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had locked the door. Young Nick had escaped. the whole house, opened the hall-door first. The It would have been a flying in the face of Provi- visitors were the two partners of the firm, Audence had he not seized the happy chance and gustus Hamblin and William the Silent, with Mr. turned the key upon his enemy.
Billiter, the family solicitor. Young Nick, at the This done, the fugitive sat down upon the top of the stairs, in readiness for flight, observed floor of the canvas, drumming his heels with de- the arrival of this group with considerable curilight and waiting the course of events. He had osity. Something important was in the wind. not long to wait. The next moment he heard He connected it with the row of the day bethe scuffling of his victim, as he freed himself fore. from the table-cloth, the angry turning of the Kick-kick. Open this door!" roared Stedoor-handle, the discovery that the door was phen, adding a volley of oaths strong enough to locked, and the ringing of the bell. Upon this, throw into shudders the immortal gods who young Nick sprang to his feet and rushed to the heard them. “Open this door!” stair-head. He met the footman leisurely mount- Really,” said Augustus, “ this is very scaning the stairs to answer it.
dalous language in a house where there are la“ You need not disturb yourself, Charles," he dies. What is the meaning of it?” said softly. “Go on with your dinner; I know The footman tried the handle of the door. what my uncle wants."
It was locked, but the key was in it. He caught Charles descended. Young Nick watched sight of young Nick as he turned the key, and him till he had returned to the kitchen, and then, at once divined the whole history. He, too, had sliding noiselessly down the banister, mounted a the presence of mind, as Stephen emerged, ragchair and unshipped the study-bell.
ing, cursing, and swearing, to retreat behind the Now he can ring as long as he likes,” said portly form of Mr. Augustus Hamblin. the boy.
For a moment Stephen, who was blind and After this, he composed his features and went speechless with wrath, did not see who were up stairs to his mother, who was sitting sadly grouped before him, as he stood and stamped, with Alison, both of them far too dejected to hurling incoherent oaths at all the world. Young have noticed the small disturbance which had Nick had dropped down to the lowest step of just taken place. Here he took a book and sat the stairs, which just left his eyes half an inch sweetly reading, in silent calculation as to the above the level of the hall-floor. Thus, from a time during which his uncle should be a prisoner. comparatively safe spot, he enjoyed a complete
Presently, there was heard a noise as of one view of the proceedings, which interested him kicking or hammering against a door, with a profoundly. roaring as of an angry wild beast. The two “What does this mean? ” asked Augustus. ladies did not for some time notice this disturb- “Is the man mad ?" ance. Young Nick, who did, put up the book “What do you want here?" returned Stebefore his face to hide the unbidden smile of phen, foaming at the mouth, satisfaction. It was Uncle Stephen, kicking at house !" the study-door and swearing at the top of his “Not at all,” said Augustus. “It is not your voice.
house until the Court awards it to you. It is “Dear me!” cried Mrs. Cridland, " what can Alison's house. We are here to protect her, and be the matter? Who is that making this ter- to see that you leave the place immediately." rible noise ?"
“ Leave the place? Leave my own house ?” “It may be the gardener,” said Nicolas cried Stephen. sweetly; " I will go and see.”
“Certainly. It is presumably Alison's until It was time that he went, because the foot- you have succeeded in acquiring a legal title to men, who had now finished their dinner, were it. You must go away, and that at once. We becoming aware of something singular going on shall remain here until you do." overhead, and in two minutes Stephen might Stephen hesitated. It was a strange thing have been free, and upon him with a cane in his that a man so versed in all the ways of the world hand. Now, in the open, in the garden, young should have jumped to the conclusion that all he Nick felt himself a match for any man, armed had to do was to step at once into his brother's or not. He therefore retreated to the top of the place, and stay there. stairs which led to the garden, there to await “ Understand, pray,” said Mr. Billiter, “you events.
have no more power to occupy this house than At this moment a carriage drove up. Charles, you have to receive your brother's rents and divithe footman, arriving in the hall, alarmed by the dends. After the announcement you made to us kicking at the study-door, and the awful explo- all yesterday, we have come to the conclusion sion of wrath which threatened vengeance on that it is no longer becoming or decent that you
" This is my
should be allowed to remain here, under the him with cold and severe eyes, while he scowled same roof as Miss Hamblin."
