness. For example, if she recalled with undisguised satisfaction 
the support and devotion of Albert, during the principal events of 
their acquaintance, she saw his mental estrangement, and his some- 
what gloomy passion, as through a thick cloud. There were even 
hours, during the half consciousness of sleep, or after composing 
draughts, when she imagined that she had dreamed many of the 
things that could give cause for distrust or fear of her generous friend. 
She was so much accustomed to his presence and his attentions, that 
if he absented himself at prayers or at meals, she felt nervous and ag- 
itated until his return. She fancied that her medicines, when pre- 
pared and administered by any other hand than his, had an effe^j|he 
contrary of that which was intended. She would then observ^^^st^ 
a tranquil smile, so affecting on a lovely countenance half veiled by 
the shadow of death : " I now believe, Albert, that you are an en- 
chanter; for if you order but a single drop of water, it produces in 
me the same salutary calmness and strength which exists in your- 
self." 

Albert was happy for the first time in his life ; and as if his soul was 
strong in joy as it had been in grief, he deemed himself, at this period 
of intoxicating delight, the most fortunate man on earth. This cham- 
ber where he constantly saw his beloved one had become his w^orld. 
At night, after he was supposed to have retired, and every one was 
thought asleep in the house, he returned with stealthy steps; and 
while the nurse in charge slept soundly, he glided behind the bed of 
his dear Consuelo, and watched her sleeping, pale and drooping like a 
flower after the storm. He settled himself in an arm-chair, which 
he took care to leave there when he went away, and thus passed the 



CONSUELO. 227 

night, sleeping so lightly that at the least movement of Consuelo, ha 
awoke and bent towards her to catch her faint words; or his ready 
hand received hers when a prey to some unhappy dream, sUr was 
restless and disquieted. If the nurse chanced to awake, Albert de- 
clared he had just come in, and she rested satisfied that he merely 
visited his patient once or twice during the night, while in reality he 
did not waste half an hour in his own chamber. Consuelo shared 
this feeling, and although discovering the presence of her. guardian 
much more frequently than that of the nurse, she was still so weak as 
to be easily deceived both as to the number and duration of his visits. 
Often when, after midnight, she found him watching over her, and be- 
sought him to retire and take a few hours repose, he would evade her 
desire by saying that it was now near daybreak, and that he had just 
risen. These innocent deceptions excited no suspicion iu the mind 
of Consuelo of the fatigue to which her lover was subjecting himself; 
and to them it was owing that she seldom suffered from the absence 
of Albert. This fatigue, strange as it may appear, was unperceived by 
the young count himself: so true is it that love imparts strength to 
the weakest. He possessed, however, a powerful organization : and 
he was animated besides by a love as ardent and devoted as ever fired 
a human breast. 

When, during the first warm rays of the sun, Consuelo was able to 
bear removal to the half-open window, Albert seated himself' behind 
he., and sought in the course of the clouds and in the purple tints of 
the sunbeams, to divine the thoughts with which the aspect of the 
skies inspired his silent friend. Sometimes he silently took a corner 
of the veil with which she covered her head, and which a warm wind 
floated over the back of the sofa, and bending forward his forehead as 
if to rest, pressed it to his lips. One day Consuelo, drawing it for- 
ward to cover her chest, was surprised to find it warm and moist; 
and turning more quickly than she had done since her illness, per- 
ceived some extraordinary emotion on the countenance of her friend. 
His cheeks were flushed, a feverish fire shone in his eyes, while his 
breast heaved with violent palpitations. Albert quickly recovered 
himself, but not before he had perceived terror depicted on the coun- 
tenance of Consuelo. This deeply afflicted him. He would rather 
have witnessed there an emotion of contempt, or even of severity, 
than a lingering feeling of fear and distrust. He resolved to keep so 
careful a watch over himself, that no trace of his aberration of mind 
should be visible to her who had cured him of It, almost at the price 
of her own life. 

He succeeded, thanks to a superhuman power, and one which no 
ordinary man could have exercised. Accustomed to repress his emo- 
tions, and to enjoy the full scope of his desires, when not incapaci- 
tated by his mysterious disease, he restrained himself to an extent 
that he did not get credit for. His friends were ignorant of the fre- 
quency and force of the attack which he had every day to overcome, 
until overwhelmed by despair, he fled to his secret cavern — a con- 
queror even in defeat, since he still maintained sufficient circumspec- 
tion to hide from all eyes the spectacle of his fall. Albert's madness 
was of the most unhappy yet elevated stamp. He knew his madness 
and felt its approach until it had completely laid hold of and over- 
powered him. Tet he preserved in the midst of his attacks the 
vague and confused remembrance of an external world. In which he 
did not wish to reappear, whilst he felt his relations with it not per- 



228 CONSUELO. 

fectly established. This tbetnory of an actual and real life we all re- 
tain; when, in the dreams of a painful sleep, we are transported into 
anoth* life— a life of fiction and indefinable visions. We occasion- 
ally struggle against those fantasies and terrors of the night, assuring 
ourselves that they are merely the effects of nightmare, and making 
efforts to awake ; but on such occasions a hostile power appears to 
seize upon us at every effort, and to plunge us again into a horrible 
lethargy, where terrible spectacles, ever growing more gloomy, close 
around us, and where griefs the most poignant assail and torture us. 

It was in a strange series of alternations that the powerfulyet mis- 
erable existence of this singular man, whom nothing but an active, 
delicate and intelligent tenderness could rescue from his own suffer- 
ings, was spent. Consuelo had in reality the candid and innocent 
soul which seemed particularly adapted for the management of his 
dark spirit, which had hitherto been closed against any possible ap- 
proach of sympathy. There was something especially soft and touch- 
ing in the romantic enthusiasm of her first solicitude for Albert, as 
well as in the respectful friendship with which subsequent gratitude 
inspired her, that really appeared intended by a special Providence for 
the care of Albert. It is very probable that, if forgetful of the past, 
Consuelo could have returned the ardor of his passion ; transports so 
new to his experience, and a joy so sudden, would have excited him 
fatally. But her calm and discreet friendship had a far surer and 
more beneficial effect on him. It was a restraint, while it was a bless- 
ing; and if he enjoyed the pleasure of being loved as he never had 
been loved before, he was yet grieved at not being loved as he desired 
to be loved ; and lie had a secret fear of losing even that which he now 
possessed, should he appear to be dissatisfied with it. The effect of 
this triple love was -to leave no room in his mind any longer for the 
indulgence of those fatal reveries to which his lonely and inactive life 
had naturally led him. He was delivered from these as if by the force 
of enchantment, for he forgot them altogether, and the image of her 
whom he loved, kept them aloof like a heavenly buckler outstretched 
between them and hira. Like the fabulous hero of antiquity, Consue- 
lo had descended into Tartarus to rescue her friend, and had brought 
back thence bewilderment and terror. In his turn, it became his duty 
to deliver her from the hateful guests who had followed her, and he 
had succeeded in doing so by delicate attentions and respectful cares. 
They thus were recommencing as it were a new life altogether, rest- 
ing for support, one on the other, scarcely daring to look backward, 
and lacking the courage to revisit, even in thought, the abyss which 
they had traversed. The future was a new abyss, not less mysterious 
and terrible, which they did not venture to fathom. But they calmly 
enjoyed the present, like a season of grace which was grauted them 
by Heaven. 



CHAPTER L. 

It can by no means he asserted that the other inhabitants of the 
family were as well at ease as they. Amelia was furious, and deigned 
not to pay the shortest visit to the invalid. She affected even to 
avoid speaking to Albert, never looked at him, and would not even 



CONSUELO. 229 

reply to his morning and evening greeting. And what annoyed her 
the most was, that Albert did not appear so much as to notice her 
spite. 

The canoness, now that she saw the very evident passion of the 
nephew for the adventuress, had no langer a moment's peace of mind. 
She was even mentally laboring how she might avert the scandal; 
and, to this end, held long and frequent conferences with the chap- 
lain. 

But that holy man was by no means Inclined to bring these proceed- 
ings to a close. He had been for a long time a very unimportant per- 
son, quite overlooked among the cares of the family; and he was now 
recovering a sort of importance among these new agitations. He had 
the pleasure of playing the spy, of revealing, informing, predictiiig, 
advising, of sitirrlng in a word at his own" pleasure, all the interests of 
the house, wliile affecting to meddle with none of them, and covering 
himself from the indignation of the young count behind the petticoats 
of the aged aunt. 

But, these two every day discovered new causes for alarm, new mo- 
tives for precaution, but never any means of safety. Every day, the 
good Wenceslawa approached her nephew with a resolve to come to a 
full explanation, but every day a sarcastic smile, or an icy look, check- 
ed the abortive effort. Hourly, she watched an opportunity for glid- 
ing into Consuelo's room and administering a severe reproof; but at 
every attempt, Albert, as if informed by a familiar demon, met her on 
the threshold, and with a single frown, like that of Olympian Jove, 
lowered the courage and abashed the wrath of the powers adverse to 
his Ilion. 

The canoness, however, had twice or thrice began a conversation 
with the invalid; and at the moment in which she could talk with 
her alone, she made the best of her time by addressing a great num- 
ber of very trite remarks to her which she thought vastly significant. 
But as Consuelo had no such ambition as she was supposed to enter- 
tain, it was all thrown away upon her. Her sui'prise, and her air of 
candor and astonishment, at once disarmed the good canoness, who 
never in her life had been able to resist a frank accent, or a cordial 
caress. 

She retreated, therefore, in confusion, to confess her defeat to the 
chaplain, and the rest of the day was passed in resolutions for the 
morrow. 

Nevertheless, Albert, who clearly saw what was in process, and ob- 
serving that Consuelo was beginning to suspect something, and to 
grow uneasy, determined to put an end to the annoyance. He watch- 
ed Wenceslawa, therefore, in the passage, one morning, when she 
thoughtto out-general him by a very early visit to Consuelo, and show- 
ing himself suddenly, just as she was turning the key in the lock of 
the invalid's door. 

" My good aunt," said he, taking possession of that hand, and rais- 
ing it tohis lips, "I have something to say to you very low, which 
greatly interests you. It is that the life and health of the person who 
is sleeping here, are dearer to me than my own happiness. I know 
that your confessor holds it a point of conscience to prevent my devo- 
tion to her, and to destroy the effects of my cares. Had it not been 
for that, your noble heart would never have let you dream of jeopard- 
ing the recovery of an invalid, scarce yet out of danger, by harsh 
words or reproaches. But, since the fanaticism and petty mind of a 



230 CONStTELO. 

priest can work such a prodigy as to change the sincerest piety and 
purest charity into horrid cruelty, I shall oppose to the extent of my 
power the crime of which my poor aunt allows herself to be made the 
instrument, I will guard the invalid night and day, I will not quit her 
for a moment; and, if in spite of-my vigilance, she be torn from me, I 
swear by all that is most solemn in heaven, I will leave the house of 
my fathers, never to return. I think, when you tell my resolve to the 
chaplain, he will cease annoying you, and endeavoring to prevent the 
kindly instinct of your maternal heart." 

The amazed cauoness could only reply to this discourse by melting 
mtio t63,rs 

Albert had led her to the end of the gallery, so that the explana- 
tion could not be heard by Consuelo. She complained of the threat- 
ening tone which Albert employed, and endeavored to profit by the 
occasion, to show him the folly of his attachment towards a person 
of such low birth as Nina. 

" Aunt," replied Albert, smiling, " you forgot that if we are of the 
royal blood of the Podiebrads, our ancestors were kings only through 
favor of the peasants and revolted soldiery. A Podiebrad, therefore, 
should not pride himself on his noble origin, but rather regard it as 
an additional motive to attach him to the weak and the poqr, since it 
is among them that his strength and power have planted their roots, 
and not so long ago that he can have forgotten it." 

The canoness dosed the conference by retiring to consult the chap- 
Iain. 

When Wenceslawa related this conference to the chaplain, he gave 
it as his opinion that it would not be prudent to exasperate the young 
connt by remonstrances, nor drive him to extremity by annoying his 
protege — ' 

" For," said he, " it may occasion a return of his malady." After 
a pause, he resumed. 

" It is to Count Christian himself that you must address yonr rep- 
resentations," said be. " Your excessive delicacy has too much em- 
boldened the son. Let your wise remonstrances at length awaken 
the disquietude of his father, that he may take decisive measures 
with respect to this dangerous person." 

" Do you suppose," replied the canoness, " that I have not already 
done so? But alas J my brother has grown fifteen years older during 
the fifteen days of Albert's last disappearance. His mind is so enfee- 
bled that it is no longer possible to make him understand any sugges- 
tion. He appears to indulge in a sort of passive resistance to the idea 
of a new calamity of this description, and rejoices like a child at hav- 
ing found his son, and at hearing him reason and conduct himself as 
an intelligent man. He believes him cured of his malady and does 
not perceive that poor Albert is a prey to a new kind of madness, 
more fatal than the first. My brother's security in this respect is so 
great, and he enjoys it so unaflfectedly, that I have not yet found cour- 
age to open his eyes completely as to what is passing around him. It 
seems to me that this disclosure coming from you, and accompanied 
with your religious exhortations, would be listened to with more res- 
ignation, have a better effect, and be less painful to all parties." 

" It is too delicate an afiair," replied the chaplain, "to be under- 
taken by a poor priest like me. It will come much better from a 
sister, and your highness can soften the bitterness of the event, by 
expressions of tenderness which I could not venture upon towards 
the august head of the Kudolstadt family." 



CONSUELO. 



231 



These two grave personages lost many days in deciding upon wTiich 
should bell the cat. During this period of irresolution and apathy, 
in which habit also had its share, love made rapid progress in the 
heart of Albert. Cousuelo's health was visibly restored, and nothing 
occurred to disturb tlie progress of an intimacy which the watchful- 
ness of Argus could not have rendered more chaste and reserved, 
than it was simply through true modesty and sincere love. 

Meantime the Baroness Amelia, unable to support her humiliation, 
earnestly entreated her father to take her back to Prague. Baron 
Frederick, who preferred a life in the forest to an abode in the city, 
promised everything that she wished, but put off from day to day the 
announcement and preparations for departure. — The baroness saw 
that it was necessary to urge matters on to suit her purpose, and de- 
vised one of those ingenious expedients in which her sex are never 
wanting. She had an understanding with her waiting-maid — a sharp- 
witted and active young Frenchwoman — and one morning, just as her 
father was about to set out for the chase, she begged him to accom- 
pany her in a carriage to the house of a lady of their acquaintance, 
to whom she had for a long time owed a visit. The baron had some 
difficulty in giving up his gun and his powder-horn to change his 
dress and the employment of the day, but he flattered himself that 
this condeseensiou would render Amelia less exacting, and that the 
amusement of the drive would dissipate her ill-humor, and enable 
her to pass a few more days at the Castle of the Giants without mur- 
muring. When the good man had gained a respite of a week, he 
fancied he had secured the independence of his life; his forethought 
extended no further.. He therefore resigned himself to the necessity 
of sending Sapphire and Panther to the kennel, Attila, the hawk, 
turned upon its perch with a discontented and mutinous air, which 
forced a heavy sigli from its master. 

The baron at last seated himself in the carriage with his daughter, 
and in three revolutions of the wheel was fast asleep. The coachman 
then received orders from Amelia to drive to the nearest post-house. 
They arrived there after two hours of a rapid journey; and when the 
baron opened his eyes, he found post-horses in his carriage, and every- 
thing ready to set out on the road to Prague. 

" What means this?" exclaimed tlie baron; "where are we, and 
whither are we going? Amelia, my dear child, what folly is this? 
what is the meaning of this caprice, or rather this pleasantry with 
which you amuse yourself? " 

To ail her father's questions the young baroness only replied with 
repeated bursts of laughter, and by childish caresses. At length, when 
she saw the postilion mounted, and the carriage roll lightly along the 
highway, she assumed a serious air, and in a very decided tone spoke 
as follows: "Mv dear papa, do not be uneasy; all our luggage is care- 
fully packed. The carria;5e trunks are filled with all that is necessary 
for our journey. There is nothing left at the Castle of the Giants ex- 
cept your dogs and guns, which will be of no use at Prague ; and be- 
sides, you can have them whenever you wish to send for them. A 
letter will be handed to uncle Christian at breakfast, which is so ex- 
pressed as to make him see the necessity of our departure, without 
unnecessarily grieving him, or making him angry either with you or 
me. I must now humbly beg your pardon for havin" deceived you, 
but it is nearly a month since you consented to what fat this moment 
execute. I do not oppose your wishes therefore in returning to 



232 coNsuEio. 

Prague; I merely chose a time when you did not contemplate Jt, and 
I would wager that, after all, you are delighted to be freed from the 
annoyance which the quickest preparations for departure entaij. My 
position became intolerable, and you did not perceive it. Kiss me, 
dear papa, and do not frighten nie with those angry looks of yours." 
In thns speaking, Amelia, as well as her attendant, stifled a great 
inclination to laugh ; for the baron never had an angry look for any 
one, much less for his cherished daughter. He only rolled his great 
bewildered eyes, a little stupefied, it must be confessed, by surprise. 
If he experienced any annoyance at seeing himself fooled in such 
wise, and any real vexation at leaving his brother and sister without 
bidding them adieu, he was so astonished at the turn things had taken, 
that his uneasiness changed to admiration of his daughter's tact, and 
he could only exclaim — 

" But how could you arrange everything so that I had not the least 
suspicion ? Faith, I little, thought when I took off my boots, and sent 
my horse back to the stable, that I was off for Prague, and that I 
should not dine to-day with my brother. It is a strange adventure, 
and nobody will believe me when I tell it But where have you put 
my travelling-cap, Amelia? Who could sleep in a carriage with this 
hat glued to one's ears ? " 

" Here it is, dear papa," said the merry girl, presenting him with his 
fur cap, which he instantly placed on his head with the utmost satis- 
faction. 

" But my bottle ? you have certainly forgotten it, you little wicked 
one." 

" Oh ! certainly not," she exclaimed, handing him a large crystal 
flask, covered with Enssia leather and mounted with silver. " I filled 
it myself with the best Hungary wine from ray aunt's cellar. But you 
had better taste it yourself; I know it is the description you prefer." 
" And my pipe and pouch of Turkish tobacco? " 
"Nothing is forgotten," said Amelia's maid; "his excellency the 
baron will find everything packed in the caiTiage. Nothing has been 
omitted to enable him to pass the Journey agreeably." 

" Well done ! " said the baron, filling his pipe, " but that does not 
clear you of all culpability in this matter, my dear Amelia. Ton will 
render your father ridiculous, and make him the laughing stock of 
every one." 

" Dear papa, it is I who seem ridiculous in the eyes of the world, 
when I apparently refuse to marry an amiable cousin, who does not 
even deign to look at me, and who, nnder my very eyes pays assiduous 
court to my music mistress. I have suffered this hnmlliation long 
en(nigh, and I do not think there are many girls of my rank, my age, 
and my appearance, who would not have resented it more seriously. 
Of one thing I am certain, that there are girls who would not have 
endured what I have done for the last eighteen months; but, on the 
contrary, would have pvit an end to the farce by running off with 
themselves, if they had failed in procuring a partner in their flight. 
For my part, I am satisfied to run off with my father; it is a more 
novel as well as a more proper step. What think yon, dear papa? " 

" Why, I think the devil 's in you," replied the baron, kissing his 
daughter; and he passed the rest of his journey gaily, drinking^i^ eat- 
ing, and smoking by turns, without making any further complaint, or 
expressing any farther astonishment. 
This event did not produce the sensation in that family at the Castle 



CONSUELO. 233 

of the Giants which the little baroness had flattered herself it would do. 
To begin with Count Albert, he might have passed a week without 
noticing the absence of tlie young baroness, and when the canoness 
informed him of it, he merely remarked : — " This is the only clever 
tiling which the clever Amelia has done since she set foot here. As 
to my good uncle, I hope he will soon return to us." 

"For my part," said old Count Christian, " I regret the departure 
of ray brother, because at my age one reckons by weeks and days. 
What is not long for you, Albert, is an eternity for me, and I am not 
so certain as you are of seeing my peaceful and easy-tempered Fred- 
erick again. Well, It's all Amelia's doings," added he, smiling as he 
threw aside the saucy, yet cajoling letter of the young baroness. 
"Women's spite pardons not. You were not formed for each other, 
my children, and my pleasant dreams have vanished." 

While thus speaking, the old count fixed his eyes upon the counte- 
nance of his son with a sort of melancholy Satisfaction, as if antici- 
pating some indication of regret; but he found none, and Albert, ten- 
derly pressing his arm, made him understand that he thanked him for 
relinquishing a project so contrary to his inclination. 

" God's will be done ! " ejaculated the old man, " and may your 
heart, my son, be free. Tou are now'well, happy, and contented 
amongst us. I can now die in peace, and a father's love will comfort 
you after our final separation." 

" Do not speak of separation, dear father," exclaimed the young 
count, his eyes suddenly filling with tears; " I cannot bear the idea." 

The canoness, who began to be atfected, received at this moment a 
significant glance from the chaplain, who immediately rose, and with 
feigned discretion left the room. This was the signal and the order. 
She thought, not without regret and appiehension, that the moment 
was at length come when she must speak, and closing her eyes like a 
person about to leap from the window of a house on fire, she thus be- 
gan, stammering and becoming paler than usual: — 

" Certainly Albert loves his father tenderly, and would not willingly 
inflict on him a mortal blow." 

Albert raised his head, and gazed at his aunt with such a keen and 
penetrating look that she could not utter another word. The old count 
appeared not to have heard this strange observation, and in the silence 
which folloW'ed, poor Wenceslawa remained trembling beneath her 
nephew's glance, like a partridge fascinated before the pointer. 

But Count Christian, rousing from his reverie after a few minutes, 
replied to his sister as if she had continued to speak, or as if he had 
read in her mind the revelations she was about to make. 

" Dear sister," said he, " if I may give you an advice, it is not to 
torment yourself with things which you do not imderstand. You 
have never known what it is to love, and the austere rules of a canon- 
ess are not those which befit a young man." 

" Good God ! " murmured the astonished canoness. " Either my 
brother does not understand me, or his reason and piety are about to 
desert him. Is it possible that in his weakness he would encourage or 
treat lightly " 

"How? aunt!" internipted Albert in a" firm tone, and with a 
strange countenance. "Speak out, since you are forced to it. Ex- 
plain yourself clearly ; there must be an end to this constraint — we 
must understand each other." 

"Ko, sister; you need uot speak," replied the count; "you have 



234 CONSTTELO. 

nothing new to tell me. I understand perfectly well, without leaving 
seemed to do so, what has been going on for some time past. The 
period is not yet come to explain ourselves on that subject; when it 
does, I shall know how to act." j , , v 

He began immediately to speak on other subjects, and left the 
canoness astonished, and Albert hesitating and troubled. When the 
chaplain was informed of the manner in which the head of the fam- 
ily received the counsel which he had indirectly given him, he was 
seized with terror. Count Christian, although seemingly Irresolute 
and indolent, had never been a weak man, and sometimes surprised 
those who knew him, by suddenly arousing himself from a kind of 
somnolency, and acting with energy and wisdom. The priest was 
afraid of having gone too far, and of being reprimanded. He com- 
menced therefore to undo his work very quickly, and persuaded the 
canoness not to interfere further. A fortnight glided away in this 
manner without anything suggesting to Consuelo that she was a sub- 
ject of anxiety to the family. Albert continued his attentions, and 
announced the departure of Amelia as a short absence, but did not 
suffer her to suspect the cause. She began to- leave her apartment; 
and the first time she walked in the garden, the old Christian support- 
ed the tottering steps of the'mvalid on his weak and trembling aim. 



CHAPTEK LI. 

It was indeed a happy day for Albert when he saw her whom he 
had restored to life, leaning on the arm of his father, and offer hira 
her hand in the presence of his family, saying, with an ineffable smile, 
" This is he who saved me, and tended me as if I had been his sister." 

But this day, which was the climax of his happiness, changed sud- 
denly, and more than .he could have anticipated, his relations with 
Consuelo. Henceforth, the formalities of the family circle precluded 
her being often alone with him. The old count, who appeared to have 
even a greater regard for her than before her illness, bestowed the ut- 
most care upon her, with a kind of paternal gallantry which she felt 
deeply. The canoness observed a prudent silence, hut nevertheless 
made it a point to watch over all her movements, and to form a third 
party in all her interviews with Albert. At length, as the latter gave 
no indication of returning mental alienation, they determined to have 
the pleasure of receiving, and even inviting, relations and neighbors 
long neglected. They exhibited a kind of sipiple and tender ostenta- 
tion in showing how polite and sociable the young Count Rudolstadt 
had become, and Consuelo, seemed to exact from him, by her looks 
and example, the fulfilment of the wishes of his relations, in exercis- 
ing the duties of a hospitable host, and displaying the manners of a 
man of the world. 

This sudden transformation cost him a good deal : he submitted to 
it, however, to please her he loved, but he would have been better 
satisfied with longer conversations and a less interrupted intercourse 
with her. He patiently endured whole days of constraint and annoy- 
ance, in order to obtain in the^ evening a woid of encouragement or 
gratitude. But when the canoness came, like an unwelcome spectre, 



CONStJELO. 235 

and placed herself between them, he felt his soul troubled and his 
strength abandon him. He passed nights of torment, and often ap- 
proached the cistern, which remained clear and pellucid since the day 
he had ascended from it, bearing Consuelo in his arms. Plunged in 
mournful reverie, he almost cursed the oath which bound him never 
to return to his hermitage. He was terrified to feel liimself thus un- 
happy, and not to have the power of burying his grief in his subter- 
ranean retreat. 

The change in his features after this sleeplessness, and the transi- 
tory but gradually more frequent return of his gloomy and distracted 
air could not fail to excite the observation of his relatives and friend ; 
but the latter found means to disperse these clouds and regain her 
empire over him whenever it was threatened. She commenced to 
sing, and immediately the young count, charmed or subdued, was 
consoled by tears, or animated with new enthusiasm. This was an 
Infallible remedy; and when he was able to address a few words to 
her in private, " Consuelo," he exclaimed, " you know the paths to 
my soul: you possess the power refused to the common herd, and 
possess it more than any other being in this world. You speak in 
language divine; you know how to express the most sublime emo- 
tions, and communicate the impulses of your own inspired soul. 
Sing always when you see me downcast; the words of your songs 
have but little sense for me, they are but the theme, the Imperfect In- 
dication on which the music turns and is developed. I hardly hear 
them; what alone I hear, and what penetrates into my very soul, is 
your voice, your accent, your inspiration. Music expresses all that 
the mind dreams and foresees of mystery and grandeur. It is the 
manifestation of a higher order of ideas and sentiments than any to 
which human speech can give expression. It is the revelation of the 
infinite; and when you sing, I only belong to humanity in so far as 
humanity has drunk in what is divine and eternal in the bosom of the 
Creator. All that your lips refuse of consolation and support in tbe 
ordinary routine of life — all that social tyraimy forbids your heart to 
reveal — your songs convey to me a hundredfold. You then respond 
to me with your whole soul, and my soul replies to yours in hope 
and fear, in transports of enthusiasm and rapture." 

Sometimes Albert spoke thus, in Spanish, to Consuelo in presence 
of his family; but the evident annoyance which the canoness experi- 
enced, as well as a sense of propriety, prevented the yoimg girl from 
replying. At length one day when they were alone in the garden, 
and he again spoke of the pleasures he felt in hearing her sing : 

" Since music is a language more complete and more persuasive 
than that of words," said she, " why do you not speak thus to me, 
you who understand it better than I do ? " 

" I do not understand you, Consuelo," said, the young count, sur- 
prised ; " I am only a musician in listening to you." 

" Do not endeavor to deceive me," she replied ; " I never hut once 
heard sounds divinely human drawn from the violin, and it was by 
you, Albert, in the grotto of the Schreckensteln. I heard you that day 
before you saw me; I discovered your secret; but you must forgive 
me, and allow me again to hear that deliglitful air, of which I recol- 
lect a few bars, and which revealed to me beauties in music, to which I 
was previously a stranger." 

Consuelo sang in a low tone a few phrases which she recollected 
indistinctly, but which Albert immediately recognized. 



236 CONSUELO. 

" It is a popular hymn," said he, " on some Hussite words. The 
words aie by my ancestor, Hyncko Podiebrad, the son of Kmg 
George, and one of the poets of the country. We have an immense 
number of admirable poems by Streye, Simon Lomnicky, and many 
otliers, which are prohibited by the police. These religions and na- 
tional songs, set to music by the unknown geniuses of Bohemia are 
not all preserved iii the memory of her inhabitants. The people re- 
tain some of them, however, and Zdenko, who has an extraordinary 
memory and an excellent taste for music, knows a great many, which 
I have collected and arranged. They are very beautiful, and you will 
have pleasure in learning them. But I can only let you hear them 
in my hei-mitage ; my violin, with all my music, is there. I have 
there precious maiuiscripts, collections of ancient Catholic and Prot- 
estant authors. I will wager that you do not know either Josquin, 
many of whose themes Luther has transmitted to us in his choruses, 
nor the younger Claude, nor Arcadelt, nor George Rhaw, nor Benoit 
Duels, nor John de Wiess. Would not this curious research induce 
you, dear Consuelo, to pay another visit to my grotto, from which I 
have been exiled so long a time, and to visit my church, which you 
have not yet seen ? "' 

This proposal, although it excited the curiosity of the young artiste, 
was tremblingly listened to. This frightful grotto recalled recollec- 
tions which she could not think of without a shudder, and in spite of 
all the confidence she placed in him, the idea of returning there alone 
with Albert caused a painful emotion, which he quickly perceived. 

" Tou dislike the idea of this pilgrimage," said he, " which never- 
theless you promised to renew. : let us speak of it no more. Faithful 
to my oath, I shall never undertake it without you." 

" You remind me of mine, Albert," she replied, " and I shall fldfiU 
it as soon as you ask it; but, my dear doctor, you forget that I have 
not yet the necessary strength. Would you not first permit me to see 
this curious music, and hear this admirable artist, who plays on the 
violin much better than I sing? " 

" I know not if you jest, dear sister, but this I know, that you shall 
hear me nowhere but in my grotto. It was there I first tried to make 
my violin express the feelings of my heart; for, although I had lor 
many years a brilliant and frivolous professor, largely paid by my 
father, I did not understand it. It was there I learned what true 
music is, and what a sacrilegious mockery is sxibstituted for it by the 
greater portion of mankind. For my own part, I declare that I could 
not draw a sound from my violin, if ray spirit were not bowed before 
the divinity. Were I even to see you unmoved beside me, attentive 
merely to the composition of the pieces I play and curious to scruti- 
nize my talent, I doubt not that I would play so ill that you would 
soon weary of listening to me. I have never, since I knew how to 
use it, touched the instrument consecrated by me to the praise of 
God or to the expression of my ardent prayers, without feeling my- 
self transported into an ideal world, and without obeying a sort of 
mysterious inspiration not always under my control." 

" I am not unworthy,' replied Consuelo, deeply impressed and all 
attention, " to comprehend your feelings with regard to music. I 
hope soon to be able to join your prayer with a soul so fervent and 
collected that my presence shall not interfere with your inspiraticm. 
Ah, my dear Albert, why cannot my master Porpora hear what you 
Bay of the heavenly art? He would throw himself at your feat. 



CONSUELO. 237 

Nevertheless, this great artist himself Is less severe in his views on 
this subject than you are. He thinks the singer and the virtuoso 
should draw their inspiration from the sympathy and admiration of 
their auditory." 

" It is perhaps because Porpora confounds, in music, religious sen- 
timent with human thought, and that he looks upon sacred music 
with the eyes of a Catholic. If I were in his place 1 would reason as 
he does. If I were in a communion of faith and sympathy with a 
people professing the same worship as myself, I would seek in contact 
with these souls, animated with a like religious sentiment, the inspira- 
tion which heretofore I have been forced to court in solitude, and 
which consequently I have hitherto imperfectly realized. If ever I 
have the pleasure of mingling the tones of my violin with those of 
your divine voice, Consuelo, doubtless I would ascend higher than I 
have ever done, and my prayer would be more worthy of the Deity. 
But do not forget, dear child, that up to this day my opinions have 
been an abomination in the eyes of those who surrounded me, and 
that those whom they failed to shock, would have turned them into 
ridicule. This is why I have hidden as a secret between God, poor 
Zdenko, and myself, the humble gift which I possess. My father likes 
music, and would have this instrument, which is sacred to me as the 
cymbals of the Elusinian mysteries, conduce to his amusement. 
What would become of me if tliey were to ask me to accompany a 
cavatina for Amelia? and what would be my father's feelings if 
I were to play one of those old Hussite airs which have sent so many 
Bohemians into the mines .or to the scaffold ? or a more modern 
hymn of our Lutheran ancestors, from whom he blushes to have de-^ 
scended? Alas! Consuelo,! know nothing more modern. There are, 
no doubt, admirable things of a later date. From what you tell me of 
Handel and the other great masters from whose works you have 
been instructed, their music would seem'to me superior in many re- 
spects to that which I am about to teach you. But to know and 
learn this music, it would be necessary to put myself in relation with 
another musical world, and it is with you alone that I can resolve to 
do so — with you alone I can seek the despised or neglected treasure 
which you are about to bestow on me in overflowing measure." 
■ " And I," said Consuelo, smiling, " think I shall not undertake the 
charge of this education. What I heard in the grotto was so beanti- 
ful, so grand, so incomparable, that I should fear in doing so, only to 
muddy a spring of crystaL Oh ! Albert, I see plainly that you know 
more of niusic than I do. And now what will you say to the profane 
music of which I am forced to be a professor? I fear to discover in 
this case, as in the other, that I have hitherto been beneath my mis- 
sion, and guilty of equal ignorance and frivolity." 

" Far from thinking so, Consuelo, I look upon your profession as 
sacred ; and as it is the loftiest which a woman can embrace, so is 
your soul the most worthy to fill such an office." 

" Stay — stay — dear count," replied Consuelo, smiling. " From ray 
often speaking to you of the convent where I learned music, and the 
church where I sung the praises of God, you conclude that I was 
destined to the service of the altar, or the modest teachings of the 
cloister. But if I should inform you that the zingarella, faithful to 
her origin, was from infancy the sport of circumstances, and that her 
education was at once a mixture of religious and profane, to which 
]ier will was equally inclined, careless whether it were in the monas- 
tery or the theatre ? " 



238 C O N S U E L o. 

" Certain that God has placed his seal on your forehead and devoted 
you to holiness from your mother's womb, I should not trouble my- 
self about these things, but retain the conviction that you would be 
as pure in the theatre as in the cloister." 

