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her deep eyes are alight with animation. Never “ Count Paul, gnädiger Herr," she is beginduring her seventeen years of life has Janet ning, while a thousand confirmatory trifles, unDempster looked so fair.
heeded at the time, rush back in a crowd upon The moment the waltz ends, a throng of her memory, “how shall I ever ask your forgiveyoung men flock around, eager to write their ness?". names upon the débutante's card. But Wolf- “You have every reason to feel consciencegang, who has quickly consigned Vivian to the stricken,” he interrupts her. “With Miss ViPrince, bears her away from them all and from vash I have been fortunate enough to establish a the ballroom.
truce. With Ange I have already made my peace “You are looking your best, my little Jeanne," -our good Ange, who declares that she had inhe whispers. “And the moment of temptation tuitions pointing in the right direction from the is at hand : Paul von Egmont is in the oak par- first moment that she heard my voice. But you lor, and desires to make himself known to you." -to be rejected after months or weeks of ac
quaintance would be stab enough to a man's vanity—but you, Jeanne, have rejected me un
heard. Oh" (as she tries to stammer forth an CHAPTER XX.
excuse), “you think that I can forget what you UPON THE ARM OF A PRINCE.
told me, six hours ago, upon the Zauberfelsen ?
You would value a home, a name, all that Von A SOLITARY lamp sheds its rays upon the Egmont could offer, not one jot. Miss Vivash young Count's portrait, upon the marble spirit- might have them freely. Do you say so still ?” faces of Goethe and Schiller. A sleepy fire of
my heart belongs to my master, early moonlight cleaves the dusk. No sound to Herr Wolfgang,” she answers, lifting her face, of distant clarionet or fiddle jars on the ear. dyed in loveliest shame, to his. “If I had known Through wide-opened windows streams the air, sooner” untainted by wine, millefleurs, patchouli-fresh That Herr Wolfgang was an impostor, a only with the keen night-odors of the adjacent sham, a pretender, you would have felt toward Wald.
him as he deserved ? Little Jeanne, be pitiful. “At last!” says Wolfgang, closing the door Remember the evening on the terrace when you behind them, then taking Jeanne's trembling told me" (his dark cheek pales) " the story of hands and drawing her to his side. “Jeanne, Paul von Egmont's youth! Remember what little sweetheart, what have you all been think- cause has made him shrink from returning under ing about in Schloss Egmont not to recognize me his own name to his father's house ! sooner?”
For a few seconds Jeanne is mute. Then, “To recognize-Mr. Wolfgang !"
timidly, she rests her hand upon Von Egmont's “I have been with you, at all hours of the arm. twenty-four, in this very room. (Do you remem- “I believe, sir, that I have cared for you a ber the night when Ange imprisoned me here?) little all my life.” (As though to gain courage, Paul von Egmont's name ever on your lips, his she glances up at the friendly, boyish face upon portrait ever before your eyes, and yet the truth the wall.) “And I know you will continue to be has not once been suspected! A terrible lesson Herr Wolfgang, my master, until the day I die." as to what a dozen years' wear and tear will do He folds her to his breast without another for a man.”
word. Thus speaking, Wolfgang places himself beneath the portrait; and suddenly a veil seems When they reënter the ballroom the ins lifted from before Jeanne Dempster's sight. The are playing; the first square dance of the evenboy's fair cheek has grown bronzed; the hair has ing has been formed. Kit Marlowe and Lady lost its brightness; but for the rest—forehead, Pamela stand side by side, best-mated of parteyes, expression all remain unchanged.
ners, for a Lancers, or for the somewhat more A choking sensation rises in the poor child's complicated set of figures called Life. Prince throat-her limbs tremble. It seems to her as Ernest Waldemar is Beauty's cavalier. though the earth itself—the good old familiar Ill-starred Beauty, regnant, alas ! no longer ; earth on which she and Wolfgang construed and loverless, friendless, although she leans upon the parsed, quarreled and fell in love together—were arm of a prince! With smiles gilding the pracmelting away beneath her feet. In such a crisis, ticed, painted lip, but with bitterest disappointthe first thought of a woman of the world would ment, with the remembrance of opportunities be that she had gained a wealthy lover. To lost, gifts misused, natural affections quenched Jeanne's simple heart the crushing, intolerable in her heart. . . . So for the present we take our dread is, that she may have lost a poor one ! leave of her.
