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M. Baraton, adieu. I shall find with her more happiness than I lose with these papers. Adieu ;” and he left me, while his eyes beamed with joy and anticipation. “Strange young man " I said to mysels—“to be consoled by a pretty face for the loss of such a succession " and I finished the inventory. An hour or two afterwards, I was about to go home, when Arthur rushed in like a madman. “She is not there—she is gone—I have lost her " “What! she's false, then 7” “Who told you so? Unsay the word—or xx had taken tight hold of me by the collar. “I know nothing about it.” “So much the better,” he said. “Three months ago she disappeared—she has left the opera.” “What did her companions tell you ?” “They told me nonsensical stories—some said she had been carried off—another told me, with the utmost coolness, she had resolved to destroy herself.” “Possible enough,” I said. “Since the revolution of July, suicide has come greatly into fashion.” “Say it not—say it not!” cried Arthur; “you will drive me mad! I went to her apartments in the Rue de Provence, but she had left them, without saying where she was going.” “No trace 7” “The rooms are to let; they have never been occupied since.” “And you found nothing in them " “Nothing—except that in her aunt's room, on the ground floor, th’s card, intended for some trunk, with the address, “To Madame Bonnivet, Bordeaux'—and now that I remember, she comes from that neighbourhood.” “Well.” “Take all the management of my affairs—make what arrangement you like.” “What are you going to do 7” “Follow her traces—or rather those of her aunt.” “In your present state of health you wouldn't start for Bordeaux 7” “This hour” He started that evening ; and But here the fourth act of the Huguenots began, and the notary listened in silence.
Arthur remained six months at Bordeaux, making every possible inquiry about Madame Bonnivet, but nobody could give him the slightest information. He adverlised for her in the newspapers—and at last an old lady, with whom it appeared she had lodged, came and inform2d him that his search was now useless, for Madame Bonaivet had been dead two months.
“And her niece 7” exclaimed Arthur.
“She was not with her—but the aunt lived very com
sortably, and had an annuity of a hundred louis.”
“Where did it come from ?”
“Did she ever speak of her niece 7”
“Sometimes she mentioned her name—but instantly checked herself, as if there was some secret to be concealed.”
And this was all that Arthur had been able to ascertain by the most careful inquiry. He came back in de. spair; for, since he had lost Judith, his attachment had prown into a passion. It was the one idea of his existonce. He bitterly recalled the minutes—so few and unbserved at the time—he had passed beside her. Every ook, every smile, rushed back upon his memory—he isited every spot where she had been—he never missed ue opera,
He wished to occupy her apartments in the Rue de t’rovence ; but o, they had been engaged by a stranger, who did not live in them. He thought at all events he would go and look at them—the porter had not the keys, and the doors and window-shutters continued tirmly closed: Arthur, as you may suppose, took very ittle interest in his own affairs, but they gave great umBasiness to me. .Disinherited by his uncle, he had nothing 'est but the small property of his mother—about fifteen thousand livres a year. He had squandered half of it,
first in his expenses with Judith, and next in his endea
vours to discover what had become of her; for he grus, ed
nothing to attain his object. At the slightest hint, he sent out couriers all over the world, but always without success; and he kept constantly saying to me—“'Tis useless!—she is dead!”. In our meetings upon business, he spoke to me of nothing but her—and I could hardl slip in a word about the state of his affairs. At last got him persuaded to sell off every thing, and pay his debts; but it was a great sacrifice for him to part with the lands that came to him from his mother. But it was indispensable. He owed nearly two hundred thousand francs, and the interest would very soon have swallowed up the remainder of his estate. Bills, therefore, were printed ; advertisements inserted in the newspapers, and on the very evening before the sale was to take place, I received a communication from one of my legal brethren, which filled me with joy and surprise. }. seemed at last to have grown tired of persecuting poor Arthur. A certain M. de Corval, a man of very indifferent character, who had owed his mother a very considerable sum, now desired to pay it, with full interest from the time it had become due—making in all the sum of a hundred thousand crowns; and the notary he employed brought me the full amount in gold and bank-notes. I rushed off to tell the good news to Arthur, but he seemed neither glad nor sorry. As long as Judith was not talked of, everything else was indifferent to him. As for me, I lost no time in giving a receipt, paying off our creditors, and every thing went on swimmingly, with the exception of one very curious incident. One day Arthur met M. de Corval, who had behaved so honourably, and thanked him in the kindest terms. At the very moment when that gentleman had begun to ex| cuse himself, on the plea of some recent losses, for being still unable to pay what he owed “But you paid me last month a hundred thousand
