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ous as my pretty bargain.” But this, hearing it they nearly fell into fits, to be sure, he thought at the sight of conducted her with the utmost care to every woman he saw, and it only the carriage, and left Le Blond trans. added to his distress. As he left the fixed to the spot. In the course of church he observed that the ladies time, however, he recovered himself also got up, and moved away. A sufficiently to find his way home, and number of gentlemen followed them tell his mother the whole occurrence. respectfully, assisted them at the At the appointed hour he went to the church door into a magnificent car. hotel, and enquired for the Countess riage, went themselves into a second, de St Silvain. He was conducted to and drove off. Le Blond concluded her apartment, and found her still in from all this that they must have been her travelling dress, and still envelopduchesses at the least. But this mo. ed in the gold-spangled veil. He laid mentary apparition made the deeper before her two boxes of the costliest impression on him that it presented laces ; her choice was quickly made ; itself to him again. As he wandered she paid him the price demanded, and the same day, to dispel his melancholy added a piece of gold for the trouble thoughts, through the lower town, she had given him in coming to the over the stone bridge across the hotel. After this she again led him Sambre, he took a fancy to climb the into conversation, as she had done in Castle-hill. On the steps of the lower the morning on the hill. When Le ascent he was encountered by the Blond told her that he had never yet gentlemen he had seen at church. been more than twenty miles from The two carriages were also drawn Namur, she wondered at his want of up in waiting. When he had ascend. curiosity, and asked him if he would ed a little way, to where the road enter into her service. makes the second turning, he met the “ You will see all France," she lady in the gold-spangled veil in lively said ; “ I will give you more than you conversation with her friend, and loud make by your trade. You shall be in her admiration of the prospect; for private secretary either to me or my from that point the view of Namur is ford-my husband." very beautiful, as it lies between the This was said in such a soft sweet two mountains, surrounded and cross- tone that Le Blond was nearly tempt. ed by the Meuse and the Sambre, and ed; particularly as at that very mothe rivulet, the Bederin. But ladies, ment a thought came across him of in coming down steps, should take the very untempting Mademoiselle care not to be lively in conversation Paulet, and the different tone she spoke or ecstatic about scenery. A false in. But then, to leave his old mother step is easily made even when there is such a step was impossible. And no snow to make it slippery. Of this though he had threatened a hundred the veiled lady gave a striking example times rather to throw himself on the - she fell with a loud scream. Le wide world than marry the silversmith's Blond rushed up the steps to her as- daughter, still, when he thought of sistance, and raised her courteously. how desolate his departure would make She thanked him, and took the arm the poor old woman, he declined the he had offered for her support. But Countess's invitation, and told her he as her foot was slightly hurt, she fre- could not leave an aged parent who quently paused, on their downward had no friend in the world but himself. way, to rest. She asked many ques. When he came home and told the tions of the polite Le Blond, and when whole story to his mother, she, who, she heard, among other things, that like most mothers, had a higher opi. he dealt in lace, she expressed a wish nion of the return due by her son for to buy, named the hotel where she re- all her kindness, than of anything sided, and fixed an hour for him to else, exclaimed, in a sort of pet, at the bring some articles for her inspection. very thought of such a proposition, He was directed to ask for the Coun- « Go, if you please, you disobedient tess de St Silvain. She would pro- boy, but Mademoiselle Paulet must go bably have talked much longer, had with you. Marriage, I see, is the not the gentlemen come up the steps only thing to save you; and I have to enquire what had detained the lady gone too far in the business with She related the accident in answer to the silversmith to draw back with ho. their respectful enquiries ; and on pour."
