Page images

About three mooibs had now elapsed siuce that resource, but they have preferred aa matters had continued in this situation, when bunest competence to a disgraceful pleuty. 21 adame de la Pommeraye thought it line to What they have left is su scauty, that in truth put her graud springs in motion. One suur- I do not know how they contrive tv subsist. mer's day wben the weather was line, and Now, Marquis, answer me truly, would not when she expected the Marquis to dinner, she all our riches appear pitiful baubles in our eyes, sent notice to d'Aisoon and her daughter to Here we more impressed with an expectation repair to the Royal Garden. The Marquis of the bappiness, and a dread of the sutieriugs arrived, dioner was served up early, they

of quother life? To seduce a young giri, or dinerl, they dired gaily. After divver the a wide attached to her husband, with the belief Marquis and his mistress took a walk in the that you night die in her arms and fall at once garder. They were going along the first into punishment without end; admit that this alley, when Madame de la Pommeraye uttered vere the most incredible frevzy."-"This a cry of surprise, saying: “I am not mis- bowever is done every day.'- it is because taken, I believe it is they themselves !" 1.- people have po faith, it is because they baniska stantly she quitted the Marquis, and advanced these thoughts from their minds. It is be. to meet our two devotees. Mademoiselle cause our religious opinions have little influ. d'Aisnon looking enchanting under the sim. ence upon our morals." ple attire she wore, which, attracting no ob. For a considerable period, the Marquis did servation, fixed the whole attention upon the not allow even a single day lo pass without person.--"Ah! Is it you, Madam :"_“Yes, seeiug Madame de la l'omweraye; but when it is l.”—“And how do you do, and what has he came, he sat down,ole was silent; Madaine become of you this age?"-"You are ac- de la Pomineraye had all the conversation here quainted with our misfortunes; we were ob- self. The Marchioness, when she saw him, liged to acquiesce in them, and to live retired, said, “ How ill you look! Where have you suitably to our little fortune, to quit the gay been? Have you spent all this time in bedlam?" world when we could no longer appear in it “[pou my faitis, very near it. Despair hus with decency."_“But me, abandon me tvo, plunged me into the wost unbounded libera whom am not of the gay world, and who have linism" always had the good sense to consider it as Without Faying more, he began walking insipid as it really is '-How unjust! Let backwards and forwards, not speaking a single us take a seat, we will have a little couversa- word; he went to the wirdos, louked at the tion. This is the Marquis des Arcis, he is sky, flopped short before Niadanie de la Pom. my friend, and we shall be laid under no con- meraye; he went to the door, called bis sesa straiot by his presence."

vanla to whom be had nothing to say, sent They sat down, they talked of friends bip.! them away again; he returned to Madame Madame d'Aisnon spoke a great deal, Made- de la Pommeraye, who continued her work moiselle d'Aisnon said little. They both talked without taking notice of him. lie wished te in the style of devotion, but with ease and speak, but was afraid to venture. At least witbout affectation. Long before day closed, l Madaine de la Pommeraye took pity uparce our two devotees departed.

him, and said, “What is the matter with you? The Marquis did aot fail to enquire of Ma. You leave us a month without seeing you; dame de la Pommeraye who these two women you return with a countenance like a ghost, were." They are two creatures happier than and are as restless as a soul in forment." ne are. Observe the fine health they enjoy! "I cau fushcar no longer; I must tell you the serenity which reigns in their countevance! all. I was deeply tvuched with the daughter the innocence, the decency which dictate their l of your friend; she occupied my whole inind, remarks! You never see this, it is not under

but I did every thing to forget her, and the stood in our circles."

giore I did, the more she was present to my Madame de la Pommeraye told the Marquis recollection. This anyeiic creature hunts what she kuew of the name, the country, the me incessantly. Do me au important service." original situation, and the law-suit of the two

" What may that be?" devotees ; addivg to the accouut all the in- “I must alsolulely see her again, and I terest, all the pathetic circumstances she could

must be indebted to you for the obligation, I desise. Shefthen continuedia" They are two barve placed my spies all around. They go no women of extraordinary merit, especially the where but from their house to the church, and daughter. You may conceive that with a from the church bome again. Twouty times Egure like hers people may want for uothing I threw myself in their way, and absolutely in this place, if they condescend to employ they touk nu uutice of me; I pluated myself at

