Bradford reporter. (Towanda, Pa.) 1844-1884, August 11, 1859, Image 1

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Thursday Morning, August 11, 1859.
[From Chamber's Journal.]
A dark wintry day, in the year of grace
1839, was closing upon the final scene of one
of those tragedies of real life which would be
affecting, were they not, in France at least, of
such everv day occurrence. Eugene Beaude
sert, the direct representative of a long line of
courtiers, warriors, diplomatists, commencing
with the Merovingian kings, and now for some
time schoolmaster in Lyon, was dying in a
mean apartment au troisieme of a house iu an
obscure street of that wealthy and splendid
city • not, however, of want, of physical des
titution, as the wine, cordials, and various
tempting delicacies by his bedside, the heaped
up blazing tagots on the hearth, the presence
of an unexceptionable nurse, and, above all,
ofM. Vermont, a physician of eminence, whose
minutes wtre Napoleons, lully testified. Nor,
still judging by its surronndiugs, ought unsat
isfied soul-cravings, hunger of the spirit, to
have bet-u felt at that death bed, since two
ministers to opiritua 1 needs, one officious, the
other official, were in attendance there. The
first, a stout, somewhat rustic-looking man,
past middle age, at the entrance of the Abbe
Morlaix, the famous preacher at the Church of
the Assumption, had hastily returned his balm
for hurt minds, Plato's Divine Dialogue, to his
pocket, and shrunk back to a corner of the
room where the fire-blaze revealed him with
but fitful indistinctness. I, however, from
knowing .Tales Delpech so well, can easily iden
tify, through the flashing gloom, that large
head, fairly developed intellectually, and that
face every way ordinary save for a pair of
glittering gray eyes ; which, from under cover
of the pent-house brows, pierce to a very long
way off—further, deeper, indeed, than it is de
sirable to follow, even in imagination. The
countenance withal has not what is usually
termed a malignant expression. The most
timid person, a girl, would hardly be scared at
confronting it upon a lonely road in the even
ing of such another dark day as this ; for
plainly, vividly, as that unblest, bastard wis
dom called cunuing, caution,timidity, are writ
ten thereon for dullest eyes to read ; there is
al.-o a certain air of bonhomie, assumed it may
]) C —hut, if so, habitually assumed—which does
much to neutralize the vulpine craftiness of
aspect which familiar observers were wont to
say fuitbfuliy mirrored Jules Delpech's vulpine
crafty soul A rash judgment, let us, hope, iu
submission to the divine injunction of charity—
the charity that thinketh no evil, believeth no
evil, with which M. Morlaix, a lew minutes
since, just before the arrival of the physician,
relinked the raoribuud's glare of rage, called
forth bv a somewhat eulogistic allusion to
.Madame la Baronne de Vautpre ; the person
age albeit to whom Eugene Beaudesert is in
debted for the lay and clerical ministrations
which console, or embitter—for there is no in
terpreting the changeful lights and shadows
which flit across that constrainedly calm white
face —these last supreme moments of parting
There was no warning of how few those
moments were in the suave tones of Dr. Ver
mont as he felt the pulse and looked steadily
into the eyes of his patient. lie merely ob
served, addressing the nurse, that M. Beaude
sert must be kept as quiet as possible ; and
then turned away with a slight gesture to the
abbe, who followed him to the door, where a
few whimpered words passed between them
The look and manner of the abbe, as he again
turned towards the sick man, revealed, deary
as speech, the significance of those whispered
words ; and Jules Delpech starting up, hur
riedly embraced, and bade his friend adieu, as
if for a brief time only, pressed one of the
cold hands of a girl s tting by the head of the
bed, in both his own, softly suggested hope
and courage, and glidi d from the apartment.
The nurse, at a sign from the abbe, did the
same, and then the reverend gentleman request
ed the girl to permit him to speak for a few
minutes with her father alone. The answer
was an outburst of convulsive grief—passion
ate exclamations of refusal, which the abbe
could only partially calm by consenting that
she should remain whilst he administered the
last rites of his church to the now avowedly
dying sufferer ; whose thoughts, whilst fully
comprehending, as he seemed to do, the abbe's
meaning and purpose, were nevertheless—if
one might judge by the feeble demonstrations
permitted by his fast failing strength—with
his child, with the earthly future of that young
life ; and but slightly impressed by the immi
nence of his own death, and the judgment to
follow, announced by the symbolic ceremonial,
and the solemn words of the priest.
