Imagens das páginas

ground, and felt that her cheeks were queline unconsciously went on, and glowing like peony roses, without ha said in the same tone as her scholarving the remotest idea of the cause, as “ Nous aimons," we love : but sudshe rendered his Italian into French. denly she corrected herself, and said “ J'aime," I love.

the lesson was ill done. It was some time before he gained “But it is no sin to be slow in · strength enough to go on to the se learning grammar,” whispered Le cond person.

Blond, and raised the hand to his lips. - Tu ame.”

To such a truism as that it was im. She sighed, and actually blushed possible to reply-and yet she appearagain, as she responded

ed uneasy ; perhaps on account of the “ Tu aimes," thou lovest.

slow progress they made in parsing ; He continued-and involuntarily, but, after a somewhat embarrassing as it were, lifted her trembling hand pause, they simultaneously returned to to his heart.

their lesson, and whispered at the same " Egli ama," he loves.

moment, as if in concord“ Il aime," she muttered in answer, “ Nous aimons," we love. and lifted her eye shyly to his face. This was the whole extent of their

He still held her band pressed to his progress that day; yet both fancied bosom, and, forgetting his Italian en- they had learned a great deal; for tirely, continued in his own language, the hearts of those young and inno. « Nous aimons," -- we love.

cent beings had learned a language “No, no," exclaimed the teacher, that was neither French nor Italian ; you must say it in Italian." . but more intelligible than either

He looked into her beautiful black more musical than the Tuscan ; eyes and repeated what he had said more graceful than the French. Two before.

hours passed in this lesson; and, when « Nous aimons," we love.

at last they found they had to part, But looking into such eyes is no neither of them could be persuaded it great help to one's progress. So Jac- had lasted twenty minutes.


From day to day their studiousness misery, winter came on apace, and increased ; and it may be remarked, stript the jasmine bower of its leaves, as a proof of the correctness of certain and shed showers of snow upon the new theories in the art of teaching, ground, that left every foot-print that they soon acquired a power of shamefully distinct. Their meetings carrying on a conversation without were now more rare, and only took having committed to memory a single place at church, or in some appointed rule of grammar. Le Blond all this street ; and then only for a moment. time was deeply in love with the man- . But even these meetings were some. tua-maker from Milan - Jacqueline thing ; and spring, they thought, with the son of the President of the would bring its leaves again to the Sovereign Court. But, at last, when bower. In the mean-time, deep were they discovered their mistake, it made the mutual protestations of love and no difference, except that it infused fidelity, but no less deep were the apinto the cup, where Love had brimmed prehensions of them both that these before, a bitter drop of fear and dis. protestations were vain. One day appointment. But this bitter drop Le Blond sat, immersed in melancholy seemed by some chemical transmuta forebodings, in one of the principal tion, of which they, poor souls, were coffeerooms of the city ; but the wine, ignorant, to increase the strength of though the best of the vintage of the contents of the aforesaid cup a Champagne, had no effect upon his hundredfold.

spirits. It was eight days since he " 'Tis true," sighed Le Blond, had seen Jacqueline ; and all this time " that by birth I am a gentleman; I she was going out to balls and parties only wish I were rich!”

among the chief people of the town« And I," sighed Jacqueline, “ah! ay, at that moment was gracing an I only wish I were poor?"

assembly in the house of the President, And now, as if to increase their but two flights of stairs above his humble warehouse! He had rushed more deeply than you think. You out to avoid the revelry, and fly from don't know me; but let us become achis own miserable thoughts. Near quainted. I am sure I can help you, him sat a gentleman in a grey riding- if you will only give me your conficoat-a man of middle age, calm and dence." silent. He looked at Le Blond, and “You are very good," sighed Le pledged him in a glass of Pontac. Blond, and shook his head. .“ Have I not the honour of speak “ Has any one injured you?" ing to Monsieur Le Blond ?" he en " By no means." quired.

