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for the first time, as he knew well). '' When we grow rich, it shall be set in gold and garnets, and I will wear it every time my husband ceases to remember the days when he first taught me to love Kim, and in loving him, to love all that was noble in man."
And then Norman— But I do not see that I have any business to reveal further.
I did attain to the honor of gold and garnets, and, formed into a bracelet, I figured many a time on the fair arm of Jean Bcthune, who, when people jested with her for the eccentricity of wearing her own likeness, only laughed, and said that she did indeed love the self that her husband loved, for his sake. So years went by, until fairer things than bracelets adorned the arms of the painter's wife, and she came to see her own likeness in dearer types than tog poor ivory. So her ornaments—myself among .the rest—were slowly put by; and at last I used to Ue for months untouched, save by tiny baby-fingers, which now and then poked into the casket,to see "mamma's picture."
At length there came a change in my destiny. It was worked by one of those grandest of revolutionists—a young lady entering her teens.
"Mamma, what is the use of that ugly brace. let?" I heard one day, "Give me the miniature ( to have made into a breoch. I am sixteen—quite old enough to wear one, and it will be so nice to vbavc the likeness ofmy own mamma."
Mrs. Bethune could refuse nothing to her eldest daughter—her hope—her comfort—her sisterlike companion. So, with many an anxious charge concerning me, I was dispatched to the jeweler's. I hate to be touched by strangers, and during the wbole,l':me of my sojourn at the jeweler's, I shut up my powers of observation m a dormouse-like doze, frqra which I was only awakened by the eager fingers of Miss Anne JBethune, who bad rushed with jne into the painting-room, calling on papa «iii,,suamina to admire an old friend in a new face.
"Is that;the dear old miniature!" said the artist.
Jhe husband and wife looked at me, then at one,another, soil .smiled. Though both now glided into .middle , age, yet .in that, affectionate smile I saw nevive.the faces of Norman Bethune and the Lady Jean.
"I ,do believe there .ia something talismanic in the portrait," said young Anne, their daughter. "To-day, at thejewelerW, I was stopped by a disagreeable old gentleman, who stared at me, and then at the miniature, and finally questioned me about my name and my parents, until I was fairly wearied of his impertinence. A contemptible, malicious-eyed creature he looked; but the jeweler paid him all attention, .since, as I afterward
fofj-nt, he was Sir Anthony A , who succeeded
to *oj the estates of his cousin, the Earl of ."
Mr«. Bethune put me down on the table, and leaned her head on her hand; perhaps some memories of her youth eame over her on hearing those long-silent names. Her husband glanced at her wW» a restleM doubt—some men will be so jeal
ous over the lightest thought of one they love. But Jean put her arm in his, with a look so serene, so clear, that he stooped down and kissed her yet scarce-faded cheek.
"Go, my own wife—go and tell our daughter all."
Jean Bethune and her child went out together. When they returned, there was a proud glow on Anne's check—she looked so like her mother, or rather so like me. She walked down the studio; it was a large room, where hung pictures that might well make me fear to claim brotherhood with them, though the same hand created them and me. Anne turned her radiant eyes from one to the other, then went up to the artist and embraced 'bim.
"Father, I had rather be your daughter than share the honors of all the Douglasses."
Anne Bethune wore me, year after year, until the fashion of me went by, till her young daughters, in their turn, began to laugh at my ancient setting, and—always aside—to mock at the rude Art of "grandmamma's" days. But this was never in grandmamma's presence, where still I found myself at times; and my pale eyes beheld the face of which my own had once been a mere shadow—but of which the shadow was now l«fi as the only memorial.
"And was this indeed you, grandmamma?" many an eager voice would ask, when my poor self was called into question. "Were you ever this young girl; and did you really wear these beautiful pearls, and live in a castle, and hear yourself called 'the Lady Jean!'"
