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proached the royal car; whispered something in it which nobody heard; and the evil spirit departed. llis words were these :- Captain, I am come: remember your promise."'“I do,” answered the spirit ; and to make you still richer, I shall go and possess the Czar of Muscovy, who undertakes to be a moral fop, and is my aversion." “Good," said the peasant, who was growing rich with prosperity; " but have a care, my dear Captain, that you don't tell’un any o' your theories, as you calls 'em, or you'll never get at’un."
Now the reader must know, that our hero, besides the pride abovementioned, had a vice in him more befitting in practice if not in theory, a good orthodox Christian ; which was revenge. Besides, his temper had been embittered by his earthly sojourn. He therefore conde. scended to be piqued with the farmer's airs of superiority; he was also annoyed by the sight of a happiness which he could not taste; and he determined upon ruining the poor dolt. The Czar of Muscovy Joated at such an extravagant rate, that the famous English doctor was sent for with all speed. lle came, dressed in the extremity of the medical fashion, humming and hawing with great pomposity. Belphegor chuckled at the sight. The farmer whispered as usual; but what was his astonishment, when the Czar read him a grave lecture on his presumption? He entreated his dear Captain, his excellent Mr. Lovell, his kind good master, &c. &c. all to no purpose. Belphegor would not move, and the Czar went on, making both himself and the mockdoctor ridiculous. The poor peasant, whom despair rendered ingenious, remembered hearing from the village pulpit, that the devil could not abide the presence of a clergyman. He requested that four priests might be sent for. They were, and mass performed to boot, after the fashion of the Greek church; but Belphegor was inexorable. He even made the Czar fall á laughing, to his Majesty's own exceeding horror. The farmer was now giving himself up for lost, when a buf. foon came bursting through the crowd, mimicking the poor doctor's manner so irresistibly, that the assembled thousands could not refrain from bursting into shouts of laughter and approbation.
66 What the devil's that?” said Belphegor. “Oh my dear Captain," answered the peasant, 66 there is your
wife coming in search of you.” -At these words, Belphegor, without waiting even to kick the-Czar and the Doc. tor, leaped out of the royal person, and in the teeth of his instructions to the contrary, made the best of his way to hell.
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Tliere lle arriving round about doth flie,
No. LVI.-WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st, 1820.
THE GENEROUS WOMEN.*
A GENTLEMAN of Tours, of the name of De Lorme, had a wife whom he had courted with extreme ardour, and whom he still loved as his chosen companion. She had perceived however, for some time past, that his gallantry towards her was more constrained than it used to be; and this surprised the lady. In truth, it might well do so; for she was still young and handsome, her accomplishments were many; and if any thing, the love on her own side was greater than ever.
It must be confessed at the same time, that she had not been aware of this last circumstance, till her husband's love had appeared to decline: it must be added, that she had for some time been accustomed to regard his tenderness as a matter of course; and it must be further acknowledged, that M. De Lorme had given grounds for this persua. sion, both in the excess of his first ardour, and in his happy and delia cate imitation of it when it began to cool. Our heroine in short, fore got that there was such a thing as imagination in love, or the necessity of being meritorious in the person
beloved. Still Madame De Lorme was far from being destitute of merit. She had even more virtue then she was aware of, but too secure in the conventional forms of it and in he own good opinion, her husband's altered behaviour began to turn her surprise into resentment. She insinuated his fickleness; and nobody likes insinuations. What is more, he did not deserve them. She took to being prouder, when she was too proud already. She wept at intervals, with the air of an ill-used person; and this contrasted but ill with the pride. At last, she mentioned hier 66 virtue;" and this, as our readers know, is the devil.
