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Really," answered Stephanie, "I do not know that I ought to consent to it; an hour's walk beneath a burning sun-"
"I fear not the sun any more than yourself," interrupted de Berville, "and perhaps the support of my arm may not be altogether unserviceable to you. ' Leopoldine permitted them to depart, in spite of the reproaches with which her conscience now addressed her. She remained at home, sad and humiliated, arguing within herself that M. de Berville ought to have joined her in endeavouring to prevent Stephanie from going, whom, for the first time, she secretly accused of wishing to appear wonderfully exemplary at her expense. Madame Dorothée very shortly added to her discontent, by reflections which her niece was far from wishing to hear.
"Don't reckon, Leopoldine, upon having made an impression on M. de Berville," said she; "decidedly the more I observe him, the more I am assured he does not dream of marrying you."
"With all the respect that I owe to your sagacity, aunt," responded Leopoldine, in a peevish tone, " permit me to be of a different opinion; it is impossible but that the assiduities of M. de Berville must have some object, and as to that object there cannot be any doubt. If he delays to make it known, it is because he wishes to study me, as my sister says. I do not think I have any cause for alarm on the subject."
66 Suppose it should be of your sister he thinks?" "She would be nearly the last he would think of," exclaimed the young maiden, breaking out into a fit of immoderate laughter. "What a young damsel of thirty-two, who has gray hairs, wrinkles, (for she has wrinkles round the eyes-I have seen them plain enough ;) a young lady in fact whom people take to be my mother! what an idea! But I see what has suggested it; it is that promenade at noonday-a mere act of politeness, at which M. de Berville was, I doubt not, enraged at heart."
"Not so; that circumstance has only weight from that which preceded it. I grant, my dear niece, that there is between you and your sister a difference of fifteen years; and that certainly is a great difference; you dazzle at first sight but only whilst they regard her not. M. de Berville was in the beginning charmed by your graces; but if I am not deceived, it is not those which retain him here. You have been to him as the flambeau that conducts into the well illuminated hall, which instantly makes pale, by outshining, the flambeau. Pardon me for the comparison,"
"That is to say, it is by me he has been drawn to my sister, and now she has eclipsed me."
"She cannot eclipse you in beauty, nor youthfulness; but her mind, her knowledge, the qualities of her heart, appear perhaps advantages sufficiently SEPT, 1845.
precious to cause to be forgotten those which she lacks; and I shall not be astonished to hear that M. de Berville had taken a liking to, and had actually espoused her, in spite of her thirty-two years."
"If he is fool enough to prefer my sister to me, I- Away with such an absurd thought; it is impossible," added Leopoldine,-casting at the same time a glance towards a mirror.
In spite, however, of the very flattering opinion which she entertained of herself, a jealous inquietude had crept into her heart, and she examined more attentively her sister and M. de Berville when they returned together. The accident which had befallen Madame Rével was found to be less serious than it was at first thought to be; the limb was not fractured ; but through the satisfaction which she felt on this account, Stephanie exhibited in her countenance an expression of uneasiness which was not usual with her. The two sisters were at length alone together, when Leopoldine questioned Stephanie as to the cause of her apparent agitation.
"I feel, I confess, a surprise, mixed with chagrin," she replied. " M. de Berville, whom I so sincerely desired to see you accept as a husband-who appeared to come here only on your account——”
"He has offered me his hand !"
"I don't see any thing that is so very sad in all this," responded Leopoldine, dissimulating, (for she was choaking with rage), "if M. de Berville likes old maids, it is not me, certainly, that he ought to choose."
"This it is, which is to me a matter of sadness," continued Stephanie, "that rivalry, which was as little wished for as foreseen, will, I fear, alienate your affections from your sister, since you can already address me in words of such bitterness." And the tears suddenly inundated her face.
At sight of this, Leopoldine, more frivolous than insensible, convinced of her injustice, threw herself into the arms of Stephanie.
"Pardon me, my kind sister, I see well that it is not your fault, but you must also agree that this event is humiliating to me; for, in truth, I was the first object of his vows: that man is inconstant and deceitful."
"No, Leopoldine, that is unreasonable. Attracted by the advantages which you have received from nature, he had hoped to have found in you those also which you would have acquired, if my counsels could have had power to persuade you. Your want of information, your coquetry, the ridiculous importance you attach to your beauty, have convinced him that you could not be happy together. What do say? You never can be happy with any one, unless you come to the resolution to count as nothing those charms so little durable, which sickness may destroy at once, and which time, in its default, is causing every instant to disappear. To ador
her mind, mature her reason, form her heart, are all things which the young female should feel to be among the last that are to be neglected, whether she be homely or handsome. That beauty, on which you have reckoned with so much confidence, to which you have sacrificed the sacred duties of friendship,-in what has it benefitted you? One who is neither young nor beautfiul has carried away your conquest, perhaps precisely because she dreamt not of doing it. Profit by this lesson, so as, during the beautiful years which, I trust, remain to you, to instruct and correct yourself. Another Berville will, I hope, present himself, who, like the first, attracted by your external graces, shall recognize; on viewing you more nearly, those good qualities more surpassingly beautiful.".
Leopoldine opened her soul to her sister's persuasions; she followed her counsels with docility, and soon reaped the benefits; Stephanie, became Madame de Berville, and continued to act as a mother to her sister till she too was married. The sufferings and the anxieties of maternity were not slow, when they came, in effacing the remarkable beauty of Leopoldine; but there remained to her so many precious qualities, so much of solid thought and lovely virtue, of the graces of the mind and the sweetness of chastened temper, that the loss of the outward personal charms were scarcely perceived; for the young wife was neither less cherished by her family, nor less courted by the world, than if her beauty had been an abiding, imperishable gift.
