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widow Le Tellier's cottage?” with a most de She was hanging over her kinswoman's wickersponding assurance, that however straight the chair, as the young Captain entered the salle, way, he was taking it in vain-for that the
listening with unusual gravity of demeanour to “ Veillée” was postponed !
the sober strain of reminiscence and exhorta6 What the devil is the Veillée to me?” was tion, into which the good woman had naturally the rejoinder that rose to the gallant Captain's fallen, on learning the demise of her respected lips; but after sundry iterations from divers per friend. But when Captain R-advanced, cap sons, of the information thus communicated, his in hand, towards the widow's throne of state, regallantry seemed to take the alarm, and he at presenting himself, in indifferent French, and length replied with a well-assumed air of inter with a still more indifferent command of coun. est, “ The Veillée postponed !-On what account? tenance, to be an utter stranger, seeking a night's -You spoke just now of Madame Le Tellier as hospitality at St. Medard's, Manon, instead of having a niece: I trust neither of them is in profiting by the hasty lesson of dissimulation thus disposed ?”
imparted, yet blushing the while, the colour of a “No! poor things !” cried one of the elder Guernsey amaryllis, at her own rashness, bent damsels to whom he addressed his inquiry ; forward yet closer to the ear of her aunt, to ex“ they are well enough in health : they are plain in a whisper distinctly audible to their only in trouble.”
guest, “ Maman, this is the English. Captain who “In trouble?" echoed the English marine ama visited St. Peter's Port in his yacht last sumteur, still affecting a civil sort of sympathy with mer, when I was waiting on the young ladies at the unknown fair ones of St. Medards.
the Government House, and who was so good as anything happened to lu Maman, or to Manon?" to engage my brother Ancel as his mate. Monsieur
“ You know them, then?” exclaimed his new le Capitaine !” she continued, turning towards acquaintance, with a look of surprise.
the indignant R-, and growing firmer in the “ I am a complete stranger here,” was the proud consciousness of candour," You could Captain's equivocal rejoinder.
scarcely suppose that had already forgotten “ Ah! I thought you could not be a friend the kind patron of my brother, or that he would of the family, or you would have been aware,” not be welcome to the home of my father's sisreturned his companion, “ that this night is the ter !-But how long have you be returned to annual opening of the Lit de Veille for the Guernsey ? and why did not our dear Ancel bear autumn, at Maman Le Tellier's farm. It is you company, to show you the way to the farm?" only in consequence of the intelligence brought “ Ancel remains, of necessity, with my boat at hither this morning of the death of her friend, St. Peter's," replied the young Captain, evidently Monsieur, the French gentleman, over yonder vexed and embarrassed; “ we came into harbour in Normandy, that neither aunt nor niece is in only yesterday, after a cruise of some weeks in spirits to receive us."
the Channel ; and I had a mind, previous to “ Monsieur de St. Sauveur dead !” again in- setting sail for Cherbourg, to visit the bay of considerately ejaculated the self-styled stranger. Huet Moulin, of whose beauties my friend, An
“ Dead as Marlbrook !" chimed in a joyous. cel, has given me such flourishing descriptions. looking youth, who appeared to be the brother, Having deceived myself strangely as to time or fiancé of his first respondent. 66 And Maman and tide, I find it impossible to return to town Le Tellier is taking on sadly, and Manon is as I had proposed, I have therefore to thank quite down in the mouth. Nevertheless, if Mon your recognition, Mademoiselle Manon ; as I sieur be seeking a bed at St. Medards, it will trust, it will be the means of inducing Madame never have to be said that the door of the farm Le Tellier to grant me a night's lodging." was closed against an English gentleman wanting “Less was needed, sir, to secure so small a entertainment."