And now, whilst the abbe is fulfilling his ap
pointed function, I may briefly pass in review
the previous and determining incidents of the
life-career thus prematurely closing ; closing
prematurely, there can be no question, ss far
as life is reckoned by length of days, for it
was no longer ago than the autumn of 1803,
that the birth of Eugene Beaudeseri, the first
born of a distinguished generul of that name,
and Kstelle, his wife, nee Bresson, a rich heiress
of Paris, was celebrated in that city with
much pomp und eclat. Clouds qnick'y over
grew arid darkened the brilliant future that
seemed to await the child. General Beaude
sert was killed at Marengo ; and his widow,
to whom, by the provisions of the ante nuptial
contract, her whole fortune reverted, soon
married again, became the mother of a numer
ous family, and gradually so estranged from
her first-born, that after his tenth birthday,
6lie never again beheld him, and died without
expressing a wish to do so. It is probable
that this unnatural feeling was excited and
confirmed by the civilly contemptuous treat
ment which the plebian wife of General Beaude
sert had met with from her husband's family ;
one of that section of the Quartier St. Ger
main, which, always with an arrierepenset,
capitulated with the Consulate and the Empire
for the profitable honors, illegitimate us they
might be, and, of course, were, with which it
was the weakness of the Man of Destiny to
always eagerly reward such condescendence.—
Madame la Baronne de Vautpre, General
Beaudesert's widowed and childish sister, had
especially never been at pains to conceal her
disdain of her brother's ignoble alliance and
no sooner was it ascertained that ci-devant
Madame Beaudesert, nee Bresson, evinced a
decided dislike of her son Eugene, than Mad
ame la Baronne became his active partisan
and patroness ; and an arrangement was final
ly come to by which the guardiauship cf the
last male scion of the ancient house of Beaude
sert was legally transferred from the roturier
mother to the aristocratic aunt. Madame de
Vautpre discharged her new self imposed du
ties, everybody agreed, in the most liberal, ex
emplary manner. Eugene Beaudesert's educa
tion was conducted by the first masters ; his
purse was supplied without sting or grudge ;
and he had but just completed his eighteenth
year, when Madame la Baronne obtained the
high favor and honor of a commission in the
Garde Royalt for her fortunate nephew. But,
as most of us know, or have heard, blood is
stronger than water, especially that which wells
up from the mighty arteries which nourish and
sustain the common life of a people ; and Eu
gene's precociously manifested tastes, antipa
thies, predilections—all clearly traceable to his
maternal origin—proved to be diametrically
opposed to the tastes.antipathies, predilections
of the long line of Beaude>ert celebrities dat
ing from the Merovingian kings ; not one of
whom, that unfilial descendant of a noble race
sneeringly remarked, could be justly accused
of having stained his escutcheon by doing any
thing useful or helpful to mankind. As ex
amples of the young man's shocking hetero
doxy in matters ancestral and armonial, I may
instance his proclaimed opinion, that there
were in the world men as capable of governing
France as Louis le Desire—an extravagance
which cost him his Garde Roy ale epaulets ;
that Napoleon was at least equal as a general
to the great Conde ; and that to have created
" a connoisseur in dry bones"—otherwise Cu
vier the comparative anatomist—a baron, was
not a detestable desecration by Bonaparte ol
that order of nobility ! That atrocities like
these should so frequently sully the lips of her
nephew and heir, was naturally a source of
disquiet to Madame de Vautpre ; but, to do
that lady simple justice, far too right-minded
and sensible a person to take au scricuz the
froth-follies which flow so copiously from the
lips of vain an volatile yonth ; and she more
than once took occasion to observe in his hear
ing, that so long as her nephew did nothing in
derogation of his high lineage, whatever he
might think or say. would not affect his pres
ent or future position as far as she had control
over it. Eugene Beaudesert was in his twen
tieth year, when Madame la Baronne felt or
fancied that it might be expedient to at once
clearly define what it was that to do, or to
leave undone, would fatally compromise the
young man's future. She did so in the mild,
impassive manner natural to her, after placing
in his hand a draft on Lafitte for the large
sum he had just intimated au immediate uud
pressing occasion for.
" You were conversing for some time, I no
ticed. at the ball the other evening, with the
Count and Mademoiselle de Cevennes ; what,
frankly now, is your impression, Eugene, of the
young lady ?"
