페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

friends in the doorway. “Couch yourself, my creased ; indeed the worthy Vicomte wanted a little Kiou,” said Florac. “You are all pale. You turn of luck in his favor. On one occasion he rewere best in bed, mon garçon !”

turned with a grave face, saying to Lord Rooster, “She has made me promise to take her in to “ She has the other one in hand. We are going supper," Kew said, with a sigh.

to see.” “Trente-six encor! et rouge gagne," "She will poison you," said the other. “Why cried the croupier with his nasal tone. Monsieur have they abolished the roue chez nous ? My de Florac's pockets overflowed with double Naword of honor they should rétabliche it for this poleons, and he stopped his play, luckily, for Kew woman."

putting down his winnings, once, twice, thrice, “There is one in the next room," said Kew, lost them all. with a laugh. “Come, Vicomte, let us try our When Lord Kew had left the dancing-room, fortune," and he walked back into the play- Madame d'Ivry saw Stenio following him with room.

fierce looks, and called back that bearded bard. That was the last night on which Lord Kew “ You were going to pursue M. de Kew," she ever played a gambling game. He won constant said; “I knew you were. Sit down here, Sir," ly. The double zero seemed to obey him ; so that and she patted him down on her seat with her fan. the croupiers wondered at his fortune. Florac “Do you wish that I should call him back, Mabacked it; saying, with the superstition of a dame ?" said the poet, with the deepest tragic gambler, “I am sure something goes to arrive to accents. , this boy.” From time to time M. de Florac went “I can bring him when I want him, Victor," back to the dancing-room, leaving his mise under said the lady. Kew's charge. He always found his heaps in- “Let us hope others will be equally fortunate,"

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the Gascon said, with one hand in his breast, the treated Lord Kew; she implored M. Victor ; she other stroking his mustache.

did every thing in her power to appease the quar"Fi, Monsieur, que vous sentez le tabac ! je rel between him and the Frenchman. vous le défends, entendez vous, Monsieur ?"

After the ball came the supper, which was laid “ Pourtant, I have seen the day when Madame at separate little tables, where parties of half a la Duchesse did not disdain a cigar,” said Victor. dozen enjoyed themselves. Lord Kew was of the “ If the odor incommodes, permit that I retire." Duchess's party, where our Gascon friend had

" And you also would quit me, Stenio. Do not a seat. But being one of the managers of the you think I did not mark your eyes toward Miss entertainment, bis lordship went about from table Newcome? your anger when she refused you to to table, seeing that the guests at each lacked dance ? Ah! we see all. A woman does not nothing. He supposed too that the dispute with deceive herself, do you see? You send me beauti- the Gascon had possibly come to an end ; at any ful verses, Poet. You can write as well of a rate, disagreeable as the other's speech had been, statue or a picture, of a rose or a sunset, as of the he had resolved to put up with it, not having the heart of a woman. You were angry just now be- least inclination to drink the Frenchman's blood, cause I danced with M. de Kew. Do you think or to part with his own on so absurd a quarrel. in a woman's eyes jealousy is unpardonable?" He asked people in his good-natured way to drink

“You know how to provoke it, Madame,” con- wine with him; and catching M. Victor's eye tinued the tragedian.

scowling at him from a distant table, he sent a "Monsieur," replied the lady, with dignity, waiter with a Champagne bottle to his late op"am I to render you an account of all my actions, ponent, and lifted his glass as a friendly chaland ask your permission for a walk ?"

lenge. The waiter carried the message to M. Vic" In fact, I am but the slave, Madame," groan- tor, who, when he heard it, turned up his glass, ed the Gascon, “ I am not the master.”

and folded his arms in a stately manner. "M. “You are a very rebellious slave, Monsieur," de Castillonne dit qu'il refuse, milor," said the continues the lady, with a pretty moue, and a waiter, rather scared. “He charged me to bring glance of the large eyes artfully brightened by her that message to milor.” Florac ran across to the rouge. Suppose--suppose I danced with M. de angry Gascon. It was not while at Madame Kew, not for his sake-Heaven knows to dance d'Ivry's table that Lord Kew sent his challenge, with him is not a pleasure-but for yours. Sup- and received his reply; his duties as steward had pose I do not want a foolish quarrel to proceed. carried him away from that pretty early. Suppose I know that he is ni sot ni poltron, as Meanwhile the glimmering dawn peered into you pretend. I overheard you, Sir, talking with the windows of the refreshment-room, and behold, one of the basest of men, my good cousin, M. de the sun broke in and scared all the revelers. The Florac: but it is not of him I speak. Suppose I ladies scurried away like so many ghosts at cockknow the Comte de Kew to be a man, cold and crow, some of them not caring to face that deinsolent, ill-bred, and grossier, as the men of his tective luminary. Cigars had been lighted ere nation are—but one who lacks no courage—one this; the men remained smoking them with those who is terrible when roused; might I have no oc- sleepless German waiters still bringing fresh casion to fear, not for him, but-".

