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" Oh! I'm for more revelations,'' exclaimed Victor, joy- , the atmosphere with a thickness which was oppressive to Jusly;“ I impose the same as on Mademoiselle Charlotte." the lungs. “Lucien Dorville," said Pauline.

Lightning then illumined tho seene-flash after flash The young man again started, and advancing towards succeeded—and the heavens poured forth huge volumes Victor, in order to have an excuse to pass Charlotte,' said, of water on their heads. Suddenly a burst of thunder, with eyes in which beamed joy unutterable; "May 1 !!! more awful than any other, the echoes of which were can“ Yes," was the trembling reply.

non-like amid the hill-tops, with a terrific flash of light“ The happiest hours of my life were spent in a gorge ning, startled the horses, and sent them plunging headlong of the Pyrenees, last 12th of March two years," said down the rough and stony road. The ladies, terrorthe candidate, with proud and happy mien.

stricken, shrieked as they saw the maddened steeds re“A mystery! a mystery!". exclaimed Victor, amid fusing to obey the guidance of the driver, and had closed universal astonishment; this must be unravelled." their eyes in their terror, when suddenly the carriage

“ Not until I have said that I have a more recent and halted, the horses stood motionless, and, looking up, they :: equal moment of happiness to record," interposed Lu- saw a young man holding down the heads of the animals. cien.

At the peril of his life he had stopped them in their mad “ Speak! speak !!!

career. * When I this afternoon roceived M. Dutertre's kind Without waiting for a word with the occupants of the ** permission to win, if I could, his daughter's affections. vehicle, he led the horses, perfectly obedient to his will

As Mademoiselle has, without knowing this, just publicly so iron seemed his hand-until they reached the yawning declared that I may hope, I have no hesitation in being cavity that leads into the grotto of Lousine, where carriequally as frank.”

age, horses, and ladies were completely sheltered from the “ More mystery," said Victor; *shall we have no ex- storm, which had, however, completely wet the latter, as *** planation ?!!!!

well as their servants. The young man, who had evi1“ Listen,' said Pauline, drawing forth a small MS., dently been hunting, produced a flint, steel, and other " and you will understand. I knew not the hero's name necessaries, and spoedily made a blazing fire, before which before, but the faets I give from the very best authority." they, who owed him already so much, were soon gladly

- Read ! read !'' oried the young people, delighted 'at warming themselves. This done, he entered the cave the novel denouement of their game of forfeits, except, and brought forth a mountain goat, the produce of his indeed, the Baron de Pemnio, who looked grave and morning's hunt, and in half-an-hour was offering to his stroked his moustaches,

grateful friends a meal as well as shelter. A bottle of brandy, some wine, bread, and coffee, were all fetched

from the depths of the grotto, the young man explaining CHAPTER VI, fill in help

that he and a faithful servant, now out on the hills, often

spent a fortnight on a hunting excursion, making the PAULINE'S Ms.

grotto his head-quarters. The stranger, despite the reThe 12th of March, 183–, opened upon the Valley de sistance of the young lady, waited upon her himself, with Lousine in all the cold splendour of an early spring, or an ease and elegance which at once proclaimed his good rather late winter morning. The sun, long imprisoned in breeding and superior manners. his ice-cloud chambers, was bursting his bated bonds, and At length, the thunder ceasing, while the rain poured seeking once more to ein brace and vivify the glad earth 5 down worse than ever, the male servants fell asleep by the vapours were dispelling on every side; the wind blew the fire ; while the companion and ladies'-maid, seated in calmly and steadily through the ancient and through the the carriage, which was close to the fire, talked to keep younger pines, in quiet satisfaction at the games he had themselves awake. It was in vain ; for, after a short long been playing; and even the snow beneath the rays time, the young man and the lady were alone awake in of light looked less frosty than usual, when a travelling the grotto. carriage emerged from the court-yard of an inn half-way Now begun a long conversation, and, perhaps, as sinup the mountain which surmounts Lousine, and began its gular a one as ever took place. Both were well read, the progress towards the French territory.