"My impression of Mademoiselle de Cev
ennes! Frankly, then, no impression at all—
except, ma foi, the vague one of a perfectly
well-dressed, common-place young person, no
wise distinguishable from the crowd of perfect
ly well dressed, common place young persons
we met there.
"I have reason to believe," continued Mad
ame de Vautpre, " that the proposal of an al
liance by marriage of the Beaudesert and Cev
ennes families would be favorably entertained
by Monsieur le Compte de Cevennes."
" Plail-U, madame !" exclaimed the startled
nephew, flushing scarlet.
" In other, though scarcely plainer words,"
resumed Madame de Vautpre, " that were Eu
gene Beaudesert to become a suitor for the
hand of Louise de Cevennes, he would not be
exposed to the mortification of a refusal."
" Yon must be jesting, madame," rejoined
the nephew with some temper. " What have
I done, that it should be propoed to wed me
with such an incarnation of ugliness, ill-tern
per, and Satanic ptide, as Mademoiselle de
" That is your ragite impression of the lady,
is it? It is not a flattering one, at all events;
and do not fear, Eugene, that I shall ever
urge you to blaspheme the holy sacrament of
marriage"—l should here statj; that it had
been for some time whispered in certain circles
that Madame la Baronne de Vautpre was
growing terribly devout—" by uniting yourself
indissoluble with a woman you could not love
or esteem ; however "
" Ma ckere. tante," interrupted Eugene, seiz
ing Madame de Vautpre's hand, and kissing it
with fervor—"you are so good."
" It is well, at the same time, to remind you,
Eugene," continued Madame la Baronne, with
her usual calm smile and quiet evenness of
voice, " that I expect from you a similar ab
negation of selfish feeling in the affair of mar
riage—which is to say that you will never think
of uniting yourself with a person whom I could
not love or esteem ! Above and before all,
Eugene"—and here the speaker's earnestness
lent almost tragic force and depth to Madame
de Vautpre's mild, steadfast look, and tran
quil, measured toues—"do not fail to bear
constantly in mind that to follow your father's
unhappy example, by contracting a mesallmnu,
would be simply und definitively to pronounce
irrevocable seuteuce upon yourself—not mere
ly of immediate separation between you and
me, bnt of the forfeiture of your else assured
inheritance of the large possessions, which are,
as von are well aware, at my absolute disposul."
"My dear madame," Eugene managed to
enunciate without much stammering, and with
an affectation of uncoDcern with which bis
changing color sod altogether discomfited as-
pect did not harmonize, " you do not imagine,
you do not suppose, that I—that you—
that" *
" I suppose nothing, imngine* nothing, Eu
gene," interrupted the locking
i her ecritoire, and rising to the iuter
: view ; " I merely state be careful
ly borne in mind, that were, you so insane as
| to contract a discreditable "marriage—and by
discreditable marriage I mean one that I could
not sanction—you from that moment would
be my nephew in name only, assuredly iu noth
iug more. Do you return to dine ? No ; well,
I shall be sure to meet you at Madame Moruy's.
An indifferent passer-by would have been
struck by the extreme disquietude evinced by
Eugene Beaudesert us he left his auut's splen
did mansion ; but in life's careless April-time
the clouds pass swiftly ; and one little hour
hud scarcely elapsed since Madame de Vuut
pre's words had fallen so ominously upon his
ear, when they were remembered only as the
casual expression of a hasty resolve, which
could never be carried out ; for was not be,
Eugene Beaudesert, the only living being
through whom the name, the glory, and the
greatness of the Beaudeserts could be preserv
ed, and contined for the admiration and rever
ence of unborn ages ! That great irreversible
fact would necessarily outweigh all minor con
siderations, when poised in so very ancestral a
mind as that of Madame de Vautpre, who had,
besides, displayed such Christian kindness in
relatiou to that abominable Mademoiselle de
Cevennes—the young lady that had gracious
ly, it seemed, intimated—the amiable Gorgon I
—that she would not refuse him the blessing
of her hand, should he veuture to solicit the
precious gift. Ugh !
