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which I shall never see a red
liard. And yet I have been a second mother to her."
It was certainly something in
poor Lily's favor that she had been blessed with a second mother, seeing what a
remarkably unsatisfactory investment the first one had proved to be. The abbe,
however, received Madame's statement with a pinch of salt, as well as with one
of snuff. He knew the Marcassin of old, and was acquainted with her aptitude for
magnifying her own merits and depreciating those of others : when she would
allow them, which was but seldom, to have any merits at all.
" It is a pity," carelessly
remarked the abbe, putting the. caster to his chin, as was his wont, before he
flung the dice, " that you should be burdened with this little eat-all and
" It is more than a pity, it is a
shame, a scandal, an enormity, an abomination," Madame indignantly acquiesced.
"Figure to yourself, my dear abbe, that this most reprehensible young person of
fifteen years of age—well grown, too—devours my substance. She devours the
little patrimony which I hope to be able to leave, some day, to my kindred in
Touraine. Such a great girl is not to be kept on walnut-peelings,"
" That is easy to see," the
diplomatic abbe agreed.
"They may keep her who will," the
school-mistress continued, with well-simulated indifference. " I am sick of the
charge, and should be enchanted to be relieved from it."
" Would you, then, consent to her
"Who would pay me my memoirs, if
you please ?" the Marcassin returned quickly.
" But if you have lost, as you
say you have lost by this time, all hopes of payment ?"
"That is true," returned Madame,
shrugging her shoulders. "As well fish in the canal for whales as expect that I
shall ever re-enter into my funds."
" And if you placed this
embarrassing young creature in some locality of which you were well assured, and
with persons at whose hands you could at any time claim her?"
"That is true ; but how to find
such a locality and such persons ?"
" They must be numerous. Could
you not obtain a situation for her in a school, half as pupil to .cher, half as
fille de peine ?"
' he is that already, here ; more
of one than the, other." Mademoiselle did not specify which was the " one" and
which the " other."
" And the convent ?"
" Impossible. She is a heretic.
The government is infidel and Voltairean. We should have complications with the
"But you say that she has no
papers, no recognized identity."
" I tell you, abbe," exclaimed
the Marcassin, "that she has nothing, save the spirit of the Fiend which
animates her. She is as friendless as a mountebank's tumbling child, bought for
forty sous at a fair, and passed on from one juggler to another."
" Pauvre petite !" murmured the
abbe again; but his voice was pitched low.
" Besides," resumed the
schoolmistress, " if she went to another school she might chatter—and—"
She stopped, somewhat confused,
and, the game being over, hurriedly closed the backgammon-board.
"I understand you," the abbe
returned, with a nod. " There is much rivalry in the scholastic profession. One
always tries to do one's neighbor—when one's neighbor or keeps a school —as much
'harm as is possible. 'Tis pity, for charity's sake, that it should be so. But
suppose, my dear and worthy lady, that I was enabled to find, out of doors, an
asylum for this forlorn child— a safe asylum, a respectable asylum, a discreet
asylum—whence, from time to time, I should be enabled to bring you news of her,
and whence, if the dishonest persons who have defrauded you of your hard-earned
money were ever brought back to better sentiments, and showed a wish to make
restitution, you could bring her back. Suppose some such scheme to be within my
power of putting quickly into execution ?"
"Then, my dear abbe, I should say
at once, Take her."
"Is that your determination?"
"You have my word for it."
" Then we will adopt measures in
accordance. I shall have the honor shortly of communicating with you on the
subject. Not another cup of tea, I assure you. I have fears for my head. Well,
qualified with this excellent and sanative rhum of the colonies. Have you tasted
the Chocolat de Sante, my dear lady? And the Racahout des Arabes ? No ; you
prefer the Pate Regnault. A thousand wishes for your happiness ! We will
consider the affair of la petite as arranged. Figure to yourself this Monsieur
Veron, who makes one fortune by managing the Opera House—what a scandal—and
another by selling cough lozenges. And yet, I am told, a most excellent person,
and devoted to the Church. Yes, I will certainly remember to bring the six
numbers of the Gazette de France when next I have the honor. One might get the
little wardrobe of la petite together. She has none, you say. Well, one must be
found for her. Charity is not dead, as you, Mademoiselle, have so triumphantly
proved. Once more, dear lady, good-night !"
