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heavily, with that broken heart, across the borders—she must bathe her hurts in some fount of Paradise, and forget her grief in the light of immortality-and there be well !
But Giovanni did not know it.
“Dear Beatrice," said he, approaching her, while she shrank away, as always at his approach, but now with a different impulse" dearest Beatrice, our fate is not yet so desperate. Behold! There is a medicine, potent, as a wise physician has assured me, and almost divine in its efficacy. It is composed of ingredients the most opposite to those by which thy awful father has brought this calamity upon theo and me. It is distilled of blessed herbs. Shall we not quaff it together, and thus be puri. fied from evil ?”
“Give it me!" said Beatrice, extending her hand to receive the little silver phial which Giovanni took from his bosom. She added, with a peculiar emphasis : “I will drink-but do thou await the result.”
She put Baglioni's antidote to her lips; and, at the same mo. ment, the figure of Rappaccini emerged from the portal, and came slowly towards the marble fountain. As he drew near, the pale man of science scemed to gaze with a triumphant expression at the beautiful youth and maiden, as might an artist who should spend his life in achieving a picture or a group of statuary, and finally be satisfied with his success. He paused-his bent form grew erect with conscious power, he spread out his hand over them, in the attitude of a father imploring a blessing upon his children. But those were the same hands that had thrown poison into the stream of their lives! Giovanni trembled. Beatrice shuddered very nervously, and pressed her hand upon her heart.
“My daughter," said Rappaccini, “thou art no longer lonely in the world ! Pluck one of those precious gems from tny sister shrub, and bid thy bridegroom wear it in his busom. It will not harm him now! My science, and the sympathy between thee and him, have so wrought within his system, that he now stands apart from common men, as thou dost, daughter of my pride and triumph, from ordinary women. Pass on, then, through the world, most dear to one another, and dreadful to all besides !”
“My father,” said Beatrice, feebly—and still, as she spoke, she kept her hand upon her heart—"wherefore didst thou inflict this miserable doom upon thy child ?"
“ Miserable !” exclaimed Rappaccini. “ What mean you, fool. ish girl ? Dost thou deem it misery to be endowed with marvel. lous gifts, against which no power nor strength could avail an enemy? Misery, to be able to quell the mightiest with a breath? Misery, to be as terrible as thou art beautiful ? Wouldst thou, then, have preferred the condition of a weak woman, exposed to all evil, and capable of none ?"
“I would fain have been loved, not feared," murmured Bea. trice, sinking down upon the ground. “But now it matters not ; I am going, father, where tho evil, which thou hast striven to mingle with my being, will pass away like a dream-like the fragrance of these poisonous flowers, which will no longer taint my breath among the flowers of Eden. Farewell, Giovanni ! Thy words of hatred are like lead within my heart—but they, too, will fall away as I ascend. Oh, was there not, from the first, more poison in thy nature than in mine?"
To Beatrice-50 radically had her earthly part been wrought upon by Rappaccini's skill-as poison had been life, so the power. ful antidote was death. And thus the poor victim of man's in. genuity and of thwarted nature, and of the fatality that attends all such efforts of perverted wisdom, perished there, at the feet of her Tather and Giovanni. Just at that moment, Professor Pietro Bag. lioni looked forth from the window, and called loudly, in a tone of triumph mixed with horror, to the thunder-stricken man of science :
" Rappaccini! Rappaccini! And is this the upshot of your ex. periment ?"
It makes me melancholy to see how like fools some very sensible people act, in the matter of choosing wives. They perplex their judgments by a most undue attention to little niceties of personal appearance, habits, disposition, and other trifics, which concern nobody but the lady herself. An unhappy gentleman, resolving to wed nothing short of perfection, keeps his heart and hand till both got so old and withered, that no tolerable woman will accept them. Now, this is the very height of absurdity. A kind Provi. dence has so skilfully adapted sex to sex, and the mass of indi. viduals to each other, that, with certain obvious exceptions, any male and female may be moderately happy in the married state. The true rule is, to ascertain that the match is fundamentally a good one, and then to take it for granted that all minor objections, should there be such, will vanish, if you let them alone. Only put yourself beyond hazard, as to the real basis of matrimonial bliss, and it is scarcely to be imagined what miracles, in the way of reconciling smaller incongruities, connubial love will effect.