" What! would not your strict ideas of moraUtybe shocked at being 
brought in contact with an actress? " 

" In the dawn of religion," said he, "the theatre and the temple 
were one and the same sanctuary. In the purity of their primitive 
ideas, religious worship took the form of popular shows. The arts 
have their birth at the foot of the altar. The dance itself, that art 
now consecrated to ideas of impure voluptuousness, was the music of 
the senses in the festivals of the gods. Music and poetry were the 
highest expressions of faith, and woman endowed with genius and 
beauty was at once a sybil and priestess. To these severely grand 
forms of the past, absurd and culpable distinctions succeeded. Re- 
ligion proscribed beauty from its festivals, and woman from its 
solemnities. Instead of ennobling and directing love, it banished and 
condemned it. Beauty, woman, love, cannot lose their empire. Men 
have raised for themselves other temples which they call theatres, 
and where no other god presides. Is it your faiUt, Consuelo, if they 
have become dens of corruption ? Nature, who perfects her prodigies 
without troubling herself as to how men may receive them, has 
foimed you to shine among your sex, and to shed over the world the 
treasures of your power and genius. — The cloister and the tomb are 
synonymous : you cannot, without morally committing suicide, bury 
'the gifts of providence. You were obliged to wing your flight to a freer 
►atmosphere. Energy is the condition of certain natures; an irresisti- 
ble impulse impels them ; and the decrees of the Deity in this respect 
are so decided, that he takes away the faculties which he has bestow- 
ed , so soon as they are neglected. The artist perishes arid becomes 
extinct in obscurity, just aslhe thinker wanders and pines in solitude, 
and just as all human intellect is deteriorated, and weakened, and en- 
ervated, by inaction and Isolation. Repair to the theatre, Consuelo, 
if you please, and submit with resignation to the apparent degrada- 
tion, as the representative for the moment of a soul destined "to suffer, 
of a lofty mind which vainly' seeks for sympathy in the world around 
us, but which is forced to abjure a melancholy that is not the element ' 
of its life, and out of which the breath of the Holy Spirit imperiously 
expels it." 

Albert continued to speak in this strain for a considerable time with 
great animation, hurrying Consuelo on to the recesses of his retreat 
Se had httle difficulty in communicating to her his own enthusiasm 
for art, as in making her forget her first feeling of repugnance to re- 
enter the grotto. When she saw that he anxiously desired it, she be- 
gan to entertain a wish for this interview, in order to become better 
acquainted with the ideas which this ardent yet timid man dared to 
express before her so boldly. These ideas were new to Consuelo, and 
perhaps they were entirely so in the mouth of a person of noble i-ank 
of that time and country. They only struck her however as the bold 
and frank expression of sentiments which she herself had frequently 
experienced in all their force. Devout, and an actress, she every day 
heard the canoness and the chaplain unceasingly condemn her breth- 
ren of the stage. In seeing herself restored to her proper sphere by a 
serious and reflecting man, she felt her heart throb and her bosom 
swell with exultation, as if she had been carried up into a more ele- 



C O N S U E L o. 239 

rated and congenial life. Her eyes were moistened with tears and 
her cheeks glowed with a pure and holy emotion, when at the end of 
an avenue she perceived the canoness, who was seeking her. 

" Ah ! dear priestess," said Albert, pressing her arm against his 
breast, " will you not come to pray in my church? " 

" Yes, certanily I shall go," she replied. 

"And when?" 

" Whenever you wish. Do you think I am able yet to undertake 
this new exploit ? " 

" Yes; because we shall go to the Schreckenstein in broad daylight 
and by a less dangerous route than the well. Do you feel sufficient 
courage to rise before the dawn and to escape through the gates as 
soon as they are opened? I shall be in this underwood which you see 
at the side of the hill there by the stone cross, and shall serve as your 
guide." 

" Very well, I promise," replied Consuelo, not without a slight pal- 
pitation of heart. 

"It appears rather cool this evening for so long a walk — does it 
not? " asked the canoness, accosting them in her calm yet searching 
manner. 

Albert made no reply. He could not dissemble. Consuelo, who 
did not experience equal emotion, passed her other arm within that 
of the canoness, and kissed her neck. Wenceslawa vainly pretended 
indiflference, but in spite of herself she submitted to the ascendancy 
of this devout and aifectionate spirit. She sighed, and on entering 
the castle proceeded to put up a prayer for her conversion. 



CHAPTER LII. 

Many days passed away however without Albert's wish being ac 
complished. It was in vain that Consuelo rose before the dawn and 
passed the drawbridge; she always found his aunt or the chaplain 
wandering on the esplanade, and from thence recoiinoitering all the 
open country which she must traverse in order to gain the copsewood 
on the hill. She determined to walk alone within range of their ob- 
servation, and give up the project of joining Albert, who, from his 
green and wooded retreat, recognized the enemy on the look-out, took 
a long walk in the forest glades ; and re-entered the castle without be- 
ing perceived. 

" You have had an opportunity of enjoying an early walk, Signora 
Porporina," said the canoness at breakfast. " Were you not afiaid 
that the dampness of the morning might be injurious to your 
health?" 

" It was I, aunt, who advised the signora to breathe the freshness of 
the morning air ; and I think these walks will be very useful to her." 

" I should have thought that, for a person who devotes herself to the 
cultivation of her voice," said the canoness, with a little affectation, 
"our mornings are somewhat foggy. But if it is under your direc- 
tions "' 

" Have confidence in Albert," Interrupted Count Christian ; " he has 
proved himself as good a physician as he is a good son and a faithful 
friend." 



240 CONSTJELO. 

, The dissimulation to which Consuelo was forced to yield with 
blushes, was very painful to her. She complained gently to Albert 
when she had an opportunity of spt^aking to him in private, and begged 
him ti) renounce liis project, at least until his aunt's vigilance should 
be foiled. Albert consented, but entreated her to continue her walks 
in the environs of the park, so that he might join her whenever an op- 
portunity presented itself 

Consuelo would gladly have been excused, although she liked walk- 
ing, and felt how necessary to her convalescence it was, to enjoy ex- 
ercise for some time every day, free from the restraint of this enclos- 
nve of walls and moats, where her thoughts were stifled as if she had 
been a prisoner; yet it gave her pain thus to practise deception to- 
wards those whom she respected, and from whom she received hospi- 
tality. Love, however, removes many obstacles, but friendship reflects, 
and Consuelo reflected much. They were now enjoying the last fine 
days of summer; for several months had passed since Consuelo had 
come to dwell in the Castle of the Giants. What a summer for Con- 
suelo ! The palest autumn of Italy was more light, and rich, and 
genial. But this warm, moist air, this sky, often veiled by white and 
fleecy clouds, had also their charm and their peculiar beauty. She 
iound an attraction in these solitary walks, which increased perhaps 
her disinc ination to revisit the cavern. In spite of the resolution she 
■ had formed, slie felt that Albert would take a load from her bosom 
in giving her back her promise; and when she found herself no longer 
under the spell of his supplicating looks and enthusiastic words, she 
secretly blessed his good aunt, who prevented her fulfilling her engage- 
ment by the obstacles she evej-y day placed in the way. 

One morning, as she watidered along the bank of the mountain 
streamlet, she observed Albert leaning on the balustrade of the par- 
terre', far above her. Notwithstanding the distance which separated 
them, she felt as if incessantly under the disturbed and passionate 
gaze of this man, by whom she suffered herself in so great a degree to 
be governed. " My situation here is somewhat strange ! " she ex- 
claimed ; " while this persevering friend observes me to see that I am 
faithful to the promise I have made, without doubt I am watched from 
some other part of the castle, to see that I maintain no relations with 
hitn that their customs and ideas of propriety would proscribe. I do 
not know what is passing in their minds. The Baroness Amelia does 
not return. The canoness appears to grow cold towards me, and to 
distrust me. Count Christian redoubles his attentions, and expresses 
his dread of the arrival of Porpora, which will probably be the signal 
for my departure. Albert appears to have forgotten that I forbade 
him to hope. As if he had a right to expect everything from me, he 
asks nothing, and does not abjure a passion which seems, notwith- 
standing my inability to return it, to render him happy. In the mean 
time, here I am, as if I were engaged in attending every morning at 
an appointed place of meeting, to which I wish he may not come, ex- 
posing myself to the blame — nay, for aught I know, perhaps to the 
scorn — of a family who caimot understand either my friendship for 
him nor my position towards him ; since indeed I do not comprehend 
them myself nor foresee their result. 

" What a strange destiny is mine! Shall I then be condemned for- 
ever to devote myself to othei-s, without being loved in return, or with- 
out being able to love those whom I esteem ? " 
In the midst of these reflections a profound melancholy seized her. 



CONRUELO. 241 

She felt the necessity of belonging to herself— that sovereign and legit- 
imate want, the necessary condition of progress and development of 
the true artist. The watchful care which she had promised to observe 
towards Count Albert, weighed upon her as an iron chain. The bit- 
ter recollections of Anzoleto and of Venice clung to her, in the inao- 
tdon and solitude of a life too monotouous and regular for her power- 
ful organization. 

She stopped near the rock which Albert had often shown her as 
being the place where he had first seen her, an infant, tied with thongs 
on her mother's shoulders like the pedlar's paelt, and running over 
mountains and valleys, like tlie grasshopper of the fable, heedless of 
the morrow, and without a thought of advancing old age and inexor- 
able poverty. " O, my poor mother! " thought the young zingarella, 
" here am I, brought back by my incomprehensible fate to a spot which 
you once traversed only to retain a vague recollection of it and the 
pledge of a touching kindness. You were then young and handsome, 
and doubtless could have met many a place where love and hospitality 
would have awaited you — society which would have absolved and 
transformed you, and in the bosom of which your painful and wander- 
ing life would have at last tasted comfort and repose. But you felt, 
and always said, that this comfort, this repose, were mortal weariness 
to the artist's soul. You were right — I feel it; for behold me in this 
castle, where, as elsewhere, you would pause but one night. Here I 
am, with every comfort around me, pampered, caressed, and with a 
powerful lord at my feet: and nevertheless, I am weary, weary, and 
suffocated with restraint." 

Consuelo, overpowered' with an extraordinary emotion, seated her- 
self on the rock. She looked at the sandy path, as if slie thought to 
find there the print of her mother's naked feet. The sheep in pass- 
ing had left some locks of their fleece upon the thorns. This fleece, 
of a reddish brown, recalled the russet hue of her mother's coarse 
mantle — that mantle which had so long protected her against sun and 
cold, against dust and lain. She had seen it fall from her shoulders 
piece by piece. "And we, too," she said, "were wandering sheep; 
we, too, left fragments of our apparel on the wayside thorn, but we 
always bore along with us the proud love and the full enjoyment of 
our dear liberty." 

While musing thus, Consuelo fixed her eyes upon the path of yel- 
low sand which wound gracefully over the hill, and which, widening 
as it reached the valley, disappeared towards the north among the 
green pine-trees and the dark heath. " What is more beautiful than 
a road ? " she thought. " It is the symbol and image of a life of 
activity and variety. What pleasing ideas are connected in my mind 
witli the capricious turns of this! I do not recollect the country 
through which it winds, and yet I have formerly passed through it 
But it should indeed lie beautiful, were it only as a contrast to yonder 
dark castle, which sleeps eternally on its immovable rocks. How 
much pleasanter to the eye are these gravelled paths, with their glow- 
ing hue, and the golden broom which shadow them, than the straight 
alleys and stifl' paling of the proud domain ? With merely looking at 
the formal lines of a garden, I feel wearied and overcome. Why 
should my feet sppk to reach that which my eyes and thoughts can at 
once embrace, \(hile the free road, which turns aside and is half hid- 
den in the woods, invites me to follow its wii\ditigs and penetrate Its 
mysteries? And then it is the path for all human kind — it is the 
IS 



242 CONSUELO. 

highway of the world. It belongs to no master, to close and open it at 
pleasure. It is only the powerful and rich that are entitled to tread 
its flowery margins and to breathe its rieh perfume. Eveiy bird may 
build its nest amid its branches; every wanderer may repose his head 
upon its stones — nor wall nor paling shuts out his horizon. Heaven 
does not close before him ; so far as his eye can reach, the highway is 
a land of liberty. To the right, to the left, woods, fields — all have 
masters; but the road belongs to him to whom nothing else belongs, 
and how fondly therefore does he love it ! The meanest beggar pre- 
fers it to asylums, which, were they rich as palaces, would be but 
prisons to him. His dream, his passion, his hope, will ever be the 
highway. O, my mother, you knew it well, and often told me so ! 
Why cannot I reanimate your ashes which repose far from me, be- 
neath the seaweed of the lagunes? Why canst thou not carry me on 
thy strong shoulders, and bear me far, far away, where the swallow 
skims onward to the blue and distant hills, and where the memory of 
the past and the longings after vanished happiness, cannot follow the 
light-footed artist, who travels still faster than they do, and each day 
places a new horizon, a second world, between her and the enemies 
of liberty? My poor mother, why canst thou not still by turns cher- 
ish and oppress me, and lavish alternate kisses and blows, like the 
wind which sometimes caresses and sometimes lays prostrate the 
young corn upon tlie fields, to raise and cast it down again according 
to its fantasy? Thou hadst a firmer soul than mine, and thou 
wouldst have torn me, either willingly or by force, from the bonds 
which daily entangle me I" 

In the midst of this entrancing yet mournful reverie, Consuelo was 
struck by the tones of a voice that made her start as if a red-hot iron 
had been placed upon her heart. It was that of a man from the ra- 
vuie below, humming in the Venetian dialect the song of the " Echo" 
one of the most original compositions of Chiozzetto.* The person 
who sung did not exert the full power of his voice, and his breathing 
seemed affected by walking. He warbled a few notes now and then, 
stopping from time to time to converse with another person, just as if 
he had wished to dissipate the weariness of his journey. He then re- 
sumed his song as before, as if by way of exercise, interrupted it 
again to speak to his companion, and in this manner approached the 
spot where Consuelo sat, motionless, and as if about to faint. She 
could not hear the conversation which took place, as the distance was 
too great; nor could she see the travellers in consequence of an in- 
tervening projection of the rock. Bnt could slie be for an instant de- 
ceived in that voice, in those accents, which she knew so well, and 
the fragments of that song which she herself had taught, and so often 
made her graceless pupil repeat? 

At length the two invisible travellers drew near, and she heard one 
whose voice was nnknown to her, say to the other, in bad Italian, 
and with the patois of the country, " Ah, signor, do not go up there 
— the horses could not follow you, and yon would lose sight of me ; 
keep by the banks of the stream. See, the road lies before us, and 
the way you are taking is only a path for foot-passengers." 

The voice which Consuelo knew became more distant, and appeared 
to descend, and soon she heard him ask what fine castle that was on 
the other side. 

» Jean Crooe de Ohloggia, sixteenth century. 



CONSUELO. 243 

" That is Eeisenburg, which means the Castle of the Giants," re- 
plied the snide, for he was one by profession, and Consuelo could now 
distinguish him at the bottom of the hill, on foot, and leading two 
horses covered with sweat. The bad state of the roads, recently in- 
undated by the torrent, had obliged the riders to dismount. The 
traveller followed at a little distance, and Consuelo could at length 
see him by leaning over the rock which protected her. His back was 
towards her, and he wore a travelling-dress, which so altered his ap- 
pearance, and even his walk, that, had she not heard his voice, she 
could not have recognised him. He stopped, however, to look at the 
castle, and taking off his broad-leafed hat, wiped his face with his 
handkerchief. Although only able to distinguish him imperfectly 
from the great height at which she was placed, she knew at once 
those golden and flowing locks, and recognised the movement he was 
accustomed to make in raising them from his forehead or neck when 
he was warm. 

" This seems a very fine castle," said he. " If I had time, I should 
like to ask the giants for some breakfast." 

" Oh, do not attempt it," said the guide, shaking his head. " The 
Eudolstadts only receive beggars and relations." 

" Are they not more hospitable than that ? May the devil seize 
them, then!" 

" Listen — it is because they have something to conceal." 

" A treasure or a crime ? " 

" Oh, nothing of that kind ; it is their son, who is mad." 

" Deuce take him, too, then; it would do them a service." 

The guide began to laugh; Anzoleto commenced to sing. 

" Come," said the guide, " we are now over the worst of the road; 
if you wish to mount, we may gallop as far as Tusta. The road is 
magnificent — nothing but sand. Once there, you will find the high- 
way to Prague, and excellent post-horses." 

" In that case," said Anzoleto, adjusting his stirrups, " I may say, 
the fiends seize thee, too ! for your jades, your mountain roads, and 
yourself, are all becoming very tiresome." 

Thus speaking, he slowly inounted his nag, sunk the spurs in its 
side, and without troubling himself about the guide, who followed him 
with great difficulty, he darted off towards the north, raising clouds 
of dust on that road which Consuelo had so long contemplated, and on 
which she had so little expected to see pass, like a fatal vision, the enemy 
of her life, the constant torture of her heart. She followed him with 
her eyes, in a state of stupor impossible to express. Struck with dis- 
gust and fear, so long as she was within hearing of his voice, she had 
remained hidden and trembling. But when ho disappeared, when 
she thought she had lost sight of him pei-haps for ever, she experi- 
enced only violent despair. She threw herself over tlie rock to see 
him for a longer time; the undying love which she cherished for him 
awoke again with fervor, and she would have recalled him, but her 
voice died on her lips. The hand of death seemed to press heavily 
on her bosom; her eyes grew dim; a dull noise, like the dashing of 
tlie sea, murmured in her ears; and falling exhausted at the foot of 
the rock, she found herself in the arras of Albert, who had ap- 
proached without being perceived, and who bore her, apparently dy- 
ing, to a more shady and secluded part of the mountain. 



244 CONSUELO. 



GHAPTEK LIII. 



The fear of betraying her emotion, a secret so long hidden in the 
depths of her soul, restored Consuelo to strength, and enabled her to 
co;itrol herself, so that Albert perceived nothing extraordinary in her 
situation. Just as the young Anzoleto and his guide disappeared 
among the distant pine-trees, and Albert might therefore attribute to 
his own presence the danger she bad incurred of falling down the 
precipice. The idea of this. danger, of which he supposed himself to 
he the cause in terrifying her by his sudden approach, so distressed 
him, that he did not at. first perceive Consuelo's confused replies. 
Consuelo, in whom he still inspired a sort of superstitious terror, 
feared that he might divine the mystery. But Albert, since love had 
made him live the life of other men, seemed to have lost the appar- 
ently supernatural faculties which he had formerly possessed. She 
soon conquered her agitation, and Albert's proposal to conduct her to 
his hermitage, did not displease her at this moment, as it would have 
done a few hours previously. It seemed as if the grave and serious 
character and gloomy abode of this man, who regarded her with such 
devoted affection, offered themselves as a refuge in which she could 
find strength to combat the memory of her unhappy passion. " It is 
Providence," thought she, " who has sent me this friend in the midst 
of my trials, and the dark sanctuary to which he would lead me, is an 
emblem of the tomb in which I should wish to be buried, rather than 
pursue the track of the evil genius who has just passed me. Oh, yes, 
my God! rather than follow his footsteps, let the earth open to re- 
ceive me, and_ snatch me forever from the living world ! " 

" Dear Consolation," said Albert, " I came to tell you that my aunt, 
having to examine her accounts this morning, is not thinking of us, 
and we are at length at liberty to accomplish our pilgrimage. Never- 
theless, if you still feel any repugnance to revisit places which recall 
so much suffering and terror " 

" No, my friend," replied Consuelo: " on the contrary, I have never 
felt better disposed to worship with you, and to soar aloft together on 
the wings of that sacred song which you promised to let mehear." 

They took the way together towards the Schrekenstein,and as they 
buried themselves in the wood in an opposite direction to that taken 
by Anzoleto, Consuelo felt more at ease, as if each step tended to 
weaken the charm of which she felt the force. She walked on so 
eagerly, that although grave and reserved, Count Albert might have 
ascribed her anxiety to a desire to please, if he had not felt that dis- 
trust of himself and of his destiny, which formed the principal feature 
of his character. 

He conducted her to the foot of the Schreckenstein, and stopped at 
the entrance of a grotto filled with stagnant water, and nearly hidden 
by the luxuriant vegetation. " This grotto, in which you may remark 
some traces of a vaulted construction," said he, " is called in the 
country ' The Monk's Cave.' Some think it was a cellar of a con- 
vent, at a period when. In place of these ruins, there stood here a for- 
tified town; others relate tliat it was subsequently the retreat of a 
repentant criminal, who turned hermit. However this may be, no 
one dares to penetrate the recesses; and every one says that the 
water is deep, and is imbued with a mortal poison, owing to the veina 



CONSUELO. 245 

of copper through which it runs in its passage. But this water is 
really neither deep nor dangerous; it sleeps upon a hed of rocks, 
and we can easily cross it, Consuelo, if you will once again confide 
in the strength of my arm and the purity of my love." 

Thus saying, after having satisfied himself that no one had followed 
or obseiTed them, he took her in his arms and entering the water, 
which reached almost to his knee, he cleared a passage through the 
shrubs and matted ivy, which concealed the bottom of the grotto. In 
a very short time he set her down upon a bank of fine dry sand, in a 
place completely dark. He immediately lighted the lantern with which 
he was furnished, and after some turns in subterranean galleries, sim- 
ilar to those which Consuelo had already traversed, they found them- 
selves at the door of a cell, opposite to that which she had opened 
the first time. 

" This subterranean huilding," said he, " was originally destined to 
serve as a place of refuge in time of war, either for the principal in- 
habitants of the town, which covered the hill; or for the lords of the 
Castle of the Giants, to whom this town belonged, who could enter it 
secretly by the passages with which you are already acquainted. If a 
hermit, as they assert, since inhabited the Monk's. Cave, it is probable 
that he was aware of this retreat; because the gallery which we have 
just traversed, has been recently cleared out, whilst I have found 
those leading from the castle, so filled up in many places with earth 
and gravel, that I found difficulty in removing them. Besides, the 
relics I discovered here, the remnants of matting, the pitcher, the 
crucifix, the lamp, and above all the skeleton of a man lying on his 
back, his hands crossed on his breast, as if.in a last prayer at the hour 
of his final sleep, proved to me that a hermit had here piously and 
peaceably ended his mysterious existence. Our peasants still believe 
that the hermit's spirit inhabits the depths of the mountain. They 
affirm that they have often seen him wander around it, or flit to the 
heights by the light of the moon ; that they have heard him pray, sigh, 
sob, and that even a strange, incomprehensible music has been wafted 
towards them, like a suppressed sigh, on the wings of the breeze. 
Even I myself, Consuelo, when despair peopled nature around me 
with phantoms and prodigies, have thought I saw the gloomy peni- 
tant prostrate under the Hussite. I have fancied that I heard his 
plaintive sobs and heart-rending sighs ascend from the depths of the 
abyss. But since I discovered and Inhabited this cell, I have never 
seen any hermit but myself— any spectre but my own figure — nor 
have I heard any sobs save those which issued from my own breast." 

Since Consuelo's first Interview with Albert in the cavern, she had 
never heard him utter an irrational word. She did not venture, 
therefore, to allude to the manner in which he had addressed herself, 
nor to the illusions in the midst of which she had surprised him. 
But she was astonished to observe that they seemed absolutely for- 
gotten, and not wishing to recal them, she merely asked if solitude 
had really delivered him from the disquietude of which he spoke. 

" I 'cannot tell you precisely," he replied ; " and at least not till you 
exact it, can I urge my memory to the task. I must have been mad, 
and the efforts I made to conceal it, betrayed it yet more. When, 
thanks to one whom tradition had handed down the secret of these 
caverns, I succeeded in escaping from the solicitude of my relatives, 
and hiding my despair, my existence changed. I recovered a sort of 
empire over myself, and secure of concealment from troublesome wit- 



246 CONSTJELO. 

nesses, 1 was able at length to appear tranquil and resigned in the 
bosom of my family." 

Consuelo perceived that poor Albert was under an illusion in some 
respects, but this was not the time to enlighten him ; and, pleased to 
hear him speak of the past with such unconcern, she began to exam- 
ine the cell with more attention than she had bestowed on it the first 
time. There was no appearance of the care and neatness which she 
formerly observed. The dampness of the walls, the cold of the at- 
mosphere, and the mouldiness of the books, betrayed complete aban- 
donment. " You see that I have kept my v^rd," said Albert, who 
had just succeeded with great difficulty in lighting the stove. " I have 
never set foot here since the day you displayed your power over me 
by tearing me away." 

Consuelo had a question on her lips, but restrained herself. She 
was about to ask if Zdenko, the friend, the faithful servant, the zeal- 
ous guardian, had also abandoned and neglected the hermitage. But 
she recollected the profound sorrow which Albert always displayed 
when she hazarded a question as to what had become of him, and 
why she had never seen him since the terrible encounter in the cav- 
ern? Albert had always evaded these questions, either by pret-ending 
not to understand her, or by begging her to fear nothing for the inno- 
cent. She was at first persuaded that Zdenko had received and faith- 
fully fulfilled the command of his master never to appear before his 
eyes. But when she resumed her solitary walks, Albert, in order to 
completely reassure her, had sworn, while a deadly paleness over- 
spread his countenance, that she should not encounter Zdenko, who 
had set out on a long voyage. In fact no one had seen him since that 
time, and they thought he was dead in some corner, or that he had 
quitted the country. 

Consuelo believed neither of these suppositions. She knew too 
well the passionate attachment of Zdenko to Albert to think a separa- 
tion possible. As to his death, she thought of it with a terror she 
hardly admitted to herself, when she recollected Albert's dreadful 
oath to sacrifice the life of this unhappy beini; if necessary to the re- 
pose of her he loved. But she rejected this frightful suspicion on re- 
calling the mildness and humanity which the whole of Albert's life 
displayed. Besides he had enjoyed perfect tranquillity for many 
months, and no apparent demonstration on the part of Zdenko had 
reawakened the fury which the young count had for a moment mani- 
fested. He hadforgotten that unhappy moment which Consuelo also 
struggled to forget; he only remembered what took place in the cav- 
ern whilst he was in possession of his reason. Consuelo therefore 
concluded, that he had forbidden Zdenko to enter or approach the 
castle, and that the poor fellow, through grief or anger, had con- 
demned himself to voluntary seclusion in the hermitage. She took it 
for granted that Zdenko would come out on the Schreckenstein only 
by night for air, and to converse with Albert, who no doubt took care 
of, and watched over him who had for so long a time taken care of 
himself. On seeing the coudittou of the cell, Consuelo wa's driven to 
the conclusion that he was angry at his master, and had displayed it 
by neglecting his retreat. But as Albert bad assured her when they 
entered the grotto, that there was contained in it no cause of alarm, 
she seized the opportunity when his attention was otherwise engaged, 
to open the rusty gate of what he called his church, and in thts way 
to reach Zdeuko's cell, where doubtless she would find traces of his 



CONSUELO. 24T 

recent presence. — The door yielded as soon as she had turned the key, 
but the darkness was so great that she could see nothing. She waited 
till Albert had passed into the mysterious oratory which he had prom- 
ised to show her, and which he was preparing for her reception, and 
she then took a light and returned cautiously to Zdenko's chamber, 
not without trembling at the idea of finding him there in person. 
But there was not the faintest evidence of his existence. The bed of 
leaves and the sheepskins had been removed. The seat, the tools, 
the sandals of undressed hide — all had disappeared, and one would 
have said, to look at the dripping walls, that this vault had never 
sheltered a living being. 

A feeling of sadness and terror took possession of her at this dis- 
covery. A mystery shrouded the fate of this unfortunate, and Con- 
suelo accused herself of being perhaps the cause of a deplorable event. 
There were two natures in Altert: the one wise, the other mad; the 
one polished, tender, merciful ; the other strange, untamed, perhaps 
violent and implacable. His fancied identity with the fanatic John 
Ziska, his love for the recollections of Hussite Bohemia, and that 
mute and patient, bnt at the same time profound passion which he 
nourished for herself — all occurred at this moment to her mind, and 
seemed to coniirm her most painful suspicions. Motionless and froz- 
en with horror, she hardly ventured to glance at the cold and naked 
floor of the grotto, dreading to find on it tracks of blood. 

She was still plunged in these reflections, when she heard Albert 
tune his violin, and soon she heard him playing on the admirable in- 
strument the ancient psalm which she so much wished to hear a sec- 
ond time. The music was so original, and Albert performed it with 
such sweet expression, that, forgetting her distress, and attracted and 
as if charmed by a magnetic power, she gently approached the spot 
where he stood. 



CHAPTER LrV. 



The door of the church was open, and Consuelo stopped upon the 
threshold to observe the inspired virtuoso and the strange sanctuary. 
— This so-ealled church was nothing but an immense grotto, hewn, 
or rather cleft out of the rock irregularly by the hand of nature, and 
hollowed out by the subterranean force of the water. Scattered 
torches, placed on gigantic blocks, shed a fantastic light on the green 
sides of the cavern, and partially revealed dark recesses in the depths 
of which the huge forms of tall stalactites loomed like spectres alter- 
nately seeking and shunning the light. The enormous sedimentary 
deposits on the sides of the cavern assumed a thousand fantastic 
forms. Sometimes they seemed devouring serpents, rolling over and 
interlacing each other. Sometimes haiiging from the roof and shoot- 
ing upwards from the floor, they wore the aspect of the colossal teeth 
of some monster, of whicli the dark cave beyond might pass for the 
gaping jaws. Elsewhere they iniglit have been taken for misshapen 
statues, giant images of the demi-gods of antiquity. A vegetation 
appropriate to the grotto— liuge lichens,- rough as dragon's scales; fes- 
toons of heavy-leaved scolopendra, tufts of young cypresses recently 
planted in the middle of the enclosure on little heaps of artificial soil, 



248 



COKSXTELO. 



not unlike graves — gave the place a terrific and sombre aspect trhfcli 
deeply impressed Colrsiwlo, To her fli-st feeling of terror, admiration 
however quickly succeeded. Sbe approached and saw Albert stand- 
ing on the margin of the fotmtain which sprang ttp in the midst of 
the cavern. This water, although gushing out abujidantly, was en- 
closed in so deep a basin that iio roovement was visible on its surface. 
It was calm and motionless as a block of dark sapphire, ai)d the beau- 
tiful aquatic plants with which Albert and Zdenfco bad clothed its 
margin, were not agitated by the slightest motion. The spring was 
warm at its source, and the tepid exhalations with which H filled the 
cavern, caused a mild and moist atBio»pbere favoraWe to vegetation. 
It gushed from its fountain in many ramifications, of which some lost 
them.»elves under the rocks with a did) noise, while others ran gently 
into limpid streams in the interior of the grotto and disappeared in 
the depths beyond. 

When Count Albert, who until then bad been only trying the 
strings of his violin, saw Consuelo advance towards him, he eame for- 
ward to meet her, and assisted her to cross the channels, over which 
he had thrown, in the deepest spots, some trunks of trees, while in 
cfther places rocks on a level with the water, oJfered an easy passage 
to those habituated to it. He offered his hand to assist her, and 
sometimes lifted her in his arms. But this time Consuelo was afraid, 
not of the torrent which flowed silently and darkly under her feet, 
but of the mysterious guide towards whom she was drawn by an 
irresistible sympathy, while an indefinable repulsion at the same time 
held her back. Having reached the bank she beheld a spectacle not 
much calculated to reassure her. It was a sort of quadrangular men- 
nment, formed of bones and human skulls, arranged as if in a cata- 
comb. 

" Do not be uneasy," said Albert, who felt her shudder. " These 
are,the honored remains of the martyi's of my religion, and they 
form the altar before which I love to meditate and pray." 

"What is your religion then, Albert?" said Consuelo, in a sweet 
and melancholy voice. — "Are these bones Hussite or Catholic? 
Were not both the victims of impious fury, and martyrs of a faith 
equally sincere? Is it true that you prefer the Hussite doctrines to 
those of your relatives, and that the reforms subsequent to those o£ 
John Hnss, do not appear to you sufficiently radical and decisive? 
Speak, Albert — what am I to believe?" 

"If they told you that I prefened the refonn of the Hussites to 
that of the Lutherans, and the great Procopius to the vindictive Cal- 
vin, as much as I prefer the exploits of the Taborites to those of the 
soldiers of Wallenstein, they have told you the truth, Consuelo. But 
what signifies my creed to you, who seem instinctively aware of 
truth, and who know the Deity better than I do? God forbid that I 
should bring you here to trouble your pure soul and peaceful con- 
science with my tormenting reveries! Remain as you are, Consuelo; 
you were bom pious and good ; moreover, you were bom poor and 
obscure, and nothing has changed in yon the pure dictates of reason 
and the light of justice. We can pray together without disputing — 
you who know everything although having learned nothing, and I 
who know very little after a long and tedious study. In whatever 
temple you raise your voice, the knowledge of the true God will be in 
your heart, and the feeling of the true faith will kindle your soui. It 
is not to instruct you, but in order that your revelation may be uu- 



CONSTJELO. 



249 



parted to roe, tliat I wished our voices and our spirits to unite before 
this altar, formed of tlie bones of my fathers." 

"I was not mistaken, then, in thinking that these honored remains, 
as yon c;ill them, are tliose of Hussites, thrown into the fountain of 
the Schreckenstein during the bloody fury uf the civil wars, in the time 
of your ancestor John Ziska, who, they say, made fearful reprisals? I 
have been told that, after burning the village, he destroyed the wells. 
I fancy I can discover in the obscurity of this vault, a circle of hewed 
stones above my head, which tells me that we are precisely under a spot 
where I have often sat when fatigued after searching for you in vain. 
Say, Coirat Albert, is this really the place that you have baptized as 
the Stone of Expiation ? " 

" Tes, it is here," replied Albert, " that torments and atrocious vio- 
lence have consecrated the asylum of my prayers, and the sanctuary 
of my grief. You see enormous blocks suspended above our beads, 
and others scattered on the banks of the stream. The jnst hands of 
the Taborites tluiig them there by the orders of him whom they called 
the Terrible Blind Man : but they only served to force back the waters 
towards those subterranean beds in which they succeeded in forcing 
a passage. The wells were destroyed, and I have covered their ruins 
with cypress, but it would have needed a mountain to fill this cavei-n. 
The blocks which were heaped up in the mouth of the well, were 
stopped by a winding stair, similar to that which you had the courage 
to descend in my garden at the castle. Since that time, the gradual 
pressure of the soil has thrust them closer together, and confines them 
better. If any portion of the mass escapes, it is during the winter 
frosts; you have therefore nothing to fear from this fall." 

" It was not that of which I was thinking, Albert," replied Consu- 
elo, looking towards the gloomy altar on which he had placed his 
Stradivarius. " I asked myself why you render exclusive worship to 
the memory of these victims, as if there were no martyrs on the 
other side, and as if the crimes of the one were more pardouable 
than those of the other? " 

Consuelo spoke thus in a severe tone, and looking distrustfully at 
Albert. She remembered Zdenko, and all her questions, had "she 
dared so to utter them, assumed in her mind a tone of interrogation, 
such-as would befit a judge towards a criminal. 

