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gave me unnatural strength and power of endurance. She was silent and different from what I had ever seen I gained confidence as I proceeded. The limb surged her before. and swayed with my exertions, as if every instant its Somehow, Lucy was not the same to me after this frail limb would sever, but it held out so long that I event. She stopped teasing me. Had she grown afraid began to look upon myself as past danger. At last I of me? Scarcely, for we took long walks together, could clasp my knees to the limb, and, in a few grew mutually fond of moonlight (what more significant moments more, reached and threw myself upon ano- sign ?) and read the poets together. ther branch-safe!
I wound my arms around her waist one day, and looked I could see that Lucy had fainted—so I rapidly down into her eyes. “ Lucy," said I, “shall it be so ?” descended and flew to her side. A little water restored Lucy knew what I meant, if the reader does not. her—and she began to laugh and weep alternately. We Lucy said that it inight be: and so I have another name went home together, with iny arm around her waist. I for Cousin Lucy now.
A CARNIVAL ADVENTURE IN MILAN The following story, though imbued writh an air of strictly true. The incidents occurred nearly as they are romance which may seem to impart to it the character here narrated, and the persons who took part in them of fiction, is nevertheless (at least in all its main points), I lived and moved and had their being, not many years ago, in the gay circles of continental society. It is, | A look of intelligence from the waiting maid denoted perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention that the names that she perfectly understood to whom the exception of those persons are not identical with the designations applied; so, without staying for further instructions, of the individuals who figure in the scenes here des- Zerbina hurried out of the room. She speedily re-apcribed.
peared, sayingIt was Carnival time in Milan, evening was approach-| “Signora, it is a lady-most elegantly dressed! A ing, and the noisy gaiety of the day, had given place to lady of rank, I am quite sure. I told her you could not a brief interval of comparative quietude. The more see any one; but she will take no denial. She insists humble class of idlers, who had been perambulating the on speaking with you for a few moments in private, on streets since early dawn, were wearily sauntering home- a matter of great importance." ward; whilst the more fashionable votaries of pleasure | “What can she have to say? And at this time! were regaling themselves in the restaurants, or prepar- But no matter-you must show her in, if, as you say, ing for the revels of the approaching night. .
she will take no denial.” The Cathedral clock had just struck six, and in the The stranger entered, and the Signora found herself second story of a house in the most elegant quarter of in the presence of a lady of surpassing beauty, whose the city, a lady was seated at her toilette. This lady, a manner and deportment, though stamped with the digbeautiful Italian brunette of about four and twenty, was nity and elegance of high life, were somwhat outré and familiarly chatting and laughing with a female atten- eccentric. dant. Suddenly her merriment subsided, and she looked “Have I the honor to address Signora Antonina ?" inthoughtful and serious. Then, after a brief pause, she quired she. said, in a somewhat petulant tone
| “That is my name, Madame," replied the prima donna, "But, after all, this is really very annoying—it is with a profound courtsey. most unreasonable to require me to make my début thus “You are, I believe, the new soprano from Venice, unexpectedly to-night. It was fully understood that I and you are to appear at La Scala to-night, in the opera should not appear till next Tuesday. I am by no means of La Mascherata." well, and I feel myself getting quite hoarse. I would “Alas! yes, Madame," answered Antonina, with & never have gone to the masquerade last night, had I sigh. been aware I was to appear so soon. It strikes me there “Pardon my curiosity, if I inquire why you reply in is some treachery at work. Possibly an artful design so melancholy a tone ?" for cancelling my engagement, if I plead the excuse of "Allow me, Madame, in my turn, to inquire to what illness. And here have I been studying my part six I am indebted for the honor of exciting so much of your hours a day for the last month-it is too bad!” interest ?"
