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"I am here by chance," he said pres- mated; that I had more tears to shed ently, “I am going on an urgent errand, and more rebellious desires to crush. to seek the doctor for my neighbor, The next morning I sent Pietro to who is desperately ill, and I thought I bring me news of the sick woman. She would stop in to give you a word, be- was very ill. Then, all of us, Ursula cause I have no idea when I can come and Pietro and my little Alexis recited again."

the prayers for the dying. When we “I beg you not to

take any

such had finished them, I said, “Let us pray trouble for me.”

again that if it is God's will this mother “Women are very punctilious." may be spared to her daughter." I interrupted tranquilly, "I don't Ursula came close to me, and putting think I have ever given you reason to her trembling lips to my ear whisthink so: hereafter remember that I pered:consider you as

absolute master of “God bless you, Myriam." your time.”

“O why?” I said, feeling the blood He did not answer, but following the mount into my face. direction of his thoughts, he said aloud, The good old woman said nothing, “They are really to be pitied.”

but as she bent her head on her joined I saw that he was very much affected hands I thought that perhaps she was by the illness of his neighbor, and I praying for me. Towards evening a asked news of her.

travelling merchant brought news that Do you really wish to know? I the strange lady was dead, and that thought you did not approve of these her daughter had thrown herself upon ladies."

the body, and in her despair seemed to "I do not know them and I do not wish to follow her. judge them, but you like them, and "Is there no one there to comfort that is enough to give me an interest in her?” I asked. their grief.”

"Who should there be? La Querciaia He regarded me intently for a second, is perfectly isolated, and the ladies do then looking down on his cap and shak- not know a single soul.” ing the flakes of snow from it, he con- I looked around me. I looked out of tinued:

the window, over the desert of snow, I “The mother has only two or three looked up at the white sky. Poor days to live, and the daughter is alone child! in the world."

The pedlar was preparing to go on, “God have pity on them,” I said with and already had his pack his sincere commiseration, “I will pray for shoulders, when I asked him if he could them with all my heart.”

get me a carriage before night. He Another flash from his eyes, another said he could, and in spite of the conlong silence, then he said, “Adieu.” sternation of Ursula and Pietro, I

"Au revoir," I murmured, with a grief ordered him to send me one without that was half tenderness.

losing any time. "Yes, au revoir.”

I kissed Alexis, who was hanging to He seemed to fear that he had been my skirts, asking:too kind, and added:

“Mamma, why do you cry?" I did It will not be very soon."

not know. I did not even know that I All day I struggled, a prey to conflict- was crying. ing wishes. I followed him in imagina- I made my preparations with much tion to the pavilion where the strangers emotion, and warning my people that I lived. I could see the dying mother in would bring the orphan back with me, her bed, and the desolate, broken- I told Ursula to have a room ready for hearted daughter, and him going from her. one to another. O, he must love her! La Querciaia was not more than half A contraction of my heart warned me an hour distant, but we took twice that that my sacrifice was not yet consum- time to break a road

through the LIVING AGE. VOL. XV. 778

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frozen snow, on which some hungry and assured her that her mother's crows were flying about. In this wan body should be watched over relilandscape, no longer veiled with climb- giously. Then she acquiesced, and I ing plants and roses, la Querciaia rose went away with her in the closed carup before me with its strange architec- riage, across the desert of snow which ture, looking like a fortress and a con- was a fitting frame for our two griefs. vent in one. I was driven to the door My cousin stood upon the threshold of the pavilion which was opened wy until the carriage drove away. His exmy cousin himself.

pression

deeply serious and "You!” he exclaimed, and no words gentle. could express the exaltation in his look Ursula had a good fire ready and and voice.

warm drinks. She helped me as much Standing on the threshold in a whirl- as she could, to sustain and comfort wind of snow I hardly knew how to the desolate girl. justify my presence, but it was he who A little later when we had taken her took me by the hand with gentle firm- to her room, and she had fallen asleep, ness, and very quickly in a few words I I thought of her, resting safely beneath explained my purpose.

my roof, confided to my care, protected He took me immediately to the young by me, and a great flood of happiness woman, who saw me enter without as- overwhelmed me, and I thought that at tonishment. She heard my first words that moment his spirit might be close with the apathy of a person half in- to mine. sane with grief. Her room was bare I sat up late that night, reading over and cold; there had been a fire, but it a long, complicated letter from

my had not been cared for. As I looked at husband. He said that he had made her I did not think of the elegant young up his mind definitely to establish himwoman whom I had seen in church. self in Paris, in view of a position in Her hair was disordered, her hands the Embassy, and that it would be usewere blue with co.d; there was some- ful to have his family with him; that thing desolate, abandoned, terrified, Alexis was old enough to begin his that speedily found its way to my education, and if I had no objection be heart. If I had ever indulged senti- would like to have me join him at Paris ments less pure, less noble, they all dis- with the child. appeared before this real suffering.

