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city ; I felt no consolation in the thought that I was unknown and unsuspected. The heavy weight of the indignant accusation almost crushed me. Its falsehood I knew, and yet, could I dare to disprove it? Could I bazard the consequences of an avowal, which all my subsequent pleadings could never obliterate. Even were my innocence established in one point, what a position did it reduce me to in every other.
These struggles must have manifested themselves strongly in my looks, for the Marquise, with all her self-occupation, remarked how ill I seemed. “I see, sir," cried she, “ that all the ravages of war have not steeled your heart against true piety; my tale has moved you strongly." I muttered something in concurrence, and she went on. “ Hap. pily for you, you were but a child when such scenes were happening! Not, indeed, that childhood was always unstained in those days of blood; but you were, as I understand, the son of a Garde du Corps, one of those loyal men who sealed their devotion with their life. Were you in Paris then ?”
“Yes, madam," said I, briefly.
“I was quite alone, madam; an or. phan on both sides."
“What was your mother's family. name?"
Here was a puzzle ; but at a hazardI resolved to claim her who should sound best to the ears of La Marquise. “La Lasterie, madam," said I.
“ La Lasterie de La Vignoble-a most distinguished house, sir. Pro. vençal, and of the purest blood. Au. guste de La Lasterie married the daughter of the Duke de Miriancourt, a cousin of my husband's, and there was another of them who went as ambassador to Madrid."
I knew none of them, and I supposed I looked as much.
“ Your mother was, probably, of the elder branch, sir;" asked she.
I had to stammer out a most lamentable confession of my ignorance.
- Not know your own kinsfolk, sir; not your nearest of blood !" cried she, in amazement. “ General, have you heard this strange avowal ? or is it possible that my ears have deceived
“And his son wears the uniform of those who slew him !"
« Of a French soldier, madam, proud of the service he belongs to; glorying to be one of the first army in Europe.”
“An army without a cause is a ban. ditti, sir. Your soldiers, without loyalty, are without a banner.”
“We have a country, madam.”
“I must protest against this discussion going further," said the General blandly, while in a lower tone he whis. pered something in her ear.
"Very true, very true," said she ; “I had forgotten all that. Mons. de Tiernay, you will forgive me this warmth. An old woman, who has lost nearly everything in the world, may have the privilege of bad temper accorded her. We are friends now, I hope," added she, extending her hand, and, with a smile of most gracious meaning, beckoning to me to sit beside her on the sofa.
Once away from the terrible theme of the Revolution, she conversed with much agreeability; and her niece having reappeared, the conversation became animated and pleasing. Need I say with what interest I now regarded Mademoiselle; the object of all my boyish devotion; the same whose pale features I had watched for many an hour in the dim half light of the little chapel; her whose image was never absent from my thoughts waking or sleeping; and now again appearing before me in all the grace of coming womanhood!
Perhaps to obliterate any impression of her aunt's severity--perhaps it was mere manner--but I thought there was a degree of anxiety to please in her bearing towards me. She spoke, too, as though our acquaintance was to be continued by frequent meetings, and dropped hints of plans that implied constant intercourse. Even excursions into the neighbourhood she spoke of; when, suddenly stopping, she said, “ But these are for the season of spring, and before that time, Mons. de Tiernay will be far away."
“Who can tell that?" said I. «I would seem to be forgotten by my comrades."
" Then you must take care to do that which may refresh their memory," said she pointedly; and, before I could question her more closely as to her meaning, the General had risen to take
“ Please to remember, madam,' said I, submissively, “ the circumstances in which I passed my infancy. My father fell by the guillotine."
“ Madame La Marquise was some hours of the fortress ; and, if you can, what more tart than usual,” said he to concede a little now and then to the me, as we ascended the cliff'; “but prejudices of the old lady, your interyou have passed the ordeal now, and course will be all the more agreeable the chances are, she will never offend to both parties." you in the same way again. Great “I believe, General, that I have allowances must be made for those who little of the Jacobin to recant,” said I, have suffered as she has. Family- laughing. fortune-station - even country -- all " I should go farther, my dear friend, lost to her; and even hope now dashed and say, none,” added he. "Your by many a disappointment."
uniform is the only tint of blue about Though puzzled by the last few you." And thus chatting, we reached words, I made no remark on them, and the fortress, and said good night. he resumed
I have been particular, perhaps tire“She has invited you to come and somely so, in retailing these broken see her as often as you are at liberty; phrases and snatches of conversation ; and, for my part, you shall not be re but they were the first matches applied stricted in that way. Go and come to a train that was long and artfully as you please, only do not infringe the laid.
