Imatges de pÓgina
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a modest conservatory; and as he did so, hardly knowing it, he lightened his heavy-shod tread. The glass door was open and Richard looked in. There stood Gertrude with her back to him, bending apart with her hands a couple of tall flowering plants, and looking through the glazed partition behind them. Advancing a step, and glancing over the young girl's shoulder, Richard had just time to see Severn mounting his horse at the stable door, before Gertrude, startled by his approach, turned hastily round. Her face was flushed hot, and her eyes brimming with tears.

"You!" she exclaimed, sharply. Richard's head swam. That single word was so charged with cordial impatience that it seemed the death-knell of his hope. He stepped inside the room and closed the door, keeping his hand on the knob.

within a single step of an éclaircissement, and when but another movement would have flooded their souls with light, some malignant influence had seized them by the throats. Had they too much pride?

too little imagination? We must content ourselves with this hypothesis. Severn, then, had walked mechanically across the yard, saying to himself, "She belongs to another "; and adding, as he saw Richard, "and such another!". Gertrude had stood at her window, repeating, under her breath, "He belongs to himself, himself alone." And as if this was not enough, when misconceived, slighted, wounded, she had faced about to her old, passionless, dutiful past, there on the path of retreat to this asylum Richard Clare had arisen to forewarn her that she should find no peace even at home. There was something in the violent impertinence of his appear

"Gertrude," he said, "you love that ance at this moment which gave her a

man!"

"Well, sir?"

"Do you confess it?" cried Richard. "Confess it? Richard Clare, how dare you use such language? I'm in no humor for a scene. Let me pass." Gertrude was angry; but as for Richard, it may almost be said that he was mad. "One scene a day is enough, I suppose," he cried. "What are these tears about? Would n't he have you? Did he refuse you, as you refused me? Poor Gertrude!

Gertrude looked at him a moment with concentrated scorn. "You fool!" she said, for all answer. She pushed his hand from the latch, flung open the door, and moved rapidly away.

Left alone, Richard sank down on a sofa and covered his face with his hands. It burned them, but he sat motionless, repeating to himself, mechanically, as if to avert thought, "You fool! you fool!" At last he got up and made his way out.

It seemed to Gertrude, for several hours after this scene, that she had at this juncture a strong case against Fortune. It is not our purpose to repeat the words which she had exchanged with Captain Severn. They had come

dreadful feeling that fate was against her. More than this. There entered into her emotions a certain minute particle of awe of the man whose passion was so uncompromising. She felt that it was out of place any longer to pity him. He was the slave of his passion; but his passion was strong. In her reaction against the splendid civility of Severn's silence, (the real antithesis of which would have been simply the perfect courtesy of explicit devotion,) she found herself touching with pleasure on the fact. of Richard's brutality. He at least had ventured to insult her. He had loved her enough to forget himself. He had dared to make himself odious in her eyes, because he had cast away his sanity. What cared he for the impression he made? He cared only for the impression he received. The violence of this reaction, however, was the measure of its duration. It was impossible that she should walk backward so fast without stumbling. Brought to her senses by this accident, she became aware that her judgment was missing. She smiled to herself as she reflected that it had been taking holiday for a whole afternoon. "Richard was right," she said to herself. "I am no fool. I

