Imatges de pÓgina

Another spring came round, and brought little white cat, I should like to hold

you its roses, and the apple-trees blossomed for a little while to my heart; -- it is so cold all the third tiine since the commencement the time, and aches so, I wish I were dead; of our story; and the robins had rebuilt but then I am not good enough to die. their nest, and began to lay their blue The Abbé says, we must offer up our soreggs in it; and Mary still walked her row to God as a satisfaction for our sins. calm course, as a sanctified priestess of I have a good deal to offer, because my the great worship of sorrow. Many were nature is strong and I can feel a great deal. the hearts now dependent on her, the “ But I am very selfish, dear little Mary, spiritual histories, the threads of which to think only of myself, when I know how were held in her loving hand, - many you must suffer. Ah! but you knew he the souls burdened with sins, or oppress- loved you truly, the poor dear boy!— that ed with sorrow, who found in her bosom is something. I pray daily for his soul; at once confessional and sanctuary. So don't think it wrong of me; you know it many sought her prayers, that her hours is our religion ; — we should all do our of intercession were full, and often need- best for each other. ed to be lengthened to embrace all for “Remember me tenderly to Mrs. Marwhom she would plead. United to the vyn. Poor mother!- the bleeding heart gooul Doctor by a constant friendship and of the Mother of God alone can underfellowship, she had gradually grown ac

stand such sorrows. customed to the more and more intimate “I am coming in a week or two, and then manner in which he regarded her,— which I have many things to say to ma belle had risen from a simple “dear child,” and rose blanche ; till then I kiss her little “dear Mary," to " dear friend,” and at hands. last “ dearest of all friends," which he “ VIRGINIE DE FRONTIGNAC." frequently called her, encouraged by the calm, confiding sweetness of those still, One beautiful afternoon, not long afblue eyes, and that gentle smile, which ter, a carriage stopped at the cottage, and came without one varying futter of the Madame de Frontignac alighted. Mary pulse or the rising of the slightest flush was spinning in her garret-boudoir, and on the marble cheek.

Mrs. Scudder was at that moment at a One day a letter was brought in, post- little distance from the house, sprinkling marked “ Philadelphia.” It was from Ma- some linen, which was laid out to bleach dame de Frontignac; it was in French, on the green turf of the clothes-yard. and ran as follows:

Madame de Frontignac sent away the

carriage, and ran up the stairway, pursu“ MY DEAR LITTLE WHITE ROSE: ing the sound of Mary's spinning-wheel

“ I am longing to see you once more, mingled with her song; and in a moment, and before long I shall be in Newport. throwing aside the curtain, she seized MaDear little Mary, I am sad, very sad ; ry in her arms, and kissed her on either the days seem all of them too long; and cheek, laughing and crying both at once. every morning I look out of my win- I knew where I should find you, ma dow and wonder why I was born. I am blanche! I heard the wheel of my poor not so happy as I used to be, when I little princess! It's a good while since cared for nothing but to sing and smooth we spun together, mimi! Ah, Mary, darmy feathers like the birds. That is the ling, little do we know what we spin ! best kind of life for us women;- if we life is hard and bitter, is'n't it? Ah, love anything better than our clothes, it how white your cheeks are, poor child !" is sure to bring us great sorrow. For all Madame de Frontignac spoke with that, I can't help thinking it is very noble tears in her own eyes, passing her hand and beautiful to love;— love is very beau- caressingly over the fair cheeks. tiful, but very, very sad. My poor dear “ And you have grown pale, too, dear



Madame," said Mary, looking up, and before a shrine ; and then said, “ Sweet struck with the change in the once bril- Mary, pray for me; I am not at peace ; liant face.

