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There was, indeed, one tribute be paid to the memory of Beatrice. She had loved music.' Her mind was attuned to all harmony; and she delighted in all that was bright and sweet in every art which softens the asperities of human existence; and Villars resolved, he scarcely *knew why, to give his daughter all her mother's accomplishments. It was like writing her epitaph on the heart of her child. This only seemed to show the least spark of feeling yet unextinguished in his breast, for there was now a degree of bitterness mixed with the original sternness of his character. He looked upon the world with disappointed eyes, and gladly turned away from the view, for there was nothing but a desert round about him.
France no longer needed defenders. His duty to his country was done ; and quitting the army, he collected together his little property, and retired to dwell near his native town of Arles.
It was more probably chance than any taste for picturesque beauty which directed him in the situation he chose for his future residence; but of all the neighbourhood it was the most lovely and the most re. tired. It was surrounded by wood, with the Rhone sparkling through the trees beyond, and the remains of an antique Roman arch crowning the hill above. The country round was covered with olive-grounds and vineyards, and sprinkled with small villages; for a considerable distance round, indeed nowhere near, except in the town of Arles, was there a house of any consequence the proximity of which might have disturbed the solitude of bis retirement. And here, for fifteen years, lived Armand Villars, secluded from a world be despised, seeking no commune but with his own thoughts, and dividing his time beiween the cultivation of his ground, solitary study, and the education of the daughter whom Beatrice had left him.
On their first arrival at their new dwelling, little Julie offered no particular promise of beauty. Her large wild Italian eyes, and the dark hair which clustered round her forehead, were all that could have saved her from being called a very plain child. But as years passed over her head, and she grew towards womanhood, a thousand latent charms sprang up in her face and person. Like a homely bud that blossoms into loveliness, her beauties expanded with time, and she became one of the fairest of Nature's works. · Beauty can scarcely be well described. I know not how it is, whether imagination far exceeds nature, or whether remembrance is ever busy to recall what love once decked in adventitious charms, but every one bas raised an ideal standard in his own mind wbich is fairer to him than all that painter or statuary ever pourtrayed. Description, therefore, must fall far short of what Julie really was : let every one then draw from his own fancy. She was lovely as imagination can conceive, and there were few of those who by any chance beheld her that were so critical or fastidious as to find or imagine a fault in her beauty; and, as the strangers who did see, were ever sure to ask among the neighbouring peasantry who she was, and to describe her by her loveliness, she soon acquired the name of the - Beauty of Arles.”
It seldom happens that many perfections cluster together. If beauty be granted wit is often denied, and if wit and beauty unite, vanity or some other deteriorating quality is generally superadded. But it is not always so; Nature had dealt liberally to Julie of all her stores. She
July.-VOL. XXVI. NO. CITI
might know that she was lovely, for where is the woman ihat is not conscious of it ? but in her solitude there was none to tell her of her charms, and sbe was not vain of them. The bright wild geniųs, the warın vivid imagination that revelled in her breast and sparkled in the dark fashes of her eye, were guided and tempered by the softest gentlest heart that ever beat within a woman's, bosom. She had no means of comparing her own mind with that of others, she did not know that it was, sus perior ; and all the accomplishments and knowledge that her father liad taken care she should acquire, appeared to her what all human knowledge really is, but little to that which might be known.
In the mean time the mind of Armand Villars had undergone scarcely any change ; his feelings were the same, or, if at all altered, they were only the harder and the more inflexible. If his daughter possessed his affection, it was seldom that any trait of gentleness betrayed it, and, as if fearful of again loving any human thing, he passed the greater part of his time in utter solitude, from which even his child was excluded. .
Julie feared her father, but she loved him too. Her heart, like a young plant, clung to that which it grew beside, however rugged and unbending; and in those hours which she was allowed to spend with her parent she strove to win him from the sternness of his nature, and draw from him a smile of affection or approbation, and, if she succeeded, it was a source of joy to her for many an after-hour. Her pleasures, indeed, were so few, that she was obliged to husband them well, and even to seek new ones for herself. She lost none of those unheeded blessings which Nature scatters in the way of ungrateful man ; she had joy in every fair sight, and every sweet sound. To her the breathing of the spring air was a delight, the warbling maze of the brook a treasure ; the notes of the forest birds-Nature's own melodywere to lier the sweetest concert; and thankful for all that a good God had given, she would long for the wings of the lark, to soar into the blue air, and, sing her gratitude at the gates of heaven.
She would wander for hours through the fair lonely scenes around when the prime of morning glittered over the earth, or when the calm evening, like a gentle mother, seemed soothing nature to repose; and her life passed like the waters of the broad Rhone, glittering on in one sunshiny course amidst all that is beautiful in nature.
