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apparently about twenty-two years of age sitting up and giving suck to an insant. The arrival of the Chiffonier appeared to produce a momentary alarm upon the mother, who gazed upon him with an expression of sadness mingled with despair. The two females then held a conference for several minutes, but in so subdued a tone, that Jacques was unable to distinguish a particle of the subject; the deep and frequent signs, however which accompanied their words, convinced him that some important question was in agitation. At length the young person, who had not addressed a single word to Jacques since she had spoken to him in the passage, suddenly quitted the bedside and came towards him with the child in her arms which she presented to him with a look at once wild, supplicatory, and determined, uttering the following, which seemed to cost her considerable effort. “Aux enfans trouves 7 '' quite at a loss to divine the part he was called on to take in what appeared to him little less than a pantomine, continued motionless and silent, casting his eyos, now on the child, now on the person who held it out to him and then looking towards the bed, he perceived that the mother had covered her face with her hands, and buried her head in the pillow, as if desirous to shun the sight of what was going on.
Jacques, who was at first
of his morning's adventure.
We will not pause to inquire into the motives which may have weighed upon he mind of the parent, if indeed she was capable of any at the moment; nor alteinpt to censure or extenuate, the act whether it arose from a vicious constitu. tion of society, or from exceptional de pravity or weakness; certain it is, that not only in Paris, but in every other part of France; a receptacle is continually open for the gratuitous support of abandoned infancy; the present, therefore, may be looked upon as an instance by no means uncommon of a mother induced to “pluck her nipple from the boneless gums" of her offspring, and lose sight of it probably for e Vet. In one of those small streets, or rather alleys, which lead out of the Rue St. Denis in a garret or mansurde of a house, prin. cipally inhabited by lodgers belonging so the poor class of Paris, was the humble residence of the Chiffonier. Jacques had
his way home in as direct a line as he was able, where he found his wise, to whom he communicated the circumstance The good woman received the insant with maternal tenderness and having no child, she imme
diately agreed to her husbands proposal of taking care as he said, of la petite mulle reuse.
—Appearances were too strong to admit The first years of the foundling glide
of doubt in the mind of Jacques as to the
on prosperously, and the little Josephino
facts, and he felt little desirous of ender for such was the name the honest coup;
taking the part assigned to him when just at that moment the sun, rising over the roof of the opposite house, darted a sudden ray of light through the window of the room, and gleaned upon the soft and balmy features of the child as it slept, nor is it too much to suppose that the silent eloquence of nature which those features conveyed, found an echo in the heart of the chiffonier, whose eye seen.ed to gaze with admiration, perhaps with pity. on the beautiful infant thus abandoned bv its unhappy parent. “Oui, je le veux bien.” said Jacques, taking his basket. half fille i with his morning's round from his shoulders, and placing it on the floor.
The principal difficulty thus surmounted, the remaining arrangements were easily made.