Driven to despair, Le Blond went half broken-hearted. next day to offer himself to the Coun. had left Namur! tess, but he came back to his shop
The apparition was soon forgotten; out. It was no small addition to his but old Madame Le Blond did not for gratification that his new dwelling had get Mademoiselle Paulet. “ Custom a small garden attached to it; for he at last makes all things tolerable." was an enthusiast in his love for plants This proverb was repeated in Le and flowers. The garden was surBlond's ear day after day. Day after rounded on all sides by those of his day he denied its truth. In this way neighbours. Little hedges and even a whole year was passed ; and then flower borders were the only divisions other sorrows came in addition. Louis between them ; so that they presented XIV. had taken it into his head to be the appearance of one large garden, a great man; even already people instead of numerous small ones. In called him Louis the Great; but the portion belonging to Le Blond, what will not people do to please an there was a bower of wild jasmin. individual with an army of two hun. Here it was that he resolved to spend dred thousand men ? At last, in the his happiest hours, and to devote himyear 1692, he advanced in person to self to the study of Italian, in order to besiege Namur, and, with a few wag- be able, like other silk merchants, to gon loads of powder, blew all Madame write to his correspondents in their Le Blond's plans of marrying her son own language. The splendid house to the silversmith's daughter into the of which he had hired the ground. air. For, after an attack of eight floor, belonged to the President of the days, he carried the city; and after Sovereign Court, who troubled himtwo-and-twenty days he carried the self very little about his tenant. Every castles; and Madame Le Blond grew thing went on delightfully. The ill from the extremity of her fears, ladies, who had formerly shown so and died. Le Blond was infinitely much favour to the wares of the obliged to the French monarch for his handsome laceman, did not desert him timely interposition ; but at the same in his new position. They were contime his grief for his poor mother was stantly dropping in to rummage his sincere. That careful manager left stock and make their purchases, and behind her a far more considerable have a few minutes' conversation. succession than he had expected. Le Blond, indeed, appeared to grow Without his knowledge she had scra. handsomer every day; but the ladies ped together sundry rouleaus of gold, maintained that his silks and laces which enabled the young man to carry were the best in Namur, and his a design he had long entertained into prices the most reasonable. Happy, execution_namely, to remove into a happy Le Blond !- But, on the other more spacious wareroom. In about hand, bis efforts were not so prospera quarter of a year he had left the ous in respect to the Italian grammar. small shop in the small street, and had It was a wearisome employment; and settled himself in fine commodious besides this, it was not long before premises in one of the most fashionable he encountered another obstacle to parts of the town. His customers, his studies. both male and female, soon found him
One warm summer day, as he went book. She was apparently not more into the garden with the Italian gram- than eighteen-graceful as a lily-in mar in his hand, and was about to short, a maiden such as Le Blond had enter the jasmin bower, he perceived never seen in his life. For it was not that it was already occupied, A young an every day sight-that throat of lady sat there, busily intent upon a Snow, those cheeks of roses, those glowing lips, and, round the stately perceived that the book was not the head, those raven tresses waving in a same- it was a French one. In the cloud that might have formed a por- agitation of the moment Jacqueline tion of the Egyptian darkness. Le had taken his Italian rudiments, and Blond stood at the entrance of the left her own. He scarcely ventured hower abashed and thunderstruck. to touch the holy leaves that had been No less astonished was the beautiful consecrated by her fingers, and lamentstranger at the approach of Le Blond, ed his fate in being only Julius Le who appeared to her like a being from Blond, and not the enviable Italian another world. She seemed, indeed, grammar that Jacqueline had carried never to have gazed on a Le Blond away with her. He did not recover before. In the agitation of the mo- himself the whole day; but when ment she bowed to him, and he nearly there were no customers in his shop, curtsied to her, and both begged par. he sat in the little back parlour and don a thousand times, without being gazed at the jasmine bower, and the offended with each other in the least great house beyond it that it belonged degree. At last a conversation was to. It was only towards the evening commenced; the beauty carried it on that the thought struck him that it with wonderful fluency, but without would be proper to go and restore the much benefit to Le Blond; for, in volume, and by way of insuring its the first place, that individual's soul safe delivery, to give it to his lovely was situated more in his eyes than his neighbour with his own hand. He ears; and, in the second place, her set off on the instant, and had very French was nearly unintelligible, and