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he fully understood his own meaning, for he had a most religious horror of a woman's tongue, especially a wife's. Linnæus himself, whom he partly resembled in genius, was not more unfortunate in a shrewish mother than he had been. His father's lady had compelled him to sweep his own room, prepare his own breakfast, and, perhaps, to hem his cambric ruffles. Certainly this woman's violence of power had contributed to excite and fix his imagination on the idea of a placid beauty as the most perfect: and as he probably did not find one exactly realized in the common world, he read romances, and especially the “ Count de Gabalis,” till he conceived something of the kind might be found elsewhere. Ariette was more like the charming creature detained in the palace of silence by the King of the Fishes than any human female he had ever seen. She seemed to have chosen Madame Dacier's motto, “ Silence is the ornament of women;" if indeed she had a clioice, which certain mysterious motions of the father's head rendered doubtful. One thing was remarkable : -he could never prevail on her to show herself by moonlight, nor to lift her veil when he had spoken to her half an hour. At the expiration of that time, she always dropped the light and elegant screen of black silk net which was constantly attached to her fine hair. This, and the marble paleness of Ariette's countenance, gave something of poetic sanctity to her character, which her profound modesty and secluded mode of life completed. He was often tempted to propose himself to the ancient watchmaker as a son-in-law, but his reverence for him as a man of science was not quite enough to subdue the pride of birth, and some hereditary fears of a wife's dominion. At length fear and pride gave ground, and the chevalier made a suitable speech in the artist's study. To his great surprise, the offer was rejected, but with an air more in sorrow than in anger. He repeated it, and was promised a month's consideration. Before the end of that time, he was informed the watchmaker had suffered an apoplectic stroke, and lay at the point of death. He ran to him


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the old man was expiring, and had only strength to put a small ring on his finger before he breathed his last. The room was silent-there was no spectator but himself, and a crowd of alembics, phials, and chemical

preparations, lay in one corner. The suspicion he had always entertained that the deceased artist studied alchymy, and had probably discovered the long-sought secret of creating gold, induced our chevalier to search into the heap under which rested a little iron box. He soon perceived that the ring put on his finger by the dying man was contrived to act as a key, and it readily unlocked the coffer. There were in it only a few mysterious calculations, and one on which a horoscope was constructed. Underneath it, in Romaic characters, he decyphered words to this import.

My art informs me you will find this parchment on which your nativity is accurately traced. Ariette is not of my nature, nor have I power to bestow her. What her veil conceals I never knew, nor can I recollect any change in her aspect, though she has dwelt here many years; but I am at no loss to guess her purpose. Sylphs, gnonies, nymphs, and salamanders, are incapable of enjoying eternity, unless by marriage with a Christian. They have then the power of sharing earthly happiness, and their partners, if they choose, may share with them that intellectual soul which is the spirit of eternal life. Or if they so please, these husbands may content themselves with their society during the short period which the order of their nature permits them to exist in human shape-Ariette is, as I humbly guess, a sylph or spirit of the purest element. For she has no interest in the world's wealth, no delight in its tumults, no capacity for ardent, jealous, or hostile feelings. She thinks, she acts, and she speaks, by the rule of reason ;-but

The manuscript broke off, as if a sudden sickness had arrested the writer's hand. To whom this could be addressed, unless to him, was not to be conjectured, and Valamour went home in great agitation. The very few neighbours who had seen Ariette celebrated her

domestic virtues, her charities, and unimpeachable prudence, during her residence of ten years' length among them. He could judge for himself of her grace and beauty : what could he risk by marrying her ? If the Romaic manuscript was a fable, it could no way harm him—if it stated truths, it increased his chance of happiness. Valamour's heart was better than his head;it prevailed, and he married Ariette.