After this outpouring of complaint, the Signora stopped “I will,” resumed the lady, “ briefly explain the short: she seemed as if apprehensive of having im- object of my visit;' and seating herself upon the sofa, paired the energy of her lungs by over-talking; for she she motioned Antonina to take her place beside her. presently began to try the power of her voice in a diffi-“Signora, I have a strange communication to make, and cult roulade. The silence which succeeded this vocal a singular favor to solicit." exercise was, in a few seconds, again interrupted, and “You forget, Madame," observed Antonina, reserthe lady, breaking into a fit of laughter, said to her maid, vedly, “ that we are utter strangers to each other, and
" Zerbina! a droll idea has just crossed my mind. / that I have not yet the honor of knowing even your Suppose I were to run away-to leave Milan this instant, name." and set off to Naples, without appearing at La Scala. “Pardon me," said the stranger; “if you will grant What an excellent carnival joke that would be, and me your attention for a few moments, you will perceive what a dilemma our poor impresario would be thrown my incognita is the first condition of the proposal I am into!”
about to make.” “Signora !” replied the attendant, in a tone of re- “ Incognita !” exclaimed Antonina, surprised and disspectful remonstrance, “no doubt the joke would be appointed; but, without heeding the interruption, her good enough, if it were practicable ; but, unluckily, it visitor thus proceeded :is not so. You seem to forget that were you to attempt “I am a person of fortune and of noble birth; and to leave Milan, the police would immediately be on your though not insensible to the advantages which wealth track, and you would be brought back again under an and rank confer, yet I feel that I should have been far escort of Sbirri."
happier in a more humble and totally different position “ Very true, Zerbina—there is no help for it; so, well of life. Fate has assigned to you and me our respective or ill, I suppose I must sing la Mascherata to-night!” | parts. You act yours on the mimic scene, and I play
So saying, the fair cantatrice rose from her chair, and mine on the stage of real life. Now, it has occurred to standing before her looking-glass, proceeded to give the me that we might perhaps exchange characters, and finishing touch to the arrangement of her hair. Whilst play each other's part with mutual advantage. Possibly she was thus engaged, a ring at the bell announced the the station I occupy in society might be more adequately arrival of a visitor.
filled by you; and it may happen that I am better fitted “Who can that be?” she exclaimed. “Recollect, / than yourself for the career of public life which fortune Zerbina, I am not at home to any one- except-” has assigned to you. You appear to be pre-eminently endowed with self-command, and your countenance in- / existence I would willing surrender all the advantages dicates that easy pliancy of disposition which readily | of mine." accommodates itself to circumstances. I, on the con- ! "I have no inclination to avail myself of any such trary, have been throughout life the victim of enthu- sacrifice," replied the Signora proudly. “I am devoted siastic and ardent feeling. A flighty imagination to my profession, and am quite content to live and die a continually disposes me to break through the barriers prima donna. But with regard to this evening's perof my rank, and to wander into the regions of romance formance, to confess the truth, I am not particularly and adventure. My passion for music und for the drama desirous of making my first courtsey to a Milanese has inspired me with a strong desire to appear on the audience to-night. I am somewhat indisposed, and my stage-a course to which my family connections naturally voice is not in such good condition as I could desire present obstacles. Now, dear Signora Antonina, it is in on the occasion of a début. In short, I have several your power to assist in gratifying my long-cherished good reasons for wishing that some one else could be wish, and thereby to confer on me a favor, for which, found to play the part for me.” be assured, you shall not find ine ungrateful. All I ask “Then the point is settled,” exclaimed the lady, of you is, that you will allow me to play your part in exultingly rising from her seat. the opera to-night."
Antonina smiled at the self-confidence of her visitor, “My part in the opera !" repeated Antonina, with who was, to all appearance, perfectly insensible to the amazement. “My part at La Scala! Do I understand | difficulties of the task she was so anxious to undertake. you rightly, Madame ?"
The prima donna therefore expected to create no little "Perfectly. My request is, that instead of making embarrassment when she asked the stage-struck heroine your début to-night, you will afford me the opportunity whether she had bestowed any time on the study of the of making mine."
part she wished to appear in. Antonina, almost bewildered with astonishment, stam- Without making any reply, the lady took her seat at ered out the words
the piano, and after trying some passages in two or three "Pardon me, Madame-you are jesting, I presume- different keys, sang with a clear powerful voice, fault. but I am at a loss to comprehend the motive.”