The repulsive idea thus suggested quickly
gave place to another and very different one—
that of cetle jeune et charmante Adricnne, whom
it would be impossible not to love, were her
father, instead of being a capitaine de dragons
en retraite, a Paris shopkeeper. At that mo
ment, the church-clocks chimed halt' past two,
reminding the young dreamer that by the time
he had reached the jeweller's, and received in
exchange for his muuificent aunt's draft the
superb necklace upou which Adrieune Champ
fort had set her heart, it would be as much as
he could do to reach Clichy by the hour he
had appointed to be there. This was decisive ;
and by three o'clock, Eugene Beaudesert, with
the necklace—a trifle, which cost him five
thousand francs, no more—safe in his pocket,
was rattling gaily along the road leading to
the modest Jwelling of his beautiful fiancee,
and theu onwards,downwards, to marriage, re
morse, ruin, despair—finally, to the dark room
au troisieme in the Rue du Bac, Lyon, where
the Abbe Morlaix is even now administering
the viaticum to the heir of all the Beaudeserts !
An old, sad story, of which I need only furth
er give the headings of the chapters interven
ing between the bridal and burial.
Madame la Baronne de Vautpre was in
formed of the marriage of Eugene Beaudesert
with Adrientie Chauipfort by u long and elo
quent letter from the bridegroom ; to which
au immediate answer was returned, enclosing
a draft for ten thousand francs, and briefly
stating that Madame de Vautpre wished Mon
sieur und Madame Beaudesert happiness, in
the state of life they had chosen for them
selves ; but, as Monsieur Beaudesert had been
timely and emphatically warned would be the
case, Madame de Vautpre no longer looked
upon that gentleman as her nephew, or as one
possessing the slightest further claim upon her.
It was all iu vain, as the teu thousand francs,
and at last the costly ornaments which he had
lavished upon Adrieune, melted away, that the
alarmed and anxious husband and father—two
daughters, Adrieune and Clarisse, were born
to tiim during the first three years of wedded |
life—put in practice every expedient, every |
art lie was master of, to change his aunt's in- 1
exorable decision ; Madame de Vautpre was !
impassable as marble, and as smooth and pol
Lhed also ; her words and manner, in the per
sonal interviews which her nephew contrived
to force upon her, whilst clearly expressive of
unswerving resolve, never betraying tne slight
est irritation or anger.
Thus, step by step, poverty came upon the '■
rash couple ; the poverty, armed with serpent |
stings, that treads upon tire heels of reckless j
self-gratification, and which, but for Captain
Champforl's pension—a rather considerable ;
one for his position, he being an inferior mem- i
ber of the Legion of Honor—would soon have
been destitution ; for Eugene Beaudesert with !
all his wordy disdain of birth-privileges, per
sisted iu keeping himself fiercely aloof from \
the contamination of useful employments, and
none other were obtainable. And did the
blind god that had luted them to such a pass,
remain to gild the ruin he had made, to light
up with his glowing torch the else drear dwel
ling where sat Indigence with his black feet
upon the cheerless hearth ; and Want, fever at
the threshold, and waiting but for the death
of that, white-headed, feeble old man to enter
in, deepened the thick gloom with his gaunt
forecast shadow ? Alas ! how could it be so ?
Was it possible that the enchanting smile with
which Adrieune Champfort received the neck
lace we know of from her delighted lover,
should cast its radiance upon the pawn-ticket of
that same costly hauble.witli her husband, then
of some seven sad years'standing, placed in her
hand with a sour, fretful caution to put it safe
ly away ? The truth was, neither had espoused
the intended pirson. Eugene Beaudesert,
Mademoiselle Champfort's idolizing admirer,
was the nephew of Madame de Vanepre, heir
to the splendid mansion in the Faubourg St.
