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haviour on this occasion; but she soon found means to reconcile them again to her by the amiableness of her deportment.
After his departure, the little family continued to reside together, in some tranquillity, till the end of the autumn, when a decided change took place in the state of Madame's mind.
The conduct of Antoinette, with respect to her cousin, had so forcibly convinced her mother of the stability and sincerity of her religion, that she began to regard her with increased esteem, and to listen to her with increased delight; and many were the profitable hours which this mother and daughter spent together in the beautiful regions at the foot of the mountain. While such a revolution took place in the mind of Madame, as Antoinette could no otherwise account for than by believing that the Lord had granted a blessing on her humble endeavours to lead her parent in the heavenly way; this caused her to rejoice exceedingly, and her heart was filled with consolation.
The change observable in Madame was this--her spirits were become calm and equable, her mind was full of heavenly things, and her concern about worldly matters nearly vanished. She appeared truly a new creature in Christ Jesus: old things were passed away, and all things were become new. Her health in the mean time was feeble; and, in the end of the summer, her weakness increased; but, before the autumn was far advanced, her state was such, that her children daily looked forward to her death. At length, that event took place; and, though some time expected, it seemed sudden at last. She expired in the arms of Antoinette; and the last words she uttered were expressive of gratitude to God for giving her such a child, and of her hopes of salvation in Christ her Saviour.
I will not attempt to describe the grief of Antoinette, or the feelings of other individuals of the family on the occasion. Among Madame's clothes a will was found, which had been made and executed at Abbeville, but with the existence of which her daughters were unacquainted. In this will the comte de J-, and his mother the comtesse, were appointed guardians of her
VOL. VII. P
daughters, if she died while they were under age; he was also appointed trustee for the whole of his sister's little property.
This arrangement was replete with many very unpleasant circumstances to Antoinette, though, as it appeared, by no means equally so for Eleanore, who had long secretly sighed to be acknowledged by her noble relations. Some doubt was, however, entertained whether the comtesse and her son would administer to the will and accept the offices of guardians; but this doubt was cleared up so soon as letters between the parties could be exchanged. The old comtesse, when informed of the death of her daughter, seemed to lose all sense of displeasure against her, and even expressed a wish to see her children.
Monsieur accordingly settled his affairs in Switzerland, and once again prepared to pass the Alps with his young cousins; resolving to take leave of them when he had consigned them to their grandmother's care.
I could say much of the grief of Antoinette in quitting the valley of Anzasca-a place endeared to her by many tender recollections. She continued to cast many a look back on the high peaks of the Monte Rosa, till, after several days' journey, these peaks were no longer distinguishable from the white clouds which rested on the horizon.
Monsieur and the young people, with the Irish maid, lingered long on the road : perhaps they were sorry to part; but certainly they might have accomplished the journey in a much shorter time than they actually did.
It was in a dark, cold evening in November, when they reached the Barriere a Paris, and drove through its gloomy streets for a considerable length of way before they arrived at the gates of the Hotel de J-, in the Fauxbourg St. Honore.
At the gate of this hotel Monsieur took his leave, saying, he would call upon his young friends in a few days. The old man was affected, but he did not like to show it before strangers; he therefore made his escape at the moment before the gates of the court were thrown open to receive the carriage.
The houses of persons of consequence in Paris, and,
indeed, in all other towns in France, are, for the most part, built in courts considerably back from the street, and presenting to the view of the passenger without high and gloomy walls and gateways. These courts are generally paved, and a flight of steps and folding-doors must be passed before the visiter is ushered into the great hall of the hotel. The apartments in all these houses are arranged in suites, one room opening into another, and presenting to the eye of a stranger a more magnificent coup d'æil than more superb apartments could supply on a less ostentatious plan.
Eleanore was not so entirely overwhelmed by her feelings but that she was fully aware of the magnificence of the house she was entering the moment she set her foot in the hall; where two superb staircases, and a variety of marble figures as large as life, indicated the dwelling of a family of rank. Several'laquais, who were apprized that such ladies were expected, were ready to conduct them to a range of apartments above stairs, which had been set apart for their use; and here one of the fille-de-chambres of the comtesse presently waited upon them, to tell them that Madame the comtesse was not that moment at home, but that she was expected every hour. She also brought them refreshment, and offered to assist them to change their dresses ; by which they perceived, that their grandmother expected them to appear in their best dresses before her.
