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partially maintained; while the export of bullion would be so far discouraged as could be consistent with prudence, and thus far inducements would be given to make payment in goods of debts to foreign countries. We could conceive the possibility of the Government officers being nearly run out of bullion. It is not a likely circumstance, but it might occur. In that case, they would require to buy wherever it could be found; to incur loss in the purchase; and thus to raise the price abroad, and necessarily at home, so as to accomplish their object in getting the exchanges balanced by goods instead of gold.
The nation would lose something by the transaction in this scarcely possible case, but better that it should lose five or ten per cent. on the sum required, four or five millions, than, as during the recent crisis, eighteen to fifty per cent. on all stock shares and produce, reducing wages, annihilating profits, stopping works, and causing a social revolution for the benefit of a few capitalists.
We are approaching the period when a change in the Currency laws will be made, and whatever may be the system adopted, the principle of freedom of trade in money, as in other matters, must be vindicated.
MIRANDA: A TALE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
THE DUKE AND THE STUDENT-1789.
THE MAN IN THE CLOAK.
WHEN the ladies had retired, and been shortly afterwards followed by the Duke and Charles Clement, Jean Torticolis and Duchesne, who had hitherto kept aloof, drew timidly nearer to the fire, the front of which was almost wholly occupied by the lacqueys and ladies' maids, who, having no sleeping chamber, had agreed to sit up and enjoy themselves until towards morning, when a few hours' slumber could be sought on chairs and benches.
"Mam'selle," observed one of the domestics, address
ing a lively brunette who officiated as lady's maid to the Countess Miranda, "you have never been to Versailles,
"Never," said Mam'selle, as she was generally called; but I suppose I soon shall."
"We are all bound to the Court," said the other, pompously.
“And a good many along with us," laughed the girl, thus displaying a row of perfectly white teeth, encased in a ruddy setting.
"Ma foi!" said the domestic, shaking his head. "It will be a grand sight this meeting of the Etats-Generaux. All the nobles in grand costume-plumes, and gold, and white, and silver-messieurs the clergy in full costumethe Tiers-Etats in black cloth, chapeaux clabauds, and short cloaks. It will be worth the journey."
'Their horses," put in the negro coachman.
"Their mansions, their hotels," interposed another. "Their dreadfully expensive habiliments," said Adela's
"That it will!" exclaimed the other domestics, with maid; "their prodigious charges at court; their houseprofound and solemn looks.
"But what is this Etats-Generaux ?" inquired the brunette. "I assure you, Maître Pierre, it puzzles me."
"Ah, there I am flambé, puzzled too," said Maître Pierre," looking thoroughly so; but I rather think it is a mode of showing respect to his Majesty."
"Bah!" interrupted the maître d'hotel, who, mixing more with his masters, was, of course, better informed; "you are in the wrong, Pierre; but that's no wonder, since this is a most weighty subject ;" and the maître d'hotel | shook his head knowingly, pursed up his mouth, and looked as profound as was in his nature.
"Ah!" responded Rosa, as if convinced.
"Well, it seems," continued the maître d'hotel, "that, in the course of time, people, perverted by a set of men my master calls philosophers, have got into the bad habit of not paying regularly, and there is what is called a de-de-ficit."
"A disette," exclaimed the domestics, in chorus. "No!" responded M. Germain, contemptuously, "a
“And what is a deficit?' asked one; "something worse than a famine?"
"Much, I believe, since I heard Count Leopold say, a deficit is another word for ruin. It means a want of money."
"Oh,” again chorussed the domestics, visibly touched. "So you see his Majesty cannot, for want of money, carry on the affairs of the state. His navy is without pay."
"Terrible," said the chorus.
"And his army!"' continued Germain. "Shocking."
"And his servants!" exclaimed Germain, with oratoric emphasis.
"Dreadful!" cried the domestics, with heart-felt
"And the people who are starving, what of them? said an exasperated voice, in a loud and shrill tone. It was the voice of the poor man, of what modern cant calls in France the proletaire, making itself heard in an assembly of the untaxed.
Scarcely had Torticolis-for it was him-given vent to his exclamation than he shrunk terrified into his chair, awaiting the result.
"Insolence! unworthy of notice! better not be repeated!" exclaimed the servants, with the true insouciance of power, holding the speaker too contemptible for serious attention.
"And the Etats-Generaux will bring his Majesty money for all these purposes," said Mam'selle, in affected
"Why,” replied Germain, "that's a question I don't exactly understand; but I think it's to settle about regular payments in future."
"And will the Etats-Generaux ask nothing in return?" said the favourite attendant of the Countess Miranda.
