Imágenes de páginas

them without addition ; what I would the same time he took a third out of the gladly agree to is, to receive sixty, basket, and placed it beside one of his, and make you

a present of the comparing the two. rest.'

"I think this is a finer one! he " Write out the bill; I will make said. And he weighed them, one in my mark.'

each hand. “ Eloi wrote ; but, when about 10 "" There is not much difference, he set down the sum upon the stamp he observed. had brought with him, he checked H: changed them into the opposite himself.

hands, weighed them again, and ap“• Tranquille,' said he, the stamp peared sadly embarrassed, until his is five sous; it is not fair I should pay kinsman said to him : it. Give me five sous.'

• Don't mind, cousin, take the "• There is not a sou in the house, three.' said Pélagie.

“ • Here, Onesimus,' said he, • run " • Then we will add it to the a piece of string through their gills.' amount of the bill. Thus : At Onesimus strung them on the end Michaelmas I promise to pay to my of a strong line. He was about to cut cousin, Eloi Alain, the sum of four the piece off, when Eloi checked hundred and fifty - one francs (one him. cannot put four hundred and tisty " • Bless me!' said the miller, 'how francs and five sous—it would look so wasteful children are ! He would cut paltry), which he has been so obliging that capital new cord.' as to lend me in hard cash. Signed, “ And he carried away the entire Tranquille Alain. There, put your cord, with the three whitings at the mark, and you, Pélagie, put yours end of it, after having several times also.'

repeated bis advice to Risquelout 10 The signatures given, Eloi return. be punctual in the payment of his ed the old bills with the air of a bene- bill, and after kissing Berenice, and factor conferring an immense favour.

saying, “. This time, cousin,' said he, .be Good-bye, my dear children ; [ punctual. I shall pay away your am delighted io have been of service to bill to a miller at Cherbourg ; and if you.' you are not prepared to take it up “Our cousin is a very hard and a when due, he may not be so accom. very griping man,' said Pélagie. modating as I am; for, after all, these God does not pay bis labourers four hundred and fifty-one francs every night,' replied Tranquille, lifting would be very useful to me, if I had his woollen cap, · but sooner or later them in my pocke: instead of having he never forgets to pay. Each man lent them to you.

Four hundred and shall be recompensed according to his fifty-one francs are not to be picked work." » up under every hedge; it is not every This is by no means the sort of day one finds a cousin willing to lend thing generally met with in French him four hundred and francs.' romances of ihe present day. It is “No one made any observation on neither the back-slum and bloodythis pretended loan of four hundred and murder style, nor the self-styled hisfifty-one francs.

torical, nor the social-subversive. It Well, I must be off. I perhaps is just simple, natural, pleasant readlost my lemper a little, cousin, but I ing, free from anything indecent or am really in want of the money. You objectionable. We have taken this understand-when one has reckoned chapter because it bears extraction on four hundred and fifty-one francs well, not as the best in the book, still that one has lent—and then not to less as the only good one. La Fa. receive a single copper, it is rather mille Alain has a well-contrived plot vexatious ; but, however, I will man- and well-managed incidents, contains age as I can. I am hasty at the mo. some droll and quiet caricature, and ment, but I bear no malice. It is all many touching and delicately-handled forgotten.'

passages. The correspondence between ** He then took up the two whitings the young lady at the Paris boardingwhich bad been laid aside for him. At school, and the fisherman's daughter VOL. LXIV.


at Dive, and the sketches of the com- worked hard, it was thought he would pany at the watering-place, are each overtake, and perhaps surpass that excellent in their way. The intro- master. He had long curling hair, afduction of Madame du Mortal and fected a melancholy and despairing her daughter, and of the Viscount de countenance, and was considered to Morgenstein, is rather foreign to the have something fatal in his gait. His story, but affoids M. Karr opportu. mere aspect betrayed the man overnity of sketching characters by no whelmed by the burden of genius and means uncommon in France, although by the divine malediction." little known in England. At this sort The character of an old country of delineation he is the Gavarni of the gentleman, who has ruined himself to pen.