These remarks were not delivered
without a solution of continuity. The abbe's valedictory observations were
scattered about the room. He had to swallow another cup of the curious fluid
which Mademoiselle Marcassin imagined, with many other French ladies of that
period, to be tea. He yielded to friendly compulsion, and partook of another
modicum of the colonial liqueur. Then he had to find his umbrella and his
shovel-hat, and to press Madame's hand, and
to bow over it, and to accept
some jujubes for his poor cough, and to suffer Madame with her own fair
hands—literally fair, but not cruel, to him—to tie a woolen scarf round his
neck, as a defense against the night air.
It was all as innocent, I speak
without mental reservation, as sheep-shearing in Arcadia. No-thing could come of
it. Both were stricken in years. On both the doom of perpetual celibacy weighed
: he, enforced to it by vows : she, sentenced to it by circumstances and by
temperament. Yet I have heard that the sun shines sometimes at the North Pole ;
and I believe that a little flirtation is a little flirtation all the world
over. Believe me, had the fiend who tempted the good St. Anthony come to him,
not in the guise of a ballet-girl, but as a cozy, comfortable spinster of a
certain age—a spinster who would have knitted muffatees, and made wine possets,
and warmed his slippers, and cut the leaves of his Tablet for him—the hermit
would earlier have turned his eyes upward from his tome.
One sigh—one among a thousand
frowns—is not many. Mademoiselle Marcassin gave one sigh, and put away the
backgammon-board and the rhum of the colonies.
"Pauvre cher homme," sighed the
Marcassin ; and then she froze up again in one block and proceeded to make her
nightly tour of her dormitories, scattering bad marks about her on all the
pupils who could be proved to be awake. For wakefulness was considered
presumptive evidence of the offender having been indulging in prohibited
"A worthy lady, the Dame
Marcassin," the Abbe Chatain mused as he sped homeward. "She errs a little,
perhaps, on the side of strictness, but those young persons are difficult, very
difficult to manage. I remember at the seminary what trouble I used to give the
proviseur and the regisseur, and what stripes of the discipline these shoulders
have suffered. Hi ! L it must be admitted that Mademoiselle Marc:_ sin is a
woman who has a character. Oh! her force of character is immense. And she is
conscientious, highly conscientious. We must see whether we can persuade Madame
de Kergolay to shelter this poor little shorn lamb."
And the abbe went home to bed. He
was a worthy soul—although he did sometimes read Beranger's poems on the sly.
"If he had only been on our side,
Monsieur de Beranger," the abbe was wont to say, " what an ally he would have
been ! What a colossus ! But it has always been thus. From the days of M. de
Pascal we have never been able to keep the drolls who have wit and humor on our
side. And yet we have educated them all in our seminaries. They have bitten the
hand that fed them. If M. de Moliere now had only written Tartufe against the
Huguenots ! History of fatality. It is true that we have M. de Chateaubriand — mais il radote — he drivels. That rhum of the colonies was very toothsome.
To-morrow is a fat day, and Madame Blaise" (his housekeeper) "has promised me a
turkey stuffed with chestnuts. C'est enivrant, that turkey stuffed. A little
glass of that rhum of the colonies would make an excellent poussecafe. Ah ! here
we are at home. Let us enter."
It has been found, not
unfrequently, that en-forced celibacy Ieads to a partiality for roast turkey
stuffed with chestnuts. Cut a man off from the flesh and he clings to the
OF THE ABBE.