Ali, my


their door to no purpose. They rendered me will enter in spite of their resistance; I will first as protigate as a monkey; then turned sit down ; I know not what I will say, what I wie devout as a priest. I did not fail going to will do; for what bare you not to lear froin mass every day for a fortnight.

the violence with which I am agitated?" friend! what a ligure! how juvely she is !” From the commencement of this adventure

Mavine de li Pommeraye knew the whole to this moment, every word the Marquis des story. “You beans,” replied she to the Mar || Arcis bad uticred, was a deadly stroke aimed quis, "that, atter living employed every ex- at the heart of Madame de la Pommeraye. She pedient to effect a cure, !on omitted no meaus was choaked with rage and indignation ; ac. to drive yourself mad, avih ibat, in the latter cordingly she answered the Marquis in a trepart only, you hare succeeded?"

mulous am faultering voice. “ And succeeded, I cannot express how far. But you are right. Ah! had I been so Will you not take pity upon me? And am I lored. It is not for your suke that I will act, not to be indebted to you for the Bappiness of but i Naiter myself at least, Marquis, that you seeing her again?'

will allow me time.” “ The matter is difficult, and I will consider " As little, as little as I can ” * of it, but upon one condition, which is, that Madame de la Pommcrave would

say; “ you will leave these unfortunate people insufier, but I do not sufles alone. Cruel man; peace, and cease to torment them. I will not I know not what is to be the duration of my conceai thai they have written to ine of your cornient; but I will render yours eternal." persecution with bitterlitss; and there is the She kept the Marquis dear a month in expecletter."

tatjon of the intermew she bench promised; that The letter, nihich was given to the Marquis is to say, slie leti hin all this time to pine, to to rea!, !::liceu concerned between them. It become thorouglily intoxicated, and, under was frein Badenrviseile d'Aisnon, was appeara pretence of sweetening tbe irksomeness of deou tu bave written it by order of lier mother, lay, she allowed bin to entertain her with his aut it was executed willi elegance and wil, i passion. with a mixture of everything that was hand The Marquis came every day to chat with Seine, insinuating, tonching: with all that Madame de la loomeraye, who succeeded in could turn the head of the Marquis. Accord completely inflaming his imagination, coningly, he accompanied every word will an ex firning liis passion, and accomplishing his clamation; nol a phrase which be did not total unduiog by ile niost ariful conversation. road:gain and again : he wept with joy; he He obtained information of the country, the said to Valaine de la Pommeraye, “ Acknows birth, the education, the fortune, and the disfeddy that nothing can be better written tban aster of these women; he dwell incessantly this., And, that it every line, we feel out upon the subject, and he never thought that selves penetrated with admiration and respect he bad got sufficient information por felt suffor women of this character. When am I to ficient sympathy. The Marchioness pointed see her again :"

out the progress of his sentiments, and reu"ru not know that. We must, in the dered the term to which it would lead familiar first place, consider of the means of arranging to him, under pretence of representing it as a the business, and avoiding all suspicion. They subject to inspire bin with alarm.“Marquis,” cannot be ignorant of your views. Do but she would say," have a cire; this will carry think of the colour which my complaisance you a great way. Some day it may bappeu vould wear in their eyes uid they imagine that that my friendship, which you so strangely I acted in concert with you :- But, Marquis, abuse, will not excusc me either in my own btween ourselves, why shonli I involve niy. eyes or in yours. Greater extravagances inseit in sucli a dilewa?

What is it to me, derd are committed every day. Marquis, I wiether you are in love or not? and, that you very much fear that you will not obtain this are out of your wils? Fight your way your girl but upon conditions which hitherto have seif? The part that you assign to me is a not been much to your taste." little too extraordinary."

