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• Indeed ?--that would be fearful," tern, and went down a few steps. Le replied Le Blond, striving against his Blond followed, but so overcome with somnolency.
sleep that he scarcely knew what he “ Not at all fearful to the sleeper," was doing. They went a little way said the Chaldean, " while the trance through the wood till they came to a lasts; for he has the sweetest possible broken down wall. The Chaldean dreams, and can wish for nothing bet signed with his finger that this was ter than to be entranced his whole the situation of the treasure. While lifetime. But waiting so long for his he took out a book and began reading recovery was a miserable bore to me; it by the light of the dark-lantern, Le
Blond sat down on a fragment of the " But the treasure was got up in wall, and settled himself to repose. spite of all that?” asked Le Blond. The Chaldean read on, and Le Blond,
Abubeker looked at the hour, and in spite of the importance of the admotioned to Le Blond to be silent, and venture of which he was the hiero, fell follow. He lighted a small dark-lan- very unheroically fast asleep.
When at last he awoke from this aside the medicine, enquired for Abuill-timed sleep, it was full daylight. beker. The attendants looked at each He rubbed his eyes. He was lying in other, and it was evident from their a splendid bed, in the mild twilight of faces they considered him out of his green silk curtains. He drew these mind. At last the physician ventured back, and perceived that he was in a to enquire, “ Whom does your highgorgeous room, whose walls were or- ness refer to by the name of Abubenamented with the finest pictures- ker?" whose subjects, he observed, were « The person who came here with principally the adventures of Cupid me last night-the Chaldean." and other deities who owned his power “ Your Highness has been here for -the furniture was rich beyond de. a considerable time, and no one came scription. On a table near the bed with you but your highness's wife, was an elegant vase, filled with fresh. her grace the duchess." gathered roses.
« Wife !- duchess !--considerable Le Blond had some difficulty in re. time !” ejaculated the amazed youth; membering all that had passed. He “ I beg you will leave off fooling mo had but a confused recollection of the with your ridiculous titles about duchstone in the hunting lodge--the tum. esses and graces, and let me get up. bled down wall--and Abubeker read. Where are my clothes ?” ing by the light of the dark-lantern. The physician and servants looked He raised himself in bed, and looked at each other with pitying faces at for the Chaldean.
their master's melancholy condition, At the noise a side door opened; a and at last united in begging him to chamberlain in rich gold livery came remain tranquil in his couch, at all in, while two other attendants followed events, till they had obtained the comhim, walking noislessly on tiptoe, and mands of his lady the duchess. One after them came a venerable old man of the attendants left the room for this who took hold of Le Blond's wrist, purpose. Le Blond considered the and afterwards poured out some medic whole party insane, or the whole busicine into a silver spoon, and offered ness a trick of the Chaldean's. He it to the patient.
asked if he was at St Valerien des “ I don't need any of your stuff,” Anges ? said Le Blond. “ If it weren't that I “Your bighness is in your hunting am a little bewildered, I never felt castle of Charmes, as retirement is rebetter in my life.”
commended for the recovery of your The physician shook his head, and highness's health." said, “I beseech your Highness, take The emissary now returned with but one spoonful ; 'twill do you good, orders to give his highness his clothes. I assure your serene highness."
" Will your grace bave your morn. Monsieur Le Blond stared at the ing robe, or the uniform, or your old man with all his eyes, and, putting hunting-suit ?"
« No; I want my clothes, I tell knew of him, and particularly that he you, and be done with your folly about was three hundred and twelve years graces, as I told you before.”