SOME ASPECTS OF ROBERT BURNS.
we must have fellow-feeling and some com- consistent of men.” If you are so sensibly pained mon ground of experience with our subject. We by the misconduct of your subject, and so patermay praise or blame according as we find him nally delighted with his virtues, you will always related to us by the best or worst in ourselves; be an excellent gentleman, but a somewhat quesbut it is only in virtue of some relationship that tionable biographer. Indeed, we can only be we can be his judges, even to condemn. Feel- sorry and surprised that Principal Shairp should ings which we share and understand enter for us have chosen a theme so uncongenial. When we into the tissue of the man's character; those to find a man writing on Burns, who likes neither which we are strangers in our own experience we “Holy Willie," nor the “ Beggars," nor the “Orare inclined to regard as blots, exceptions, incon- dination,” nothing is adequate to the situation sistencies, and excursions of the diabolic; we but the old cry of Géronte: “ Que diable allait-1] conceive them with repugnance, explain them faire dans cette galère ? ” And every merit we with difficulty, and raise our hands to heaven in find in the book, which is sober and candid in a holy wonder when we find them in conjunction degree unusual with biographies of Burns, only with talents that we respect, or virtues that we leads us to regret more heartily that good work admire. David, King of Israel, would pass a should be so far thrown away. sounder judgment on a man than either Nathan- It is far from my intention to tell over again iel or David Hume. Now, Principal Shairp's a story that has been so often told; but there recent volume, although I believe no one will are certainly some points in the character of read it without respect and interest, has this one Burns that will bear to be brought out, and some capital defect—that there is imperfect sympathy chapters in his life that demand a brief rehearsal. between the author and the subject, between the The unity of the man's nature, for all its richness, critic and the personality under criticism. Hence has fallen somewhat out of sight in the pressure an inorganic, if not an incoherent, presentation of new information and the apologetical cereof both the poems and the man. Of “Holy mony of biographers. Mr. Carlyle made an inWillie's Prayer,” Principal Shairp remarks that imitable bust of the poet's head of gold; may I " those who have loved most what was best in not be forgiven if my business should have more Burns's poetry must have regretted that it was to do with the feet, which were of clay? ever written.” To the “ Jolly Beggars," so far
YOUTH. as my memory serves me, he refers but once; and then only to remark on the “strange, not to Any view of Burns would be misleading which say painful,” circumstance that the same hand passed over in silence the influences of his home which wrote the “Cotter's Saturday Night and his father. That father, William Burnes, should have stooped to write the “Jolly Beg- after having been for many years a gardener, gars.” The “Saturday Night” may or may not took a farm, married, and, like an emigrant in a be an admirable poem; but its significance is new country, built himself a house with his own trebled, and the power and range of the poet first hands. Poverty of the most distressing sort, appears, when it is set beside the “ Jolly Beggars." with sometimes the near prospect of a jail, emTo take a man's work piecemeal, except with the bittered the remainder of his life. Chill, backdesign of elegant extracts, is the way to avoid, ward, and austere with strangers, grave and imand not to perform, the critic's duty. The same perious in his family, he was yet a man of very weakness is displayed in the treatment of Burns unusual parts and of an affectionate nature. On as a man, which is broken, apologetical, and con- his way through life, he had remarked much upon fused. The man here presented to us is not that other men, with more result in theory than pracBurns, teres atque rotundus—a burly figure in tice; and he had reflected upon many subjects literature, as, from our present vantage of time, as he delved the garden. His great delight was we have begun to see him : this, on the other in solid conversation; he would leave his work hand, is Burns as he may have appeared to a con- to talk with the schoolmaster Murdoch ; and temporary clergyman, whom we shall conceive Robert, when he came home late at night, not to have been a kind and indulgent but orderly only turned aside rebuke, but kept his father two and orthodox person, anxious to be pleased, but hours beside the fire by the charm of his merry too often hurt and disappointed by the behavior and vigorous talk. Nothing is more characterof