stranger astonishingly so, combining, evidently, with For an hour all was quiet and calm, and the two ladies, much study, vast originality of manner, boldness of one young, the other an elderly companion, with as many thought, and an eloquence rarely seen in the Chamber. servants behind, began to hope for a pleasant day's jour- Hours flew like the wind, and yet the storm had not ney when they reached the Calvaire, which marks the abated, when the young man became silent. narrow entrance to one of the wildest and most savage “ You are tired," said the lady, much surprised. gorges of the Pyrenees. Through this dell, where the "No," replied he, sadly; “ I have been thinking, and pine and saplings hung in melancholy shade over the road, I see that I have done a thing which I shall repent all my the carriage had to pass, descending a steep and precipi- life.” tous pathway. The tenants of the vehicle paused some “What?"' exclaimed his companion, astonished and few minutes to gaze upon the bleak splendour of the alarmed. scene; but, feeling a dank dampness in the air behind, “Mademoiselle," he replied, respectfully, “in four looked back rather, and saw that one of these sudden hours I have lived years. I know not your name, I seek storms which devastate the mountains was about to burst' not to know it ; but I have read your very soul, and you upon their heads. From light to darkness, from the blue are as well known to me as if we had been intimate for sky to the blackness of night, was but as it were a mo- years. The wildness of our meeting, the kindness which ment, and then the blast came wildly to their ears, filling your gratitude for my poor service has made you evince, tertre. M. Victor Meunier to Pauline Chastneux."

i me.

your noble want of reserve, have worked a strange change “Which you very coolly think you have won," said I love, and for the first time,”

Charlotte; “ but don't imagine, M. Lucien, that I am to I have never loved,” said the young lady, faintly. be carried off, before all my friends, as I was yesterday,

Passionate and bold was the hunter's reply ; for he without a single hour of ordinary courting.” spoke of his sudden and strange-born affection, which “ That was done,” observed Lucien, with a wicked situation has so much effect upon; and, after an hour, in smile, “in the grotto of Lousine." which both probed the secrets of their own hearts, they " It is no use," said the joyous, happy, and delighted vowed on their knees before God--short as had been their group; “you must give in, Charlotte.” acquaintance-not eternal fidelity, not mutual affection, “If I must, I must, though never was woman so inbut that neither would marry, or give his or her heart, pudently wooed," exclaimed the heiress, with a glow of until they met in society, when the vow in the wild grotto generous happiness in her face ; " the Panthere is coa of Lousine, sworn amid the tempest, in that native temple quered by the Lion." of God, should be rescinded or confirmed.

“ Ladies and gentlemen," said Lucien, taking the usBoth were clearly aware of the strangeness of their resisting band of the lovely girl, “ this has been a vil action-of, perhaps. its folly; but they had met strangely, and eventful history. We began our acquaintance and, with the storm raging over their head, with the ar- strangely. I hope, however, that you who have all sa tillery of heaven pouring itself forth upon the earth, their kindly sympathised with our happiness, will live to see souls were unwittingly laid bare. They had, in reality, that if we loved in a hurry, it was also in earnest." known one another better in a day than, in ordinary so- “ And I," said the Baron, amid the murmur of ar ciety, they would have done in years.

plause which arose, can only observe that you are A sweet half-hour followed their mutual rash promise, the only man whose throat I would not have cut te rich in its golden dreams of the future-dreams which, having destroyed my hopes. Lucien Dorville, you delike the bright and glowing pictures round the sun when serve the heart you have won.” it sets, were perhaps to fade as fully as these fado, when You came to be depute," put in Victor; "yra the object which gave them birth was no longer pre- will be a husband instead.” sent.

“ You shall be both, my son,' exclaimed Duterire, They parted, and without having each other's names; who had been a glad listener. for 'twas part of their vision that, if they were to be You shall,” repeated M. Chastncux. united, they must meet in society by chance.

And my dear friend, Meunier,” said Lucien, insinni. The young lady pursued her journey, reached Paris, ingly, “shall" and, faithful to her vow, refused all offers, and, in order “Now you have worried me enough about that alto repel suitors, became to the public eye one of these ready,” exclaimed M. Chastneux, pettishly. masculine creatures whom one may admire, but whom “ But, sir, the power of love." no man wishes for a wife. For more than two years did “ Power of nonsense,” said the father, his eye resting she continue her plan, which succeeded, for, despite her on the pale and gentle face of his child. fortune, she terrified all suitors save the Baron de "I will never be married," exclaimed Charlotte, eta Pemnic, who courageously resolved to brave her mascu- phatically, "except it be on tho same day as Victe line graces, and is still her declared lover.

Meunier and Pauline Chastneux." Of the young man, up to this time, the writer knows “My fiúncee having made that row," said Lucien, nothing.

gravely, “I must insist, my dear sir, on your fixing, wedding-day."