* The ground-work of the following story is from the old French and Italian novelists, and lias been turned to good account in his Albion's England by William Warner, the old poet mentioned several times in our first volume. Nothing can exceed the general cast of nature in his homely account. One of his touches of painting is extremely heautiful :
He took her in his arms, as yet
So coyish to be kist,
And yieldingly resiste
M. De Lorme had informed his wife that she might not be, perhaps, quite so perfect or amiable as she supposed; but this she regarded as a resentful speech, and her own resentnient was heightened accordingly. She looked about her, to consider what could have induced him to spend less time with her, or to enjoy less the time that he did spend. Ile did not game: he did not drink: he was not fond of hunting : there was no lady with whom she could compare herself: and yet, from some instinct or other, she thought it must be a lady who had beguiled him: not so handsome or virtuous, she thought, as myself; but neither virtue, nor even beauty, can fix the men in these degenerate days. If Madame De Lorme had called her own virtue in question, she might have been nearer the mark; but she thought of faults instead of her own.
These jealous enquiries helped to produce the catastrophe she dreaded. M. De Lorme, though full of natural sentiment, was not aware that the customs and exactions of his own sex had helped to spoil both women and men; and tired with canvassing a subject which he almost knew as ill how to handle as his lady, he was left open to the first impressions he should receive from a handsome and good tempered female. At that time, Henry the 4th was upon the throne. The example of the monarch had not tended to make the gallantry of his loving subjects more scrupulous. His virtues, at the same time, helped to divest it of hypocrisy, without letting it ran into impudence. At least, this was the effect at a distance from him, where his example fell upon a soil worthy of him. What it was in the old and corrupt hot-hed of the court, it is not our business to enquire. The country Jasses were certainly very amiable at that period; and M. De Lorme found them so.
There was a lively good-humoured girl on a farm which he had about eight miles from Tours, whose reputation was none of the austerest, but who was so kind to the old, and só choice of her kisses to the young, that she enchanted the whole neighbourhood. She supported an old aunt and uncle with her industry, would help any body, when she had done her work, in field or dairy; and then led off the evening dance under the elms with a mixture of grace and good nature, which nobody would have dared to treat with disrespect, had he been inclined. You might hoar her, early in the moroing, singing
Miguonne, allons voir si la rose, with the spirits and sweetness of a lark. She made it a sort of chival. rous thing to obtain a kiss of her; always gave the best to the kindest and most courageous; was strangely coy to the laequeys and other wise men of the world, who sometimes instructed the neighbourhood ; byt, said that if Monsieur the Poet, Ronsard, ever came into those parts, she was afraid she should kiss him before he thought of it. In short, Fanchon had a born genius for the amiable ; and by proper cula tivation among the wits of those times, would bave become a wit herself, and much less agreeable.
M. De Lorme visited his farm one day after a long absence, and was riding very thoughtfully into the hamlet, when he saw one of the pret
tiest figures in the world before him, walking the same way with a milk-jug on its head, and singing under the lime-trees. His horse happened to give a snort; and Fanchon turning round (for it was she) dropped a curtsey, and then continued her way silently. “She look's too much in earnest," thought M. De Lorme, have seen me before she stopped singing. You seem very happy, child,” said he aloud, looking at her as he rode by her side. Oh yes, Sir, said the girl, with an impulse she seemed to repress. She then dropped a more respectful curtesy, and began to loiter behind him, lle loitered in his turn. Are you all so happy, my dear ?!! asked the gentleman, who would have said a prettier thing, had her countenance struck him less,
Yes, Sir," replied she," I think so—most of us." 66 And what is it, pray, that makes most of us so happy ?” rejoined the horseman, repeating her words, for the sake of the air of sincerity with which she spoke them. I beg your pardon, Sir," answered the fair peasant, "but I am sure you must know.” She said this with much more gravity than archness; yet M. De Lorme somehow or other coloured. " i beg your pardon, Sir," she repeated, apparently discovering that she ought to say more ; but I recollect Monsieur's face, and my aunt says he makes every body happy as well as his tenants.”—Not exactly every body, thought M. De Lorme, nor myself neither. But the answer enlivened him. “ If I make every body so happy, my fair one," said he, “ I think it is their business to make me so, is it not ?" Fanchou perceived that he was talking gallantly: she had also heard that he was not so happy at home as he used to be; and what with her superiority to the common gallantry which there might be in this speech, her sympathy nevertheless with the sentiment of it, and her cordial respect for the Seigneur, she was confused in her turn. She said “ Yes truly, Sir,” with a gravity which made him smile. " I will not distress you, my love," said M. De Lorple, " but you have a fine face of your own, and I would beg one kiss of it, if it would not alter it.” At these words, he leaned from his horse; Fanchon let her face more towards him with the sweetest and grarest want of prudery in the world; she gave him even her lips instead of her cheek, and a better-hearted kiss on both sides had not been taken under a milk-jug, with the lime-trees oyer it, for many a day.