supplies of drink. Lord Kew gave the Duchesse “But for me! Ah Marie! Ah Madame! d'Ivry his arm, and was leading her out ; M. de Believe you that a man of my blood will yield a Castillonne stood scowling directly in their way, foot to any Englishman? Do you know the story upon which, with rather an abrupt turn of the of my race? do you know that since my childhood shoulder, and a “ Pardon, Monsieur," Lord Kew I have vowed hatred to that nation? Tenez, Ma- pushed by, and conducted the Duchess to her dame, this M. Jones who frequents your salon, it carriage. She did not in the least see what had was but respect for you that has enabled me to happened between the two gentlemen in the pas. keep my patience with this stupid islander. This sage; she oggled, and nodded, and kissed her Captain Blackball, whom you distinguish, who hands quite affectionately to Kew as the fly drove certainly shoots well, who mounts well to horse, away. I have always thought his manners were those of Florac in the mean while had seized his comthe marker of a billiard. But I respect him be- patriot, who had drunk Champagne copiously cause he has made war with Don Carlos against with others, if not with Kew, and was in vain the English. But this young M. de Kew, his endeavoring to make him hear reason. The Gaslaugh crisps me the nerves; his insolent air makes con was furious; he vowed that Lord Kew had me bound; in beholding him I said to myself, I struck him. “By the tomb of my mother,” he hate you ; think whether I love him better after bellowed, “ I swear I will have his blood !” Lord having seen him as I did but now, Madame!” Rooster was bawling out-"D— him; carry him Also, but this Victor did not say, he thought Kew to bed, and shut him up;" which remarks Victor had laughed at him at the beginning of the even- did not understand, or two victims would doubting, when the blanche Miss had refused to dance less have been sacrificed on his mamma's mauwith him.

soleum. “Ah, Victor, it is not him, but you that I would When Kew came back (as he was only too save," said the Duchess. And the people round sure to do), the little Gascon rushed forward with about, and the Duchess herself afterward said, a glove in his hand, and having an audience of Yes, certainly, she had a good heart. She en-smokers round about him, made a furious speech

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

about England, leopards, cowardice, insolent isl-1 “Ah, Roosterre! ceci n'est pas pour rire,* anders, and Napoleon at St. Helena'; and de- Florac cried sadly, as they both walked away manded reason for Kew's conduct during the with Lord Kew ; “I wish that first blood was all night. As he spoke, he advanced toward Lord that was to be shed in this quarrel.” Kew, glove in hand, and lifted it as if he was “Gaw! how he did go down !" cried Rooster, actually going to strike.

convulsed with laughter. “There is no need for further words,” said “I am very sorry for it,” said Kew, quite seLord Kew, taking his cigar out of his mouth. riously ; “I couldn't help it. God forgive me." "If you don't drop that glove, upon my word I And he hung down his head. He thought of the will pitch you out of the window. Ha!...... past, and its levities, and punishment coming afPick the man up, somebody. You'll bear wit- ter him pede claudo. It was with all his heart ness, gentlemen, I couldn't help myself. If he the contrite young man said “God forgive me." wants me in the morning, he knows where to He would take what was to follow as the penalty find me."

of what had gone before. “I declare that my Lord Kew has acted with “Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas immolat, mon great forbearance, and under the most brutal pro- pauvre Kiou," said his French friend. And Lord vocation-the most brutal provocation entendez- Rooster, whose classical education had been much vous, M. Cabasse,” cried out M. de Florac, rush- neglected, turned round, and said, “Hullo, mate, ing forward to the Gascon, who had now risen ; what ship's that ?" “Monsieur's conduct has been unworthy of a Viscount Rooster had not been two hours in Frenchman and a gallant homme.”

bed, when the Count de Punter (formerly of the “D— it; he has had it on his nob, though,” | Black Jägers), waited upon him upon the part of said Lord Viscount Rooster, laconically. | M. de Castillonnes and the Earl of Kew, who

