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you are going to be married, are you? I half by his anxious and sympathizing sister. Eugé guessed so from the first. Well, courage! It nie, however, must have noticed his agitation, is a fate which overtakes the best and wisest for never had her voice and manner revealed of us; and here's the lady's health, whoever so much of womanly tenderness as on parting she may be." with him at the close of that sad and ominous evening.
"With all my heart! And do not forget that what is as serious as a wedding or funeral, is that, to-morrow by ten o'clock, I lodge five thousand francs in your hands as a pledge of the completion of the bargain upon my part, if you do not fail on yours."
"I'll take care of that, you may depend. Au revoir, then, if you will go: at ten to
"Eugénie," said M. Bougainville after all in the house but themselves had retired to rest, "I have ill news for thee. Thy uncle Jerome, whose address Monsieur Fontane's agent had no difficulty, after all, in ascertaining, gruffly told the messenger who delivered the letter that it would receive no answer."
"Hélas!" sighed Eugénie, "I feared so; M. Fontanes regained the high-road, and and he was our last resource!" trotted leisurely along towards M. Bougain- "Our position is embarrassing,' said the ville's. As he neared Plaisance, the bridle-father, with an unsuccessful effort to assume a path winding round at a considerable elevation more cheerful tone. "The harvest has been from the level of the house, gave to view the a bad one; but things will not always turn out smooth green-sward in his front, upon which like that: thy uncle has disappointed me, Eustill fell the rays of the fast westering sun, in génie," he added after an interval of melanlarge patches of golden light, or broken into choly silence; but what, after all, could be extremulous light and shadow by the tall fruit-pected of a man who left France to avoid the trees that partially enclosed it. The sisters conscription?"
Bougainville, and a number of young friends, "Nay father, let us be just. Have I not heard were dancing thereon to the music of Henri you say that Uncle Jerome was betrayed in his Jomard's flute; and several aged guests, affections by a faithless woman? amongst whom the Sieur Bougainville was "Tut, my girl!" rejoined M. Bougainville, conspicuous by his thin white hairs, erect mili- with a levity of tone contradicted by the keen tary bearing, and the glittering cross upon his scrutiny of his look, which was, however, bafbreast, were looking on, and, the male portion fled by the growing darkness of the room. of them, smoking, in apparently measureless "Love-wounds are rose-brier scratches merely a momentary smart, that neither hinders nor "Quite an Arcadian scene!" mentally controls one's march through the rough wildermeered M. Paul Fontanes. "Who would be-ness of life. I have been pretty familiar with lieve, now, that an abode of such rustic sim- the flashes which herald real wounds and death, plicity contains almost as grim a skeleton as and they did not leap from maidens' eyes.” mine does? Well, we must contrive that they "I am glad to hear," softly murmured Eudestroy each other, and then Monsieur Bou- génie, "that heart-griefs are so fugitive with gainville and I may sleep sounder than either men. Good night, dear father." of us has of late."
"Good night, Eugénie," said the veteran, embracing her with tenderness; "and be not too much cast down. The guardian-angel is never forgetful of a gentle and pious child like thee."
The dance was arrested as M. Fontanes approached and respectfully saluted M. Bougainville, with whom he almost immediately withdrew into the house. They were absent about ten minutes only; and as, upon their re- Before noon on the following day, the stock, appearance, the countenance of the veteran farming-implements, and furniture at Plaisance wore its usual aspect of calm impassibility, were sequestrated by." justice," at the instance dancing was resumed with increased spirit, of Pierre Messeroy, Ecuyer, for arrears of rent; and after a time was joined in by M. Fontanes, and M. Bougainville was at the same time with Eugénie Bougainville for a partner. Re- served with notice to quit, according to one of spectful, subdued, yet ardent admiration the covenants of his bail, by which right to readmiration surprised at itself, as it were, has tain possession was forfeited by default of rentseldom been more adroitly displayed than by payment. "Diable! but this is serious-terthat gentleman upon this occasion; and rible," murmured the old soldier; "and unless whether the consciousness thereof, betrayed by I can obtain a loan of” M. Bougainville Eugénie's tell-tale blushes, was pleasurable or checked himself, and after a time added, adotherwise, it would have been difficult for a dressing his dismayed and weeping family: "I spectator to detemine. Poor Henri Jomard shall set off at once for St. Malo. Courage, whose flute, momently becoming weaker and my children! It is upon the darkest hour of more uncertain, was at last superseded by night that the new day breaks. Perhaps my volunteer violin-sat apart from the gay old friend, Bertin the notary, may be able to dancers, partially concealed from observation assist us in this strait."
