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have thought that something might occur that arrived in Paris. My father is an honest farmer would enable him to gratify his long-cherished of Clermont. "Tis the first time I have been in craving for vengeance. If the latter notion the city. I have come to see my brother, who occupied his thoughts, the opportunity occurred is an honest artisan, and works somewhere in this quarter of Paris.' There was apparent truth sooner than he could have anticipated. in the young man's looks and voice as he pleaded with the crowd.
Antoine was passing through one of the longest, crookedest, and narrowest streets of this disreputable district, when he saw, a few paces in advance of him, a young lad of eighteen, who was apparently a stranger in Paris, and who seemed to be wandering about without having any particular object in view. That the young fellow was a peasant, was manifest, not only in his garb, but likewise in his gait, manner, and whole appearance. He wore a blue linen blouse, belted round the waist, and a pair of clumsy sabots, which, together with his leathern gaiters, were incrusted with the dried yellow mud of the country lanes; and as he slouched along, as if he were traversing a newly ploughed field, he stared about him with a look of stupid wonder and curiosity. Suddenly, three of the small, boyish-looking soldiers of which the infantry of France seems to be mainly composed, bearing muskets and fixed bayonets that to a casual observer would appear too heavy for them to carry, pounced upon him from beneath a covered gateway, one of the party seizing him by the collar of his blouse and declaring him to be
'Innocent! Of course thou art innocent, mon brave,' sneered the corporal. 'Harmless as a lamb. Nobody is ever guilty, according to his own account. Take the fellow along, comrades!' -addressing the soldiers-'the mob is already closing up behind us.'
This was true. Whence they came, it would have been hard to say; but in less than half a minute, the hitherto almost deserted street was thronging with truculent, ill-looking men, and dirty, frowsy, hard-featured females, clad in every variety of ragged costume, who appeared like so many hideous scarecrows; while still others came forth from every doorway in the narrow street. All took common cause against the soldiers, two of whom levelled their muskets, and prepared to defend themselves from the threatened attack, while the third took charge of the prisoner. Many of the men were armed with short, stout cudgels, and some of the women grasped broomhandles in their sinewy hands. The women were loud in their clamour.
'Fi donc, fi' they cried. 'Let the lad go free, mouchards, tyrans-spies that ye are !'
Perceiving that the crowd took his part, the young fellow said: 'Believe me, citoyens and citoyennes, I am innocent. I have but this day
"That is doubtless true,' cried a stout, burly virago, whirling a broomstick over her head, to the imminent peril of her companions. 'Poltroons' addressing the male portion of the crowdcowards that ye are! Have ye no spirit, that ye would let a poor lad be dragged to prison, to be shot on the ramparts to-morrow, when half
a-dozen women might set him free?'
Hearing his prophetic doom thus pronounced, the poor lad wept aloud, as he entreated the crowd to release him.
Irritated by the woman's taunts, the men caught up the cry, 'To the rescue! To the rescue!' and bore down savagely upon the soldiers, two of whom bravely kept the leaders of the mob at bay for a few moments by charging with their wrested from them; they were struck down and bayonets. But muskets and bayonets were soon brutally kicked and trampled upon, and their uniforms torn into shreds. The third soldier, however, disregarding the perilous position of his comrades, had retained his grasp of the prisoner, and, unnoticed by the mob, who were fully occupied in wreaking vengeance upon their natural foes, the military, had dragged the unfortunate youth into a by-street, and would speedily have disappeared with him, had not Antoine, who had hitherto looked on as if bewildered, but whose sympathies were with the peasant, hastened to the rescue of the young lad. Wrenching the musket and bayonet from the grasp of the soldier, he struck him senseless to the ground with one blow of his fist. 'Run, lad, run!' he cried. 'Dost not see that thou art free? Away, away!'
The peasant, who for a few moments seemed to have become paralysed with terror, made off as fast as his legs could carry him.
The beat of a drum and the steady tramp of feet were heard near by.
'Scatter! Scatter and fly!' voice in the rear of the crowd. The soldiers are approaching!'
shouted a hoarse 'Do ye not hear?
