Puslapio vaizdai

own hearthstone. The children, tethered by the this was as far as any young man need go when foot to a post, would angle through the trap- posturing before the Alps. doors for turtles, or twiddle derisive fingers at The Chatelaine had not yet recovered from the wolf or boar that peered hungrily through the shock which had come to her with the dawnthe twilight from the strand; the hunter would ing of this brilliant Parisian apparition beneath toil over the causeway with his spoil of stag, the shadowed arch of the church door, and to the or urus, or aurochs; the husbandman, on the Governor the sight of that bright and knowing main, would mind his wheat-field or his sheep- face lighted up a million gas-jets in competition fold; the potter, with wheel or without, would with the blessed light of day, while every footpile up his product of jar and pipkin; the fall of those dapper boots helped to spread a weaver at her clay-weighted loom would ma- field of asphalt over the green churchyard turf; nipulate her hunks of fax; and the worker in but Aurelia West had often seen the like before, skins, or arrow-heads, or fish-hooks would pur- and she lost no time in demanding of the Count, sue his industrious way. Then some careless with an aggressive audacity, and a seeming conmaid – oh, joy!- would let slip a bowl or sciousness of the superfluity of the question, what jug through a chink in the rude flooring, or an he was doing in Switzerland. Well, he was there impatient artisan would hurl a faulty hatchet- as a fictionist; he was picking up material. This head far out over the water, and each would he said with the air of a man who thought one fall, and sink in the marl below, and wait there answer would do as well as another. No interpatiently three or four thousand years for a est, he declared, was equal to the human interest. worthy old antiquarian to come into his own. And humanity was never so interesting as when And his new guest, instead of starting in with at a disadvantage. And it was never more at Roman readings in one syllable, might now a disadvantage than when amusing its leisure; begin with the very A B C of Swiss history, as nor at a more supreme disadvantage than when rightfully she should. Such images as these this leisure found it disporting before the great churned in the Governor's excited brain as, front of nature. He looked calmly around the accompanied by his secondary sympathizer, little group, waved his hand in a businesslike he rustled through the town and scaled the way toward the Jungfrau, and presently retired height behind it in search of his primary one. into the shrubbery to jot down this little string

But what pleasure is complete? The Gov- of epigrams. Not every one would think them ernor, panting and perspiring, told off the last worth saving, but the appreciation of values step of that stony incline, and gained the turf differs, and they were saved, and appeared in and shade of that churchly little rectangle only print in Paris in the autumn. I simply mento find the field already in possession of an- tion this fact here because the “ Étude d'une other. This was a lithe, graceful, self-assured Âme” may never have come to your notice. young manoftwenty-five, whosemannerseemed The Governor, who inwardly confessed hima perfect epitome of urban elegance, and whose self a little put out, but who hardly fancied fantastic costuming, blossoming into every sort himself as figuring to any great disadvantage, of vernal wantonness, affronted those serene opined that for this sort of note-taking their own presences across the water with a jauntiness that quiet little town might not be so good a field approached blasphemy. Or so it seemed to the as Lucerne, for example, where a brass band good Governor, whose balked impatience was might be listened to on the Schweizerhof Quay, hastening on to the discovery of other affronts whence the Rigi might be ascended for the more deadly still, when Miss West presented sunrise, and where, as he understood from the the new-comer as the young Fin-de-Siècle. The prints, Mlle. Pasdenom, also from Paris, was Count, she hastened to add, with a certain ac- shortly expected to open out with an Offencent of complacent relish, was just twenty-four bachian repertoire on the stage of the Casino. hours from Paris. The Governor found it im- This last chance shot found lodgment somepossible to maintain a complete rigidity before where, for the Count, a trifle dashed, hastened this suave and smiling young man, and there. on rapidly to another set of reasons. This time fore unbent sufficiently to present his own com- he was merely winging his flight across a corner panion, the Baron Thus-and-So, mentioning of the country on his way down to Italy; he one of the oldest, most famous, and most un- was going to see his friend, the Marchese of manageable names in all Tyrol, a name which Tempo-Rubato, who had a hunting-box in for ordinary use the Governor unceremoniously the mountains above Bergamo, and his father, metamorphosed into “ Zeitgeist." The Baron the old Duke of Largo-everybody knew the Zeitgeist wore Tyrolean grays and greens, and Duke. All this, and much more, to Miss West; had hastily slung a jägerhut, with one curling and that young lady, thankful to have gone no cock-feather, across his blond head; and the farther beyond bounds, and inwardly resolving Governor, whose eye, indeed, was not alto- hereafter to keep within bounds still more cirgether dimmed to pictorial effect, thought that cumscribed, astutely started out on a little course


of thought quite her own. For one thing, she and mountain, and her head raised finely to should beware in the future of any reason that catch the freshening breeze that swept athwart seemed too plain, too simple. For another thing, the bow, Aurelia West could not but speed she should certainly hear the band play on the one shaft of envy toward this young creature Schweizerhof Quay.

