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assembled, and all return in procession but gentle smile, “ A fëte; let us join to the arbour, which by this time has the party;" he put spurs to his steed, been cleared for dancing. An orchestra and set off at a gallop through the close of twenty or thirty violins, horns, and standing trees, heedless of the branches flutes, plays the favourite waltzes of the that swept him as he passed, and taking country, and the pleasures of the festi- no thought, either in ridicule or comval are seldom closed until the first rays passion, of the terrors of his companion, of the next day's sun begin to dim the who toiled painfully after him in his lustre of the torches.
rapid course. Upon reaching the scene It was near the close of day, during of the festivity, he beheld a picture of the progress of one of these rustic cele. singular interest and beauty. In the brations, and not far from the abbey of centre of the rustic pavilion numbers of which mention is made, that a young smiling young men and maidens, their man of, perhaps, nineteen or twenty eyes sparkling with delight, and their years, mounted upon a superb Arabian, cheeks glowing with health and exciteand followed by a servant without livery, ment, were gaily moving in the dance, endured, without listening to, the con- while all around, the elders of the village, versation of an elderly personage, whose seated, with silver tankards in their hands, sober nag walked leisurely by the side of followed, with approving smiles, the his own fiery steed. Both were dressed winding movements of the waltzers. In simply in black, and there was nothing a corner was seated an old noble of the to indicate them as any thing more vicinity, whose daughter, in honour of than two gentlemen in easy circum- the day, had opened the ball with the stances, returning from a ride ; a father handsomest of the vintagers; here and and son, perhaps, or it might be, a tutor there were scattered some monks from and his pupil; unless, indeed, it might the abbey, who discoursed sagely with have been perceived, that a father would the farmers, touching the abundance of have shewn more interest in the me- the crops; while others, whose beavy eyes lancholy abstraction of his son, or that, and drowsy attitudes gave suspicion of a in the second case, the pupil would have deep acquaintance with the wine-cup, exhibited a more contemptuous impa- were, perhaps, muttering their monastic tience of his tutor's lecture. In the chants to the sound of the lively music. present instance might be noticed, on For a moment the eyes of the young man the one hand, the obsequious tyranny rested with an expression of interest and of one who plays the spy upon the mind delight, upon this scene of general and as well as of the actions, and persecutes simple joy : like one in a burning fever, the spirit with his wearisome attentions, who plunges his arms into the cool waters even in the silence to which it flies for of a shaded spring, it seemed as if he refuge; on the other, a determined in- delighted to bathe his soul in the pure, attention, against which the monotonous fresh atmosphere of thoughtless happiness garrulity of the speaker wasted itself in by which he was surrounded. vain.
fatal voice soon recalled him from his On a sudden, the spirited Arabian dream of forgetfulness. Undoubtedly it as he slowly pranced along, champing was not by premeditated and ignoble the bit, and tossing aloft his beautiful spite that he was actuated who tore him head, pricked up his ears, and uttered from his pleasant thoughts; he was goa long, loud neigh; and his rider, verned simply by the reckless pedantry warned by the sure instinct of the noble of a heavy moralist, who goes on his way creature, that some object was near to with head erect, never looking where he which he ought to give attention, raised plants his foot, or knowing what minute, his eyes, and beheld at a distance one but beautiful existence may be crushed of those crowned trees which have been in its solemn fall. The old man, seeing described as giving token of the vint- the pleasure his companion took in lookage fète; and he had ridden but little ing upon the scene that has been defarther, when his ear caught the distant scribed, could not lose so fine an opporsound of the flutes and horns. Although tunity of pressing home his lesson; he he appeared to reject the efforts of his drew near, and with the self-contented companion to arouse him from his me- smile of one who knows that what he is lancholy, still there evidently was not going to say cannot be controverted, in his breast a hopelessness so fixed as “ You see,” he observed, “that happiness to prevent him from accepting the is every where, if men would but find it chance of relief, thus falling accidentally where it is ;” and, having thus spoken, in his way, and exclaiming, with a sad, he betook himself again to watching the