as fiercely as any villain in stage-story. But "And if I choose to remain ?"
there comes a time when severity must relax and Black Hamblin looked dark as midnight. Mr. scowling becomes oppressive. The more SteBilliter laughed, and rubbed his hands.
phen plunged at his coat-sleeves, the more they “Really," he said, “one hardly likes to con- resisted. template such an emergency. You see, nothing “Damn the coat!" he cried, losing his pa-. is yours until you prove your case. Meantime tience. everything is presumably ours. It makes one Charles, the footman, came to his assistance. think of physical force. No doubt-but it is He it was, instructed by experience, who disabsurd-no doubt, the footman, gardener, and covered the truth. grooms could, between them, be able to effect “I think it's Master Nicolas, sir," he said ; an-ha! ha!-an ejectment.”
“he's sewed you up, sir. If you have a pen“I go,” said Stephen, “but under protest. I knife—” go from here to my own lawyers. If I am ad- The two partners smiled: the lawyer smiled : vised that I am entitled to live here, I shall re- severity vanished. Stephen swore: the partners turn."
laughed aloud; the dignity of the revengeful Young Nick slowly mounted the stairs. A bravo disappeared. It was with a very poor delicious surprise awaited him. The coat which fourish that he finally put on his hat and left the he had mistaken for the doctor's belonged to Ste- house. phen. Here was a joyful chance !
“You will understand, Charles,” said AugusStephen, with a face as full of dignified re- tus,“ that under no circumstances is Mr. Stephen monstrance as could be compassed on so short a allowed to enter this house again, until you hear notice, and after half an hour of such unre- again from us or from Mr. Billiter." strained wrath, took down his coat, and began, He led the way into Alison's room. in a slow and stagelike way, to put it on. The “You had my letter, Cousin Augustus, you action in itself is capable of being filled with have heard the dreadful news?” asked the girl, “ business” and effect, as my readers have often who was standing at the window, wondering observed upon the stage.
what all the talk and noise in the hall meant. “You will all of you,” said Stephen, taking “ I have heard, my dear. We are here, your the coat by the collar, and adjusting it with the cousins, to protect you. Your Uncle Stephen left, so as to bring that sleeve into position—"you has left the house, and will not return to it.” will all of you regret the tone which you have “Oh! tell me you do not believe it—what he been pleased to adopt toward me." Then he says !" thrust his hand into the sleeve half-way, and * We certainly do not,” said Augustus. “We brought the coat round with a swing to the right. do not know what case he has, if any; but we “I claim, as any man would, his bare rights. hold his position to be impossible. We believe Let justice be done.” Then he thrust his right in your late father, my dear: we are confident arm into the corresponding sleeve. “I am met that we shall establish your claims to be what he with unworthy and undeserved accusations." always led us to believe you, his legal daughter Then he hitched the coat higher up, and per- and his heiress.” ceived, but without alarm for the moment, that He kissed her on the forehead, a rare distincthere was some obstacle in both the sleeves.
tion with a man so grave as Augustus Hamblin. The faces of his three opponents watched “I concur," said William the Silent, and him with grave and solemn looks.
kissed her too. It was the grandest spectacle which this “ And as for me,” said Mr. Billiter, taking her world offers—that of baffled villainy. The vir- hand, “ you see in me, my dear young lady, your tuous, rejoicing in their virtue, were for the mo- most faithful and obedient servant. Never doubt ment triumphant. Nothing better was ever in- that we shall succeed." vented in fiction than this situation of real life. “And am I and my boy to be turned out?” And to think that it was all fooled away by such asked poor Mrs. Cridland. a paltry trick as sewing up a coat-sleeve !
“Certainly not, Flora,” replied Augustus. Having delivered himself, Stephen wished “We want you to continue your kind services only to retreat with dignity. There was only one to "-he made a profound bow—" to my late drawback. He could not get his arms through cousin's heiress, Anthony's daughter, Alison the sleeves. The unrelenting three gazed upon Hamblin."
(To be continued.)
THE SOUVENIRS OF MADAME VIGEE LE BRUN*
THER "HERE are superior persons who object to was then in all the brilliancy of her youth and
what they are pleased to call “light read- beauty. Marie Antoinette was tall and admirably ing.” And they not only include in their con- proportioned, her arms were lovely, her hands small demnation novels, but also those pleasant me- and beautifully formed, and her feet charming.
