Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

“A botch,” said Christophe, “who has not | Even, at this moment, it is not your fondness that even the first notions of his profession, whom the trembles to lose me: 't is your self-love that reBritish Admiralty ought to order to be whipped volts at the idea of my destiny being no more like a cabin boy."

limited to beguile your idle days, and it is I who “What matters it if I love him?" haughtily accuse you of cruelty and ingratitude. If I could demanded Jeanne.

open my heart to you, there, heartless men, would “ A young man,” said Joseph,“ whose life and you see that I associated you joyfully in all my family are perfectly unknown to us.”

dreams of happiness. And even were I ungrate“I love him, and will be his wife,” replied the ful,” cried she, with despair, “is it my fault if, inflexible gil.

in your Coat D'Or, I die of weariness and ennui ? But, Jeanne, you 're not thinking of it,” ex- Is it my fault if you three alone be not the whole claimed Christophe; “ you forget that M. Whit- world to me, and your affection suffice not to my worth is an Englishman ; and it was an English- life? What care I for your dresses, your diaman who killed your father, and made you an monds, your jewels, if I am to be young and beauorphan.”

tiful but for the seagulls of yonder shore? Beware, Consider, my dear Jeanne ; probably he is a uncles! Your blood flows in my veins. You Protestant,” said Joseph.

have called me Vaillance ; and I am a girl to prove “I care about nothing in the world ; I love myself, sooner or later, worthy of my name.' him, and will have him for my husband.”

But, unfortunate and misled child !” exclaimed Thus were seen struggling, on one side, the Jean, fatally inspired, “ do you see nothing, unegotism of love on the other, the egotism of derstand nothing ? The mystery hanging over family: they were both inexorable. The brothers Mr. Wentworth, his melancholy, his reluctance to proceeded at first by tears and prayers; at last converse about his life and family-did all this they came to recrimination and anger. Chris- reveal nothing to you? Did you never think that tophe, Jean, and Joseph himself, thought that he was not free, that, perhaps, he was married ?" Jeanne's love for George was a mere childish pas- This supposition flashed upon her with horrible sion; but even had they well appreciated all its truth. She rose, made a few steps, uttered a cry, importance, they would never have consented to like a bird mortally wounded, and fell lifeless into give their niece to George, so well convinced the arms of Joseph. were they that thus married, she would be lost to “Ah! the cure is worse than the evil : you them. Vainly did she then beseech them—they have killed our child. And, moreover, Jean, 't is showed themselves without pity; and vainly did a lie; God never permits a lie.” they endeavor to win her over to their side—they “A lie-how do we know?” said Jean. found her unshakeable.

"Faith,” added Christophe, “the English are “ Dear and cruel child !” said Joseph, trying capable of everything." a last effort,

are you not happy? What insane Jeanne was carried to her chamber. Fainting desire makes you wish to change your young lib- was succeeded by a violent fever, followed by deerty for the cares of marriage ? Scarcely have you lirium; and every fear was entertained for her begun life, and already you would bind yourself life. 'T was Joseph who watched over her, for by eternal links ! What is wanting to your hap- he was the only one the young patient would piness ?

allow to approach her bedside ; she repulsed the “George,” replied Jeanne, with imperturbable two others with horror. Nothing could express sang froid.

the despair of Christophe and Jean ; nothing could Poor Joseph had not courage to prolong a dis- tell the remorse of poor Joseph. course, the exordium of which obtained such bril- Miserable that I am !” would he exclaim, at liant success.

night, kneeling by his niece's bed, and holding “Oh! how ungrateful, Jeanne,” said Jean, her burning hands in his own; “'t is I who have bitterly.

done all the evil ! Oh, Lord, forgive me! Dear Oh!” cried Christophe, with vehemence, “I and unhappy child !” don't think there ever was a heart more ungrate- But Jeanne heard him not. She called George, ful than yours. Forget, then, all that your uncles tenderly; then, at once, uttering a heartrending have been to you. Hasten to lose the memory of cry, would bury her head beneath the bedclothes, the past, lest your conscience should rise up against as it were, not to see the menacing phantoms you."