dancers, without perceiving that the youth a look. This blow struck not less keenly looked at them no longer; that his head upon the morbid feelings of the youth was once more sunk upon his breast, and than that which had preceded it, but his that his eyes, fixed upon the ground, be- pride forbade all manifestation of his held nothing but himself and his own chagrin; he continued to promenade surpassing wretchedness. Silence would the rustic ball-room, and, to complete his long have remained unbroken, if the conquest over his own heart, resolved to elder personage had not felt curious to take a part in the festivity ; and advancdiscover the salutary effect of his words ing to one of the most beautiful of the in the countenance of his companion ; dancers, he asked her hand for a waltz. and it would be difficult to describe the “ I cannot,” she replied frankly, and extent of his foolish surprise, and equally without the least shew of embarrassment; foolish anger, on perceiving a result so “ here is my partner for the whole evendifferent from his expectatious; but it ing,” pointing, as she spoke, to a tall, seemed as if his authority over the young well-made vintager, who was standing man were limited to petty teasings, and at her side. The peasant coloured, and unwelcome assiduities; for he gave, no casting a hasty and somewhat fearful utterance to his feelings of dissatisfaction, look around him, he said, in a low and and only said, with an air of peculiar hesitating voice, No, no; dance with deference, “Why not join the dance ? it his--with the gentleman; I resign would serve, perhaps, to dissipate;" you to him very willingly.” his speech was cut short by a profound The girl looked at her partner with sigh from the melancholy youth, who surprise, and then sought for a conturned away without replying; but, at firmation of his request in the eyes of an the moment when the elder was expecting old woman, who stood near, and who, in an ungracious refusal, he saw him leap like manner, casting a furtive glance quickly from his horse, and, while he around, to note if she were observed, descended more slowly from his own, the gave an assenting gesture. youth stepped behind a large tree, and, man gathered from the surprise of the almost instantly reappearing, said, with an girl, and the embarrassment of the other air of calm but simple dignity, “ You see two, that he was known to them, but that I am not ungrateful, and I hope you not to her ; he felt grateful to them for will announce, that I accept, with proper thus displaying, so far as they dared, acknowledgment, the pleasures which are their kindly and considerate feelings; and granted to me.” There was in his manner he began at once, in the intervals of the of uttering these words the resolution of dance, to speak of them to his blooming a man who knows that he must die, yet partner, that they might know from submits patiently to all the means of her that their courtesy was not unaccure that are proposed to him, useless knowledged. though he knows them, that he may, at “ That good old lady is your mother, least, escape the charge of having sought I presume?". his own destruction; and, having thus * Alas no,” she replied ; " she is the spoken, he advanced toward to the mother of my partner ; my mother came dancers. Before he had made a dozen from France." steps it was apparent that his presence At these words the young man started created a sensation ; numbers of persons, with a keen emotion, and the girl, dethe monks, the farmers, suddenly stood lighted with her new partner, so much up, the musicians played out of time, more graceful and attentive than her first, and the dancers hesitated in their move- perceived, with surprise, that he lost the ment. This general attention was ac- time; but he rallied in a moment, and knowledged by a gentle smile, and an fixing upon her his eagle eyes, he reinclination of the head; but in a moment sumed, in a lower tone, “ And are you, it was arrested by a gesture of prohibition too, a Frenchwoman ?” from the elderly companion.