She moirs which they loftily designate as mere gossip. walked better than any woman in France ; carrying They seem to imagine that books which may
her head with a majesty which denoted the sovereign amuse can not by any possibility instruct. The in the midst of her court without detracting in the proper study of mankind, according to the self- least from the sweetness and grace of her whole aselected wise men of the nineteenth century, is pect. In short, it is very difficult to give an idea, to
those who have not seen the Queen, of so much to solve questions which are practically insoluble.
grace and dignity combined. Her features were not The lost spirits who reasoned high and found regular: she inherited from her family the long, ovalthemselves in wandering mazes lost, probably shaped face peculiar to the Austrian nation; her eyes, realized their situation ; but we do not think which were nearly blue, were not large, but their metaphysicians of the present day are in the expression was at once lively and soft; her nose was slightest degree aware when they are founder- small and well-formed, and her mouth was not large ing. Mrs. Charles Kemble, whose character is although the lips were rather thick. But the most so charmingly described in that delightful book, remarkable thing about her was the brilliancy of her “The Records of a Girlhood,” used to say of the complexion. I never saw anything like it, and brilsages of her day, “When A talks to B and C, liant is the only word to express what it was; her and B and C do not understand him, and A skin was so transparent that allowed of no shadow. does not understand himself, that's metaphysics.” I never could obtain the effect I desired; paint could Here are the specimen articles of the magazine of not represent the freshness, the delicate tints of that the period : “The Place of Will in Evolution," charming face, which I never beheld in any other “The Place of Conscience in Evolution," " The
At the first sitting, the Queen's imposing air beReasonable Basis of Certitude,”“ Philosophy of the
gan by intimidating me extremely, but her majesty Pure Sciences,” “ Psychometrical Facts.” Then spoke to me with so much goodness that her kind in the midst of these awful lucubrations comes an
manner soon dissipated this impression. It was then article entitled Is Insanity on the Increase ?
that I made the portrait which represents her with a A very suggestive question, in answer to which large hoop, dressed in white satin and holding a rose we can only sorrowfully imagine that, while there in her hand. This picture was destined for her are writers and readers of brain-puzzling articles brother, the Emperor Joseph II., and the Queen like these, it is impossible that insanity can be ordered two copies of it; one for the Empress of altogether on the wane. And then how con- Russia, the other for her apartments at Versailles or ceited young gentlemen patronize and bore man- at Fontainebleau. kind with their “schools of thought” and “ aims
It was at this first sitting that Marie Anof life”! How pleasant, perhaps superior per- toinette replied to Madame Le Brun, in answer sons would say how degrading, to turn from to her remark how much l'élévation de sa tête celestial talk and “psychometrical facts” to the added to the nobleness of her aspect : “If I sunny souvenirs of Madame Vigée Le Brun ! What a pleasant picture is here given of air of insolence; is not that true?” The sup
were not Queen, they would say that I have an French society just before the whirlwind which posed haughtiness of the Queen made her an scattered it for ever! Madame Le Brun, as an
object of hatred to the French people, and, the artist patronized by royalty, naturally saw kings, more she dispensed with etiquette and entered queens, and princes through rose-colored specta- into society, the more her unpopularity increased. cles. Her accounts of Marie Antoinette are flat
In an unpublished memoir of the time, it is tering in the extreme, but they coincide with the stated that the parties at the Duchess of Poligeneral impression left by the memoirs of the
gnac's gave great offense to a portion of the noperiod.
bility. The Queen was supposed to preside at Madame Le Brun writes :
these soirées. Those who were not invited we It was in the year of 1779, my dear friend, that I furious, those who were asked and were not suffitook the Queen's portrait for the first time. She ciently noticed were malignant. Hence arose
those false and cruel libels which spread from * Souvenirs of Madame Vigée Le Brun. London, the highest to the lowest classes of society. With
what result is too well known. One is almost
forced to agree with the Greek dramatists that Nothing could be more perfect in theory than fate is the great agent pervading life. Marie an education of this kind, but we fear in pracAntoinette was born on a day of evil omen, Le tice it resulted in the pride that apes humility; jour des Morts, and there is no record in history for Madame d'Oberkirch, who piqued herself on of a woman who suffered such prolonged tortures her knowledge of court etiquette, received the and who endured them so nobly.
following setting down from the child of seven.
