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ask you to see her in either with option is before us? Your guardian my eyes. I say frankly that it is rightly forbids my visits; and my intention, and I may add my even were I free to offer you my resolve, that the ward thus left to hand, you yourself say that I am my charge shall be henceforth safe not a suitor he would approve." from the temptations that have se Julie turned her eyes towards duced her poverty, her inexperi. De Mauléon, who, following Gusence, her vanity if you will, but tave into the anteroom, stood silent have not yet corrupted her heart. and impassive, leaning against the Bref, I must request you to give wall. me your word of honour that you He now understood and replied will hold no further communica- to the pathetic appeal in the girl's tion with her. I can allow no eyes. sinister influence to stand between : “My young ward,” he said, “M. her fate and honour.”
Rameau expresses himself with “ You speak well and nobly, M. propriety and truth. Suffer him le Vicomte,” said Rameau, “and to depart. He belongs to the forI give the promise you exact.” He mer life; reconcile yourself to the added, feelingly, “It is true, her new." heart has never been corrupted. He advanced to take her hand, That is good, affectionate, unselfish making a sign to Gustave to depart. as a child's. J'ai l'honneur de tous But as he approached Julie, she saluer, M. le Vicomte."
uttered a weak piteous wail, and He bowed with a dignity un- fell at his feet senseless. De usual to him, and tears were in his Mauléon raised and carried her eyes as he passed by De Mauléon into her room, where he left her to and gained the anteroom. There the care of the old bonne. On rea side-door suddenly opened, and entering the anteroom, he found Julie's face, anxious, eager, looked Gustave still lingering by the outer forth.
door. Gustave paused : “ Adieu, Made- “You will pardon me, Monsieur," moiselle! Though we may never he said to the Vicomte, “but in meet again—though our fates di- fact I feel so uneasy, so unhappy. vide us—believe me that I shall Has she--? You see, you see ever cherish your memory – that there is danger to her health,
perhaps to her reason, in so abrupt The girl interrupted him, im- a separation, so cruel a rupture pulsively seizing his arm, and look- between us. Let me call again, or ing him in the face with a wild I may not have strength to keep fixed stare.
my promise.” “Hush ! dost thou mean to say De Mauléon remained a few that we are parted, — parted for minutes musing. Then he said in ever?”
a whisper, “Come back into the “ Alas !” said Gustave, “what salon. Let us talk frankly."
“M. Rameau," said De Mauléon, rid myself as soon as I can of the when the two men had reseated trust of guardian to this young themselves in the salon, “I will lady. Playing as I do with forhonestly say that my desire is to tune, my only stake against her
VOL. CXV.—NO. DCXCIX.
favours is my life. I feel as if it Mademoiselle Julie ; and on witwere my duty to see that Made- nessing the passionate strength of moiselle is not left alone and that attachment, say that he cannot friendless in the world at my de- keep a promise not to repeat his cease. I have in my mind for her visits. But if I mistake, and you a husband that I think in every are still betrothed to the Signorina, way suitable : a handsome and of course all discussion is at an brave young fellow in my battalion, end." of respectable birth, without any Gustave hung his head in some living relations to consult as to his shame, and in much bewildered choice. I have reason to believe doubt. that if Julie married him, she need The practised observer of men's never fear a reproach as to her characters, and of shifting phases of antecedents. Her dot would suffice mind, glanced at the poor poet's to enable him to realise his own perturbed countenance with a halfwish of a country town in Nor- smile of disdain. mandy. And in that station, Paris “It is for you to judge how far and its temptations would soon the very love to you so ingenuously pass from the poor child's thoughts, evinced by my ward—how far the as an evil dream. But I cannot reasons against marriage with one dispose of her hand without her whose antecedents expose her to own consent; and if she is to be reproach-should influence one of reasoned out of her fancy for you, your advanced opinions upon social I have no time to devote to the ties. Such reasons do not appear task. I come to the point. You to have with artists the same weight are not the man I would choose for they have with the bourgeoisie. I her husband. But, evidently, you have but to add that the husband are the man she would choose. of Julie will receive with her hand Are you disposed to marry her? a dot of nearly 120,000 francs ; and You hesitate, very naturally; I I have reason to believe that that have no right to demand an im- fortune will be increased-how mediate answer to a question so much, I cannot guess—when the serious. Perhaps you will think cessation of the siege will allow over it, and let me know in a day communication with England. One or two ? I take it for granted that word more. I should wish to rank if you were, as I heard, engaged the husband of my ward in the before the siege to marry the Sig- number of my friends. If he did nora Cicogna, that engagement is not oppose the political opinions annulled ?"