“Oh, no,” she answered; “my father tion, and the expression of his coun- is a Hungarian, and I was born in that tenance indicated to the assembly, that country also.” no especial notice must be taken of the “ But your mother is here, I suppose ? young man's presence, and such is the shew me which is she.” habit of obedience with the Austrians, “ Alas! sir, she is dead,” replied the that in a moment all things resumed their girl; and she, too, in her turn, seemed course ; the dance, the music, and the troubled and confused. mirth were at once renewed, and no one The look of the young man immeventured to indulge his curiosity even by diately lost its keenness, and was withdrawn from the face of his charming long silence, raised his head, and with partner, upon which it had been fixed an air of deep melancholy, exclaimed, with an expression of the deepest interest addressing that one whom the reader and curiosity; he became once more sad already knows: and gentle, but she deceived herself “ Indeed, baron, I do not know what when she imagined that it was for her to do; you tell me that he appeared dehis sympathy was awakened. She could lighted with his ride, and you, doctor, not imagine that her last words had ex- assure me that to-day he is more detinguished a hope ; a vain hope indeed, pressed and miserable than ever.” that of beholding eyes that had looked “ It is," replied the doctor, “because on France.
my instructions have not been followed.” “ Yes,” she continued, “it is nearly * And yet,” returned the old man, two years since we lost her; my father “ he is free-he goes where and when he could not bear to remain longer where will." she had lived, and therefore we left “ It is true,” answered the physician, Presburgh more than a month ago, and “ that his chain is lengthened; but he came to live here, in the environs of sees and feels it still. If it cannot be Vienna.”
removed, it must at least be hidden.” This fact accounted to the young un- " What can I do more ?" said the known for her ignorance of his person; old man. but he made no reply, and the waltz was “ Much,” was the reply; " he can be ended in silence. When he had led her left alone, and above all, in his rides." to her seat, he saw his elderly companion “ That would never do,” exclaimed whispering to the old woman, who bade the baron, with the desperation of a the young girl sit down by her side, but courtier who sees his post in danger. never turned her eyes upon him, and « Would it be prudent ?" said the old he removed to a little distance, easily man, turning his eyes upon the silent divining the orders his officious com- personage, who seemed attentive to nopanion had imparted, but returned almost thing but his papers; “ would it be immediately, as if with a desperate reso- prudent?” he repeated with a sigh. lution to know the full extent of his sub- “I do not know," said the physician, jection and misery; he saw by the ges- firmly, “whether or not it would be tures of his lovely partner, that she was prudent, but humanity requires it; he asking concerning him, and he could must have liberty of mind as well as of readily perceive too, that her inquiries body, or he must die.” were evaded and forbidden.
No, sir,” exclaimed the old man, proscribe my name," was his bitter re- with sudden and startling energy, rising Hection, “ from the innocent curiosity of from his seat, and striding rapidly across this peasant girl, because a drop of French the chamber, “ no sir, he must not die; blood mingles in her veins !” But he he, too, die of prison and captivity! It made no comment upon what was pass- must not, shall not be.
Let them say ing before him, not even by a look of what they will—reproach me; make anger, and vaulting upon his proud Ara- war upon me, if they choose, but he bian, he darted from the spot like an shall not die; it is enough to have arrow, crying to the groom. “To the killed palace—to Vienna,” but with the accent And here he broke off abruptly, perof one who exclaims, “ to prison, to the haps at the awful name that rose to his torture, the dungeon, and the tomb." lips, or it might be at the quick glance The next day four persons were as
of him who seemed to read the despatches sembled in one of the vast gothic saloons of the day. This man, after a moment of an ancient palace. He who seemed of silence, and another glance at the sad to be the first in rank, was seated in a expression of the old man's face, said large and magnificent fauteail, with his with a low voice, and a look of regulated elbow resting upon a table, and his head sympathy, “ All can be arranged as the supported by the hand ; another sat be- doctor would have it: since he thinks freefore a desk covered with papers, in the dom essential to the health of his patient, perusal of which he appeared to be ab- let him go free; the baron shall attend sorbed, and the remaining two were him no longer ; he shall ride out alone, standing before the first ; one of these and as it pleases him.” was the elderly companion of the sad “ Do you think this possible ?" the young man in his adventure of the pre- old man eagerly exclaimed. ceding day. The old man seated at the “ Certainly,” replied the other, with a table (for he was an old man), after a smile in which one more acute and ob
serving, would have detected a com- young girl starting back just in time to mentary upon the word.