less intonation and finished execution, an exceedingly "I am not jesting," answered the stranger emphati- difficult scena from La Mascherata. cally, and with great excitement of manner. “I am “Dio pero !” exclaimed the astonished Antonina. quite serious; though possibly you cannot understand “What an organ! what flexibility! what style! How the whim-the mania, if you choose to call it so that did you learn to sing this difficult music in such perpossesses me. During the last seven years, I have been fection? For myself, I have been studying the part the reigning queen of fashion in the gayest cities of laboriously for months, and yet I have never succeoded Europe, where I have enjoyed every amusement which in getting quite smoothly through the passage which society can offer, and every triumph which vanity can you have just performed with such perfect ease and desire. At length I have become weary alike of the accuracy." gratifications and annoyances of my much-envied posi- “Well, you are now satisfied that I can sing," said the tion. But there is one pleasureone triumph-to which lads, rising from the piano with a self-complacent air: I am yet a stranger, and for which my spirit yearns. I " and I do not hesitate to say that I can go through the feel an ungovernable desire to share the excitement and whole part, from beginning to end, without a failure. the glory which attend a heroine of the operatic stage! You may rest assured that the success of the opera will You smile, Signora ;-but had I been born in a sphere not be marred by my performance." less elevated than that which fate has assigned to me, Antonina was silent, and could almost have perthe profession to which you belong would have been my suaded herself that what she had heard was the mere vocation ; and, wbat is more, I feel within the sort illusion of a dream, of energy and inspiration which would have enabled me “During the last three weeks,” continued the lady, to subdue triumphantly the countless difficulties which “ that is to say, ever since the Mascherata has been attend such a career."
announced at La Scala, I have practised the principal part * Madame,” coolly answered Antonina, after a short several times every day. The object of this unremitting pause, “I fully understand and appreciate your en- assiduity was to realise my wish of appearing on the thusiasm for the art to which I myself am ardently stage. In the practice of the trios and concerted pieces, devoted. But do not be offended if I observe that en- I have been assisted by several of my friends, amateurs thusiasm, though a most desirable quality, is not the like myself. Even the choruses have not been left untried. only one requisite to insure success. In spite of all In short, I have had the most labored rehearsals under your earnest feelings and enthusiastic confidence, I am the semblance of musical soirées. The result is, I disposed to think that the realisation of your wish is am thoroughly prepared to present myself to the public, utterly impossible.”
| if you will give me leave to be your substitute to-night. “The impossibility rests solely on your refusal,” ex. My scheme has not been arranged without forethought, claimed the stranger with increased energy. “Signora and I have not chosen La Scala, and the Mascherata for Antonina, if you will accede to my request, there is no my début without due consideration. This being my sacrifice I will not readily make to requite you. I first visit to Milan, I am less known here than in any declare to you sincerely, that for two hours of your other capital of Europe, and the Mascherata being a
Carnival piece, I shall have the advantage of performing | tion of your triumph will pursue me, and paralyse an in a demi-mask. I shall be required to unmask only my efforts! Alas! what misfortunes have I brought for a moment in the last scene; and it will be very ex- upon myself by my folly !" traordinary, if, during that short moment, any one should Whilst she who was undesignedly the cause of all this recognize me. However, I will boldly run the risk, for distress, was vainly endeavoring to assuage it, Zerbina few things are more improbable than the chance of my entered the room, having in her hand several letters, being discovered. As I am obliged to leave Milan in a which she presented to her mistress. Antonina, perused day or two, I must resign the part to you on the second two or three of the missives, which contained declaranight of performance; and when we hear it remarked tions of love couched in the most impassioned terms ;(as doubtless we shall), that Antonina sang much better then, throwing them into the lap of her companion, she on the second night than on the first, you and I may said, in a tone of affected indifference which ill disguised laugh in our sleeves at the simplicity of the manager her mortification, "There, madame, it is but just that and the public. In personal appearance, it is true, we you should enjoy all your triumphs! Accept the are in some respects dissimilar: for instance, my hair is homage addressed to you under my name!” much lighter than yours, I have blue, and you dark The lady began to read one of the letters. Whilst eyes; but such little differences are scarcely discernible perusing it, a smile of satisfaction lighted up her coonon the stage. On the other hand, we are as nearly as tenance, and she exclaimed joyfully: “Dear Antonina, possible of equal height, and our figures are similar ; dry up your tears. There is an epistle which affords me your dresses will fit me accurately enough, and as to an opportunity of making atonement for all the uneasi. complexion and features, stage illusion will doubtlessness I have innocently caused you. Now you may tako sufficiently account for them.”
