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other novel with the same name upon the title except "La Logique des Passions," a work of smaller compass, but equally talented.
M. de Bussiere was (we throw our sketch into the past tense) a rich proprietor, with a hotel in the city, and a country-house between Saint Mande and Charenton. His solitude was cheered by the presence of his richly dowered ward, Juliette de Pontis, a young lady as beautiful as Venus, and as queenly and imperious as Juno. Mme. de Linant, his widowed sister, was blessed with a handsome and accomplished son, Anatole, full of love for Juliette, and of ambition to be prefect of a department under Napoleon the First. At present he is only Auditor of Public Accounts. His love was reciprocated; and so at proper time brother and sister concluded the match in the French mode, not troubling themselves much to ascertain whether the young people loved each other sufficiently to risk matrimony. It may be said here, that the bachelor brother was rather careless in religious matters, and the widow a devotee, with a foible for omens. She had almost broken off the match, because, just as the last words were spoken between her brother and herself, a spider, that had been executing some vibrations from the ceiling, swung himself on to her silk gown. Just then
"Anatole entered, his cheeks flushed and his cravat in his hand. He was as handsome as Antinous; his eyes sparkled with joy and health. His frame, supple and wellformed, had that easy grace which college gymnastics confer, and which is perfected by association with refined society. He respectfully saluted his mother, shook his uncle's hand, and then placed himself before the glass to adjust his neck-tie."
Uncle and nephew soon came to an understanding, and Madame went out into the park to sound Juliette on the affair. She saw her talking to Mons. Ernest de Meyran and Charlotte his sister under a large tree; and, as frequently occurs in French fiction, she placed herself behind the thick trunk, to ascertain whether the young lady favoured the pretensions of the young gentleman in company. Mlle. Charlotte was enlarging on her approaching marriage with her cousin, a captain of dragoons, and watching
the effect of her brilliant expectations on Juliette; but she abated her selfcomplacency not a little by the ensuing little speech, which will give the reader some insight into her character.
"A captain! cried she with disdain. If I ever wed an officer, he must be a general, or at least a captain of a man-of-war.
The general is a king in the camp--the captain in his ship, and the wife of one or the other a queen. Captain, indeed! Why, Charlotte, you must make your court to the colonel's wife! For my part, I would hardly submit to be lady of honour to the empress.' 'She is as proud as I suspected,' thought Mme. de Linant. But this,' continued Juliette, 'I should prefer to the other: loved, and who neither depended on colonel -a young, handsome husband, whom I
nor emperor, and with whom I could live in a fine old chateau, surrounded by my farmers, my vine-dressers, and my haymakers, and where I should have abundance of poultry and rabbits."
Mme. de Linant took her apart and found, by a little finesse, that she returned Anatole's love with a passion no less ardent and sincere. So the young people are left to explain themselves, and
"Anatole was forced to a sudden explanation. 'Juliette,' said he, extending his hand, 'tell me frankly whether I may pass my life by your side, or look on you to-day for the last time.' A violent alternative,' answered she. 'Must we hate, if we happen not to love? However,' added she, fixing her large eyes on Anatole, 'perhaps, you are right. So let us love each other to the end. I have made the promise to your mother.' . 'Ah, Juliette, what a happy moment! How gladly shall we recall this day! I vow to be ever the most submissive and most devoted husband.' 'As devoted as you will, Anatole, but I require not submission. What I particularly desire is confidence. Be confiding and frank; that will be sufficient. Love is not love without confidence.' 'Fear nothing: you shall penetrate every fold of my heart. Should I ever possess a secret, it shall be no secret from you-you shall be my confidant.' 'Have you no secret at this moment ?' 'I had one this morning, but it is no secret now, to you at least.'"
