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THE DOWNFALL 

('LA DEBACLE')- 
By EMILE ZOLA. Translated by E. A. VIZETELLT. 

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

1 Let captious critics challenge bis statements as they may, the bulk of his country, 
men will not deny that he has furnished them with the most intensely realistic descrip- 
tion of " The Downfall " that has jet been written.' STAB. 

' Mr. Vizetelly's translation is a masterly piece of work. France should be proud of 
M. Zola. . . ." The Downfall " is the most instructive and fearfully fascinating book that 
has been written, or possibly could be written, on the Franco-German War.' PEOPLE. 

' Cavils are silent when we contemplate the masterly march of the epic as a whole. 
Never has the author written better ; never, assuredly, has he described so well ; never has 
he had such a chance to vent his profound and poetical sense, not only of the lugubrious 
and desperate sides of human life in war, but of its sudden hopes, its comradeships, and 
its partings.' MANCHESTER GUARDIAN. 

' A most fascinating story.' CHRISTIAN WORLD. 

1 " The Downfall " is one of the most realistic and fascinating narratives placed in 
the hands of the reading public for a long time past. It is a work that reflects the genius 
of the great writer in every page. If. Zola set himself a big task, and he has faithfully 
and fearlessly accomplished it.' SALA'S JOURNAL. 

' It has been observed by historians of literature that the losing tide in battles 
usually has the best songs, and this novel confirms the general view. No book of 
triumph could be so impressive as this stately and sorrowful story of a country's over- 
throwin which a thousand touches of literary effect are massed, controlled, and 
managed with something of the commanding skill that leads an army to victory.' 

SCOTSMAN. 

' The subject has turned the terribly conscientious transcriber of documents into a 
poet . . . The grander side of the awful struggle is never lost sight of, and, in its own 
way, M. Zola's novel is almost as religious as a Greek tragedy. ... It is impossible not 
to admire the thoroughly artistic way in which M. Zola has succeeded In bleeding the 
personal and national elements in his drama.' GLASGOW HERALD. 

' From first to last the reader will be fascinated with M. Zola's brilliant style, for 
he rises to preater heights of sublimity in "The Downfall" than in any of his other 
books. ... It is one of the greatest historical dramas ever written. . . . Zola was the 
only man who was equal to it. He has produced a masterpiece.' MORNING LEADER. 

' Probably no one who is interested in modern fiction is by this time unfamiliar at 
least with the substance of tins marvellous work. Its picture of Sedan is a monument 
of conscientious study. . . . The artist is so thoroughly the master of his craft that the 
narrative always flows on with the ease of something thrown off in the calmest leisure.' 
YOI.KSHIBE POST. 

' This long-promised addition to the celebrated Rougon-Macquart series has brought 
joy to the admirers of M. Zola, and has raised him in the estimation even of those 
who have no sympathy with his methods. M. Zola has painted for his countrymen, in 
all its horrors, the downfall of their patrie before the German ; and his strongly-drawn 
characters march through all the horrors of the war, many of the scenes, let us gay, 
being given in a masterly manner, and with a stern grasp of the psychology of the 
battle-field.' ARMY AND NAVY GAZETTE. 

' That M. Zola attempted a very ambitious piece of work, and that he has carried it out 
in a very masterly manner, there can be no doubt. The story "catches on" at once, 
for from the very beginning the reader is bound to fall under the spell of a style which 
fascinates irresistibly even in the most horrible scenes of the most realistic of the realist's 
works. ... It requires an uncommon amount of courage to open a story with a descrip- 
t : on of the much-described camp life of 1870-71, but M. Zola dares it with brilliant 
success.' PALL MALL GAZETTE. 

'M. Zola has risen" to "the height of hi* great argument." "La DebAcle" is the 
prose epic of - war. . . .Yet, horrible as it i?, there has been no straining, at horror for 
hoiror's sake perfect sobriety, a classic severity, absence of anything like exaggera- 



Opinions of the Press. 



tion arc, indeed, conspicuous throughout the book. Zola has done his work in the 
grand style, with immense breadth of survey, with dignity and power on a level with his 
subject. It would have been nothing short of a disaster to literature if this great theme 
had been unworthily handled. All apprehensions on that score are now set at rest, for 
" La Debacle" is a masterpiece.' SPEAKER. 

" It would probably be no exaggeration to say that, taken as a whole, " La Debacle " 
is the most wonderfully faithful reproduction of an historical drama ever committed to 
writing. " La Debacle " is an appalling record of long-drawn-out misery, profligacy, and 
military and official incapacity, unbroken by any ray of hope or sunshine. It is a 
literally true Inferno. ... Of the terribly life-like descriptions of the sufferings of the 
demoralised army, it is impossible to give the faintest idea in a single review.' 

SPECTATOR. 

'"La Debacle "is full of magnificent work. It contains one of the finest passages 
of prose in the French language a passage that even Mr. Swinburne would find it 
difficult to deny was not superior to Hugo's celebrated charge in " Les Miserables." I 
could point out many other passages almost as fine.' GEORGE MOORE in THE FORT- 
NIGHTLY REVIEW. 

' Nobody can read it without having a perfect loathing for war and a horror of 
the passions, the laws, and the statesmen by whom it is ever voluntarily brought 
about. . . . It is only when jou have come to the end that you appreciate the feverish 
hurry in which jou have read page after page, and that yon know the splendM art with 
which M. Zola has concealed the fervour, the pity, the agony, and tbe inspiration with 
which he has told the tale. That M. Zola, can writs with power is already well known ; 
but in no passage in his many books is this power exhibited with such perfect ease, 
mastery, and simplicity.' SUNDAY Sex. 

' Though its subject is one which lends itself to naturalistic treatment of the most 
lurid order, and though the details of military life are depicted on naturalistic lines, yet 
tlie particular form of naturalism which has disfigured the pages of Zola, even in the 
ejes of his sincerest admirers, is conspicuously absent. . . . "La Debacle" treats of 
nothing but horror, yet from cover to cover it does not contain three needlessly repellent 
sentences. . . . The tale of Sedan has been told a hundred times, but not one of the 
narrations will have had one-hundredth ^jart of the readers who will make " La Debacle " 
their text-book for the disaster of the annee terrible.' ATHKK^CM. 

1 M. Zola has given us a veritable masterpiece. His wonderful powers of observation 
and of marshalling detail are as prominent here as in " La Terre" ; but they are purified 
by thought, and the result is a perfectly balanced and artistic entity. " La Debacle " 
is the prose epic of modern war. . . . M. Zola has made a contribution of the greatest 
value to history and to literature. He has at length found himself; and will assnredly 
have his reward, not only in the appreciation of others, bnt in that greatest of all joys 
to the creative artist, the consciousness of having worthily treated a great subject,' 

VANITY FAIR. 

' ' La Debacle " (rives a wonderful picture of the overthrow of the Second Empire. 
The efforts of the author have all been concentrated on a description of war as it really 
is. The only book we can compare with it is Tolstois "War and Peace.'" NOVEL 
BE VIEW. 

'In ''La Debacle " M. Zola has given to the world a prose epic of extraordinary 
power and interest. . . . The dramatii persona: include many striking types of French 
citizens and civilians, sketched with the passionate vigour and almost savage realism 
that characterise the strokes of M. Zola's incisive pen. The word-pictures are extra- 
ordinarily powerful, painful, and pathetic.' DAILY TELEGRAPH. 

Crown Svo. clbth extra, 3s. &d. 

THE DBEAM 

('LE REVE')- 
By EMILE ZOLA. With 8 full-page Illustrations by JEAXKIOT. 

* One of the most beautiful idyls in the language.' TABLET. 

London: CHATIO & WINDTJ6, 214 Piccadilly, W. 



THE DREAM 



PRINTED BY 

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE 
LONDON 




She continued to look round the room. 



[p. 260. 



THE DREAM 



(LE REVE) 



BY 



EMILE ZOLA 



AUTHOR OF 'THE DOWNFALL' BTC. 



TRANSLATED BY ELIZA E. CHASE 




WITH 8 ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGES JEANNIOT 




" z 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

SHE CONTINUED TO LOOK ROUND THE ROOM . Frontispiece 

MENIAL LABOUR WAS IMPOSED UPON HER . to face j). 23 

WOMEN HAD THE PRIVILEGE or WASHING THEIR 

LINEN 74 

THEY WERE BOTH CONFUSED .... 100 
' SHE HAS THE SAME BEAUTIFUL EYES THAT 

YOU HAVE ' . 142 

' I PUT MYSELF IN YOUR HANDS, MONSEIGNEUR ' 226 

SHE SAW FROM A DISTANCE CLAIRE, ACCOM- 
PANIED BY FELICIEN 238 

ANGBLIQUB REMAINED VERY FEEBLE . 292 



^ 



THE DREAM 



CHAPTER I 

DURING the severe winter of I860 the river Oise was 
frozen over and the plains of Lower Picardy were 
covered with deep snow. On Christmas Day, especially, 
a heavy squall from the north-east had almost buried 
the little city of Beaumont. The snow, which began to 
fall early in the morning, increased towards evening and 
accumulated during the night ; in the upper town, in 
the Rue des Orfevres, at the end of which, as if enclosed 
therein, is the northern front of the cathedral transept, 
this was blown with great force by the wind against the 
portal of Saint Agnes, the old Romanesque portal, 
where traces of Early Gothic could be seen, contrasting 
its florid ornamentation with the bare simplicity of the 
transept gable. 

The inhabitants still slept, wearied by the festive 
rejoicings of the previous day. The town-clock struck 
six. In the darkness, which was slightly lightened by 
the slow, persistent fall of the flakes, a vague living form 
alone was visible : that of a little girl, nine years of age, 
who, having taken refuge under the archway of the 
portal, had passed the night there, shivering, and 
sheltering herself as well as possible. She wore a thin 

B 



2 THE DREAM 

woollen dress, ragged from long use, her head was 
covered with a torn silk handkerchief, and on her bare 
feet were heavy shoes much too large for her. Without 
doubt she had only gone there after having well wandered 
through the town, for she had fallen down from sheer 
exhaustion. For her it was the end of the world ; there 
was no longer anything to interest her. It was the 
last surrender; the hunger that gnaws, the cold 
which kills ; and in her weakness, stifled by the heavy 
weight at her heart, she ceased to struggle, and nothing 
was left to her but the instinctive movement of preserva- 
tion, the desire of changing place, of sinking still deeper 
into these old stones, whenever a sudden gust made the 
snow whirl about her. 

Hour after hour passed. For a long time, between 
the divisions of this double door, she leaned her back 
against the abutting pier, on whose column was a statue 
of Saint Agnes, the martyr of but thirteen years of age, 
a little girl like herself, who carried a branch of palm, 
and at whose feet was a lamb. And in the tympanum, 
above the lintel, the whole legend of the Virgin Child 
betrothed to Jesus could be seen in high relief, set 
forth with a charming simplicity of faith. Her hair, 
which grew long and covered her like a garment when 
the Governor, whose son she had refused to marry, gave 
her up to the soldiers ; the flames of the funeral pile, 
destined to destroy her, turning aside and burning her 
executioners as soon as they lighted the wood; the 
miracles performed by her relics ; Constance, daughter 
of the Emperor, cured of leprosy ; and the quaint story 
of one of her painted images, which, when the priest 
Paulinus offered it a very valuable emerald ring, held 
out its finger, then withdrew it, keeping the ring, which 



TtfE DREAM- 3 

can be seen at this present day. At the top of the 
tympanum, in a halo of glory, Agnes is at last received 
into heaven, where her betrothed, Jesus, marries her, so 
young and so little, giving her the kiss of eternal 
happiness. 

But when the wind rushed through the street, the 
snow was blown in the child's face, and the threshold 
was almost barred by the white masses ; then she moved 
away to the side, against the virgins placed above the 
base of the arch. These are the companions of Agnes, 
the saints who served as her escort : three at her right 
Dorothea, who was fed in prison by miraculous bread ; 
Barbe, who lived in a tower; and Genevieve, whose 
heroism saved Paris : and three at her left Agatha, 
whose breast was torn ; Christina, who was put to tor- 
ture by her father ; and Cecilia, beloved by the angels. 
Above these were statues and statues ; three close ranks 
mounting with the curves of the arches, decorating them 
with chaste triumphant figures, who, after the suffering 
and martyrdom of their earthly life, were welcomed by 
a host of winged cherubim, transported with ecstasy into 
the Celestial Kingdom. 

There had been no shelter for the little waif for a long 
time, when at last the clock struck eight and daylight 
came. The snow, had she not trampled it down, would 
have come to her shoulders. The old door behind her 
was covered with it, as if hung with ermine, and it 
looked as white as an altar, beneath the grey front of the 
church, so bare and smooth that not even a single flake 
had clung to it. The great saints, those of the sloping 
surface especially, were clothed in it, and were glisten- 
ing in purity from their feet to their white beards. Still 
higher, in the scenes of the tympanum, the outlines of 

B2 



the little saints of the arches were designed most 
clearly on a dark background, and this magic effect con- 
tinued until the final rapture at the marriage of Agnes, 
which the archangels appeared to be celebrating under 
a shower of white roses. Standing upon her pillar, with 
her white branch of palm and her white lamb, the Virgin 
Child had such purity in the lines of her body of 
immaculate snow, that the motionless stiffness of cold 
seemed to congeal around her the mystic transports of 
victorious youth. And at her feet the other child, so 
miserable, white with snow she also grew so stiff and pale 
that it seemed as if she were turning to stone, and could 
scarcely be distinguished from the great images above her. 

At last, in one of the long line of houses in which 
all seemed to be sleeping, the noise from the drawing 
up of a blind made her raise her eyes. It was at her 
right hand, in the second story of a house at the side of 
the Cathedral. A very handsome woman, a brunette 
about forty years of age, with a placid expression of 
serenity, was just looking out from there, and in spite 
of the terrible frost she kept her uncovered arm in the 
air for a moment, having seen the child move. Her 
calm face grew sad with pity and astonishment. Then, 
shivering, she hastily closed the window. She carried 
with her the rapid vision of a fair little creature with 
violet-coloured eyes under an head-covering of an old 
silk handkerchief. The face was oval, the neck long and 
slender as a lily, and the shoulders drooping ; but she 
was blue from cold, her little hands and feet were half 
dead, and the only thing about her that still showed life 
was the slight vapour of her breath. 

The child remained with her eyes upturned, looking 
at the house mechanically. It was a narrow one, two 



THE DREAM 5 

stories in height, very old, and evidently built towards 
the end of the fifteenth century. It was almost sealed 
to the side of the Cathedral, between two buttresses, 
like a wart which had pushed itself between the two 
toes of a Colossus. And thus supported on each side, 
it was admirably preserved, with its stone basement, its 
second story in wooden panels, ornamented with bricks, 
its roof, of which the framework advanced at least three 
feet beyond the gable, its tui'ret for the projecting 
stairway at the left corner, where could still be seen in 
the little window the leaden setting of long ago. At 
times repairs had been made on account of its age. 
The tile-roofing dated from the reign of Louis XIV., for 
one easily recognised the work of that epoch ; a dormer 
window pierced in the side of the turret, little wooden 
frames replacing everywhere those of the primitive panes; 
the three united openings of the second story had been 
reduced to two, that of the middle being closed up with 
bricks, thus giving to the front the symmetry of the 
other buildings on the street of a more recent date. 

In the basement the changes were equally visible, 
an oaken door with mouldings having taken the place 
of the old one with iron trimmings that was under the 
stairway ; and the great central arcade, of which the 
lower part, the sides, and the point had been plastered 
over, so as to leave only one rectangular opening, was 
now a species of large window, instead of the triple- 
pointed one which formerly came out on to the street. 

Without thinking, the child still looked at this 
venerable dwelling of a master-builder, so well preserved } 
and as she read upon a little yellow plate nailed at the 
left of the door these words, ' Hubert, chasuble maker,' 
printed in black letters, she was again attracted by the 



6 THE DREAM 

sound of the opening of a shutter. This time it was the 
blind of the square window of the ground-floor. A man 
in his turn looked out ; his face was full, his nose 
aquiline, his forehead projecting, and his thick short 
hair already white, although he was scarcely yet five- 
and-forty. He, too, forgot the air for a moment as he 
examined her with a sad wrinkle on his great tender 
mouth. Then she saw him, as he remained standing 
behind the little greenish-looking panes. He turned, 
beckoned to someone, and his wife reappeared. How 
handsome she was ! They both stood side by side, 
looking at her earnestly and sadly. 

For four hundred years, the line of Huberts, em- 
broiderers from father to son, had lived in this house. 
A noted maker of chasubles had built it under Louis XI., 
another had repaired it under Louis XIV., and the 
Hubert who now occupied it still embroidered church 
vestments, as his ancestors had always done. At twenty 
years of age he had fallen in love with a young girl of 
sixteen, Hubertine, and so deep was their affection for 
each other, that when her mother, widow of a magistrate, 
refused to give her consent to their union, they ran away 
together and were married. She was remarkably beauti- 
ful, and that was their whole romance, their joy, and 
their misfortune. 

When, a year later, she went to the deathbed of her 
mother, the latter disinherited her and gave her her 
curse. So affected was she by the terrible scene, that 
her infant, born soon after, died, and since then it seemed 
as if, even in her coffin in the cemetery, the wilful woman 
had never pardoned her daughter, for it was, alas ! a 
childless household. After twenty-four years they still 
mourned the little one they had lost. 



THE DREAM 7 

Disturbed by their looks, the stranger tried to hide 
herself behind the pillar of Saint Agnes. She was also 
annoyed by the movement which now commenced in 
the street, as the shops were being opened and people 
began to go out. The Rue des Orfevres, which termi- 
nates at the side front of the church, would be almost 
impassable, blocked in as it is on one side by the house 
of the Huberts, if the Eue du Soleil, a narrow lane, did 
not relieve it on the other side by running the whole 
length of the Cathedral to the great front on the Place 
du Cloitre. At this hour there were few passers, except- 
ing one or two persons who were on their way to early 
service, and they looked with surprise at the poor little 
girl, whom they did not recognise as ever having seen 
at Beaumont. The slow, persistent fall of snow con- 
tinued. The cold seemed to increase with the wan day- 
light, and in the dull thickness of the great white shroud 
which covered the town one heard, as if from a distance, 
the sound of voices. But timid, ashamed of her aban- 
donment, as if it were a fault, the child drew still 
farther back, when suddenly she recognised before her 
Hubertine, who, having no servant, had gone out to 
buy bread. 

' What are you doing there, little one ? Who are 
you?' 

She did not answer, but hid her face. Then she 
was no longer conscious of suffering ; her whole being 
seemed to have faded away, as if her heart, turned to 
ice, had stopped beating. When the good lady turned 
away with a pitying look, she sank down upon her knees 
completely exhausted, and slipped listlessly into the 
snow, whose flakes quickly covered her. 

And the woman, as she returned with her fresh 



8 THE DREAM 

rolls, seeing that she had fallen, again approached 
her. 

' Look up, my child ! You cannot remain here on 
this doorstep.' 

Then Hubert, who had also come out, and was 
standing near the threshold, took the bread from his 
wife, and said : 

' Take her up and bring her into the house.' 

Hubertine did not reply, but, stooping, lifted her in 
her strong arms. And the child shrank back no longer, 
but was carried as if inanimate ; her teeth closely set, 
her eyes shut, chilled through and through, and with 
the lightness of a little bird that has just fallen from its 
nest. 

They went in. Hubert shut the door, while Huber- 
tine, bearing her burden, passed through the front room, 
which served as a parlour, and where some embroidered 
bands were spread out for show before the great square 
window. Then she went into the kitchen, the old ser- 
vants' hall, preserved almost intact, with its heavy 
beams, its flagstone floor mended in a dozen places, and 
its great fireplace with its stone mantelpiece. On 
shelves were the utensils, the pots, kettles, and saucepans, 
that dated back one or two centuries ; and the dishes 
were of old stone, or earthenware, and of pewter. But 
on the middle of the hearth was a modern cooking-stove, 
a large cast-iron one, whose copper trimmings were 
wondrously bright. It was red from heat, and the water 
was bubbling away in its boiler, A large porringer, 
filled with coffee-and-milk, was on one corner of it. 

' Oh ! how much more comfortable it is here than 
outside,' said Hubert, as he put the bread down on a 
heavy table of the style of Louis XIIJ., which was in 



THE DREAM 9 

the centre of the room. ' Now, seat this poor little 
creature near the stove that she may be thawed out ! ' 

Hubertine had already placed the child close to the 
fire, and they both looked at her as she slowly regained 
consciousness. As the snow that covered her clothes 
melted it fell in heavy drops. Through the holes of her 
great shoes they could see her little bruised feet, whilst 
the thin woollen dress designed the rigidity of her 
limbs and her poor body, worn by misery and pain. 
She had a long attack of nervous trembling, and then 
opened her frightened eyes with the start of an animal 
which suddenly awakes from sleep to find itself caught 
in a snare. Her face seemed to sink away under the 
silken rag which was tied under her chin. Her right 
arm appeared to be helpless, for she pressed it so closely 
to her breast. 

' Do not be alarmed, for we will not hurt you. 
Where did you come from ? Who are you ? ' 

But the more she was spoken to the more frightened 
she became, turning her head as if someone were behind 
her who would beat her. She examined the kitchen 
furtively, the flaggings, the beams, and the shining 
utensils ; then her glance passed through the irregular 
windows which were left in the ancient opening, and 
she saw the garden clear to the trees by the Bishop's 
house, whose white shadows towered above the wall at 
the end, while at the left, as if astonished at finding 
itself there, stretched along the whole length of the alley 
the Cathedral, with its llomanesque windows in the 
chapels of its apses. And again, from the heat of the 
stove which began to penetrate her, she had a long attack 
of shivering, after which she turned her eyes to the floor 
and remained quiet. 



io THE DREAM 

1 Do you belong to Beaumont ? Who is your 
father ? ' 

She was so entirely silent that Hubert thought her 
throat must be too dry to allow her to speak. 