[ocr errors]

bad referred him to the Viscount to arrange mat- | at Baden, to the gate of Milan, he describes as ters for a meeting between them. As the meet- beautiful; and doubtless, the delightful scenes ing must take place out of the Baden territory, through which the young man went, had their and they ought to move before the police prevent-effect in soothing any private annoyances with ed them, the Count proposed that they should at which his journey commenced. The aspect of once make for France ; where, as it was an affair nature, in that fortunate route which he took, is of honneur, they would assuredly be let to enter so noble and cheering, that our private affairs without passports.

and troubles shrink away abashed before that seLady Ann and Lady Kew heard that the gen- rene splendor. O, sweet peaceful scene of azure tlemen after the ball had all gone out on a hunt lake, and snow-crowned mountain, so wonderfully ing party, and were not alarmed for four-and- lovely is your aspect, that it seems like heaven twenty hours at least. On the next day none of almost, and as if grief and care could not enter it! them returned ; and on the day after, the family What young Clive's private cares were I knew heard that Lord Kew had met with rather a dan- not as yet in those days; and he kept them out of gerous accident; but all the town knew he had his letters; it was only in the intimacy of future been shot by M. de Castillonnes on one of the life that some of these pains were revealed to me. islands on the Rhine, opposite Kehl, where he Some three months after taking leave of Miss was now lying.

Ethel, our young gentleman found himself at Rome, with his friend Ridley still for a companion. Many of us, young or middle-aged, have felt that delightful shock which the first sight of the great city inspires. There is one other place of which the view strikes one with an emotion even greater than that with which we look at Rome, where Augustus was reigning when He saw the day, whose birth-place is separated but by a hill or two from the awful gates of Jerusalem. Who that has beheld both can forget that first aspect of either! At the end of years the emotion occasioned by the sight still thrills in your memory, and it smites you as at the moment when you first viewed it.

The business of the present novel, however, lies neither with priest nor pagan, but with Mr. Clive Newcome, and his affairs and his companions at this period of his life. Nor, if the gracious reader expects to hear of cardinals in scarlet, and noble Roman princes and princesses, will he find such in this history. The only noble Roman into whose mansion our friend got admission, was the Prince Polonia, whose footmen wear the liveries of the English Royal family, who gives gentlemen and even painters cash upon good letters of credit; and, once or twice in a season, opens his transtiberine palace and treats his customers to a ball. Our friend Clive used jocularly to say, he believed there were no Romans. There were priests in portentous hats; there were friars with shaven crowns; there were the sham peasantry, who dressed themselves out in masquerade costumes, with bagpipe and goat-skin, with crossed

leggings and scarlet petticoats, who let themselves CHAPTER XXXV.

out to artists at so many pauls per sitting ; but ACROSS THE ALPS.

he never passed a Roman's door except to buy a Our discursive muse must now take her place cigar or to purchase a handkerchief. Thither, as in the little britzka in which Clive Newcome and elsewhere, we carry our insular habits with us. his companions are traveling, and cross the Alps We have a little England at Paris, a little Enin that vehicle, beholding the snows on St. Goth-gland at Munich, Dresden, every where. Our ard, and the beautiful region through which the friend is an Englishman, and did at Rome as the Ticino rushes on its way to the Lombard lakes, English do. and the great corn-covered plains of the Milan- There was the polite English society, the soese ; and that royal city, with the Cathedral for ciety that flocks to see the Colosseum lighted up its glittering crown, only less magnificent than with blue fire, that flocks to the Vatican to bethe imperial dome of Rome. I have some long hold the statues by torchlight, that hustles into letters from Mr. Clive, written during this youth-the churches on public festivals in black vails ful tour, every step of which, from the departure and deputy-lieutenants' uniforms, and stares, and

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

talks, and uses opera-glasses while the pontiffs glimpse of heaven at all, I saw but a poor picof the Roman church are performing its ancient ture, an altar with blinking candles, a church rites, and the crowds of faithful are kneeling hung with tawdry strips of red and white calico. round the altars; the society which gives its The good, kind W- went away, humbly sayballs and dinners, has its scandal and bickerings, ing, that such might have happened again if its aristocrats, parvenues, toadies imported from heaven so willed it.' I could not but feel a kindBelgravia ; has its club, its hunt, and its Hyde ness and admiration for the good man. I know Park on the Pincio : and there is the other little his works are made to square with his faith, that English world, the broad-hatted, long-bearded, he dines on a crust, lives as chastely as a hermit, velvet-jacketed, jovial colony of the artists, who and gives his all to the poor. have their own feasts, haunts, and amusements “Our friend J. J., very different to myself in by the side of their aristocratic compatriots, with so many respects, so superior in all, is immensely whom but few of them have the honor to mingle. touched by these ceremonies. They seem to an