can't be a fool if I try. I'm too thoroughly my father's daughter for that. I love that man, but I love myself better. Of course, then, I don't deserve to have him. If I loved him in a way to merit his love, I would sit down this moment and write him a note telling him that if he does not come back to me, I shall die. But I shall neither write the note nor die. I shall live and grow stout, and look after my chickens and my flowers and my colts, and thank the Lord in my old age that I have never done anything unwomanly. Well! I'm as He made me. Whether I can deceive others, I know not; but I certainly can't deceive myself. I'm quite as sharp as Gertrude Whittaker; and this it is that has kept me from making a fool of myself and writing to poor Richard the note that I would n't write to Captain Severn. I needed to fancy myself wronged. I suffer so little! I needed a sensation! So, shrewd Yankee that I am, I thought I would get one cheaply by taking up that unhappy boy! Heaven preserve me from the heroics, especially the economical heroics! The one heroic course possible, I decline. What, then, have I to complain of? Must I tear my hair because a man of taste has resisted my unspeakable charms? To be charming, you must be charmed yourself, or at least you must be able to be charmed; and that apparently I'm not. I did n't love him, or he would have known it. Love gets love, and no-love gets none." But at this point of her meditations Gertrude almost broke down. She felt that she was assigning herself but a dreary future. Never to be loved but by such a one as Richard Clare was a cheerless prospect; for it was identical with an eternal spinsterhood. "Am I, then," she exclaimed, quite as passionately as a woman need do, "am I, then, cut off from a woman's dearest joys? What blasphemous nonsense! One thing is plain: I am made to be a mother; the wife may take care of herself. I am made to be a wife; the mistress may take care of herself. I am in the Lord's hands," added the

poor girl, who, whether or no she could forget herself in an earthly love, had at all events this mark of a spontaneous nature, that she could forget herself in a heavenly one. But in the midst of her pious emotion, she was unable to subdue her conscience. It smote her heavily for her meditated falsity to Richard, for her miserable readiness to succumb to the strong temptation to seek a momentary resting-place in his gaping heart. She recoiled from this thought as from an act cruel and immoral. Was Richard's heart the place for her now, any more than it had been a month before? Was she to apply for comfort where she would not apply for counsel? Was she to drown her decent sorrows and regrets in a base, a dishonest, an extemporized passion? Having done the young man so bitter a wrong in intention, nothing would appease her magnanimous remorse (as time went on) but to repair it in fact. She went so far as keenly to regret the harsh words she had cast upon him in the conservatory. He had been insolent and unmannerly; but he had an excuse. Much should be forgiven him, for he loved much. Even now that Gertrude had imposed upon her feelings a sterner regimen than ever, she could not defend herself from a sweet and sentimental thrill-a thrill in which, as we have intimated, there was something of a tremor — at the recollection of his strident accents and his angry eyes. It was yet far from her heart to desire a renewal, however brief, of this. exhibition. She wished simply to efface from the young man's morbid soul the impression of a real contempt; for she knew-or she thought that she knew that against such an impression he was capable of taking the most fatal and inconsiderate comfort.

Before many mornings had passed, accordingly, she had a horse saddled, and, dispensing with attendance, she rode rapidly over to his farm. The house door and half the windows stood open; but no answer came to her repeated summons. She made her way to the rear of the house, to the barn-yard,

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fiercer because unmingled with the noise of fifes. Once more now the Germans are gone, and, let us trust, forever; but when I saw them, there seemed little hope of their going. They had a great Biergarten on the top of the wall, and they had set up the altars of their heavy Bacchus in many parts of the city.

I please myself with thinking that, if I walked on such a spring day as this in the arcaded Paduan streets, I should catch glimpses, through the gateways of the palaces, of gardens full of vivid bloom, and of fountains that tinkle there forever. If it were autumn, and I were in the great market-place before the Palazzo della Ragione, I should hear the baskets of amber-hued and honeyed grapes humming with the murmur of multitudinous bees, and making a music as if the wine itself were already singing in their gentle hearts. It is a great field of succulent verdure, that wide old market-place; and fancy loves to browse about among its gay stores of fruits and vegetables, brought thither by the world-old peasant-women who have been bringing fruits and vegetables to the Paduan market for so many centuries. They sit upon the ground before their great panniers, and knit and doze, and wake up with a drowsy "Comandala?" as you linger to look at their grapes. They have each a pair of scales, the emblem of Injustice, — and will weigh you out a scant measure of the fruit, if you like. Their faces are yellow as parchment, and Time has written them so full of wrinkles that there is not room for another line. Doubtless these old parchment visages are palimpsests, and would tell the whole history of Padua if you could get at each successive inscription. Among their primal records there must be some account of the Roman city, as each little contadinella remembered it on market-days; and one might read of the terror of Attila's sack, a little later, with the peasant-maid's personal recollections of the bold Hunnish trooper who ate up the grapes in her basket, and kissed her hard, round red cheeks, - for in that

