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nial humor as the prince of spendthrifts; Lady be willing to do her best, and Evans could imPamela Lawless refuses to hide her charms un- provise some kind of dress that might pass as der wrinkles and whitewash.” (An outside ob- poudrée for her ; still —" server might cavil at this allusion to the personal “ Blanche Plantagenet is the ugliest woman endowments of Lady Pamela, than whom a plain- in England, and thirty-three,” remarks Sir Chriser woman never breathed; but, as I have already topher innocently. “True bill, Miss Vivashsaid, the affection between the two friends is of matter of history. All the Plantagenets are as material too delicate for rough-and-ready analy- ugly as sin—no, as virtue. Some one help me sis.) “Mr. Wolfgang is afraid of his B's and with a metaphor. And as to her age, is it not P's; I myself am the only well-disposed mem- recorded in the book ? In the interest of art, for ber of the troupe-consequently the only one our credit among the Teutons, I hope Fräulein whose decisions shall be final! We will act Jeanne will look as like herself, and as little like The Maid of Honor.'”
Lady Blanche Plantagenet, as possible." Miss Vivash leans back on the sofa, as much “If there is any talk of theatricals," cries as is possible to lean on any piece of furniture in Ange, prudently covering her cards from her Schloss Egmont, and, folding her finely-cut opponent as she glances round at the group of arms, complacently begins to recite aloud : young people—“ Jeanne, child, if Miss Vivash
“Can he guess that I love him, or have I been decides upon turning us out, from garret to basebetrayed? I may avow that, were I disposed to ment, with play-acting, there will be no need to bestow my hand on a gentleman of birth and get over dresses from London. The Von Egbreeding, I should consult only my own pleasure monts, time out of mind, have been merry-anin the act.'”
drews (I am pleased to see that my poor wit so “The Maid of Honor" is a little one-act diverts you, Mr. Wolfgang), harlequins, poets, comedy, in which, as theatre - going people painters, play-actors! We have tinsel rubbish know, Vivian, during the past season, has won in the Fürstenzimmer alone to supply half the laurels. Have not royal hands thrown her bou- theatres in Germany. Theatricals !” muses quets after its performance ? Have not news- Ange, her face growing overcast. “Ay, we paper critics pronounced her an amateur O'Neil, were in the middle of theatricals when Dolores's a younger Dejazet—the bolder of the prints go- death fell upon us. Paul and Salome were in ing as far as to hint that 'twere pity Miss Vic their beds—for children were children in those vash's histrionic genius should not, like the beau- days—and their mother had paint on her cheeks ty of her face, outstep the limits of mere ama- and roses in her powdered hair, ready to enter teur fame?
on the scene, when, in a moment, as all the doc“And you, Miss Dempster," she goes on, tors had foretold, she sank dead.-Jeanne, if turning to Jeanne, “would like to take a part, Miss Vivash and her friends desire, you will show doubtless ? Well, we will try to find something them the masquerading clothes of Dolores von for you. The character of Laura, alias Cesario, Egmont just as they lie, heap above heap, in the with the points cut out, might be made to suit Fürstenzimmer." -might it not, Pamela ?”
But Jeanne, ere half the tale is told, has made “I act Cesario myself, or I act nothing,” says her exit, stealthily, from the guest-room. Lady Pamela. “Where is the good of possessing an hussar's dress if one may not bring it in, Hessian boots and all? You take the Duchess,
CHAPTER IX. of course. Jeanne must be the Maid of Honor. With her eyes, and her blushes, and her seven
A VILLAGE MARCHIONESS, teen years, Jeanne will look the ingénue to perfection."
A SUDDEN revulsion of feeling has seized the Vivian's pale glance travels slowly downward girl; an awakening of vanity, dormant in her from the girl's face to her feet, then up again. simple heart until to-day; a burning desire to Jeanne can feel the coral beads scorching once get rid of her beads, her shoes, her plaits, and more into her throat. Once more she is con- appear, at all costs, as an equal, a human creascious of her over-short sleeves, her over-broad ture of the same fesh and blood as Vivian, in shoes—of every inartistic, provincial item in her Wolfgang's sight! whole dress.