A VERY few days after the
interview recorded in the last chapter the Abbe Chatain had an-other
conversation with Mademoiselle Marcassin. On his departure he met Lily (who had,
indeed, tremblingly, but purposely, thrown her-self in his way), and, patting
her on the head again, told her to be of good cheer, for that a change in her
condition was imminent. Lily went that day to her needle-work, and her
knife-cleaning, and her bed-making, quite radiant ; and at night, nestling in
her shabby pal-let, she peopled the Imaginary Land with all kinds of benevolent
ecclesiastics and philanthropic protectors.
Her deliverance came upon her
with delightful suddenness. According to the abbe it might be a week or a
fortnight before the arrangements that were being made in her behalf could be
carried out ; but as her good fortune would have it, the very morning after she
had received this hopeful announcement, and as she was sitting, in her usual
Cinderella position at the bottom of the class, the Marcassin herself entered
the school-room in full state and proclaimed to Mademoiselle Espremenil that
Mademoiselle Floris, no longer "la fille Pauline," or "la petite Anglaise," had
been " called to other functions."
"Circumstances," the Marcassin
took occasion to say, "which did not perhaps imply de-liberate culpability on
the part of Mademoiselle Floris, had rendered her position one of some-what a
painful nature." Goodness knows it had, and of the painfulest ! " Indeed, she
might say that her education and sustenance, her very vestments, in fact, had
been provided by e person whom it was unnecessary to name." Here. the
governesses looked admiringly at the Marcassin ; the pupils all stared at Lily ;
and the poor child herself blushed a deep crimson. "However, this equivocal
state of affairs had now come to an end. Thanks to the efforts of a worthy
clergyman (digne ecclesiastique), an asylum had been found elsewhere for
Mademoiselle Floris. In the new sphere to which she was about to be removed she
would doubtless preserve a lively recollection of the favors and bounty which
had attended her sojourn in the Pension Marcassin."
There were murmurs (rumeurs) of
approbation among the scholars ; and the head governess re-marked, in a low
' " If she does not preserve
that lively recollection she is a monster of ingratitude."
"The conduct of Mademoiselle
Floris," continued her benefactress, " had not been entirely free from matter
for animadversion. The veil of the past, however, might now be thrown over the
anxieties—she might say the sorrows—she had caused her instructresses.
Mademoiselle Floris left that establishment full of the best sentiments; and
she, Mademoiselle Marcassin, was glad to recognize that this young person I was
calculated in every way to do honor to the Pensionnat where she had been
The young ladies, most of whom
had been for years spectatresses of the daily tasks and punishments inflicted on
the scape-goat of the school, and had grown perfectly accustomed to hear her
called worthless, insupportable, and incorrigible, by the schoolmistress and her
assistants, were not in the least surprised to hear this virtual eulogium
pronounced on Lily. It was the Marcassin's way. Nil nisi bonum was her
invariable maxim, as applied, not to defunct, but to de-parting scholars. It was
a remarkable fact that no young lady, however refractory or stupid she might
have been, ever quitted the academy with-out a glowing panegyric on her conduct
and proficiency. The supreme punishment in the Marcassin's code of pains and
penalties was expulsion ; but she had only been known to expel one single pupil.
The dismission of this culprit took place on the eve of the summer vacation ;
and it was quite notorious that her parents designed to remove her to another
The Abbe Chatain did not come
himself as the messenger of Lily's deliverance. The welcome emissary was his
housekeeper, Madame Prudence. She was a rosy, apple-cheeked old dame, the best
cook, and, moreover, the possess-or of the best temper, in the quarter. She
loved her abbe very dearly, tended him very assiduously, and scolded him
sometimes ; but that, like the cunning dishes she cooked for him, was all for
his good. Madame Prudence was not an admirer of the Pension Marcassin, nor of
its energetic proprietor. She spoke of Madame as " cette Megere." She alluded
pointedly to the governesses as "myrmidons of the tyrant." Her opinion regarding
the pupils was that they were op-pressed slaves. She had been known to snap her
fingers at the entire establishment, in the open playground, and in the light of
day. There was an old feud between her and the Marcassin ; and she did not,
perhaps, altogether approve of ecclesiastics, bound to bachelorhood, being
regaled by scholastic spinsters with tea, with back-gammon, and with the rhum of
The priest's housekeeper, like
the schoolmistress, was unmarried ; but both were called "Ma-dame," probably
from the reason that to a people who had always retained an infinite veneration
and deference toward age there seemed some-thing unduly familiar and flighty in
the appellation " Mademoiselle." When we were a less civilized, but a better
behaved people, we too used to address our spinsters as " Mistress."
