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with an important look, and taking a ton, who piqued himself or not losing bere all the pinch of snuff, " which of you was ac- a single note, stopped immediately, ruks quainted with . ?'
and said—“ After the first act, gentlemata as But at that moment the first crash men." of the overture began-and M. Bara
CHAP. II. " GENTLEMEN," said the notary, most distingué air imaginable ; and, to ieter when the first act of the Huguenots was crown all, an expressive, clear, and total to finished, “ Queen Marguerite has to open countenance, with something star be dressed with all her maids of hon. radiant and coquettish in its very in ul pe our—the castle and gardens of Che- nocence. In short, she gave promise ivane E nonceaux have to be got ready ; and of one of those glorious combinations arte, the interval will be long enough, I of grace and beauty, enough to turn täth think, to enable me to tell you the people's heads, and, as a poet would me, story you wish to hear.” And after say, to change the fate of empires. a placid pinch of snuff, which gave People paid Madame Bonnivet sose of him time to collect his thoughts, M. many compliments every day on the saints Baraton commenced in these words:- loveliness of her niece, that she determinat
" Which of you, gentlemen, was mined to make considerable sacrifees ambit acquainted with the little Judith?" for her education. She sept her, there we besta
We all looked at each other, and fore, to a charity school, where little **; and the oldest frequenter of the orchestra girls were taught to read and write- Blace was puzzled.
an enormous amount of instruction, “ The little Judith,” he went on, the advantages of which were soon spectabili “ who some seven or eight years ago felt by Madame Bonnivet herself ; tuned fi was brought out as a figurante in the who, in her capacity of porteress,
had ballet ?"
found it rather difficult to make out “ Stay,” said the professor of civil the different addresses, and to send the law, with somewhat of a pedantic air, letters and parcels to their respective
a little blonde who was one of the destinations. Judith took this duty Braton pages in the Muette ? :'
on herself, to the universal satisfaction * She was dark," said the notary; of all concerned; and Madame Bonni" as to the part you attribute to her, i vet being now persuaded that with such have no positive document on the sub- an education, superadded to so much ject, and prefer relying on your im- beauty, her niece was sure to make a mense erudition."
sensation in the world, she waited impa. The professor bowed.
tiently for an opening. It was not long lita Judith “ But whether dark or fair, there before an opportunity presented itself
. was one thing that nobody disputed, M. Rosambeau, the ballet-master, and that was, that the little Judith was who rented one of the attics, offered a charming creature. And another to give little Judith some lessons; and point, which appeared undeniable, was, in a few days after, Madame Bonnivet that her aunt, Madame Bonnivet, was communicated in confidence to all the porteress in the Rue Richelieu, in the ladies of her acquaintance, that her house of an old gentleman, whose con. niece had been accepted as one of the fidential manager she had once been; corps de ballet of the Opera-a piece some said his cook; but Madame of news which of course was spread Bonnivet disdained the impeachment, far and wide, and flew rapidly from and went on, quietly plying her knit- door to door along the whole extent pused be ting needles, and managing for the of the Rue Richelieu. different lodgers, while her niece even already began making conquests. For led at the Opera, taking lessons every thi Judith
Here, then, was little Judith instalit was impossible to pass the porter's morning of M. Rosambeau, and com, lodge without being struck with the ing on at night-totally unnoticed extraordinary beauty of little Judith, amidst the groups of young girls, who was scarcely twelve years old. naiads, or pages, as the professor just. Her eyes even then were the finest in ly observed a few minutes ago. the world ; her teeth like pearls; her Judith was innocence itself, though forin exquisitely graceful; and in belonging to the stage ; for she had whatever dress she wore, she had the been brought up in a respectable
house, where all the lodgers were de- Struck him?" said Judith, asto
cent Benedicks. Her aunt, who was nished. 21. as watchful as a dragon, never left “ Ha, ha!” said the nymph, " what
her ; accompanied her to the theatre a simpleton you are-girls, here's a in the morning, brought her home at curiosity--she has never had an adnight, and even remained whole days mirer!" in the green-room knitting her stock, 6 All her aunt's fault," said another
ings, while her niece took lessons and of the sylphs. ma practised her steps. You wonder what “ Indeed! Well, if I had an aunt on became all this time of the large house so ridiculous, I would”. in the Rue Richelieu. I can't exactly “ Hush, hush, you know nothing say; but people believe that a friend about it,” replied the other, who seemof Madame Bonnivet undertook all hered a few years older ; " she perhaps
duties there, in the expectation of the has serious intentions about little Ju. ma little Judith making a catch; for you dith, and, to keep her from the dangers has are aware, gentlemen, that no one of love, is going to give her to a pro* goes on the Opera boards unless with tector. the hope of making a catch-gaining “ She!” rejoined the other, “she a settlement, or however you choose hasn't wit enough to get her one. to express that great object of an ac- Such good fortune would be too much tress's ambition. In this way they to expect.” leave the stage--they are rich--they Judith did not lose a syllable, but had
reform; and the good aunt for all not courage to ask any body for an exom pretty dancers, you may have remark- planation. But she understood enough ed, have invariably aunts of the bigh- to see she was looked down upon,
respectability-marries her niece, and she naturally had an intense desire now weaned from the vanities of tin to avenge herself, to humble her comspangles and paste diamonds, to a panions, and fill them with rage and flourishing stockbroker or”.