Por my own part, I freely confess, that, in my bachelorship, I was precisely such an over-curious simpleton, as I now advise the reader not to bo. My early habits had gifted me with a feminine sensibility, and too exquisite refinement. I was the accomplished graduate of a dry-goods store, where, by dint of ministering to the whims of fino ladies, and suiting silken hose to delicate limbs, and handling satins, ribbons, chintzes, calicoes, tapes, gauze, and cambric needles, I grew up a very lady-like sort of a gentleman. It is not assuming too much to affirm, that the ladies themselves were hardly so lady-like as Thomas Bull. frog. So painfully acute was my sense of female imperfection, and such varied excellence did I require in the woman whom I could lore, that there was an awful risk of my getting no wife at all, or of being driven to perpetrate matrimony with my own image in the looking-glass. Besides the fundamentul principle, already hinted at, I demanded the fresh bloom of youth, pearly teeth, glossy ringlets, and the whole list of lovely items, with the utmost delicacy of habits and sentiments, a silken texture of mind, and above all, a virgin heart. In a word, if a young angel, just from Paradise, yet dressed in earthly fashion, had come and offered me her hand, it is by no means certain that I should have taken it. There was every chance of my becoming a most miserable old bachelor, when, by the best luck in the worid, I made a journey into another State, and was smitten by, and smote again, and woocd, won, and married the present Mrs. Bullfrog, all in the space of a fortnight. Owing to these extempore measures, I not only gave my bride credit for certain perfections, which have not as yet come to light, but also overlooked a few trising defects, which, however, glimmered on my perception long before the close of the honey-moon. Yet, as there was no mistake about the fundamental principle aforesaid, I soon learned, as will be seen, to estimate Mrs. Bullfrog's deficiencies and superfluities at exactly their proper value.
The same morning that Mrs. Bullfrog and I came together as a unit, we took two seats in the stage-coach, and began our jour. ney towards my place of business. There being no other pas. sengers, we were as much alone, and as free to give vent to our raptures, as if I had hired a hack for the matrimonial jaunt. My bride looked charmingly, in a green silk calash, and riding-habit of pelisse cloth, and whenever her red lips parted with a smile,
each tooth appeared like an inestimable pearl. Such was my passionate warmth, that—we had rattled out of the village, gentle reader, and were lonely as Adam and Eve in Paradise-I plead guilty to no less freedom than a kiss !—The gentle eye of Mrs. Bullfrog scarcely rebuked me for the profanation. Emboldened by her indulgence, I threw back the calash from her polished brow, and suffered my fingers, white and delicate as her own, to stray among those dark and glossy curls, which realized my day. dreams of rich hair.
“My love," said Mrs. Bullfrog, tenderly, “ you will disarrange my curls."
Oh, no, my sweet Laura !” replied I, still playing with the glossy ringlet. “Even your fair hand could not manage a curl more delicately than mine.- I propose myself the pleasure of doing up your hair in papers, every evening, at the same timo with my own.”
“Mr. Bullfrog,” repeated she, “ you must not disarrange my curls."
This was spoken in a more decided tone than I had happened to hear, until then, from my gentlest of all gentle brides. At the same time, she put up her hand and took mine prisoner, but merely drew it away from the forbidden ringlet, and then imme. diately released it. Now, I am a fidgetty little man, and always love to have something in my fingers; so that, being debarred from my wife's curls, I looked about me for any other play. thing. On the front seat of the coach, there was one of those small baskets in which travelling ladies, who are too delicate to appear at a public table, generally carry a supply of gingerbread, Wscuits and cheese, cold ham, and other light refreshments, merely to sustain nature to the journey's end. Such airy diet will sometimes keep them in pretty good flesh, for a week together. Laying hold of this same little basket, I thrust my hand under the newspaper, with which it was carefully covered. PART 1.