Зображення сторінки

even learning the letters of the latter. The religious THE JEWS AT ROME.

studies, taken entirely from the Old Testament, occupy The Jews first settled in Rome at a period not now to be the carly part of the day; then follow the profane, con exactly determined, and under the emperors inhabited the sisting of writing, accounts, ancient history (Greek and region of Trastevere, where they had a synagogue; they Roman), the Italian language, and, for the higher classes, a continued in the same location under the popes, though at

course of logic, the author used for which is Soare, a writer liberty to reside in other parts till the time of Paul IV., once in more general repute than at present. who, by a bull issued in 1555, obliged them to settle on

We regret that there is still so much in the condition of this'side the Tiber, within a given circuit, thus originating before it can be said that they have been dealt with in the

this people at Rome imperatively calling for amelioration, the enclosure called the Ghetto. allowed to increase under Leo XII., and their quarter was spirit of Christian justice. The confinement within a given enlarged.

space (directly tending to confirm national failings, to keep The question of the era of their first establishment in alive whatever prejudices, whatever narrowness of ideas Rome has been discussed at a reunion of the Roman Aca- may possibly exist, and to widen the alienation from those

whose intercourse might be of healthful consequence) has demy of Archæology.

hitherto prevented them from leaving their quarters after The professor of Hebrew in the Roman university op- sunset, when the gates are shut, or from settling in any posed, on that occasion, the opinion that the Jews had been part of the city, however unexceptionable be their chafirst located in Trastevere by Augustus, or that Pompey | racter or station-leaving only the privilege of depositing had conducted them in slavery to Rome after his capture wares for merchandise in buildings without the enclosure. of Jerusalem. He maintained the probability that at least This evil has been, in its principle at least, abolished by the a portion of the colony in Rome had been conducted hither beneficent sovereign; but others, which a deputation of from Asia Minor in the time of the republic; finding sup- Israelites has submitted to his clemency and judgmentport for this opinion from the use of the Greek language such as the prohibition against the exercise of liberal proin some ancient sepulchral inscriptions belonging to this fessions, of all occupations coming within the category of nation in Rome. He observed

that the number settled arts, thus confining industrial energies to a narrow, uninhere at the time of Caligula amounted to about 25,000. tellectual, and profitless circle—these are grievances which, So numerous were they at the time of Augustus, that,

we trust, cannot long continue to be felt by any of whataccording to Josephus, 8000 residents accompanied thé ambassadors arrived from Jerusalem to the imperial palace. Advertiser, as quoted in the Voice of Jacob.

ever persuasion among the subjects of Pius IX.-Romas Their burial-place was discovered by Bosio, outside the Porta Aortese, in 1602, with several tombs, on one of which was the seven-branching candlestick, on another the Greek inscription, Ernarnr, proving that their synagogue had

MEMORY. existed in that quarter.

I am an old man-very old ; The present population of the Ghetto was computed at

My hair is thin and gray: 3800 five years ago, the number of families 800 ; but the

My hand shakes like an autumn leaf, contemporary press now raises the number of inhabitants

That wild winds toss all day. to 5000. Amongst these, 2000 are paupers; 1000 support

Beneath the pent-house of my brows, themselves by various trades, chiefly that in articles of

My dim and watery eyes dress; and the rest, in easy circumstances, have made

Gleam like faint lights within a pile, thcir fortunes by merchandise. It is much to their honour

Which half in ruin lies. that the poor, to whom the rich are so disproportionate in number, are entirely supported by the alms of their co

All the dull years of middle age religionists; and the sick, though admission is open to

Have faded from my thought ; them alike with Christians into any hospital of Rome, are

While the long-vanished days of youth provided with every attainable comfort, medicine, and ad

Seem ever nearer brought. vice, from Jewish doctors, without leaving the Ghetto. The

Thus, often at the sunset time chief practitioner of the medical profession (which they

The vales in shadow rest, are only allowed to exercise among themselves, nor can it

While evermore a purple glow consequently be any road to distinction or affluence) is the

Gilds the far mountain's crest. high priest, who every morning goes his rounds to the houses of the sick, after attending the daily devotions in the synagogue. We have met this functionary, attended

O'er happy childhood's sports and plays,

Youth's friendships, and youth's love, by a servant in a Turkish dress, and received with marks