his red-hot protégé, and solacing himself with istic of the class in general, and William Burnes in particular, than the pains he took to get proper bolton church he made a conspicuous figure, with schooling for his boys, and, when that was no the only tied hair in the parish, “and his plaid, longer possible, the sense and resolution with which was of a particular color, wrapped in a which he set himself to supply the deficiency by particular manner round his shoulders.” Ten his own influence. For many years he was their years later, when a married man, the father of a chief companion; he spoke with them seriously family, a farmer, and an officer of excise, we on all subjects as if they had been grown men; shall find him out fishing in masquerade, with at night, when work was over, he taught them fox-skin cap, belted great-coat, and great Higharithmetic; he borrowed books for them on his- land broadsword. He liked dressing up, in fact, tory, science, and theology; and he felt it his for its own sake. This is the spirit which leads duty to supplement this last-the trait is laugh- to the extravagant array of Latin Quarter stuably Scottish—by a dialogue of his own compo- dents, and the proverbial velveteen of the Engsition, where his own private shade of orthodoxylish landscape-painter; and, though the pleasure was exactly represented. He would go to his derived is in itself merely personal, it shows a daughter, as she staid afield herding cattle, to man who is, to say the least of it, not pained by teach her the names of grasses and wild flowers, general attention and remark. His father wrote or to sit by her side when it thundered. Dis- the family name Burnes; Robert early adopted tance to strangers, deep family tenderness, love the orthography Burness from his cousin in the of knowledge, a narrow, precise, and formal Mearns; and in his twenty-eighth year changed reading of theology-everything we learn of him it once more to Burns. It is plain that the last hangs well together, and builds up a popular transformation was not made without some Scotch type. If I mention the name of Andrew qualm; for in addressing his cousin he adheres, Fairservice, it is only as I might couple for an in- in at least one more letter, to spelling number stant Dugald Dalgetty with old Marshal Loudon, two. And this, again, shows a man preoccupied to help out the reader's comprehension by a pop- about the manner of his appearance even down ular but unworthy instance of a class. Such was to the name, and little willing to follow custom. the influence of this good and wise man, that his Again, he was proud, and justly proud, of his household became a school to itself, and neigh- powers in conversation. To no other man's have bors who came into the farm at meal-time would we the same conclusive testimony from different find the whole family, father, brothers, and sis- sources and from every rank of life. It is almost ters, helping themselves with one hand, and hold- a commonplace that the best of his works was ing a book in the other. We are surprised at the what he said in talk. Robertson the historian style of Robert; that of Gilbert need surprise us“scarcely ever met any man whose conversation no less; even William writes a remarkable letter displayed greater vigor”; the Duchess of Gorfor a young man of such slender opportunities. don declared that he "carried her off her feet "; One anecdote marks the taste of the family, and, when he came late to an inn, the servants Murdoch bought “ Titus Andronicus," and, with would get out of bed to hear him talk. But in such dominie elocution as we may suppose, be- these early days, at least, he was determined to gan to read it aloud before this rustic audience; shine by any means. He made himself feared but when he had reached the passage where Ta- in the village for his tongue. He would crush mora insults unhappy Lavinia, with one voice weaker men to their faces, or even perhaps-for and “in an agony of distress " they refused to the statement of Sillar is not absolute—say cuthear it to an end. In such a father and with ting things of his acquaintances behind their such a home, Robert had already the making of backs. At the church-door, between sermons, a famous education; and what Murdoch added, he would parade his religious views amid hisses. although it may not have been much in amount, These details stamp the man. He had no genwas in character the very essence of a literary teel timidities in the conduct of his life. He training Schools and colleges, for one great loved to force his personality upon the world. man whom they complete, perhaps unmake a He would please himself, and shine. Had he lived dozen ; the strong spirit can do well upon more in the Paris of 1830, and joined his lot with the scanty fare.