marry his piece to a spendthrift count, “ The trathis, that Madame du is very well hit off. Eloi Alain, who Mortal's existence had been tolerably has a grudge against the poor old felagitated. Eight years previously she low, persecutes him in every possible had quitted M. du Mortal for the way ; his aristocratic and ungrateful society of an officer, who soon, toch- nephew refuses him the pension agreed ed by remorse, had left her at full upon, and, to maintain appearances, liberty to repair their mutual fault by Monsieur Malais de Beuzeval is reduced returning to edisy the conjugal man- to shifts worthy of Caleb Balderstone. sion by her repentance, and by the Although a parvenu, with vanity for exercise of those domestic virtues she the stimulus of his stratagems, one had somewhat neglected. Madame cannot help feeling sorry for the weak du Mortal did nothing of the sort ; but kind-hearted old man, who shuffles she knew how to create resources for on a livery coat, and puts a patch over herself. Formerly, deceived and dis- his eye, to inforın visitors, through couraged people fled to a convent, the wicket, that he himself is not at now they fiy to the feuilleton. When home-his own servants having leit a woman tinds herself, by misconduct him; who paints a blaze, each alterand scandal, excluded from society, nate day, upon the face of his sole she does not weep over her fault and remaining horse, that neighbours may expiate it in a cloister ; besore long credit the duplicity of his stud ; and you see her name at the bottom of a who illuminates his drawing - room newspaper feuilleton, in which she and jingles his piano in melancholy demands the enfranchisement of her solitude, to make the world believe

No great effort of invention was M. de Beuzeval is receiving his friends. requisite for Madame du Mortal to His manæuvres to procure a supply devise this resource. Her husband, M. of forage, and his ingenuity in dissi. du Mortal, a tall, corpulent man, with pating ihe astonishment of its vender, a severe countenance and formidable who cannot comprehend that the mustaches, had long furnished the ar. master of broad pastures should purticle MODES to a widely - circulated chase a load of hay, are capitally newspaper; and under the name of the drawn. Like everything else, however, Marchioness of M—, discoursed the hay comes to an end, and, at the weekly upon tucks and flounces, upon same time with the horse, the master the length of gowns and the size of runs short of provender. Only the bonnets, according to the instructions of four-legged animal bas resources the milliners and dressmakers, who paid biped does not possess. him to give their names and addresses. • M. de Malais was again comMadame du Mortal devoted herself 10 pelled to lead out his horse Pyramus the same branch of literature, and suc. during the night, to graze the neighceeded in seducing some of her hus. bours lucerne. One morning the in. band's customers."

habitants of the village of Beuzeval “ The Viscount de Morgenstein heard the castle-bell announce, as usual, was one of those illustrious pianists the breakfast. M. de Beuzeval walked whose talent has much less connexion into the breakfast


but found nowith music than with sleight of hand. thing to eat. He nibhled a stale crust M. de Morgenstein achieved only and set out for Caen, whence he althree notes a minute less than M. ways brought back a little money, his Henry Herz ; as he was young and journeys thither being for the purpose




of disposing of some relic of his depart. clean cloth upon the table. Berenice ed splendour. But when he bad rid- fetched a pot of cider. Onesimus den a league he remembered it was moored the horse in the shade ; then Sunday; the man he had to see they all sat down, taking care to give would not be at his shop, and he the best place lo M. Malais, who eagermust wait till the next day. He re- ly devoured a plateful of soup." turned to Beuzeval, and thence rode We refer to the book itself those down to Dive. Berenice, who was who would know how the poor old lace-making at her door, made bim a gentleman made a second fierce asgrateful curtsey, and he stopped 10 sault on the cureen, and an equally exchange a few words with her. Pél. determined one on the bacon and agie, who was preparing dinner, inquir- greens; to what expedients he was ed after Pulchérie.

subsequently reduced; how it fared "• Madame la Comtesse de Mors with the Countess Pulchérie and her ville is well,' he replied; 'I heard scapegrace husband, and what were from her the other day. My nephew the struggles, sufferings, and ultimate Count de Morville, has promised to rewards, of the courageous and simple. bring the countess see me this hearted Alains. The book may safely summer.'

be recommended to all readers. This “ Onesimus and his father were is more than we can say for the next close to shore. Pélagie begged M. de that comes to hand-Un Mariage de Beuzeval's permission to look to their Paris hy Méry. This we should pitch dinner, as they were obliged to put to into the rubbish-basket after reading sea again as soon as they had eaten the first two chapters, did it not it. M. Malais got off his horse and serve to illustrate what we have often entered the house.

noted—the profound and barbarous " • Your soup smells deliciously,' ignorance of French literary men said he ; it is cabbage soup.'

the subject of England and the Eng"'A soup you seldom see, M. de lish. Were this confined to the Beuzeval.'

smaller fry, the inferior herd of Trans“ « Not for want of asking for it. canalic scribblers, one would not be I am passionately fond of cabbage soup, surprised. It is nothing wonderful but they never will make it at my that such gentlemen as M. Paul Feval house.'

and poor blind Jacques Arago, should “• I daresay not. It is not a soup take le gin and le boxe to be the Alpha for gentlefolk.