"Corbleu," laughed Germain; "but Monsieur le Duke says they will ask for a great deal; from what Monsieur Clement says, I believe they will want some laws."
“Ah!” said Pierre, emphatically, "I know a good
many which are much wanted."
"You do!" exclaimed Rosa, merrily; "and what laws are they?"
"Why, laws against Savoyards, Swiss, Italians, exercising the etat of domestic, and thus throwing Frenchmen born out of work," said the kitchen Solon.
"Most necessary," continued Germain, approvingly. The discussion, however, was here prematurely closed, to the great loss, we doubt not, of society in general. "Hola there! milles boulets rouges!" thundered a voice from without; "open!'"'
The tone was so imperious that Madame Martin hurried across the apartment to open the door with even more energy than she had shown on the arrival of the Duke. The servants rose, startled at the intrusion, while Jean Torticolis and Duchesne consulted in a low tone their probable chances of sleep.
"A pleasant night for the rats," laughed the soldier, drawing his wet cloak round him, so as to bring it in front of the blaze; "better cozy by one's fireside than abroad; eh, pretty ones?" And the stranger chucked the pouting Rosa under the chin.
"Hands off" cried the soubrette, with a laugh; 'faugh! thy cloak sends forth no pleasant odour. Why not hang it up to dry?"
"Ay, I will hang it up for thee," said Fournier, the black coachman, who had been curiously examining the stranger's countenance.
"Thanks, but 'twill stiffen off me," exclaimed the soldier, carelessly; "and I have come to rest, not to stay; I am bound on the king's service, and when my horse has eaten and I have warmed my jacket, I shall ride again."
"Thou hast ridden far?'' inquired Rosa.
"Far or near, it matters not," said the soldier, quaffing a huge draught.
"What ails you?" whispered Duchesne to his companion Torticolis, who was pale as death, and sat trembling like a leaf.
"Nothing-but that voice!" replied the crick-neck, with a shudder. "Come away; let us go to sleep."
Duchesne, much puzzled, rose in company with his friend, and, after a few words with Dame Martin, they retired to a loft, overlooking the stable and the remise which contained the Duke's carriage.
"Plenty of clean straw," said Torticolis; "too good for us; as Foulon says, we shall live to eat hay.”ı "Plenty," repeated Duchesne, abstractedly; "but what ails thee? has the soldier given you a fright?”
"Oh no!" replied Torticolis, only he reminded me of the past, when such gallants guarded me to the Grève."
"Not an over pleasant recollection, truly," said Duchesne, with a grin.
"Are you sleepy?" inquired Torticolis, dryly.
Readily," replied the Bourreau, taking the flask; "that's the stuff, it's devilish strong. Eh? good night, Torty; don't mind that gens-of a soldier-ah!''
And, after a few more growling words, the Bourreau, who had almost emptied the flask, was fast asleep. “Good,” muttered Jean, putting the brandy away without tasting it.
With this one word he darkened the lanthorn which had been given them, and having lit his pipe, put his head out of the window, with the air of a man who is about to watch.
The window at which Torticolis sat overlooked the yard. Facing him was a small door, which led into the principal room of the auberge, and through the cracks of which came occasionally the smothered sound of mirth and jollity. The servants, excited by the trooper, were evidently enjoying themselves, and giving way to as much merriment as was consistent with a due regard to the slumbers of their master. Beneath was the stable. A trap-door, half over that and half over the coach-house, was close to
Jean's feet, and he once moved towards this aperture, and made sure that there was a ladder to descend by.
In the corner of the yard was a snug shed, with a room over it occupied by the ostler, and beneath this was the trooper's charger, as well as three horses belonging to the servants, the stable itself being quite full.
The night, which was far advanced-it was past onewas dark and lowering, though the rain had ceased a while. The clouds, in ragged and black masses, hurried headlong by, charged with the storm and the blast. There were strange sounds at that hour in the house-tops, which came with saddening influence to the heart of the watcher. The low wind moaned, rather than shrieked, in its damp journey through the loaded air, save when a fitful gust came howling along, awakening the sleeping echoes, and searching out every hole and corner whence to draw a sigh or groan. Save the speaking of the breeze, Nature was silent; the low whisper of a summer's night was replaced by the blustering fury of the tempest.