The mob disappeared as rapidly as they had gathered, leaving the unfortunate soldiers stretched on the ground bleeding, bruised, and senseless. half a minute the front rank of a troop of soldiers appeared at the entrance of the street. Antoine was stooping over the soldier whom he had struck down, striving to restore him to consciousness. He knew not of the approach of the troop until the men were close upon him, when, suddenly becoming aware of his own danger, he took to flight. Some of the soldiers started in pursuit of the fugitive, while the main body hastened to the succour of their hapless comrades. Antoine, however, gained upon his pursuers, and would have escaped, but that on turning the corner of a street, he found himself confronted by another party of soldiers who were hastening to the scene of the disturbance. He stopped short, and was about to take refuge in a narrow court, where he might have concealed himself till the soldiers had passed by, when Lucien Pierrot, who had
never lost sight of the young fisherman, and had witnessed all that had occurred, shouted: 'Seize that man! He is a Communist, and was the
leader of the mob.'
In an instant, Antoine was surrounded, seized, and pitilessly dragged off to prison. There was a brief examination before a sergeant of police, in which Lucien Pierrot, who appeared as prosecutor, denounced the prisoner, Antoine Duroc, as a Communist leader of the lowest and vilest class, and swore that he had seen the prisoner strike a soldier down with his own hand and brutally maltreat him, thus effecting the release of a man under arrest.
Monsieur le Maire was himself the owner of numerous fishing-luggers. Antoine was known to him, and was a favourite with him; and Antoine, who declared that he was not a Com- Madeleine knew that he would do all in his munist, and that he knew not the meaning of power to help her in her sore trouble. He the word, did not attempt to deny that he had read the letter, and heard from Madeleine the struck down a soldier, and released a poor young story of Lucien Pierrot's base conduct towards peasant whom he believed to be innocent. This her. That Antoine had no connection with Comwas enough; he was ordered to be confined and munism, he was well aware; but he read the closely guarded until he could be brought before journals constantly, and he knew that the governthe military authorities the next day. The jailer, ment, having been terribly frightened, were now however, who was a native of Brittany, and proceeding with ruthless severity against all perhad heard the young fisherman's simple story, sons even suspected of complicity with Combelieved in his innocence. He knew Lucien munism. That the young fisherman was guiltless Pierrot as a paid government spy, and believed of any such complicity, he could prove, if it him capable of any falsehood or iniquity whereby were not already too late; but then he knew he might gratify his malice against any individual nothing of Antoine's having assaulted a soldier who had offended him, or might pocket a reward and released a man under arrest. Nothing of for his vigilance in behalf of the government. He this was mentioned in the letter. pitied the unfortunate prisoner; and Antoine, who felt the need of sympathy, spoke of his young wife, who would now be impatiently awaiting his return from Paris.
'You must hasten immediately to Paris,' he said. 'I know not what else to advise. I am acquainted with the sous-préfet of police-a worthy man, who will do all in his power to help you, if satisfied that your husband is innocent. But you must lose no time. I will give you a letter to Monsieur le Sous-préfet.-Shall you need money?' Not wishing to alarm Madeleine, the mayor said nothing to her of his own fear that it might be already too late to save her husband. He wrote the letter, and handed it to her, and having been assured that she needed no help in money, advised her to set forth immediately.
The young wife needed no urging. Anticipating the result of her interview with the mayor, she had left her babe in charge of a kind neighbour; and proceeding instantly to the railway station, she, after five tedious hours, reached Paris. A stranger, unaccustomed to the noise, bustle, and confusion of a great city, she felt for the moment bewildered and lost. But the errand she had come upon quickened her faculties and inspired her with a desperate courage. Her first idea was to visit her husband and gladden him with her presence; and inquiring her way of different persons whom she met, she soon found the prison in which Antoine was confined. But, on requesting admission, she was informed that, without a special order from a magistrate, no person was permitted, under any circumstances, to visit or to have any communication whatever with a prisoner. It was terrible for her to gaze
The letter was despatched; and was received by Madeleine at the moment when she was set-upon the stone walls of the prison, and knowing ting forth to meet her husband at the Honfleur that her husband was confined within those railroad depôt, fully expecting him to return that walls, to be refused permission to see him. But day. wasting no time in useless lamentation, she hired a conveyance, and was driven to the abode of the sous-préfet, some little distance beyond the city. It was already late when she reached the house; but she rang the bell, and gained admittance.