LONDON FASHIONS FOR THE MONTH.
THE Cool breezes that always attend the commencement of Autumn, begin to create some change, or rather some modifications in the toilettes of our élégantes. This is more particularly the case at the sea-side, where the halfseason costume is already beginning to be frequently seen; we mean as regards robes, mantelets, and shawls; but the weather has no influence on millinery, that is still of quite a summer kind, with the exception, however, of a style of trimming that is now much in vogue for large straw hats of the gipsy form, that are very generallly adopted for the sea-side, under the title of chapeaux à la chevriere. Their broad round brims are bordered with black velvet; a broad band of the same traverses the exterior, or rather, we should say, two bands crossing at each side on the summit of the head, and floating over the brim, the interior of which is decorated with pink or blue brides, attached by rosettes of ribbon of the same hue. There is quite a rage at present for these hats; they are equally in favour with matronly and very youthful belles.
The chapeaux and capotes adopted later in the day are principally of rice,
Italian and fancy straw; but we must observe, that the latter, to be really fashionable must be of that elegant and expensive kind called paille guipure. The form most in vogue for the chapeaux is the Pamela; the brim is round and more open than they have recently been seen, and forming a kind of plain bavolet at the back of the crown. Flowers, disposed in wreaths or tufts, are most in request for rice-straw chapeaux. Field flowers are a good deal employed; so also are coquelicots and blue-bells; a mixture of delicate garden flowers, with green grapes, or other small fruit, is likewise very fashionable. Feathers, particularly willow plumes, composed of the beards of marabouts, are more in vogue for Italian straw chapeaux. Feathers and flowers seem in equal request for fancy straw, but they are of a small kind, as têtes des plumes, arranged in a half-wreath or a bouquet étagé.
Cashmere scarfs seem to have resumed the vogue they enjoyed in the early part of the season. They are indeed well calculated for the commencement of autumn, being at once warm and light. We have seen also some very rich silk shawls, of sombre hues, flowered in relief, and a few satin mantes, which our fair readers will recollect is an envelope between the pelerine and the cardinal, longer than the one, smaller than the other, and somewhat similar to both in form. They are made in green, deep blue, and black, and trimmed either with black lace or éffilé; but though lace shawls and muslin mantelets are now in a decided minority, they are by no means laid aside; on the contrary, they are quite as much adopted as they were two months ago, when the days were
Coutil continues its vogue for sea-side dresses. Some of the prettiest are striped in blue or green stripes upon an unbleached ground. A favourite form for these robes has the corsage made quite high, and trimmed by a very deep jacket; so deep indeed that a small pocket appears on each side of the front of the jacket; the corsage is always made quite high; and we observe that those entirely closed down the front seem to increase in favour; the majority are embroidered in soutache; this is principally the case with those that have the corsage open in front. A good many of those that are closed are trimmed down the centre with a row of fancy silk buttons on each side; and at a little distance from the buttons is a velvet band, cut strait on the inside, but slanting, and in sharp dents at the outer edge; it is very broad at the bottom, but narrows almost to a point at the point: this is a very novel style of trimming, and has a good effect.
Though light materials, as muslins, barèges, &c. are still adopted in promenade dress, silk robes are more in request, and a good many are trimmed with velvet. We have recently seen several of striped and shaded gros de naples, the corsage half-high, with a rounded point drawn a little full at the shoulders, but tight at the bottom. The sleeves are rounded at the bottom, and surmounted
with crossed jockeys. The skirt is trimmed with two deep biais flounces, placed at some distance from each other; three rows of very narrow velvet ribbon, corresponding with the colour of the stripes, encircle the top of the corsage, the round of the jockeys, and the bottom of the sleeves, and also border cach flounce. We have seen some dresses of plain green, blue, and violet silk, similarly trimmed with velvet, a shade or two darker than the silk. The peignoir retains its vogue in half-dress. We may cite among the most fashionable those of taffeta, striped alternately in white and lilac, or else blue or pink with white; the corsage is made half-high, and the fronts cut in dents, which, buttoning in the centre, form slashes displaying the chemisette. Long tight sleeves, similarly ornamented from the shoulder to the wrist. Three rows of ribbon striped horizontally in the colour of the robe, and fringed at the edges, are disposed in the style of volants round the borders, at semi-distance from each other, and set on with very little fulness. Another and very fashionable form for silk robes in half-dress has a tight corsage, half-high on the shoulders, and open to the waist, and trimmed with a small demi-pelerine, edged with fringe, and forming a revers on the front. Some of these robes have no trimming round the borders, others are decorated with one or two deep flowers, edged with éffilé or cut in round dents.
Tarlatane and organdy have now superseded crape and tulle for evening robes. The corsages are for the most part à la vierge, though those cut very low are also fashionable, though not so extensively scen. The majority of both are pointed at the bottom. The sleeves are always short. Double skirts have lost nothing of their vogue; a favourite style of trimming for them is an embroidery in coloured worsted of a wreath of flowers and foliage. Sometimes the flowers are of one kind only; but we have also seen them of different sorts. Slight silks, particularly taffetas of light colours, are very much in vogue.
Caps are very much in vogue in dinner dress. We may cite among the most novel those made without a head-piece, and with a very small caul covering only the back of the head; it is bordered with three narrow rows of point d'angleterre all round, and placed a little higher on the ears than in the middle of the head. A pink and white ribbon, striped horizontally, in very narrow pink and white stripes, is twisted on the edge of the trimming as high as the temples, where it is terminated by two tufts, each formed of three fringed ends. Evening head-dresses continue, to be principally of hair decorated with flowers. Fashionable colours are the same as last month.