On the way from the Pension to
her new home —when, to Lily's infinite delight, they traversed on foot the
streets of the only city in the world worth living in, with which she had made
but ten minutes' acquaintance in the course of seven years—Madame Prudence was
pleasantly loquacious, and made no secret of her impression that she had been
the immediate means of rescuing Lily from the jaws of a roaring dragon.
"They would have devoured you
there, my child," she remarked, patting Lily's arm affectionately as she trotted
along by her side. "I know her well, that stiff and starched piece of affected
tyranny. Ah ! it is I who have given her a bit of my mind. It is not I who am
afraid of her. A woman with an ascertained position, quoi !" The last part of
these observations Ma-dame Prudence evidently applied to herself; and she as
evidently considered the "position" of a priest's housekeeper to be, so far as
respectability went, a much better " ascertained" one than that of a
" And you were very unhappy, eh,
my child," she continued, "down in that hole?"
" Oh, dreadfully unhappy !"
replied Lily. " Many and many a time I could have wished to die, only I knew the
wish to be wicked."
"And no wonder. And they were
cruel to you ?"
"Madame was certainly very
strict--almost harsh ; but I dare say I was stupid and disagree-able, and gave
her much trouble."
"You ? I won't believe it for an
instant. M. l'Abbe says that you are a little lamb for meekness and resignation.
To me you shall be a little angel. The good Madame de Kergolay, whither you are
going, has already made up her mind to treat you like a little kitten. Ah ! it
is there you will dine well, and when you come to dine with the abbe and me you
shall have a taste of my cookery ; you shall taste la vraie cuisine bourgeoise,
my cherished. Are you fond of good dinners ?"
"It is so long ago," answered
Lily, with a smile, and in involuntary disparagement of the culinary
dispensation enjoyed by the inmates of the Pension Marcassin.
"I should think so. I know what
those crocodiles feed you poor little innocents upon. Haricots, haricots,
haricots, all the year round, as if you were mules, and only deserved to be fed
upon beans. And the lentils ! And the chiccory ! I would not mind if they knew
how to cook them ; but they don't, the Cosaquesl" A Cossack was Madame
Prudence's synonym for every thing that was mean, base, and cruel. "And the
wine, or rather the water blushing at being so villainously adulterated ! Ah !
the good Ma-dame de Kergolay will make you taste of the got d little vintages.
You will be you happy as the day is long. You will help Madame at her
embroidery, and sing to her, and read to her, and play L her to sleep ; and then
the abbe will play back-
gammon with you. I shall not be
jealous, ma mignonne ; and on Sundays and feast-days I will come to you, and we
will go to the mass together."
" I am a Protestant," interposed
"A Protestant! que' q' c'est
qu'ca?" quoth Madame Prudence. "All! I know—a Huguenot, a dissident. Well, you
must read Mon-seigneur the Bishop of Meaux upon the Reformists. Ah ! the great
man Bossuet. And then, my faith, you must go to your temple, and hear your
minister. Madame de Kergolay seeks to make no proselytes. Many of her kindred
are dissidents. I have known a good many honest folks—tres gentils meme—who were
of the Lutheran profession. M. l'Abbe is Gallican and tolerant. That wicked old
giraffe, the Marcassin, is ultra-montane, and breathes nothing but sulphur
against heretics. She would make a furious grand inquisitor. Voyons ! I can't
see why Protestants should burn. Le bon Dieu meant nothing to be burned, except
candles and wood for the kitchen fire."
Thus sociably chatting, the
abbe's housekeeper led Lily through the streets of the only city in the world
worth living in. The modest package of clothing which the Marcassin had
persuaded herself to part with as the wardrobe of Mademoiselle Floris had. been
sent on before by a commissionnaire.