Romantics, we can conceive him writing “Jehan" Robert steps before us, almost from the first, for “ Jean," swaggering in Gautier's red waistin his complete character-a proud, headstrong, coat, and horrifying bourgeois in the public café impetuous lad, greedy of pleasure, greedy of no- with paradox and gasconade. tice ; in his own phrase, “panting after distinc- A leading trait throughout his whole career tion," and in his brother's, “cherishing a particu- was his desire to be in love. Ne fait pas ce tour lar jealousy of people who were richer or of more qui veut. His affections were often enough consequence than himself”: with all this, em- touched, but perhaps never engaged. He was phatically of the artist nature. Already in Tar- all his life on a voyage of discovery, but it does
not appear conclusively that he ever touched the of what the French call fatuity, he bids the belles . happy isle. A man brings to love a deal of of Mauchline beware of his seductions; and the ready-made sentiment, and even from childhood same cheap self-satisfaction finds a yet uglier obscurely prognosticates the symptoms of this vent when he plumes himself on the scandal at vital malady. Burns was formed for love; he the birth of his first bastard. We can well behad passion, tenderness, and a singular bent in lieve what we hear of his facility in striking up the direction ; he could foresee, with the intui- an acquaintance with women : he would have tion of an artist, what love ought to be; and he conquering manners; he would bear down upon could not conceive a worthy life without it. But his rustic game with the grace that comes of abhe had ill fortune, and was besides so greedy solute assurance—the Richelieu of Lochlea or after every shadow of the true divinity, and so Mossgiel. In yet another manner did these quaint much the slave of a strong temperament, that ways of courtship help him into fame. If he perhaps his nerve was relaxed and his heart had were great as principal, he was unrivaled as conlost the power of self-devotion before an oppor- fidant. He could enter into a passion; he could tunity occurred. The circumstances of his youth counsel wary moves, being, in his own phrase, so doubtless counted for something in the result. old a hawk-nay, he could turn a letter for some For the lads of Ayrshire, as soon as the day's unlucky swain, or even string a few lines of verse work was over and the beasts were stabled, that should clinch the business and fetch the would take the road, it might be in a winter tem- hesitating fair one to the ground. Nor, perhaps, pest, and travel perhaps miles by moss and moor- was it only his “curiosity, zeal, and intrepid dexland, to spend an hour or two in courtship. Rule terity " that recommended him for a second in X. of the Bachelors' Club at Tarbolton provides such affairs; it must have been a distinction to that “every man proper for a member of this have the assistance and advice of “Rab the Rantsociety must be a professed lover of one or more er ”; and one who was in no way formidable by of the female sex.” The rich, as Burns himself himself might grow dangerous and attractive points out, may have a choice of pleasurable oc- through the fame of his associate. cupations, but these lads had nothing but their I think we can conceive him, in these early “cannie hour at e'en.” It was upon love and years, in that rough moorland country, poor flirtation that this rustic society was built; gal- among the poor with his seven pounds a year, lantry was the essence of life among the Ayr- looked upon with doubt by respectable elders, shire hills as well as in the Court of Versailles; but for all that the best talker, the best letterand the days were distinguished from each other writer, the most famous lover and confidant, the by love-letters, meetings, tiffs, reconciliations, laureate poet, and the only man who wore his and expansions to the chosen confidant, as in a hair tied in the parish. He says he had then as comedy of Marivaux. Here was a field for a high a notion of himself as ever after; and I can man of Burns's indiscriminate personal ambi- well believe it. Among the youth he walked fation, where he might pursue his voyage of dis- cile princeps, an apparent god; and even if, from covery in quest of true love, and enjoy temporary time to time, the Reverend Mr. Auld should triumphs by the way. He was constantly the swoop upon him with the thunders of the Church, victim of some fair enslaver "-at least, when it and, in company with seven others, Rab the was not the other way about ; and there were Ranter must figure some fine Sunday on the often underplots and secondary fair enslavers in stool of repentance, would there not be a sort of the background. Many—or may we not say glory, an infernal apotheosis, in so conspicuous a most ?-of these affairs were entirely artificial. shame? Was not Richelieu in disgrace more One, he tells us, he began out of “a vanity of idolized than ever by the dames of Paris; and showing his parts in courtship,” for he piqued when was the highwayman most acclaimed but himself on his ability at a love-letter. But, how- on his way to Tyburn? Or, to take a simile ever they began, these flames of his were fanned from nearer home, and still more exactly to the into a passion ere the end; and he stands unri- point, what could even corporal punishment valed in his power of self-deception, and posi- avail, administered by a cold, abstract, unearthly tively without a competitor in the art, to use his schoolmaster, against the influence and fame of own words, of “battering himself into a warm the school's hero? affection," a debilitating and futile exercise. Once And now we come to the culminating point he had worked himself into the vein, “the agita- of Burns's early period. He began to be retions of his mind and body" were an astonish- ceived into the unknown upper world. His fame ment to all who knew him. Such a course as soon spread from among his fellow rebels on the this, however pleasant to a thirsty vanity, was benches, and began to reach the ushers and lowering to his nature. He sank more and more monitors of this great Ayrshire academy. This toward the professional Don Juan. With a leer arose in part from his lax views about religion ;