Instead of questioning her he said : ' We would do 
much better to give her a good cup of coffee as hot as 
she can drink it.' 

That was so reasonable that Hubertine immediately 
handed her the cup she herself held. Whilst she cut 
two large slices of bread and buttered them, the child, 
still mistrustful, continued to shrink back ; but her 
hunger was too great, and soon she ate and drank 
ravenously. That there need not be a restraint upon 
her, the husband and wife were silent, and were touched 
to tears on seeing her little hand tremble to such a 
degree that at times it was difficult for her to reach her 
mouth. She made use only of her left hand, for her 
right arm seemed to be fastened to her chest. When 
she had finished, she almost broke the cup, which she 
caught again by an awkward movement of her elbow. 

' Have you hurt your arm badly ? ' Hubertine 
asked. ' Do not be afraid, my dear, but show it to 
me.' 

But as she was about to touch it the child rose up 
hastily, trying to prevent her, and as in the struggle 
she moved her arm, a little pasteboard-covered book, 
which she had hidden under her dress, slipped through 
a large tear in her waist. She tried to take it, and when 
she saw her unknown hosts open and begin to read it, 
she clenched her fist in anger. 

It was an official certificate, given by the Adminis- 
tration des Enfants Assistes in the Department of the 
Seine. On the first page, under a medallion containing 



THE DREAM n 

a likeness of Saint Vincent de Paul, were the printed 
prescribed forms. For the family name, a simple black 
line filled the allotted space. Then for the Christian 
names were those of Angelique Marie ; for the dates } 
born January 22, 1851, admitted the 23rd of the 
same month under the registered number of 1,634. 
So there was neither father nor mother ; there were no 
papers ; not even a statement of where she was born ; 
nothing but this little book of official coldness, with its 
cover of pale red pasteboard. No relative in the world ! 
and even her abandonment numbered and classed ! 

' Oh ! then she is a foundling ! ' exclaimed 
Hubertine. 

In a paroxysm of rage the child replied : ' I am 
much better than all the others yes yes ! I am 
better, better, better. I have never taken anything 
that did not belong to me, and yet they stole all I had. 
Give me back, now, that which you also have stolen from 
me!' 

Such powerless passion, such pride to be above the 
others in goodness, so shook the body of the little girl, 
that the Huberts were startled. They no longer recog- 
nised the blonde creature, with violet eyes and graceful 
figure. Now her eyes were black, her face dark, and 
her neck seemed swollen by a rush of blood to it. Since 
she had become warm, she raised her head and hissed 
like a serpent that had been picked up on the snow. 

' Are you then really so naughty ? ' asked Hubert 
gently. ' If we wish to know all about you, it is because 
we wish to help you.' 

And looking over the shoulders of his wife he read 
as the latter turned the leaves of the little book. On 
the second page was the name of the nurse. ' The child, 



12 THE DREAM 

Angelique Marie, had been given, on January 25, 1851, 
to the nurse, Francoise, sister of Mr. Hamelin, a farmer 
by profession, living in the parish of Soulanges, an 
arrondissement of Nevers. The aforesaid nurse had 
received on her departure the pay for the first month 
of her care, in addition to her clothing.' Then there 
was a certificate of her baptism, signed by the chaplain 
of the Asylum for Abandoned Children ; also that of 
the physician on the arrival and on the departure of the 
infant. The monthly accounts, paid in quarterly in- 
stalments, filled farther on the columns of four pages, 
and each time there was the illegible signature of the 
receiver or collector. 

' What ! Nevers ! ' asked Hubertine. ' You were 
brought up near Nevers ? ' 

Angelique, red with anger that she could not prevent 
them from reading, had fallen into a sullen silence. But 
at last she opened her mouth to speak of her nurse. 

' Ah ! you may be sure that Maman Nini would 
have beaten you. She always took my part against 
others, she did, although sometimes she struck me 
herself. Ah ! it is true I was not so unhappy over 
there, with the cattle and all ! ' 

Her voice choked her and she continued, in broken, 
incoherent sentences, to speak of the meadow where she 
drove the great red cow, of the broad road where she 
played, of the cakes they cooked, and of a pet house-dog 
that had once bitten her. 

Hubert interrupted her as he read aloud : ' In case 
of illness, or of bad treatment, the superintendent is 
authorised to change the nurses of the children.' Below 
it was written that the child Angelique Marie had been 
given on June 20 to the care of Theresa, wife of Louis 



THE DREAM 13 

Franchomme, both of them makers of artificial flowers 
in Paris. 

' Ah ! I understand,' said Hubertine. ' You were 
ill, and so they took you back to Paris.' 

But no, that was not the case, and the Huberts did 
not know the whole history until they had drawn it, 
little by little, from Angelique. Louis Franchomme, 
who was a cousin of Maman Nini, went to pass a month 
in his native village when recovering from a fever. It 
was then that his wife, Theresa, became very fond of the 
child, and obtained permission to take her to Paris, 
where she could be taught the trade of making flowers. 
Three months later her husband died, and she herself, 
being delicate in health, was obliged to leave the city 
and to go to her brother's, the tanner Rubier, who was 
settled at Beaumont. She, alas ! died in the early days 
of December, and confided to her sister-in-law the little 
girl, who since that time had been injured, beaten, and, 
in short, suffered martyrdom. 

' The Rabiers ? ' said Hubert. ' The Rabiers ? Yes, 
yes ! They are tanners on the banks of the Ligneul, in 
the lower town. The husband is lame, and the wife is 
a noted scold.' 

' They treated me as if I came from the gutter,' con- 
tinued Angelique, revolted and enraged in her mortified 
pride. ' They said the river was the best place for me. 
After she had beaten me nearly to death, the woman 
would put something on the floor for me to eat, as if I 
were a cat, and many a time I went to bed suffering 
from hunger. Oh ! I could have killed myself at last ! ' 
She made a gesture of furious despair. 

'Yesterday, Christmas morning, they had been 
drinking, and, to amuse themselves, they threatened to 



14 THE DREAM 

put out my eyes. Then, after a while, they began to 
fight with each other, and dealt such heavy blows that 
I thought they were dead, as they both fell on the floor 
of their room. For a long time I had determined to 
run away. But I was anxious to have my book. 
Maman Nini had often said, in showing it to me : "Look, 
this is all that you own, and if you do not keep this you 
will not even have a name." And I know that since the 
death of Maman Theresa they had hid it in one of the 
bureau drawers. So stepping over them as quietly as 
possible, while they were lying on the floor, I got the 
book, hid it under my dress-waist, pressing it against 
me with my arm. It seemed so large that I fancied 
everyone must see^it, and that it would be taken from 
me. Oh ! I ran,-and ran, and ran, and when night came 
it was so darki Oh ! how cold I was under the poor 
shelter of that g^feat door ! Oh dear ! I was so cold, it 
seemed as if I were dead. But never mind now, for I 
did not once let go of my book, and here it is.' And 
with a sudden movement, as the Huberts closed it to 
give it back to her, she snatched it from them. Then, 
sitting down, she put her head on the table, sobbing 
deeply as she laid her cheek on the light red cover. 
Her pride seemed conquered by an intense humility. 
Her whole being appeared to be softened by the sight 
of these few leaves with their rumpled corners her 
solitary possession, her one treasure, and the only tie 
which connected her with the life of this world. She 
could not relieve her heart of her great despair ; her 
tears flowed continually, and under this complete sur- 
render of herself she regained her delicate looks and 
became again a pretty child. Her slightly oval face was 
pure in its outlines, her violet eyes were made a little 



THE DREAM 15 

paler from emotion, and the curve of her neck and 
shoulders made her resemble a little virgin on a church 
window. At length she seized the hand of Hubertine, 
pressed it to her lips most caressingly, and kissed it 
passionately. 

The Huberts were deeply touched, and could scarcely 
speak. They stammered : ' Dear, dear child ! ' 

She was not, then, in reality bad ! Perhaps with 
affectionate care she could be corrected of this violence 
of temper which had so alarmed them. 

In a tone of entreaty the poor child exclaimed : 
' Do not send me back to those dreadful people ! Oh, 
do not send me back again ! ' 

The husband and wife looked at each other for a 
few moments. In fact, since the \snjtumn they had 
planned taking as an apprentice some young girl who 
would live with them, and thus bring a little brightness 
into their house, which seemed so dull without children. 
And their decision was soon made. 

' Would you like it, my dear ? ' Hubert asked. 

Hubertine replied quietly, in her calm voice: 'I 
would indeed.' 

Immediately they occupied themselves with the 
necessary formalities. The husband went to the Justice 
of Peace of the northern district of Beaumont, who was 
cousin to his wife, the only relative with whom she had 
kept up an acquaintance, and told him all the facts of 
the case. He took charge of it, wrote to the Hospice 
of Abandoned Children where, thanks to the registered 
number, Angelique was easily recognised and obtained 
permission for her to remain as apprentice with the 
Huberts, who were well known for their honourable 
position. 



1 6 THE DREAM 

The Sub-Inspector of the Hospice, on coming to 
verify the little book, signed the new contract as witness 
for Hubert, by which the latter promised to treat the 
child kindly, to keep her tidy, to send her to school and 
to church, and to give her a good bed to herself. On 
the other side, the Administration agreed to pay him 
all indemnities, and to give the child certain stipulated 
articles of clothing, as was their custom. 

In ten days all was arranged. Angelique slept up- 
stairs in a room under the roof, by the side of the garret, 
and the window of which overlooked the garden. She 
had already taken her first lessons in embroidery. The 
first Sunday morning after she was in her new home, 
before going to mass, Hubertine opened before her the 
old chest in the working-room, where she kept the fine 
gold thread. She held up the little book, then, placing 
it in the back part of one of the drawers, said : ' Look ! 
I have put it here. I will not hide it, but leave it 
where you can take it if you ever wish to do so. It 
is best that you should see it, and remember where 
it is.' 

On entering the church that day, Angelique found 
herself again under the doorway of Saint Agnes. During 
the week there had been a partial thaw, then the cold 
weather had returned to so intense a degree that the 
snow which had half melted on the statues had con- 
gealed itself in large bunches or in icicles. Now, the 
figures seemed dressed in transparent robes of ice, with 
lace trimmings like spun glass. Dorothea was holding 
a torch, the liquid droppings of which fell upon her 
hands. Cecilia wore a silver crown, in which glistened 
the most brilliant of pearls. Agatha's nude chest was 
protected by a crystal armour. And the scenes in the 



THE DREAM 17 

tympanum, the little virgins in the arches, looked as if 
they had been there for centuries, behind the glass and 
jewels of the shrine of a saint. Agnes herself let trail 
behind her her court mantle, threaded with light and 
embroidered with stars. Her lamb had a fleece of 
diamonds, and her palm-branch had become the colour 
of heaven. The whole door was resplendent in the 
purity of intense cold. 

Angelique recollected the night she had passed 
there under the protection of these saints. She raised 
her head and smiled upon them. 



1 8 THE DREAM 



CHAPTER II 

BEAUMONT is composed of two villages, completely 
separated and quite distinct one from the other 
Beaumont-l'Eglise, on the hill, with its old Cathedral 
of the twelfth century, its Bishop's Palace which dates 
only from the seventeenth century, its inhabitants, 
scarcely one thousand in number, who are crowded 
together in an almost stifling way in its narrow streets ; 
and Beaumont-la- Ville, at the foot of the hill, on the 
banks of the Ligneul, an ancient suburb, which the 
success of its manufactories of lace and of fine cambric 
has enriched and enlarged to such an extent that it 
has a population of nearly ten thousand persons, several 
public squares, and an elegant sub-prefecture built in 
the modern style. These two divisions, the northern 
district and the southern district, have thus no longer 
anything in common except in an administrative way. 
Although scarcely thirty leagues from Paris, where one 
can go by rail in two hours, Beaumont-l'Eglise seems 
to be still immured in its old ramparts, of which, how- 
ever, only three gates remain. A stationary, peculiar 
class of people lead there a life similar to that which 
their ancestors had led from father to son during the 
past five hundred years. 

The Cathedral explains everything, has given birth 



THE DREAM ig 

to and preserved everything. It is the mother, the 
queen, as it rises in all its majesty in the centre of, and 
above, the little collection of low houses, which, like 
shivering birds, are sheltered under her wings of stone. 
One lives there simply for it, and only by it. There is 
no movement of business activity, and the little trades- 
men only sell the necessities of life, such as are abso- 
lutely required to feed, to clothe, and to maintain the 
church and its clergy ; and if occasionally one meets 
some private individuals, they are merely the last re- 
presentatives of a scattered crowd of worshippers. The 
church dominates all ; each street is one of its veins ; 
the town has no other breath than its own. On that 
account, this spirit of another age, this religious torpor 
from the past, makes the cloistered city which sur- 
rounds it redolent with a savoury perfume of peace 
and of faith. 

And in all this mystic place, the house of the 
Huberts, where Angelique was to live in the future, 
was the one nearest to the Cathedral, and which clung 
to it as if in reality it were a part thereof. The per- 
mission to build there, between two of the great 
buttresses, must have been given by some vicar long 
ago, who was desirous of attaching to himself the 
ancestors of this line of embroiderers, as master chasuble- 
makers and furnishers for the Cathedral clergy. On the 
southern side, the narrow garden was barred by the 
colossal building ; first, the circumference of the side 
chapels, whose windows overlooked the flower-beds, and 
then the slender, long nave, that the flying buttresses 
supported, and afterwards the high roof covered with 
sheet lead. 

The sun never penetrated to the lower part of this 

02 



20 ^ THE DREAM 

garden, where ivy and box alone grew luxuriantly ; yet 
the eternal shadow there was very soft and pleasant as 
it fell from the gigantic brow of the apse a religious 
shadow, sepulchral and pure, which had a good odour 
about it. In the greenish half-light of its calm freshness, 
the two towers let fall only the sound of their chimes. 
But the entire house fcept the quivering therefrom, 
sealed as it was to these old stones, melted into them and 
supported by them. It trembled at the least of the 
ceremonies ; at the High Mass, the rumbling of the organ, 
the voices of the choristers, even the oppressed sighs of 
the worshippers, murmured through each one of its 
rooms, lulled it as if with a holy breath from the Invisible, 
and at times through the half-cool walls seemed to 
come the vapours from the burning incense. 

For five years Angelique lived and grew there, as if 
in a cloister, far away from the world. She only went out 
to attend the seven-o'clock Mass on Sunday mornings, 
as Hubertine had obtained permission for her to study 
at home, fearing that, if sent to school, she might not 
always have the best of associates. This old dwelling, 
so shut in, with its garden of a dead quiet, was her world. 
She occupied as her chamber a little whitewashed room 
under the roof; she went down in the morning to her 
breakfast in the kitchen, she went up again to the 
working-room in the second story to hr embroidery. 
And these places, with the turning stone stairway of the 
turret, were the only corners in which she passed her 
time ; for she never went into the Huberts' apartments, 
and only crossed the parlour on the first floor, and they 
were the two rooms which had been rejuvenated and 
modernised. In the parlour, the beams were plastered 
over, and the ceiling had been decorated with a palm- 



THE DREAM 21 

leaf cornice, accompanied by a rose centre ; the wall- 
paper dated from the First Empire, as well as the white 
marble chimney-piece and the mahogany furniture, which 
consisted of a sofa and four armchairs covered with 
Utrecht velvet, a centre table, and a cabinet. 

On the rare occasions when she went there, to add to 
the articles exposed for sale some new bands of em- 
broidery, if she cast her eyes without, she saw through 
the window the same unchanging vista, the narrow street 
ending at the portal of Saint Agnes ; a parishioner 
pushing open the little lower door, which shut itself 
without any noise, and the shops of the plate-worker 
and wax-candle-maker opposite, which appeared to be 
always empty, but where was a good display of holy 
sacramental vessels, and long lines of great church tapers. 
And the cloistral calm of all Beaumont-l'Eglise of the 
Rue Magloire, back of the Bishop's Palace, of the Grande 
Rue, where the Rue des Orfevres began, and of the 
Place du Cloitre, where rose up the two towers, was felt 
in the drowsy air, and seemed to fall gently with the 
pale daylight on the deserted pavement. 

Hubertine had taken upon herself the charge of the 
education of Angelique. Moreover, she was very old- 
fashioned in her ideas, and maintained that a woman 
knew enough if she could read well, write correctly, and 
had studied thoroughly the first four rules of arithmetic. 
But even for this limited instruction she had constantly 
to contend with an unwillingness on the part of her 
pupil, who, instead of giving her attention to her books, 
preferred looking out of the windows, although the 
recreation was very limited, as she could see nothing but 
the garden from them. In reality, Angelique cared 
only for reading ; notwithstanding in her dictations, 



22 THE DREAM 

chosen from some classic writer, she never succeeded in 
spelling a page correctly, yet her handwriting was ex- 
ceedingly pretty, graceful, and bold, one of those ir- 
regular styles which were quite the fashion long ago. 
As for other studies, of geography and history and 
cyphering, she was almost completely ignorant of them. 
What good would knowledge ever do her ? It was really 
useless, she thought. Later on, when it was time for 
her to be Confirmed, she learned her Catechism word for 
word, and with so fervent an ardour that she astonished 
everyone by the exactitude of her memory. 

Notwithstanding their gentleness, during the first 
year the Huberts were often discouraged. Angelique, 
who promised to be skilful in embroidering, disconcerted 
them by sudden changes to inexplicable idleness after 
days of praiseworthy application. She was capricious, 
seemed to lose her strength, became greedy, would steal 
sugar to eat when alone, and her cheeks were flushed and 
her eyes looked wearied under their reddened lids. If 
reproved, she would reply with a flood of injurious words. 
Some days, when they wished to try to subdue her, her 
foolish pride at being interfered with would throw her 
into such serious attacks that she would strike her feet 
and her hands together, and seemed ready to tear her 
clothing, or to bite anyone who approached her. At 
such moments they drew away from her, for she was 
like a little monster ruled by the evil spirit within 
her. 

Who could she be ? Where did she come from ? 
Almost always these abandoned children are the offspring 
of vice. Twice they had resolved to give her up and 
send her back to the Asylum, so disco uraged were they 
and so deeply did they regret having taken her. But 




Menial labour was imposed upon her. 



THE DREAM 23 

each time these frightful scenes, which almost made the 
house tremble, ended in the same deluge of tears, and 
the same excited expressions and acts of penitence, when 
the child would throw herself on the floor, begging them 
so earnestly to punish her, that they were obliged to 
forgive her. 

Little by little, Hubertine gained great authority 
over her. She was peculiarly adapted for such a task, 
with her kind heart, her gentle firmness, her common- 
sense and her uniform temper. She taught her the duty 
of obedience, and the sin of pride and of passion. To obey 
was to live. We must obey God, our parents, and our 
superiors. There waa a whole hierarchy of respect, 
outside of which existence was unrestrained and dis- 
orderly. So, after each fit of passion, that she might 
learn humility, some menial labour was imposed upon 
her as a penance, such as washing the cooking-utensils, 
or wiping up the kitchen floor ; and, until it was finished, 
she would remain stooping over her work, enraged at 
first, but conquered at last. 

With the little girl excess seemed to be a marked 
characteristic in everything, even in her caresses. Many 
times Hubertine had seen her kissing her hands with 
vehemence. She would often be in a fever of ecstasy 
before the little pictures of saints and of the Child Jesus, 
which she had collected ; and one evening she was found 
in a half-fainting state, with her head upon the table, 
and her lips pressed to those of the images. When 
Hubertine confiscated them there was a terrible scene of 
tears and cries, as if she herself were being tortured. 
After that she was held very strictly, was made to obey, 
and her freaks were at once checked by keeping her 
busy at her work ; as soon as her cheeks grew very red, 



24 THE DREAM 

her eyes dark, and she had nervous tremblings, 
everything was immediately made quiet about her. 

Moreover, Hubertine had found an unexpected aid 
in the book given by the Society for the Protection of 
Abandoned Children. Every three months, when the 
collector signed it, Angelique was very low-spirited for 
the rest of the day. If by chance she saw it when she 
went to the drawer for a ball of gold thread, her heart 
seemed pierced with agony. And one day, when in a 
fit of uncontrollable fury, which nothing had been able 
to conquer, she turned over the contents of the drawer, 
she suddenly appeared as if thunderstruck before the 
red-covered book. Her sobs stifled her. She threw 
herself at the feet of the Huberts in great humility, 
stammering that they had made a mistake at giving her 
shelter, and that she was not worthy of all their kindness. 
From that time her anger was frequently restrained by 
the sight or the mention of the book. 

In this way Angelique lived until she was twelve 
years of age and ready to be Confirmed. The calm life 
of the household, the little old-fashioned building sleeping 
under the shadow of the Cathedral, perfumed with incense, 
and penetrated with religious music, favoured the slow 
amelioration of this untutored nature, this wild flower, 
taken from no one knew where, and transplanted in the 
mystic soil of the narrow garden. Added to this was 
the regularity of her daily work and the utter ignorance 
of what was going on in the world, without even an echo 
from a sleepy quarter penetrating therein. 

But, above all, the gentlest influence came from the 
great love of the Huberts for each other, which seemed 
to be enlarged by some unknown, incurable remorse. 
He passed the days in endeavouring to make his wife 



THE DREAM 25 

forget the injury lie had done her in marrying her in 
spite of the opposition of her mother. He had realised 
at the death of their child that she half accused him of 
this punishment, and he wished to be forgiven. She 
had done so years ago, and now she idolised him. 
Sometimes he was not sure of it, and this doubt saddened 
his life. He wished they might have had another infant, 
and so feel assured that the obstinate mother had been 
softened after death, and had withdrawn her malediction. 
That, in fact, was their united desire a child of pardon ; 
and he worshipped his wife with a tender love, ardent 
and pure as that of a betrothed. If before the apprentice 
he did not even kiss her hand, he never entered their 
chamber, even after twenty years of marriage, without 
an emotion of gratitude for all the happiness that had 
been given him. This was their true home, this room 
with its tinted paintings, its blue wall-paper, its pretty 
hangings, and its walnut furniture. Never was an 
angry word uttered therein, and, as if from a sanctuary, 
a sentiment of tenderness went out from its occupants, 
and filled the house. It was thus for Angelique an 
atmosphere of affection and love, in which she grew and 
thrived. 