time she was a blooming girl, — and paid nothing for either privilege. What wild and confused reminiscences on the wrinkled visage we should find thereafter of the fierce republican times, of Ecelino, of the Carraras, of the Venetian rule! And is it not sad to think of systems and peoples all passing away, and these ancient women lasting still, and still selling grapes in front of the Palazzo della Ragione? What a long mortality!

The youngest of their number is a thousand years older than the palace, which was begun in the twelfth century, and which is much the same now as it was when first completed. I know that, if I entered it, I should be sure of finding the great hall of the palace-thẹ vastest hall in the world - dim and dull and dusty and delightful, with nothing in it except at one end Donatello's colossal marble-headed wooden horse of Troy, stared at from the other end by the two dog-faced Egyptian women in basalt placed there by Belzoni.

Late in the drowsy summer afternoons I should have the Court of the University all to myself, and might study unmolested the blazons of the noble youth who have attended the school in different centuries ever since 1200, and have left their escutcheons on the walls to commemorate them. At the foot of the stairway ascending to the schools from the court is the statue of the learned lady who was once a professor in the University, and who, if her likeness belie not her looks, must have given a great charm to student life in other times. At present there are no lady professors at Padua, any more than at Harvard; and during late years the schools have suffered greatly from the interference of the Austrian government, which frequently closed them for months, on account of political demonstrations among the students. But now there is an end of this and many other stupid oppressions; and the time-honored University will doubtless regain its ancient importance. Even in 1864 it had nearly fifteen hundred students, and one met them everywhere under

the arcades, and could not well mistake them, with that blended air of pirate and dandy which these studious young men loved to assume. They were to be seen a good deal on the promenades outside the walls, where the Paduan ladies are driven in their carriages in the afternoon, and where one sees the blood - horses and fine equipages for which Padua is famous. There used once to be races in the Prato della Valle, after the Italian notion of horse-races; but these are now discontinued, and there is nothing to be found there but the statues of scholars and soldiers and statesmen, posted in a circle around the old race-course. If you strolled thither about dusk on such a day as this, you might see the statues unbend a little from their stony rigidity, and in the failing light nod to each other very pleasantly through the trees. And if you stayed in Padua over night, what could be better to-morrow morning than a stroll through the great Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the world, the garden which first received in Europe the strange and splendid growths of our hemisphere, -the garden where Doctor Rappaccini doubtless found the germ of his mortal plant? On the whole, I believe I would rather go this moment to Padua than to Lowell or Lawrence, or even to Worcester; and as to the disadvantage of having seen Padua, I begin to think the whole place has now assumed so fantastic a character in my mind that I am almost as well qualified to write of it as if I had merely dreamed it.

The day that we first visited the city was very rainy, and we spent most of the time in viewing the churches. These, even after the churches of Venice, one finds rich in art and historic interest, and they in no instance fall into the maniacal excesses of the Renaissance to which some of the temples of the latter city abandon themselves. Their architecture forms a sort of border-land between the Byzantine of Venice and the Lombardic of Verona. The superb domes of St. Anthony's emulate those of St. Mark's, and

the porticos of other Paduan churches rest upon the backs of bird-headed lions and leopards that fascinate with their mystery and beauty.