I ofttimes brood in memory, of profound reverence as he passes on his medical progress;

As o'er its nest the dove. his imposing and majestic appearance, with a turban, a

In fancy through the fields I stray, flowing beard, and long vestment, added much to the Oriental character the scene already possessed, from the al

And by the river wide; fresco habits of living, and peculiar physiognomies of the

And see a once beloved face inhabitants. The high priest (or more properly capo-rab

Still siniling at my side. lino) has lately arrived here to fill the place of his deceased predecessor from Jerusalem, where, we have been informed,

I sit in the old parlour nook, seven dignitaries of this rank preside over a college sup

And she sits near me there; ported by the subsidies of the Hebrew communities scat

We read from the same book--my cbeek tered over the world for the education of rabbis ; and with

Touching her chestnut hair. this central synod, the community of Rome is in regular

I have grown old-oh, very old ! correspondence. Subordinate to him are six or seven pro

But she is ever young, rabbis, to perform the usual service in the synagogue, here

As when through moonlit alleys grecn called the scuola.

Wo walked, and talked, and sung.
It is another circumstance much to the honour of the
Roman Israelites, that their children of both sexes are

She is unchanged—I see her now almost all educated at the expense of the community; the

As in that last, last view, wealthier parents contribute to the support of the teachers,

When by the garden gate we took but the children of others are received at the schools with

A smiling short adieu.

Oh Death, thou hast a charmèd touch, out any exaction of payment, and thus all among the inhabitants receive the same degree of instruction. There are

Though cruel 'tis and cold ;

Embalmed by thee in memory, five spacious class-rooms, in a rambling and outwardly dismal-looking mansion ; the expenses, over and above

Love never can grow old. what the slight assistance received from the wealthier

D. M. M. covers, are defrayed by a contribution made on the simple method of carrying a money-box every day through the

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also streets, At about five years of age, the children begin

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. & Orr, their studies with the Hebrew language, which precedes 147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, the Italian, and they are to a degree masters of this before Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.





No. 201. New SERIES.


Price 14d.


her one of the most fascinating men about the court; MADAME LOUISE.

for such, by universal admission, was the young Vicomte

Anatole de Saint-Phale, who was appointed écuyer to Louis XV. of France had, by his marriage with Maria the princess upon the marriage, and consequent resigLeczinska, daughter of Stanislaus, king of Poland, two nation, of the Baron de Brignolles. sons and several daughters. These ladies were the aunts At the time of his appointment, Saint-Phale was not of Louis XVI., of whom we frequently find mention much more than twenty years of age, the son of a duke, made in the history of that unfortunate monarch. handsome, accomplished, eminently agreeable, and with

Madame Louise, the heroine of our story, was one of a name already distinguished in arms. He had himself the youngest, and was also the one that took most after solicited the appointment, and it had been granted to her mother in character. Maria Leczinska was a pious, his own wishes, and the influence of his father, without amiable, tender-hearted woman, and Louise resembled demur; Madame Louise, when the thing was mentioned her in these characteristics; whilst the sort of educa- to her, making no objection. Indeed she had none. The tion she received, being brought up in the Abbey of Fon- vicomte was but little known to her; for, avoiding the trevault, tended very much to increase the seriousness court festivities as much as her father would permit, and of her natural disposition; so that, after she lost her when she did attend them, appearing there rather as a mother, though she continued to reside with her father spectator than a partaker-beyond the general characat Versailles, or Paris, or wherever he might be, and so ters and the personal appearance of the gay cavaliers of lived in the court, she was not of it, nor ever imbibed the court, she knew nothing of them. She had always a taste for its splendours or amusements, and still less heard Saint-Phale's name coupled with the most flatterfor its dissipations and vices. Notwithstanding all her ing epithets; she had also heard that he was brave, virtue and piety, however, Louise was a woman still, generous, honourable, and extravagantly beloved by his and a woman with a tender, loving heart; and in a father and mother; and her own eyes had informed her court where there were so many gay and accomplished that he was extremely handsome. To the latter quality cavaliers, it must have been next to impossible for that she was indifferent; and the others well fitting him for loving heart to remain untouched. But poor Louise his office about her person, she signed his appointment had one safeguard against love, which, pure and pious without hesitation, little dreaming at the moment that as she was, she would willingly have dispensed with, she was also signing the fiat of her own destiny. In she was deformed. With a lovely and bewitching face, due time the Baron de Brignolles took his leave, and and eyes of inconceivable beauty, her figure was quite the vicomte entered on his duties; and it soon appeared distorted, from the consequences of an unfortunate fall evident to every body that he had not sued for the situain her infancy. Without meaning to derogate from her tion without a motive. The princess's lady of honour merit, it is extremely possible that this misfortune may was the Comtesse de Châteaugrand, Anatole's cousin ; have considerably influenced her character, and led her and with her he was, to all appearance, desperately to seek in Heaven those consolations of the heart that smitten. He wore her colours, as was the fashion of the she despaired of enjoying on earth.