kindness,” observed the widow, bending an in. And thus encouraged, the young Captain pro- quisitorial eye upon his countenance; and espyceeded resolutely onwards ; resolved to try his ing perhaps more of incoherence in the history luck with the lady mourners, rather than encoun. and embarrassment in the face of the English ter a heavy sea, in an open boat, on a moonless Captain, than she could well account for. “ It October night. At length the bright blue blossoms would of course have been a great satisfaction of the far-famed hydrangea tree of the farm be- here, had it been possible for my nephew to bear came visible; and the young stranger's colour you company in your excursion. Nevertheless, seemed to rise as he approached the venerable man if his duties interfered" — sion, backed by its fruitful orchard, and facing " It may not be impossible for me to afford its diminutive Eden of Guernsey horticulture. Ancel a trip to St. Medards before I quit the In spite of the re-assurances he had received, island,” interrupted the guest, resuming his some doubt and perplexity probably remained in usual tone of superiority and command. “Mean. his mind, as to the diplomacy to be adopted, in while_" order to secure himself food and shelter from the “ Meanwhile,” continued Madame Le Tellier, old lady.
you will accept the expression of mine and my But if the Captain's complexion underwent a niece's regrets—" change as he passed the threshold, that of little (Manon's countenance fell ! for she began to Manon experienced a far more remarkable tran. apprehend that her honest frankness might sition as she caught sight of the new-comer. prove the means of depriving her brother's
patron of the hospitality he had sought at the cence of the prettiness and liveliness of the wait. farm!)
ing-maid of the Governor's daughters, had that the melancholy tidings we have this brought him to the Farm, he now sojourned there day received will render your sojourn at St. Me as one who was not the less welcome for coming dards less cheerful than we could have wished. unbidden, Our Veillée,” continued the warm-hearted old “Your friend, Monsieur de St. Sauveur,'aplady, looking round wistfully at the Lit de Veille pears to have been a martyr to political revoluprepared for the evening's entertainment, and tions ?” he observed, after having listened with glancing at the bouquets of fresh flowers placed great patience to Madame de Tellier's diffuse by the care of Manon on her well-burnished ar and repeated lamentations over the loss of her moire of house-linen, " is postponed for a week.
“And yet I do not call to If Monsieur le Capitaine could be persuaded to mind his name as connected with any particular give my nephew a day's holyday”–
party, or any great public catastrophe ?" “ Certainly, certainly," interrupted her guest, “ How should you ?" replied the old lady anticipating her demand.
briskly. “St. Sauveur was the name borne by “ And deign to accompany the lad on his visit the family during their voluntary exile. It does to his family," continued Madame Le Tellier, not follow that my friends were not recognised proffering an invitation which the Captain cer under a more illustrious designation in their na. tainly did not anticipate,—"we should experience tive country.” the gratification of showing a stranger who has “Aha?" cried Manon, instinctively laying befriended him, something of our Guernsey cus down her knitting pins, and tossing back the toms. Meanwhile, be pleased to accept such wel. ringlets from her open forehead, on this hint of come as we are prepared to offer ; and to pardon a secret to be unfolded. “ Yet every one at St. an old woman, who cannot forget in a moment, Medards the loss of a friend, to smile upon a new acquain “Every one was scarcely likely to be admitted tance.”
into their confidence,” interrupted the widow The new acquaintance thus cavalierly saluted, pettishly. “The good Marquis chose his conhowever, showed himself not only fully satisfied fidants as his own clear judgment suggested ; with the terms of his welcome, but resolved to nor did he, I trust, find cause to regret its sugimprove into friendliness his acquaintanceship gestions." with the good matron of St. Medards, by every “He was, in fact, then, a very great man, and possible art and concession. He laid aside his living incog. at the Chateau ?" said Captain self-conceit-he laid aside his dandyism. Ris-R-, interrogatively, ing superior to the superiority he had felt or “ He was living under an assumed name, sir," affected over Gros-Pierre and Jean-Marie, he replied La Maman ; “nor should I admit so much, accepted, without any overstrained expressions but that, although no public cause for concealment of gratitude, the homely fare set before him ; and now exists, I am satisfied it would be impossible having at length persuaded the hospitable widow for you to obtain a clew to his real title and poto take her place at the board, and share the sition in life. For my own part ignorant as I am matchless bottle of old Médoe brought forward of the very nature of what you are pleased to by Manon, at her kinswoman's suggestion, from term political revolutions, I cannot presume to the most recondite hoard of her cellar, which on decide upon Monsieur de St. Sauveur's personal being uncorked, sent forth a musky fragrance as or public consequence : but this I know, that if, of some choice flower-garden, he eventually suc
