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FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Dime Novel and Popular Literature
Frank Leslie's New York Journal of Romance, General Literature, Science and Art
Frank Leslie's New York Journal of Romance, General Literature, Science and Art, New Series, v. 1, p...
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Frank Leslie's New York Journal of Romance, General Literature, Science and Art, New Series, v. 1, part 5, May 1855, [Incomplete].
9 January 2014
New York : Frank Leslie
Dime Novel and Popular Literature
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. had insisted on his attending her to a brilliant party, to which both were invited by one of those moths of fashion who love to surround themselves with the celebrities of the day. Mademoiselle was celebrated for her. beauty more than for her talent ; besides, she had been much talked of lately, and the noble host would have deemed his circle incomplete without her. _ Although they had to pass the surgeon’s house on their way to the splendid villa of their host, the heartless woman had refused him permission to alight, even for an instant, observing “that there would be time on their return.” - And her dupe obeyed. “ Eugenie, c'est mot!” said the signor. Madame rose from her knees, and unbarred the oor. Heartless as he was, Alberto felt a momentary pang when his eyes fell upon the corpse of his son —his first-born—stretched like a flower, untimely withered upon the bed before him. He did not dare to raise them from the dead to the living: he dreaded to meet her gaze. « Dead!” he faltered; « dead!” a : « And without once pronouncing your name, or expressing a wish to see you !’’ observed his wife, in a bitter tone. “He felt that you had forgotten him, and his ” She could not complete the reproach; she felt a rising weakness in her throat—a swelling at her heart—and she had resolved to be calm as an accu- sing angel's voice. . . «low strange and sudden! Who would have supposed? Poor boy—poor boy!” Not knowing what else to do, the hypocrite pre- tended to weep, and, approaching the bed, would have imprinted a kiss upon the brow of his son. «Do not touch him! Do not profane the majesty of death—the sanctity of innocence !” almost shrieked Madame Garrachi. He died upon my bosom! His mother’s kiss was the last his lips received! Do not stain them by a less holy one!” « Eugenie, I do not understand you!” « God !”” exclaimed the unhappy woman, clasping her hands and sinking on her knees by the side of the bed; “has this thing no heart?” Overwhelmed with shame and remorse—for he did feel at last—the Italian attempted to raise her ; she shuddered at his touch. « Eugenie!” he said, vainly attempting to soothe “her; “I have been wrong—negligent, perhaps—but not culpable! . You know I ‘ove you, and idolised poor Felix!” Let me entreat of you to quit this room! Think of your health!” he added, for the first time perceiving the damp state of her dress; * for heaven's sake, think of your voice!” The scornful laugh which broke from the lips of the singer startled him. She rose in an instant to her feet, and stood erect and pale before him. Tis last words had revealed to her all for which he had ever sought or valued her. : ** My voice!’ she repeated; “it has rained gold for you, and misery for me! ‘Would it had been changed to the raven’s note whéh first you ‘heard it —I had then escaped your snaré! ' Shall'I tell you, Alberto, the nature of the lové'ydu'beat' to. me— paint it in its true, mercenary tolors—compress it in one word—calculation? My 'vdice'! it Was a-tor- tune to you—-enabled you to indulge your tastes— ‘our appetites—your sensual‘luxury!" It has left me!” she added; ‘and the tie which united! us) is broken! Whether I live or die, starve in.a foreign land, or not, will give you-nosetohd thought or care!” Maes a : «« Eugenie!’ ~ us lupe se « Leave me,” she continued, « with! the dead— with the wreck of hopes and dréains—with a wound for which time has neither balm nor ‘cure!:" Leave me—and—no—no—I cannot’ curse you—memory. one day will avenge me !"” vido nde «This is jealoasy—madness !” exclaimed Signor Alberto, beginning to feel’ seriously alarmed—for his interests were at stake. |. : * Jealousy!” said his wife, becoming suddenly calm, “ Man—man—how littl¢ do'you' know»me! I could as soon be jealous of the dead, as of the love which can change and change, or a wanton’s- smile lure from me! Go!” she added, advancing to.the window, and throwing it ‘suddenly open; «your companion, sir, is waiting for you!” . moot At the sound occasiétiéd” by ‘the! raising of the sash, Mademoiselle Cherini, who whs'’stated dn an open carriage at the door, looked up, and the eyes of the injured wife and’her rival: met! “She could not endure the gaze of thé wotnati she had ko cruelly outraged—a suspicion; that'death was in the room suddenly occurred to her. 3! 