Imatges de pÓgina


n her sanctified vocation. Even the cunning sisterhood, albiet deeply experienced in the art of fathoming the depths of unsophisticated hearts, knew not how to account otherwise for so miraculous a change. Little did they dream that the novice, instead of contemplating with holy serenity and joy the approaching ceremony, was actually meditating flight with her English lover, and perpetual exile from her native country. On that morning she had paid what she had intended should be her last visit to the hollow lindentree. She went to it with a faltering pace and desponding heart, for the idea of Edward's inconstancy and cruel desertion filled her fond breast with unutter. able grief; but she returned to her cell with a bounding step, and joyously-panting bosom; for in the cavity which she had so often searched in vain, she had found the long-expected letter from her truant knight. Her Edward-and tears filled her beautiful eyes while she read his fond epistle-was as devoted and faithful as woman could desire. Insuperable obstacles had occurred to prevent him from returning sufficiently soon to redeem his promise,-and bitterly had he bewailed them: but he had arrived at last with a stout vessel in the offing; and, provided she were still contented to share his fortunes, would be at the lindentree at midnight to bear her away.

Renée laid the blessed letter close to her beating heart, that pure heart whose every beat was love. Never had the hours appeared so leaden-winged as on this eventful day. She thought the lazy sun was miraculously arrested in his course, and that he would never sink beyond the bluff precipices of Cape Frehal. Her little head was half crazed by the many plans successively invented and rejected, as to the manner in which she was to elude the vigilance of the sisterhood, and effect her liberation; for a huge door intervened between the cloister and the gardens, which was regularly locked at vespers, and the key as regularly consigned to the custody of the lady abbess. Renée was a favorite with the old lady, and frequently remained in her apartment, for the purpose of talking and reading her to sleep, long after the less favoured sisterhood had retired to repose. On this evening she prayed with fervency that her services might not be dispensed with; and fortune for once proved propitious. The abbess was more than usually garrulous,-talked over the levities in which she had indulged when a belle at the court of Marie Antoinette, with more pleasure than repentance, sipped an extra demi tasse of undiluted eau-de-vie, and then dropped into a lethargic dose. Renée felt the crisis of her fate had arrived, for the important key was now completely at her discretion. She took possession of it the moment the old dame began to sound her nasal trumpet; and without lamp or taper, stole noiselessly from the room, along the dark passages that led to the oaken barrier. The lock of the door was obdurate; but love lent unusual strength to her delicate fingers, ann the key at length revolved in the wards. To prevent immediate pursuit, in case her flight should be discovered before she had time to descend the cliffs, she relocked the door on the outside, and then darted like a newly liberated dove towards the hollow linden-tree. As she approached it, a dark figure reared itself on the other side of the garden wall, which was built on the verge of a lofty cliff overhanging the Rance. "Edward!"-" Renée !"

-were the only words that passed between them, ere the arms of her admiring lover were twined around her.

Alas, that such a tale should end in tears! They held but short colloquy in the garden, for every moment was pregnant with danger, as lights were already blazing in almost every window of the convent. Edward assisted her to scale the garden wall, and supported her, not without imminent peril to both, down the precipitous steep, to the brink of the river. The wind blew fiercely from the south; the thunder rattled in interminable peals directly overhead; and the Rance, hurrying to the sea with the rapidity of a torrent, sent forth an ominious moan. Renée shuddered at the fury of the wind and the irresistable gush of the water. She knew that they must venture in a frail boat far into the open bay, and her womanly heart foreboded disaster; but she dared not, wished not, to falter in her progress. The Englishman, though seriously apprehensive himself, endeavoured to reassure her, and in some measure succeeded. Two stout British sailors manned the boat, and a dear friend and countryman, who had been his companion in many an enterprise of danger, sat at the helm. Edward lost no time in lifting the shrinking girl into the boat; and the rowers instantly stretched to their duty.

