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did not desist from a somewhat disdainful gravity of bearing. She had come upon the scene with a certain part to play; she had got it into her head that she was to appear before an ill-disposed judge, who had come expressly to take her measure and to weigh her in the balance. So she armed herself with Olympian majesty and that insolence of beauty which tramples impertinence under foot, crushes the haughty, and transforms Acteons into deer. Although the Marquis's politeness was faultless and emphatic, and although he besought her to look favorably upon him, she remained firm and would not be disarmed. Horace listened to all with great satisfaction; he thought his uncle charming, and could hardly keep from embracing him. He also thought that Madame Corneuil never had been more beautiful, that the sunlight was brighter than ever, that it streamed down upon his happiness, that the air was full of perfume, and that everything in the world went on wonderfully. Now and then a slight shadow fell like a cloud before his eyes. In reading over that morning the fragments of Manetho, he stumbled upon a passage which seemed contradictory to his favorite argument, which was dear to him as life itself. At intervals he began to doubt whether it really was during the reign of Apepi that Joseph, son of Jacob, came into Egypt; then he reproached himself for his doubt, which came back to him the next moment. This contradiction grieved him greatly, for he had a great regard for Manetho. But when he looked at Madame Corneuil his soul was at rest again, and he fancied he could read in her beautiful eyes a proof that the Pharaoh who knew not Joseph must have been Sethos I., in which case the Pharaoh who did know him must have been the King Apepi. To be tenderly loved by a beautiful woman makes it easy to believe anything, and all things become possible - Manetho, Joseph, the King Apepi, and all the rest.
What was passing in the heart of the Marquis? To what conquering charm was he the prey? The fact was, he no longer resembled himself. He had made an excellent beginning, and Madame Véretz was delighted with his tales. Little by little his animation grew languid. This man, who was so great a master over his own thoughts, could no longer control them; this man, so great a master in conversation, really was seeking in vain for the proper words. He struggled for some time against this strange fascination which deprived him of his faculties, but it was all in vain. He no longer took part in the conversation, except in a few loose phrases, which were absolutely irrelevant, and soon fell into a deep reverie and the dullest silence.
neuil. "I have quite overawed him; I have made him afraid of me."
And so, applauding herself for having silenced the batteries of the besieger and put out his fires, a smile of satisfied pride hovered around her lips. A moment after she rose to walk around the garden, and Horace hastened to follow her.
The Marquis remained alone with Madame Véretz. He followed the pair of lovers with his eyes for a little while, as they slowly withdrew and finally disappeared behind the shrubbery. The spell seemed then to be unloosed. Monsieur de Miraval regained his voice, and, turning toward Madame Véretz, he exclaimed dramatically: "No, nothing has ever been created yet more beautiful than youth, more divine than love. My nephew is a fortunate fellow. I congratulate him aloud, but I keep my envy to myself."
Madame Véretz rewarded this ejaculation with a gracious smile which signified: "Good old fellow! we judged you wrongly. How can you serve us best?"
"The more I see them together, Monsieur le Marquis," said she, "the more I am convinced that they were made for one another. Never were two characters better matched: they have the same likes and the same dislikes, the same elevated tone of mind, the same scorn of mediocre ideas and petty calculation, the same disregard of vulgar interests. They both live in paradise. Ah! Monsieur le Marquis, only a providential dispensation could have brought them together."
"Very providential," said the Marquis, but he added, in petto, "A manœuvring mother is the surest of all providences." Then he resumed aloud: "After all, what is the aim of it? Happiness. My nephew is right to consider his affection only. He can have his paradise, as you call it, madame, and all the rest into the bargain; for Madame Corneuil-We will not speak of her beauty, which is incomparable, but it is impossible to see her or to hear her speak without recognizing her to be a most superior woman, the most suitable in the world to give a man good counsel, and to lead him onward, to push him forward."
"You certainly judge her correctly," answered Madame Véretz. "My daughter is a strange being; she is full of noble enthusiasm which she carries at times to exaltation, and yet she is thoroughly reasonable, very intelligent as regards the things of this world, and, at the same time, ice to her own interests and on fire for others."