old. The servants shrugged their They brought him clothes of the shoulders ; the physician assured him finest stuffs ; a coat of blue silk, on that nobody had seen such an indivi. the left breast of which a silver star dual as he described, and on hearin; was fixed. At this Le Blond lost of the three hundred and twelve years, temper entirely. He demanded his he seized again on the pulse. own clothes in a whirlwind of passion. " Gentlemen," said Le Blond, The attendants trembled, and grew “cither I am foolish, or you; for that pale as death; the physician alone had I am awake, and not dreaming, I am the courage to entreat him to mode. perfectly convinced. Whose house rate his fury-it might have the worst am I in now?" effects on his distemper. Le Blond “Your higliness is inhabiting your having exhausted himself in his anger, Chateau des Charmes, along with your yielded at last to his destiny, and hop- highness's wife, her Highness the ed to discover the Chaldean when he duchess.” was dressed. When his toilet was “ Wife? I beg you won't treat me completed, breakfast was brought in, any longer as if I were out of my in a magnificent china service. He senses. I never was married, and ate and drank, though every thing was how the devil can I have a wife? I strange and wonderful. Such splen- should like to see her, that's all." dour he had, of course, never seen in “I will announce your highness's bis days before. On going to the wishes to her grace," said one of the window he saw that he was in an old servants with a deep bow, and left the fashioned looking castle, in the middle apartment. of a forest, through which alleys had “ Folly !" exclaimed Le Blond, and been cut in all directions.
was preparing to go out of the room, “ How far is this from Namur ?" when he observed that he was in sliphe enquired.
pers, and called for his boots. At Nobody could tell. He enquired this moment an attendant opened the again for the Chaldean. He describ- door, and announced “ her grace the ed him minutely, and told them all he duchess."
In a light morning dress, still more spoken of nothing else for a year past graceful than it was splendid--splen- Ah! how happy should I be, if your did as it was—a lady glided into the grace were perfectly yourself again, room, and motioned for the physician that we inight return to the Court; and attendants to retire. « I wish to Paris, they tell me, is so gay just be alone with my husband for a mo- now! The Duchess of Nemours ment; you can wait outside the door." writes me such charming accounts,
Le Blond, when he saw the fair and and enquires so affectionately after elegant creature, whose face was per your health." fectly unknown to him, approach him “ The Duchess of Nemours !" said with a countenance of the most friend. Le Blond, to whose handsome counly interest, did not know whether he tenance, the lady's hand on his shoulwas actually mad, or only in a very der, her glances of affection, and her vivid dream. She bent deeply and musical and confidential tones, brought respectfully before him, and appeared one blush after another. “ Most grato wish to apologise for her intrusion, cious lady, I know not where I am. but failed to utter a word. She laid I almost believe--may the saints forher hand lightly upon his shoulder, give me! I am bewitched. I beseech and looked long and earnestly in his you, madam, rescue me from the deluface; then, in a voice of tender anxiety, sions I labour under. I will tell you enquired, “ How do you find yourself my whole history, from the day of my to-day? Do be good and rational at birth to the present hour. You shall last ; and rave no longer about your then judge.” lace-trades, and conjurors, and Jac- He related his adventures. The quelines, and treisures. You have lady listened and smiled sadly, “ Oh, heavens!" she exclaimed at last, when “ But you are mad, my love, because Le Blond had finished his recital; you don't believe so true a story as “ all this you have told me, at least a that; because you are constantly fly. hundred times before. It was on this ing to the window, and wishing to very account we were recommended escape into the wood; I have been by his majesty's physician to leave forced to have the windows nailed Paris, to avoid every thing that might down, the drawbridge drawn up, and increase your excitement. I beg, for carefully guarded. I have had to stay my sake, you will keep yourself calm, away from you for many, many days, Think no more of those vain dream. the sight of me seemed always to ineries. Be again as you always used crease your malady so much. I have to be before this attack, and banish had to station attendants at the door your fantastic imaginations. Will even now; for once you tried to you? for my sake, say you will!" murder me- me your faithful and
- Whatever you like, most gracious affectionate wife,--so completely has madam ; but either I am as mad as a your disease banished me from your March hare, or bewitched; or that heart!". infernal conjuror has bewitched you, Tears stood in the eyes of the and all your servants : for I'll take my beautiful duchess as she recalled solemn oath, I am no duke; I am the this instance of the cruelty of her lace-merchant, Le Blond, of Namur. husband. I have"
" What?" exclaimed Monsieur Le “ Alas! alas ! 'tis but the old tale Blond, starting up, “ I wish to fly out again !" sighed the duchess, sadly, of the window? I wish to murder " and this after having promised me you ? by heavens, madam, my head to be rational. All seems to be in really begins to turn. How can vain. You have forgotten who I am you" again ?"