It was eight o'clock in the evening, however, before the arrival of the comtesse was announced. She was then going to dinner, an hour when the young people had been accustomed to think of going to bed; and they were introduced to her in a saloon, most sumptuously furnished, where she was seated on a sofa.
The young people had expected to see an old woman. They were therefore much surprised to find her looking younger than their mother had done some months before her death, highly rouged, and dressed in the extreme of fashion. Madame de J was habitually a haughty, worldly-minded woman; which appeared through the whole of her conduct. She was, however, softened, and evidently pleased, by the appearance of her granddaughters; in whom she saw beautiful and
well-educated young women, in whose external appearance nothing was needed but what a little fashionable society, and a Parisian milliner and dress-maker could speedily confer. The old lady was, moreover, not entirely divested of some compunctious feelings respecting her daughter, whom she was conscious of having treated with too much severity.
The compte de J the father of the chevalier, was not at that time present in Paris, being absent in a foreign court, on some diplomatic business.
The first compliments between these newly met relations were scarcely over, when the chevalier de Jin the uniform of the Garde du Corps, among whom he had lately been admitted, came joyfully into the room, accosting his cousins with a warmth of affection which was particularly acceptable to them, after the cold and formal manner with which the comptesse had received them. It was impossible for Antoinette not to feel a second time the influence of his attractions, connected as they were with so much warmth of affection towards her; and, as she had now no object of affectionate regard, Ich as she possessed in her mother, her disengaged heart was in greater danger of yielding to the temptation than ever; but she knew in whom she might trust, even in Him who has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. (Heb. xiii. 5.) Her feelings were, however, such for the moment, from a sense of her present situation, and a remembrance of the past, that she wept when Theodore accosted her, a circumstance which the young man did not fail to interpret much in his own fa
The recent death of her mother was supposed to be a sufficient apology for this effusion of feeling, by the rest of the company; and as she soon recovered her usual composure, the party adjourned into the diningroom, where they found an addition to the party in the abbe St. J who was the confessor of the comptesse; and who, having owed his preferment to the interest of the family, was wholly devoted to its service.
The abbe was particularly lively and agreeable in conversation ; by reason of which, though some of the company were silent, there was no lack of conversation at the table.
After dinner, the young ladies requested permission to retire to rest, and Antoinette was not sorry to find a separate apartment prepared for her, although she was affected to learn that it was by the especial desire of her sister; for, since the indiscreet patronage which Joanna had bestowed on Eleanore, an indifference had arisen between the sisters, which, on the part of Eleanore, had now amounted to absolute alienation. Surely, we ought to learn the imprudence of exalting, on any pretension whatever, one part of a family in preference to another. Family peace, has, perhaps, oftener been destroyed by such want of judgment than by any other means what
What compensation could Joanna, as appears, ever make to Eleanore for the injury she did her in depriving her of such a friend as Antoinette ?
Antoinette was, however, somewhat compensated for the neglect of her sister, by being informed that Alice O'Neal, (the Irish maid,) who had, it seems, boasted of her talents as fille-de-chambre-an office which, in common with many others, she had long performed for Madame Northington,-was permitted to be her attendant.
Antoinette was troubled with many uneasy and painful thoughts, which prevented her, for some time, from enjoying her usual repose; but when sleep, at length, came, it was peaceful and serene.
It is not the custom, in genteel French families, to make the breakfast a social meal: a circumstance which was very pleasing to Antoinette, who by reason of this enjoyed some hours of retirement in her own room the next morning.
About noon she was called to her grandmother, who was breakfasting in her elegant bed, and holding a kind of levee, which consisted of marchandes des modes with their chiffons, and other persons of the same description.
Antoinette was surprised to see Eleanore sitting familiarly by the comptesse's bed, mending a new glove, which had been torn in an attempt to pull it on too hastily.
Before Antoinette had finished her morning salutations to her august grandmother, Theodore came into the