Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

young officer could divine my thoughts. I be- blaspheme at its enjoyments ; speaking alone of lieved, I almost hoped, that he would understand its illusions, without perceiving that, in this inmy secret agitation ; but alas ! most probably he terchange of sorrows, which their two hearts, did not. There are so many things that can still young, were exhaling, there was a gentle only be expressed by words.

sympathy which strongly resembled the enjoyments It was during the evening; one of those beautiful whose existence they denied ! evenings in autumn, when all nature is quiet and At length, one evening a few months after, on reposed. Not a breath of air murmured through the edge of a forest, while we were walking in the the trees, tinged by the last rays of a setting sun. midst of an uncultivated heath, a few paces from It was impossible not to give one's self up to a our mutual friends, Maurice said to me :gentle revery in presence of such a lovely pros- “Is it not the most positive happiness in this pect; for all, save man, who was awake to think, world, to make another happy ? Is there not, in seemed lulled into sleep upon the bosom of nature! the joy that we give, an unbounded sweetness ? To It was one of those moments when the soul is devote ourselves to one who, without us, would softened, when we become better, and feel that we have known nothing of life but its tears. Is this could weep, yet without regret !

not a happiness preferable to the most brilliant I raised my eyes ; from the end of the alley, I destiny? To infuse new life into a dying soul ; perceived Ursule. A parting ray of sun-light was better than God, perhaps, who gave it life. Is shining on the window, and was reflected on her not this a bright dream?" head, giving her black hair an unaccustomed lus- I looked at him anxiously—a tear glistening in tre. A gleam of joy rose in her eyes as she saw my eyes. me ; and she smiled with that sad smile which I “ Yes !” said he, “ask Ursule if she will loved so much! Her black dress, with long fall- marry me!” ing folds, entirely precluded the least glimpse of An exclamation of joy was my response, and her figure, except as shown by her belt. Her I hastened precipitately towards the poor girl's person was very slender and flexible, but not want- dwelling. ing in grace. A few violets, her favorite flower, When I reached Ursule, she was seated, as were fastened in her corsage.

usual, at work, but half asleep. Solitude, the There was something in Ursule's paleness, in absence of the faintest noise, a want of the slighther black dress, in the sombre-colored flowers, est interest in things around her, had really lulled with the last ray of a setting sun upon them all, her soul to sleep. This was one of the first blessthat harmonized with the beauty of nature on this ings Providence had bestowed upon her. It relovely autumn evening and the gentle revery we lieved her sufferings ! There are some who would were indulging in.

have pity, even for this immobility of existence, “ There is Ursule !” said I to Maurice d'Erval, which had not had its part of life and youth. She calling his attention to the low window in the smiled on seeing me. To smile was the greatest small house. He looked at her, and then walked effort her poor paralyzed soul indulged in. I was with his eyes intently fixed upon her. His look not fearful of giving a violent shock to an organdisconcerted the poor girl, who was as timid as a ization which had endured so much, by affecting it maiden of fifteen ; and when we arrived in front with a sudden commotion of happiness; I wished of her, her complexion was enlivened by a high to discover whether its life was absent only, or color. Maurice d'Urval stopped, exchanged a few whether it was definitively extinct ! words with us, and left. But from that day he I seated myself on a chair before her. I took often returned to the town by the narrow alley in both of her hands in my own, and, fixing my eyes which Ursule lived. Opportunities chanced to bid upon hersher" good day!” Indeed, he once called to see “ Ursule,” said I to her, “ Maurice d'Erval her with me.

