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THE LITERARY MESSENGER.
A Magazine Devoted to Literature, Science and Art.
RICHMOND, JANUARY, 1864.
AGNES. A NOVEL,
ty, firm glances, and to hear the slow, dis
tinct words which required her to remain BY DILIA.
in the adjoining apartments, and only to
ce me when the bell summoned her attend. CHAPTER XXVIII.
Mr. Elmsworth himself had no Agnes was excessively annoyed, as An- fancy for meeting Agnes in what he called tonio had said, when she discovered that "her Davenant moods," still less Fanchon. Count Serimia was to be so familiarly as- So Agnes's life becane more and more resociated with them, in their future travels. stricted within her aunt's sick room.
She Mrs. Elmsworth was scarcely less troubled could not but notice how many little offices than her neice, but they both knew it to be of considerate kindness and thoughtful. worse than useless. to attempt any expos. ness were shown to both her aunt and her tulation with Mr. Elmsworth, who never self by the courier Frascati. He seemed consulted any will save his own, and re- to have a magical consciousness of their cently, Count Serimia's. Mrs. Elmsworth wants, and Agnes felt continually as if inhad grieved greatly at parting with the numerable little annoyances and discomfaithful Mrs. Lucy, and the substitution of forts were warded off, contrary to her an. Fanchon. It was a very serious discom- ticipations, by some strong unseen arm. fort to her, for Fanchon spoke very little She had a strange feeling of confidence in English, so that she was of little use to the unknown poor courier, and she really the poor invalid, who became consequent was most grateful to him for her aunt's ly more and more dependeut upon her sake. Frascati had suggested to Mr. Elms. niece. Nobly did Agnes respond to the worth that it would be far more convenient calls of duty. She herself had conceived for him to occupy a carriage with Il Coute, 'a dislike and prejudice instinctively against and he (Frascati,) on the box, and to take the fawning, crafty, French maid, with another for madame, who was so ill, who her restless cat-like eyes. Fanchon was was best with the Signorina and Fanchori, always bright, active, ready to do all and than to have one huge post-chaise.' Mr. more than was demanded of her, but Mrs. Elmsworth heartily concurred in this. Se. Elmsworth seemed to shrink from having ! rimia dared not object to the arrangement, her about her so much that Agnes quietly though it separated him almost entirely assumed all the duties which had been from Agnes, whom he scarcely ever saw. performed for her aurt by Mrs. and He consoled himself by thinking it would Fanchon's place was little better than a be better when they were stationary, as sinecure. Fanchon attempted on several they travelled very slowly, stopping some. eccasions to intrude herself and her atten. times for a day or so, according as Mrs. tions upon the invalid, but Agnes, with all Elmsworth's strength failed; but by some her womanliness, knew perfectly well how unaccountable means, he was balked even to keep people in their places, and Fan. then, and yet in such ways that he could cbon, after several essays, had no desire to not suspect any design, and though dis. risk encountering again one of those haugh- satisfied, had nothing of which he coułu
justly complain. He liked the attentive Murray had no thought of self in his entire courier, and acknowledged to Mr. Elms- devotion to the daughter of his old friend, worth, " that Frascati did manage to se. but he was but human after all, and somecure every convenience for them, and was times the thought would cross him that altogether a most attentive and convenient Agnes was very young and eternally separascal,"
Antonio's dark eyes fashed rated from her cousin by barriers her eonstrangely, and a quick, sinister smile pass. science would never permit her to pass. ed like lightning over his lips, as Mr. Was it impossible for her reart to be Elmsworth, in his boorish way, repeated weaned from the hopeless affection he Serimia's words to him as he was attend. knew still struggled in her soul? Could ing upon them one day. He bowed low, she never be won by devotion, constancy, placing his hand upon his heart: " ]] Conte tenderest love? He knew his own love äid him much honor, his only desire was for her to be higher, purer, more unselfisha to make himself as useful as possible to than Robert's; for he would, oh, so gladly, Monsieur and Il Conte, He was indeed give his own happiness, his own life, in a jewel of a courier!
exchange for hers. He would have laid When they reached Geneva, after going
her hand in Robert's, and blessed them, in up the Rhine and visiting Lucerne, the
his perfect love for her, satisfied if she
were but once fatigue of travel had so prostrated Mrs.
more the bright, happy Elmsworth, that no maneuvring was ne
young girl he had known at Mrs. Hudson's.