And grandmamma would lay down her spectacles, and look pensively out with her calm, beautiful eyes. Oh! how doubly beautiful they seemed in age, when all other loveliness had gone. Then she would gather her little flock round her, and tell, for the hundredth time, the story of herself and Norman Bethune—leaning gently, as with her parent-feelings she had now learnt to do, on the wrongs received from her own father, and lingering with ineffable tenderness on the noble nature of him who had won her heart, more through that than even by the fascination of his genius. She dwelt oftener on this, when, in her closing years, he was taken before her to his rest; and while the memory of the great painter was honored on earth, she knew that the pure soul of the virtuous man awaited her, his beloved, in heaven.
"And yet, grandmamma," once said the most inquisitive of the little winsome elves whom the old lady loved, who, with me in her hand, had lured Mrs. Bethune to a full hour's converse about olden days — "Grandmamma, looking back on your long, long life, tell me, do you not feel proud of your ancient lineage? and would you not like to have it said of you that you were an Earl's daughter?"
"No!" she answered. "Say, rather, that I was Norman Bethune's wife."
I waked, and found myself gazing on the blank white curtains, from whence the fantnsmal image of the Lady Jean had all melted away. But still, through the mystic stillness of dawn, I seemed to have a melancholy ringing in my cars—a sort of echo of Gylbyn's cry — "Lost—lost — lost!" Surely it was the unquiet ghost of the miniature, thus beseeching restitution to its original owners. "Rest thee, perturbed spirit!" said I, addressing the ornament that now lay harmlessly on my dressing-table—a brooch, and nothing more. "Peace! Though all other means have failed, perhaps thy description going out into the world of letters may procure thy identification. Ha !— I have it—I will write thy autobiography."
Reader, it is done. I have only to add that the miniature was found in Edinburgh, in August, 1849, and will be gladly restored to the right owner, lest the unfortunate author should be again visited by the phantom of Lady Jean.
THE SUPERSTITIONS OF SAILORS.
SOME years ago a British frigate, mounting fifty guns, and manned by four hundred of old England's hardiest seamen—men fit to face any danger, or thrash any human foe—lay becalmed on a bright sunny day in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles away from any land. Not a breath of wind disturbed the dog-vane, not a ripple was upon the sea; the man at the wheel stood idle and listless, the canvas flapped against the masts powerless, and the tall spars towered up into the bland air as motionless as if they were growing in their native forests. The vast expanse of the ocean was like a sheet of glass, gently broken into tiny ripples by the dark pointed fin of the stealthy shark, as ho slowly moved along in quest of his prey. Ever and anon a long rolling swell swept over the surface of the sea at regular, though distant intervals, and but for this ail-but imperceptible motion, nature seemed asleep, and the heaving! and settings of the water might be taken for tho deep-drawn respirations of some enormous animal.
The frigate was alone, no other sail dotted the sea within the scope of her horizon. All was silent, solemn, and calm; when in the midst of this stillness, the attention of the crew, on deck and below, was suddenly arrested by the loud and distinct ringing of a bell. Clang, clang, clang, it went, to the amazement of many, and the astonishment of all.
There was something so extraordinary in the sound that it startled all hands. There was no describing it. At first it appeared to come from a distance, and then from the ship's bell, for the noise was clear and loud; and, but for a slightly muffled tone, might have been, as indeed it was, mistaken for the bell of the frigate. Yet who had dared to strike the ship's bell, violently and without orders! And the officer of the watch, as soon as he had overcome the intense astonishment such a breach of naval discipline had occasioned, demanded, sternly—
"Who rang that bell?"
No answer was given.
"Who rang that bell, I say!" ho again de
manded, in the short, trumpet tono of tho quarterdeck.
"I tell ye what it is, my men," continued the officer, getting warm. "I'll have an answer out of some one. Here, quarter-master, tell me directly, who dared to ring that bell?"
The man thus appealed to gaped with astonishment, for he had, like every man aboard, heard the singular peal. Yet he was perfectly awaro that no person had touched the bell; and as the sounds appeared to him to come from the direction where it was placed, ho was as much puzzled as the officer to account why it had been struck or rung in such an unaccountable manner.
Finding that the quarter-master still hesitated, the officer said,
"Come, my man, tell me who rang that bell!"