I cannot get the victory over sorrow." “ Have I, petite? I don't know why “ What sorrow can you have ?” said not. We women have secret places Mary,—“you, so beautiful, so rich, so adwhere our life runs out. At home I wear mired, whom everybody must love ?” rouge; that makes all right;— but I don't “ That is what I came to tell you ; I put it on for you, Mary; you see me just came to confess to you. But you must as I am.”

sit down there,” she said, placing Mary on Mary could not but notice the want of low seat in the garret-window; "and that brilliant color and roundness in the Virginie will sit here,” she said, drawing cheek, which once made so glowing a pic- a bundle of uncarded wool towards her, ture; the eyes seemed larger and tremu- and sitting down at Mary's feet. lous with a pathetic depth, and around “Dear Madame,” said Mary, " let me them those bluish circles that speak of

get you a better seat." languor and pain. Still, changed as she No, no, mignonne, this is best; I was, Madame de Frontignac seemed only want to lay my head in your lap"; - and more strikingly interesting and fascinat- she took off her riding-hat with its streaming than ever. Still she had those thou- ing plume, and tossed it carelessly from sand pretty movements, those nameless her, and laid her head down on Mary's graces of manner, those wavering shades lap. “ Now don't call me Madame any of expression, that irresistibly enchain

Do you know,” she said, raising ed the eye and the imagination, — true her head with a sudden brightening of Frenchwoman as she was, always in one cheek and eye, “ do you know that there rainbow shimmer of fan and feeling,

are two mes to this person ?-one is Virlike one of those cloud-spotted April ginie, and the other is Madame de Frondays which give you flowers and rain, tignac. Everybody in Philadelphia knows sun and shadow, and snatches of bird- Madame de Frontignac;- she is very gay, singing, all at once.

very careless, very happy; she never has “ I have sent away my carriage, Mary, any serious hours, or any sad thoughts ; and come to stay with you. You want she wears powder and diamonds, and me,-n'est ce pas ?" she said, coaxingly, dances all night, and never prays;— that with her arms round Mary's neck; " if is Madame. But Virginie is quite another you don't, tant pis! for I am the bad thing. She is tired of all this,- tired of penny you English speak of, — you can- the balls, and the dancing, and the dianot get me off.”

monds, and the beaux; and she likes true "I a

am sure, dear friend,” said Mary, people, and would like to live very quiet earnestly, “ we don't want to put you off.” with somebody that she loved. She is

“I know it; you are true; you mean very unhappy; and she prays, too, somewhat you say; you are all good real gold, times, in a poor little way,— like the birds down to your hearts; that is why I love in your nest out there, who don't know you. But you, my poor Mary, your much, but chipper and cry because they cheeks are very white; poor little heart, are hungry. This is your Virginie. Mayou suffer!”

dame never comes here, never call me “No," said Mary ; " I do not suffer Madame."

Christ has given me the victory “Dear Virginie,” said Mary, " how I over sorrow.”

love you!” There was something sadly sublime in “Do you, Mary,— bien sûr ! You are the manner in which this was said, — and my good angel! I felt a good impulse something so sacred in the expression of from you when I first saw you, and have Mary's face that Madame de Frontignac always been stronger to do right when I crossed herself, as she had been wont got one of your pretty little letters. Oh,





These men,

Mary, darling, I have been very foolish foolish things I could make them do, beand very miserable, and sometimes tempt- cause it pleased my vanity; but I laughed ed to be very, very bad! Oh, sometimes

at the

idea of love. I thought I would not care for God or Well, Mary, when we came to Philaanything else! — it was very bad of me,- delphia, I heard everybody speaking of but I was like a foolish little fly caught Colonel Burr, and what a fascinating in a spider's net before he knows it.” man he was; and I thought it would be a

Mary's eyes questioned her companion pretty thing to have him in my train,- with an expression of eager sympathy, and so I did all I could to charm him. I somewhat blended with curiosity.

tried all my little arts, --- and if it is a sin "I can't make you understand me for us women to do such things, I am sure quite,” said Madame de Frontignac, “un- I have been punished for it. Mary, he less I go back a good many years. You was stronger than I was. see, dear Mary, my dear angel mamma they are not satisfied with having the died when I was very little, and I was whole earth under their feet, and having sent to be educated at the Sacré Cœur, in all the strength and all the glory, but Paris. I was very happy and very good, they must even take away our poor little in those days; the sisters loved me, and I reign ;~ it's too bad ! loved them; and I used to be so pious, and “I can't tell you how it was; I didn't loved God dearly. When I took my first know myself; but it seemed to me that communion, Sister Agatha prepared me. he took my very life away from me; and She was a true saint, and is in heaven it was all done before I knew it. He now; and I remember, when I came to called himself my friend, my brother; her, all dressed like a bride, with my he offered to teach me English ; he read white crown and white veil, that she with me; and by-and-by he controlled looked at me so sadly, and said she hoped my whole life. I, that used to be so I would never love anybody better than haughty, so proud, — 1, that used to laugh God, and then I should be happy. I to think how independent I was of everydidn't think much of those words then; body,-1 was entirely under his control, but, oh, I have since, many times ! They though I tried not to show it. I didn't used to tell me always that I had a hus- well know where I was; for he talked band who was away in the army, and friendship, and I talked friendship; he who would come to marry me when I talked about sympathetic natures that was seventeen, and that he would give are made for each other, and I thought me all sorts of beautiful things, and show how beautiful it all was; it was living in me everything I wanted to see in the a new world. Monsieur de Frontignac world, and that I must love and honor was as much charmed with him as I was; him.