" A SORROW PUL PARTING."
The General was as good as his word, and I now enjoyed the most unre. stricted liberty ; in fact the officers of the garrison said truly, that they were far more like prisoners than I was. As regularly as evening came, I descended the path to the village, and, as the bell tolled out the vespers, I was crossing the little grass plot to the cottage. So regularly was I looked for, that the pursuits of each evening were resumed as though only accidentally interrupted. The unfinished game of chess, the half read volume, the newly begun drawing, were taken up where we had left them, and life seemed to have centered itself in those delightful hours between sunset and midnight.
I suppose there are few young men who have not, at some time or other of their lives, enjoyed similar privi. leges, and known the fascination of intimacy in some household, where the affections became engaged as the intellect expanded ; and, while winning another's heart, have elevated their own. But to know the full charm of such intercourse, one must have been as I was- a prisoner-an orphan-almost friendless in the world--a very “ waif” upon the shore of destiny. I cannot express the intense pleasure these evenings afforded me. The cot. tage was my home, and more than my home. It was a shrine at which my heart worshipped-for I was in love: Easy as the confession is to make now,
tortures would not have wrung it from me then!
In good truth, it was long before I knew it; nor can I guess how much longer the ignorance might have lasted, when General Urleben suddenly dispelled the clouds, by informing me that he had just received from the minister-of-war at Vienna a demand for the name, rank, and regiment of his prisoner, previous to the negociation for his exchange.
“You will fill up these blanks, Tiernay," said he, “and within a month, or less, you will be once more free, and say adieu to Kuffstein.”
Had the paper contained my dismissal from the service, I shame to own it would have been more welcome! The last few months had changed all the character of my life, suggested new hopes and new ambitions. The career I used to glory in had grown distasteful; the comrades I once longed to rejoin were now become almost repulsive to my imagination. The Marquise had spoken much of emigrating to some part of the new world beyond seas, and thither my fancy alike pointed. Perhaps my dreams of a future were not the less rose-coloured, that they received no shadow from anything like a “fact.” The old lady's geographical knowledge was neither accurate nor extensive, and she contrived to invest this land of promise with old associations of what she once heard of Pondicherry_with certain
features belonging to the United States. A glorious country it would, indeed, have been, which, within a month's voyage, realised all the delights of the tropics, with the healthful vigour of the temperate zone, and where, without an effort beyond the mere will, men amassed enormous fortunes in a year or two. In a calmer mood, I might, indeed must, have been struck with the wild inconsistency of the old lady's imaginings, and looked with somewhat of scepticism on the map for that spot of earth so richly endowed; but now I believed everything, provided it only ministered to my new hopes. Laura, evidently, too, believed in the “Canaan” of which, at last, we used to discourse as freely as though we had been there. Little discussions would, however, now and then vary the uniformity of this creed, and I remember once feeling almost hurt at Laura's not agreeing with me about zebras, which I assure her were just as trainable as horses, but which the Marquise flatly refused ever to use in any of her carriages. These were mere passing clouds; the regular atmosphere of our wishes was bright and transparent. In the midst of these delicious day-dreams, there came one day a number of letters to the Marquise by the hands of a courier on his way to Naples. What their contents I never knew, but the tidings seemed most joyful, for the old lady invited the General and myself to dinner, when the table was decked out with white lillies on all sides; she herself, and Laura also, wearing them in bouquets on their dresses. The occasion had, I could see, something of a celebration about it. Mysterious hints to circumstances I knew nothing of were constantly interchanged, the whole ending with a solemn toast to the memory of the “Saint and Martyr;” but who he was, or when he lived, I knew not one single fact about. hat evening—I cannot readily forget it—was the first I had ever an oportunity of being alone with Laura ! itherto the Marquise had always been beside us; now she had all this correspondence to read over with the General, and they both retired into a little boudoir for the purpose, while Laura and myself wandered out upon the terrace, as awkward and constrained as though our situation had been the most provoking thing possible. It was on
