[ocr errors]


ment tinged with religion. The most nota- | munion. _Albert was to have been of the ble point in it is how Alexandrine, after all party to France, but at Cività Vecchia he her campaigns in the most brilliant society told his mother that he was feeling unwell, in the world, and af er having supped and would follow her by the packet two full of adulation, surrendered her whole days later, when he had been bled. The heart to the mastery of the younger man, of next morning, however, he was in a vio no high pretension to wealth or rank, wbo, lent fever, and poor M. de la Ferronwhile absolutely fascinated by her charms, pays first became aware of his dangerous always kept his God in the first place, and state while from the window of the room showed that he did so. In April, Mme. and the steamer was still visible carrying away Mlle. d'Alopeus went to reside near Naples, the mother and sisters, who had gone on and lived in close intercourse with the rest board the previous night. of the La Ferronnays family, and there we During the height of Albert's danger, Alexfind the coupling of the most exalted self- andrine arrived at Rome with her mother, restrained piety with all the little extrava- and had the comfort of almost daily seeing gances of a lover. For instance, Alexan- the little girls in the convent, and hearing drine went for the first time since her fath- their report of their brother. It seems to er's death to the opera, and put on a white have been what passed between him and dress, in which she enjoyed showing herself his father during his illness, and the exto Albert and Pauline. She returned home treme anxiety of Alexandrine on the other to Vomero at one o'clock at night, little hand, that made their parents at last conguessing that Albert followed her carriage sent to their engagement; and though Madall the way up the steep road, pushing ame d’Alopeus on going to Germany had a the wheels' behind at the worst places, short relapse into her original ambitious merely that he might have one glimpse of views for her daughter, constancy at last the flutter of her dress unseen by her

prevailed, and Albert and Alexandrine when she left the carriage in the court- were married at Naples on the 17th of April,

1834, first in the chapel of the Palazzo AcThe mutual love was confessed, but there ton, and afterwards by the Protestant Minwere many difficulties in the way. _Mme. ister, M Valette. d'Alopeus had engaged herself to a Russian A time of perfect happiness followed. A prince, named Paul Lapoukhyn, and thus great villa had been taken at Castellamare, could not free herself from the respects due Albert and Alexandrine lived on the ground to the Czar. Indeed Alexandrine, being a fluor, Charles, his wife and child, above them, maid of honour to the Empress, needed his and the main body of the family in the upconsent to her marriage, and his dislike to per story. Each set of'apartments had a bál French alliances was well known. Besides, cony, communicating with the rest by exterthe lady had expected a far more brilliant nal staircases. Pauline was on the eve of worldly lot for her beautiful daughter marriage with Mr. Craven, an English dithan a marriage with a younger son of a plomate, and the lite during that summer family in the situation of the La Ferronays, seems to have been like paradise to the and though she seems to have been delu- whole party, This is Pauline's descripsively affectionate and caressing when Al- tion: bert was with her, no sooner was he absent than she and her niece tried to persuade pied the ground floor, whose windows opened

"I said that Albert and Alexandrine occuAlexandrine out of her attachment.

at the top of some steps into the garden. On M. de la Ferronnays too, though, like all the night I specially recollect, their sitting-room the family, charmed with Alexandrine, and was full of lights, flowers, and music, Eugénio greatly flattered by the much-courted lady's was singing, and we were scated on the steps preference for Albert, had many doubts as outside, listening to her incomparable voice, to the prudence of a marriage between his while talking, inhaling the sweet perfume of son and one bred up in the excess of Rus. roses and orange blossoms, and gazing out on an. gian luxury, and for many months the affair unrivalled view, lighted by the moon and stars, remained in doubt. At last, in May, 1833, and illuminated likewise by the tires that, during it became expedient for Mme. de la Ferron- which a large stream, flowing from the summit

that year, were bursting from Vesuvius, and of nays to go on business to France, taking of the volcado, was descending towards the with her the elder ones of the family, and plain in the direction of Ortagano. Ah! wo leaving M. de la Ferronnays at Rome, where were all perfectly happy at that moment. The the two youngest girls, Olga and Albertine, bliss of Albert and Alexandrine seemed to us were to be placed at the convent of Trinità the presage and guarantee of our own,

The devoted affection of del Monte to prepare for Olga's first com- completed theirs.