J. J. and Clive engaged pleasant lofty apart-swer to some spiritual want of his nature, and he ments in the Via Gregoriana. Generations of comes away satisfied as from a feast, where I painters had occupied these chambers and gone have only found vacancy. Of course our first their way. The windows of their painting-room pilgrimage was to St. Peter's. What a walk! looked into a quaint old garden, where there were Under what noble shadows does one pass; how ancient statues of the Imperial time, a babbling great and liberal the houses are, with generous fountain and noble orange-trees, with broad clus- casements and courts, and great gray portals tering leaves and golden balls of fruit, glorious to which giants might get through and keep their look upon. Their walks abroad were endlessly turbans on. Why, the houses are twice as tall pleasant and delightful. In every street there as Lamb Court itself; and over them hangs a were scores of pictures of the graceful character-noble dinge, a venerable mouldy splendor. Over istic Italian life, which our painters seem one and the solemn portals are ancient mystic escutcheons all to reject, preferring to depict their quack brig- -vast shields of princes and cardinals, such as ands, Contadini, Pifferari, and the like, because Ariosto's knights might take down ; and every Thompson painted them before Jones, and Jones figure about them is a picture by himself. At before Thompson, and so on, backward into time. every turn there is a temple : in every court a There were the children at play, the women hud- brawling fountain. Besides the people of the dled round the steps of the open doorways, in the streets and houses, and the army of priests black kindly Roman winter; grim portentous old hags, and brown, there's a great silent population of such as Michael Angelo painted, draped in ma- marble. There are battered gods tumbled out jestic raggery; mothers and swarming bambins; of Olympus and broken in the fall, and set up slouching countrymen, dark of beard and noble under niches and over fountains; there are senof countenance, posed in superb attitudes, lazy, ators namelessly, noselessly, noiselessly seated tattered, and majestic. There came the red troops, under archways, or lurking in courts and gardens, the black troops, the blue troops of the army of And then, besides these defunct ones, of whom priests; the snuffy regiments of Capuchins, grave these old figures may be said to be the corpses ; and grotesque; the trim French abbés; my lord there is the reigning family, a countless carved the bishop, with his footman (those wonderful hierarchy of angels, saints, confessors, of the latfootmen); my lord the cardinal, in his ram- ter dynasty which has conquered the court of shackle coach and his two, nay three, footmen Jove. I say, Pen, I wish Warrington would behind him-flunkies that look as if they had write the history of the Last of the Pagans. Did been dressed by the costumier of a British panto- you never have a sympathy for them as the monks mime-coach with prodigious emblazonments of came rushing into their temples, kicking down hats and coats of arms, that seems as if it came their poor altars, smashing the fair calm faces of out of the pantomime too, and was about to turn their gods, and sending their vestals a-flying? into something else. So it is, that what is grand They are always preaching here about the perseto some persons' eyes appears grotesque to oth-cution of the Christians. Are not the churches ers; and for certain skeptical persons, that step, full of martyrs with choppers in their meek heads; which we have heard of, between the sublime virgins on gridirons; riddled St. Sebastians, and and the ridiculous, is not visible.

the like? But have they never persecuted in “I wish it were not so," writes Clive, in one their turn? Oh, me! You and I know better, of the letters wherein he used to pour his full who were bred up near to the pens of Smithfield, heart out in those days. “I see these people at where Protestants and Catholics have taken their their devotions, and envy them their rapture. A turn to be roasted. friend, who belongs to the old religion, took me, “You pass through an avenue of angels and last week, into a church where the Virgin lately saints on the bridge across Tiber, all in action; appeared in person to a Jewish gentleman, flash- their great wings seem clanking, their marble gared down upon him from heaven in light and ments clapping; St. Michael, descending upon splendor celestial, and, of course, straightway the Fiend, has been caught and bronzified just as converted him. My friend bade me look at the he lighted on the Castle of St. Angelo, his enepicture, and, kneeling down beside me, I know my doubtless fell crushing through the roof and prayed with all his honest heart that the truth so downward. He is as natural as blank verse might shine down upon me too; but I saw no -that bronze angel-set, rhythmic, grandiose.

« 이전계속 »