It grieves me sorely, Monsieur,' he added, 'that I have no means of acquainting my poor Madeleine with the misfortune that has befallen me. She will not know what to think, and will fear that some serious accident has happened to me.'
"Thou canst write to thy wife, mon ami,' said the jailer. 'I will post the letter.'
'Monsieur, I cannot write,' replied Antoine. "Then tell me what thou would'st say, and I will write for thee.'
Antoine dictated a few lines, informing Madeleine that he was in prison in Paris, having been denounced as a Communist by a government spy named Lucien Pierrot; but, anxious not to alarm his wife, he expressed the hope that he would speedily be released, and that he would be able, when taken before the court, to prove his inno
The jailer shook his head gravely, but made no remark; and probably Antoine himself did not feel the confidence in his speedy release that he sought to impart to his wife; though, being ignorant of the dreadful severity with which those who were suspected of Communism were punished, he doubted not that he would be set at liberty in the course of a few days at the furthest.
Lucien Pierrot. He threatened me with vengeance, and now he has accomplished his purpose. If I had told Antoine, he would have been on his guard against the wretch, and this trouble would not have occurred. But I acted, as I thought, for the best.' She sunk into a chair, and for a few minutes felt perfectly helpless; but recollecting that it was necessary to exert herself immediately in her husband's behalf, she determined to proceed instantly to the mayor of Honfleur and seek his advice and assistance.
The young wife was dreadfully alarmed on reading the letter. 'It is my fault,' she thought. I am to blame. I ought not to have concealed from my husband the base conduct of the villain
Monsieur le Préfet had just dined, she was informed by a servant, and would see no person on business that evening; she must attend at the police court the next morning. But on her producing the letter from the mayor of Honfleur, the servant said that he would acquaint Monsieur with her presence.
The sous-préfet was seated at a table reading an evening journal, when the servant entered and informed his master that a young woman wished to see him on business of importance.
'At this hour!' exclaimed the préfet angrily. 'I cannot be disturbed. You should have told her so. Tell her to call at my bureau tomorrow.' The servant withdrew, but presently reappeared.
What now, sirrah?' demanded the préfet. 'Monsieur,' replied the servant, the young woman will not go away. She says she must see you on a matter of life and death, and she bade me hand you this letter.'
With an exclamation of angry annoyance, the préfet glanced over the contents of the letter. 'Who is this woman? What does she look like?' he asked.
'She is very young, Monsieur, and seems to be in sore trouble. She told me she had travelled a long distance.'
'Well, well; show her up-stairs.'
The servant again withdrew; and in a few moments returned, accompanied by Madeleine, frightened, even amidst her sorrow, at the grandeur-to her eyes-by which she was
'Enter, Madame,' said the préfet, who appeared to be surprised at the extreme youth and remarkable appearance of the young woman in her fisherwoman's garb. 'Pray, be seated, Madame,' he continued in a gentler tone of voice; and please to tell me briefly and clearly the object of your visit to Paris. I learn from my friend the mayor's letter that your husband is in prison, charged with complicity with Communism. My friend writes to assure me that he can certify that your husband cannot possibly be connected with the infamous Communists.'
'No; my husband knows nothing of the matter, Monsieur,' said Madeleine; and then she briefly told how it happened that he had visited Paris at this time.
"Then he arrived but three days ago, young woman?' said the préfet. His name? Ah! again glancing over the mayor's letter 'I see; Antoine Duroc. It strikes me,' he went on, 'that I have some recollection of that name.' He rose, went to a writing-table, and returned and reseated himself, glancing over the pages of a rough ledger or memorandum-book. As he did so, he read, as if to himself, yet loud enough for Madeleine to hear: 'Antoine Duroc, fisherman, aged twenty-three years, charged with inciting a mob to attack the military, and with having himself violently assaulted a soldier and released a prisoner who was under arrest. Denounced as a dangerous Communist by Lucien Pierrot.'