“I have no further claim on you—you owe me nu thing.” “'Tis impossible !” “Ask my notary.” The debtor—who was such no longer—hurricq to me, and could not conceal his amazement. “You are a lucky man,” I said. “M. Arthur still more so,” he replied, very testily— “for I had made up my mind, as I could not possibly pay, it was exactly the same as if I did not owe ; and this business does not make me a farthing richer; but the case is very different with him—he may think himself exceedingly fortunate.” “What —then,” I said, “you really don't know where the money came from ?” “I have no notion,” replied M. de Corval; “but if the same party should offer to pay off any more of my debts, I hope you will let me know ; it will be pleasant to have some benefit for myself.” We were more amazed than ever. I went to the notary who had transacted the business. The letter which instructed him to pay me the money bore the post-mark “Havre,” and the hand it was written in was unknown to us all; but Arthur uttered an exclamation of joy when he saw the seal, half-broken as it was. It was Judith's. He had presented to her a seal in former days, with the motto, “Toujours seul”—and there it was upon the letter. “The letter has come from Judith !” he said, and dropped it on the floor. “Well, then,” I replied, “you see she is still alive, and has not forgotten you—you ought to be delighted.” Arthur was furious. He would have liked better if she had been dead. “For why does she conceal herself? |Why, since she knows where I live, does she not come to me? She is not worthy to see me—she loves me no longer—she has forgotten me!” “The letter,” I suggested, “proves the reverse.” “And what right has she to insult me with her benefits Where has she got her riches 7 How has she had the audacity to offer them to me? And since when has she considered me base enough to accept them 7 I won't have the money—take it back again " “With all my heart,” I said? “but what am I to as with it !”
“What you like—I refuse it.” “You can't refuse it now. Your debts are paid with t—your estate cleared--thanks to the hundred thousand trowns.” “I instruct you to sell my lands—realize that sum, wish I shall never touch, and keep it till I find some means or returning it.” “But think what a state your affairs will be in.” “That is of no consequence. Faithless as she is, I cannot repent of having ruined myself for Judith ; but to be enriched by her is a degradation I cannot submit to. Sell every thing:" And, in spite of all my remonstrances, he persisted in his resolution. The estate was sold—the first three hundred thousand francs were deposited with me, and the surplus was sufficient to buy an annuity of six thousand livres for Arthur in the national funds—and that was the whole of his fortune. He lived in this way for two years, striving to banish a recollection that weighed upon his heart Sombre and melancholy, he forswore all society. He saw me almost every day, and spoke of nothing but Judith. He told me be had forgotten her—that he despised her; and yet the mnly places he went to were those which recalled her to his recollection most vividly. One day, or rather one night, there was a masked ball at the opera. Alone, in spite of the crowd, he walked in silence through all the noise of the assembly—he went on the stage where he had seen Judith so often—then wandering among the corridors, he ascended slowly to the box on the second tier where he had sat so often in those happy days, and from which he had given the signal of a visit to the Rue de Provence on the following morning. The door of the box was open. A female in an elegant domino was sitting there alone, and apparently sunk in deep thought. At sight of Arthur she started, rose up, and would have left the box: but, scarcely able to support herself, she leaned on one of the sides, and sank down upon the sofa. Her agitation attracted Arthur's notice, and he went forward and offered his assistance. Without answering, she rejected his offer with a