As soon as our gentleman got to his farm, he made enquiries respect. ing the fair peasant." Oh Sir," said the stewaril, smiling, “ that is Mademoiselle Fanchon. She must be courted, I can tell you, as much as if she were a fine lady." M. De Lorme, accustomed to the more sophisticated loves of Paris, was astonished to find, in the person of a country girl, such union, as he called it, of the modest and the liberal. Modesty, where it was to be found, was generally in the possession of wives, and by no means liberal in any thing. Liberality, on the other hand, was exclusively in the possession of the mistresses, and by no means modest.
M. De Lorme was told, among other anecdotes of Fanchon, that she was a great ballad-singer and early riser. The next morning, he found himself up very early, singing as he arranged the feather in his hat. He walked down the green lane, in love with every thing he saw;
and came to the residence of Fanchon's uncle and aunt. It was one of the thickest and most sylvan nests on the banks of the Loire. One window alone was seen looking out of the trees. The rest of the cot. tage seemed almost built up with green. The birds in the boughs over head made a morning concert of the fullest and most sparkling descrip tion, but M. De Lorme did not hear Fanchon, 66 She is not up,” said he to himself: "the jade is so pleasant, she gets a character given her for any thing. Perhaps some dream has detained her :--if it were only now about a well-looking gentleman on horseback”- M. De Lorme, as he thought this, had got into the inner part of the little homestead; and there he saw Fanchon, not singing, not doing any thing, but standing with her back towards him and her hand upon a churning-stick, thinking. “Her very boddice," thought he, “.is worth all the dresses at court." A pang came over him as he rémembered his wife playing the milk-maid once in this very neighbourhood, and he asked himself whether they might not still be happy and cons stant; but he had been disappointed so often, that her image began to look rather like a sour interference with his comfort, than a kindly appeal to his affection; and stepping softly onwards, he was about to tap Fanchon on the shoulder, when a feeling more respectful withheld him, and he contented himself with bidding her good morning. Our dairy-maid, colouring, turned quickly round, and returned his salutation, adding somewhat abruptly, but evidently without design, “I hope Madame is well.” She followed it up instantly with as cordial a welcome as her inferiority of condition would allow her to give, and suffered herself to be more familiar than she miglit otherwise have been, out of a feeling that her thoughts on this occasion ought not to have spoken out loud. She had an instinct against pedantry of all sorts, and hated to seem interfering and didactic. Not that she knew a word about such words as didactic, which puzzled her sometimes in her friend Ronsard; but as we have before observed, Fanchon was a charmer by nature, and the early necessity of feeling and working for others had preserved her character, and bred thoughts in her deeper than she was aware of. If she ever wished to give pain, it was only when some proud or malignant pain had been given. Her prospensity both to give and receive pleasure was so great, that she often said, if she married, she would love her husband, provided he would let her, better than any body on earth, would be his best companion, would die for him, would starve for him, would be torn to pieces for him in necessary; but that husbands must have a care; for though not of their opinion in thinking it proper to scold others for what one did one's-self, she would not undertake to say that she should not feel a little bit grateful to those, who had the same charmiùg qualities as the man of her heart.
It was the face, accustomed to be animated with these thoughts, that was now turned
the lord of the manor. The kiss under the Jimes was repeated, and repeated again. M. De Lorme at once flattered and relieved her by saying that all the accounts he heard of her were much to his taste; and Fanchon thought, that setting aside this, he deseryed a kiss for every good thing he had done to the neighbour.