M. Bougainville did not return home till gradually calming grief, before the crucifix in about ten o'clock in the evening. The family her bedroom.
were in bed, with the exception of Eugénie, The civil marriage was arranged to take whose anxiety was deepened by the pale ex-place on the following Thursday, the conditions citement of her father's countenance. of settlement to be signed at the office of the "Eugénie, my girl," he said, after a few un-notary, Bertin, on the previous evening. These successful whiff's at the pipe she presented him with, "come nearer to me; I would speak with thee."
"I am listening, father," sald Eugénie, seating herself behind her father.
arrangements, at M. Fontanes's urgent request, Eugénie remaining entirely passive, were kept scrupulously secret; and so successfully, that even Henri Jomard had no suspicion of what was going on, till the Wednesday morning, "Bertin cannot assist us, but Eugé- when he chanced to overhear some disjointed nie, it is necessary, above all, that we should be sentences of a conversation between M. Fonfrank and open with each other. Henri Jo- tanes and the notary's clerk, who had called at mard loves thee; there can be no doubt of that. the Rue Dupetit-Thouars, which terminated by He is a well-principled brave lad, of fair pros- M. Fontanes saying in a low voice: "Tell pects too, and the son of a brave father, who Monsieur Bertin I will send him the required fell by my side at Eylau. There is no one particulars in writing before two o'clock. As with whom I would more readily trust thy hap-tonished and indignant at what he apprehended piness. But thou hast never, I think, shown the partially overheard colloquy to mean, he, any open decided preference for him.”
M. Bougainville winced, but went on to say: "That being so, I may tell thee that Monsieur Paul Fontanes Ah! the name shocks thee I will speak of him and his offers no
"Yes, yes, dear father," murmured Eugénie. "It was a sudden, a slight pain; that is all. Go on-speak."
as soon as possible, invented an excuse for going out, and hastened to impart the dire dis covery to his sister Adèle, who, however, proved obstinately incredulous. His interpretation of the sentences he had imperfectly caught was, she persisted, that of an unreasoning jealousy. M. Fontanes had, her brother knew, a pecuniary transaction with M. Bougainville, and it was no doubt with reference to that the two were to meet at the notary's, "As thou wilt. Monsieur Fontanes, then, as the conversation seemed to intimate. Some solicits thee in marriage. If his proposal is what calmed by this consolatory construction accepted, he will pay all thy father's debts, of the menacing words, Henri returned to his purchase Plaisance of that tiger-hearted Mes- employment. There was no one in the clerks' seroy, and settle it upon thee beyond his own office, and M. Fontanes was busy writing in control." Eugénie did not answer, and M. Bou- his private room. Something presently occur gainville added, after a few moments' silence: red which rendered it necessary that Henri The case stands thus. Eugénie, Monsieur should speak with him; and as he did so, his Fontanes is rich, generous, young, well-look-eye fell upon a small pile of letters enclosed ing, of irreproachable character, and it is plain loves thee deeply. I doubt not, therefore, that after a time, thou wouldst be a happy wife; but it is for thee to decide; and my blessing, beloved Eugénie, is on thy choice, whether for acceptance or refusal."
and directed, but not sealed, of which the topmost one was addressed to " M. Bertin, Notairepublic, Numéro 9, Rue Sablonière." Instantly the criminal thought, which only his excessive mental agitation could in the least excuse, sug gested itself, that if he could obtain a moment's "For acceptance, then!" replied Eugénie possession of that letter before it was sealed, in a low voice, the firmness of which surprised the doubts which half distracted him would be as much as it pleased M. Bougainville;" but one way or the other set at rest; and the pos with this change in the terms of the pur-of sibility of effecting his object kept him for the the contract-that Plaisance be settled not next ten minutes in a state of feverish restupon me, but upon you, Françoise, and lessness. The chance at length presented Marie." itself. The presence of M. Fontanes was reM. Bougainville was charmed with this ready quired in a distant part of the warehouse; and acquiescence; and when Eugénie made no ob- his back was hardly turned, before Henri Jojection to M. Fontanes's request, that the mar-mard darted into the private cabinet, seized riage should be celebrated without delay, he almost persuaded himself that he had been mistaken with respect to the sentiments she entertained towards Henri Jomard. That pleasing illusion would have been dispelled had he known that Eugénie passed that night on her knees, weeping, at first with convulsive, but
the top letter of the pile, and extricated the enclosure from the envelope. Confusion! A glance at the address shewed him he had mistaken the letter, the envelope in his hand being addressed to Messrs. Smith and Green, New Orleans. Had he but unfolded the enclosure, what a discovery awaited him! Un
"I doubt, Monsieur Fontanes, whether I shall proceed at all. It seems to me that the nuptial conditions in a pecuniary sense, are grossly one-sided and partial"
"Monsieur Bertin," interrupted M. Fontanes with dignity, and greatly relieved, "that is my affair, not yours. The balance of obligation is, in my own opinion, greatly on my side," added the young merchant, with a respectful bow to Eugénie.