Germain, and the magnificent Chateau d'Ein,
near Lyon, of which she had heard so much—
a young gentleman, moreover, having free war
ren of all the jewellers' shops and m-diste es
tablishments iu Paris, the entree of Tuilleries
balls, and possessed of a thonsand other trans
ferable and charming gifts and privileges—
'surely a very different person from the pale,
care-worn, listless man, whose stockings she
darned with delicate fingers, at the faintest
prc6gare whereof, in the old fast-fading time,
those now downcast, nnregardfnl eyes bad flash
ed with rapture ! ADd tbongb still retaining
much of her brilliant form and feature-beauty,
was Madame Beaudesert, wan wife and moth
er, eternally busied with household cares, neces
sarily negligent of the elegancies cf attire, im
patient of the preseut, regretting the past, the
fairy being being pictured in the youthful im
agination of Eugene Beaudesert as the honor
ed and admired mistress of his inherited splen
dors, the grace and genius of the courtly cir
cles to which it would be bis cbiefest pride to
have raised her ? Clearly not. Do not sup
pose that bitiug,bitter words—hasty aud quick
ly repented of, it may be—such as escaped
Adrienne's lips, when, as she was walking with
her husband and children in the hot, dusty
Champs Elysees, Cliurles Baudiu, the rich
grocer's son, whose hand she had refused for
that of Madame de Vautpre's nephew, dashed
past in his new cabriolet with Madame BauJin
iiis richly apparelled, very pretty wife by his
side—words which ever after raukle in the
memory, did not frequently pass between Mon
sieur and Madame Beaudesert. And yet she
was not, as the world goes, an unuffectionute
wife and mother, nor he a bad, unloving hus
j band and father. Both possessed amiable
qualities—amiable qualities, I mean, of au or
dinary degree—aud we kuow that none but
those supremely angelic, uuflawed natures,
whose only ascertainable dwelling-place, in my
experience, is the brains of boys, girls, and
authors, can illumine the bleak wastes of life
with perennial radiance, make constant sun
i shine in the shadiest places, sing ceaseless
| songs of gladness upon empty stomachs, and
delightedly disport themselves in the lowest
: social quagmires, from whatever height buried
down !
To that bright band, Monsieur and Madame
Beaudesert assuredly did not belong. They,
however, rubbed along disconsolately, till the
death, in 1835, of Captain Champfort ; when
Eugene, roused to spasmodic exertion, left his
wile and youngest child Clarisse, at Clichy
with the widow, and set out on foot with his
daughter, dreamy Adrieune, for the Chateau
d'Ein, where Madame du Vautpre had for
some years constantly resided, determined npou
one more effort—if not to regain her good
will, at least to wrest from her by importunity
the means of modest existence. His aunt re
fused to see him, and returned his letters un
opened ; wearied out at length, as well as
seriously warned by the authorities, that to
persist in his annoyance of Madame !u Baronne
de Vautpre, would bring unpleasant conse
quences upon himself, lie—by the advice of his
new friend, Jules Delpech, at whose house,
distant about a league from the chateau, he
had taken up his temporary abode—hired an
apartment iu the Rue du Back, Lyon ; and
chiefly iu the hope of touching his aunt's heart
through her pride, advertised in the loeul pa
pers that Eugene Beaudesert, ex-captain cf the
Garde Royale, gave lessons in reading, writing,
arithmetic, and elementary mathematics. This
notable expedient failed as completely as all
previous ones. Madame de Vautpre was im
movable by such fieble devices but a more po
tent agent than the disinherited descendant of
the Beaudeserts was at hand, bringing fullest
relief to the sufferer, and rebuke, remorse to
his obdurate, pitiless relative. Eugene Beaude
sert fell suddenly ill ; the loug fever of despair
had at length consumed .the golden oil of life,
and the scetir decharite, whose mission of mercy
took her to thai poor abode, saw that yet a
few hours and the divine lamp would expire on
earth, to be relumed only in liis presence whose
breath first touched it with celestial fire.
Having clearly possessed herself of the
melancholy story sister Agnes lost no time in
endeavoring to secure the g >od offices of the
.\ bbe Morlaix, who she knew, was the con
fessor of Madame de Vautpre, reputedly one
of the most devout ladies of France. Tiiis
was not a difficult task ; and the abbe, first
visiting the moribund, hastened at once to the
great lady's presence. Never was the abbe's
sonorous eloquence more vigorously exerted ;
and as he, with the authority of a church of
which Madame de Vautpre was a fanatical
adherent, entreated, menaced, commanded, hpr
obduracy and pride of heart, insensible to the
pleadings of humanity, yielded to religious
terrors ; before the interview terminated, it
was settled that all money could do to avert
or delay the stroke of the destroyer was to be
essayed ; aud should her nephew not re
cover, his eldest daughter, Adricnne, was to
be received at the Chateau d'Ein, avowedly
as Madame de Vautpre's heiress. One condi
tion, however, was peremptorily insisted upon,
which was, that Adrieune should be separated
from her family, who would be permitted to 1
sec her once only in each year ; the mother and
sister to be paid a ye?rly pension of four tohus
and francs during Madame de Vautpre's
pleasure, which meant so long as they and
Adrieune rigorously complied with the con
dition of separation from each other. This ar
rangement Eugene Beaudesert readily though
ungraciously acquiesced in—l mean that he
neither fell nor affected gratitude for the
tardy and fear-extorted concession—and he
commanded liis reluctant daughter to comply
therewith when he was gone, as she valued his
blessing and her mother and sister's welfare.
