« ПредишнаНапред »
“To the Marquis de Secqville." I grew better the superioress was very
“Hey! Why that is the very gen- angry with me, and told me it was very tleman of whom Monsieur de Blasse
wicked, which it may have been, but mare told us such wicked stories the indeed I could not help it; and she other day."
gave ine in charge to sister Eugenie to “Did he?” she said, with a sigh. bring me to a sense of my sinfulness, "Well, I often feared he was a prodigal; seeing that I ought not to have loved but heaven, I trust, will reclaim him."
any one but him to whom “ But do you not love him?"
trothed." “NoI never saw him but once." “ Alas! poor Julie, I suppose she “ And are you happy?"
was a harsh preceptress also. “Yes, quite happy now; but, dear “ No, indeed ; on the contrary, she Lucille, I was very miserable once. was very kind and gentle. She was You must know that shortly after we so young--- only twenty-three- dear were betrothed, when I was placed in sister Eugenie! --and so pretty, though the convent at Rouen, there was a nice she was very pale, and oh, so thin; and girl there, of whom I soon grew very
when we were both alone in her room fond. Her brother, Henri, used to she used to let me tell her all my story, come almost every day to see her. and she used to draw her hand over He was about three years older than her pretty face, and cry so bitterly in I, and so brave and beautiful. I
return, and kiss me, and shake me by did not know that I loved him until
the hands, that I often thought she his sister went away, and his visits, of must once have loved some one also course, ceased ; and when I could not
herself, and was weeping because she see him any more, I thought my heart could never see him again ; so I grew would break.”
to love her very much; but I did not “ Poor little Julie !"
know all that time that sister Eugenie “I was afraid of being observed was dying. The day I took leave of when I wept, but I used to cry to my- her she seemed as if she was going to self all night long, and wish to die, as tell me something about herself, and I my mother used to fear long ago I think now if I had pressed her she would do before I came to be as old as would. I am very sorry I did not, for I am now; and I could not even hear it would have been pleasant to me as of him, for my friend, his sister, had long as I live to have given the dear married, and was living near Caen, and sister any comfort, and show how truly 80 we were quite separated.”
I loved her. But it was not so, and “ You were, indeed, very miserable, only four months after we parted my poor little friend."
she died; but I hope we may meet, “ Yes; but at last, after a whole where I am sure she is gone, in heaven, year, she was passing through Rouen, and then she will know how much I and so she came to the convent to see loved her, and how good, and gentle,
Oh, when I saw her my heart and kind I always thought her." fluttered so that I thought I should Poor little Julie shed tears at these have choked. I don't know why it words. was, but I was afraid to ask for him ; “Now I do not love the Marquis," but at last, finding she would not speak she continued, “nor I am sure does of him at all, which I thought was he love mc.
It will be but a match of ill-natured, though indeed it was not, I convenience. I suppose he will condid succeed, and asked her how he was; tinue to follow his amusements and I then all at once she began to cry; for will live quietly at home; so after all he was dead; and knowing that, I for- it will make but little change to me, got everything-I lost sight of every- and I will still be as I am now, the thing—they said I fainted. And when widow of poor Henri." I awoke again there were a good many “You are so tranquil, dear Julie, of the sisters and some of the pen- because he is dead. Happy is it for sioners round me, and my friend still you that he is in his grave. Come, let weeping; and the superioress was there, us return." too, but I did not heed them, but
They began to walk towards the only said I would not believe he was cottage. dead. Then I was very ill for more “ Ånd how would you spend your than a month, and my uncle came to days, Julie, had you the choice of your see me; but I don't think he knew
own way of life?" what had made me so; and as soon as "I would take the veil. I would
like to be a nun, and to dic early, like The view of the chateau itself, when sister Eugenie."
at last, through those dense and extenLucille looked at her with undis. sive cinctures of sylvan scenery, you guised astonishment.
had penetrated to its site, was, from “ Take the veil!' she exclained, almost every point, picturesque and “So young, so pretty. Parbleu, I even beautiful. would rather work in the fields or beg Successive terraces of almost regal my bread on the high-roads. Take extent, from above whose marble balthe veil—no, no, no. Marguerite told lustrades and rows of urns the tufted me I had a great aunt who took the green of rare and rich plants, in a long, veil, and three years after died mad in gorgeous wreath of foliage, was peepa convent in Paris. Ah, it is a sad life, ing, ran, tier above tier, conducting Julie, a sad life !"
the eye, among statues and graceful It was the wish of the Fermier-Gene- shrubs, to the gables and chimncys ral that his nuptials should be cele- of the quaint but vast chateau itself. brated with as much privacy as possi. The forecourt upon which the great ble. The reader, therefore, will lose avenue debouched was large enough nothing by our dismissing the cere- for the stately muster of a royal levee ; mony as rapidly as may be. Let it and at intervals, upon the balustrade suffice to say, that it did take place, which surrounded it, were planted a and to describe the arrangements with long file of stone statues, each originwhich it was immediately succeeded. ally holding a lamp, which, however,
Though Monsieur Le Prun had the altered habits of the place had long become the purchaser of the Charre- since dismounted. bourg estate, he did not choose to live If the place had been specially conupon it. About eight leagues from trived, as it was said to have been, for Paris he possessed a residence better privacy, it could not have been better suited to his tastes and plans. It was planned. It was literally buried in an said to have once belonged to a scion umbrageous labyrinth of tufted forest. of royalty, who had contrived it with Even the great avenue commanded no a view to realising upon earth a sort view of the chateau, but abutted upon of Mabomedan paradise. Nothing in- a fonntain, backed by a towering screen deed could have been better devised of foliage, where the approach divided, for luxury as well as seclusion. From and led by a double road to the court some Romish legend attaching to its
we have described. In fact, except site, it had acquired the name of the from the domain itself, the
chiu. Chateau des Anges, a title which un- neys of the chateau were invisible for happily did not harmonise with the a circuit of miles around, the neartraditions more directly connected with est point from which a glance of its the building itself.