Though the wind blew tempestuously, there was neither foam-bell nor billow on the Rance. The stream shot down like an arrow; and no sooner were they fairly exposed to its strength, than they were borne along with frightful velocity. Edward knew that rocks were scattered in their course, and he whispered to the steersman to hold nearer to the western bank, while, at the same time, he endeavoured to keep a sharp look. out ahead; but the helm was powerless in such a current; and no human glance could penetrate the murky chaos into which they were darting. In the mouth of the harbour of St. Servan, there lies a low rock, round which the outsetting tide sweeps with terrific violence. On that rock the unfortunate boat was dashed. The sentinel who on that night kept watch at the arsenal, heard one loud, long shriek, rise from the bosom of the river, and. mingle with the blast. He looked steadfastly over the swelling waters, and beheld by the, lightning's gleam, human faces lifted for an instant above the flood. He listened and looked again; but heard only the sullen gush of the river, as it rolled on in blackness, and saw only the ragged rocks that shoot up through its bosom.

At an early hour on the following morning, the chapel of Sainte Anne was crowded with hundreds of spectators, anxious to witness the profession of the young novice. Many a fair face was turned up in prayer at the minor shrines: many a young Breton endeavoured to penetrate, with his keen glance, the sanctuary that lay beyond the garnd altar. The chapel was fitted up with unusual splendour. Relics of miraculous virtue covered every shrine: massive crucifixes of silver were ostentatiously displayed; and innumerable perfumed tapers, and censers filled with incense, sent up a rich odour to heaven. For a time, the multitude remained in silent expectation. Several of the attendant priests, in gorgeous sacerdotal robes, knelt before the grand altar, momentarily crossing themselves with devout gesticulations. At length, a priest entered from the nunnery, and held some conversation, in an under tone, with his

brethren. While he spoke, a general stare of surprise and dismay was visible on the countenance of all who heard him, They crossed themselves more frequently than ever, and piteously turned up their eyes in consternation and wonder. The congregation were impatient to obtain a solution of this mumery; but an habitual reverence for the place and the performers, restrained any indecorous expressions. At length, the most venerable of the holy fraternity advanced, and, in a voice of trepidation, stated, that a mysterious circumstance had occured to postpone, if not altogether to prevent, the ceremony which his hearers had congregated to witness. The novice had been spirited away during the night whether by the agents of heaven or hell he could not take upon himself to decide; but he sincerely trusted, for her own sake, and the honour of Sainte Anne, that she had been esteemed worthy of the special interposition of Heaven, as there was good reason to conclude that her sojourn on earth had terminated. Her veil, and part of her drapery, had been discovered adhering to the thorns and brambles that vegetated in the crevices of the precipice at the extremity of the garden; and various other circumstances conspired to strengthen the supposition, that she had found a grave in the Rance. The congregation listened, in mute amazement, to the priestly harangue; crossed themselves sympathetically with the speaker; and then hurried out of the chapel, in order to give unrestrained vent to the conjectures and regrets which such an extraordinary incident was calculated to awaken..

The fate of Renée Duchastel remained a mystery to the inhabitants of St. Servan for ten days, At the expiration of that period, the waters of the Rance gave up their victim. Her corpse was washed ashore on the western bank of the river, near the little village of Dinar; and, on being identified, was carried, under the superintendance of the priests, to the convent of Sainte Anne. Some ungenerous doubts were promulgated respecting the mode in which she had met her death; but the sisterhood, alarmed for the credit of their establishment, declared that she had on many occasions, manifested a tendency to somnambulism ; and every sincere christian, therefore, was bound to believe that she had wandered into the garden in her sleep, and from thence inadvertently stepped over the cliff into the river. A swarm of priests supported this asseveration with all their influence, strenuously avering, she had died in the odour of sanctity; and, as no person who trembled at the idea of excommunication dared to gainsay them, her remains, after having received all the purification, that religious ceremonials could effect, were interred in the adjacent cemetary, where a black cross still marks her grave. But of her English lover no trace was ever discovered. Man knows not where his limbs decayed: whether they gorged the monsters of the deep, in caverns covered eternally by the waves; or were stripped by birds of prey, in some solitary bay of that tide-worn coast He; who narrates their tale of love and death, was a friend and confederate of Edward; the companion who, on that eventful night, acted as steersman of the ill-fated bark in which they perished, and the only one of all on board who escaped the grasp of death. The boat was stayed and overwhelmed at the instant that her prow touched the rock. The survivor heard but one shriek-the shriek of Renée-ere he found himself struggling companionless in the torrent. A stout and expert swimmer, he combated successfully with the tide;



