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THE

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

January 1893

AN EPISODE UNDER THE

TERROR.1
AFTER Balzac, BY Philip KENT.

TOWARDS eight o'clock in the evening of January 22, 1793,

I 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.

" Terror," An Episode under the. After Balzac, by PHILIP KENT
Tennyson's Great Allegory. By WALTER WALSH:

le of Charles II.? By C. T. W. ROUBLE
ay at Old Eton. By J. W. SHERER, C.S.I.

Tropics. A Garden in the. By JAMES RODWAY

PAGE

616

85 482

417 575

53 178

iy

Contents.
Mosquito, The Mission of the. By E. A. JEPSON
Old Church Steeples. By SARAH WILSON
Orange-Tree, The. By THOMAS H. B. GRAHAM
Pages on Plays. By JUSTIN H. MCCARTHY 97. 205, 312, 420, 528, 632
Paternity. (From Victor Hugo By C. E. MEETKERKE
Pedigree, Our. By H. G. WELLS, B.Sc.
Pike. By THOMAS SOUTHWELL, F.R.S.

463
Poetry and Politics. By C. B. ROYLANCE KEXT

237
Prisons and Prisoners. By GEORGE RAYLEIGH VICARS, M.A.
Puritans and Play-Actors. By W. WHEATER
Quashie. By FRANK BANFIELD, MA.

73
Query, A. By J. SANSOME

527 Rise, The, and Fall of Millbank Prison. By G. RAYLEIGH VICARS 492 Round the Town with Dr. Johnson. By GEORGE WHALE

120 St. Paul's, Memories of Old. By W. CONNOR SYDNEY, M.A.

447
Shakespeare, The Advertiser's By EDMUND B. V. CHRISTIAN. 305
Sirius and its System. By J. ELLARD GORE, F.R.A.S. .

14
Smoking, A Theory of. By S. H. BOULT
Souvenirs of Lyonnesse. By FRANK BANFIELD, M.A.:

413
Spinoza, Benedictus, 1632-1677. By Rev. JOSEPH STRAUSS, D.D.
Stewart, The Royal House of. By JAMES HUTTON. Part 1.

Part II.
Sussex, The Great Forest of. By THOMAS H. B. GRAHAM

345
Table Talk. By SYLVANUS URBAN :

· 260 Thomas Fuller-Fuller's Gossip-Walling Alive in Foundations

-Ghosts and Apparitions-A Modern Trial for Witchcraft

- Modern Ecclesiastical Pretensions—Pagan Survival-A

Pagan Custom in England.
Mercy to Animals—The Influence of “Sport” - The Sports of

104
our Grandfathers—“Rabelais” in English-Book-plates-

Heraldic and other Book-plates-Jewish Wit and Humour 211
“ Secret Service under Pitt ”-Holbein's “Dance of Death ”

Origin of “The Dance of Death”—Editions of “The
Dance of Death”—New Letters of Heine-Heine's Wife
and Mother-"Eighteenth-Century Vignettes "_“New

Winchelsea ”
Novels and Novel-Reading –History in the Novel- The Con-

319
troversial Novel—The Novel of Adventure-Novels of Mr.
Clark Russell-Sea Novels and Sketches—“Accidents by

Sea"-Charles Reade's Masterpiece.
The Bookstalls of Paris-Physiology of the Parisian Quais-A

427
Curious Dinner-party-Ġeorge MacDonald's Poems—The
Restoration Dramatists—Republication of these Works--
Sir John Vanbrugh—The Right to Possess all Literature-

The Poetry of William Basse
Pepys's Diary - Mynors Bright's Additions to the “ Diary: -A

Final Edition_“Susan” --The Laureate of Labour-
Vandalism at Highgate-Home Travel—“Holy” Wells-

396 379 281

535

Two Two Vi

639
500

І
91

By ARTHUR E. SALMON
Iders. By C. PARKINSON
e. By ANNIE E, IRELAND
18? By DR. YORKE-DAVIES

163

631

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272

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TOW

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

B

“Where did you put - ?" she began, and nodded in the direction of the customer, whose headgear—a huge black silk bonnet trimmed with violet ribbon-was just visible from where the worthy couple stood. With a glance that seemed to say, “Catch me leaving that about when there are so many hawks abroad !” the pastrycook dived into the depths of his back premises, and his wife trotted back to her perch, not a little puzzled by the old lady's corpse-like stillness and silence.