gallant world at that period, paid her the most public Of course each of the princesses had a regular suite attentions, and seemed determined not only to be of servants, and of ladies and gentlemen in waiting; violently in love, but that all the world should know it. and amongst these, each had also an écuyer and a lady There was, however, nothing very surprising in this. of honour, who were in immediate and constant attend- The Comtesse de Châteaugrand was a widow with a ance on their persons. The office of the écuyer was considerable fortune, and though nearly ten years older one which placed him in a peculiar situation as regarded than Anatole, she was still extremely handsome; added his mistress : he placed her chair, opened the door for to which, she was very amiable, much esteemed by her her, handed her up and down stairs, and accompanied mistress, and she and the young vicomte had always her in her drives and walks, and, in short, wherever she been on the most friendly terms. His passion, therewent; so that, were it not for the respect due to royalty, fore, as we have said, excited no surprise in anybody; it must have been difficult for a susceptible young man, but whether the lady returned it, was altogether anor a susceptible man of any age, to be in this hourly at other affair, and was indeed a question that created tendance on a charming princess and retain his heart considerable discussion amongst the curious in these entire. The deformity of poor Madame Louise, as well matters. as her piety, however, were perhaps thought sufficient *But she looks so happy-so calm!' said the young defences against any dangers of this description, as re- Duchesse de Lange. garded either party; for without some such confidence, * And why not, when she has every reason to be so ?' it would seem a great oversight on the part of the king answered the Comtesse de Guiche. *Are not his attento have placed in this necessarily intimate relation with tions unremitting? What can she desire more ?'

"Ah, true,' replied the other; 'happy if you will, for it; but as these intervals did not prevent an immebut calm!'

diate recurrence of the evil, poor Madame de Château*Well, and why not calm?' repeated Madame de grand began to think very seriously of resigning her Guiche.

situation, and so she told the vicomte. "Ah, one is never calm when one loves !' returned • If you do, my dear Hortense,' answered he, turning the duchesse, with a little air of affectation.

as pale as if she had pronounced his sentence of death• That is so like you!' returned the comtesse laugh- if you do, I am undone!' ing. • You are so sentimental, my dear--a real heroine Why?' said the comtesse. "You need not resiga of romance. I maintain that Madame de Châteaugrand because I do.' is perfectly content, and that she intends in due time to • I should not dare to remain,' answered he. “Besides, reward his devotion with her hand. I am sure he de- it would be impossible-I know it would! I have serves it. Except waiting on the princess, he never does always told you so. But for you I never could have anything in the world but attend to her caprices; and undertaken the situation, as you well know: I should I do believe she often affects to be whimsical, for the have been discovered.' sake of giving him occupation.'

But my dear Anatole, you can hardly expect me to • He certainly does not seem to recollect that there is remain here to be miserable; and I really am so,' reanother woman in the world besides the princess and turned Madame de Châteaugrand. It is not that I his cousin,' said the duchesse with some little spite. would not bear with her humours and caprices; I lore