Torticolis, however, paid no attention to the warfare of heaven. A tempest of hate, revenge, and mingled hope, was raging in his bosom, which blinded him to all else. This man, poor, unknown, humbie, had endured unheard of sufferings. Once happy, with a young and cherished wife, who loved him as he loved her, his happiness had been destroyed by the illicit passion of a noble. Persecuted and followed unceasingly, the young wife had complained to her husband, then a tradesman, well to do in the world; and he, forgetting all prudence, had personally chastised the insolent aristocrat, who sought to rob him of his greatest treasure. But the law was strict. A noble was inviolate, and Paul Ledru was condemned to death. What became of the refractory wife was not known; the husband's fate has already been explained.
Inconceivable as it was, Jean Torticolis-thus, in cynical remembrance of his escape, had he christened himself -had fancied that, in the ragamuffin of a soldier, he had recognised the voice, the tone, the face of him whom he hated with a hate which is impossible to be characterised, but which may be in part conceived in one who had, by an act of foul injustice, been robbed of life, of fortune, of her he loved, of legal existence, and even a name. But Jean hated not only the man, but his class, the system, the thing called aristocracy, which gave such monstrous rights to men over their fellow-men, to creatures of God
over creatures of God.*
Modified as aristocracy has been by the progress of civilization, it still enjoys privileges enough to excite the wonder of all reasonable men. Were any one to propose, at this time of day, that a certain number of persons should be chosen, whose sons and son's sons should be born legislators, who should hold land without having it answerable for their debts, who should have a monopoly of all the high offices of the state, and be in fact a privi
Came not the revolution in time when the following could be truly quoted with regard to the system of French feudalism?" He (Lapoule) spoke of the mort-main, as well real as personal, of the forced obligation to nourish the dogs of the nobles, and of that horrible right, confined, doubtless, for ages to the dusty monuments of barbarism, but which existed, by which the seigneur was authorised, in certain cantons, to disembowel two of his vassals on his return from the chase, to refresh himself, by putting his feet within the warm bodies of these unhappy wretches!"-Hist. Pop, de la Revolution Francaise, par Horace Raisson.
leged class, we should receive the population with shouts of derisive laughter, and vote its advocate a safe box in Bedlam, just as, under existing circumstances, men do the unhappy wight who talks of the aristocracy of merit and talent, and of equal rights and equal duties for all men, irrespective of birth. We are aware we give occasion for the accusation of madness, but then we are so in goodly company.
Torticolis scarcely knew what was about to happen, save that the thirst for revenge was hot within him, and that the words of Charles Clement had filled his mind with hope. The soldier was armed, while he had nothing but an old knife; but in the hands of the man dead before the law, whose wife had vanished from the earth, this weapon was mighty.
And the night went on apace. It wanted but an hour of morning; and, had the weather been less tempestuous, he would have discovered the first grey streak of dawn. Jean listened attentively-the tumult within had some time ceased-and yet the soldier had not appeared to pursue his journey on the king's service. It was time to act-all in the public-room probably slept. His first desire was to make sure of his man. Taking his knife between his teeth, Torticolis, without the aid of his lantern, descended the ladder into the coach-house, groped about with both his hands, and found the door. It was on the latch. He opened it and stood in the yard. Before him was the side door of the cabaret, to his left a high wall covered with grape vines, and leaning against there a number of poles and a small ladder.
Jean listened, scarcely drawing breath.
A slight noise fell upon his ear. It was the unbarring, in the most stealthy manner, of the small door already referred to.
"He is going," muttered Jean, falling at the same time behind the shadow of the poles, between which and the wall his small and frail body was easily concealed.
At the same moment the door opened, and two men came out, who noiselessly reclosed the issue behind them.
Jean Torticolis allowed a heavy sigh of rage to escape his bosom, for the soldier was not alone. To kill was not his only object. He had a secret to wring from his heart, for which purpose it was necessary to take his enemy at a disadvantage,
To be quite sure, the crick-neck peered forth into the air, and looked carefully towards the pair,
It was the trooper and Fournier, the American coach
There are moments in a man's existence when, enlightened by love, or hate, or both, his intelligence usually slugged and lazy-and it is oftener so than naturally dull acts with a degree of rapidity that seems to him at the moment almost prophetic. The mind, sharpened by the passions, dives deep and brings up truth-not always, but often. It was so with Torticolis. The association of these two men was a shaft of light which pierced the dull husk and went to his very soul, infusing a terrible and savage joy. He saw crime in their union, and for crime there was punishment.
ignorant not from his fault-debased, degraded from the crimes of others.
felt for years, listened.
"As you please," said Fournier, "but here it is." Tarticolis leaned forward, and saw the negro in the act
He clutched his knife, and, more happy than he had of forcing, with a picklock, the padlock which secured the seat of the carriage, in the inside of which, it appeared, "Who was this man who joined the Duke here?" in- the Duke had placed his valuables. The black, however, quired the soldier. did not appear very ready at his trade of thief, and the fastening remained good.