When fladame de la Pomeraye believed • My love, if you abandon me, I am un. , the Marquis well prepared for the success of dune! I will speak no more to you of myself, her design, she arranged with the two women, for that might offend you ; but I will conjure that they should come to dine with her and you by those interesting and deserving crear with the Marquis, ibil in order to impose Tunes who are so dear to you; you know me, upon them, he should surprise them in a spare them all the extravagancies of which I country dress; which was accordingly exeas capable. I will go to their house; yes, I cuted. Wall you, I will gu; I will force their duur, I They were at the second course when the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Marquis was announced. The Marquis, Ma- :| of the mother and daughter. This priest, after dame de la Pommeraye and the two d'Aisnons having put in practice all the hypocritical dif. played off their affected embarrassment in a ficulties which can be opposed to a dishonour. very superior manner. Madam,"

,” said he to able intrigue, and sold as high as possible the Madame de la Pommeraye, “I am just come sanctity of his office, lent his aid to every from my estate, it is too late to go home where thing which the Marquis wished to accom, I am not expected till night, and I Aattered | plish. myself that you would not refuse me a dinner." The first villainy of this man, was to check And saying this he had, at the same time, the kindness of the rector, and to persuade him taken a chair and placed himself at table. The that these two women who were protected by cover bad been disposed in such a manner, that Madame de la Pommeraye obtained from the he found himself by the side of the mother parish that charity of which they deprived and opposite to the daughter. After the con other indigent persons, more fit objects of fusion of the first moment, our two devo- | pity than they. His purpose was by misery tees recovered their spirits, they talked, they

to render them subservient to bis views. were even gay. The Marquis discovered the Next, in the discharge of bis office of cons highest attention to tbe mother, and the fessor, he laboured to excite division between most reserved politeness to the daughter. The the mother and the daughter. When he heard scrupulous care which the Marquis observed the mother complain of the daughter, he agto say nothing, and to avoid every thing which gravated the faults of the latter and irritated could offend them was to these three women a

the resentment of the former; if it was the secret and most entertaining amusement. It | daughter who complained of her mother, he is needless to say that our devotees displayed | insinuated to her that the power of fathers and in the conversation all the grace, the wit, the mothers over their children was limited, and insinuation, and the cunning which they pos- that if the persecution of her mother were sessed. As they went along they touched upon pushed to a certain point, it might not perthe chapter of the passions, and Mademoiselle haps be impossible to withdraw her from a Daquenoi (for tbat was their family name) | tyrannical authority. maintained that every one of them was davger

Our ladies bad no doubt that the priest ous. The Marquis expressed bimself of her would venture immediately to deliver a letter opinion. Between six and seven, the two to his penitent, which was done, but with what women retired, notwithstanding every effort management ! He did not know from whom it made to detain them, Madame de la Pomme- came, be presumed that it might be from raye affirming that it was necessary to attend

some kind and charitable soul, who had dis10 duty in preference to every thing, without covered their misery, and who was proposing which tbere was almost no day, the pleasure to them means of relief; he bad frequently of which was not tinged with remorse.

delivered letters of a similar nature. You are “In truth, Marquis," said Madame de la wise, madam, your mother is prudent, and I Pommeraye, am not I very good natured require that you open it in her presence. Ma. Find me another woman in Paris who would demoiselle Duquenoi took the letter, and delido as much.”

vered it to her mother, who passed it imme. “I acknowledge it," replied the Marquis, diately to Madame de la Pommeraye. Forti(throwing himself at her feet), “there is not fied by this paper, she made the priest wait one who resembles you. Your goodness con- | upon her, loaded him with the reproaches foands me, you are the only real frieud in the which he merited, and threatened to lay his world.”

conduct before his superiors, if ever she heard Are you very sure that you will always | any thing concerning him. feel, in the same manner, the value of my con In this letter the Marquis launched out duct?”

into an eulogium upon his own person, and “ I should be a monster of ingratitude, if I || that of Mademoiselle Duquenoi, painted the held its value too cheap."

violence of the passion which he had conceiv. “ To change the text. What is the state ofed for her, and made some bold propositions, your heart?"

amounting to no less than to carry her off by “fl must confess it to you frankly, I must || force. obtain this girl or perish.”