with which I identify my own “Why take it for granted ?” career, I should be pleased to asked Gustave, perplexed. make any rise in the world achieved
“Simply because I find you by me assist to the raising of himhere. Nay, spare explanations and self. But my opinions, as during excuses. I quite understand that the time we were brought together you were invited to come. But you were made aware, are those of a man solemnly betrothed to a a practical man of the world, and demoiselle like the Signora Ci- have nothing in common with cogna, in a time of such dire calam. Communists, Socialists, Internaity and peril, could scarcely allow tionalists, or whatever sect would himself to be tempted to accept the place the aged societies of Europe invitation of one so beautiful, and in Medea's caldron of youth. At so warmly attached to him, as is a moment like the present, fanatics and dreamers so abound, that the a believer in your wisdom and number of such sinners will neces- genius. Only they will separate sitate a general amnesty when order you from me, and a day may come is restored. What a poet so young when I should have the painful as you may have written or said at duty of ordering you to be shot such a time will be readily forgotten Diï meliora. Think over all I and forgiven a year or two hence, have thus frankly said. Give me provided he does not put his your answer within forty - eight notions into violent action. But hours; and meanwhile hold no if you choose to persevere in the communication with my ward. I views you now advocate, so be it. have the honour to wish you goodThey will not make poor Julie less day.”
The short grim day was closing if, obedient to Isaura's “prejuwhen Gustave, quitting Julie's dices," he abandoned his profits apartment, again found himself in as a writer in the revolutionary the streets. His thoughts were press. The inducements for withtroubled and confused. He was drawal from the cause he had the more affected by Julie's impas- espoused, held out to him with so sioned love for him, by the contrast haughty a coldness by De Mauléon, with Isaura's words and manner in were not wholly without force, their recent interview. His own though they irritated his self-esancient fancy for the “ Ondine of teem. He was dimly aware of the Paris" became revived by the Vicomte's masculine talents for difficulties between their ancient public life ; and the high repuintercourse which her unexpected tation he had already acquired scruples and De Mauléon's guardian- among military authorities, and ship interposed. A witty writer even among experienced and thus defines une passion, “une cap- thoughtful civilians, had weight rice inflammé par des obstacles." upon Gustave's impressionable In the ordinary times of peace, Gus- temperament. But though De tave, handsome, aspiring to repu- Mauléon's implied advice here table position in the beau monde, coincided in much with the tacit would not have admitted any con- compact he had made with Isaura, siderations to compromise his it alienated him more from Isaura station by marriage with a figur- herself, for Isaura did not bring ante. But now the wild political to him the fortune which would doctrines he had embraced separ- enable him to suspend his lucuated his ambition from that beau brations, watch the turn of events, monde, and combined it with and live at ease in the meanwhile; ascendancy over the revolutionists and the dot to be received with of the populace—a direction which De Mauléon's ward had those he must abandon if he continued advantages. his suit to Isaura. Then, too, the While thus meditating, Gustave immediate possession of Julie's dot turned into one of the cantines still was not without temptation to a open, to brighten his intellect with man who was so fond of his a petit verre, and there he found the personal comforts, and who did two colleagues in the extinct Counnot see where to turn for a dinner, cil of Ten, Paul Grimm and Edgar
Ferrier. With the last of these thou hast cause to complain of revolutionists Gustave had become thy wife or chafe at the bond ? intimately lié. They wrote in the Only get the dot into thine own same journal, and he willingly ac- hands. L'amour passe— reste la cepted a distraction from his self- cassette." conflict which Edgar offered him in Though there was enough of good a dinner at the Café Riche, which in the son of Madame Rameau still offered its hospitalities at no to revolt at the precise words in exorbitant price. At this repast, which the counsel was given, still, as the drink circulated, Gustave as the fumes of the punch yet more waxed confidential. He longed, addled his brains, the counsel itself poor youth, for an adviser. Could was acceptable ; and in that sort of he marry a girl who had been a maddened fury which intoxication ballet - dancer, and who had come produces in some excitable temperainto an unexpected heritage? “ Estments, as Gustave reeled home that tu fou d'en douter ? " cried Edgar. night leaning on the arm of stouter “What a sublime occasion to mani- Edgar Ferrier, he insisted on going fest thy scorn of the miserable ban- out of his way to pass the house in alités of the bourgeoisie! It will which Isaura lived, and, pausing but increase thy moral power over under her window, gasped out some the people. And then think of the verses of a wild song, then much in money. What an aid to the cause ! vogue among the votaries of Felix What a capital for the launch ! Pyat, in which everything that exjournal all thine own! Besides, istent society deems sacred was rewhen our principles triumph-as viled in the grossest ribaldry. Haptriumph they must-what would be pily Isaura's ear heard it not. The marriage but a brief and futile cere- girl was kneeling by her bedside abmony, to be broken the moment sorbed in prayer.