" And you won't frighten me any Le Blond shook his head; and yet more then?” said the duchess, coaxthere was something in the whole ingly. bearing of the duchess, and particu- « Certainly not, most honoured larly in the sound of her voice, that did madam." not seem entirely unknown to him. “ Nor speak of your former fooler
“I feel, madam,” he answered, “as ies, or, at least, not make yourself ridi. if I had, some time or other, but when culous before the servants, but show or where I know not, had the honour yourself master here; my husband, of seeing you before, but”
Duc de Melfi, in short, every thing “ Heaven be praised!" interposed that you really and truly are." the lady, “ your senses begin to re “ Fair lady,” said Le Blond, who turn. This is the first time you have doubted the evidence both of his eyes spoken so rationally for many months, and ears, “I know no more than the Let us have but patience, and you will man in the moon, who or what I am ; remember every thing in time. As may the foul fiend run away with the your strength returns, you will be Chaldean!-but I am ready to obey able to banish your fancies. At all your orders, and be exactly who or events, never speak of them again; what you wish me." and don't expose your want of self- The duchess cast her arms round knowledge to the servants. You are his neck, and kissed his cheek in grathe Duc de Melfi ; you are my hus. titude for this obedience. A fame band, and might be so happy and ran through his veins at the touch of comfortable if you
her lips, and, having returned the " I the Duc de Melfi! I your hus- salute without well knowing what he band! I must indeed be mad, madam, did, he gave his hand into hers, and before I can believe so unlikely a story was led through the rest of the apart.
was led through yne rest as that.”
One room surpassed the other in however, as he exclaimed that he had magnificence and comfort. As often, never seen such things in his life, the
duchess smiled, and shook her hand tellain, a cook, half-a-dozen grooms, threateningly, or placed it over his and about the same number of foresmouth.
ters and rangers. « Remember your promise, my dear But the duchess interested him De Melfi,” she said, and Le Blond more than all. He could not deny instantly perceived his fault.
that she was very lovely, and could not " I don't exactly understand the help wondering at the fancy she had trick somebody or other is playing to consider him her husband who felt me," reflected the youth,“ nor what himself unworthy of so high an their object can be ; nor do I feel per- honour. At last, however, he acted fectly sure that I am not iusane, or as he had promised, and resisted no dreaming, or that that infernal Chal. longer. He seemed never so happy dean has not enchanted me. But, in as when he assumed an air of authothe mean-time, I can wait and see how rity with the servants, and comported things turn out. This can't last for himself in all respects as his grace ever, and when"-- But here he the Duc de Melfi. The medicines remembered what Abubeker had told which the physician had persisted in him, when they were sitting by the fire administering were now discontinued ; in the hunting lodge, of the man who the duchess loaded the overjoyed had fallen into a trance the moment practitioner with praises of his skill, he had found the treasure, and had and more substantial proofs of her not awakened from it for four weeks, gratitude ; and the patient was declarbut had had the most ravishing and ed quite cured at the very moment delightful dream for the whole of that when he was more thoroughly pertime.