that same morning I had received the General's message regarding my situation, and I was burning with anxiety to tell it, and yet knew not exactly how. Laura, too, seemed full of her own thoughts, and leaned pensively over the balustrade and gazed on the stream. “What are you thinking of so seriously 2” asked I, after a long pause. “Os long, long ago,” said she, sighing, “when I was a little child. I remember a little chapel like that yonder, only that it was not on a rock over a river, but stood in a small garden; and though in a great city, it was as lonely and solitary as might be—the Chapelle de St. Blois.” “St. Blois, Laura,” cried I; “oh, tell me about that l” “Why you surely never heard of it before,” said she, smiling. “It was in a remote quarter of Paris, nigh the outer Boulevard, and known to but a very few It had once belonged to our family; for in olden times there were chateaux and country houses within that space, which then was part of Paris, and one of our ancestors was buried there! How well I remember it all ! The dim little aisle, supported on wooden pillars; the simple altar, with the oaken crucifix, and the calm, gentle features of the poor Cure.” “Can you remember all this so well, Laura?” asked I, eagerly, for the theme was stirring my very heart of hearts. “All—everything—the straggling weed-grown garden, through which we passed to our daily devotions—the congregation standing respectfully to let us walk by, for my mother was still the great Marquise }. although my father had been executed, and our estates confiscated. They who had known us in our prosperity, were as respectful and devoted as ever; and poor old Richard, the lame Sacristan, that used to take my mother's bouquet from her, and lay it on the altar; o everything stands out clear and distinct before my memory ! Nay, Maurice, but I can tell you more, for strangely enough, certain things, merely trifles in themselves, make impressions that even great events fail to do. There was a little boy, a child somewhat older than myself, that used to serve the mass with the Pére, and he always came to place a footstool or a cushion for my mother. Poor little fellow, bashful and diffident he was, changing colour at every minute, and trembling in every limb; and when he had done his duty, and made his little reverence, with his hands crossed on his bosom, he used to fall back into some gloomy corner of the church, and stand watching us with an expression of intense wonder and pleasure | Yes, I think I see his dark eyes glistening through the gloom, ever fixed on me ! I am sure, Maurice, that little fellow fancied he was in love with me!” “And why not, Laura ; was the thing so very impossible 2 was it even so unlikely 2" “Not that,” said she archly, “but think of a mere child; we were both mere children; and fancy him, the poor little boy, of some humble house, perhaps; of course he must have been that, raising his eyes to the daughter of the great ‘Marquise; ' what energy of character there must have been to have suggested the feeling; how daring he was, with all his bashfulness " “You never saw him afterwards 2" “Never !” “Never thought of him, perhaps?" “I’ll not say that,” said she, smiling. “I have often wondered to myself, if that hardihood I speak of had borne ood or evil fruit. Had he been daring or enterprising in the right, or had he, as the sad times favoured, been only bold and impetuous for the wrong !” “And how have you pictured him to your imagination,” said I, as if merely following out a fanciful vein of thought. “My fancy would like to have conceived him a chivalrous adherent to our ancient royalty, striving nobly in exile to aid the fortunes of some honoured house, or daring, as many brave men have dared, the heroic part of La Vendée. My reason, however, tells me, that he was far more likely to have taken the other part,” “To which you will concede no favour, Laura; not even the love of glory.” “Glory, like honour, should have its fountain in a monarchy,” cried she proudly. “The rude voices of a multitude can confernomeed of praise. Their judgments are the impulses of the moment. But why do we speak of these things, Maurice? nor have I, who can but breathe my hopes for a cause, the just pretension to contend with you, who shed your blood for its opposite." As she spoke, she hurried from the
balcony, and quitted the room. It was the first time, as I have said, that we had ever been alone together, and it was also the first time she had ever expressed herself strongly on the subject of party. What a moment to have declared her opinions, and when her reminiscences, too, had recalled our infancy IIow often was I tempted to interrupt that confession, by declaring myself, and how strongly was I repelled by the thought that the avowal might sever us for ever. While I was thus deliberating, the Marquise, with the General, entered the room, and Laura followed in a few moments. The supper that night was a pleasant one to all save me. The rest were gay and high-spirited. Allusions, understood by them, but not by me, were caught up readily, and as quickly responded to. Toasts were uttered, and wishes breathed in concert, but all was like a dream to me. Indeed my heart grew heavier at every moment. My coming departure, of which I had not yet spoken, lay drearily on my mind, while the bold decision with which Laura declared her faith showed that our destinies were separated by an impassable barrier. It may be supposed that my deression was not relieved by discovering that the General had already announced my approaching departure, and the news, far from being received with anything like regret, was made the theme of pleasant