« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
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 transadded 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 inquired for the Comtess rage, 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 enveloped duchesses at the least. But this mo- 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 melancho- added a piece of gold for the trouble ly thoughts, through the lower town, she had given him in coming to the over the stone bridge across the hotel. Aiter 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 ened a little way, to where the road ter into her service. makes the second turning, he met the “ You will see all France,” she said ; lady in the gold-spangled veil in lively “I will give you more than you make conversation with her friend, and loud by your trade. You shall be private in her admiration of the prospect ; for secretary either to me or my lord-my from that point the view of Namur is husband.” very beautiful, as it lies between the This was said in such a soft sweet two mountains, surrounded and crossed tone that Le Blond was nearly temptby 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 such a step was impossible. And 13 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 opinhe dealt in lace, she expressed a wish ion of the return due by her son for to buy, named the hotel where she re- all her kindness, than of any thing 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 inquire 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 hontheir respectful inquiries; and on
Driven to despair, Le Blond went ken hearted. The Countess had left next day to offer himself to the Countess, Namur ! but he came back to his shop half bro
The apparition was soon forgotten ; out. It was no small addition to his but old Madame Le Blond did not forget gratification that his new dwelling hadir Mademoiselle Paulet. “Custom at last a small garden attached to it, for he was makes all things tolerable.” This prov. an enthusiast in his love for plants and erb was repeated in Le Blond's ear day flowers. The garden was surrounded by after day. Day after day he denied its on all sides by those of his neighbours truth. In this way a whole year was Little hedges, and even flower borders
, passed ; and then other sorrows came were the only divisions between them; r. in addition. Louis XIV. had taken it so that they presented the appearance into his head to be a great man; even of one large garden, instead of nuiner. ? already people called him Louis the ous small ones. In the portion belong. Great; but what will not people do to ing to Le Blond, there was a bower of please an individual with an army of wild jasmin. Here it was that he ren two hundred thousand men ? At last, solved to spend his happiest hours, and a in the year 1692, he advanced in per- to devote himself to the study of Ital. : son to besiege Namur, and, with a ian, in order to be able, like other silk few waggon loads of powder, blew merchants, to write to his corres. all Madame Le Blond's plans of mar- pondents in their own language. The rying her son to the silversmith's daugh- splendid house of which he had hired rer into the air. For after an attack the ground-floor, belonged to the Preof eight days, he carried the city; and sident of the Sovereign Court, who after two-and-twenty days he carried troubled himself very little about his the castles ; and Madame Le Blond tenant. Every thing went on delight
the extremity of fully. The ladies, who had formerly her fears, and died. Le Blond was shown so much favour to the wares infinitely obliged to the French mon- of the handsome laceman, did not dearch for his timely interposition ; but at sert him in his new position. They the same time his grief for his poor were constantly dropping in to rummage mother was sincere. That careful his stock, and make their purchases, manager left behind her a far more con- and have a few minutes conversationsiderable succession than he had ex- Le Blond, indeed, appeared to grow pected. Without his knowledge, she handsomer every day ; but the ladies had scraped together sundry rouleaus of maintained that his silks and laces gold, which enabled the young man to were the best in Namur, and his carry a design he had long entertained prices the most reasonable. Happy, into execution, namely, to remove into happy Le Blond !-But, on the other a more spacious ware-room. In about hand, his 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
grew ill from
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 Egyption darkness. Le had taken his Italian rudiments, and Blond stood at the entrance of the left her own. He scarcely ventured bower 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 soon French was nearly unintelligible, and hurried through the cross alley and terribly mixed with Italian idioms. reached the street of St. Fiacre. The But they made out they were neigh- great house was soon discovered. On bours
. The garden that joined the the ground-floor was a merchant's foot of Le Blond's belonged to the shop, and there, in great let:ers on a great house, whose front looked to. black board, he read, “Mesdemoi. wards 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 bad 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 Italiana 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 tili and disappeared. Le Blond stood she asked me for the book herself? nearly rooted to the ground, and was And which of the sisters Buonvicini scarcly aware of what had passed. is Jacqueline? Who can tell whether He seated himself on the bench she she is at home? And besides, wouldn't had left-he dreamed-he raved as if it be giving up the grammar, the only intoxicated, and was profuse in com- chance I have of ever seeing her plimentary speeches to the vanished again ?" In the midst of these rumibeauty, as if she were still before him. nations he was long past the palace And now, for the first time, he cursed on the other side; but with every with all his heart his ignorance of Ital- step his anxiety to call upon Jacquelian , and swore by all the saints to de. line grew stronger
. Again and again vote himself to the study of the gram- he returned, and always lost heart mar, that he might tell his neighbour at the door. At last, when he had
he was not exactly certain what. wearied himself with his wanderings But when he seized the grammar, he up the street and down the street, he
fairly put the grammer into his pocket, want of impudence to his little back and betook himself-grumbling at his parlour again.
The good and modest Le Blond communicative about the other Jac. soon discovered some gleams of_com- queline had left the jasmine 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 4 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 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 inquiry 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 to them was, to make the captivating which the jasmine bower belonged, Mademoiselle Buonvicini, with all was inhabited by my Lord the Presiconvenient expedition, into Mademe 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 connection of the which she was quite able to translate sisters Buonvicini, but was the only into the French J'aime. But some daughter 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 seige 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 comand 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 rose, rank of his father—would never have both the young people kept constantly ventured on such an undertaking as to looking towards the arbour ; one lay siege to the heart of the daughter watched for the other's appearance, of one of the Grand Monarque's most only that they might restore the gramfamous generals. Poor Julius was no
mars; but as neither of them liked to politician, and had never even heard be the first to go, three days were of General De Fano's name. Jacque- wasted in useless expectation. Jacline, on the other hand—for since we queline 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 jasmine as the sun was rising, the bashful Le bower. And as he went to the win
dow, 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 rushed forth, the the studious propensities of the young grammar under his arm, and pretende people were most exemplary. In spite ed to be busy examining his flowers; of the earliness of the hour, neither of keeping his eye however attentively them was ever one instant behind 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 She approached the arbour,-he their attention occasionally flagged, walked towards it at the same time. and Jacqueline herself occasionally Heavens ! how both began to blush laid her forefinger on the lower line, as they mutually showed the borrowed instead of the upper. On those occa. volumes ! --at last however the expla- sions it was of course necessary for nation 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 that 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, and pity; and nothing in the world could gazing most strenuously on the book be more natural than the offer to be of whose lines neither of them could perassistance to each other in their stu- ceive 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 unPestalozzi 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 "The morning hour
should be the teacher one day in ItaBrings golden dower."
lian, and he the next in French. Le
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 jasmine 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 expeby any accident, Le Blond was touched rienced when accidentally touched by by Jacqueline's arm; or, if in the Jacqueline's hand, Le Blond thought morning breeze, one of her curls was it Letter to take hold of it at once, and waved against his cheek, a sort of keep it close prisoner in his own. A abudder passed through him; he forgot tremor ran through the captive thus 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 á 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 them place, came in contact with that of her seemed to consider tedious, Le Blond pupil, all of a sudden she lost the commenced his lessonpower of distinguishing a single syl “ Present time, lo amo.'"
other occasions It was fortunate he had to wait for having no cause to complain of blind- the translation, for one other syllable he ness. But to be sure not much can fonnd it impossible to utter. be expected in a first lesson, so they
Jacqueline sank her eyes to the
, though on