that came constantly between her and her lover. “I understand you,” said Jeanne, weeping ; Vainly did Joseph whisper to her that George

at last, I read your souls. You never loved was free, that she had been deceived: the poor me!--no, never ; you never did love me, hard-girl heard but the cries of her own heart. Behearted uncles ! Now do I know the secret of holding so deep a grief, Joseph had drowned his your selfish affection. I was, at first, for you but jealousy in tears of repentance. He would wil& plaything, an amusement, a pastime. Later, it lingly have given his life to secure the happiness was your pride, not your love, that decked me. of Jeanne, and thus redeem a moment of error and To your vanity alone do I owe your gifts and selfishness. More than once he besought his

If you adorned my youth, it was simply brothers to recall George ; but Christophe and to animate your home, to distract your leisure. Jean answered—the one, that they must consider --the other, that they must wait. It was, indeed, / with one hand thou strikest us, with the other a terrible and violent struggle between egotism and thou dost lift us up. Thy mercy is still greater affection. Undoubtedly, love would finally have than thy wrath is terrible. Thy name be blessed, prevailed. The danger lasted but a day: that oh, Lord! and grant that this young man may danger over, egotism triumphed.

caresses.

not yet have quitted our shores." The delirium had subsided, the height of the Having said this, he rushed out of the room, fever was abated, Jeanne seemed to be resigned ; got a horse saddled, and without acquainting his but seeing her pale and sorrowful face, it could be brothers of his departure, started at full gallop easily perceived that she was dead to every joy towards St. Brieuc. and hope. Whilst she slept, Christophe and Jean “Oh, that he may still be there!'* repeated he, would glide softly into her chamber, for she per- spurring his horse. On approaching the town, he sisted in refusing to admit them. They would stopped to speak to some laborers going to work. approach her bed, look upon her with a kindly He asked whether any ship had recently sailed for gaze, and retire, like true children, as they were. England.

“ Brother,” said Jean to Christophe, one day, “ No, sir," said one of them, “ unless the cap“ it breaks my heart to see her in so sad a con- tain of the Waverley weighed anchor last night, as dition ; I think we'd do well to recall that infer- he intended.” nal George. I don't like him, mille canons ; but, “ It can't be," said another, “ for the wind was in truth, Christophe, let it be he or another, we, against him.” sooner or later, must submit."

At midnight the wind changed,” added a "I can't conceive," said Christophe, “ the ma- third, who pretended he had seen at sunrise, from nia young girls have for marriage.'

the cliffs, a ship sailing towards the open sea. “ How the devil can you help it, my poor “Oh!" said the first," then it was the WaverChristophe?" replied Jean, sighing. “ It appears ley.” to be the case everywhere-fine ladies, country Whilst they were discussing, Jean, burning girls, and vivandières wish to try their luck." with anxiety, gallopped away and stopped only at

“We must see: there is no hurry,” said Chris- the residence of the English consul. When Jean tophe; “ besides that Whitworth must be gone.” heard that the Waverley had not yet sailed for “How do we know ?” said Jean.

England, and, being under repairs, would not de“I am sure he is gone,” said Christophe, pos- part for some days, he blessed Heaven, and re itively.

quested to be shown to the chamber of George. “If such be the case," added Jean, with secret When Jean entered, George was leaning on the satisfaction, “ we've done our duty, and have table, his head resting on his hands. At the nothing to reproach ourselves with."

noise of the door opening, he turned round and An unforeseen incident suddenly changed the recognized Jean. George's first inquiry was for state of things. One night, overpowered by emo- Jeanne; but Jean, instead of answering, stood be tion and fatigue, Joseph was obliged to give up fore him, and gazed upon him with silent and deep his sweet watch over Jeanne. It was Jean who curiosity. At length, he drew from his breast the took his place, happy to pass a few hours beside chain and relic which he had detached from the the beloved child. He found, by chance, the let- neck of his niece, and, presenting them to George, ter of George, which Jeanne, in the excitement it asked in an anxious voicehad caused her, had neglected to put away. Jean “ Is it really from you, sir, that my niece has read this letter by the pale light of the lamp ; the received this relic and this hair chain ?" last lines disturbed him. He rose, ran at once to Yes, sir, it is from me," replied the officer, the bedside of Jeanne : the young girl reposed gravely. calm and serene. He bent gently over her, per- “Can you tell me, also," rejoined Jean, “ from ceived round her neck the hair chain by which whom you got them? It is not mere curiosity ; hung the relic of George. At this sight his on it depends the happiness of us all. limbs failed him; he was compelled to sit on the you this chain and this relic?