set so high that she was able to ignore all curIf Fin-de-Siècle, during his winter's acquain- rent conventionalities and yet become in no tance with Aurelia West, had given that un- degree absurd. As soon request the Alps themdiscriminating young woman more admiration selves to change their robe of snow and pinethan respect, he was now bestowing on the boughs as to ask the "taste for nature" to wax Chatelaine a considerable degree of respect, no or wane or vacillate. particular degree of admiration, and an insuf- Meanwhile Fin-de-Siècle pursued his inferable degree of curiosity. He began his note- quiries with an unabashed directness that a taking on the churchyard terrace with all the complete gentleman might well have hesitated ardor that a new type inspires, and he continued to employ. When he learned that the Chait on the steamer deck, as they sped in all haste telaine's idea of dissipation was San Remo, he toward Morat, with an absorption that thrust felt that he had made a point; when he dislandscape and antiquities equally into the back- covered that her ideal of splendor was Geground. The Governor had collected his little neva, he felt that he had made another; when party with the least possible loss of time, and his she said that she had never witnessed a real satisfaction as to its composition was complete; dramatic representation, he squeezed his own for among the group of quiet, suave, well-fed elbows in ecstasy ; and when she avowed that old gentlemen aft was his great confrère and little in her reading had been more recent than rival, Professor Saitoutetplus, whose compla- “Paul et Virginie,” he was almost charmed cency since the discovery of a lake-dwelling or into silence. The Chatelaine was able to meet so on his own frontage near Cortaillod had been all his inquiries with serene composure, and a thorn in the Governor's side for many a year at the same time to give some heed to the past. And the others, if less prominent as landed painstaking little profundities with which the proprietors, were equally eminent as scientists; young Baron Zeitgeist was trying to chain every one of them, at some reunion or other, had the wandering attention of Aurelia West; and laid his “paper" on that dusky damask table- once, too, when a group of peasant girls, who cover of the Governor's, and had contracted his were attired in the sober holiday finery of the eyebrows to stop the tinkling of the prisms on district, and who sat huddled together in an the tarnished candelabrum at his elbow. And obscure corner not far away, began modestly to now they sat there together on the shady side of croon some old folk-songs, she added her own the paddle-box, conversing amiably enough, voice to theirs. Zeitgeist had been in America, but ready at any moment to sink the friend in as he had lost no time in informing the new arthe controversialist with a suddenness and com- rival on meeting her in the Governor's salon, pleteness that would throw a stranger into a and his talk referred to a time and place quite panic of apprehension. But the friend, although other than the present. So did the talk of the he sank, never failed to rise again; and the Cha- Governor's friends, occasional bits of which telaine, when contentious voices began to rise, floated now and then to Aurelia's ears. But knew that conversational life-preservers were she was giving very little heed to either the one close at hand, and gave no evidence of being or the other. Now and then she heard a word in any great degree disturbed. She, with the of the stone age, indeed, and again of the other young people, was well up toward the bronze age, and again of the age of iron; but bow; and thus the Hirondelle, with youth at she herself knew only one age — the age of the prow and learning at the helm, sped on her flesh and blood. To the Chatelaine, of course, way.