"Only one thing distresses me," said the Marquis to her. "The story-teller advises all happy lovers to roam only to neighboring shores, and ours are going to bury their happiness in Memphis or in Thebes. It would be a crime to "My mother was right," said Madame Cor- take Madame Corneuil away from Paris."
"Reassure yourself," said she; "Paris will have them back again."
You do not know my nephew: he has a horror of that perverse and frivolous city. He confided to me yesterday that he means to end his days in Egypt, and assured me that Madame Corneuil was as much in love as he was with the solitude and silence of the region of Thebaid. He appears very gentle, but there never was a person of more determined will."
"Heaven help him!" said Madame Véretz, looking at the Marquis as if she would say, "My fine friend, there is no will which can hold against ours, and Paris can no more do without us than we without Paris."
"They have chosen the good part," continued Monsieur de Miraval with a deep sigh. "I have often laughed at my nephew, blaming him because he did not know how to enjoy life; now it is his turn to laugh at me, for I am reduced to envying his happiness. There comes an age when one regrets bitterly not having been able to make a home for one's self. But you must be astonished, madame, at my confidences."
itive woman a full description of his château, which was doubtless well worth the trouble, only he seldom visited it. The minute information which he gave respecting his estates and their revenues was not of such a nature as to chill the interest which she was beginning to take in him.
During all this time, Madame Corneuil strolled through a path in the garden with Horace, who did not notice that her nerves were greatly excited and that she was somewhat ruffled. There were a great many things which the Count de Penneville never noticed.
Heavens! what beautiful weather," said he to her; "what a beautiful sky, what a beautiful sun! Still it is not the sun of Egypt! when shall we see it again? Oh, thither, thither, let us go,' as says the song of Mignon. You must sing that song to me to-night; no one sings it like you. This park never seemed so green to me as now. There is no denying the beauty of green grass, although I can get along wonderfully well without it. I once knew a traveler who thought Greece horrible because there were so few trees. There are people who are wild on the subject of
"I am rather flattered by them, than aston- trees. Do you remember our first excursion to ished," answered she.
"I am devoured by ennui, I must acknowledge. I had determined to pass the remainder of my days in retirement and in quiet, but ennui will yet force me out of my den. I shall plunge into active political life again. I have been urged to stand for the arrondissement where my château is situated, and have also been proposed for the senate. I might go still higher if I were married to a woman of sense, intelligent in the things of this world, in spite of her enthusiasms. Women are a great means of success in politics. Would that I had a wife! as the poet says: 'Have I passed the season of love? Ah! if my heart,' etc., etc. I can not remember the rest of it, but never mind. Lucky Horace! thrice happy! What a vast difference there is between living in Egypt with the beloved, and bustling about Paris in the whirl of politics without the beloved!"
Madame Véretz in truth thought the difference vast, but greatly to the advantage of the bustle and the whirl. She could not help thinking, "It would be perfect if my future son-in-law only had the tastes and inclinations of his uncle; there would be nothing more to wish for."
From that moment, the Marquis de Miraval became a most interesting being to her. She tried to reconcile him to his fate, and, as she had a genius for detail and for business, she asked him a great many questions about his electoral arrondissement and his chances of election. The Marquis, somewhat embarrassed, replied as best he could. He could not get out of it except by changing the subject, and so he gave the inquis
Gizeh-the vast bare plain, the wavy hills, the ochre-colored sand? You said, 'I could eat it!'
"We met a long line of camels; I can see them now. The pyramids pierced the horizon, and they seemed white and sparkling. How they stood out against the sky! They seemed quivering. The air here never quivers. What a good breakfast we had in that chapel! You wore a tarbouch on your head, and it became you like a charm. When shall I see you in a tarbouch again? The turkey was somewhat lean, I remember, and I made a great blunder I let fall the jar which held our Nile-water. We laughed at it well, and had to drink our wine unmixed. After which we descended into the grotto, and I interpreted hieroglyphics to you for the first time. I shall never forget your delight at my telling you that a lute meant happiness, because the sign of happiness was the harmony of the soul. In the Chinese writings, happiness is represented by a handful of rice. After that, who could contest the immense superiority of soul in the genius of the Egyptians over the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire?"