"Well, then, I don't know, sir," solemnly replied the seaman; "leastways," he continued, awkwardly scraping his hair, " I 'spose 'twas n't done by any human fingers: 'cos ye see, sir, I was just about to make it twelve o'clock myself, when the duty was took clean out of my hands, by some invisible power, as it seems to me—"
"Invisible power, was it? Well, perhaps it was; but I'll stop his grog if I find him out; so come, that yarn won't do for me. Again I say, who dared to ring the ship's bell in that way I"
Again the quarter-master solemnly avowed that unless it was a freak of old Neptune, Davy Jones, or the Flying Dutchman, that he did not know who did it.
As the quarter-master was a steady hand, not given to liquor, and one of the best men in the ship, there was no reason to suspect him of falsehood; besides, the ship's bell was hung in open view of the quarter-deck, and seen by all hands.
"Strange!" muttered the lieutenant, and he looked over the ship's side. Others followed hit example at the bow and stern of the vessel, as though they expected to find a boat there. Active topmen ran up the rigging, but nothing could be seen but the gently heaving sea, the fair blue sky, and the clouds.
By this time tho captain, astonished at the unusual noise and bustle on deck, for he had also heard the vehement ringing of the bell, had left his cabin, and was silently listening to the inquiries made by his lieutenant. This lastnamed officer now reported in due form to his superior what had occurred, but that he had failed to detect the offender for tho present.
Our captain was one of the peppery breed— hasty, but good-natured—a strict disciplinarian, and a thorough seaman. Ho heard the lieutenant, then the quarter-master, and one or two of the waistcrs, describe what they knew of the matter; but as all their statements amounted to nothing, ho cut tho affair short by ordering every man in the watch to have his grog stopped until the culprit was found.
Clang, clang, clang, went the bell again, as soon as tho words were out of the captain's | mouth. Well, of course the captain was petrified, so was the lieutenant; and aa for the quarter-master and the rest of the watch, it would be difficult to describe their sensations, for they were a compound of terror at the sound of the bell, and joy at the prospect of having the stoppage taken off their grog; for of course the captain could now judge for himsclf who it was that was having a freak with his bell.
"This is very unaccountable," said the captain.
"Very," replied the lieutenant.
"Young gentleman," said the captain, "go below and inquire if any one sounded a bell just now between decks."
"Ay, ay, sir," and the midshipman of the watch dived down the after-hatchway, and there he found every body asking every body the very question he came himself to ask; nobody knew any thing about the matter.
As soon as the youngster came on deck he reported accordingly.
From whence then could these sounds proceed? No bell, by the ordinary mode of conveying sound, could be heard from the distance they could see. Even while the whole of the ship's company were palpitating with excitement, the inexplicable sounds continued—clang, clang, clang.
The crew now crowded on deck—midshipmen, marines, doctor, purser, cook, and idlers. The men stood at a respectful distance from the sacred precincts of the quarter-deck; but giving the mysterious bell a wide berth, not so much from fear as to remove all doubt about touching it, and to keep out of (h)arm's way of having their grog (topped.
Presently the same loud ringing was heard again; this time it floated high over head, and increased in intensity, and then it died away in long cadences, only to be renewed with fresh energy. Now it sounded broad upon the bow —now upon the beam, and then astem—while the whole of this time there hung the ship's bell, seen by all, and untouched.
Astonishment sat upon every countenance, from the captain to the cook's mate, and it was pretty evident that it would have been a relief to have exchanged the anxiety produced by their invisible enemy for a rattling broadside witli the most spanking frigate that ever floated. Many a man believed they heard the ship's knell, and many a hardy tar grew pale.