motion of her hand. “The heat has made you ill,” he said, with an emotion which he could not master; “if you will take of your mask for a momen ** She refused his assistance again, and contented herself with throwing back the hood of her domino, which had covered her head. Arthur saw the beautiful black hair falling in ringlets on her shoulder. It was exactly in the same style that Judith wore it—that graceful attitude, that exquisitely elegant form—the shape, the manners—that undefinable charin which we may feel, but cannot account for—all were there ! She rose up at last. Arthur started. It was now his turn to feel faint—but instantly summoning all his strength, he whispered— “Judith: Judith: 'tis you!” She would have left the box— “Stay, stay! for heaven's sake! and let me tell you that I am the most unhappy of men; that I never knew you, even when you deserved all my love!” She trembled. “Yes, you deserved it then, and I did not know it; and now f. you, Judith ! I love nobody but you—I shall love you for ever, even now that you are unfaithful —now that you have forgotten me!” She tried to answer, but could not. She laid her hand on her heart, as if to justify herself. “And how, then, can I account for your absence; and above all, for your benefits—those benefits which have made me blush for you, and which I have rejected! Yes, ludith ! I desire them not—I wish for nothing but you, and your love . And if it be, indeed, true that you have not sorgotten me, and that you love me still, come to me! It is love only I can give you now. for I have no longer a fortune to offer you! Ah, you hesitate—you answer not—I understand your silence: Farewell—sor ever ..." - l was turning to depart, but Judith held him by the band. * Speak, then, Judith !
Speak, I entreat you!”
The poor girl could not. Sobs choked her voice.
Arthur fell at her sect—she had not spoken ; but she was in tears—and Arthur felt that she was justified.
“You love me, then, still you love nobody but me?”
“No one " she said, and gave Sim her hand.
“And how am I to believe you --what proof can I have o’”
“What can I do 7”
“And what token of your love 7”
She dropped the bouquet which she held in her hand; and while Arthur stooped to pick it up, she darted through the corridor and disappeared.
He followed her—saw her at a distance among the crowd—lost her again—and had nearly recovered her traces once more, when, on arriving at the lobby, he saw her leap into a magnificent chariot, which went off at a full gallop !
“Gentlemen,” said the notary, interrupting hi narrative, “’tis very late—I am an early man—and, with your permission, will finish the rest of my story next opera night.”
On the following Wednesday we were all in the orchestra punctual to our appointment, but the notary did not make his appearance. The opera was “Robert,” and it recalled to my recollection my first meeting with Arthur. I now understood his melancholy and pre-occupation, and fancied that if Meyerbeer himself had been aware of his story, he would have pardoned his inattention even to the inimitable trio. But was Arthur at that moment in a less miserable condition ? Was he better qualified to appreciate good music Was he happy, and had he discovered the beautiful Judith ? We were still ignorant of the causes that kept them apart; and the absence of our little historian added to our impatience. He arrived at last at the end of the second act, and never was so enthusiastie a reception given to a favourite actor, or dancer, after three months' absence, as we now gave M. Baraton. “You’ve come at last, my good friend—here—sit down—we've kept your place. How late you are:" “I have been present at the signatures of a contract,” replied the notary—“I say present at the signatures, but not professionally. I have given up the shop; and, thank heaven I owe nothing.” “Yes you do—you owe us—' “A denouement,” said the professor. “Ah, the history of Judith—well.” M. Baraton took the seat that had been kept for him, and continued his tale :She had said “Wait:”—and, for some days, Arthur was patient enough—he hoped every hour for a letter or a rendezvous. “I shall see her again " he exclaimed— “she will come to me again!” But days and weeks passed on, and Judith never came. Six months passed this way—a year—and at last two years rolled by. I felt anxious about Arthur, and sometimes I was even uneast about his sanity. The scene at the masked ball had at sected him strangely. There were moments when he believed that he was labouring under some hallucination. He fancied it was all a dream—an illusion; and he began to have doubts of every thing he heard or saw. It was with difficulty that our utmost care restored him from a dangerous