has desired me to ask you if you will be his wife!" There are some minds so unaccustomed to hope, The poor girl looked as if she had been struck that they no longer know how to understand the by a thunderbolt ! In an instant tears good that happens to them. Enveloped in the streaming from her eyes; her glance gleamed sadness and the dejection of everything round her, through this misty veil, the circulation of her blood, as in an impenetrable veil which concealed from so long arrested, gushed precipitately through her her the world without, Ursule saw nothing, inter- veins, and spread a roseate tinge throughout her preted nothing, was agitated by nothing! She person, covering her cheeks with a most brilliant remained under Maurice's regards as she had been color; her breast scarcely affording room for its under mine, downcast and resigned. As to Maurice, oppressed respiration, heaved with emotion ; her I could not clearly make out what was passing in heart beat violently, and her hands closed convulhis heart. He was not in love ; at least I be- sively in my own. Ursule's soul had been slumlieved so ; but the pity with which Ursule had in- bering only; it was now awake. Like the voice spired him, seemed to partake of affection. The of the Lord, which said to the poor dead damsomewhat exalted and musing mind which this sel :-"Arise, and walk !" so love said to Uryoung man possessed, loved the atmosphere of sad- sule :-"Awaken!" ness which prevailed around Ursule. He came Ursule had suddenly loved ; perhaps she might there, near her, to talk of the evils of life, to have felt it before this moment; but it was un

were

voyage !

known to herself and to others. Now the veil present ; and by its all-powerful prism, metawas torn asunder, and she saw herself in love ! morphosed the aspect of all things. The small

At the end of a few seconds, she passed her house still remained sad and gloomy, as it had hand over her forehead and said, in a low tone been for the last twenty years. But one thought, of voice, “ No, it is impossible !"

creeping into the innermost depth of a woman's I only repeated the same phrase, “Maurice heart, had made it a palace. Oh, dreams of d'Erval asks if you will be his wife," so to ac- hope! Why do you always vanish, like the purcustom Ursule to this association of words, which, pled clouds that glide over the face of heaven, Jike notes in harmony, formed for the poor girl a passing, passing away? Who has never known melody till then unknown.

you is a thousand times poorer than he who has “ His wife !" she repeated with ecstasy, "his you to regret! wife !" and precipitating herself toward her moth- Thus for Ursule the time passed happily away. er's chair, “My mother, do you hear ?" said she, But one day arrived, when Maurice, entering “ He asks me to be his wife !"

the small parlor, said to his affianced“My daughter," replied the blind, old woman, Love, let us hasten our marriage! My regfeeling to take Ursule's hand,“ my beloved daugh-iment is about to change its quarters. We must ter, God ought sooner or later to reward your vir- be married, so that you may leave with me.” tues!”

“ Shall we go far, Maurice ?" “My God !” exclaimed Ursule, “what is all "Are you alarmed, then, my dear Ursule, at this has happened me to-day ? His wise!My the idea of seeing a new country, or some other beloved daughter!"

corner of the world? There are many much She threw herself upon her knees ; her hands handsomer places than this !" clasped, her face inundated with tears.

“ It is not for myself, Maurice, but for my At this moment steps were heard in the narrow parents. They are very old to undertake a long passage.

" It is he !” exclaimed Ursule. “Oh, my Maurice remained immovable before Ursule ; God !" she added, pressing her hands upon her although the thick veil which happiness had spread heart, “ this, then, is life !”

before Maurice's eyes had prevented him from I went out by a private door, leaving Ursule, reflecting, yet he well knew that Ursule, to partake beautiful in her tears, in emotion, in happiness, to of his wandering career, would have to separate receive Maurice d'Erval alone.

herself from her parents. He had foreseen her From this day Ursule was completely meta- grief; but confident in the love with which he had morphosed. She was relieved ; she became ani- inspired her, he had believed that this devoted love mated ; she was rejuvenated under the gentle would have power to mitigate any distress the sepinfluence of happiness. She even regained more aration might occasion. It had become, at last, beauty than she ever had possessed. There ex- necessary to enlighten Ursule as to the future ; isted within her an indescribable radiation, which and, sad at the inevitable sorrow which he was gave her countenance an undefinable expression of about to cause his betrothed, Maurice took her joyful coloring. Her happiness partook somewhat hand, made her be seated in her accustomed place, of her early nature. It was collected, silent, and said to her, gentlycalm, mysteriously exalted. Thus Maurice, who “My love, it is impossible for your father and had found and loved a woman seated in obscurity, mother to follow us in our wanderings !pale and weary of living, had now no change to Until now, Ursule, we have loved and wept todesire in the picture that had pleased him since gether; we have made of life a dream, without Ursule was happy.

