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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
FRANK LESLIE’S NEVV YORK JOURNAL. 259 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 wbuld 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 r'eturn.” And her dupe obeyed. “ Eugenie, East moi!" said the signor. Madzime rose from her knees, and unbarred the door. Heartless as he was, Alberto felt a momentary pang when his eyes fell upon the corpse of his son vhis 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 faltcred; " dead l” “ 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 -4’ She could not complete the reproach: she felt a rising weakness in her throalza swelling at her heart-and she had resolved to be calm as an accu- sing angel's voice. ’ “ How strange and sudden! Who would have supposed? Poor boy-poor bo 1" 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 1" almost shricked 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 !” ‘I 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 shuddcred at his touch. it Eugenie I" he said, vainly attempting to soothe ' her ; “ I have been wrong-negligent, perhaps-but not culpablel 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. His last words had revealed to her all for which he had ever sought or valued her. “My mice!" she repeated; " it has rained gold for you, and misery for me! ‘Would it had been changed to the raven‘s note when first you heard it -I had then escaped your snare! ' Shall I tell you, Alberto, the nature of the loveyou 'beui"‘ to me- paint it in its true, mercenary colors-compress it in one "' rde-calcukztion! My voice‘! it‘ was afor- tune to you-.enabled you to indulge your tastes- your appetites--your scnsual‘luit'uryl‘ It -has left me!" she added ; U and the tie which unitedi us‘. is broken! VVhether I live or die," starve in a foreign land, or not, will give you no second thought or care !” ' ' 4- Eugenie!” ’ ‘ i t . . H Leave me," she continued, “ with‘ the dead- with the wreck of hopes and dreains-"vvith a wound- for which time has neither balm nor ‘cure! i Leave me-and-no-no-I canriofcurse you-memory one day will avenge me !" I “ This is jealousy-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 little doyouiknowime! I could as soon be jealous of the dead, as ofthe love which can change and change, or a wantou's smile lure from me! Go!" she added, advancing to -the window, and throwing it suddenly open ; “ your companion, air, is waiting for you!" ‘ . At the sound occasioned‘ by the raisingrof the sash, Mademoiselle Cherini; who whs‘ seated in 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 the woman she had so cruelly outraged-a suspicion, that death was in the room suddenly occurred to her. .‘ . “ Home !" she exclaimed to the coachman. The man gave his horses the lush, and she felt relieved that the menacing glance of Madame Gar- rachi was no longer fixed upon her: it seemed to remind her that there was a future. 1 Like an instrument whose cords have suddenlyihla 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 am d-excitement was a necessity to the lcabituifa 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 Grarrachi. " 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 1" murmured her pupil. “ And will dismiss that indolent, imbecile Al- berto !" continued the ex-prima donna. ‘ “ It'is- long sincel have been tired of witnessing his1afl'ect'ed airs and graces! The idiot imagines himself a vic- tor, where he is only the dupe I" ‘ Mademoiselle made no reply. “ Come!" resumed the speaker, " it is folly to affect a passion with me! I know that you despise him !” " ' '4 True !” muttered the artiste. “ And are tired,of,h'is love I". " That is by no means‘ so ‘ sure I" replied Made- moiselle Cherini; “your advice has proved fatal to more than one! True, I havesucceeded in destroy- ing my rival‘-in taking her place in the favor of the public; but it has not been without a wound in my own heartl" ‘ " What?". A ' “ I.1ove himlf,’ , “ 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 v have so cleverly crushed 1" H How so i’’ demanded the singer. “ Her agony is over-yours is 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 ,the window; perhaps, too, her conscience whis- pered her that she merited such a fate. ,, 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: liis rage and disappointment at not finding them may be better conceived than described. It was 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 aocessof delirium. 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, ‘Qwhen she surprised me with her e'crin, and has concealed them!" . 'l'o discover where, became doubly important, when he rccollected that the fortune of his ill-used wife was in France4where, 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 she 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 have repaired all-but they had escaped him; and when the Italian reflected on his position, he came to the con- clusion that he had overreached himself-for he began to entertain serious doubts whether the love heaven forgive us for prostituting the word-of demoiselle Cherini might not change with his altered fortune. All hope of a reconciliation with madame was lvainz 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 protege? 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 rain. 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 oflicious friendship. As she entered the hall, Fanny whispered a few words in her ear. H 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. England, it must be remembered, at the period of which we write, was still at war with France-for the short-lived peace of Amiepd: had been broken, and the laws regulating the residence and cones- 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 IISOII. Colonel de Lille-a pretended emigri, but in reality a spy of the French,Ei'n'peror-had just been sent to Newgate: so well hid the impostor acted his part, that he had obtained access to the best English society. Many.persons who had known him refused to credit the proofs of his delinquency, and one noble lord, at whose house‘ he had been a frequent gut‘. t, carried his, confidence so far as to demand from his place in -Parliament the reasons of the minister for ordering his arrest. When ro- duccd, the reply was" overwhelming--hever had the aristocracy of England been more cdmplbtely 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. Courts, which the colonel had drawn upon a firm in Holland. - The Italian was too much a man of the world to display his ill-humor-your true garnester seldom shows, his cards; on the contrary, he received his- or rather his wife‘s-visitor in his blsndest man- ner-declared, with a profusion of compliments, that her kindness would never be etfaced from his memory-and announced,aa if it were the most matter-of-course affair, his intention to remove madame from London. “ Where to Y" inquired the lady, dril . - “ To a cottage belonging to a frien 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” . 4‘ There are losses, replied Mike Mellon, " which never can be forgotten-even," she added, in a pointed tone. " that of the affection we once prized Z" ' ing, but a home-thrust-a downright honest, ear- nestblnw. - . A The gentleman colored deeply: this was no fenc- ‘ ‘I You have not replied to my question, permit