Many a conversation of this nature was held almost her well enough to bear with a great deal more; but to within hearing of one of the parties concerned-namely, lose her friendship, her affection, her confidence, breaks the vicomte- and many a jest, besides, amongst his my heart.' own companions, rendered it quite impossible that he She must be ill,' said the vicomte. “Some secret should be ignorant of the observations made upon him malady is preying on her, I am certain. Do you oband Madame de Châteaugrand; but he never showed serve how her cheek flushes at times, and how her hand himself disposed to resent this sort of interference, nor trembles ? To-day, when I handed her a glass of water, did it cause him to make the slightest attempt at con- I thought she would have let it fall.' cealing his attachment: whilst the comtesse herself, It may be so,' returned Madame de Châteaugrand. though she could not be more ignorant than he of the Certain it is, that she does not sleep as she used to docourt gossip, appeared equally indifferent to it. The con in short, I believe she is often up half the night walksequence was, as is usual in similar cases, that the gossip ing about her room.' nobody seemed to care for, and which annoyed nobody, I think his majesty should be informed of it,' said became less interesting; and gradually the grande pas- the vicomte, that he might send her his physician.' sion of the Vicomte Anatole for his cousin being admit I think so too,' answered the lady; 'but when I ted as an established fact, whilst it was concluded, from named it to her the other day, she was very angry, and the calmness of the lady's demeanour, that she had ac- forbade me to make any remarks on her; and, above cepted his proposals, and that they were to be married all, enjoined me not to trouble her father with such some day, people began to think little about them; nonsense.' and except a hint now and then, that in all probability 'I am afraid her religious austerities injure her the true interpretation of the mystery was, that they health,' said Anatole. were privately married already, very little was said. • Apropos,' returned the comtesse; "she desired me

But now there arose another bit of court gossip. to tell you that she goes to St Denis to-morrow imme. • Observe, my dear,' said the Duchesse de Lange to diately after breakfast, and that no one is to accompany her friend the comtesse, how fast Madame de Châ- her but you and me.' teaugrand is declining in the princess's favour!'

St Denis, as is well known, is the burying-place of I am perfectly confounded at it,' returned Madame the royal family of France, and there, consequently, de Guiche; “for certainly her attachment to Madame reposed the remains of Maria Leczinska, the princess's Louise is very great; in short, it is devotion; and the mother; and it was to her tom that Madame Louise princess herself has always, till lately, appeared to set first proceeded alone, whilst her two attendants rethe greatest value on it. How is it that she, who never mained without. A long hour they waited for her ; in her life showed the slightest tendency to caprice, and Saint-Phale was beginning to get so alarmed at her should begin with such an injustice towards her most absence, that he was just about to violate her commands faithful friend ?'

by opening the gate of the sanctuary, when she came • It is inconceivable!' replied the duchesse. ‘But out pale and exhausted, and with evident traces of tears what do you think the Duc d'Artois says about it?' on her cheeks. She then entered the precincts of the

• Oh, the wicked man !' returned the Comtesse de convent, requesting to be conducted to the pariuar. Guiche laughing; but what does he say?'

Even in a convent of holy nuns, who have abjured the • He says it is the attachment between her and Saint- world and its temptations, the prestige of royalty is not Phale that offends the princess: that she is so rigid, without its effect; and on this occasion the prioress that she can neither be in love herself, nor allow any. came forth to meet the princess, whilst the sisters body else to be so; and that he has seen her turn quite rushed to the corridors to get a peep at her, with 23 pale with horror at the sight of the vicomte's attentions.' mundane a curiosity as the mob runs after a royal car

• Be in love herself-certainly not,' said Madame de riage in the streets of Paris or London. Louise looked Guiche; 'besides, to what purpose, poor thing, with her at them benevolently; and with tears in her eyes, and unfortunate figure ? But I think she is much too kind- a sad smile, told them how much happier they were hearted to endeavour to cross the loves of other people. than those who lived amongst the intrigues and tur. However, certain it is, that she is not so fond of Ma- moils of a court. 'Ah, my sisters,' she said, "hov dame de Châteaugrand as she was.'

happy you should be! What repose of spirit you may And so, to her great grief, thought Madame de attain to in this holy asylum!' Châteaugrand herself. Louise, the gentle, the kind, Alas! could she have looked into some of those the considerate, was now often peevish, impatient, and hearts, what a different tale they would have told her! irritable; and what rendered the change infinitely But when we are very miserable ourselves, that situamore afflicting to the comtesse was, that all these ill. tion which presents the greatest contrast to our own is humours seemed to be reserved solely for her—to every apt to appear the one most desirable. one else the princess was as gentle and forbearing as * There is amongst you, my sisters—that is, if she be before. So she was even to her at times still; for still alive-a princess, at whose profession I was prethere were moments when she appeared to be seized sent when a child, with my mother,' said Madame with remorse for her injustice, and on these occasions Louise. “Is the friend Maria Leczinska here?" she would do everything in her power to make amends 'I am here,' answered a sweet low voice.