save herself from being trampled under " I thank you,” cried the old man, his horse's feet. He reined up instantly; joyfully; “this is but another service but with that habitual feeling of annoyto be added to the long list of what I ance and chagrin with which he always already owe you; once more I thank you, met those who could address him by heartily:" then, turning to the physician, the name which was at once his glory he added, “this will content you, I hope, and his curse, he was vexed to see the doctor; you will convey this good news girl fix her eyes upon him with a look of to him at once, will you not ?" and so recognition, and to hear her exclaim, saying, he withdrew, smiling graciously with a smile and a voice yet tremulous upon him who had relieved his anxieties, through terror, “Ah, monsieur, how and not remarking either the consterna- you did frighten me!" Her look antion of the baron, or the abstraction of nounced that she remembered him ; but him he had last addressed.
the simple title of monsieur might leave As soon as the door closed upon him, the inference that she did not know who the man with the papers said drily, it was she thus addressed. Doubting, “ Well, sir, you can go and do as the fearing, and yet not without hope, he emperor has commanded you."
looked at her in turn, and soon became The physician fixed his eyes upon him conscious that the lovely face before him for a moment, and exclaimed with energy, was not altogether unfamiliar to his eyes. - My lord, in pity do not destroy your She guessed what was passing in his gift;"---but the other cut him short with mind, and exclaimed frankly, “ What, à haughty look and gesture, and in you have forgotten me ! But I reanother moment he was alone with the member you right well.” baron.
There was in this little speech a dash “ And I, my lord," —cried this func. of rustic coquetry, which, with the freetionary, with a pitiable aspect of despair. dom and simplicity of the reproach it
“ You,” replied the minister, "you conveyed of his ingratitude in forgetting will have the goodness to go and inform her so soon, won from him a smile, and the first officer of the police (chief de la he replied in the same spirit, “ It is true police) that I wish to see him instantly." that I am guilty of not knowing who
What passed at this interview has you are, but not of forgetting that I have perhaps never been disclosed; but the before seen that charming face.” result of it was, that a few days afterward The young girl blushed even through the sad and handsome young man was her smile ; and approaching the now riding unattended in the environs of quiet animal on which he rode, she Kleusterneubourg, with nothing to in- placed her hand upon his neck, and lookdicate that he was the subject of a ing up with bewitching simplicity into moment's consideration to the ever ac- the face of the young man, she said, “I tive and suspicious police of Austria.
was your partner in the dance at KleusHe was now mounted upon a beautiful terneubourg." and perfectly trained Andalusian, and he Under the impulse of an involuntary rode freely forth, giving himself up, body movement on the part of his rider, the and soul, to the liberty of solitude, having horse started a little to one side, and a no part to play, a spectacle to no one, shade passed over the brow of the young and free to indulge in mirth or sadness man. The poor girl stood motionless, at his own good pleasure, to cast his looking terrified and unhappy, and when eyes upon the ground in melancholy he said, in a grave and severe tone, “I reverie, or to raise them to the sun in remember; you are the daughter of a lofty aspirations, as if to demand from Frenchwoman, are you not ?” She could him freedom, life, and hope. Such was scarcely answer from trembling, the tenor of his actions and emotions, monsieur." “ You are a Hungarian ?” and already he experienced from his ride “ Yes, monsieur.” an accession of health and vigour, to But this exact remembrance of their which his frame had been long a stranger, former conversation, pleasing as it might so little does youth require to convert have been to her a moment before, had sadness into joy. Upon a sudden, as he not the effect to call back the smile to pushed at full gallop along a thickly her downcast eyes, so deeply was she shaded avenue that pierced the forest, affected by his tone and manner. The he heard a loud cry from the opening young man noticed her depression, and of an alley by which the avenue was in- wishing to atone for his momentary tersected, and looking to the spot, saw a harshness, he said, playfully, “ And do
you come to walk often in this forest ?” not quite sure it was you, and that made “ I pass through it every day," she said, with a little air of pique, “but I “ To see me!” said the young man, never come to walk in it; I pass through amused, and not displeased, by her charmit every day on my way to the abbey, ing simplicity. for medicine for my poor father, who is The poor girl blushed, and a tear trem
bled upon her long and downcast eyeThis reply was simple enough, and lashes; she made no answer, and he, conveyed information of the most ordi- taking pity of her confusion, and striving nary character; but there are beings in to overcome his habitual taciturnity, conwhose hearts a single word suffices to tinued : call up an echo of despair, and such was “ And your father; is he better ?" he to whom the answer of the young “Oh, much better," said the young girl was addressed. It brought a deeper girl, with a grateful look; “it is not shade to his brow; and he repeated, sickness, it is an old wound that gives bitterly, and speaking rather to himself him so much trouble." than to his companion, “ You go to seek “ Your father, then, has been a soldier?” medicines for your sick father-for your “ Yes, monsieur, until 1815.” father, whom you are permitted to see It would seem that every word spoken every day,--for your father, who will by this simple child had a peculiar and soon be well."
affecting signification for the young un“I hope so,” she exclaimed, raising known. This 1815 struck sadly upon her eyes to heaven.
his heart, and he added, with a severe “ And I-go, and forgive me for have and disdainful look, ing detained you a moment from the “ And your father is a Hungarian ?” performance of a duty so sacred.”
“ You know I told you so before,” Thus speaking, he gave his horse the she answered, approaching nearer to him. spur and darted away at full speed, leav- “ Adieu, adieu," he cried hastily, ing the poor girl so astounded at his your father is waiting for you;” and abrupt departure, that when he turned he rode away as quickly as before, withinto the first alley that crossed the avenue out even turning his head to see whether through which he rode, he saw her stand- the poor peasant girl watched him in his ing motionless upon the spot where he flight. had left her, with her eyes fixed upon That day he certainly did bear with his receding form.
him the memory of his rencontre with the peasant girl; but, without doubt, it
was only that vague impression with It is probable that the adventure thus which any incident may be invested by concluded left no trace, or, at least, no repetition. Nevertheless, when, two days emotion in the heart of the singular afterward, he met her again at the same being whom it befell; for, during many hour and place, his mind was struck with subsequent days, he rode in other direc- the coincidence; and when she hastened tions, remote enough to prevent him from to join him, exclaiming, with an air of coming to the spot again, yet not so far anxious curiosity, “ You did not come as to give room for the suspicion that he yesterday;” he became aware that a deep avoided it of purpose. Some weeks after- and powerful interest had sprung up in ward, however, the solitude of the forest the heart of this young girl, of which he attracted him there once more, and the was the object. Perhaps she had hoped, regularity with which his time was di- perhaps awaited his coming, and, for the vided, made his arrival to take place at first time, he was not displeased with the almost the same moment as before. As idea that his movements had been watchhe cantered down the avenue, he heard, ed. Was it because he felt convinced at the intersection of the alley, the quick that she knew not who he was? Or was breathing and footsteps of a woman, and it that the natural and open frankness of he drew up to let her pass; but the run- her curiosity delightèd him, contrasting, ner stopped, as she came close to him, as it did, with the world of system and and exclaimed, with the naive frankness constraint by which he was surrounded? of sixteen, I was certain it was you, It would be difficult to explain the cause, although you have a gray horse now, in- so imperceptible are the modes in which stead of that beautiful black on which the heart receives the first approaches of you rode when you were here before." that mysterious passion, by which its
“You saw me, then, at some distance.” very nature is at length subdued and' “Yes, through the trees; but I was changed. Nevertheless his feelings were