and, by great exertion, reached the shore. Apprehensive of the consequences, should the share he had in this disastrous enterprise be discovered by the authorities, he sought shelter with an English gentleman, resident at St. Servan, to whom he was partially known; and through this friendly interposition, was enabled to elude detection, and satisfy the police regarding his mysterious arrival in France. The melancholy termination of his friend's adventure naturally prepossesed him against the country in which it happened; and he availed himself of the earliest opportunity to depart. He remained long enough, however, to ascertain that all search for the body of Edward was in vain; and to see the last obsequies celebrated over the grave of hapless youth and beauty. Tales of a Pilgrim.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

They are a portly couple, the farmer and his wife! He, a hale, florid, fine looking man, on whose broad open brow time has scarcely imprinted a furrow, though it has changed to silky whiteness the raven hue of those locks, once so thickly clustered about his temples. There is a consciousness of wealth and prosperity, and of rural consequence, in his general aspect and deportment; but if he loves the good things of this world, and prides himself in possessing them, there is nothing in the expression of his countenance that bespeaks a selfish and narrow heart, or a covetous disposition. He looks willing to distribute of his abundance; and greetings of cordial good-will, on both sides, are exchanged between the farmer and such of his labourers as fall into the same path, in their way to the church. Arm-in-arm with her spouse marches his portly helpmate, fat, florid, and, like himself, "redolent" of the good things of this world, corn, and wine, and oil, that sustaineth the heart of man, and maketh him of a cheerful countenance.


A comely and stately dame is the lady of Farmer Buckwheat, when, as now, she paces by his side, resplendent in her Sunday-going garb of ample and substantial materials, and all of the very best that can be bought for money. One can calculate the profits of the dairy and the bee-hives, the pin-money of the farmer's lady-not to mention her weightier accumulations-by the richness of that black satin eloak and bonnet, full trimmed with real lace, and by the mul titudinous plaits in that respectable looking snuff-coloured silk gown and coat.



It is true, her old-fashioned prejudices would have been in favour of a large double silk-handkerchief, pinned neatly down, and a flowered chintz gown, drawn up through the pocket-holes over a white quilted petticoat; but the worthy dame has two fair daughters, and they have been brought up at a boarding-school; and they have half-coaxed, half-teazed their ma'a out of such antiquated and vulgar tastes, though even those pertinacious reformists have been obliged to concede the point of a pelisse in favour of a satin cloak. But when they have conceded one point, they have gained at least two. See the old lady's short sleeves, neatly frilled just below the elbow, are elongated down to the wrists, and finished there by a fashionable cuff, out of which protrudes the red, fat, fusby hand, with short dumpty fingers webbed between, broad, and turning up at the tips, looking as though they had been created on purpose to knead dough, press curds, and pat up butter; and, lo! on the fore-finger of the right hand a great garnet ring set in silver, massy enough for the edge of a soup tureen. It is an heirloom from some great-grandmother, who was somehow related to somebody who was first cousin to a "Barrow-knight," and was herself so very rich a lady,—and so the misses have rummaged it out, and forced it down upon their ma'a's poor dear fat finger, which sticks out as stiffly from the sensation of that unwonted compression, as if it were tied up and poulticed for a whitlow; and the poor lady, in spite of all their hints and remonstrances, will walk with her gloves dangling in her hands instead of on them; and, altogether, the short pillowy arms cased up in those tight cearments, with both the hands and all the fingers spread out as if in act to swim, look, for all the world, like the fins of a turtle, or the flaps of a frightened gosling. Poor worthy