he often told me that he was his best “Well, I was married at last; and friend, - that he was his hero, his model Monsieur de Frontignac is a good brave man; and I thought, -oh, Mary, you man, although he seemed to me very old would wonder to hear me say what I and sober; but he was always kind to thought! I thought he was a Bayard, a me, and gave me nobody knows how Sully, a Montmorenci,--everything grand many sets of jewelry, and let me do ev- and noble and good. I loved him with erything I wanted to, and so I liked him a religion ; I would have died for him; I very much; but I thought there was no sometimes thought how I might lay down danger I should love him, or anybody my life to save his, like women I read of else, better than God. I didn't love any- in history. I did not know myself; I body in those days; I only liked people, astonished I could feel so; and I did not and some people more than others. All dream that this could be wrong. How the men I saw professed to be lovers, and could I, when it made me feel more reI liked to lead them about and see what ligious than anything in my whole life ?





Everything in the world seemed to grow Madame de Frontignac paused a mosacred. I thought, if men could be so ment, and then said, rising with sudden good and admirable, life was a holy thing, energy, and not to be trilled with.

• Mary, that man never loved me; he " But our good Abbé is a faithful shep- cannot love; he does not know what love herd; and when I told him these things is. What I felt he cannot know; he canin confession, he told me I was in great not even dream of it, because he never danger, — danger of falling into mortal felt anything like it. Such men never sin. Oh, Mary, it was as if the earth know us women; we are as high as hearhad opened under me! He told me, too, en above them. It is true enough that that this noble man, this man so dear, my heart was wholly in his power, - but was a heretic, and that, if he died, he why? Because I adored bim as somewould go to dreadful pains. Oh, Mary, thing divine, incapable of dishonor, incaI dare not tell you half what he told pable of selfishness, incapable of even a me,--dreadful things that make me shiv- thought that was not perfectly noble and er when I think of them! And then he heroic. If he had been all that, I should said that I must offer myself a sacrifice have been proud to be even a poor little for him; that, if I would put down all flower that should exhale away to give this love, and overcome it, God would him an hour's pleasure; I would have ofperhaps accept it as a satisfaction, and fered my whole life to God as a sacrifice bring him into the True Church at last. for such a glorious soul; – and all this

“ Then I began to try. Oh, Mary, we time, what was he thinking of me? never know how we love till we try to " He was using my feelings to carry his unlove! It seemed like taking my heart plans; he was admiring me like a picout of my breast, and separating life from ture ; he was considering what he should life. How can one do it? I wish any do with me; and but for his interests with one would tell me. The Abbé said I my husband, he would have tried his must do it by prayer; but it seemed to power to make me sacrifice this world me prayer only made me think the more and the next to his pleasure. But he of him.

does not know me. My mother was a “But at last I had a great shock; ev- Montmorenci, and I have the blood of erything broke up like a great, grand, no- her house in my veins; we are princessble dream, -and I waked out of it just es ;— we can give all; but he must be a as weak and wretched as one feels when god that we give it for." one has overslept. Oh, Mary, I found I Mary's enchanted eye followed the was mistaken in him, — all, all, wholly!” beautiful narrator, as she enacted before

Madame de Frontignac laid her fore- her this poetry and tragedy of real life, head on Mary's knee, and her long chest- so much beyond what dramatic art can nut hair drooped down over her face. ever furnish. Her eyes grew splendid