• Well, well, I never did see marriages settled in this CHAPTER VII.

fashion before," smiled the worthy old man; "but if you must all be foolish, we had better say the day after

the election." When l'auline concluded, there was for a moment a silence so profound that a sigh might have been heard,

This announcement completed the joy of the assenby. while Charlotte and Lucien were lost in the remembrance The elders viewed, with tearful and earnest face, the of that day, the brightest of their lives. They were hopeful hearts of the young, while they, strong in their again in

golden visions, felt a satisfaction unalloyed at the unex.

pected joy which that evening had brought forth. • Imagination living over those hours."

How Lucien and Charlotte, and Pauline and Vieta, “I can now add,” said Pauline, demurely, “that at sat together all the rest of the evening-how Charlotte length the lady and gentleman met. Both had been completely laid the Panther at the feet of the Lion, and equally faithful, but the young man, led away by out- became the lovely and bright creature she really wasward appearances, and utterly ignorant that the lady's | how Pauline teased Victor upon the want of romance in assumed character was to protect her vow, believed him- their courtship--and how all four were as happy as trw self very foolish, and endeavoured to eradicate all his hearts could be the reader must imagine. former feelings In vain, however; for at length, twentyfour hours after their second meeting, the gentleman In the local journal of a month later these ancoudes asked the hand of the lady in marriage, prepared to ments appeared : brave, like his rival the Baron, all her defects."

“M. Lucien Dorville has been elected Depute by s “ Nay, my dear Mademoiselle," exclaimed Lucien, majority of votes." blushing like a young maiden ; “I knew the innate “ Marriages.-M. Lucien Dorville to Charlotte Da virtue of the prize

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(Continued from page 757.) The Duke at that moment entered with the Prince, tain certain doubts as to their future happiness ; that nd was in his most jovial humour.

troubled the impassibility of mind it was the study of “ Well, fairest,” he said, aldressing his daughter-in- her life to preserve. The only person completely at law, with the flowery gallantry so much in vogue at case was the Duke, who alreadly beheld in imagination the time, “ your fair namesake of Troy herself never the christening of his son's eldest born. He seemed to caused more trouble than you have this day inflicted on tread on air, and was in such remarkable spirits, that, me. I have been pestered to place, and brevet, and as he himself afterwards declared, he never had been advance, and gratify, in every possible way, more people more brilliant. lle propounded to all who came near than I can remember."

him his favourite questions about death and the dentist, “ And did your Highness take into consideration the and many more of the same sort, framing both question petition of poor P-, whose sister requested my in- and answer at once, for there was not in the whole room terference in his behalf ?" said the Duchess. “ I think such a novice as to presume to give the well-known reit is their extreme poverty that makes them so pressing sponse where it was so obviously not desired. Nor was to get the young man into your guards. They know not he without a spice of sarcasm; he said of a young gentlehow else to clothe and provide for him. His birth and man of small birth, but great wealth, and who, though connexiun, I believe, are unexceptionable.”

somewhat awkward in person and bearing, yet managed Tut, tut, my dear,” Serenissimo impatiently re- to get a circle of admirers around him, that he strongly sponded, " the poor devil has a squint that would drive reminded him of the golden animal the Jews danced bea whole regiment to flight—of ladies, I mean, of course,” fore in Bethel, but whose name he could not remember, he added, with a jocular air. “No, my dear, I'm

very “ How very severe is Serenissimo to-night !" said sorry for the poor youth, but it is not to be thought of; one. he is too plain. But I hare named, instead, B- “ IIow delicate his satire !" echoed another. Tush ! I know very well what you



about that “ Serenissimo is in high spirits this erening !" exawkward affair he had the other day with L- He claimed a third. showed the white feather—there's no denying it ; but “ Is he ?" was the whispered reply. “ Well, he has he has a leg might do for an Apollo ; and his valet need to be gay, for many are the reverse. Look at the gives the sweetest turn to his queue you ever saw.” Prince and Princess ; they look as if they were about to

“ But,” ventured, timilly, Helena, “would these ad- enter their graves, instead of the marriage bed. vantages avail against the enemy ?” The Duchess' “ I hope, my dear boy,” observed the Duke, faceeye gave immediate notice of the impropriety of her in- tiously, to a youth about to start off to one of the uniterference ; but Helena could not recall her words, and versities, “ you won't do like that student, who, on the Prince answered somewhat bitterly,

being reprimanded for his idleness, replied that he “Such avowals may be made en famille—we are too could find no season proper for study-winter was too small Princes —our territories are too limited—our cold—summer too warm—autumn too foggy-and spring people too few—to dream of defence in case of invasion. too damp." In such a case nothing would remain to us but to make “ Serenissimo surpasses himself to-night!" exclaimed the best personal terms we could with the enemy, and the master of the ceremonies, enthusiastically. let the rest take care of themselves.”

