New Zealand Tablet, Volume XII, Issue 4, 16 May 1884, Page 5
While I was wrapt in these thoughts the viscennt chattered away. but got no answer. He complained at last and bewailed his misforton*. He reminds me of people in comedies who come to pierce their hearts at the feet of an ingrate ; how quietly I could say, ''pierce, by all »cans." But as he has no sword, and as it is a weapon for which , I fancy, he has no particular predilection, I may make my mind easy. Forgive me, most charitable Klise ; for, really, when I think how he threatens to spoil my life, as he has already half-spoiled my heart, I lwe all patience. He and his mother alone have given me all those hard, bitter feelings which you condemn in me. Germain had left o« watehinsr us, and was standing in a corner with M. de Tourmagne. Tht connt seemed to be speaking hotly about something, while Germain listened with a calm, almost obstinate air. What could be the matter! A sort of presentiment of coming ill seemed to sink |down i and settle like a cloud upon my heart. I wished that Germain ■tould at least look over again ; but no ; you would think he had Piade a compacfr'toith his eyes, so persistently did he keep them Tixed on the ground without Stirling a lid. The quadrille over, the viscount took me back to my place. I could hardly contain myself , I felt so put out. Madame de Sauveterre bent forward and asked me if I felt ill. Poor Madame de Sauveterre can she never lose an opportunity of making me dislike her ? I fancied she was spying on me, and I felt indignant at her pretended interest. Oh I I must take care, for sometimes I think and act in anything but a Christian manner. I answered shortly that I was quite well ; and, then, without caring what she thought, and to show her that I saw quite well, I got up and went straight over to the spot where M. de Tourmagne was still talking to Germain, not exactly knowing what I was going to say. They were so entirely absorbed in their conversation that neither saw me approach "utter^oll* 0 " 7 '"^ 6 Tourmagße was BaTin & yer * emphatically ; 11 But it must be done," answered Germain, sadly and firmly. I was quite close to them. Germain jumped up, looking very much put out, and M. de Tourmagne looked at m« with an expression half of annoyance and half of bewilderment. You are going to find me mistress of myself, my dear Blise. and. perhaps, too, a bit of a dissembler; for I had sufficient control over myself to look quite unconcerned and to say smilingly ; «• If it ia a question of the ; Pharaohs • which is under discussion, I shall plead ignorance and withdraw." v " Yes," replied M. de Tonrmagne, still with his brows knit. "It lw& UM V°V f *fe ' Pbarftoh » '-confound them for all tha follies tbatthey lead sensible men into. Here is M. Darcet wanting to start off after them again. If you have charity, Stephanie, pray that be 9oay oeme to his senses." »«•*««.«« i!' laiß^ 77 ° U '" 't*£ P°° rG e«naiß, with a smile that went to mj heart, " the more I listen to reason, the more do I ore that I must «5v * T*? T? 1 y °°? ?? ° tbe s *S d ?* Ux "*' M - DMcet ? " I cried. "Thanks to the minister and all the good friends I have found," urplied Germain. "My mother and sister do not want me : they will g« into a convent, and be qnite happy." J "Happy I" I echoed j "happy, and y«n so far away, in the sssddle of yellow fever, perhaps I" " « Yellow fever is an old acquaintance ef mine," he said : " and there are ©ther fevers in Paris to which I am less accustomed. I aust go baok to my desert," folly oTlKngT 1164 M * **Tvamaga»i "frn* e*en « » were " And such it is," put in Germain. •» No, no," cried the count, " it is the folly of a very young man. Do not fancy that I will help you to its accomplishment ; therf iaS the slightest necessity for your going back to Egypt *' •'Provided I leave Paris," said Germain, "it i's all the same to me where I go. I have aomething to do in Bengal, and then I may make a regular tour around the world." y " It is Paris that you find fault with then," I said "It is Paris that I find fault with," he answered; "I can do *"*«*§ °£ anj Talue £t re ' * nd lam likel y to'aJl into misanthropy • •o, M de Tourmagne, I beg thatyou will see the ndnisteTto-monw •' the^nT^^^^^^ wuhTr T ™^ « Why, what would Madame Darcet say to me ?" I laughed "Oh no, you must not count on me. ' * "" I s u « u « ua » T £? M a T a < * uadr i lle Arming just at that moment. I was not . Bf aged and I saw that another couple was wanting to complete the flg v r^- N^ i - e — gta%irtofig t a % irtofiU J heplace ' 1 toed to Germain.and asked himtojomxt with me, gayly excusing myself on the plea that l * W * 8 T Par s,°£ n ? dutj *° S!*?? *S° PleaBUWP leaBUW of OQr Kuests. w. t£* wSJ/ 0 " T * woreo dancer '" ho said ' as l^iWj?^ 11 * 1 " »o,e than eve, in °Do not ask me ,• it would be • diuertation " ha mid