fortunately he threw it impatiently upon the regarded him-"have the goodness to proceed table, and seized the next upon the pile, which as quickly as possible." was that he sought. Could he believe his eyes? "M. Fontanes, upon reflection, acquiesced in the change proposed by M. Bertin in the marriage contract, and would be at the notary's office punctually at five o'clock to meet M. and Mademoiselle Bougainville." Henri Jomard had hardly perused these lines, when the step of M. Fontanes was heard approaching. He hurriedly thrust the letters into their respective envelopes, replaced them on the letter-pile, and had barely regained the curtained concealment of the clerks' office when the merchant returned. In about ten minutes, M. Fontanes summoned a porter, gave him a number of letters, some for the post-office, others for delivery in St. Malo; and shortly afterwards, himself went out, saying, as he passed through the counting-house that he should not return till the following morning.
"That is precisely my opinion, also," rejoined the imperturbable notary, “ Mademoiselle Bou gainville being at the present moment a rich heiress in her own right."
A bomb-shell falling in the midst, could not have produced a more startling effect than these words, which caused every one of the auditors, Henri Jomard included, to start to their feet in various attitudes of astonishment and consternation.
last American mail made known to your very disinterested suitor, that you are the absolute mistress of about seven hundred thousand francs! If, under these circumstances, you wish me to proceed".
Eugénie Bougainville, as she alighted at the notary's door, in company with her father and "This information," continued the notary, Françoise her half-sister, looked charmingly," reached me only about two hours since, and, though very pale, and trembling with agita- strangely enough, Monsieur Fontanes, from tion. M. Fontanes had preceded her; and by you. A letter certainly in your handwriting, his respectfully kind and unpretending man- and addressed to me on the cover, but the ner seemed, after a time, to soothe and calm contents of which were intended for Messrs. her spirits, and the sweet, grateful, if faint Smith and Green of New Orleans" smile with which she acknowledged his unob- "Malediction!" screamed M. Fontanes. trusive courtesies, was an earnest that if the "Can it be possible-that I-that I!"— marriage should turn out unhappily, it would "That you misdirected the letters," sugnot be the fault of the wife, however reluct-gested M. Bertin; no doubt of it.-It appears, antly she accepted M. Fontanes as a husband. Mademoiselle Bougainville," he added, "that M. Bertin was apparently about to commence by your uncle's will, the contents of which the reading the marriage contract, when an unseemly and distressing interruption took place. Henri Jomard, spite of the strenuous opposition of a clerk, forced his way, in a state of wild excitement, into the office, and forthwith burst into a torrent of invective and entreaty, of bitter reproach and humblest solicitation, to which passion and despair lent fire and eloquence. Uselessly so! Eugénie was indeed terribly agitated by his frenzied violence, but did not for a moment swerve in resolution, and she was the first, though with white quivering lips, to request that the business which had brought Henri Jomard must, in his hurry and conthem there might be proceeded with. M. fusion, have changed the envelopes of the two Fontanes, who appeared both alarmed and letters: that addressed to Smith and Green angry, wished the audacious intruder to be ex-being consequently delivered to the notary. I pelled by force, but at a gesture from the have only, in conclusion, to state, that Fonnotary, who had been silently observant of tanes was arrested at Hâvre-de-Grace, on what was passing, he desisted, drew near the table, and seated himself beside Mademoiselle Bougainville; whilst Henri Jomard, throwing himself into a chair, wept aloud in the bitterness of unavailing grief and rage.
