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hands the one upon the other he is known at once, if only by the reversed torch.” Having said this, she could not restrain her burning tears.
She seated herself languidly on the window-seat. Leolin stood before her, full of storiny emotions, and of hatred of every consolation. The window, or rather the high glass door, looked to the South. The winter sun, like a large eye, hung low over the glancing hills-the infinite night of a deep azure blue was suspended over the earth glittering with a ground of Titian-white-the sun, as it were the lilybell of a distant, eternal Spring, descended lower and lower towards the lonely, benumbed, still world. And now a warm but sorrowful longing gushed up in Lismore's heart; never was his soul more moved, more full of nameless yearnings-never did pain and rapture draw night and day closer together within him,-than on a clear winter's afternoon, when the day of the earth and the night of the firmamentillumined then by only one planet-stand in sharp contrast the one to the other. But for all this, Lismore, would thou hadst not unveiled, before thy timid Adeline, the ocean boiling within thee! Why, on the one hand, dost thou so tenderly draw down the white silk curtains behind her seat at the window, to shade her from the dazzling sun, while, on the other, thou bringest to bear on her wounds all the ardour of thine impassioned soul ? If thou plungest thy one glowing hand, through the open window, into the cold bath of the January air, why, with the other, dost thou kindle to greater pains the hand of thy beloved ? And ah, how canst thou say to her, “In winter, a southern aspect always saddens me; it reminds me, not of the South-polar regions, where a feeble sun maintains perpetual day and a scanty spring, but of the fairer land which our mountains bide from us-of our France. And then, yon obelisk* reminds me of an epitaph. But dearest, do be consoled - grief injures and distracts you ; its arrows can penetrate into my soul only, without fatal effect. Often, when the sun stands at mid-day over those mountains, my fancy paints what we have both lost beyond them; I picture you standing beside our ever dear one-remaining near her, as her last good deed-as Raphaelle's last master-piece, the Transfiguration, was placed on his bier ?” Adeline, in the torture of remembrance, had bowed herself on Lismore's hand, with which she concealed her eyes and a thousand tears. Ah, deeply moved, he continued," Much tried one! why waste a thought on Destiny, or on the pain which it inflicts ?
“By Heaven! a life barren and dry, full of thorns and clouds, like that of man--petty as an epigram, and terminated by a poisoned point, is not worthy of your tears, Adeline. A Spirit throws us from on high into life-counts seventy or eighty, as when we throw a stone into a deep crater—and, at the seventieth pulse-stroke, hears the deadened sound of our fall into the grave below. But I grieve you, when I would console-indeed I did not intend it.”
But at length her sorrow raised within his mind a doubt which
This obelisk stands in the village of Killean, near Glasgow. It is a hundred feet high, and was erected to the poet Buchanan.
darkened his days even more than the January sky-a doubt as to whether the image of the dead left, in her crape-hung heart, much space or much light for his own image-whether she indeed loved him. Had she confided to him the conversation to which he owed so much, he would have replenished, instead of seeking to empty, the funeral lamps around the pallid form of his departed friend. But, in her affliction, Adeline strove to conceal her love, as though it were another self-love or an internal rejoicing ; and the presence of his sister, and the absence of her mother, increased the difficulty of a confession. He was not aware that she acted and failed from the same motives which restrained him from reproaching, and even from consoling her. Notwithstanding his blameless self-love, he reverenced her disinterested sorrow too much to be able to reproach it; but it was the same reverence which forbade her self-love from evading any such reproach.
In the heart, as in the body, the weaker parts are always first attacked. His doubts at length grew so far as to make him believe, not that grief obscured her affection, but that she did not love, and was only grateful. “For,” thought he,“ how comes it that, in the society of strangers, she can not only control her grief, but even hide it beneath a smile ? or that it does not disturb her in her every day affairs ?” In him, every ray fell through two burning glasses-his head and his heart-and kindled, melted, and calcined ; so was his love, and so he wished his Adeline's to be-he wished that gentle moon, on which he was shining, to become, under the sublime glass of love, a focus of heat as well as of light. He would now—formerly he had not thought of it-fain have seen her vehement, eloquent, poetic, enthusiastic in her love,-Adeline, who was all patience and goodness, and who, instead of a tongue, had nothing but a heart,-instead of wings, nothing but a clear eye to follow another's soarings. While, like light-magnets, he imbibed every kind of brightness, save only the pale moonlight, she was like a vase of Volaterra alabaster, whose lamps, in their transparent cells, are luminous by moonlight only.