great man,” you mean a man of mighty ceeded in dispelling from her goodly face every purposes, of great and good principles, a man, shadow of mistrust, and even of qualifying the above all, holding control over his own passions, gloom of its shades of sorrow. As evening closed and able to carve out for himself the duty-path in, Manon saw fit to light the Veillée lamp in ho- of his own career,—such a one was the friend nour of their unexpected visiter, while Captain whom I have lost ! Yes ! he was a great man !" R— with growing familiarity, drew the widow's repeated the widow, after some moments' mediwicker-chair towards the hearth. The doors tation ; “ few greater, few capable of such sacwere barred against intrusion; the farm lad des- rifices, such moral heroism. The idols he made patched to the beach had already brought back for himself were not of common dusts and who news, that the boatmen, profiting by their em ever worshipped with half so much piety of afployer's permission, had found shelter for them fection? God bless him,—God rest him! He is selves for the night, at the mill of Huet, and the now reaping his great reward among the elect trio at the fireside of St. Medards were, conse of the children of God!" quently, free to enjoy the warmth and comfort “ You speak with considerable enthusiasm," of the salle, without any drawback from the observed R-, rising from the Lit de Veille, on dreariness of the night and the howling of the which he had inadvertently seated himself. “Rewinds against the casement. And they did en collect, however, that I know nothing of the St. joy it ; and already began to interchange fami Sauveur family, and am forced to accept their liar words and phrases, as if unconsciously adopt- virtues upon trust.” ing each other as friends. The stranger was no “ Listen then," resumed Madame Le Tellier, longer a stranger. Whatever motive, whether "Take the seat again which you have just quita love of the picturesque, or a tender reminis- ted; and for once, I will play the gossip; in
order that, although our Veillée is impossible, brightness of the flowers which had attracted you may not quit the island without imbibing their notice, one half so gay and lightsome, as some notion of its fashions. To you, who have the smile of their own sweet eyes! The arm of no interest in penetrating the secret of my Ma’mselle Sophie, the eldest daughter, rested on friends, I may venture to confide a mystery, such Antoinette's shoulder, as she advanced to inquire as I should be loathe to breathe in the ears of whether I were the Widow Le Tellier, of whom my neighbours here of the hamlet
they had heard so much from the Notary at St. “ A mystery which regards the young ladies, Peter's Port, charged with the letting of the Sophie, Antoinette, and Claire?" cried Manon, Chateau ; and whether I could kindly oblige clapping her hands with the excitement of the them by stepping up to see their Mamma, who moment. “ Dear aunt ! you will surely allow was a great invalid, or she would have visited me to sit up and profit by the Veillée ? You me herself, to ask my advice respecting the or. well know that you can have confidence in my dering of her new establishment." discretion !”
“ There was something in the young stranger's “ Not much in your discretion, my poor child,” voice sweet as the combs of my own hive honey," said her kingwoman, kindly tapping the cheek continued the widow ; " and the little Anof the girlish face that presented itself, as Ma- toinette, who was not more than twelve years non knelt anxiously yet playfully at her feet ; old, having lifted the latch and begged me to put “but not a little in your good will; and still on my bonnet and accompany them at once, as more,” she added, with a good-humoured smile, it would be a great comfort to their poor dear “in the impossibility of your turning to mis. sick mamma, I had no power of refusing. She chievous account the information I am about to took my hand, and walked prattling by my side, impart. The very name of my friends is un as we ascended the Côte together; and when we dreamed of in Guernsey ; even that under which reached the old terrace gardens of the Chateau, it was their pleasure to be known will be heard the two elder girls joined in her exclamation of here no more. Two of the young ladies are on • This wilderness is disgraceful, Madame Le Telthe eve of honourable marriage ; the third, my lier, after the beautiful garden-plot at the farm ! pretty Antoinette, is already a wife and mother; You must teach us to put it into better trim. and when the grey head of old Victorine Le Papa is not rich enough to keep a gardener, and Tellier shall be laid in the grave, with her will has too many anxious thoughts to admit of his rest the secret of their probation!".