Where did you foot of the bed. At last, with a trembling hand, find them? How long did you possess them behe unknotted the chain, came close to the lamp, fore you gave them to Jeanne ?" and the breaking day found him in the same place, “Sir," replied George, who had caught the pale, motionless ; his eyes fixed on the chain and emotion of Jean, “many a time have I questioned on the relic.

It was the freshness of the morning my fate ; but I can answer nothing. Fate has rethat awoke him from the kind of stupor into which mained silent." he had fallen. He raised his hands to his face, “But, at least, do you know from whom you to assure himself that he was awake, that it was hold this relic and chain ?" asked Jean, in an imnot a dream. By one of those sudden revolutions pressive tone. He could hardly hold up; he of the human heart, his assumed irreligion gave was compelled to lean on the back of an armway before the tide of strong feeling swelling chair. within his breast: moved by a supernatural im- “ I know it not, sir,” replied George, who himpulse, he fell on his knees and exclaimed—“Oh, self felt greatly moved, and became more agitated. my God! thy ways are impenetrable. Whilst “All I can say is, that until I detached it to send

Who gave

[ocr errors]

't is a

CHAPTER V.

it to Mademoiselle Jeanne, as a token of my re- | ferent languages, that I do not remember that spectful affection, this relic had ever lain on my which I first uttered. Yet I never spoke yours heart."

but my heart vibrated at the sound of my own “Ever!” exclaimed Jean.

voice. I ever thought it the language of my • Ever,” repeated the young man. “ But, sir, mother." can you not tell me in your turn to what tend all “ Then,” said Jean, gazing upon him with a these questions?”

loving eye, when you went to England you were “ Then you say,” exclaimed Jean, pursuing the but a child ?” course of his ideas—" you say that this relic has “ Yes; hardly six years old." at all times been placed upon your heart; you are “And you had round you neckignorant, say you, of the hand which suspended it “ This chain and this relic.

But now you, round your neck? But then, sir," added he, with sir, speak--speak, what have you to disclose to some hesitation, “ you never knew your family?” me?"

“Sir," coldly replied George, "you should Jean, who had dropt into an arm-chair, suddenly have guessed it by my silence and my sadness, rose, tore open the shirt which covered the breast every time you questioned me on the subject, dur- of George, and finding on it the cannon which he, ing my sojourn at the Coat D'Or. You should, himself, had tattooed there a short time before los above all, have understood it from my prompt resig- ing him, threw his arms round his neck, and nation, when it was decided that I should quit the pressing him on his heart, place where I had left all my soul.”

“ Is it you ?" exclaimed he, in a broken voice • Speak, speak!” exclaimed Jean ;

-“ is it you, my own Louis ?—the only son of friend who entreats you. Interrogate your mem- my dear Fanchette. Heaven be blessed! can it be ory, and relate to me all you know of your life.” you?”

“ Indeed, sir," replied George, surprised and affected, “ I really know not if I ought.”

“ If you ought!” exclaimed Jean, astounded - The same day, a few hours after the scene “ if you ought,” repeated he several times. “The which had taken place that morning at St. Brieuc, chain is made of my wife's hair ; this relic-it Jeanne awoke from a long trance.