and Omega of English propensities “Your's smells excellent, Pél- and manners, and should proceed upagie; but you were always a good on that presumption in romances of cook.'

such distinguished merit as Les Mys" "Ah, sir! there is one thing that tères de Londres and Zambala l’Indien. helps me to make good dinners for our But M. Méry is a man of letters men.'

esteemed amongst his fellows-a hasty • • What is that, Pelagie ?!

and slovenly writer, certainly, but “« A good appetite. They put to sea possessing, wit, and tact, and style, last night, and here they come lired, when he chooses to employ them; and wet, dying of hunger: all that is spice having, moreover, he himself assures for a plain meal.'

us, in the pages of the singular produc" The fishermen entered,

tion now under dissection, been all «« « Come along ! cried M. Malais, through England-although this we apyou have a famous soup waiting for prehend be effected by means of express you. Upon my word, it smells too trains, without stop or stay, from Folke. good ; I must taste it. Pélagie, give stone to Berwick-upon-Tweed and back me a plate ; I will eat a few spoonsful again. Even this much acquaintance with you. Certainly, it is but a short with the British Isles is denied to many time since I took my breakfast—what of his contemporaries, who evidently people call a good breakfast—but with- derive their notions of English habits out appetite, without pleasure.' and customs from the frequenters of

« • Indeed! M. Malais, you will do the English taverns about the Places us the honour of tasting our soup” Favart and Madeleine at Paris.

M. And Pélagie hastened to put a Méry is above this. He draws entirely


upon bis imagination for the manners, Sem, Cham, and Japhet invented on morals, and topography of the country their escape from the Ark, to amuse in which his scene is laid. He has themselves a little after a year's dilugot a few names of places, which he vian captivity on the summit of Mount jumbles together in the most diverting Ararat." It is only in London such

His hero, Cyprian de May- collections are to be met with ; and ran, a Paris exquisite of the first the foreign naturalist has the gratui'water, saddened by a domestic cala. tous enjoyment of them. The capital mity, comes to London in quest of of England is sometimes generous dissipation and oblivion. He has and disinterested in ils zoological ex. some acquaintances there, dating hibitions." from a previous visit, and amongst Amidst these dingy exotics, Cyprian, them is the popular singer Sidora “ with his Parisian elegance, his fresh W—, a lady, we are told, " whose complexion, his hair of a vivid autalent would have been very contest- burn, waving like that of the Apollo able at Paris, but was venerated in Belvedere," appeared like a swan London, the city of universal tolera- amongst gray geese ; and, seating him. tion. When, in Norma, or Fidelio, self between two equinoctial beings she kept only tolerably near to the not classed by Buffon,” he soon enintentions of the composers, changing grossed all the attention of the fas. their notes into false coin, a phalanx cinating Sidora, to the suppressed but of admirers rose like one man, and a violent indignation of Prince Rajab. triple round of applause rent thirty Nandy, and her other copper-coloured pair of yellow gloves. The name of admirere. One of these waylays Sidora W had great attraction (the the handsome Frenchman on his reitalics are M. Méry's), and when dis turn home. Whilst passing over played on gigantic placards, before Highgate Bridge, Cyprian's horse Mansion-house, or Post-office, as well starts violently, and an “equinoctial as on the modest gray circulars of the gentleman, with nothing white about grocers, at night whole squadrons of his whole person, except a pair of noble equipages were seen man@uv. yellow gloves (a Gallo-Irishism), ring between Long Acre and the peri- springs from amongst the brushwood, style of Covent Garden, and the and plants himself in the middle of theatre of Drury Lane was invaded.” the bridge, like a satyr in the poem of The nightingale" who thus, in 1845, Ramaiana.” A duel is arranged, to filled to suffocation the walls of take place at Cricklewood Cottage, and Drury (a fact Mr. Bunn may have Cyprian gallops into London by Totdifficulty to remember), had a rural tenham-Road. Having no male acretreat at Highgate, where she re. quaintances in London, except two ceived a motley company:

" The sobersided bankers, he is at a loss for garden of reception was like a vast seconds. Finally he prevails on two flower-basket inhabited by a woman, of the opera chorus, in consideration and surrounded by a dark fringe of of a new coat and a sovereign, to mute adorers. There were all the accompany him to the field of danger; faces of the English universe : retired and, after duly gloving and dressing Calcutta nabobs; ex-governors of them in Saint-Martin-Court, he packs unknown Archipelagos; colonels whose them in a hackney-coach and starts defunct wives were Malabar widows, for Cricklewood, which we now learn snatched from the funeral pile of their is on the summit of the mountain of Indian spouses; admirals bronzed Hamstead. There, in a pavilion deby twenty cruises under the equator; corated Chinese-fashion, three men of nephews of Tippoo Saib; disgraced tropical physiognomy awaited De Mayministers from Lahore; ex-criminals ran.