3) **, Lie FRANK LESLIE’S NEW YORK JOURNAL. «Home !’”’ she exclaimed to the coachman. The man gave bis horses the lash, and she felt remind her that there was a future. Like an instrument whose cords have suddenly given way, the nerves of the sufferer yielded to the long-suppressed: agony of her heart, and she sank helpless as a child by the window. A brain fever followed, and it was weeks before: the desolate woman recognised the. tearful face of Fanny, who had been her patient attendant. As for her worthless husband, he was punished in the only point on which his selfish nature was vulnerable: her voice was gone—its wondrous flexi- bility,.its pure, flute-like tone destroyed—a hoarse- ness had settled upon her, lungs, which ‘neither science, change of climate, nor that still greater change which time scarce fails to bring, ever could remove; it sounded, if ever she attempted to bring forth a note, as if it came from beneath a pall. Then it was that the triumph of Mademoiselle Cherini was complete—she had no longer a rival to dispute her supremacy.. True, the audience at His Majesty’s Theatre listened at first with coldness to her efforts—for they still remembered her predeces- sor; but this coldness gradually wore away. The town required to be amused—excitement was a necessity to the Aabitués of the Opera—and they created it. Before the close of the season, half London was at her feet, and many began to wonder how they had ever admired Madame Garrachi. « Well!” said her confidante and adviser, as they drove home from the Opera, after a performance which had been little less than an ovation; “I trust you are satisfied?” «1 am satisfied !’”” murmured her pupil. «© And will dismiss that indolent, imbecile Al- berto!’’ continued the ex-prima donna. ‘ « It‘is‘long since Chave been tired of witnessing his‘ affected airs and graces! The idiot imagines himself a vic- tor, where he is only the dupe!’’ > Mademoiselle made no reply. Come!’ resumed the speaker, it is folly to affect a passion with me! I know that you despise him!” yee “True !”? muttered the artiste. “ And are tired of his love!” * “That is by no means so sure!” replied Made- moiselle’ Cherini; ‘your advice has proved fatal to more than one! True, I have'succeeded in destroy- ing my rival—in taking her place in the favor of the public; but it has not been without a wound «What??,. © > - “Igve him!” *‘ Heaven help you, then!’ exclaimed the female Machiavel, with an ominous shake of the head. «You are even more to be pitied than the rival you have so cleyerly crushed !” - 4 ‘« How so?” demanded the singer. . Her agany is over—yours ts yet to come!’? «Her companion shuddered. .There was something oracular in the cold, sneering tone in which the prediction was pronounced: she remembered the presentiment which had seized her when her glance encountered that of the woman she had injured at ithe window; perhaps, too, her conscience whis- pered her that she merited such a fate. i} Signor Garrachi, during the illness of his wife, made several—and we need not say unsuccessful— attempts to.discover what had become of her dia- monds! his rage and disappointment at not finding ‘| them may be better conceived than described. It wag in vain that he questioned her waiting-maid and the people of the house—he could elicit no in- formation ; and for the best of all possible reasons— they had none to give ;‘he even had the baseness to attempt drawing the secret from his victim during the access of delirium. | ce 2 A vacant laugh and the name of her boy were the only replies he could draw from her. . , She must have suspected my intention,’ he thought, “when she surprised me with her écrin, and has concealed them!” ves ates To discover where, became doubly important, iwhen he recollected that the fortune of his ill-used wife was in France+where, ‘happily for. the gifted artiste, the law protects the civil rights of. woman. In France a wife is the partner—not the slave—of her husband; has an equal. right with him in the joint estate—can sue and be sued on account of her separate property, and even withdraw her dower from ; his hands, on. showing cause before the