An unexpected event finished the work of forming 
her character. As she was rummaging one morning in 
a corner of the working-room, she found on a shelf, 
among implements of embroidery which were no longer 
used, a very old copy of the ' Golden Legend,' by Jacques 
de Voragine. This French translation, dating from 
1549, must have been bought in the long ago by some 
master-workman in church vestments, on account of the 
pictures, full of useful information upon the Saints. It 
was a great while since Angelique had given any 



26 THE DREAM 

attention to the little old carved images, showing such 
childlike faith, which had once delighted her. But now, 
as soon as she was allowed to go out and play in the 
garden, she took the book with her. It had been 
rebound in yellow calf, and was in a good condition. 
She slowly turned over some of the leaves, then looked 
at the title-page, in red and black, with the address of 
the bookseller : ' a Paris, en la rue Neufre Nostre-Dame, 
a Fenseigne Saint Jehan Baptiste ; ' and decorated with 
medallions of the four Evangelists, framed at the 
bottom by the Adoration of the Three Magi, and at the 
top by the Triumph of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection. 
And then picture after picture followed; there were 
ornamented letters, large and small, engravings in the 
text and at the heading of the chapters ; ' The Annuncia- 
tion,' an immense angel inundating with rays of light a 
slight, delicate-looking Mary ; ' The Massacre of the 
Innocents,' where a cruel Herod was seen surrounded by 
dead bodies of dear little children ; ' The Nativity/ 
where Saint Joseph is holding a candle, the light of 
which falls upon the face of the Infant Jesus, Who sleeps 
in His mother's arms ; Saint John the Almoner, giving 
to the poor; Saint Matthias, breaking an idol; Saint 
Nicholas as a bishop, having at his right hand a little 
bucket filled with babies. And then, a little farther 
on, came the female saints : Agnes, with her neck 
pierced by a sword ; Christina, torn by pincers ; 
Genevieve, followed by her lambs; Juliana, being 
whipped; Anastasia, burnt; Maria the Egyptian, 
repenting in the desert; Mary of Magdalene, carry- 
ing the vase of precious ointment ; and others and 
still others followed. There was an increasing terror 
and a piety in each one of them, making it a history 



THE DREAM 27 

which weighs upon the heart and fills the eyes with 
tears. 

But, little by little, Angelique was curious to know 
exactly what these engravings represented. The two 
columns of closely-printed text, the impression of which 
remained very black upon the papers yellowed by time, 
frightened her by the strange, almost barbaric look of 
the Gothic letters. Still, she accustomed herself to it, 
deciphered these characters, learned the abbreviations 
and the contractions, and soon knew how to explain the 
turning of the phrases and the old-fashioned words. 
At last she could read it easily, and was as enchanted 
as if she were penetrating a mystery, and she triumphed . 
over each new difficulty that she conquered. 

Under these laborious shades a whole world of light 
revealed itself. She entered, as it were, into a celestial 
splendour. For now the few classic books they owned, 
so cold and dry, existed no longer. The Legend alone 
interested her. She bent over it, with her forehead 
resting on her hands, studying it so intently, that she 
no longer lived in the real life, but, unconscious of time, 
she seemed to see, mounting from the depths of the 
unknown, the broad expansion of a dream. 

How wonderful it all was ! These saints and virgins ! 
They are born predestined; solemn voices announce 
their coming, and their mothers have marvellous dreams 
about them. All are beautiful, strong, and victorious. 
Great lights surround them, and their countenances are 
resplendent. Dominic has a star on his forehead. 
They read the minds of men and repeat their thoughts 
aloud. They have the gift of prophecy, and their pre- 
dictions are always realised. Their number is infinite. 
Among them are bishops and monks, virgins and fallen 



38 THE DREAM 

women, beggars and nobles of a royal race, unclothed 
hermits who live on roots, and old men who inhabit 
caverns with goats. Their history is always the same. 
They grow up for Christ, believe fervently in Him, 
refuse to sacrifice to false gods, are tortured, and die filled 
with glory. Emperors were at last weary of persecuting 
them. Andrew, after being attached to the cross, 
preached during two days to twenty thousand persons. 
Conversions were made in masses, forty thousand men 
being baptised at one time. When the multitudes 
were not converted by the miracles, they fled terrified. 
The saints were accused of sorcery ; enigmas were pro- 
posed to them, which they solved at once ; they were 
obliged to dispute questions with learned men, who 
remained speechless before them. As soon as they 
entered the temples of sacrifice the idols were over- 
thrown with a breath, and were broken to pieces. A 
virgin tied her sash around the neck of a statue of 
Venus, which at once fell in powder. The earth 
trembled. The Temple of Diana was struck by light- 
ning and destroyed ; and the people revolting, civil 
wars ensued. Then often the executioners asked to be 
baptised ; kings knelt at the feet of saints in rags who 
had devoted themselves to poverty. Sabina flees from 
the paternal roof. Paula abandons her five children. 
Mortifications of the flesh and fasts purify, not oil or 
water. Germanus covers his food with ashes. Bernard 
cares not to eat, but delights only in the taste of fresh 
water. Agatha keeps for three years a pebble in her 
mouth. Augustinus is in despair for the sin he has 
committed in turning to look after a dog who was run- 
ing. Prosperity and health are despised, and joy begins 
with privations which kill the body. And it is thus 



THE DREAM 29 

that, subduing all things, they live at last in gardens 
where the flowers are stars, and where the leaves of the 
trees sing. They exterminate dragons, they raise and 
appease tempests, they seem in their ecstatic visions to 
be borne above the earth. Their wants are provided 
for while living, and after their death friends are advised 
by dreams to go and bury them. Extraordinary things 
happen to them, and adventures far more marvellous 
than those in a work of fiction. And when their tombs 
are opened after hundreds of years, sweet odours escape 
therefrom. 

Then, opposite the saints, behold the evil spirits! 

' They often fly about us like insects, and fill the 
air without number. The air is also full of demons, as 
the rays of the sun are full of atoms. It is even like 
powder.' And the eternal contest begins. The saints 
are always victorious, and yet they are constantly obliged 
to renew the battle. The more the demons are driven 
away, the more they return. There were counted six 
thousand six hundred and sixty-six in the body of a 
woman whom Fortunatus delivered. They moved, they 
talked and cried, by the voice of the person possessed, 
whose body they shook as if by a tempest. At each 
corner of the highways an afflicted one is seen, and the 
first saint who passes contends with the evil spirits. 
They enter by the eyes, the ears, and by the mouth, 
and, after days of fearful struggling, they go out with 
loud groanings. Basilus, to save a young man, contends 
personally with the Evil One. Macarius was attacked 
when in a cemetery, and passed a whole night in 
defending himself. The angels, even at deathbeds, in 
order to secure the soul of the dying were obliged to 
beat the demons. At other times the contests are 



30 THE DREAM 

only of the intellect and the mind, but are equally re- 
markable. Satan, who prowls about, assumes many 
forms, sometimes disguising himself as a woman, and 
again, even as a saint. But, once overthrown, he appears 
in all his ugliness : ' a black cat, larger than a dog, his 
huge eyes emitting flame, his tongue long, large, and 
bloody, his tail twisted and raised in the air, and his 
whole body disgusting to the last degree.' He is the 
one thing that is hated, and the only preoccupation. 
People fear him, yet ridicule him. One is not even 
honest with him. In reality, notwithstanding the 
ferocious appearance of his furnaces, he is" the eternal 
dupe. All the treaties he makes are forced from him 
by violence or cunning. Feeble women throw him 
down : Margaret crushes his head with her feet, and 
Juliana beats him with her chain. From all this a 
serenity disengages itself, a disdain of evil, since it is 
powerless, and a certainty of good, since virtue triumphs. 
It is only necessary to cross one's self, and the Devil can 
do no harm, but yells and disappears, while the infernal 
regions tremble. 

Then, in this combat of legions of saints against 
Satan are developed the fearful sufferings from persecu- 
tion. The executioners expose to the flies the martyrs 
whose bodies are covered with honey ; they make them 
walk with bare feet over broken glass or red-hot coals ; 
put them in ditches with reptiles ; chastise them with 
whips, whose thongs are weighted with leaden balls ; 
nail them when alive in coffins, which they throw into 
the sea ; hang them by their hair, and then set fire to 
them ; moisten their wounds with quicklime, boiling 
pitch, or molten lead ; make them sit on red-hot iron 
stools ; burn their sides with torches ; break their 



THE DREAM 31 

bones on wheels, and torture them in every conceivable 
way. And, with all this, physical pain counts for 
nothing ; indeed, it seems to be desired. Moreover, a 
continual miracle protects them. John drinks poison 
but is unharmed. Sebastian smiles although pierced 
with arrows ; sometimes they remain in the air at the 
right or left of the martyr, or, launched by the archer, 
they return upon himself and put out his eyes. Molten 
lead is swallowed as if it were ice-water. Lions pros- 
trate themselves, and lick their hands as gently as 
lambs. The gridiron of Saint Lawrence is of an agree- 
able freshness to him. He cries, ' Unhappy man, you 
have roasted one side, turn the other and then eat, for 
it is sufficiently cooked.' Cecilia, placed in a boiling 
bath, is refreshed by it. Christina exhorts those who 
would torture her. Her father had her whipped by 
twelve men, who at last drop from fatigue ; she is 
then attached to a wheel, under which a fire is kindled, 
and the flame, turning to one side, devours fifteen hun- 
dred persons. She is then thrown into the sea, but the 
angels support her ; Jesus comes to baptise her in per- 
son, then gives her to the charge of Saint Michael, that 
he may conduct her back to the earth ; after that she 
is placed for five days in a heated oven, where she 
suffers not, but sings constantly. Vincent, who was ex- 
posed to still greater tortures, feels them not. His 
limbs are broken, he is covered with red-hot irons, he is 
pricked with needles, he is placed on a brazier of live 
coals, and then taken back to prison, where his feet are 
nailed to a post. Yet he still lives, and his pains are 
changed into a sweetness of flowers, a great light fills 
his dungeon, and angels sing wjth him, giving him rest 
as if he were on a bed of roses. The sweet sound of 



32 THE DREAM 

singing and the fresh odour of flowers spread without in 
the room, and when the guards saw the miracle they 
were converted to the faith, and when Dacian heard of 
it, he was greatly enraged, and said, ' Do nothing more 
to him, for we are conquered.' Such was the excitement 
among the persecutors, it could only end either by their 
conversion or by their death. Their hands are paralysed ; 
they perish violently ; they are choked by fish-bones ; 
they are struck by lightning, and their chariots are 
broken. In the meanwhile, the cells of the martyrs are 
resplendent. Mary and the Apostles enter them at will, 
although the doors are bolted. Constant aid is given, 
apparitions descend from the skies, where angels are 
waiting, holding crowns of precious stones. Since 
death seems joyous, it is not feared, and their friends are 
glad when they succumb to it. On Mount Ararat 
ten thousand are crucified, and at Cologne eleven thou- 
sand virgins are massacred by the Huns. In the cir- 
cuses they are devoured by wild beasts. Quirique, who, 
by the influence of the Holy Spirit, taught like a man, 
suffered martyrdom when but three years of age. 
Nursing-children reproved the executioners. The hope 
for celestial happiness deadened the physical senses and 
softened pain. Were they torn to pieces, or burnt, they 
minded it not. They never yielded, and they called for 
the sword, which alone could kill them. Eulalia, when, 
at the stake, breathes the flame that she may die the 
more quickly. Her prayer is granted, and a white dove 
flies from her mouth and bears her soul to heaven. 

Angelique marvelled greatly at all these accounts. 
So many abominations and such triumphant joy de- 
lighted her and carried, her out of herself. 

But other points in this Legend, of quite a different 



THE DREAM 33 

nature, also interested her ; the animals, for instance, of 
which there were enough to fill an Ark of Noah. She 
liked the ravens and the eagles who fed the hermits. 

Then what lovely stories there were about the lions. 
The serviceable one who found a resting-place in a field 
for Mary the Egyptian ; the flaming lion who protected 
virgins or maidens in danger ; and then the lion of 
Saint Jerome, to whose care an ass had been confided, 
and, when the animal was stolen, went in search of him 
and brought him back. There was also the penitent 
wolf, who had restored a little pig he had intended eat- 
ing. Then there was Bernard, who excommunicates 
the flies, and they drop dead. Remi and Blaise feed 
birds at their table, bless them, and make them strong. 
Francis, ' filled with a dove-like simplicity,' preaches to 
them, and exhorts them to love God. A bird was on a 
branch of a fig-tree, and Francis, holding out his hand, 
beckoned to it, and soon it obeyed, and lighted on his 
hand. And he said to it, ' Sing, my sister, and praise 
the Lord.' And immediately the bird began to sing, 
and did not go away until it was told to do so. 

All this was a continual source of recreation to 
Angelique, and gave her the idea of calling to the 
swallows, and hoping they might come to her. 

Afterwards, there were certain accounts which she 
could not re-read without almost feeling ill, so much 
did she laugh. 

The good giant Christopher, who carried the Infant 
Christ on his shoulders, delighted her so much as to 
bring tears to her eyes. 

She was very merry over the misadventures of a 
certain Governor with the three chambermaids of 
Anastasia, whom he hoped to have found in the kitchen, 

D 



34 THE DREAM 

where he kissed the stove and the kettles, thinking he 
was embracing them. 'He went out therefrom very 
black and ugly, and his clothes quite smutched. And 
when his servants, who were waiting, saw him in such a 
state, they thought he was the Devil. Then they beat 
him with birch-rods, and, running away, left him alone.' 

But that which convulsed her most with laughter, 
was the account of the blows given to the Evil One 
himself, especially when Juliana, having been tempted 
by him in her prison cell, administered such an extra- 
ordinary chastisement with her chain. ' Then the 
Provost commanded that Juliana should be brought 
before him ; and when she came into his presence, she 
was drawing the Devil after her, and he cried out, say- 
ing, " My good lady Juliana, do not hurt me any more !" 
She led him in this way around the public square, and 
afterwards threw him into a deep ditch.' 

Often Angelique would repeat to the Huberts, as 
they were all at work together, legends far more 
interesting than any fairy-tale. She had read them over 
so often that she knew them by heart, and she told in a 
charming way the story of the Seven Sleepers, who, to 
escape persecution, walled themselves up in a cavern, 
where they slept three hundred and seventy-seven years, 
and whose awakening greatly astonished the Emperor 
Theodosius. Then the Legend of Saint Clement with 
its endless adventures, so unexpected and touching, 
where the whole family, father, mother, and three sons, 
separated by terrible misfortunes, are finally re-united 
in the midst of the most beautiful miracles. 

Her tears would flow at these recitals. She dreamed 
of them at night, she lived, as it were, only in this tragic 
and triumphant world of prodigy, in a supernatural 



THE DREAM 35 

country where all virtues are recompensed by all 
imaginable joys. 

When Angelique partook of her first Communion, it 
seemed as if she were walking, like the saints, a little 
above the earth. She was a young Christian of the 
primitive Church ; she gave herself into the hands of 
God, having learned from her book that she could not 
be saved without grace. 

The Huberts were simple in their profession of faith. 
They went every Sunday to Mass, and to Communion 
on all great fete-days, and this was done with the 
tranquil humility of true belief, aided a little by tradi- 
tion, as the chasubliers had from father to son always 
observed the Church ceremonies, particularly those at 
Easter. 

Hubert himself had a tendency to imaginative 
fancies. He would at times stop his work and let fall 
his frame to listen to the child as she read or repeated 
the legends, and, carried away for the moment by her 
enthusiasm, it seemed as if his hair were blown about 
by the light breath of some invisible power. He was so 
in sympathy with Angelique, and associated her to such 
a degree with the youthful saints of the past, that he 
wept when he saw her in her white dress and veil. This 
day at church was like a dream, and they returned home 
quite exhausted. Hubertine was obliged to scold them 
both, for, with her excellent common-sense, she disliked 
exaggeration even in good things. 

From that time she had to restrain the zeal of 
Angelique, especially her tendency to what she thought 
was charity, and to which she wished to devote herself. 
Saint Francis had wedded poverty ; Julien the Chaplain 
had called the poor his superiors ; Gervasius and Protais 

D2 



36 THE DREAM 

had washed the feet of the most indigent, and Martin 
had divided his cloak with them. So she, following the 
example of Lucy, wished to sell everything that she 
might give. At first she disposed of all her little 
private possessions, then she began to pillage the house. 
But at last she gave without judgment and foolishly. 
One evening, two days after her Confirmation, being 
reprimanded for having thrown from the window several 
articles of underwear to a drunken woman, she had a 
terrible attack of anger like those when she was young ; 
then, overcome by shame, she was really ill and forced 
to keep her bed for a couple of days. 



THE DREAM 37 



CHAPTER III 

IN the meanwhile, weeks and months went by. Two 
years had passed. Angelique was now fourteen years 
of age and quite womanly. When she read the ' Golden 
Legend,' she would have a humming in her ears, the 
blood circulated quickly through the blue veins near her 
temples, and she felt a deep tenderness towards all these 
virgin saints. 

Maidenhood is sister of the angels, the union of all 
good, the overthrow of evil, the domain of faith. It 
gives grace, it is perfection, which has only need to 
show itself to conquer. The action of the Holy Spirit 
rendered Lucy so heavy that a thousand men and five 
pair of oxen could not drag her away from her home. 
An officer who tried to kiss Anastasia was struck blind. 
Under torture, the purity of the virgins is always 
powerful ; from their exquisite white limbs, torn by 
instruments, milk flows instead of blood. Ten different 
times the story is told of the young convert who, to 
escape from her family, who wish her to marry against 
her will, assumes the garb of a monk, is accused of some 
misdeed, suffers punishment without indicating herself, 
and at last triumphs by announcing her name. Eugenia 
is in this way brought before a judge, whom she re- 
cognises as her father and reveals herself to him. Ex- 



38 THE DREAM 

ternally the combat of chastity recommences ; always 
the thorns reappear. Thus the wisest saints shrink 
from being tempted. As the world is filled with snares, 
hermits flee to the desert, where they scourge them- 
selves, throw themselves on the snow, or in beds of 
prickly herbs. A solitary monk covers his fingers with 
his mantle, that he may aid his mother in crossing a 
creek. A martyr bound to a stake, being tempted by 
a young girl, bites off his tongue with his teeth and 
spits it at her. All glorify the state of single blessed- 
ness. Alexis, very wealthy and in a high position, 
marries, but leaves his wife at the church-door. One 
weds only to die. Justina, in love with Cyprianus, 
converts him, and they walk together to their punish- 
ment. Cecilia, beloved by an angel, reveals the secret 
to Valerian on their wedding-day, and he, that he may 
see the spirit, consents to be baptised. He found in 
his room Cecilia talking with the angel, who held in his 
hand two wreaths of roses, and, giving one to Cecilia 
and one to Valerian, he said, ' Keep these crowns, like 
your hearts, pure and unspotted.' In. many cases it was 
proved that death was stronger than love, and couples 
were united only as a challenge to existence. It was 
said that even the Virgin Mary at times prevented 
betrothals from ending in a marriage. A nobleman, a 
relative of the King of Hungary, renounced his claims 
to a young girl of marvellous beauty on this account. 
' Suddenly our Blessed Lady appeared, and said to him : 
" If I am indeed so beautiful as you have called me, why 
do you leave me for another ? " And he became a most 
devout man for the rest of his life.' 

Among all this saintly company, Angelique had her 
preferences, and there were those whose experiences 



THE DREAM 39 

touched her to the heart, and helped her to correct her 
failings. Thus the learned Catherine, of high birth, 
enchanted her by her great scientific knowledge, when, 
only eighteen years of age, she was called by the Empe- 
ror Maximus to discuss certain questions with fifty 
rhetoricians and grammarians. She astonished and 
convinced them. ' They were amazed and knew not 
what to say, but they remained quiet. And the Emperor 
blamed them for their weakness in allowing themselves 
to be so easily conquered by a young girl.' The fifty 
professors then declared that they were converted. ' And 
as soon as the tyrant heard that, he had so terrible a fit 
of anger, that he commanded they should all be burned 
to death in the public square.' In her eyes Catherine 
was the invincible learned woman, as proud and dazzling 
in intellect as in beauty, just as she would have liked 
to be, that she might convert men, and be fed in prison 
by a dove, before having her head cut off. But Saint 
Elizabeth, the daughter of the King of Hungary, was 
for her a constant teacher and guide. Whenever she 
was inclined to yield to her violent temper, she thought 
of this model of gentleness and simplicity, who was at 
five years of age very devout, refusing to join her play- 
mates in their sports, and sleeping on the ground, 
that, in abasing herself, she might all the better render 
homage to God. Later, she was the faithful, obedient 
wife of the Landgrave of Thuringia, always showing to 
her husband a smiling face, although she passed her 
nights in tears. When she became a widow she was 
driven from her estates, but was happy to lead the life 
of poverty. ' Her dress was so thin from use, that she 
wore a grey mantle, lengthened out by cloth of a dif- 
ferent shade. The sleeves of her jacket had been torn, 



46 THE DREAM 

and were mended with a material of another colour. 
The king, her father, wishing her to come to him, sent 
for her by a Count. And when the Count saw her 
clothed in such a way and spinning, overcome with 
surprise and grief, he exclaimed : * Never before did one 
see the daughter of a Royal House in so miserable a 
garb, and never was one known to spin wool until now.' 
So Christian and sincere was her humility, that she ate 
black bread with the poorest peasants, nursed them 
when ill, dressed their sores without repugnance, put on 
coarse garments like theirs, and followed them in the 
church processions with bare feet. She was once wash- 
ing the porringers and the utensils of the kitchen, when 
the maids, seeing her so out of place, urged her to desist, 
but she replied, ( Could I find another task more menial 
even than this, I would do it.' Influenced by her ex- 
ample, Angelique, who was formerly angry when obliged 
to do any cleaning in the kitchen, now tried to invent 
some extremely disagreeable task when she felt nervous 
and in need of control. 