the proper study of mankind was antiquity; The Chatelaine, whose wardrobe was doubt- but from her own point of view the proper less small and simple, wore for this excursion study of mankind was man, and the particular just what she had worn upon the terrace – man now in her thoughts was the one who had a gray woolen gown, a small bonnet of brown followed her, or some one else, from Paris. straw, not altogether unlike a poke, and a gar- The steamer had now left the Lake of Neument which I venture, with some diffidence, châtel, and was bumping on, as best it might, to term a pelisse. To have called her aspect through the narrow channel of the Broye. The archaic would have been unjustly severe; yet motion had become too violent and irregular to have called it wholly unfashionable would for the singing peasantry, and they lapsed into have been quite within the bounds of truth. silence. The steamer presently jarred against But as this strong, serene, cool-eyed young a scowful of mowers whose work grazed the woman trod firmly from one side of the boat edge of the stream; a boy who was knocked to the other, her glance ranging freely over lake overboard from the stem of the scow was brought up by a big boat-hook, and the inter- a rough timber framework, set with wabbling vention of the officer in command prevented lines of coarse old tiles; but it deserves a place the boarding of the Hirondelle by a horde of among the minor promenades of Switzerland, angry agriculturists. A quarter of a mile far- it is so authentic, so accessible, so abounding ther the boat grazed bottom, and a rod beyond in pleasant and ever-shifting glimpses of lake, this it stuck fast, and nothing but the straining, town, mountain, and country-side. writhing, pushing, and shouting of the entire But the Governor's impatience over Aventicrew made the accomplishment of the trip a cum left very little time for any other place, and possibility. But none of these minor mishaps his guests presently found themselves seated unhad cast a single drop of water on the flames der his famous old pear-trees near the Temple of controversy now raging among the savants of Mars, while his chief Roman was offering of Neuchâtel. The Chatelaine, looking back, them by way of refreshment the choice beobserved that her godfather was quite red in tween gooseberries and buttermilk. Then they the face, and that the worthy Saitoutetplus was were shown the remains of the basilica of Au. moving his umbrella in a fashion totally foreign lus Perfidius, whose treachery to the Roman to the usual manipulation of the olive-branch. cause, as explained by Zeitgeist, was the reaMonsieur was being requested to recall how it son for the removal of a good part of this struchad turned out not merely at their own Con- ture in favor of a barrack for the Thirteenth cise or Yverdon, but also at Wauwyl, at Wan- Legion: a row of cippi commemorating various gen, at Robenhausen, where by no chance members of that body now formed a border for could the potter's wheel have been employed. the asparagus-bed. They saw numerous other And again, would monsieur be pleased to re- novelties and rarities, and on the way home member that the jar had not been found in the they stopped at Payerne to glance at the old peat itself, but in the first stratum beneath it - Benedictine abbey, from the broad archway of a consideration that rendered necessary a re- which half a hundred shrill-voiced school-chilconstruction of the entire theory. But, on the dren were being scattered broadcast, and to look other hand, the cher professeur must not lose in at the old church where the saddle of good sight of the important fact that the jar had been Queen Bertha is to be seen, with its hole for clearly shown to contain not carbonized acorns, her distaff. And they took time at Estavayer, but beechnuts, which permitted an entirely dif- while waiting for the homeward steamer, to run ferent interpretation of the matter. Meanwhile over the causeways and through the courts of the Chatelaine watched for the appearance of the fine old brick château; and they glided into Morat's high-set castle-tower, with its pair of the port at Neuchâtel as the stars were coming attendant poplars, and, seeing them, felt that out and the dews were making it worth while deliverance was nigh.

to feel a new seat before taking it; and AuMorat, rising steeply from behind its fron- relia West was fain to acknowledge to the Chatage of ruined sea-wall and its rounded clumps telaine, as they walked home along the darkling of willow, is a compact, bustling little place, quay, that not for many a day had she been and as picturesque, in a hearty, downright fash- more completely filled with panorama, medie. ion, as a purely Protestant town can be. For valism, and classicality. But the lake-dwell. a touch of the pensive and forlorn thriftlessness ers? Yes, yes—that is a question I can answer; that the Church may bestow our friends waited but it is one that I had hoped you might forget for Estavayer, which had a place in the circu- to ask. itous route that took them home. But Morat Well, none of us need to be told that a single possesses two features which even the most whiff of real fact may quickly dissipate a whole troublesome esthete must appreciate-an inn bushel of antiquarian chaff. And all of us can which offers at once a good dinner and a good understand that the humbler the fount of in

a view across the lake from its high back win- formation the harder it is to gulp down its gushdows, and a town-wall which, more than any ings. There are certain features connected with dinner, must make the mouth of the discrim- that afternoon at Aventicum Novum which the inating visitor water. Our friends despatched Governor never cared to linger on, and which their lunch in the big public room, crowded were never afterward referred to in his presence. with a jostling, good-natured fair-throng, and The plain facts are these: the Governor's stewthen, in deference to the visitor from over sea, ard had a father; this father, an octogenarian made a little excursion on the wall, a tiny semi- down in a cottage by the shore, had a memory; circle of less than half a mile, all told, with a and this memory was able to connect the work huddle of steep roofs within and a fine spread of the lake-dwellers with certain work of his of gardens and open meadows without. It is own lost both to sight and recollection for fully a rugged old fabric, broken through by a dozen fifty years. That was all. The Governor's fancy awkward towers, and covered for its whole had gone up as rockets do, and had come down length with a rude peaked roof that rests on as rockets will; and now, when the worthy Sai


THE JURA : BOUND TO THE CHARIOT-WHEELS. AFTER the obsequies of Julia Placidia the Chatelaine and her friends set about the recovery of their spirits by means of a series of little fêtes and excursions, not too hilarious and not too suddenly begun. They started with a sedate ramble over the heights of the Chaumont, and they continued with a little run, partly by rail and partly on foot, up through the glories of the Val de Travers. One day came a picnic on the grassy slopes above the towered and gabled old manor of Cornaux, whence the Lake of Bienne, along with red-tiled Neuveville and the inviting Isle of St. Peter, spread out a soothing little sonatina in quietly blended blues, reds, and greens; and on another day they betook themselves up to La Chaux-de-Fonds to spend a few hours among the watchmakers, much to the delight of Aurelia West, in whose breast the shopping instinct, like hope, sprang eternal, and in whose

eyes the pleasant peculiarities of the Jura landscapes had not yet lost their charm. And in the course of a week they had so far left their grief behind as to attempt a quiet little fête in the prim old garden behind the Governor's house. They summoned hither half a dozen shy young students and a corresponding number of straight, self-conscious maidens,—the daughters and nieces of professors, — and attempted a bit of dancing en