The painful emotion which suddenly seized upon the count seemed 
the confession of remorse. He passed his hands over his forehead, 
then pressed them against his breast, as if it were being torn asun- 
der. His comitenance changed in a frightful manner, and Consuelo 
feared that he might have- only too well understood her. 

" Tou do not know what harm you do me," said he, leaning upon 
the heap of bones, and drooping his head toward the withered skulls, 
which seemed to gaze on him from their hollow orbits. "No, you 
cannot know it, Consuelo, and your cold remarks recal the memory 
of the dreary past. You do not know that you speak to a man who 
has lived through ages of grief, and who, after being the blind instru- 
ment of inflexible justice in the hands of God, has received his recom- 
pense and undergone his punishment. I have so suffered, so wept, so 
expiated my dreary destiny, so atoned for the horrors to which my 
fate subjected me, that I had at last flattered myself I could forget 
them. Forgetfulness ! — yes, forgetfulness! — that was the craving 
which consumed my aching breast; that was my vow and my daily 
prayer ; that was the token of my alliance with man and my recou- 



250 CONSUELO. 

ciliation with God, which, during long years, I had implored, pros- 
trate upon these mouldering bones. When I first saw you, Consuelo, 
I began to hope; when you pitied me, I thought I was saved. See 
this wreath of withered flowers ready to fall into the dust, and which 
encircles the skull that surmounts the altar. Ton do not recognise it, 
though I have watered it with many a bitter yet soothing tear. It is 
you who gathered them, you who sent them to me by the companion 
of my sorrows, the faithful guardian of this sepulchre. Covering 
them with kisses and tears, I anxiously asked myself if you could 
ever feel any true and heartfelt regard for one like myself— a pitiless 
fanatic, an unfeeling tyrant — " 

" But what are the crimes you have committed ? " said Consuelo, 
firmly, distracted with a thousand varying emotions, and emboldened 
by the deep dejection of Albert. " If you have a confession to make, 
make it here to me., that I may know if 1 can absolve and love yon." 

" Tes, you may absolve me ; for he whom you know, Albert of 
Kudolstadt, has been innocent as a child ; but he whom you do not 
know, John Ziska of the Chalice, has been whirled by the wrath of 
Heaven into a career of iniquity." 

Consuelo saw the imprudence of which she had been guilty, in rous- 
ing the slumbering flame and recalling to Albert's mind his former 
madness. This, however, was not the moment to combat it, and she 
was revolving in her mind some expedient to calm him, and had grad- 
ually sunk into a reverie, when suddenly she perceived that Albert no 
longer spoke, no longer held her hand — that he was not at her side, 
but standing a few paces off, before the monument, performing on his 
violin the singular airs with which she' had been already so surprised 
and charmed. 



CHAPTER LV. 

Albert at first attuned his instrument to several of those ancient 
chaunts, the authors of which are either unknown to us, or forgotten 
among the Bohemians ; but the precious airs and melodies of which 
Zdenko had retained by ear, whence the Count had discovered the 
text by dint of study and meditation. He had so thoroughly fed his 
spirit on these compositions, wbich seem at a first hearing rude and 
barbaric, but which are deeply touching and truly fine in the ear of 
a serious and enlightened judgment, th.it he had so far assimilated 
them to himself as to have attained the power of, carrying out long 
improvisations on the idea of those themes, of mingling with them his 
own ideas, of recovering and developing the primitive sentiment of 
the compositions, and of abandoning himself to his own personal in- 
spirations, without allowing the original character, so striking and 
austere, of those ancient chaunts, to be lost or altered in his ingenious 
and scientific interpretation of them. Consuelo had promised herself 
that she would hear, and collect these invaluable specimens of the ar- 
dent popular genius of old Bohemia. But all power of criticism soon 
forsook her, as well on account of the meditative humor in which she 
chanced to be, as in consequence of the vague and rambling tone 
which pervaded that music, all unfamiliar to her ear. 

There is a style of music which may be called natural, because it is 



CONSTJELO. 251 

not the offspring of science or reflection, but of an inspiration which 
Bets at defiance all the strictness of rules and convention. I mean 
popular music, and especially that of the peasantry. How many ex- 
quisite compositions are born, live and die, among tlie peasantry, with- 
out ever having been dignified by a correct notation, without ever hav- 
ing deigned to be confined within the absolute limits of a distinct and 
definite theme. The unknown artist who improvises his rustic ballad 
while watching his flocks, or guiding his ploughshare, and there are 
such even in countries which would seem the least poetical, will ex- 
perience great difficulty in retaining and fixing his fugitive fancies. 
He commimicates his ballad to other musicians, children like himself 
of nature, and these circulate it from hamlet to hamlet, from cot to cot, 
each modifying it according to the bent of his own individual genius. 
It is hence that these pastoral songs and romances, so artlessly strik- 
uig or so deeply touching, are for the most part lost, and rarely exist 
above a single century in the memory of their rustic composers. Mu- 
sicians completely formed under the rnles of art rarely trouble them- 
selves to collect them. Many even disdain them from very lack of an 
intelligence sufliciently pure, and a taste sufficiently elevated to admit 
of their appreciating them. Others are dismayed by the difficulties 
which they encounter the moment they endeavor to discover that true 
and original version, which, perhaps, no longer retains its existence 
even in the mind of its author, and which certainly was never at any 
time recognised as a definite and invariable type by any one of his nu- 
merous interpreters. ; 

Some of these have altered it through ignorance, others have devel- 
oped, adorned and embellished it, as an effect of their superiority, 
because the teachings of their art have not instructed them to repu- 
diate its natural and instinctive spirtt. They are not themselves 
aware that they have transformed the primitive composition, nor are 
their artless auditors more conscious of it than they. The peasant 
examines not nor compares. When heaven has made him a musi- 
cian, he sings as the birds sing, especially as sings the nightingale, 
whose improvisation is everlasting, although the infinitely varied ele- 
ments of its strain are the same for ever. Moreover, this popular 
genius is unlimited in its exuberance.* It has no need to commit its 

"If you consider with any attention the bappipe-players who perform the office 
of fiddlers in the rural districts in the centre of France, you win perceive that 
they do not Icnow above two or three hundred compositions, all of the same 
style and character, which are however never borrowed the one trom tlie other, 
and you will also ascertain that in less than three years this immense collection 
is entirely renewed. Not very long ago I had the following conversation with one 
of these wanderint? musicians: — "You have learned a little music, have you 
not?" — "Certainly — I have learned to play the thorough-base-bagpipe, and the 
key-bagpipe."— "Where did you take your lessons?" — "In the Bourbonnais, in 
the woods." — "Who was your master?" — "A. native of the woods," — "Do you 
know your notes ? " — " I believe so." — " In what key do you play ? " — " What key I 
what does that mean? " — "Don't you play in re? " — "I don't know what you mean 
byre." — "What are the names of your notes?" — "We call them notes. They 
have no particular names." — " How do you retain so many different airs '! " — " By 
ear." — "By whom are these airs composed?" — "By many persons, famous musi- 
cians of the woods." — "Do they compose n)any?" — " They are always composing. 
They never cease from it." — "Have they any other occupation?" — "They cut 
wood " — " Are they regular woodcutters ? " — " Almost all of them are woodcutters. 
They say among us that music grows in the woods. It is there we always find it." 
— "And do you go to the woods in-quest of it? " — "Every year. Petty musicians 
do not go thither; they catch by ear whatever they hear on the roads and repeat it 
as well as they can. But to get the true accent one must go and listen to the 



252 C0N8UEL0. 

production!) to record; for It produces them as it cultivates them, 
without pausing for repose; and it creates incessantly, as nature cre- 
ates, and from which he draws his inspiration. 

C'onsuelo's heart abounded with all that candor, that poetic taste 
and liighly wrought sensibility, which are essential to the comprehen- 
sion and ardent love of popular music. In that point she was a great 
artiste; and the learned theories which she. had fathomed had de- 
tracted in nothing from her genius of that freshness and sweetness 
which constitute the treasure of inspiration and the youth of the 
soul. She had often told Anzoleto, without letting the Porpora know 
it, that she loved some of the barcarolles of the fishermen of the 
Adriatic better than all the science of Padre Martini and of Maestro 
Durante. The boJeros and canticles of her mother had been to her 
the sources of her poetic life, whence she never was wearied of draw- 
ing even to their depth her beloved recollections. What impression, 
then, ought not the musical genius of Bohemia to have produced on 
her, the inspiration, a pastoral and warrior, and fanatical people, 
grave and gentle in the midst of the most puissant elements of energy 
and activity. Albert played this music with a rare comprehension of 
the national spirit, and of the energetic and pious sentiment which 
had given it birth. He added to it, in his improvisation, the deep 
melancholy and piercing regret which slavery had impressed on his 
own personal character, and on that of his people; and that mixture 
of bravery and sadness, of enthusiasm and debasement, those hymns 
of gratitude blended with moans of distress, were the most perfect 
and deepest expositions of the feelings of unhappy Bohemia, of un- 
happy Albert. 

It has been truly said that the object of music is the awakening of 
emotions. Xo other art so suljlimely can arouse human sentiments 
in the inmost heart of man. No other art can paint to the eyes of 
the soul the splendors of nature, the delights of contemplation, the 
character of nations, the tumult of their passions, and the languor of 
their sufferings, as music can. Regret, iope, terror, meditation, con- 
sternation, enthusiasm, faith, doubt, glory, tranquillity, all these and 

woodcutters of the Bonrbounaia." — "And how do they get it?" — "It comes bo 
tt\Bm while wallcinc in the woods, while returning to their houses at night, while 
reposing fn>m their toils on Sunday." — "And do you compose?" — "A little, but 
very rarely; and what I do is worth little or nothing. One must be born in the 
woods to compose, and I am from the plains. There is no one superior to myself 
in the AOOE^fT, but as to invention, we know nothing about it, and it is better for 
us not to attpmpt it." 

I tried to get him to explain what he meant by the accent. He could not, how- 
ever, make any hand of it. Perhaps because be understood it too well himself, and 
thought me inoapable of understanding He was young, grave, and dark-complex- 
ioucd as a Calabrian Pifferaso, he travelled from village fete to village fete, playing 
all day, and slept but <»nce in three nights, because he had to travel from eighteen 
to twenty-four miles before sunrise, in order to arrive at liis next scene of opera- 
tions. But he seemed all the better for il — drank measures of wine sufficient to 
fuddle an ox, and never complained, like Sir Walter Scott's Trumpeter, of having 
lost his wind. The more he dvank, the graver and the prouder he became He 
played admirably, and had good reason to be proud of his accent. We observed 
that his playing was a perpetual modification of each theme. It was impossible to 
write a single one of these themes without taking » notation for every one of flfty 
Vftrious versions. In this probably lay his merit and his art. His replies to my 
questions gave me a clue, I believe, to the true etymology of the word bourree, 
which is the terra they give to their provinciiU dances. Bourree is the usual name 
ibr a faggot, and the woodchoppers of the Bourbonnais have given that name to 
their musical compositions, even as Master Adam gave that of Gbevilles to hia 
poetical compositions. 



CONSUELO. 253 

more, are given to us and taken from us by music, at the suggestion 
of her genius, and according to tlie bent of our own. She even cre- 
ates the aspect of realities, and without falling into the childish pur- 
suit of mere effects of sonnd, or into a narrow imitation of real 
noises, she makes us behold, through a vaporous veil, which aggran- 
dizes and renders divine all that is seen through it, the exterior objects 
•whitlier she transports our imaginations. Some chaunts will cause 
the gigantic phantoms of antique cathedrals to rise before our eyes, at 
the same time that they will give us to penetrate into the inmost 
thoughts of the people who builf them, and prostrated themselves 
within their walls in order to give utterance to their religious hymns. 
To hira who knows to express powerfully and artlessly the music of 
divers peoples, and to him who knows to listen to it as it should be 
listened to, it will not need to encircle tlie world, to visit the diiferent 
nations, to examine their monuments, to read their books, to traverse 
their upland plains, their mountains, their gardens, or their deserts. 
A Jewish chaunt, well given, sets us in the interior of the synagogue, 
and as every true Scottish air contains all ScotlaiKi, so is all Spain to 
be found in a true Spanish air. Thus, I have often been in Poland, 
in Germany, at Naples, in Ireland, in the Indies, and thus I know 
those men and those countries better than if I had examined them 
for so many years. It required but an instant to transport me to 
them, and to make me live with all that life which gives them anima- 
tion. It was the essence of that life which I assimilated to myself 
under the fascination of the music. 

By degrees Consuelo ceased to listen, ceased even to hear Albert's 
violin. Her whole soul was attentive; and her senses, closed up 
against the reception of direct iinpressions, were awakened in another 
world, as if to guide her very being through unknown realms, peo- 
pled with new existences. She saw the spectres of the olden heroes 
of Bohemia moving to and fro in a strange chaos, at once horrible and 
magnificent; she heard the funereal tolling of the convent bells, 
when the dreadful Taborites rushed down from the summits of their 
fortified mountains, emaciated, half-naked, fierce and gory. Then she 
saw the angels of death assembled among the clouds with the sword 
and the chalice in their hands. Suspended in serried bands above 
the heads of prevaricating pontiffs, slie saw them pour out on the ac- 
cursed land the cup of divine wrath. She fan.cied she could hear the 
flapping of their heavy wings, and the dripping of the blood of the 
Redeemer in heavy gouts behind them, extinguishing the conflagra- 
tion enkindled by their fury. At one time, it was a night of dread 
and darkness, through which she could hear the groans and the 
death-rattle of the trunks abandoned on the battle-field. At another, 
it was a scorching day, the heat of which she dared not encounter, 
through which she saw the terrible blind chief rush by like the thun- 
derbolt, in his scythed car, with his open casque, his rusty corselet, 
and the gory handace covering his eyeless sockets. The temples of 
their own accord flew open to his coming; the monks fled Into the 
entrails of the earth, carrying away and concealing their treasures 
and their relics in the skirts of their garments. Then the conquerors 
brought forward emaciated old men, beggars, covered with sores like 
Lazarus; madmen ran. up to meet thera, chanting and gibbering like 
Zdenko, executioners polluted with black gore; young childrey with 
pure hands and angelic faces; warrior-women carrying stacks of pikes 
and resinous torches, all took their seats about a table ; aud au angel 



254 CONSUELO. 

radiant and beautiful as those whom Albert Durer has painted in his 
composition of the Apocalypse, offered to their parched lips the 
wooden goblet, the chalice of pardon, of restoration, and of holy 
equality. 

This angel reappeared in all the visions which at that time passed 
•before the eyes of Consuelo. As she looked at him earnestly, she 
recognised him for Satan, the most beautiful of the. Immortals after 
the Father, the saddest after the Saviour, the proudest among the 
proud. He dragged after his steps the chains he had broken; and 
his bab-wings, all soiled and drooping, gave token of the sufferings 
and the captivity he had undergone. • He smiled mournfully upon 
the crime-polluted men, and pressed the little children to his heart. 

On a sudden, it Seemed to Consuelo that Albert's violin was speak- 
ing, and that it spoke with the voice of Satan. " No," it said, " my 
brother Christ loved you not better than I love you. It is time that 
you should know me, and that in lieu of calling me the enemy of the 
human race, you recover in me the friend who has aided you through 
the great struggle. I am not the demon. I am the archangel of le- 
gitimate resolution, and the patron of grand conflicts. Like Christ, I 
am the friend of the poor man, of the weak, and of him that is op- 
pressed. When he promised you the sign of God upon the earth — 
when he announced to you his return among you, he meant to say 
that, after having undergone persecution, yon should be recompensed, 
by conquering liberty and happiness with me and with himself. It is 
together that we were to return, and it is together that we do return, so 
united one to the other, that we are no longer two, but one. It is he, 
the divine principle, the God of the Spirit, who descended into the 
darkness into which ignorance had cast you, and where I underwent, 
in the flames of passion and indignation, the same torments which 
the Scribes and Pharisees of all ages caused him to endure upon his 
cross. Lo! I am here with you forever, my children; for he has 
broken my chains — he has extinguished my funeral pyre — he has re- 
conciled me to God and to you. And henceforth craft and terror will 
no longer be the lawful inheritance of the weak, but independence 
and self-will. It is he — it is Jesus, who is the merciful, the tender, 
and the just. I am just also, but I am strong, warlike, stern, and 
persistent. O people! dost thou not recognize him who hath spoken to 
thee in the secrecy of thy heart, since thou didst first exist, and who 
in all thy troubles hath consoled thee, saying, 'Seek for pleasure. 
Kenounce it not. Happiness is thy due — demand it, and thou shalt 
have it. Dost thou not see on my brow all thy sufferings, and on my 
wounded limbs the scars of the fetters which thou hast borne? 
Drink of the chalice which I offer thee. Therein thou wilt find my 
tears, blended with thine and with those of Christ; thou wilt taste 
them as burning and as salubrious as those which he shed.' " 

Tliat hallucination filled the heart of Consuelo with grief and pity 
blended. She fancied she eould see and hear the disinherited angel 
weeping and groaning beside her. She saw him pale but beautiful, 
with his long tresses dishevelled about his thunderstricken brow, 
but still proud, still gazing up to heaven. She admired him, while 
she yet shuddered through the odd habit of fearing him ; and yet she 
loved him with that pious and fraternal love wiiich is inspired by 
the sight of puissance in suffering. It seemed to her that from the 
midst of the Communion of the Bohemian fathers, it was she that he 
addressed ; that he addressed her with gentle reproaches for her dis- 



CONSUELO. 



255 



trust and terror; and that he attracted her toward him by a glance 
of magnetic influence, which she had not the power to resist. Fas- 
cinated, without the power to restrain herself, she arose, she darted 
toward him with extended aims and trembling knees. Albert di-opped 
his violin, whish gave forth a plaintive sound as it fell, and received 
the girl in his arras, uttering a cry of surprise and delight. It was he 
to whom Consuelo had been listening, and at whom she had been 
looking, while she was pondering upon the rebellious angel. It was 
his face, similar to that which she had conjured up to herself, which 
had attracted and subjugated her; it was his heart against which she 
had pressed herself, saying in a stifled voice — " To thee ! to thee, 
angel of sorrow ! to thee, and to thy God for evei-." 

But scarcely had Albert's trembling lips touched her own, before 
she felt a cold and thrilling pain, chill by turns, and by tui-ns enkindle 
her breast and her brain. Awakened suddenly from her illusion, ^lie 
experienced so violent a shock throughout the whole of her frame 
that she thought herself at the point of death, and tearing hereelf 
away from the arms of the count she fell against the bones of the 
altar, a portion of which gave way with her weight with a horrible 
noise. As she felt herself covered with these remnants of the human 
frame, and as she saw Albert, whom she had just clasped in her arms 
and rendered in some degree the master of her soul and of her liberty 
in a moment of frenzied excitement, she underwent a pang of terror 
and anguish so horrible that she hid her face in her dishevelled hair, 
crying in a voice interrupted by sobs, — '■ Hence! Hence ! in the name 
of heaven, give me light and air. Oh, my God! take me from this 
sepulchre and restore me to the light of day." 

Albert seeing her grow pale and toss her head, darted toward her, 
and endeavored to take her in his arms, in order to carry her out of 
the cavern; but in her terror she did not understand him, and recov- 
ering herself with an effort fiom her fail, she took flight toward the 
further end of the cavern, recklessly and without taking heed of any 
obstacles, or of the sinuous channels of the stream which crossed and 
recrossed before her footsteps, and which In several places were very 
dangerous. " In God's name," Albert exclaimed as she fled, " not 
here — not this way — stop ! stop I death is before your feet, wait until 
I come ! " 

But his outcries only added to Consuelo's fears. She leaped the 
rivulet twice with bounds as active as though a fawn, and without the 
slightest knowledge of what she was doing. At length she struck her 
foot in a dark spot planted with cypress trees, against an eminence of 
the soil, and fell with her hands outstretched before her, upon a piece 
of fresh lately dug ground. 

The slight shock altered the disposition of her nerves. A sort of 
stupefaction succeeded to her apprehensions, and panting, overpow- 
ered, and having no longer the lightest recollection of what had affect- 
ed her, she let the count overtake her and draw near to her side. He 
had rushed away in pursuit of her, and had the presence of mind to 
snatch up in haste, even as he ran by, one of the torches which were 
fixed among the rocks, in order that he might at least have the power 
of giving her light among the windings of the rivulet, in case he 
should not overtake her, until she had reached a portion of it, which 
he knew to be deep, and toward which she appeared to be making her 
way. 

Astonished and half stunned by motions so sudden and so contrary 



256 CONSUELO. 

in their effect, the young man did not presume either to address or to 
lift her from the ground. She had seated herself on the mound of 
earth over which she had stumbled, and like himself was too timid to 
say a word to him. Confused and shy, she sat gazing qjeehanically on 
the ground through her lowered eyelids before the spot where she 
was seated. Suddenly she observed that the mound whereon she sat 
had the shape and dimensions of a tomb, and that she was actually 
seated on a grave, which had been but recently filled up, and which 
was strewn with cypress boughs scarcely yet withered, and flowers not 
quite faded. She started to her feet in haste, and in a new iit of ter- 
ror which she could not subdue, exclaimed, " Oh, Albert, whom have 
you buried here ? " 

" I have buried here," replied Albert, unable to conceal an emotion 
of anguish, " that which the world contained the most dear to me be- 
fore I made your acquaintance. If it was a sacrilege, inasmuch as I 
committed it in the idea that I was fulfilling a sacred duty, and at a 
moment when I was almost delirious, God will pardon me for it. I 
will tell you in some future time whose body it is that rests here. 
But at this moment your feelings are too much excited to bear the re- 
cital, and you want to be once more in the open air. Come, Consuelo, 
let us leave this spot in which, within a single moment, you liave 
made me the liappiest and the most unhappy of men." 

" Oh yes," she replied, " let us go hence. I know not what exhala- 
tions arise here from the bosom of the ground, but I feel that I am 
dying of them, and that ray reason is forsaking me." 

They issued forth together, without exchanging a word fartlier. 
Albert walked in front, stopping and lowering his torch at every stone 
they encountered, in order that his companion might see and avoid it. 
But when he was about to open the door of the cell a recollection far 
removed, as it wonid seem, from the bent of her mind at that moment, 
but which was connected with her artistical propensities, was awak- 
ened in the mind of Consuelo. 

'■ Albert." said she, " you have forgotten your violin, near the spring. 
That wonderful instrument, which aroused in rae emotions of which 
until this day I have been ignorant, shall never with my consent be 
delivered up to certain destruction in that humid place." 

Albert made a gesture which was intended to convey to her that 
there was now nothing on earth with the exception of herself which 
was of any value in his eyes. But she persisted, saying, " It has 
caused me much pain-, and yet " 

"If it has only given you pain," he replied bitterly, "let it perish. 
I will never touch it again while I live. Oh! I care not how soon It 
is ruined." 

" I should speak falsely were I to say so," answered Consnelo, recov- 
ering her feelings of respect toward the musical genius of the count. 
"The emotion was greater than I coi^ld bear, and enchantment was 
turned to agony. Go, my friend, bring it thence. I will replace it 
with my own hands in its casket, until I recover courage to bring it 
forth, replace it in your hands, and listen to it once again." 

Consuelo was touched by the expression of gratitude which the 
count's features assumed as he received that permission to hope. He 
returned into the cavern in order to obey her, and thus left to herself 
for a few minutes, she began to reproach herself with her weak terrors 
and her groundless though horrible suspicions. She recollected trem- 
bling and blushing as it recurred to her, how in that fit of feverish 



CONSUELO. 257 

delirium she had cast herself into his arms; but she could not help 
admiring the modest and chaste timidity of tliat man who adored her, 
and who yet had not availed hnnself of that opportunity to address 
her with a single word of love. The sorrow which she observed in all 
his featnres, the languid and disheartened demeanor which he bore, 
told her that he had conceived no presumptuous hope either for the 
present or the future. Sh(|rgave him credit for so much delicacy of 
heart, and determined to soften by kinder words than she had yet used, 
the bitterness of the farewell which she was about to take of him oa 
their leaving the cavern. 

But the recollection of Zdenko seemed to pursue like a vengeful 
phantom to the very last, and to accuse Albert in spite even of 
herself. 

As she drew near to the door her eyes fell on an inscription in Bo- 
hemian, the whole of which with the exception of a siugle word, she 
easily understood, inasmuch as she knew it by heart. A hand, which 
could be no other than that of Zdenko, had traced on the black and 
gloomy portals these words in chalk — " May He who has been 
wronged gi-ant thee — '' 

What followed was incomprehensible to Consuelo, and that circum- 
stance caused her acute uneasiness. Albert returned and replaced 
his violin in the case, without her having the power to assist him as 
she had promised to do. She again felt all the impatience to quit the 
cavern which she had experienced at first. When he turn,ed the key in 
the rusty lock, she could not refrain from laying her finger on the 
mysterious word, and turning a glance of interrogation upon him. 

" That signifies," replied Albei-t, answering her look with a sort of 
strange calmness, " May the Angel, who has ever been Ynisunderstood, 
the friend of the unhappy, he, Consuelo, of whom we spoke but now." 

" Yes, Satan, I know that; and the rest — ? " 

" May Satan, I say, grant thee pardon! " 

" Pardon for what? " she asked, turning pale as she spoke. 

" If suffering deserves pardon," answered the count with melan 
choly calmness, " I have a long prayer to offer." 

They entered the gallery, and did not again break silence until they 
had reached the people's cavern. But when the light of day from 
without began to fall with its bluish tints on the face of the count, 
Consuelo saw that two streams of ti^ars were flowing silently down 
his cheeks. She was deeply affected, and when he drew nigh with a 
timid air to carry her across the outlet of the stream, she preferred 
wetting her feet in that brackish water to allowing him to lift her in 
his arms. She excused herself on the groimd of the languor and wea- 
riness which he seemed to experience, and was already on the point 
of dipping her slipper in the mud when Albert said, extinguishing the 
torch as he spoke — 

" Fare you well, then, Consuelo. I see by the aversion you mani- 
fest toward me that 1 must return into everlasting night; and like a 
ghost, evoked by you for one brief moment, return to my tomb, hav- 
ing succeeded in terrifying you only." 

" No. Your life belongs to me," cried Consuelo, turning round and 
staying him. " You swore to me that you would never re-enter that 
cavern except in my company, and you have no right to take bacl? 
your oath." 

" And wherefore would you impose the burthen of human life on 
the mere phantom of a mau. He who is alone but the shadow of a 
W ■ 



258 C O N S U E L o. 

mortal, and he who is loved of none, is alone everywhere, and wj|th 
all men." 

" Albert, Albert, you rend my heart. Come, carry me forth. I 
fancy, that in the full light of day, I shall clearly perceive my own 
destinies." 



CHAPTER LVI. 



Albert obeyed her; and when they had begun to make their way 
downward from the base of the Schreckenstein into the lower vallies, 
Consuelo indeed felt that the agitation she had experienced was pass- 
ing away. "Pardon me;" she said, " pardon me for the pain I have 
given you;" as she leaned gently on his arm and walked forward. 
" It is very certain I myself was attacked by a fit of frenzy in the 
cavern." 

"Why recall it to your mind, Consuelo? I should never have 
spoken of it, not I. I well know that you would fain efface it from 
your memory. I must also endeavor to forget it." 

" My friend, I do not desire to forget it, but to ask your pardon for 
it. If I were to tell you the strange vision which carae over me as I 
listened to your Bohemian airs, you would see that I was indeed out 
of my senses when I gave you such a shock of suiprise and alarm. 
Ton cannot believe that I wished to disturb your reason and your 
peace of mind for any pleasure. Oh, God ! Heaven is my witness, 
that even now I would gladly give my life for you." 

" I know that you place no inestimable value on life, Consuelo. 
And I know that I should cling to life with the utmost avidity, if—" 

"If— what? Proceed." 

" If I were loved, as I love." 

" Albert, I love you as much as it is permitted me to love. I 
should love you, doubtless, as you deserve to be loved, if " 

" If—what? It is your turn now to proceed." 

" If insurmountable obstacles did not render it a crime in me to do 
so." 

" And what are these obstacles? I seek for them in vain as they 
exist around you. I can find- them only in the recesses of your own 
heart — in your recollections — where they doubtless have a real 
being." 

" Speak not of my recollections. They are detestable to me ; and 
fair rather would I die than live again the years that are passed by. 
But your rank in the world, your fortune, the opposition and indigna- 
tion of your parents, — where do you suppose I can find courage, to 
face all that? I possess nothing in the world but my pride and my 
disinterestedness ; and what woiUd remain to me, were I to sacrifice 
these?" 

" My love would remain to you, and your own also, if you loved me. 
I feel that this is not so ; and I will but ask of you a little pity. How 
can it be that you should feel humiliated by granting ine a little hap- 
piness as it were an alms? Which of us is it that would so fall pros- 
trate before the knees of the other? In what respect should my for- 
tune degrade you? Could we not speedily distribute it among the 
poor, if it should proye as wearisome to you as it dops to me? Bg 



CONSDELO. 259 

yon not believe that I have long since resolved to employ it, as It 
should seem good to my tastes, or my ideas of right ; in other words, 
to rid myself of it, as soon as the death of my father shall add the 
pain of inheriting wealth to the pain of separation ? What then? 
Do you fear to be rich ? Lo ! I have vowed myself to poverty. Do 
you fear to be ennobled by my name? My name is an assumed one, 
and my true name is proscribed. I will never re-assume it. To do so 
would be to injure the memory of my father. But in the obscurity in 
which I shall bury myself, no one shall be dazzled by it, I swear to 
you; and you will not have the power to reproach me with it. To 
conclude. As to the opposition of ray parents — oh ! if there were no 
obstacle but that — only tell me that there is no other, and you shall 
see the result." 

" It is the greatest of them all — the only one which all my devotion, 
all my gratitude to you, would not allow me to conquer." 

" You are deceiving me, Consuelo. Swear that this is the only ob- 
stacle — you dare not swear that you are not deceiving me." 

Consuelo hesitated. She had never told a falsehood ; and yet she 
now desired to make reparation to her friend for the pain she had given 
him — him who had saved her life, and watched over her during sev- 
eral months with all the anxiety of a tender and intelligent mother. 
Slie flattered herself that she was taking away the sting of her refusal 
by framing obstacles, which she did, in truth, believe to be insurmount- 
able. But Albert's reiterated questions confused her, and her own 
heart was a labyrinth, in the mazes of which she actually lost her way ; 
for she could not say with certainty whether she loved or hated this 
strange man, toward whom a potent and mysterious sympathy had im- 
pelled her, while an invincible apprehension, and something that close- 
ly resembled aversion, made her tremble even now at the idea of an 
engagement. 

It seemed to her, at that moment, that she actually hated Anzoleto. 
Could it be otherwise, when she compared him with his brutal selfish- 
ness, his abject ambition, his cowardice, and his perfidy ; with this Al- 
bert, so generous, so humane, so pure, and so greatly endowed with all 
the loftiest and most romantic virtues? The only cloud which could 
overshadow her judgment concerning this parallel, was the attempt 
on the life of Zdenko, with which she could not help charging him. 
And yet was not this very suspicion a disease of lier imagination, a moral 
nightmare which the explanation of a moment might suffice to set at 
rest? She resolved to make the experiment, and pretending to be ab- 
sent and not to have understood Albert's last question, " My G-od I " 
she cried, as she stopped to gaze at a peasant who was passing by at 
some distance, " I thought I saw Zdenko." 

Albert shuddered, dropped Consuelo's arm, which he had been hold- 
ing, and advanced a few paces ; then he stopped abruptly and turned 
back. " How strange an error is this, Consuelo ? — That man has not 

a single feature of resemblance to " he could not bring himself to 

utter the name of Zdenko, and his face was entirely changed as he 
spoke. 

"You nevertheless thought it was he yourself, an Instant ago," 
said Consuelo, who was watching him keenly. 

" I am extremely short-sighted, and I ought to have remembered 
that such a meeting were impossible." 

" Impossible ! Is Zdenko, then, very far distant hence ? " 

" Sufficiently distant, that you have no more need to dread Ms mad- 
ness." 



260 CONSUELO. 

" Can you not explain to me the origin of his sudden hatred to me, 
after the evidences of sympathy which he gave me at first? " 

" I told you that it is the consequence of a dream that he had on 
the eve of your descent into the cavern. He saw you in his dream 
following me to the altar, at which you consented, as he imagined, to 
plight me your faith, and there you began to sing our old Bohemian 
hymns in a voice so powerful that it made the whole church tremble. 
Then while you were singing, he saw me turn pale, and sink through 
the pavement of the church, until I was wholly swallowed up, and 
lay dead in the sepulchre of my ancestors. Then he saw you hastily 
throw off your bridal wreath, push a flagstone with your foot so that 
it instantly covered nie. and then dance upon that fimereal slab, 
singing incomprehensible words in an unknown tongue, with all the 
symptoms of the most immoderate and cruel joy. Fnll of frenzy, he 
threw himself upon you, but. you had already vanished away in 
smoke, and he awoke bathed in sweat and frantic with passion. He 
even awoke me, for his cries and imprecations made the whole vault 
of the cell ring and re-echo. I had much trouble in inducing him to 
relate his dream to me, and yet greater difSculty in preventing him 
friim believing that he could perceive in it the real course of my fu- 
ture destiny. It was by no means an easy task to convince him ; for I 
was myself under the influence of a sort of sickly excitement of my 
spirits, and I had never before attempted to dissuade him from repos- 
ing faith in his dreams and visions. Nevertheless, I tbought that I 
had succeeded; for during the day which followed that wild and per- 
turbed night, he seemed to retain no recollection of it, for he made 
no allusion to it; and when I requested hira to go and speak with you 
of me, he made no objection. He thought you had never even en- 
tertained an idea of coming to seek me where I then was, and that 
there was no possibility of doing so, nor did his delirium break forth 
again until he saw you undertake it. At least he did not allow me to 
discover his hatred toward you until he met lis together on our return 
through the subterranean galleries. Then he told me laconically, in 
the Bohemian language, his intention and firm determination to de- 
liver me from you — for it is so that he expressed himself— and to de- 
stroy you the first time he should meet you alone; because you were 
the scourge of my life, and because he could read my deatii written 
in your eyes. Pardon me for repeating these last outpourings of his 
madness, and understand now wherefore it was necessary for me to re- 
move him, both from you and myself. Let us speak of this no more, 
1 implore you; it is too painful a subject of conversation. I loved 
Zdenko as a second self. His madness had assimilated itself and 
identified itself with my own, to such a degree that our thoughts, our 
visions, nay, but even our own physical sufferings had become spon- 
taneously the same. He was, moreover, simpler and more artless, and 
by so much more a poet than myself; his temperament was more 
equable, and the visions which I beheld hideous and menacitig, became 
gentle and mournful, as apprehended by the organization of his mind, 
tenderer, and more serene than mine. The great difference between 
us was the irregular occurrence of my seizures, and the continuous 
character of his frenzy. While I was at one time a prey to fierce de- 
lirium, or a cold and astounded spectator of my own misery, he lived 
In a sort of continual dream, during which all external objects 
assumed a symbolical fbrm, and this species of hallucination was 
always so gentle and affectionate, that in my lucid intervals — which 



CONSTTELO. 261 

•were of a surety the most painful hours of my life — I felt an actual 
need of the peaceful and ingenuous aberrations, of Zdeuko to reani- 
mate rae and reconcile me to life." 