“ You'll hear more by-and-bye,” added the prime Helena sighed to think how limited was that great- minister, with a mysterious shake of his head. Nor ness to which she was called to make so many sacrifices; was he mistaken ; for the Duke, turning to a gentlebut she was destined to drain the cup of disappointment man who was greatly vexed that he had not obtained to the dregs.

the title of counsellor he was ambitious of at a neighIt was in vain that the court gave a grand dinner, bouring court to which he belonged, said, by way of whose ennui oppressed no one more than the givers consolation :-“Never mind, my good friend, the Lord themselves. In vain was the park lighted up with had twelve apostles, and there was never a counsellor lamps of variegated colours—that pop-guns and crackers, among them." the delight of every true-born German, were let off in “ Serenissimo is quite astonishing! I do positively quick succession—that flaming hearts whirled round and believe I never heard him utter this last saying before." round on the grass—those lodged in the bosoms of the " But you may, perchancé, have heard it elsewhere." young pair sunk at the sight to the freezing point. In “ Hush ! we are getting on treasonable ground.” vain did the burghers of the town assemble before the “ But, sce, the Prince is leading his bride to the balpalace with torches in every hand, to sing epithalamium cony to greet the people ; he takes her hand as though to the new wedded couple-no smile visited the lips of it were a burning coal he felt through her glove, which, either. The large saloon was almost full; the Duke you will observe, she has not removed.” having stretchod a point on this occasion, looking more This remark was received with a significant shrug of to numbers than to the eligibility of those invited. But the shoulder. though the room was tolerably crowded, no social At the sound of a mighty flourish of trumpets, the warmth extended through the heterogeneous assembly : Princess was now handed to the apartment in which, the chill at the heart of the new married pair seemed according to the custom of the house, the bride was to to creep over all. The Duchess herself began to enter | pass her wedding night. The few ladies who composed

the court, with the Duchess at their head, conducted her lived in great harmony, throughout peaceful tims, a thither. It was in a remote part of the palace, of a date were blessed with a numerous progeny, reached a g much antecedent to the rest, and could only be reached old age, and left great wealth behind them.” by traversing a long, dark, and narrow passage, con- "Our prayers,” put in, rather maliciously, ona do necting it with the main building. It was a large, de- dames present, “are that your felicity may equa'i solate chamber, with a heavy chimney-piece, under of your immediate predecessor.” whose ample canopy a whole party might have found “ I should have expressed this feeling from the room, and railed off in the middle by a low balustrade said the Duchess, whose pride intuitively tanght by of richly-carved wood, painted white to match the parry every attack made upon it, “but that I res: panels of the room. A huge, antique bed, canopied by bered that one heir to a house like ours is by mar a heavy baldachin of dark green silk, with curtains and few. I had rather that it pleased Heaven to str. coverlid to match, which, together with the heavy more blessings on the young couple in the way! drapery of the lofty windows, were all faded by time- family than have fallen to our lot ; and now, Hcz a stiff sofa—some prim, high-backed chairs—small, let me hang up your marriage wreath with my round, silver-framed mirrors, fixed at alternate intervals hands." on the wall, betwixt massive silver sconces and artificial As she spoke, she detached the myrtle wreath, et wreaths of myrtle flower. Such was the cheerless apart- in Germany is worn by maidens of every condit:9 ment into which she was ushered. The impression it the altar, the symbol of purity, as is the orange & produced was so disagreeable that Helena coulil not re- in France, from Helena's heavy tresses, and plan press some visible signs of it.

on the first vacant space between the mirrors. HES “ In this room,” said the Duchess, taking her reluc- watched her movements with an almost supersti. tant hand, and gently forcing the Princess forward, terror, at seeing herself thus, in some manner, a-.

many successive brides of this house have spent their ciated with the long-since departed, whose bridal #TEI wedding night. They have all, in due time, contributed all faded as they were, still hung on the wall, ad to the continuance of this ducal house. May the same they who had worn them lay mouldering in the fil blessing attend you, my child.” As she spoke, a slight of the palace. tremor was perceptible in her voice.