It was the wish to see the attributive Giottos in the Chapter which drew us first to St. Anthony's, and we saw them with the satisfaction naturally attending the contemplation of frescos discovered only since 1858, after having been hidden under plaster and whitewash for many centuries; but we could not believe that Giotto's fame was destined to gain much by their rescue from oblivion. They are in no wise to be compared with this master's frescos in the Chapel of the Annunziata, — which, indeed, is in every way a place of wonder and delight, You reach it by passing through a garden lane bordered with roses, and a taciturn gardener comes out with clinking keys, and lets you into the chapel, where there is nobody but Giotto and Dante, nor seems to have been for ages. Cool it is, and of a pulverous smell, as a sacred place should be; a blessed benching goes round the wall, and you sit down and take unlimited comfort in the frescos. The gardener leaves you alone to the solitude and the silence, in which the talk of the painter and the exile is plain enough. Their contemporaries and yours are cordial in their gay companionship; through the half-open door falls, in a pause of the rain, the same sunshine that they saw lie there; the deathless birds that they heard sing out in the garden trees; it is the fresh sweetness of the grass mown six hundred years ago that breathes through all the lovely garden grounds.

How mistaken was Ponce de Leon, to seek the fountain of youth in the New World! It is there, — in the Old World, far back in the past. We are all old men and decrepit together in the present; the future is full of death; in the past we are light and glad as boys turned barefoot in the spring. The work of the heroes is play to us; the pang of the martyr is a thrill of rapture; the exile's longing is a strain of plaintive music touch

ing and delighting us. We are not only young again, we are immortal. It is this divine sense of superiority to fate which is the supreme good won from travel in historic lands, and from the presence of memorable things, and which no sublimity of natural aspects can bestow. It is this which forms the wide difference between Europe and America, -a gulf that it will take a thousand years to bridge.

It is a shame that the immortals should be limited in their pleasures by the fact that they have hired their brougham by the hour; yet we early quit the Chapel of Giotto on this account. We had chosen our driver from among many other drivers of broughams in the vicinity of Pedrocchi's, because he had such an honest look, and was not likely, we thought, to deal unfairly with us.

"But first," said the signor who had selected him, "how much is your brougham an hour?”

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do with art, I here dismiss that subject, and with a gross and idle delight follow the sacristan down under this church to the prison of Santa Giustina.

Of all the faculties of the mind there is none so little fatiguing to exercise as mere wonder; and, for my own sake, I try always to wonder at things without the least critical reservation. I therefore, in the sense of deglutition, bolted this prison at once, though subsequent experiences led me to look with grave indigestion upon the whole idea of prisons, their authenticity, and even their existence.

As far as mere dimensions are concerned, the prison of Santa Giustina was not a hard one to swallow, being only three feet wide by about ten feet in length. In this limited space, Santa Giustina passed five years of the paternal reign of Nero (a virtuous and a long-suffering prince, whom, singularly enough, no historic artist has yet arisen to whitewash), and was then brought out into the larger cell adjoining, to suffer a blessed martyrdom. I am not sure now whether the sacristan said she was dashed to death on the stones, or cut to pieces

"I think not. It is here in this pock- with knives; but whatever the form of et. Get it out."

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The driver mounted his seat, and served us so faithfully that day in Padua that we took him the next day for Arquà. At the end, when he had received his due, and a handsome mancia besides, he was still unsatisfied, and referred to the tariff in proof that he had been under-paid. On that confronted and defeated, he thanked us very cordially, gave us the number of his brougham, and begged us to ask for him when we came next to Padua and needed a carriage.

From the Chapel of the Annunziata he drove us to the Church of Santa Giustina, where is a very famous and noble picture by Romanino. But as this paper has nothing in the world to

martyrdom, an iron ring in the ceiling was employed in it, as I know from seeing the ring, -a curiously wellpreserved piece of ironmongery. Within the narrow prison of the saint, and just under the grating, through which the sacristan thrust his candle to illuminate it, was a mountain of candle-drippings, a monument to the fact that faith still largely exists in this doubting world. My own credulity, not only with regard to this prison, but also touching the coffin of St. Luke, which I saw in the church, had so wrought upon the esteem of the sacristan, that he now took me to a well, into which, he said, had been cast the bones of three thousand Christian martyrs. He lowered a lantern into the well, and assured me that, if I looked through a certain screenwork there, I could see the bones. On experiment I could not see the bones, but this circumstance did

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