illness, into which hope deferred had thrown him. He never would touch the money advanced by Judith ; and his own fortune, I told you, amounted only to six thousand livres a year. Of these he spent four thousand in subscribing for a box at the opera—the box on the second tier, where he had encountered Judith the night of the masked ball. He went there every evening, as long as he had any hopes of seeing her again ; and when he sank into despair, he could not summon courage to enter it. He felt himself, when he sat in it, “seul, toujours seul”—and the feeling of loneliness made him wretched. All he could do was to come occasionally to the orchestra; and, after looking long and earnestly at the box on the opposite side, he would say, “She is not there !” and leave the theatre. This was his course of life, only diversified by an occasional journey into the country, when he sancied he had obtained some trace of
the lost one; but he always came back disconsolate to Paris, and resumed his old habits. It was to meet him more frequently that I secured a seat here by the year. Last week he had come—he had seated himself in the orchestra—not at this side, but at the other. On that occasion—hopeless and wretched—he had turned his back to the house, and was sunk in his own miserable reflections. But a sudden sensation among those around him, aroused him from his revery. A young lady of the most exquisite beauty, and magnificently dressed, had come into a box, and the whole artillery of opera-glasses was turned upon her in a moment. Nothing was heard but exclamations of “What a beautiful creature —how brilliant!—how graceful!” “What age should you think her, sir?” said one. “Twenty-one or twenty-two,” said another. “Bah! she isn't eighteen.” “Do you know who she is, then?” “No, sir; this is her first appearance at the opera— for I’m a subscriber, and know every face that has made a sensation here since the year—hem 2x And it seemed that nobody knew anything about her. At last a gentleman of very distinguished appearance bowed to her. Every one worried him with questions who she was. “”Tis Lady Inggerton—the wife of a rich English nobleman.” * Indeed!—so young—and so rich " And it was whispered about that she had been nobody once—a poor girl that was about to throw herself into the water in a fit of despair; and that, after being rescued by the old nobleman, she gained his heart so entirely, that he persuaded her to marry him, to enable him to leave her his enormous fortune—which he had actually done. “The deuse ! If she's a widow, she's a glorious catch ''' Her time of mourning is just expired, and, of course, all the young fellows, both in England and France, are making up to her. “No doubt,” said the young man who had been making these inquiries, pulling up his neckcloth; “and do you know, my good fellow, I rather think her ladyship is looking in this direction.” “Nonsense ‘’” “'Tis no nonsense, I assure you—I appeal to this gentleman;” and he addressed himself to Arthur, who had heard nothing of the conversation, and had to be informed Uf the whole matter. Arthur raised his eyes, and in the box in the second tier, that box that used to be his, he saw— Ah! people don't die of surprise and joy, for Arthur is still alive; he felt his heart beat quick. 'Twas she — 'twas Judith !—but at the same time he continued motionless; he did not dare to stir; he was afraid of awakening. “You know her, then, sir?” inquired his neighbour.
Arthur made no reply, for at that instant his eyes met Judith's 1–he saw hers lighting up with Joy—and what was he to think 2 My heavens ! how did his brain keep from turning, when he saw the hand of Judith—that hand so white and beautiful—raised slowly to her ear. (the very signal that in other days he used to give to her,) and play with the emerald drops that he had presented to her! Luckily, as I said before, people don't die of happiness; but Arthur felt some vague idea that he should go mad. He hid his face in his hands a moment, to convince himself it was not an illusion; and when he looked up again, the vision had vanished: Judith had disappeared :
A tremour took possession of his limbs—a hand of iron crushed his heart: but when he remembered what he had seen--what he had heard—and that she had given him a signal known only to themselves, he darted from his place ; he left the orchestra, and hurried into the street, . “If I deceive myself this time—if I am again mistaken—I shall either go mad or blow my brains out." And having come to this sage resolution, he walked steadily to the Rue de Provence; he knocked at the door, (which was instantly opened,) and asked for—Judith !
“Madame is within, sir,” said the porteress, very quietly.