" Oh, my friend," said Consuelo, " you ought to hate me, and I 
hate myself for having deprived you of a friend so dear and so devo- 
ted. But has not his" exile lasted long enough? By this time may 
he not be cured of a mere passing fit of violence, which—" 

" He is cured of it probably," interrupted Albert, with a strange 
and bitter smile. 

" Well then," continued Consuelo, who was anxious to divest herself 
of the idea of his death, " Why do you not recall him ? I assure you, 
I shall see him agaiin without any apprehension, and together we shall 
easily bring him to lay aside his prejudices against me." 

" Do not talk thus, Consuelo," said Albert, dejectedly. " His return 
is henceforth impossible. I have sacrificed my best friend, him who 
was my companion, my attendant, my support, my artless, ignorant, 
and obedient child, my solicitous and laborious mother, the purveyor 
of all my wants, of all my innocent and melancholy pleasures — him 
who defended me against myself during ray fits of despair, and who 
employed both strength and stratagem to prevent rae from quitting 
my ceil, when he saw me incapable of maintaining my own dignity, 
and my own course of life in the world of the living, and in the soci- 
ety of other men. I made that sacrifice without retrospect and with- 
out remorse, because it was my duty so to do. Because in encounter- 
ing the perils of the cavern, in restoring to my reason and the percep- 
tion of my duties, you were become more precious, more sacred to me 
than Zdenko himself" 

" This is an error — this is almost a blasphemy, Albert! The cour- 
age of one moment must not be compared with the devotion of a 
life." 

" Do not imagine that a selfish and savage passion prevailed with 
me to act as I have acted. I should have well known how to stifle 
such a passion in my own breast, and to have locked myself up in my 
cavern with Zdenko, rather than break the heart and destroy the life 
of the best of men; But the voice of God had spoken to me distinct- 
ly. I had resisted the fascination which was overpowering me. I 
had avoided you; I had determined to abstain from seeing you, so 
long as the dreams and presentiments, which led me to hope that in 
you I should find the angel of my safety, should not be fulfilled, until 
the frenzy into which a lying dream cast Zdenko, disturbing the whole 
tenor of his pious and gentle organization, he shared all my aspira- 
tions, all my fears, all my hopes, all my religious desires concerning 
you. The unhappy being misconceived you on the very day in which 
you were revealing yourself The celestial light which had always 
illuminated the mysterious regions of his spirit was suddenly extin- 
guished, and God condemned him by sending upon him the spirit of 
frenzy and of fury. It was my duty, therefore, also to abandon him ; 
for you had appeared to me more wrapped in ablaze of glory; you 
had descended toward me, upborne on wings, as if a prodigy, and you 
had the command of words, for the unsealing of my eyes, which your 
calm intellect and artistical education rendered it impossible for you 
to have studied or prepared. Pity and charity inspired you, and un- 
der their miraculous influence you spoke to me words, which it was 
necessary for me to comprehend, in order to conceive and understand 
the truth of human life." 



262 coNSUEto. 

" And what did I ever speak to you so forcible and so wise ? Of a 
truth, Albert, I have no idea of it." 

" Nor I, myself. But it seemed to me that God himself dwelt in the 
sound of your voice and in the serenity of your gaze. By your side I 
understood in one instant, all that, if alone, I should never have comr- 
prehended in my whole life. I knew before that time that my life 
was an expiation, martyrdom, and I sought out the accomplishment 
of my destiny in darkness, hi solitude, in tears, in indignation, in 
study, in asceticisnj, in macerations. You presented to my sight a 
different life, a different martyrdom; one of patience, of gentleness, 
of endurance, of devotion. The duties which you explained to me so 
artlessly and simply, beginning with those which I owed my family, 
had all been forgotten by me ; and my family, in the excess of its 
goodness, had suffered me to overlook my own crimes. I have re- 
paired them, thanks to you; and from the first day of my doing so, I 
knew, by the calmness which reigned within me, that I had done all 
that God required at my hands for the present. I know that I have 
not done all ; but I expect fresh revelations from God as to the re- 
mainder of my existence; but I have now all confidence, since I have 
discovered the oracle wliicK I can henceforth consult. It is yoa,Con- 
suelo ! Providence has given you power over me, and I will not revolt 
against His decrees, by endeavoring to escape from it. I ought not 
then to hesitate an instant between the superior power invested with 
the capacity of regenerating me, and the poor passive creature, who 
up to that time had only shared my distresses and bowed before my 
storms of frenzy." 

" You speak of Zdenko ? But how know you that God has not pre- 
destined me to cure him also ? You must have seen that I had al- 
ready gained some power over him, since I succeeded in convincing 
him by a single word, when his hand was already raised to kill me." 

" O ray God ! it is true. I have broken faith ; I was afraid ; I knew 
the oaths of Zdenko. He had sworn to me, contrary to my wishes, to 
live for me alone, and he kept his oath ever since I have been alive, 
in ray absence just as before, and since my return. When he swore 
that he would destroy you, I did not once conceive that it was possi- 
ble to prevent him from carrying out his resolution, and I took the 
plan of offending him, of banishing him, of hrealving his spirit, and 
of destroying him." 

" Of destroying him — ^my God ! What does that word signify in your 
mouth, Albert ? Where, then, is Zdenko ? " 

" You ask me, as God asked Cain, ' What hast thou done with thy 
brother ? ' " 

"Oh! heaven! heaven! you have not fciHed him, Albert ! " Consu- 
elo, as she suffered that terrible word to escape her lips, clung with 
tenacious energy to Albert's arm, and gazed at him with terror, min- 
gled with painful pity. She recoiled from the cold and haughty- 
aspect which that pale face assumed, in the expression of which 
agony seemed to be actually petrified. 

" I have not killed him," he made answer, " and yet I have, of a 
surety, talcen his life from him. Will you dare to impute it to me as 
a crime; you for whom I would perhaps kill my father in the same 
manner; you for whom I would brave all remorse, and break all the 
dearest ties, all the most cherished realities? If I have preferred 
the regret and repentance which devour me, to the fear of seeing you 
assassinated by a madman, have you so little pity in your heart as to 



CONSUELO. 



263 



hold that remorse perpetually up to my eyes, and to reproach me 
•with the greatest sacrifice I have ever been enabled to make to you ? 
Ah, you also ! you also have your moments of cruelty. Cruelty can- 
not be extinguished in the heart of any single being who is one of 
the human race." 

There was so much solemnity in this reproach, which was the first 
that Albert ever had dared to make to Consuelo, that she was deeply 
alarmed, and felt— more- keenly than it had ever befallen her to feel 
it before — how great was the terror with which he inspired her. A 
sort of humiliation which, though, perhaps, childish, is nevertheless 
inherent in the heart of woman, succeeded to the sweet sense of pride 
against which she had vainly striven, as she heard Albert describe the 
passionate veneration with which she had uispired him. She felt 
herself debased, and misunderstood then, beyond a doubt; for she 
had not sought to penetrate his secret without a direct intention of 
doing so, or at least without a desire of responding to his love, should 
he succeed in justifying himself. At the same time, she saw that she 
was herself the guilty in the eyes of her lover; for if he had killed 
Zdenko, the only person in the world who had no right to condemn 
him irrevocably for the deed, was she whose life had required, at the 
hands of the unhappy Albert, the sacrifice of another life, which 
under other circumstances, would have been infinitely precious to 
him. 

Consuelo had not a word to reply. She would fain have spoken of 
some other topic, but her tears cut short her speech. Albert, now 
repentant, would have humiliated himself in his turn, but she im- 
plored him to speak no more on a subject so appalling to his spirit, 
and. promised him in a sort of bitter satisfaction never again to pro- 
nounce a name which awakened in herself no less than iu him, emo- 
tions so fearful. The rest of their walk was darkened by constraint 
and piercing anguish. They vainly endeavored to hit upon some 
other topic. Consuelo knew neither what she was saying nor to 
what she was listening. Albert, on the contrary, appeared calm as 
Abrahiim or Brutus after the performance of the sacrifices enforced 
npon them by stern destinies. That mournful tranquillity, deeply 
rooted, and weighing upon the breast with something of the weight 
of madness, was not without some resemblance to a lingering rem- 
nant of that disease, and Consuelo could only justify her friend to her . 
own mind by remembering that he was a madman. If in an open 
conflict of strength against strength he had slain his adversary, in an 
attempt to save her, she would have discovered in the deed only a 
newer cause for gratitude, perhaps for admiration of his vigor and 
courage. But this mysterious murder, committed, doubtless, amid 
the darkness of the cavern ; this tomb hollowed out in the very place 
of holy prayer; and this ferocious silence after an incident so horri- 
ble; this stoical fanaticism with which he had dared to lead her into 
the cavern, and there to deliver himself up to the charms and ecsta- 
cies of music, all this was too horrible, and Consuelo felt that the love 
of such a man could never penetrate her heart. Then she began to 
ask herself at what time he could have committed this murder. " I 
have never seen," she said to herself, " during these three months, so 
deep a frown on his forehead, that I should attribute it to remorse ! 
and yet had he not one day some drops of blood on his hand, when I 
would have offered mine to him. Oh! horror! horror! He must ba 
either of ice or marble, or he must lovo me with ferocity; and I — I 



264 C0N3UEL0. 

■wlio desired to be the object of an illimitable passion — I, wbo regret- 
ted that I had been but so feebly loved— I then have received from 
heaven such a love as this for a compensation." 

Then she began once more to consider at what moment Albert 
could have performed his horrible sacrifice, and she began to imagine 
that it must have been during the time when her terrible malady did 
not permit her to take the slightest notice of external events. Thca 
again when she called to mind the delicate and tender attentions 
which Albert had lavished on her, she could not reconcile the two 
several phases of this man's character, who was at once so different 
from himself and from other men. 

Absorbed in these painfid musings, she received the flowers wliich 
Albert, knowing that she was very fond of them, was wont to gather 
for her as they walked along; but it was with a trembling hand and 
an abstracted mind that she received them. She did not even think 
to leave hitn so as to enter the chateau alone, and suffer it to appear 
that they had not been so together tete-a-tSte. Whether it so hap- 
pened that Albert thought of it no more than she, or that- he was de- 
termined to carry on his deception with his family no longer, he did 
not remind her of it, so that at the entrance of the chateau, they 
found themselves face to face with the canoness. Consuelo, and 
probably Albert also, now for the first time saw the features of this 
woman, whose goodness of heart, for the most part, concealed her 
ugliness, despite her leanness and deformity, kindled by anger and 
disdain. 

" It is, indeed, time that you should return home. Mademoiselle," 
said she to La Porporlna, in tones trembling and broken with agita^ 
tion. " We were greatly alarmed concerning Count Albert. His 
father, who has not chosen to breakfast without him, was anxious to 
have a conversation with him this morning, which you have thought 
proper to forget. And as regards yourself, there is a slight young 
man in the drawing-room, who calls himself your brother, and who 
is waiting for you with more impatience than politeness." 

And with these singujar words, poor Wenceslawa, alarmed at her 
own courage, turned her back abruptly, and ran to her room, where 
she wept and coughed for above an hour. 



CHAPTER LVn. 



" My annt is in a strange mood," said Albert to Consuelo, as they 
ascended the steps leading to the terrace. " I ask your pardon in her 
behalf, dear lady; be sure that this very day she will change both her 
manners and language toward you." 

'• My brother I " cried Consuelo, astonished at the message which 
had been delivered to her, and not hearing what the Count had said. 

" I did not know that you had a brother," said Albert, who had paid 
more attention to his aunt's ill temper than to that event. '"Un- 
doubtedly it will be a pleasure to you to see him, dear Consuelo, and 
1 am rejoiced " 

" Rejoice not. Monsieur Le Count," said Consuelo, of whom a sad 
presentiment was rapidly taking possession. " Perhaps it is a great 



CONSUELO. 



265 



calamity which is at this moment preparing for me, and I — " sho 
stopped trembling and disturbed, for she had been on the pohit of 
aslcing his advice and protection, but she feared to connect herself 
■with him too closely, and scarcely knowing whether to receive or to 
avoid one who hitroduced himself to her presence through the medi- 
um of a lie; she felt her limbs yielding under her, and turning very 
pale, clung to the balustrades on the last step of the terrace stair. 

"Do you apprehend some painful intelligence from your family?" 
asked Albert, who was beginning to grow uneasy. 

" I have no family," replied Consuelo, compelling herself to pro- 
ceed. She was on the point of saying " I liave no brother," but a 
vague apprehension prevented her from doing so. But as she crossed 
the dining-room, she heard the boot of the traveller creaking on the 
drawing-room carpet, as he walked to and fro impatiently. With an 
involuntary movement she drew nearer to the young count, and 
pressed his arm, entwining her own around it, as if to take refuge in 
his love from the sufferings whose approach she foresaw. 

Albert, as he perceived the movement, felt all his mortal apprehen- 
sions awakening anew. "Do not go in without me," he whispered. 
" I divine some presentiments which never have deceived me, that 
this brother is your enemy and mine. I am chilled to the heart; I 
am terrified ; as if I were about to be compelled to liate some one." 

Consuelo disengaged the arm which Albert held tightly clasped to 
his bosom. She trembled at the idea that he was about to conceive 
one of those singular notions, one of tliose implacable conclusions, 
of which the supposed death of Zdenko had given her so frightful an 
example. " Let us separate here," she said, speaking in German, for 
'what was said could be heard in the adjoining room. " I have noth- 
ing to fear at this time, but if in futtire any peril should threaten me, 
count upon me, Albert, I will apply to you." 

Albert yielded with visible reluctance. But, fearing to offend her 
delicacy, he did not dare to disobey her; still he could not resolve to 
leave the dining-room, and Consuelo, who understood ills hesitation, 
closed the double doors of the drawing-room behind her, in order that 
he might neither hear or see what should pass therein. 

Anzoleto, for it was he, as she had but too surely divined through 
his audacity, and too well recognised by the sound of his footsteps, 
had prepared himself to meet her impudently with a fraternal em- 
brace on her entrance in the presence of witnesses. But when he 
sa,^i her enter alone, pallid, indeed, but cold and stem, he lost all his 
courage, and cast himself stammering before her feet. He had no oc- 
casion to feign tenderness or joy, for he really felt the two sentiments 
on seeing her once again whom he had never ceased to love amid all 
his treasons. He burst into tears, and as she would not let him take 
her hands, he covered the skirts of her raiment with tears and kisses. 
Consuelo had not looked to find him thus. During four months she 
had thought of him continually as he had showed himself on the 
night of their rupture, bitter, ironical, despicable and hateful above all 
men. That very morning she had seen him pass by, with an insolent 
deportment and an air of recklessness wliich was all but impudent; 
and now he was on his knees, humbled, repentant, bathed in tears, 
as in the stormiest days of tlieir passionate reconciliations. Hand- 
somer than ever, for his simple travelling costume, which, though 
rude, became him well ; his fine features had gained a more masculine 
character, from the exposure to the weather ou his road. 



266 C O N S U E L o. 

Panting like the dove which is already in the falcon's grasp, she was 
compelled to seat herself, and bury her face in her hands, in order to 
shield herself from the fascination of his gaze. This movement, 
■which Anzoleto took for one of shame, encouraged him; and the 
return of evil thoughts soon destroyed the favorable impression made 
by his first transports. Anzoleto, when he fled from Venice, and 
from the mortifications he had experienced as the punishment of his 
faults, had but one idea, that, namely, of seeking his fortunes. But 
at the same time he had never abandoned either the desire or the 
hope of recovering his beloved Consuelo. Talents so dazzling as 
hers could not, he thought, long continue hidden, and in no place did 
he neglect to inquire for her, by inducing the inn-keepers, the guides, 
and such chance-travellers as he met, to enter into conversation. 
At Vienna he had Ijecome acquainted with many persons of distinc- 
tion of his own country, to whom he confessed the outrageous blun- 
der of which he had been guilty, and his flight from Venice. They 
had all advised him to go yet farther from Venice, and to wait 
patiently until Count Zustiniani should have either forgotten or par- 
doned his escapade, and promising to interest themselves in his be- 
half, had given him letters of recommendation to Prague, Dresden, 
and Berlin. As he passed before the Giant's Castle, Anzoleto had 
not thought of questioning his guide ; but after an hour's rapid trav- 
elling, having checked his pace a little in order to permit his horses 
to recover their breath, he had resumed the conversation, asking him 
various questions concerning the country and its inhabitants. The 
guide had naturally spoken to him of the lords of Rudolstadt, of 
their mode of life, of Albert's extravagances, and of his madness, 
which was no longer a secret to anybody, especially since the hatred 
which Doctor Wetzelius had so earnestly sworn against him. The 
guide, however, had not failed, in order fully to complete his scandal- 
ous chronicles of the province, to tell him how Count Albert had put 
the cope-stone on all his extravagances, by refusing to marry his noble 
cousin, the beautiful Baroness Amelia, of Rudolstadt, having entan- 
gled himself with an adventuress who was merely good-looking, but 
with whom the whole world fell in love as soou as they heard her 
sing, on account of the exceeding beauty of her voice. 

These two circumstances were so wonderfully applicable to Consu- 
elo, that our traveller lost not a moment before enquiring her 
name, and as soon as he heard that she was called La Porporina, he 
no longer doubted the truth. He immediately retraced his steps, and 
after having hastily stricken out the title and pretext under which he 
might hope to introduce himself into a castle so well guarded, he pro- 
ceeded to extract some farther reports of bad repute from his guide. The 
gossip of this man had led him to receive it as a certain fact that Consu- 
elo was the young count's mistress, awaiting the time when slie should 
become his wife; for she had bewitched, as he said, the whole family; 
and instead of sending her off, as she deserved, they paid her more 
attention, and lavished more cares upon her than they had ever done 
with the Baroness Amelia. This narrative excited Anzoleto yet 
more, if possible, than his real attachment to Consuelo. He had con- 
stantly sighed for the restoration of the life which she had rendered 
so delicious to him. He had long been thoroughly aware that in los- 
ing her advice and her diiections, he had lost, or at the least, compro- 
mised, for many a day to come, his musical reputation; and more 
than all, he was still forcibly attracted to her by a love at ouce selfish, 



CONSUELO. 267 

deep, and invincible. But to all this was added the vain-glbrions 
temptation of disputing the possession of Consuelo witli a rich and 
noble lover ; of tearing her from a brilliant marriage, and causing it to 
be said that this girl, who was so nobly provided for, had preferred 
following his adventures to becoming a countess, and a chatelaine. 
He amused himself, therefore, with making his guide repeat that the 
Porporina reigned as absolute sovereign at Riesenberg, and delighted 
himself with the puerile idea of leaving it for that man to tell there- 
after to all the travellers whom he should guide, that a handsome 
youth, passing by accident, had ridden rough-shod into the inhospita- 
ble Castle of the Giants, and had but to Come, See and Conquer, 
in order, at the end of a few hours, or days, more or less, to carry off 
the pearl of songstresses from the very high,-and very puissant lord, 
the Count of Rudolstadt. 

At that idea he plunged his rowels into his horse's sides, and laughed 
until his guide believed that the madder of the two was not the Count 
Albert. 

The canoness received him with distrust, but dared not actually eject 
him, on account of the hope she entertained that he might perhaps 
carry away with him his pretended sister. He learned of her that Con- 
suelo was out walking, and was sulky at hearing it. Breakfast was 
served to him, and he questioned the servants; and one of them, who 
alone understood a few words of Italian, thought there could be no 
harm in telling him that he had seen the signora on tlie mountain with 
the young count. Anzoleto had feared that on their first meeting he 
should find Consuelo haughty and distant. He had said to himself 
that if as yet she were but the honorably betrothed of the eldest son 
of the family she would wear the proud bearing of one confident of her 
own position ;■ but if slie were already his mistress she would be less 
sure of her standing, and would tremble before an old friend who might 
have it in his power to disarrange all her plans. If innocent, her con- 
quest would be the prouder feat: if she were already corrupted, it 
would be otherwise in that respect, but in neither case would there be 
any reason to despair. 

Anzoleto was too shrewd not to discover the uneasiness and ill- 
humor with which the long excursion of Porporina and her nephew ap- 
peared to affect the Canoness, and, as he did not see Count Christian, 
it was an easy matter for him to disbelieve the guide, and to fancy that 
the family were indisposed and hostile to the union of^the young Count 
with the adventuress, and that she would smile abashed in the presence 
of her first lover.' 

After awaiting her four weary hours, Anzoleto, who had the time 
for much consideration, and whose morals were not pure enough to 
augur well of such a circumstance, looked on it as certain that so long 
an interview between Consuelo and his rival, argued an intimacy 
without any limit. He was therefore the more daring, the more reso- 
lute in his determination to wait for her, without suffering himself to 
be repulsed ; and after the first irresistible fit of tenderness, with 
which he was plunged by her first glance, he believed himself safe in 
daring all things so soon as he had seen that she was overcome, and 
that she sank conquered by the violence of her emotions upon the 
nearest chair. His tongue therefore speedily broke its bonds. He 
accused himself of all that had occurred, he humbled himself hypo- 
critically, wept as much as he chose, related his remorse and his tor- 
ments, painting both more romantically than the disgusting interludes 



268 CONS U E L o. 

betweeijjthem had allowed him really to feel them, and in conclusion 
implored her pardon, with all the eloquence of a Venetian and of a 
consummate actor. 

Though at first she had been moved by the sound of his voice, and 
alarmed more by the sense of her own weakness, than at the strength 
of his seductions, Consuelo, who had no less than he reflected much 
during the last four months, soon recovered enough clearness of intel- 
lect to recognise in ail these protestations, all this passionate elo- 
quence, the same jargon to that she had heard fifty times during the 
latter days of their unhappy connection while at Venice. She was 
disgusted at hearing repeated the same old oaths, the same old prayers, 
as if nothing had occurred since those old quarrels at a day when she 
had so little understood the real odiousness of Anzoleto's conduct. 
Indignant alike at his audacity and at his pouring forth such elegant 
harangues, when nothing was in truth desirable but the silence of 
shame and the tears of repentance, she'cut short all his fine declara- 
tions, by rising to her feet, and replying coldly: "Enough! enough! 
Anzoleto. I have long since pardoned you. and I have no longer an 
ill feeling toward you. Indignation has made way for pity, and for- 
getfulness of the wrongs you have done me has come with the foi^t- 
fulness of what I have suffered. I thank you for the good feeling 
which led you to interrupt your journey, in order to seek a reconcilia- 
tion with me. Tour pardon, as you see, had been granted beforehand; 
so now, fare you well, and do you proceed on your way." 

" What, I ! I leave you, I leave you again ! " cried Anzoleto, now 
really alarmed. " No. Rather would I have you order me to kill 
myself outright. No: how can I resolve to live without you. I could 
not do it, Consuelo. I have endeavored, and I know that it is use- 
less. Where you are not, to me there is nothing — all is void. My 
hateful ambition, my miserable vanity, to which I would in vain have 
sacrificed my love, are additions to ray torture, and give me no 
longer even a momentary pleasure. Tour ini^e pursues me every- 
where — the memory of our happiness so pure, so chaste, so delicious 
— and whither should I go to seek for another like unto you — is ever 
before my eyes, and all the fantasies with which I would surround 
myself now, cause me only the deepest disgust Oh ! Consuelo ! call 
to mind our lonely Venetian nights, our boat, our stars, our intermin- 
able songs, your admirable lessons, our long thrilling kisses. Call to 
mind your little bed whereon I slept alone, while you were saying 
your rosary aloft on the terrace. Did not I love you then ? Is it 
possible that a man who has ever respected you, even when you were 
asleep, and when shut up with you alone, should be held incapable of 
loving you? Say that I have been infamous in my conduct toward 
others, have I not been as an angel toward you? And God knows 
alone what it cost me. Oh ! forget not all this ! You, who declaimed 
that you loved me so well, you have forgotten all this! and I, who am 
an ungrateful wretch, a monster, a coward, I have been unable to for- 
get, no not for a single instant; and I will not renounce my recollec- 
tions, although you renounce them at once and without an effort. 
But you have never loved me, although you are an angel, and I have 
ever adored you, although I be a demon." 

" It is possible," returned Consuelo, struck by the accent of truth 
with which he uttered these words, " that you do feel a sincere regret 
for that happiness which was tainted and destroyed by yourself alone. 
If so, it is a punishment which it is for you to accept humbly, and 



CONSUELO. 269 

which it is not for ine to turn away from you. Happiness corrupted 
you, Anzoleto. It is necessary now, that punishment should purify 
you. Go, then, and remember me, if tlie bitterness of that remem- 
brance be salutary to you. If not, forget me, as 1 forget you-. I, who 
have no fault to expiate or to redress." 

"Ah! you have a heart of steel," cried Anzoleto, surprised and 
offended by her incomprehensible calmness. " But do not imagine 
that you can thus drive me hence. It is possible that my arrival an- 
noys, that my presence wearies you. 1 Icnovvwell that you desire to 
sacrifice the memory of our love to rank and fortune. But it shall 
not he so. I have attached myself to you, and if I lose you, it shall 
not be without a struggle. I will recall the past to your memory, 
and I will do so in the presence of your new friends, if you desire it. 
I will repeat the oaths that you made by your dying mother's bedside, 
which you have renewed to me a hundred times upon her tomb, and 
in the churches, whither we used to go and kneel side by side among 
the crowds to listen to the flue music, and to speak in subdued whis- 
pers. I will recall to your mind, humbly kneeling upon my knees, 
things which you will not refuse to hear; and if you do refuse, wo to 
us twain. I will proclaim, before your new lover, things of which he 
has no suspicions. For they know nothing of you, not even that you 
liave been an actress. Well ; I will tell it then, and we will see 
whether the noble Count Albert will recover reason enough to dispute 
you with an actor, a friend, an equal, a betrothed, a lover! Ah ! drive 
me not to despair, Consuelo, or soon — " 

" Threats! At length then I find, and I recognise you, Anzoleto," 
cried the girl, now thoroughly indignant. " Ah, I prefer you thus; I 
thank you for having raised the mask. Tes, thanks to heaven I 
henceforth, I have neither regret for you, nor pity. I see all the gall 
that is in your heart, all the 'baseness in your character, all the hatred 
in your love. Go, satiate your spite. Thus, you will render me a ser- 
vice; but unless you are as deeply used to calumny as you are to in- 
sult, you can say nothing of me, which can call up a blush to my 
cheek." 

As she spoke thus, she turned to the door, opened it, and was on 
the point of leaving the room, when she found herself face to face 
with Count Christian. At the mere sight of that venerable old man, 
who advanced toward him. after kissing Consuelo's hand with an air 
of mingled majesty and affability, Anzoleto, who was in the act of 
springing forward to retain the girl, willing or unwilling, returned in- 
timidated, and lost the boldness of his demeanor. 



CHAPTER LVHL 



" DbAb Signoba," said the old count, " pardon me for not having 
given Monsieur, your brother, a better reception. I had given orders 
that I should not be interrupted this morning, because I was occupied 
with some miusual business; and I was not informed timely enough 
to receive a guest who must, both as regards myself and all niy family, 
be welcome in this house. Be assured. Monsieur," he added turning 
toward Anzoleto, " that it is with the greatest pleasure 1 see so near a 



270 coNsrEio. 

relation of our well-beloved Porporina. I beg you, therefore, to re- 
main with us so long as it shall be agreeable to you. I presume that 
after so long a separation you must have many things to say one to 
the other; must feel much joy at finding yourselves again together. 
I hope therefore, that you will allow no foolish scruples to prevent 
you from taking time to the enjoyment of a happiness, which I my- 
self share with you." 

Contrary to his wont, the old Count Christian was speating at his 
ease with a stranger; for long since his shyness had evaporated when- 
ever he was in the company of the gentle Consuelo ; and on this day in 
particular, his countenance seemed to be illuminated by a ray of life 
more brilliant than usual, like the rays which the sun pours abroad 
over the country at the hour of his setting. Anzoleto was as it were 
stupefied before that peculiar majesty with which uprightness and se- 
renity of soul shed on the brow of a venerable old man. He knew 
well how to fear and cringe before nobles and lords, but he hated 
them all the while, and mocked them inwardly while he fawned upon 
thorn. He had found but too many objects for his scorn in the great 
world, among which he had lived so short a time. Never yet had he 
seen dignity so well maintained, and politeness so cordial, as that of 
the old Chatelaine of Riesenberg. He was confused as he thanked 
him, and almost repented of having cheated him out of the almost 
fatherly reception which he had given him, by an act of imposture. 
He feared above all that Consuelo would expose him, and declare to 
the count that he was not her brother. He felt at the time that if 
she did so, he had it not in his power to play his part with effrontery, 
or even to aim at avenging himself upon her. 

"I am penetrated byyour goodness. Monsieur le Comte," said Con- 
suelo, after a moment's reflection ; " but my brother, who feels it as 
deeply as I do, cannot have the honor of partaking of it Pressing 
business calls him to Prague, and he has but now bid me adieu." 

" That is impossible," said the count. " Tou have seen one another 
but a moment." 

" He lost several hours waiting for me," she replied, " and now his 
minutes are numbered. He well knows," she added, looking signifi- 
cantly at her pretended brother, " that he cannot stay here a minute 
longer." 

The coldness with which she insisted on this, restored to Anzoleto 
all the hardihood of his character, and all the coolness of the part which 
he was playing. " Let whatever the devil will — I would say God will," 
(he corrected himself) " come of it, but I cannot leave my sister so 
speedily as she would have me, in her prudence and reason. I know 
no business which is worth a minute's happiness: and since Monseig- 
neur permits me so generously, I gratefully accept his invitation. I 
will stay. My engagements at Prague will be fulfilled a little later in 
the day. That is'al'l." 

" This is talking like a vain boy," replied Consuelo, deeply annoyed. 
" These are matters of business in which honor should stand above 
all interests." 

"It is talking like a brother," replied Anzoleto; " and you are al- 
ways talking like a queen, ray good little sister." 

" It is talking like a good young man," added the old count, again 
offering his hand to Anzoleto. " I know no business that may not be 
deferred until the morrow. It is true that I have always been re- 
proached for my indolence, but for my own part I have always found 



GONSUELO. 271 

worse consequences arise from rashness than from delay. For in- 
stance, my dear Porporina, for these two days, I might say these two 
weeks past, I have said a prayer to offer to you, and yet, I have put it 
off imtil now. I thinic that I liave done well, and that the moment 
has arrived. Can you grant me to-day the hoar's conversation which 
I was coming to ask of you, when I was informed of your brother's 
arrival ? It seems to me that this fortunate circumstance has fallen 
out quite apropos, and perhaps he will not be out of place in the con- 
ference which I propose to you." 

" I am always and at all hours at your lordship's commands," re- 
plied Oonsuelo. " As tp my brother, he is a mere boy whom I do not, 
without special reason, associate in my personal affairs." 

"I know that well," answered Anzoleto impudently: "but since 
Monseigneur thinks fit to authorize me, I have no need of any per- 
mission but his, to enter into this confidential interview." 

" You will be so kind as to allow me to judge of what is fitting be- 
tween me and yourself," replied Consuelo, haughtily. " Monsieur le 
Comte. I am ready to follow you into your apartment, and to listen to 
you with respect." 

"You are very stem with this good young man, who looks so frank 
and good-humored," said the Count, smiling ; and then turning to 
Anzoleto, he added, " Be not impatient, ray son. Your turn will 
soon come. What I have to say to your sister can not be long con- 
cealed from you; and as you say, I trust that ere long she will permit 
me to take you into our confidence." 

Anzoleto had the impertinence to reply to the frank gaiety of the 
old nobleman, by retaining h|s hand between both his own, as if he 
had wished to attach himself to him, and to surprise him of the 
secret from which Consuelo desired to exclude him. 

He had not even the good taste to understand that he ought to 
leave the drawing-room, in order to spare the count the trouble of 
leaving it himself. But when he found himself once more alone, he 
stamped with rage, fearing that this young girl, who had now become 
entirely the mistress of herself, might disconcert all his plans, and 
cause him to be turned out of the hoiise in spite of all his cleverness. 
He took it into his head, then, to glide out into the body of the house, 
and to go and listen at all the doors. He left the drawing-room with 
this intent, wandered for a few moments about the gardens, then ven- 
tured into the galleries, pretending, whenever he met any of the ser- 
vants, to be admiring the flue architecture of the castle. But on 
three different occasions he observed a singularly grave person, 
dressed in black, pass by, whose attention he felt no particular incli- 
nation to call toward himself. This was Albert, who did not seem 
to remark him, but who at the same time never lost sight of him. 
Anzoleto, observing that he was taller than himself by a h-ead, and 
noticing the remarkable beauty of his features, began to understand 
that in the madman of Kiesenberg he had a much more formidable 
rival than he had imagined. He determined, therefore, on returning 
to the drawing-room, where he tried his fine voice in that large area, 
running his fingers abruptly over the notes of the piano forte. 

" My daughter," said Count Christian to Consuelo, after he had led 
her into his study and seated her in his great velvet arm-chair, fringed 
with velvet, while he sat on a folding chair by her side. " I h^ve now 
to ask your pardon, and I scarcely know with what right I can do so, 
until you are aware of my intentions. May I flatter myself that my 



272 CONSUELO^ 

grey hairs, my tender regard for you, and my friendship for the noble 
Porpora, your adopted father, may give you confidence enough in me, 
that you will coivseiit unreservedly to open your heirt to me? 

Affected, and at the same time a little alarmed by this preamble, 
Consuelo raised the old man's hand to her lips, and replied, earnestly: 

" Yes, Monsieur le Comte, I respect and love you as if I had the 
honor to Ifave had you for my father ; and I can ansvrer all_ your 
questions, so far as they concern myself, -without fear or equivocal 
tiou." 

" I vfill ask no more of you, my dear daughter, and I thank you for 
the promise. Believe that I am as incapableof abusing it, as I believe 
you to be of breaking it." 

" I believe you, Monsieur le Comte. Pray proceed." 

" Well, my daughter," asked the old man, with an artless yet en- 
couraging curiosity, " what is your name?" 

"I have no name," replied Consuelo, without hesitation. "My 
mother had no other name than Rosmunda. At my baptism I was 
called ' Mary of Consolation ; ' my father I never knew." 

" But you know his narfie? " 

" I do not, my lord. I never heard him even spoken of." 