"This is a serious matter, young woman,' said the préfet to Madeleine; much more serious than my friend's letter led me to anticipate. It is out of my power to interfere in the matter,
sympathy with the Communists, nor with individuals who incite others to offend against the laws'
'Oh, believe me, Monsieur!' interrupted Madeleine, wringing her hands in an agony of distress; it is false that my husband is what you call a Communist. He knows not the meaning of the word. I have heard nothing of his having assaulted a soldier and released a prisoner. He said nothing of that in his letter to me; and I do not believe is true that he has done such a thing. But, Monsieur, this man, Lucien Pierrot, is a vile wretch, who swears the lives of innocent men away for gain, and is unworthy of credence. He has vowed vengeance against my husband and me because I refused to listen to his base importunities; and then blushing with shame amidst her distress, she related to the préfet the story of Lucien's conduct to her previous to her marriage. While she was speaking, the daughter of the préfet, a young and pretty girl of fifteen years, entered the room, and approaching her father, said: " 'Dear papa, I am come to wish you good-night.' Then perceiving Madeleine for the first time, she became silent, and stood gazing pitifully upon the young fisherwoman from behind her father's chair.
'It is sad-very sad, my poor woman,' said the préfet, when Madeleine had ended her story; but, as I have told you, I have no power to interfere in the prisoner's behalf. Your husband is charged with a military offence. He will be tried by court-martial to-morrow morning. I dare not bid you hope for his acquittal. Such wretches as the man Pierrot are necessary to the government in such times as this. His oath will be taken by the members of the court-martial in preference to that of the accused, even though they regard the accuser with contempt. The trial will be brief, and the sentence of the court-martial will be immediately carried into effect. It is quite impossible for me to say or do anything in behalf of your husband that will be of the least service to him.'
'Ah, Monsieur,' sighed Madeleine, at what hour to-morrow will the trial take place?'
'At seven o'clock. It will likely be over by nine o'clock; and at noon the sentence of the court will be carried out. A great number of prisoners await their trial by court-martial tomorrow.'
Madeleine, weeping bitterly, threw herself on her knees before the préfet. Monsieur, Monsieur!' she cried, 'it is terrible. Men are wolves. They have no pity. But can heaven permit such injustice? Monsieur, as you hope for mercy on the last great day, intercede for my innocent husband! Save him, Monsieur, and I will pray for you, and will teach my innocent babe to pray for you and yours so long as we may live.'
I pity you with all my heart,' replied the préfet, in a tone of deep sympathy; but again I assure you I can do nothing for you; I am powerless to help you. Paris is under martial law. The civil authorities are superseded for the time being by the military. I cannot interfere with the trial or sentence of a court-martial.' He advanced towards the suppliant young wife, and held forth his hand to assist her to rise; but Madeleine, overcome by the intensity of her
The préfet rang the bell, and when the servant papa; and now, good-night;' and kissing her appeared, bade him send some of the female father, Pauline hastened from the room before domestics to the assistance of the poor woman. the préfet could make any reply. The women came; and Madeleine, having partially recovered consciousness, was tenderly assisted from the room. "Take care of her, poor creature,' said the préfet. Let her rest a while before she goes away; and if she will partake of it, give her Some refreshment.'
'Ah, Pauline, my darling, where hast thou been?' he cried. Thou wert here awhile since. Why didst thou go away, my child?'
'Papa,' replied the young girl, drawing near to her father, and placing her arm round his neck, 'I went after that poor young fisher
'But the servants will take good care of her, my pet.'
'Yes, dear papa; but I took her to my own apartment and made her tell me all her story. She dared not tell you all. She was frightened, poor thing. O papa! it is so sad-so sad! I am sure, quite sure that the poor man is innocent of the political crimes imputed to him; and I have made the poor young wife promise to come here early to-morrow. I told her you would try to do something for her. And you will-will you not, dear papa, for my sake?'
Pauline, darling, you have done very wrong; you have encouraged the poor woman to hope for assistance that I cannot render. I am powerless in the matter, as I have told her already-even if I were sure of the man's innocence.'