soon hurried through the cross alley terribly mixed with Italian idioms. and reached the street of St Fiacre. But they made out that they were The great house was easily discovered. neighbours. The garden that joined On the ground floor was a merchant's the foot of Le Blond's belonged to shop, and there, in great letters on a the great house, whose front looked black board, he read, “ Mesdemoitowards the street of St Fiacre; the selles Buonvicini, mantuamakers from said street of St Fiacre being parallel Milan." with that in which Le Blond resided. Thus far all was well; but all of a He had come to learn Italian ; she sudden a sort of failing of nerve got with a French grammar-for she had possession of him; he went past the only been three months arrived from palace, for a palace it really was, the Italy, and was anxious to acquire the whole length of the street; and only French as quickly as possible. While recovered his courage when he had they were engaged in this mutual ex- got to some distance. “Why shouldn't planation, which was, indeed, a some. I go in ?" he thought; “I am not what tedious process—for signs and going to do any harm." He turned attitudes had to assist in the transla round, but with every step that he tion of Italian into French, and French made towards the palace his nervousinto Italian-a female voice was heard ness increased. « What will she say calling the name Jacqueline! Here when she sees me with the grammar? upon Jacqueline rapidly took leave, Won't she consider me a pushing, lifted the grammar from the table, impertinent fool ? Couldn't I wait and disappeared. Le Blond stood till she asked me for the book her. nearly rooted to the ground, and was self? And which of the sisters Buonscarcely aware of what had passed. vicini is Jacqueline? Who can tell He seated himself on the bench she whether she is at home? And, behad left-he dreamed-he raved as if sides, wouldn't it be giving up the intoxicated, and was profuse in com- grammar, the only chance I have of plimentary speeches to the vanished ever seeing her again ?" In the midst beauty, as if she were still before him. of these ruminations, he was long past And now, for the first time, he cursed the palace on the other side ; but with with all his heart his ignorance of Ita. every step his anxiety to call upon lian, and swore by all the saints to de- Jacqueline grew stronger. Again vote himself to the study of the gram- and again he returned, and always mar, that he might tell his neighbour lost heart at the door. At last, when
-he was not exactly certain what he had wearied himself with his wan. But when he seized the grammar, he derings up the street and down the
street, he fairly put the grammar into grumbling at his want of impudencebis pocket, and betook himself to his little back parlour again.
The good and modest Le Blond communicative about the other-Jac. soon discovered some gleams of com- queline had left the jasmin bower, in fort in his distress. The French scarcely an inferior state of bewildergrammar he laid safely under lock and ment-she could not drive Le Blond key, as a pledge of its bringing him out of her memory, and in girls of to another interview with the owner. eighteen the seat of the memory is the We cannot maintain that he enjoyed heart. Now the image of a Le Blond his supper on that night, but there in the heart is not unattended with are occasions when people can live danger to girls of even a year or two very well upon air ; and, indeed, build older than Jacqueline. She was stately castles on the same unsubstan- anxious to know who he was; but, as tial foundation. For instance, Le to making any enquiry that might Blond was delighted beyond measure lead to the supposition that she took that the beautiful Jacqueline was of any interest in the matter, such a no higher rank than a milliner,-it thing never entered her head. She fitted so admirably to his own trade in tried, therefore, to attain the informalaces and silks. His plans were innu. tion in a roundabout sort of a way, merable, and one of the most fixed of and discovered that the great house them was, to make the captivating to which the jasmine bower belonged, Mademoiselle Buonvicini, with all was inhabited by my Lord the Presi. convenient expedition, into Madame dent. How, then, was it possible to Le Blond. The only question was, doubt that Le Blond was one of his how such an angel was to be won ? sons ? These plans, and even this last one, She had soon perceived the exchange were admirably well laid with but one that had happened of their grammars; error in them, and that was, that Jac- by a paper mark at the place, she queline resided indeed in the palace, saw that his lesson had stopt short at but, alas! alas! not on the ground the conjugation of Io amo; a verb floor. She was no connexion of the which she was quite able to translate sisters Buonvicini, but was the only into the French J'aime. But somedaughter of the French general De how, on this occasion, the translation Fano, who had received some wounds was accompanied with some odd sorts at the siege of Namur, and had re- of feelings, for which she could not mained to have them cured. The exactly account; and more than once good laceman who had entirely ac. she went into the apartment of her commodated himself to his situation, dressing maid, whose window com. and, in consequence of his mother's manded a view of the jasmine bower. advice, entirely forgotten the former Every morning, as soon as the sun rank of his father-would never bave rose, both the young people kept con. ventured on such an undertaking as to stantly looking towards the arbour ; lay siege to the heart of the daughter one watched for the other's appearof one of the Grand Monarque's most ance, only that they might restore the famous generals. Poor Julius was no grammars; but, as neither of them politician, and had never even heard liked to be the first to go, three days of General De Fano's name. Jacques were wasted in useless expectation. line, on the other hand, for since we Jacqueline was very restless, and Le have told the secrets of one of the Blond nearly died of anxiety, parties, we may as well be equally
