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She went to the ball. As she set oat with her mother, Rouget Delisle, a masician more celebrateri at that time than Grétry, said rapturously, “Ah, Grétry, you are a happy man! What a charming girl! what sweetness and grace."
“Yes," said Grétry, in a whisper," she is beautiful, and still more amiable ; she is going to the ball; but in a few weeks we shall follow her together to the cennetery!"
* What a horrible idea! You are losing your senses !"
“Would I were not losing my heart! I had three daughters; she is the only one left to me; but already I must weep for her!"
A few days after this ball, she took to her bed, and fell into a sad but beautiful delirium. She had found her sisters again in this world; she walked with them hand in hand; she waltzed in the same saloon; she danced in the same quadrille; she took them to the play; all the while recounting to them her imaginary loves. What a picture for Grétry!" She had," he says in his “Mémoires," * some serene moments before death. She took my band, and that of her mother, and, with a sweet smile, 'I see well,' she murmured, 'that we must bear our destiny ; I do not fear death; but what is to become of you two ?' She was supported by her pillow while she spoke with us for the last time. She was laid back, then closed her beautiful eyes, and went to join her sisters !"
Grétry is very eloquent in his grief. There is in this part of his “ Mémoires" a cry which came from his heart, and wrings our own. “Oh, my friends !" he exclaims, throwing down the pen, “a tear-a tear upon the beloved tomb of my three lovely flowers, predestined to die, like those of the good Italian monk !"
In order the better to cherish his sad recollections, the poor musician played every day on the harpsichord the old religious airs which he had formerly heard at Rome, as he walked in the garden of the convent.
Madame Grétry resumed her long-neglected pencil; she passed her wbole time in recalling the graceful and gentle forms of her three daughters. The Revolution bad swept away Grétry's fortune. Madame Grétry soon painted for the firstcomer. After the first tumults of the time were over, Grétry's music was sung with more delight than ever. He let Fortune take her course, and she by degrees returned him what he had lost. But of what use is fortune when the heart is desolate ? He had not yet, however, drained the cup to the bottom ; the hour had not come. He saw his dear Jeannette and his old mother die! Now he was alone! He recalled, as his grief grew deeper and deeper, the old hermit of Mount Millini. “To live alone, one must become a hermit,” he said. But where to go? There is, not far from Paris, a beautiful Thebaid, which a great genius has made illustrious by his glory and his misfortunes. This Thebaid is called “The Hermitage.” Grétry went to take refuge in the Hermitage. It was there that he would evoke, in the silent night, all the beloved shades of his life ; it was there that he would await death in gloomy pleasure !
Grétry found the rose-bush of Jean-Jacques at the Hermitage. “I hare planted it; I have seen it grow.” He found a landscape full of vigour and luxuriance, which, by degrees, reconciled him to life. He abandoned music for philosophy. “I am in the sanctuary of philosophy. Jean-Jacques has left here the bed in which he dreamed of the “ Contrat Social," the table which was the altar of gonius, the crystal lamp which lighted him in his garden when he wrote to his Julia. I am the sacristan of these precious relics."
In addition to this, Grétry found a friend in his solitude an old miller of the neighbourhood, whose rustic jargon and Picardian artlessness charmed the worldwearied musician.
I forgot to tell you that Grétry had not lost all his children. “Fate has deprived me of my three daughters; but the death of my brother has just given me seven children.". These seven children Grétry protected with his name and fortune. Gratitude, unfortunately, inspired one of his heirs with an epic poem on the Hermitage.* • He died in 1815, in autumn, with the flowers of his garden; he died, leaving some good deeds and masterpieces behind him, after having enchanted France during half a century. Ask our grandsires with how great a charm, how sweet a smile, and how gay a heart they listened to him!