The bell now ceased for a time, and a capstan consultation was instituted among the oldest scamon and officers in the ship. Nothing of the kind had ever been heard in all their experience at sea before. One old forecastle man admitted that he had seen tho Flying Dutchman, that he was sartin of; another equally observant son of Neptune had seen (or else he was blind) a mermaid; many had heard all sort of dismal noises in great storms, and seen large fires at night burning upon the sea; but as for the bell-ringing, they had never heard of the like before. Among the officers there were many opinions as to the place from whence the sounds came; some believed they proceeded from above, others from
the ship; but the majority were incredulous, and suspected the whole affair was a trick; but then, how could it be performed 1 And in order to settle all doubts upon that point, the bell was unhooked and placed upon the deck; but nevertheless the same mysterious clang, clang, clang, ran fore and aft the ship.
It was now evident that the sounds did not come from the ship's bell; and being satisfied upon that point, the investigation was pushed in another direction. Luckily for us all, we had a purser of a scientific turn in the frigate. He was one of those idlers belonging to a ship of war, who, having no sea duties to perform, are, nevertheless, always busy. He was always studying something; and he now stepped forth and assured us that the sounds which had so puzzled all hands were caused by some strange vessel at a distance.
"But no ship is in sight," remarked the first luff, in an incredulous tone.
"No matter," said the purser.
"Why we can see miles, from the mast-head, in every direction, and not an inch of canvas is visible."
"No matter," doggedly said the purser. "One of two things is certain," he continued: "the sounds either proceed from the frigate's bell, or from some ship's bell not at present in sight. You admit that, I presume?"
"Well," said the captain, "go on."
"And you do not believe with the quartermaster that Neptune, Davy Jones, or the Flying Dutchman have any hand in the matter?"
The officers didn't believe they had, evidently giving way before the reasoning of the purser.
"Well, then," continued he; "if these remarkable sounds do not proceed from this ship's bell, and you discard supernatural agency, then the inference is, that they must come from some ship in the distance.
"But how?" inquired the first lieutenant, triumphantly. "Explain that if you can."
"In this way," calmly replied the purser. "In the theory of sound there is a known principle, called, I believe, the acoustic tube."
"What's that?" demanded the officcre.
"Why, your speaking trumpet—the speaking pipe by which messages are conveyed from ono part of a large building to another—whispering galleries, in which the softest sound is carried round vast areas, as the dome of St. Paul's—a thunder-clap—or the discharge of a gun on an elevated situation, which produces an echo from cliff to cliff, are familiar examples of this principle."
"But we have no cliffs within hundreds of miles to repeat the echo," remarked the captain.
"True," said the purser; "but we have clouds."
"Yes, clouds!" echoed the man of scienco; "for in all matters where reason is concerned, the best demonstrations must be adopted as tho heir-apparent to truth; so now, the most probable conjecture is, that this large mass of cloud, hanging so like a cupola over our heads, assisted, perhaps, by some electrical or other peculiar state of the atmosphere, has repeated or reflected the sound of the ringing of a ship's bell now lying just without the verge of our horizon."
"Very learned, indeed," said the captain.
"And most unsatisfactory," repeated the lieutenant, who felt himself in duty bound to side with his commanding officer.
"But it may be true, nevertheless," replied the purser. "At all events it is a much more rational conclusion than supposing the sounds to be the result of supernatural agency."
It was evident that the hypothesis of Old Nipcheese, as the purser was nicknamed, was scouted by "Jack;" and, indeed, the majority of the "hands" put their heads together and prophesied that evil would come of it. "There never was such a stupid yarn ever spun as the purser's. A cow sticks indeed!—what had that to do with bell-ringing? He'd better attend to his own business, and serve out better baccay and slops." Then followed all manner of absurd predictions; for, like their officers, the men preferred to believe in the impossible rather than in the probable.
However, as the sounds were now discontinued, the frigate's bell was re-hooked, the captain returned to his cabin, and the crew to their respective duties; but it was remarked on that night, that every mess spun more yarns about supernatural events than had been heard for months before.
But the reader demands to know if the hypothesis of the purser was confirmed. Happily it was. After we had been becalmed another day, a stranger hove in sight, borne down to us by a whiffling catspaw that died away just as she reached us. She proved to be an outward-bound Indiaman. If I remember right, her name was the "General Palmer." As the two ships lay becalmed for some hours very near each other, we sent a boat on board for news from England —the frigate having been in the East for three years. While discussing other matters, we heard that the Indiaman had crossed the line on the day of our alarm at the bell-ringing, and that they had performed the usual ceremony of shaving the "greenhorns" on that occasion, accompanied with immense fun.