But more than Catherine, more than Elizabeth, far 
nearer and dearer to her than all the other saints, was 
Agnes, the child-martyr ; and her heart leaped with joy 
on refinding in the ' Golden Legend ' this virgin, clothed 
with her own hair, who had protected her under the 
Cathedral portal. What ardour of pure love, as she 
repelled the son of the Governor when he accosted her 
on her way from school ! ' Go leave me, minister of 
death, commencement of sin, and child of treason ! ' 
How exquisitely she described her beloved ! ' I love 
the One whose Mother was a Virgin, and whose father 
was faithful to her, at whose beauty the sun and moon 
marvelled, and at whose touch the dead were made 



TffJS DREAM 41 

alive.' And when Aspasien commanded that ' her throat 
should be cut by the sword,' she ascended into Paradise 
to be united to her ' betrothed, whiter and purer than 
silver-gilt.' 

Always, when weary or disturbed, Angelique called 
upon and implored her, and it seemed as if peace came 
to her at once. She saw her constantly near her, and 
often she regretted having done or thought of things 
which would have displeased her. 

One evening as she was kissing her hands, a habit 
which she still at times indulged in, she suddenly 
blushed and turned away, although she was quite alone, 
for it seemed as if the little saint must have seen her. 
Agnes was her guardian angel. 

Thus, at fifteen Angelique was an adorable child. 
Certainly, neither the quiet, laborious life, nor the 
soothing shadows of the Cathedral, nor the legends of 
the beautiful saints, had made her an angel, a creature 
of absolute perfection. She was often angry, and certain 
weaknesses of character showed themselves, which had 
never been sufficiently guarded against ; but she was 
always ashamed and penitent if she had done wrong, 
for she wished so much to be perfect. And she was so 
human, so full of life, so ignorant, and withal so pure 
in reality. 

One day, on returning from a long excursion which 
the Huberts allowed her to take twice a year, on Pente- 
cost Monday and on Assumption Day, she took home 
with her a sweetbriar bush, and then amused herself 
by replanting it in the narrow garden. She trimmed 
it and watered it well : it grew and sent out long 
branches, filled with odour. With her usual intensity, 
she watched it daily, but was unwilling to have it 



42 THE DREAM 

grafted, as she wished to see if, by some miracle, it 
could not be made to bear roses. She danced around 
it, she repeated constantly : ' This bush is like me ; it is 
like me ! ' And if one joked her upon her great wild- 
rose bush, she joined them in their laughter, although a 
little pale, and with tears almost ready to fall. Her 
violet-coloured eyes were softer than ever, her half- 
opened lips revealed little white teeth, and her oval face 
had a golden aureole from her light wavy hair. She 
had grown tall without being too slight ; her neck and 
shoulders were exquisitely graceful ; her chest was full, 
her waist flexible ; and gay, healthy, of a rare beauty, 
she had an infinite charm, arising from the innocence 
and purity of her soul. 

Every day the affection of the Huberts for her in- 
creased. They often talked together of their mutual 
wish to adopt her. Yet they took no active measures 
in that way, lest they might have cause to regret it. 
One morning, when the husband announced his final 
decision, his wife suddenly began to weep bitterly. 
To adopt a child ? Was not that the same as giving 
up all hope of having one of their own ? Yet it was 
useless for them to expect one now, after so many years 
of waiting, and she gave her consent, in reality delighted 
that she could call her her daughter. When Angelique 
was spoken to on the subject, she threw her arms 
around their necks, kissed them both, and was almost 
choked with tears of joy. 

So it was agreed upon that she was always to re- 
main with them in this house, which now seemed to be 
filled with her presence, rejuvenated by her youth, and 
penetrated by her laughter. But an unexpected ob- 
stacle was met with at the first step. The Justice of 



THE DREAM 43 

the Peace, Monsieur Grandsire, on being consulted, 
explained to them the radical impossibility of adoption, 
since by law the adopted must be ' of age.' Then, 
seeing their disappointment, he suggested the expe- 
dient of a legal guardianship : any individual over fifty 
years of age can attach to himself a minor of fifteen 
years or less by a legal claim, on becoming their official 
protector. The ages were all right, so they were de- 
lighted, and accepted. It was even arranged that they 
should afterwards confer the title of adoption upon 
their ward by way of their united last will and testa- 
ment, as such a thing would be permitted by the Code. 
Monsieur Grandsire, furnished with the demand of the 
husband and the authorisation of the wife, then put 
himself in communication with the Director of Public 
Aid, the general guardian for all abandoned children, 
whose consent it was necessary to have. Great in- 
quiries were made, and at last the necessary papers 
were placed in Paris, with a certain Justice of the 
Peace chosen for the purpose. And all was ready ex- 
cept the official report which constitutes the legality of 
guardianship, when the Huberts suddenly were taken 
with certain scruples. 

Before receiving Angelique into their family, ought 
not they to ascertain if she had any relatives on her 
side ? Was her mother still alive ? Had they the 
right to dispose of the daughter without being abso- 
lutely sure that she had willingly been given up and 
deserted ? Then, in reality, the unknown origin of the 
child, which had troubled them long ago, came back to 
them now and made them hesitate. They were so tor- 
mented by this anxiety that they could not sleep. 

Without any more talk, Hubert unexpectedly an- 



41 THE DREAM 

nounced that he was going to Paris. Such a journey 
seemed like a catastrophe in his calm existence. He 
explained the necessity of it to Angelique, by speaking 
of the guardianship. He hoped to arrange everything 
in twenty-four hours. But once in the city, days 
passed ; obstacles arose on every side. He spent a 
week there, sent from one to another, really doing 
nothing, and quite discouraged. In the first place, he 
was received very coldly at the Office of Public Assist- 
ance. The rule of the Administration is that children 
shall not be told of their parents until they are of age. 
So for two mornings in succession he was sent away 
from the office. He persisted, however, explained the 
matter to three secretaries, made himself hoarse in 
talking to an under-officer, who wished to counsel him 
that he had no official papers. The Administration 
were quite ignorant. A nurse had left the child there, 
'Angelique Marie,' without naming the mother. In 
despair he was about to return to Beaumont, when a 
new idea impelled him to return for the fourth time to 
the office, to see the book in which the arrival of the 
infant had been noted down, and in that way to have 
the address of the nurse. That proved to be quite an 
undertaking. But at last he succeeded, and found it 
was a Madame Foucart, and that in 1850 she lived on 
the Rue des Deux-Ecus. 

Then he recommenced his huntiug up and down. 
The end of the Rue des Deux-Ecus had been de- 
molished, and no shopkeeper in the neighbourhood 
recollected ever having heard of Madame Foucart. He 
consulted the directory, but there was no such name. 
Looking at every sign as he walked along, he called 
on one after another, and at last, in this way, he had 



THE DREAM 45 

the good fortune to find an old woman, who exclaimed, 
in answer to his questions, 'What ! do I know Madame 
Foucart ? A most honourable person, but one who has 
had many misfortunes. She lives on the Rue de Cen- 
sier, quite at the other end of Paris.' He hastened 
there at once. 

Warned by experience, he determined now to be 
diplomatic. But Madame Foucart, an enormous woman, 
would not allow him to ask questions in the good order 
he had arranged them before going there. As soon as 
he mentioned the two names of the child, she seemed 
to be eager to talk, and she related its whole history in 
a most spiteful way. ' Ah ! the child was alive ! Very 
well; she might flatter herself that she had for a 
mother a most famous hussy ? Yes, Madame Sidonie, 
as she was called since she became a widow, was a 
woman of a good family, having, it is said, a brother 
who was a minister, but that did not prevent her from 
being very bad.' And she explained that she had 
made her acquaintance when she kept, on the Rue 
Saint-Honore, a little shop where they dealt in fruit 
and oil from Provence, she and her husband, when 
they came from Plassans, hoping to make their fortune 
in the city. The husband died and was buried, and 
soon after Madame Sidonie had a little daughter, which 
she sent at once to the hospital, and never after even 
inquired for her, as she was ' a heartless woman, cold 
as a protest and brutal as a sheriffs aid.' A fault 
can be pardoned, but not ingratitude ! Was not it true 
that, obliged to leave her shop as she was so heavily in 
debt, she had been received and cared for by Madame 
Foucart ? And when in her turn she herself had fallen 
into difficulties, she had never been able to obtain from 



46 THE DREAM 

Madame Sidonie, even the month's board she owed her, 
nor the fifteen francs she had once lent her. To-day 
the ' hateful thing ' lived on the Eue de Faubourg- 
PoissonniSre, where she had a little apartment of three 
rooms. She pretended to be a cleaner and mender of 
lace, but she sold a good many other things. Ah ! 
yes ! such a mother as that it was best to know nothing 
about ! 

An hour later, Hubert was walking round the house 
where Madame Sidonie lived. He saw through the 
window a woman, thin, pale, coarse-looking, wearing an 
old black gown, stained and greased. Never could the 
heart of such a person be touched by the recollection 
of a daughter whom she had only seen on the day of 
its birth. He concluded it would be best not to repeat, 
even to his wife, many things that he had just learned. 
Still he hesitated. Once more he passed by the place, 
and looked again. Ought not he to go in, to intro- 
duce himself, and to ask the consent of the unnatural 
parent ? As an honest man, it was for him to judge if 
he had the right of cutting the tie there and for ever. 
Brusquely he turned his back, hurried away, and re- 
turned that evening to Beaumont. 

Hubertine had just learned that the proces-vei-bal at 
Monsieur Grandsire's, for the guardianship of the child, 
had been signed. And when Angelique threw herself 
into Hubert's arms, he saw clearly by the look of sup- 
plication in her eyes, that she had understood the true 
reason of his journey. 

Then he said quietly : ' My child, your mother is 
not living.' Angelique wept, as she kissed him most 
affectionately. After this the subject was not referred 
to. She was their daughter. 



THE DREAM 47 

At Whitsuntide, this year, the Huberts had taken 
Angelique with them to lunch at the ruins of the 
Chateau d'Hautecocur, which overlooks the Ligneul, 
two leagues below Beaumont ; and, after the day spent 
in running and laughing in the open air, the young 
girl still slept when, the next morning, the old house- 
clock struck eight. 

Hubertine was obliged to go up and rap at her 
door. 

' Ah, well ! little lazy child ! We have already had 
our breakfast, and it is late.' 

Angelique dressed herself quickly and went down 
to the kitchen, where she took her rolls and coffee 
alone. Then, when she entered the workroom, where 
Hubert and his wife had just seated themselves, after 
having arranged their frames for embroidery, she 
said: 

' Oh ! how soundly I did sleep ! I had quite for- 
gotten that we had promised to finish this chasuble 
for next Sunday.' 

This workroom, the windows of which opened upon 
the garden, was a large apartment, preserved almost en- 
tirely in its original state. The two principal beams of 
the ceiling, and the three visible cross-beams of sup- 
port, had not even been whitewashed, and they were 
blackened by smoke and worm-eaten, while, through 
the openings of the broken plaster, here and there, the 
laths of the inner joists could be seen. On one of the 
stone corbels, which supported the beams, was the date 
1463, without doubt the date of the construction of 
the building. The chimney-piece, also in stone, broken 
and disjointed, had traces of its original elegance, with 
its slender uprights, its brackets, its frieze with a 



48 THE DREAM 

cornice, and its basket-shaped funnel terminating in a 
crown. On the frieze could be seen even now, as if 
softened by age, an ingenious attempt at sculpture, in 
the way of a likeness of Saint Clair, the patron of 
embroiderers. But this chimney was no longer used, 
and the fireplace had been turned into an open closet 
by putting shelves therein, on which were piles of de- 
signs and patterns. The room was now heated by a 
great bell-shaped cast-iron stove, the pipe of which, 
after going the whole length of the ceiling, entered an 
opening made expressly for it in the wall. The doors, 
already shaky, were of the time of Louis XIV. The 
original tiles of the floor were nearly all gone, and had 
been replaced, one by one, by those of a later style. It 
was nearly a hundred years since the yellow walls had 
been coloured, and at the top of the room they were 
almost of a greyish white, and, lower down, were 
scratched and spotted with saltpetre. Each year there 
was talk of repainting them, but nothing had yet been 
done, from a dislike of making any change. 

Hubertine, busy at her work, raised her head as 
Angelique spoke and said : 

' You know that if our work is done on Sunday, 
I have promised to give you a basket of pansies for 
your garden.' 

The young girl exclaimed gaily : ' Oh, yes ! that is 
true. Ah, well ! I will do my best then ! But where 
is my thimble ? It seems as if all working implements 
take to themselves wings and fly away, if not in con- 
stant use.' 

She slipped the old doigtier of ivory on the second 
joint of her little finger, and took her place on the other 
side of the frame, opposite to the window. 



49 

Since the middle of the last century there had not 
been the slightest modification in the fittings and 
arrangements of the workroom. Fashions changed, the 
art of the embroiderer was transformed, but there was 
still seen fastened to the wall the chantlate, the great 
piece of wood where was placed one end of the frame 
or work, while the other end was supported by a mov- 
able trestle. In the corners were many ancient tools 
a little machine called a ' diligent,' with its wheels and 
its long pins, to wind the gold thread on the reels with- 
out touching it ; a hand spinning-wheel ; a species of 
pulley to twist the threads which were attached to the 
wall; rollers of various sizes covered with silks and 
threads used in the crochet embroidery. Upon a shelf 
was spread out an old collection of punches for the 
spangles, and there was also to be seen a valuable relic, 
in the shape of the classic chandelier in hammered 
brass which belonged to some ancient master-work- 
man. On the rings of a rack made of a nailed leather 
strap were hung awls, mallets, hammers, irons to cut 
the vellum, and roughing chisels of bogwood, which 
were used to smooth the threads as fast as they were 
employed. And yet again, at the foot of the heavy 
oaken table on which the cutting-out was done, was a 
great winder, whose two movable reels of wicker held 
the skeins. Long chains of spools of bright-coloured 
silks strung on cords were hung near the case of 
drawers. On the floor was a large basket filled with 
empty bobbins. A pair of great shears rested on the 
straw seat of one of the chairs, and a ball of cord had 
just fallen on the floor, half unwound. 

' Oh ! what lovely weather ! What perfect weather ! ' 



50 THE DREAM 

continued Angelique. ' It is a pleasure simply to live 
and to breathe.' 

And before stooping to apply herself to her work, 
she delayed another moment before the open window, 
through which entered all the beauty of a radiant May 
morning. 



THE DREAM 51 



CHAPTER IV 

THE sun shone brightly on the roof of the Cathedral, a 
fresh odour of lilacs came up from the bushes in the 
garden of the Bishop. Angelique smiled, as she stood 
there, dazzled, and as if bathed in the springtide. 
Then, starting as if suddenly awakened from sleep, she 
said : 

' Father, I have no more gold thread for my work.' 

Hubert, who had just finished pricking the tracing 
of the pattern of a cope, went to get a skein from the 
case of drawers, cut it, tapered off the two ends by 
scratching the gold which covered the silk, and he 
brought it to her rolled up in parchment. 

' Is that all you need ? ' 

Yes, thanks.' 

With a quick glance she had assured herself that 
nothing more was wanting ; the needles were supplied 
with the different golds, the red, the green, and the 
blue; there were spools of every shade of silk; the 
spangles were ready; and the twisted wires for the 
gold lace were in the crown of a hat which served as a 
box, with the long fine needles, the steel pincers, the 
thimbles, the scissors, and the ball of wax. All these 
were on the frame even, or on the material stretched 
therein, which was protected by a thick brown paper. 



52 THE DREAM 

She had threaded a needle with the gold thread. 
But at the first stitch it broke, and she was obliged to 
thread it again, breaking off tiny bits of the gold, which 
she threw immediately into the pasteboard waste-basket 
which was near her. 

' Now at last I am ready,' she said, as she finished 
her first stitch. 

Perfect silence followed. Hubert was preparing to 
stretch some material on another frame. He had 
placed the two heavy ends on the chantlate and the 
trestle directly opposite in such a way as to take 
lengthwise the red silk of the cope, the breadths of 
which Hubertine had just stitched together, and fitting 
the laths into the mortice of the beams, he fastened 
them with four little nails. Then, after smoothing the 
material many times from right to left, he finished 
stretching it and tacked on the nails. To assure him- 
self that it was thoroughly tight and firm, he tapped on 
the cloth with his fingers and it sounded like a drum. 

Angelique had become a most skilful worker, and 
the Huberts were astonished at her cleverness and taste. 
In addition to what they had taught her, she carried 
into all she did her personal enthusiasm, which gave 
life to flowers and faith to symbols. Under her hands, 
silk and gold seemed animated ; the smaller ornaments 
were full of mystic meaning ; she gave herself up to it 
entirely, with her imagination constantly active and her 
firm belief in the infinitude of the invisible world. 

The Diocese of Beaumont had been so charmed with 
certain pieces of her embroideiy, that a clergyman who 
was an archaeologist, and another who was an admirer 
of pictures, had come to see her, and were in raptures 
before her Virgins, which they compared to the simple, 



THE DREAM. 53 

gracious figures of the earliest masters. There was the 
same sincerity, the same sentiment of the beyond, as if 
encircled in the minutest perfection of detail. She had 
the real gift of design, a miraculous one indeed, which, 
without a teacher, with nothing but her evening studies 
by lamplight, enabled her often to correct her models, 
to deviate entirely from them, and to follow her own 
fancies, creating beautiful things with the point of her 
needle. So the Huberts, who had always insisted that 
a thorough knowledge of the science of drawing was 
necessary to make a good embroiderer, were obliged to 
yield before her, notwithstanding their long experience. 
And, little by little, they modestly withdrew into the 
background, becoming simply her aids, surrendering to 
her all the most elaborate work, the under part of 
which they prepared for her. 

From one end of the year to the other, what bril- 
liant and sacred marvels passed through her hands ! 
She was always occupied with silks, satins, velvets, or 
cloths of gold or silver. She embroidered chasubles, 
stoles, maniples, copes, dalmatics, mitres, banners, and 
veils for the chalice and the pyx. But, above all, their 
orders for chasubles never failed, and they worked con- 
stantly at those vestments, with their five colours : the 
white, for Confessors and Virgins; the red, for Apostles 
and Martyrs ; the black, for the days of fasting and for 
the dead ; the violet, for the Innocents ; and the green, 
for fete-days. Gold was also often used in place of 
white or of green. The same symbols were always in 
the centre of the Cross : the monograms of Jesus and 
of the Virgin Mary, the triangle surrounded with rays, 
the lamb, the pelican, the dove, a chalice, a monstrance, 
a.nd a bleeding heart pierced with thorns ; while higher 



54 THE DREAM 

up and on the arms were designs, or flowers, all the 
ornamentation being in the ancient style, and all the 
flora in large blossoms, like anemones, tulips, peonies, 
pomegranates, or hortensias. No season passed in 
which she did not remake the grapes and thorns sym- 
bolic, putting silver on black, and gold on red. For 
the most costly vestments, she varied the pictures of 
the heads of saints, having, as a central design, the 
Annunciation, the Last Supper, or the Crucifixion. 
Sometimes the orfreys were worked on the original 
material itself; at others, she applied bands of silk or 
satin on brocades of gold cloth, or of velvet. And all 
this efflorescence of sacred splendour was created, little 
by little, by her deft fingers. At this moment the 
vestment on which Angelique was at work was a chasu- 
ble of white satin, the cross of which was made by a 
sheaf of golden lilies intertwined with bright roses, in 
various shades of silk. In the centre, in a wreath of 
little roses of dead gold, was the monogram of the 
Blessed Virgin, in red and green gold, with a great 
variety of ornaments. 

For an hour, during which-she skilfully finished the 
little roses, the silence had not been broken even by a 
single word. But her thread broke again, and she re- 
threaded her needle by feeling carefully under the 
frame, as only an adroit person can do. Then, as she 
raised her head, she again inhaled with satisfaction the 
pure, fresh air that came in from the garden. 

' Ah ! ' she said softly, ' how beautiful it was yester- 
day ! The sunshine is always perfect.' 

Hubertine shook her head as she stopped to wax 
her thread. 

' As for me, I am so wearied, it seems as if I had no 



THE DREAM 55 

arms, and it tires me to work. But that is not strange, 
for I so seldom go out, and am no longer young and 
strong, as you are at sixteen.' 

Angel ique had reseated herself and resumed her 
work. She prepared the lilies by sewing bits of vellum 
on certain places that had been marked, so as to give 
them relief, but the flowers themselves were not to be 
made until later, for fear the gold be tarnished were 
the hands moved much over it. 

Hubert, who, having finished arranging the material 
in its frame, was about drawing with pumice the pattern 
of the cope, joined in the conversation and said : ' These 
first warm days of spring are sure to give me a terrible 
headache.' 

Angelique's eyes seemed to be vaguely lost in the 
rays which now fell upon one of the flying buttresses of 
the church, as she dreamily added : ' Oh no, father, I 
do not think so. One day in the lively air, like yester- 
day, does me a world of good.' 