Fontenelle said carelessly-" There are three things in this world which I have loved very much, without kuowing anything about them-music, painting, and women.” I am somewhat of his opinion. We love the more the less we know ; the women know this but too well. This happy remark of the Norman poet comes very apropos to my pen, wbich has no wish to be scientific concerning pleasing music, whose chief merit is gaiety and simplicity. Grétry was almost a great musician, as Watteau was almost a great painter. His inspiration has a gentle and tender reminiscence of Flanders, and at the same time the grace and gaiety of Paris. He was of no school, but opened a school himself. It was owing to him that Dalayrac and Della Maria sang. He sought truih rather than display -sentiment rather than noise-grace rather than force. He left his statue vu the staye, and its pedestal in the orchestra. · Learned as he was, he referred inspiration to science. “I want to make faults," he said ; " harmony will luse uuthing by them." At the present day, a multitude of more noisy masters have frightened away the gentle shade of Grétry; they have smiled a little at the recollections of the “ La Rosière,” and of “Colliwette;" Lut who knows if some fine evening, after all their noise, Grétry may not return to reanimate our sweetest smiles ?
Grétry was a musician, poet, philosopher-everybody has said so; his memoirs have proved it. He wrote in an unceremonious way, in the déshabille of a good citizen of Liège, but with the unaffected spirit of a richly gifted uature. I
* These children had others, who at the present day call themselves De Grétry.
+ "Richard Cæur-le-Livn” bas breni reproduc d in Paris within the last fw years; and the Editor of this Magazine was present, in 1856, at the Opéra Comique, during a perfurmance of this ever-fresh, original, and charining opera.
Although a Fleming, he could say a good thing. David was almost always alongside of him at the Institute. The painter one day, wearied with the discourses which were going on, amured himself with making a sketch of a young negro girl. “This sketch is to become precious," said Grétry to him. “Do you wish it tu become so ?" said David, "then write under it some idea in analogy with your art.” Grétry took the pencil and wrote, the same moment, “ One while is equal to two blucks."
THE CHINA BOWL.
IX TWO PARTS.-II. “ You will pardon me," he said ; “ but you have reminded me of a sorrow never sleeps, and, in the time since you last spoke, a whole misspent life has to through my thoughts, like a sword-blade through bare flesh. Young me! doubtless inherit a good name—some of your family, I know, gave up for consesake the world's wealth, the country of their birth--eling to those traditionad that faith as you would cling to all that the young hold dear; for they last w all else vanishes, and nothing can supply their place."
“You, then, are not one of the emigrants ?" asked Auguste, looking into white face opposite him, and wondering at its strange emotion.
“Would that I had been !" replied the old man sadly. "I put my hand to a plough, and turned back. I am now at last a refugee indeed, but for an igned cause ; and, with what is left of my property, find myself in England without name, without a friend."
Auguste was strangely moved as the old man went on. “ Have you, then, no relatives, no friends amongst the refugees ?” he asked.
" I hoped I had; but the hope has been a false one, I fear. Of those whom I have Bought so long, I hear no tidings : and, old as I am, I cannot even yet thrust free me all the vices of my youth."
The young man, looking at the bowed head, with its long curling hair, and watching the thin white hand trembling, felt that there was marvellous sympathy swelling up in his heart.
“My dear boy," he said, brightening, "I know not what strange influence i upon me to-night. I have made confessions to you which should humble mesuch as I once believed I would pour into the ears of my own child. I have told you even of the habit which never served me better than by bringing about our meeting to-night. I will show you a strange fancy of mine, adopted since I have lived in England; you shall see my winnings, and how small a sum they make."
As he spoke he rose, and walking across the room, opened the door of a closet get into the wall. By the partial light of the lamp upon the table, Auguste could only see a row of shelves occupied with a few glasses, one or two bottles of wine, such as had been brought in at supper to mix with the hot water, and a couple of swords which hung on the inside of the door itself. But the old man came back presently, bearing an old china bowl, such as one may even now see in the bar of some ancient hostelry ; it was half-filled with gold and silver pieces, coins new and old; while two or three articles of jewellery glittered here and there amongst them.
“There," said his host, “lies the evidence of an old man's folly, if not his crime!" And he took up a handful of the coins, and let them drop slowly through his fingers again into the bowl. Auguste was watching them as they fell with a strange, painful surprise, when he caught sight of a circular piece of gold larger than the rest, and, stooping to examine it as it lay, sprang back with a pale face and frightened eyes, pointing to the bowl. The old man looked at him with alarm, and the coins from his trembling fingers rolled upon the floor.