dame! but a sense of conscious grandeur supports her under the infliction of this fashionable penance. And then comes the Misses Buckwheat, mincing delicately in the wake of their pa'a and ma'a, with artificial flowers in their Leghorn bonnets, sky-blue spencers, fawn-coloured boots, flounces up to their knees, a pink parasol in one hand, and a pocket-handkerchief dangling from the other; neatly folded and carried with the handsome prayer-book, in the pretty fashion that so well becomes that fair modest girl, their neighbour's daughter, whose profound ignorance of fashionable dress and manners, is looked on as quite pitiable,


poor thing!" by the Misses Buckwheat. For what are they intended, I wonder! For farmer's wives? To strain milk, churn butter, fat pigs, feed poultry, weigh out cheeses, and cure bacon hogs! Good lack! They paint landskips! play on the piano! dance quadrilles! make bead purses! and keep albums! and dote on Moore's Melodies and Lord Byron's Poems! They are to be "tutoresses," or companions, or-something or other very genteel-Ladies, for certain, anyway. So they have settled themselves, and so the weak doting mother fondly anticipates, though the father talks as yet only of their prosperous establishment (all classes talk of establishing young ladies now) as the wives of wealthy graziers, or substantial yeomen, or farmers, or thriving tradesmen. But he drinks his port wine, and follows the hounds. And then, bringing up the rear of the family procession, lounges on its future representative, its sole son and heir. And he is a smart buck, far too genteel to walk arm-in-arm with his sisters; so he saunters behind, cutting off the innocent heads of the dangling brier-roses, and the tender hazelshoots, with that little jemmy switch, wherewith ever and anon he flaps the long-looped sides of his yellowtopped boots; and his white hat is set knowing on one side, and he wears a coloured silk-handkerchief knotted closely round his throat, and fastened down to the shirt bosom by a shining brooch,-and waistcoat of three colours, pink, blue, and buff,-a grass-green coat, with black velvet collar,—and on his little finger, (the wash leather glove is off on that hand), a Belcher ring as thick as the coil of a ship's cable. Well done, young Hopeful! That was a clever aim! There goes a whole shower of hazel-tops. What a pity your shearing ingenuity is not as active among the thistles in your father's fields. The family has reached the church-gate; they are entering now; and the farmer, as he passes. through, vouchsaves a patronising nod, and a good natured word or two, to that poor widow and her daughter who stand aside holding the gate open for him, and dropping humble curtsies to every member of the family. The farmer gives them now and then a few day's work. -hoeing, weeding, or stoning, or, at hay and harvest time, on his broad acres; but his daughters wonder


pa'a should demean himself so far as to nod familiarly to such objects." They draw up their chins, flirt their handkerchiefs, and pass on as stiff as pokers. At last, in straggles Master Timothy-He hates that name, by the by, and wishes his-sponsors had favored him with one that might have shortened buckishly into Frank, or Tom, or-Tim won't do, and his sisters scout the barbarous appellation, and have re-christened him "Alonzo” They would fain have bestowed on him the name of Madame Cottin's interesting Saracen, Malek Adhel, but it was impossible to teach their mamma the proper pro

nounciation of that word, which she persisted in calling "Molly Coddle"-In straggles Timothy Alonzo, but he is even more condescending than his papa, and bestows a very tenderly expressive glance at the widow's daughter as she drops her eyes, with her last and lowest curtsy to him." Chapters on Churchyards.


HAYMARKET.-Miss E. Paton has since our last, made her appearance at this theatre, and has, as usual, given rise to a prodigious number of conflicting opinions, with regard to her merits as a vocalist. Her personal appearance is in every respect in her favor, and she has a very lady-like air. We much fear that the very injudicious and unqualified eulogiums pronounced on her performance, by a portion even of the influential press, will have the worst possible tendency with respect to her future proficiency.-Those writers, show a greater regard both to the public and a debutante, who, will albeit, with becoming mildness, and in strict candor, point out the faults and misconceptions of character frequent on first attempts.