allusion, and even congratulation. The Marquise repeatedly assured me of the delight the tidings gave her, and Laura . happily towards me, as if echoing the Sentiment. Was this the feeling I had counted on 2 were these the evidences of an affection, for which I had given my whole heart? Oh, how bitterly I reviled the frivolous ingratitude of woman how heavily I condemned their heartless, unfeeling nature. In a few days, a few hours, perhaps, I shall be as totally forgotten here, as though I had never been, and yet these are the people who parade their devotion to a fallen monarchy, and their affection for an exiled house ! I tried to arm myself with every prejudice against royalism. I thought of Santron and his selfish, sarcastic spirit. I thought o all the stories I used to hear of cowardly ingratitude, and noble infamy, and tried to persuade myself that the blan
dishments of the well-born were but the gloss that covered cruel and unfeelin; natures. 'or very pride sake, I tried to assume a manner cool and unconcerned as their own. I affected to talk of my departure as a pleasant event, and even hinted at the career that Fortune might hereafter open to me. In this they seemed to take a deeper interest than I anticipated, and I could perceive that more than once the General exchanged looks with the ladies most significantly. I fear I grew very impatient at last. I grieve to think that I fancied a hundred annoyances that were never intended for me, and when we arose to take leave I made my adieux with a cold and stately reserve, intended to be strongly impressive and cut them to the quick. I heard very little of what the General said as we ascended the cliff. I was out of temper with him, and myself, and all the world ; and it was only when he recalled my attention to the fact, for the third or fourth time, that Ilearned how very kindly he meant by me in the matter of my liberation, for while he had forwarded all my papers to Vienna, he was quite willing to set me at liberty on the following day, in the perfect assurance that my exchange would be confirmed. “You will thus have a full fortnight at your own disposal, Tiernay," said he, “since the official answer cannot arrive from Vienna before that time, and you need not report yourself in Paris for eight or ten days after.” Here was a boon now thrown away ! For my part, I would a thousand times rather have lingered on at Kufstein than have been free to travel Europe from one end to the other. My outraged pride, however, put this out of the question. La Marquise and her niece had both assumed a manner of sincere gratification, and I was resolved not to be behindhand in my show of joy! I ought to have known it, said I again and again. I ought to have known it. These antiquated notions of birth and blood can never co-exist with any generous sentiment. These remnants of a worn-out monarchy can never forgive the vigorous energy that has dethroned their decrepitude I did not dare to speculate on what a girl Laura might have been under other auspices; how nobly her ambition would have soared; what high-souled patriot
ism she could have felt; how gloriously she would have adorned the society of a regenerated nation. I thought of her as she was, and could have hated myself for the devotion with which my heart regarded her I never closed my eyes the entire night. I lay down and walked about alternately, my mind in a perfect fever of conflict. Pride, a false pride, but not the less strong for that, alone sustained me. The General had announced to me that I was free. Beit so; I will no longer be a burden on his hospitality. La Marquise hears the tidings with pleasure. Agreed, then—we part without regret! Very valorous resolutions they were, but come to, I must own, with a very sinking heart and a very craven spirit. Instead of my full uniform, that morning I put on half dress, showing that I was ready for the road; a sign, I had hoped, would have spoken unutterable things to La Marquise and Laura. Immediately after breakfast, I set out for the cottage. All the way, as I went, I was drilling myself for the interview by assuming a tone of the coolest and easiest indifference. They shall have no triumph over me in this respect, muttered I. Let us see if I cannot be as unconcerned as they are l To such a pitch had I carried my zeal for flippancy that I resolved to ask them whether they had no commission I could execute for them in Paris or elsewhere. The idea struck me as excellent, so indicative of perfect selfpossession and command. "I am sure I must have rehearsed our interview at least a dozen times, supplying all the stately grandeur of the old lady and all the quiet placitude of Laura, By the time I reached the village I was uite strong in my part, and as I crossed the Platz I was eager to begin it. This energetic spirit, however, began to waver a little as I entered the lawn before the cottage, and a most uncomfortable throbbing at my side made me stand for a moment in the porch before I entered. I used always to make my appearance unannounced, but now I felt that it would be more dignified and distant were I to summon a servant, and yet I could find none. The household was on a very simple scale, and in all likelihood the labours of the field or the garden were now employing them. I hesitated what to