" Master Porpora adopted you, I think. Did he give you his name 
by a legal process ?" _, 

" No, my lord. Among artists, such things are not usual, nor are 
they deemed necessary. My generous master has no property, nor 
anything to leave to me. As to his name, it is a matter of no conse- 
quence to one in my social position, whether I bear it of justice or of 
right. If I justify it by the possession of any talents, I shall have ac- 
quired it fairly. If not, I shall have received an honor of which I am 
unworthy." \^ 

The count was silent for a few moments. Then, taking Consuelo's 
hand once again : " The noble frankness," he said, " with which you 
reply to me, gives me the highest opinion of you. Do not imagine 
that I have asked these details in order to undervalue you, either for 
your birth or your condition. I wished to perceive whether you had 
any reluctance to tell me the truth, and I perceive that you have 
none. I give you infinite credit for it, and I hold you nobler through 
your virtues than we are ourselves, we nobles, by virtue of our 
titles." 

Constielo smiled at the good taste with which the old patrician ad- 
mired her making so ready a confession, and that without a blush. 
In that surprise there was visible to her a remnant of those preju- 
dices which existed in the mind of Christian, the more tenaciously in 
proportion as he resisted them the more nobly; for it was evident 
that he was combating them, and that he desired to conquer them. 

" Now," he resumed, " my dear child, I am about to put you a ques- 
tion yet more delicate than these, and I have cause to ask all your in- 
dulgence to my temerity." 

" Fear nothing, raouseigneur," said she. " I will answer everything^ 
and that with as little hesitation as the last." 

" Well, my child, you are not married, are you? " 

"No, monseigneur; not that I am aware." 

" And — you are not a wi(Jow? — you have no children? " 

" I am not a widow, and have no children," said Consuelo, now half 
inclined to laugh, not guessing at what the count was aiming. 

" To be short then," he resumed, " you have not engaged yourself 
to any one — are you perfectly free? " , 

1*-. * 



CONSUELO. 273 

" Pardon me, monseigneur, I had engaged myself with the consent, 
and even by the commands of my dying mother, to a youth whom I 
had loved from niy childhood, with whom I was brought up, and 
whose betrothed I was when I left Venice." 

" Ah! you are engaged, then," said the count with a strange mix- 
ture of regret and satisfaction. 

" No, monseigneur, I am perfectly free," replied Consuelo. " He 
■whom I loved broke faith with me disgracefully, and I left him for- 
ever." 

" Tou loved him, then ? " asked the count, after a pause. 

" I did. With my whole soul." 

" And — perhaps you love him yet?" 

" No, monseigneur, that is impossible." 

" And should you have no pleasure in seeing him again." 

" The sight of him wonld be torture to me." 

" And you never permitted — I m'ean to say he never dared , 

But you will say that I am intrusive, and seek to know too much." 

"I understand you, monseigneur; and since I am called upon to 
confess, and do not desire to obtain your esteem surreptitiously, I will 
put it in your power to judge, to a tittle, whether I deserve it or not. 
He dared many things — but nothing save what I permitted. We have 
often drank from the same cup, rested on the same bench. He has 
slept in ray room while I have told my beads. He has watched over 
me when I have been sick. I did not keep myself fearfully. We 
were alone In the world, therefore we loved one another; we were to 
be married, therefore we respected one another. I had sworn to my 
mother to be what is called a prudent girl; and I have kept my word 
— if it be prudent for one to believe a man who is bound to deceive 
her, and to give conftdence, affection, and esteem, to a man who de- 
serves no one of these. It was when he wished to cease being my 
brother without becoming my husband, that 1 began to defend myself. 
It was when he began to be faithless to me that I rejoiced that I had 
defended myself. It was in the power of that man, utterly void as he 
is of honor, to boast to the contrary. But to a poor girl like me that 
matters little. So long as I sing truly, the world asks no more of- me. 
So long as I can look without remorse to the crucifix, on which I 
swore to my mother that I would be chaste, 1 shall not trouble my- 
self much what the world says of me. I have no family to blush for 
me; no brothers, no cousins to flght for me " 

" No brothers ? —ygu have one." 

Consuelo felt herself on the point of revealing the whole truth to 
the old count, under the seal of secresy. But she feared that it would 
be cowardly in her to seek otherwise than from herself, protection 
against one who had menaced her so cowardly. She thought that she 
ought to have within herself firmness enough to defend and deliver 
herself from Anzoleto. And farther yet, the generosity of her nature 
forbade her to think even of having a man turned out of doors whom 
she had loved so religiously. How politely soever Count Christian 
might contrive to rid himself of Anzoleto, how infamous soever the 
conduct of Anzoleto might have been, she could not find it in her 
heart to subject him to so terrible a humiliation. She replied, there- 
fore, to the old. man's explanation by saying that she regarded her 
brother as a wrong-headed, hair-brained boy, whom she had nevei 
been used to treat except as a child. 

" But he is not a bad character, is he? " asked the count. 



274 CONSUELO. ^ 

" Perhaps he is a bad character," she replied. " I have .as little to 
do with him as possible; our characters and manners are very differ- 
ent. Tour lordship must have remarked that I was by no means anx- 
ious to keep him here." 

" That shall be as you will, my child. I believe that your judgment 
is excellent; and now that you have confided everything to me, with 
a frankness so noble " 

" Pardon me, raonseigneur," Consuelo interrupted him. " I have 
not told you all that relates to me ; for you have not asked me all. I 
am ignorant of the motives for that interest which you have this day 
deigned to take in my existence: but I presume that some one has 
spoken to you more or less unfavorably of me, and that you are desir- 
ous of knowing whether my presence here is a dishonor to your house. 
Thus far you have questioned me only on very superficial points, and 
I should have thought myself very deficient in modesty had I pre- 
sumed to enter into conversation with yon on my own private affairs, 
without your permission ; but since you seem to wish to be acquaint- 
ed with everything concerning me, I ought to inform you of a circum- 
stance which will, perhaps, lower me in your opinion. It is not only 
possible, as you have often imagined, that I may be induced to adopt 
the stage as a profession, although I have at present no such inten- 
tion ; but it is also true that I made my debut at Venice last year, 
under the name of Consuelo. I was sumamed the Zingarella, and all 
Venice is acquainted with my face and my voice." 

" Hold ! " cried the count, astonished at this new revelation, " You ! 
— are you, then, that wonder, concerning whom there was such an 
ado at Venice last year, and who was mentioned in all the Italian 
papers, with such pompous eulogiums ? The finest voice, the greatest 
genius, that has been displayed within the memory of man." 

" On the stage of San Samuel, monseigneur, doubtless those praises 
were grossly exaggerated ; but it is incontestable that I am that very 
same Consuelo, that I sang in several operas, and that I am an 
actress, or as people call me more politely, a caiitatrice. You can 
judge now whether I deserve the continuance of your goodness." 

" These are very extraordinary circumstances, and a very singular 
destiny! " said the coimt, enwrapped in deep reflections. " Have you 
ever mentioned this, here to — to any other than myself, my child? " 

" I have told nearly all of it to your son, Monseigneur, although I 
have not gone into all the details which you have heard." 

" Albert, then, is acquainted with your extraction, your first love, 
your profession ? " 

" Yes, Monseigneur." 

" It is well, my dear signora. I cannot thank you enough for the 
admirable uprightness of your conduct in regard to us; and I prom- 
ise you that you shall have no cause to repeuT; of it. Now, Consuelo 
— (yes, I remember that is the name by which Albert has called you 
from the first, whenever he spoke Spanish with you) — permit me to 
collect myself a little, for I feel greatly moved, and we have yet many 
subjects on which I wish to talk with you, my dear, and you must 
pardon the trouble I am giving you, as 1 draw near to a decision on 
so grave a subject. Do me the favor to wait for me an instant here." 

He went forth ; and Consuelo following him with her eyes saw him, 
through the gilded doors adorned with panes of plate glass, pass into' 
his oratory, and there kneel down and pray fervently. 

Gradually become herself vehemently excited, she became lost ia 



^ CONSUELO. 275 

conjectures, as to what should be the result of a conversation so sol- 
emnly introduced. At first, she thought that wliile waiting for her, 
Anzoleto had already done, in his spiteful mood, what he had threat- 
ened to do ; that he had talked with the chaplain, or with Hanz, 
and that in a manner in which he had spoken of her had raised seri- 
ous scruples in the mind of her hosts. But Count Christian was one 
to whom it was impossible to feign ; and up to this moment his de- 
meanor and his words both Implied an Increase, not a falling off, of 
affection. Moreover, the frankness of her replies had struck him, as 
if they had been most unexpected disclosures, and the last, more es- 
pecially, had overcome him like a clap of thunder. And now he was 
praying God to enlighten him, or to sustain him in the performance 
of some great resolution. Is he about, she asked herself, to require 
me to separate myself from my brother ? Is he about to offer me 
money? — ah! Heaven preserve from that outrage. But no; he is too 
delicate, too kind, to dream of so humiliating me. What, then, could 
he have desired to say to me, in the first instance? what can he de- 
sire to say to me no W ? Doubtless my long walk with his son has 
alarmed him, and he is about to blame me. I have, perhaps, deserv- 
ed, and I will accept the lecture, since I cannot reply sincerely to the 
questions which he may put to me, with regard to Albert. This has 
been a hard day ; and if I pass many more such I shall no longer be 
able to dispute the palm of song with Anzoleto's jealous mistresses. 
I feel as though my breast were in flames and my throat parched. 

Count Christian now returned to her. He was calm, and his pale 
face bore witness to a victory gained with the noblest intentions. 
"My daughter," he resumed, seating himself again beside Consuelo, 
and compelling her to retain the sumptuous ann-chair, which she 
would fain have resigned to him, and on which she sat enthroned, 
against her own will, with an expression of fear, " it is time that I 
should reply frankly to the frankness which you have given me. 
Consuelo, my son loves you." 

Consuelo turned red and pale by turns. She endeavored to speak, 
but Christian interrupted her. 

" I am not asking you a question," said he. " I should have no 
right to do so, nor you any to reply to me ; for I know that you have 
in no wise encouraged Albert's hopes. He has himself told me all ; 
and I believe him, because he has never lied — nor have I." 

" Nor I," said Consuelo, raising her eyes to heaven, with the most 
candid expression of pride. " Count Albert should have told you,mon- 
seigneur " 

" That you rejected every idea of a union with him." 

" It was my duty so to do. I knew the usages and ideas of the world, 
I knew that I was not made to be a wife for Count Albert, if for this 
reason only, that I hold myself inferior to no living being before God, 
and that I would not receive as grace or favor, that which I hold to be 
just before men." 

" 1 know your just pride, Consuelo. I should think It exaggerated 
if Albert depended on himself alone; but believing, as you did, that I 
should not approve such a union, you were bound to reply as you did 
reply." 

"Now, Monseigneur," said Consuelo, rising, "I understand all that 
is to follow. Spare me, I beseech you, the humiliation which I have 
been dreading. I will leave your house, as I would have left it long 
ago, had I noL^eared by doing so to compromise the reason or the life 



276 CONSUELO. 

of Count Albert; on which I have greater inflnence than I have ever 
desired to possess. Since you know that which I was not permitted 
to reveal to you, you can now watch over him, prevent the conse- 
quences of this separation, and resume that care for him which belongs 
to you, and not to me. If I have indiscreetly arrogated it to myself, it 
is a fault which God will pardon me; for he Ijnows with what purity 
of sentiment I have conducted myself thus far." 

" I know it," replied the Count; " and God has spoken to my con- 
science, even as Albert has spoken to my affections. Eemain seated, 
therefore, Consuelo, and do not be in haste to condemn my inten- 
tions. It is not to order you to leave my house, that 1 asked you 
hither; but rather to implore you, with clasped hands, never again to 
leave it." 

" Kever again ! " cried Consuelo, sinking back in her chair, over- 
powered alike by the pleasure she felt at the reparation made to her 
dignity by this generous offer, and the alarm which its meaning 
caused her. "What I Stay here all my life ! Tour lordship cannot 
appreciate what you have done me the honor to offer me." 

" I have thought of it much, my daughter," replied the count, with 
a melancholy smile; "and 1 feel that I have no reason to repent of it. 
My son loves you desperately ; you have all power over his spirit. It 
is you who restored him to me — you who sought him out iu that mys- 
terious place which he will not disclose to me, but to which, he has 
told me, no other than a mother or a saint would have dared to pen- 
etrate. It is you who risked your life to save him from the solitude 
and the frenzy in which he was wearing away his existence. It is, 
thanks to you, that he has ceased to give such terrible cause for un- 
easiness, by his long and unaccountable absences. It is you who has 
restored him to calmness, health, and reason by a single word; for it 
must not be dissembled that my unhappy child was mad, and it Ls 
cei'tain that he is mad no longer. We passed the whole of last night 
conversing together, and he showed me that he possessed a wisdom 
superior to my own. I knew that you were about to go out together 
this morning. I had given him authority, therefore, to ask you that 
to which you would not listen. You were afraid of mc, dear Consu- 
elo; you thought that the old Kudolstadt, thickly swathed in his aris- 
tocratic prejudices, would be ashamed to owe you his son. Well, you 
were deceived. The old Rudolstadt had his pride and his prejudices, 
doubtless, perhaps, some of them he has yet — he will not paint him- 
self as pure before you — but he abjures them, and under the impulse' 
of an illimitable gratitude, he thanks you for having restored to him 
bis last, his only child. 



CHAPTKR LIX. 



CoNSTTELO was (^eeply afiFected by a demonstration which re-estab- 
lished her in her own opinion, and quieted her conscience. Up to that 
moment, she had often feared that she had given way imprudently to 
her generosity and her courage. Now she received their sanction and 
their reward. Her tears of joy were mingled with those of the old man, 
and they sat a long time side by side, both too much affected to resume 
the couversation. 



CONSTJELO. 277 

Kerertheless, Consuelo did not yet understand the proposition which 
had been madis to her ; and the Count, fancying thai he had explained 
himself sufficiently, looked on her silence and her tears as signs of her 
consent and gratitude. " I will go now," he said at lengtB, "and 
bring my son to your feet, that he may join his blessings to mine on 
learning the full extent of his happiness." 

" Hold, Monseigneur ! " cried Consuelo, astonished at his precipita- 
tion. " I do not understand what you require of me. You approve 
of the affection which Count Albert has bestowed on me, and the de- 
votedness which I have exhibited for him. You grant me all your 
confidence: you linow that I will not betray it; but how can I engage 
to consecrate my whole life to a friendship of so delicate a nature? I 
see that you rely on time and on my reason to maintain the holy and 
moral disposition of your son, and to tranquilize tlie vivacity of his at- 
tachment to myself; but I linow not whether 1 shall be able long to 
maintain that power ; and, moreover, if such an intimacy with a man so 
enthusiastic were not in itself too dangerous, I am not at liberty to con- 
secrate myself even to a task so glorious — I do not belong to myself." 

" Heavens ! what say you, Consuelo 1 Have you, then, misunder- 
stood me? or did you deceive me when you told me. that you were 
free — that you had no attachment of the heart, nor engagement, nor 
family?" 

" But, Monseigneur," replied Consuelo, still more astonished, " I 
have a profession, a calling, a position. I belong to the art to which 
from my infancy I was consecrated." 

" What do yoa say 1 Great God I Do you wish to return to the 
stage?" 

" I do not say that. I told you the truth when I said that ray 
wishes point not that way. I have not yet experienced aught but 
horrid sufferings during that stormy career. But I feel, nevertheless, 
that I should be rash were I to pledge myself to renounce it. It is 
my destiny, and perhaps it is not in the power of mortal to elude the 
future which he has traced out unto himself. Whether I return to 
the boards, or give lessons and concerts, I must be ■ still a cantatrice. 
For what should I be good, if not for thEjt? Where should I find in- 
dependence? With >yhat should I occupy my spirit, wearied with 
toil and thirsting for that species of excitement? " 

" O, Consuelo! Consuelo!" cried Coun.t Christian, with a painful 
cry, " all that you say to me is true. But I thought that you loved 
my son — and now I see that you love him not." 

" And if I did love him with that degree of passion which is neces- 
sary to self-renunciatiori, what should you say then, Monseigneur?" 
cried Consuelo, impatiently. " Do you suppose it absolutely impossi- 
ble that a woman should fall in Ime with Count Albert, that you ask 
me to stay with him always?" 

" What ! have I then explained myself so ill, or do you think me an 
idiot, my dear Consuelo? Have I not asked your heart and hand for 
my son ? Have I not laid at your feet a legitimate and, certainly, an 
honorable alliance? If you love Albert you will find, doubtless, in 
the happiness of sharing his life, a recompense fgr the glory and the 
triumphs which you will forsake. But you love him not, since you 
cannot regard it but as impossible to sacrifice what you call the destiny 
of your life." 

This explanation was certainly tardy, though the good Count 
Christian knew it not. It was not without a mixture of fear and 



278 C O N S XT E L o. 

mortal repugnance that the good old lord had sacrificed to the happi- 
ness of his son, all the ideas of his life, all his principles of caste, and 
■when, after a long and painful struggle with Albert and himself, he 
had consummated -the sacrifice; the actual ratification of an act so 
terrible could not be divulged from his heart, through his hps, without 
a second effort. 

This Consuelo foresaw or divined; for at the moment when Chris 
tian appeared to give up all hopes of obtaining her consent to this 
marriage, there was certainly a strange expression of involuntary joy 
mingled with a sort of consternation legible in the features of the old 
lord. 

In an instant Consuelo understood her situation, and a pride, per- 
haps a little too personal in its nature, made her shrink from the alli- 
ance that was proposed to her. " Do you wish me to become Count 
Albert's wife?" she said, still str.ucls with wonder at so strange a 
proposal. " Will yon consent that I shall bear your name? will you 
call me your daughter? will you present me to your relatives, to your 
friends ? Ah ! Monseigneur, how much you must love your son, and 
how much he ought to love you ! " 

" If you consider this generosity so great, Consuelo, it must be 
either because your heart can conceive none such, or because the 
object of* it appears unworthy to you." 

" Monseigneur," said Consuelo, having collected herself, and hid- 
ing her face in her hands, " 1 think I am dreaming. My pride arouses 
in my own despite, at the thought of the humiliation in which my 
whole life would be steeped were I to accept the sacrifice which your 
paternal love leads you to offer rae." 

" And who would, dare to humiliate you, Consuelo, when the father 
and the son alike would shield you with the egis of marriage and of 
our family ? " 

"And the aunt, Monseigneur; would the aunt, who is the true 
mother of this family, endure to look on that without a blush ? " 

" She will cyme herself and add her prayers to ours, if you will 
promise to be persuaded by them. Do not ask more than the weak- 
ness of human nature can grant. A lover, a father, may endure the 
humiliation and the. pain of a refusal; my sister would not dare en- 
counter it. But with the certainty of success "we will bring her into 
your arms, my daughter." 

" Monseigneur," asked Consuelo, trembling, " did Count Albert 
tell you that I loved him ? " 

"No," replied the Count, struck with a sudden reminiscence; 
" Albert told nie a hundred times that the obstacle would be in your 
own heart. He repeated it to me time after time; but I — I could not 
believe it. Your reserve, I supposed, was founded on your upright- 
ness and your delicacy ; but I believed that delivering you of your 
scruples I would obtain from you the confession which you had re- 
fused to him." 

" And what said he to you of our walk to-day ? " 

" One word only. ' Try, father. It is the only way to know 
Whether It is pride or dislike that bars against me the avenues of her 
heart.' " 

" Alas I Monseigneur, what should you say were I to tell you that 
I know not myself." 

" I should think it was dislike, my dear Consuelo. Alas ! my son ! 
my unhappy son I How frightfiU a destiny is this. That he cannot 



C O N S U E L o. 279 

be loved by tbe only woman whom he can ever love ! This last mis- 
fortune was alone wanting to us! " 

"Oh! Monseigneur, how you must hate me — oh, my God! you 
cannot understand how my pride can still resist when you have im- 
molated your own. The pride of a girl, such as 1, must seem to you 
to lack foundation, and yet, believe me, there is at this moment as 
violent a strife in my breast as that which you have vanquished in 
your own." 

" I understand it. Believe not, Signora, that I do not respect 
enough the modesty, the uprightness, and the disinterestedness of 
your nature, not to comprehend the pride which is founded on the 
possession of such treasures. But that which paternal love has suf- 
ficed to conquer — you see that I speak to you with perfect openness 
— I do think the love of a woman may conquer also. Well, then, 
supposing that the whole life of Albert, my own life and yours, 
should be, a struggle against the prejudices of the world — supposing 
that we musf suffer much and long, all three of us, and my sister 
with lis, would there not be in our mutual tenderness, in the evi- 
dences of our consciences, and in the fruits of our devotion, enough 
to make us stronger than the whole world combined against us. A 
great love makes all those evils appear light, which seem to you too 
heavy for yourself and for all of us. But this great love you seek for, 
timid and overcome, in the depths of your own soul, and you: find it 
not, Consuelo, for it is not there." 

" In truth, then, you are right," said Consuelo, pressing her hands 
strongly against her heart, " the question lies in that, entirely in that: 
all the rest is as nothing. I, also, I have had my piejudices: your 
conduct has proved to me that it is my duty to tread them under foot 
— to be as great, as heroical as you are. Let us say no more of my re- 
pugnances, of my false shame. Let us speak no more even of my fu- 
ture prospects, of my art," she added, with a deep sigh. " Even that 
I could abjure; if— if I love Albert, for it is that which I must learn. 
Listen to me, Monseigneur. I have asked myself that, very question 
more than a hundred times; but never with that confidence which 
the knowledge of your decision gives me. How should I have been 
able to question myself seriously on that point, while to ask that ques- 
tion was in itself as I then regarded it, either a madness or a crime. 
Now I believe that I can know myself, and determine. I ask of you 
a few days to collect myself, and to know if the immense devotion 
which I feel for him, the unlimited respect and esteem with which his 
great qualities fill me, the powerful sympathy which he commands, 
that vast dominion which he exerts over me by his slightest word, 
arise from love, or from admiration only. For I feel all this, Monseig- 
neur, and all this is combated within me by an inexplicable terror; 
by a deep melancholy ; and I will confess it to you, D my noble friend, 
by the memory of a love less enthusiastical, but sweeter and more ten- 
der, and which resembles this in nothing." 

" Strange and noble girl," replied Christian, tenderly, " what wis- 
dom, and yet what wild fantasies, are mingled in your words. In 
many respects you resemble my poor Albert, and again, the vague 
agitation and Tincertainty of your sentiments remind me of my wife, 
my noble, my lovely, my melancholy Wanda. O, Consuelo, you 
awaken in me recollections very tender, yet very bitter. I was about 
to say to you, Conquer this irresolution, overcome these prejudices; 
love, from virtue only; from greatness of soul, from compassion, 



280 CONSUELO. 

from the exertion of a pious and ardent chanty, this unhappy man, 
who adores you and who, even if he render you unhappy, will o.we 
you his salvation, and will "make you worthy of a celestial recom- 
pense. You have recalled to ray mind his mother— his rapther, who 
gave herself to me as a duty and an act of friendship. She could not 
teel for me, a plain, good-humored, shy man. that enthusiasm which 
burned in her imagination. She was, however, faithful and gener- 
ous to the end ; and yet how she suffered. Alas! her affection was 
my joy, and at the same time my torture; her constancy my pride 
and my remorse. She died in her undertaking, and my heart was 
broken for ever. And now if 1 am living without an object, obliter- 
ated, dead before my time, be not astonished at it, Consuelo; I have 
suffered what no one has ever understood, what no one has ever 
heard, and which I tremble in confessing to you. Oh ! rather than 
induce you to make such a sacrifice, or urge Albert to accept it, may 
my eyes be closed in grief, and may my son fall a victim to the destiny 
wiiich it would seem awaits him. I know too well the consequence 
of endeavoring to force nature, and of combating the irresistible pro- 
pensities of living souls. Take time, then, to reflect, my daughter," 
added the old count, pressing Consuelo to his breast, swollen with 
sobs, and kissing her noble brow with all a father's love. " Thus all 
will be for the best. If you must refuse, Albert, prepared by previous 
anxiety, will not he tbunderatruck by the shock, as he would have 
been to-day by the horrible information." 

With this their interview was ended, and Consuelo, gliding timidly 
through the galleries, in constant apprehension of meeting Anzoleto, 
took refuge in her own chamber, wearied and exhausted with excite- 
ment. 

First she endeavored to bring herself down to the requisite state of 
composure by trying to get a little sleep. She felt thoroughly broken, 
and scarcely had she thrown herself upon her bed than she fell into 
a state of somnolence which was painful rather than restorative. 
She was desirous of falling asleep with the thought of Albert on her 
mind, in order to assimilate it to herself during those mysterious 
manifestations of sleep, in which we sometimes believe that we find 
the prophetic meaning of things which pre-occupy our minds. But the 
interrupted dreams which flitted through her mind for several hours, 
incessantly, brought back to her eyes Anzoleto in lieu of Albert. It 
was ever Venice — ever the Corte Minelli. It was ever her first love, 
calm, full of promise, and poetical. And each time that she awoke 
the recollection of Albert must needs return to her, accompanied by 
sinister thoughts of the cavern, wherein sounds of the violin, repeated 
tenfold by the echoes of the solitude, seemed to evoke the dead, or to 
mourn over the scarce closed tomb of Zdendo. At that idea fear and 
sorrow closed her heart against any impression of tenderness. The 
future which was proposed to her, came to her fancy only through the 
medium of cold darkness and bloody visions, while the past, radiant 
and fertile of happiness, gave her bosom to expand, and filled her 
heart with joyous palpitations. She thought, as she dreamed of that 
past, that she heard her own voice echoing through boundless space, 
filling the void of nature, and widening in vast circles as it soared up- 
ward to the universe; while on the other hand, so often as the fan- 
tastical sounds of the cavern-violin returned to hor mind, her voice 
became hollow and dismal, and lost itself like the death-rattle in the 
abyss of the earth. 



C0NST7EL0. 



281 



Those vagne dreams wearied her to anch a degree that she arose in 
order to banish them; and the first tones of the bell informing her 
that dinner would be served within half an hour, she began to dress 
herself, still couttnuing to involve herself in all the same ideas. But 
strange as it may seem, for the first time in her life, slie was more 
attentive to her mirror, and more occupied with her hair and its 
adjustment, tlian with the serious affairs of which she was seeliing a 
solution. In spite of herself she made herself as handsome as she 
could, and desired to be so. And it was not to awaken the desires 
and arouse the jealousy of two rival lovers, that she felt that irresisti- 
ble impulse of coquetry; she thought not, she could not think save 
of one only. Albert had never said a word to her of her face. In 
the enthusiasm of his passion he thought her more beautiful than she 
really was ; but so elevated were his ideas, that he would have deem- 
ed it a profanation to look at her person with the eyes of a lover, or 
scrutinize her with the satisfaction of an artist. She was always 
enveloped in a cloud which his eyes could not penetrate, and which 
his fancy converted into a dazzUng glory. Whether she looked better 
or worse, to him she was ever the same. He had seen her pale, 
emaciated, faded, struggling in the embrace of death, and resembling 
a spectre rather than a woman. He had then sought in her features, 
with attention and anxiety, the symptoms of her malady for the bet- 
ter or for the worse; but it never had occurred to him to think in 
that moment whether she was ugly or not, nor whether she could 
ever become an object of repugnance and disgust. And when she 
had recovered all the brilliancy of her youth, and the expression of 
life, he saw not whether she had lost or gained beauty. She was to 
him, whether in life or in death, the ideal of all youth, of all sublime 
expression, of all unmatched and incomparable beauty. Thus Con- 
snelo had never once thought of him while she was dressing herself 
before her mirror. 

But what a difference on the part of Anzoleto ; with what minute 
attention he had gazed at her, judged and dissected her in his imagi- 
nation, on the day when he had asked himself whether she was not 
ugly? Now, he had taken note of the smallest graces of her person, 
now admired .the least pains she had taken to please him ! How he 
knew her hair, her arras, her foot, her carriage, every tint that was 
blended in her beautiful complexion, every fold ofher wavy garments! 
With what ardent vivacity he had praised her loveliness; with what 
voluptuous languishment he had perused her! At that time, the 
chaste girl understood not the beatings of her own heart. She wished 
not to understand them now; and yet she felt them grow more vio- 
lent at the idea of reappearing before his eyes. She grew angry with 
herself; she blushed for very shame and vexation; she endeavored' to 
beautify herself for Albert alone; and yet unconsciously she chose the 
head-dress, the ribaiid, and even the expression of the eye which pleas- 
ed Anzoleto. "Alas! alas!" she said to herself, as she tore herself 
away from the mirror, when her toilet was completed! "it is then 
true that I can think but of. him alone, and that happiness overpass- 
ed exercises over me a power more puissant than that effected by 
present contempt, and the promise of a future love. I may look to 
the future as I will, without him it can be nothing but terror and de- 
spair. And what would it be with him? Do I not know that the hap- 
py days of Venice cannot return again ; that innocence can never 
dwell with us again, that the soul of Anzoleto is so brutalized and cox- 



282 CONSUELO. 

rupted, that his caresses would debase me, and that my life would 
hourly be poisoned by shame, jealousy, terror and regret? " 

While she questioned herself on this head with the strictest sever- 
ity, Consuelo was assured that she was not deceiving herself, and that 
she had not the most secret emotion of desire for Anzoleto. She 
loved him not at the present — she feared and almost detested him in 
a futurity, wherein his perversity must needs increase constantly; but 
in the past, she loved him so passionately that her life and soul seem- 
ed inextricably bound up in the memory of him. He was henceforth 
to her as the portrait of a being whom she had once adored, remind- 
ing her of days of delights; and, like a newly married widow, who 
conceals herself from her new husband in order to gaze on the por- 
trait of the old, she felt that the dead love had more vitality than the 
livuig within her heart. 



-^ ^-^ > 



CHAPTER LX. 

CoNSTTELO had too much judgment and too much elevation of 
spirit not to know that of the two loves which she inspired, that of 
Count Albert was, without a possibility of comparison, the truer, the 
nobler, and the more precious. So that when she found herself in the 
presence of the two, she believed she had triumphed'over her enemy. 
The deep gaze of Albert, which seemed to sink to the very bottom of 
her soul, the slow and firm pressure of his loyal hand, made her aware 
that he was acquainted with the circumstance of her conference with 
Christian, and that he awaited her final decision submissively and 
gratefully. In truth, Albert had obtained more than he had expec- 
ted ; and the very uncertainty which he now felt was pleasurable to 
him as compared with that which he had apprehended ; so far was he 
removed from the overbearing and insolent presumption of Anzoleto. 
He, on the contraiy, had armed himself with all his resolution. 

Having divined with considerable accuracy what was going on 
around him, he had determined to fight it toot by foot, and not to 
leave the house until he should be thrust out by the shoulders. His 
fiee and easy attitude, his ironical and impudent glance, disgusted 
Consuelo to the last degree; and when he came up to her with his 
usual effrontery, and oflered his band, she turned away and took that 
which Albert presented to conduct her to dinner. As was the usual 
habit, the young count took his place at table opposite to Consuelo, 
and the old Christian made her seat herself at his left, in the chair 
formerly occupied by the Baroness Amelia, whicb she had used since 
her departure. But in the place of the chaplain, who oi-dinarily sat 
there, the canoness insisted upon the pretended brother to place him- 
self between them ; so that all Anzoleto's bitter sarcasms uttered in 
the lowest whisper could reach the ears of the young girl, while his 
irreverent sallies could ofifend, as much as he desired, the aged priest, 
on whom he had already tried his hand. 

Anzoleto's plan was very simple. He was anxious to render him- 
self odious and insupportable to those members of the family whom 
he suspected of being averse to the projected marriage, in order to 
give them, by his own vulgarity, his fau\illar air, aud Jhis misapplica<- 



CONSUELO. 



283 



tton of words, the worst idea of the companions and family of Con- 
suelo. " We shall see," thought he to himself, " how they will get 
down ttie brother, whom I am about to serve up to them." 

Anzoleto, who was a very unfinished singer, and but a moderate 
tragedian, had an intuitive talent as a good comedian. He had 
already seen enough of the world to know how to imitate the elegant 
maimers and the agreeable language of good society; but to play" 
that part would have been only to reconcile the canoness to the low 
extraction of her son-ui-law, and he therefore undertook the opposite 
line, and with the more success in that it was more natural to him. 
Being^ well satisfied that, although Wenceslawa persisted in speaking 
no language but German, the Court tongue, and that used in grave 
business, she did not miss a word which he spoke in Italian ; he set 
himself to chatting, right or wrong, to singhig the praises of the good 
Hungarian wine, the etfects of which he did not fear in the least, ac- 
customed as he was of old to far more heady beverages, but of which 
he soon pretended to feel the hearty influences, in order to give him- 
self a more inveterate character as a drunkard. 

His project succeeded to a marvel. Count Christian, after having 
at first laughed indulgently at his sallies and his buffoonery, soon ceased 
to smile but with an effort, and required all the urbanity of his posi- 
tion as a lord in his own house, and all his affection as a father, to pre- 
vent his setting the odious brother-in-law, that was to be, of his noble 
son, in his proper place. The chaplain, perfectly indignant, could not 
sit easy on his chair, and murmured German exclamations which 
sounded like exorcisms. His meal was dreadfully disturbed, and never 
in his life was his digestion more uneasy. The canoness listened to all 
the impertinences of her guest with a constrained contempt and a ma- 
lignant satisfaction. At each new misdemeanor she raised her eyes to 
her brother as if to call him to witness ; and the good Christian bowed 
bis head, pretending to be absent, in order to distract the observation 
of the auditors. Then the canoness would look toward Albert; but 
Albert was impassive. He seemed neither to hear nor see their un- 
pleasant and jovial guest. 

But the most cruelly annoyed of all the persons present was un- 
questionably poor Consuelo. At first she believed that Anzoleto, in 
his long career of debauchery, had contracted those dissipated man- 
ners and that impudent turn of mind which almost hindered her re- 
cognition of him. She was indeed disgusted and astoraided to such a 
degree as to be on the point of leaving the table. But when she per- 
ceived that it was a rtise de ffuerre, she recovered the composure which 
became her innocence and her dignity. She had not mingled herself 
with the secrets and afflicti ms of that family, to win by intrigue the 
station that was offered to her. Tliat rank had not flattered her am- 
bition even for an instant, and she felt strong in her uprightness of 
conscience, to defy the secret suspicions of the canoness. She saw 
at a glance that the love of Albert and the confidence of his father 
were superior Jo such a wretched trial ; and the contempt which she 
felt for Anzoleto, cowardly and malicious in his vengeance, rendered 
her stronger yet. Her eyes once met those of Albert, and they under- 
stood each other. Those of Consuelo asked the question, " Yes f " 
and those of Albert replied, " In spite of all." 

" It is not done yet," said Anzoleto, in a low voice to Consuelo, for 
he had seen and interpreted the glance. 

" Tou are assisting me much," replied Consuelo, " and I thank you 
for it." 



284 C0N8UEL0. 

They were both speaking between their lips in that rapid Venetian 
dialect which seems to be composed almost entirely of vowels, and in 
which there are so many ellipses that even Italians of Borne or Flor- 
ence have themselves some trouble In understanding it at a first 
hearing. 

