« 上一页继续 »
(Alas! that sin and sorrow's blight
Met lovingly at the close of day
Met lovingly for many a week; Till, at the last, she came alone,
With a sadden'd brow and a faded cheek : And many a sigh for the dear one gone!
And then for numerous days she came not,
Making a glory (which men name not,
A shadowy shape--so woe-begone,
So worn, so wasted, and so wan, Through the pale twilight palely gliding
Approach'd, in sobbing pain! I guess'd The truth at once : Death--love-deriding
Was at her heart; within her breast
Youth is delicate, you know;
Life sank beneath its own sad weight;
And from her lips I learnt the tale Which melancholy loves to pour
In solitude upon the gale :In secret wedded, cruel Fate
Had widow'd her; and ah! she knew The unborn babe within her womb Could claim no grandsire's pitying care.
She dared not own the past, nor brew
A draught, whose power might ope to view A suicidal tomb !
Fear of an earthly father's curse, Dread of a Heavenly Father's doom, Forbade both acts. No friend she hath
Of her own sex; no mother, nurse, Nor sister to direct her path :
So there, before the midnight hour, Below my weeping leaves, there lay (Swath'd in the moonshine's spectral ray)
Two lovely corses! Human power Can hurt them not: the pang that sent To earth the one, the other rent
From earth and all its cares away!
And cre the morning's eye of grey Lit up the leaves around them shed, The Mother and her Babe were dead!
Keep the grave of “Forty-Nine" Open for a thought of mine Yet a minute; ere it close, With its crowd of joys and woes, Selfish thoughts oh! throw in it, And vanities for folly fit; And the memory of feuds Which arose in angry moods; And a score of leprous things That the taint of evil brings ! Then the season will be merry," While the worn-out Year you bury. If to this you would incline, What a radiant path were mine! What unheard-of joys would break While my even course I take; And when I at last am dead, What an Epitaph be read!
THOU HAST SLIGHTED THY VOW.
BY W. G. J. BARKER, ESQ.
THE KING OF FIVE YEARS OLD.
The young King was clothed in a habit of
| brocade, his cordon-bleu passed across the Louis XIV., surrounded all his life by a crowd
breast. The child had all that grace and beauty of courtiers, the only persons for whom he felt
peculiar to the race of Louis XIV. At the sight any concern, had been abandoned by every one,
of his fair and gentle countenance, a murmur of as soon as suffering had destroyed the strength
admiration resounded from all parts. of the King, without having extinguished the
“ Poor little fellow!" sighed the Duc de St. life of the man. The Dauphin, upon whom rested the future hopes of the nation, was a deli
Simon ; “may the empoisoned breath which has
destroyed so many of his illustrious relatives cate and suffering child: it seemed that the poi
spare him!” son which had been employed to carry off so
“He is more beautiful than ever, in his premany of his relations, had borne its contagion
sent garb !” observed M. de Dangeau timidly. to him.
“ You must have been upon very bad terms The great King died, but the court still lived,
with the King's tailor, Marquis,” replied the for the court is immortal; and it assembled at
Duke ; “ since he had not forewarned you of Versailles to salute the new monarch. Particu
this important transformation. But after all larly distinguished among the number of these
these faces, beaming with joy and admiration, the gentlemen was the Marquis de Dangeau, a cu
young Monarch found one upon his passage, rious specimen of courtiers, such as they had
whose rustic sorrow contrasted strangely with been made by Louis XIV.--that is to say, full of
their aristocratic delight. It was that of the sycophancy and vanity. Dangeau had aged,
young Marceline, the niece of the King's nurse: but his countenance had gained no increase of
she lived there with her aunt: both of them were majesty from the weight of years -courtiers, in free of the palace : the same favour had also fact, have no age : court dresses are always new, I been accorded to the nurse of the deceased king and time silvers not a peruke. It seemed ab
during her lifetime. solutely impossible to believe that Dangeau was
“What is the matter, my little Marceline?" in his eighty-first year. People had been so ac
so ac- / said the child, raising himself on tiptoe to emcustomed to see him at all times, and in every hranath event of his life making calculations as to how
brace the young girl. “ One would imagine
you had been weeping!” he could best please the late king, that they had
" It is nothing, Sire, worthy of attention,” re
a It is nothing Siro worthy of attention or persuaded themselves into the belief that he had
plied the aunt quickly: “she is very happy.” only pretended to grow old to flatter his master,
“ Yes, Sire, I am very happy, answered the and almost expected, now a child was about to
girl with precipitation, and fear for a moment reign, to see him once more in the bloom of
seemed to efface the expression of grief. youth.