Miss Paton as a vocalist, may justly, even now, rank very highly, but a comparison with her sister is not as yet to be entertained-she has not by any means, her compass and power of voice. In her part of Polly for instance, in "The Beggar's Opera," though harmonious and delightful in her tones, she suffered herself a common fault, but which we would expect to avoided in a lady of such unquestionable talent; to be carried away by a redundancy of ornament, totally at variance with the feeling or intentions of the author, in a part of such exquisite simplicity and absence of sophistication as Polly's.


In her Zelinda in "The Slave," there were the same faults: she very obviously imitated her sister in those points in which she least excelled, and fell short of her first-rate excellence in other parts; notwithstanding which, great merit must be conceded to her, and if she can be pursuaded to adopt a more pure and simple style, we will venture to predict that her power of pleasing will be greatly increased, and her success established on a more sure and lasting foundation.

Farren was in the character of Peachum; as fresh, as vigorous, and every way as talented as ever; it is some time since we had a similar treat.-Of his fellowvillain Lackit, we will make no remarks, not wishing to destroy the reminiscences of Farren's personation.

"Swamp Hall," a most amusing farce by Jerrold, lately produced here for a couple of nights only, and though so quickly swamped, we shall be glad to see reproduced, considering it as we do, worthy of


"Nicholas Flam" has continued with unaltered attraction.

ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE.-A DELPHI.-We wonder what the manager could have been thinking of, not to have brought forward, if he had it in his power, "The Court Masque" earlier in the season; it is decidedly one of the best and most attractive pieces that he has produced, and deservedly so, for the adapter Planche, has in this instance, assimilated it completely to our national tastes and manners: though an introduction from a French soil, it flourishes and takes root here,

though not with the same firmness and vigor as on its first production. It has some claims to merit in much of the musical portion of this drama. It was altogether very well got up, and favourably received.


The laugh creating Mummy" still continues to

attract the lovers of mirth.

At the VICTORIA, "The Heart of Mid Lothian" has been very well got up, and generally well sustained by the principal performers. The character of this house has been greatly raised under the present management; the lessees have brought out pieces, which not long since, would have excited the amazement of the inhabitants of that locality; and much credit do they deserve, for they have by their spirited conduct, done much to improve the taste of their audiences; a merit of no ordinary stamp.

"Richard the Third," with Warde for Richard, has been produced, we have wished to see Warde in this character; indeed we can scarcely point out another actor on the stage who is now capable of entering into the spirit of the character. We must notwithstanding, confess some disappointment, probably we may have figured to ourselves in anticipation somewhat too much : comparisons we will not make, but we did expect more exalted excellence in the more subdued and nicely shaded points; in these lie the greatest difficulty with which an actor has to contend. In the impassioned scenes he was quite successful, for which parts, his fine deep voice is admirably adapted. The rest of the performers merited much commendation, and the tragedy was extremely well received. "The King's Fool" has been continuing to attract.

At the SURREY, the interminable "Jonathan Brad ford" seems to yield as much delight as ever to its numerous visitors. There have been some amusing 'novelties here lately. Mr. Osbaldiston the manager of this, and Mr. Ducrow of the Amphitheatre, both take their benefits before this will be in print; we wish them success for their ceaseless efforts to give pleasure to their patrons.

Madame Vestris opens the Olympic on the 30th with a strong company. Among them we perceive the names of Liston, Keeley, Mrs. Orger, Mrs. Tayleure, &c. Three new Burlettas are to commence the performances.

The One Shilling nights at Vauxhal!, have been found by the proprietors, to succeed beyond expectation, they have consequently been prolonged beyond their original intention.