resorting to any question which might bear a reLong evenings were passed away beside each lation with its actual details. The moment for other, in the small parlor on the ground floor, speaking of the future has arrived. My love, I with no other light than a few beams from the have no fortune ; I possess my sword, alone. moon, which fell through the opened window. Moreover, being at the commencement of my caThey talked a little, and gazed on each other reer, my allowances amount to only a few hundred often, as they dreamed away the hours.

francs, which will impose upon both of us many Ursule loved with frankness and simplicity. privations. I have relied on your courage! You She would say to Maurice, “ I am happy; I love, alone can accompany me. The presence of your

parents in our establishment would bring with it Their love sought neither the sunshine, nor the calamities that could not be borne. We would open air, nor space. The small gray house was not even have enough bread !" its only witness. Ursule was always working, “ To leave my father and mother !” cried Urand remained near her parents. But if her per- sule. son immovably occupied the same place as for

“ Leave them with the little they possess, in merly, her soul had flown away, was free, resus- this small house ; confide them to some careful citated, radiant; the walls of this narrow dwell- person, and accompany your husband !" ing contained it no longer ; she had winged her “ To leave my father and mother !" repeated flight. Thus the sweet magic of hope not only Ursule. “But you do not know, then, that what embellished the future, but it also pervaded the they possess is insufficient for their existence ?

I thank you.”

That to pay the rent of this miserable dwelling, Ipoor to be married! I understood it yesterdaywork unknown to them? That for twenty years

Adieu ! -Oh! it takes great courage to write

that wordthey have been attended alone by me?”

-I hope your life will be calm. Anoth

-It is so “My poor Ursule,” replied Maurice, “ you easy to love you! Yet do not entirely forget poor

er, more happy than I, will love youmust submit to what is inevitable! You have con- Ursule! Adieu, my friend! Ah! I well knew cealed from them the loss of what little fortune they that I could not be happy!

URSULE. possessed. Let them be informed of it now, since

I abridge my recital. Ursule saw Maurice it has become necessary.

Make their wants con

again ; she saw me again. But all our prayers, form to the little that still remains to them ; for,

our supplications, were useless; she would never alas ! my love, we have nothing to give them !”

leave her parents. They require my support,' “ To go away without taking them with us!

said she. In vain, being selfish in her place, I - It is impossible! I tell you I have to work

spoke to her of Maurice's love, of his kindness to for them !" “ Ursule, my Ursule!" replied Maurice, press- of her age, of the impossibility of finding another

her. In vain, in a sort of cruelty, I reminded her ing the poor woman's hands in his own, “ I beseech

chance to change her destiny.- -She wept while you, do not permit yourself to be led away by the

listening to me; moistening, with her tears, the impulses of your generous heart. Reflect! Look

work which she did not wish to discontinue. that truth in the face. We do not refuse to give; Then, her head fallen on her bosom, she repeated, we have nothing to give. We can barely subsist in a faint voice, “ They will die, I must work for together ; and that only because we have the cour-them !" She exacted of us that her mother should age to meet suffering.'

never be informed of what had passed. Those for “I cannot leave them !". -replied Ursule, in

whom she sacrificed herself were always ignorant heart-rending grief, looking at the two old people

of it. A pious fraud deceived them, as to the asleep in their chairs.

causes of the rupture of their daughter's marriage ! Do you not love me, Ursule?" said Maurice

-Ursule again took her place at the window ; to his betrothed.

recommenced embroidering ; worked without reThe poor girl's only reply was a torrent of

laxation, immovable, pale, broken-hearted ! tears.