At last he discovered that Madame Corneuil made no reply to him; he sought for an explanation, and soon found it.
"He does not please me much." "Did he say anything to offend you?" exclaimed Horace, who was afraid his uncle might have been disagreeable while his mind was wandering with Manetho and the King Apepi.
He is a man of talent," answered she, “but I like some soul, and I suspect he has none." As she spoke these words she fastened her great brown eyes on the face of the young man; he saw a soul in their depths; he might perhaps have seen two.
"You must be frank in your turn," resumed she. "You do not know how to tell a lie, and for that I love you a little. You told me that you were going to write to Madame de Penneville. The Marquis is her answer."
"I must say it is so," said he, “but, if the whole universe should put itself between you and me, it would have its trouble for nothing. You know that I love and that I adore you."
"Your heart, then, is indeed mine, wholly mine?" asked she, with a most bewitching glance.
him, I will do everything to please you, although I have always returned the friendship he has borne for me."
"Yes, send him back to his family, who must object to our having him. May he return soon, to tell his stories to them!"
But allow me--I am his family; he is unmarried, or rather he has been a widower for thirty years, and has neither son nor daughter. But what do I care for his property?"
At these words Madame Corneuil came out of her rapture, and pricked up her ears like a dog who scents unexpected game.
"His property! You his heir! You never told me so."
"And why should I have told you? What is money to us? This is my treasure," added he, in trying to get a second kiss, which she wisely refused, for one must not be too lavish.
"Yes, how base a trifle the whole subject of money is!" said she. "Is the Marquis very rich?"
"My mother says that he has two hundred thousand livres' income. He may do what he chooses with it. Since he does not please you, I
"For ever, for ever yours," answered he, with will tell him plainly that I renounce my place as voice half choked.
They drew near an arbor, the entrance to which was narrow. Madame Corneuil went in first, and when Horace joined her she stood motionless before him, gazing at him with a melancholy smile. Until that moment she kept him at a distance, without allowing him to make any advances, but now by a sudden impulse she lifted up lips and forehead to him, as if to claim a kiss. He understood, and yet hardly dared hope that he had rightly understood. He hesitated, but at last touched her lips with his. He felt ill. Only once before had he felt the same wild emotion. It was one day near Thebes, when making an excavation, he saw with his eyes-his own eyes —at the bottom of the trench, a great sarcophagus of rose-granite. That day, too, he grew faint. Madame Corneuil sat down; he fell at her feet, and, with elbows upon the beloved knees, he devoured her glances for a while. There was only the width of a path between the arbor and the lake; they heard the waves whispering to the beach. She stammered a few words of love; she spoke of that joy and mystery which no human tongue can express.
After a long silence Madame Corneuil said: "Great happiness is always restless and uneasy, everything frightens it—it is scared at everything. I implore you, get rid of this diplomate. I never liked diplomates. All they can see in the world is prejudice, interest, calculation, and vanity."
"It must all be done with propriety," answered Madame Corneuil with considerable animation. "You are fond of him. It would make me wretched to set you against a relation whom you love."
"I would give up all for you," exclaimed he; "the rest seems so small."
He remained a little longer at her feet; but to his great grief she made him rise, saying: "Monsieur de Miraval must remark our long absence from him. We must be polite."
Two minutes after she entered the pavilion, whither Horace followed her, and greeted the Marquis with a tinge of affability which she had not shown before; but, although she had changed her expression and manner, the spell was not broken, and its effect was even more perceptible. Monsieur de Miraval, after having recovered all his wits in conversing with Madame Véretz, and giving her all sorts of confidences, was disturbed anew at the appearance of his beautiful enemy. He replied to all her advances in incoherent phrases, and sentences without head or tail, which might have fallen from the moon. Soon, as if angry with himself and his undignified weakness, he rose hastily, and turning toward Madame Véretz with a profound bow, took his leave of her; then, advancing toward Madame Corneuil, he looked her full in the eyes, and said to her with a sort of fierceness in his voice:
"Madame, I came, I saw, and I have been conquered."