[ocr errors]

That clever tragic 'actress, Mrs. Sloman, is among those engaged by Mr. Bunn for his twin houses.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

The latest writer on a branch of knowledge, possesses the advantage of enjoying the experience of predecessors, who have previously thrown light on the subject. It not unfrequently happens, however, that instead of striking out an original path of his own, embracing all the best points of former writers, he collects, extracts, and paraphrases, merely dressing up the subject anew; thus actually committing a fraud upon the half-informed, or those who are too much occupied, or too indolent to pursue a course of investigation. It becomes then the province of the reviewer to examine fully and impartially whatever novelty may present itself likely to influence the progress of general information; to crush the superficial innovation, or to lead to public favor the man of genius who matures in obscurity, a system of general utility. Mr. Marcel's method, though it has been for a considerable time before the public, has not received that attention which its striking originality deserves. Though considering it the best method for a rapid and facile acquirement of the conversational part of the French language, we desire an acquaintance with the different opinions of enlightened men; we court controversy, and would be glad to see the subject examined without prejudice, by an abler criticit is one in which a large proportion of this vast commercial nation is undeniably interested; the literary, the fashionable, or the commercial world are severally interested in the enquiry as to the best mode of overcoming the difficulties incidental to the acquirement of a living language, and one particularly of almost universal application. On this head Mr. Marcel thus expresses himself:

“In order that a method of teaching living languages (supposing it to be as perfect as can be) could become national, or useful to the majority of learners, it would be necessary, that its principles should be examined and discussed in the most public manner possible; that the application of those principles should be watched, step by step, in a numerous series of lectures and lessons by men of experience, and that the result of a certain time of practice should be taken into consideration. To these experiments, I publicly declare, that I am willing and anxious to submit.

But the best way to call forth the most light on the subject, would be for some Literary Institution to propose an honorary premium of some kind or other. The learned of this country would soon find, that the greatest obstacle is not on the part of the teachers. Too much is expected from us in general, and particularly from innovators. We must, at our own risks and perils, either publish works that may never be read, or deliver lectures, multiply advertisements in the newspapers, hire expensive rooms, and ultimately be

exposed to ruin, before visitors deign to honor us with their attendance. It is only a great fortune that could enable one, even the possessor of truth itself, to promote his ideas for the benefit of all, when the minds of the public are not naturally tending towards the same object. But, like Pestalozzi, many will sink before they are understood. If, on the contrary, instead of leaving our profession abandoned to itself, some Institution would come forward to stimulate the emulation of our fellow teachers,-darkness would soon be replaced by a dazzling light. The question might be something to this effect: An Inquiry into the best mode of teaching and learning Living Languages; the Essayist being expected to give a comparative view of the old and new systems, explaining at the same time their respective merits and demerits."

This introductory matter may, we hope, have the effect of inducing enquiry and more general attention.

Our space would be this month too much taken up, by an exposition of the Marcellian System, which we must defer to another number.



"Le Petit Courrier des Dames"-" Journal des Dames et des Modes, L'Observateur des Modes et L'Indiscret”— "Le Follet Courrier des Salons"-" Le Mercure des Salons," &c. &c.


DRESSES. The change of summer to winter fashions, forcibly brought on by the change of temperature, will shortly take place; till then we must submit to the instability of the weather, and be content to see FASHION one day in muslin and the next in silk. Thus, till the great transition takes place, but few new modes or materials are seen, while many of those brought out in the spring are still employed; a great many mantillas, long pelerines of the same material as the dress, lace or black blond pelerines trimmed round the neck with a ruche, is the history of fashions at the present moment,


Several ladies with their riding-habits wear a kind of small cap composed of black velvet, instead of the unsightly and to many countenances, ungraceful, ridingThis new head-dress has a very pretty appearance, and we will observe en passant, that it is rather strange that ladies have not before attempted to free themselves of the habit of wearing a masculine coiffure, when on horse back, whilst so many far more becoming and graceful inventions could so easily and advantageously be substituted. Perhaps the novelty we now mention is a first step towards the desired change. The crown of these caps is round and flat, like that of a beret; the ́shape forming a brim about four inches wide all round, the crown is circled by a velvet band buckled in front, with a small bride of velvet fastened under the chin.

Pockets are becoming at least a custom if not a fashion. Many ladies have adopted them. The first essay was to figure pockets in front on the skirts of dresses, and mark their place by embroidery, or a narrow trimming, or a lace; (we gave the first model in our plates in the beginning of summer) soon after the imitation, came reality at first a few fancy dresses were ornamented with small pockets, then, their usefulness was soon appreciated; and at present, most dresses


« AnteriorContinua »