envy. Accordingly, when Madame “ A retired notary,” added the pro
Bonnivet informed her on their return, fessor.
with a solemn face, that she would M. Baraton shrugged his shoulders., introduce her to a protector—a noble “Of course," he said ; “ but at that and rich protector--her first sensation time thoughts of such prodigious ad- was one of joyful surprise ; and her yancement had never entered into the aunt, who had not expected such a heads either of Madame Bonnivet or reception for her news, proceeded in her niece. Ambition grows on us by rapture. degrees."
“ Yes, my darling niece, an admi« But Judith,” I said; " what be- rable person in all respectsma person came of Judith ?" for I saw the cur- who will secure your happiness, and a tain about to rise.
provision for your aunt; and indeed “ Judith! I'm coming to her di. he can't do less, after all the trouble rectly;"-Madame Bonnivet, in spite and expense your education has cost of all her caution, could not hinder her me. niece from talking with her compan.
Here the good aunt wiped away a ions. In the mornings in the green. few tears; and Judith, who was moved room, and, above all, at night when by the appearance of so much tender they were on the stage-a region ness, only ventured to ask who was where the aunt found it impossible to the protector, and how she had de. follow-Judith heard some things that served such generosity. astonished her.
of You shall know in good time,” One of the nymphs or sylphides, her replied the aunt; “ but in the meancompanions, whispered in her ear- while your companions will die with " See Judith, look in the orchestra spite." at the right_how hard he is looking This was the very thing Judith at me."
wanted; and great indeed was the “ Who ?” said Judith.
surprise, when the intelligence became “ That handsome young man with
known in the green-room. the cachemire vest; don't you see “ Is it possible ? a creature like
that! a figurante-a chorus girl, and “ What does it all mean ?”
I a first dancer-'tis disgusting!” " I've struck him."
" Quite right," said the others;
“ she is so good ; she deserves her and from him she would have nothing good-luck, she is so sweet and pretty.” to fear. And in short, if it had been a marriage « Mademoiselle," he said, in a calm to a duke, they could not have made and respectful tone ; but perceiving more exclamations, or envied her ad- that Madame Bonnivet was still in vancement more sincerely. And there the room, he made her a sign, and could no longer be any doubt upon she immediately remembered she had the subject, when her aunt appeared orders to give about the dinnerthat evening in a magnificent shawl “ Mademoiselle, you are here at home, of Ternaux. But who could this pro- I hope you will be happy ; but partector be? some rich old curmudgeon don ine if I have the honour of seeing
-some gouty old banker, or worn- you but seldom-other engagements out old roué ? But to all these ques. will prevent me the pleasure. I tions Judith maintained a most pru- therefore lay claim to but one titledent reserve;
one great reason of that of your friend ; to but one priviwhich probably was, that she did not lege-that of satisfying your slightest know a syllable about the matter. wish."