Juliette was not a Griselda, and she dreaded being sought on account of her riches. She, and her betrothed, and Ernest, and Charlotte de Meyran, were, shortly after this, taking an airing in the park. Charlotte was a young and blooming Hebe, with soft,
languishing eyes, and the unfortunate idea passed through Juliette's mind -"If this girl had some thousands more for her dowry, perhaps Anatole would prefer her to me." Now, Charlotte was a selfish, unprincipled young lady, with the very least objection in the world to seduce the bridegroom from his allegiance. And by the merest chance Anatole's hand and hers touched for a moment, and she at once withdrew hers, and her cheeks became like two cherries. Anatole was scarcely aware of the accident, but Juliette's eyes were those of a lynx. The two gentlemen were discussing game, when
"Charlotte languidly exclaimed, 'Oh, my ether-flaçon, my ether-flaçon !-I feel so faint!' She put her hand into her pocket, but prompt as lightning Juliette laid her hand on Charlotte's to prevent her taking it out. 'Ether!' said she, have you ether about you? Now, I know why I have been suffering ever since I got into this carriage -since this morning—indeed, ever since you came, Mademoiselle. Ether almost kills Eh! what has happened?' cried Anatole, much dismayed by the unusually spirited dialogue and gestures. 'Are you ill,
"If the Auditor of Accounts had cast his eyes on Juliette he might have asked her the same question. Mlle. de Pontis's lips had become livid; drops of moisture trickled
down her forehead. One of her hands held Charlotte's arm as in a vice, the other was seized with an involuntary trembling. Do not take out your hand, Mademoiselle; let me not see this odious flaçon. I shall die if you do.' 'I do not understand you, Juliette,' said Anatole. 'If Mademoiselle Charlotte has need of ether, why should you prevent it?' 'Be silent, Monsieur,' said Juliette. 'Attend to your own affairs. I tell you that ether would kill me.' 'But, my dear Juliette, that ether is a most powerful anti-spasmodic, and calms instead of irritating;-you need it yourself.'
"These words appeared to Juliette a bitter sarcasm. She fancied that Anatole was exercising his raillery on the anger to which she had abandoned herself, and he could perceive a bitter smile pass over her lips. Meanwhile Mlle. Charlotte, dismayed by this violence of which she alone rightly suspected the cause, leaned her head against the corner of the barouche, half closed her eyes, and uttered little plaintive sighs. M. Anatole, who had not the slightest suspicion of the growing hatred that had sprung up between the two young ladies, and supposed in all good faith that ether might calm their irritated nerves, sought to disengage Juliette's hand.
"What!' cried she, with indignation.
Will you proceed to violence? Will you take the liberty of laying hands on me? M. Ernest, I hope that you will not permit it.' M. Meyran, who till then had not interfered, declared, with much dignity, that he was Anatole, Mlle. Charlotte, you see, is in entirely at her service. But, Juliette,' said danger of swooning. Ether, I assure you, will do no harm, but the contrary. were musk, indeed!' 'Picard,' cried Juliette to the coachman, 'Stop. Open the door; I must get out; I will return to the house on foot.' But the sky, gradually lowering since the morning, was now sending down torrents of rain, and Picard, lending a deaf ear to his young mistress, turned his steeds and sped home. Juliette was trembling with rage.
"M. Ernest then took up his parable and said, very calmly and politely, to his sister, Charlotte, it is not the question whether ether is injurious or not. Mlle. de Pontis dislikes it; so take the bottle and fling it out.' 'But, brother!' 'But, sister, you are not ill; or if you were, it is passed; do what I say.' "That is to say,' rejoined Anatole, warmly, 'you are ill; throw the remedy out at the window.' sir,' replied Ernest, with ceremonious politeness, to point out her duty to my
"Juliette had loosed her hold on Charlotte, and placed her handkerchief to her nose to preserve herself from the dangerous exhalation. Mlle. Charlotte gave way. She fumbled in her pocket, pulled out her handkerchief, then a little note-book in Russia leather, then a pincushion fully furnished, then a confectionery-box full of gum-lozenges, then nothing at all, then she turned her pocket inside out. Ah, my goodness!' cried she, 'I have left my façon in Paris. Now I recollect, I locked it in my work-box yesterday evening.'