A man will always be prompted by his vanity to suppose that a woman loves him, sooner than by his heart; and the former always presumes more than the latter divines. But the most difficult to deal with are those unostentatious maidens whose warmth only appears by their endurance of cold, whose love only manifests itself by fidelity, and who resemble the well in Baumann's cave, which can never be exhausted, but which never overflows. Their worth does not bloom till after the honeymoon, and they must be married in order to be loved. But Lismore wished to love in order to marry. Julia's corpse, moreover, had intervened between the present time and the rapture of the first lyric looks and days of recognition; and he feared that now but little remained of the epos and the lyrical flower-gleanings of love. The bridal song of the honeymoon, according to him, presently degenerates into a search into Hulner's Rhyme-dictionary, until at length, with the exception of a few poetic flowerets and prosaic licenses, husband and wife come to write nothing better than a vile, faded pulpit-style.
By little and little, Lismore's happiness vanished. After a time he
could do nothing unless it was with vehemence-could no longer press, but only squeeze a hand-would sit a long while in abstracted silence, and then do one of two things,-either face the cutting winter winds on the ice of the river Clyde, or cool himself with philosophical instead of with physical cold, and study the dryest politics. A compendium of jurisprudence or of metaphysics is often the best composer of the eddy and whirlpool of the blood ; as I once knew a hypochondriac, who, amid the torture of his sadness, read either Young's “ Night Thoughts," or Häberlin's“ History of the Empire.” The singing in his mind's ear converted the loveliest accords of Adeline's affection into the sharp seventh or the fat second.* For instance, when he once begged a few hairs, for a ring I think, and she, with beautiful tenderness, gave him that one lock of her mother's hair, he saw, in that flattering partition of the maternal heritage, nothing but a disguised refusal. Alas! the evil spirit, pressing in between the embracing of their souls, always concealed whatever would most have rejoiced the lover, and thus prevented him from guessing how Adeline, out of that living news-office, Gladuse, selected the newspaper articles only which related to him,how she, notwithstanding the bitterest associations, listened with most pleasure to that part of the revolutionary history in which his restless and ambitious spirit had taken part,-how she went frequently through an ancient hall, merely that she might see his pedigree, or, by a look down the river Clyde, relieve her anxiety about his skating.
At length came a day in which Fate lengthened either the labyrinth or the clue which led in and out of it-I know not which. Lismore, namely, had hitherto spared her the lowering, storm-fraught Marchcloud of his doubting love, because she was surely already sad enough because she was colourless and powerless—because grief threatened to bear her delicate, ailing frame through the sacrificial doorway: for these reasons he would rather have despaired than speak. But now, her health requiring a journey, which, it was hoped, would convert the Autumn winds of her life into Spring zephyrs, he had a good opportunity of revealing the whole of his overflowing heart.
After this, he intended to make a second journey, on horseback, to London-to fetch two indispensable old friends ;- first, the physician, who was to relieve the drooping flower from the mildew and honeydew of poisonous sweet tears; and secondly, his sister's lover, who, by this time, must have quaffed and slept off the sweet sleeping-cup of the London season, and whose versatile spirit would (he hoped) prepare, for bim and for Adeline, those prescriptions for the mind which so materially assist the pharmaceutic prescriptions of the physician.
* Discords in Music.-Trans.
CHANSON PAR BÉRANGER.
TREIZE À TABLE.
Diev! mes amis, nous sommes treize à table,
“ Je reviendrai," poursuit-elle, “ et ton ame
Ma vision passe et fuit tout entière,
CHANSON BY BÉRANGER.
THIRTEEN AT TABLE. THIRTEEN, good heavens! Thirteen the board surrounding! And before me the salt, alas, is spilled ! O number dire! Presage of woe astounding ! Death is at hand. I freeze with horror filled. 'Tis here. What shape is this? Sprite, goddess, fairy? Lo, young and fair she greets us smilingly. -Give back to joyance all your warblings airy.-No, friends, Death now no terrors hath for me. Though at our feast a bidden guest she seemeth, Though flowers about her temples too are bound, I only see her, on me only gleameth That vision with the rainbow glory crowned. To me the rent links of a chain she showeth ; A baby sleeping on her breast I see. -Allay the thirst that in this dry cup gloweth.No, friends, Death now no terrors hath for me. “ Am I," she asks, “ a thing for men to quail at, Sister of Hope, and daughter of the Sky? Why should the weary slave unthankful rail at The hand that frees from iron tyranny ? Thy wings, that fain would mount, but fate oppresses, "Tis mine, fallen angel, to expand for thee." -Lull we our souls in beauty's soft caresses.No, friends, Death now no terrors hath for me.
“ Again thou'lt see me," she pursues," and yonder,
Wear out in peace our web of life, O Pleasure.-
A sound hath broke my trance, the vision's over.-