On opening was I who attached it, the day of her death, to the her eyes she beheld seated by the bedside Jean, neck of my boy, my only child. I could not mis- Joseph, Christophe, and George. Joy and gladtake ; it bears the date ; I engraved it myself with ness shone in every face. George and Joseph the point of a knife.”

each held a hand of Jeanne. "Sweet dream! do At these words George grew pale, and both not wake me,” murmured she; and gently closing for some moments looked at each other silently. her eyelids, she fell into that half sleep which is George thoughtfully carried his hand to his brow, like a twilight to the soul ; 't is no longer dark, 'tis as a man seeking to remember; then he re- not yet day. At length, actuated by a vague senplied

timent of reality, she again opened her eyes, and " I know nothing of my childhood; all I could comprehending this time that it was not a dream, learn from the fisherman living at Hull, and by fell into the arms of Joseph, and a moment after whom I was partly reared, was, that in February, called her other uncles to embrace them.

As to 1817, I was entrusted to his care by a Russian George, not a word, not a sign, and scarcely a merchant, who left him a sum sufficient to provide look ; for the three others the most coaxing caresses for my future wants."

and affectionate looks. Yet a vague inquietude “Wait, wait," interrupted Jean. Can you dwelt at the bottom of her heart. All on a sudtell me how old you were at that time?" den her countenance became gloomy. She turned

“As far as these good people could judge, I to Jean, and said in a trembling voicemust have been between five and six."

“Uncle, you told me he was not free?" Jean, whose emotion was increasing every mo- “I have told you the truth,” returned Jean, ment, murmured, “ 1812," and, counting on his with a knowing smile. fingers, exclaimed

Uncle, you told me he was married ?" “ Yes ; 1812–1817; it is about the dates," “ To be sure, and here is his wife,” exclaimed and, saying so, he examined the figures which he Jean, covering with kisses the head of the fair had traced on the relic.

child. “ Continue, continue, I beg of you, for more The three brothers had secretly agreed that than you can believe am I interested in your their niece should learn the truth at the hour of

her marriage only; as to George, he took pleasure “ Two years passed without the good fisherman in prolonging a mystery which allowed him to hearing from the merchant. However, I was feel himself loved for his own sake. On the other adopted by him, called from his own name, George hand, the three uncles were not sorry to appear to Whitworth, and reared with his son Albert. My have yielded solely to the wishes of their niece, adoptive father died when I was still very young. and to let her, for a time, believe in their disinterI have seen since so many different countries, that estedness. all these remembrances are almost effaced from my “I have no country of my own," would George mind. I have spoken, heard spoken so many dif- say.

39

life"

CCLXXX.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. XXII.

66

“ You have France," would answer Jeanne ;| thanked Providence for giving to Jeanne the only "did you then dream of a sweeter fatherland ?” husband who could satisfy all their exigencies. “I have no fortune."

Joseph, faithful to his laudable practices, continued Ungrateful heart !" would reply Jeanne, smil- to sing the praises of God, and called down all ing.

his blessings on these two young and fair heads. “ I have no family.”

Happiness and love are great doctors; at the end “ You forget my uncles."

of a week Jeanne was completely restored. It “ Consider, I have no name.”

was decided that all the family should accompany George!” said Jeanne, closing his lips with George, or rather Louis Legoff, who, though he her hand.

had recovered his father, his name, and his fan You were so obstinate about him," exclaimed ily, remained for a time the humble subject of Eng. Jean, " that we were obliged to give him to you ; land. that George!”

At length they all embarked on board the “ Did we ever refuse you anything ?” said Chris-1“ Waverley," and it was really an enchanted voy tophe.

age, except for Christophe and Jean, who resigned “Oh, you are very good !” exclaimed Jeanne, themselves with difficulty to set foot on the soil of with real fondness.