After having read this lecture to the priest, The Marquis was about two months with Madame de la Pommeraye sent for the Mara out shewing himself at Madame de la Pomme quis to her house, represented to him how un. rage's, and in the interval he was thus employ- || worthy his conduct was of a gentleman, and ed; be made acquaintance with the confessor || how much she bad been exposed : showed him X. II. Vol. I.N.S.


his letter, protested that in spite of the tender country houses. “ You may make the trial," friendship in which they were united, she said the Marchioness, “I probibit only the use would consider it an indispensable duty to pro

of violent measures ; bnt, believe me, my duce it in a court of justice, or to deliver it friend, honour and virtue, when they are sinback to Madame Duquenui if any incident be cere, are inestimable in the eyes of those who fel her daughter. “AL! Marquis," said she are fortonate evough to possess theın. Your to him," love corrupts your heart; you must new offers will be attended with no better stichave been born under some inauspicious star, cess than the former; I know the ladies, and I since what is the source of great actions in i could pledge myself for the purity of their others inspires you only withi sentiments wliicb conduct.” degrade you. And what have these poor wo. The new propositions were made. Another men done, that ignominy should be added to council was held by the three ladies. The their misery? Must the girl's beauty and her mother and the daughter waited in silence the love of virtue make you become her persecu- ' decision of Madame de la Pommieraye. She tor? Does it become you to make ber curse took a short turn without speaking. “ No, one of the fairest boobs of beaven? Or when no," said she, “ this will not satisfy my wounddid I merit being made your accomplice? ed heart." And no sooner bad she pronounced Come, Marquis, throw yourself at my feet, her negative than the two ladies burst into a ask my pardon, and swear to me that you

flood of tears, threw themselves at her feet, will suffer my ill-fated friends to live in peace.” and represented to her hox mortifying it was

The Marquis promised to ber that he would for them to reject an iminense fortune, which attempt nothing without consulting her, but it was in their power to accept without any protested that he must have the 'girl at any disagreeable consequence.

Marlanie de la price.

Pomineraye drily replied to them :--" Do You The Marquis was by no means faithful to his tbitik that what I bave done bas been on your promise. The mother was informed of the account? what do I owe you? Is it not in my business; he did not hesitate to address her

power to send you both back to your late upon the subject. He avowed his criminal situation ? If what he offers be too much for intentions, ké otřered a considerable sum,


yoo, it is tvo little for me. Write, Madam, sides assurances of future provision, and the answer which I shall dictate to you, and along with bis letter he seut a casket of rich let it be dispatched in my sight." The ladies jewels.

returned still more frightened than disThe three ladies held a council, the mother tressed." and the daughter were disposed to accept the The Marquis was not long in repairing to offer, but this did not correspoud with the the house of Madame de la Pommeraye. views of Madame de la Pommeraye. She re “Well, said she to him, what of your new minded them of the promise which they had offers ?" given her, threatened to discover every thing, “They have been made and rejected. I now . and to the great mortification of our devotees, quite despair of success. I wish I could tear the younger of whom took away the earrings this unfortunate passion from my heart, that which became her so well, the casket and the I could tear my heart out but I cannot. I can letter were returned with a haughty and in come to no resolution ; I soinetinies am seized dignant answer,

with a desire to step into a post-chaise and to Madame de la Pommieraye complained to the drive to the extremities of the earili, a moment Marquis of the little regard that he bad paid atter my heart siuks within me; I am, as it to bis promises. The Marquis excused him. were, annihilated, my head swims, I become self upon the indecency of employing her on stupid, I know not wbat to make of myself." such a commission. Marquis! Marquis !" Next morning, tbe Marquis wiote to the said Madame de la Pommeraye to him, "I Marchioness that he was setting off for the have alrcady informed you, and I again re country, that he would stay there as long as lie peat it, you are on the wrong scent; but there could, and begged her to do him a service witla is no time for preaching-Worids will be of no vis female frieude, if an opportunity occurred. avail, there is no other alterpative." The , The absence was short, he returned with the Marquis confessed that he entertained the sapic resolution of marrying her. seulimevts with her, and asked her permission Healighted at Madame de la Pommeraye's to make one more trial; it was to settle a con- li door. She was abroad. On her return she siderable annuity upon both their lives : to found the Marquis lolling in an easy chair, his share his fortude with the two ladies, and to eyes shut, and absorhed in deep meditation. give them a lite-rent of one of his town and “Ab! Margais, are you here! The country


has not had very lasting charms for you." Her address to him was not long; it was as No,"replied he, “I am happy no where, i follows: and I cuine determined upon the most con “ Marquis, learn to know me. If other summate act of fuily, which a may or my women valued themselves enough to feel a estate, my age, and of my character can com resentment like mine, , such people as you mit. Bulli is better to marry than to endure would be less frequent. You obtained the this torture, i vill innity."