On his marriage day, the bride's conduct gave some countenance to the dead cabalist's assertion : for instead of the grateful tenderness which might have been expected to touch an orphan raised from poverty to a noble rank, Ariette showed a reserved, calm, and gentle demeanour, which expressed more good sense than sensibility. Valamour, however, was delighted with his prospect of escaping all the turmoils caused by an impatient spirit, and enjoying perpetual serenity with a wife altogether reasonable. On the third day after their nuptials, the chevalier conducted her to a carriage without saying a word of its destination, which she never inquired, and the next morning brought them to a charming villa in the midst of a rich Provençal valley. It was late in spring, but few flowers had made their appearance, except in a little recess near the Garonne, where a perfect bower of roses was spread. “These,” said he, " are all the offspring of a sprig planted by my mother, who won in her youth the crown of roses given as a trophy of merit by the owner of the Chateau de Salency. You must have heard of that affecting ceremony, and I hold these rose-trees as the best part of my patrimony.-" There is no reason for it,” she answered coldly: .“ these roses are no way conscious of their origin, nor a part of your mother's merit—if they were, you have no right to it.-If, indeed, they had been reared and nursed for you by your grateful peasants, like the roses of M. de Malesherbes, you would have reason to be pleased with them.”—Valamour was piqued at this reply, and obliquely reproached her with a want of that feeling which in such cases is more delightful than reason._"It is not my fault,” she re

turned, with the same coldness" it would be as wise to quarrel with these flowers because they have not the waving branches of the willow, as to be angry with me because I cannot feel like you. And if you are angry, that is no reason why I should be displeased with you, because you do not feel that you are unreasonable.”Valamour was highly displeased; but after recollecting himself awhile, he began to consider that his anger was useless, and might be absurd. If her supposed father's words were true, Ariette had no power to understand his feelings, unless he could infuse into her that human and tender spirit which her nature had denied her. There was something pleasant to his vanity in believing that this fair creature depended on him, as the cabalist said, for the gift of a soul, and for the length of her existence. He returned into her presence, determined to excuse the defects of her imperfect frame, and to remedy them if he could by kindness.

These defects were by no means so easy to endure as he had expected. The eternal level on which an illnatured fairy condemned her victim to walk for thirty years under an unchanging blue sky, was an Eden compared to the dead calm of Ariette's temper. And the most provoking part of this calmness was, that it showed itself most when he was in a rage. If he hunted, and returned in all the glee of a successful sportsman, she wanted to know the reason of his delight. If his friends or vassals fêted, or congratulated him, she analyzed their compliments, and could not find them reasonable. If he brought her a bouquet, or a gallant madrigal on her beauty, she laid the one aside as useless, and burned the other when she had read it, “because, said she, “that is all that can be done with it.” What a mortification for a poet! Valamour actually looked again into the cabalist's fragment, to read the words which hinted she could not live for ever.

It would have been well for Valamour, however, if all his wit had been as little regarded. But certain persons at Aix-la-Chapelle had paid more attention to his jeux-d'esprit, and some rumours of the sagacious

guesses he had made on political matters found their way to Versailles. The consequence was, a domiciliary visit to search for treasonous papers; seals of office were put on the doors of his villa, and a mandate was presented to him, requiring his attendance at the Secretary of State's bureau, under an Exempt's escort. He never doubted the willing attendance of his wife, and was confounded at her refusal. - There can be no use in my stay with you in prison,” she said, “ therefore you ought not to be so unreasonable as to require it.” “What, madam ! you feel no necessity to prove your duty and attachment to me?”—“None at all, monsieur, unless you can prove that I have failed in either. I should only add to your distresses in Paris, and you to mine-I may be as well employed here, and shall stay where I am.” -“ There wanted only this to convince ine the cabalist spoke the truth,” said the angry husband, and departed alone, satisfied that she neither had a soul, nor ever could have one: and he comforted himself again by remembering her term was short.

Our chevalier was accused of having asserted, that the celebrated prisoner in the iron mask was the lastborn twin-brother of Louis XIV.; and his impertinent conjecture was punished by a confiscation of his estate, and a decree of banishment. Permission, however, was granted him to sell the furniture and heir-looms of his patrimonial villa, and to visit it for ten days without Official superintendence. He returned to the Provençal valley in extreme ill-humour; and much as be had been chagrined by his wife's coldness, he was glad to find some one forced to listen to his tale of grievances. She heard the sentence of exile and deprivation with admirable fortitude, but her husband would have been more pleased if she had raved at his enemies and deplored her ill-fortune. He wanted a pretext to scold and lament, and was angry that she seemed wiser than himself. He walked out to his favourite recess in the val. ley, and found the sacred rose-bushes torn up by the roots, the gates of his gardens broken, and all the outrages of petty and vulgar malice committed by the

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