Clotilde de Mortemart?' said the princess inquir- that surrounded me. But it was not to speak of myself ingly, looking in the direction of the voice.

that I came here,' continued Madame Louise, but to Formerly,' answered the nun; 'now Sæur Marie du ask a favour of you. Young as I was when you took Sacré Cæur.'

the veil, the scene made a great impression upon me; 'I would speak with you,' said Madame Louise, and I well remember my mother's tears as we drove taking her by the hand; 'lead me to your cell.'

back to Paris after she had bade you farewell. I rememAccordingly, whilst all the others retired, Sister Marie ber also, when I was older, hearing a motive alleged for conducted her royal visitor to her little apartment. your resolution to retire from the world, which, if it

* That stool is too inconvenient for your highness,' would not give you too much pain, I should be glad to said she, as the princess seated herself. “I will ask the learn from your own lips.? prioress for a chair.'

The pale cheek of the nun flushed with a faint red, * By no means; it is what I wish,' said Madame as she said, “What would my princess wish to hear?' Louise. “Sit down opposite me,I want to talk to you. • Is it true,' said Madame Louise, 'that it was an Nay, nay, sit!' she added, observing the hesitation of unrequited love that brought you to this place? the nun. Sit, in the name of Heaven! What am I, • It was,' answered the sister, placing her hand before that you should stand before me? Would to God I was her eyes. as you are!'

* Excuse me,' said Madame Louise ; 'you will think How, madame!' said the sister, looking surprised. me cruel to awaken these recollections; but it must 'Are you not happy?'

have been a bitter sorrow that could have induced ‘Friend of my mother, pity me!' exclaimed the prin- you, so young, so beautiful, so highly-born, to forsake cess, as she threw herself into the nun's arms with a the world and become a Carmelite?' burst of passionate tears—for they were the first open • It was,' returned the nun, ‘so bitter, that I felt it demonstration of a long-suppressed grief. “Tell me,' was turning my blood to gall; and it was not so much she continued after an interval as she raised her tearful to flee from the misery I suffered, as from the corruption face — tell me, are you really happy?'

of my mind and character, that I fled from the sight of “Yes,' replied Sister Marie, 'very happy now.' that which I could not see without evil thoughts.'

Would you go back again to the world; would you *Ah, there it is! I understand that too well!' said change, if you could ?'

the princess ; 'you were jealous !' • No, never!' answered the nun.

I was,' answered the nun; 'and what made it so bit'I remember your taking the veil,' said Madame ter was, that the person of whom I was jealous was the Louise, after an interval of silence; and you will re woman I loved best in the world.' member me, probably, as a child at that time?'

"You loved Henri de Beaulieu, and he loved your • Oh yes; well, quite well, I remember you,' replied cousin ?' said Madame Louise. The nun covered her the nun. Who could forget you that had once seen face with her hands and was silent. “How cruel you you?'

must think me, to rend your heart by recalling these • I was pretty, I believe, as a child,' said Louise. recollections!' continued the princess.

* Beautiful! angelic! as you are now my princess!' • It is so long since I heard that name,' said Marie, exclaimed Sister Marie, surprised for a moment, by her I did not think I was still so weak.' enthusiasm and admiration, out of her nunlike demea *But tell me,' said Louise, seizing her hand, did your

anguish endure long after you had entered these gates? • As I am now?' said Louise, fixing her eyes on the Did repose come quickly ?' other's face.

Slowly, slowly, but surely,' returned the nun with a • Pardon me!' said the nun, falling at her feet, fear- sigh. ‘Till I had taken the irrevocable vow, I had a ing that the familiarity had offended; "it was my heart severe struggle; but I never wavered in the conviction that spoke!'

that I had done wisely; for it was only by this living “Rise, my sister,' said Louise ; 'I am not offended; death I could have ever conquered myself. Dreadful rise, and look at me!' and she threw aside the cloak temptations had sometimes assailed me whilst I saw which, with its ample hood, had concealed her defor- them together. Here I saw nothing-heard nothing; mity.

and my better nature revived and conquered at last.' Jesu Maria!' exclaimed the sister, clasping her I see,' said the princess, rising: 'I comprehend it hands.

all!' and then embracing her, she added, “Pardon me You are a woman-you were once young yourself, the pain I have given you: it has not been without a and, as I have heard, beautiful also. Judge, now, if I motive. We shall meet again ere long.' am happy!'