troubling himself about such tri fles. But we will “ Except such a portion of their history all work in it, in hopes to raise some flowers for as you have promised to communicate,” cried Mamma, and remind her of dear France. And Captain R., bent upon enticing his companions already they had tied up into a bouquet, for the into sitting up to bear him company, rather than poor sick lady, the flowers I had hastily gathered curious to learn the promised particulars. for Maʼmseile Antoinette before we left the
“ My promise will cost me a pang or two !” Farm. was the old lady's reply. Manon, lay down an Well, sir, we reached the Château, as I have other log upon the hearth, and bring down the told you; and never before had its grey stone walls, lamp a link. The room looks cheerless, or my eyes mossed over with tufts of capillaire, appeared so are dimmer than usual. And set upon the fire a cheerless to my old eyes. The house had stood skillet of Bourdeaux, with a stick of cinnamon, so long empty, and, though in good repair, was and the zest of one of our own citrons,—for the so dingy with disorderliness, so unhumanized, as English Captain will want a sleeping draught to one may say, so cobwebbed, so neglected, that make him turn a deaf ear to the whistling of the it seemed every way unfit for the reception of north-wester in our chimneys. So !--now be the young, brilliant, blooming creatures, who seated and quiet,” continued Madame Le Tellier, now led me by the hand into the hall. I could evidently prolonging her directions and injunc- not help feeling that every thing, and fancying tions, so as to postpone the commencement of her that every one connected with so much health task, and subdue the emotions which a mere re and happiness, ought to be as smiling and suncurrence to the name of St. Sauveur had sufficed shiny as themselves. But when I entered the to draw forth.
saloon, which, by the care of Monsieur, and the « It was six years ago, and summer-time,” arrival of their property from St. Peter's Port, said she, commencing at last abruptly, “ when a had been already converted into a comfortable French family came to settle at the Chateau de habitation, how grievously was I undeceived ! St. Medard ; and no sooner did I set eyes upon Scarcely had I glanced at the Lady Marchioness, them, than I felt that they ought to come with as she reclined on a sofa, drawn towards the the summer-with the butterflies—with the open window, when I felt a chill come over me. roses,—with all things that are beautiful in na. It was the first time I had ever looked upon a ture; for more beautiful than all these were the human face stamped with the seal of hopeless three young daughters of Monsieur de St. Sau- misery ! I had seen the poor, the sick, the veur. Never shall I forget their appearance as humbled, the wretched ; vagrants from the coast they stood, the very evening after their arrival had stopped to beg at my gate, hungry, helpless, at the Chateau, hand in hand at my garden gate, and more than hungry or helpless, for they were with the sunshine streaming upon their flowing struggling with the hunger and helplessness of curls; and not all its brightness, nor all the the children who clung to their backs, or tugged
at their ragged garments. But these were not his children to make a friend and fondling. hopeless. Not one among them had that God. Things were well then, at the farm of Icart." abandoned look which had withered the beauti. Little Manon rose from her knees at this ful face of Monsieur de St. Sauveur's wife: it allusion to the reverses of her parents, and bewas as if her crown of thorns had pricked too gan to busy herself in arranging the skillet upon deeply for the endurance of mere human flesh the fire, so as to conceal her face from the inand blood. Her children seemed involuntarily quisition of the English Captain. to curb-in their playful steps, and subdue their “ And yet,” resumed the aunt, too much ab. young' voices as they approached her presence. sorbed in her own reminiscences to notice the Yet Heaven knows it was at no instigation of change of countenance of the mortified girl, hers ; for she was milder than mildness can be, “ dearly as I loved them all, I seldom visited patient, meek, and self-neglecting. It was that the Chateau. There was something in the sight they had been early accustomed to the spectacle of the Marchioness's despondency-an
ail. I of sorrow, and nurtured in habits of deference ment that I could not cure, a grief that I
towards afflictions they could not understand, dared not even notice,- which went straight and infirmities they could not assuage. Poor to my heart, and made it ache for the remainder girls!-poor, precious, miserable mother! God be of the day, whenever I was compelled to have with her in her rest! God be with her !- and un speech of her. So deeply, deeply humble was her consciously the kind widow crossed herself in, look, so submissive the tone of her voice, that humble pietv, as she recurred to the sufferings of one felt a thousand times humiliated by the the departed,
sight and sound. One longed to kneel down in “ Monsieur de Sauveur showed also the look the dust, to be meeker, and of a more Christian
man who had found troubles to wrestle like lowliness than herself. The poor lady seemed with,” she resumed, after a short pause.