Mr. Murray had thoroughly conquered his cessary to show that Agnes must remain constantly with the invalid. Frascati was
own heart, and schooled it; but human
hearts are wild dreamers after all, and so thoughtful and kind at this time, that Agnes stopped him one day, as he handed Hope will sing us to sleep with fairy tiles in at the door a plate full of fine grapes ed across Mr. Mrray's mind, be resolutely
even in mature age. If a day-dream flashfor her aunt, and thanked him. Frascati's
thrust it back--he could do no more! He face beamed with satisfaction. "Signorina," he said earnestly, “I can American family, who were to pass the
procured a situation for Mrs. Lucy in ar. do but little for you. oz madame, but my winter at Nice, and who designed returnwill is good, command me to the utmost-ing in the spring to Louisiana~an arrangeI will do my best always !"
ment which suited her very well. The climate was getting too cold in Switzerland for Mrs. Elmsworth ; Serimia
The Elmsworths reached Genoa safely, was tired too; it was now September; it but Mrs. Elmsworth was so wearied that was agreed to hasten into Italy. Mrs. it was thought best to proceed immediately Elmsworth wished to get to Rome before by sea to Civita Vecchia, and from thence the winter set in, so the pilgrimage began to Rome, where they had ordered all letagain as soon as she could bear it.
ters for the whole party to be forwarded. Mr. Murray had returned to Paris, but They were established, in the course of judged it best not to join the party during a week, in a pleasant suite of apartments their travel; his trusty agent kept him fully overlooking the Piazza di Spagna. The posted in regard to their plans-he saw column of the Immaculate Conception be. Serimia was quiet; not ready to use foul|fore their windows, which commanded as means to attain his hase ends, he felt that a side view the steps leading to the con: his presence or any one else's would be an vent of the Trinita del Monte, with its intrusion upon Agnes in her aunt's feeble ever changing crowd of the picturesque state. As long as Mrs. Elmsworth lived, vagabondage of Rome. Agnes stepped to Agnes was personally safe; he served Ag- the WW and looked about her with nes best by remaining away and holding interest curiosity; sh
riot rehimself in readiness to join her as soon as press a thrill of emotion as she rememAntonio thought his presence necessary. bered that she stood within the walls of He kept Antonio freely supplied with mo- the “Eternal City." She had seen but ney and passports, in case he should wish little, so far, of the customary sights of to use them, for Agnes or himself. Mr. foreign travel. She was soon obliged,
however, to recall her wandering eyes and will go hard with you to have it known to thoughts to her aunt, who seemed unusu. Monsieur or Il Conte di Serimia!" Antonio ally feeble arid exhausted from the rail. laughed his low, scornful laugh as he uiroad travel Agnes helped her to undress tered this last name. and into her bed, and arranged everything Fanchon looked at him as if alarmed, as comfortable as she could for her. She then in her most coaxing tone: was standing by her aunt, holding a glass “But surely you would not harm a poor of cordial to her lips, when Mr. Elmsworth young girl trying now honestly to get her entered the room with a large package of bread ? Monsieur is too generous for that." letters.
“As for the honesty, my lille Fanchon, “ Two for Agnes, from the Rectory," he we will not discuss that point! but I will said. He gave them to her and quitted make a bargain with you. Let Mademoithe room, taking his own letters with him. selle alone! cease spying into her hours of Agnes proposed to read her letters aloud privacy, and reporting all she does or says, to her aunt, but Mrs. Elmsworth opened as you know you do." Antonio looked her languid eyes and begged she would steadily at her, Fanchon's eyes fell," and defer reading them to her until the next I will not only make it worth your while morning, she was so very weary and tired. | by doubling the amount you now .receive
“Go, my dear,” she said, “ to your own from--you know who! but I will also room, Fanchon can sit here till you return, promise to forget all I know concerning I think I can sleep, go and enjoy your let- Mademoiselle Rosette Marie Fanchon ters.” Agnes was glail to obey the man
de" date. Two hours afterwards, Fanchon
Fanchon put her hand over his lips. It stole gently from the bed of the sleeping
was a pretty hand, ---Antonio gallantly invalid, softly opened the door of Agnes kissed its chamber and peeped in, Agnes was not
Enough, enough, Monsieur Frascati ! conscious of her presence; she was lying
your reasoning is convincing, I accept prostrate upon the floor, deep sobs shaking her whole form almost convulsively, ber
“ How many francs is it now, Mademoilands clasped and flung over her head in
selle, per month ?" agony of grief; the great tears rulling like
Fanchon counted on her fingers. drops of lead from her closed eyes. Fan
hundred," she replied. chon closed the door and stole away as
" Ah, well! Mademoiselle! receive two softly as she had come. She met Frascati
bundeed.” Antonio pulled out his pocket in the narrow passage
book, and gravely counted out the money. Ah, Monsieur, Mademoiselle est telle
Fanchon's grey eyes glistened; she took ment affligée ! Je n'ai jamais vue une telle
at eagerly. desespoir," and she listed her hands and
“Now," continued Antonio, "this amount slırugged her shoulders. " Je pense qu'il
every month, and perhaps more if you are doit être a cause d 'un amant," continued faithful, and obey me implicitly." she.