After the usual compliments, somewhat hastened by an appearance of a breeze, we were about to step over the side, when it suddenly occurred to the officer in command of the boat to ask the captain of the Indiaman if, during the Saturnalia of crossing the line, his ship's bell had been rung very violently.
"Very," replied the captain; "very; it was one of the main features of our droll pastime. But why do you ask?"
"Oh, nothing particular—at least, not very," he said hesitatingly; "only we fancied we heard it."
"What! on board your frigate!" replied the captain; "that's impossible. Why, wo never sighted you till this morning."
"Nevertheless, I believe we heard your bell,"
said the lieutenant; and then followed a description of the peculiar manner the bell was rung, which so exactly tallied with what occurred on board the Indiaman, that no doubt any longer existed as to the truth of the hypothesis so cleverly advanced by the purser. But, notwithstanding this explanation, and its singular confirmation, there were scores of sailors in the frigate, bold, hardy, strong-willed men, who resolutely refused to believe; and to the day of their deaths were doubtless prepared to maintain that the ship's bell was rung by supernatural agency.
THREE VISITS TO THE HOTEL DES INVALIDES, 1705, 1806, 1840.
ON the 9th of May, 1705, the soldiers of the Hotel des Invalides were ranged in line in the great Court of Honor. It was touching to see two thousand brave fellows, all more or less mutilated in war, pressing round the banners which they had won in many a bloody fight. Among these victims of war might be seen soldiers of all ages. Some had fought at Fribourg or Rocroy; others at the passage of the Rhine, or the taking of Maastricht; a few of the oldest had assisted in the capture of La Rochelle, under Cardinal Richelieu, while one or two could even remember the battle of Mariendal under Turenne. But all alike appeared happy and pleased, waiting for the coming of Louis XIV., who had announced his intention of visiting for the first time these, as he called them, "glorious relies of his battalions."
At length, surrounded by a magnificent cortege of guards and nobles, the royal carriage approached; and, with that delicate courtesy so well understood by the king, the troops in attendance were ordered to sheathe their swords and fall back as he entered the gateway. "M. de Breteuil," said the monarch to the captain of his guard, "the King of France has no need of an escort when he finds himself in the midst of his brave veterans."
Followed by the Dauphin, the Marquis de Louvais, and other distinguished personages, Louis carefully inspected the invalids, pausing now and then to address a few kind words to those whom he recognized. One very young lad chanced to attract the king's attention. His face was very pale, and he seemed to have received a severe wound in the neck.
"What is your name!" asked Louis.
"In what battle were you wounded?"
"At Blenheim, sire."
At that word the brow of Louis darkened.
"Under what marshal did you serve!"
"Sire, under Monseigneur de Tallard."
"Messieurs de Tallard and de Marsein," said the monarch, turning to Louvais, "can reckon a sufficient number of glorious days to efface the memory of that one. Even the sun is not without a spot." And again addressing the young soldier, ho said, "Are you happy here?"
"Ah! sire," replied Maurice, "your majesty's goodness leaves us nothing to wish for."
The Marshal tie Urancey, governor of the establishment, advanced and said: "Sire, behold the fruits of your beneficence! Before your accession the defenders of France had no asylum: now, thanks to your majesty, want or distress can never reach those who have shed their blood for their country. And if that which still runs through our veins can do aught for the safety or glory of our king, doubtless we will yet show our successors what stout hearts and willing hands can do."
Once more Louis looked around, and asked in a loud voice: "Well, my children, are ye happy hero?"
Till that moment etiquette and discipline had imposed solemn silence; but when the king asked a question, must he not be answered? So two thousand voices cried together: "We are! we are!—Long live the king! Long live Louis!"