“ Or a lover's quarrel?” Le Blond looked at him closely, and “ No, no, no quarrel!” recognised him, by a deep scar upon " Or do you want money? I can his left cheek, to be a gentleman he help you to as much as you want." had seen frequently gazing upon him L e Blond looked astonished into the for the last two days: once he had long yellow face of the old man. come into his shop and bought some. “ Say the word,” he went on; thing; then he had beset him on the show much? Two or three thousand street; then at church ; then kept con- livres ? You are in luck's way, my stantly promenading in front of his friend, and may be the richest man in door; and now had addressed him here. Namur.”

There was something repulsive in “How?". the stranger's appearance; a long hag. “ That I will tell you whenever you gard countenance, and eyes that glow. wish to be so.' ed like flame. Le Blond answered his " Who wouldn't wish to be rich ?" enquiry.

enquired Le Blond, with a faint smile. You don't seem in good spirits?" " Good," said the stranger; “ but continued the stranger.

we must leave this place, where so “ Perhaps so, sir,"replied Le Blond; many eyes may be upon us. I am a " one isn't merry at all hours."

stranger in Namur. Will you accom66 Drink!” said the stranger. pany me to my hotel, and do me the

“ That has no effect,' answered the honour to sup with me to-night ?" other, despondingly.

Le Blond looked distrustfully at the “ Indeed! I am distressed to hear stranger ; but when he recollected it. Is there any thing I can do to that Jacqueline was, perhaps, at that serve you?"

moment dancing above his small back “I can't say."

parlour, he resolved to accept the “ Try me," rejoined the stranger; invitation for the sake of a little “ you interest me deeply, young man, amusement.


The stranger occupied two or three “My course has happened to bring splendid apartments in the hotel ;-a me here. Partly ennui, and parily a couple of servants flew at his bidding thirst of knowledge regulate my moto prepare a supper. Le Blond was tions. I have thoughts of going to wonderstruck at all he saw ; for he Iceland as soon as the spring is a little perceived that the stranger in the grey advanced.” riding-coat must be a man of great « To Iceland ?--and is it long since wealth, who might have his choice of you left Asia ?". finer company than that of a humble T he Chaldean appeared to consider laceman.

for a minute, and then said, “ I think “ With whom have I the honour to in about a fortnight from this time, it be?" enquired the young man, mo. will be a hundred and twenty-two destly.

years since I left home.” “Call me only Abubeker," an- « My God !” exclaimed Le Blond, swered the other; “ by birth I am a “ a hundred and twenty-two years. Chaldean."

And how many years old are you, " My stars !-a Chaldean! How sir ?" come you into our parts, so far from “ Three hundred and twelve years Asia ?"


“ Three hundred"- cried Le “I make no turns, as you call it, of Blond.

my art, but this I can tell you, young " And twelve years, last month," man, the lines of your face inform me calmly repeated the stranger. “I you will be rich and fortunate. Tell perceive you are a little surprised me your exact position-you will find you think, perhaps, Iam quizzing yon; my assistance no affair of legerdebut when you know me a little better main. For example, are you in any you will think far otherwise. But mercantile difficulty? Do you need ihink just what you like ; and never money?". trust to any man's words, but to his Le Blond laughed, and said, to try actions."

him, “ Perhaps I am ; what then?" Le Blond thought it somewhat ex- « Ah! why did you keep this from traordinary, but resolved to let the old me so long ? You should have told me gentleman go on with his hoax, being so at first. You are decreed to lift a determined not to be taken in.

treasure that lies hidden under the The servants announced supper, and ruins of Valerien des Anges." when Abubeker and Le Blond had " A treasure ?" taken their seats at the splendid table, Ay, and a great one." which was covered with the richest « Why don't you lift it for yourself, wines and dishes, and were left again Master Abubeker ?". alone,

“ Because it is not my fate; and, “ Now, my good fellow," said the besides, I don't require it." Chaldean, gaily, -" throw aside all "When should I lift it?" troublesome thoughts for a little ;- “ As soon as you can make the jourfill up a good bumper, and tell me ney." all your distresses in the same open « Does it need no previous preparfamiliar way I have spoken to you." ations ?”