Three days after the evening thus Isaura had no cause to mourn the spent by Gustave Rameau, Isaura dead, but she felt a shock in the was startled by a visit from M. de suddenness of this information; and Mauléon. She had not seen him in that sweet spirit of womanly comsince the commencement of the passion which entered so largely into siege, and she did not recognise her character, and made a part of him at first glance in his military her genius itself, she murmured uniform.
tearfully, “ The poor Signora ! Why “I trust you will pardon my in- could I not have been with her in trusion, Mademoiselle," he said, in illness ? She might then have the low sweet voice habitual to him learned to love me. And she died in his gentler moods, “but I thought in a convent, you say. Ah, her reit became me to announce to you the ligion was then sincere ! Her end decease of one who, I fear, did not was peaceful ?” discharge with much kindness the “Let us not doubt that, Madeduties her connection with you im- moiselle. Certainly she lived to posed. Your father's second wife, regret any former errors, and her afterwards Madame Selby, is no last thought was directed towards more. She died some days since in such atonement as might be in her a convent to which she had retired.” power. And it is that desire of atonement which now strangely “How can I do otherwise ? Did mixes me up, Mademoiselle, in your I not consent to share it when my destinies. In that desire for atone- heart shrank from the thought of ment, she left to my charge, as a our union ? And now when, if I kinsman distant indeed, but still, understand you rightly, I am free, perhaps, the nearest with whom she I cannot but think of what was was personally acquainted—a young best in him." ward. In accepting that trust, I “Alas! Mademoiselle, he is but find myself strangely compelled to one of many—a spoilt child of that hazard the risk of offending you." Circe, imperial Paris. Everywhere
“Offending me? How? Pray I look around, I see but corruption. speak openly."
It was hidden by the halo which “In so doing, I must utter the corruption itself engenders. The name of Gustave Rameau.”
halo is gone, the corruption is Isaura turned pale and recoiled, visible. Where is the old French but she did not speak
manhood ? Banished from the heart, “Did he inform me rightly that, it comes out only at the tongue. in the last interview with him three Were our deeds like our words, days ago, you expressed a strong Prussia would beg on her knee to desire that the engagement between be a province of France. Gustave him and yourself should cease; and is the fit poet for this generation. that you only, and with reluc- Vanity — desire to be known for tance, suspended your rejection of something, no matter what, no the suit he had pressed on you, in matter by whom — that is the consequence of his entreaties, and Parisian's leading motive power; of certain assurances as to the orator, soldier, poet, all alike. changed direction of the talents of Utterers of fine phrases; despising which we will assume that he is knowledge, and toil, and discipline; possessed ?"
railing against the Germans as “Well, well, Monsieur," ex- barbarians, against their generals as claimed Isa ura, her whole face bright- traitors; against God for not taking ening; "and you come on the part their part. What can be done to of Gustave Rameau to say that on weld this mass of hollow bubbles reflection he does not hold me to into the solid form of a nation—the our engagement—that in honour nation it affects to be? What and in conscience I am free?” generation can be born out of the
"I see," answered De Mauléon, unmanly race, inebriate with brag smiling, “ that I am pardoned al- and absinthe ? Forgive me this ready. It would not pain you if tirade; I have been reviewing the such were my instructions in the battalion I command. As for Gusembassy I undertake ?"
tave Rameau,-if we survive the “Pain me? No. But- " siege, and see once more a Govern"But what ?”
ment that can enforce order, and a “Must he persist in a course public that will refuse renown for which will break his mother's balderdash, I should not be surheart, and make his father deplore prised if Gustave Rameau were the hour that he was born ? Have among the prettiest imitators of you influence over him, M. de Lamartine's early “Meditations.' Mauleon ? If so, will you not exert Had he been born under Louis XIV. it for his good ?”
how loyal he would have been ! "You interest yourself still in What sacred tragedies in the style his fate, Mademoiselle ?”
of 'Athalie' he would have written,