suaded than ever that the rest of the " What an odd thing it would be," party were under some extraordinary he thought, as this recollection oc- delusion, for which he could not pos. curred to him, “ if I was lying all sibly account, unless by supposing this time on the mattrass at the side of that he had got by some means the stone, with the Chaldean beside among the fairies. However, after a me, dreaming I was a duke, and few days he reconciled himself as enstriving to believe myself one with all tirely to this fairy kind of existence my might! Well, I must wait.” And as if he had never led any other. His from that moment he did his best to wife seemed to grow more and more play the part of the Duc de Melfi. beautiful every day, and even the The only thing that puzzled him was memory of Jacqueline became dimhow he ought to behave to the med in her rival's presence. In fact, duchess. He stood in such awe of it seemed something approaching to a her that he could scarcely look her in sin to think of Jacqueline now that the face. It was only her extreme he was the husband of another. Day graciousness that could have given after day passed on ; they sang-they him a little more courage. * * played-they read the newest poems
they hunted. The duchess was a The castle lay exceedingly retired, famous horsewoman; and with her in the midst of a deep wood. It was fowling-piece she brought down more old and weatherbeaten on the outside, game than his grace himself, who at however handsomely fitted up within; first was very awkward at the sport. situated on a rock, and surrounded by But in time he acquired more skill, a deep ditch, which was crossed by a and the duchess triumphed greatly massive drawbridge. Its interior con- on occasion of his fortunate hits, and sisted, besides the principal rooms, reminded him that before his illness which were magnificent and stately he had been the best shot at Court, in their proportions, of a great num- and had attracted his majesty's ob. ber of pigeon-hole chambers, and servation at several royal battues. long rambling corridors, so dark that “ You remember, love, the majestic lamps had to be kept burning in them stag you brought down in the Duke even in the day-time. Great splen- of Orleaps' park, and how his ma. dour was kept up in the whole ar jesty complimented you on your rangements of the castle, though the achievement ?” servants were few in number. There His grace smiled some unintelligi. were but three male domestics, and ble answer to this reminiscence, and two females ; the physician, the cha. muttered to himself-“ Not one word of all these wonderful stories can I re. rious persons of importance, making collect. I know nothing about either enquiries after the progress of his rekings or dukes; all I know is, that covery ; and what appeared the oddsomebody or other is making a con est thing of all was that some of these founded fool of me, but-mum !” epistles were from the princes and
Such observations as these he now princesses of the Royal family—and strictly confined to soliloquy, in case he had, indeed, to thank Louis himself of bringing a cloud of regret and sor- for his condescension in sympathising row over the beautiful and sunny with his indisposition. The duchess brow of the duchess. He, therefore, used to laugh till she was almost ill, concealed his real feelings as well as when he showed her at first some of he could, and at last acquired that the letters of thanks he was obliged power in such perfection that he very to send to those illustrious personages, nearly hid them from himself. He where the mercantile phraseology of slid very naturally into the train of the lace-merchant came into ludicrous thoughts and feelings adapted to his combination with the courtly style of present rank and mode of life. The the Duc de Melfi. duchess read letters to him from va.
And months in this way passed on. her, or to learn the cause of her grief. The spring began to appear_birds She continued cheerless and depresssang in the wood-the meadows be- ed, and strove to avoid his enquiries came green—the rock was covered with all manner of excuses. The with flowers. Then Le Blond thougat physician whom he consulted on the oftener than he had hitherto done of occasion, shook his head with a look Jacqueline and the jasmin bower, and of professional importance. the Italian lessons. An indescribable « Her grace's melancholy is quite longing sometimes came over bim, natural, my lord--the condition of and he sighed to be at home again. her Grace is amply sufficient to acIn such moods as these the enchanted count for it. Your Highness may be castle was nothing but a splendid pri. quite easy.' son. But even if he had wished to And, indeed, this seemed to his leave it, it was no longer in his power Highness a very sensible way of ac-the drawbridge was not so powerful counting for it. But when he attend. an impediment to him as his heart. ed more closely to the tears of the He loved his wife with all his soul, duchess, and the way she behaved and she deserved his affection from towards himself, it seemed as if there the tenderness of her behaviour. He was some secret pressing upon her became more devoted to her than mind. Once, indeed, she went so far ever, when, one morning, with many as to say, somewhat enigmatically, blushes and broken confessions, she “ Alas! now that my object is gained, gave him to understand that her high- I am made at once most happy and est wishes were fulfilled—that, in most miserable.” short, that she was as ladies wish to One evening, when she would be who love their lords. From that scarcely leave him for a moment, and instant she'was the only object of his when smiles and tears succeeded each care; if Jacqueline for a moment ren other like sunshine and showers in asserted her place in his affection, he April, he entreated her once more to strove to banish her from bis thoughts. explain her strange behaviour. He
The Duchess also, since the day of pressed her so closely that at last she the confession, seemed to have re- saiddoubled her affection; but he sometimes “ Not now-you shall know every read in her eyes an expression of sad thing to-morrow." ness which seemed to become stronger She led him to the supper-table, every day. Often for a long time and, pouring out a cup of sparkling she looked dull and disconsolate in champagne, begged him to drown his his face, and then burst into tears and anxiety and curiosity in a draught of sobs which she found it impossible to wine. control. In vain he tried to soothe