Le Blond took the advice as regard- “ Not the least." ed the bumper, and towards the end Le Blond was somewhat startled by of the feast was lively and amused. the dry manner of the Chaldean, but The Chaldean exerted himself for his still believed he was amusing himself entertainment, but, in spite of all his with trying to cram him. efforts, he could not penetrate the " se- “Very well, Master Abubeker," he cret sorrow" of his guest. Le Blond said, " I will put you to the test. Towas very incredulous, and couldn't morrow morning I have a bill of exbring himself to swallow all the won change to answer for five thousand derful narratives given by Abubeker livres ; if this matter is so certain, as of his adventures by sea and land. you say, you will perhaps advance me

Yes, yes, my good friend," he that sum, and I will faithfully repay said at last, offended at the old fellow's it when we dig up the treasure." cxaggerations, “you tell your mar. Le Blond, as he said this, fixed his vels very well, but do you fancy that eyes upon the Chaldean to enjoy his any sensible man would believe a confusion ; but that individual never word of them ?”

altered a muscle of his features, and " It makes no difference to me," only said quietly, “ You shall have it, replied the other, “whether you be- my friend." He then turned the con. Jieve me or not; the loss is yours. versation into its former channel about But you may easily convince yourself his own wonderful adventures. that my studies have been pretty About midnight Le Blond rose to deep. Did you ever hear of neero. depart ; but out of delicacy to the mancy?"

feelings of the impostor he made no “ To be sure, but never believed in mention of the five thousand livres he it. It is a science that depends en had promised. Moreover, his story of tirely on cheating and sleight of the bill of exchange was an invention hand."

of the moment, to put an end to the " Likely enough, among you un- old man's rigmarole stories about his skilful Europeans. It is very differ achievements. But Abubeker, retir. ent, I assure you, in Chaldea."

ing for a few minutes to another room, « Will you let me see a turn of your brought with him four sacks of money, art ?" enquired Le Blond, with a dis- and laid them on the table. He then dainful smile.

ordered an attendant to accompany Monsieur Le Blond home, and carry vant accompanied him to his dwelling, the gold to his house. Le Blond was and, having delivered the sackš to the astonished; he thanked the old man amazed domestic who opened the door, courteously and went off. The ser- disappeared without saying a word.


This incident, as may easily be sup- received him in the friendliest way posed, interfered considerably with possible. Monsieur Le Blond's sleep. He be- “ Have you discounted the bill ?" gan to believe the most unbelievable he enquired. things in the world. When he awak. Le Blond confessed his stratagem; ened next morning his first thought and, after many apologies for it, told was of the Chaldean, as it used to be him he was now going to let him into of Jacqueline. « But, with the morn- all the secrets he had. And this he ing calm reflection came," and he felt did. He told him every thing the persuaded the old man had filled the whole story of the jasmin bowersacks with sand_for he had not as yet the lessons—the mistake about the opened them—and as the suspicion sisters Buonvicini- the love of Jaccrossed him, he sprang out of bed in a queline—the pride of General de Fano horrible rage, and rushed to the money. and his despair of ever attaining bags; but great was his astonishment, the hand of the fair and noble lady. and we may add his gratification no The Chaldean listened with great less, to find that no sand was the con attention. tents, but in each of the bags fifty « Friend," he said, after a long fit Louis d'or, new and shining as if that of thinking, “ why should you demoment from the mint.

spair ? Lift the treasure, buy a noble " Forged to a certainty!" was his estate, and present yourself to the half-audible exclamation, as he hur. General as a lord of acres. He will ried for the scales. But the weight not refuse you his daughter." was correct to the fraction of a grain, « Ah! don't deceive me with false the sound clear as bell-metal, and the hopes of a treasure.” honour and integrity of Abubeker as is What interest have I to deceive indisputable as the holiness of Saint you?” replied Abubeker to the enGudule. The poor young man was treaty which the glistening eye and grievously to be pitied; one after an quivering lip of the young man showed other his faculties stood still ; and in to proceed from the deepest recesses this interregnum of the reason, the of his heart. “ Deceive you!- No, existence of the treasure at Valerien no, my good friend—what deceit des Anges established itself as one of there has been has proceeded from the best authenticated events in his yourself. You should not have told tory, whether sacred or profane. me that story about the bill of exWhat object, he thought, could any change.” Le Blond hung down his man have in playing a trick on him head, and blushed. " But you don't at such an incredible expense. Vague like to be absent from home so long, hopes of wealth began to crowd into perhaps, as it will take you if you achis soul; a vision of claiming the cept the treasure I offer you?” rank that he inherited from his father, What have I to do if I go?” enand of claiming at the same time an- quired Le Blond. other object dearer to his unsophisti. “ Set your house in order," ancated heart than the rank of a crowned swered Abubeker; “ tell no one of king. For Jacqueline was the aim what has passed between us; pretend and end of all his aspirations. It was that you must be absent some time on not long before he betook himself to business ; or, better than all, sell off Abubeker, determined to be a little your whole concern, root and branch, more communicative with him than for the treasure will make you indehe had previously been. The old pendent of trade or profession of any man, who did not seem, from the live. kind. If not, give over your property liness of his movements, to be nearly to the care of some friend.” three hundred and twelve years of age, “ Shall I tell Jacqueline about it?"