"How do I know?" replied Fournier; "I didn't listen. It's not my business to wait at table. Germain
could tell you."
"Nigaud !" said the other, fiercely, "but you say he
retired with the Duke?"
"He did," continued the negro, without paying attention to the other's tone.
"Manant, coupe-jarret," * muttered the other, "you might be a little more respectful."
"And call you by your name?" said the other, with low cunning.
"No. But no more words," continued the soldier, apparently recollecting his part; "who mixes in dirty work can scarce come out clean."
"It was your own choice, Monsieur," sneered the other; "I should never have thought of it."
There was a moment of fierce passion on the part of the trooper, during which he drew forth one of his pistols, but it was soon lowered, though he still kept it in his hand. "You are a rough customer," he laughed; "show the way."
The negro, or rather the half-cast, was one of these hideous creatures who appear purposely chosen to give crime a repulsive aspect. His forehead was so low as to seem scarcely to exist; his hair, half woolly and half silky, was thinly scattered over his dark brown pate; his nose
was flat, his lips thick, with an expression of disgusting appetite about them; while his heavy chin and goggle eyes, all surmounting a short thick body, made him the very incarnation of ugliness. To this, on ordinary occasions, he added a look of inconceivable stupidity, which deceived the most adroit. Save, however, to serve his various passions, on no occasion was his intelligence active.
This man, whose presence with the soldier, under such suspicious circumstances, had served to illumine the senses of Jean, led the way towards the coach-house. In his hand was a lanthorn which was very nearly betraying the presence of Torticolis, and would have done so to any less abstracted in their designs. The crick-neck trembled like a leaf, for he knew his man, and he, discovered there, would have served, he knew too well, to screen the true author of the crime, whatever it was, which was about to be perpetrated. He held his very breath, and by a superhuman effort repressed the shaking of his limbs. He had once already, innocent, stood upon
** Is there as much as we expected,” said the trooper, as they entered.
"More than we shall be able to carry," replied the American, with a grin.
Torticolis' heart beat for joy. These men were in his power. For the negro he cared not, except as a means of denouncing the other, and having him condemned.
"Not a livre shall be spared if our horses die," growled the other, who all along, from the habit of the evening, studied to disguise his voice.
"Give me the crochet," muttered the other, impatiently, "you are but a bungler."
The negro yielded his instrument readily, which the other seized, laying his pistol on the step of the carriage, to have his hand free, In another minute the top of the seat was open.
"Peste!" cried the troop, joyously, "but here is a heavy load. You were right, Fournier, we shall scarcely be able to carry it. Diantre, there must be two hundred thousand livres in silver, and a jewel box too. It is fastened, but no matter, we shall have time enough, anon." "We must loose no time then now," said the negro, his eyes glistening.
"Right," replied the soldier, whose back was half turned to the black, 64 'go, draw out the horses, they are ready saddled.”
The negro paused. The lanthorn was full upon his face, and Jean Torticolis made ready to spring upon him, for he saw a horrid grin pass over the American's face, as he calculated how well the whole would suit him. Jean feared his prey might perish too easily. He did not wish him now to die so soon. But the thought of the black was but momentary, and he moved away to the shed which covered the horses.
"These are the jewels of the Countess Miranda,'' unless we sell them to her again, which is to be thought laughed the trooper; "well, she must go to court without,
"The horses are ready," muttered the black from the
"I come," and taking up several canvass bags of silver, the trooper passed within a foot of his mortal enemy. "Here are the valises," said the negro.
"Bring them inside," replied the soldier; "the horses are trained and will not move."
The black did as he was directed.
"This is mine," said the man in the cloak, pointing to the large portmanteau; "you recollect our agreement— one-third for your part, which, with the passport I give you for England, will secure your fortune."
"I recollect our agreement," answered the black, with a slight tone of savage irony,
"Ruffian!" exclaimed the other fiercely, "you risk your carcase for what will make you for life; I risk life, rank, position, a brilliant fortune, for what will scarce carry me over my wedding."
"With La Grêve," muttered Torticolis within himself."
On the step of the carriage lay the soldier's pistol, which, in the hurry of his crime, he had forgotten.
It was now dawn. The criminals, shunning the light, hastened to unbar the door which opened into the road. Profiting by this moment of inattention on their part, Jean Torticolis glided into the coach-house, seized the neglected pistol, pressed it convulsively to his breast, where he concealed it, and then with noiseless footsteps mounted the ladder. Gaining the loft, the crick-neck rushed to the window, and leaning out, saw them about to depart.