Alas! Maurice d'Erval possessed one of those Maurice remained some time longer beside her.

rational and circumspect minds that assigns limits He said a thousand gentle words of tenderness to

even to devotion ; that is incapable of compreher; he explained to her a hundred times their

hending a sublime infatuation. His heart, like position ; brought to her mind the conviction that his mind, admitted impossibilities. If his marher dreams upon this subject were impossible ; entered into the details of her parents' future mode riage to Ursule had taken place without any obof existence ; and then left her, after lavishing her latest breath, in the boundless affection of her

stacle, perhaps she might have believed, even to upon her a thousand affectionate epithets.

She

husband. There are affections which require an had permitted him to talk on without reply.

Left alone, Ursule remained for hours, her head easy path.. But a barrier to be overcome presentleaning upon her hand. Alas !

ed itself, like a fatal ordeal, and held up in the

The long-coming happiness shone but an instant upon her life, light to Maurice's eyes, the love which he felt.

He saw the limits of it! and vanished away! Sweet dreams, the friends

Maurice supplicated, wept for a long time, and of all young hearts, absent from hers so long, re

at last became offended, discouraged, and left. appeared only to depart again ! Forgetfulness, silence, darkness, again resumed possession of an

It happened, one day, whilst Ursule was seated

near the window, she heard the sounds of martial existence which happiness had disputed with them but for an instant! The night so passed away!

music, as they swept along, and a heavy and

measured tread resounded on her ear. It was the What passed in the poor girl's heart? God alone

The

regiment departing, preceded by its band. knows. She has never spoken of it to one on farewell flourish of trumpets came reëchoing like earth!

sad adieu, and then died away along the narAt the first glimmering of daylight, she started

row alley where Ursule dwelt. Trembling, she up; closed the window, which had remained open listened. The music, at first brilliant and near since the evening before ; and, pale and trembling her, soon became less distinct, and faded away! with cold and emotion, she took some paper, a pen, Then, from afar, it only reached her ears, a vague, and wrote:

uncertain murmur; then, from time to time, an Adieu, Maurice ! I remain with my father and isolated strain came wafted along on the wind; mother. To abandon them, in their old age, would and at last a dull silence succeeded these martial be to leave them to die. They no longer have any- strains, which space engulfed. The last hope in thing but me in the world! My sister, when dying, Ursule's life seemed to attach itself to these faint confided them to me, and said, “We will meet notes, which reached her from afar ;- —with again, Ursule !" I shall never see her again, if I

them it fled—departed—died away!

—The poor do not perform my duty.

I have loved you well! I will love you always! girl had permitted her embroidery to fall into her My life will only be a remembrance of you. You lap, and her face was hidden in her hands. have been good, generous ! but, alas ! we are too | Through her fingers a few tears were coursing. In

our

this attitude she remained as long as the heavy | ual wearing away of life. Ursule watched, prayed tread and music of the regiment could be heard; beside her mother's bed ; received her last sigh then she again took up her work.- -She re- and her last blessing. sumed it for life!

“ In thy turn, Marthe," said Ursule,“ The evening of the day of their last separation, mother is now with you. Conduct her toward of the day when the grand sacrifice was complet- God!” ed, Ursule, after bestowing upon her parents the She then came to kneel beside the old man, attentions with which each day was ended, seated who remained alone. She made him put on his herself at the foot of her mother's bed, and bent dress of mourning, without his seeming to perceive over towards her, fixing upon her a gaze, which it; but the second day after the blind woman's the blind mother could not see was humid with death, when they removed the old arm-chair in tears. Gently taking her hand, the poor aban- which she had remained seated for so many years doned affianced one murmured, in a voice choked beside her old husband, the old man turned towith emotion :

ward the vacant place, and cried—“My wife !" • My mother! you love me, do you not? My Ursule spoke to him, and endeavored to divert presence is a comfort to you? My attentions are him. He replied : “My wife !” and two tears sweet to you, mother? You would suffer, would trickled down the old man's cheeks. In the evenyou not, should I leave you ?"

ing they carried him his usual nourishment; but The blind woman turned her head towards the he turned away his head, and with a sad voice, wall and said :

his eyes fixed upon the vacant place, he said “Oh Lord, Ursule, I am so tired ; let me go again : My wife !” :0 sleep!”