, Thus went hour after hour, and day after day, in peaceful solitude and undisturbed repose, ignorant of a corrupted world and all its arts. and blessed in ber ignorance. It was one bright evening in Autumn, when the world was full of luxuriance, before the grape was plucked from its branch, or the olives began to fall, or the robe of nature, though somewhat embrowned by the sun of many a summer's day, had yet lost all its verdure. Her father had shut himself up in his solitude, and Julie wandered out towards the ruined Roman arch that crowned the hill above their dwelling. From the height the whole country round was exposed to her view. It was a gay scene, where all the rich gifts of generous nature were spread out at large, . The green foliage of the vine covered all the slopes, and olive-grounds with their white leaves glistening in the sun-skirted vineyards, sheltered the peasants' houses and villages that were thickly scattered over the landscape, while the brigbt, waters of the Rhone bordered it along, and formed a glittering boundary to the very edge of the horizon,
Julie gazed on it for a moment, and contemplated all its wide luxuriance. But there was something too general in it; she knew not why, but she turned away with a sigh, 'and descending into the valley, seated herself under some almond-trees, watching the lapse of a small brook that wound murmuring along towards the Rhone. : 1
She was buried in contemplation, it matters not of what, when she was roused by, a quick footfall coming down the little path that led from the hill.' It was a stranger whom she had never before seen, and one that she would have fain looked at again, if it had not been for modesty's sake, for he was a sort of being not often seen in that nook of earth. In the glance she had of him, when the sound of his footsteps first called her attention, she saw that he was young and handsome. But it was not that; there was something more-there was the grace, the elegance, the indescribable air of the high and finished gentleman; and Julie, as I have said, would fain, from curiosity, have taken another look ; but, however, she turned away her eyes, and fixed them again upon the brook as if deeply interested in the current of its waters. The stranger passed close by her, and whether he turned to look at her or not matters little, but somehow it happened that, before he had got ten yards, he stopped and returned, and pulling off his hat with a low inclination of the head, asked her the way to Arles."
The direction was very simple, and Julie gave it as clearly as she could, but, nevertheless, the stranger seemed not quite to comprehend, and lingered as if for farther information.' So seeing his embarrassment, she told him that if he would come to the top of the hill she would show him the line of the high road, and then he could not mistake ; and accordingly she led the way, and the stranger followed ; and as he went he told her that he had sent forward his carriage to Arles, intending to walk straight on, but he had been induced to quit the high road in order to see the beauties of the country. It was but a few steps to the top of the hill, and could but afford time for a conversation of five minutes, but for some reasons, which he did not stop to analyze, the stranger would not have lost them for all the world, therefore he had begun at once and he continued with ease, but with a diffidence of manner which showed he was afraid of offending. He spoke rapidly, as if he feared to lose a moment, but with that smooth eloquence which wins its way direct to the sources of pleasure within vs; and to Julie's timid and simple replies he listened as if they contained his fate. When he spoke himself, there was something in his manner, perhaps, too energetic, but yet it was pleasing, and Julie attended with no small degree of admiration and surprise, and before they had reached the top of the hill she had settled it in her own mind that he was a being of a superior order.
The high road lay at a little distance, and she pointed it out to him. The stranger thanked her for the kindness she had shown him again and again, and still he was inclined to linger ; but there was no excuse for it, and taking his leave, he bent his steps towards the road. When he reached it, he turned his head to take one more glance at the object that had so much interested him, but Julie was no longer there.
The stranger hurried on to the town, and his first question on reaching it,' was directed to ascertain who it was that he had seen. “Oh!” cried the Aubergiste, half interrupting the stranger, though respectfully, for he had sent forward a splendid Parisian carriage, with servants and saddle-horses, and more travelling luxuries than visited that part of the country in a hundred years—"Oh! it must have been Mademoiselle Villars, the Beauty of Arles."-" It could be no one else," echoed the Garçon. . .
“ Villars !” said the stranger, “ Villars! It is very extraordinary."
Now why it was extraordinary nobody at the inn knew. But it so happened that early the next morning the young stranger ordered his horses to be saddled, and his groom to attend him; and setting off with that kind of ardour, which characterized all he did, galloped along the road towards the spot where he had seen Julie the day before. He gave a glance towards the hill---she was not there ;-and turning his horse into a road which led down towards the Rhone, he rode straight to the dwelling of Armand Villars. It had been an old French country-seat or chateau ; one of the smaller kind, indeed, but still it possessed its long avenue of trees, its turrets, with their conical slated roofs, and a range of narrow low building in front, with small loophole windows, through the centre of which avantacorps was pierced the low dark arch that admitted into the court-yard. The stranger contrived to make himself heard by striking his riding-whip several times against the gate, which was at length opened by an old man who had long served with Colonel Villars in Italy, and had followed him to his solitude.