"The carriage seat is burst open," replied Germain, in a trembling voice.
"Have they then taken everything?" inquired the nobleman, in a faltering tone.
"Everything, Monsieur le Duc," said Germain, desperately.
Charles Clement, meanwhile, was obtaining from Torticolis some account of the appearance of the thieves. for Duchesne, he had no idea upon the point save that they ought to be hanged.
"What is the matter?'' suddenly exclaimed the musi
Bon voyage!” he laughed, hideously. "I hope your cal voice of the Countess Miranda, who, followed by load is light?" Adela, now appeared on the threshold of the public room.
"Malediction!" cried the soldier, seizing his remaining pistol, and discharging it furiously at the crick-neck; "away Fournier.”
"That my negligence, in not taking our valuables into my room, has dishonoured me," replied the Duke, in a tone of deep grief. "I had charge of your jewels, and
And giving spur to their horses, the robbers dashed the deeds of your Italian estates, and they have all been away in the direction of Paris.
"Thieves murder!"' roared Jean Torticolis, whom the ball had touched on the left shoulder. 66 Quick! thieves! murder."
"You must buy me others, jewels are not rare in Paris, nor am I penniless; as for my papers, you must win them back through Ducrosne," said the Countess,
Hang them!" said the Bourreau, sitting bolt up- laughing merrily. She was young, and could not grieve right. the old man by showing the slightest regret. "Come,
"Au feu !" shrieked Dame Martin, who had been come, no shakes of the head, my lord; but have you lost awoke by the pistol shot.
Jean, quick as thought, glided the pistol into his bundle, and then, without taking note of his wound, continued to bawl" au voleur! au meurtre !"
In an instant the yard was filled with servants, while the ostler and Dame Martin hurried to examine the shed. "Where?" cried Germain.
"A trifle," answered the Duke, without flinching, "a month's revenue. Fasten up the doors, and prepare breakfast, it is useless retiring to rest again."
"But I will mount and chase them," exclaimed Charles Clement, who stood resolutely out of sight, his costume being far from complete, "give me two of your
Gone," bawled Dame Martin, "without paying his servants."
score." "It is useless, nephew," said the Duke; "the rogues "The carriage burst open!" exclaimed the head valet, have a fair start. That scamp of a Fournier, he looked horror-struck. like a cut-throat. By-the-way, dress that man's wound, Pierre, and give him a couple of ecus, if, indeed, the vagabonds have left us any."
"The soldier gone!" continued Dame Martin. "And Fournier !" thundered Germain.
"Which way?" asked one of the servants of Jean, he having, his clothes all covered with blood, descended to join the domestics.
"What is the matter?" said the voice of the Duke, who, a sword in his hand, and followed by Charles Clement, now entered the yard.
The worthy old nobleman, in a dressing gown and nightcap, having taken not even time to don his velvet culotte, would, under any other circumstances, and in the presence of any but his household, have excited much merriment; but, as it was, a dead silence followed, all the domestics making way for Jean.
"But you are bleeding," said Charles, anxiously. "It is nothing, monsieur," replied Jean Torticolis, thankfully.
"But what is the matter?" inquired the Duke, petuently.
Jean, who, for his own private reasons, chose to conceal that he knew all, quietly replied, that, awoke by a noise in the yard, he saw two men, the reître and the coachman, on horseback, about to leave the inn. Judging from the hour, their suspicious manner, and the heavy portmanteaus they carried, that all was not right, he challenged them, when the soldier fired his pistol and rode
"Examine the carriage," said the Duke, who was pale, but whose face was rigid.
"But who knows they are not accomplices," muttered Pierre, the barber-valet, pointing to Jean and Duchesne. "Search us," replied Torticolis, coldly, while his whole frame quivered.
"Do nothing of the kind," exclaimed Charles Clement, indignantly; "I answer for these men."
Jean gave him a look of humble gratitude. He still alone possessed the secret of the pistol. The servant drew back with an ill-suppressed growl.
"Go finish dressing, ladies," cried the Duke to his daughter and the Countess; more, however, to get clear passage for himself and Charles Clement, than because the young beauties required their maids.
"We go; come Rosa," said the Countess, smothering a laugh.
Hush, Miranda," whispered the blushing Adela, my father will be offended."
"But they did look so richly comic," replied the merry Countess, "especially your cousin of the long robe."
"Miranda," said Adela, reproachfully, for this was reminding her of his inferiority.
Tush! girl, I meant no harm," answered the other, faintly blushing; "I think better of him than you perhaps imagine."
"So much the better," exclaimed Adela, still pouting, for she had not disguised her affections for yr him from her