" Bat Ido not hate the world," mid Germain. " Only things do lot always go just as I would wish to see them ; and when I can do nothing, I would rather go away from the sight that saddens me." , " And yon go away without regret ?" I asked. "No," he replied ;« I go away with hatred. Perhaps it is I who am mistaken and the world that is reasonable. We judge differently, that is all." Neither of us mentioned M. de Sauveterre's name ; but the figure and false glitter of my noble admirer was at the bottom of our conversation, and we both felt it. I drew Germain on with my questions ; he tried to erade me for a while, but I knew that in the end he was glad to tell me some of bis thoughts. " And in what do you differ with the world ?" I persisted. 11 On many, many points." "I should like to know some of them." " But I cannot tell yon," he cried ; "I do not want to leave you with a bad impression of my taste, and I fear that my antipathies would be at variance with your sympathies." "So yon think yon know my sympathies ?" I returned ; " but, I assure you, monsieur, you are mistaken j and I, who know your antipathies, assure you that they do not jar on me in the least. No," I went on, as he looked at me in surprise ; " I have no taste for the tinsel and hollow glitter which I know you despise. I never loved the frivolity we see around us, never for one inßtant was I dazzled or charmed by its eternal whirl and prattle, and the patience which I show with all this comes, at times, less from the spirit of submission to the world than from the Becret contempt which I have for it." « I am very happy to hear you say so," cried Germain ; " and, may I add, that I have always suspected as much. But I think you are ihe only one here who feels in this way." " Well," I said, a little stiffly, " and is that nothing?" " It is everything," he murmured, "everything." I went on without pretending to hear him : " But lam not the only one here who feels in this way. Without speaking of M. de Tuurmagne, whom you will hardly accuse of overlooking real merit, there are many around us, with my aunt at the head, who would, were the question seriously put to them, acknowledge that they rre very iv.la deceived by this outward brilliancy. It draws a smile from them, often a smile of compassion ; but their hearts, their sympathies, their esteem, they reserve for the good and true. The world is not as silly as you think." t " l i Baid Germain » "d o not think it as Billy as you believe L do. The false spirit of which we have spoken is like the moss growing on the rocks ; under the moss is a solid substance called name, position, anything you like ; to this the world tenders its esteem, authorized, I know, by very powerful reasons. In a word, they believe that they can build a future on a mere ancient name, as men build a strong castle on a sterile rock." That night, when I went up stairs, I opened the window of my boudoir— the one that overhangs the garden— and sat down to think, on the cushioned seat where you and I spent so long, one night, chatting happily about your approaching marriage. The bright stars peeped out, and wafts of balmy air came up from the quiet garden. All seemed so calm that I half wondered at my own reitlessness, and things began to get dim and dream-like. How sad the future looked. I might sec that garden change and re-change, the limes drop their leaves and bud again, the fragrant mignonette come and go, before my sad soul shall have won back, not its lost hopes, but even peace itself, or have even grown used to sorrow. Until then, no scene, no matter how beautiful, or peaceful, or sweet, could console me. Can it be that God would condemn us to such ceaseless sorrow f Oh, no, I would °i? nl VV I***1 *** I a the ff reftt€sfc «Trow which Providence sends us we shall find good ; and God always pours balm into 'a suffering soul. It I did my duty, I told myself, God would'work out His wonderful designs, and n«7er forsake me. Over the ruins of my dearest hopes I would walk confidently, knowing that the divine help is never refused to us in our misfortune?. I would smile as my dying father smiled ; for I am come of a race that never forsook its God in sorrow.