The entrance-hall, the vaulted corridors of “ Unfortunately, one has one's ideals! Lady Schloss Egmont are silent, shadowed. By such Blanche Plantagenet acted with me last in Lady faint light as the casements, few and far between, Clearwell's troupe, at Brighton, if you remember. admit, Jeanne flies swiftly up one flight of stairs, When I think of the Maid of Honor I think of down another, up a third; then along a very dearest Blanche. No doubt Miss Dempster would labyrinth of winding passages to the Fürsten
zimmer ; a lumber-room now; in the days of uplooped tunic is of blue-and-silver damask, the former Von Egmont splendor the state or prince- product doubtless of some Spanish loom brought ly apartment of the house.
originally to Schloss Egmont in the young
bride's Legless chairs and tables, Flemish tapestries trousseau. Richest Valencia lace sets off the amid whose fine fabric successive generations of throat and sleeves. The clocked silk stockings, moths have run riot, the remains of Sèvres and high-heeled shoes, embroidered Castilian fanDresden hopelessly shattered, yet of quality so all in their way are artistic, all are genuine. rare 'twould be a sin to throw them away; the Hastily lighting the candles on her dressingshell of a hundred-year-old spinet; some pa- table (homely Black Forest “ dips"; there is not thetically tarnished children's toys—all the disjec- an item of needless extravagance in Ange's ta membra of the forsaken, masterless house are housekeeping), Jeanne sets to work on her own here.
transformation ; snatching a fearful joy as every Groping along from one dust-covered land- moment brings her nearer to possible rivalry, dimark to another, Jeanne makes her way to a bu- vides her, by a wider gulf, from the Jeanne she reau, large enough for a modern dressing-room, knows. Hastily she piles up her plenteous locks, in which the theatrical properties of the Countess in a fashion learned from pastel court-goddesses, Dolores, dead more than a quarter of a century. above her forehead. She powders, she rouges ; ago, are stored. Jeanne Dempster knows these puts on a couple of patches; exercises herself a properties by heart. Bleeding nuns, Spanish short space over the furling and unfurling of her duennas, French marquises, she can lay her fan before the glass; then, ere courage has had hand, unerringly, upon the buskin or the sock, time to cool, runs down, with step as hurried as the fitting garb for comedy or tragedy, at will. the perilous nature of her head-gear allows, toThe adjuncts, even to the smallest detail, are not ward the guest-room. wanting. On an upper shelf stands a mahogany Ruddy - cheeked Elspeth, meeting the little dressing-case massive as a plate-chest, metal- figure unexpectedly in a half-lit corridor, screechcornered, with the initials of the Countess Do- es aloud, drops on her knees, and signs herself lores worked in silver on the lid. In this are with the sign of the cross. A peasant, reared ranged hair-powder, patches, paint; scent-bottles among the demon-haunted valleys of the Black from which the sweetness has not quite evapo- Forest, looks upon apparitions as among the rated; a needle, even, threaded with faded silk; common facts of life. In a house turned upside an artificial rose-bud, to have been worn, per- down by London ladies, their lovers and their chance, on that last night when, amid music, maids, what can be simpler to Elspeth's mind dancing, masking, the final curtain went down, than that some poor Gräfin's ghost should walk, with a run, upon the Countess Dolores's life! perturbed! As Jeanne catches a vision of rouged
Under common circumstances little Jeanne and powdered marchionesses reflected in perwould have held this dressing-case sacred. Scores spective from the paneled steel mirrors that line of times she has looked over its disordered con- the hall, her own heart begins to beat uncomtents, but fearfully, shrinkingly, with the coward's fortably. When she reaches the door of the courage, the ghostly creeping of the flesh which guest-room she stops short, uncertain-yes, after children of a certain temperament shrink from, her fingers touch the lock-whether to enter or yet court. Vanity, however, like these fathers of fly. Elspeth's emotion is scarcely a test of the families, is capable of all. Aided by the moon, effect she may produce upon an educated authat just now shines fitfully through a rift of dience. She may be unlike Jeanne Dempster, inky clouds, she selects a Louis Quinze costume yet neither beautiful nor artistic. How if Vivian, that suits her fancy; then, bearing the dressing- by a glance, should cover her with ridicule—if she box in her arms, dances away to her own room, should see cool disgust on Wolfgang's face ! lightsome as any little moon-sprite of the Wald, As Jeanne hesitates, Fate, in the person of Sir to dress. To dress! April-cheeked reader of Christopher, cuts off the possibility of retreat. seventeen, looking forward to your first break- Sir Christopher, suddenly unclosing the door of fast, opera, ball, your first appearance in any the guest-room, sees, recognizes her. guise upon the platform of life's great comedy- “ Lady Teazle!” he exclaims, taking possesyou know the meaning of the word !