“He was going somewhere with my hus- in their depth and brilliancy; sometimes band to explore, out in the regions of they were full of tears, and sometimes the Ohio, where he had some splendid they flashed out like lightnings; her whole schemes of founding a state ; and I was form seemed to be a plastic vehicle which all interest. And one day, as they were translated every emotion of her soul ; and preparing, Monsieur de Frontignac gave Mary sat and looked at her with the inme a quantity of papers to read and ar- tense absorption that one gives to the range, and among them was a part of highest and deepest in Art or Nature. a letter; – I never could imagine how it * Enfin, -que faire ?” she said at last, got there; it was from Burr to one of his suddenly stopping, and drooping in every confidential friends. I read it, at first, limb. “Mary, I have lived on this dream wondering what it meant, till I came to so long !-- never thought of anything else! two or three sentences about me.” - now all is gone, and what shall I do?

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"I think, Mary,” she added, pointing to wants something to hold to her heart; the nest in the tree, “I see my life in ma- let me have you,” she said, throwing her ny things. My heart was once still and arms round Mary. quiet, like the round little egys that were “ Dear, dear Virginie, indeed you in your nest; — now it has broken out of shall !” said Mary. “I will love you its shell, and cries with cold and hunger. dearly, and pray for you. I always have I want my dream again,-) wish it all prayed for you, ever since the first day back,-or that my heart could go back I knew you.” into its shell. If I only could drop this “ I knew it, – I felt your prayers in my year out of my life, and care for nothing heart. Mary, I have many thoughts that I as I used to! I have tried to do that; I dare not tell to any one, lately, — but I can't; I cannot get back where I was be- cannot help feeling that some are real fore."

Christians who are not in the True Church. “ Would you do it, dear Virginie ?” You are as true a saint as Saint Cathasaid Mary; " would you, if you could ? ” rine; indeed, I always think of you when I

“It was very noble and sweet, all that," think of our dear Lady; and yet they say said Virginie;“it gave me higher thoughts there is no salvation out of the Church.” than ever I had before ; I think my feel- This was a new view of the subject to ings were beautiful; — but now they are Mary, who had grown up with the famillike little birds that have no mother; they iar idea that the Romish Church was kill me with their crying."

Babylon and Antichrist, and who, dur“Dear Virginie, there is a real Friending the conversation, had been revolving in heaven, who is all you can ask or the same surmises with regard to her think,- nobler, better, purer, - who can- friend. She turned her grave, blue eyes not change, and cannot die, and who on Madame de Frontignac with a someloved you and gave Himself for you." what surprised look, which melted into a

“ You mean Jesus,” said Virginie. half-smile. But the latter still went on “Ah, I know it; and I say the offices to with a puzzled air, as if trying to talk him daily, but my heart is very

wild and herself out of some mental perplexity. starts away from my words. I say, “My • Now, Burr is a heretic,- and more God, I give myself to you !'—and after than that, he is an infidel; he has no all, I don't give myself, and I don't feel religion in his heart,- I saw that often, comforted. Dear Mary, you must have - it made me tremble for him,-it ought suffered, too,- for you loved really,-I to have put me

on my guard. But saw it; -- when we feel a thing ourselves, you,

dear Mary, you love Jesus as your we can see very quick the same in others; life. I think you love him just as much --- and it was a dreadful blow to come so as Sister Agatha, who was a saint. The all at once."

Abbé says that there is nothing so dan“Yes, it was,” said Mary; “I thought gerous as to begin to use our reason I must die; but Christ has given me in religion,- that, if we once begin, we peace.”

never know where it may carry us; but These words were spoken with that I can't help using mine a very little. I long-breathed sigh with which we always must think there are some saints that are speak of peace, sigh that told of not in the True Church.” storms and sorrows past, — the sighing “ All are one who love Christ,” said of the wave that falls spent and broken Mary; “ we are one in Him.” on the shores of eternal rest.

“ I should not dare to tell the Abbé," There was a little pause in the conver- said Madame de Frontignac; and Mary sation, and then Virginie raised her head queried in her heart, whether Dr. H. and spoke in a sprightlier tone.

would feel satisfied that she could bring “ Well, my little fairy cat, my white this wanderer to the fold of Christ without doe, I have come to you. Poor Virginie undertaking to batter down the walls of




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