tribunals, = * . The possession of the jewels would haye repaired Cot AR RET ee ee Ty 259 all—but they had escaped him; and when the | Italian reflected on his position, he came to the con- relieved that the menacing glance of Madame Gar- ,clusion that he’had overreached himself—for he rachi was no longer fixed upon her: it seemed to|began to entertain serious doubts whether the love —heaven forgive us for prostituting the word—of Mademoiselle Cherini might not change with his altered fortune. hope of a reconciliation with madame was vain: she had declared her intention to separate from him. In this resolution she was firmly sup- ported by the advice of Miss Mellon, who during her illness had been unremitting in her kindness. Much to the annoyance of her husband—who calculated on and wished his: wife’s death—the kind-hearted actress had insisted upon calling in the most eminent medical advice—had placed in the sick room of her protegée two English nurses, in whose fidelity she could place implicit trust: so that Madame Garrachi was never for a single instant alone. Little Fanny, who had eyes and ears for every~ thing which might affect either the health or safety of her benefactress, reported all that passed. Signor Alberto began to hate the child. In order to have his victim more completely in his power, he had arranged to remove her to the house of one of his countrymen, who resided a few miles from London. The pretext of change of air was quite sufficient for the people of the hotel—and as for any opposition on the part of his wife, that he considered might be easily overcome, or ex- plained by attributing it to the wandering of her brain. woe On the very morning on which he had calculated on putting this.fiendlike project in execution, the carriage of Miss Mellon drove up to the door of the hotel at an earlier hour than usual. Bitterly did the Italian, as he saw her alight, laden with flowers and fruit for the poor invalid, curse her officious friendship. : . As she entered the hall, Fanny whispered a few words in her ear, . «We shall see!” said the actress, compressing her beautiful lips—for they were beautiful then; «he does not know me yet!” The fair speaker possessed a hold over the worth- less man which she had pledged her word to her old friend, Mr. Coutts, to employ only at the last extremity. a England, it must be remembered, at the period of which we write, was still at waf with France—for the short-lived peace of Amien’;had been broken, and the laws regulating the residence and corres- pondence of aliens were stringent in the extreme: a mere suspicion was sufficient to cause a man to be sent out of the country, or to consign him to a rison, Colonel de Lille—a pretended emigré, but in reality a spy of the French, Emperor—had just been sent to Newgate: so well hdd the impostor acted his part, that he had obtained access to the best English society. Many.ptrsons who had known him refused to credit the proofs of his delinquency, and one noble lord, at whose house he had been a frequent gue-t, carried his, confidence so far as to demand from his place in Parliament the reasons of the minister for ordering his arrest.’ When pro- duced, the reply was ovérwhelming—‘iever had the aristocracy of England been more completely duped than by the cunning-Frenchman, : There were grave reasons to suppose that Alberto had been’ one of his agents—for’ he had’ cashed several checques at the banking-house' of Mr. Coutts, which: the colonel had drawn upon a firm in Holland... : . The Italian «vas too much a man of the world to display his, ill-humor—your true gamester seldom shows his cards; on the contrary, he received his— or rather his wife’s—visitor in his blandest ‘man- ner—declared, with a profusion of compliments, . . |that her kindness would never be effaced from his memory—and announced, as‘if it were the most matter-of-course affair, his intention to remove madame from London. ~* . ; , “ Where to?’ inquired the lady, drily. <" * “To a cottage belonging to a friend of mine, a short distance from town,” replied’ the signor; «« where every attention that friendship can bestow’ will be lavished, to lead her to forget her loss 1”: 1 There are losses, replied- Miss Mellon, «« which never can be forgotten—even,” she ‘added, in a! pointed tone, ‘that of the affection we once prized!’ . soothes, The gentleman cclored deeply: this was'no fenc-''! ing, but a home-thrust—a downright honest, ear- - nest blow. . De tee You have not replied to my question, soe ce bee ‘ Pe te ‘ tebe Mae nal ‘permit awn >