Of that young girl—of Adrieune Beaudesert
whom we just now saw passionately refuse to
abandon for a moment the post assigned to
her by filial love and duty—l have not as yet
spoken, though it is around her the interest of
this narrative will mainly gather. It will,
however, be only necessary in this place to pre
mise that Adrienne Beaudesert will be thirteen
on her next birthday, that she is well formed
and tall of her age, and that her now death
pale complexion, eyes swollen and red with
weeping, loose untended hair, obscure a beauty
as exquisite as that of her mother at the same
age ; whilst even through that clouding veil of
tears and terror, the infantine candor, the
faith—how shall I express myself ?—the simple
trustfulness, verging upon credulity, that marks
her character, is strikingly apparent. There
are lines, however faint, nascent as yet, indi
cative of firmness about her sweet, rose-lipped
month, which cannot be too soon developed
and confirmed. That simple, credulous predis
position has nnhappily been fostered, exagger
ated by the education, if It cao be called one,
, she has received, chiefly from her grandmoth
er ; an honest, simple-minded native of Prov
ence, who has peopled the child's mind with
the thousand and-one legends of fairies, de
mons, witch-charms, potent alike for good and
evil, received as gospel-truth in that part of
F-ance ; and in which her grand-daughter be
lieves as firmly as iu the ogre-like instincts of
the dreaded relative to whose abhorred com
panionship or custody her father's last com
mands have doomed her. Childhood's common
dreams, it may be said. Yes, but will they,
I as such illusions usually do, exuale and pass
i away in the expanding light of reason, or re
r main hiddeu, latent in the mind of Adrieune
i Beaudesert, till, under stimulating conditions,
• tbev start into fatal life and activity ? This
I is the yet unsolved euigma of the story of the
i Poudre Rose.
> 11.
; The pruyers are doue ; the holy oil has dried
- upou the forehead of the anointed, tenant less
: clay, by the side whereof Adrienne Beaudesert
! is lying in a stupor of despair, which the nurse,
gliding noiselessly about the room, does not
! think it prudent to disturb. We ulso will de
• purt, following the abbe, who goes straight to
; the Chateau d'Em. The face of Madame Iu
, Baronne de Vautpre whitens visibly through
• the thick rouge, as she listens to the reverend
I man's tidings ; and the moment his voice ceases,
she hastens to place in his hands a lurge sum
■ to be expended iu massea for the dead man's
i soul. As to the funeral of the last male heir
[ of the Beaudeserts, who is to be entombed in
i the catacombs of the Church of the Assump-
I tion, Madame de Vautpre desires that no ex
pense shall be spared tiiereou ; aud the child
i Adrienne is to be assured that the heart of her
too long estranged relative is yearning to em
brace, to love, to cherish her Monsieur Mor
laix, moreover, who is shortly goiog to Paris
i on business, undertakes to be the bearer of one
j year's pension in advance, with the donor's
good wishes, to Madame and Clarisse Beau
i desert at Clichy.