"Now, Monsieur Bertin," said M. Fontanes, who, spite of himself, cowered beneath the keen, derisive look, it so seemed, with which the notary, as he slowly unrolled the contract,
"Henri-dear Henri!" gasped Eugénie, turning with outstretched arms towards her lately despairing lover. "Henri-believe."But I have no words for the description of the scene which followed; the reader's imagination can alone realize its tumult of rapture, bewil derment, and despair.
board of an American liner, and is now undergoing the punishment of a fraudulent bankrupt; that Eugénie is Madame Jomard, and a happy wife and mother; that the Sieur Bougainville still inhabits Plaisance with his two daughters, and to this day remains firmly of opinion, that the misdirection of the letter was due to the actual interposition of Eugénie's ever-watchful ange gardien !
mentions another of these books, which he cumstances,—and Harley and Cotton, D'Ewes describes as 66 a paper book in 8vo., bound and Evelyn, Thoresby and Le Neve, owe longwise, being one of those which the Ger- their places in the order of literature to mans call Albums, and are much used by the worthier labors. As, however, knowledge young travellers of that nation :"-an evidence became more widely diffused, and intellectual that they had now become more popular. tastes ceased to be the peculiar appanage of "In England," continues good Mr. Wanley, the learned, an interest in the autographs of who has evidently the true spirit of the col-eminent persons would be likely to increase lector, "there may be good use made of these also; and this we find gradually to have been books by the original hands of foreigners of the case. As the last century wore on, the the highest quality, noblemen, ladies, learn-practice of collecting autographs began to be ed and otherwise eminent personages, whose more general, and to set up for itself as a hands cannot otherwise be come at." At separate and distinct intellectual hobby, though length, we as have said, the practice be- even then it scarcely penetrated much below came so common as to lose its prestige and antiquaries in their nonage and dilettanti men be laughed at. In St. Evremond's play of of "parts." About this time Dr. Macro accuSir Politick Wouldbee" we find a dialogue mulated an extensive and fine collection; and between a German gentleman and the wife of Sir William Musgrove grubbed together two that knight, in which the former explains to volumes of signatures, which (fortunately in the Lady, that in his country travellers who company with two volumes of the letters from claim the distinction of men of letters invaria- which he had given himself the trouble of cutbly provide themselves, in addition to a Guide ting them) he bequeathed to his country. Book and an Itinerary, with a book of blank The sale of the well-known library of Mr. leaves, handsomely bound, called "Album Bindley unlocked some good things of the Amicorum," and make a point always on visit- same kind, collected during the later years of ing the savans of the places on their route to the century; and so did the more recent dispresent it to them for their signatures. "There persion of the collections of Strawberry Hill. is nothing," he adds, "we are not prepared to Mr. John Thane, about this time, gave proof do to procure their hands, conceiving it to be of increasing taste on the part of the ignorant, as curious as instructive to have seen these by the publication, for their use, of the welllearned people who make a noise in the world, known "British Autography," (which, after and to possess a specimen of their writing." maintaining a high price for many years, The Lady, who is evidently not a collector, came into the cheap market in 1847); and inquires with some surprise, "Is that the only Ireland, in his eighteenth year, evidenced the use you make of your book?" and the Ger- fallibility of the wise by the successful perpeman admits another, which, if not altogether tration of the Shakspeare Forgeries. With relevant to our purpose, is at least amusing. the earlier years of the present century the "It is also," he says, "of the utmost use to us autograph-collecting hobby continued to inin our drinking bouts; for when all the ordi- crease in popularity among the intelligent; nary toasts have been exhausted, we take our and by throwing out offshoots of less exacting "Album Amicorum," and reviewing the great intellectual requirements attained even the men who have been so obliging as to inscribe honors of fashion. Albums, a sort of illegititheir names there, drink their healths copi- mate offspring of the parent taste, requiring ously." nothing but a good-natured circle of friends In justice to these jovial collectors of the with knowledge of penmanship, came into sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it may vogue again; and frank-collecting (among be proper to add that their Albums, various collecting manias that genuine "esprit de ceur specimens of which are now in the British qui n'en ont pas," as Voltaire said of punning), Museum, seldom exceeded six inches in became to people of large correspondence the length; and present, in this respect, a favor- nuisance of the day. Shops for the sale of able contrast to the bulky volumes which, as autographs began now to be common, and the men of letters know to their cost, represented fac-simile of the signature became a necessary among ladies some twenty years ago, as a illustration to every engraved portrait. Mr. fashionable hobby, the filigree work and poti- Thorpe's Catalogues and Mr. Evans's auctions chomanie of to-day. The habit of keeping gave further evidence of the advancing tastes. Albums had, by this time, long outgrown Mr. Stephen Collet and Mr. D'Israeli pubthe taste in which it had originated; and lished Essays on the subject; so did the autograph collecting formed, and continued to " Literary Souvenir," and some of the Magaform for many years, merely a branch of the zines; Messrs. Smith & Nichols gave to the pursuits of the antiquary. The names, there- world their valuable "Fac-similes of Autofore, with which it is associated in the seven- graphs of Royal, Noble, Learned and Remarkteenth and earlier part of the eighteenth able Persons;" and Mr. Upcott set all the century, will be familiar to us from other cir- collectors burrowing in waste paper by the
LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. - No. 595.-20 OCTOBER 1855.