On the following day, Madame Louise requested a But, my princess,' answered the nun, 'why not? private interview with the king, for the purpose of obIs there no happiness on earth, nay, even in a court, taining his permission to join the Carmelites of St but with beauty ? Besides, are you not beautiful ? Denis. Louis was at first extremely unwilling to hear Ay, and a thousand times more so than hundreds that of the proposal. Louise was his favourite daughter; are not'

and he not only did not like to part with her, but he Deformed,' rejoined Louise: do not fear to utter feared that her delicate health would soon sink under the word; I repeat it to myself a hundred times the austerities of so rigid an order. But her determia-day.'

nation was taken; and at length, by her perseverance, This amazes me,' said Sister Marie, after a pause, and the repeated assurance that she was not, nor ever whilst her countenance expressed her surprise as elo- could be, happy in the world, she extracted his unwillquently as words could have done. “Madame Louise, ing consent. She even avowed to him that, besides her the fame of whose devotions and self-imposed auste own private griefs, the being obliged to witness his irrerities has reached even our secluded ears, are they gularities afflicted her severely; and as she believed but the refuge of a mortified'

that to immure herself in a convent, where she could • Vanity,' added the princess, as respect again caused devote her life to prayer, was a sacrifice pleasing to the nun to hesitate. *Not exactly: I cannot do myself the Almighty, she hoped by these means to expiate the injustice to admit that altogether, for I was pious her father's errors, as well as attain peace for herself. before I knew I was deformed. It was my natural Fearing the opposition she might meet with from the disposition to be so; and my mother, foreseeing how rest of her family, however, she intreated the king's much I should need the consolations of religion, culti- silence, whilst she herself communicated her resolution vated the feeling as long as she lived ; and when I was to nobody except the Archbishop of Paris ; and he old enough to be aware of my misfortune, I felt what having obtained his majesty's consent in form, Madame a blessing it was that I had not placed my happiness Louise at length, on the 11th of April 1770, at eight in what seemed to make the happiness of the women o'clock in the morning, bade adieu to Versailles for ever.



[ocr errors]

Accompanied by the vicomte and Madame de Château- she could not trust her voice to inquire the cause of his grand, to whom, since her former visit to the convent, absence; but De Brignolles took an opportunity of say. she had been all kindness, she stept into her carriage, ing, that hearing the vicomte was too ill to attend, he and drove to St Denis. As by taking the veil she re- had requested permission to resume his service for this nounced all earthly distinctions, and amongst the rest occasion. Louise bowed her head in silence—she durst that of being buried with the royal family of France, not speak. she now visited those vaults for the last time; and hav At that solemn ceremony were present Louis XVI., ing knelt for some minutes at the tomb of her mother, then dauphin of France; Marie-Antoinette, the queen she repaired to the convent, leaving her two attendants of beauty, and the idol of the French nation; the in the carriage. The abbot, who, having been apprised Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII.; and the by the archbishop, was in waiting to conduct her to the Comte d'Artois, who subsequently, as Charles X., like | parlour, now addressed several questions to her with wise lost the throne. respect to her vocation, representing to her the extreme After an eloquent discourse by the Bishop of Troyes, austerity of the order, which was indeed a sort of fe- which drew tears from every eye, the princess retired male La Trappe. She answered him with unshaken for a few moments, and presently reappeared stript of firmness; and then, without once looking behind her, her splendour, shorn of her beautiful hair, and clothed she passed into the cloister, where the prioress and the in the habit of the order. She was then stretched on sisterhood were informed of the honour that awaited the earth, covered with a pall, and the prayers for the them. She next proceeded to the chapel, where a mass dead pronounced over her. When she arose, the eurwas performed; and having thus, as it were, sealed her tain which closed the entrance to the interior of the determination, she requested that her two attendants convent was lifted, and every eye was fixed on it as she might be conducted to the parlour, whilst she, through passed through the opening, to return to the world no the grate which now separated her from the world, told more. As that curtain fell behind her, a fearful cry ! them that they were to return to Paris without her. echoed through the vaulted roof of the abbey, and a