Having finished the little golden leaves, she began 
one of the large roses, near the lilies. Already she had 
threaded several needles with the silks required, and 
she embroidered in stitches varying in length, accord- 
ing to the natural position and movement of the petals, 
and notwithstanding the extreme delicacy and absorb- 
ing nature of this work, the recollections of the previous 
day, which she lived over again in thought and in 
silence, now came to her lips, and crowded so closely 
upon each other that she no longer tried to keep them 
back. So she talked of their setting out upon their 
expedition, of the beautiful fields they crossed, of their 
lunch over there in the ruins of Hautecceur, upon the 
flagstones of a little room whose tumbledown walls 



56 THE DREAM 

towered far above the Ligneul, which rolled gently 
among the willows fifty yards below them. 

She was enthusiastic over these crumbling ruins, 
and the scattered blocks of stone among the brambles, 
which showed how enormous the colossal structure must 
have been as, when first built, it commanded the two 
valleys. The donjon remained, nearly two hundred 
feet in height, discoloured, cracked, but nevertheless 
firm, upon its foundation pillars fifteen feet thick. Two 
of its towers had also resisted the attacks of Time 
that of Charlemagne and that of David united by a 
heavy wall almost intact. In the interior, the chapel, 
the court-room, and certain chambers were still easily 
recognised; and all this appeared to have been built 
by giants, for the steps of the stairways, the sills of the 
windows, and the benches on the terraces, were all on a 
scale far out of proportion for the generation of to-day. 
It was, in fact, quite a little fortified city. Five hun- 
dred men could have sustained there a siege of thirty 
months without suffering from want of ammunition or 
of provisions. For two centuries the bricks of the 
lowest story had been disjointed by the wild roses ; 
lilacs and laburnums covered with blossoms the rubbish 
of the fallen ceilings ; a plane-tree had even grown up 
in the fireplace of the guardroom. But when, at sunset, 
the outline of the donjon cast its long shadow over 
three leagues of cultivated ground, and the colossal 
Chateau seemed to be rebuilt in the evening mists, one 
still felt the great strength, and the old sovereignty, 
which had made of it so impregnable a fortress that 
even the kings of France trembled before it. 

1 And I am sure,' continued Angelique, ' that it is 
inhabited by the souls of the dead : who return at night, 



THE DREAM 57 

All kinds of noises are heard there ; in every direction 
are monsters who look at you, and when I turned 
round as we were coming away, I saw great white 
figures fluttering above the wall. But, mother, you 
know all the history of the castle, do you not ? ' 

Hubertine replied, as she smiled in an amused 
way : ' Oh ! as for ghosts, I have never seen any of 
them myself.' 

But in reality, she remembered perfectly the his- 
tory, which she had read long ago, and to satisfy the 
eager questionings of the young girl, she was obliged 
to relate it over again. 

The land belonged to the Bishopric of Rheims, 
since the days of Saint Remi, who had received it 
from Clovis. 

An archbishop, Severin, in the early years of the 
tenth century, had erected at Hautecoeur a fortress to 
defend the country against the Normans, who were 
coming up the river Oise, into which the Ligneul flows. 

In the following century a successor of Severin 
gave it in fief to Norbert, a younger son of the house 
of Normandy, in consideration of an annual quit- 
rent of sixty sous, and on the condition that the city 
of Beaumont and its church should remain free and 
unincumbered. It was in this way that Norbert I. be- 
came the head of the Marquesses of Hautecoeur, whose 
famous line from that date became so well known in 
history. Herve IV., excommunicated twice for his 
robbery of ecclesiastical property, became a noted high- 
wayman, who killed, on a certain occasion, with bis own 
hands, thirty citizens, and his tower was razed to the 
ground by Louis le Gros, against whom he had dared to 
declare war. Raoul I., who went to the Crusades with 



5 8 THE DREAM 

Philip Augustus, perished before Saint Jean d'Acre, 
having been pierced through the heart by a lance. But 
the most illustrious of the race was John V., the Great, 
who, in 1225, rebuilt the fortress, finishing in less than 
five years this formidable Chateau of Hautecoeur, under 
whose shelter he, for a moment, dreamed of aspiring to 
the throne of France, and after having escaped from 
being killed in twenty battles, he at last died quietly in 
his bed, brother-in-law to the King of Scotland. Then 
came Felician III., who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem 
barefooted ; Herve VII., who asserted his claims to the 
throne of Scotland ; and still many others, noble and 
powerful in their day and generation, down to Jean 
IX., who, under Mazarin, had the grief of assisting at 
the dismantling of the castle. After a desperate siege, 
the vaults of the towers and of the donjon were blown 
up with powder, and the different constructions were 
set on fire ; where Charles VI. had been sent to rest, 
and to turn his attention from his vagaries, and where, 
nearly two hundred years later, Henri IV. had passed a 
week as Gabrielle D'Estress. Thenceforth, all these 
royal souvenirs had passed into oblivion. 

Angelique, without stopping the movement of her 
needle, listened eagerly, as if the vision of these past 
grandeurs rose up from her frame, in proportion as the 
rose grew there in its delicate life of colour. Her 
ignorance of general history enlarged facts, and she 
received them as if they were the basis of a marvellous 
legend. She trembled with delight, and, transported 
by her faith, it seemed as if the reconstructed Chateau 
mounted to the very gates of heaven, and the Haute- 
coeurs were cousins to the Virgin Mary. 

When there was a pause in the recital she asked, 



THE DREAM 59 

' Is not our new Bishop, Monseigueur d'Hautecoour, a 
descendant of this noted family ? ' 

Hubertine replied that Monseigneur must belong to 
the younger branch of the family, as the elder branch 
had been extinct for a very long time. It was, indeed, 
a most singular return, as for centuries the Marquesses 
of Hauteco3ur and the clergy of Beaumont had been 
hostile to each other. Towards 1150 an abbot under- 
took to build a church, with no other resources than 
those of his Order ; so his funds soon gave out, when 
the edifice was no higher than the arches of the 
side chapels, and they were obliged to cover the nave 
with a wooden roof. Eighty years passed, and Jean V. 
came to rebuild the Chateau, when he gave three hun- 
dred thousand pounds, which, added to other sums, 
enabled the work on the church to be continued. The 
nave was finished, but the two towers and the great 
front were terminated much later, towards 1430, in the 
full fifteenth century. To recompense Jean V. for his 
liberality, the clergy accorded to him, for himself and 
his descendants, the right of burial in a chapel of the 
apse, consecrated to St. George, and which, since that 
time, had been called the Chapel Hautecocur. But 
these good terms were not of long duration. The free- 
dom of Beaumont was put in constant peril by the 
Chateau, and there were continual hostilities on the 
questions of tribute and of precedence. One especially, 
the right of paying toll, which the nobles demanded 
for the navigation of the Ligneul, perpetuated the 
quarrels. Then it was that the great prosperity of the 
lower town began, with its manufacturing of fine linen 
and lace, and from this epoch the fortune of Beaumont 
increased daily, while that of Hautecocur diminished, 



60 THE DREAM 

until the time when the castle was dismantled and the 
church triumphed. Louis XIV. made of it a cathedral, 
a bishop's palace was built in the old enclosure of the 
monks, and, by a singular chain of circumstances, to- 
day a member of the family of Hautecojur had re- 
turned as a bishop to command the clergy, who, always 
powerful, had conquered his ancestors, after a contest of 
four hundred years. 

' But,' said Angelique, ' Monseigneur has been 
married, and has not he a son at least twenty years of 



Hubertine had taken up the shears to remodel one 
of the pieces of vellum. 

* Yes,' she replied, ' the Abbot Cornille told me the 
whole story, and it is a very sad history. "When but 
twenty years of age, Monseigneur was a captain under 
Charles X. In 1830, when only four-and-twenty, he 
resigned his position in the army, and it is said that 
from that time until he was forty years of age he led 
an adventurous life, travelling everywhere and having 
many strange experiences. At last, one evening, he 
met, at the house of a friend in the country, the 
daughter of the Count de Valencay, Mademoiselle 
Pauline, very wealthy, marvellously beautiful, and 
scarcely nineteen years of age, twenty-two years 
younger than himself. He fell violently in love with 
her, and, as she returned his affection, there was no 
reason why the marriage should not take place at 
once. He then bought the ruins of Hauteco3ur for a 
mere song ten thousand francs, I believe with the 
intention of repairing the Chateau and installing his 
wife therein when all would be in order and in readi- 
ness to receive her. In the meanwhile they went tg 



THE DREAM 6 1 

live on One of his family estates in Anjou, scarcely see- 
ing any of their friends, and finding in their united 
happiness the days all too short. But, alas ! at the end 
of a year Pauline had a son and died. 

Hubert, who was still occupied with marking out 
his pattern, raised his head, showing a very pale face as 
he said in a low voice : ' Oh ! the unhappy man ! ' 

' It was said that he himself almost died from his 
great grief,' continued Hubertine. ' At all events, 
a fortnight later he entered into holy Orders, and 
soon became a priest. That was twenty years ago, 
and now he is a bishop. But I have also been told 
that during all this time he has refused to see his 
son, the child whose birth cost the life of its mother. 
He had placed him with an uncle of his wife's, 
an old abbot, not wishing even to hear of him, and 
trying to forget his existence. One day a picture of 
the boy was sent him, but in looking at it he found so 
strong a resemblance to his beloved dead that he fell on 
the floor unconscious and stiff, as if he had received a 
blow from a hammer. . . . Now age and prayer have 
helped to soften his deep grief, for yesterday the good 
Father Cornille told me that Monseigneur had just 
decided to send for his son to come to him.' 

Angelique, having finished her rose, so fresh and 
natural that a perfume seemed to be exhaled from it, 
looked again through the window into the sunny 
garden, and, as if in a reverie, she said in a low voice : 
' The son of Monseigneur ! ' 

Hubertine continued her story. 

' It seems that the young man is handsome as a 
god, and his father wished him to be educated for the 
priesthood. But the old abbot would not consent to 



62 TH DREAM 

that, saying that the youth had not the slightest incli- 
nation in that direction. And then, to crown all, his 
wealth, it is said, is enormous. Two million pounds 
sterling ! Yes, indeed ! His mother left him a tenth 
of that sum, which was invested in land in Paris, where 
the increase in the price of real estate has been so 
great, that to day it represents fifty millions of francs. 
In short, rich as a king ! ' 

' Rich as a king, beautiful as a god ! ' repeated 
Angelique unconsciously, in her dreamy voice. 

And with one hand she mechanically took from the 
frame a bobbin wound with gold thread, in order to 
make the open-work centre of one of the large lilies. 
After having loosened the end from the point of the 
reel, she fastened it with a double stitch of silk to the 
edge of the vellum which was to give a thickness to 
the embroidery. Then, continuing her work, she said 
again, without finishing her thought, which seemed lost 
in the vagueness of its desire, ' Oh ! as for me, what I 
would like, that which I would like above all else ' 

The silence fell again, deep and profound, broken 
only by the dull sound of chanting which came from 
the church. Hubert arranged his design by repassing 
with a little brush all the perforated lines of the draw- 
ing, and thus the ornamentation of the cope appeared 
in white on the red silk. It was he who first resumed 
speaking. 

' Ah ! those ancient days were magnificent ! Noble- 
men then wore costumes weighted with embroidery. At 
Lyons, material was sometimes sold for as much as six 
hundred francs an ell. One ought to read the by-laws 
and regulations of the Guild of Master "Workmen, 
where it is laid down that " The embroiderers of the 



TH DREAM 63 

King have always the right to summon, by armed 
force if necessary, the workmen of other masters." . . . 
And then we had coats of arms, too ! Azure, a fesse 
engrailed or, between three fleurs-de-lys of the same, 
two of them being near the top and the third in the 
point. Ah ! it was indeed beautiful in the days of long 



He stopped a moment, tapping the frame with his 
fingers to shake off the dust. Then he continued : 

' At Beaumont they still have a legend about the 
Hautecocurs, which my mother often related to me 
when I was a child. ... A frightful plague ravaged the 
town, and half of the inhabitants had already fallen 
victims to it, when Jean V., he who had rebuilt the 
fortress, perceived that God had given him the power 
to contend against the scourge. Then he went 011 foot 
to the houses of the sick, fell on his knees, kissed them, 
and as soon as his lips had touched them, while he said, 
" If God is willing, I wish it," the sufferers were healed. 
And lo ! that is why these words have remained the 
device of the Hautecocurs, who all have since that day 
been able to cure the plague. . . . Ah ! what a proud 
race of men ! A noble dynasty ! Monseigneur him- 
self is called Jean XII., and the first name of his son 
must also be followed by a number, like that of a 
prince.' 

He stopped. Each one of his words lulled and pro- 
longed the reverie of Angelique. She continued, in a 
half-singing tone : ' Oh ! what I wish for myself! That 
which I would like above all else ' 

Holding the bobbin, without touching the thread, 
she twisted the gold by moving it from left to right 
alternately on the vellum, fastening it at each turn with 



64 THE DREAM 

a stitch in silk. Little by little the great golden lily 
blossomed out. 

Soon she continued : * Yes, what I would like above 
all would be to marry a prince a prince whom I had 
never seen ; who would come towards sunset, just before 
the waning daylight, and would take me by the hand 
and lead me to his palace. And I should wish him to 
be very handsome, as well as very rich ! Yes, the most 
beautiful and the wealthiest man that had ever been 
seen on the earth ! He should have superb horses that 
I could hear neighing under my windows, and jewels 
which he would pour in streams into my lap, and gold 
that would fall from my hands in a deluge when I 
opened them. And what I wish still further is, that 
this prince of mine should love me to distraction, so 
that I might also love him desperately. We would 
then remain very young, very good, and very noble, for 
ever ! ' 

Hubert, leaving his work, had approached her 
smilingly ; whilst Hubertine, in a friendly way, shook 
her finger at the young girl. 

' Oh, what a vain little creature ! Ah ! ambitious 
child, you are quite incorrigible. Now, you are quite 
beside yourself with your need of being a queen. At 
all events such a dream is much better than to steal 
sugar and to be impertinent. But really, you must not 
indulge in such fancies. It is the Evil One who prompts 
them, and it is pride that speaks, as well as passion.' 

Gay and candid, Angelique looked her in the face as 
she said : ' But mother, mother mine, what are you 
saying ? Is it, then, a sin to love that which is rich 
and beautiful ? I love it because it is rich and beautiful, 
and so cheers my heart and coul. A beautiful object 



THE DREAM 65 

brightens everything that is near it, and helps one to 
live, as the sun does. You know very well that I am 
not selfish. Money ? Oh ! you would see what a good 
use I would make of it, if only I had it in abundance ! 
I would rain it over the town ; it should be scattered 
among the miserable. Think what a blessing it would 
be to have no more poverty ! In the first place, as for 
you and my father, I would give you everything. You 
should be dressed in robes and garments of brocades, 
like the lords and ladies of the olden time.' 

Hubertine shrugged her shoulders and smiled. ' It 
is ridiculous,' she said. ' But, my dear child, you must 
remember that you are poor, and that you have not a 
penny for your marriage-portion. How can you, then, 
for a moment dream of a prince ? Are you, then, so 
desirous to marry a prince ? ' 

' Why should not I wish to marry such a man ? ' 
And she looked quite amazed, as she continued: ' Marry 
him ? Of course I would do so. Since he would have 
plenty of money, what difference would it make if I had 
none ? I should owe everything to him, and on that 
very account I should love him all the more deeply.' 

This victorious reasoning enchanted Hubert, who 
seemed carried above the earth by Angel ique's enthu- 
siasm. He would willingly have accompanied her on 
the wings of a cloud to the regions of fancy. 

' She is right,' he exclaimed. 

But his wife glanced at him reprovingly. She 
became quite stern. 

' My child, you will think differently later on, when 
you know life better.' 

' Life ? but I know it already.' 

' How is it possible for you to know it ? You are 

F 



66 THE DREAM 

too young ; you are ignorant of evil. Yet evil exists 
and is very powerful.' 

' Evil evil ? ' 

Angelique repeated the word very slowly, as if to 
penetrate its meaning. And in her pure eyes was a look 
of innocent surprise. Evil ? She knew all about it, 
for she had read of it in the ' Golden Legend.' Was 
not evil Satan himself? And had not she seen how, al- 
though he constantly reappeared, he was always over- 
thrown ? After every battle he remained crushed to 
earth, thoroughly conquered, and in a most pitiable 
state. 

' Evil ? Ah, mother mine, if you knew how little 1 
fear it ! It is only necessary once to conquer it, and 
afterwards life is all happiness.' 

Hubertine appeared troubled and looked anxious. 

* You will make me almost regret having brought you 
up in this house, alone with us two, and away from the 
world as it were. I am really afraid that some day we 
shall regret having kept you in such complete ignorance 
of the realities of life. What Paradise are you looking 
for ? What is your idea of the world ? ' 

A look of hope brightened the face of the young girl, 
while, bending forward, she still moved the bobbin back 
and forth with a continuous, even motion. 

'You then really think, mother, that I am very 
foolish, do you not ? This world is full of brave people. 
When one is honest and industrious, one is always 
rewarded. I know also that there are some bad people, 
but they do not count. We do not associate with them, 
and they are soon punished for their misdeeds. And 
then, you see, as for the world, it produces on me, from 
a distance, the effect of a great garden ; yes, of an im- 



THE DREAM 67 

mense park, all filled with flowers and with sunshine. 
It is such a blessing to live, and life is so sweet that it 
cannot be bad.' 

She grew excited, as if intoxicated by the bright- 
ness of the silks and the gold threads she manipulated 
so well with her skilful fingers. 

' Happiness is a very simple thing. We are happy, 
are we not ? All three of us ? And why ? Simply 
because we love each other. Then, after all, it is no 
more difficult than that ; it is only necessary to love 
and to be loved. So, you see, when the one I expect 
really comes, we shall recognise each other immediately. 
It is true I have not yet seen him, but I know exactly 
what he ought to be. He will enter here and will say : 
" I have come in search of you." And I shall reply : 
" I expected you, and will go with you." He will take 
me with him, and our future will be at once decided 
upon. He will go into a palace, where all the furniture 
will be of gold, encrusted in diamonds. Oh, it is all 
very simple ! ' 

' You are crazy ; so do not talk any more,' inter- 
rupted Hubertine, coldly. 

And seeing that the young girl was still excited, and 
ready to continue to indulge in her fancies, she con- 
tinued to reprove her. 

' I beg you to say no more, for you absolutely make 
me tremble. Unhappy child ! when we really marry 
you to some poor mortal you will be crushed, as you 
fall to earth from these heights of the imagination. 
Happiness, for the greater part of the world, consists in 
humility and obedience.' 

Angelique continued to smile with an almost obsti- 
nate tranquillity. 

p 2 



6$ THE DREAM 

1 1 expect him, and he will come.' 

' But she is right,' exclaimed Hubert, again carried 
away by her enthusiasm. ' Why need you scold her ? 
She is certainly pretty, and dainty enough for a king. 
Stranger things than that have happened, and who 
knows what may come ? ' 

Sadly Hubertine looked at him with her calm eyes. 

' Do not encourage her to do wrong, my dear. You 
know, better than anyone, what it costs to follow too 
much the impulses of one's heart.' 

He turned deadly pale, and great tears came to 
the edge of his eyelids. She immediately repented of 
having reproved him, and rose to offer him her hands. 
But gently disengaging himself, he said, stammer- 
ingly: 

' No, no, my dear ; I was wrong. Angelique, do 
you understand me ? You must alwajs listen to your 
mother. She alone is wise, and we are both of us very 
foolish. I am wrong ; yes, I acknowledge it.' 

Too disturbed to sit down, leaving the cope upon 
which he had been working, he occupied himself in 
pasting a banner that was finished, although still in its 
frame. After having taken the pot of Flemish glue 
from the chest of drawers, he moistened with a brush 
the underside of the material, to make the embroidery 
firmer. His lips still trembled, and he remained 
quiet. 

But if Angelique, in her obedience, was also still, 
she allowed her thoughts to follow their course, and her 
fancies mounted higher and still higher. She showed 
it in every feature in her mouth, that ecstasy had half 
opened, as well as in her eyes, where the infinite depth 
of her visions seemed reflected. Now, this dream of a 



THE DREAM 69 

poor girl, she wove it into the golden embroidery. It 
was for this unknown hero that, little by little, there 
seemed to grow on the white satin the beautiful great 
lilies, and the roses, and the monogram of the Blessed 
Virgin. The stems of the lilies had all the gracious 
pointings of a jet of light, whilst the long slender 
leaves, made of spangles, each one being sewed on with 
gold twist, fell in a shower of stars. In the centre, the 
initials of Mary were like the dazzling of a relief in 
massive gold, a marvellous blending of lacework and of 
embossing, or goffering, which burnt like the glory of a 
tabernacle in the mystic fire of its rays. And the roses 
of delicately-coloured silks seemed real, and the whole 
chasuble was resplendent in its whiteness of satin, which 
appeared covered almost miraculously with its golden 
blossoms. 

After a long silence, Angelique, whose cheeks were 
flushed by the blood which mounted into them from her 
excitement, raised her head, and, looking at Hubertine, 
said again, a little maliciously : 

' I expect him, and he will come.' 

It was absurd for her thus to give loose reins to her 
imagination. But she was wilful. She was convinced 
in her own mind that everything would come to pass, 
eventually, as she wished it might. Nothing could 
weaken her happy conviction. 

' Mother,' she added, ' why do you not believe me, 
since I assure you it must be as I say ? ' 

Hubertine shrugged her shoulders, and concluded 
the best thing for her to do was to tease her. 

' But I thought, my child, that you never intended 
being married. Your saints, who seem to have turned 
your head, they led single lives. Rather than do other-- 



70 THE DREAM 

wise they converted their lovers, ran away from their 
homes, and were put to death,' 

The young girl listened and was confused. But 
soon she laughed merrily. Her perfect health, and all 
her love of life, rang out in this sonorous gaiety. ' The 
histories of the saints ! But that was ages ago ! Times 
have entirely changed since then. God having so com- 
pletely triumphed, no longer demands that anyone should 
die for Him.' 