your revenge!" Antonina, who was naturally of a playful disposition, “My revenge,” said the prima donna eagerly seizing and ever ready to enter into a joke, yielded to these the billet, from which she read aloud the following lines : arguments, and finally consented to gratify the wish of her eccentric visitor, whom she forth with assisted to “Divine Antonina--Your lovely image haunts my dress for the character.
thoughts. The tones of your enchanting voice inces
santly vibrate through my heart! If you will vouchNext morning nothing was talked of in Milan but safe to accept my hand, and to share my rank and forthe brilliant début of Signora Antonina. Never had so tune, step into the carriage which will this evening be fine a voice been heard within the walls of La Scala- waiting at the door of your residence, and repair to the never had so charming an actress trod the stage. Court of Berlin with your admiring humble servant, Whilst her features were concealed by the mask, every
66 BARON VON REICHSBERG.'" note that flowed from her mellifluous voice elicited admiration and applause; but when, in the last scene,
“How often misfortune proves the forerunner of good she raised her mask, and the charms of beauty were luck," said the lady. the charms of beauty were luck,” said the lady. “ Just now, Signore, you were
Just now, Signora, added to the attractions of talent, the whole audience blaming me for having blighted your fair prospects. rose with one accord, and a shower of bouquets descended | But the proposal conveyed in this note, which I gladly at the feet of the prima donna. ..... As soon as the transfer to you, makes ample atonement for any injury curtain dropped, a crowd of gentlemen had rushed to you may imagine 1 caused you in your professional Ler box: but to their great surprise and regret they capacity. Hesita
capacity. Hesitate not to accept the hand of the Baron, were informed that she had suddenly quitted the whom I know to be a man of high character. He is at theatre. However, this modest withdrawal from public present engaged in some diplomatic capacity in the sernotice had served only to increase the enthusiasm of vice of his sovereign the King of Prussia. He possesses her admirers. Serenades had been performed beneath | an ample fortune, and I feel convinced that he is in all her windows until a late hour of the night; and not a | respects calculated to ensure your future happiness. few fierce wrangles had taken place in the cafés among He, it cannot be doubted, will have good reason to convery young gentlemen who had fallen desperately in | gratul
gratulate himself on becoming the husband of the real, love at first sight with the new divinity.
instead of the pretended Antonina. Hold yourself in
readiness, therefore, to join the Baron at the time Whilst the whole city was agitated by these exciting
appointed: and should he chance to remark any differevents, a scene of another kind was taking place in the ence between you and the Mascherata, remember that boudoir of Signora Antonina. She was reclining on ait is perfectly natural and easy to account for it by the sofa, weeping bitterly, and beside her sat the triumph
effect of stage illusion." ant debutante of the preceding night, vainly endeavor
With these words the unknown lady hastily bade ing to console her.
adieu to Antonina, who, fully consoled for her recent “How inconsiderate was I," exclaimed Antonina,“ to mo
| mortification, joyfully began to prepare for her journey consent to this deception—and how cruel in you to
to Berlin. tempt me to it! Your vanity and folly have ruined all my future prospects. I cannot now venture to appear. The second performance of the Mascherata, which in Milan. I should only be laughed at-perhaps, even had been announced for the following evening, was hissed off the stage. But, wherever I go, the recollec- unavoidably postponed. The doors of La Scala were closed; the impresario having received the mortifying | escorted. After the ladies had enchanted the company intelligence that his prima donna had eluped with a by their exquisite singing of the grand duo from Norma, German baron.