sion of both the girl's little, cold hands—“ Lady And the costume is rigidly accurate. In Teazle, by all that's wonderful !” Then leads these days of imitation and veneer, we smack of her straight under the fullest light of the chanManchester even in our travesties; our velvets deliers—leads her, blushing, shrinking (yet with a are cotton-backed, our brocaded Pompadours child's arch vanity showing delightfully through calico. Our forebears carried a kind of con- her paint, through her shyness), into the presence science into their very follies, did their pleasures of them all. on a solider scale than we have heart for. The And the expression of Wolfgang's face is not
one of disgust. Thus much Jeanne feels rather nection of my own, quite a celebrity, a Miss Carlthan sees, as she stands, Sir Christopher still ton Jarvis" doing showman, with every eye fixed upon her, No, we are not going to act a burlesque,” every tongue criticising her transformation.
interrupts Miss Vivash, with her fine, native “ Ausgezeichnete! Wunderschöne !” exclaim breeding. “So I fear our village marchioness the good Herr Pastor and his Frau in chorus. must be pronounced out of court. If we require
“Wunderschöne !” repeats the master, in a Miss Dempster's talents at the last, Evans, my lower key.
maid, can run her up a suitable dress in a couple “ Wonder Jane - certainly !” echoes Sir of hours." Christopher. “Janet, the wonder of the world. She moves a contemptuous step or two away; All languages are intelligible when the text of the then, pausing, glances back across her shoulder sermon is a woman's beauty."
at Wolfgang. If it be your custom, reader, to Beauty! At the word, Miss Vivash rises to gaze at idle moments into the London photogher feet. Then, adjusting her pincenes, that raphers' windows, the Vivian glance, the Vivian lawful recognized weapon of impertinence, she shoulder, must alike be familiar to you. bestows a stare of cold curiosity upon Jeanne “You possess the delightful talent of not Dempster's shrinking figure.
singing, I think, Mr. Wolfgang ?" (Beauty's imi" Quite too amusing, really, if one were going tation of the class of Vere de Vere is one of the to get up that sort of thing-charades—fairy most diverting caricatures extant to him who has stories—transformation of the Ugly Duckling! a humorously disposed soul. She drawls, droops Unfortunately, my talents do not lie in the direc- her eyelids, raises her brows; is familiar, chilling, tion of burlesque."
impertinent, by turns; and succeeds—much as “A delicious bit of porcelain,” cries Lady Goldsmith's two town madams succeeded when Pamela, with her off-hand good nature.—“Sir they swam, sprawled, languished, frisked, in vain Christopher, pray put yourself in a fitting atti- rivalry of Olivia Primrose's natural grace and tude as pendant
high spirits.) “Well, if you do not sing, you can
play a waltz, surely, or whistle one. I suppose . They are only Dresden china fair,
you never heard Lord Albert de Montmorenci That little He and She.'"
whistle dance-music? Something must positive
ly be done to keep me from falling asleep.” Sir Christopher, laying his hand upon his heart, “ Wenn der young beebles might waltz, so declares he has been to fancy balls, to private play I, ach, my Gott, yes !” cries good Frau theatricals, to everything of the kind the season Meyer, bustling across to the instrument. “Herr has produced, ad nauseam ; yet, after all, has Professor Wolfgang, I invite you, in ze Fräulein's had to come to the Black Forest to see how name, for von tanz.” charming a really pretty girl can look poudrée- The Frau Meyer's dance-music dates from dashed if he has not !
an even earlier year than her hair-dressing. She Miss Vivash drops him a stately courtesy. If thunders forth Strauss's “First Set," the “Origia look could kill, Sir Christopher's harmless span nal Polka," and the “Elfin Waltzes," with a will, of existence must, on the instant, come to sud- the Herr Pastor performing an ad libitum drum den end.
accompaniment with his feet. Her time, how“We accept the compliment, literally! Sir ever, is good; the guest-room floor is waxed and Christopher Marlowe has been this season ad polished to a nicety. Ere a couple of minutes nauseam to fancy balls, at which we have given have sped, chairs and tables are pushed aside, him dances; has acted this season ad nauseam and little Jeanne, with Sir Christopher's arm in private theatricals with us! And now Sir round her waist, is whirling wildly through space. Christopher Marlowe has come to the Black For- Lady Pamela, who seems accustomed to play est to see how well a really pretty girl can look fifth wheel in the coach, chats with Ange in a poudrée-dashed if he has not !"