to be in a perpetual state of penance; ever his cause of grief was evidently of a very diffe-shrinking away from her fellow-creatures, lest, rent nature from that of Madame. Poor igno. | peradventure, they should place their finger on rant woman as I am, I could see in a moment, some sore spot-some hidden source of torment. that his were vexations he could meet face to so, at least, it seemed to me; and strangers face, with an uplifted eye, without shame, be often see most of a sufferer's feelings, who is surfore God vr man. And I was right. His mis rounded only by those whose views are magnified fortunes had arisen to him, in his adherence to by excess of tenderness. the cause of his master-in his fidelity to what Monsieur de St. Sauveur attributed all the he believed to be the true interests of his coun. melancholy of his wife to her sympathy in his try. He had nothing to repent or to regret, but misfortunes,—all her struggles to a desire to the failure of his endeavours. He had striven to overcome the influence of adversity ; while the serve his fellow-creatures ; he had buffeted with children, looking upon their gentle mother as a the waves for their sake. What fault of his, if | miracle of earthly excellence, believed her a preProvidence had left him a wreck upon the destined saint, chastened with physical suffering shore ?
by the hand of God, in proportiin to His divine “ The fine, stern, independent countenance of love of her virtues. None, alas! dreamed of a this noble gentleman won upon my heart still worm concealed within the decaying fruit, but more, if possible, than the courtesy and graces poor old Victorine Le Tellier ! of his family. I was glad, and luckily I was able “ The troubled in mind are usually quickest to serve them. The infirmity of the Marchion of discernment: the poor dear lady soon discovess's health rendered it impossible for her to in- ered that I saw farther into her condition than terfere in the establishment of the family in their those who were nearest to her; and instead of new abode; the young ladies were too young to mistrusting my scrutiny, as the evil-hearted be useful in such matters ; and Monsieur, al. might have done, she sought my company the though full of good will to adapt his habits to more, when she saw that I attributed her langour his change of fortunes, was too high-minded a and emaciation, and, above all, her exertions to man, too accustomed to liberal housekeeping overcome her occasional attacks of nervous exand the thriftlessness of opulence, to do himself citement, to something more than indisposition. justice in his dealings with strangers. It pleases She did not, it is true, trust me with greater me to think that I spared them all both trouble confidence ; but seemed to like to have me near and vexation, and even money; of which they her, and have me near her children ; and to feel understood not the comparative value. For my it a relief when, during Monsieur's occasional part, I was amply repaid by the pleasure super excursions in the country, or to the neighbouring added to my life in the spectacle of their fair islands, I took his place beside her, to bathe her faces, and the cheeriness of their young voices, hollow temples, or lend her my arm as she saun. when the three girls visited me every morning tered along the terraces of the garden. with some message or commission from the Cha “Do not let the girls accompany us,' she would teau ; for I had nothing of my own about me say, when I had trudged up to the Chateau to then to love," said Madame Le Tellier, glancing offer her my services; as if I had more authority at Manon. “ My husband was in his grave; than herself with the young ladies, and as if the and my only brother was at that period prosper- sight of their happy faces was too much for her ing in the world, and would not spare me one of enfeebled eyes. And then she would creep on
and on, with feeble steps, as if she wanted to be was the only person who foresaw that a catasalone with nature and the skies, and knew that trophe was at hand! Every day when I visited I should watch over her safety, without intrud. the Chateau, I perceived that the sick lady was ing upon her meditations. And once or twice, feebler and feebler than the day preceding. She in the twilight, when I had guided her the ut no longer quitted the house ; she could scarcely most length she could venture from home, and turn upon her bed of misery without assistance ; there was nothing but the evening star over our the only food she tasted was tisanne of capillaire heads, and the calm hush of the garden-thickets and other simple febrifuges prepared by my hand. around us, I have seen her clasp her poor thin Yet she never murmured! Her answer was alhands, and lift her eyes to the throne of the ways · Better,' in reply to the anxious inquiries Almighty, with such a bitter, bitter look of