La perfide Albion. They declared London to be It seemed as though Heaven had taken pity on a horrible place, far inferior, as to monuments, to the tenderness and selfishness of these men, and Bignic, and, above all, to St. Brieuc. In the even of Joseph, by so combining the event that streets, they had a certain way of looking at the Jeanne could marry without changing dwelling, passengers, which many a time was near getting name, or family. However, our veracity, as his- them into trouble ; Jean, who had hitherto imagtorians, compels us to state, that Christophe and ined that St. Helena was the gaol of London, had Joseph did not at first bow with a lively enthusi- asked to visit the dungeon where his emperor had asm to the decree of Providence ; especially Chris- died. After a few days, George had concluded tophe, who, little religious as he was, cared but his affairs with the board of admiralty. Jean and slightly about the resurrection of this new Moses. Christophe accompanied him to assist as witnesses ;

“But tell me, brother Jean,” said Christophe, Jean found means of introducing the great name one evening that he took him aside, “are you of Napoleon, and expressed himself in so unbecomquite sure he is your own Louis ? All this ap- ing a manner, that he was silenced, and politely pears to me rather romantic and tolerably fabu- shown to the door. The young officer, neverthelous."

less, obtained his end; he offered his resignation There can be no doubt about it,” replied Jean, -it was accepted ; and, ere they had been absent nodding his head, with a smile of the deepest con- a month from France, they returned to her happy tentment. “I recognized on his chest the cannon shores. which I tattooed myself. I still see my poor Fan- Joseph, as most competent in such matters, had chette holding the dear child. Moreover, it was taken upon himself to obtain the necessary dis the eve of our last battle. Methinks

pensation from Rome; and, thanks to the kind “No matter," interrupted Christophe,“ your intervention of the bishop of the diocese, they son is a happy devil; we ha reared him his found on the return to the Coat D'Or, the papers wife like a pet bird. I must say, too, brother which set aside all obstacles to the union of Jeanne Jean, that both your Fanchette and you behaved with her cousin, George Louis Legoff. It was elegantly. After all, sooner or later, we should only on the day of her marriage that Jeanne knew have seen the dear girl get married. Far better that she was going to marry her cousin. You is it that George be the happy man, than that may easily imagine her transports of joy on hearsuch a fortune had blessed any other. Our little ing that she should continue to bear the name angel won't quit the family. Jeanne will still which Joseph, Christophe, and Jean, had taught bear our name, and perpetuate the race of the Le- her to love. goffs.”

As we conclude this tale, seven years have “ True!" answered Jean, “ and Joseph was passed over the marriage of our young couple. right enough in saying that Providence some day Their hearts always beat with the same fond affecor another might turn a benevolent eye upon us. ”tion ; Jeanne had lost nothing of her grace and

“And a nice compensation you find, Jean, in beauty. Grave and smiling, as becomes a young the fate of your offspring; a cousin, a wife, and a mother, she is, more than ever, the pride and joy princely fortune-a pleasant family—a name glo- of the Coat D'Or. Two handsome children are rious in the annals of the army and navy; all that playing at her feet, and her old uncles redouble for the loss of a frigate ; it was well for him he their love and respect. was wrecked. Nevertheless, after the first move- “For it was you, sweet Jeanne," say they ment of jealousy and egotism, both Christophe and often—"it was you who opened to us the pathe Joseph submitted sincerely to their destiny, and of virtue and family duties.”

[ocr errors]

From the Spectator. have been omitted or contracted. But the comWALPOLE'S FOUR YEARS IN THE PACIFIC.

parative novelty of many of the places, people “Several months of light study and heavy and occurrences—the associations with which indiscretions” having reduced the Honorable some of the spots are connected—and the freshFrederick Walpole's purse, paled his cheek, and ness, vivacity and unaffected good-nature of the weakened his constitution, he rejoined her maj- writer--make up a very pleasant companion-book. esty's service, and was appointed midshipman, or The first chapter gives a short account of the master's mate, to the Collingwood of eighty guns, most remarkable incidents of the voyage to Valthen (in 1844) about to sail for the Pacific. With paraiso ; whence the author returns to Madeira her he continued till she was relieved in 1843; and Rio. The description of the midshipmen's having in the interim risen to the grade of lieu- berth is not only a graphic little sketch, but is an tenant, and visited Valparaiso the chief port and apt sequence to our last week's paper on the case Santiago the capital of Chili; Juan Fernandez, of of the Naval Assistant-Surgeons. This is the romantic memory; Lima, and several towns on scene to which the orders of the Admiralty perthe coast of Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Califor- sist in inducting the members of a learned profesnia; as well as the Society and Sandwich Islands, sion. and one or two less known groups. At some of It was a little after noon, when, having perthese places the visits were little beyond calls, and formed the ceremony of reporting myself on deck, Mr. Walpole saw no more than could be seen in a I descended to see my mess, and make acquaintance few days' “ Jeave ” made the most of. At the with my new messmates. The gun-room door was Sandwich and Society Islands his sojourn was open; and even a landsman might have known from longer ; his means of observation were more ex- tables, very old, very shaky, though originally built