“You are deceiving me : you have been The conversation among the various groups
naughty !” said the King, in a low tone. Amoturned principally upon the dangers to which
| ment after, when the aunt had turned away, he the country was exposed under so weak a sway, resumed_“Try to see me alone: I will give you against which too the natural children of the de
| a private audience, and will protect you too, be ceased monarch were perpetually revolting. " And to defend a kingdom reduced to such
sure, my dear.” extremities, and upon the very brink of ruin,"
As he spoke thus, be passed his hand under
his cordon-bleu, beneath which (may we be parcried 'the Duc de St. Simon, "we have a
| doned for saying so!) some very quick eyes had King in jackets !”
dared to remark a bag of sweetmeats ! "A King in jackets !” interrupted Dangeau, almost angry (he would have been quite so, had not etiquette forbidden it in the palace). “And
Chap. II. what can be more affecting than to behold the sovereign authority clothed in the insignia of When we say that Marceline appeared sorrowinnocence ? His very weakness renders him ful, and that Marceline was a young girl, we more worthy of respect, and binds still more im- | believe it is quite enough to give our readers to peratively upon us the duty of sacrificing all for understand that she had been crossed in love, him.”
She was brought up at Marly, her native place, But the old courtier, who, from habit, flat- with a labourer's son, named Thierry. She tered, in the young monarch, a future which his loved him, and had been accustomed to regard eighty years would never permit him to see, bit him as her future husband, without foreseeing his lips upon finishing this pompous phrase, for the grandeur which would one day separate her “the sovereign authority" entered, and alas! from him. As fate would have it, the valet of had quitted the “insignia of innocence.” Dan- the young Louis's father was charged with the geau could almost have hung himself: he had | commission of finding a nurse for the royal innot been informed that that was the very day fant. He caused to be chosen, by a number of upon which the style of his Majesty's dress was petty intrigues, Madame Ferrand, possessor of to be changed,
a large farm at Marly, and aunt of Marceline,
Duval (so was named this diplomatic valet), time which would elapse ere it could be repaid, was not by any means disinterested in his would have frightened those best disposed to choice. We have just said he was a diploma- lend even in more prosperous times. With a tist. While she was yet a child, he had re- full heart he returned to his own home, lamentmarked Marceline's beauty, and promised him- ing the fate which had led them to choose from self in a few years later he would make her pay | Marly a nurse for the Prince, and filled with the debts of gratitude contracted by her aunt. disgust at the unaccommodating disposition of At the time our story commences, he was in the all his pretended friends. He was roused from service of the Regent, and having obtained leave his painful reflections by a knocking at the door: of absence from his master, he had come to he opened it, and found himself confronted by claim the price of the service he had rendered two military men, a sergeant and a soldier of the Madame Ferrand. She received him with the guards, who asked his hospitality. Thierry greater joy, because so inflated was she with looked with respect upon their scarred faces ; while pride at her new position, that she had not they, in their turn, cast complaisant glances upon awaited the demand of the valet to discontinue the Herculean frame of the young labourer. the attentions of poor Thierry. Some days be- “You are welcome, brave men," said Thierry. fore, when the latter had presented himself in “You might have easily found a richer host, but his Sunday dress to ask the hand of Marceline, not one better disposed to receive you." Madame Ferrand, covered with lace and jewels, | He then brought out a few bottles of wine, looked disdainfully upon the coarse grey cloth which he placed before the new comers. The of which it was composed, and in which but soldiers did due honour to Thierry's cheer, and four years since she had thought he looked having remarked his sad and melancholy air, so well, calling him the finest and handsomest they begged him to confide his troubles to them, young man in Marly. “Madame Ferrand,” and seek consolation in the wine. said he, “I come to ask something of you.” “You may confide in me, my young En
“What do you desire, my dear?” replied dymion," said the sergeant. “You seem to me Madame Ferrand, with a patronizing air ; to exhibit the same symptoms as those who are “ some work at the farm? We have already a moon-struck! I have seen some good service greater number of hands than we want.”
in Nerwinde, Stemkerque, and Dewain, and an “Madame Ferrand,” said Thierry, in a trem-old warrior like me can sometimes give good bling voice, “ you doubtlessly remember that I advice." love Marceline?”
“ Alas! if I needed only advice,” replied “No, my dear; I have forgotten it; and, if I Thierry, "I should have no difficulty in unburmust speak frankly, it would have been better if dening my grief: but if I do not get fire hunyou had done the same."
| dred livres between this and to-morrow I am “Forget it!” repeated Thierry, overwhelined | lost !" with consternation.