"Juliette's countenance passed from white to red, her ears grew purple, her temples throbbed, something fiery hot seemed to have seized her heart. She resembled a beautiful tigress who had fallen into a trap. Anatole, feeling himself somewhat hurt, did
not show much forbearance. When he saw there was not the slightest atom of ether about Charlotte or in the carriage he burst out a-laughing, and cried, 'Ah, ether kills me!-ether kills me! Juliette, your imagination is too lively, and really you owe an apology to Mlle. Charlotte; you have bruised her arm.' 'I shall trouble you to present my excuses; they will be the more welcome for coming from your mouth.'
"They had reached home. Picard opened the carriage door. Juliette sprang out on the lower step, and, before disappearing in the vestibule, she darted a glance at Anatole so full of hate and derision that he felt in a moment all the love in his heart replaced by the very contrary passion. 'I have never met contempt from any one,'
thought he, yet this girl despises me. She has humbled me before M Meyran and his sister. She owes me a reparation, and I can wait for it.' Consulting his resentment alone, he quitted the Bussiere Folly, walked to Saint Mande, and took a cab to Paris."*
As ill-fortune would have it, another suitor paid a visit to the Bussiere Folly at the same time, namely, M. Norbert, a Lieutenant in the Guards, a fine personable dragoon, but with little pretension to mental qualifications. Juliette, intent on her wrongs, agreed to become Mme. Norbert without hesitation. She suspected him to be a mauvais sujet and faithless in his attachments; but she soon discovered, by woman's ready penetration, that he was not possessed of much firmness of purpose, while she was thoroughly conscious of her own determined will.
Norbert was not much better nor worse than other officers under Napoleon I. So he considered it an indispensable matter to have Mlle. Olympia, of the corps-de-ballet, under his serene protection. She heard of his approaching marriage, and while he and his brother officers were discussing the approaching change in his life, and what the dancer would think of it, a servant announced Mlle. Olympia.
"When people speak of a wolf,' said a witty cuirassier, 'they are sure to see his tail.' Mlle. Olympia entered with a smile on her lips. She was a charming little body, light as a sylph, all grace, and her countenance boasted three dimples, and eyes sparkling like carbuncles. She said she had come from rehearsal, and merely followed M. Norbert's boy as he was fetching an omelette that perfumed the whole Rue Castiglione. She would have followed that omelette to the end of the world. Besides, her success that morning had thrown her into transports. M. Gardel praised her revolutions and her pirouettes, and now she was dying of hunger. M, Norbert seeing no trace of displeasure on her features, took courage, and gallantly invited her to try the omelette that smelled so charmingly. Mlle. Olympia would like some oysters; she then tried game; then a piece of roast duck; she had a weakness on the subject of champagne. It was the town rat in the fable devouring the remains of Ortolans on the
Turkey carpet. It was incredible that so much food could be stowed away in so small a body. When she had overcome mighty mass of eatables, she amused herself nipping a Savoy cake.
"Ah, my handsome Norbert!' she commenced, are you going to be married? Branchu told it to Vestris, Vestris told it to Clotilde, and Clotilde told it to little Marie, who told it to me at rehearsal.' 'That's the way they keep secrets at the opera,' said a cuirassier. 'We are people of honour at the opera,' said Olympia, rather proudly. The two cuirassiers, who had more faith in the honour of the Imperial Guard than that of the opera, burst out into a rather uncivil laugh.
The beginning of the battle,' muttered the Captain between his teeth.
"But Mademoiselle was not in a fighting humour. Her limbs were fatigued, and she had eaten heartily. She was determined to employ mild measures—neither cries, nor tears, nor reproaches, nor explosions-nothing, in fact, of what might remind you of the ladies of that establishment where fish is sold. Those means would not
suit one who belonged to the ballet, and might one day become the leader. 'Norbert,' Juliette this morning do not delay your said she, if you have not seen Mademoiselle visit; she has received a packet which concerns you.' A packet concerning me! what have you done, wretch? Very little. Somebody went to Father Girard, the letter-writer of the Rue des Frondeurs-he is secretary to all the corps-de-ballet-and dictated a little bit of biography to him;
"At these words Beau Norbert grew scarlet with rage. He was rough with the ladies of Olympia's class, though he would lavish diamonds on them He rose from table, and walked across the room for his riding whip; but the two cuirassiers got up to prevent the chastisement, and the Captain took Mademoiselle under his protection. The danseuse feeling that she was in no danger with three warriors for lifeguards, continued biting her Savoy-cake, and sipping her champagne with perfect sang froid."