In a few days, she had quitted the Judith did not reply; but the beatporter's lodge to live with her aunt in ings of her heart lifted up the light a charming suite of rooms in the Rue muslin of her pelerin. de Provence-a bedroom furnished “ As to your aunt," and this he said splendidly, and a boudoir so tasteful, with a scarcely perceptible tone of so elegantly fitted up, that the aunt contempt, “she will hereafter be at never ventured to approach it; she your command; for I wish that you preferred sitting in the dining parlour, should give your commands to every or indeed in the kitchen ; she felt so one here, commencing with myself." much more at her ease there than else- He then went near her, and took where. But day after day passed on, her hand, which he lifted to his lips, and nobody appeared, which struck and seeing that the hand still tremJudith as something rather strange; bled—“ Have I alarmed you?" he for Judith was without education, but said; “ be assured that I shall never not without sense. Her candour and . repeat my visit except when you de. naiveté proceeded from innocence, sire it--adieu, Judith!” not from stupidity ; and after think- And he went away, leaving the ing over her position for some time, poor girl in a state of emotion which she would have given the world for she could not comprehend. All day somebody to consult-for some one long she thought of nothing but the to defend her against this protector handsome stranger with his beautiful whom she did not know, and whom black eyes. She had not ventured to she feared and hated. It is true, the look at him, and yet nothing he had only idea she had formed of him was done, not a movement had escaped of an ugly old man; for her com- her. She was uneasy, and lost her panions had prepared her for nothing spirits ; her complexion grew pale, else by their conversations. She ac- and her aunt smiled. cordingly trembled, and had almost When the stranger was spoken of
, fainted with agitation, when, on the she blushed the deepest scarlet, and fifth day, her aunt threw open the her aunt smiled again. door and announced the expected But he returned no more, and she visiter.
could not ask him to return. What Judith would have risen to receive had she to complain of ?-apartments him with proper respect, but her beautifully furnished - servants and limbs shook, and she sank back again carriage at her command--she had upon the sofa. When at length she not a want in the world! raised her eyes, she saw standing be- On the other hand, her companions fore her a handsome young man of in the theatre, seeing her so brilliantly twenty-two or twenty-three years old, dressed, and so radiant in eauty, of a noble and elegant appearance, overwhelmed her with questions. But who looked at her with a kind and those very questions made her have benevolent expression. In one in- suspicions that there was something stant she felt she was safe. A person unusual in the whole transaction that who looked at her with so soft a smile she was treated with a sort of disdain ; would be her defender from all evil, and she shied the conversation as much
as she could, and never told even to Judith very warmly, and then openly her aunt how very respectfully she gave her his arm before them all, and had been addressed. One night when conducted her down the performers' the house was crowded, she perceived staircase. At the door his carriage the stranger in the royal box looking was ready to receive them; they got at her. She nearly screamed with in, and, as it was cold, he pulled up joy, and made a dancer miss the pro- the glasses, and put her shawl over per time, who was just then whirling her shoulders. How beautiful she a pirouette.
was—so glad—so gratified; but the " What's the matter?" said Na. gladness did not last long. The disa thalie, one of her friends who held the tance is so short between the Rue other end of a garland.
Grange Bateliere and the Rue de Proof 'Tis he! there he is !”
vence, and the horses went so fast! "Is it possible! Count Arthur de The carriage stopped; Arthur got out V.
-, one of the young nobles of the and offered his hand to Judith. They Court of Charles X., and moreover went up stairs together, and arrived the handsomest of them all! You at the door of her apartments. · He have nothing to complain of with rang the bell, respectfully took his such a friend to see you every day.” leave, and disappeared. Judith made no reply. She was
Judith could not sleep. The contoo happy. Arthur, to the great duct of the Count appeared so rude. scandal of all who saw it, bowed to He might at least have entered her her from the King's box; and, better room, and sat down for a moment.
still, when the ballet was finished, just She knew very little, to be sure, of the D when she was about to ascend to her manners of high society ; but she
dressing-room, Arthur came to the thought that would have been more side scenes, and said quite audibly, so polite than to leave her so suddenly at as to be heard by the Lord Chamber. the door. She was feverish and dislain who had the direction of the turbed; and at daybreak got out of opera" " Will
allow me the hon- bed and went to the window to get our of conducting you home?" cool. There, before her door, still
“ 'Tis too much honour for me," stood the carriage with the fast grey stammered Judith, without perceiving horses ; they pawed the ground with what a laugh her answer excited. cold and impatience; the coachman
“ Make haste then. I will wait for was asleep on his box. you on the stage.
• Excuse me, gentlemen,” said the She lost no time, you may be sure, notary, when he had reached this part in changing her dress ; and on re- of his story ; "the next act is just beturning she found Arthur in conver. ginning, and I don't wish to lose a sation with a group of young fashion word of the operam- when the curtain ables, and with M.' Lubert, the falls" manager, to whom he recommended
The next morning, and the next conduct her home.