had given her, increased in health, streng and leauty; and as soon as her ageper” ted, she was sent to a day-school, where she acquired the rudiments of ordina's education with lemarkable facility; no was it without a secret triumph that Jac. ques beheld the unfolding graces of her hind and body, which daily and ho declared themselves, shedding a luo" over his lowly habitation as sacred ano pure as the morning sun-beam whic played upon her insant traits at the * inent she had been consigned to him.,. such was the obscuroim of this chi" deprived of what are called the ad". tages of an early acquaintance with.” ty, but placed beyond the reaches o: prejudices which often vitiate the orio purity of nature, and poison the *
qualities of the heart at their very source. From her childhood she had been accustomed to hear her foster father recount the history of his military career, and her mind had thereby acquired a strong bias in favour of martial glory, an admiration of danger, and scenes of war; in fact, Josephine became a genuine daughter of imperial France, and imbibed the full measure of that militury spirit which so deeply tinctures the national character of both sexes in that country, and to which the history of the world presents no parallel. On the other hand, principles of a milder, and indeed different description, were daily instilled into her mind by the uniform precept and example of her sup: posed mother, who never failed to accus. tom her adopted child to the regular dis. charge of those duties which the Catholic church so rigidly inculcates; and if the beauty of holiness consists in unaffected devotion, and in the absence of ostentation, it was surely never more effectually portrayed that, in the parental solicitude of this poor woman for the moral welfare of her protegee. - * It happened that Josophine, thus conducted, went one morning to the Egfise St. Marie, at an hour so early that day. light had not completely made its way through the sombre aisles, when just as she was crossing her forehead with holy water, placed as it usually is against the pillar, near the portico, a young man. apparently about twenty years of age, hap. pened to catch a glimpse of her features as he passed : continuing his way, however a looker on' woul! have said that he did not appear to be in the least affected by the circumstance, but he had no sooner laid his hand on the door, than he turned round, looked in the direction the two females had takes, and then, as correcting an involuntary movement, suddenly left the church. During a period of several years, including the last days of the French Em: ire and the beginning of the restoration, sons: le Comte de V., who had retired from the army in consequence of habitual
ill health, occupied an apartment on the
second floor of the house of the Bouvelard du Temple. still in the prime of life, unmarried, and
belonging to one of the best families of
The gentleman, although
France, seemed to shun society to a degree of eccentricity, employing the great. est portion of his time in directing the studies of a yonth, whom some supposed to be his real, others his adopted son; and young Albert was in every way worthy of that extraordinary period of the French history—a period in which the whole energies of the whole nation, in arts, as in arms, seemed concentrated in one and the same purpose. That aspiring tendency to gigantic effort, and sublimity of corception, the peculiar inheritance of this epoch, was largely participated in by this youth, who had prosecuted his studies, in painting especially, with so much success that no doubts were entertained as to his final distinctions. I’red, as he had been, in the house, and under the immediate eye of the Compte, his morals had in a great measure escaped the pestilental atmosphere of Paris, and when alone, his habits were of a more serious turn than is usually found among the generality of the metropolitan students. The reader will not be surprised then, that it was no other than this youth who had caught a view of the interesting sectores of Josephine, in the place and under the circumstances we have described.— It must be allowed that there was little in the countenance of the young woman calculated to attract particular attention at first sight; it is not the less certain, however that Albert had experienced a secret, and, as it were, magnetic impression, which can only be explained by the accideutal circumstances under which the parties happened to be at the moment. The youth, was probably raised above the glare of mere physical |. and his young imagination had, doubless, no small share in attaching to the mild and supplicatory expression of her up-turned eye, engaged, as Josephine was; in an act of devotional exercise, the idea of something superior to carthly be. ing; and this idea clung to his thoughts, howevel unconscious of it he might be, so closely, that every time the same image recurred to him, it appeared to absorb his whole attention. “What a study 1" he would internally exclaim; “what an expression of seraphic devotion " Can we wonder, then, that Albert proceeded to the church at about the same hour a few days afterwards? Is it extraordinary