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plein air to the music of a fute, a violin, and She had made the journey alone. When I a violoncello. The cello was manned by Zeit- say “ alone,” I use the word in a narrow, techgeist, and the flute was looked after by the nical sense; she was accompanied by no friend, Governor himself, who would have resented no relative, no chaperon. The relatives in whose the least imputation of rheumatic finger-joints care she was to have gone were obliged to give as the worst of insults; and the efforts of both up their idea of Basel at the last moment, and were directed by the violinist,- a townsman to this independent young woman the eightand a professional,- a nervous, elderly little hour trip across France by daylight did not man whose interest in the occasion rather over. present itself as an undertaking of any extreme shadowed the deference that he should have difficulty. But as for company unrelated, shown to such distinguished amateurs, whose company in the plain, ordinary sense,—she slightest slip he rebuked and corrected with had enough and to spare, as you shall see. Draconic severity. The Governor was brought She had made all her arrangements to deto book half a dozen times or more, and at part with the éclat proper to one of the colony last was smilingly obliged to confess himself who was so fair, so young, and of a position rather out of practice; but Zeitgeist, whose so assured. Her costume was distinctly in the instrument was his constant traveling com- mode, and that mode at its highest. Her travpanion and in almost daily use, escaped with eling-wrap was in a large, light plaid, which, merely a rap or two. Miss West, who had ob- even in the piece, looked striking enough; her served the peregrinations of the cello with some hat showed a width of brim and a wealth of amusement and little less concern, once made adornment that more than met the necessities bold to ask its owner why he had not chosen of the case; and the handle of her parasol was something smaller; but she learned at once incredibly long and ornate. Still, whatever her that nothing else could quite meet his particu- aunt may or may not have said, before or after, lar requirements. The violin was too shrill and there was nothing in her get-up- as she invashrieking; the viola was too robust and ram- riably insisted when looking back upon this cupageous; only the soulful sonority of the vio- rious day—that was not completely justified by loncello could give adequate expression to his the plates in “ La Mode Illustrée." Her bags passion and his pain. But to the Chatelaine and other belongings were equally modish, a there was nothing that required special com- dozen people of consequence had assembled at ment in the journeyings of that big green bag; the Gare de l'Est to see her off, and nothing in for more than once she had seen an unwieldy the world had been wanting to give her desitz-bath bumping its way up the Nicolaithal parture the proper effect except a minute or two to Zermatt, and last year she had made the of time. But a wretched accident had delayed acquaintance of an elderly Anglaise who had her five or more, and when her uncle hurried carried a parrot in an enormous cage all the her through the salle d'attente to the platform, way from Plymouth to Pontresina and back a dozen apprehensive friends, who had bought again.

tickets to the first station out that they might The days went on quickly and pleasantly, pass the guard, had given her up; the porters and Aurelia West was pleased to find herself were running along swiftly as they slammed slipping more easily and more completely into the doors of the carriages, and her attendant, the round of cheerful serenities that marked the wrenching open one of the compartments, had course of life at Neuchâtel. This was precisely only time to push her in when the train started, what she had come for, and it would be agree- even before she had found her seat. No bonable enough for a few weeks, after the distrac- bons, no flowers, no hand-shaking, no kisses; tions of Paris and the diversions of the Riviera. but as the train pulled out she was solaced by It was on this southern shore that the two young a momentary glimpse of a traveler more unwomen had first become acquainted, during a fortunate still. A young man- a boulevardier, month passed between Mentone and San Remo, it seemed - came struggling through the crowd and the Chatelaine had left La Trinité for Neu- with a new portmanteau in one hand, an imchâtel in order to meet her guest, as I may say, mense bouquet in the other, and an evident inupon the threshold. Yet, while the Governor's tention on the carriage before hers in his every little fêtes and excursions had half rubbed the movement. His figure seemed familiar enough, Rue de la Paix from her memory, and had jos- but his hat was jammed down over his eyes tled the last Battle of Flowers two or three de- and nose. He stumbled and fell. The portmangrees along the road to ancient history, still teau burst open. The bouquet flew to pieces. they had not done much to quiet the feeling What became of the youth himself she had no of doubt and surprise and general uncertainty time to see. Nor was she disturbed by the specwhich rose and fluttered whenever she looked tacle which her uncle presently offered to those back on that day's journey of hers from Paris remaining behind-rushing after the train with to the Alps.

outstretched arms, as if to pull it back by main

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