PORTER'S GUN-BOATS PASSING
THE DAM AT ALEXANDRIA.
WE give on the
an illustration of ADMIRAL PORTER'S GUN-BOATS PASSING THE DAM IN THE RED RIVER
AT ALEXANDRIA. The gun-boats, on falling down the river from Grand Ecore to
Alexandria, were arrested in their progress by the shallowness of the water at
the " Grand Rapides," just above Alexandria. There being but three or four feet
of water a long delay was necessary, the army being obliged to remain at
Alexandria to protect the gun-boats. The situation seemed a desperate one, but
Colonel BAILEY soon found a way of escape. He at once set the men at work in
constructing two dams, for the purpose of throwing the water into the middle of
the current, thereby causing a sufficient depth of water to carry over the
boats. It was a work of great labor, owing to the rapidity of the current and
the scarcity of materials; but after twelve or fourteen days it was
accomplished, and the fleet saved. Colonel BAILEY'S skill and energy, in
devising and directing the work, have already been recognized by Congress, which
has adopted a joint resolution, formally tendering him the thanks of the nation
for his invaluable services. He has also received promotion at the hands of the
Our sketch was made on the spot
by Mr. GEORGE SLATER.
WE continue this week our
General SHERMAN'S magnificent campaign in
page 388 we give a sketch of the BATTLE OF
RESACA, fought on the 14th ult. The particulars of this engagement were
published in the Weekly of the 4th instant. The attack upon the rebel works was
made by General GILES SMITH'S brigade of
General MORGAN'S division of LOGAN'S corps on
the right, and WOOD'S brigade of OSTERHAUS'S division on the left. General SMITH
led his troops on foot, and General LOGAN was every where present. Experienced
army officers who witnessed the engagement represent that the charge of our
troops was one of the finest of the war.
page 389 we present a sketch representing
Colonel ROBINSON'S brigade of
General HOOKER'S command saving the Fifth
Indiana Battery in the battle at Resaca. Of this occurrence Mr. DAVIS says : "
On the evening of the 14th a portion of General HOOKER'S corps, who had reached
a point on the extreme right, were, at a critical moment, turned upon by the
enemy, and driven back to the Fifth Indiana Battery, Captain SIMONSON, which
held a position of great importance. General HOOKER, without a moment's delay,
ordered Colonel ROBINSON'S brigade of General WILLIAMS'S division to charge the
rebel line, which was almost upon the battery of the gallant SIMONSON. The
brigade immediately advancing, the rebels were forced back and the battery
saved. No battery was ever more splendidly fought than that of Captain SIMONSON;
and the conduct of ROBINSON'S brigade was in the highest degree praiseworthy."
On the same page we give another
sketch in which HOOKER'S troops are conspicuous. In his assault on the enemy's
works at Resaca HOOKER made steady headway, carrying line after line of
BUTTERFIELD'S division encountered a lunette of
formidable size. Several attempts were made to carry it and capture its guns,
which were pouring a destructive fire into our lines, but the attempt was
futile. The troops fought with great desperation, but as often as they advanced
upon the lunette the terrific volleys of musketry from the enemy in the
fortifications hurled them back in confusion. At last BUTTERFIELD charged
forward and took a position under the protecting works of the fort, so close to
the guns within that they could be touched by the men's hands. Here they
remained under shelter for the rest of the day, our men picking off every rebel
who showed himself above the works. Upon the fall of night HOOKER matured plans
for capturing the works by strategy, under cover of darkness. The pioneers were
brought up; the ends dug out of the works, and the guns drawn out by the aid of
ropes, under a destructive fire from the occupants of the works, who were driven
out or captured as our troops swarmed in through the opening in over whelming
numbers. The guns were four twelve pound brass pieces ; a number of
battle-flags, including those of the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-fifth Alabama,
were captured, with over two hundred prisoners. GEARY'S division is entitled to
the credit of this novel achievement.