Ursule, in despair, essayed everything that This one word of tenderness, which she had grief or affection could suggest.- -The idiotic wished to obtain as the only recompense for her old man remained, leaning forward toward the painful devotion, was not pronounced. The blind place to which the blind woman's chair had been old woman went to sleep, pushing away from her moved ; and, refusing all nutriment, with clasped the hand which her daughter had extended. But, hands, he regarded Ursule, repeating, like a child between the two green serge curtains of the alcove, begging to obtain something it desired : “My was a wooden image of Christ, embrowned by wife!” time. The hands which no friend on earth would A month after, he died. press, Ursule extended toward her God, and, In his last moments, when the priest, who had kneeling beside her blind parent's bed, she was been summoned to his bedside, endeavored to dilong engaged in prayer.

vert his thoughts to God, his Creator, the moment Since then, Ursule became more pale, more came when he believed he had reïllumined the silent, more immovable than ever. These newly old man's dying mind, for he joined his hands tooccasioned tears washed away the last traces of gether and raised his eyes to heaven ; but for the her youth and beauty. In a few days she had last time he again cried : “My wife !" as if he

She could please no one now; but had seen her hovering above his head. if she had possessed the power, Ursule had no de- As they were bearing away from the small gray sire to please! “All is told !” was a phrase she house the coffin of her father, Ursule murmured : had already pronounced ; this time she was sadly " My God, I deserved to have them left living a correct -for her all was told !

little longer !” Maurice d'Erval was spoken of no more. Ur- And Ursule remained alone forever. sule had pleased him, as a graceful picture whose All this transpired many years ago. melancholy expression had touched his soul.- I was compelled to leave the little town of Leaving it, the colors of the picture faded, then ; to leave Ursule. I have travelled. A became effaced.He forgot!

thousand events have succeeded each other in my Oh, my God! how many things are forgotten life, without effacing from my memory the poor in this life! Why has not Heaven, who per- girl's history. But Ursule, like those hearts mits some hearts to grow cold from seeing the which, when broken, refuse all consoration, beobject of its love too often, at least accorded to came tired of writing to me. After many vain those whom fate separates, the power of weeping efforts to carry her abroad to weep with me, I lost forever? My God! the life which thou givest is all trace of her. often full of sorrow !

What has become of her? Is she yet alive? after these events, Ursule's mother be- is she dead? came sick.

Her disease was of that kind for which Alas! the poor girl never had even that good there exists no remedy. It was the easy, grad- fortune! I believe that she may still be living !

grown old.

A year

(CHARACTER OF BERKELEY.]

| in East Kent, with a well known eccentric Bishop The editor of Mrs. Carter's Letters to Mrs. Mon of the sister island. The Bishop drank a bottle of tagu speaks of Dr. Berkeley, in a note, (vol. 2, p. Madeira with his dinner, and swore like a gentle52,) as an amiable man, simple, virtuous and prim- man; the Prebend talked divinity, and drank nothitive. He once dined at the house of a gentleman ing but water.”

us.

From the Examiner, 1 Sept. The aggressive power of Russia is to be found RUSSIA AND AUSTRIA.

not in her own resources, but in the weakness and Retribution always follows crime, but seldom disunion of neighboring nations. It has therefore so rapidly with nations as with individuals. Hard- always been her aim to foment all dissensions, ly, however, does the end so long aimed at hy the particularly those which arise from differences of continental despots and furthered by their accom

language or religion, in those quarters to which plices in this country—the suppression of all civil her designs extend, whether north or south,

whether self-government and the substitution of a military

upon the Baltic or upon the Danube : despotism—seem to be finally attained, when those and by such means to establish, first an underhand very accomplices begin to tremble at the natural influence, and then a protectorate, till time is and inevitable consequences. The Times of Tues- ready to ripen ulterior plans. The scheme by day contains a series of instructive admissions which the czar would have set himself up as prowhich render but little comment necessary from tector of Denmark and virtual ruler of the Baltic,