The beauty and Herr Wolfgang stand “ Remarks made on the subject of rush-lights side by side near the piano. can not include the sun,” says Sir Christopher “I have come to the Black Forest to see a with grave gallantry. “Perfection has no rivals.” really pretty girl poudrée, and I have come to
“ You have given utterance to a very elegant the Black Forest to get a really good waltz.” sentiment, sir,” cries Ange, warming at the mere So runs an insidious whisper of Kit Marlowe's ring of a copy-book aphorism. When I was as he and Jeanne make their first pause for breath. young, I always said we commonplace girls had “The moralists account it among my sins that I more to dread from each other than we had from turn life into one long joke-a joke, so they say, the toasts—they called the beauties ‘toasts ' in without a point. Jeanne "(tenderly), “I will make those days, Miss Vivash. Now, there was a con- you a confession. I should be quite content to
turn life into one long waltz with you for my trained art. More spontaneous grace, more poepartner.”
try of movement, you will see exhibited at any “Frau Meyer for ever playing the 'Elfin Waltz- village festival among the Black Forest peasantes,' the Herr Pastor for ever beating time with maidens. But grace, poetry, may not be the his Sunday shoes. What an earthly paradise!” qualifications most in vogue in London ball
“Our Beauty, our Hyde Park goddess, dances rooms. During a pair of seasons Vivian has as she does everything-divinely," muses Sir been forced, as fifty years ago Lord Byron wordChristopher, giving a glance across the room at ed it, to “ waltz for a living.” Her sinuous, glidVivian. “If ever you come to London, little ing movements, her pose of head and shoulders, Jeanne, if you are lucky enough to penetrate to are, I doubt not, in accordance with modern the very heart and bull's-eye of fashion, you may ästhetic taste, a simple case of supply meeting witness a refined aristocracy struggling together demand : who shall cavil at them? -elderly earls treading on each other's toes, “ Miss Vivash deserves the salon to herself," dowager duchesses balancing their sixteen stone says Jeanne, drawing back gravely from Sir on rickety ballroom chairs—in vain efforts to be- Christopher's side. “ It is well for me to take a hold Miss Vivash dance. These things are above lesson, well to see how goddesses—I mean how my head. As a plain, humble-minded man, I people who go to court-balls—hold up their feel that I could in the main be content with low- trains." lier excellence—a lily-of-the-valley, a violet by “You have no train to hold,” answers Kit a mossy stone, a Black Forest brier-rose-" Marlowe ; "and, while you live, you will never
They have by this time moved a few steps be a goddess. Rein in your ambition, little nearer to the instrument, and Jeanne can hear Jeanne,” he adds. “Goddesses are articles of luxMiss Vivash's voice. In her eagerness to catch ury-articles whose manufacture costs over-dear Wolfgang's answer the girl forgets to listen to in the nineteenth century, take my word for it.” the end of Sir Christopher Marlowe's flowery Miss Vivash swims languidly round the room compliments.
twice, exertion enough, doubtless, with such a “ It is quite nonsense for you to refuse me! partner, before such spectators; then, sinking in As if a German could be out of practice in a posture that artists of a certain school have waltzing! Come, Mr. Wolfgang, make no more told her is “classic” on the sofa, she lifts her vain excuses. I am not in the habit of going on eyes, a sleepy fire in their pale depths, full upon my knees, I can tell you."
the master. (“On her knees !” repeats Sir Christopher, “ You have not often in your life danced a sotto voce. “No; that is a charge her worst de- waltz like that, Mr. Wolfgang ?" tractors would scarcely bring against our Beau- The words are nothing. The manner is that ty!”)
of a queen who, having bestowed some hazard“I give you a last chance. Make up your ously great favor on a subject, would fain recall mind to accept or refuse me before I count five. him by a glance, a tone, to a sense of the gulf One, two, three-"
that lies between them. And Wolfgang's arm encircles the wasp-like “I have danced few waltzes of any kind,” waist.
answers Wolfgang, with humility, “and such Vivian pauses for a moment before starting; partners as I have had have been Bauer-mädnot noticing Jeanne, not noticing an opposite chen. Confess, Miss Vivash, you find my step mirror, hung at such an angle that Wolfgang barbarously German, do you not ?" can see the reflection of her own face. She Barbarously German !" repeats Vivian, with pauses, gives a meaning glance across at Lady a little laugh, prettily learned, coming from no Pamela, the tip of her nose pointing heaven- region near the heart. “ We are accustomed, at ward; then with her morsel of a lace handker- court, I can assure you, to partners of every nachief dispels some imaginary dust from the mas- tion in Europe, to German most of all, naturally ter's threadbare coat-sleeve before resting her from our family connections. Indeed, among hand upon his arm.