Thereupon he withdrew like one wishing to
get away, and forbade his nephew to accompany him. It can be easily imagined that after his departure he was freely discussed. All agreed that his conduct was peculiar; but Madame Véretz protested that she thought him more charming than odd, but Madame Corneuil thought him more odd than charming. Horace, for his part, tried to explain the eccentricity of his conduct by his varying state of health, or by a certain whimsical disposition excusable at his age. He acknowledged that he had never seen him so before, but had always known him to be a bon vivant, active, of good memory, witty, and easily adapting himself to all.
"There is some mystery about it that you must take pains to clear up," said Madame Corneuil to him; and as he looked at his watch and was about to withdraw-" By the way, lazy boy," said she to him, "when are you going to read me the famous fourth chapter of your History of the Hyksos'? You must remember that you were to read it some evening with a midnight supper in its honor. We must have that supper in Paris. Will it not be delicious?"
At thought of the little private banquet in honor of Apepi, Horace's heart thrilled with delight and his eyes beamed.
"Ten days-that is a century!" said she; "but keep your word, or I shall break with you."
As he drew away she added, "The next time you meet Monsieur de Miraval, be distrustful and be shrewd."
"He shrewd!" exclaimed Madame Véretz, when alone with her daughter; "you might as well order him to swim across the lake."
"Is that meant for another epigram?" said Madame Corneuil crossly.
"Since I adore him as he is," answered the mother, "what more can you expect? As for Monsieur de Miraval, you are quite wrong to worry yourself on his account. My opinion is, that he is entirely won over to our side."
"It is not mine," answered Madame Corneuil.
"At all events, my dear, we must treat him with great tact, for I know from the very best authority-"
"You are going to tell me," interrupted Madame Corneuil disdainfully, "that he has an income of two hundred thousand livres, and that Horace is his heir. Such base trifles are like affairs of state to you."
Soon after she said to her mother, "Then
"I will send you nothing until it is worthy of ask Horace to invite him to breakfast with us at you. Give me ten days more."
(Conclusion next month.)
an early day."
HE year 1697 A. D. was rendered memorable, not only by the Peace of Ryswick, which saved so great a part of Europe from the horrors of war, but also by the earliest appearance in print of Charles Perrault's "Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre." It was in the fourth part of the fifth volume of the "Recueil de pièces curieuses et nouvelles," published at the Hague by Adrian Moëtgens, that the narrative of Cinderella's fortunes, in the form under which it has become familiar to the whole civilized world, first saw the light. In the same eventful year it was a second time introduced to the public, figuring as one of the eight histories contained in the Histoires ou contes du temps passé," which professed to be written by the "Sieur P. Darmancour"; this “Sieur ” being the author's son, Perrault d'Armancour, a boy then ten years old, who may possibly have acted as an intermediate relater between the nurse who told, and the parent who wrote, the tales which were
destined to render that parent's name immortal. Their success was one of the unexpected triumphs which fate has now and then accorded to literature. As little, in all probability, did the elder Perrault, grave member of the French Academy and erudite defender of modern writers against the claim of the ancients to supremacy, dream of the fame which Cinderella and her companions were to bring to him, as did Charles XII., who in the same eventful year succeeded to the throne of Sweden, foresee the ruinous nature of the conflict in which he was doomed to engage with his young brother monarch Peter the Great, just then, on ship-building intent, making his way toward the peaceful dockyards of Holland.