for at this time that old war of the creeds and and when his brother Gilbert spoke sharply to confessors, which is always grumbling from end them—“O man, ye are no for young folk,” he to end of our poor Scotland, brisked up in these would say, and give the defaulter a helping hand parts into a hot and virulent skirmish; and Burns and a smile. In the hearts of the men whom found himself identified with the opposition party, he met, he read as in a book; and, what is yet a clique of roaring lawyers and half-heretical di- more rare, his knowledge of himself equaled his vines, with wit enough to appreciate the value of knowledge of others. There are no truer things the poet's help, and not sufficient taste to mod- said of Burns than what is to be found in his erate his grossness and personality. We may own letters. Country Don Juan as he was, he judge of their surprise when “Holy Willie" was had none of that blind vanity which values itself put into their hand; like the amorous lads of in what it is not; he knew his own strength and Tarbolton, they recognized in him the best of weakness to a hair; he took himself boldly for seconds. His satires began to go the round in what he was, and, except in moments of hypomanuscript; Mr. Aiken, one of the lawyers,“ read chondria, declared himself content. him into fame"; he himself was soon welcome in many houses of a better sort, where his ad
THE LOVE-STORIES. mirable talk, and his manners, which he had direct from his Maker except for a brush he gave On the night of Mauchline races, 1785, the them at a country dancing-school, completed young men and women of the place joined in a what his poems had begun. We have a sight penny ball, according to their custom. In the of him at his first visit to Adamhill, in his plow- same set danced Jean Armour, the master-maman's shoes, coasting around the carpet as son's daughter, and our dark-eyed Don Juan. though that were sacred ground. But he soon His dog (not the immortal Luath, but a successor grew used to carpets and their owners; and he unknown to fame, caret quia vate sacro), apwas still the superior of all whom he encountered, parently sensible of some neglect, followed his and ruled the roost in conversation. Such was master to and fro, to the confusion of the dancers. the impression made that a young clergyman, Some mirthful comments followed; and Jean himself a man of ability, trembled and became heard the poet say to his partner-or, as I should confused when he saw Robert enter the church imagine, laughingly launch the remark to the in which he was to preach. It is not surprising company at large—that “ he wished he could get that the poet determined to publish: he had any of the lasses to like him as well as his dog." now stood the test of some publicity; and, under Some time after, as the girl was bleaching clothes this hopeful impulse, he composed in six winter on Mauchline green, Robert chanced to go by, months the bulk of his more important poems. still accompanied by his dog; and the dog, Here was a young man who, from a very humble “scouring in long excursion,” scampered with place, was mounting rapidly; from the cynosure four black paws across the linen. This brought of a parish, he had become the talk of a country; the two into conversation; when Jean, with a once the bard of rural courtships, he was now somewhat hoydenish advance, inquired if "he about to appear as a bound and printed poet in had yet got any of the lasses to like him as well the world's bookshops.
as his dog?" It is one of the misfortunes of the A few more intimate strokes are necessary to professional Don Juan that his honor forbids him complete the sketch. This strong young plow- to refuse battle; he is in life like the Roman solman, who ieared no competitor with the flail, dier upon duty, or like the sworn physician who suffered like a fine lady from sleeplessness and must attend on all diseases. Burns accepted the vapors; he would fall into the blackest melan- provocation; hungry hope reawakened in his cholies, and be filled with remorse for the past heart; here was a girl, pretty, simple at least if and terror for the future. He was still not per- not honestly stupid, and plainly not averse to his haps devoted to religion, but haunted by it; and attentions : it seemed to him once more as if love at a touch of sickness prostrated himself before might here be waiting him. Had he but known God in what I can only call unmanly penitence. the truth ! for this facile and empty-headed girl As he had aspirations beyond his place in the had nothing more in view than a firtation; and world, so he had tastes, thoughts, and weak- her heart from the first and on to the end of her nesses to match. He loved to walk under a story was engaged by another man. Burns once wood to the sound of a winter tempest; he had more commenced the celebrated process of “bata singular tenderness for animals; he carried a tering himself into a warm affection "; and the book with him in his pocket when he went proofs of his success are to be found in many abroad, and wore out in this service two copies verses of the period. Nor did he succeed with of “The Man of Feeling.” With young people himself only; Jean, with her heart still elsewhere, in the field at work he was very long-suffering; succumbed to his fascination, and early in the