weility of different lan

on dif

was al

Eugénie, more expansive than ever, made her white


their facility as mirthful as a bird, as bright as a sunbeam; guages and the different nationalities of and Fernand joined with her in enlivening days their friends make us understand something the importance of which might have made them of what this charm may have been. Alexserious. Yet even then, in the midst of all this andrine, half German, half Swede, a Russian cheerfulness, Eugénie often said to me, “O, my dear, what a pretty thing is life — what then subject, and yet her French as perfect as if will heaven be! Then death must be better it had been natural to her, must have been a worth than all this !” The end of the evenings perfect specimen of each country's best. Her was generally spent with Charles and Emma, manner was very lively, and her beauty whose tender-hearted sympathy left nothing to seems to have been simply and frankly desire. They had the most spacious of our bal- the pride ore

all the family - and there

of her dress on od together often till late into the night – those ferent occasions but so fond and affectionItalian nights that one cannot weary of enjoy ate as to take away the sense of frivolity. ing, and which in summer are lovelier than day. The length of time she took in dressing Never had our parents' affection been more completely gratified; nover, perhaps, had they more partly owing to her short sight restfully enjoyed the happiness of having us all ways a matter of innocent raillery, and it is about them. We were, alas, at our culmina- worth recollecting for the sake of the setion ; but it must be confessed that this summit quel. Wils gilded, and if ever it might be said of hap- Pisa was recommended to Albert for the piness that it was too great, too perfect to last, winter, and he took up his abode there with it was so with ours. The cloud that was so soon to darken it was showed that it had been doing her injustice

his wife in apartments, where Alexandrine already casting its shadow. For one day, six to fear her expensive tastes, for she was a weeks previously, we had been uneasy about Albert ; but anxiety, the gnawing worm of bliss, capital economist, with all her elegance. still respected ours. and, though alarmed for Albert was better, and the only shade of the moment, we had quickly recovered the se- trouble was at this time the manner in curity of inexperience. It was not till much which the difference in faith could not fail Jater, when Alexandrine was near the end of to be felt between two people thus intimateher ordeal, that going back from anguish to an. ly connected. Alexandrine had previously guish, even to the first alarm that disturbed shown herself much inclined to the Roman her serenity, she arrived at the day when for Catholic Church, but since her marriage the first time she saw Albert hastily put his her mother (now Princess Lapoukbyn) had handkerchief to his lips, and take it away spotted with blood. And that day? It was the tenth written to her that to hear of her changing after their marriage.'— Vol. i. pp. 198–200.

her faith would nail her (her mother) up in

her coffin. This had much startled AlexanOther symptoms caused it to be thought drine, and besides, though when among Protthat Castellmare did not agree with Albert, estants she was inclined to defend Catholiciand he was ordered to Sorrento, where the ty, the same impulse led her, when alone brothers and sisters frequently visited them. among Catholics, to stand up for the doc

There was as yet no blight upon their joy, trines she had been taught. On the whole, and they continued to enjoy their exqui. however, her religious teaching and impressite life. Perhaps few persons were ever sions seem to have been exceedingly vague, more capable of full enjoyment than this and chiefly to have consisted in pious sentifamily. They had all the happiness inspired ments affecting a mind of great natural by fervent piety; they were full of the de- sweetness and purity, and thus she was exlights of the easy mirthful intercourse of a actly in the state to be completely mastered large and united family in the first bloom of by the strength of positive and systematic youth ; they were cultivated and accom- belief, thoroughly acted on by those with plished so as to appreciate the exquisite whom her lot was cast. scenes of nature and art, as well as the histor- In October, they received a long visit ical associations of Italy; and there is also form Montalembert, who had begun apabout the whole of their writings and parently by slightly distrusting and respeeches an indescribable air of the very gretting Albert's passion for the beautiful highest breeding, as it with all their simpli- Swede, but on his arrival, yielded to her city and humility they were unconsciously charm and became her fast friend for life. the very creme de creme of society. In Here is a description of their way of spendone of his letters, Albert tells his sisters not ing their time, taken from a letter to to lose their cosmopolitan grace and become Eugénie: exclusively French, English, Italian, or any * Besides my reading of Dante, Montalembert thing else ; and even in these black and 'reads us legends. He is now reading us some