Cinderella's story had doubtless been familiar for centuries to the common people of Europe. In the opinion of many critics it had, indeed, figured for ages among the heirlooms of human
ity. But Perrault's rendering of the tale naturalized it in the polite world, gave it for cultured circles an attraction which it is never likely to lose. The supernatural element plays in it but a subordinate part, for, even without the aid of a fairy godmother, the neglected heroine might have been enabled to go to a ball in disguise, and to win the heart of the hero by the beauty of her features and the smallness of her foot. It is with human more than with mythological interest that the story is replete, and therefore it appeals to human hearts with a force which no lapse of time can diminish. Such supernatural machinery as is introduced, moreover, has a charm for children which older versions of the tale do not possess. The pumpkin carriage, the rat coachman, the lizard lackeys, and all the other properties of the transformation scene, appeal at once to the imagination and the sense of humor of every beholder. In the more archaic forms of the narrative there is no intentional grotesqueness. It is probably because so many of the incidents in the life of "Cucendron" (as she was generally styled at home, "though the younger of her step-sisters, who was not so uncivil as the elder, called her 'Cendrillon '") were so natural, that some mythologists have attached such importance to the final trial by slipper. "The central interest in the popular story of Cinderella," says Professor de Gubernatis in his valuable work on "Zoological Mythology," is "the legend of the lost slipper, and of the prince who tries to find the foot predestined to wear it." But, if the tale be sought for in lands less cultured than the France which produced Perrault's "Cendrillon" and the Countess d'Aulnoy's "Finette Cendron," we shall see that "the legend of the lost slipper" is no longer of "central interest," being merely used to supply the means of ultimate recognition so valuable in ancient days not only to the story-teller but to the dramatist. Let us take, by way of example, a Servian version of the story:*
As a number of girls were spinning one day a-field, sitting in a ring around a cleft in the ground, there came to them an old man, who said: "Maidens, beware! for if one of you were to let her spindle fall into this cleft, her mother would be immediately turned into a cow." Thereupon the girls at once drew nearer to the cleft and inquisitively peeped into it. And the spindle of Mara, the fairest of their number, slipped out of her hand and fell into the cleft. When she reached home in the evening, there was her mother turned into a cow, standing in front of the house and mooing. Thenceforth Mara tended and fed that cow with filial affection. But her father married again, taking as his second wife a
* Vuk Karajich, No. 32.
widow with one plain daughter. And the new mistress of the house grievously ill-treated her step-daughter, forbidding her to wash her face, or brush her hair, or change her dress. And as she became grimy with ashes, pepel, Mara received the nickname of Pepelluga, that is, Cinderella, or Ashypet. Her step-mother also set her tasks which she could never have done, had not "the cow, which had once been her mother," helped her to perform them. When the stepmother found this out, she gave her husband no rest till he promised to put the cow to death. The girl wept bitterly when she heard the sad news, but the cow consoled her, telling her what she must do. She must not eat of its flesh, and she must carefully collect and bury its bones under a certain stone, and to this burial-place she must afterward come, should she find herself in need of help. The cow was killed and eaten, but Mara said she had no appetite and ate none of its flesh. And she buried its bones as she had been directed. Some days afterward, her stepmother went to church with her own daughter, leaving Mara at home to cook the dinner, and to pick up a quantity of corn which had been purposely strewed about the house, threatening to kill her if she had not performed both tasks by the time they came back from church. Mara was greatly troubled at the sight of the grain, and fled for help to the cow's grave. There she found an open coffer full of fine raiment, and on the lid sat two white doves, which said, “Mara, choose a dress and go in it to church, and we birds will gather up the grain." So she took the robes which came first, all of the finest silk, and went in them to church, where the beauty of her face and her dress won all hearts, especially that of the Emperor's son. Just before the service. was over, she glided out of church, ran home, and placed her robes in the coffer, which immediately shut and disappeared. When her relatives returned, they found the grain collected, the dinner cooked, and Ashypet as grimy as usual. Next Sunday just the same happened; only Mara's robes were this time of silver. On the third Sunday she went to church in raiment of pure gold with slippers to match. And when she left, the Emperor's son left too, and hastened after her. But all he got for his pains was her right slipper, which she dropped in her haste. By means of it he at length found her out. In vain did her stepmother, when he walked in with the golden test in his hand, hide her under a trough, endeavor to force her own daughter's foot into the too small slipper, and, when this attempt failed, deny that there was any other girl in the house. For the cock crowed out, " Kikerike! the maiden is under the trough!" There the prince in truth found her, clothed from head to foot in golden attire,