" I can easily imagine that you detest me at this moment," said An- 
* zoleto ; " and that you think it certain that you shall hate me forever. 
But you shall never escape me for all that." 

"Ton have unmasked too soon," said Consuelo. 

" But not too late," replied Anzoleto. " Come, Padre mis Beneditto," 
he continued, addressing himself to the chaplain, and nudging his 
elbow in such a sort as to make him spill half the glass of wine which he 
was raising to his lips over his hand. " Drink more courageously of 
this good wine, which does as much good both to soul and body as 
that of the holy mass. Seigneur Count," ha continued, presenting his 
glass to the aged Christian, " you have in reserve by your side, a flask 
of yellow crystal, which shines like the sun. I am sure that if I were 
to swallow only one drop of the nectar it-contains I should be changed 
into a demigod." 

" Beware, my good youth," said the count laying his hand, covered 
with rings, on the cut neck of the flask. " Old men's wine sometimes 
shuts young men's mouths." 

" You have a rage for being as pretty as a goblin," said Anzoleto in 
good clear Italian to Consuelo, so that every one at table could hear 
him. " Tou put me in mind of the Diavolessa of Galuppi, which you 
acted so well at Venice last year. Ah ha! Seigneur Count, do you 
expect to keep my sister long here in your golden cage, lined with 
silk. She is a song-bird, I can tell you, and the bird which is robbed.of 
its voice soon loses its pretty feathers also. She is very happy here, I 
can well luiderstand. But that good public, whom she turned giddy 
with admiration last season, is asking for her again, and that aloud, 
down yonder; and, as for me, if you would give rae your name, your 
castle, all the wine in your cellar, and your venerable chaplain to boot, 
I would not renounce my quinquetoes,liiy buskins, and ray flourishes." 

"Tou are a comedian, then, too, are you?" asked the cauoness, 
with dry, cold disdain. 

"A comedian! a, mountebank, at your eeTy\ce,illuiitirissima," replied 
Anzoleto, without being in the least disconcerted. 

"Has he talent?" enquired the old Christian of Consuelo, with a 
tranquillity full of kindness and benevolence. 

"None whatever," replied Consuelo, looking on her adversary with 
pity. 

"■ If it be so, you accuse yourself," said An zoleto, " for I am your pu- 
pil. I hope, nevertheless, that I have enough," he added in Venetian 
" to upset your game." 

" It is yourself only that you will harm," replied Oousuelo, in the 
same dialect. " Evil intentions corrupt the heart, and yours will lose 
more by all this than you can make me lose in the opimon of others." 

" I am glad to see that you accept my challenge. It is needless to 
lower your eyes beneath the shade of your vigor, for I can see rage 
and spite sparkle in your eyes." 

" Alas ! you can read nothing in them but deep disgust on your own 
account. I hoped I should have been able to forget that I ought to 
despise you, but you take pleasure in recalling it to my mind." 

" Contempt and love oftentimes go together." 



CONSUELO. 285 

" In evil spirits." 

" In the proudest spirits — so it has been, so it shall ever be." 

The whole dinner passed thus. When they withdrew into the 
drawing-room, the canoness, who appeared determined to amuse her- 
self with Anzoleto's impertinence, asked him to sing something. He 
did not wait to be asked twice, and after running his fingers vigorously 
over the keys of the old groaning piaTio, he set up one of those ener- 
getic songs with which he was in the habit of enlivening the Count 
Zustiniani's private suppers. The words were loose enough, but the 
canoness did not hear them, and was amused by the vigor and energy 
of the singer. Count Christian could not help admiring the fine 
voice and prodigious facility of the singer. He gave himself up with 
perfect artlessness to the pleasure of listening, and when the iirst air 
was ended asked him for asecond. Albert, who sat next to Consuelo, 
seemed entirely deaf, and did not utter a word. Anzoleto fancied 
that he was spiteful, and felt himself outdone in something. He for^ 
got that it had been his intention to dismay his hosts by his musical 
improprieties, and moreover said that, whether for their innocence or 
their ignorance of the dialect, it was lost time, he gave himself up to 
the pleasure of exciting adrairaiion, and sang fur the pleasure of 
singing, desiring at the same time to let Consuelo see the progress 
which he had made. He had in truth gained in that order of musical 
power which nature had assigned to him. His voice had perhaps 
already lost some of its youthful freshness. Orgies and dissipation 
had robbed it of its velvet softness ; but he was more perfectly the 
master of its effects, and more skillful in overcoming the difficulties 
towards which his taste and instinct always led him. He sang well, 
and received many praises from Count Christian and the canoness; 
and also from the chaplain, who loved above all things fine strokes, 
and who thought Consuelo's by far too simple and too natural to be 
very scientific. " You said that he had no talent," said the Count to 
Consuelo. " Tou are either too severe, or too modest in yonr opinion 
of your pupil. He has much ; and 1 recognise something of you in 
his singing." 

The go^d Count Christian wished to efface by this little triumph of 
Anzoleto, some of the mortification which his style of conduct had 
caused his pretended sister. He laid much stress, therefore, on the 
merits of the singer; and the latter, who was by far too fond 
of praise not to be wearied of the low part he was playing, returned 
to the piano, after havlrg observed that Count Albert was becoming 
more and more pensive. The canoness, who had a habit of falling 
asleep sometimes in the middle of long pieces of music, asked for 
another Venetian song, and this time Anzoleto made a better choice. 
He knew that popular aii's were those which he sang the best. Consu- 
elo herself had not thepiquante accentuation of the dialect so natur- 
ally and so characteristically as he, himself the child of the languages, 
and par excellence a Swiss singer. 

He imitated, therefore, with such a grace, and such a charm, at one 
time the rude and frank manner of the fishermen of Istria, and at 
another, the spiritual and careless recklessness of the Venetian gon- 
doliers, that it was impossible not to listen to him, and look at him 
with interest. His fine face, full of play and penetration, took 
at one time the grave and proiid expression^at another the rollicking 
and sportive air, of those or of these. The very bad taste of his dress, 
which could be recognised as Venetian at a league's distance, added, 



280 CONSXJELO. 

if anything, to tlie illusion, and served his personal advantages instead 
of Injuring them, as it would have done on any otlier occasion. Con- 
suelo, who was at first cold as marble, was first forced to assume 
iudifierence and. abstraction, for emotion gained on her more and 
more every moment. Sbe Seemed to see all Venice again in Anzoleto, 
and in that Venice all the Auzoleto of old days, with his gayety, his 
innocent love, and his boyish haughtiness. Her eyes were filled with 
tears, and the merry features which excited all the rest to laughter, 
pierced her heart with the deepest tenderness. 

Af[er the songs, the Count Christian asked for chaunts. "Oh! if 
you come to that," said Anzoleto, "I only know those which are sung 
at Venice, and they are all arranged for two voices, so that if my sis- 
ter does not choose to sing with me, I shall be unable to gratify your 
lordships." 

Consuek) was immediately implored to sing. She resisted for a long 
time, although she felt a strong inclination to do so. But at last, yield- 
ing to the entreaties of the old Christian, who had set himself to ef- 
fect a reconciliation between the brother and sister by pretending him- 
self to be reconciled, she took her seat beside Anzoleto, and began to 
sing, trembling as she did so, one of those long canticles arranged in 
two parts, divided into strophes of three verses each, which are heard 
in Venice, during periods of devotion, resounding all night long 
around the Madonnas at the crossings of the streets. Their rhythm 
is rather animated than sad, but in the monotony of their burthen, 
and in the poetry of their words, having the impress of a half pagaa 
piety, there is a sweet melancholy which gains on the hearer by de- 
grees, and in the end takes full possession of him. 

Consuelo sang in a sweet and veiled voice, in imitation of the Ve- 
netian women, and Anzoleto with the slightly hoarse and guttural ac- 
cent of the young men of that country. At the same time he repro- 
duced on the piano forte a feeble, but continuous and limpid accom- 
paniment, which reminded his companion of the murmur of the wa- 
ter against the marble steps, and the whisper of the wind among the 
vine branches. She thought herself in Venice, on a fine summer's 
night, alone at the foot of one of those chapels in the open air, shel- 
tered by arbors of the ^ine, and illuminated by a wavering lamp re- 
fleeted in the gently undulating waters of the canals. Oh ! what a 
contrast between the ominous and agonizing sensations which she 
had experienced that very morning on listening to Albert's violin on 
the margin of another stream, dark, stagnant, silent, crowded with 
phantoms, and that vision of Venice, with its fine sky, with sweet mel- 
odies, with waves of azure, showing long wakes of light from the rapid- 
ly glancing flambeaux or the resplendent stars. This magnifi- 
cent spectacle Anzoleto brought back to her mind, this spectacle in 
which to her were concentrated all the ideas of liberty and of life; 
while the cavern, the fierce and fantastic strains of old time Bohemia, 
the bones lighted by funereal torches, and reflected in waters filled, 
perchance, with the same lugubrious relics, and in the midst of all the 
pale and ardent face of the ascetic Albert, the thought of an unknown 
world, the apparition of a symbolical scene, and the painful sensation 
of a fascination which she could not explain, were all too much for the 
simple and peaceful soul of Consuelo. In order to enter into that re- 
gion of abstract' ideas, it required her to make as great an effort as her 
imagination was capable of, but by which her whole nature was dis- 
turbed aud tortured by mysterious sufferings and agonising present- 



CONSUELO. 287 

iments. Her organization was all of the South, southern, and denied 
itself to the austere initiation of a mystic love. Albert was to her the 
genius of the North, deep, puissant, sometimes sublime, but always sad 
as the wind of icy nights and the subterranean roar of wintry torrents. 
It was the dreaming and investigating soul which interrogates and 
symbolizes all things, — the nights of storm, the savage harmonies of the 
forests, and the half-effaced inscriptions of antique monuments. An- 
zoleto, on the contrary, was the life of the South, the matter enkin- 
dled and fertilised by the great sun, by the broad light, drawing its 
poetry only from the intensity of its own growth, and its pride from 
the wealth of its own organic principles. It v/as the life of sentiment, 
with its greed of enjoyment, the intellectjial carelessness and improv- 
idence of the artist, a sort of ignorance of, or indifference to, the idea 
of good or evil, the easily-won happiness, the scorn or the impotence 
of reflection ; in a word, the enemy and the antagonist of the ideal. 

Between these two men, each of whom was the example of a type 
precisely the opposite and antipathic of the other, Consuelo had as 
little life, as little aptitude for energy or action as a body severed from 
its soul. She loved the beautiful, she thirsted for the ideal ; Albert 
offered her and taught her these. But Albert, checked in the devel- 
opment of his genius, by something diseased in his intellect, had given 
himself up too much to the life of pure intellect. He knew so little 
of necessity and of real life, that he had often lost the faculty of feel- 
ing even liis own existence. He did not even imagine how the omin- 
ous ideas and objects to which he had familiarised himself could, 
under the influence of love and virtue, inspire other feelings to his 
promised bride than the enthusiasm of faith, the tenderness of bliss. 
He had not foreseen, nor understood, that he was drawing her down 
into an atmosphere in which she must die as a tropical plant, in the 
twilight of the polar circles. In a word, he comprehended not the 
sort of violence which she was forced to put upon herself in order to 
identify her nature with his own. 

Anzoleto, on the contrary, wounding the soul, and revolting the in- 
tellect of Consuelo at all points, still carried in his expanded breast, 
wide open to the breath of the breezes of the genial South — all that 
vital air which the Flower of Spain, as he was wont to call her in past 
time, required to animate her. She found in him a whole life of sen- 
suous contemplation, animal, ignorant, and delicious — a whole world 
of tranquillity, carelessness, physical movements, uprightness without 
effort, and piety without reflection ; in one word, almost the life of a 
bird. But is there not something of the bird in the artist, and must 
there be also some slight infusion of that cup, which is common to all 
other beings, in man himself, in order that he may be complete, and 
may bring to the best advantage the treasures of his intelligence? 

Consuelo sung in a voice still more and more tender and touching, 
giving herself up with vague instinctive feelings to the distinctions, 
which I have drawn for her, though of course, too much at length. 
Let me be pardoned for it. Had I not done so it would be impossible 
to conceive by what fatal fitfulness of sentiment this young girl, so 
chaste and so sincere, who hated the treacherous Anzoleto a quarter 
of an hour before, and with good reason, could forget herself to such 
a point as to listen to his voice, to feel the waving of his hair, and to 
inhale his very breath with a sensation of delight. The drawing-room 
was too large to' be at any time very well lighted, as has been already 
mentioned, and the day was fast closing. The desk of the piano forto, 



288 CONSUELO. 

on which Anzoleto had spread open a large folio of music, concealed 
their heads from those who were sitting at a distance, and gradually 
their heads came nearer and nearer together. Anzoleto now played 
the accompaniment with one hand only, the other arm he had passed 
around the flexible waist of his formerly betrothed, and with it was 
drawing her closer to his own body. Six months of indignation and 
of grief had passed away like a dream from the mind of the young 
girl. She fancied herself at Venice ; she prayed the Madonna to bless 
her love for the handsome lover whom her mother had given her, and 
who was praying beside her, hand to hand and heart to heart. Albert 
bad left the room without her perceiving it, and the air became light- 
er, the twilight softer around her. Suddenly at the end of one of the 
strophes she felt the burning lips of her first lover pressed to her own. 
She stifled a cry with difficulty, and leaning over her piano forte, burst 
Into tears. 

At this moment Count Albert re-entered the room, heard her sobs, 
and saw the insulting joy of Anzoleto. The interruption of the song 
by the emotions of the young artiste did not so much surprise any 
of the other spectators of that rapid scene. No one had seen the kiss, 
and every one siipposed that the recollections of her childhood, and 
her love of the art had moved her to tears. 

Count Christian was indeed somewhat vexed at this sensibility, 
which was an evidence of so much attachment for, and of so many 
regrets connected' with the very things the sacrifice of which he re- 
quired. The canoness and the chaplain were delighted, trusting that 
the sacrifice could now never be accomplished. Albert had not as yet 
thouglit to ask himself whether the Countess Kudolstadt would be- 
come an arSiste again, or must cease to be one. He would have ac- 
cepted anything, permitted anything, nay, even demanded anything, 
provided that she could be happy and free, whether in retirement, in 
the world, or on the stage, at her own option. His want of preju- 
dices and selfishness went so far even as to the overlooking of the sim- 
plest circumstances. It never, therefore, entered his mind that Con- 
suelo would impose on herself any sacrifices on his account, who de- 
manded none. But though he overlooked this obvious point, he yet 
saw farther, as he ever did. His eye pierced to the very heart of the 
tree, and his hand was laid on the worm that gnawed it. The true po- 
sition of Anzoleto with regard to Consuelo, the real object which he 
was pursuing, and the actual sentiment which inspired him, were re- 
vealed to him in an instant. He gazed attentively at this man, to 
whom he had in every respect- an antipathy, and on whom he had 
hitherto avoided to cast his eyes, because he would not hate Con- 
suelo's brother. He now saw in him an audacious, desperate, and 
dangerous lover. The noble Albert thought not of himself; no sus- 
picion, no jealousy entered his clear mind. The danger was all Con- 
suelo's; for at a single glance of his deep and lustrous eye, that man 
whose feeble sight and delicate vision could not brook tlie sun, and 
could scarce distinguish forms and colors, read the very bottom 
of the souls, and penetrated, by the mysterious power of divination, 
into the most secret thoughts of villains and impostors. I will not 
attempt to explain by any natural means this strange gift which he 
certainly at times possessed. He was possessed of certain faculties — 
not yet explored to the bottom, or defined by science — utterly incom- 
prehensible to all those around, as they are to the historian who now 
narrates them, and who, in relation to matters of that nature, is no 



CONSUELO. 289 

more enlightened after the lapse of a hundred years, than were the 
great Intellects of his century. Albert, however, when he saw the 
vain and selfish spirit of his rival, said not to himself, " Lo! my ene- 
my I " but he said, " Lo! the enemy of Consuelol " and without suf- 
fenng his discovery to become apparent, he promised himself that he 
Would watch over her, and preserve her. 



CHAPTER LXI. 

So soon as Consuelo found a favorable moment she went out of the 
saloon, and passed into the garden. The sun had set, and the first 
stars sparkled white and serene in a sky still rosy in the west, already 
black to the eastward. The young artist sought to inspire tranquillity 
of miud and calmness from the pure cool air of that early autumn 
evening. Her bosom was oppressed with voluptuous languor, and 
yet she felt remorse for it and summoned to the aid of her will all 
the strength of her spirit. She miglit have said to herself, " Can I 
not discover whither I love or hate f " She trembled as if she had 
felt her courage forsaking her at this, the most dangerous crisis of her 
life ; and for the first time she did not find within herself that dis- 
tinctness of the first impulse, that holy confidence in her intentions 
which had always upheld her in the time of trial. She had left the 
drawing-room in order to escape the fascination which Anzoleto ex- 
ercised over her, and she had felt at the same moment a vague wish 
that he should follow her. The leaves were beginning to fall, and 
when the hem of her vestment rustled against them, she fancied that 
she heard his steps behind her, and, ready to fly, not daring to return, 
she remained rooted to the place where she stood, as it were by 
magic. 

Some one was indeed following her, but without daring or desiring 
to be discovered. It was Albert. A stranger to all those small dis- 
simulations which are called social proprieties, and feeling elevated 
above all fahe shaine by the greatness of his love, he had left the 
aparlriient a moment after her, resolved to protect her, without her 
own knowledge, and to prevent her intended seducer from rejoining 
her. Anzoleto had also observed his artless ardor, without hMng 
much alarmed by it. He had seen too clearly the agitation of Con- 
suelo not to look upon his victory as certain ; and, thanks to the au- 
dacious folly which many easy conquests had awalfened in him, he 
determined no longer to carry it with a rough hand, no longer to pro- 
voke his intended victim, and no longer to surprise the family by his 
rudeness of demeanor. " It is no longer necessary to huixy myself so 
much," he said._ " Anger may give her strength. An air of grief 
and dejection will make her forget the relics of her anger against me. 
Her spirit is proud, let us attack her senses. She is certainly less 
stiict here than she was at Venice; she has become civilized in these 
regions. What matters it whether my rival be'happy a day longer or 
no? To-morrow she shall be mine — perhaps this very night. Wo 
shall soon see. Let me not, however, drive her through fear into any 
desperate resolution. She has not betrayed me to them. Whether 
from pity or fear, she has not denied my part as brother; and 



290 C N S U E L o. 

her great relations, In spite of all my buflfooneries, seem deter- 
mined to support me for love of her. I will change my tactics, then ; 
I have been quicker than 1 hoped; I can afford now to halt awhile." 

Count Christian, the canoness, and the chaplaiii were, therefore, 
much surprised at seeing him suddenly assume excellent manners, a 
modest tone, and a gentle and pleasing demeanor. He had the tact, 
moreover, to complain to the chaplain of a bad headache, and to add 
that being naturally very sober, the Hungary wine, the strength of 
which he had not anticipated during dinner, had risen to his head. 
A moment had not passed before this confession was transmitted in 
German to the canoness and to the count, who accepted that species 
of justification with ready kindness. Wenceslawa was at first less in- 
dulgeut, but the pains which the comedian took to please her, the 
respectful praises which he took occasion to ofifer hiT, on the subject 
of the advantages of nobility, the admiration which he displayed for 
the order estabhshed in the castle, soon disarmed her benevolent soul, 
incapable in any case of bearing rancor. She listened to him at first 
indolently, but ended by conversing with him with interest, and by 
agreeing with her brother, that he was an excellent and charming 
young man. 

When Consuelo returned from her walk, an hour had elapsed, dur- 
ing which Anzoleto had not lost his time. He had in fact so well re- 
covered the good graces of the family, that he had no doubt of his 
ability to remain as many days in the castle as he should find neces- 
sary to the accomplishment of his ends. He did not indeed under- 
stand what the old count said to Consuelo in German, but he guessed 
from the eyes that were directed towards himself, and from the suiv 
prise and embarrassment of the young girl herself, that Count Chris- 
tian bad been praising him to the skies, and perhaps scolding her a 
little for showing so little interest in so amiable a brother. 

" Come, signora," said the canoness, who, notwithstanding her little 
grudf?f against La Porporina, could not refrain from wishing her 
Vfell, and who thought, moreover, that she was doing an act of duty, 
"yon sulked with your brother a little at dinner, and it is true that 
at the time he deserved it; but he has proved himself better than wo 
at first expected to find him. He loves you dearly, and has said a 
hundred kind things of you to us, with every expression of affection, 
and even of respect. Be not then more severe than we. I am suie 
if he remembers that he drank a little too nuich at dinner, he is 
deeply grieved at it, especially on your account. Speak to him, there- 
fore, and do not be cold to one who is so near to you by the ties of 
blood. For my own part, although my brother, the Baron Frederick, 
who was a great torment in his younger days, often animyed me 
greatly, I could never remain at variance with him an hour." 

" Consuelo, who dared neither to confirm nor to destroy the error 
of the good lady, stood aghast at this new attack on the part of An- 
zoleto, all whose power and capacity she now fully appreciated. 

" You do not hear what my sister is saying," said ('ount Christian 
to the young man, "hut I will translate it to yon in two minutes. 
She is blaming (lonsuelo for assuming too much of the airs of a little 
mother over you, and I am sure Consuelo is dying to make her pence 
with you. Embrace one an<ither then, my cliildren. Come, young 
man, it is for you to take the first step, and if you have at any time 
behaved ill to her, of which ill you now repent, I doubt not that she 
will pai'don you, on your expressing your sorrow." 



C O N S TJ E L O. 291 

Anzoleto did not suffer this advice to be given to him twice over. 
He seized the trembling hand of Consuelo, who did not dare to with- 
draw it from him. " Yes," said he, " I liave committed great wrongs 
against her, and ( repent the more bitterly that I have found that all 
my endeavors to pardon myself against her, have only rendered me 
more unhappy than before. She knows this well, and if she bad iiot 
a lieart of iron, as proud as strength itself, slie would have understood 
that my remorse has already punished mje enough. Pardon me tlien, 
my sister, and restore me your love, or I will instantly go forth, and 
cany my despair, my solitude, and my weariness over the whole world. 
A stranger everywhere, without stay on which to lean, counsel by 
which to rule myself, affection which to return, I shall be no longer 
able to put my trust in God, and my bewilderment and my errors will 
rest upon your head." 

This homily affected the count deeply, and drew tears from the 
eyes of the good canoness. 

'' Tou hear what he says, Porporina," she exclaimed, " and it is all 
very good, and very tnie. Monsieur chaplain, you ought to command 
Consuelo, in the name of holy religion, to be reconciled with her 
brother." 

The chaplain was now about to interfere; but Anzoleto did not 
wait for discourse, but seizing Consuelo in his arms, in spite of her 
resistance and her fears, embraced her passionately under the very 
beard of the chaplain, to the great edification of the bystanders. 
Consuelo, entirely shocked by this last piece of impudent imposture, 
resolved to endure it no longer. " Hold I " she cried, " Monsieur le 
Comte ! Listen to me I " she was about to reveal the whole fraud, 
when Albert entered the room." At the instant the idea of Zdenko 
returned to freeze up with terror her soul, which was on the point of 
bursting its bonds. This implacable protector of Consuelo might 
well determine to free her from this persecutor without any disturb- 
ance, or any deliberation, should she once invoke his protection. She 
turned pale, cast a glance of agonising reproach on Anzoleto, and the 
words expired on her tongue. As the clock struck seven, they sat 
down to table for supper. If the idea of these frequent meals takes 
away the appetite of my fair and delicate readers, I will merely ob- 
serve that it was not at tire time, or in the country of which I write, 
to abstain from eating. I believe I have said so already. At Riesen- 
berg they ate plentifully, slowly, and often ; indeed, almost one half 
the day was passed at table ; and I confess that, to Consuelo, accus- 
tomed as she had been from childhood upward to hve daily on a few 
spoonsful of boiled rice, these Homeric repasts did appear insuffer- 
ably long. For the first time, she knew not whether this supper last- 
ed an hour, an instant, or a century. She had no more actual life in 
her system than Albert when he was in his solitary cave. She almost 
fancied she was drunken with wine, so strangely did shame, self- 
reproach, love, and terror, agitate her whole being. She ate not, she 
saw not, she heard not auglit that passed around her. Astounded, as 
one who feels himself rolling over the brink of a precipice, and who 
sees the feeble branches which alone intercept his fall, breaking under 
his grasp, she looked mto the abyss which lay before her, and her 
brain swam with a wild vertigo.. 

Anzoleto sat beside her; he touched her garment, he pressed his 
elbow with convulsive movements against her elbow — his foot against 
her foot. In his eagerness to help her, he met her hands with his 



292 C N S U E L 0. 

own, and held them for a second in his clasp, bnt that rapid and fiery 
touch contained a whole century of voluptuous pleasure. He utter- 
ed to her, aside, words which seemed to choke, darted at her glances 
which seemed to drown. He tools advantage of opportunities, brief 
as lightning, to exchange glances with her, and to touch that portion 
of the crystal which her lips had touched 'with his own. And all the 
time he knew that while to her he was all fire, he was all ice to the 
rest of the company. He conducted himself admirably, spoke elo- 
quently, treated the chaplain with respect, offered him the choicest 
morsels of the joints, which he took care to carve with the dexterity 
and gi'ace of a guest long accustomed to good cheer. He had already 
observed that the holy man was a gourmand, and that his shyness in- 
flicted considerable privations on him in this respect; and the priest 
found himself so well cared for, and his preferences so justly observed, 
that he began to wish that this new and dexterous carver could be 
domesticated for life in the Giants' Castle. 

It was observed that Anzoleto drank nothing but water, and when 
the chaplain, desirous of returning his good offices, asked him to take 
wine, he replied aloud, so that all might hear him, " A thousand 
thanks ! I will take no more. Tour good wine is a traitor, by whose 
aid a while since I sought to forget my griefs; now I have no griefs 
more, and return to water, myhabitual drink, and my loyal friend." 

They prolonged tlie evening to a later iour than usual. Anzoleto 
sang again, and now he sang alone for the ears of Consuelo. He 
chose the favorite airs of the old composers, which she had taught 
him herself; and he sang them with all the care, all the purity of 
taste, and the delicacy of intuition which she had been wont to re- 
quire of him. By doing so he was recalling to her mind her dearest 
metfaories, both of her love and her art. 

At the moment when they were about to separate for the night, he 
took an opportunity to say to her in a whisper, " I know which is 
your apai'tment. They have given me one on the same gallery. At 
midnight I shall be at the door on my knees, and there I shall remain 
prostrate until the break of day. Do not refuse to listen to me for a 
moment. I do not desire to win your love again, I do not deserve it. 
I know that you can love me no longer, that another is the happy 
man, and that I must depart. I shall depart with death in my Iieart, 
and the relics of my life are vowed to the muses. But do not drive 
me hence without saying farewell, without uttering one word of pity. 
If you refuse me I will go hence at break of day, and that will be the 
last of me forever." 

•' Speak not thus, Anzoleto. We may well, as we ought to do, part 
here. Say farewell to each other for ever. 1 pardon you — I wish 
you " 

" A pleasant journey, doubtless! " he replied, ironically; but then, 
immediately resuming his hypocritical tone — " You are pitiless," he 
said, "Consuelo. You wish me to be destroyed iitterly; you wish 
that no last remnant of good, no single good sentiment, no touch of 
better hope should remain to me. What fear you? Have I not 
proved to you a hundred times my respect and the purity of my love? 
vVhen one loves hopelessly is not he a slave, and do not you know the 
magical words which tauies and fetters me? In the name of Heaven! 
if you are not the mistress of this man whom y()u are about to marry, 
if he is not the partner of your chamber, and the Inevitable compan- 
ion of all your nights " 



C N S U E L o. 293 

"He 13 not so, he never was so!" exclaimed Consuelo, 'with the 
proud accent of injured innocence. 

She had done better to suppress that impulse of well-founded pride, 
which was, however, too mean for the occasion. Anzoleto was not a 
coward, but he loved life, and had he thought to find a resolute de- 
fender in Consuelo's chamber, he would have remained very quietly 
in his own. The accent of truthfulness, however, with which the 
young girl spoke, entirely emboldened him. 

" In that count," said he, " I shall not endanger your prospect. I 
will be so prudent, so careful. I will tread so lightly, and speak so 
low, that your reputation shall not be stained. Moreover, am 1 not 
your brother, and what is there extraordinary in my coming to take 
leave of you, when I set forth before daybreak ? " 

"No, no; do not come!" cried Consuelo, terrified; "Count 
Albert's apartment is very near to mine ; perhaps he has already di- 
vined everything, Anzoleto, if you so expose yourself, I Will not answer 
for your life ; I speak seriously to you, and my blood freezes in my 
^eins." 

And in truth, Anzoleto felt that her hand, which he held within 
his own, had become as cold as marble. 

" If you raise discussions, if you keep me parleying at the door, you 
will expose my life," he said, with a smile; "but if your door be 
open, and our kisses silent, you risk nothing. Kemember how many 
nights we have spent together at the Corte MInelli without awaken- 
ing one of the numerous neighbors. As to me, if there be no ob- 
stacle but the jealousy of the count, and no other danger than 
death " 

At this moment Consuelo saw the eye of Count Albert, which was 
in general so vague and wandering, assume a clear and piercing depth, 
as it was fixed upon Anzoleto. He could not hear what was pass- 
ins;, but he seemed to read it with his eyes. She withdrew her hand 
from that of Anzoleto, saying, in a broken voice, " Ah, if you love me, 
brave not the ire of that terrible man ! " 

" Is It for yourself that you are afraid?" asked Anzoleto. 

" 'So. But for ovo.ry one who approaches me with threats." 

" And for every one, doubtless, who adores you. Well, be it so. To 
die at your feet, to die before your eyes were all that I ask. I will be 
at your door at midnight : resist me, and you will but accelerate my 
doom." 

" You set ofi' to-morrow, and do you take no leave of any person ? " 
asked Consuelo, who saw him bow to the count and the canoness, 
without saying anything of his departure. 

" Of no one," he replied ; " for they would seek to detain me, and 
feeling everything conspiring to prolong my agony, I should yield. 
Tou will make my excuses and adieux to them. Orders are given to 
my guide to have the horses ready at four in the morning." 

This last assertion was scarcely the whole truth. The singular glan- 
ces which Albert had cast on him for several hours had not escaped 
Anzoleto's penetration. He had resolved to dare all things, but he 
held himself ready for flight in ease of any untoward circumstance. 
His horses were already saddled In the stable, and his guide was under 
orders not to go to bed. 

When she returned to her own apartment, Consuelo was in a state 
of real consternation. She was determined not to receive Anzoleto, 
and at the same time she feared lest he should be prevented coming. 



294 CONSTTELO. 

Now that double sentiment, false yet insurmountable, tormented her 
mind, and arrayed her heart against her conscience. Never had she 
felt so unhappy, so unprotected, so utterly alone on the face of the 
earth. "Oh, Porpora, my master, wliere art thou?" she cried. 
" Thou alone art able to deliver me ; thou aJone knowest my soitows, 
and the perils into which I have fallen. Thou, alone, art harsh, stern, 
and distrustful, as a father should be, in order to rescue me from this 
abyss into which I am falling! But have 1 no friends. around me? 
Have not I a father in Count Christian ? Have I not a mother in the 
canoness, if I had but the courage to brave her prejudices and address 
myself to her heart? And is not Albert, on the instant, my support, 
my brother, my husband, if I consent to speak but one word ? Oh, 
yes! He it is that should be my savior, yet I fear and repel him ! And 
yet I must go and find them all three," she continued, rising and walk- 
ing rapidly to and fro. " I must attach myself to them, I must throw 
myself into their protecting arms, shelter myself under the wings of 
these my guardian angels. Kest, dignity, and honor dwell with them ; 
misery and despair await me in the person of Anzoleto! Oh, yes — I 
must go and confess to them all that has passed during this hideous 
day. I must attach myself to them by an oath, I must say aloud that 
irrevocable yes, which shall set an invincible barrier between myself 
and my torturer. I will go and do so." 

And then, instead of going, she fell back into her chair, half faint- 
ing, and wept painfully over her departed peace and her broken 
energy. 

" And yet," she continued, " how can I tell them yet another false- 
hood ? How can I offer to them a girl half bewildered, a wife half 
faithless? For in ray heart I am such, and the mouth which should 
swear eternal fidelity to one man is newly soiled by the kiss of 
another; and my heart throbs wildly at the recollection! Ah! my 
very love for the b^se Anzoleto is changed no less than he. It is no 
longer that tranquil and holy affection with which I slept so happily 
under the shelter of those wings which my mother outspread from 
the overarching skies to shield me. It is a fascination base and un- 
true as the being who inspires it. There is no longer anything great 
or true in my soul. False to myself this morning, I have been false 
to others, and how shall I avoid being false to them forever? Present 
or absent, Anzoleto will be ever before my eyes ; the mere thought of 
being separated fi-dm him to-morrow fills me with anguish ; and on 
the bosom of another it is of him alone that I should dream. What 
shall I do — what will become of me ? " 

The hour approached with hideous rapidity, and yet how slowly. 
" I will see him," she said again. " I will tell him that I hate him, 
that I despise him, tliat I will see him no more. And yet, no; I am 
again deceiving myself: I should not tell him so, or if I did, it woidd 
be only to retract a moment later. I am no longer sure now of my 
own virtue. He believes not in it, he will respect me no longer, and 
I — I can no longer put trust in myself— no longer put trust in any- 
thing. I shall betray myself through terror yet, more than through 
weakness. Oh, rather let me die than thus fall from my own esteem, 
and let the cunning and the profligacy of another triumph over the 
holy instincts and the noble interests with which my Creator framed 
me." 

She went to the window, and for a time felt determined on casting 
herself headlong, to escape the death of infamy into which she imag- 



C O X S U E L O. 



295 



inp.d herself on the point of falling. As she struggled against that 
awful temptation, she considered the various means of safety which 
were left to her So far as material means, she lacked none for she 
had begun by bolting the door by which Anzoleto might have gained 
admittance ; but she only half knew that cold and selfish individual, 
and having seen proofs of his physical courage, she knew not that he 
was utterly destitute of the moral courage which leads men to run 
the risk of death for the indulgence of their passions. She thought 
that he would still dare to come to her door, that he would insist on 
being heard, that he would make a noise, and she knew also that a 
breath woutd awaken Albert. Adjoining to her apartment there was 
a closet, containing a secret stair, as tliere was to almost every apart- 
ment in the castle; but that staircase had its egress on the lower 
floor,, within the chamber of the canoness. It was the only refuge 
she could think of from the impudent audacity of Anzoleto ; and in 
order to have it opened to her, it would be necessary to confess every- 
thing, even beforehand, in order to prevent an outcry and bustle, 
which, if suddenly alarmed, the good . Wen'ceslawa would be very 
likely to protract. Again, there was the garden, but if Anzoleto, 
who seemed to have made himself acquainted with evei-y part of the 
castle, should himself repair thither, that were but to accelerate her 
I'Liin. 