The chief facts just related having been
i through; worthy of more than one paragraph iu
the local papers, and being skilfully marveliz
ed to suit the public taste, had the effect of
attracting a numerous concourse of curious
spectators to the funeral—one of the most irn
posing, it was on all hands agreed,the Prompes
i Funebres had got up for many years. The
■ catafalque, especially, was magnificent ; so
much so, that the crowded congregation were
i divided in opinion as to which was most solemn
and effective—it, the catafalque, or the Abbe
Morlaix's funeral oration, grounded upon the
scripture verse, " Whoso breaketh a hedge, a
' serpent shall bite him." The abbe's eloquent
illustrations of his theme were also variously
interpreted. Some held tliat they applied to
( the relentless cruelty of Madame la Baronne
de Vautpre, punished by the untimely death,
| without male issue, of the heir to her house's
j honors ; others, that preacher had in mind the
: nephew's sin of ingratitude and disobedience
towards his guardian and benefactress, resnlt
' | ing in misery and an early grave. Of this last
opinion was Adrienne Beaudesert, upon whose
i j heart the words of the abbe smote like so many
swordstabs aimed at her dead father, exciting
! in the mind of the wounded, sensitive girl a
feeling of resentment towards the reverend
orator, not, unhappily, to be soon or easily
effaced. Of all the obsequious attendants sur
rounding her, there was not one who felt, or
successfully assumed to feel, the slightest
sympathy with her bitter grief. Ii was tl.c
j less surprising, therefore—terribly indecorous
|in the heiress of Madume de Vautpre as- it
| might be—that, upou recognizing Jules Del-1
j pechin the crowd, us she was leaving the church i
| Mademoiselle Beaudesert darted away from j
| her entourage, and threw herself sobbing :
violently into the gray-headed man's arms.—
She was of course, promptly plucked back to
her proper place in the procession, and a few
minutes afterwards driven rapidly off to her
"future residence, the Chateau d'Em. Jules
Delpech seemed to be not a little disconcerted
as well as astonished, at so sudden and public
a demonstration of the young lady's regard ;
but the first flurry over, the emotion it excit
ed, colored, shaped, by an elastic, sanguine
imagination, assumed a hopeful, brilliant hue,
as those telescopic eyes of his, piercing, as 1
have said, far into the dim future, descried the
yet distant possibilities suggested by such preg
nant facts as Mademoiselle Beaudesert's par
tiality or respect forjliimself so openly manifest
ed ; the well-renipmbered and marked partiali
ty evinced towards Pan', his young and hand
some son, by the unsophisticated heiress of an
ailing lady long since passed her grand climac
teric, when she, the heiress, was domiciled with
her father at his cottage, furnishing, with minor
collateral facts or fancies, ample material for
castle-buikling. The subtle brain of Jules Del
pech was glowing, palpitating with the crowd
ing images it had conjured up by the time he
reached his own door ; whence, looking up
wards in the direction of the Cateau d'Em, it
seemed to him that the central tower of the
splendid pile, high overtopping the intervening
belt of forest trees, looked haughtily and con
temptuouriy down upon the lowly hut whose
habitant dared to lift himself even in imagina
tion to that lordly eminence ! " For all that,"
muttered the white lips of Jules Delpech, as
he entered his cottage and closed the door,
" worse cards than we hold have won as great
a game. " What," said the great orator of
the Mountain, " is the secret and condition of
an else impossible success ?— delaudace, it en
core de I'audace" —and moral audacity, where
failure incurs no peril, niggard nature has not
denied me."
Jules Delpech was a capitaine de. douaves en
retraite, or, as we say a superanuated officer of
rostoras. His retiring pension was a small one
bnt the cottage in which ho lived, and about
three acres of adjoining land, where his own
by inheritance ; and as both himself and son
—ft really fine lad, about three years older
than Adrienne Beandesert, of pleasant man
ners and somewhat superior education—were
sufficiently skilful and industrious cultivators,
the retired douanier was looked upon, and
really was, for bis social status, a thriving,
prosperous man. In one respect, Jules Del-
vol.. xx.—NO. 10.
pech deserved commendation, tbougi) it may
be that his conduct was governed by no higher
motive than a wholesome dread of the penalties
of the law—he refused, to the liege chagrin of
many of the neighbors, to add to his income
by the truffic which hud helped his widowed
mother, the lute Madame Delpecb, to keep
house and land together, her son at school,
and a wellfilled purse of silver crowns always
at hand for au emergency. Madame Delpecb
In brief, ostensibly u herbalist, had for many
years derived an iucoine, though of no very
considerable amount, probubly, from the prac
tice of a species of charlatanism, commou iu
the French rural districts—that of selliug to
simple rustics, and not untrequeutly to as sim
ple-minded towufolk, certain, charms, love
powders, vegetable preservatives of various
kiuds from barm, spiritual or corporeal, and
niugical cornpouuds wherewith to compel the
i favor, else despaired of, of 6ome obdurate
Jeanuette or Jeannot, as the ease mighjt be.