Arthur almost fainted, and had to support himself on the baluster. He went up to the second floor, crossed the well-known rooms, and opened the door of the boudoir. It was furnished exactly as it was six years before.
The supper he had ordered before his departure was there, all laid on the table. There were seats set for two; and Judith, sitting on a sofa, said to him the moment he entered, “You come late, Arthur,” and held out her hand.
Arthur fell at her feet.
Here the notary stopped short.
“Well!” we all exclaimed, “go on.”
“What more have I to tell you?” said M. Baraton, with a knowing smile. “I have just come from dining with them. The ceremony took place to-day.”
“They are married, then 7”
“To be sure.”
“A widow is a kind of animal,” said one of the circle, $4 who—”
“Has very little resemblance to Judith,” interposed the notary; “for a curious part of the story that I have not told you is, that the old peer, her husband, never called her anything but his daughter.”
At that moment the box on the second tier opened— Judith came in, wrapped up in her ermined mantle, and leaning on the arm of her lover—her husband.
And a round of exclamations might be heard among the audience—
“How lovely she is:”
“A lucky dog "
THE BEGGAR-GIRL OF THE PONT-DES-ARTS.
BY WILHELM HAUFF.
ANY one who may have chanced to have lodged at the "King of England,” in Stuttgart, in the year 1824, or to have strolled in the spacious gardens in front, must have noticed certain figures who attracted general attention. There were, among others, two men, who, it seemed, did not belong to the population of Stuttgart, and would have been more at home on the Prado or the plaza de Peros at Seville. Imagine a tall, thin, elderly man, with iron-gray ... hair, deepset, burning eyes, a hawk nose, and thin, com
pressed lips. His walk is slow and stately; and if you have a lively fancy, you cannot but wish him, instead of
his black frock-coat, a slashed doubtlet and Spanish || segar-box, a flint and, steel.
cloak, to complete the picture. When you lock at his black silk breeches and stockings, the huge roses in his shoes, the long sword by his side, and the high-pointed hat pressed down on his forehead; and that servant, with a step as stately as his master's, does not his heavy
roguish face, his parti-coloured dress, and the boldness with which he stares at every thing, remind us of the servants in Spanish plays, who follow their master like his shadow, far below him in manners, his equals in pride, his superiors in cunning 7 Under his arm he carries his master's cloak and umbrella, and in his hand is a silver Every one stopped to loos at this pair as they moved slowly along. It was Don fedro de San Montanjo Ligez, chamberlain of the crown prince of , who was living in Stuttga." at the time, and his servant.
A very trifling circumstance often makes a man conspicuous. This was the case with young Froben. He had been in town about six months, and used to come into the gardens every day at two o'clock precisely, and walk three times round the lake, and then five times up and down the broad walk. He passed by all the splendid equipages and pretty women, by all the crowd of senators, aulic counsellors and militaires, without being noticed, for he looked like an every-day personage of some eight and twenty or thirty. But ever since one afternoon, when he happened to meet Don Pedro, when the latter greeted him cordially, took his arm, and walked up and down with him a few times in earnest discourse, he was looked upon with a good deal of curiosity and even respect. Yes, the proud reserved Spaniard treated him with marked distinction. The very prettiest of the young ladies began to observe that he was not ugly, that there was even something interesting in his features, and the senators and counsellors began to ask who he might be Some young officers professed to be able to answer this question, and stated that he now and then took a steak for a dinner, lived in street, and rode a very pretty horse. They then enumerated the good qualities of his horse with great accuracy, and this led them to a discussion on horse-flesh in general, which is said to have been profound and valuable.
After this, Froben was often seen in company with the Don, especially at night in his hotel, where they sat and talked apart from the other guests, Diego standing behind his master's chair and serving them with segars and Xeres. No one could divine the subject of these long Conversations.