While slie thus pondered, she saw from the window of her closet, 
which looked out upon the stable-yard, that there was a light in The 
stables;' and she observed a man going in and out of the stables, with- 
out alarming any of the other servants, and appearing to be engaged 
In preparations for departure. She recognised him by his gar.bas Anzo- 
leto's. guide, harnessing his horses agreeably to his instructions; and 
she also observed . a light in the drawbridge-keeper's lodge, and 
thought rightly enough that he had been informed by the guide of 
their intended departure, the hour of which was not as yet deter- 
mined. While she observed these details, and abandoned herself to a 
tliousand conjectures, a thousand projects, Consuelo fell upon a very 
strange, and noless rash device. But as it offered her an intermedi- 
ate resource between the two extreme counsels that lay before her, 
and opened a new view of the limits of her future life, she regarded it 
as an actual inspiration of Heaven. She had no time to examine 
means at iier leisure, and reflect on their consequences. Some ap- 
peared to present themselves to her as the effects of a providential 
chance, others, she thought, might easily be turned against herself. 
She began then very hastily to write as follows, for the castle clock 
was already striking eleven." 

" Albeet — I am compelled to depart. I esteem you with my whole 
soul, as you well know; but there is in my very existenee, contra- 
dictory, rebellious, painful principles, which I can explain neither to 
you nor to myself If I could see you at this moment, I should tell 
you that I put my trust in you, that I surrender to you the care of 
my future life, that I consent to become your wife. Perhaps I should 
tell you that I wish to become so. And yet I should mislead you, or 
take a rash oath ; for my heart is not sufficiently purified of its ancient 
love to belong to you, without apprehension, and to deserve yours 
without remorse. I fly, I go to Vienna to meet Porpora, or to wait 
his coming, since he must needs arrive in a few days, as his letter to 
your father recently announced. I swear to you, that my object in 



296 CONSUELO. 

seeking him out is to find in his presence hatred and oblivioii of the 
past, and the hope of a futurity of which, believe rae, you are the 
comer-stone. Follow me not, I forbid you, in the name of that futu- 
rity which your impatience would compromise, perchance destroy. 
Await me, and keep the oath you made me, that you would not 

return without rae to , you understand me ! Have trust in me, I 

command you, for I depart with the holy hope of returning to you, or 
summoning you to me ere long. At tiiis moment I.am in a hideous 
dream ; I fancy tliat were I by myself I should awaken worthy of you. 
I do not desire that my brother should follow me ; I intend to deceive 
him, and suffer him to take a road different from that which I shall 
follow. By all that you hold dearest in the world, throw no obstacles 
in the way of my undertaking, and believe mc to be sincere. It is 
thus that I shall learn whether you truly love me, and whether I may, 
without blushing, sacrifice my poverty to your wealth, my obscurity 
to your rank, my ignorance to the science of your intellect. To prove 
to you that I do not go witliout the intention to ret\irn, will say hot, 
' Fare-you-well, Albert : ' but ' we shall meet again ; ' and I charge you 
with the task of rendering your dear aunt propitious to our union, 
and of preserving to me the favor of your father, the best and most 
respectable of men. Tell him the true state of all this. I will write 
to you from Vieuna." 

^he hope of convincing and tranquillizing a man so much in love 
as Albert, by such a letter, was rash, undoubtedly, but not unreason- 
able. Consuelo felt,, while she was writing to him, the energy of his 
will and the uprightness of his character. All that she wrote to him 
she indeed thought; all that she declared her intention of doing, she 
intended to do. She had faith in the extraordinary penetration of 
Albert, almost in his second sight; she did not believe herself capable 
of deceiving hlra ; she felt certain that he would believe her, and that, 
taking his character into consideration, he would punctually obey 
her. At this moment she judged of circumstances, and of Albert 
himself, as highly as he would have done. After folding her letter, 
without sealing it, she threw her travelling cloak over her shoulders, 
wrapped her head in a thick black veil, took with her what little 
money she possessed, and a slender change of linen, and going down 
stairs on tip-toe, with incredible precaution passed along the lower 
floors, reached Count Christian's apartment, introduced herself even 
into his oratory, whither she knew he came at six o'clock every morn- 
ing. Here she laid the letter on the desk whereon he always placed 
his book, before kneeling on the ground; and then passing onward to 
the great court, without awakening any one, walked directly to the 
stables. 

The guide, who was not in the most comfortable state of mind at 
finding himself alone at the dead of night in the great castle, with all 
the world sleeping like stones around him, was veVy much terrified at 
first, on seeing this black woman advance upon him like a spectre. 
He retreated to the very bottom of the stable without daring either 
to cry out or to address her. That was precisely what Consuelo de- 
sired ; as soon as she saw that she was out of eyesight and earshot — 
she was aware, by the way, that neither Albert's nor Anzoleto's win- 
dows looked out upon the coiu't — she said to him, " I am the sister of 
the yomig man whom you guided hither this morning. He is about 
to carry me off. We have just decided on it together. Put a lady's 



c o N s u E I. o. 297 

Baddle on my horse — there are several here. Follow me to Tusta, 
■without sayiTig a single word, and without taking a single step that 
the people of" the castle shall be able to hear. You shall be paid 
double. Why do you look astonished? Make haste. So soon as you 
shall aiTived at that town, you will come back here with the same 
horses to fetch my brother."- 
The guide shook his head. 
"You shall be paid treble." 
The guide made a sign that he consented. 

" And you shall bring him on at full speed to Tusta, where I will 
await you ! " 
The guide shook his head. 

" You shall have four times as much, the last, as the first time." 
The guide obeyed. lu a moment the horse which Consuelo was to 
ride was equipped with a lady's saddle. " Give me your hat, and 
throw your cloak over mine. It is but for the moment." 

" I understand ; to deceive the porter ; that is easy enough. You 
are not the first young lady I have helped to carry 081 Your lover 
will pay well for it — for all you are his sister," he added with a know 
ing expression. 

" You will be well paid by me, in the first instance. Silence I Are 
you ready ? " 

" I am on horseback. Go on before me, and make them lower the| 
draw-bridge." 

They passed it at a foot's pace, made a circuit, in order to avoid 
riding under the castle walls, and in a quarter of an hour reached the 
great high road. Consuelo had never in her life been on horseback 
before. Fortunately, though strong and active, the animal on which 
she was mounted was good-tempered. His master animated him by 
chirrupping, and he fell into a firm and steady gallop, which, through 
woods and over heath-clad Tnoors, brought our heroine to her journey's 
end within two hours. Consuelo kept hold of her bridle, and di^ 
mounted at the entrance of the town. 

" I do not wish to be seen here," said she to the guide, as she hand- 
ed him the price agreed upon for herself and Anzoleto. " I will pass 
through the town on foot, and will procure from Some people whom 
I know, a carriage to convey me on, the route toward Prague. I 
shall travel with all speed, in order to get as far as possible from the 
country where my face" is known, before daylight. As soon as it is 
day, I shall stop and wait for my brother." 
"But where will you do so? " 

" I cannot say. But tell him that it will be at a post-house. Let 
him ask no questions until he is thirty miles from this place, and then 
let him ask everywhere for Madame Wolf. It is the first name I can. 
think of; do not forget it. There is but one road to Prague, is 
there ? " ' 

" Only one, until yon " 

" That is well. Stop in the suburbs to feed your horses, and try to 
hinder them' from seeing the woman's saddle — throw your cloak over 
it, and set out again. Wait — one word more. Tell my brother not 
to hesitate, but to steal away without being seen ; his life is in danger 
in the castle." 

" Heaven go with you, pretty lady," replied the guide, who had 
found time to roll the money which he had received, between his 
fingers, and to estimate ibi value. " If my poor horses be used up by 
it, I am gjad that I have been of service to you.'' 



298 CONSUELO. 

Having given his horses some oats, and administered to himself a 
copious draught of hydromel, as he said, in order to open his eyes, 
the guide tools; his road bacli toward Eiesenberg, without especially 
hurrying himself, as Gonsuelo had hoped and foreseen, even at the 
very time when she was urging him to use all possible despatch ; in- 
volving his brain as he went in every sort of wild conjecture concern- 
ing the romantic adventurein which he had been engaged, and half 
inclined to believe that his late travelling companion had been no 
other than the far-famed Castle Ghost, the black phantom of the 
Schreckeustein. 



CHAPTER LXIL 



Akzoleto had not failed to rise at midnight, to take his stiletto, 
perfume himself, and put out his light. But when he thought to open 
his door without making the least noise — for he already remarked 
tliat the lock was easy, and played gently — he was astonished to find 
that the key was not susceptible of the slightest movement. He 
•strained his fingers, and exerted all his strength in vain, even at the 
risk of awaking every one in the house, by shaking the door too hard. 
All was useless. There was no other issue to his room ; the window 
looked over the gardens from a height of fifty feet, the walls perfectly 
bare and unscaleable. The very thought of the attempt made him 
dizzy. 

" Tliis is not the work of chance," said Anzoleto, after having 
again vainly attempted to open the door. " Whether it be Consuelo 
— aiid that would be a good symptom, for fear betrays the conscious- 
ness of weakness — or Albert, they shall pay me for it, both at the 
same time." 

He endeavored thereupon to go to sleep again; but spite prevented 
him, and perhaps also a certain sentiment not far removed from fear. 
If Albert was the author of this precaution, he alone of all in the 
house, had not been taken in by his pretended relationship with Con- 
suelo. She, moreover, had been really alarmed when she warned 
him to beware of that terrible man. Anzoleto endeavored vainly to 
argue himself into the belief that, being mad, the yoiutg count had 
no power of connecting his ideas, or that, being of so high birth, he 
would decline, in accordance with the prejudices of the time, to en- 
gage with an actor in an affair of honor, liut all these arguments 
failed to reassure him, for Albert, if insane at all, had showirhimself 
perfectly tranquil, and ui all respects master of himself; and as to 
his prejudices, they could not be very deeply rooted, if he could think 
of mariyins an actress. Anzoleto, therefore began to fear seriously 
that he should have a quarrel to settle with him before his departure, 
and that some bad business would occur, ending in a clear loss. This 
termination he regarded, however, as disgraceful rather than danger- 
ous; for he had learned to handle the sword, and flattered himself 
that he could hold his own against any man, noble or not. Neverthe- 
less, he felt himself ill at ease, and he-did not sleep. 

Toward five in the morning, he fancied he heard steps in the pas- 
sage, and a short time afterward, the door of his room was opened, 



CONSUELO. 299 

with some noise and some difficulty. It was not yet clear day, and 
seeing a man come into his room with small ceremony, Anzoleto 
thought that the decisive moment had arrived. He sprang up, stil- 
letto in hand, with the bound of a wild bull; but he? almost instantly 
recognised in the morning twilight the figure of his guide making him 
signs to speak low, and make no noise. 

"What do you mean by these grimaces, you fool? and what do 
yon want with me 1 " asked Anzoleto, angrily. " How did you con- 
trive to get in here ? " 

" How, my good sir? Why, by the door, to be sure." 

" The door was locked." 

" But you had left the key on the outside." 

" Impossible ! There it is on my table." 

" It is very odd, but there are two." 

' And who can have played me the trick of locking me up here. 
Was it you, when you came for my portmanteau? " 

" I swear it was not I! And I have not even seen a key." 

" It must have been the devil, then ! But what do you come hither 
for, with that frightened and mysterious face? I have not called for 
you." 

" You do not give me time to speak. You see me, however, and 
know, doubtless, what I want. The signora reached Tusta, and in 
compliance with her orders, here am I with my horses, ready to con- 
vey you thither." 

Some minutes passed before Anzoleto could be brought to compre- 
hend what was going forward. But he guessed at the truth quickly 
enough to prevent his guide, whose superstitions fears in reRaid to the 
devil were passing away with the gloom of night, from faHing back 
upon his teri'ors. He had began by examining and sounding all the 
money which Consuelo had given him upon the pavement of the 
stable, and he held himself peifectly satisfied with his internal bar- 
gain. Anzoleto now understood at a glance, and supposing that the 
fugitive might have been, on her side, so far watched that she could 
not inform him of her resolution; that, menaced and driven to ex- 
tremities by her lover's jealousy, she had seized a propitious moment 
to rid herself of his authority, had escaped, and taken to the country. 
"At all events," said he, "there is no time for doubt or hesitation. 
The instructions which she has sent me by this man, are clear enough. 
Victoria! If I can now only get out of this place to overtake her 
without having to cross swords, all will be well." 

He armed himself to the teeth, and while he was dressing in all 
haste, he sent the guide before him to see that the ways were clear. 
On his reply that all the world appeared to be sound asleep, with the 
exception of the keeper of the drawbridge, who had just lowered it 
for.him, Anzoleto descended stealthily, mounted his horse, and only 
saw a single groom in the court, whom he called up to him, and gave 
him some money, in order that his departure might not bear the re- 
semblance' of a flight. 

"By Saint Wenceslaus!" said the man, "this Is a strange aflFair. 
The horses are covered with sweat on their first coming out of the 
stable, as if they had been ridden hard all night." 

" It is your black devil who has been currying them in the night," 
replied the guide. 

" It must be so, I think," said the other; " for I heard a hideous 
noise in this direction all night long. I did not dare to come to see, 



300 CONSUELO, 

but I heard the portcullis creak, and the drawbridge fall just as clearly 
as I see you at this moment, so much so that I thought it was you, 
who were going, and hardly expected to see you here this morning. 

At the drawbridge the observation was repeated.—" Is your lord- 
ship then double ? " asked the porter, rubbing his eyes. " I saw you 
set forth about midnight, and now you are setting forth agaui. 

" You have been dreaming, my good man," said Anzoleto, maknig 
a present to him also. " I should not have gone without asking you 
to drink my health." 

" Your lordship does me too much honor," said the porter, who 
murdered Italian a little. " All one for that ! " he added to the guide 
in their own tongue. " I have seen two of them to-night." 

" Take care then that you don't. see four to-morrow night; " replied 
the guide, following Anzoleto across the bridge at a gallop. " The 
black devil plays just such tricks to folks who sleep like you." 

Anzoleto, well warned and well instructed by his guide, speedily 
reached Tusta. He passed through' it after having dismissed his man 
and hired post-horses, abstained from asking any questions until he 
had travelled ten leagues, and at the place so indicated on stopping to 
breakfast, he enquired for Madam Wolf, whom he expected to tind 
there with a carriage. No one could give him any intelligence of her, 
and for a right good reason. There was but one Madam Wolf in the 
place, but she had resided in the house fifty yeare, and kept a millin- 
er's shop. Anzoleto worn out and exhausted, fancied that Oonsuelo 
must have feared to halt so soon. He asked to hire a carriage, but 
could not find one. In spite of his teeth he was compelled again to 
take horse, and to pursue his way at a hard gallop. He fancied it im- 
possible but that he must overtake the longed-for carriage at every 
step, into which he could spring, and compensate himself for all his 
fatigues; but he met very few travellere, and in none of the carriages 
did he see Consnelo. At length overcome with weariness, and find- 
ing it impossible to hire a carriage any where, he determined to stop, 
mortally annoyed, and to wait in a small hamlet by the roadside, for 
Consuelo to overtake him ; for he had now made up his mind that lie 
must have passed her on the road. He had plenty of time during all 
the remainder of that day, and all the following night, to curse the 
roads and inns in general, and jealous persons and women in particu- 
lar. On the following day he found a public conveyance travelling to 
the northward, and proceeded, nnhappily enougli, on tlie road toward 
Prague. We will leave him pressing on toward the north — a prey to 
real rage, and to desperate impatience blended with hope, — in order 
to return ourselves for a few minutes to the eastle, and to see tlie 
efiect of Consuelo's departure on its inhaliitants. 

It may well be believed that Count Albert was no better able to 
sleep, than the two other persons engaged in that singular adventure. 
After having provided himself with a master-key to Anzuleto's apart- 
ment, he had locked him in from without, and felt no more uneasiness 
as to his proceedings — well knowing that unless Consuelo lierself 
should do so, no one else would go to his delivery. In regard to the 
former contingency, the very idea of which made him shudder, Albert 
had the excessive delicacy not to attempt any imprudent discovery. 
" If she loves him to that degree," he thought, " it is not for me to 
strive against it. I haye only to let my lot be accomplished. I shall 
not have long to wait, for she is secure ; and to-morrow she will open- 
ly refuse the oIFers I made her to-day. If she is only persecuted uud 



CONSUELO. 301 

threatened by this clangerons man, — at all events she is safe now from 
his pursuit, for one night at least. Now, whatever smothered sounds 
I may hear around me, I will not stir. Never will I play the base part 
of a spy ; nor will I inflict on the unhappy girl the agony of shame, by 
appearing before her without being called for. No, I will not play the 
coward part of a spy, nor of one jealously suspicious, since up to this 
time her refusals and irresolution, give rae no claim upon her whatso- 
ever. I know but one thing consolatory to my honor, though alarm- 
ing to my love — that I shall not be deceived. Soul of her I adore — 
thou wlio dwellest at one time in the bosom of the most perfect of 
women, and in the heart of the universal God, if, through the myste- 
ries and shadows of the human thought, you can read my feelings at 
this moment, thine inward sentiment will tell thee that I love too 
much not to believe thee!" 

And courageously and religiously Albert kept the engagement 
which he had taken within himself, and although he thought he heard 
Consuelo's steps, as she passed along the lower floor at the tiine of her 
flight, as well as some inexplicable noise in the direction of the port- 
cullis, he remained quiet, though in agony, praying, and holding his 
hands clasped over his breast, as if to hinder his heart from bursting 
its confinfinent. When the day broke, he heard some one walking 
and doors opeiiing towards Anzoleto's chamber. " The infamous 
wretch ! " said he ; "' he leaves her without shame or precaution. He 
seems even desirous of rendering his victory publicly notorious. Ah I 
for the injury he does me I would care nothing, were it not that 
another soul — nobler and dearer than my own, is contaminated by 
his love." 

At the hour when the Count Christian was wont to arise, Albert 
went to his apartment, not to inform him of what had passed, but to 
prevail on him to seek a farther explanation from Consuelo. He was 
sure that she would not stoop to falsehood. He thought that she 
would even desire the explanation, and was planning how to console 
her trouble — to reconcile her even to her shame, and to feign a resig- 
nation, which should soften the bitterness of their adieux. Albert 
asked himself not, what would become of him thereafter? He felt 
that either his reason or his life would give way under such a shock, 
and he feared not the experience of suffering greater than this en- 
durance. 

He met his father just as he was entering the oratory. The letter 
laid upon the desk attracted both their eyes at the same moment. 
They seized and read it together. The old man was thunderstruck, 
thinking that Albert would not be able to endure it. But Albert, who 
had prepared himself for a yet greater calamity, was calm, resigned, 
anil firm in his confidence. 

" She is pure," said he ; " she desires to love me. She feels that my 
love is true, and my faith impregnable. God will save her from dan- 
ger. ■ Let us accept this promise, my father, and let us be tranquil; 
fear nothing for me. I shall be stronger than my grief, and I will 
master my anxieties should they attack me." 

•■ My son," said the old man tenderly. " Here we stand before the 
image of the God of thy fathers. Thou hast adopted a different 
creed, and I have never blamed tliem angrily, though thou knowest 
tli.at they have caused my heart to bleed. I am about to prostrate 
myself before the effigy of that God, before whom I promised thee 
during the past night, to do all that depends on me to bring about the 



302 CONSUELO. 

success of thy love, and its ratification on honorable terms. I have 
kept my promise, and I renew it. I am about to pray again to the 
All Powerful, that He will grant thy prayers, and that mine shall not 
stand at Tariancgfrilh thine. Wilt thou not then join with me m this 
solemn hour, whiOT perhaps shall decide in heaven the fate of thy love 
here on earth ? O, then, my noble son, whom the Lord has given 
grace to retain all thy virtues. In spite of the trials to which he has 
subjected thy former faith— thou, whom I have seen in thy early m- 
fancy kneeling by my side on thy mother's tomb, and praying, like a 
young-eyed angeUto that Sovereign Master, whom thou hadst not 
then learned to donbt— wilt thou refuse to lift thy voice to Him this 
day, that mine may not be useless ? " ,--... 

" My father," replied Albert, clasping him in his arms ; if our faith 
differ as to forms and dogmas, our souls will forever be agreed on the 
existence of a divine and eternal principle. You serve a God of wis- 
dom and of goodness, an ideal of perfection, of knowledge, and of 
justice, whom I never have ceased to adore. O, thou crucified Divin- 
ity," he cried, kneeling beside his father before the image of the Re- 
deemer; " Thou whom men adore as the Word, and whom I revere 
as the noblest and most perfect specimen of universal love among us, 
listen to my prayer. Thou whose thoughts dwell eternally in God and 
in us! Bless our just instincts and upright endeavors! Pity the 
perversity which is triumphant, and sustain the innocence which 
resists. Let that come of my happiness which God will! But oh, 
incarnate Deity, let thy influence direct and encourage those hearts 
which have no other strength and no other consolation than thy 
sojourn, and thy example here on earth." 



CHAPTER LSJU. 



Anzolbto pursued his route to Pr^;ue wholly to no purpose; for 
no sooner had she given the guide the false instructions, which she 
considered necessary to the success of her enterprise, than Consuelo 
struck into a cross-road, which she knew, from having' traversed it 
twice in a carriage vfith the baroness Amelia, when going to the 
neighboring chateau of Tauss. That chateau was the farthest point 
to which the few excursions that she had made from Riesenberg, had 
extended. Therefore, the aspect of that district, and the direction of 
the roads had occurred to her, so soon as she had conceived the idea 
of flight. She remembered that, while walking on the terrace of the 
castle, the lady to whom it belonged had said to her, while she was 
pointing ovit the vast extent of beautiful country, which was to be 
seen stretching out to the horizon — " that fine road, with an avenue of 
trees, which you see below there, and which fades out of sight on the 
horizon, joins the great Southern Road, and it is by it that we go to 
Vienna." Consuelo, with that direction and clear recollection on her 
mind, was certain of not losing her way, and of regaining the road by 
which she had herself entered Bohemia, at no inordinate distance. 
She reached the park of Biela — skirted the walls of the park — discov- 
ered, without much difficulty, notwithstanding the darkness of the 
night, the road with its avenue of trees, and before day broke had sac- 



C O N S U E L O. SOS 

ceeded in setting between herself and the place which she wished to 
leave behind, a space of at least -ihree leagues as the crow flies. 
Young, healthy, active, and ac'custdmed from her childhood to long 
walks, supported, moreover, by an energetic will^slie saw the day 
dawn witliout having experienced the least fatiguesj»The heaven was 
serene, — the roads dry, and covered with smooth soft sand. The gal- 
lop of the horse, to which she was not accustomed, had shaken her a 
good deal ; but it is well known that foot exei'cise in such cases is bet- 
ter than rest, and that with energetic temperaments, one kind of 
weariness is the cure for the other. Nevertheless, as the stars began 
to pale in the skies and the twilight grew clearer and clearer, she 
began to feel alarmed at her loneliness. She had been perfectly com- 
posed and at her ease during the darknessr^for constantly on thorns . 
from the apprehension of being pursued, she knew that she was al- 
ways safe, through her power of concealing herself before she should 
be discovered. But now that it was day, having to traverse wide 
tracts of open country, she did not dare to follow the beaten track, the 
rather .that she saw' groups in all directious afar off, scattered like 
small black points along the whitish line which the road described, 
by its contrast with the dark country over which it ran. At so short 
a distance from Riesenberg she might be recognized by the first passer- 
by, and she determined to turn into a 'path, which looked as if it 
would shorten her road, by cutting off at right angles a circuit, which 
the causeway here made around a hill. — She walked thus for nearly 
an hour without meeting any person, and entered a woody piece of 
ground, in which she felt now that she should be able to conceal her- 
self from prying eyes. "If I could gain a start of eight or ten leagues 
thus without being discovered, I should then walk at my ease along 
the h'igh road, and on the first opportunity, I could hire a carriage and 
horses." ■,, 

Tills thbught made her put her hand into her purse, to calculate 
how much money remained to her, after her liberal payment of the 
guide, who had brought her from Eiesenberg, for the prosecution of 
her long and difficult journey. She had not taken time to reflect coolly, 
and it is doubtful whether, if she had made all the reflections which pru- ' 
dence should have suggested, she would ever have resolved on this ad- 
venturous flight. But what was her consternation and surprise at per- 
ceiving that her slender purse was much lighter than she had imagined. 
In her haste, she had either carried away but half the small sum which 
she possessed, or in the confusion and darkness, she had paid the guide 
gold instead of silver. So that, after counting and recounting her 
coins without being able to deceive herself on the trivial sum which 
they contained, she came to the conviction that she could reach Vi- 
enna only by travelling the whole way on foot. . . 

This discovery at first discouraged her not a little, not so much on 
account of the fatigue, which she did not fear, but of the dangers 
which, to a young woman, are inseparable from a long journey on foot. 
This fear, which she had hitherto overcome by saying to herself that 
she would soon shelter herself from all the dangers of the high road by 
taking a carriage, began to address her louder than she had expected 
during the first excitement of her overwrought ideas; and, as if over- 
come for the first time in her life by the consciousness of her poverty 
and weakness, she began to walk as quickly as she could, seekiiii; Hie 
shade of the deepest coppices, as if in these she could find an asyluni 
from her uneasiness. To increase her distress, she soon found that 



304 CONStlELO. 

she was following no regularly beaten track, and that she was wan- 
dering at hazard tlirough a wood .which was becoming at every step 
thicl<er and tliickor. If the dead solitude of the place, in some re- 
spects, relieved hen fears, the uncertainty of her direction alarmed her 
on another point, — for she might be unconsciously returning on her 
steps and drawing nearer to the Giants' Castle. Aiizoleto might be 
there still ; a suspicion, an accident, a thought of vengeance against 
Albert, might any of them have retained him ? And again, had she 
not reason to fear Albert himself, in the first moments of his surprise 
and despair? Consuelo was well satisfied that he would submit him- 
self to her decision, but if she were to be seen in tlie vicinity of the 
castle, and if the young count were to hear of her being within 
roach, would he not hasten to her with the hope of bringing her 
back by his tears and supplications? Would it be just, then.to ex- 
pose this noble youth, his family, nay, even her own pride, to the rid- 
icule of arienterprise undertaken only to fail as quickly ? Moreover, 
it was not unlikely that Anzoleto would return in a few days, and 
bring back that inextricable confusion of embarrassments and dan- 
gers, which she had severed by a bold and generous stroke, of deci- 
sion. It was better, therefore, to brave all, and expose herself to all, 
than to return to Kiesenberg. 

Determined then to make Tier way to Tienna at all hazards, she 
stopped at a shadowy and solitary spot, where a living spring gushed 
out froiii|,among umbrageous trees and moss-grown rocks. The soil 
around was pouched, and cut up by the footmarks of many animals. 
Was it that the flocks of the neighborhood^ or the beasts of the forest 
came, from time to time, to quench their thii-st at that secluded 
spring? Consuelo drew nigh to it, and, kneeling on the damp stone, 
drank joyfully of that clear and ice-cold water. Then, remaining on 
her bended knees, she meditated for a little while on her situation. 
" I am very foolish," she thought, " and very vain, if I cannot accom- 
plish what I have set out to do. What, then, has the daughter of ray 
mother become so efieminate by the luxuries of life, that she dare not 
eiicoiuiter the heat of the sun, hunger, fatigue, or danger? Are 
these, then, all my dreams and longings after poverty and freedom, 
when in the midst of wealth, which seemed only to oppress me, and 
fiom which I longed to extricate myself? And am I now terror- 
stricken at the first step I have tjiken? Is not this the trade to 
which I was born — ' to travel, to dare, and to sufer?' and what is 
then changed about me since the days when I used to wander with 
my mother, often ahungered, quenching our thirst in the little way- 
side fountains, and gaining strength from the draught? Wliat dan- 
gers did I fear with my mother ? Was she not wont to say to mo when 
we met ominous-looking characters, ' Fear nothing. " Those who 
possess nothing, nothing threatens, and the miserable war not upon 
the miserable?' Courage, then, courage! I will on; for this . day, I 
have nothing to fear but hnnger. I will not, therefore, this day enter 
a cottage to beg bread, until I shall be far, far away, and night shall 
have covered the earth. A day will be passed speedily. When it be- 
comes hot, and my limbs wax faint, I will recall to niind that axiom 
of philosophy which I have heard so often in my childhood—' he who 
sleeps, dines.' I will hide myself in some hollow of the rocks, and 
then shall see my poor mother, who watchest over me now, and voy- 
agest by ray side, invisible, that I still know how to take my siesta on 
the bare earth without a pillow. Courage. I will on ! " 



coNSUEio. 305 

And as she spoke, Consnelo tried to rise ; but, after three or four 
attempts to leave, that wild and lovely spring, the sweet murmur of 
■which seemed to invite repose, the sleep which she had purposed to 
defer, until afternoon crept upon her heavy (Eyelids, and hunger, 
which she was not so muchtSiccustomed to endure as she imagined, 
increased her sense of exhaustion. She strove to disguise this from 
herself in vain. She had eaten scarce anything uu the pT'evious even- 
ing: anxiety and agitation had conquered her appetite. A veil 
now seemed to be drawn over her eyes — a chill and heavy perspira- 
tion broke out on her languid limbs, and, without being conscious of 
it, she yielded gradually to weariness; and, while in the very act of 
forming a resolution to arise at once and proceed, on her journey, her 
frame surrendered itself to the neccessity of sleep— her head fell back 
on her little travelling bag, and she fell sound asleep on the grass. 

The sun, red and hot, as he is seen sometimes in the summer skies 
of Bohemia, climbed the heavens gaily; the fountain bubbled over its 
pebbles, as if it would have lulled the slumber of the wayfarer with 
its monotonous song, and the birds fluttered from twig to twig singing 
their lively strains above her unconscious head. 



CHAPTER LXIV. 



It was nearly three o'clock before the forgetful girl awpbe,nor then 
until another sound than that of the fountain, and the merry birds 
disturbed her from her lethargy. She half opened her eyes, without 
having as yet the power to arise, and saw, scarce two paces from her, 
a man bending over the spring and drinking as she had done but a 
short time before, "without more eeremoiiythan merely applying his 
lips to the stream. Consuelo's first feeling was of alarm, but the 
second glance which she cast upon the intruder ou her privacy, re- 
moved her apprehensions. For, whether he had observed the fea- 
tures of the fair traveller at his leisure before she awoke, or whether 
he took no care about her, it is certain that he seemed to take but 
little notice of her. Beside, he was in fact rather a boy than a man. 
He seemed to be"" about fifteen, or at most sixteen years of age — was 
small for his years, tawny and sun-burned, and his face, which was 
neither handsome nor the reverse, showed nothing at that moment 
but quiet indifference. 

By an instinctive movement, Consuelo drew her veil over her fea- 
tures, and made no alteration in her position, thinking that, if the 
traveller should pay no more attention to her than he at this moment 
seemed disposed to do, it would be the better way to feign sleep, and 
to avoid embarrassing qtiestions. Through her veil, liowever, she 
coidd distinctly see all his movements, expecting momentarily to see 
him take up his knapsack, and proceed on his way. 

Soon, however, she saw that he intended to rest a while also, and 
even to break his fast; for he opened his wallet, took out of it a large 
piece of brown bread, which he proceeded to cut, and eat with a 
hearty appetite. While doing this, he cast, from time to time, a shy 
and deferential glance on the fair sleeper, and took special care not to 
awaken her suddenly, as appeared by the gentleness with which he 
19 



306 CON SUE LO. 

closedithe spring of his clasp-knife. This mark of deference restored 
complete confidence to Consuelo, agi^,tlie sight of the bread, which 
her companion was eating with such a relish, turned her thoughts to 
her own hunger. After having satisfied herself, hyan examination of 
the boy's disordered dress, and dusty sl^(f)es, tliat he was a poor coun- 
try traveller, she took it into her head that he was" an unexpected aid 
sent to her by Provideix;e, by whom she was bound to profit. The 
piece of bread was beyond what he could need; and, without limit- 
ing his own appetite, he couldf^Sasily spare her a portion. She arose, 
therefore, and'affecting to draw her liand across her eyes, as if she 
had just awakened, and look at the boy with a steady and assured 
eye, as if to infiufiiice him shoufd he show any signs of altering the 
respectful demeanor he h^^d thus far shown her. But of this precau- 
tion there was no need. For so soon as he saw her standing up, the 
boy was at first a little embarrassed, lowered his eyes, and after rais- 
ing them and.letting them fall several times in succession, at length, 
encouraged "by the kind and sympathizing expression of Consuelo's 
face, in spite of ail herdesire to keep it grave, he ventured to address 
her in a voice so gentle and harmonious, that the young cantairice 
was involuntarily predisposed in his favor. " Well, mademoiselle," be 
said, with a smije, ''so you are awake at last? Tou were sleeping 
there so comfortably, that, if it had not been for the fear of seeming 
impertinent, I should have done as much myself;" 

" You<flre as obliging as ytfti are polite," said Consuelo, assuming a 
sort of maternal tone towards him. " Tou shall do me a little service, 
if you will." 

" Whatever you please," said the young wayfarer, to whom Consu- 
elo's voice appeared no less agreeable than his had been to her. 

" Tou shall sell me a little portion of your breakfasL" said Consu- 
elo, " if you can spare it." 

" Sell it to you! " cried the hoy, astonished, and blushing deeply. 
" Oh ! if I had a breakfast, I would not sell it to you ! I am not an inn- 
keeper, but I would offer it, and give it to you." =% 

" Tou will give to me, then, on condition that I give you enough to 
procure a better breakfast? " 

" No indeed ! no indeed ! " replied he. " Ton are joking, I suppose ; 
or are you too proud to accept a poor bitof bread from me ; you see 
that I have nothing else to offer." 

" Well,I accept it," said Consuelo, extending her hand for it; " the 
goodness of your heart should make me blush, were I to show too much 
pride." 

" Take it, take it, beautiful lady," cried the young man delighted. 
" Take the bread and the knife, and rut for yourself, but pray don't 
spare it. I am not much of an eater, and that should have lasted me 
all my day's journey." 

" But have you enough wherewithal to purchase more for vour iour- 
ney?"- , '^ ■ ' ^ 

" Cannot one get bread everywhere ? Come, eat, I pray you, if you '" 
would oblige me." 

Consuelojflid not wait to be requested any farther, and feeling that 
it would be a poor requital to her brotherly entertainer to refuse to 
eat in his company, she sat down not far from him, and besjan to eat 
the bread, in comparison of which, the richest and most delicate meats 
she had ever tasted, appeared coarse and vapid. 