“ About your going away from can be no harm in trying ; I will lift home, and your certainty of soon be the treasure." ing in a condition to make her your When the appointed time came own, you may tell her without the every thing was arranged ; Jacqueline least fear of disappointment. But had been made acquainted with his breathe not a syllable of Valerien des hopes, and parted with him amid vows Anges_breathe not a syllable of the of eternal constancy and bright antitreasure.”

cipations of a happy meeting. The - When should we start?"

shop was closed and locked, and Le « In three days I leave Namur.” Blond placed himself by the side of

Le Blond promised to have all his Abubeker in a handsome travelling preparations made by that time ; carriage, and hurried from Namur is for," as he thought to himself when when it was pitch-dark at midnight. he had reached his back parlour once The first crack of the postilions' more, “ what have I to hope for if whips sounded exactly as the catheJacqueline can't be mine? Better to dral clock struck twelve. die--better to do any thing. There


The Chaldean remained quite un- subterranean treasures occurred to changed ; quite as big-speaking, and his memory. He enquired of Abucool and careless, as in the coffee- beker if they were likely to encounter room at Namur. The whole day was any thing of the kind ? spent in the close shut-up carriage, The Chaldean shook his head and with many changes of horses. The laughed. « Nonsense!” he said. weather was dull and rainy ; they “ Are you afraid of old women's did not even pause for refreshments, tales?" but ate and drank in the carriage. Wine and conversation made them In the evening they pulled up at a get through the long evening very solitary hunting lodge, or something well; but Le Blond was dreadfully of that kind, in the middle of a wood. fatigued, partly from having had no A sort of yager, in a handsome but sleep the night before, and partly from decayed uniform, received the travel the labours of the journey. The Challers, and conducted them into a cham- dean did not fail in many extraordi. ber, whose broken windows, repaired nary stories, of which he himself was with pieces of paper, consorted very usually the hero, by way of diverting well with the tattered remains of the his companion. once splendid tapestry that hung from When the clock struck twelve, the mildewed walls. When a stove Abubeker broke off' in the middle of had been lighted in this cheerless an adventure, and when he observed apartment, the Chaldean's servants the extreme sleepiness of Le Blond, brought in wine and some cold provi. he stood in front of him, and said, in sions, while the yager and his assist. a solemn tone, ant spread a couple of mattrasses on “ You have not deceived me with the floor.

any falsehood ? it may bury both you o Do we spend the night here ?" and me in the ruins." enquired Le Blond, looking round “I assure you, on my honour," with a disconsolate air, for the whole replied Le Blond, “ with the excepplace appeared to him “uncanny.” tion of the invention about the bill,

- Ten steps from this are the ruins which"of Valerien des Anges. At midnight " That was wrong," replied the exactly-not an instant before, not an other, “ very wrong. But your sleepi. instant after-we must be there. Let ness on an occasion of such importance us drink a little here in the mean-time, not to mention the interesting events and warm ourselves at the fire."

I was telling you of-awoke my susA cold shudder passed through Le picion. I have met with cases of the Blond. All the horrible stories he kind when the experimentalist fell into had ever heard of awful apparitions a trance that lasted a whole month the that had taken place at the lifting of moment he had found the treasure."

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