the Baroness drew her friend aside, and briefly described
her journey from Milan to Berlin, in the course of In the following winter, two distinguished beauties which she succeeded in convincing Baron Von Reichsengrossed general admiration in the fashionable salons berg how completely stage illusion may mislead both of Paris. One was the Baroness Antonina Von Reichs- the eyes and ears. berg, and the other was the accomplished Marquise de Before they parted, the ladies reciprocally promised C- One evening when these ladies met unexpect- inviolable secrecy respecting the events which had edly at a splendid party in the Faubourg Saint Germain, occurred at Milan. The Marquise probably kept her they both started with astonishment; and presently the vow, but it appears the Baroness Von Reichsberg was Marquise, whilst whispering a few words of congratu- not equally discreet; for her disclosures have been lation in the ear of the Baroness, glanced significantly quoted as a guarantee for the truth of the facts above at the portly German diplomatist by whom she was narrated.
THE BLACK MADONNA.
WHEN one goes to Chartres, or rather, when one and indeed Nature herself, had made this boy the envy passes that place, after having traversed the monotonous of other mothers, and the pride of his own; and he and vast plains of Beauce, it may happen, that to enli- was, indeed, an object of love and envy. Healthful, ven your spirits, you have to await for three hours the well-made, and handsome, and of a tender and noble diligence which should meet the one by which you physiognomy which seemed to promise both goodness came from Paris. Railways will soon put an end to this and greatness for the future. nuisance, but at present, should it happen, and if, in Among other qualities with which this boy was the midst of the bad temper which the above announce-endowed, was a voice as pure and angelic as ever had ment (made with the coolest possible manner by the been heard ; and his mother taught him some sacred superintendent of the Messageries) is sure to throw you, songs, breathing forth love and filial affection, which, you should stamp and turn round, and, in so doing, when he sang them, used, from their very sweetness, catch a glimpse through the trees of the two clock- to draw tears, not.only from the eyes of his mother, but towers of the cathedral, I congratulate you. That also from those of the few friends who remained to her. gümpse will repay the waiting, and the ill-temper. So it happened that when the month of August came
I am going to tell a story—not to give any descrip-round, the Bishop of Chartres himself, who had heard tion of the cathedral. But, in addition to its architec- of the fame of this little fellow's singing, came to ask ture, and to the extraordinary length of nave, it also the widow to let her son sing at the most solemn feast possesses, more than any church which I have seen, that of the Virgin, and the good bishop said, that his beauty, quality which inspires at once a feeling of mysticism and the openness of his countenance, the sweetness and of ardent devotion. The building, which is so pierced goodness of his nature, and the sweet purity of his voice, and fretted that it admits light like a piece of lace-work, in which he so nearly approached the angels, could not is remarkable for the beauty, the size, and the painted but be pleasing to the Virgin herself, and could not fail glass of its windows; for the carving which surrounds to touch the hearts of the children, and the mothers the nave; and for its mosaic pavement, the windings who would assist at the fête. of which are such that they can be traced by the devout On the day of the Assumption, therefore, the widow for many a mile without going out of the cathedral—a having granted the request, forgot for awhile the seclupilgrimage which is often performed, and to which are sion she had lived in; laid aside her mourning, which attached certain indulgences. But that which I have she had ever worn since her husband died, and almost more immediately to speak of is, that there is a chapel reassumed the airs of a young and pretty woman, as she in the cathedral, wherein, night and day, waxen lights prepared herself and her son for the ceremony. are burning before the figure of a Black Madonna, After the procession had stopped before the altar of richly clothed, and sparkling with precious stones. the Virgin, and whilst the nave was filled with the She is called our "Lady of Miracles," and the orna- solemn pealing of the organ, the choir children ceased ments with which she is adorned are each a testimony for a moment from casting flowers upon the altar, and of gratitude from those who have had recourse to her the widow's son, clothed in a white tunic, with his long intercession.
hair falling on his shoulders, bound round with a blue Many years ago, there lived at Chartres a young | fillet, advanced from the midst of a crowd of boys of widow, who, rejecting all offers of a second match, his own age. He knelt before the altar of the Virgin, devoted the remainder of her youth and beauty to a and then raised his fine blue eyes, sparkling with emoson, upon whom also rested all that love which she once tion, to the shrine. Then it was, when the congregabore to her husband. The careful tending of his mother, I tion scarcely breathed, and all were silent in holy expeo.