" What an excellent appetite you have," said the boy. « It does 



k CONSUELO. 307 

one good to see you eat. Well, I Sm very happy to have met you. In 
fact, it makes me perfectly happy! to have done so. Come'take my ad- 
vice, let us eat it all. We shall find some house on our road to-day, 
although this comlsa'y iseems to be a desert." 

" You are not' acquaiufed with it then ? " said Consuelo, indiffer- 
ently. 

" It is the first time I have travelled it this way, though I know the 
road from Vienna to Pilsen, over which I have Just travelled, and 
which I shall follow on my way dowij yonder again." 

" Down yonder-sSQi.you mean to Vieima! " 

" Yes, to Vienna ; are you going thither also 1 " 

Consuelo, who was hesjtating whether she should take this boy as 
a travelling companion, or avoid him, pretegded to be thinking of some- 
thing else, so as to avoid answering. 

" Bah ! what am I thinking about ? " said the youth,^orrecting him- 
self " A beautiful young lady like yourself would not ;be going alone 
to Vienna. And yet you are travelling somewhere, for you have a 
package, and are on foot as I am."^ 

Consuelo, who was determined to avoid his questions, until such 
time as she should discover how far he was tcj be trusted, answered 
his question by another questicm, " Do you live at Pilsen ? " 

" No," replied the bpy, who had neither cause nor inclination to be 
distrustful, " I am from Eohrau in Bangary. My father is a wheel- 
wright by trade." i ' 

"And how came you to be travelling so far from home? Tou do 
not follow your father's business, then? " 

" Yes, and no. My father is a wheelwright, and I am not; but he 
is a musician , and so do I hope to be." 

"A musician, — bravo! — that is an honorable profession." 

" Perhaps you are one also — are you ? " 

"But you were not going to study music at Pilsen; it is said to be 
a gloomy garrison town." 

" Oh ! no. I'was entrusted with a commission to do there, and am 
on my way back to Vienna, where I hope to earn my living, while I 
continue my musical slfudies." 

" What style have you adopted — vocal, or instrumental ? " 

'•A little of both, I have a pretty good voice, and I have a poor 
little violin yonder with which 1 can inakfe myself understood. But 
my ambition has a wider range, and I wish to go farther than this." j 

" Perhaps to compose ? " 

" You have said it. I haye nothing in my head but this confounded 
composition. I will show you that I have a good travelling compan- 
ion in my wallet. It is a great book, which I have cut to pieces in 
order to carry it the more easily about the country; and when I am 
tired and sit down to rest, I amuse myself by studying it. That, in 
itself, rests me." 

" A very good idea ; and I would 1^ a wager it is the G^adus ad 
Parnassum of Fuchs." 

"Exactly. Ah,! I see you know all about it; and I am sure, now, 
that you are a musician as well as I. Just now as I looked at you, 
while you were asleep, I said to myself— that Is not a German face; it 
is a Southern face — perhaps Italian — and what jileases me more, it is 
an artist's face; therefore, it gave me much pleasure when you asked 
me for some of my bread ; and now I see that you have a foreign ac- 
cent, though you speak German as well as may be." 

4r 



308 C O N S U E L o. 

* 

" You may be deceived. You have, not a German face either — you 
have the complexion of an Italian, and yet " 

" Oh ! mademoiselle, you are too good. I have the complexion of 
an African; and my companions in the choir -at. St.Stephen's used to 
call me the Moor. But to return to what I was saying,— when I first 
found you asleep in the middle of the wood, I was a good deal sur- 
prised, and then I made up a hundred fancies about you. It is, per- 
haps, thought I, my good star which has brought me hither to find a 
kind heart that will assist me. At last— may I tell you all?" 

" Say on without fear." * • 

"Seeing you too well dressed, and too fair skinned to he a poor 
stroller, yet seeing, at the same time, that you liad a parcel, I imag- 
ined tliat you must be some one attached to anotlier person — a for- 
eigner herself, and an ardst — oh! a very great artist is slie whom I 
wish to see, and whose protection would be my salvation and my hap- 
piness. Come, mademoiselle, confess* truly! You live at some neigh- 
boring chateau, and are going or returning witli some little commis- 
sion in tlie neighborhood, and yofl Icnow, do you not — oh! yes, you 
must know tlie Giants' Castle ? " 

" What, Riesenberg ? Are you going to Riesenberg ? " 

" I am trying, at least, to go-tfeither; for I liave lost my way in the 
midst of this accursed wood, in spite of all the directions they gave 
me at Klatau, and I do not know how to get out of it. Fortunately, 
you Ifiiow Riesenberg, and you will tell me if I have passed it." 

" But what are you going to do at Riesenberg ? " 

" I am going to see the Porporina." y 

" Indeed ! " and feaiing to discover herself to a stranger who might 
well speak of her atthe Giants' Castle, Consuelo asked indifferently, 
— " And who is this Porporina, if you please?" 

" What ! do you not know ? Alas ! I see that you are entirely a 
stranger in this country; but since you are a musician, and know the 
name of Fuchs, you must also know that of Porpora?" 

'■ And do you know Porpora? " 

" Not yet; and it is for that end that I wish to obtain the patron- 
age of his beloved and famous pupil, the Signora Porporina." 

" Tell me what put that idea into your head, and perhaps I may try 
with you to approach this castle, and find this Porporina." 

" I will tell you my whole history. I am, as I have told you, tlie 
son of a worthy wlieelwright, and native of a little hamlet on the boi^ 
ders of Austria and Hungary. My father is sacristan and organist in 
the village, and my mother, who was cook to a nobleman in the 
neighborhood, has a fine voice, and in the evening when their work 
was done my father used to accompany her on the harp. Thus I 
naturally acquired a taste for music; and I remember when 1 was a 
mere child, my greatest pleasure was to play'niy part at these family 
concerts^by scraping upon a piece of wood with a lath, whicli I im- 
agined to be a violin and bow," and ft-om which I fancied that I was 
drawing splendid sounds. Oh! yes, it .seems to me yet, that my be- 
loved sticks ^re not voiceless, and tliat a divina voice, which the 
dtheirs heard not, spread itself forth around me, and intoxicated me 
with celestial harmonies. 

" Our cousin Franck, who is schoolmaster at Hamburg, came to 
visit on a day when 1 was playing on my imaginary violin, and was 
very much amused at tlie ecstacy in which I was plunged. He as- 
sorted that it was a sure presage of an extraordinary musical talent, 



CONSUELO. 309 

and he carried me to Hamburg, where, for three years, ^e gave me a 
very rough musical education I assure you. How many beautiful 
organ Stops, with notes and flourishes, has he not executed on my 
ears and fingers with his directing rod, in order to nialie me Iteep 
time. Nevertheless I was not to be disgusted. I learned to read and 
to writ^ I had a real violin, on which I learned the elements of 
music, as well as of singing, and those of the Latin language. I also 
made as rapid progress as was possible, with a master who had a 
little more courage than ray cousin Fi'anck. 

" I was about eight years old when chance, or rather Providence, 
in whom, as a good Christian, I have always had full faith, brought 
Master Keuter, the chapel master of the cathedral at Vienna, to my 
cousin's house. I was iwtroduced to him as a little prodigy, and when 
I had very easily read off a bit of music before him, he admitted me 
to his friendship, carried me with him to Vienna, and had me entered 
as a chorister in the Cathedi-al of St. Stephen's. 

" We had only two hours a day of work then, and the rest of our 
time given up to ourselves, we were allowed to vagabondise at oiir 
own pleasure; but happily my passion overpowered both the tastes for 
dissipation, and the indolence of a child. When I was playing in the 
public squares with my fellows, no sooner did I hear the notes of the 
organ, than 1 left all to-run back to the church and revel in the songs 
and harmonies. I forgot myself whole evenings in the streets, before 
the windows of houses whence issued the in terrupted"«spunds of a 
concert, oreven the melodious accents of a single voice. I was greedy 
of knowing and understanding whatever came to my ear. Above all, 
I wanted to compose. Before I was thirteen, without the knowledge 
of a single rule, I ventured to write a mass, the partition of which I 
showed to Master Keuter. He laughed at me, and advised me to 
learn before I should begin to create. It was very easy for him to say, 
— hut I had no means of paying a master, and my parents were too 
poor to pay at -the same time for my support and my musical educa- 
tion ! At last, I received from them one day six florins, with which 
I purchased the book you see, and that of Mattheson ; I began to 
study them diligently, and with intense gratification. My voice. im- 
proved, and at length came to be considered the best in the choir. 
In the midst of the doubts and uncertainties of ignorance which 1 
labored hard to dispel, I felt that my brain was developing itself, and 
that ideas were budding within me; but I was approaching the age 
when, in comformity with the rules of the chapel, I must leave the 
choir, and without resources, patronage, arid masters, I began to ask 
myself whether tbese eight years of teaching in the cathedral were 
not going to prove my last studies, and whether I should not be com-, 
pelled to return home to my parents and learn the trade of a wheel- 
wright. To increase my vexation, I saw that Master Renter, instead 
of treating me with kindness, or interesting himself in me, was 
harsh and rough, and seemed anxious only to get rid of me. I knew 
not the cause of his antipathy, which I am sure I never merited. 
Some of my companions were so flighty as to say that he was jealous 
of me, because he found, in my essays at composition a sort of reve- 
lation of the musical instincts, and that he was ever wont to' hate 
and discourage young persons in whom he discovered an inspiration 
more vivid than his own. I am far from accepting this valn-glorloiis 
interpretation of rny disgrace, but I still think I made a mistake in 
showing him my attempts, and that lie took me for an impertinent 
blockhead, and an ambitious pretender," 



310 CONSTELO. 

" Perhapaiso," said Consuelo, interrupting his narratire. " At all 
events, old teachers do not like pupils who seem to learn quicker than 
they themselves teach. But tell me your name, my lad." 

" My name is Joseph." 

" Joseph who ? " 

" Joseph Haydn." 

" I will bear your name in mind, that I may see what opinion I 
must hold of your master's aversion, and of the interest with which 
your story inspires me, in case one day you should turn out to be some- 
body. Go on with your narrative, I pray you." 

Young Haydn continued as follows; while Consuelo, struck by the 
similarity of their fortunes, both poor— both destined, as it would seem 
to be, artists, gazed attentively at the countenance and expression of 
the chorister. His trivial features and bilious complexion, took, not- 
withstanding, at times, a singular degree of animation, as he became 
excited by his nai'rativp. His blue eyes sparkled with a quickness 
which was at once roguish and good-natured, and everything in his 
whole -manner, both of acting and speaking, announced that he was 
an extraordinary character. 



CHAPTER LXV. 



" Whatever might be the causes of Master Renter's dislike to me, 
he at all events showed it in a very harsh maimer, and for a very tri- 
fling fault. I had a pair of new scissors, and, like any schoolboy, I 
turned upon everything that came ready to my hand. One of my 
comrades had his back turned to me, and bis long pigtail was contin- 
ually sweeping away, as fast as I could write them, the notes which 
my chalk described on my slate. A quick and fatal idea came into my 
heart; and no sooner came than the deed was done. Crack! the 
scissors were open — the tail lay on the ground. My master's hawk's 
eye followed my every motion ; and, before my poor companion was 
aware of his loss, I was reprimanded, lioted with a mark of disgrace, 
and discharged by this summary process. 

" I left the cathedral school at seven in the evening, in the month 
of November of last year, and found myself in the square, with no 
money, and no other garment than that which I had on my back. I 
had a moment of despair. 1 imagined to myself, on being thus expel- 
.led with anger and disgrace, that I had committed some enormous 
fault. I began to cry with all my might over the lock of hair and the 
end of ribbon which had fallen under my fatal scissors. My comrade, 
whose head I bad thus dishonored, passed me, crying also. Never 
were more tears shed, or remorse wasted, over a Prussian pigtail. 

" That night I passed on the pavement, and as I was sighing the 
next morning over the necessity and impossibility of getting some 
breakfast, I was accosted by Keller, the hair-dresser of the school of 
St. Stephen's. As soon as the witty Keller saw my pitiful face, re- 
turning as he was from dressing Master Renter, who had told liim the 
whole story, he burst into a violent fit of laughter, and loaded me 
with sarcasms. 

" ' Hallo ! ' said he as soon as he saw me, yet afar oflF, — ' so here is 



CONSUELO. 3ll 

the scourge of wigmakers, the enemy in general, and in particular of 
all here, who, like me, make it their business to tend and provide for 
the beauty of the fair. What, ho ! my little executioner of pigtails, 
exterminator of top-knots, come here 'till I cut oflf all your fine black 
hair, to replace all the queues which are destined to fall before your 
blows.' I was desperate, furious; I hid my face in my hands, and 
believing myself to be the object of public vengeance, I was going to 
take to my heels, when the good Keller caught me by the arm, ad- 
dressed me kindly, offering to take me home with him, give me the 
use of a garret in the sixth story, his wife and children occupying the 
fifth, and to let me live at his table until I should find some employ- 
ment. 

" I went home with the generous Keller, toy preserver, my second 
father; and beside my board and lodging, poor mechanic as he was 
himself, he found means to advance me a little money in order to con- 
tinue my studies. I hired an old worm-eati'u pianoforte, and snugly 
stowed in my garret with my Fuchs and my Matthesou, I gave myself 
up without restraint to my mania for composition. From that time 
I have regarded myself as favored especially by Providence. The first 
six sonatas of Emanuel Bach have been my delight during this winter, 
and I believe that I understand them thoroughly. At the same time, 
as if to recompense me for my zeal and pei'severance, heaven has per- 
mitted me to find a little occupation by which to live, and acquit.my- 
self of my obligations toward my kind host. I play the organ every 
Sunday, in the chapel of Coinit Haugwitz, after playing my part of 
first violin in the church of the Fathers of Mercy. Moreover, I have 
obtained two patrons: the one is an abbe, who writes much beautiful 
Italian poetry, and who is greatly esteemed by her majesty the Queen 
Empress. His name is Mons. Metastasio, and as he lives in the same 
house with Keller and myself, I give lessons to a young person who is 
said to be his niece. My other patron is monseigneur, the ambassa- 
dor, from Venice." 

" Ah ! Signor Korner," cried Consuelo, quickly. 

"Ah! do you know him?" replied Haydu. "It is Monsieur the 
Abbe Metastatio, who introduced me to his house. My little talent 
gave satisfaction there, and his excellency has promised to procure 
me lessons from Master Porpora, who is now at the baths of Manen- 
dorf, with Madame Wilhelmina, the wife or mistress of his excellency. 
That promise raised me to the seventh heaven. To learn composition, 
the pure and correct principles of Italian art, to be the pupil of so 
great a professor, of the first singing master of the universe I I con- 
sidered my fortune as already made. I blessed my stars, and almost 
fancied myself already a great master. But, alas! in spite of his ex- 
cellency's kind intentions, liis promise has not proved as easy of reali- 
zation as I flattered myself; and unless I can find a more powerful te- 
comraendation to Porpora, I fear that I shall never be enabled even 
to approach his person. He is said to be very eccentric; and the 
more attentive, generous, and kind he shows himself to some of his 
pupils, the sterner and more capricious he is to others. It seems that 
Master Eeuter is regarded as nobody by Porpora, and I tremble at the 
mere idea of seeing him. Nevertheless, though he refused the request 
of the ambassador concerning me point blank, and has declared that 
he will take no more pupils — as I know that Monseigneur Korner will 
insist — I still have hopes, and I am resolved to eiiduie the most cruel 
mortifications patiently, provided that he will teach me something 
while he scolds me." 



812 CONSUELO. 

"Yon Iiare formed a wise resolution in that," said Consnelo. 
" The manners of tlie great maestro bave not been exaggerated to 
you. But still there is room for you to hope ; for if you possess par 
tience, absolute submission, and a true inclination for music, as I 
think you do, if you do not lose your head in his first outbrealss of 
temper, and if you succeed in showing him intelligence and rapidity 
of judgment, at the end of three or four lessons, 1 promise you that 
you will find him one of the gentlest and most conscientious of mas- 
ters. Perhaps even, if your lieart answers to your intellect, Porpora 
■will become a solid friend, a just and generous father to you." 

" Oh ! you overwhelm me with joy. I see clearly that you must 
know him: you ought also to know his famous pupil, the new 
Countess of Rudolstadt — La Porporina." 

" But what have you ever hear about Porporina, or what do you 
expect from her? " 

" 1 expect a letter from her to Porpora, and her patronage will be 
most powerful with him when she comes to Vienna, which she will 
certainly do after her marriage with the rich Count Rudolstadt." 

" When did you hear of this marriage? " 

" By the greatest chance in the world. I must tell you that about a 
month since, Keller lost a friend, who left him some little property at 
Pilsen, and having neither the time nor the means to make the jour- 
ney, fearing lest the legacy should not make up for the loss of his .busi- 
ness, I offered to go in his place, and have happily succeeded in real- 
izing a small property for him. Keturning from Pilsen, I passed last 
night at a place called Klatau. It was a market day, and the town 
was full of people. At the same table with me there dined a man 
whom they addressed as Dr. WetzeJius, the greatest glutton, and 
greatest gossip I ever met. 'Do you know the news?' said he, to 
one of his neighbors at tabic. ' Coinit Albert of Rudolstadt, ^lio is 
mad, arch-mad, and all but frantic, is going to marry his cousin's 
music-mistress, an adventuress, a beggar-girl, who is said to have been 
a low actress in Italy, and who ran away with the old musician Porpo- 
ra who, becoming disgusted with her, packed her off to be confined at 
Riesenberg. Tlie event was kept rigidly secret;. and as at firbt they 
could not understand the nature of the malady or convulsions of 
mademoiselle, who passed for being very virtuous, I was called in, to 
attend a caSe of putrid and malignant fever. But scarcely had I felt 
the pulse of the patient before Count Albert, who doubtless knew 
right well the full extent of her virtue, expelled me from the room 
with violence, and would not suffer me to return. All was arranged 
quietly. I believe the old canoness perfonned the ofiice of accouch- 
eur; the poor old lady had never, I fancy, witnessed such a scene 
before. The child has disappeared, but that which is the most wondei'- 
full of all is that the young count who, as you all know, cannot keep the 
run of time, but takes months for years, has taken it into his head 
that he is the father of this child, and spoke with such energy and vio- 
lence to the family, that rather than see him relapse into madness, 
they have consented to his beautiful marriage.' 

" Oh ! horror ! hifamy ! " cried Consuelo. " It is one tissue of abom- 
inable calumnies, and revolting absurdities." 

"Do not suppose that I believed it lor one moment," said Joseph 
Haydn. " The face of that old doctor was so malicious and foolijli, 
that, even before he had been contradicted, I wa.^ sure he was utterin" 
only lies and follies. But scarcely h,id he got through his story, before 



C O K S U E L O. ' 813 

five or six young people who were around him took the young lady's 
part. It was who should praise most highly the beauty, grace, mod- 
esty, intellect, and incomparable talents of La Porpoiina. Every one 
approved of the match, and praised the old count for consenting to it, 
while Dr. Wetzeliiis was treated as a babbler and a fool. It is thus 
that 1 learned the truth, and as it is said that Porpora has the great- 
est regard for a pupil to wliom he has given his own name, I took it 
into my head to go to Riesenberg to see the future, or the new count- 
ess — for some say she is already secretly mari'ied, to avoid giving of- 
fence at court— tell her my history, and procure her interest with her 
illustrious master."' 

Consuelo remained pensive for a moment; for his last words con- 
cerning the court had struck her; but quickly returning to his affairs, 
'■ My boy," said she, "do not go to Riesenberg; Porporina is not 
there. She is not married to the Count of Rudolstadt, and it is even 
doubtful whether the mai'i'iage ever will take place. It is true, that it 
has been spoken of, but Porporina, although she has the deepest re- 
gard and esteem for Count_ Albert, did not think that she ought to de- 
cide without much consideration, on a matter so serious. Slie 
weighed on one side the injury she would do to so illustrious a family, 
in perhaps depriving it of the favor of the empress, and the consider- 
ation of all the nobles of the country; and on the other hand, the 
evil she would do herself in renouncing the exercise of the noble art 
which she had studied so passionately and embraced so courageously. 
Wishing therefore to consult Porpora, and to give the young count 
time to see whether bis passion would stand the test of absence, she 
suddenly set out for Vienna, alone, on foot, without a guide and 
almost penniless, but with the hope of restoring repose and reason to 
him who loves her, and carrying with her, of all the riches which 
were;offered to her, only the witness of her conscience, and the prido 
of her condition as an artist." 

" Oh! she is a true artist, indeed. She must have a strong head, 
and a noble soul, to have so acted," cried Joleph, fixing his bright eyes 
on Oonsuelo ; " and, if I do not err, it is she to whom I speak ; slie be- 
fore whom I prostrate myself." 

" It is-she who offers you her hand, and with it her friendship, her 
counsel, and her aid with Porpora. IJ'or we are about to travel to- 
gether, as I perceive, and if God protect us together, as he has hith- 
erto protected us singly, as he protects all who put their trust in Him, 
we shall soon be at Vienna, and we will take our lessons of the same 
master." 

" Heaven be praised," cried Haydn, clasping his hands, and weep- 
ing for joy, as he raised his arms enthusiastically toward heaven. " I 
was well convinced, wlien I looked on you as you slept, that thei'e was 
something supernatural about you, and that my life and my destiny 
were in your bands." 



CHAPTER LXVI. 

When the young people had made a more complete acquaintance, 
by going over and over again the various dctiiils of their situation in 



814 CONSUELO. 

friendly converse, they began to think of the precantiolnstoTje taken, 
and the arrangements made, in order to return to Vienna. The first 
tiling they did was to pull out their purses, and count their money. 
Consuelo was still the richer of the two ; but their funds combined, 
were at the most sufl5cient to furnish them the means of travelluig 
leisurely on foot, without suffering hunger, or sleeping in the open air. 
There was nothing else to be thought of; and Consuelo had already 
made up her mind to it; but, notwithstanding the philosophic gravity 
she maintained on that head, Joseph was anxious and pensive. 

" What is the matter with you? " said she; " are you afraid of the 
embarrassment of my company? I would lay a wager that I walk 
better than you." 

" I doubt not," he replied, " that you do everything better than I. 
But I am fearful and alarmed, when I consider that you are young 
and handsome, that all eyes will be turned upon you covetously, and 
that I, frail and delicate, though well resolved to be killed in your de- 
fence, should be little able to protect you." 

"Of what are you thinking, my poor boy? If I were handsome 
enough to rivet the eyes of all specta,tors, do you not know that a wo- 
man who respects herself can always command respect by her counte- 
nance?" 

" Whether you were plain or handsome, yonng or in the decline of 
life, impudent or modest, you would not be in safety on these roads, 
covered with soldiers and vagabonds of all kinds. Since peace has 
been made, the country is overflowed with soldiery returning to their 
garrisons, and, more than all, with these volunteer adventurers, who 
regard themselves as privileged individuals, and knowing no longer 
whither to look for fortune, apply themselves to pillaging wayfarers, 
laying country places under contribution, and treating provinces like 
conquered countries. Our poverty protects us from them in that view 
of the subject, bat the very fact that you are a woman, would suffice, 
at once to awaken their brutality. I think seriously of changing our 
route, and instead of going by Piseck and Budweiss, which are garri- 
sons oifering a continual pretext for the marching and countermarch- 
ing of desperate soldiers, and others who are but little better, have an 
idea that we shall do better by descending the course of the Moldau, 
and following the gorges of the mountains, which are almost unin- 
habited, and which therefore present nothing to tempt either the cu- 
pidity or licentiousness of these gentlemen. We will pass over the 
river to Keidunan, and there enter Austria at once by way of 
Friestadt. Once in the territories of the empire, we shall be protected 
by a police less impotent than that of Bohemia." 

" And do you know the road ? ' 

" I do not even know whether there is a road ; but I have a little 
map in my pocket, and I had laid out my plans, when I left Pilsen, to 
try and return by these mountains, in order to change my road, and 
see a little more of the country." 

" Well, so be it. I think your idea is a good one," said Consuelo, 
looking at the map which Joseph had just opened. "There are foot- 
paths everywhere for foot passengers, and cottages where they will 
receive sober people for a remuneration, t see in fact that there is a 
chain of mountains which leads us to the source of the Moldau, and 
thence down the whole length of the river." 

" It is the great Boehtuer-wald, the highest summits of which are 
in that region, and form the frontier between Bavaria and Bohemia. 



CONSUELO. 315 

We shall arrive there easily by keeping along the ridges, which will 
continually show us that the valleys to the right and left descend into 
one or the other of these two provinces. Since, heaven be praised ! I 
have no more to do with tliat odious Giants' Castl,e, I am quite sure 
that I can guide you aright, and without mailing you go over more 
ground than is necessary." 

" Let us set forth, then," said Consuelo, " 1 feel myself perfectly 
rested. Sleep and your good bread have restored me alli my strength, 
and I can easily go a couple of miles farther to-day. Moreover, I am 
in baste to remove myself farther from this neighborhood, where I am 
in constant apprehension of meeting some face that I know." 

" Wait a moment." said Joseph. " There is a strange idea that has 
just come into ray head." 

"What is it?" 

" If you would have no reluctance to dress yourself in boy's clothes, 
your incognito would be made safe, and you would escape many of 
the disagreeable remarks that will be made at our halts on the score 
of you, a young girl, travelling alone in company with a youth." 

" The ifiea is not a bad one ; but you forget we are not rich enough 
to make any purchases. Besides, where should I find, clothes to fit 
me?" 

" Listen. I should not have mentioned it, if I had not felt myself 
able to put it into play. We are precisely of the same height, wliicli 
does more credit to you, than it does to me; and I liave in my wallet 
a full suit, perfectly new, which will disguise you admirably. This is 
the history of the suit I speak of. It is a present from my good 
mother, who, thinking to make me a very useful gift, and wishing to 
know that I was properly equipped to present myself at the embassy, 
and to give lessons to young ladies, had a village costiune made for 
me, the most elegant in our part of the world. Doubtless, it is a pic- 
turesque garb, and the stuffs are well chosen, as you shall see; but 
conceive the effect I should have produced at the embassy, and the ir- 
r^ressible laughter of the niece of the AbbeMetastasio, if I bad made 
my appearance in this rustic cassock, and these loose plaited panta- 
loons. I thanked ray good raother for her gift, and determined to sell 
it to some peasant who wanted a best suit, or to some strolling actor. 
It is for this tliat I brought it with me ; but happily I have not been 
able to dispose of it, for the folk In this country swear it is out of 
date, and enquire whether it is Polish or Turkish." 

," Well, the opportunity has coine^" said Consuelo, laughing. "Your 
idea is excellent, and the strolling actress will suit herself to your 
Turkish dress, the more easily that it is very like a short petticoat. I 
will buy this, therefore, of you, on credit be it understood ; or, rather, 
I want you to be the keeper of our privy purse, and to let me know 
the sum of our expenditures when we come to Vienna." 

" We shall see about that," said Joseph, putting the purse in his 
pocket, and promising Iiimself that he would not receive any price. 

" It only remains now to see whether it will fit you. I will go and 
hide myself in the woods, and do you enter into the recesses of ^liese 
rocks. They will furnish you with a secure and spacious dressing 
room." 

" Go and make your appearance on the stage," said Consuelo, 
laughing, " I am going behind the scenes." 

And withdrawing behind the cover of the rocks, while her compan- 
ion respectfully withdrew from the vicinity, she proceeded to effect her 



816 CONSUELO. • 

transformation. The spring served her for a mirror when she came 
out from her tiring-room, and it was not without a sense of pleasure 
that she saw reflected in it, as handsome a little peasant of the Scla- 
vonic race, as ever sprung from that wild brood. Her pliant..aud 
slender waist was perfectly untrammeled by the loose red woollen 
girdle; and hef leg, free in its play as that of a young fawn, showed 
itself modestly to a little way above the instep, from the large folds 
of tlje pantaloons. Her black hair which she had never condescend- 
ed to powder, had been cut short during her illness, and curled natu- 
rally close round her face. She ran her fingers through it to give it 
something of the neglected air, which should befit a peasant boy ; and 
wearing her costume with the ease of one used to the stage, she even 
found mean=, thanks to her talent for mimicry, to put on an expres- 
sion full of wild simplicity, and felt, at a glance, that she was so well 
disguised, tliat courage and confidence returned to her on the in- 
stant. As is often the case witli" actors, so soon as they have put on 
their costume, she felt herself in her place, and identified herself with 
the part the was going to play so completely, that she felt, as it were, 
some degree of the heedlessness and pleasure of an innocent roving 
life; some of the gaiety, vigor and freedom of body which belongs to 
a boy whose school is by the hedge-side. 

She had to whistle three times, befoi-e Haydn, who, in his fear of 
shocking her delitacy, had withdrawn a little farther than wa"^ neces- 
sary, came back to her. When he did so, he uttered a cry of surprise 
and admiration at seeing her thus, and although he had expected to 
find lier disguised, he could scarcely believe his eyes at the first glance. 
Her transfcn-mation rendered Consuelo even handsomer than before, 
and at the same time gave her an entirely different aspect in the im- 
agination of the young musician. 

The pleasure which the beauty of a woman produces on a very 
young man, is always in some sort mixed with a sort of fear; and the 
dress which makes woman, even to the least chary eyes, a veiled and 
mysterious being, has much to do with that impression. Joseph had 
a pure and unpolluted spirit, and was not only a modest but a timid 
youth. When first he beheld Consuelo sleeping by the fountain, he 
had been dazzled by her beauty, motionless as that of a statue, and 
animated only by the bright sunbeams whicli poured down upon her. 
While he conversed with her, he was conscious of emotions unknown 
before, which he had attributed only to the enthusiasm and joy pro- 
duced by so happy an encounter. But in the quarter of an hour 
which elapsed duiing her mysterious toilet, he had experienced violent 
paliiitations, as the first incomprehensible disturbance returned upon 
him, so that he had some difiSculty in preserving an unchanged aspect 
and demeanor. 

The change of costume which had succeeded so perfectly, that it 
might have passed for an actual change of sex, suddenly changed all 
the sensations of the young man, and he no longer felt anything but 
the impulse of fraternal affection towards tJiis charming and agreea- 
ble travelling companion. The same ardent desire to roam and see 
the country, the same security as to the perils of the road, the same 
sympathetic gaiety whicli animated Consuelo at this instant, took 
possessiim of him likewise ; and tliey set forth on the journey througli 
the woods and meadows, as light as two bij'ds of passage. 

Nevertheless, after a few steps. Joseph remembered that she w.is 
not a boy, and seeing that she carried lior little packet of clothes, aug- 



*> CONSUELO. 817 

mented by the woman's garb which she had just removed, on the end 
of a stick across her shoulder, he insisted on relieving her of it. There- 
on a contest arose. Consuelo'insisted that, with his own knapsack, 
his violin, and his Gradus ad Parnassum, Joseph was sufficiently 
loaded. Joseph, on the other. hand, swore that he would put the 
whole of Consuelo's parcel into his knapsack, and that she should 
carry nothing. She was compelled to yield, but in, order that she 
might seem to be carrying something, he consented that she sliould 
carry the violin in a sling. 

" Do yon know," said Consuelo, in order to bring him to yield this 
point, " that 1 look as if I were, your servant, or at least your guide, 
for I am a peasant at a glance, while you are a citizen ? " 
• "What sort of citizen ? " asked Haydn, lavighing; "I have not a 
bad cut, certainly, for Keller, the barber's boy." And as he spoke, the 
young man could not help feeling a little annoyance at being unable 
to show himself to Consuelo in something better than his travel- 
stained and sun-bleached attire. 

" No ! " said Consuelo, laughing, " you look more like the prodigal 
son of some good family returning home with his gardener's boy, the 
comrade of his frolics." 

" By the way, I think we had better hit upon some parts in accord- 
ance with our situation," replied Joseph. " We can only pass for 
what we are — at least for the present — poor travelling artists ; and as it 
is the custom of the profession to dress one's self as lie can, according 
to the means he finds and the money he earns, as we, after the pi'ofes- 
sors in our line, wearing, about the country, tlie undress of a marquis 
or of a soldier, so there will be nothing odd in my wearing the seedy 
black coat of a second-rate professor, or in your adopting the garb of 
a Hungarian peasant, though it be strange hereabout. We can even 
say, if questioned about it, that we have recently made a tour in that 
part of the country, and I can talk to the point about the celebrated 
village of Bohran which no one ever heard of, and the splendid town 
of Hamburgh, which no one cares a farthing about. As for you, since 
your pretty little accent will always betray you, you had better not 
deny that you are an Italian singer." 

" True enough ; and we had better have travelling names too — it is 
usual. 1 can suit myself with yours, for, according to my Italian 
habit, I ought to call you Beppo, wiiich is short for Joseph." 

" Call me whatever you will; I have the advantage of being as little 
known under one name as under another. With you it is different. 
You must have one; which will you choose?" 

" The first Venetian abbreviation that comes — Nello — Maso — Een- 
zo — Zoto — oh! no, not that," she cried, recollecting herself as she 
thoughtlessly mentioned the childish abbreviation of Anzoleto. 

" Why not that? '' asked Joseph, struck by her eneigetic manner. ■ 

"Because it will bring me bad luck: they say there are names 
which do so." 

" Well, how shall we baptize you? " 

"Bertoni. It is an Italian narae,at all events, and a sort of diminu- 
tive of Albert." 

'• II Signer Bertoni ! That sounds well," said Joseph, forcing a 
smile; but this recollection of her noble lover, on Consuelo's part, 
gave him a pangi He looked back at her walking along secure and at 
her ease; and, " by-the-bye," he said, as if to console himself; " I for- 
got that it is a boy." 



318 CONSTJKLO. 



CHAPTER EKVII. 

They soon reached the ^kh'ts of the wood and took their course 
towards the sofujih-east. Cbnsuelo walked bareheaded, and Joseph, 
thongh he saw§ that the sun was scorching her clear fair skin, could 
not remedy it. His own hat was not new and he could not oflfer it, 
and not choosing to display a useless anxiety he would not speak, but 
taking his hat off suddenly, he put it under his arm. 

" That is a queer notion," saicTshe to him. "Do yon find the sky 
cloudy and the plain overshadowed? 'That makes me remember thaf^ 
my head is bare, and as I have not always possessed all luxuries^t 
know how to help myself." As she spoke thus, she snatched a branch 
of wild vine from a neighboring thicket, and lolling it round il^elf, 
made herself a sort of green turban. 

"Now she looks l:ke a muse," thought Joseph, "and the boy is 
gone again." But ere long they passed a village in wliich they found 
one of those country shops at which you can buy everything, and 
going into it suddenly before she could anticipate him, he bought one 
of tliose straw hats with broad brims turned up at the side, which are 
worn by tlie peasants of the valleys of the Danube. 

" If you begin plunging into these luxuries," she said, as she tried 
on her new head-dress, " our bread will give out before we reach our 
journey's end." 

" Your bread give out," cried Joseph, quickly. " I would rather 
beg