What was it but the fine gallery of Messrs. Boiserée and Bertram, in which they had first become acquainted 7 These hospitable gentlemen had given our young friend termission to visit their collection as often as he chose, and he availed himself of it most liberally. In rain, in *now, and in fine weather he came; he often looked ill, but still he came. We should estimate Herr von Froben's taste too highly, however, if we supposed he was busy in studying or copying the admirable works of the Flemish school. He came in softly, bowed in silence, and hurried to a distant room, which contained one single picture. This he examined long, and then left the gallery in silence. The proprietors had too much delicacy to inquire into the cause of his extraordinary affection for the picture, but they could not but wonder at it. Often, when be went out, the tears stood in his eyes. The picture had no great value as a work of art. It represented a lady partly in the Spanish and partly in the old German costume. A blooming, cheerful face, with clear, loving eyes, finely chiselled lips and rounded chin, stood boldly out from the back-ground. The forehead was adorned by a profusion of hair and a little hat, with heavy white feathers, placed somewhat archly on one side. The uress, which was high in the neck, was loaded with rich chains, and bore testimony to its owner's wealth as well as modesty. “I suppose he is in love with the picture,” thought the proprietor; “but if so, he loves without hope, for it is at least three hundred years old.” By and by it seemed as though Froben was not the only admirer of the portrait One day the prince of P visited the gallery with his suite. His chamberlain, Don Pedro, when he saw this painting, uttered a cry of surprise, and seemed overcome by astonishment. When the prince left the gallery, Don edro was not to be found: at last he was discovered *tarding with folded arms and in deep thought before the ricture. He asked where it came from, and was told that it was painted by a celebrated artist several hundred years, before, and had been obtained by accident. “Oh, *" he cried, “it is new ; it is not a hundred years old: o or. Pray tell me, when you got it—where can I find He "*" ol' and ked too venerable to be laughed at
for his burst of passion; but when he was again told that the picture was supposed to be painted by Lucas Cranach, he shook his head gravely: “Gentlemen,” said he, laying his hand upon his heart, “Don Pedro de San Montanjo Ligez believes you to be honourable men. You are not picture-dealers, and have no interest to misrepresent the age of this picture. But unless I am greatly deceived, I know the lady who is here represented.” He made a ceremonious bow, and left the gallery. “Really,” thought the proprietor, “if we were not so certain about the age of this picture, I should be in doubt. At any rate, unless I am greatly deceived, as the Spaniard says, this is not his last visit to our collection.”
And so it happened. As soon as the gallery was opened, Don Pedro de San Montanjo Ligez stepped gravely and majestically in, sweeping past the long rows of paintings towards the lady in the hat and feathers. He was vexed to find the ground already occupied. A * man stood there, gazed at the picture, stepped back to a window to watch the flights of the clouds, and then came up, and gazed again. He was vexed—but had to be patient. He busied himself with the other paintings, but kept turning his head every moment to see whether the young gentleman had not gone. But he stood there firm as a wall, and seemed lost in thought. The Spaniard coughed to arouse him, but he kept dreaming on; he moved his foot roughly, the young man looked round at him a moment vacantly, and then turned to fasten again on the picture. “San Pedro ! Santiago de Compostella! what a tedious amateur !” muttered he, and left the room angrily, feeling that the disappointment had deprived him of all enjoymen. for that day. The next day, before the clock had done striking twelve, he mounted the gallery stairs in dignified haste, and made for the well-known picture, and, by good luck, he was the first and only visiter, and free to look his fill. He gazed long and fixedly at the picture; his eye grew dim, he drew his hand across his shaggy eyelashes and murmured, “Oh, Laura !” A sigh was plainly heard as an echo to this exclamation—he turned round in surprise—the same young man stood near him, looking earnestly at the portrait. Vexed at the interruption, he nodded a careless salutation; the young man returned it with less coldness but equal pride. The Spaniard deter mined to sit his troublesome neighbour out, but in vain— for to his amazement, the young stranger took a chair and sat down a few paces off, so as to be at his ease. “The fool! I really believe he is making sport of my gray hairs,” said Don Pedro, and left the room in great indignation. In the ante-chamber he met one of the proprietors of the collection. He tendered him his thanks for his politeness, but at the same time could not help saying a word about the disturber of his peace. “You may have noticed,” he remarked, “that one of your pictures has a special value in my eyes. I came, on you invitation, to see this, to spend my time before it undis. turbed, and now a mischievous young man watches my movements, comes whenever, I come, and spends whole hours, merely to vex me, before a painting that he has no interest in.”