At last, on the fourth morning, just Blond determined to visit the jasmin as the sun was rising, the bashful Le bower. And, as he went to the window, he saw a figure in white wander- looked forward to making greater ing in the milliner's garden. With the progress in the second. And, indeed, speed of lightning he rusbed forth, the the studious propensities of the young grammar under his arm, and pretend people were most exemplary. In spite ed to be busy examining his flowers; of the earliness of the hour, neither of kecping his eye, however, attentively them was ever one instant bebind the fixed on the movements of the living appointed time; yet it might be in flower on the other side of the hedge, consequence of this over zeal that Sne approached the arbour,-- he their attention occasionally tlagged, walked towards it at the same time. and Jacqueline herself occasionally Heavens! low buth begar to blush laid her forefinger on the lower line, as they mutually showed the borrowed instead of the upper. On those occavolumes !-at last, however, the expla- sions, it was, of course, necessary for pation was made, and the exchange the attentive pupil to set her right; effected. When once the conversa. and, on taking her hand in his for this tion was commenced, it seemed to flow purpose, it not unfrequently happened, more naturally than either of them ihat neither of them could recollect could have expected. Jacqueline com- whether it was the upper line or the plained of the difficulty of French; lower one they had been reading; and Le Blond of the tediousness of Ita- so, sometimes for five minutes at a lian. The complaints of each raised time, both of them sat without saying in the other the tenderest emotions of a syllable, in the aforesaid attitude, pity; and nothing in the world could and gazing most strenuously on the be more natural than the offer to be of book whose lines neither of them assistance to each other in their stu. could perceive a word of. dies—they resolved to dedicate the In the third lesson, therefore, it was first hour after sunrise to this system indispensable to go over again the two of mutual instruction-long before former ones; which, owing to these un. Pestalozzi was born-and they fixed avoidable circumstances, had almost on the hour of prime, probably, be slipt from their memories; and, by cause in both grammars was the pro way of bringing things into regular verb.
order, it was resolved that Jacqueline
should be the teacher one day in Ita“ The morning hour
lian, and he the next in French. Le Brings golden dower."
Blond confessed that he had stuck at It was wonderful what a charming the verb " Io amo," and begged the schoolroom they made of the jasmin teacher to hear him say off the book arbour. The commencement was made all of it that he knew. As she felt that very hour. They sat down be conscious that her own progress in the side each other on the bench, and took French was not a whit more advanced, the grammar in hand with the most she felt the less wonder at his ignostudious intentions in the world. Per- rance. Matters were now arranged haps, indeed, they might have made for a serious lesson. The books were more progress in the language, if they closed ; and, in case of any recurrence had not sat quite so close. For when, of the strange sensations he had expe. by any accident, Le Blond was touched rienced when accidentally touched by by Jacqueline's arm ; or if, in the Jacqueline's hand, Le Blond thoug lit morning brecze, one of her curls was it better to take hold of it at once, and waved against his check, a sort of keep it close prisoner in his own. A shudder passed through him; he forgot tremor ran through the captive tlus the art of speaking either in his own laid hold of, which luckily escaped the language or any other; and appeared, captor's observation, as at that moment poor fellow, to be labouring under a he was labouring under a very similar difficulty of breathing; or, when Jac- fit of agitation himself. After a long queline's hand, in pointing out the silence, which, however, neither of place, came in contact with that of her them seemed to consider tedious, Le pupil, all of a sudden she lost the Blond commenced his lessonpower of distinguishing a single syl. “ Present time, • lo amo.'" lable, though, on other occasions, It was fortunate he had to wait for having no cause to complain of blind. the translation, for one other syllable neas. But, to be sure', not much can he found it impossible to utter. be expected in a first lesson, so they Jacqueline sank her eyes to the