Sure, papa!' exclaimed Pauline. "Can you doubt? You will not doubt to-morrow, when you have heard all.'
'My darling,' answered the sous-préfet, 'no matter how strongly I may believe in the poor man's innocence, I can do nothing for him. He will be tried by court-martial in the morning, and in a few minutes will be either acquitted or condemned. They waste no time in these cases. If he be found guilty, as is most probable, he will
be shot before noon.
'Papa, you must do something,' persisted the young girl. There is always time till the last You will restore the poor woman's husband to her. Think over what I have said,
A RECEPTION AT THE VATICAN. SINCE the establishment of United Italy, the Pope rarely leaves his own palace. Rather than Occupy a secondary place in the marvellous city where his predecessors long sat supreme, and whence they ruled Christendom, he lives a life of splendid seclusion. The Vatican is an enormous pile of buildings adjoining St Peter's, comprising thousands of apartments, a hundred and fifty staircases, as also museums, and an almost fabulous amount of art treasures in painting, sculpture, and antiquities. Its exterior, though not beautiful, is imposing from its size; but on the interior is lavished everything that is magnificent and costly in adornment-the rarest and most splendid marbles, oriental alabaster, mosaic pavements-until the spectator is bewildered by the very extent of its richness. There are beautiful private gardens, in which the Pope is frequently carried in a sedan-chair; but at those times the public are rigorously excluded, so that the only opportunity of seeing him is by obtaining admission to an audience, and such permission is sparingly given.
a certain Easter Monday morning, we set out for the Vatican in the dazzling sunlight of an Italian April; through the narrow, shady streets, with their picturesque groups of people, shifting and changing like the figures in a kaleidoscope. Soon we cross the Bridge of St Angelo, where Bernini's angels look on the yellow Tiber; then past the Castle of St Angelo with its look of hoary age; then lastly into the Piazza of St Peter, with its Egyptian obelisk and leaping fountains, half encircled by the immense colonnades which lead to the great church in the centre.
Descending from our carriage, and passing through the bronze gate, we enter the guardroom at the foot of the regal staircase, where the Guards, in their extraordinary dress of striped scarlet and yellow, are on duty. Our permisso was here inspected; and we then went up Bernini's beautiful staircase, with its fine columns and painted roof. After passing the equestrian statue of Constantine, we go through a bewildering succession of apartments and galleries, marshalled on at each turn by private servants of the Pope, in costumes of crimson velvet brocade. Next, we enter that wonderful series of frescoed chambers where the masterpieces of Raphael look down in colours scarcely faded since they left the great master's hand. On this occasion, however, one cannot pause to do more than glance at the 'School of Athens,' or the astounding 'Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple,' where the sacrilegious intruder seems absolutely hurled across the threshold of the sacred building. Last in succession is the Hall of Constantine, with the battle of the Ponte Molle, which changed the fate of the Empire from heathenism to Christianity. This Hall was painted by Giulio Romano, from Raphael's designs.
After passing through an antechamber, filled with chamberlains and other dignitaries, we were shown into the Geographical Gallery, where the audience was to take place. This Gallery, which
is not generally shown to the public, is of very great length, being about one hundred and sixty yards. The walls are entirely covered with frescoed maps, painted in a realistic way, with ships sailing on the blue seas, and the mountains and forests shaded-in. The effect is curious, and very beautiful. The roof is also frescoed; and the floor is of inlaid and highly polished marble. Rows of busts on pedestals against the walls, and seats painted to imitate marble, are its only furniture. The windows on one side look into the lovely private gardens.
We arrived a little before half-past eleven, the time fixed for the audience; and although it soon became evident that punctuality was not intended, the novelty of the scene was amply sufficient to prevent any feeling of weariness. Each person on arriving was shown to his or her place by an official. All the ladies present were in black dresses, with long black veils, worn over the head like Spanish mantillas. The gentlemen were in evening dress. The clerical element in the assemblage was very strong-priests from various lands; sandalled monks of different orders, with rosary at girdle, and robes of white or brown according to their rule, waiting what to them was a great event. Next to us was a group of French priests, who were going as missionaries beyond the borders of civilisation in the far East, who had come to receive a special benediction from the Holy Father before leaving for their dangerous work. A little farther off was a venerable monk, whose long silvery beard and hair, and bent form, seemed to speak of many years beyond the usual age of man. He had come a long distance to have an interview with the head of his Church. Nearly all the persons present had objects to be blessed by the Pope, chiefly rosaries; but many had medallions and crucifixes, and not a few little models of the bronze statue of St Peter in the church-the statue whose toe is so often and so reverently kissed, that it had to be renewed, and is again being worn away. The missionaries next us had an immense number of rosaries to take out with them.