The owner smiled. “I am not so certain as to that: the contrary seems to be the case, for this is not the first day that he has devoted to that picture.”
“Who is he 7”
“A certain Herr von Froben, who has been here six months. Ever since he saw the portrait in question, he has been in the habit of coming every day at the same hour to pay his respects to it. You see at any rate that he must feel an interest in the picture, since he has been so constant a visiter to it for so long a time.”
“What : six months?” cried the old man; “I have done him wrong in my thoughts, God forgive me! I o fear that I have behaved rudely to him. And he is a caballero, you say? No, it shall never be said of Pedro de Ligez that he was rude to a stranger. Tell him—but no, I will speak to him myself.”
The next day he found Froben at his post. The young man stepped aside to make room for his senior, who bow ed ceremoniously as he addressed him, “If I am not
mistaken, Señor, I have seen you looking at this picture before. So it is with me : I take great interest in this picture, and am never tired of looking at it.” Froben was surprised, and hesitated a little as he answered, “I admit it has peculiar merit in my eyes—for— since—as there is something in it which I greatly admire.” The Spaniard looked at him inquiringly, and Froben added, more calmly, “It is singular what effect a painting will sometimes produce. Thousands pass by this picture, find the drawing correct, and praise its colouring, but it does not affect them profoundly, while one person may find in it a deep hidden meaning, he cannot tear himself away, he feels chained o the spot, and returns to it again and again.” “You may be right,” replied the old man, thoughtfully, “but I conceive this applies only to great compositions, in which the artist sought to express a profound conception. Many pass by, and at last the true expression is felt by some one, who is then lost in admiration. But will this hold true of such heads 7” The young man coloured. “Why not ? the fine outlines of the face, this noble forehead, this thoughtful eye, .nis sweet mouth, are not these finely conceived and expressed ? Is there not something attractive in the seatures which—” “Certainly. She was unquestionably a very pretty woman; the family is remarkable for beauty.” “What family 7° asked Froben, doubting whether his new acquaintance was in his right mind. “This is a fancy piece, and some hundred years old.” “What? do you too believe that silly story? Between ourselves, the owners are mistaken this time: I know the lady.” “For God's sake do you know her ?—Where is she now 7–Who is she 7” “I should rather say, I did know her,” replied the old man, raising his moist eye to the painting. “Yes, I knew her in Valencia, twenty years ago—a long time ! It is Doña Laura Tortosi.” “Twenty years ago!” repeated Froben, sadly; “no, it is not she ''' “Why?” cried Don Pedro ; “do you suppose, then, the painter invented these features 7 Even without knowing the Tortosi family, do you not see it must be a family portrait 2 I say it is Doña Laura, as I knew her many years since.” “It may be like her—in which case she must be a very lovely person—but as for this piece, the records prove that it was hanging in the church of St. Mary Magdalen at least a hundred and fifty years ago.” “Then may the fiend pluck out my eyes "exclaimed the Spaniard, seizing his hat and rushing from the room. “It is a device of the evil one to torture me;” and the tears stood in his eyes.
One evening, when the two gentlemen were sitting in the parlour of the “King of England,” Don Pedro sud. denly said, “The crowd 1.ere prevents all conversation; will you help me empty a bottle of Ximenes in my apartment 7”
“Wait a moment till I prepare to receive you. I will send for you.”
In a few minutes, Diego appeared with a silver candlestick in each hand, and bowed gravely to Froben, as the signal to follow him. On entering, he found his host had laid aside his frock-coat, and appeared in a close-fitting black doublet and ample scarlet mantle. A sword with golden hilt was buckled by his side.