What then was again, Judith opened her window at to be done ?
daybreak. The Count's carriage was Luckily for her, her companions is always at the door! It was evident did him an injustice, and accused him
that he sent it in the same manner al- of treating her ill. She was delighted, most every night, and she could not for she had now an excuse for writing imagine the reason of such a proceed to him; and accordingly she indited ing ; and, as to asking him for an ex- an epistle, beseeching him to come to planation, she could not have ventured her apartments. It was by no means on such presumption for the world. an easy task to write a letter; 'so it And, besides, she hardly ever saw took poor Judith the whole day. She him, except on opera nights in a box began it over and over again, and on the second tier, which he had taken made fifty foul copies before she
He never came upon achieved one to her mind. One of the stage; he never again offered to these she must have dropped out of her
for the season.
bag ; for, in the evening, she heard The Count looked at her with the young authors and others who amazement, and said, “I shall do as were free of the orchestra, laughing you require ; you shall have any immoderately at an ill spelt, ill writ- masters you want.' ten note, as they handed it about from Next day Judith had a master to one to the other. She was forced to teach her writing, and history and hear their explosions of merriment, geography. 'You should have seen their satirical remarks, and the reso- the ardour she studied with ; and her lution they came to, to insert the un- natural abilities developed themselves signed note (the author of which was with incredible rapidity. At first she luckily unknown) in one of the news- liked study for Arthur's sake, and then papers, as a model for the De Sevigues she liked it for its own. It was her of the ballet. What were the terror pleasantest enjoyment, her consolation and agony of Judith, not at hearing under all her anxieties. She submitted her letter turned into ridicule, but to to the fines for absence, to stay at think that the Count would have the home and devote herself to her books same feelings of contempt when he all day. Her companions said, “ Juread the unfortunate note, which she dith has gone mad-she will lose her would have purchased back again with engagement-she is very foolish." her life. She was accordingly more But Judith worked the harder, say. dead than alive, when, on the follow- ing, I shall make myself worthy of ing morning, Arthur entered her him at last; he will see what efforts I
make to improve myself—but, alas! “ I'm come, dear Judith-I lost no he could see nothing of the kind; for time when I received your letter; whenever he came Judith was so agiand that fatal, that horrible letter he tated, and stammered and hesitated so held in his hand—“ What is it you much, and became so confused, that require ?"
he thought all the lessons were thrown “ What I require-Monsieur le away upon her. The effect of the Comte?-I don't know how to tell it knowledge she had acquired, was to you—but that letter-itself—since you make her feel more bitterly how have read it—if indeed you have been stupid and ridiculous he must think able to make it out".
her; and that conviction rendered her Very easily, my dear girl," replied still more constrained and embarrassed, the Count, with a slight smile. and hindered the display of her real
“Ah!"cried Judith, in despair, "that sentiments, so innocent- and so tender; letter is enough to show you that I am and Arthur, as might be expected, à poor girl without talent, without came but seldom. Sometimes he education, who is ashamed of her igno. remained a short time with her after rance and wishes to remove it. But the ballet; but when twelve o'clock how am I to do it? If you do not sounded he always took his leave. She come to my assistance-if you refuse ventured to ask him, “When shall I see to help me with your advice_with you?" your support":
“ I will tell you at the Opera, to• What is it you wish ?”
morrow.' " Give me masters, and you will see But how was this to be done ?-He if I am not industrious, if I do not was almost always in his box on the profit by their lessons."
second tier; and when he intended to “ But when can they come to you?" visit her on the following morning,
“ Any time-one thought keeps me he lifted his right hand to his ear, anxious by day and sleepless at night." and that was as much as to say, I will “ What thought?”
come to the Rue de Provence. “ The thought of the opinion you And Judith would watch for him all must have of me. You must despise the day-she admitted nobody-not me, and look on me as unworthy of even her aunt, that she might have the your notice ;, and you are right,” pleasure of seeing him entirely to hershe continued hurriedly.-" I know self. how contemptible I am-I know my- In spite of the reserve of the Count self-and I wish, if possible, to have she had made one discovery, and that no cause to blush for myself or to be a was that he had some sorrow that disgrace to you."
weighed him down.' What could the