delicious ones of S. Francis d'Assisi, a very We cannot help lingering on this innokind Saint, who calls all the creatores his broth, cent brightness, so well crowning the young ers and sisters. He says, "frate lupo,” and life of one to whom his mother could write talks long to this same wolf, and calls the turtle on his birthday, the 21st of January, 1835 : doves my sisters, &c. Montal. is likewise writ. * It is twenty-three years to-day since I eming the life of St. Elizabeth, a German and a



for the first time. I seem to queen, - for whom he has made many journeys into Germany He is to read it to us when it have gone back to that time, for since that is finished. It will be delightful, but I beg you day, not one bas passed but my heart has to tell no one of it but Pauline. I am sure he been filled with you. You have always had rather it was not talked of beforehand. So been so excellent, that not the slightest pray let it remain between us He is cloud has darkened my affection for you, so fond of this Saint Elizabeth, he collects the not the shadow of a slight irritation has most minute details about her. He told us a

come between us.' Probably, however, story of a knight who wore the colours of a saint there was much truth in the self-dissection who bad appeared to bim in a vision: it was that we have from Albert's own hand, in pretty. The story did not end there, but it is his journal, which was in the form of a lettoo long to be told in a letter. you think of this life we are leading For my ter, addressed, - his sister believes, to the part, I love it! Besides, we have subscribed to Abbé Martin de Nodier. It is worth readthe library at Leghorn, and our tables are cov- ing, because it so curiously shows the differered with Reviews, newspapers (these for Mon- ence between the self-reliant character fostal.), with W. Scott's novels for Albert, and tered by our public school education and other books of all sorts for him and for me. the tender diffidence engendered by the Albert is beginning to learn German, bat he careful training and watching of foreign does not throw himself into it with your laud

discipline. able desperation. I am'sure you will soon know it' - P. 227.

Pisa, Feb. 1835. - You know, dear friend, It is amusing to find Montalembert ad- self out worse than I am.

that you have often accused me of making my

If you knew my vising Alexandrine to burn Father Clement whole life, you would soon change your mind,

a clever English book, well known thirty and find that my good character is terribly years ago, which had been lent her by some usurped, to such a degree that I am sometimes Protestant friends. She calls it a soi- tormented by the thought that there must be disant antidote to Catholicism, which had deceit in my nature. It is true that I have never had contrary effect from what it was in- been thoroughly bad, and that I never refused tended to produce. She is quite right, the the brilliant but fugitive flashes that have

marked Protestants of the book are Presbyterians, guilty? Dante describes such dubious souls as

soul. But am I not even more

my and Father Clement is by far the most rejected alike by heaven and hell. I take everybeautiful character in it and has the best of thing up, at first, with fervour, and at the same the argument. In Alexandrine's history it time what had found me most ardent, leaves me must always be borne in mind that her duiled and disgusted. Often before my maroriginal doctrine was Lutheranism, and it riage, in the most exalted period of my passion, was the Catholicity — not so much of Rome I felt discouraged. I owe this feebleness as of the Church Universal - that was at- and inconstancy partly to my weak health and tracting her. She had begun by feeling my delicate and irritable temperament, and much drawn to the Greek Church, but the partly also to an education without positive bias was now given by ber human affections for me, but the men to whom he entrasted me

aim. My father made all imaginable sacrifices and the examples she saw. She continues : abused his confidence. I was naturally gentle

and active; without them I might have comMontal. made me sing a number of ballads mitted greater errors, but I should have retained and national airs that he had collected in his more energy: When I left them I had lost the travels. Among them was a charming German freshness of heart that some privileged souls rehymn, on words taken from S. Bernard (Jesu, tain long after their entrance into life, and yet wie süss, 2

wer dein gedenkt) saying that nothing I was as timid as a child. Then I came to 80 sweet as the thought of Jesus, nor so Italy, where the climate did me more harm sweet as His Presence. Montal. was always than good, for it increased the excitability of asking me for it, though at first he thought it my imagination and the irritability of my temalmost profane to let me sing it; but then he perament. Thenceforth, I have been the sport was surprised to find that I sang it with an ex-l of the two beings we have within us, sometimes pression approaching, he said, to that which was good and raising myself to the highest regions ihrown into it by three pious young women at it has been given me to attain, sometimes lot Ratisbon, who used to sing it at their work.' Pp. 229–30.