“Welcome, Don Frobenio,” was his salutation. “I have long desired a moment's friendly conversation with you. . Whenever I paid a visit to my Laura's likeness, I found you there before me. And excuse me playing the spy, but I could not help seeing that you felt more deeply interested in the picture than you have ever been willing to confess.”
Froben blushed, for the old man's glance was keen and penetrating. He told him : “It is true, and you are rizht in supposing it is not the painting, but the subject
that attracts ine. Alas! it reminds me of the sweetest
}. most unhappy hour of my life' You will smile when tell you that I once saw a lady who is very like that picture: that I saw her but once, and yet that I never shall forget her.” “Alas! it is my case, too !” murmured the Spaniard. “You will laugh outright, however,” continued Froben, “when I consess that I am abie to speak as to only half of her face. I do not know whether she is a blond or a brunette—whether she has a high or a low forehead, blue eyes or black, I really don't know. But the finely shaped nose, the lovely mouth, the chiselled chin—these I behold in the picture, the same as I once beheld the reality :" “Strange —and can you remember so distinctly those features which are generally more easily forgotten than the eyes and the hair; and after seeing them only once, too o “Ah, Don Pedro ! lips that we have once kissed, such lips we do not soon forget. I will tell you how it happened.” “Stop—not a word ‘’’ exclaimed the Spaniard. “You would have a right to think me ill-bred, if I asked a cava.
|lier for his secret, without first communicating my own
I will tell you what I know of the lady.
“Señor, I was born in Granada, of a noble fan oily, by whom 1 was instructed in religion and in science, and destined to the profession of arms. When I had eached the rank of captain, I was sent to my uncle, a stern old veteran, who commanded in Valencia. A great change had taken place in his household since I saw him last. I was surprised when he introduced an elderly lady to me as his second wife, and still more agreeably so, when I was made acquainted with a beautiful young one, whom he called his daughter Laura, my cousin. “You have seen her, Don Frobenio. That picture is a faithful copy of her lovely features, at least so far as it was possible for earthly art to imitate them. I necd not say that I loved her. M. affection was open and joyous; there were none of those barriers between us that usually separate lovers in my country. My uncle loved me as a son, and if I understood his hints rightly, was not un, willing to make me so. On my father's part, there could be no objection, for Laura was of a noble as well as wealthy family. You may judge how violent my love must have been, as I loved where there were no obstacles to seed the flame. As for the lady, she allowed me to confess my sentiments, my uncle gave his consent, and we were to be married as soon as he could obtain a ma. jority for me. About this time I became intimate with a captain in the Swiss Guard, and we were soon the closest friends. He was a fair-haired, handsome youth, with a delicate complexion and light-blue eyes. He would have been too effeminate for a soldier, but for his renown in arms. This made him so much the more dangerous. His style of beauty was one so new among us, that when he talked about the ice and snow of Switzerland, many a lady sighed to think that his heart seemed equally cold. “One day a friend, who knew of my engagement, gave me to understand, in mysterious circumlocution, that I had better marry my cousin at once, as otherwise something unpleasant might happen. I made further inquiries, and learned Doña Laura was in the habit of meeting a stranger at a friend's house. I could not believe it, and yet a jealous pang remained; I determined to watch her closely. That very afternoon she left us, saying that she wished to see a friend. A little while afterwards, I sol lowed her, and kept watch by the door of the house. A fury seized me as I saw a man, wrapped in a mantle, stealing along at nightfall in the shade of the buildings. As the figure approached me, I seized hold of its dress, and cried, “Whoever you are, give me your honour that you do not come here to visit Laura de Tortosit” “Who dares to question me thus 7" said a deep voice. His accent betrayed the stranger, and I felt a painful forebod ing. ‘It is Captain de San Montanjo Ligez,' I replied, and pulled the cloak from before his face, and saw my friend, the Swiss Captain. He stood there like a culpril, without speaking. I drew my sword, and motioned to him to do the same. “I have no atols but a dagger, he