“And now," said the Duchess, pointing to the “But I shall be afraid," timidly urged the Princess. where she had placed the wreath, "we stand side

“ Your Highness will not be alone,” insinuated the side, my daughter." oldest of the dowagers ; and the lady looked in vain for These words were spoken with a depth of feeling the a blush in Helena's cheek ; it rather paled beneath' her went to the poor young girl's heart. * Were shet gaze at these words.

ever thus,” thought she. “ Yes,” continued the Duchess, thoughtfully, as with The ladies soon withdrew, and Helera was 'st k her own hands she prepared to disrobe the bride—for free, and, throwing herself on the stiff sofa, she gara etiquette allowed of it on this solemn occasion—“ the wistfully around the cold, bleak apartment. But sy first who occupied this room, not, indeed, temporarily, proaching footsteps soon roused her from her medias but during her whole life, was the Duchess Christiana tions ; the door opened, and the Prince made his apper Ulrica Philomena. She was the daughter of Ottocar, ance with a bed-chamber light in his hand, and ana! tenth Duke, and of Engelbertha Emmanuela of Sisten- in a gorgeous robe de chambre, that permitted his nats heim.''

dignity of form to become more apparent than did “ And she had no less than seven children,” said one stiff uniform he generally wore ; whilst Helena, of the ladies, nervously, alarmed at the Duchess' mount- dishevelled hair, the rouge washed off her pale cheats ing her hobby, for she was as weak on the chapter of her loose robe adhering but too faithfully to her res genealogy as her husband was on that of witticisms. slender person, looked like some faded portrait in the

Then,” continued the Duchess, the tide of recol- family gallery just started from its frame. But the lection flowing in upon her, “there was Hildegarde Prince paused not to observe her looks. Depositing: Sybilla Maria Margaretta, the wife of Duke Amor, light at no great distance, he advanced towards tz whose portrait hangs up in the gallery, and is not very with much the same icy ceremoniousness he had hither unlike Princess Helena. What say you, Baroness displayed, and thus addressed herSteinfelt ?"

“ I think it fair, madam, to enlighten you as to o “ The Duke," answered the Baroness, mechanically real views and sentiments, in order at once to establ. giving utterance to what she had so often heard her the footing on which we are to live together ; so that mistress say, without being at first aware of the impro- we may hereafter be friends, though we never can be priety of doing so at the present moment, “had two lovers." lawful and fourteen illegitimate children.” She stop- After this exordium the Prince paused; but receivin: ped short in deep confusion, being made sensible of her no answer, continued in the same cold formal manner as error by a slight cough from one of her companions. before

“ Who," continued the Duchess, without seeming, “ Most husbands of my rank feel, I am well aware, from habit, to notice the embarrassment, “ were created as little affection towards the brides which circumstances lords of Maunstein.”

of policy or family motives thrust upon them as I di, Helena could not repress a movement of impatience, madam, and yet do not feel called upon to proclaim it. which made the Duchess aware she was treading on I think otherwise. In fairness, you can no more expecte tender ground, so she kindly added—

my love than I can look for any in your heart for the “Well, I will wish you the fate of the happiest of unknown tyrant to whose hands chance and the will be them all, Bertha, wife to Duke Otto the Twelfth. They I others has consigued you. Therefore I do not fear in

sulting your self-love by my candour, but, on the con- | least such was the fantastic notion she began to entertrary, hope to spare you many a pang in the future, by tain. Her eyes wandered from wreath to wreath on the telling you, from the first, that beyond the privileges wall, until the faded forms of those to whom they once attendant upon your title as mother of these lands, * belonged seemed ready to start from beneath them, to and, perchance, of its future ruler, you have nothing to punish her for her disrespect for their name and house, look for at my hands—that I will never allow you to in which she would not condescend to continue. From the terfere with my conduct, public or private. Most sove- mirrors, too, strange faces seemed to peep ; and, ever reigns act up to these principles without professing and anon, she fancied that she heard a faint rustling of them; I prefer not allowing you the slightest cause for the heavy damask curtains of the huge bed, and dared future recrimination."

hardly look towards it, for fear of seeing—she herself “ It would have been more generous," said Helena, knew not what. She would have called, or left the the latent pride of whose nature was roused, “ to have room, but too many prudential considerations forbade told me all this before, not after marriage.”