# Sillonne.

[ocr errors]


ting myself be drawn where my other life choos- sailed again for Smyrna, Constantinople es to lead me, often dragged by my two natures and Odessa, enjoying to the utmost the both ways at once, without strength to gain the lovely scenery of the Greek waters and all mastery over them, and by directing them by its associations, and in health for complete my own will to make them contribute to my delight. They were met at Odessa by .moral and physical perfection.' Vol. i. pp. Alexandrine's mother and her husband, and 235-7.

kept their quarantine in a very agreeable Such a nature as i his seems hardly fit for fashion. They were permitted to see and the active battle of life. There was no talk to their friends, as long as they did doubt much that was morbid in it, and de- not touch them, and they had a large and pression of spirits was the natural effect of comfortable house, and an excellent cook illness ; but Albert seems to have had that whom Prince Lapoukhyn had put into remarkable power - 80 inconceivable to quarantine with them. In due time they the world, which S. Paul mentions among arrived at Korsan, in the midst of the Ukthe paradoxes of the Christian life, of being raine, one of the splendid palaces of the sorrowful yet alway rejoic.ng.'

Russian nobility, full of copies of the most One more extract from his Pisa journal perfect works of art, and with an orangery we must make to show the sweet tenderness in the centre of the house. of his nature :

The visit began there joyfully; but before

it had lasted a fortnight, the hæmorrhage Feb. 17. – My day began with a sad spec- began to recur, and in a few days so violent tacle. Eight convicts were sweeping in front of an attack came on that for a short time our door, chained two and two with heavy fet- there was imminent danger. On one of ters, and dressed in red, the sign here of being those days of anxiety Alexandrine, opening condemned for a term. Only two were in her New Testament at hap-hazard, fell upon vellow, the token of a convict for life.


the words : Honour widows that are widtwo likewise had in large letters upon their breast“ Furto Violente.They are but recently ows indeed. It was her first realization of sentenced, I think, judging by their clothes, and what was impending over her. were no doubt the same who were lately ex- However, Albert regained strength and posed in the square, and condemned for this set out to return, travelling through Austria. crime. A dreadful sight are these men, blotted In the meantime M. de la Ferronnays bad out of society, with nothing more to expect purchased the Château de Boury, in Norfrom it but scorn, fear, or pity. What bitter mandy, and gone to reside there with the feelings must fill their souls! O merciful God, rest of the family. This had been a great just God, cause resignation to bring them calmness and hope a better life ! May the delight to Albert, who had become weary example of Jesus, our Saviour, teach them of his wandering, exiled life, and longed to to accept their bitter cup, and recollect that return to France. At Vienna, however, he the Divino Pattern of resignation and suffer- was sentenced by his physicians to spend ing was also a pattern of virtue and love. O the winter at Venice, a mandate that he acLord, my gentle Jesus, when forsaken of cepted with instinctive reluctance. It was men, Thy angels sustained Thee, and shed at Vienna that he and Alexandrine for the tears for their Master's grief. Grant even to last time went into society, and the last those unworthy of such a grace, that when time that she appeared in full dress or was men abandon the wretched, the angels from heaven may come and sustain those who are

at any public festival.

When she arrived at Venice, in October, unable to hope, save in Theo, and must fail :

she without Thy aid. Oh, pardon them; let one

still as it were halting between two 'tear be on their heart ere their death.' opinions: she was still swayed entirely by Vol. i. p. 232.

human affections. She writes to Montalem

bert on the 23d of October: On the whole, Albert's health had not ·become worse during the winter, and it was 'Let me speak to you with the greatest frank. decided that the summer should be spent at ness. That of a sister is permissible to me, Korsan, Prince Lapoukhyn's estate in the towards you, for no sister could love you better. Ukraine. Sea voyages were thought bene. I have a sorrow that constantly occupies me. My ficial, and the journey to Odessa was to be happiness would be in being of the same relimade by water. In March therefore the gion as Albert; but, besides the doubts that journey was made to Naples, where the still remain with me, what chiefly withholds me

is, that I should break my mother's heart whole family were again together, and that mother to whom I owe the very happiness where the sisters for the last time saw Al- of being married to Albert. I should break bert up and walking about.