has been signally frustrated by the tact and skill The first is, that the absolutist system of gov- Russian designs upon the Danubian countries, a

of Lord Palmerston. But, for the furtherance of erning, by means of a bureaucratic centralization and by the suppression of all local self-govern

combination of circumstances has occurred hardly

Who ment, has been weighed and found wanting ; and to be paralleled in any age or country. that the bayonet is at present the sole support of could have supposed the house of Hapsburg so the existing authorities of central Europe.

madly suicidal as to invite the intervention of the

very power from whose designs it had most to The armies (says the Times) everywhere stood fear? Who could have thought it possible that firm, and they alone represented any organized power, Turkey or Prussia would have looked tamely on. based on known principles. In their ranks at least was while the security of their own territories de to be found regular authority, practical strength, and a definite purpose.

pended upon the success of the Hungarians ?

Above all, who could have thought it possible The next important admission is, that whilst that in England, this country of freedom, a large the natural weight of England

portion of the daily press should have been syshas been frittered away and alienated from all the tematically engaged in misrepresenting the true established principles of her policy, that of Russia nature of the contest ; in blinding the moneyed inhas risen to a degree of power and eminence which terests to the inevitable danger that awaited peace we cannot view without apprehension for the liber- and commerce, in case of the defeat of the Hunties and the independence of Europe.

garians; and in thus forming a factitious opinion, The latter part of this sentence is unfortunately which, being sedulously circulated throughout the too true ; but while we perfectly understand the continent, has had no inconsiderable effect in insinuation conveyed in the former part, we as strengthening the hands of the supporters of arbistrongly repudiate it. It would doubtless have trary power ? been according to the established principles of The only means of preventing the interference English policy, as English policy is viewed of Russia in Hungary sooner or later, under one by Lord Aberdeen and the Times, lo have sent pretext or another, would have been the adoption of a British fleet to overawe Venice and Lom- an honest and straightforward policy by the house bardy, and thus to have allowed Radetzky's of Hapsburg. That the “divide et impera” system army to take the field against the Hungarians ; of that house must necessarily tend to such a rewhen, supposing the united Austrian armies able sult, was foretold as long ago as 1791 by Charles to have crushed Hungarian independence, (a sup- Jesernitzky in the Hungarian Diet. The blow position we greatly doubt the truth of,) the neces- has fallen; the Hungarians have been defeated ; sity of calling in Russian troops to aid in the cru- but among their enemies at Vienna and in Lonsade against constitutional freedom might possibly don, no pæans of triumph are heard. At Vienna have been avoided. But admitting that such a the financial embarrassment does not decrease. result could have been obtained by such means, is The three millions to be paid by Sardinia is a sum there an Englishman worthy of the name who that does not very much exceed the average anwill not feel with us that it is far better for his nual deficit of the Austrian finances during the country to submit to any loss of moral or material years of profound peace since 1815. Hungary is influence, to any direct or indirect commercial dis- drained and exhausted ; and the Hereditary States advantages, than to have been guilty of such a are suffering from a cessation of trade. Another piece of baseness? Whatever England may have national bankruptcy must inevitably ensue; but lost, she has at least preserved her honor. whether this can be staved off for a while by

It is, however, undeniable that the “ natural wringing the last farthing from the impoverished weight of Russia has risen to a degree of power tax-payers, and by consuming the capital of the and eminence which cannot be viewed without ap- country, it is impossible to say at present. prehension for the liberties and the independence Now it is, then, that the bitter truth must come of Europe ;"'-—and that this has not been even in in a palpable shape before the young emperor, that a still greater degree the case, is solely owing to he is no longer an independent monarch, but a vasthe exertions of Lord Palmerston.

sal. “ Paskiewitch could boast that Hungary lay

« ElőzőTovább »