The reflections which this proposal My cousin, who looked at me intently, aroused were of a nature to keep me knew what was passing through my from sleeping, coming as they did in mind. He took her hand and putting it this solemn moment mingling themin mine, said earnestly:

selves with other thoughts and other “Trust her; she is a friend."

preoccupations equally important. My No one had been able to persuade her life was changing; it was turning in a to rest, or to eat. In all the neighbor- new direction, with new duties, new hood, there was not a single person struggles, perhaps. who could offer her hospitality, or a The orphan was still dressing in her single woman who could comfort her. room, when my cousin came to make The night drew near, terrible and the arrangements for the funeral. I agonizing. I bent over the poor child was standing on the landing of the and said as gently as I could:

stairs with a wreath of immortelles on “Will you come home with me?

my arm. Divining its destination be She started, and looked at me doubt- colored vividly as if with pleasure; then fully.

with a pallor as sudden, he said with a "Do not be afraid. I am a mother.” noble simplicity:At these words she burst into violent "I did not know you, Myriam. How weeping and hid her head in my bosom. good you are!”.

Little by little we persuaded her; my No words could ever sound so sweet cousin promised not to leave the house, as those, but I heard them in such agi

never

“Ah! you

tation that I was forced to cling to the “No, no, Paris is not the place for railing for support. Then he said:- you; it will be worse than a desert for “Will you forgive me?”

you, and your heart will be always My God, what joys there are in this turning back to this house and this world! My hands trembled beneath country.” the immortelles, and I bent my head to Yes, I know it.” invite him to go with me, and also to “And all that you leave here.” tell him yes. Did he understand my “And all that I leave here." silence ?

With these words we stopped. I had The grave and painful occupations of the impression that some one in the the day left me no time to be alone room was watching us. Perhaps it with him or with myself, but my heart was the hours full of light and darkoverflowed with joy.

ness that would

come back I decided to keep the young girl with again, me until she could go to a relative, an What will become of these sofas old friend of her mother who would and chairs, the work tables full of you take care of her, and provide for her and your perfume?" He said this in future. In the mean time I helped her, the laughing tone which he used often and comforted her, and wiped away to conceal some deeper emotion. her tears. I was surprised at my own "They will sleep under their grey energy and courage; the poor child linen covers." showed her gratitude in the most touch- “And your two old servants ?” ing manner, and the calm days flowed “Poor dear old people!" along full of melancholy sweetness.

“And I ?” A secret instinct prevented my asking my cousin about his plans for the One of those hours that listened +- us future, especially as he said nothing must have trembled in its phantom about them himself, and when the veil; it seemed as if something palpiyoung girl had gone he resumed his tated in the air, as if I were seized ny affectionate, assiduous visits if invisible hands. He repeated in a low nothing were changed around us. Bet- voice:ter still, it seemed only as if I had had What will become of me?" an evil dream and was in the joy of "You," my voice was hardly a whisawakening from it.

per, "you must marry.” One evening-he sometimes came in “And if I will not marry?the evening-I told him of my decision I

silent. He repeated veheto join my husband in Paris. The un mently, “And if I will not marry? expected news startled him, but at Answer!" bottom he did not believe it. He looked He had not made one step towards at me keenly to see if I had any hidde! me, he did not

move,

but flame meaning, and a sudden suspicion fitted burned in his eyes. across him.

I measured all the greatness of the "Why do you think of going to Paris temptation; I saw its ineffable sweetat this time?"

ness. There seemed to arise out of an I took my husband's letter and read unexplored darkness phantoms of rapit to him, reminding him that Alexis ture and passion. One single word and was seven years old, and if his father he was mine. I felt it! In this blessed wished to interest himself in the child, solitude, far from the world, in the I ought to second him with all my awakening spring, in my heart which power.

was open to love, which trembled and “At the bottom of your heart you palpitated under the tenderness of his would like to go to Paris. That is it." glance! All would begin again; the

I do not know what sort of expres- enchanting evenings, the confidential sion of distress rose to my face, but he talks, the unreserve of heart, the joy of added quickly, and sympathetically:- being together. My longing was

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violent that it shook me. But what did "Do you intend to take this music he see of this? With my head bent with you?” above my work, I tried to count the I was confused for a moment, and stitches, and not till I had succeeded the keys of the piano sighed out the did I speak:

pathetic tones of the old song, but I “You would be wrong; the ways of answered quickly:dreams are many; the path of life is "Perhaps I must." one. You must marry."

A secret involuntary feeling must “Are you in earnest?” he said, fixing have betrayed itself in my voice, for his eyes on my face.

he made no account of those three I felt that a single moment of weak- words, but divined through them ness, and I was lost forever!

deep tenderness. I saw then his noble "I am," I answered.

face light up, and his soul came out io He darted a keen glance at me, and me, confiding and entire. Was not this bent his head.

what he had dreamed of in the dawn This was one of our last talks. Hav- of his affection, long, long before the ing written to my husband saying that obscure mystery of the

had I was willing to join him, he answered blinded him? Had he not been thinkthat he would be glad if I would ing of this, that memorable evening hasten my departure as much as pos- when he had said: sible, so that he could come to meet "You cannot imagine the good that a us.

woman can do in bringing faith back Circumstances helped my will,

into the heart of a sceptic?'' And he The winter was almost over. The understood this above all, that only temperature was softer, and here and from a noble source could spring a there the snow was melting. In my love like mine. This I believe; othergarden, lying exposed to the sun, there wise there would not have been such was not a trace of it left. I looked at serenity and gentleness in his look. the bare branches of the acacias, and There could be no longer any doubt. thought with sadness that I should not As he stood silent in the shadow I saw be here to see them bloom.

arise in him a longing for companion“O dear mistress,” cried Ursula, weep ship which was touching in the virile ing, "when you come back, I shall be pride of this soul. Then I thought, dead."