the higher classes of society, nationalities do not Brief is the contemptuous action, quickly fol- exist. Everybody waltzes alike." lowed by dulcet whispers, by goddess smiles. As Vivian speaks, Wolfgang reviews her But the master has seen it; and Jeanne-ah, charms impartially: the soulless brow, the pale, how the child's heart throbs, how her blood boils voluptuous eyes, the studied abandonment of at the slight! Is Wolfgang so much of a philoso- pose and limb. Then he glances across the pher, she asks herself, so infatuated, so dead al- room at the Ugly Duckling, at the transparent, ready to self-respect, as to let this insult to his primrose face of little Jeanne. It is in moments poverty pass by unnoticed ?
seemingly trivial as this one that men's fates are Miss Vivash's waltzing is the perfection of decided for them.
will pay me no compliments, Missing of our theatricals, Mr. Wolfgang. Does that Vivash? I can not aspire to be compared to give you hope enough ? " court-partners or the higher classes of society, “ Just enough to keep me alive in the interbut you might, at least, raise my hopes by telling val,” says Wolfgang, with emphasis. me I have not trodden on your toes or torn your And Vivian hides her face away behind her gown.”
fan. It is the nearest approach ever made by " I invite
for the first waltz on the even- the Popular Beauty to blushing.
(To be continued.)
LEAVES FROM THE LAURELS OF MOLIERE.
N the time of Louis le Grand there stood on members of this hermaphrodite areopagus “left
“ as the Place Napoléon III., the famous Hôtel struse subjects led to others even more obscure, Rambouillet. Its noble owner married, some- over which this precious society cast the mantle where about 1630, a woman of high birth, ami- of enigma; each sally of wit being greeted with able disposition, and of cultivated tastes, named rounds of applause. It was not necessary to be Catherine de Vivonne. Everything which refine- gifted with either good sense, a good memory, ment, luxury, and wealth could suggest was to or, indeed, the humblest capacity, in order to be found in the salons of Madame de Rambouil- shine at these réunions; it only needed a certain let, who took especial pains to attract thither all amount of wit, and that of no high order. The the celebrities of her time. Among her votaries customs which prevailed in this Valhalla of folly were La Rochefoucauld, Jean Chapelain, the were not less extraordinary than the discourse of Abbé Cotin, the oracle of politesse Voiture, Jean its members. The women affected an exaggeraLouis de Balzac, the poet Segrais, Madame de tion of romantic sentiment. It was their custom Sévigné, her correspondent Bussy Rabutin, the to address one another in terms of endearment, mother of the great Condé, his sister Madame de such as ma chère," "précieuse," designations Longueville, and others whose claims to remem- by which the whole coterie became gradually brance have long since been surrendered. Such known throughout France. These “ précieuses” were the dilettanti who assembled ostensibly to do not appear to have reserved their buffooneries criticise literature and art, men and manners, but exclusively for the Hôtel Rambouillet, where they really to take their places in the history of Jean were understood, for we learn from a contemBaptiste Poquelin. The fame of these social poraneous author that they kept up their “cusgatherings spread through France, and an invi- toms” even in their own homes. They slept tation to the Hôtel Rambouillet became an ob- during the best hours of the day, and paid cereject of ambition. But the difficulty of obtaining monious, not to say inconvenient, visits at nightan entrée must have been considerable, for we fall. They lisped in conversation; and, to the have it on the authority of one of its members scandal of their godfathers and godmothers, exthat it was absolutely necessary to be acquainted changed their Christian names for those of pagan with that nadir of research, “le fin des choses, le divinities. During the séances each goddess sat grand fin, le fin du fin," and also to be intro- enthroned in a gorgeous alcove, within whose duced by one of its members, known by the title mystic depths she was wont to ponder on things of “ le grand introducteur des ruelles.” But in æsthetic, or worldly. To heighten the absurdity spite of the rigor of these ordinances a vast con- of her situation, she was constantly attended by course assembled daily within the Hôtel Ram- one of the sterner sex who, in his capacity of bouillet, where they talked a great deal of dialec- alcoviste, bore the inspirations of her genius to tical nonsense. They gravely debated, like John the surrounding alcoves. "Les précieuses," says of Salisbury, on the most frivolous subjects. the Abbé Cotin, himself a member of this coterie Deep research was employed in order to guess –“les précieuses s'envoyaient visiter par un ronthe most inane riddle. Interminable speeches deau ou un énigme, et c'est par là que commenwere delivered relative to the metaphysical attri- çaient toutes les conversations.” butes of love; and every variety of sentiment, One night during the summer of 1659—a human and divine, was discussed with a ludicrous memorable year in the annals of genius—while refinement of expression, and a pompous parade the “précieuses" were in conclave assembled, of learning. In the words of La Bruyère, the and rounds of applause hailed the explosion of