“Five hundred livres ! diable !" rejoined the “Certainly, my dear. Is it likely, think you, officer. “Ah! you were right! If you want that I would give my niece to an indigent la such advice as that, one need have a large purse bourer?"
to be able to supply it. But never mind; there “Indigent !" cried Thierry, whose indigna- | is a remedy for everything, except a cannon-bali tion now burst forth : “those were not the words in the stomach ; and perhaps we may be able to your father said to mine when he received from find some means of serving you in the end." him a loan which saved him from ruin !"
“What ! you think so !” cried Thierry. “ It is well, very well !” rejoined Madame “Drink on; that will furnish us with ideas." Ferrand. “I will wager, now, that this Thierry, Thierry, without being a drunkard, had no once so rich, could not, if I gave him Marceline, dislike to wine ; and as soon as a hope was held find five hundred livres to commence house-out to him-vague as it was—which could aukeeping with !”
thorize his giving way to dissipation, he drank If Marceline had not been in question, Thierry abundantly to the health of Marceline. would have answered these harsh words only by “Hold !” said the sub-officer at length : " you a disdainful silence; but as it was, he stifled his are an honest youth, as the people told us who rising anger. “ For Marceline I would find directed us hither : I have with me the sum such a sum this very moment !” replied he. of which you are in want. I brought it with me
“Well, I will give you till to-morrow," an- for my pleasures; but, by my faith, as it is : swered Madame Ferrand, “and if you can then question of your happiness, I will amuse myself count out before me five hundred livres, lawfully less. Take this money, and sign me a little xbelonging to you, then-I promise nothing, but knowledgment." we will see."
He displayed to the wondering eyes of Thierry Thierry had said too much; he knew not five hundred livres, which he threw upon the where to find so large a sum; he was not rich, table. The young man hastily signed the acand it had been a bad year. In demanding knowledgment, and then threw himself upon his Marceline, whom he fondly loved, he had not knees before his tutelary trooper. He would thought of the aunt's rapacity. Two strong have set out that very moment to take the money arms were the only wealth at his disposal. It to Marceline's aunt; but they told him it was so was useless to ask the money of the villagers : | late, and as he had until the next day given him, the enormity of the amount, and the length of he had better defer its accomplishment until
The King of Five Years Old.
then : besides, there still remained two bottles, to his flatteries, prayers, and menaces; and more
quitting the service is, that I cannot die for
Thierry did not reply: he was in one of those Time passed on: one night, when Thierry moments of excitement when the joy of heaven was posted at one of the most isolated extremi- | itself seemed to enter into the heart, ties of Versailles, a woman, her head enveloped in a mantle, approached the immoveable sentinel; she seemed to turn towards the soldier as
CHAP. III. if she would have spoken, yet feared to do so. She might not perhaps have recognized him at The King had become a child again since the first, for Thierry held his head cast down. solemn reception at Versailles.' To the tri
“ Thierry!” said she at length, in a timid unphal poinp of a new reign had succeeded for voice.
him the duties of the school-room; and his Ma“ Marceline! oh, Marceline !” cried he: then jesty, Louis XV., with a book in his hand, looking at her haughtily, yet with sorrow, he re- listened with a tired and distracted air to the sumed-“ What do you here, Madame Duval ?” | lessons of the Abbé Fleury, his preceptor. After
“ Who-I ?” replied Marceline_“I the wife long dissertations upon ancient and moilern of another! Could you think it, Thierry ?” history, the Abbé had passed to politics. The
“Is it possible that I have been deceived ! theme most particularly brought before his royal But then, why did you not inform me sooner?". pupil was clemency.
“ Because I dared not venture to seek you." Monsieur de Dangeau does not come,” said in the middle of a regiment," answered Marce- the King to himself. “I wish, while waiting for line. “You believe me false! You know what him, I might have a game at ball!” terror my aunt's violent and imperious temper! “Sire," continued the preceptor, wishing to causes me. Well, notwithstanding this, she give additional force to the gentle maxims he has not been able to draw from me a single word strove to inculcate into the mind of the young of consent to this marriage, upon which she has King by an example-“one of your glorious set her heart. A few days since she brought predecessors, Charlemagne, had delivered over me with her to Versailles, into the very house of to justice some conspirators who sought his life; the wretch for whom she destines me (it is the at the moment that the axe was raised over the one you see from here); in order that by his un- head of their chief, Charlemagne appeared. ceasing assiduity he may at length succeed in Why do you come here, King' said the con. pleasing, me, , : , Well, I have been insensible demned : to insult my last moments, and to
triumph over a dead body? Go hence. Here, causing to be placed there by your valet de are met a criminal, an executioner, and a king! chambre.” The king should at least temper his vengeance “What! his discharge was placed upon my with modesty, and retire ! You deceive your- | table?” self,' replied Charlemagne ; 'three men are here “ Doubtlessly,” replied Dangeau, “in order met together; one of them must indeed retire, that your Majesty, on waking, might have an but it is the executioner. You are free ! Sire, agreeable surprise.” clemency is an attribute inherent in kings, and " Ah, my dear Monsieur Dangeau, you must their appearance upon any spot of punishment go and fetch me another. I knew not of its or death, since that time, has always ensured a being there--this discharge; I must have made free pardon.”