of her children. And they believed her! Affecplication ! May I never live to see such a look tion is so rashly sanguine in its hopes and conagain upon any human face! At such times, fidence. when, perhaps, she had kept silence for an hour “ Nevertheless, as winter approached, the or more in my presence, if the voice of one of Marquis began to discern symptoms of an alarmthe young ladies was heard at a distance, the ing change ; and much against the desire of the poor mother would start and tremble, and whis-invalid, a physician was fetched from St. Peter's per to me, 'Not now ; do not let them approach Port, to issue his mandate upon her case. But me now. I must, -I must be alone !' But if it mandate there was none to issue. The gentlebappened to be the larquis who came to meet man was compelled to avow that, although her us, although she clung to my arm for support,
broken constitution proclaimed his patient's conand trembled with the same secret emotion, she dition to be hopeless, he could guess nothing of never attempted to interdict his company. He the sources of her disorder. He knew that she would have flown leagues at her bidding, and in must die,-that was all!-and if every learned no single instance, did I ever see him attempt man were as honest, it is perhaps the utmost to contravert her will; and yet, she did not Doctors have to unfold. But guess, Sir, only presume to express to him her desire to be alone. guess the change which those few words wrought The sense of conjugal duty with her was all in in the family at the Chateau! The first time I all!
beheld the Marquis after the departure of the 'Twas a strange thing, too, that dearly as her physician, he looked to me as if he had been children loved her, the sight of the Marchioness's turned into a statue of stone. There was somesettled melancholy never seemed to affect their thing in the long-enduring sickness of his lady spirits ; unless, when their presence warned them
which he had seemed to reverence, as though it to moderate their joyous tones within hearing were the probation of a martyr and unamenable of the sufferer. They had grown up with the to any mortal remedy; but now that the sensight of her sorrow ever before their eyes. They tence was gone forth ---that he knew the dust he could not figure their mother to themselves, loved was with the dust about to mingle,-he otherwise, than as a suffering saint. It was in began to reproach himself that he had not earlier thit guise they understood and loved her; while applied to human aid in her behalf. It was not they loved each other with all the buoyant ear till she was on the eve of entering into the joy nestness of youth. Those three fair creatures, of her Lord, and putting on immortality, that her sir, were never apart. One place of rest sufficed husband seemed to recollect she was born of them; they knelt side by side for their evening woman, ,-a mere child of clay, like others of the prayer; and when the morning sun beamed earth! upon them again, it was to each other that their "I will pass over that season of affliction !" first exclamations of joy and love were fervently
faltered Madame Le Tellier. “ During the graaddressed. Sophie would have dedicated the dual decay of the sufferer, it appeared to me a whole worship of her heart to Claire, but that strenge but evident thing, that the poor
meek there was an Antoinette in the world ; and humble invalid, so long prepared for the worst, Antoinette would have conceived it impossible and so well prepared by the exercise of every to love any thing but Sophie, had not the soft Christian virtue, shrank from the final consum. blue eyes of Claire recalled her to the remem mation! At times, indeed, a heavenly fervour brance of an object equally beloved. There was was in her uplifted eyes, as if Hope still existed but one heart, one soul, one hope, one conscious for her on high. But immediately afterwards, ness among the three. They had no need to a shudder would come over her wasted frame, as consult each other—to confide-to argue : though her glance had suddenly fallen upon some they were one ;- one doating child to their poor dark abyss, still intervening between herself and mother,-one duteous and pious daughter to the eternal life. Deep, deep sighs would burst from father they revered. To live apart would have her labouring breast, when she found or fancied been impossible to either of the three ; for as herself alone; and often when I greeted her, of yet no pulse of womanhood was stirring in their mornings, with gratulation she had rested innocent hearts, to suggest the existence of other well, she would answer in a broken voice,— God ties, or the future duties of the wife and the is too good to me! He is leading me with a mother!
tender hand towards the darkest of all my trials. “ But all this was drawing to a close," con Pray for me, good Victorine ; dear Victorine, tinued old Victorine, wiping her eyes; "and I pray for me, that His upholding strength may not