roof could be caught being the heights It was a very spacious structure, situated a full league away. some of its apartments were even mag- If the truth must be told, then, Monnificent, and the entire fabric bore sieur Le Prun was conscious of some overpowering evidences, alike in its disparity in point of years between costly materials and finish, and in the himself and his beautiful wife; and details of its design, of the prodigal although he affected the most joyous and voluptuous magnificence to which confidence upon the subject, he was it owed its existence.
nevertheless as ill at ease as most old It was environed by lordly forests, fellows under similar circumstances. circle within circle, which were pierced It soon became, therefore, perfectly by long straight walks diverging from plain, that the palace to which the common centres, and almost losing 'wealthy bridegroom had transported themselves in the shadowy distance. his beautiful wife was, in truth, but Studded, too, with a series of intermina- one of those enchanted castles in which ble fish-ponds, encompassed by hedges enamoured genii in fairy legends are deof beech, yew, and evergreens of enor- scribed as guarding their captive prin. mous height and impenetrable density, cesses--a gorgeous and luxurious priunder whose emerald shadows water- son, to which there was no access, from fowl of all sorts, from the princely which no escape, and where, amidst swan down to the humble water-hen, all the treasures and delights of a senwere sailing and gliding this way and suous paradise, the captive beauty lanthat, like rival argosies upon the seas. guished and saddened.
OUR PORTRAIT GALLERY.NO. LX.
Tue name of Kean has a “ stirring sound" in association with the annals of the stage. The brilliant career of Edmund Kean, the father, dazzling and eccentric as that of a comet, with its melancholy close, is still vivid in the remembrance of his contemporaries, and by them as vividly conveyed to the present generation. Charles Kean, the son, and subject of the present memoir, inberiting the genius and success of his parent, but avoiding the fatal improvidence by which both were rendered unavailing, has, while yet within the meridian of life, placed himself at the head of a profession for which he was neither trained nor intended, realised a competent independence by his own exertions, and won an honorable estimation in the eyes of all who are acquainted with him. It is not given to many to achieve these multiplied advantages ; nor have they been gained in the present instance without trial, privation, and vicissitude. Scenes of exciting interest have been passed through, and many difficulties encountered. A slight detail of these events can scarcely fail to amuse the careless and instruct the reflecting reader.
Charles John Kean is an Irishman. He was born at Waterford, on the 18th of January, 1811. His father at the time formed one of the company attached to the theatre in that city. His mother, Mary Chambers, was also a native of Waterford, descended from the highly respectable family of Cuffe, long settled in that county. Miss Chambers, with a sister, had, from family embarrassments, been induced to attempt the stage as a means of livelihood, and first became acquainted with Edmund Kean, while performing in the Cheltenham theatre, under the management of Mr. Beverley. They were married at Stroud, in Gloucestershire, in 1808, he being under twenty, and several years junior to his wife. They had another and elder son, named Howard, born at Swansea, for whom Charles has sometimes been mistaken. He died of water on the brain, at Dor. chester, in February, 1814, a short time before his father appeared at Drury-lane, not having completed his fifth year; but even at that early age remarkable for his beauty, and
promise of theatrical talent, having performed occasionally with his father in infantine characters.
When Charles Kean was born, and for a considerable time after, the fortunes of his parents were at the lowest possible ebb; they had barely a subsistence for the present, and were almost hopeless of the future. His father, toiling with the endless drudgery of an itinerant life, acted every night in play, interlude, and farce—not unfrequently Richard III. and Harlequin on the same evening; and during the day endeavoured to eke out a scanty and doubtful salary of some five-and-twenty shillings a-week, by giving lessons in boxing, fencing, dancing, and riding. Prejudice has sometimes designated the stage as an idle avocation.” Those who think so would do well to try it experimentally for a short period, and thus test the accuracy of their opinion by the soundest of all applications.
At this time none sawin Edmund Kean the undistinguished and somewhat insignificant country actor—the future prop of Drury-lane—the magnet of attraction—the star before whose brightness all rival influences were to become pale. The genius was unquestionably there, but the opportunity had not yet arrived. It came at last. In 1814, Kean obtained the long sought for opening in London, and the family entered the metropolis in the most legitimate of Thespian conveyances a wagon!
Now the scene changed rapidly and effectually. Success, that potent wand of the enchanter, at once established the great tragedian on the pinnacle of fame and the high road to opulence. “Now, Mary," said he to his wife, "you shall ride in your own carriage.” The doors of the rich and influential were thrown open to him; he might have chosen his own society; his praises filled