When reading the Legend, it was the marvels 
which fascinated her, not the contempt of the world 
and the desire for death. She added : ' Most certainly 
I expect to be married ; to love and to be loved, and 
thus be very happy.' 

' Be careful, my dear,' said Hubertine, continuing 
to tease her. ' You will make your guardian angel, 
Saint Agnes, weep. Do not you know that she refused 
the son of the Governor, and preferred to die, that she 
might be wedded to Jesus ? ' 

The great clock of the belfry began to strike ; num- 
bers of sparrows flew down from an enormous ivy-plant 
which framed one of the windows of the apse. In the 
workroom, Hubert, still silent, had just hung up the 
banner, moist from the glue, that it might dry, on one 
of the great iron hooks fastened to the wall. 

The sun in the course of the morning had lightened 
up different parts of the room, and now it shone brightly 
upon the old tools the diligent, the wicker winder, and 
the brass chandelier and as its rays fell upon the two 
workers, the frame at which they were seated seemed 
almost on fire, with its bands polished by use, and with 
the various objects placed upon it, the reels of gold cord, 
the spangles, and the bobbins of silk. 



THE DREAM 71 

Then, iu this soft, charming air of spring, Angel- 
ique looked at the beautiful symbolic lily she had just 
finished. Opening wide her ingenuous eyes, she replied, 
with an air of confiding happiness, to Hubertine's last 
remark in regard to the child-martyr, Saint Agnes : 

' Ah, yes ! But it was Jesus who wished it to 
be so.' 



72 THE DREAM 



CHAPTER V 

NOTWITHSTANDING her thoroughly cheerful nature, 
Angelique liked solitude ; and it was to her the 
greatest of recreations to be alone in her room, morn- 
ing and evening. There she gave herself up to her 
thoughts ; there she indulged to the full scope in her 
most joyous fancies. Sometimes even during the day, 
when she could go there for a moment, she was as 
happy as if, in full freedom, she had committed some 
childish prank. 

The chamber was very large, taking in at least half 
of the upper story, the other half being the garret. 
It was whitewashed everywhere; not only the walls 
and the beams, but the joists, even to the visible cop- 
ings of the mansard part of the roof; and in this bare 
whiteness, the old oaken furniture seemed almost as 
black as ebony. At the time of the decoration of the 
sleeping-room below, and the improvements made in 
the parlour, the ancient furniture, which had been 
bought at various epochs, had been carried upstairs. 
There was a great carved chest of the Renaissance 
period, a table and chairs which dated from the reign 
of Louis XIII., an enormous bedstead, style Louis XIV., 
and a very handsome wardrobe, Louis XY. In the 
middle of these venerable old things a white porcelain 



THE DREAM 73 

stove, and the little toilet-table, covered with a pretty 
oilcloth, seemed out of place and to mar the dull har- 
mony. Curtained with an old-fashioned rose-coloured 
chintz, on which were bouquets of heather, so faded that 
the colour had become a scarcely perceptible pink, the 
enormous bedstead preserved above all the majesty of 
its great age. 

But what pleased Angelique more than anything 
else was the little balcony on which the window opened. 
Of the two original windows, one of them, that at the 
left, had been closed by simply fastening it with nails, 
and the balcony, which formerly extended across the 
front of the building, was now only before the window 
at the right. As the lower beams were still strong, a 
new floor had been made, and above it an iron railing 
was firmly attached in place of the old worm-eaten 
wooden balustrade. This made a charming little 
corner, a quiet nook under the gable point, the leaden 
laths of which had been renewed at the beginning of 
the century. By bending over a little, the whole 
garden-front of the house could be seen in a very 
dilapidated state, with its sub-basement of little cut 
stones, its panels ornamented with imitation bricks, 
and its large bay window, which to-day had been made 
somewhat smaller. The roof of the great porch of the 
kitchen-door was covered with zinc. And above, the 
interduces of the top, which projected three feet or 
more, were strengthened by large, upright pieces of 
wood, the ends of which rested on the string-course of 
the first floor. All this gave to the balcony an appear- 
ance of being in a perfect vegetation of timber, as if 
in the midst of a forest of old wood, which was green 
with wallflowers and moss. 



74 THE DREAM 

Since she occupied the chamber, Angelique had 
spent many hours there, leaning over the balustrade 
and simply looking. At first, directly under her was 
the garden, darkened by the eternal shade of the ever- 
green box-trees; in the corner nearest the church, a 
cluster of small lilac-bushes surrounded an old granite 
bench ; while in the opposite corner, half hidden by a 
beautiful ivy which covered the whole wall at the end 
as if with a mantle, was a little door opening upon the 
Clos-Marie, a vast, uncultivated field. This Clos-Marie 
was the old orchard of the monks. A rivulet of purest 
spring-water crossed it, the Chevrotte, where the women 
who occupied the houses in the neighbourhood had the 
privilege of washing their linen ; certain poor people 
sheltered themselves in the ruins of an old tumbledown 
mill ; and no other persons inhabited this field, which 
was connected with the Rue Magloire simply by the 
narrow lane of the Guerdaches, which passed between 
the high walls of the Bishop's Palace and those of the 
Hotel Voincourt. In summer, the centenarian elms of 
the two parks barred with their green-leaved tops the 
straight, limited horizon which in the centre was cut off 
by the gigantic brow of the Cathedral. Thus shut in 
on all sides, the Clos-Marie slept in the quiet peace of 
its abandonment, overrun with weeds and wild grass, 
planted with poplars and willows sown by the wind. 
Among the great pebbles the Chevrotte leaped, singing 
as it went, and making a continuous music as if of 
crystal. 

Angelique was never weary of this out-of-the-way 
nook. Yet for seven years she had seen there each 
morning only what she had looked at on the previous 
evening. The trees in the little park of the Hotel 






1 




THE DREAM 75 

Voincourt, whose front was on the Grand Rue, were 
so tufted and bushy that it was only in the winter she 
could occasionally catch a glimpse of the daughter of 
the Countess, Mademoiselle Claire, a young girl of her 
own age. 

In the garden of the Bishop was a still more dense 
thickness of branches, and she had often tried in vain 
to distinguish there the violet-coloured cassock of 
Monseigneur ; and the old gate, with its Venetian slats 
above and at the sides, must have been fastened up for 
a very long time, for she never remembered to have 
seen it opened, not even for a gardener to pass through. 
Besides the washerwomen in the Clos, she always saw 
the same poor, ragged little children playing or sleep- 
ing in the grass. 

The spring this year was unusually mild. She was 
just sixteen years of age, and until now she had been 
glad to welcome with her eyes alone the growing green 
again of the Clos-Marie under the April sunshine. 
The shooting out of the tender leaves, the transparency 
of the warm evenings, and all the reviving odours of 
the earth had simply amused her heretofore. But this 
year, at the first bud, her heart seemed to beat more 
quickly. As the grass grew higher and the wind 
brought to her all the strong perfumes of the fresh 
verdure, there was in her whole being an increasing 
agitation. Sudden inexplicable pain would at times 
seize her throat and almost choke her. One evening 
she threw herself, weeping, into Hubertine's arms, 
having no cause whatever for grief, but, on the con- 
trary, overwhelmed with so great, unknown a happi- 
ness, that her heart was too full for restraint. In the 
night her dreams were delightful. Shadows seemed to 



76 THE DREAM 

pass before her, and she fell into such an ecstatic state 
that on awakening she did not dare to recall them, so 
confused was she by the angelic visions of bliss. Some- 
times, in the middle of her great bed, she would rouse 
herself suddenly, her two hands joined and pressed 
against her breast as if a heavy burden were weighing 
her down and almost suffocating her. She would then 
jump up, rush across the room in her bare feet, and, 
opening the window wide, would stand there, trembling 
slightly, until at last the pure fresh air calmed her. 
She was continually surprised at this great change in 
herself, as if the knowledge of joys and griefs hitherto 
unknown had been revealed to her in the enchantment 
of dreams, and that her eyes had been opened to 
natural beauties which surrounded her. 

What was it really true that the unseen lilacs 
and laburnums of the Bishop's garden had so sweet an 
odour that she could no longer breathe it without a 
flush of colour mounting to her cheeks ? Never before 
had she perceived this warmth of perfume which now 
touched her as if with a living breath. 

And again, why had she never remarked in pre- 
ceding years a great Japanese Paulo wnia in blossom, 
which looked like an immense violet bouquet as it 
appeared between two elm-trees in the garden of the 
Voincourts? This year, as soon as she looked at it, 
her eyes grew moist, so much was she affected by the 
delicate tints of the pale purple flowers. She also 
fancied that the Chevrotte had never chattered so gaily 
over the pebbles among the willows on its banks. The 
river certainly talked ; she listened to its vague words, 
constantly repeated, which filled her heart with trouble. 
Was it, then, no longer the field of other days, that every- 



THE DREAM 97 

thing in it so astonished her and affected her senses in 
so unusual a way ? Or, rather, was not she herself so 
changed that, for the first time, she appreciated the 
beauty of the coming into life of trees and plants ? 

But the Cathedral at her right, the enormous mass 
which obstructed the sky, surprised her yet more. 
Each morning she seemed to see it for the first time ; 
she made constant discoveries in it, and was delighted 
to think that these old stones lived and had lived like 
herself. She did not reason at all on the subject, she 
had very little knowledge, but she gave herself up to 
the mystic flight of the giant, whose coming into ex- 
istence had demanded three centuries of time, and 
where were placed one above the other the faith and the 
belief of generations. At the foundation, it was kneel- 
ing as if crushed by prayer, with the Romanesque 
chapels of the nave, and with the round arched win- 
dows, plain, unornamented, except by slender columns 
under the archivolts. Then it seemed to rise, lifting 
its face and hands towards heaven, with the pointed 
windows of its nave, built eighty years later; high, 
delicate windows, divided by mullions on which were 
broken bows and roses. Then again it sprung from the 
earth as if in ecstasy, erect, with the piers and flying 
buttresses of the choir finished and ornamented two 
centuries after in the fullest flamboyant Gothic, charged 
with its bell-turrets, spires, and pinnacles. A balus- 
trade had been added, ornamented with trefoils, border- 
ing the terrace on the chapels of the apse. Gargoyles 
at the foot of the flying buttresses carried off the water 
from the roofs. The top was also decorated with 
flowery emblems. The whole edifice seemed to burst 
into blossom in proportion as it approached the sky in 



78 THE DREAM 

a continual upward flight, as if, relieved at being de- 
livered from the ancient sacerdotal terror, it was about 
to lose itself in the bosom of a God of pardon and of 
love. It seemed to have a physical sensation which 
permeated it, made it light and happy, like a sacred 
hymn it had just heard sung, very pure and holy, as it 
passed into the upper air. 

Moreover, the Cathedral was alive. Hundreds of 
swallows had constructed their nests under the borders 
of trefoil, and even in the hollows of the bell-turrets and 
the pinnacles, and they were continually brushing their 
wings against the flying buttresses and the piers which 
they inhabited. There were also the wood-pigeons of 
the elms in the Bishop's garden, who held themselves 
up proudly on the borders of the terraces, going slowly, 
as if walking merely to show themselves off. Some- 
times, half lost in the blue sky, looking scarcely larger 
than a fly, a crow alighted on the point of a spire to 
smooth its wings. The old stones themselves were ani- 
mated by the quiet working of the roots of a whole flora 
of plants, the lichens and the grasses, which pushed 
themselves through the openings in the walls. On very 
stormy days the entire apse seemed to awake and to 
grumble under the noise of the rain as it beat against 
the leaden tiles of the roof, running off by the gutters 
of the cornices and rolling from story to story with 
the clamour of an overflowing torrent. Even the ter- 
rible winds of October and of March gave to it a soul, 
a double voice of anger and of supplication, as they 
whistled through its forests of gables and arcades of 
roseate ornaments and of little columns. The sun also 
filled it with life from the changing play of its rays ; 
from the early morning, which rejuvenated it with a 



THE DREAM 79 

delicate gaiety, even to the evening, when, under the 
slightly lengthened-out shadows, it basked in the un- 
known. 

And it had its interior existence. The ceremonies 
with which it was ever vibrating, the constant swinging 
of its bells, the music of the organ, and the chanting 
of the priests, all these were like the pulsation of its 
veins. There was always a living murmur in it : half- 
lost sounds, like the faint echo of a Low Mass ; the 
rustling of the kneeling penitents, a slight, scarcely 
perceptible shivering, nothing but the devout ardour of 
a prayer said without words and with closed lips. 

Now, as the days grew longer, Angelique passed 
more and more time in the morning and evening with 
her elbows on the balustrade of the balcony, side by 
side with her great friend, the Cathedral. She loved it 
the best at night, when she saw the enormous mass 
detach itself like a huge block on the starry skies. The 
form of the building was lost. It was with difficulty 
that she could even distinguish the flying buttresses, 
which were thrown like bridges into the empty space. 
It was, nevertheless, awake in the darkness, filled with 
a dream of seven centuries, made grand by the multi- 
tudes who had hoped or despaired before its altars. It 
was a continual watch, coming from the infinite of the 
past, going to the eternity of the future ; the mysterious 
and terrifying wakefulness of a house where God Him- 
self never sleeps. And in the dark, motionless, living 
mass, her looks were sure to seek the window of a 
chapel of the choir, on the level of the bushes of the 
Clos-Marie, the only one which was lighted up, and 
which seemed like an eye which was kept open all the 
night. Behind it, at the corner of a pillar, was an 



86 THE DREAM 

ever-burning altar-lamp. In fact, it was the same 
chapel which the abbots of old had given to Jean V. 
d'Hautecceur, and to his descendants, with the right 
of being buried there, in return for their liberality. 
Dedicated to Saint George, it had a stained-glass win- 
dow of the twelfth century, on which was painted the 
legend of the saint. From the moment of the coming 
on of twilight, this historic representation came out 
from the shade, lighted up as if it were an apparition, 
and that was why Angelique was fascinated, and loved 
this particular point, as she gazed at it with her dreamy 
eyes. 

The background of the window was blue and the 
edges red. Upon this sombre richness of colouring, 
the personages, whose flying draperies allowed their 
limbs to be seen, stood out in relief in clear light on 
the glass. Three scenes of the Legend, placed one 
above the other, filled the space quite to the upper arch. 
At the bottom, the daughter of the king, dressed in 
costly royal robes, on her way from the city to be eaten 
by the dreadful monster, meets Saint George near the 
pond, from which the head of the dragon already ap- 
pears ; and a streamer of silk bears these words : ' Good 
Knight, do not run any danger for me, as you can 
neither help me nor deliver me, but will have to perish 
with me.' Then in the middle the combat takes place, 
and the saint, on horseback, cuts the beast through and 
through. This is explained by the following words : 
' George wielded so well his lance that he wounded the 
enemy and threw him upon the earth.' At last, at the 
top, the Princess is seen leading back into the city the 
conquered dragon: 'George said, "Tie your scarf 
around his neck, and do not be afraid of anything, oh 



THE DREAM 81 

beautiful maiden, for when you Lave done so he will 
follow you like a well-trained dog." ' 

When the window was new it must have been sur- 
mounted in the middle of the arch by an ornamental 
design. But later, when the chapel belonged to the 
Hautecoeurs, they replaced the original work by their 
family coat of arms. And that was why, in the obscure 
nights, armorial bearings of a more recent date shone 
out above the painted legend. They were the old family 
arms of Hautecceur, quartered with the well-known 
shield of Jerusalem; the latter being argent, a cross 
potencee, or, between four crosselettes of the same ; 
and those of the family, azure, a castle, or, on it a 
shield, sable, charged with a human heart, argent, the 
whole between three fleurs-de-lys, or ; the shield was 
supported on the dexter and sinister sides by two 
wy verns, or ; and surmounted by the silver helmet with 
its blue feathers, embossed in gold, placed frontwise, and 
closed by eleven bars, which belongs only to Dukes, 
Marshals of France, titled Lords and heads of Sove- 
reign Corporations. And for motto were these words : 
' Si Dieu volt, ie vueil.' 

Little by little, from having seen him piercing the 
monster with his lance, whilst the king's daughter 
raised her clasped hands in supplication, Angelique 
became enamoured of Saint George. He was her hero. 
At the distance where she was she could not well dis- 
tinguish the figures, and she looked at them as if in the 
aggrandisement of a dream ; the young girl was slight, 
was a blonde, and, in short, had a face not unlike her 
own, while the saint was frank and noble looking, with 
the beauty of an archangel. It was as if she herself 
had just been saved, and she could have kissed his 

G 



82 THE DREAM 

bauds with gratitude. And to this adventure, of which 
she dreamed confusedly, of a meeting on the border of 
a lake and of being rescued from a great danger by a 
young man more beautiful than the day, was added the 
recollection of her excursion to the Chateau of Hante- 
coeur, and a calling up to view of the feudal donjon, in 
its original state, peopled with the noble lords of olden 
times. 

The arms glistened like the stars on summer nights ; 
she knew them well, she read them easily, with their 
sonorous words, for she was so in the habit of embroider- 
ing heraldic symbols. There was Jean V., who stopped 
from door to door in the town ravaged by the plague, 
and went in to kiss the lips of the dying, and cured 
them by saying, ' Si Dieu volt,ie vueiL' And FelicianllL, 
who, forewarned that a severe illness prevented Philippe 
le Bel from going to Palestine, went there in his place, 
barefooted and holding a candle in his hand, and for 
that he had the right of quartering the arms of Jeru- 
salem with his own. Other and yet other histories 
came to her mind, especially those of the ladies of Haute- 
co2ur, the ' happy dead,' as they were called in the 
Legend. In that family the women die young, in the 
midst of some great happiness. Sometimes two or three 
generations would be spared, then suddenly Death 
would appear, smiling, as with gentle hands he carried 
away the daughter or the wife of a Hautecceur, the 
oldest of them being scarcely twenty years of age, at 
the moment when they were at the height of earthly 
love and bliss. For instance, Laurette, daughter of 
Raoul I., on the evening of her betrothal to her cousin 
Richard, who lived in the castle, having seated herself 
at her window in the Tower of David, saw him at his 



THE DREAM 83 

window in the Tower of Charlemagne, and, thinking she 
heard him call her, as at that moment a ray of moon- 
light seemed to throw a bridge between them, she 
walked toward him. But when in the middle she made 
in her haste a false step and overpassed the ray, she 
fell, and was crushed at the foot of the tower. So since 
that day, each night when the moon is bright and clear, 
she can be seen walking in the air around the Chateau, 
which is bathed in white by the silent touch of her 
immense robe. Then Balbine, wife of Herve VII., 
thought for six months that her husband had been killed 
in the wars. But, unwilling to give up all hope, she 
watched for him daily from the top of the donjon, and 
when at last she saw him one morning on the highway, 
returning to his home, she ran down quickly to meet 
him, but was so overcome with joy, that she fell dead at 
the entrance of the castle. Even at this day, notwith- 
standing the ruins, as soon as twilight falls, it is said 
she still descends the steps, runs from story to story, 
glides through the corridors and the rooms, and passes 
like a phantom through the gaping windows which open, 
into the desert void. All return. Isabeau, Gudule, 
Vonne, Austreberthe, all these ' happy dead,' loved by 
the stern messenger, who spared them from the vicissi- 
tudes of life by taking them suddenly when, in early 
youth, they thought only of happiness. On certain 
nights this white-robed band fill the house as if with a 
flight of doves. To their number had lately been added 
the mother of the son of Monseigneur, who was found 
lifeless on the floor by the cradle of her infant, where, 
although ill, she dragged herself to die, in the fulness 
of her delight at embracing him. These had haunted 
the imagination of Angelique ; she spoke of them as if 

o 2 



84 THE DREAM 

they were facts of recent occurrence, which might have 
happened the day before. She had read the names of 
Laurette and of Balbine on old memorial tablets let 
into the walls of the chapel. Then why should not she 
also die young and very happy, as they had ? The 
armouries would glisten as now, the saint would come 
down from his place in the stained-glass window, and 
she would be carried away to heaven on the sweet 
breath of a kiss. Why not ? 

The ' Golden Legend ' had taught her this : Was not 
it true that the miracle is really the common law, and 
follows the natural course of events ? It exists, is active, 
works with an extreme facility on every occasion, multi- 
plies itself, spreads itself out, overflows even uselessly, 
as if for the pleasure of contradicting the self-evident 
rules of Nature. Its power seems to be on the same 
plane as that of the Creator. Abrigan, King of Edeese, 
writes to Jesus, who replies to him. Ignatius receives 
letters from the Blessed Virgin. In all places the 
Mother and the Son appear, disguise themselves, and 
talk with an air of smiling good-nature. When Stephen 
meets them they are very familiar with him. All the 
virgins are wed to Jesus, and the martyrs mount to 
heaven, where they are to be united to Mary. And as 
for the angels and saints, they are the ordinary com- 
panions of men. They come, they go, they pass through 
walls, they appear in dreams, they speak from the 
height of clouds, they assist at births and deaths, they 
support those who are tortured, they deliver those who 
are in prison, and they go on dangerous missions. Fol- 
lowing in their footsteps is an inexhaustible efflorescence 
of prodigies. Sylvester binds the mouth of a dragon 
with a thread. The earth rises to make a seat for 



THE DREAM 85 

Hilary, whose companions wished to humiliate him. A 
precious stone falls into the chalice of Saint Loup. A 
tree crushes the enemies of Saint Martin ; a dog lets 
loose a hare, and a great fire ceases to burn at his com- 
mand. Mary the Egyptian walks upon the sea ; honey- 
bees fly from the mouth of Ambrosius at his birth. 
Continually saints cure diseases of the eye, withered 
limbs, paralysis, leprosy, and especially the plague. 
There is no disease that resists the sign of the Cross. 
In a crowd, the suffering and the feeble are placed to- 
gether, that they may be cured in a mass, as if by a 
thunderbolt. Death itself is conquered, and resurrections 
are so frequent that they become quite an everyday 
affair. And when the saints themselves are dead the 
wonders do not cease, but are redoubled, and are like 
perennial flowers which spring from their tombs. It is 
said that from the head and the feet of Nicholas flowed 
two fountains of oil which cured every ill. When the 
tomb of Saint Cecilia was opened an odour of roses came 
up from her coffin. That of Dorothea was filled with 
manna. All the bones of virgins and of martyrs per- 
formed marvels : they confounded liars, they forced 
robbers to give back their stolen goods, they granted the 
prayers of childless wives, they brought the dying back 
to life. Nothing was impossible for them ; in fact the 
invisible reigned, and the only law was the caprice of 
the supernatural. In the temples the sorcerers mix 
themselves up with the popular idea, and scythes cut 
the grass without being held, brass serpents move, and 
one hears bronze statues laugh and wolves sing. Im- 
mediately the saints reply and overwhelm them. The 
Host is changed into living food, sacred Christian images 
shed drops of blood, sticks set upright in the ground 



86 THE DREAM 

blossom into flower, springs of pure water appear in dry 
places, warm loaves of bread multiply themselves at the 
feet of the needy, a tree bows down before some holy 
person, and so on. Then, again, decapitated heads 
speak, broken chalices mend themselves, the rain turns 
aside from a church to submerge a neighbouring palace, 
the robes of hermits never wear out, but renew them- 
selves at each season like the skin of a beast. In 
Armenia at one time the persecutors threw into the sea 
the leaden coffins of five martyrs, and the one contain- 
ing the body of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle took 
the lead, and the four others accompanied it as a guard 
of honour. So, all together, in regular order, like a fine 
squadron, they floated slowly along, urged by the breeze, 
through the whole length of the sea, until they reached 
the shores of Sicily. 