her so doing. She felt she must resist her growing “ Could I, or could you have resisted the will of our weakness ; but, struggle as she would, she could not families !” said the Prince ; " of what avail would it overcome it so far as to venture behind the awful balushave been ?"

trade. “ of what avail is it now ?" said the Princess, petu- To understand her state of mind, it is necessary to lantly.

remember the proneness to superstition, and the belief That you may not give way to any romantic notions in ghosts, which yet prevailed in the early part of the with regard to myself, that could only end in disappoint- eighteenth century, and which, indeed, formed a proment."

minent feature of the time. At last she made up her The Princess rose to her feet, and confronted the mind to court sleep where she lay, and accordingly Prince with a calm dignity, surprising in one so young. assumed as convenient a posture for that purpose as the “ After what I have just heard, I think you had better stiffness of the couch would permit; and resolutely shutretrace your steps to the apartment you have left—for ting her eyes and ears to all imaginary sights and sounds, I, in turn, declare to you that on these terins I shall and turning her thoughts to other objects, as the best never be your wife but in name, nor do I take upon my mode of escaping the disagreeable impressions of the head the sin of our broken vows. Go, Prince, I would moment, she soon felt a gentle lassitude creep over her. be alone.”

The bridal chamber was forgotten in a pleasant conFor a moment surprise rooted the Prince to the spot, sciousness of approaching sleep, when suddenly she was and kept him mute. As soon would the Sultan look roused from her trance by a positive sound. It seemed forward to a revolt in the harem as did the Prince for

to be a tuning of many instruments. She distinctly any opposition in Helena. His will was law in his own heard the squeaking of the fiddles, the growling of the esteem, and he had ever taught himself, in common with | basses, the middle tones of the tenors—then came a most tyrants, great or small, to consider a wife, when-pause--and the solemn peal of the organ floated through cver he should take one, only as the first of his slaves. the apartment, He was then quite unprepared for Helena's spirit on this

“ They have chosen a strange time and circumstance occasion, which the more astonished him from her for the performance of sacred music in the chapel,” excessive youth and timidity. But, though wayward thought Helena ; but her wonder yielded to rapture, and headstrong, he was not ungenerous ; and so, after when, after a brilliant prelude of the organ, the stringed a few moments’ deliberation with himself, he bowed with instruments joined their searching tones to its rolling deeper respect than he had yet shown, and said :

harmonies, as though they were chanting forth the “ It shall be as you please, madam. I have no right sorrows of the mortal race, amid the happier, yet grave to be offended. It shall be my care so to arrange mat- concert of diviner voices. She became so inspired by ters that my parents may be spared the sorrow, and you the sweet, sad strains, that she could not help mingling the annoyance, which would be the result of your strange with them, and soon her voice rose in solitary melody, resolution, should it come to their knowledge ; and should to which the rest seemed but a subdued accompaniment, you persevere in your present resolve, whenever I ar

as though it were an individual and separate tale of free to do so—that is, supposing the arrangement to woe she were uttering, to which the rest of earthly sormeet your views—I shall get our union dissolved, and

rows formed the chorus. Her tones rang so clear, so restore you to the liberty which you seem to value so high, so mournful, they affected even herself ; but she highly."

could not cease—she must go on—till again the mighty The Princess bowed her thanks, and the Prince with swell of the organ and the crash of the instruments drew, half relieved, and half perplexed, by the turn silenced her and she listened in wrapt sympathy, Again matters had taken.

it was her turn to take the lead ; when, all at once, the Indignation had made Helena bold ; but now all was music ceased entirely, and she alone could not stop, but over, and the Prince gone, her courage faded away with continued her vain attempts to produce the same effect her anger, and she felt truly miserable ; but it was not

as before. Suddenly she saw issuing from behind the so much the misery of the future as the gloom of sur- curtains of the bed a tall figure, clad in ducal robes, but rounding objects that affected her. She was alone, beneath the crown a death's head was visible. She and, to the best of her knowledge, with none within call. would have shrieked, but her tongue clove to the roof The silence was so profound that it seemed as though of her mouth. The figure advanced to the balustrade. she could hear the minutes rustle by as they sped ; at She still hoped some potent charm would prevent its Landesmutter is a very graceful German appellation her ; but no—the skeleton hand forced it back. She rose

overstepping the frail barrier which still parted it from for the consort of the reigning sovereign.

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