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“It is certainly my will,” said Bertalda with a smile, if it does not take them too long.” And pleased with the thought that a word from her was now sufficient to accomplish what had formerly been refused with a painful reproof, she looked down upon their operations in the bright moonlit castle court.
The men raised the enormous stone with an effort; some one of the number indeed would occasionally sigh, when he recol. lected that they were destroying the work of their former be. loved mistress. Their labor, however, was much lighter than they had expected. It seemed as if some power from within the fountain itself aided them in raising the stone.
“It appears," said the workmen to one another in astonishment, “as if the confined water had become a springing fountain.” And the stone rose more and more, and almost without the assistance of the workpeople, rolled slowly down upon the pavement with a hollow sound. But an appearance from the opening of the fountain filled them with awe, as it rose like a white column of water; at first they imagined it really to be a fountain, until they perceived the rising form to be a pale female, veiled in white. She wept bitterly, raised her hands above her head, wringing them sadly as with slow and solemn step she moved toward the castle. The servants shrank back, and fled from the spring, while the bride, pale and motionless with horror, stood with her maidens at the window. When the figure had now come close beneath their room, it looked up to them sobbing, and Bertalda thought she recognized through the veil the pale features of Undine. But the mourning form passed on, sad, reluctant, and lingering, as if going to the place of execution. Bertalda screamed to her maids to call the knight; not one of them dared to stir from her place; and even the bride herself became again mute, as if trembling at the sound of her own voice.
While they continued standing at the window, motionless as statues, the mysterious wanderer had entered the castle, ascended the well-known stairs, and traversed the well-known halls, in silent tears. Alas, how differently had she once passed through these rooms!
The knight had in the mean time dismissed his attendants. Half undressed and in deep dejection, he was standing before a large mirror; a wax taper burned dimly beside him. At this moment some one tapped at his door very, very softly. Undine had formerly tapped in this way, when she was playing some of her endearing wiles.
"It is all an illusion!said he to himself. “I must to my nuptial bed.”
"You must indeed, but to a cold one!” he heard a voice, choked with sobs, repeat from without; and then he saw in the mirror that the door of his room was slowly, slowly opened, and the white figure entered, and gently closed it behind her.
“They have opened the spring,” said she in a low tone; "and now I am here, and you must die."
He felt in his failing breath that this must indeed be; but covering his eyes with his hands, he cried:—“Do not in my deathhour, do not make me mad with terror. If that veil conceals hideous features, do not lift it! Take my life, but let me not see
“Alas!» replied the pale figure, “will you not then look upon me once more ? I am as fair now as when you wooed me on the island ! »
«Oh, if it indeed were so," sighed Huldbrand, "and that I might die by a kiss from you!”
“Most willingly, my own love,” said she. She threw back her veil; heavenly fair shone forth her pure countenance. Trembling with love and the awe of approaching death, the knight leant towards her. She kissed him with a holy kiss; but she relaxed not her hold, pressing him more closely in her arms, and weeping as if she would weep away her soul. Tears rushed into the knight's eyes, while a thrill both of bliss and agony shot through his heart, until he at last expired, sinking softly back from her fair arms upon the pillow of his couch a corpse.
"I have wept him to death!” said she to some domestics who met her in the ante-chamber; and passing through the terrified group, she went slowly out, and disappeared in the fountain.
SONG FROM (MINSTREL LOVE)
H WELCOME, Sir Bolt, to me!
And a welcome, Sir Arrow, to thee!
In your swift airy ride?
When once on earth lying,
Lullaby! lullaby! lullaby!
Sir Bolt, you have oft been here;
But still from pure haste
All your courage would waste
What! over all leaping,
Lullaby! lullaby! lullaby!
NATOLE FRANCE, whose real name of Thibault is sunk in his A literary signature, was born in Paris, April 16th, 1844. His D a father, a wealthy bookseller, seems to have been a thoughtful, meditative man, and his mother a woman of great refinement and tenderness. Their son shows the result of the double influence. Always fond of books, he early devoted himself to literary work, and made his debut as writer in 1868 in a biographical study of Alfred de Vigny. This was shortly followed by two volumes of poetry: 'Les Poèmes Dorés) (Golden Verses) and 'Les Noces Corinthéennes (Corinthian Revels). "Since this work of his youth he has published at least twelve novels and romances, of which the most familiar are:
Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard' (The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard), Le Livre de Mon Ami' (My Friend's Book), Le Lys Rouge' (The Red Lily), and Les Désirs de Jean Servieu' (Jean Servieu's Wishes). Several volumes of essays, critical introductions to splendid editions of Racine, Molière, La Fontaine, and Le Sage, of (Manon Lescaut' and Paul and Virginia,' ANATOLE FRANCE numberless studies of men and books for the reviews and journals, – these measure the tireless industry of an incessant worker. In 1876 M. France became an attaché of the Library of the Senate. In December 1896 he was received as member of the French Academy, succeeding to the chair of Ferdinand de Lesseps, whose eulogy he pronounced with exquisite taste and grace.
Like Renan, whose disciple he is, this fine artist was formed in the clerical schools. His perfection of style, clear, distinguished, scintillating with wit and fancy, furnishes, as a distinguished French critic remarks, a strong contrast to the painful and heavy periods of the literary products of a State education. He is an enthusiastic humanist, a fervent Neo-Hellenist, delicately sensitive to the beauty of the antique, the magic of words, and the harmony of phrase.
Outside of France, his best known works are (Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard' (crowned by the Academy) and (Le Livre de Mon Ami.' The first of these expresses the author's Hellenism, sentiment, experience, love of form, and gentle pessimism. Into the character of Sylvestre Bonnard, that intelligent, contemplative, ironical, sweetnatured old philosopher, he has put most of himself. In 'Le Livre de Mon Amiare reflected the childhood and youth of the author. It is a living book, made out of the impulses of the heart, holding the very essence of moral grace, written with exquisite irony absolutely free from bitterness.
It is to be regretted that in some of his later writings this charming writer has fallen short of the standard of these works, though the versatility of talent he displays is great and admirable. In (Thais) he has painted the magnificent Alexandria of the Ptolemies; in Le Lys Rouge) the Florence of to-day. In "La Rôtisserie de la Reine Pedauquel (The Cook-Shop of the Queen Pedauque) and in
Les Opinions de M. Jérome Coignard,' Gil Blas, Rabelais, Wilhelm Meister, and Montaigne seem to jostle each other. In (Le Jardin d'Épicure) (The Garden of Epicurus) a modern Epicurus, discreet, indulgent, listless, listens to lively discussions between the shades of Plato, Origen, Augustine, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, while an Esquimaux refutes Bossuet, a Polynesian develops his theory of the soul, and Cicero and Cousin agree in their estimate of a future life.
In his own words, M. Anatole France has always been inclined to take life as a spectacle, offering no solution of its perplexities, proposing no remedies for its ills. His literary quality, as M. Jules Lemaître observes, owes little or nothing to the spirit or literature of the North. His intelligence is the pure and extreme product of Greek and Latin tradition.
IN THE GARDENS From (The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard. Copyright, 1890, by Harper &
APRIL 16. CT. DROCTOVEUS and the early abbots of Saint-Germain-des-Prés I have been occupying me for the past forty years; but I do
not know whether I shall be able to write their history before I go to join them. It is already quite a long time since I became an old man. One day last year, on the Pont des Arts, one of my fellow-members at the Institute was lamenting before me over the ennui of becoming old.
« Still,” Sainte-Beuve replied to him, “it is the only way that has yet been found of living a long time.”