Madame d'Oberkirch writes : Madame Le Brun writes :
I was struck by the beauty and grace of the One day it so happened that I failed to appear child, and accustomed to the freedom of German at the time appointed for my sitting, because, owing courts I said so; this liberty displeased her; an exto my health being very delicate at the time, I was pression of anger spread itself over her face as with taken suddenly ill. I hastened the next day to Ver- a proud and dignified air she replied : sailles to make my excuses. The Queen had not “I am charmed, baroness, that you think me so ; expected me, and had ordered her carriage to go for but I am surprised to hear you say it." I was a drive, and this carriage was the first thing I saw stunned. on entering the courtyard of the château. Nevertheless, I went up and spoke to the gentlemen-in
However, the governess came to the rescue. waiting. One of them, M. Campan, received me The gracious and affable Princess relented, held very stiffly, and said angrily, in his stentorian voice: out her hand to be kissed, and restored the be“It was yesterday, madame, that her Majesty ex-wildered Baroness to her senses. pected you, and of course she is going out driving, Madame Le Brun gives a curious account of and she will certainly not give you a sitting.” On the way she was treated by the Princesse de my saying that I merely came to take her Majesty's Conti: orders for another day, he went to find the Queen, who immediately sent for me into her cabinet. She One day while Madame de Montesson * was sitwas finishing her toilet ; and held a book, from which ting to me, the old Princesse de Conti paid her a she was teaching her daughter, the young madame. visit, and this Princess in speaking to me always My heart beat, for I felt nervous, knowing I had called me miss. It made the thing more remarkbeen in the wrong. The Queen turned and said able that I was immediately expecting the birth of kindly: “I waited for you all yesterday morning; my first child. It is true that formerly all the great what happened to you ?” “Alas ! madame," I re- ladies so addressed their inferiors, but this fashion plied, “I was so ill that I was unable to attend your had ceased with Louis XV. Majesty's commands. I come to-day to receive them, and will leave directly.” “No! no! do not
Madame Le Brun was passionately fond of go away,” she rejoined ; “I will not let you have the theatre. In the days of her girlhood the your journey for nothing." She countermanded her opera was her constant resort : carriage, and gave me a sitting. I recollect that, in my anxiety to make amends for her goodness, I
In the summer the performance finished at halfseized my box of colors with such haste that I up before it was over to walk in the garden. It was
past eight, and the most fashionable people left even set them all, and my brushes and paints were strewed over the floor ; I stooped down to repair my awk then the custom to carry enormous bouquets, the wardness. “Let them alone, let them alone,” said odor of which, added to that of the strongly-scented the Queen, “ you are not in a condition to stoop"; hair-powder which every one wore, actually emand, in spite of all that I could say, she picked them balmed the air that we breathed. Later on, but beall up herself.
fore the Revolution, I have known these réunions
prolonged until two o'clock in the morning, with In the “Memoirs of the Baroness d'Ober- music in the open air by moonlight. Many artists kirch,” which are as pleasant as those of Ma- and amateurs sang there, among others Garat and dame Le Brun, many anecdotes are given illus- Alsevido. It was crowded with people, and the fatrating Marie Antoinette's kindness of heart. mous St. Georges often played there on his violin. The Queen in the education of her children en
The Comédie Française was then in its glory. deavored to instill in them kindness and consider
• The actors were so admirable," writes Madame ation for others.
Le Brun, " that they have never been excelled.” Madame Le Brun writes :
There is a most animated description of them in The Queen never neglected an opportunity of these memoirs. She was present at a representeaching her children the gracious and affable man- tation of the “ Mariage de Figaro " by the actors ners which so endeared her to all who surrounded of the Comédie Française at the residence of her. I have seen her making madame, then a child Count Vaudreil, the intimate friend of Marie of six years old, dine with a little peasant-girl, whom Antoinette. Nothing shows more the blindness she protected, serving her first, and saying to her daughter, “ You must do her the honors.”
