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whole life in thought, trying to solve mysteries which the world considered that it had already solved, he did not want his daughter to believe as the world did just because the teacher said so, and afterwards taunt him, perhaps, for his own unbelief. But he had probably made a mistake. Anyway it was unfortunate that his sister had taken offence at what he had said.
And yet, he reflected, did not the lessons which he taught the girl, on his knee, over there by the big window, do her as much good as the things she would have learned at school? It could not be that he was doing wrong to teach her the strange fancies which came into his head sometimes. It was really a pleasure to him to say the old words which had become a sort of doctrine to him through association, as he sat by the window and watched the last dying rays of the sun, and the moon rising slowly in the sky. It would have been somewhat ridiculous, he thought, to have had his stern sister come in some day and listen to what he said.
Marjorie," he would say, "Do you know that way up there, where you see the stars twinkling, there lives a very lovely Fairy Queen? And whenever you do anything good the Queen puts it down in a golden book. But whenever you do anything bad," and here he would pucker up his face until the child would laugh because he looked so horrid-" the King whittles a notch in a big stick which he carries in his hand."
Then he would go on describing the palace and the jewels, and the Queen's dress and the King's crown. After all, he thought, wasn't it as well that she should be taught these things, until she should be old enough to think for herself? Wasn't it better that she should learn to love such tales as these, loving them partly, he hoped, because it was he who told them? But it certainly would not have pleased her aunt.
The "Professor" had forgotten to light the lamp, but the moon shone full in at the window, straight upon the figure of the little girl. It had come all of a sudden from behind a cloud. The inrush of light disturbed her, and
with an impatient yawn she awoke. The horse was standing by her side, and the kindly light of the moon made the "Professor's" improvements appear much greater than they really were. The child expressed her delight by running up to the old man and kissing him. Then she drew her horse slowly along the bright path which the moon had made upon the carpet, and when she reached the window the sight in the sky held her almost spellbound.
"Oh! Daddy!" she cried, "Come here! Do you think that is the King's face up there?"
The "Professor" looked up; he had not understood at first what she meant. But it was plain enough. The child had connected the familiar face in the moon with his story. He did not answer, however. Why should he spoil her childish fancy? Besides, her idea had started a train of thought. What Marjorie had said only brought home to him with greater clearness the distance over which he had yet to travel. His religion could be a fairy story to him no longer.
Raymond Sandford White.
"THE LAST FLOWER OF THE SALONS.”
HERE are many instances of the lack of dexterity displayed by Napoleon in his dealings with the great women of his day, and it is therefore not strange that he was as unsuccessful with Madame Récamier as the rest. The brusque figure of the First Consul contrasts unfavorably with the most delicate personality of France, but the matter must not be viewed too seriously, as it has its humorous side. It was publicly announced that all who visited Madame Récamier's salon would be considered as enemies of the government, and it is amusing to think of her receiving the dignified foreign ambassadors in her garden in order that they might not violate Napoleon's decree. There is a pretty story told of her early days that perhaps throws some light on this ungraceful hostility. A few years before, a large crowd had assembled in the Chamber of Deputies to see and admire the young Corsican general who was to be on exhibition at a certain hour. At the precise moment when the admiration should have been the most entense, all heads were suddenly turned to catch a glimpse of some one even more attractive than the first man of Europe. Madame Récamier, then only eighteen, had come to wonder with the rest, but was somewhat abashed to find herself the center of interest to a company that apparently preferred grace to strength. This is her first recorded triumph, but Napoleon, lacking a proper sense of humor, to say nothing of gallantry, was deeply offended, and though he afterwards made advances to gain her favor, he never really forgave her the kindly attentions her girlish beauty had at this time inspired.
Her charm was a purely personal one, and we sometimes find ourselves asking just what those traits were that could delight so critical an age, and make us look upon her as a figure nearly ideal. Though her surroundings were distinctively intellectual, she was herself possessed of no particular originality of mind; her only
writings were letters, most of which have not been preserved. The French passion for "Memoirs" left her unscathed, and one even fails to find the customary number of bons mots that contribute so generously to the reputation of her contemporaries. That she possessed a real love for poetry and possible literary talents is evidenced by the earnest request of Ballanche that she translate Petrarch, a task for which he thought her singularly adapted; but Madame Récamier has given no hostage to fame. Sainte-Beuve, however, pointed out the way in which we are to regard her when he so prettily said that it was Madame Récamier who had brought the art of friendship to perfection. It was an art perhaps somewhat neglected in the time in which she lived, particularly by the feminine world; women were too busy writing novels after the style of "Corinne," and meditating new political and religious systems to turn their attention to this gentle side of life. Perhaps the reason Madame Récamier was so successful with such learned men was because she possessed so little learning herself; men hate women who know more than they do; and fortune dealt kindly with the savantes of the Restoration in not giving them a Molière as a laureate.
She was married when but fifteen, during the stormy days of the Terror, and immediately became famous as the greatest beauty of the day. One of the first desires of Napoleon, after the establishment of the consulate, was to give a graceful touch to his triumph by founding a new society on the basis of the old, and among those whom he tried to conciliate was Madame Récamier. But the spirit of the old régime had passed away, and she had no hope or desire to enhance the glory of one who had so bitterly persecuted her dearest friend. Her homes at Paris and Clichy had few of the characteristics of the old salons, where the highest problems of philosophy were resolved and the fate of a ministry decided. There were rather informal gatherings of brilliant men and women with no political significance. Party lines were entirely ignored; newly-pledged Republicans met on an equality with such
fragments of the nobility as the guillotine had spared; the old was gracefully shaded into the new-Matthieu and Audrien de Montmorency met on civil terms with Lucien Bonaparte; Madame de Stael, who often said that her Juliette was the woman whom she most loved, added her brilliant intellect to the gatherings before the petty hatred of the emperor sent her into exile. Narbonne Barère, Benjamin Constant, Bernadotte, Moreau, La Harpe, all testify to her democratic tastes in her selection of friends. That she could harmonize all these diverse characters is no small testimony to that admirable tact and fascination that Madame Krüdener has so well described. Her beauty must have played no small part in this; a painting has been left us by David which shows her in all the charms of these early triumphs. Always dressing in white, with pearls as the only ornament, she could calm the most dangerous antagonism and unite the most bitter enemies by a quiet word or gracious smile. But the very indifference of her salon to political matters made it unpopular with the government, and the persecution of several of its members caused it to slowly drift into the opposition.
The first period of her life closes with the decree of exile she received for her devotion to Madame de Stael, quickly following the bankrupcty of her husband, the most prominent as well as most unfortunate financier of the day. But she burst into new splendor on the return of the Bourbons and her salon became the most brilliant that the Restoration called forth. It lasted, however, but for a short time, for the death of relatives and friends, particularly her beloved "Corinne," and the renewed unsuccessful speculations of her husband, caused her to seek a more quiet life far from social circles in the company of a few chosen friends. And here the most charming part of her life begins. In the quiet seclusion of the Abbayeaux-Bois, surrounded by friends for whom her poverty only added a charm, she found the content that the gay life of Paris could not give. We have many pretty pictures of her life in this convent-salon; Sainte-Beuve,