After waiting more than two hours, the doors at the farther end of the gallery were opened, and a brilliant group appeared in the opening. The distance was so great that we could not distinctly see its several parts, only a general effect of bright colours, in which splendid uniforms predominated. This group at first appeared to be stationary; then, after a time, we became conscious it was moving, but so slowly and with such frequent pauses, as to be almost imperceptible. By degrees it came nearer, and we saw two chamberlains walking backwards; then came some of the Guardia Nobile, the Pope's bodyguard, each member of which is a nobleman, and wears a tall crested helmet like an old Roman. Then came a number of stately dignitaries in violet robes, Cardinals and Monsignors; and at last we caught a glimpse in the centre of a small figure entirely in white-his Holiness himself then more violet robes, and lastly, more guards, closing the procession. It was impossible to see that slowly advancing figure, with its imposing surroundings, without being most powerfully impressed. He is the representative of a power-a spiritual hierarchy-which, as Macaulay says, 'can certainly boast of a far longer succession
than any dignity in the world; linking together the two great ages of human civilisation. Our modern feudal kings are mere upstarts compared with the successors in regular order, not, to be sure, of Peter, but of Sylvester and Leo the Great.'
A Monsignor who walked by the side of the Pope, asked the name, nationality, and religion of each person, for the information of his Holiness, who then said a few words. He speaks only Italian and French. He had a short conversation in the latter language with the priests next us, which of course we could. distinctly hear. They spoke of their intended mission; and he replied that the merit of such actions lay in the intention, less than in their successful performance.
The Pope is small and frail in figure, with the whitest and most bleached-looking complexion it is possible to conceive. One could scarcely imagine him able to go through the prolonged fatigue entailed by even such a ceremony as that in which we saw him. His manner is most gracious and pleasing, and his expression of countenance benevolent. He was dressed in a white cloth robe with small cape, white skull-cap, and white shoes embroidered with a cross; a white silk sash, with gold-fringed ends, round his waist. A large cross of magnificent emeralds was the only spot of colour in his attire. The Pontifical ring, which it is the etiquette to kiss, was especially splendid, and appeared to have the head of St Peter engraved upon it. A dignitary carried his scarlet cloak; and another, the large hat of the same colour, tied up and edged with gold cord. He remained a few minutes in colloquy with our party, which happened to be the last in the assembly. Then turning round to face the gathering, he blessed it collectively, with outstretched arms, in the name of the Trinity. The whole of the persons present, guards and attendants, knelt to receive the benediction. This closed the ceremony.
Immediately thereafter, the cloak was placed upon his shoulders by the official who carried it; and then, having been covered by the hat in like manner, he disappeared through the door opposite to the one by which he entered, his retinue following. The audience was at an end. We returned, by a different suite of rooms, to the Scala Regia, which we descended, much pleased with our glimpse of the Papal Court as witnessed in a Reception at the Vatican.
THE number of witty replies, ready retorts, and good things' generally attributed to Swift, Foote, Sydney Smith, Sheridan, and other departed celebrities, would doubtless considerably astonish those gentlemen, were they to return to life. Happy thoughts are not confined to acknowledged wits, however. Most of us have sometimes had occasion to say: 'What a good repartee such and such an answer would have been, had we only thought of it in time.' But there is the rub. It is not given to every one, perhaps fortunately for the general peace, to be as ready at retort, for example, as the critic to whom the following question was addressed by an artist: 'Don't you think it is about time I exhibited something?' 'Yes; a little talent, for instance,' was the reply.-To a grocer who had retired from business,