a plaything with it; I must send it to-morrow “ It was promised that I should see a flight of to this poor Marceline, who will come uselessly birds to-day,” interrupted the King; “was it to seek it to-day.” not, Monsieur Fleury ?”
Monsieur de Dangeau, at the idea of having Fleury sighed, and bowing, left the King to all his work to do over again (we repeat it with enjoy the recreation he had so long desired. He sorrow), commenced a grimace subversive of all began by bounding about the room, like a slave respect; but the sentiment of his duty as a subwho had just been freed from bondage, tearing ject intervened to bring the muscles of his face to pieces all the papers he could find, themes, into due decorum, and his revolutionary grimace versions, analyses, or moral treatises, and en-(we hasten to proclaim it) terminated in an deavoured to force them into the shapes of little absolute smile. boats or birds, which are the first lessons of children in the art of imitation. A few moments after, some one knocked gen
Chap. IV. tly at the door, and a valet announced Monsieur de Dangeau. The old man was suffering from
The day after that upon which Thierry had a severe cold, but he restrained as much as pos
Snoe been so miraculously inspired with renewed sible his cough, the liberal exercise of which
of which | hope, he had employed the whole morning all would have been contrary to the articles of
the resources of his inventive genius to procure ceremonial.
for himself the same round of duty as upon the “Well, Sire,” said he, with all the grace of
evening preceding. He was obliged to bribe his asthmatic zeal, “ are you satisfied ?”
successively the sergeant and the soldier who
ceded to him in exchange this blessed spot. “Satisfied,” replied the King; “ with what?" | But at length he attained his aim; and never
“ With the result of the efforts I have made did a king of France, on entering the cathedral in favour of the young soldier, for whom your of Rheims on the day of coronation, feel more Majesty has deigned to interest yourself; it is proud or more joyful (if indeed there is anything not for me to sound my own praise, but I have in that to be joyful about) than did Thierry on taken a great deal of trouble; I was obliged taking possession of his post. He was to remain yesterday, notwithstanding the bad state of the there two hours: the first passed without any weather, to go to the Minister of War; he was result. At every footstep which he heard apnot at home; I had to await his return. From proaching, along the deserted street, his heart thence I proceeded to his highness the Regent, beat with violence; yet nothing came-but without whose consent the minister would do night. His eyes were continually fixed upon nothing; he at first refused my request, and the house which contained all the objects of his spoke of the necessity there was not to weaken love and hatred. Time passed on; Thierry no the corps of the soldiers of the guard, of the longer hoped ; when he saw in the distance a discipline which forbade that more favour should close carriage stop before this habitation, and be accorded to one than another, and of the at the same time he believed he could distinguish demands of this nature which had been refused a woman, whom some one appeared to be dragto the solicitations of many powerful families. ging on, and forcing to enter the carriage: her But at length, having had the honour of re- cries of distress reached his ears ; he recognized peating to him many times that your Majesty the voice of Marceline. The carriage approached yourself desired the liberation of this soldier, rapidly, and passed before Thierry. He could the Regent gave way, and, furnished with his no longer doubt; he was called by his name. consent, I returned to the minister, where the His blood boiled; he was beside himself; he necessary formalities detained me last night, forgot discipline and the inflexible duties of a until the hour when your Majesty is pleased to sentinel, that living rampart, which death should retire to rest. I was very pleased to find myself find upon the place confided to his care. He at liberty to repose after all my fatigues; and threw down his gun—it impeded bis steps-and the cold from which I am now suffering will, Ihastened to follow the fatal carriage. Scarcely fear, keep me imprisoned at home for at least had he gone a few paces when an officer placed eight days. I should not have been here now, | bimself before him. but that I was anxious to know if your Majesty “ Where are you going, Thierry ?" said he. had deigned to be pleased when you discovered “ Do you forget, unhappy man, that you are this morning the discharge of the soldier upon deserting your arms and your post ?” your study table, which I had the honour of “ Captain ! Captain !" cried Thierry, “let me,