The result may be stated in a few words. Captain Volski, a much poorer man than Lieutenant Norbert, though his superior officer, saw Mademoiselle home in safety, and Juliette gave the trembling Norbert the pestilent note unread, as it happened to be anonymous-so she affirmed at least.
"Ah ha!' said the joycus Lieutenant to himself. 'Now, Mademoiselle Olympia;
Portions of this extract will jar on our long-established notions of French politeness. We would have willingly softened down some asperities, but felt it a duty to give an honest translation.
go write anonymous letters and compose biographies. We are above these little affairs of the coulisses. Ah, my sylphide, you have tasted my champagne for the last time you have swallowed your last omelette with me.""
M. Anatole was so possessed with rage against his betrothed, that he was completely reconciled to her marriage with the bold dragoon, who, he hoped, would make her life uncomfortable.
"She is rich,” said he," and must have
slaves all the world must bow before her. Heaven bless that façon of ether, that sudden faintness felt by the amiable Charlotte, even that storm that permitted Mlle. de Pontis to reveal her frightful character. If looks could inflict death, where should we be all at this moment? Oh, ay! M. Ernest must be excepted. In abandoning his sister, he found favour with this fury. Oh, for the proconsulate of Asia! (let the reader keep in mind the ambition of the speaker.) I would not unite my destiny with that of Mademoiselle Juliette. She would make me purchase her riches too dear. She dreads ether-ether kills her! Be it so! But tell me how a façon of ether, left behind in Paris, could do her any harm in the wood of Vincennes? As much as to say, I have tilled lands, I have meadows, I have woods, I own hotels in Paris, my yearly revenues are immense. Bear with my caprices; I am so high above you! Not I, indeed, Madame!"
Anatole, Madame de Linant, Charlotte, and Olympia attended the marriage ceremony in the church of St. Roch. Olympia placed herself in the way by which the bride and bridegroom left the altar; and Norbert was so vexed by the insolent glances she bestowed on him, that he contrived to overturn a chair as he passed her, and hurt her leg. She cried out, and the circumstance did not escape the attentive eyes and ears of Juliette. It came to the turn of Captain Volski again to conduct Olympia home.
"There was considerable disturbance in the church, caused by the noise of the fall and the cry. They asked on every side, 'What is the matter?' and got for answer, 'A woman who has fainted;' and a fishwife volunteered this information, 'It's a woman I know, that lost father and mother. See, she is in mourning (Olympia had put on black for the occasion). That handsome officer gave her a promise of marriage, and there he is now, married to another. Nothing more common.' All these promises of marriage,' said a lady of the
Halle (fish-market), ought to be on stamped paper, and made payable like promissory-notes. Oh, my! if a man played me such a trick, these five fingers would be his end. Ah! now they are taking her away to the watch-house. That's the way
they always treat poor people.””
The fish lady's wrath was excited by the circumstance of Captain Volski assisting Olympia out of the church. M. Maillet, the physician to the opera, paid her a visit at her lodyings, and pronounced her unable to resume her duties for some days.
"Mr. Maillet was a man of about fortyfive years of age, and had preserved the habits and appearance of a young man, and fluttered about the coulisses of the opera as light as Zephyr Paul hovered about the nymphs of Diana, or the companions of Flora. Always dressed with the utmost care, he retained the manners of the old Court. The sword and laced hat excepted, he was a genuine marquis. His pockets were always full of pastilles, jujubes, gumlozenges, and amber-licorice. He felt for the ills of prima donnas and leading danseuses with a charity truly angelic; and if he was a little rough with the chorussingers and the ordinary members of the corps-de-ballet, it was because a singinggirl at fifty francs a month could by no means possess a throat as delicate as the actress of 20,000 francs, nor the tibia of a mere figurante deserve the delicate attention of that of a sylphide, who only touched the ground through complaisance. However, he was always interested by a pretty face, and frequently chucked Mlle. Olympia under the chin, and paid a compliment to her dimples. His new patient kept her lodgings in the best order, had her window-stools filled with flower-pots, and gourmand only when she had nothing to was strictly frugal at home. She was a
low without injury a quantity of champay for the entertainment, and could swalpagne sufficient to make a man unmistakably tipsy. Neither caprices nor passions could turn her from the path she had selected. Incapable of love, or other fantasy, she looked on her lovers merely as people destined to enrich her, or to insure her success at the theatre."