* Mistress of the Duke of Orleans.
of the French aristocracy than their encourage- “Like a prince, Monseigneur,' I replied." ment of an author who was writing them down. A most courtly answer. Royal princes,
whether they command an army, sing, fiddle, or The last play acted in the theatre at Gennevil- shoot, should do it well or not at all. George liers was a representation of the “Mariage de Figa- III., who once took lessons on the violin, abanro" by the actors of the Comédie Française. I re
doned the pursuit when, in answer to a question member that Mademoiselle Sainval played the countess, and Mademoiselle Olivier the page ; and that « There are three classes of performers. Those
as to how he was getting on, his master replied : Mademoiselle Contat was charming as Susanna; who play well, those who play badly, and those nevertheless Beaumarchais must have worried M. de Vaudreuil into permitting such a very doubtful who can not play at all. Your Majesty is just play to be performed at this theatre. Dialogue, entering the second class.” The Prince of Wales couplets, all were directed against the Court, of also prided himself on his singing, and quarreled which the audience chiefly consisted, without speaks with his chaplain, the witty “ Dean ” Cannon, ing of the presence of our excellent Prince. Every because he would not agree with him that he one felt this want of tact; but Beaumarchais was sang a certain song better than any one in Lonwild with delight. He rushed about like a madman, don. Another royal duke of the period, who and, on some one complaining of the heat,* instead piqued himself on his shooting, having deprived of allowing time for the windows to be opened, he his equerry of half his sight, complained that broke all the panes with his cane.
the wretched unfortunate made such a “fuss Madame d'Oberkirch thinks that “the nobili
about his eye." ty showed a great want of tact in applauding it,
As in Edinburgh in the olden time, so in which was nothing else than giving themselves a
Paris the suppers were the chief charm of soslap in the face. They will repent it yet.” And ciety. they did repent it; in a short time the greater
No one can imagine (writes Madame Le Brun) part of that brilliant audience was in exile or what society was like in France in those days when prison. Even the actresses were not spared. business was over, and twelve or fifteen people
Madame Roland writes from her prison just would visit at different friends' houses, and there before her execution :
finish the evening. It was at the suppers that Pari.
sian society showed its superiority over all Europe. I write this on the 4th of September at eleven at night, the apartments next to me resounding with Madame Le Brun's salon seems to have been peals of laughter. The actresses of the Théâtre one of the most popular in Paris. Her suppers Française were arrested yesterday. Today they were merely a simple repast—a fowl, a fish, a were taken to their own apartments to witness the dish of vegetables, and a salad; but everybody ceremony of taking off the seals, and are now re
was gay, good-tempered, and the hours passed turned to prison, where the peace-officer is supping like minutes. Here is the account of one which and amusing himself in their company. The repast was such a grand success, and it only cost a few is noisy and frolicsome. I catch the sound of coarse francs, although it was reported to have cost jests, while foreign wines sparkle in the goblet. The place, the object, the persons, and my own oc
sixty thousand : cupation form a contrast not a little curious.
Here, my dear friend, is an exact account of the
most brilliant suppers I ever gave : The rage for theatricals was extreme. Ama- One evening I had invited twelve or fifteen teur acting was the order of the day. The friends to hear a reading of the poet Le Brun ; while Queen herself acted, among other characters I was resting, before they arrived, my brother read Rosine in the “ Barbier de Séville,” but alas, she to me some pages of the “Travels of Anacharsis.” acted badly, and sang out of tune! The royal When he reached the part describing Greek dinners, princes also acted and sang “spicy ” songs; Mon- and the different sauces and food they had, he said, sieur, afterward Louis XVIII., while sitting to
We ought to try some of those things to-night." I Madame Le Brun, sang such vulgar songs that immediately spoke to my cook and told her what to Madame Le Brun wondered where he had do, and we decided that she should make one sauce learned them.
for the fowl and another for the eels. As I was exMadame Le Brun writes: “His voice was
pecting some very pretty women, I thought we might
all dress up in Greek costumes so as to create a surnever in tune.
How do you think I sing?” he prise for M. de Vaudreuil and M. Boutin, who we asked one day.
knew could not arrive before ten. My studio, full
of things with which I draped my models, provided * The actors and actresses of the Comédie Française me with several clothes, and the Comte de Parois, are now at the Gayety Theatre. Their performances are who lodged in my house, had a fine selection of wonderful, but the heat is extreme. Would that there Etruscan vases. He came to see me that day, as it were a Monsieur Beaumarchais to give us a little air ! happened ; I informed him of my project, and the