that he felt an intense desire to obtain a sketch of those features which his enthusiastic fancy had so quickly wrought up to the beau wieal of intellectual expression. He had not been long in the church before the object of his search appeared. He took care to place himself in a position which enabled him to take a deliberate survey of Josephine's face, and in a proportion as his eye analysed each feature with the pleasure an artist experiences - when wrapt in the contemplation of a fa
vourite subject, he became more and
more persuaded that he had discovered a model he should vainly expect to find elsewhere, carried away, as he evidently was by the full force of those convictions which are produced by the silent operations of nature alone, and which, on this occasion, presented the whole traits of Josephine to his mind, replete with beauty, with poetry, and with truth. The circumstances under which the poor girl was placed, presented little difficulty in the way of Albert's desire of taking a careful likeness, and he intended the portrait as a study for the exercise of the best efforts of his pencil; losing no time, therefore in the execution of his project, the painting was finished in the course of a few weeks. Put the turn which this circumstance had imparted to the mind of Albert, gave a new existence to his thoughts, and breathed new life into his imagination, which appeared to glow and fructify under the influence of a power which he had evinently neither the will nor the ability to controui. Till this period he had been more under the in pressions of the rules of his art, than in immediate correspondence with nature, sh that every time he reviewed the picture it seemed to breathe forth some hitherto undiscovered beauty, some latent expression of poetic excellence, which associated itself with what he felt to be the very reflection of intelligence. It is necessary to remind the reader that this production had been kept strictly secret as far as the Comte was concerned its author considering it a chef d’auver having prudently determined not to present it for inspection till completely finished, and as soon as it had received the last touches, Josephine, together with her fos
ject, more ideas may be drawn out by
painting than can easily be expressed by
dor, when he beheld the portrait of Jose-rent reluctance, and bowing to the Comte,
pline,which was placed directly opposite,
the door. It would be impossible to convey an adequate idea of the scene which presented itself at this moment. The Comte stood amazed like one unable to credit the testimony of his eyes. A pause of several minutes e...sued, during which the Comte's hand seemed to be directed by some mysterious agency, towards his bosom, from whence he drew forth a miniature portrait, which was a sac-simile of the painting, and presenting it to the us. tonished Albert, he exclaimed with evident emotion, “Good heavens, what can this mean o' Albert started as he seized the hand of the Comte and recognized the likeness of the miniature to the painting and Josephine, who stood lost in amazement at the inexplicable sensation which the Comte and Albert betrayed. As the convictions of the Comte originated from what had already a positive existence, and were, therefore, in a great degree allied to recollections, so those of Albert had their source in possibility. and were, therefore, more of the nature of pervision. Immediately after the extraordinary scene in Albert's study, the Comte retired to his apartment, making a sign to Albert that he wished to be alone. A few minutes afterwards Jacques was requested to join him, when the following dialogue took place. “Tell me, my brave fellow, who is the young person who accompanied you here this morning !” "My adopted daughter,' replied Jacques. ‘And how came this young womanto be adopted by you?' 'She was placed in my hands by her mother.” ‘And were you not directed to take the child to the Fondling Hospital' ‘Yes sir," replied Jacques with astonishshěnt, ‘Enough, added the comte, “here is an order upon my banker for a small sum of money for your immediate use. I request you to allow your adopted, daughter to some here to-morrow morning at this hour.’ Jacques received the paper with appa
left the room. i = * * * * * As soon as the Chiffonier and his family had quitted the house, Albert was sum, moned into the apartment of his foster parent, whom he found plunged into a state of deep reflection, so much so, that his entrance seemed unperceived, but his impatience to arrive at the solution of the mysterious appearances which had transpired, induced him to awaken the attention of the Comte. “I believe you sent for me,’ said the youth. “I did, Albert—sit down and tell me how you became acquainted with the Chiffonier and his family.’ - - Albeit immediatley related the circumstances nearly as we have stated them which the comte heard with evident interest and surprise. After the youth had answered the comte's inquiries, the latter relapsed into his previous reverie, and paced to and fro in his room for a considerable time, leaving Albert in the same state of wonder and anxiety. The remainder of the day passed on and nothing escaped the lips of the comte which could afford the slightest clue to what was passing in his mind his conversation at dinner was reserved aud limited to the most ordinary topics. It was evident however, to Albert that the thoughts of his friend were abstracted indeed, the long and frequent intervals of revenie which he remarked, denoted a total unconsciousness of every exterior object, It was in vain that the youth endeavoured to draw out the usual communicative habits of his patron, and thereby gain some intelligence that might guide his conjectures through the inexplicable maze in which every circumstance connected with Josephine was enveloped That there existed some fatal secrte to be disclosed he felt convinced that it was intimately connected with the comte, in some way or other he could not prevail upon himself to doubt, several times he was on the point of requesting another look at the mysterious miniature: but the moment his eyes were raised towards those of his friend for that purpose the jo ness of the latter awed him into silence: he therefore determined to wait p’ >atly till time should afford the wishedud/f denouement. Had Albert been a youth of ordinary cast—had his habits partakon of a
prying or restless curiosity wheih is o imore than repaid my care; I am inconsistent with respect to the feelings' proud in the possession of a son who des of others as it is alien to that pious confi-honour to myself, and promises to become dence which a well conditioned mind is an ornament to 1 is country. If I hate wont to have in the ultimate solution of hitherto left the secret of your birth m events—he would perhaps have, on leaving known to yourself and to the world, the dinner-table sought out the chiffonier's have done so from motives which you will garret for the purpose of iuquiry: but such know how to appreciate. proceedings, he could not help feeling, were “But how shall I discharge the debt unworthy of that frank and implicit respect owe to you, Albert 1" continued the come he owed to the character of the comte' whose voice began to faller with the whom he had ever been accustomed to re-movement of tenderness and satisfaction verence with more than filial attachment. “you have been the instrument in th: The hour of repose arrived, and the hands of Providence of discovering my comte and Albert retired to their respec-only child, and the daughter of a being tive chambers: the youth passed the night whose lot has been hard, as will appear in calm and refreshing oblivion, the comte by these letters. Yes Albert, Josephine in wakefulness and reflection. the apparent child of this poor coupleThe following morning saw Josephine. Josephine, whose features you have so at the comte's lodgings; the eye of Albert faithfully depicted—is my lawsul daugh. brightened, and his beat quickly, why he ter!" As he uttered these words, his emo. probably knew not when, being called in-tion deprived him of further articulation: to the comte's apartment, he found the and instirctively stretching out his arms whole party there; and his friend engaged towards Josephine who was seated immt. in examining a packet of letters, from diately beside him he embraced her with which he appeared to pe taking notes, convulsive rapture, - o There was a breathless silence for severa! "'The scene which the heart alone can minutes, which the count interrupted in conceive, we will not attempt to analyst the following words— . . . * * it was one of those incidents of real || * “Inexplicable are the workings of des. of which an adequate estimation is impo tiny—strange are the vicissitudes of hu- sible and embellishment were superfluoto. man existence, and the ultimate "conse. a scene which nature's self will be proud quences of human actions as will appear to inscribe in the fairest peaces of her it by what I am about to disclose" of hen cords, and triumphantly point at “for or fixing his eyes steadily upon Albert, he men” Let us therefore, like prudent do *" continued. “At the battle off Wagram matists, allow the curtain to close ovel my superior officer Captain —, by it while we prepare our last and necesso whose side I was fighting, received his ry act, which the spectator, however," death wound; and while breathing his wont to arrive at by anticipation, and ho last in my arms, he assured me that the unfrequently leaves the theatre, as though only circumstance of regret at the loss of unwilling to allow his impressions to life in the field of honour, was his leaving'effaced by the representations of mino an only son, till that moment dependant importance. It merely remains to * upon him for support. I immediately stated that the comte briefly demonstr." made him a solemn promise to adopt that by written and incontestible docume". son, and bring him up as my own. Al, the identity of Josephine, “A few weeks bert you are the son of the brave and dis-previously to my departure for a *. tinguished officer who bequeathed me that paign in the detachment of the imperia duty.” " : " . . . . . * * army, in opposition to the express to • Ålbert whose heart burst forth in a tor-mands of my fainily,” observed the co" rent of tears, rushed into the arms of his “I was privately married to the only benefactor, exclaiming, “Indeed, indeed, daughter of Madame de L--, wo sir you ruge faithfully kept your word. of an illustrious officer, whose na". How shaling show myself worthy of so conspicuous among his country's glo much generosily ". . . . . . . . . It unfortunately happened that M**".