Captain Volski, being desirous of her friendship, was given to understand that he would be entitled to her gratitude by spoiling Lieutenant Norbert's beauty. Juliette, dreading the vengeance of the dancer--for she had, at one glance only, divined her perverse nature--obtained from her cousin the war-minister, without consulting her husband, a congé for six months, which she intended to pass with him
in Italy. But just at the moment Buonaparte gave orders for an inroad on Germany. The brave dragoon was as pliant to his wife's will as a kid glove; but the idea of taking his ease while his comrades were on active duty so irritated him, that he tore up his writ of leave, and was hastening to the bureau of the war-minister to express his determination, when he was met by Captain Volski.
"Lieutenant,' said he, 'I have just learned that you are deserting the colours as we are entering on the campaign. I assure you that I will not allow it. There shall be no example of cowardice in the company so long as I am at its head. Why have you asked leave of absence without consulting me?'
'Norbert was not a patient man, and the tone of the Captain was not such as a man of courage could brook. Anger seized him; his cheeks reddened, his eyes flashed, he ground his teeth; and shaking a riding whip which he had in his hand, he struck the Captain a violent blow across the face."
Of course a meeting was inevitable. Volski was the better swordsman, and intended only to inflict a wound on his adversary. His weapon was the regulation sword, but Norbert had provided himself with a blade of Damascus.
"The combat could not last long, and from the very attitudes of the champions, Norbert's second judged that it would be bloody. It lasted long enough, however, through Volski's fear of giving only a slight wound, and then being obliged to stop. The desire of a complete victory be
came at last so strong, that by a dangerous manoeuvre he laid himself open, to induce Norbert to quit his guard. In effect the steel of the latter took his left shoulder, and laid it open to the bone; but his own, by a straight thrust, passed right through the breast of his antagonist. At the same moment a noise among the boughs behind Volski made him turn his head, and Nor
bert, lowering his weapon, had still strength
enough to pass it through his body. The two swords being fixed, the nerveless hands let go the hilts, the men reeled and fell lifeless on the grass, slippery with their blood."
And this catastrophe was entirely owing to the spite of a worthless dancer, and a moment's impatience on the part of Volski. A few words quietly exchanged with his lieutenant -would have rendered the meeting impossible. What a hard service is kept in the devil's institutions.
Some eighteen months later, when time had softened in some degree the grief inflicted on her by the death of her husband, and when the mutual feelings of herself and Anatole were even more embittered than at first, she prevented his marriage with the
soft-mannered but selfish Charlotte.
A relative of hers, a M. Herbois, from Aveyron, had written a heavy pamphlet on the necessity of manuring the light soil of that country, and besought his fair cousin to procure for him, from the minister, the cross of the legion of honour. She informed him that his only chance was to marry, Napoleon having such a dislike to old bachelors.
Charlotte's father, being a determined gambler, had refused his daughter's hand to Anatole, as he could not spare a dowry from the demands of the gambling table. But M. Herbois was prepared to take any one recommended by the influential Juliette, without a farthing. Mlle. de Meyran would have preferred the handsome, gifted, ambitious Anatole; but finding no alternative between vulgar M. Herbois and poverty, she obeyed her father. Anatole loved the cunning young lady well enough, but his ambition did not sleep, and he knew if he carried her off against the will of her father, and made her his wife, he would incur the Emperor's displeasure, and lose his public appointment. Charlotte allowed him a parting interview, and effectually discouraged any proceeding of the kind by seeming to wish to recommend it. She