“Could he see Colonel Villars ?” the stranger asked. The old grenadier glanced him over with his eye, and seemed half inclined to refuse him admittance; but on the young stranger's breast hung several crosses which told of deeds done against the enemy, and the heart of the old soldier warmed at the sight. “ Colonel Villars," he said, “ was not much given to seeing strangers, but if Monsieur would ride into the court he would ask.” · The young stranger turned his horse to pass in, but his horse was not so much inclined to go through the low dark arch as his master, and showed symptoms of resistance. The stranger again reined him round, and spurred him towards the gate. The beast became restive, and plunging furiously endeavoured to throw his rider ; but the stranger was too good a horseman, and, angry at his obstinacy, he urged him on with whip and spur. Unfortunately he did so: the horse plunged, reared, and threw himself over to the ground, with his master under
MY LAST CIGAR.
* "THE CHELSEA PENSIONERS. * We must warn our female readers, not in this instance, more than in any other, to place too much reliance upon a name, or title. This work may otherwise appear attractive only to male readers, and more especially to those of the warlike professions, or of belliferous propensities. Upon inspection however, without disappointing either of those classes, it will be found replete with genuine pathos, with animating incidents and interesting characters, with domestic scenes, love, gallantry, friendship, and all that makes up the sum of“ many-coloured life.”
The three volumes contain six tales, and they are very prettily introduced, in a manner which will remind the reader of Boccaccio. The author is taking a summer ramble through the midland counties, with a fishing-rod in his hand, a basket, containing a change of necessaries, at his back, and a volume of Shakspeare in his pocket. Our Isaac Walton of 1829 falls in with a veteran officer of the old school, who introduces him to a club in a neighbouring village, and which he had humorously styled Little Chelsea, from the club consisting of “ twelve officers on the half-pay list, each of whom had received one or more wounds sufficiently severe to entitle him to a pension. A member, moreover, must be of unblemished character, of mild temper, and gentlemanly address, and addicted neither to drinking, nor gaming, nor any other propensity which might weaken the harmony of the circle.” Here we find a set of officers who had served in every part of the world; and their respective narratives make up the very interesting contents of these volumes.
The first tale, by no means the best, is that of the Gentle Recruit. A recruit enters the regiment, whose address and conduct evince that a truant disposition had exiled him from a higher sphere. Unable to brook the manners of his vulgar comrades, he knocks down the serjeant, for which he is tried by a court-martial and sentenced to three hundred lashes. At the hour of infliction “he sprang with the agility of a roe from the party surrounding him, and rushed furiously upon the levelled bayonets of the square. In an instant the firelock of one man was wrenched from his grasp, and consequences the most fatal must have ensued had not the attention of all been suddenly drawn away by a sound there was no possibility of mistaking. It was the report, first of a solitary cannon, then of three others in rapid succession, and then of a heavy unremitting roar of musketry." Suffice it to say that the battle before Almeida takes place, the recruit joins in the hottest part of it, and is seen no more. He had previously, however, communicated his history to the author, which is thus introduced. “We had accomplished one half of our voyage, when, being oppressed with the excessive hent, I quitted my cot (at midnight) and ascended the quarter-deck. Nothing could exceed the exquisite beauty of the scene that met me there. The moon shone with full lustre in a sky perfectly cloudless, and tinged with a long and wavering line of silver the bosom of the deep. The breeze was just sufficient to keep the canvass from flapping to the mast, and to give direction to the tiny waves, which rose and fell like the gentle heavings of the bosom, whilst the quiet rush of the waters as the vessel's bow cut through them, was the only sound that broke in upon the silence of the night. The helmsman stood to his post, motionless as a statue, and the watch lay stretched upon the forecastle in profound sleep. I alone, indeed, of the many men so beautiful,' appeared to live and move and have my senses about me; and even I soon became as still as if there had been an infection in the air. I sat down upon the tafferel in a state of delicious lassitude, such as the aspect of things about me was calculated to produce; and I gazed abroad over the sea with the eye of a happy man who is so—he scarce knows why, and he cares not wherefore." This is as perfect and as beautiful a description of a midnight calm at sea as the pen can produce, and it is in contrast to the storm of human
.* The Chelsea Pensioners. By the Author of - The Subaltern."
In 3 vols.