Angelique was a firm believer in miracles. In her 
ignorance she lived surrounded by wonders. The rising 
of the stars, or the opening of a violet ; each fact was a 
surprise to her. It would have appeared to her simply 
ridiculous to have imagined the world so mechanical as 
to be governed by fixed laws. There were so many 
things far beyond her comprehension, she felt herself so 
weak and helpless in the midst of forces whose power it 
was impossible to measure, that she would not even 
have suspected they existed, had it not been for the 
great questioning breath which at times passed over 
her face. So, trusting, and as thoroughly Christian as 
if belonging to the primitive Church, spiritually fed by 
her readings from the ' Golden Legend,' she gave herself 
up entirely into the hands of God, with only the spot of 
original sin to be cleansed from her soul. She had no 
liberty of action or freedom of will ; God alone could 



THE DREAM 87 

secure her salvation by giving her the gift of His grace. 
That grace had been already manifested by bringing her 
to the hospitable roof of the Huberts, where, under the 
shadow of the Cathedral, she could lead a life of sub- 
mission, of purity, and of faith. She often heard within 
her soul the grumblings of hereditary tendency to evil, 
and asked herself what would have become of her had 
she been left on her native soil. Without doubt she 
would have been bad ; while here, in this blessed corner 
of the earth, she had grown up free from temptation, 
strong and healthy. Was it not grace that had given 
her this home, where she was surrounded by such 
charming histories she had so easily committed to 
memory, where she had learned such perfect faith in 
the present and hope in the future, and where the in- 
visible and unknown, or the miracles of ages, seemed 
natural to her, and quite on a level with her daily life ? 
It had armed her for all combats, as heretofore it had 
armed the martyrs. And she created an imaginary ex- 
perience for herself almost unknowingly. It was, in 
fact, the inevitable result of a mind overcharged and 
excited by fables ; it was increased by her ignorance of 
the life within and about her, as well as from her lone- 
liness. She had not had many companions, so all 
desires went from, her only to return to her. 

Sometimes she was in such a peculiar state that she 
would put her hands over her face, as if doubting her 
own identity. Was she herself only an illusion, and 
would she suddenly disappear some day and vanish into 
nothingness ? Who would tell her the truth ? 

One evening in the following May, on this same 
balcony where she had spent so much time in vague 
dreams, she suddenly broke into tears. She was not 



88 THE DREAM 

low-spirited in the least, but it seemed to her as if her 
anxiety arose from a vain expectation of a visit from 
someone. Yet who was there to come ? It was very 
dark ; the Clos-Marie marked itself out like a great 
black spot under the sky filled with stars, and she could 
but vaguely distinguish the heavy masses of the old elm- 
trees of the Bishop's garden, and of the park of the 
Hotel Voincourt. Alone the window of the chapel 
sent out a little light. If no one were to come, why did 
her heart beat so rapidly ? It was nothing new, this 
feeling of waiting, or of hope, but it was dated from the 
long ago, from her early youth ; it was like a desire, a 
looking forward for something which had grown with 
her growth, and ended in this feverish anxiety of her 
seventeen years. Nothing would have surprised her, 
as for weeks she had heard the sound of voices in this 
mysterious corner, peopled by her imagination. The 
' Golden Legend ' had left there its supernatural world of 
saints and martyrs, and the miracle was all ready to ap- 
pear there. She understood well that everything was 
animated, that the voices came from objects hitherto 
silent ; that the leaves of the trees, the waters of the 
Chevrotte, and the stones of the Cathedral spoke to her. 
But what was it that all these whisperings from the 
invisible wished to explain ? What did these unknown 
forces above and around her wish to do with her as they 
floated in the air ? She kept her eyes fixed upon the 
darkness, as if she were at an appointed meeting with 
she knew not whom, and she waited, still waited, until 
she was overcome with sleep, whilst it seemed to her as 
if some supernatural power were deciding her destiny, 
irrespective of her will or wish. 

For four evenings Angelique was nervous, and wept 



8 9 

a great deal in the darkness. She remained in her 
usual place and was patient. The atmosphere seemed 
to envelop her, and as it increased in density it oppressed 
her more and more, as if the horizon itself had become 
smaller and was shutting her in. Everything weighed 
upon her heart. Now there was a dull murmuring of 
voices in her brain ; yet she was not able to hear them 
clearly, or to distinguish their meaning. It was as if 
Nature itself had taken possession of her, and the earth, 
with the vast heavens above it, had penetrated into her 
being. At the least sound her hands burned and her 
eyes tried to pierce the darkness. Was the wonderful 
event about to take place, the prodigy she awaited ? No, 
there was nothing yet. It was probably merely the 
beating of the wings of a night bird. And she listened 
again, attentively, until she could distinguish the differ- 
ence of sound between the leaves of the elms and the 
willows. At least twenty times she trembled violently 
when a little stone rolled in the rivulet, or a prowling 
animal jumped over the wall. She leaned forward ; but 
there was nothing still nothing. 

At last, after some days, when at night a warmer 
darkness fell from the sky where no moon was visible, 
a change began. She felt it, but it was so slight, so 
almost imperceptible, she feared that she might have 
been mistaken in the little sound she heard, which 
seemed unlike the usual noises she knew so well. She 
held her breath, as the sound seemed very long in return- 
ing. At last it came again, louder than before, but equally 
confused. She would have said it came from a great 
distance, that it was a scarcely-defined step, and that 
the trembling of the air announced the approach of 
something out of sight and out of hearing. That which 



90 THE DREAM 

she was expecting came slowly from the invisible slight 
movement of what surrounded her. Little by little it 
disengaged itself from her dream, like a realisation of 
the vague longings of her youth. Was it the Saint 
George of the chapel window, who had come down from 
his place and was walking on the grass in silence to- 
wards her ? Just then, by chance, the altar-light was 
dimmed, so that she could not distinguish the faintest 
outline of the figures on the painted glass, but all 
seemed like a blue cloud of vapoury mist. That was all 
she heard or learned at that time of the mystery. 

But on the morrow, at the same hour, by a like ob- 
scurity, the noise increased and approached a little 
nearer. It was certainly the sound of steps, of real 
steps, which walked upon the earth. They would stop 
for a moment, then recommence here and there, moving 
up and down, without her being able to say precisely 
where they were. Perhaps they came from the garden 
of the Voincourts, where some night pedestrian was 
lingering under the trees. Or it might be, rather, that 
they were in the tufted masses of the great lilac-bushes 
of the park of the Bishop, whose strong perfume made 
her almost ill. She might do her best to try to pene- 
trate the darkness, it was only by her hearing that she 
was forewarned of the coming events, aided a little by 
her sense of smell, as the perfume of the flowers was 
increased as if a breath were mingled with it. And so 
for several nights the steps resounded under the balcony, 
and she listened as they came nearer, until they reached 
the walls under her feet. There they stopped, and a 
long silence followed, until she seemed almost to lose 
consciousness in this slow embrace of something of 
which she was ignorant. 



THE DREAM 91 

Not long after, she saw one evening the little cres- 
cent of the new moon appear among the stars. But it 
soon disappeared behind the brow of the Cathedral, like 
a bright, living eye that the lid re-covers. She followed 
it with regret, and at each nightfall she awaited its 
appearance, watched its growth, and was impatient for 
this torch which would ere long light up the invisible. 
In fact, little by little, the Clos-Marie came out from 
the obscurity, with the ruins of its old mill, its clusters 
of trees, and its rapid little river. And then, in the light, 
creation continued. That which came from a vision 
ended in being embodied. For at first she only per- 
ceived that a dim shadow was moving under the moon- 
light. What was it, then ? A branch moved to and 
fro by the wind ? Or was it a large bat in constant 
motion ? There were moments when everything dis- 
appeared, and the field slept in so deathly a stillness 
that she thought her eyes had deceived her. Soon 
there was no longer any doubt possible, for a dark ob- 
ject had certainly just crossed the open space and had 
glided from one willow-tree to another. It appeared, then 
disappeared, without her being able exactly to define it. 

One evening she thought she distinguished the dim 
outline of two shoulders, and at once she turned her 
eyes towards the chapel window. It had a greyish tint, 
as if empty, for the moon shining directly upon it had 
deadened the light within. At that moment she noticed 
that the living shadow grew larger, as it approached 
continually nearer and nearer, walking in the grass at 
the side of the church. In proportion as she realised 
it was a fact that someone was there, she was overcome 
by an indefinable sensation, a nervous feeling that one 
has on being looked at by mysterious unseen eyes. 



92 THE DREAM 

Certainly someone was there under the trees who 
was regarding her fixedly. She had on her hands and 
face, as it were, a physical impression of those long, 
ardent, yet timid looks ; but she did not withdraw her- 
self from them, because she knew they were pure, and 
came from the enchanted world of which she had read 
in the ' Golden Legend ' ; and, in the certainty of a pro- 
mised happiness, her first anxiety was quickly changed 
into a delicious tranquillity. 

One night, suddenly, on the ground whitened by 
the moon's rays, the shadow designed itself plainly and 
clearly. It was indeed that of a man whom she could not 
see, as he was hidden by the willows. As he did not 
move, she was able to look for a long time at his shadow. 

From that moment Angelique had a secret. Her 
bare, whitewashed chamber was filled with it. She 
remained there for hours lying on her great bed where 
she seemed lost, she was so little her eyes closed, but 
not asleep, and seeing continually before her, in her 
waking dreams, this motionless shadow upon the earth. 
When she re-opened her eyes at dawn, her looks 
wandered from the enormous wardrobe to the old carved 
chest, from the porcelain stove to the little toilet- 
table, as if surprised at not seeing there the mysterious 
silhouette, which she could have so easily and precisely 
traced from memory. In her sleep she had seen it 
gliding among the pale heather- blossoms on her curtains. 
In her dreams, as in her waking hours, her mind was 
filled with it. It was a companion shadow to her own. 
She had thus a double being, although she was alone 
with her fancies. 

This secret she confided to no one, not even to 
Hubertine, to whom, until now, she had always told 



THE DREAM 93 

even her thoughts. When the latter, surprised at her 
gaiety, questioned her, she blushed deeply as she replied 
that the early spring had made her very happy. From 
morning to evening she hummed little snatches of song, 
like a bee intoxicated by the heat of the sun's rays. 
Never before had the chasubles she embroidered been 
so resplendent with silk and gold. The Huberts smiled 
as they watched her, thinking simply that this exuber- 
ance of spirits came from her state of perfect health. 
As the day waned she grew more excited, she sang at 
the rising of the moon, and as soon as the hour arrived 
she hurried to her balcony, and waited for the shadow 
to appear. During all the first quarters of the moon 
she found it exact at each rendezvous, erect and silent. 
But that was all. What was the cause of it ? Why 
was it there ? Was it, indeed, only a shadow ? Was 
not it, perhaps, the saint who had left his window, or 
the angel who had formerly loved Saint Cecilia, and who 
had now come to love her in her turn ? Although she 
was nob vain, these thoughts made her proud, and were 
as sweet to her as an invisible caress. Then she grew 
impatient to know more, and her watching recom- 
menced. 

The moon, at its full, lighted up the Clos-Marie. 
When it was at its zenith, the trees, under the white 
rays which fell straight upon them in perpendicular 
lines, cast no more shadows, but were like running 
fountains of silent brightness. The whole garden was 
bathed and filled with a luminous wave as limpid as 
crystal, and the brilliancy of it was so penetrating that 
everything was clearly seen, even to the fine cutting of 
the willow-leaves. The slightest possible trembling of 
air seemed to wrinkle this lake of rays, sleeping in the 



94 THE DREAM 

universal peace among the great elm-trees of the neigh- 
bouring garden and the gigantic brow of the Cathedral. 

Two more evenings had passed like this, when, on 
the third night, as Angelique was leaning on her elbows 
and looking out, her heart seemed to receive a sudden 
shock. There, in the clear light, she saw him standing 
before her and looking at her. His shadow, like that 
of the trees, had disappeared under his feet, and he 
alone was there, distinctly seen. At this distance she 
saw as if it were full day that he was tall, slight, a 
blonde, and apparently about twenty years of age. He 
resembled either a Saint George or a superb picture 
of Christ, with his curly hair, his thin beard, his straight 
nose, rather large, and his proudly-smiling black eyes. 
And she recognised him perfectly ; never had she seen 
another like him ; it was he, her hero, and he was ex- 
actly as she expected to find him. The wonder was at 
last accomplished ; the slow creation of the invisible 
had perfected itself in this living apparition, and he 
came out from the unknown, from the movement of 
things, from murmuring voices, from the action of the 
night, from all that had enveloped her, until she almost 
fainted into unconsciousness. She also saw him as if 
he were lifted above the earth, so supernatural appeared 
to be his coming, whilst the miraculous seemed to sur- 
round him on every side as it floated over the mysterious 
moon-lake. He had as his escort the entire people of 
the Legend the' saints whose staffs blossomed, the 
virgins whose wounds shed milk and the stars seemed 
to pale before this white group of perfection. 

Angelique continued to look at him. He raised 
his arms, and held them out, wide open. She was not 
at all afraid, but smiled sweetly. 



THE DREAM 95 



CHAPTER VI 

IT was a great affair for the whole household when, 
every three months, Hubertine prepared the 'lye' for 
the wash. A woman was hired to aid them, the Mother 
Gabet, as she was called, and for four days all embroidery 
was laid aside, while Angelique took her part in the 
unusual work, making of it a perfect amusement, as she 
soaped and rinsed the clothes in the clean water of the 
Chevrotte. The linen when taken from the ashes was 
wheeled to the Clos-Marie, through the little gate of 
communication in the garden. There the days were 
spent in the open air and the sunshine. 

' I will do the washing this time, mother, for it is 
the greatest of delights to me.' 

And gaily laughing, with her sleeves drawn up 
above her elbows, flourishing the beetle, Angelique 
struck the clothes most heartily in the pleasure of such 
healthy exercise. It was hard work, but she thoroughly 
enjoyed it, and only stopped occasionally to say a few 
words or to show her shiny face covered with foam. 

' Look, mother ! This makes my arms strong. It 
does me a world of good.' 

The Chevrotte crossed the field diagonally, at first 
drowsily, then its stream became very rapid as it was 



96 THE DREAM 

thrown in great bubbles over a pebbly descent. It came 
from the garden of the Bishop, through a species of 
floodgate left at the foot of the wall, and at the other 
end it disappeared under an arched vault at the corner 
of the Hotel Voincourt, where it was swallowed up in 
the earth, to reappear two hundred yards farther on, 
as it passed along the whole length of the Rue Basse 
to the Ligneul, into which it emptied itself. Therefore 
it was very necessary to watch the linen constantly, for, 
run as fast as possible, every piece that was once let go 
was almost inevitably lost. 

' Mother, wait, wait a little ! I will put this heavy 
stone on the napkins. We shall then see if the river 
can carry them away. The little thief ! ' 

She placed the stone firmly, then returned to draw 
another from the old, tumble-down mill, enchanted to 
move about and to fatigue herself; and, although she 
severely bruised her finger, she merely moistened it a 
little, saying, ' Oh ! that is nothing.' 

During the day the poor people who sheltered them- 
selves in the ruins went out to ask for charity from the 
passers-by on the highways. So the Clos was quite 
deserted. It was a delicious, fresh solitude, with its 
clusters of pale-green willows, its high poplar-trees, and 
especially its verdure, its overflowing of deep-rooted 
wild herbs and grasses, so high that they came up to 
one's shoulders. A quivering silence came from the 
two neighbouring parks, whose great trees barred the 
horizon. After three o'clock in the afternoon the 
shadow of the Cathedral was lengthened out with a 
calm sweetness and a perfume of evaporated incense. 

Angelique continued to beat the linen harder still, 
with all the force of her well-shaped white arms. 



THE DREAM 97 

' Oh, mother dear ! You can have no idea how 
hungry I shall be this evening ! . . . Ah ! you know 
that you have promised tP give me a good strawberry- 
cake.' 

On the day of the rinsing, Angelique was quite 
alone. The mere Gabet, suffering from a sudden, severe 
attack of sciatica, had not been able to come as usual, 
and Hubertine was kept at home by other household 
cares. 

Kneeling in her little box half filled with straw, the 
young girl took the pieces one by one, shook them for 
a long time in the swiftly-rolling stream, until the 
water was no longer dimmed, but had become as clear 
as crystal. She did not hurry at all, for since the 
morning she had been tormented by a great curiosity, 
having seen, to her astonishment, an old workman in a 
white blouse, who was putting up a light scaffolding 
before the window of the Chapel Hautecosur. Could it 
be that they were about to repair the stained-glass panes ? 
There was, it must be confessed, great need of doing so. 
Several pieces were wanting in the figure of Saint 
George, and in other places, where in the course of 
centuries panes that had been broken had been replaced 
by ordinary glass. Still, all this was irritating to her. 
She was so accustomed to the gaps of the saint who was 
piercing the dragon with his sword, and of the royal 
princess as she led the conquered beast along with 
her scarf, that she already mourned as if one had the 
intention of mutilating them. It was sacrilege to think 
of changing such old, venerable things. But when she 
returned to the field after her lunch, all her angry 
feelings passed away immediately ; for a second work- 
man was upon the staging, a young man this time, who 



9 8 THE DREAM 

also wore a white blouse. And she had recognised him ! 
It was he ! Her hero ! 

Gaily, without any embarrassment, Angelique re- 
sumed her place on her knees on the straw of her box. 
Then, with her wrists bare, she put her hands in the 
deep, clear water, and recommenced shaking the linen 
back and forth. 

Yes, it was he tall, slight, a blonde, with his fine 
beard and his hair curled like that of a god, his com- 
plexion as fresh as when she had first seen him under 
the white shadow of the moonlight. Since it was he, 
there was nothing to be feared for the window ; were 
he. to touch it, he would only embellish it. And it was 
no disappointment to her whatever to find him in this 
blouse, a workman like herself, a painter on glass, 'no 
doubt. On the contrary, this fact made her smile, so 
absolutely certain was she of the eventual fulfilment of 
her dream of royal fortune. Now, it was simply an 
appearance, a beginning. What good would it do her 
to know who he was, from whence he came, or whither 
he was going ? Some morning he would prove to be 
that which she expected him to be. A shower of gold 
would stream from the roof of the Cathedral, a triumphal 
march would break forth in the distant rumblings of 
the organ, and all would come true. She did not stay 
to ask herself how he could always be there, day and 
night. Yet it was evident either that he must live in 
one of the neighbouring houses, or he must pass by 
the lane des Guerdaches, which ran by the side of the 
Bishop's park to the Eue Magloire. 

Then a charming hour passed by. She bent for- 
ward, she rinsed her linen, her face almost touching the 
fresh water ; but each time she took a different piece 



THE DREAM 99 

she raised her head, and cast towards the church a 
look, in which, from the agitation of her heart, was a 
little good-natured malice. And he, upon the scaffold- 
ing, with an air of being closely occupied in examining 
the state of the window, turned towards her, glancing 
at her sideways, and evidently much disturbed whenever 
she surprised him doing so. It was astonishing how 
quickly he blushed, how dark red his face became. At 
the slightest emotion, whether of anger or interest, all 
the blood in his veins seemed to mount to his face. He 
had flashing eyes, which showed will ; yet he was so 
diffident, that, when he knew he was being criticised, 
he was embarrassed as a little child, did not seem to 
know what to do with his hands, and stammered out 
his orders to the old man who accompanied him. 

As for Angelique, that which delighted her most, as 
she refreshed her arms in this turbulent water, was to 
picture him innocent like herself, ignorant of the world, 
and with an equally intense desire to have a taste of 
life. There was no need of his telling to others who 
he was, for had not invisible messengers and unseen 
lips made known to her that he was to be her own ? 
She looked once more, just as he was turning his head ; 
and so the minutes passed, and it was delicious. 

Suddenly she saw that he jumped from the staging, 
then that he walked backwards quite a distance through 
the grass, as if to take a certain position from which 
he could examine the window more easily. But she 
could not help smiling, so evident was it that he simply 
wished to approach her. He had made a firm decision, 
like a man who risks everything, and now it was touch- 
ing as well as comical to see that he remained standing 
a few steps from her, his back towards her, not daring 

H 2 



loo THE DREAM 

to move, fearing that he had been too hasty in coming 
so far as he had done. For a moment she thought he 
would go back again to the chapel-window as he had 
come from it, without paying any attention to her. 
However, becoming desperate, at last he turned, and 
as at that moment she was glancing in his direction, 
their eyes met, and they remained gazing fixedly at 
each other. They were both deeply confused ; they lost 
their self-possession, and might never have been able to 
regain it, had not a dramatic incident aroused them. 

