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plainly perceived that de Berville was even more pleased than her amiable niece.
Proud of her youth and beauty, Leopoldine had disdained instructionneglecting, for childish gaiety, the lessons of her masters and the recommendations of her sister; music and dancing were the only arts that she would consent to cultivate; these, because they might serve to make her shine in the world. Incapable of taking part in the interesting conversation which was going on before her, ennui began to show its effects on her charming figure-moodiness took possession of her spirits, and fits of yawning, ill suppressed, threatened each moment to betray her. M. de Berville, altogether occupied in the pleasure he was enjoying, perceived it not, but Stephani guessing the misery of her sister, contrived adroitly to introduce the subject of music; and therefore, begged of her sister to sit down to the piano. She knew that her sister's voice was considered remarkably fine by M. de Berville, and hoped by this means to draw his attention to her; but the old aunt thought that she could perceive that their visitor found need to task all his politeness to hide the disagreement he felt to the proposition; and Stephanie herself discerned much of coldness in the compliments which he expressed to the pretty songstress.
Botany is a science peculiarly suited to females who reside in the country; it is a source of ingenious discoveries, and of pleasures equally elevated and delightful. Under the shade of trees, on the banks of the river and the brook, and on the sides of the rock, are its charming lessons inscribed. M. de Berville loved the science, and offered to teach it to the two sisters; they accepted the offer, the elder from taste, the young Leopoldine from coquetry, seeing no more in it than an opportunity of displaying her lightness and her gracefulness, in running here and there over the grass to gather the flowers. She insisted upon one condition, however, which was, that they should only go out in the mornings and evenings, so as not to expose their complexions to the heat of the sun. Stephanie approved of these precautions. The care taken by a female to preserve her personal advantages has in it nothing blameable, and Stephanie was the first in setting the example of this to her sister; but on more than one occasion, the desire to possess herself of some flower, rare or curious, carried her above the fear of darkening her skin a little; whilst Leopoldine, the miserable slave of her own beauty, could not enjoy any of the pleasure freely and without fear. One circumstance-and it is of a grave character--will show to what an extent she was capable of sacrificing everything to her frivolous vanity.
A burning state of the atmosphere was scorching up all nature, the sun at its highest point of splendour presented the image of that celestial glory, before which the angels themselves bow down and worship; the withered
plants bent beneath the solar ray; the birds were silent in the depths of the wood; the locust alone, interrupted by his shrill cry, the silence of creation. Bathed in sweat, the reaper slept extended on the sheaf, whilst the traveller, in a like repose by the side of some shaded fountain, awaited the hour when the sun, drawing nearer to the horison, should permit him to resume his journey.
In an apartment, from which the light and heat were half excluded, surrounding a table covered with plants, Stephanie and Leopoldine were listening to M. de Berville, whilst he explained to them the ingenious system of Linnæus, or the more easy system, the great families of Tournefort, when a letter was brought in for Madame Dorothée, who was engaged in reading.
"Sad news! sad news!" she exclaimed, addressing her nieces: excellent neighbour, Madame Rével, has met with a horrible accident; it is feared her leg is broken.".
"Good heavens! can such an accident have happened?" cried Leopoldine; and yesterday she was so well! We will go to see her to-morrow morning. Shall we not, Stephanie?"
"To-day, rather, Leopoldine; to-day. consolation which it may depend on us to impart to her.”
"Well, this evening, after the sun has set ?"
"No, no, let us set out immediately, and we will pass beside her the rest of the day; M. de Berville will, I know, excuse us."
"Impossible !" answered Leopoldine," to go out, so hot as it is; it would be wilfully to seek a coup de soleil, which would make us perfect blacks for the rest of the summer."
Let us not defer for an instant the
"We can shield ourselves with a veil-with our parasols."
"I should not feel myself safe in a sack; and for nothing in this world would I leave the house till the day is over."
You forget, Leopoldine, with what courage Madame Rével came from her home alone, on foot, in the middle of a December night, in spite of the frost and snow, to attend you when you had the measles, because they told her you had expressed a wish to see her instantly."
"Well, sister, I would sooner confront a cold north wind than the sun." "The heat can no more be stopped than the cold, Leopoldine."
"Nothing is so frightful as a black skin."
"Sister, though I knew I should become as black as an African, I would not leave our friend without consolation at such a time; I will go with our servant girl; believe me, you will here after be sorry you did not follow my example."
“Permit me to accompany you, Miss,” said M. de Berville, taking his hat.
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."
"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 I 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,