“But Monsieur," said Fanchon, “HeAntonio seized her by the shoulders with
my employer-he will discover-then what his powerful hands and whirled ber around shall I do ?? until she stood face to face with him.
“ You shall continue to report to him ; “Look here, Fanchon, if you go about you have imagination under those pretty spying and intruding on Mademoiselle, I temples, my charming Fanchon, only you willinform Monsieur what I know about" must swear by the Holy Virgin to bring he stooped and whispered a word in her me a written account of every word you
or he may say.” Fanchon bit her lip and stamped her “Ah,” said Fanchon, “ that is very easy, foot with yexation.
quite delightful it is to have so sensible • Mon Dieu ! that is only slander, and and amiable a person as you to deal withi, you know it, Monsieur Frascati !"
Monsieur Frascati !" * Slander or no, my pretty Fanchon! it "And remember, beautiful Fanchon, I
have means of ascertaining whether you | bath room this morning she will find it deal truly or not with me!"
very refreshing." Assuredly, Monsieur need not distrust
Agnes felt that she would, and therefore me! Two hundred francs and perhaps more.' Monsieur may rely on my honor." accepted Fanchon's offer. Her limbs trem
led so she could scarcely stand, but she Fanchon, bowing gracefully, retraced ber steps and tripped lightly into Mrs. Elms was forced to exert herself, she knew, for
her aunt's sake, but the pallid check and worth's room; she was sleeping calmly.
knitted brow, showed what a violent conAgnes Graham's head touched no pillow
straint she was putting upon herself; Fan. that night. Fanchon came in the morning
chon threw open the door between the and found her sleeping the sleep of exhaustion where she had seen her lying the rooms, assisted Agnes to undress and left
her. She returned after she heard Agnes night before, upon the floor, the traces of
re-enter her own chamber, bearing a small blistering tears plainly marked upon her
waiter, with a tiny cup of strong coffee cheeks, in her clasped hands were clench
and a thin slice of toasted bread. ed the letters of Mr. Danvers and Dr. Leonard.
"If Mademoiselle will drink this coffee, “Poor thing," muttered Fanchon, as she which Monsieur Frascati has made himself threw a shawl over her feet, without dis- for her, and eat a mouthful of toast, Madeturbing her. “Poor young lady! she is moiselle will feel better able to attend to suffering much! it would indeed be a Madame, who has already asked for hier!" shame to betray her! and then two hun
Agnes swallowed the coffee but refused dred francs! it is much !"
the bread. Tears rushed again to her eyes, Fanchon stept out lightly and calling as she thought of the sad intelligence she Frascati, asked him to have a warm bath would have to communicate to her auns. prepared in her own room, which opened She covered her face with her hands and into Agnes' by a communicating door.
groaned aloud. “So as to have it ready against Made
Fanchon stood respectfully behind her; moiselle's waking; she will need it, Mon. Agnes' long black hair hung in dishevelled sieur! for she has lain all night weeping masses over her shoulders. Fanchon touchon the floor, where she has just fallen ed it with her hands. asleep! It is some great trouble, appa
** If Mademoiselle will permit, I could rently.”
quickly arrange Mademoiselle's coiffure, Fanchon took Mrs. Elmsworth her breakfast, told her' Agnes was suffering with and relieve Mademoiselle of that trouble." severe headache, and had fallen asleep, Agnes sat down mechanically; Fanchọn and she thought it best not to waken her. dexterously disentangled the heavy plaits, Mrs. Elmsworth commended her discre- and in a very little time Agnes' hair was tion. Fanchon was so dextrous and at- folded around her head as she usually wore tentive, and showed so much hearty good it. Fanchọn was an artiste in hair-dresswill, that Mrs. Elmsworth begun to think ing; Agnes thanked her, finished her toilet, she had done the girl great injustice in her and grasping her letters in her hand, passed prejudices against her.
into the salon, where she found Mr. ElmsSo Agnes thought also, when she woke worth and Count Serimia just preparing to up finding the shawl carefully thrown set out on a tour of inspection. Agnes over her, and after she had risen "aching scarcely heard Serimia's gallant salutation, and tired from her hard couch, trying to returned it by a hasty bow, and walking collect her scattered thoughts, Fanchon up to her uncle requested to have a few stood before her, saying
moments private conversation with him 4 Mademoiselle; you were so weary last before he went out. Mr. Elmsworth looknight that you fell asleep on the floor with. ed at' Serimia, who taking up his bat, out undressing; so I have had a hot bath bowed and quitted the salon. Agnes reprepared for you in my own room, if Ma- quested her uncle to be seated, and handed demoiselle will condescend to use it as a him Mr. Danvers' letter. He was as much