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evening of January 22, 1793, nlodding down the steep slope led the Faubourg St. Martin, rence's church. Not a soul and the snow lay thick in the r footsteps. Yet she fared a sure talisman to shield had passed the Rue des firm and heavy tread of she had heard the sound e was dogging her heels, irly well-lighted shop er her fears were wellooking back, spied a ow felt sure that the her home; and she e off this spy, and e into a run which
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GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, .
AN EPISODE UNDER THE
AFTER BALZAC, BY Philip KENT.
"OWARDS eight o'clock in the evening of January 22, 1793,
an old lady might have been seen plodding down the steep slope which-with the broad thoroughfare called the Faubourg St. Martin, of which it forms part-ends at St. Lawrence's church. Not a soul had she yet met, for the Terror reigned, and the snow lay thick in the forsaken streets, muffling the sound of her footsteps. Yet she fared bravely onwards, as if trusting her age as a sure talisman to shield her from all harm. When, however, she had passed the Rue des Morts, she heard, or thought she heard, the firm and heavy tread of a man following in her wake. Fancying that she had heard the sound before, and scared at the notion that some one was dogging her heels, she pressed on towards a spot where a fairly well-lighted shop promised her the chance of ascertaining whether her fears were wellgrounded. There she suddenly halted, and, looking back, spied a human form looming through the mist. She now felt sure that the man had tracked her from the very threshold of her home ; and she reeled beneath the shock. But panting to shake off this spy, and blind to the hopelessness of the attempt, she broke into a run which speedily brought her to a pastrycook's, into which she darted, and sank into a chair near the counter.
As the old lady entered, the shop mistress raised her eyes from her needlework, scowled, rummaged in a drawer for something not forthcoming, uttered a peevish “Bother !” and, tripping from her perch towards the back of the shop, called her husband.
"A story founded on facts supplied to Balzac by the chief actor in the episode, See Memoir of H. de Balzac, by his sister Mme. Surville.
VOL. CCLXXIV. NO. 1945.