aflection of a virtrous woman, whom you “ Marquis, it is a step of much importance, I knew not how to preserve. This woman is, and requires cousideration."

myself. She has avenged herself upon you, “I know of only one, but it is a weighty by making you marry one who is worthy of one; I cannot be niore unhappy than I am.' you. Instantly quit my house, and go to the “ You may be wrong."

Hamburgh Hotel, in the rue Trarersiere, where “ Here then, at last, my friend, is a negocia. you will be informed of the fuul profession tion in whicle I think you may embark in ho which your wife and your mother-in-law bave Bour. See the motber and the daughter ; in followed for teu years, under the name of terrogate the nuvtber, sound the beart of the d'Aisnon." daughter, aud communicate to them iny in. The surprise and consternation of the poor teution."

Marquis cannot be described. He did not “Softly, Marquis. I thought I knew know what to think; but his uncertainty only enough of them to transact any business which lasted the time of his going from one end of bas hitberto passed between you, but now that the town to tbe other. Ile did not return the happiness of my friend is at stake, he will home all that day; he wandered in the streets. permit me to take a nearer inspection of their His mollier-in-law and his wife suspected characters. I will inform myself of their what had happened. At the first kuuck at the country, and I promise you I will trace every door, the moiher in law retired to her apart. step of their progress during their abode in ment and locked herself in; bis wife waited Paris.”

isis coming in alone. Al the approach of her “ These precautions appear to me super- lsband, she read in his countenance the fury fuous. Wonen in misery, who could resist which he fell She threw herself at his feet, the baits which I laid for these must be most lier eyes fixed on the floor, without uttering a extraordinary creatures. With the offers I word "Retise,” said he tu ber, “infamous made them, I could obtain the favours of a wretch! Get you gone!” She attempted to Ducbess. Besides, have you not said your raise herself up, but she fell upon her face, self."

with her arms stretched upon the ground be. “ I have said every thing you please; but, tween the feet of the Marquis." Sir,” said potwithstauding this, perunit me to satisfy, she iu bim, " trample me under your feet! myself."

crnsh me to pieces, for I have deserved it! do Madame de la Pommeraye made out her in- with me what you please: only spare my moformation as minutely and as speedily as she ther!” “Retire,” replied the Marquis, "repleased. She produced to the Marquis the tire! Is it not enougli that I am covered with must Hattering attestations She got them in infamy? Spare me the commission of a crime." Paris, and she got them in the country. She The poor creature continued in the posture in asked of the Marquis still another fortnight, which she lay, and made no ar.swer. in order that she might enter into a fresla in The Marquis bad seated himself in an easy vestigation. This fortnight seemed to him an chair, his face covered with bis hands, and eternity; at last the Marchioness was obliged " bis body half leaning upon the foot of bis bed, to yield to his impatience and bis eutreaties, exclaiming at iatervals, “ Retire!" The unThe first interview was at the house of hier , fortunate creative, continuing silent and mofemale friends; every thing there was settled ; | tionless, excited his surprise; he repeated in the bands were published, the contract signed, a still louder tone,“ Retire! don't you hear the Marquis made a present of a superb dia.

He then stooped, endeavouring to mond to Madame de la Pommeraye, and the pusb her away, but finding she was senseless, marriage was consummated.

and that life was almost gone, he gently raised Next morning Madame de la Pomineraye her up, stretched ber on a couch, and fixed wrote a note to the Marquis, requesting to liis eyes upon her for a 10oment, which ex. see him at her house, on important business. pressed alteruately comun seration and resent. The Marquis waited upon her of course.


He rang the bell; some of the servants She received him with a countenance, in came in; they called the female servants, and which isdiguation was forcibly depicted -- he desired them to carry their mistress, who


« PreviousContinue »