her heart physically as well as morally. I They embarked for Malta, and thence / know she cannot believe that Catholics regard

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


too young

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as possible the salvation of those of a different and Albert, who knew by this time that his faith, and she would always think that by state was hopeless, begged her to remain changing, I should fix – not only for time but among them, and not make her homo. with eternity – a frightful gulf between myself and her own mother, saying however, . You are my own family. What mother would consent ander such an idea ? Indeed, I myself, if I

- you will marry again. He were told that my poor futher had the worse

was better by the time his parents arrived, portion, and that Albert was destined for the and Eugénie wrote to her elder sister in a better, and that by choosing one I should sepa- spirit of much thankfulness for both the rate myself from the other for ever, I think that joys that had met them on their arrival, since happiness would be promised to Albert, though with no delusive expectations: I should let him enjoy it alone, and that I would go to rejoin my poor father, like the Payan ' How strange it is,' writes the young girl in prince.' — Vol. i. p. 327.

this her first experience of trouble, 'to dare to

approach everything, utter everything, and thus Here she tells at length the story of the look grief in the face so very near. I think Frisian chief — whom Pauline has already of the other life, the certainty that happiness

the reason it can be done is the constant thought described as a great hero of hers — who re- is nowhere but there, that life in this world is fused baptism rather than forsake his fore- only a journey, of which one longs for the end, fathers when they were consigned to perdition where weariness will rest, gloom be enlightened, by Christian teachers, not content to leave and this our great need of love and thirst for them to stand or fall to their own Master. happiness, will be satisfied.' Vol. i. p. 375. Her mind had not yet learnt to contemplate the obligation of seeking God in His highest By the 10th of April, Albert was well Truth, and His appointed means of union with enough to be taken by easy stages to Paris, Himself, and communication of His grace; as where he arrived on the 13th of May, and yet it was mere pious sentiment to be derived was placed under the care of Dr. Hahnefrom prayer, intellectual exercises, or the mann, the inventor of homeopathy, then an exaltation of sacred music. She had at- old man of eighty. He was so much struik tended no Protestant worship since she was with Alexandrine that he took her hand at Naples — she delighted in being present and told her that in sixty years of practice at those in Italian churches, and was ill with he had never seen so loving a wife. But grief at the separation when Albert com- this loving wife had become so awake to the municated without her. At this point she full blessings of the Church, that she could remained through the early part of the win- write to Montalembert that she should be ter, but in the beginning of March, Albert bappier as a widow, as a Catholic, than even had a terrible attack of inflammation - Fer- with Albert if she were to continue a Protpand was with him, and the others were estant. Looking over this letter in after sent for from Boury. He seemed so near times, she wrote on the margin: 0, how death on the night of the 6th of March, winning is truth, since only one of its rays, that he asked for a confessor, and then it lighting on my heart, even before I emwas that Alexandrine cried in her anguish, braced it, could thus make itself preferable Have we come to this — bave we really to Albert!' This would, indeed, be a perilcome to this! Now I am a Catholic! At ous book to one who did not feel that Alexthe moment Albert seems to have been too andrine's gladness flowed from her new ill, or too much occupied with collecting his sense of union with the Church; and that thoughts for confession, to notice her words; the Church is as truly ours as it became hers but he began to rally almost immediately when she quitted the religion in which she after the priest left him, and a relic of S. had been, as it were, a mere unit, instead of François de Sales was brought to him in a member of a great body connected with tbe course of the day, to which his rapid one Head. improvement was so much ascribed by all On Trinity Sunday, the 29th of May, around him, that Alexandrine became more 1836, after attending mass in church, ske entirely confirmed in her resolution. Of dressed herself in white, with a broad blue course the joy her change gave to him was ribbon crossed on her breast, and then reno small assistance in his partial recovery, turned to her husband's room, where the and she never hesitated for a moment after Abbé Martin de Noirlieu, his most confidene the words had been spoken, regarding them, tial friend and spiritual guide, said mass at as she said, as a moment of inspiration,' a temporary altar, and then received the and she wrote both to her mother and to abjuration which was made by Alexandrine Pauline Craven. M. and Mme. de la Fer- on her knees, and which was afterwards atronnays and Eugénie were daily expected, I tested by her husband, his parents, and his



« ElőzőTovább »