Pity blended with curiosity when she beheld the deadly pallor of the always wan and wasted features, with their air of high birth and breeding that savoured of the Old Court now for ever swept away. “My lady,” she began with forced respect, forgetting that “My lady" was now a forbidden phrase.

But the old dame sat mute and motionless, staring at the window, as if she there discerned some hideous bugtear.

“What ails you, citizeness ? " asked the pastrycook, hurrying into the shop and handing her a small cardboard box wrapped in blue paper, which she hastily slipped into her pocket.

“Nothing, my friend, nothing !” she quietly replied. Then, suddenly catching sight of his red “ Cap of Liberty," she cried, " Ah! you have played me false !”

“ Not we, indeed !” protested husband and wife in one breath. The old lady blushed either with shame or joy, or both ; humbly craved their pardon, and handed the husband a louis d'or, saying, “ The bargained price !”.

There is a need which the needy can read at a glance. The old lady's hand trembled as she tendered the coin, and she eyed it, not greedily indeed, but wistfully. Hunger and want were stamped upon her brow in characters legible to all. Her very raiment, the gown of worn silk, the well-brushed but faded cloak, the carefully darned lace—the rags of opulence-spoke of pinching penury. The worthy shopkeepers exchanged a glance which meant, “ 'Tis her last louis,” and straightway began to soothe their consciences, which pricked them for taking it, by accosting her with kindly words.

“Why, citizeness, you seem sadly feeble,” said the husband. “Can I offer your ladyship any refreshment ? ” chimed in the wife. “We have some excellent broth,” added the pastrycook.

“ 'Tis so bitterly cold I fear your ladyship may have caught a chill as you came along. But you can stay here awhile and warm yourself a bit,” added his better half, while the good man clinched the business with a “We're not quite so black as the devil.”

Yielding to the kindly spirit which breathed in these words, the lady confessed that some strange man had tracked her to the shop, and that she dreaded going home alone.

“Oh! if that's all, just wait till I return,” replied he of the red cap ; and, handing the louis to his wife, he went and donned his national guardsman's uniform, and soon came back in full military rig. But meanwhile his wife had found time to reflect. And, as often happens, reflection closed the open hand of charity. Haunted by misgivings, and loth to see her husband entangled in some ugly scrape, she tried to stop him by tugging at his coat-tail. But, swayed by his better feelings, the worthy man forthwith volunteered to see the lady safe home.

Then up spoke the shrewd queen of the counter. “It seems, citizeness, that the man you're afraid of is still prowling about out yonder.”

"I fear so," replied the lady, guilelessly.

“He may be a spy—this may be a “plant'-don't you stir a stump, but get back that box !” These words, which his wife hissed into his ear, rather damped the pastrycook's new-born courage. “Ah !” he exclaimed, “I'll just tip him a word or two, and rid you of him in a trice.”

So saying out he popped, but soon returned with every trace of colour driven from his peony cheeks, legs quaking, eyes dilated and bursting from their sockets.

“Ah ! so you'd send us to the block, would you, you wretch of an aristocrat !” he roared. “Come, take yourself off, and beware how I catch you here again seeking the means of working out your infernal plots!”

With that he made a grab at the old lady's pocket. But scarce had his fingers touched her dress when, goaded by the dread of losing her treasure, up she sprang with the nimbleness of sixteen, and, darting to the door, vanished from the eyes of the stunned and trembling pair. Once in the street, she stepped out briskly ; but her strength soon failed her when she heard the snow again crunching beneath the leaden foot of her ruthless pursuer. She felt that stop she must. Stop she did ; and he stopped, too. Speak to him, or even look at him, she durst not. She walked slowly on; he slackened his pace so as to keep her well within view. Thus he stuck to her like her shadow. And on fared the silent couple till they repassed St. Lawrence's church, when the belfry clock tolled nine.

All emotion-like all motion-is rhythmic. In every mind calm alternates with storm ; for though the feelings may be boundless in

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