Opposite the cottage from Botany Bay, who,'having grown there stretched out, to an immense rich, were voted virtuous; princes of distance, over bill and over valley, a Madagascar and Borneo; citizens of gloomy forest, which served as duel. New Holland (naturalized English- ing ground in the quarrelsome days of men, notwithstanding their close afti- the Roundheads and Cavaliers. In a nity to orang.outangs),-in short all level glade, bare of trees, the Anglo. the human or inhuman types that Indians paused. It was a wild and




solitary place; nevertheless, here and it is related of M. Méry's friend Duthere, on the fir trees, were seen enor mas, that he once resolved on a mous electioneering placards, bearing visit to London, posted to Boulogne, the words, “ Vote for Parker ' This steamed to London bridge, and reachis rich, particularly if we bear in ed St. Paul's, but there turned back, mind that the author is perfectly anathematizing fog and sea-coal, and serious, and devoutly believes he is never stopped till he found himself giving a very curious insight into the in the Chaussée d'Antin. Without local usages and characteristics of vouching for the truth of this tale, we semi-civilized England. M. Méry's must admit its probability when told hero has other adventures, equally of the eccentric Alexander. Mr. Méry's true to life,—makes new acquain- knowledge of this country is just what tances board river-steamer ; he might have obtained by an hour's dines with them at Sceptre and Crown conversation with his friend, upon the at Greenwich, and at Star and Garter return of the latter from his journey at Richmond; and falls violently in to St. Paul's. But it is a crying sin love with Madame Katrina Lewing, a of French writers, when they get upon beautiful English woman. M. Méry foreign ground, that, in their anxiety makes merry on the river Thames, to give to their books a tinge characwhich he affects to believe rises in the teristic of the country, (couleur locale immediate vicinity of Richmond, and they call it,) they outstrip the limits concerning whose origin and exiguity assigned to them by their real knowhe is very facetious. He also dis- ledge of the land and its inhabitants, plays his acquaintance with English and, meaning to be effective, become Iiterature by quoting “ the great poet simply ridiculous. And England is Pope's famous drinking song in honour the country, of all others, whose ways of the Thames, I you like, little they apparently have most difficulty stream !” Then Cyprian prevails on in rightly comprehending. On Katrina to elope with him to Portmore southern soil they are less apt Natal, (of all places in the world !) and to run into absurdities, but sin chiefly realizes his fortune as a preparato on the side of overcolouring. This measure; but Katrina proves a mere may be alleged, although to no, and the amorous French- lent extent, of a pleasant little romance man is stripped of his bank-notes, and by Paul de Musset, La Chèvre Jaune left in the dead of night in the middle –The Yellow Goat–intended as an of a field. In vain, at daybreak, does illustration of Sicilian life, particu. he seek a shepherd to question, be- Jarly amongst the lower orders. The cause as M. Méry testifies, English hero of the tale is a precocious peasant peasants do not inhabit the fields ; boy, dwelling in the mountains with shepherds are scarcely known in the his mother-a fierce old lady who owns country; and the only one he, the afore- a rifle, and detests the Neapolitans. said Méry, ever beheld, during his This boy, who herds goats, pets one extensive rambles in England, was a of them, and trains her to dance; well-dressed young gentleman, with by which means, and by his own gloves on, reading the Morning Chro- good mien, he gains the affections of nicle under a tree. Then we have a a notary's daughter, whose papa, disthieves' orgie, where the liquors in approving of the attachment, has the demand are claret and absinthe, no- peasant taken up on a false accusation thing less—M. Méry not condescend- of theft. The boy escapes, turns ing to the gin, so much abused by his bandit, and is accompanied in his contemporaries. And, finally, a mur. forays and ambuscades by his goat, der having been committed, its cir- who dances tarantellas on the mouncumstances are investigated on the tain-tops, and plays so many queer spot, by a Queen's proctor, assisted antics that she finally is held uncanny, by two policemen, a barmaid, and a and becomes an object of fear and vephysician. We might multiply these neration to the ignorant Sicilians. The literary curiosities; but we have given story is prettily and pleasingly told, enough to prove their author's inti- and is just the sort of reading for a mate acquaintance with the country lazy man on a hot day. But ke about which he so agreeably writes. most of the same author's works, it

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