" What is that? This! this !" gasped Auguste, snatching the glittering object.
The old man caught his arm in great fear.
mbler and cheat. Speak! speak! What is the matter ?" - For Auguste stood holding the toy in his outstretched hand, while his face was
orking with deep emotion. It was the locket he had given Pauline years before: tid there within it lay clasped the little shining tress of her dead mother's hair! - " Help me to find her," he said at last, feebly sinking into a chair; "and, to oso, describe the man of whom you won this."
There was little description necessary. It was evident that the gambler was ** he man for whom Pauline had left them all so long ago.
Only one thing remained to be done to inquire at the house where they were ast known, and endeavour to trace her at once.
"Poor boy !" said the old fellow, stooping down and caressing Duprè's head, as he sat with his face buried in his hands. " Trust me, we will find her for you yet. A sister, you say? This, then, was your mother's hair ?”
"Yes, the only mother I ever knew; as she was one of those who called me brother. It is because she is not my sister that I-that I
Starting to his feet, he saw the old man regarding him with a fixed gaze and a * white face, Twice he tried to speak, but no words came from his trembling lips ; at last, with an imploring look, he said hoarsely
" Boy! boy! what was that mother's name? Her name her own " 3 Before the sound reached him—while the unformed word was on Auguste's ! lips--he gave a great cry to Heaven, and fell down on his knees.
Then Auguste knew all." Father !" he cried, “ father !" and for a moment he hesitated before he lifted the old man to his feet; but the same look upon that sharp upturned face smote him with a sense of long months of waiting like his own, and he took the bowed head upon his broad chest-his own tears falling upon the raven, silvered hair. But it was already time to part, though the old man would hear of no parting. So it was at last agreed that they should meet again next day at M. Dupre's house in Bethnal-green, when some plan could be laid for finding the lost girl.
The next day was a leisure one at M. Duprè's; but both Auguste and his adopted father had enough to talk about till nearly noon, when they both set about arranging their looms for fresh work, waiting the arrival of M.
It was pleasant out of doors; and one of the pleasantest spots for a mile or two was M. Duprè's garden, with its bloom of flowers, and its trim gravelled walks, with flint and shell borders, leading to a little rustic arbour.
There were two people in this same arbour, one of whom believed that no such charming place existed in any part of the globe at that time discovered ; and this person was no other than young Richard Ward, the son of one of the partners of Ward and Brills, silk manufacturers. He had come there as a lad just entering the business, and had never even called again until he had made up his mind that Madeleine Dupré was his fate. At present they were both sitting in the little arbour, with a small pile of books before them, and Mr. Ward was ostensibly engaged in receiving lessons in the French language.
“We will try a verb," said Madeleine, opening a volume; "what shall it be ?"
“Aimer.' J'aime, tu aimes, il— ” said a strange voice at the entrance of the arbour, interrupted by a little scream from Madeleine.
It was a tall, well-dressed old gentleman, who stood uncovered as he bowed to them both.
“Pardon me,” he said ; "there was no other way of making known my presence; your garden gate stood open, and I thought to find my way to the house. Will you conduct me to M. Dupré ?"
“ And you are Auguste's father ; is it not so ?" asked Madeleine.
“I am Auguste's father, and your uncle," said the stranger, stooping to kiss the hand she held out to him.
It was a strange, wild, tearful, happy afternoon; and though young Mr. Ward would have taken his leave, M. Dessange would hear no such thing, but bade him stay, if only to show that he bore no malice for the morning's interruption. Indeed, the old man seemed never tired of looking slily at Madeleine, and observing all the quick colour in her cheeks, her pretty, soft eyes, and the petting, caressing love which she showered on her father ; but the time was come when Mr. Ward dutifully took his leave ; and Madeleine took the candle to light him out; and a deep silence fell on the three men, broken at last by Auguste.
“Father," he said to M. Dupré (at which the old gentleman, his real father, winced, but smiled sadly); "father, we shall find her yet; already my other father, M. Dessange, has traced them to a place where we go to-morrow, and the work can wait till then."