the noise that there dwelt the “ mids." Two deal tensive ; and, though the temporary interest is by men who knew midshipmen well, and cut with past and the subject regards history or the future, devices that would puzzle an antiquary, were placed he was at Otaheite while the French were trying on either side. The space left clear was occupied to establish their dominion, and again when they by two pugilists, who, under the instruction of a had succeeded. Chili, however, was his head- famous fancy man, were milling like mad. Beer quarters after the Collingwood's cruises : he seems

abounded in large jugs ; admiring gazers on the to have resided there for considerable periods on

fight sat round, drinking the same; in the ports

men of milder mood were solacing themselves with leave of absence; and certainly his account of pipes and cigars. One or two, fresh from quieter the pleasures of the Pacific appears to bear out scenes, were perseveringly trying to read or write. Mr. Cobden's views of the easy berths enjoyed by Desks, books, the gifts of tender mothers, perhaps, the officers of a man-of-war on a foreign station. or of fathers who hoped for clever sons, were piled At the same time, as Lieutenant Walpole has con- in the corners, together with boat-gear, swordsidered it his “duty to forbear all mention of ship From such a beginning you may judge what our

sticks, and heaps of other things past mentioning. or officers, and of all public transactions,” it is life was to be. None liked it then more than your probable that we have only the fair weather sidehumble servant ; and I actually underwent a course the summer season of the service.

of lessons in boxing—which seems to consist in The book before us is the general result of the standing up and paying a man to lick you most comauthor's experience, not a continuous narrative ; pletely ; rather a work of supererogation, as in our Mr. Walpole presenting his subjects in a chapter nightly rambles at Portsmouth we found people or series of chapters treating of political matters. who did it as well for nothing. By this means, he avoids the tedium and com- Such are the scenes by day. The following monplace that attend a full relation of travels pictures the sleeping accommodation. when there is nothing remarkable to relate ; one The lieutenants, lucky fellows! have their section contains general description, another the own cabins, (cupboards seven feet long by eight or account of any striking incident—as the author's nine wide,) with a hole three inches round, io adsporting adventures in the Andes. Mr. Walpole mit light and air. This lets in a gleam big enough also possesses the qualifications to make a readable to shave by, if properly used. The mids sleep in if not a valuable book. He has a fund of animal two large low places called the fore and after cockspirits, and the good nature of the sailor, with his however, is their sleep there than that of many a

pits, in large bags hung up at either end. Sounder, disposition to look on the bright side of things, prince beneath a silken quilt. These hammocks and to push on through the gloomiest. His style are lashed up, and taken on deck every morning at is smart and lively—the results of a turn of mind half-past six ; so there is no compulsion to turn out, not of a studied mode of composition ; nor is he only you must. Here, in action, is the surgeon's devoid of vigor. Some sketches of South Amer- paradise : legs and arms are taken off, men sewed ican history were perhaps scarcely needed; but together, and men cut to pieces. In such a place

as this Lord Nelson and thousands of others have they are brief, rapid, and may be useful to a per- breathed their last. All the mids wash and dress son not very well read in the subject, as they are in public; and a noisy, skylarking scene it is, till obviously suggested by the scenes. The passing time has cooled the love of practical jokes : then it notice of Madeira and some other passages might tires.

This sketch of the albatross, also from the voy* Four years in the Pacific, in her Majesty's ship" Collingwood.” By Lieutenant the Honorable Frederick Wal: age out, is as picturesque as any we have met pole, R. N. In two volumes. Published by Bentley.

with.

« ElőzőTovább »