Accompanied by the governor and a guard of honor chosen from among the invalids, the monarch then walked through the establishment. The guard consisted of twenty men, of whom ten had lost a leg, and ten an arm, while the faces of all were scarred and seamed with honorable wounds. One of them, while serving as a subaltern at the battle of Berengen, threw himself before his colonel in time to save him, and received a ricochet bullet in his own leg. Another at the age of seventy-five was still a dandy, and managed to plait a queue with three hairs which yet remained on the top of his head. In one of the battles his arm was carried off by a bullet. "Ah, my ring! my ring!" cried he to a trumpeter next him— "go get me my ring!" It had been a present from a noble lady; and when the trumpeter placed it in his remaining hand, he seemed perfectly contented.
The royal procession quitted the Hotel amidst the saluting of cannon, and the shouting of the inmates; and the next day, in order to commemorate the event, the following words were engraved on a piece of ordnance: "Louis the Great honored with his august presence, for the first time, his Hotel des Invalides, on the 9th May, 1705."
On the afternoon of the 1st September, 1806, Napoleon mounted his horse, and quitted St. Cloud, accompanied only by his grand marshal, his aid-de-camp, Rapp, and a page. After enjoying a brisk gallop through the Bois de Boulogne, he drew up at the gate of Maillot, and dismissed his attendants, with the exception of Rapp, who followed him into the avenue of Neuilly. Galloping by the spot where the triumphal arch was then beginning to rise from its foundations, they reached the grand avenue of the Champs Elysees, and proceeded toward the Hotel des Invalides. There Napoleon stopped and gazed at the splendid edifice, glowing in the beams of the setting sun.
"Fine! very fine!" he repeated several times. "Truly Louis XIV. was a great king!" Then addressing Rapp, he said, "I am going to visit my invalids this evening. Hold my horse—I
shall not stay long." And throwing the bridle to his aid-de-camp, Napoleon passed beneath the principal gateway. Seeing a man dressed in a military hat, and with two epaulets badly concealed by his half-buttoned redingote, the sentry supposed him to be a superior officer, and allowed him to pass without question.
Crossing his arms on his chest, the visitor, having reached the principal court, stopped and looked around him. Suddenly the conversation of two invalids coming out of the building attracted his attention. In order to listen, be walked behind them, regulating his pace by theirs, for they walked very slowly. These two men seemed bowed down with years. The least feeble of them led his companion, and as they tottered on he looked anxiously around.
"Jerome," said the eldest, in a husky voice, "do you see him coming?"
"No, father; but never mind! I'll read him a lecture which he won't forget in a hurn—careless boy that he is!"
"But, Jcrcme, we must make some allowance for him—we were once young ourselves. Besides, I dare say he thought my prayers would not be finished so soon this evening—the boy has a kind heart."
Napoleon stepped forward, and addressing the old men, said, "Apparently, my friends, you are waiting for some one?"
The youngest looked up and touched his hat, for he saw the gleam of the epaulets.
"Yes, colonel," replied he, "my father Maurice and I have been waiting for my truant son. He knows well that his grandfather requires the support of his aims to reach the dormitory, as one of mine is—" Here he shook his empty'sleeve.
"You are a brave fellow!" said the Emperor, "and your son has done wrong. But how came your father," he continued, as they walked along, "to remain so late out?"
"Because, colonel, he always devctes the afternoon of the 1st of September to con memorate the anniversary of the death of the king under whom he formerly served."
"What king was that?"
"His late majesty, Louis XIV.," said the old man, who had not before joined in the conversation.
"Louis XIV.!" repeated Napoleon in astonishment. "Where can you have seen him?"
"Here, in this place; he spoke to me, and I answered," said Maurice, grandly.
"How old are you?"
"If I live till Candlemas, colonel, I shall be one hundred and twenty-one years old."
"A hundred and twenty-one years!" cried the Emperor. And taking the old man's aim, he said kindly, "Lean on me, old comrade, I will support you."
"No, no, colonel; I know too well the respect—"
"Nonsense! I desire it." And the Emperor gently placed the arm within his own, although the veteran still resisted.
"Come, father," said Jerome, "do as the col