"Some woman, Emma, or some other, From her, too, I had to hide my an- will come to take her place in his guish while I bade farewell to all the empty house, in his passionate heart. plants, to all the stones, to all the Many changes shall I find when I come walls. When I went to church, the last back in a few years. Many dead flowSunday, I bade farewell also to distant ers, many dead things, and in me also, la Querciaia, evoking from my memory something dead,—but what could ever that beautiful day when I had visited take from me the supreme joy that I it with other eyes and another heart. had given him faith!"

“I know," I said to my cousin as we I was near the window; I raised the stood by the piano gathering my music flame-colored curtain and looked out together, “that I shall come back some on the garden. In the early days of day to this dear place and to these dear our acquaintance, my cousin had said objects, but shall I find them as they that it was too orderly, too well kept. are now?"

He said it had none of the poetry and "Be sure of it. As life goes on, what mystery of abandoned places. is lost is the materiality of things. Now, I thought, now it will clothe itThe spirit of things is immortal; it is self with all the poetry that he misses. that which we love in them.”

He will see neglect weave its webs He knew always how to say at the across the flower beds, he will see sad. right moment, the thing which would ness, he will see mystery obscure the go deepest. After a pause he said:- shadows of the trees and no longer will

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THE END.

our spirits beat together in the paths systems were being stirred by the inwhere, without confessing it, we loved fluences named after Descartes and each other.

Bacon; when the greatest minds were He came and stood beside me and breaking off the fetters of effete scholastook my hand; still my thought flowed ticism; and when it was possible for on, my eyes looked with love at the men of the highest order to take a Pisdear rose-trees that would soon break gah sight of the promised land of knowlout into flower under the March breeze, edge without being distracted and bewhen I heard his grave voice:

wildered, like their successors, in the “Then this is farewell, Myriam. complexity of actual explorations of Shall we meet again?”

the region. In one respect Pascal was I pressed his hand with a light pro, especially qualified to take part in the

movement. The philosophy of longing of my grasp, I did not turn my head, I did not look at him, I did not Descartes was essentially a philosophy speak, but he knew at last what grief for mathematicians, for mathematics,

at that time, represented the decisive and passion lay in my silence.

example of intellectual progress. Metaphysics, it seems, might at last become progressive if, instead of wearily rambling round the old dialectical circle, it

could adopt similar methods. DesFrom The Fortnightly Review.

cartes laid down the principle. SpiPASCAL.1

noza's "Ethics,” appropriating the forms Pascal is one of the great men whose of geometrical demonstration and preminds have been fascinated by the senting the whole universe as an incareternal riddle of existence, and have nate Euclid, shows the rational concarried to a logical conclusion one typi- summation of the experiment. Now, cal mode of meeting if not of answering Pascal was obviously a heaven-born it; and who have also had the gift of mathematician. By the age of twelve, coining thought into language so terse

we are told, he had thought out for himand vivid as to be part of the intellectual self the elementary propositions of currency of future generations.

Yet

Euclid; by nineteen he had invented and the thought even of such men had to be constructed a calculating machine, and expressed in the dialect and applied to obtained results which were important the particular circumstances of their steps towards the differential calculus time. It may be worth while, therefore, developed by Newton and Leibnitz. In to consider in what way Pascal's view his last years, when attacked by a bad was colored by the conditions of the day, toothache, he returned to the studies and what are its true relations to the which had long been thrown aside, and development of thought. I make no

in a few sleepless nights discovered cerclaim to the special knowledge which tain geometrical theorems. His results would be necessary for a treatise, and

were published, and the mathematiam content to refer, once for all, to Ste.- cians of Europe challenged to find out Beuve's admirable “Port Royal,” in the proof. After three months' labor, which the great critic has shown Pascal Wallis, the ablest English mathematias a living man among his surroundings, cian of the day, produced a proof-not, and pointed out with incomparable skill it was said, satisfactory. Patriotism his relation not only to the religious and induces me to add that Wallis had no philosophical, but to the social, political, toothache to stimulate him. At and literary movements of a profoundly early age, however, Pascal's health had interesting period. I shall only aim at broken down; from his eighteenth year setting out one or two cardinal points. until his death he never had a day free

First of all, Pascal came at a great from pain. His first conversion, at the period: at the time when philosophic age of twenty-three, induced him to 1 Lecture before the West London Ethical

throw aside scientific activity as Society, May 2, 1897.

worldly vanity. He became closely as

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