From The Athenæum. that Duke of Buckingham, the curt order for The Autograph Miscellany: consisting of Sixty whose decapitation is sufficiently familiar to Examples in Fac-simile of Autograph Letters the patrons of the Drama :-"Loyauté me lie," of Eminent Persons; together with Interest--lie, indeed!" Richard Gloucester; ing and Historical Documents selected from vente mesovene-Harre Bokyngham;" and unthe British Museum and other Collections derneath-strange combination to point a Public and Private, with Letter-press Des- moral-may still be seen the large sprawling criptions. Netherclift & Durlacher. boyish sign-manual— “R. Edwardus Quintus" -of the ill-fated child for whom the above autographs of his faithful subjects were probably written.
THE" Autograph Miscellany " is not a history of autographs-not a collection of anecdotes, --not a record of prices: it is merely a book of specimens. In what we have to say on the subject of Autographs, it will not form our text, so much as our point of departure.
The earliest evidence of the existence of a practice of forming collections of autographs is to be found, probably, in the " Albums "Alba Amicorum," as they were called, which Hobbies are the natural growth of popular in the following century the savans of Germaintelligence. Given the taste for intellectual ny fell into the practice of keeping, to receive gymnastics, and a certain number of men, by contributions from their literary friends, and an almost necessary law, will mount to their to which more than one autograph collector rocking horses. The hobby may be a very of the present day is indebted for his specimen wooden horse, and the exertion used may of the handwriting of Bucer or Melancthon, lead to nothing; but the excitement is plea- Bullinger or Luther. From an evidence of sant, without being sinful: and as the world the esprit du corps of the wise, the practice of goes, it is something to achieve a little innocent delight. We would not press very heavily on the poor autograph collector, even when his passion for acquisition takes its most selfish form;-when it is wisely directed, we are only too glad to receive the fruits of its conservative activity. The story of what History owes to the autograph collector would make a very pretty book.
keeping Albums became the amusement of the great, and finally the fashion of the foolish,-when satire took it in hand,—and in its then shape it would seem to have ceased. Izaak Walton, in his "Life of Sir Henry Wotton," mentions an amusing scrape in which that courtier was unlucky enough to involve himself, arising out of this practice, and which we note as a warning to unwary contributors Such a glance at the subject as may serve of Album aphorisms. On his first going as to indicate its interest need not lead us into Ambassador into Italy, says honest Izaak, he any very deep antiquarian researches. Shas- stayed some days at Augusta, where having sek, in his “Diary of the Mission of Leo Ba- been well known by many of the best note ron de Rosmital and Blatna, Ambassador for "learning and ingeniousness," he was refrom Bohemia to the Court of Edward the quested by one Christopher Flecamore to Fourth, in 1466," (to which Mission he was write some sentence in his Albo, a book of white attached as secretary,) mentions that the dip- paper which for that purpose "many of the lomatist, after dining with the Knights of the German gentry usually carry about them;" Garter at Windsor, was requested to write his and, consenting to the motion, he took occasion autograph in their Mess Book; a feat which to write a pleasant definition of an Ambassahe accomplished with such dubious success dor:-" An Ambassador is an honest man that when he had departed an application was sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” sent after him to return and read it. Wheth- This apothegm, against which little exceper this specimen of mediæval autography still tion can be taken on the score of truth, slept exists in the archives of the Order we need quietly in Mr. Flecamore's Albo for eight not inquire; but there is one of nearly the years, when it was disinterred by Scoppius, a same period (we speak, of course, of auto- Romanist writer, who, in a book attacking graphs written merely as autographs) extant James the first, quoted it as an evidence of in the British Museum, to which our readers the religious principles of the King and his would probably attach even higher interest. Ambassador, and compelled poor Sir Henry It is a small scrap of vellum inscribed with to expiate his pleasantry by two Latin apolotwo autograph mottoes, the one written and gies in rejoinder,—rather severe punishment signed by Richard Duke of Gloucester, after- for so venial an indiscretion,-Humphry Wanwards Richard the Third, and the other by ley, in his Catalogue of the Harleian Library, VOL. XI. 9
DXCV. LIVING AGE.