One of those love-charms, colled yt-urf/f rose,
hud, from soma accidental coincidence, attain
ed so wide a celebrity as to engage the atten
tion of the Correctional Police Court of Lyon,
a distinction which bad the effect of compel
ling the cheating old beldam to be more dis
creet and wary in the sale of her magical wares
and more particularly of colored bean-meal,
alias poudro rose, at the rate of five francs the
half ounce. This nefarious traffic was, as I
have intimated, all events ostensibly, publicly
repudiated by the retired officer of customs,
albeit it was confidently hinted that upon more
than one occasion, when tempted by a sufficient
ly considerable fee, he had violated that wise
resolution, and dispensed his mother's nostrums
—especially the poudre rose—with the best
effect. This, I say, was the common scandal
or gossip of a district on the left bunk of the
Rhone, not fur from the city of longer
ago than the thirty-seventh year of this eu
lighteued nineteenth century ; and I greutly
doubt whether a rural commune could be point
ed out iu all the vast extent of France where
a like credulity is not more or less prevalent at
at this very day. This is a sad. undeniable
truism ; but it is not from our English glass
house that we can contemptuously cast stones,
in scornful reprobation of such hurtful follies,
at our ueighbors ; for superstitions all asgross
are to be found in as vigorous vitality in many
of the rural districts of Great Rritain. Impos
ture and credulity are unfortuuutely indigenous
to all countries and climes, as well as marvel
lously self-adaptive to varying exigencies and
But in stoppiug to explain or moralize, the
story perforce halts also ; and dismissing for
awhile Jules Delpech, and his visions, schemes
nostrums, I regain its current, at the moment
of Adrienne Beuudesert's arrival at the Chateau
d'Em, where she was received with every dem
onstration of regard ; and it really seemed that
Madame de Vautpro's heart was touched by
the sorrow of the interesting grand-niece, in
whose features she discerned, or fancied, a strik
ing resemblance to General Bcnudesert, the
brother, whose memory, spite of the Bresson
mesalliance., she hud always tenderly cherished.
The establishment of the chateau was an ex
tremely well-ordered one ;its disciplinary march
perfect in a mechanical point of view ; but it
was unfortunate for a girl of Adrienne Beau
desert's temperament and tendencies that
Mudauie de Vautpre had already reached so
far into the vale of life, as not only to have
lost sight of the busy, practical world in which
she had passed her youth and prime of days,
but that it no longer lingered in her memory
save as a far off dieam of acted vanities ; illus
ions—excepting always the hallowing verity of
high lineage—hurtful,if not sinful to voluntarily
dwell upon, because tending to lure her mind
ltoiu the contemplation, through the dusky
glass of polemical dogmatism, of the eternity
upon the brink of which she stood. Now, it
'is quite clear to rue, from what I have heard
read of Madame la Bnrortnc tie Yuutpre, that
her a>cetic piety was of the sheerest kind, as
assuredly her charity—thereby meaning alms
giving—was liberal and comprehensive ; but
the adoption of a profitable piety by depen
pents not only frequently stops at, but exag
gerates the externals of devotion ; and as might
be expected in such a household, most of tho
persons in attendance upon the heire?s, in their
anxious affections of a religious fervor they did
not feel, were enthusiastic about forms, attri
buted supernatural efficacy-to beads, if not to
the prayers they measured^—to the image,
though careless or unthougittftnjrLthe proto
type. In a mental generated
and maintained, it i< hardly to be wandered at
that the faith in churms, amulets, ana the like
fui.tasie ? , imbibed by Adrienne Beairrlesert in
her childhood, instead of lining rebuked,gather
ed force and authority from the countenance
afforded it by apparently similar religious con
victions. Had the Abbe Morlaix, now chap
lain to the household, possessed her conCdenco
his wiser teaching might have dissipated such
noxious illusions ; but that,as she deemed
it, heartless, cute! funeral oration, Mademoiselle
Beundesert, desj ire the abbe's strenuous en
deavors to o iciliate her good-will, ceased uot
to regard him with mingled feelings of aver
son and misfru-t. Instead of complaining to
Madunte de Vautpre that the sensitive girl re
solutely declined his spirits! guidance, the abbe
left it to time to remove her unjust antipathy
—but alas ! time frequently halts in the ac
complishment o! his rrands, and arrives w'th
the healing remedy ODly to witness the death
of the patient.
Thus grew tn years, in beauty, in gnileless
simplicity of heart and mind, Adrienne Beau
desprt; Madame de Vautpre continuing the
while towards her the stately courtesy, the re
gulated,unvarying kindne s which she had from
the first imposed upon herself. Madame la
Baronne never went into society, no encourag
ed visitors at the chatean. Adrienne's educa
tion in the accomplishments of music,painting,
history, foreign languges eet., was intrusted to
the sisters of an 1 rsuline convent in the neigh
borhood, whither and back she was daily escort
ed in a carriage ; and the only male persons,
except servants and M. Morlaix, with whom
she ever held the slightest converse, were Jules
Delpech and bis son Paul, one or the other of