The effect of this unexpected intelligence on Madame gentleman was observed to be carried out of the church de Châteaugrand was no more than the princess had by several persons who immediately surrounded him. anticipated. She wept, intreated, and expostulated; Every one, however, was too much occupied with his but the Vicomte de Saint-Phale, after standing for a own feelings at the moment to inquire who it was. On moment as if transfixed, fell flat upon his face to the the ear of the new-made nun alone the voice strack ground. Amazed and agitated at so unexpected a re- familiarly; or perhaps it was not her ear, but her lieart sult, the princess was only restrained by the grating that told her it was the voice of Saint-Phale. which separated them from flying to his assistance; but Louise was a Carmelite; the profligacies of the king before she could sufficiently recollect herself to resolve and the court proceeded as before; Madame de Châteauwhat to do, the prioress, fearing the effect of so distress- grand, instead of marrying her cousin Saint-Phale, maring a scene at such a moment, came and led her away ried M. de Rivrement, to whom it appeared she had to her own apartments.

been long engaged; and Saint-Phale himself, after a long It would be difficult to describe the state of the and severe illness, which endangered his life, quitted princess's mind at that moment. The anguish ex- France for Italy, whither he was sent for the sake of pressed by Saint-Phale's countenance could not be mis- the climate. At length, in 1777, when Lafayette astaken. De that she had supposed would be utterly tonished the world by his expedition to America, the indifferent to her loss! Why should it affect him thus, vicomte astonished his friends no less by returning when he had still with him his love, the chosen of his suddenly from the south, in order to join it; and in heart-Hortense de Châteaugrand? She did not know spite of the intreaties of his relations, he executed his what to think; but certain it is, that the resolution design, and there he fell at the battle of Monmouth, which had been so unflinching an hour before, might in the year 1778. perhaps, but for pride, have been now broken. With a He did not, however, die in the field, but lingerei bewildered mind and a heavy heart she retired to her some days before he expired; during which interval cell, and there kneeling, she prayed to God to help her he wrote farewell letters to his father and mother; and through this last struggle.

one also, which he intreated the latter to deliver acFrom that time nothing more was known with recording to its address, which was to “The Sister Thespect to Madame Louise till six months afterwards, rèse de Saint Augustin, formerly Madame Louise de when, her novitiate being completed, she made her pro- France.' fession. On that morning the humble cell inhabited As soon as the poor bereaved mother had sufficiently by the princess exhibited a very unusual appearapce : recovered the shock of this sad news, she hastened to robes of gold and silver brocade, pearls and diamonds, St Denis to fulfil her son's injunction; and the Sister and a splendid lace veil, were spread upon the narrow Therèse, having obtained permission of the superior, couch. In this magnificent attire she was for the last received and opened the letter. The first words were time to appear before the world, and for the last time an intreaty that she would listen to the prayer of a her own women were in attendance to superintend her dying man, who could never offend her again, and read toilet. When she was dressed, everybody was struck the lines that followed. He then went on to say that with her beauty; and as she wore a superb cloak, the from his earliest youth he had loved her; and that it only defect of her person was concealed.

was to be near her, without exciting observation, that Of course the profession of a daughter of France' he had solicited the situation of écuyer; but knowing was an event to create a great sensation. All Paris that, from the inequality of their conditions, his love turned out to see the show, and the road from thence must be for ever hopeless, he had studiously concealed to St Denis was one unbroken line of carriages. it from its object. No one had ever penetrated his Mounted officers were to be seen in all directions, the secret but Madame de Châteaugrand. He concluded by Royal Guard surrounded the abbey, and the pope's saying, that when that curtain hid her from his view nuncio came from Rome to perform the ceremony. on the day of her profession, he had felt the world

On this solemn occasion, of course the attendance of contained nothing more for him, and that he had ever the princess's écuyer and lady of honour was considered since earnestly desired that death which he had at indispensable, and Louise had prepared herself to see length found on the field of battle, and which he had them both; but instead of Saint-Phale, to her surprise gone to America on purpose to seek; and asking her she beheld advancing to offer his arm her former attend blessing and her prayers, he bade her farewell for ever. ant, the Baron de Brignolles. A pang of disappointment Poor Louise ! poor Therèse! poor nun! poor Carshot through her heart: he had not cared, then, to see melite! For a moment she forgot that she was the her for this last time, and she should behold him no three last, to remember only that she had been the more! She felt that she turned pale and trembled, and first; and falling on her knees, and clasping those thin

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »