Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843
Part 2 out of 6
Where is no miracle, why there no bliss!
Grow, change, and ripen all that mortal be,
Shapen'd from form to form, by toiling time;
The Blissful and the Beautiful are born
Full grown, and ripen'd from Eternity--
No gradual changes to their glorious prime,
No childhood dwarfs them, and no age has worn.--
Like Heaven's, each earthly Venus on the sight
Comes, a dark birth, from out an endless sea;
Like the first Pallas, in maturest might,
Arm'd, from the Thunderer's brow, leaps forth each Thought of Light.
* * * * *
We have now, with few exceptions, translated all the principal poems
comprised in the third, or maturest period of Schiller's life. We
here pass back to the poems of his youth. The contrast in tone,
thought, and spirit, between the compositions of the first and the
third period, in the great poet's intellectual career, is
sufficiently striking. In the former, there is little of that
majestic repose of strength so visible in the latter; but there is
infinitely more fire and action--more of that lavish and exuberant
energy which characterized the earlier tales of Lord Byron, and
redeemed, in that wonderful master of animated and nervous style, a
certain poverty of conception by a vigour and _gusto_ of execution,
which no English poet, perhaps, has ever surpassed. In his poems
lies the life, and beats the heart, of Schiller. They conduct us
through the various stages of his spiritual education, and indicate
each step in the progress. In this division, _effort_ is no less
discernible than power--both in language and thought there is a
struggle at something not yet achieved, and not, perhaps, even yet
definite and distinct to the poet himself. Here may be traced,
though softened by the charm of genius, (which softens all things,)
the splendid errors that belong to a passionate youth, and that give
such distorted grandeur to the giant melodrama of "The Robbers." But
here are to be traced also, and in far clearer characters, the man's
strong heart, essentially human in its sympathies--the thoughtful
and earnest intellect, not yet equally developed with the fancy, but
giving ample promise of all it was destined to receive. In these
earlier poems, extravagance is sufficiently noticeable--yet never
the sickly eccentricities of diseased weakness, but the exuberant
overflowings of a young Titan's strength. There is a distinction,
which our critics do not always notice, between the _extravagance_
of a great genius, and the _affectation_ of a pretty poet.
HECTOR AND ANCROMACHE. 
[Footnote 11: This and the following poem are, with some alterations,
introduced in the play of "The Robbers."]
Will Hector leave me for the fatal plain,
Where, fierce with vengeance for Patroclus slain,
Stalks Peleus' ruthless son?
Who, when thou glidest amid the dark abodes,
To hurl the spear and to revere the Gods,
Shall teach shine Orphan One?
Woman and wife beloved--cease thy tears;
My soul is nerved--the war-clang in my ears!
Be mine in life to stand
Troy's bulwark, fighting for our hearths--to go,
In death, exulting to the streams below,
Slain for my fatherland!
No more I hear thy martial footsteps fall--
Thine arms shall hang, dull trophies, on the wall--
Fallen the stem of Troy!
Thou go'st where slow Cocytus wanders--where
Love sinks in Lethe, and the sunless air
Is dark to light and joy!
Sinew and thought--yea, all I feel and think
May in the silent sloth of Lethe sink,
But my love not!
Hark, the wild swarm is at the walls!--I hear!
Gird on my sword--beloved one, dry the tear--
Lethe for love is not!
Fair as an angel from his blessed hall--
Of every fairest youth the fairest he!
Heaven-mild his look, as maybeams when they fall,
Or shine reflected from a clear blue sea!
His kisses--feelings rife with paradise!
Ev'n as two flames, one on the other driven--
Ev'n as two harp-tones their melodious sighs
Blend in some music that seems born of heaven;
So rush'd, mix'd, melted--life with life united!
Lips, cheeks burn'd, trembled--soul to soul was won!
And earth and heaven seem'd chaos, as delighted
Earth--heaven were blent round the beloved one!
Now, he is gone! vainly and wearily
Groans the full heart, the yearning sorrow flows--
Gone! and all zest of life, in one long sigh,
Goes with him where he goes.
* * * * *
THE MYSTERY OF REMINISCENCE. 
[Footnote 12: This most exquisite love-poem is founded on the Platonic
notion, that souls were united in a pre-existent state, that love is
the yearning of the spirit to reunite with the spirit with which it
formerly made one--and which it discovers on earth. The idea has
often been made subservient to poetry, but never with so earnest and
elaborate a beauty.]
Who, and what gave to me the wish to woo thee--
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee?
Who made thy glances to my soul the link--
Who bade me burn thy very breath to drink--
My life in thine to sink?
As from the conquerors unresisted glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave--
So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly--
Yields not my soul to thee?
Why from its lord doth thus my soul depart?--
Is it because its native home thou art?
Or were they brothers in the days of yore,
Twin-bound both souls, and in the links they bore
Sigh to be bound once more?
Were once our beings blent and intertwining,
And therefore still my heart for thine is pining?
Knew we the light of some extinguished sun--
The joys remote of some bright realm undone,
Where once our souls were ONE?
Yes, it _is_ so!--And thou wert bound to me
In the long-vanish'd Eld eternally!
In the dark troubled tablets which enroll
The Past--my Muse beheld this blessed scroll--
"One with thy love my soul!"
Oh yes, I learn'd in awe, when gazing there,
How once one bright inseparate life we were,
How once, one glorious essence as a God,
Unmeasured space our chainless footsteps trode--
All Nature our abode!
Round us, in waters of delight, for ever
Voluptuous flow'd the heavenly Nectar river;
We were the master of the seal of things,
And where the sunshine bathed Truth's mountain-springs
Quiver'd our glancing wings.
Weep for the godlike life we lost afar--
Weep!--thou and I its scatter'd fragments are;
And still the unconquer'd yearning we retain--
Sigh to restore the rapture and the reign,
And grow divine again.
And therefore came to me the wish to woo thee--
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee;
_This_ made thy glances to my soul the link--
_This_ made me burn thy very breath to drink--
My life in thine to sink:
And therefore, as before the conqueror's glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave,
So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly--
Yieldeth my soul to thee!
Therefore my soul doth from its lord depart,
_Because_, beloved, its native home thou art;
Because the twins recall the links they bore,
And soul with soul, in the sweet kiss of yore,
Meets and unites once more.
Thou too--Ah, there thy gaze upon me dwells,
And thy young blush the tender answer tells;
Yes! with the dear relation still we thrill,
Both lives--tho' exiles from the homeward hill--
_One_ life--all glowing still!
* * * * *
Laura--above this world methinks I fly,
And feel the glow of some May-lighted sky,
When thy looks beam on mine!
And my soul drinks a more ethereal air,
When mine own shape I see reflected there,
In those blue eyes of thine!
A lyre-sound from the Paradise afar,
A harp-note trembling from some gracious star,
Seems the wild ear to fill;
And my muse feels the Golden Shepherd-hours,
When from thy lips the silver music pours
Slow, as against its will.
I see the young Loves flutter on the wing--
Move the charm'd trees, as when the Thracian's string
Wild life to forests gave;
Swifter the globe's swift circle seems to fly,
When in the whirling dance thou glidest by,
Light as a happy wave.
Thy looks, when there love sheds the loving smile,
Could from the senseless marble life beguile--
Lend rocks a pulse divine;
Into a dream my very being dies,
I can but read--for ever read--thine eyes--
Laura, sweet Laura, mine!
[Footnote 13: We confess we cannot admire the sagacity of those who
have contended that Schiller's passion for Laura was purely Platonic.]
* * * * *
TO LAURA PLAYING.
When o'er the chords thy fingers steal,
A soulless statue now I feel,
And now a soul set free!
Sweet Sovereign! ruling over death and life--
Seizes the heart, in a voluptuous strife
As with a thousand strings--the SORCERY!
[Footnote 14: "The Sorcery."--In the original, Schiller has an
allusion of very questionable taste, and one which is very obscure
to the general reader, to a conjurer of the name of Philadelphia who
exhibited before Frederick the Great.]
Then the vassal airs that woo thee,
Hush their low breath hearkening to thee.
In delight and in devotion,
Pausing from her whirling motion,
Nature, in enchanted calm,
Silently drinks the floating balm.
Sorceress, _her_ heart with thy tone
Chaining--as thine eyes my own!
O'er the transport-tumult driven,
Doth the music gliding swim;
From the strings, as from their heaven,
Burst the new-born Seraphim.
As when from Chaos' giant arms set free,
'Mid the Creation-storm, exultingly
Sprang sparkling thro' the dark the Orbs of Light--
So streams the rich tone in melodious might.
Soft-gliding now, as when o'er pebbles glancing,
The silver wave goes dancing;
Now with majestic swell, and strong,
As thunder peals in organ-tones along;
And now with stormy gush,
As down the rock, in foam, the whirling torrents rush.
To a whisper now
Melts it amorously,
Like the breeze through the bough
Of the aspen tree;
Heavily now, and with a mournful breath,
Like midnight's wind along those wastes of death,
Where Awe the wail of ghosts lamenting hears,
And slow Cocytus trails the stream whose waves are tears.
Speak, maiden, speak!--Oh, art thou one of those
Spirits more lofty than our region knows?
Should we in _thine_ the mother-language seek
Souls in Elysium speak?
Children of Suns restored to youth,
In purfled fields ye dwell,
Rear'd to delight and joy--in sooth
Kind Nature loves ye well!
Broider'd with light the robes ye wear,
And liberal Flora decks ye fair
In gorgeous-colour'd pride.
Yet woe--Spring's harmless infants--woe!
Mourn, for ye wither while ye glow--
Mourn for the _soul_ denied!
The sky-lark and the nightbird sing
To you their hymns of love;
And Sylphs that wanton on the wing,
Embrace your blooms above.
Woven for Love's soft pillow were
The chalice crowns ye flushing bear,
By the Idalian Queen.
Yet weep, soft children of the Spring,
The _feelings_ love alone can bring
To you denied have been!
But _me_ in vain my Fanny's  eyes
Her mother hath forbidden;
For in the buds I gather, lies
Love's symbol-language hidden.
Mute heralds of voluptuous pain,
I touch ye--_life_--_speech_--_heart_--ye gain,
And _soul_ denied before.
And silently your leaves enclose,
The mightiest God in arch repose,
Soft-cradled in the core.
[Footnote 15: Literally "Nanny."]
* * * * *
Heavy and solemn,
A cloudy column,
Thro' the green plain they marching came!
Measureless spread, like a table dread,
For the wild grim dice of the iron game.
The looks are bent on the shaking ground,
And the heart beats loud with a knelling sound;
Swift by the breasts that must bear the brunt,
Gallops the Major along the front--
And fetter'd they stand at the stark command,
And the warriors, silent, halt!
Proud in the blush of morning glowing,
What on the hill-top shines in flowing?
"See you the Foeman's banners waving?"
"We see the Foeman's banners waving!"
Now, God be with you, woman and child,
Lustily hark to the music wild--
The mighty trump and the mellow fife,
Nerving the limbs to a stouter life;
Thrilling they sound with their glorious tone,
Thrilling they go, through the marrow and bone.
_Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
In the life to come that we meet once more_!
See the smoke how the lightning is cleaving asunder!
Hark the guns, peal on peal, how they boom in their thunder!
From host to host, with kindling sound,
The shouting signal circles round,
Ay, shout it forth to life or death--
Freer already breathes the breath!
The war is waging, slaughter raging,
And heavy through the reeking pall,
The iron Death-dice fall!
Nearer they close--foes upon foes
"Ready!"--From square to square it goes,
Down on the knee they sank,
And the fire comes sharp from the foremost rank.
Many a man to the earth it sent,
Many a gap by the balls is rent--
O'er the corpse before springs the hinder-man,
That the line may not fail to the fearless van.
To the right, to the left, and around and around,
Death whirls in its dance on the bloody ground.
The sun goes down on the burning fight,
And over the host falls the brooding Night.
_Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
In the life to come that we meet once more_!
The dead men lie bathed in the weltering blood,
And the living are blent in the slippery flood,
And the feet, as they reeling and sliding go,
Stumble still on the corpses that sleep below.
"What, Francis!" "Give Charlotte my last farewell."
Wilder the slaughter roars, fierce and fell.
"I'll give----Look, comrades, beware--beware
How the bullets behind us are whirring there----
I'll give thy Charlotte thy last farewell,
Sleep soft! where death's seeds are the thickest sown,
Goes the heart which thy silent heart leaves alone."
Hitherward--thitherward reels the fight,
Darker and darker comes down the night--
_Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
In the life to come that we meet once more_!
Hark to the hoofs that galloping go!
The Adjutants flying,--
The horsemen press hard on the panting foe,
Their thunder booms in dying--
The terror has seized on the dastards all,
And their colours fall.
Closed is the brunt of the glorious fight.
And the day, like a conqueror, bursts on the night.
Trumpet and fife swelling choral along,
The triumph already sweeps marching in song.
_Live--brothers--live!--and when this life is o'er,
In the life to come may we meet once more_!
* * * * *
THE LAST OF THE SHEPHERDS.
I wish I had lived in France in 1672! It was the age of romances in
twenty volumes, and flowing periwigs, and high-heeled shoes, and
hoops, and elegance, and wit, and rouge, and literary suppers, and
gallantry, and devotion. What names are those of La Calprenede, and
D'Urfe, and De Scuderi, to be the idols and tutelary deities of a
circulating library!--and Sevigne, to conduct the fashionable
correspondence of the _Morning Post_!--and Racine, to contribute to
the unacted drama!--and ladies skipping up the steepest parts of
Parnassus, with petticoats well tucked up, to show the beauty of
their ankles, and their hands filled with artificial flowers--almost
as good as natural--to show the simplicity of their tastes! I wish I
had lived in France in 1672; for in that year Madame Deshoulieres,
who had already been voted the tenth muse by all the freeholders of
Pieria, and whose pastorals were lisped by all the fashionable
shepherdesses in Paris, left the flowery banks of the Seine to
rejoin her husband. Monsieur Deshoulieres was in Guyenne; Madame
Deshoulieres went into Dauphine. Matrimony seems to be rather hurtful
to geographical studies, but Madame Deshoulieres was a poetess; and
in spite of the thirty-eight summers that shaded the lustre of her
cheek, she was beautiful, and was still in the glow of youth by her
grace and her talent, and--her heart. Wherever she moved she left
crowds of Corydons and Alexises; but, luckily for M. Deshoulieres,
their whole conversation was about sheep.
The two Mesdemoiselles Deshoulieres, Madeleine and Bribri, were
beautiful girls of seventeen or eighteen, brought up in all the
innocent pastoralism of their mother. They believed in all the
poetical descriptions they read in her eclogues. They expected to
see shepherds playing on their pipes, and shepherdesses dancing, and
naiads reclining on the shady banks of clear-running rivers. They
were delighted to get out of the prosaic atmosphere of Paris, and
all the three were overjoyed when they sprang from their carriage,
one evening in May, at the chateau of Madame d'Urtis on the banks of
the Lignon. Though there were occasional showers at that season, the
mornings were splendid; and accordingly the travellers were up
almost by daylight, to tread the grass still trembling 'neath the
steps of Astrea--to see the fountain, that mirror where the
shepherdesses wove wild-flowers into their hair--and to explore the
wood, still vocal with the complaints of Celadon. In one of their
first excursions, Madeleine Deshoulieres, impatient to see some of
the scenes so gracefully described by her mother, asked if they were
really not to encounter a single shepherd on the banks of the Lignon?
Madame Deshoulieres perceived, at no great distance, a herdsman and
cow-girl playing at chuckfarthing; and, after a pause, replied--
"Behold upon the verdant grass so sweet,
The shepherdess is at her shepherd's feet!
Her arms are bare, her foot is small and white,
The very oxen wonder at the sight;
Her locks half bound, half floating in the air,
And gown as light as those that satyrs wear."
While these lines were given in Madame Deshoulieres' inimitable
recitative, the party had come close to the rustic pair. "People may
well say," muttered Madeleine, "that the pictures of Nature are
always best at a distance. Can it be possible that this is a
shepherdess--a shepherdess of Lignon?" The shepherdess was in
reality a poor little peasant girl, unkempt, unshorn, with hands of
prodigious size, a miraculous squint, and a mouth which probably had
a beginning, but of which it was impossible to say where it might
end. The shepherd was worthy of his companion; and yet there was
something in the extravagant stupidity of his fat and florid
countenance that was interesting to a Parisian eye. Madame
Deshoulieres, who was too much occupied with the verses of the great
D'Urfe to attend to what was before her, continued her description--
"The birds all round her praises ever sing,
And 'neath her steps the flowers incessant spring."
"Your occupation here is delightful, isn't it?" said Madeleine to the
"No, 'tain't, miss--that it ain't. I gets nothink for all I does,
and when I goes hoam at night I gets a good licking to the bargain."
"And you?" enquired Madeleine, turning to the herdsman, who was
"I'm a little b-b-b-etter off nor hur," said the man, stuttering,
"for I gets board and lodging--dasht if I doesn't--but I gets bread
like a stone, and s-s-sleeps below a hedge--dasht if I doesn't."
"But where are your sheep, shepherd?" said Bribri.
"Hain't a got none," stuttered the man again, "dasht if I has."
"What!" exclaimed Madeleine in despair, "am I not to see the lovely
lambkins bleating and skipping in the meadows on the banks of the
Lignon, O Celadon?"
But Madame Deshoulieres was too much of a poetess to hear or see what
was going on. She thought of nothing but the loves of Astrea, and
heard nothing but the imaginary songs of contending Damons.
On their return to the chateau, Madeleine and Bribri complained that
they had seen neither flock nor shepherdess.
"And are you anxious to see them?" enquired Madame D'Urtis, with a
"Oh, very," exclaimed Bribri; "we expected to live like
shepherdesses when we came here. I have brought every thing a rustic
"And so have I," continued Madeleine; "I have brought twenty yards
of rose-coloured ribands, and twenty yards of blue, to ornament my
crook and the handsomest of my ewes."
"Well then," said the Duchess d'Urtis, good-naturedly, "there are a
dozen of sheep feeding at the end of the park. Take the key of the
gate, and drive them into the meadows beyond."
Madeleine and Bribri were wild with joy, while their mother was
labouring in search of a rhyme, and did not attend to the real
eclogue which was about to be commenced. They scarcely took time to
breakfast.--"They dressed themselves coquettishly"--so Madame
Deshoulieres wrote to Mascaron--"they cut with their own hands a
crook a-piece in the park--they beautified them with ribands.
Madeleine was for the blue ribands, Bribri for the rose colour. Oh,
the gentle shepherdesses! they spent a whole hour in finding a name
they liked. At last, Madeleine fixed on Amaranthe, Bribri on Daphne.
I have just seen them gliding among the trees that overshadow the
lovely stream.--Poor shepherdesses! be on your guard against the
At noon that very day Madeleine and Bribri, or rather Amaranthe and
Daphne, in grey silk petticoats and satin bodies, with their
beautiful hair in a state of most careful disorder, and with their
crooks in hand, conducted the twelve sheep out of the park into the
meadows. The flock, which seemed to be very hungry, were rather
troublesome and disobedient. The shepherdesses did all they could to
keep them in the proper path. It was a delicious mixture of bleatings,
and laughter, and baaings, and pastoral songs. The happy girls
inhaled the soul of nature, as their poetical mamma expressed it.
They ran--they threw themselves on the blooming grass--they looked
at themselves in the limpid waters of the Lignon--they gathered
lapfulls of primroses. The flock made the best use of their time;
and every now and then a sheep of more observation than the rest,
perceiving they were guarded by such extraordinary shepherdesses,
took half an hour's diversion among the fresh-springing corn.
"That's one of yours," said Amaranthe.
"No; 'tis yours," replied Daphne; but, by way of having no
difficulties in future, they resolved to divide the flock, and
ornament one-half with blue collars, and the other with rose-colour.
And they gave a name also to each of the members of their flock,
such as Meliboeus, and Jeannot, and Robin, and Blanchette. Twelve
more poetical sheep were never fed on grass before. When the sun
began to sink, the shepherdesses brought back their flocks. Madame
Deshoulieres cried with joy. "Oh, my dear girls!" she said, kissing
their fair foreheads; "it is you that have composed an eclogue, and
"Nothing is wanting to the picture," said the Duchess, seating
herself under the willows of the watering-place, and admiring the
"I think we want a dog," said Daphne.
"No; we are rather in want of a wolf," whispered the beautiful
Not far from the Chateau d'Urtis, the old manor-house of Langevy
raised its pointed turrets above the surrounding woods. There, in
complete isolation from the world, lived Monsieur de Langevy, his
old mother, and his young son. M. de Langevy had struggled against
the storms and misfortunes of human life; he now reposed in the
bosom of solitude, with many a regret over his wife and his
youth--his valiant sword and his adventures. His son, Hector Henri de
Langevy, had studied under the Jesuits at Lyons till he was eighteen.
Accustomed to the indulgent tenderness of his grandmother, he had
returned, about two years before, determined to live in his quiet
home without troubling himself about the military glories that had
inspired his father. M. de Langevy, though he disapproved of the
youth's choice, did not interfere with it, except that he insisted
on his sometimes following the chase, as the next best occupation to
actual war. The chase had few charms for Hector. It perhaps might
have had more, if he had not been forced to arm himself with an
enormous fowling-piece that had belonged to one of his ancestors,
the very sight of which alarmed him a mighty deal more than the game.
He was so prodigious a sportsman, that, after six months' practice,
he was startled as much as ever by the whirr of a partridge. But
don't imagine, on this account, that Hector's time was utterly wasted.
He mused and dreamed, and fancied it would be so pleasant to be in
love; for he was at that golden age--the only golden age the world
has ever seen--when the heart passes from vision to vision (as the
bee from flower to flower)--and wanders, in its dreams of hope, from
earth to heaven, from sunshine to shade--from warbling groves to
sighing maidens. But alas! the heart of Hector searched in vain for
sighing maidens in the woods of Langevy. In the chateau, there was
no one but an old housekeeper, who had probably not sighed for thirty
years, and a chubby scullion-maid--all unworthy of a soul that
dreamed romances on the banks of the Lignon. He counted greatly on a
cousin from Paris, who had promised them a visit in the spring. In
the meantime, he paced up and down with a gun on his shoulder,
pretending to be a sportsman--happy in his hopes, happy in the clear
sunshine, happy because he knew no better--as happens to a great
many other people in the gay days of their youth, in this most
unjustly condemned and vilipended world. And now you will probably
guess what occurred one day he was walking in his usual dreamy state
of abstraction, and as nearly as possible tumbled head foremost into
the Lignon. By dint of marching straight on, without minding either
hedge or ditch, he found himself, when he awakened from his reverie,
with his right foot raised, in the very act of stepping off the bank
into the water. He stood stock-still, in that somewhat unpicturesque
attitude--his mouth wide open, his eyes strained, and his cheek
glowing with all the colours of the rainbow. He had caught a glimpse
of our two enchanting shepherdesses on the other side of the stream,
who were watching his movements by stealth. He blushed far redder
than he had ever done before, and hesitated whether he should
retreat or advance. To retreat, he felt, would look rather awkward:
at the same time, he thought it would be too great a price to pay
for his honour to jump into the river. And, besides, even if he got
over to the other side, would he have courage to speak to them?
Altogether, I think he acted more wisely, though less chivalrously,
than some might have done in his place. He laid down his gun, and
seated himself on the bank, and looked at the sheep as they fed on
the opposite side. At twenty years of age, love travels at an amazing
pace; and Hector felt that he was already over head and ears with
one of the fair shepherdesses. He did not stop to examine which of
them it was; it was of no consequence--sufficient for him that he
knew he was in love--gone--captivated. If he had been twenty years
older, he would perhaps have admired them both: it would have been
less romantic, but decidedly more wise.
It is not to be denied that Amaranthe and Daphne blushed a little,
too, at this sort of half meeting with Hector. They hung down their
heads in the most captivating manner, and continued silent for some
time. But at last Amaranthe, more lively than her sister,
recommenced her chatter. "Look, Bribri," she said--"Daphne I mean--he
is one of the silvan deities, or perhaps Narcissus looking at himself
in the water."
"Rather say, looking at you," replied Daphne, with a blush.
"'Tis Pan hiding himself in the oziers till you are metamorphosed
into a flute, dear Daphne."
"Not so, fair sister," replied Daphne; "'tis Endymion in pursuit of
the shepherdess Amaranthe."
"At his present pace, the pursuit will last some time. If he weren't
quite so rustic, he would be a captivating shepherd, with his long
brown ringlets. He has not moved for an hour. What if he has taken
root like a hamadryad?"
"Poor fellow!" said Daphne, in the simplest tone in the world;
"he looks very dull all by himself."
"He must come over to us--that's very plain. We will give him a crook
and a bouquet of flowers."
"Oh, just the thing!" exclaimed the innocent Daphne. "We need a
shepherd: and yet, no, no"--she added, for she was a little jealous
of her sister--"'tis a lucky thing there is river between us."
"I hope he will find a bridge _per passa lou riou d'amor_."
Now, just at that moment Hector's mind was set on passing the river
of Love. In casting his eyes all round in search of a passage, he
perceived an old willow half thrown across the stream. With a little
courage and activity, it was a graceful and poetical bridge. Hector
resolved to try it. He rose and went right onward towards the tree;
but, when he arrived, he couldn't help reflecting that, at that
season, the river was immensely deep. He disdained the danger--sprang
lightly up the trunk, and flung himself along one of the branches,
dropping, happily without any accident, on the meadow of the Chateau
d'Urtis. Little more was left for him to do; and that little he did.
He went towards the fair shepherdesses. He tried to overcome his
timidity--he overwhelmed the first sheep of the flock with his
insidious caresses--and then, finding himself within a few feet of
Amaranthe--he bowed, and smiled, and said, "Mademoiselle."
He was suddenly interrupted by a clear and silvery voice.
"There are no Mesdemoiselles here--there are only two shepherdesses,
Amaranthe and Daphne."
Hector had prepared a complimentary speech for a young lady attending
a flock of sheep--but he hadn't a word to say to a shepherdess.
He bowed again, and there was a pause.
"Fair Amaranthe," he said--"and fair Daphne, will you permit a mortal
to tread these flowery plains?"
Amaranthe received the speech with a smile, in which a little
raillery was mingled. "You speak like a true shepherd," she said.
But Daphne was more good-natured, and more touched with the
politeness of the sportsman. She cast her eyes on the ground and
"Oh--if you wish to pass through these meadows," she said--"we shall
"We were going to do the honours of our reception room," continued
Amaranthe, "and offer you a seat on the grass."
"'Tis too much happiness to throw myself at your feet," replied
Hector, casting himself on one knee.
But he had not looked where he knelt, and he broke Daphne's crook.
"Oh, my poor crook!" she said--and sighed.
"What have I done?" cried Hector. "I am distressed at my stupidity--I
will cut you another from the ash grove below. But you loved this
crook," he added--"the gift, perhaps, of some shepherd--some shepherd?
--no, some prince; for you yourselves are princesses--or fairies."
"We are nothing but simple shepherdesses," said Amaranthe.
"You are nothing but beautiful young ladies from the capital," said
Hector, "on a visit at the Chateau d'Urtis. Heaven be praised--for in
my walks I shall at least catch glimpses of you at a distance, if I
dare not come near. I shall see you glinting among the trees like
enchantresses of old."
"Yes, we are Parisians, as you have guessed--but retired for ever
from the world and its deceitful joys."
Amaranthe had uttered the last words in a declamatory tone; you
might have thought them a quotation from her mamma.
"You complain rather early, methinks," replied Hector, with a smile;
"have you indeed much fault to find with the world?"
"That is our secret, fair sportsman," answered Amaranthe; "but it
seems you also live retired--an eremite forlorn."
"I? fair Amaranthe? I have done nothing but dream of the delights of
a shepherd's life--though I confess I had given up all hopes of
seeing a good-looking shepherdess--but now I shall go back more
happily than ever to my day-dreams. Ah! why can't I help you to
guard your flock?"
The two young girls did not know what to say to this proposition.
Daphne at last replied--
"Our flock is very small--and quite ill enough attended to as it is."
"What joy for me to become Daphnis--to sing to you, and gather roses,
and twine them in your hair!"
"Let us say no more," interrupted Amaranthe, a little disquieted at
the sudden ardour of Daphnis; "the sun is going down: we must return
to the park. Adieu," she added, rising to go away.
"Adieu, Daphnis!" murmured the tender Daphne, confused and blushing.
Hector did not dare to follow them. He stood for a quarter of an
hour with his eyes fixed first on them, and then on the door of the
park. His heart beat violently, his whole soul pursued the steps of
"'Adieu, Daphnis,' the lovely Daphne said to me. I hear her sweet
voice still! How beautiful she is! how beautiful they are,
both--Amaranthe is more graceful, but Daphne is more winning--bright
eyes--white hands! sweet smiles! and the delicious dress, so simple,
yet so captivating! the white corset that I could not venture to
look at--the gown of silk that couldn't hide the points of the
charming little feet. 'Tis witchery--enchantment--Venus and Diana--I
shall inevitably go mad. Ah, cousin! you ought to have come long ago,
and all this might never have occurred."
The sun had sunk behind a bed of clouds--the nightingale began its
song, and the fresh green leaves rustled beneath the mild breath of
the evening breeze. The bee hummed joyously on its homeward way,
loaded with the sweets of the spring flowers. Down in the valley,
the voice of the hinds driving their herds to rest, increased the
rustic concert; the river rippled on beneath the mysterious shade of
old fantastic trees, and the air was filled with soft noises, and
rich perfumes, and the voice of birds. There was no room in Hector's
heart for all these natural enjoyments. "To-morrow," he said,
kissing the broken crook--"I will come back again to-morrow."
Early in the following morning, Hector wandered along the banks of
the Lignon, with a fresh-cut crook in his hand. He looked to the
door of the Park d'Urtis, expecting every moment to see the glorious
apparitions of the day before. And at stroke of noon, a lamb rushing
through the gate, careered along the meadow, and the eleven others
ran gayly after it, amidst a peal of musical laughter from Amaranthe.
Daphne did not laugh.
The moment she crossed the threshold, she glanced stealthily
towards the river. "I thought so," she murmured; "Daphnis has come
back." And Daphnis, in a transport of joy, was hurrying to the
shepherdesses, when he was suddenly interrupted by Madame
Deshoulieres and the Duchess d'Urtis. When the sisters had returned,
on the evening before, Amaranthe, to Daphne's great discomfiture,
had told word for word all that had occurred; how that a young
sportsman had joined them, and how they had talked and laughed; and
Madame d'Urtis had no doubt, from the description, that it was Hector
de Langevy. Amaranthe having added to the story, that she felt certain,
in spite of Daphne's declarations to the contrary, that he would meet
them again, the seniors had determined to watch the result. Hector
would fain have made his escape; two ladies he might have faced, but
four!--and two of them above thirty years of age! 'Twas too much; but
his retreat was instantly cut off. He stood at bay, blushed with
all his might, but saluted the ladies as manfully as if he had been
a page. He received three most gracious curtsies in return--only
three; for Daphne wished to pass on without taking any notice--which
he considered a very favourable omen. He did not know how to begin a
conversation; and besides, he began to get confused; and his blushing
increased to a most alarming extent--and--in short--he held out his
crook to Daphne. As that young shepherdess had no crook of her own,
and did not know how to refuse the one he offered, she took it,
though her hand trenbled a little, and looked at Madame Deshoulieres.
"I broke your crook yesterday, fair Daphne," said Hector, "but it is
not lost. I shall make a relic of it--more precious than--than--",
but the bones of the particular saint he was about to name stuck in
his throat and he was silent.
"Monsieur de Langevy," said Madam d'Urtis kindly, "since you make
such a point of aiding these shepherdesses in guarding the flock, I
hope in an hour you will accompany them to the castle to lunch."
"I'll go with them wherever you allow me, madam," said Hector.
(I wonder if the impudent fellow thought he had the permission of
the young ones already.)
"Let that be settled then," said the Duchess. "I shall go and have
the butter cooled, and the curds made--a simple lunch, as befits the
"The fare of shepherds!" said Madame Deshoulieres, and immediately
set out in search of a rhyme.
Daphne had walked slowly on, pressing the crook involuntarily to her
heart, and arrived at the river side, impelled by a desire for
solitude, without knowing why. There are some mysterious influences
to which damsels of seventeen seem particularly subject. A lamb--the
gentlest of the flock, which had become accustomed to her
caresses--had followed her like a dog. She passed her small hand
lightly over the snowy neck of the favourite, and looked round to
see what the party she had left were doing. She was astonished to
see her mother and Hector conversing, as if they had been acquainted
for ages, while Madame d'Urtis and Amaranthe were running a race
towards the park. She sat down on the grassy bank, exactly opposite
the oziers where she had seen Hector the preceding day. When she
felt she was quite alone, she ventured to look at the crook. It was
a branch of ash of good size, ornamented with a rustic bouquet and a
bunch of ribands, not very skilfully tied. Daphne was just going to
improve the knot, when she saw a billet hid in the flowers. What
should she do?--read it? That were dangerous; her confessor did not
allow such venialities--her mamma would be enraged--some people are
so fond of monopolies--and besides, she might be discovered. 'Twould
be better, then, _not_ to read it--a much simpler proceeding; for
couldn't she nearly guess what was in it? And what did she care what
was in it? Not to read it was evidently the safer mode; and
accordingly she--read it through and through, and blushed and smiled,
and read it through and through again. It was none of your
commonplace prosaic epistles--'twas all poetry, all fire; her mamma
would have been enchanted if the verses had only been addressed to
her. Here they are:--
"My sweetest hour, my happiest day,
Was in the happy month of May!
The happy dreams that round me lay
On that delicious morn of May!"
"I saw thee! loved thee! If my love
A tribute unrejected be,
The happiest day of May shall prove
The happiest of my life to me!"
It is quite evident that if such an open declaration had been made
in plain prose, Daphne would have been angry; but in verse, 'twas
nothing but a poetical license. Instead, therefore, of tearing it in
pieces, and throwing it into the water, she folded it carefully
up, and placed it in the pretty corset of white satin, which seems
the natural escritoire of a shepherdess in her teens. Scarcely had
she closed the drawer, and double locked it, when she saw at her
side--Hector and Madame Deshoulieres.
"My poor child," said the poetess, "how thoughtful you seem on
Lignon's flowery side--forgetful of your sheep--"
'That o'er the meadows negligently stray!'
Monsieur de Langevy, as you have given her a crook, methinks you
ought to aid her in her duties in watching the flock. As for myself,
I must be off to finish a letter to my bishop.
'From Lignon's famous banks
What can I find to say?
The breezes freshly springing,
Make me--and nature--gay.
When Celadon would weep;
His lost Astrea fair,
To Lignon he would creep,
But oh! this joyous air
Would force to skip and leap
A dragon in despair!'--&c. &c.
Madame Deshoulieres had no prudish notions, you will perceive, about
a flirtation--provided it was carried on with the airs and graces of
the Hotel Rambouillet. She merely, therefore, interposed a word here
and there, to show that she was present. Daphne, who scarcely said a
word to Hector, took good care to answer every time her mamma spoke
to her. To be sure, it detracts a little from this filial merit,
that she did not know what she said. But if all parties were pleased,
I don't see what possible right anybody else has to find fault.
The shepherdess Daphne, or rather Bribri Deshoulieres, as we have
seen, was beautiful, and simple, and tender--beautiful from the
admirable sweetness of her expression--simple, as young girls are
simple: that is to say, with a small spice of mischief to relieve
the insipidity--and tender, with a smile that seems to open the
heart as well as the lips. What struck people in her expression at
first, was a shade of sadness over her features--a fatal presentiment,
as it were, that added infinitely to her charm. Her sister was more
beautiful, perhaps--had richer roses on her cheek, and more of what
is called _manner_ altogether--but if Amaranthe pleased the eyes,
Daphne captivated the heart; and as the eyes are evidently
subordinate to the heart, Daphne carried the day. Hector accordingly,
on the first burst of his admiration, had _seen_ nothing but
Amaranthe; but when he had left the sisters, it was astonishing how
exclusively he _thought_ of Daphne.
The castle clock sounded the hour of luncheon. Hector offered his arm
to Madame Deshoulieres; Daphne called her flock. They entered the
park, and were joined by the Duchess d'Urtis and Amaranthe. The
collation was magnificent. First course, an omelette au jambon, entree
cakes, and fresh butter; second course, a superb cream cheese.
Dessert, a trifle and preserves. All these interesting details are
embalmed in the poetic correspondence of Madame Deshoulieres, in
which every dish was duly chronicled for the edification of her
At nightfall--for Hector lingered as long as he could--the young
shepherd quitted the party with great regret; but there was no time
to lose, for he had two leagues to go, and there was no moon, and
the roads were still broken into immense ruts by the equinoctial
rains. On the following day, Hector returned to the Chateau d'Urtis
through the meadow. When he arrived near the willow that served for
his bridge across the river, he was surprised to see neither
shepherdess nor flock in the field. He tripped across the tree,
lamenting the bad omen; but scarcely had he reached the other side
when he saw some sheep straggling here and there. He rushed towards
them, amazed at not seeing either Amaranthe or Daphne; and what was
his enchantment when, on advancing a little further, he perceived
his adored shepherdess by the margin of the Lignon, which at that
point formed a pretty little cascade. The tender Daphne had thrown
her beautiful arm round one of the young willows in flower, and,
trusting to its support, leaned gracefully over the waterfall, in
the shadow of its odoriferous leaves. She had allowed her soul to
wander in one of those delicious reveries, of which the
thread--broken and renewed a thousand times--is the work of the joy
which hopes, and the sadness which fears. She was not aware of
Hector's approach. When she saw him, she started, as if waking from
"You are all alone," said Hector, drawing near.
She hurriedly told him that her sister would soon join her. The two
lovers kept silence for some time, looking timidly at each other,
not venturing to speak, as if they feared the sound of their own
voices in the solitude.
"There seems a sadness," said Hector at length, but his voice
trembled as he spoke--"there seems a sadness on your brow?"
"'Tis true," replied Daphne. "Mamma has heard from Monsieur
Deshoulieres. He is going to pass through Avignon soon, and we are
going away to see him on his passage."
"Going away!" cried Hector, turning pale.
"Yes! and I felt myself so happy," said Daphne, mournfully,
"in these meadows with my sheep, that I loved so well."
When Daphne spoke of her sheep, she looked at Hector.
"But why should you go? Madame Deshoulieres could return for you here"
"And take me away when I had been longer here--my grief would only
be greater. No--I must go now or stay always."
On hearing these words Hector fell on one knee, seized her hand and
kissed it, and, looking up with eyes overflowing with love, said--
"Yes--always! always!--you know that I love you, Daphne--I wish to
tell you how I will adore you all my life long."
Daphne yielded to her heart--and let him kiss her hand without
"But alas!" she said, "I can't be always guarding a flock. What will
the poor shepherdess do?"
"Am I not your shepherd? your Daphnis?" cried Hector, as if
inspired--"trust to me, Daphne--to my heart--to my soul! This hand
shall never be separated from yours: we shall live the same life--in
the sane sunshine--in the same shadow--in the same hovel--in the
same palace; but with you, dearest Daphne, the humblest hut would be
a palace. Listen, my dearest Daphne: at a short distance from here
there is a cottage--the Cottage of the Vines--that belongs to the
sister of my nurse, where we can live in love and happiness--no eye
to watch and no tongue to wound us."
"Never! never!" said Daphne.
She snatched her hands from those of her lover, retreated a few paces,
and began to cry. Hector went up to her; he spoke of his
affection--he besought her with tears in his eyes--he was so
eloquent and so sincere, that poor Daphne was unable to resist, for
any length of time, those bewildering shocks of first love to which
the wisest of us yield: she said, all pale and trembling--
"Well--yes--I trust myself to you--and heaven. I am not to blame--is
it my fault that I love you so?"
A tender embrace followed these words. Evening was now come; the sun,
sinking behind the clouds on the horizon, cast but a feeble light;
the little herdsman was driving home his oxen and his flock of
turkeys, whose gabbling disturbed the solemnity of the closing day.
The flock belonging to the castle turned naturally towards the
"Look at my poor sheep," said Daphne, throwing back the curls which
by some means had fallen over her forehead--"look at my poor sheep:
they are pointing out the road I ought to go."
"On the contrary," replied Hector, "the ungrateful wretches are going
off very contentedly without you."
"But I am terrified," rejoined Daphne: "how can I leave my mother in
this way? She will die of grief!"
"She will write a poem on it; and that will be all."
"I will write to her that I was unable to resist my inclination for
a monastic life, and that I have gone, without giving her notice, to
the nunnery of St. Marie that we were speaking of last night."
So said the pure and candid Bribri, hitting in a moment on the
ingenious device; so true it is, that at the bottom of all
hearts--even the most amiable--there is some small spark of mischief
ready to explode when we least expect it.
"Yes--dearest," cried Hector, delighted at the thought, "you will
write to her you have gone into the convent; she will go on to
Avignon; we shall remain together beneath these cloudless skies, in
this lovely country, happy as the birds, and free as the winds of
Daphne thought she heard some brilliant quotation from her mother,
and perhaps was, on that account, the more easily led by Hector.
After walking half an hour, with many a glance by the way, and many
a smile, they arrived in front of the Cottage of the Vines--the good
old woman was hoeing peas in her garden--she had left her house to
the protection of an old grey cat, that was sleeping in the doorway.
Daphne was enraptured with the cottage. It was beautifully retired,
and was approached by a little grass walk bordered by elder-trees;
and all was closed in by a pretty orchard, in which luxuriant vines
clambered up the fine old pear-trees, and formed in festoons between
the branching elms. The Lignon formed a graceful curve and nearly
encircled the paddock.
"At all events," said Daphne, "if I am wretched here, my tears will
fall into the stream I love."
"But you will have no time to weep," replied Hector, pressing her
hand, "all our days will be happy here! Look at that window half
hidden in vine-leaves; 'tis there you will inhale the fragrance of
the garden every morning when you awake; look at that pretty bower
with the honeysuckle screen, 'tis there we will sit every evening,
and talk over the joys of the day. Our life will be bright and
beautiful as a sunbeam among roses!"
They had gone inside the cottage. It had certainly no great
resemblance to a palace; but under these worn rafters--within these
simple walls--by the side of that rustic chimney--poverty itself
would be delightful, in its tidiness and simplicity, if shared with
one you loved. Daphne was a little disconcerted at first by the
rough uneven floor, and by the smell of the evening meal--the
toasted cheese, and the little oven where the loaf was baking; but,
thanks to love--the enchanter, who has the power of transforming to
what shape he likes, and can shed his magic splendours over any
thing--Daphne found the cottage charming, and she was pleased with
the floor, and the toasted cheese, and the oven! The good old woman,
on coming in from the garden, was astonished at the sight of Hector
"What a pretty sister you have, Monsieur Hector!" she said.
"Listen to me, Babet--since your daughter married, nobody has used
the little room up stairs. This young lady will occupy it for a few
days; but you must keep it a secret from all the world--you
"Don't be afraid, Master Hector--I am delighted to have so pretty a
tenant for my daughter's room. The bed is rather small, but it is
white and clean, and the sheets are fresh bleached. They smell of
the daisies yet. You will sup with me, my fair young lady?"
continued Babet, turning to Daphne; "my dishes are only pewter, but
there is such a flavour in my simple fare--my vegetables and
fruits--I can't account for it, except it be the blessing of heaven."
Babet spread a tablecloth like snow, and laid some dishes of fruit
upon the table. Hector took a tender farewell of Daphne, and kissed
her hand at least a dozen times. At last he tore himself away, with
a promise that he would be with her at daybreak next morning.
Daphne hardly slept all night in her chamber. She was disturbed by
many thoughts, and became alarmed at the step she had taken. At
earliest dawn she threw open her window. The first sun-rays,
reflected on a thousand dewdrops on the trees; the chirping of the
birds, which already began their matin song; the joyous voice of the
cock, which crowed in a most satisfactory and majestic manner in the
paddock of her hostess; all these sights and sounds, to which she
was so little accustomed, restored her serenity of mind once more.
She dwelt more on the attractions of her love--so adventurous, so
romantic. Love's ways, like those of wickedness, are strewed at
first with roses, and Daphne was only at the entrance of the path.
While she was repelling from her heart the miserable fancies that had
crowded on her at night, she all of a sudden perceived Hector by the
"Welcome! welcome!" she cried, "you come to me with the sun."
"How lovely you are this morning!" said Hector to her, with a look
of admiration which there needed no physiognomist to discover was
profoundly real. She looked at herself when he spoke, and perceived
she was but half dressed. She threw herself on the foot of her bed.
"What am I to do?" she thought, "I can't always wear a silk petticoat
and a corset of white satin?"
She dressed herself notwithstanding, as last night, trusting to fate
for the morrow. Hector had brought her writing materials, and she
composed a tender adieu to her mamma.
"Admirably done!" cried Hector; "I have a peasant here who will carry
it to Madame Deshoulieres--as for me, I shall go as usual to the
Park d'Urtis at noon. When they see me they will have no suspicion.
Your mamma goes away this evening, so that after to-day we shall
have nothing to fear."
The lovers breakfasted in the spirits which only youth and love can
furnish. Daphne had herself gone to the fountain with the broken
pitcher of the cottage. "You perceive, Hector," she said, on seating
herself at the table, "that I have all the qualifications of a
"And all the gracefulness of a duchess," added the youth.
At one o'clock Hector had found his way to the meadow. Nobody was
there. He opened the gate of the park, and before he had gone far was
met by Madame Deshoulieres.
"My daughter!" she cried in an agitated voice; "You have not seen my
"I was in hopes of seeing her here," replied Hector, with a start of
"She is gone off," resumed the mother; "gone off, like a silly
creature, to some convent, disguised as a shepherdess--the foolish,
senseless girl!--and I am obliged to depart this very day, so that
it is impossible to follow her."
Hector continued to enact astonishment--he even offered his services
to reclaim the fugitive--and, in short, exhibited such sorrow and
disappointment, that the habitual quickness of Madame Deshoulieres
was deceived. The Duchess, Amaranthe, and the mamma all thanked him
for his sympathy; and he at last took his leave, with no doubt in
his mind, that he was a consummate actor, and qualified for any plot
He went back to Daphne, who had sunk into despondency once more, and
consoled her by painting a brilliant picture of their future
happiness. But on the following day he came later than before--he
seemed dull and listless--and embraced his shepherdess with evident
constraint. Things like these never escape the observations of
shepherdesses, gentle or simple.
"Do you know, Hector, that you are not by any means too gallant?--A
shepherd of proper sentiments would waken his sweetheart every
morning with the sound of his pipe. He would gather flowers for her
before the dew was gone, and fill her basket with fruits. He would
carve her initials on the bark of the tree beneath the window, as
her name is written on his heart. But you! you come at nearly
noon--and leave me to attend to myself. 'Twas I, you inattentive
Daphnis, who gathered all these fruits and flowers. Don't you see
how the room is improved? Hyacinths in the window, roses on the
mantelpiece, and violets every where--ah! what a time you were in
They went out into the garden, where the good old Babet was at
breakfast, with her cat and the bees.
"Come hither," continued Daphne, "look at this little corner so
beautifully worked--'tis my own garden--I have raked and weeded it
all. There is not much planted in it yet, but what a charming place
it is for vines!--and the hedge, how sweet and flourishing! But what
is the matter with you, Hector? You seem absent--sad."
"Oh! nothing, Daphne, nothing indeed--I only love you more and more
every hour; that's all."
"Well, that isn't a thing to be sad about"--said Daphne, with a smile
that would have dispelled any grief less deeply settled than that of
her young companion. He parted from Daphne soon; without letting her
into the cause of his disquiet. But as there is no reason why the
secret should be kept any longer, let us tell what was going on at
the Chateau de Langevy.
His cousin Clotilde had arrived the evening before, with an old aunt,
to remain for the whole spring! Monsieur de Langevy, who was not
addicted to circumlocution in his mode of talk, told his son
point-blank, that his cousin was a pretty girl, and what was more, a
considerable heiress--so that it was his duty--his, Hector de
Langevy--the owner of a great name and a very small fortune, to
marry the said cousin--or if not, he must stand the consequences.
Hector, at the first intimation, had revolted indignantly against
the inhuman proposal, and made many inaudible vows of undying
constancy to his innocent and trusting Daphne; but by degrees, there
is no denying that--without thinking of the fortune--he found
various attractions in his cousin. She was beautiful, graceful,
winning. She took his arm quite unceremoniously. She had the most
captivating small-talk in the world. In short, if it had not been
for Daphne, he would have been in love with her at once. As he was
obliged, of course, to escort his cousin in her walks--or break with
her altogether--he did not go for two whole days to the Cottage of
the Vines. On the third day Clotilde begged him to take her to the
banks of the Lignon, and as the request was made in presence of his
father, he dared not refuse. He contented himself--by way of a
relief to his conscience--with breathing a sigh to Daphne. The
straightest road from the Chateau de Langevy to the Lignon, led past
the Cottage of the Vines--but Hector had no wish to go the
straightest road. He took a detour of nearly two miles, and led her
almost to the Park D'Urtis. While Clotilde amused herself by
gathering the blossoms, and turning aside the pendent boughs of
the willows that hung over the celebrated stream. Hector looked
over the scene of his first meeting with the shepherdesses, and
sighed--perhaps without knowing exactly wherefore. He was suddenly
startled by a scream--Clotilde, in stretching too far forward, had
missed her footing, and fallen upon the bank; she was within an inch
of rolling into the river. Hector rushed to her, raised her gently up,
and begging her to lean her head upon his shoulder, assisted her up
the bank. "She's like a naiad surprised by a shepherd"--he
thought--and it is not improbable that at that moment he pressed his
lips pretty close to the pale cheek that rested almost in his breast.
When he lifted up his head, he perceived, half hidden among the
willows, on the other side of the river--Daphne! She had wandered to
see once more the cradle of her love, to tread the meadow where, two
days only before--could it be only two days?--she had been so happy.
What did she see? What did she hear? As her only reply to the kiss
to which she had so unfortunately been a witness, she broke her
crook in an excess of indignation. But it was too much to bear. She
fell upon the bank, and uttered a plaintive cry. At that cry--at
sight of his poor Daphne fainting upon the grass, he rushed like a
madman across the stream, buoyant with love and despair. He ran to
his insensate shepherdess, regardless of the exclamations of the
fair Clotilde, and raised her in his trembling arms.
"Daphne, Daphne," he cried, "open your eyes. I love nobody but
you--nobody but you."
He embraced her tenderly; he wept--and spoke to her as if she heard:
Daphne opened her eyes for a moment with a look of misery--and shut
them again--and shuddered.
"No, no!" she said--"'tis over! You are no longer Daphnis, and I
Daphne no more--leave me, leave me alone--to die!"
"My life! my love! my darling Daphne! I love you--I swear it to you
from my heart. I do not desert you: you are the only one I care for!"
In the meantime Clotilde had approached the touching scene.
"'Pon my word, sir! very well"--she said--"am I to return to the
Chateau by myself?"
"Go, sir, go!" said Daphne, pushing him away, "You are waited for,
you are called."
"But, Daphne--but, fair cousin"--
"I won't listen to you--my daydream is past--speak of it no more,"
"Do you know, cousin," said Clotilde, with a malicious sneer,
"that this rural surprise is quite enchanting! I am greatly obliged
to you for getting it up for my amusement. You did not prepare me
for so exquisite a scene; I conclude it is from the last chapter of
"Ah! cousin," said Hector, "I will overtake you in a moment--I will
tell you all, and then I don't think you'll laugh at us."
"Excuse me, sir," cried Daphne, in a tone of disdainful anger--
"let that history be for ever a secret. I do not wish people to
laugh at the weakness of my heart. Farewell, sir, let every thing be
Large tears rolled down the poor girl's cheek.
"No, Daphne, no!--I never will leave you. I declare it before heaven
and earth, I will conduct my cousin to the Chateau, and in an hour I
will be with you to dry your tears, and to ask pardon of you on my
knees. Moreover, I am not to blame, I call my cousin to witness. Is
it not true, Clotilde, that I don't love you?"
"'Pon my word, cousin, you have certainly _told_ me you loved me;
but as men generally say the contrary of what is the fact, I am
willing to believe you don't. But I beg you'll not incommode
yourself on my account; I can find my way to the Chateau perfectly
She walked away, hiding her chagrin under the most easy and careless
air in the world.
"I must run after her," said Hector, "or she will tell every thing
to my father. Adieu Daphne; in two hours I shall be at the Cottage
of the Vines, and more in love than ever."
"Adieu, then," murmured Daphne in a dying voice; "adieu," she
repeated on seeing him retire; "adieu!--as for me, in two hours, I
shall _not_ be at the Cottage of Vines."
She returned to the cottage of old Babet. On seeing the little
chamber she had taken so much pains to ornament with flowers and
blossoms, she sank her head upon her bosom. "Poor roses!" she
murmured--"little I thought when I gathered you, that my heart would
be the first to wither!"
The poor old woman came in to her. "What! crying?" she said--
"do people weep at eighteen?"
Daphne threw herself into Babet's arms, and sobbed.
"He has deceived me--left me for his cousin. I must go. You will
tell him that he has behaved cruelly, that I am----but no!--tell him
that I forgive him."
Daphne loved Hector with all her heart, and with all her soul. There
never was an affection so blind, or a girl so innocent. Before
leaving Paris, she had had various visions of what might happen in
the country--how she might meet some graceful cavalier beside the
wall of some romantic castle, who would fling himself on his knees
before her, like a hero of romance. And this dream, so cherished in
Paris, was nearly realized on the banks of the Lignon. Hector was
exactly the sort of youth she had fancied, and the interest became
greater from their enacting the parts of shepherdess and shepherd.
She had been strengthened in this, her first love, by the former
illusions of her imagination; and without one thought of evil, she
had lost her common sense, and had followed her lover instead of
attending to her mamma. Oh, young damsels, who are fond of pastorals,
and can dream of young cavaliers and ancient castles!--who hear, on
one side, the soft whisperings of a lover, and on the other, the
sensible remarks of your mother!--need I tell you which of the two
to choose? If you are still in doubt, read to the end of this story,
and you will hesitate no longer.
Hector rejoined his cousin, but during their walk home, neither of
them ventured to allude to the incident in the meadow. Hector
augured well from the silence of Clotilde--he hoped she would not
speak of his secret at the chateau. Vain hope! the moment she found
an opportunity, it all came out! That evening, M. de Langevy saw her
more pensive than usual, and asked her the cause.
"Oh, nothing," she said, and sighed.
The uncle persisted in trying to find it out.
"What is the matter, my dear Clotilde?" he said. "Has your
pilgrimage to the banks of the Lignon disappointed you?"
"Has my son---but where is Hector?"
"He has gone on the pilgrimage again."
"What the devil is he doing there?" "He has his reasons, of course,"
"Indeed!--Do you know what they are?" enquired the father.
"Not the least in the world--only--"
"Only what? I hate these only's--out with it all!"
"My dear uncle, I've told you I know nothing about it--only I have
seen his shepherdess."
"His shepherdess? You're laughing, Clotilde. Do you believe in
shepherdesses at this time of day?"
"Yes, uncle--for I tell you I saw his shepherdess fall down in a
faint on the side of the Lignon."
"The deuce you did? A shepherdess!--Hector in love with a shepherdess!"
"Yes, uncle; but a very pretty one, I assure you, in silk petticoat
and corset of white satin."
The father was petrified. "What is the meaning of all this? It must
be a very curious story. Bring me my fowling-piece and game-bag. Do
you think, my dear Clotilde, that infernal boy has returned to his
"Well--has the shepherdess any sheep?"
"The devil! that looks more serious. You went past the withy bed?"
"Yes, uncle; but I fancy the gentle shepherdess is nearer the village."
"Very good," grumbled the old Baron, with a tone of voice that made
it difficult to believe he saw much good in it. "Silk petticoats and
satin corsets! I wonder where the rascal finds money for such
fineries for his shepherdess."
He went straight on to the Cottage of the Vines, in hopes that Babet
would know something of Hector's proceedings. He found the old woman
in her porch, resting from the labours of the day.
"How do you do, Babet?" said the old Baron, softening his voice like
any sucking dove. "Anything new going on?"
"Nothing new, your honour," replied Babet, attempting to rise.
"Sit still," said the Baron, putting his hand kindly on the old
lady's shoulder; "here's a seat for me on this basket of rushes." At
this moment M. de Langevy heard the upstairs casement closed.
"Oho!" he thought, "I've hit upon it at once--this is the cage where
these turtles bill and coo. Have you seen my son this week, Babet?"
he said aloud.
"Oh, I see him often, your honour; he often comes sporting into my
"Sporting in your preserves, Babet--a pretty sort of game."
"Oh, very good game, your honour; this very day he sent me a
beautiful hare. I did not know what to do with it; but at last I put
it on the spit."
"The hare wasn't all for you, perhaps. But, listen to me, Babet--I
know the whole business--my son is in love with some shepherdess or
other--and I don't think she is far from here."
"I don't understand you, sir," said the old lady--a true _confidante_,
though seventy years of age.
"You understand me so perfectly," said the Baron, "that you are
evidently ashamed of your behaviour. But do not be uneasy, there is
no great harm in it--a mere childish frolic--only tell me where the
"Ah, your honour," cried Babet, who saw there was no use for further
pretence--"she's an angel--she is--a perfect angel!"
"Where does the angel come from, Babet?" enquired the Baron,
"she has not come fresh from heaven, has she?"
"I know nothing more about her, your honour; but I pray morning and
night that you may have no one else for a daughter."
"We shall see--the two lovers are above, are not they?"
"Why should I conceal it? Yes, your honour, you may go up stairs at
once. An innocent love like theirs never bolts the door."
When the Baron was half-way up the stair, he stopped short, on
seeing the two lovers sitting close to each other, the one weeping,
and the other trying to console her. There was such an air of
infantine candour about them both, and both seemed so miserable,
that the hard heart of sixty-three was nearly touched.
"Very well!"--he said, and walked into the room. Daphne uttered a
scream of terror, and her tears redoubled.
"There is nothing to cry about," said M. de Langevy; "but as for you,
young man, you must let me into the secret, if you please."
"I have nothing to tell you," said Hector, in a determined tone.
Daphne, who had leant for support on his shoulder, fell senseless on
"Father," said Hector, bending over her, "you perceive that this is
no place for you."
"Nor for you, either," said the old man in a rage. "What do you mean
by such folly? Go home this instant, sir, or you shall never enter
my door again."
But Hector made no reply. His whole attention was bestowed on Daphne.
"I ask you again, sir," said the father, still more angry at his
son's neglect. "Think well on what you do."
"I _have_ thought, sir," replied Hector, raising the head of the
still senseless Daphne. "You may shut your door for ever."
"None of your impudence, jackanapes. Will you come home with me now,
or stay here?"
"If I go with you, sir," said Hector, "it will be to show my respect
to you as my father, but I must tell you that I love Mademoiselle
Deshoulieres, and no one else. We are engaged, and only death shall
"Deshoulieres--Deshoulieres," said the Baron, "I've heard that name
before. I knew a Colonel Deshoulieres in the campaigns of Flanders;
a gallant fellow, with a beautiful wife, a number of wounds, many
medals, but not a _sou_. Are you coming, sir?"
Daphne motioned him to go, and Hector followed his father in silence.
He was not without hopes of gaining his permission to love his poor
Daphne as much as he chose. M. de Langevy bowed to her as he went
out of the room; and wishing Babet a good appetite as he passed the
kitchen door, commenced a sermon for the edification of poor Hector,
which lasted all the way. The only attention Hector paid to it was
to turn round at every pause, and take a look at the little casement
When Daphne saw him disappear among the woods at the side of the road,
she sighed; and while the tears rolled down her cheek, she said,
"Adieu, adieu! I shall never see him more!"
She looked sadly round the little apartment--now so desolate; she
gathered one of the roses that clustered round the window, and
scattered the leaves one by one, and watched them as they were
wafted away by the breeze.
"Even so will I do with my love," said the poetical shepherdess;
"I will scatter it on the winds of death."
"Adieu," she said, embracing poor old Babet; "I am going back to the
place I left so sillily. If you see Hector again, tell him I loved
him; but that he must forget me, as I forget the world, and myself."
As she said these words, she grew pale and staggered, but she
recovered by an effort, and walked away on the path that led to the
Chateau d'Urtis. When she came to the meadow, she saw at her feet
the crook she had broken in the morning. She lifted it, and took it
with her as the only memorial of Hector. The sun was sinking slowly,
and Daphne knelt down and said a prayer, pressing the crook to her
She did not find her mother at the chateau: Madame d'Urtis was
overjoyed to see her.
"Well, my lost sheep," she said, "you have come back again to the
"Yes," said Daphne, sadly; "I am come back never to stray again. See,
here is my broken crook, and Daphnis will never come to cut me
She told every thing to Madame d'Urtis. The Duchess did not know
whether to laugh or scold; so she got over the difficulty by
alternately doing both.
In the Chateau de Langevy, Hector continued firm in the presence of
his father, and even of his cousin. He told them every thing exactly
as it occurred; and spoke so enthusiastically and so sincerely, that
the old Baron was somewhat softened. Clotilde herself was touched,
and pled in Hector's behalf. But the old Baron was firm, and his
only answer was, "In eight days he will forget all about her. I am
astonished, Clotilde, to see you reason so absurdly."
"Oh, my dear uncle!" said Clotilde, "I believe that those who reason
the worst on such a subject are the most reasonable."
"I tell you again, in a week he will have changed his divinity--you
know that very well; or I don't see the use of your having such
"Be sure of this, uncle," replied Clotilde, in a more serious voice,
"Hector will never love me, and besides," she added, relapsing into
gaiety once more, "I don't like to succeed to another; I agree with
Mademoiselle de Scuderi, that, in love, those queens are the
happiest who create kingdoms for themselves in undiscovered lands."
"You read romances, Clotilde, so I shall argue with you no longer
about the phantom you call love."
Hector took his father on the weak side.
"If I marry Mademioiselle Deshoulieres," he said, "I shall march
forward in the glorious career of arms; you have opened the way for
me, and I cannot fail of success under the instruction of the brave
Deshoulieres, whom Louvois honours with his friendship."
M. de Langevy put an end to the conversation by saying he would
consider--which seemed already a great step gained in favour of the
On the next day's dawn, Hector was at the Cottage of the Vines.
"Alas, alas!" said the old woman, throwing open the window,
"the dear young lady is gone!"
"Gone!--you let her go!--but I will find her."
Hector ran to the Chateau d'Urtis. When he entered the park, he felt
he was too late, for he saw a carriage hurrying down the opposite
avenue. He rang the bell, and was shown in to the Duchess.
"'Tis you, Monsieur de Langevy," she said, sadly; "you come to see
Mademoiselle Deshoulieres. Think of her no more, for all is at an end
between you. On this earth you will meet no more, for in an hour she
will have left the world. She is gone, with her maid, to the Convent
of Val Chretien."
"Gone!" cried Hector, nearly fainting.
"She has left a farewell for you in this letter." Hector took the
letter which the Duchess held to him, and grew deadly pale as he
read these lines:--
"Farewell, then! 'Tis no longer Daphne who writes to you, but a
broken-hearted girl, who is to devote her life to praying for the
unhappy. I retire from the world with resignation. I make no
complaint: my two days' dream of happiness is gone. It was a
delicious eclogue--pure, sincere, and tender; but it is past--Adieu!"
Hector kissed the letter, and turned to the Duchess. "Have you a
horse, madam?" he said.
"What would you do with it?"
"I would overtake Mademoiselle Deshoulieres."
"You might overtake her, but you couldn't turn her."
"For mercy's sake, madam, a horse! Take pity on my misery."
The Duchess ordered a horse to be saddled, for she had opposed
Daphne's design. "Go," she said, "and Heaven guide you both!"
He started at full gallop: he overtook the carriage in half an hour.
"Daphne, you must go no further!" he said, holding out his hand to
the melancholy girl.
"'Tis you!" cried Daphne, with a look of surprise and joy--soon
succeeded by deeper grief than ever.
"Yes, 'tis I! I," continued the youth, "who love you as my Daphne,
my wife, for my father has listened at last to reason, and agrees to
"But I also have listened to reason, and you know where I am going.
Leave me: you are rich--I am poor: you love me to-day--who can say if
you will love me to-morrow? We began a delightful dream, let us not
spoil it by a bad ending. Let our dream continue unbroken in its
freshness and romance. Our crooks are both broken; they have killed
two of our sheep; they have cut down the willows in the meadow. You
perceive that our bright day is over. The lady I saw yesterday
should be your wife. Marry her, then; and if ever, in your hours of
happiness, you wander on the banks of the Lignon, my shade will
appear to you. But _then_ it shall be with a smile!"
"Daphne! Daphne! I love you! I will never leave you! I will live or
die with you!"
* * * * *
It was fifty years after that day, that one evening, during a
brilliant supper in the Rue St. Dominique, Gentil Bernard, who was
the life of the company, announced the death of an original, who had
ordered a broken stick to be buried along with him.
"He is Monsieur de Langevy," said Fontenelle. "He was forced against
his inclination to marry the dashing Clotilde de Langevy, who eloped
so shamefully with one of the Mousquetaires. M. de Langevy had been
desperately attached to Bribri Deshoulieres, and this broken stick
was a crook they had cut during their courtship on the banks of the
Lignon. The Last Shepherd is dead, gentlemen--we must go to his
"And what became of Bribri Deshoulieres?" asked a lady of the party.
"I have been told she died very young in a convent in the south,"
replied Fontenelle; "and the odd thing is, that, when they were
burying her, they found a crook attached to her horse-hair tunic."
* * * * *
THE FOUNDING OF THE BELL.
WRITTEN FOR MUSIC.
BY CHARLES MACKAY.
Hark! how the furnace pants and roars!
Hark! how the molten metal pours,
As, bursting from its iron doors,
It glitters in the sun!
Now through the ready mould it flows,
Seething and hissing as it goes,
And filling every crevice up
As the red vintage fills the cup:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
Unswathe him now. Take off each stay
That binds him to his couch of clay,
And let him struggle into day;
Let chain and pulley run,
With yielding crank and steady rope,
Until he rise from rim to cope,
In rounded beauty, ribb'd in strength,
Without a flaw in all his length:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
The clapper on his giant side
Shall ring no peal for blushing bride,
For birth, or death, or new-year-tide,
Or festival begun!
A nation's joy alone shall be
The signal for his revelry;
And for a nation's woes alone
His melancholy tongue shall moan:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
Borne on the gale, deep-toned and clear,
His long loud summons shall we hear,
When statesmen to their country dear
Their mortal race have run;
When mighty monarchs yield their breath,
And patriots sleep the sleep of death,
Then shall he raise his voice of gloom,
And peal a requiem o'er their tomb:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
Should foemen lift their haughty hand,
And dare invade us where we stand,
Fast by the altars of our land
We'll gather every one;
And he shall ring the loud alarm,
To call the multitudes to arm,
From distant field and forest brown,
And teeming alleys of the town:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
And as the solemn boom they hear,
Old men shall grasp the idle spear,
Laid by to rust for many a year,
And to the struggle run;
Young men shall leave their toils or books,
Or turn to swords their pruninghooks;
And maids have sweetest smiles for those
Who battle with their country's foes:
_Hurra! the work is done_!
And when the cannon's iron throat
Shall bear the news to dells remote,
And trumpet-blast resound the note,
That victory is won;
While down the wind the banner drops,
And bonfires blaze on mountain-tops,
His sides shall glow with fierce delight,
And ring glad peals from morn to night;
_Hurra! the work is done_!
But of such themes forbear to tell.
May never War awake this bell
To sound the tocsin or the knell!
Hush'd be the alarum gun!
Sheath'd be the sword! and may his voice
Call up the nations to rejoice
That War his tatter'd flag has furl'd,
And vanish'd from a wiser world!
_Hurra! the work is done_!
Still may he ring when struggles cease,
Still may he ring for joy's increase,
For progress in the arts of peace,
And friendly trophies won!
When rival nations join their hands,
When plenty crowns the happy lands,
When knowledge gives new blessings birth,
And freedom reigns o'er all the earth!
_Hurra! the work is done_!
* * * * *
A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS.
FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLINSKI.
It was daybreak when Ammalat came to himself. Slowly, one by one,
his thoughts reassembled in his mind, and flitted to and fro as in a
mist, in consequence of his extreme weakness. He felt no pain at all
in his body, and his sensations were even agreeable; life seemed to
have lost its bitterness, and death its terror: in this condition he
would have listened with equal indifference to the announcement of
his recovery, or of his inevitable death. He had no wish to utter a
word, or to stir a finger. This half sleep, however, did not
continue long. At midday, after the visit of the physician, when the
attendants had gone to perform the rites of noon-tide prayer, when
their sleepy voices were still, and nought but the cry of the mullah
resounded from afar, Ammalat listened to a soft and cautious step
upon the carpets of the chamber. He raised his heavy eyelids, and
between their lashes appeared, approaching his bed, a fair,
black-eyed girl, dressed in an orange-coloured sarotchka, an
arkhaloukh of cloth of gold with two rows of enamelled buttons,
and her long hair falling upon her shoulders. Gently she fanned
his face, and so pityingly looked at his wound that all his nerves
thrilled. Then she softly poured some medicine into a cup, and--he
could see no more--his eyelids sank like lead--he only caught with
his ear the rustling of her silken dress, like the sound of a parting
angel's wings, and all was still again. Whenever his weak senses strove
to discover the meaning of this fair apparition, it was so mingled with
the uncertain dreams of fever, that his first thought--his first
word--when he awoke, was, "'Tis a dream!" But it was no dream. This
beautiful girl was the daughter of the Sultan Akhmet Khan, and
sixteen years old. Among all the mountaineers, in general, the
unmarried women enjoy a great freedom of intercourse with the other
sex, without regard to the law of Mahomet. The favourite daughter of
the Khan was even more independent than usual. By her side alone he
forgot his cares and disappointments; by her side alone his eye met
a smile, and his heart a gleam of gayety. When the elders of Avar
discussed in a circle the affairs of their mountain politics, or
gave their judgment on right or wrong; when, surrounded by his
household, he related stories of past forays, or planned fresh
expeditions, she would fly to him like a swallow, bringing hope and
spring into his soul. Fortunate was the culprit during whose trial
the Khana came to her father! The lifted dagger was arrested in the
air; and not seldom would the Khan, when looking upon her, defer
projects of danger and blood, lest he should be parted from his
darling daughter. Every thing was permitted, every thing was
accessible, to her. To refuse her any thing never entered into the
mind of the Khan; and suspicion of any thing unworthy her sex and
rank, was as far from his thoughts as from his daughter's heart. But
who among those who surrounded the Khan, could have inspired her
with tender feelings? To bend her thoughts--to lower her sentiments
to any man inferior to her in birth, would have been an unheard-of
disgrace in the daughter of the humblest retainer; how much more,
then, in the child of a khan, imbued from her very cradle with the
pride of ancestry!--this pride, like a sheet of ice, separating her
heart from the society of those she saw. As yet no guest of her
father had ever been of equal birth to hers; at least, her heart had
never asked the question. It is probable, that her age--of careless,
passionless youth--was the cause of this; perhaps the hour of love
had already struck, and the heart of the inexperienced girl was
fluttering in her bosom. She was hurrying to clasp her father in her
embrace, when she had beheld a handsome youth falling like a corpse
at her feet. Her first feeling was terror; but when her father
related how and wherefore Ammalat was his guest, when the village
doctor declared that his wound was not dangerous, a tender sympathy
for the stranger filled her whole being. All night there flitted
before her the blood-stained guest, and she met the morning-beam, for
the first time, less rosy than itself. For the first time she had
recourse to artifice: in order to look on the stranger, she entered
his room as though to salute her father, and afterwards she slipped in
there at mid-day. An unaccountable, resistless curiosity impelled her
to gaze on Ammalat. Never, in her childhood, had she so eagerly longed
for a plaything; never, at her present age, had she so vehemently wished
for a new dress or a glittering ornament, as she desired to meet the eye
of the guest; and when at length, in the evening, she encountered his
languid, yet expressive gaze, she could not remove her look from the
black eyes of Ammalat, which were intently fixed on her. They seemed
to say--"Hide not thyself; star of my soul!" as they drank health
and consolation from her glances. She knew not what was passing
within her; she could not distinguish whether she was on the earth,
or floating in the air; changing colours flitted on her face. At
length she ventured, in a trembling voice, to ask him about his
health. One must be a Tartar--who accounts it a sin and an offence
to speak a word to a strange woman, who never sees any thing female
but the veil and the eye-brows--to conceive how deeply agitated was
the ardent Bek, by the looks and words of the beautiful girl
addressed so tenderly to him. A soft flame ran through his heart,
notwithstanding his weakness.
"Oh, I am very well, now," he answered, endeavouring to rise;
"so well, that I am ready to die, Seltanetta."
"Allah sakhla-suen!" (God protect you!) she replied. "Live, live long!
Would you not regret life?"
"At a sweet moment sweet is death, Seltanetta! But if I live a
hundred years, a more delightful moment than this can never be found!"
Seltanetta did not understand the words of the stranger; but she
understood his look--she understood the expression of his voice. She
blushed yet more deeply; and, making a sign with her hand that he
should repose, disappeared from the chamber.
Among the mountaineers there are many very skilful surgeons, chiefly
in cases of wounds and fractures; but Ammalat, more than by herb or
plaster, was cured by the presence of the charming mountain-maid.
With the agreeable hope of seeing her in his dreams, he fell asleep,
and awoke with joy, knowing that he should meet her in reality. His
strength rapidly returned, and with his strength grew his attachment
Ammalat was married; but, as it often happens in the East, only from
motives of interest. He had never seen his bride before his marriage,
and afterwards found no attraction in her which could awake his
sleeping heart. In course of time, his wife became blind; and this
circumstance loosened still more a tie founded on Asiatic customs
rather than affection. Family disagreements with his father-in-law
and uncle, the Shamkhal, still further separated the young couple,
and they were seldom together. Was it strange, under the
circumstances, that a young man, ardent by nature, self-willed by
nature, should be inspired with a new love? To be with her was his
highest happiness--to await her arrival his most delightful
occupation. He ever felt a tremor when he heard her voice: each
accent, like a ray of the sun, penetrated his soul. This feeling
resembled pain, but a pain so delicious, that he would have prolonged
it for ages. Little by little the acquaintance between the young
people grew into friendship--they were almost continually together.
The Khan frequently departed to the interior of Avar for business of
government or military arrangements, leaving his guest to the care
of his wife, a quiet, silent woman. He was not blind to the
inclination of Ammalat for his daughter, and in secret rejoiced at it;
it flattered his ambition, and forwarded his military views; a
connexion with a Bek possessing the right to the Shamkhalat would
place in his hands a thousand means of injuring the Russians. The
Khansha, occupied in her household affairs, not infrequently left Ammalat
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