' Oh dear ! Oh dear ! ' exclaimed the young girl, in 
distress. 

In her excitement, a dressing-sacque, which she had 
been rinsing unconsciously, had just escaped her, and 
the stream was fast bearing it away. Yet another 
minute and it would disappear round the corner of the 
wall of the Voincourt park, under the arched vault 
through which the Chevrotte passed. 

There were several seconds of anxious waiting. He 
saw at once what had happened, and rushed forward. 
But the current, leaping over the pebbles, carried this 
sacque, which seemed possessed, as it went along, much 
more rapidly than he. He stooped, thinking he had 
caught it, but took up only a handful of soapy foam. 
Twice he failed. The third time he almost fell. Then, 
quite vexed, with a brave look as if doing something at 
the peril of his life, he went into the water, and seized 
the garment just as it was about being drawn under 
the ground. 

Angelique, who until now had followed the rescue 
anxiously, quite upset, as if threatened by a great mis- 
fortune, was so relieved that she had an intense desire 
to laugh. This feeling was partly nervous, it is true, 




77iey were botk confused. 



THE DREAM 101 

but not entirely so. For was not this the adventure of 
which she had so often dreamed ? This meeting on the 
border of a lake ; the terrible danger from which she 
was to be saved by a young man, more beautiful than 
the day ? Saint George, the tribune, the warrior ! 
These were simply united in one, and he was this 
painter of stained glass, this young workman in his 
white blouse! When she saw him coming back, his 
feet wet through and through, as he held the dripping 
camisole awkwardly in his hand, realising the ridiculous 
side of the energy he had employed in saving it from 
the waves, she was obliged to bite her tongue to check 
the outburst of gaiety which seemed almost to choke 
her. 

He forgot himself as he looked at her. She was 
like a most adorable child in this restrained mirth with 
which all her youth seemed to vibrate. Splashed with 
water, her arms almost chilled by the stream, she 
seemed to send forth from herself the purity and clear- 
ness of these living springs which rushed from the 
mossy woods. She was an impersonation of health, 
joy, and freshness, in the full sunlight. One could 
easily fancy that she might be a careful housekeeper 
and a queen withal as she was there, in her working 
dress, with her slender waist, her regal neck, her oval 
face, such as one reads of in fairy-tales. And he did 
not know how to give her back the linen, he found her 
so exquisite, so perfect a representation of the beauty of 
the art he loved. It enraged him, in spite of himself, 
that he should have the air of an idiot, as he plainly 
saw the effort she made not to laugh. But he was 
forced to do something, so at last he gave her back the 
sacque. 



102 THE DREAM 

Then Angelique realised that if she were to open 
her mouth and try to thank him, she would shout. 
Poor fellow! she sympathised with him and pitied him. 
But it was irresistible ; she was happy, and needed to 
give expression to it ; she must yield to the gaiety with 
which her heart overflowed. It was such lovely weather, 
and all life was so beautiful ! 

At last she thought she might speak, wishing simply 
to say : ' Thank you, Monsieur.' 

But the wish to laugh had returned, and made her 
stammer, interrupting her at each word. It was a 
loud, cheery laugh, a sonorous outpouring of pearly 
notes, which sang sweetly to the crystalline accompani- 
ment of the Chevrotte. 

The young man was so disconcerted that he could 
find nothing to say. His usually pale face had become 
very red, the timid, childlike expression of his eyes had 
changed into a fiery one, like that of an eagle, and he 
moved a\vay quickly. He disappeared with the old 
workman, and even then she continued to laugh as she 
bent over the water, again splashing herself as she 
shook the clothes hither and thither, rejoicing in the 
brightness of the happy day. 

On the morrow he came an hour earlier. But at 
five o'clock in the morning the linen, which had been 
dripping all night, was spread out on the grass. There 
was a brisk wind, which was excellent for drying. Bat 
in order that the different articles need not be blown 
away, they were kept in place by putting little pebbles 
on their four corners. The whole wash was there, look- 
ing of a dazzling whiteness among the green herbage, 
having a strong odour of plants about it, and making 
the meadow as if it had suddenly blossomed out into a 
snowy covering of daisies. 



THE DREAM 103 

When Angelique came to look at it after breakfast, 
she was distressed, for so strong had become the gusts 
of wind that all threatened to be carried away. Already 
a sheet had started, and several napkins had gone to 
fasten themselves to the branches of a willow. She 
fortunately caught them, but then the handkerchiefs 
began to fly. There was no one to help her ; she was 
so frightened that she lost all her presence of mind. 
When she tried to spread out the sheet again, she had a 
regular battle, for she was quite lost in it, as it covered 
her with a great crackling sound. 

Through all the noise of the wind she heard a 
voice saying, ' Mademoiselle, do you wish me to help 
you?' 

It was he, and immediately she cried to him, with 
no other thought than her pre-occupation as a good 
housewife : 

' Of course I wish it. Come and help me, then. 
Take the end over there, nearest to you. Hold it 
firm!' 

The sheet, which they stretched out with their 
strong arms, flapped backwards and forwards like a sail. 
At last they succeeded in putting it on the ground, and 
then placed upon it much heavier stones than before. 
And now that, quite conquered, it sank quietly down, 
neither of them thought of leaving their places, but 
remained on their knees at the opposite corners, sepa- 
rated by this great piece of pure white linen. 

She smiled, but this time without malice. It was a 
silent message of thanks. He became by degrees a 
little bolder. 

' My name is Felicien.' 

' And mine is Angelique.' 



104 THE DREAM 

1 1 am a painter on glass, and have been charged to 
repair the stained-glass window of the chapel here.' 

{ I live over there with my father and mother, and I 
am an embroiderer of church vestments.' 

The wind, which continued to be strong under the 
clear blue sky, carried away their words, lashed them 
with its purifying breath in the midst of the warm sun- 
shine in which they were bathed. 

They spoke of things which they already knew, as 
if simply for the pleasure of talking. 

' Is the window, then, to be replaced ? ' 

' No ! oh no ! it will be so well repaired that the 
new part cannot be distinguished from the old. I love 
it quite as much as you do.' 

' Oh ! it is indeed true that I love it ! I have al- 
ready embroidered a Saint George, but it was not so 
beautiful as this one.' 

' Oh, not so beautiful ! How can you say that ? I 
have seen it, if it is the Saint George on the chasuble 
which the Abbot Cornille wore last Sunday. It is a 
marvellous thing.' 

She blushed with pleasure, but quickly turned the 
conversation, as she exclaimed : 

' Hurry and put another stone on the left corner of 
the sheet, or the wind will carry it away from us 
again.' 

He made all possible haste, weighed down the linen, 
which had been in great commotion, like the wings of 
a great wounded bird trying its best to fly away. Find- 
ing that this time it would probably keep its place, the 
two young people rose up, and now Angelique went 
through the narrow, green paths between the pieces of 
linen, glancing at each one, while he followed her with 



THE DREAM lo 

an equally busy look, as if preoccupied by the possible 
loss of a dish-towel or an apron. All this seemed quite 
natural to them both. So she continued to chatter 
away freely and artlessly, as she told of her daily life 
and explained her tastes. 

' For my part, I always wish that everything should 
be in its place. ... In the morning I am always 
awakened at the same hour by the striking of the 
cuckoo-clock in the workroom ; and whether it is 
scarcely daylight or not, I dress myself as quickly as 
possible; my shoes and stockings are here, my soap 
and all articles of toilette there a true mania for order. 
Yet you may well believe that I was not born so ! Oh 
no ! On the contrary, I was the most careless person 
possible. Mother was obliged to repeat to me the same 
words over and over again, that I might not leave my 
things in every corner of the house, for I found it 
easier to scatter them about. And now, when I am at 
work from morning to evening, I can never do anything 
right if my chair is not in the same place, directly 
opposite the light. Fortunately, I am neither right 
nor left handed, but can use both hands equally well at 
embroidering, which is a great help to me, for it is not 
everyone who can do that. . . . Then, I adore flowers, 
but I cannot keep a bouquet near me without having a 
terrible headache. Violets alone I can bear, and that 
is surprising. But their odour seems to calm me, and 
at the least indisposition I have only need to smell 
them and I am at once cured.' 

He was enraptured while listening to her prattle. 
He revelled in the beautiful ring of her voice, which 
had an extremely penetrating, prolonged charm ; and 
he must have been peculiarly sensitive to this human 



106 THE DREAM 

music, for the caressing inflection on certain words 
moistened his eyelids. 

Suddenly returning to her household cares she ex- 
claimed : 

' Oh, now the shirts will soon be dry ! ' 

Then, in the unconscious and simple need of making 
herself known, she continued her confidences : 

' For colouring, the white is always beautiful, is it 
not ? I tire at times of blue, of red, and of all other 
shades; but white is a constant joy, of which I am 
never weary. There is nothing in it to trouble you ; 
on the contrary, you would like to lose yourself in it. 
We had a white cat, with yellow spots, which I painted 
white. It did very well for a while, but it did not last 
long. Listen a minute. Mother does not know it, 
but I keep all the waste bits of white silk, and have 
a drawer full of them, for just nothing except the 
pleasure of looking at them, and smoothing them over 
from time to time. And I have another secret, but 
this is a very serious one ! When I wake up, there is 
every morning near my bed a great, white object, which 
gently flies away.' 

He did not smile, but appeared firmly to believe 
her. Was not all she said, in her simple way, quite 
natural ? A queen in the magnificence of her courtly 
surroundings could not have conquered him so quickly. 
She had, in the midst of this white linen on the green 
grass, a charming, grand air, happy and supreme, 
which touched him to the heart, with an ever-increasipg 
power. He was completely subdued. She was every- 
thing to him from this moment. He would follow her 
to the last day of his life, in the worship of her light 
feet, her delicate hands, of her whole being, adorable 



THE DREAM 107 

and perfect as a dream. She continued to walk before 
him, with a short, quick step, and he followed her 
closely, suffocated by a thought of the happiness he 
scarcely dared hope might come to him. 

But another sudden gust of wind came up, and 
there was a perfect flight into the distance of cambric 
collars and cuffs, of neckerchiefs and chemisettes of 
muslin, which, as they disappeared, seemed like a flock 
of white birds knocked about by the tempest. 

Angelique began to run. 

' Oh dear ! what shall I do ? You will have to 
come again and help me. Oh dear ! ' 

They both rushed forward. She caught a kerchief 
on the borders of the Chevrotte. He had already saved 
two chemisettes which he found in the midst of some 
high thistles. One by one the cuffs and the collars 
were retaken. But in the course of their running at 
full speed, the flying folds of her skirt had at several 
different times brushed against him, and each time his 
face became suddenly red, and his heart beat violently. 
In his turn, he touched her face accidentally, as he 
jumped to recover the last fichu, which he had carelessly 
let go of. She was startled and stood quietly, but 
breathing more quickly. She joked no longer; her 
laugh sounded less clear, and she was not tempted to 
ridicule this great, awkward, but most attractive fellow. 
The feminine nature so recently awakened in her soft- 
ened her almost to tears, and with the feeling of inex- 
plicable tenderness, which overpowered her, was mingled 
a half-fear. 

What was the matter with her that she was less gay, 
and that she was so overcome by this delicious pang ? 
When he held out the kerchief to her, their hands, by 



io8 THE DREAM 

chance, touched for a moment. They trembled, as they 
looked at each other inquiringly. Then she drew back 
quickly, and for several seconds seemed not to know 
what she should do under the extraordinary circum- 
stances which had just occurred. At last she started. 
Gathering up all the smaller articles of linen in her 
arms, and leaving the rest, she turned towards her 
home. 

Felicien then wished to speak . . . ' Oh, I beg your 
pardon. ... I pray you to ' 

But the wind, which had greatly increased, cut off 
his words. In despair he looked at her as she flew 
along, as if carried away by the blast. She ran and ran, 
in and out, among the white sheets and tablecloths, 
under the oblique, pale golden rays of the sun. Already 
the shadow of the Cathedral seemed to envelop her, 
and she was on the point of entering her own garden 
by the little gate which separated it from the Clos, 
without having once glanced behind her. But on the 
threshold she turned quickly, as if seized with a kind 
impulse, not wishing that he should think she was 
angry, and confused, but smiling, she called out : 

' Thank you. Thank you very much.' 

Did she wish to say that she was grateful to him for 
having helped her in recovering the linen ? Or was it 
for something else ? She disappeared, and the gate was 
shut after her. 

And he remained alone in the midst of the field, 
under the great regular gusts, which continued to rage, 
although the sky was still clear and pure. The elms in 
the Bishop's garden rustled with a long, billowy sound, 
and a loud voice seemed to clamour through the terraces 
and the flying buttresses of the Cathedral. But he heard 



THE DREAM log 

only the light flapping of a little morning cap, tied to a 
branch of a lilac bush, as if it were a bouquet, and which 
belonged to her. 

From that date, each time that Angelique opened 
her window she saw Felicien over there in the Clos- 
Marie. He passed days in the field, having the chapel 
window as an excuse for doing so, on which, however, 
the work did not advance the least in the world. For 
hours he would forget himself behind a cluster of bushes, 
where, stretched out on the grass, he watched through 
the leaves. And it was the greatest of pleasures to 
smile at each other every morning and evening. She 
was so happy that she asked for nothing more. There 
would not be another general washing for three months, 
so, until then, the little garden-gate would seldom be 
open. But three months would pass very quickly, and 
if they could see each other daily, was nob that bliss 
enough ? What, indeed, could be more charming than 
to live in this way, thinking during the day of the 
evening look, and during the night of the glance of the 
early morrow ? She existed only in the hope of that 
desired moment ; its joy filled her life. Moreover, what 
good would there be in approaching each other and in 
talking together ? Were they not constantly becoming 
better acquainted without meeting? Although at a 
distance, they understood each other perfectly; each 
penetrated into the other's innermost thoughts with the 
closest intimacy. At last, they became so filled one with 
the other that they could not close their eyes without 
seeing before them, with an astonishing clearness of 
detail, the image of their new friend ; so, in reality, they 
were never separated. 

It was a constant surprise to Angelique that she 



no THE DREAM 

had unbosomed herself at once to Felicien. At their 
first meeting she had confided in him, had told him 
everything about her habits, her tastes, and the deepest 
secrets of her heart. He, more silent, was called 
Felicien, and that was all she knew. Perhaps it was 
quite right that it should be so; the woman giving 
everything, and the man holding himself back as a 
stranger. She had no premature curiosity. She con- 
tinued to smile at the thought of things which would 
certainly be realised. So for her, that of which she was 
ignorant counted for nothing. The only important 
fact in her mind was the intimacy between them, which 
united them, little by little, apart from the world. She 
knew nothing about him, yet she was so well acquainted 
with his nature that she could read his thoughts in a 
simple look or smile. He, her hero, had come as she 
always said he would. She had at once recognised him, 
and they loved each other. 

So they enjoyed most thoroughly this true possession 
from a distance. They were certainly encouraged by 
the new discoveries they made. She had long, slender 
hands, roughened a little at the ends of the fingers by 
her constant use of the needle, but he adored them. 
She noticed that his feet were small, and was proud of 
the fact. Everything about him flattered her ; she was 
grateful to him for being so handsome ; and she was 
overcome with joy the evening that she found his beard 
to be of a lighter shade than his hair, which fact gave a 
greater softness to his smile. He went away trans- 
ported when, one morning, as she leaned over the bal- 
cony, he saw a little red spot on her pretty neck. Their 
hearts being thus laid open, new treasures were daily 
found. Certainly the proud and frank manner in which 



THE DREAM in 

she opened her window showed that, even in her ignor- 
ance as a little embroiderer, she had the royal bearing 
of a princess. In the same way she knew that he was 
good, from seeing how lightly he walked over the herbs 
and the grass. Around them was a radiance of virtues 
and graces from the first hour of their meeting. Each 
interview had its special charm. It seemed to them as 
if their felicity in seeing each other could never be 
exhausted. 

Nevertheless, Felicien soon showed certain signs of 
impatience, and he no longer remained for hours con- 
cealed behind a bush in the immobility of an absolute 
happiness. As soon as Angelique appeared at her 
window, he was restless, and tried to approach her as he 
glided from willow to willow. At length she was a 
little disturbed, fearing that someone might see him. 
One day there was almost a quarrel, for he came even 
to the wall of the house, so she was obliged to leave the 
balcony. It was a great shock to him that she should 
be offended, and he showed in the expression of his face 
so mute a prayer of submission that the next day she 
pardoned him, and opened her window at the usual hour. 

But although expectation was delightful, it was not 
sufficient for him, and he began again. Now he seemed 
to be everywhere at once : he filled the Clos-Marie 
with his restlessness ; he came out from behind every 
tree; he appeared above every bunch of brambles. 
Like the wood-pigeons of the great elms in the Bishop's 
garden, he seemed to have his habitation between two 
branches in the environs. The Chevrotte was an excuse 
for his passing entire days there, on its willowy banks, 
bending over the stream, in which he seemed to be 
watching the floating of the clouds. 



II2 THE DREAM 

One day she saw that he had climbed up on the 
ruins of the old mill, and was standing on the framework 
of a shed, looking happy to have thus approached her a 
little, in his regret at not being able to fly even so far 
as her shoulder. 

Another day she stifled a slight scream as she saw 
him far above her, leaning on an ornamented balustrade 
of the Cathedral, on the roof of the chapels of the choir, 
which formed a terrace. In what way could he have 
reached this gallery, the door of which was always 
fastened, and whose key no one had a right to touch 
but the beadle ? Then again, a little later on, how was 
it that she should find him up in the air among the 
flying buttresses of the nave and the pinnacles of the 
piers? From these heights he could look into every 
part of her chamber, as the swallows who, flying from 
point to point among the spires, saw everything that was 
therein, without her having the idea of hiding herself 
from them. But a human eye was different, and from 
that day she shut herself up more, and an ever-increasing 
trouble came to her at the thought that her privacy was 
being intruded upon, and that she was no longer alone 
in the atmosphere of adoration that surrounded her. If 
she were really not impatient, why was it that her heart 
beat so strongly, like the bell of the clock-tower on great 
festivals ? 

Three days passed without Angelique showing her- 
self, so alarmed was she by the increasing boldness of 
Felicien. She vowed in her mind that she would never 
see him again, and wound herself up to such a degree 
of resentment, that she thought she hated him. But he 
had given her his feverishness. She could not keep 
still, and the slightest pretext was enough for an 



THE DREAM 113 

excuse to leave the chasuble upon which she was at 
work. 

So, having heard that the mere Gabet was ill in bed, 
in the most profound poverty, she went to see her every 
morning. Her room was on the Rue des Orfevres, only 
three doors away from the Huberts. She would take 
her tea, sugar, and soup, then, when necessary, go to buy 
her medicine at the druggist's on the Grand Rue. One 
day, as she returned with her hands full of little phials, 
she started at seeing Felicien at the bedside of the old 
sick woman. He turned very red, and slipped away 
awkwardly, after leaving a charitable offering. The next 
day he came in as she was leaving, and she gave him 
her place, very much displeased. Did he really intend 
to prevent her from visiting the poor ? 

In fact, she had been taken with one of her fits of 
charity, which made her give all she owned that she 
might overwhelm those who had nothing. At the idea 
of suffering, her whole soul melted into a pitiful frater- 
nity. She went often to the pere Mascart's, a blind 
paralytic on the Rue Basse, whom she was obliged to 
feed herself with the broth she carried him ; then to the 
Chouteaux, a man and his wife, each one over ninety 
years of age, who lived in a little hut on the Rue Ma- 
gloire, which she had furnished for them with articles 
taken from the attic of her parents. Then there were 
others and others still whom she saw among the wretched 
populace of the quarter, and whom she helped to sup- 
port from things that were about her, happy in being 
able to surprise them and to see them brighten up for 
a little while. But now, strange to say, wherever she 
went she encountered Felicien ! Never before had she 
seen so much of him ; she who had avoided going to 

I 



H 4 THE DREAM 

her window for fear that he might be near. Her trouble 
increased, and at last she was very angry. 

But the worst of all in this matter was that Angel- 
ique soon despaired of her charity. This young man 
spoilt all her pleasure of giving. In other days he 
might perhaps have been equally generous, but it was 
not among the same people, not her own particu- 
lar poor, of that she was sure. And he must have 
watched her and followed her very closely to know 
them all and to take them so regularly one after the 
other. 

Now, go when she might with a little basket of pro- 
visions to the Chouteaux, there was always money on 
the table. One day, when she hurried to pere Mascart, 
who was constantly complaining that he had no tobacco, 
she found him very rich, with a shining new louis d'or 
on his table. Strangest of all, once when visiting mere 
Gabet,the latter gave her a hundred franc note to change, 
and with it she was enabled to buy some high-priced 
medicines, of which the poor woman had long been in 
need, but which she never hoped to obtain, for where 
could she find money to pay for them ? 

Angelique herself could not distribute much money, 
as she had none. It was heart-breaking to her to 
realise her powerlessness, when he could so easily empty 
his purse. She was, of course, happy that such a wind- 
fall had come to the poor, but she felt as if she were 
greatly diminished in her former self-estimation. She 
110 longer had the eame happiness in giving, but was 
disturbed and sad that she had so little to distribute, 
while he had so much. 

The young man, not understanding her feelings, 
thinking to conquer her esteem by an increase of gift, 



THE DREAM 115 

redoubled his charity, and thus daily made hers seem 
less. 

Was not it exasperating to run against this fellow 
everywhere ; to see him give an ox wherever she offered 
an egg? In addition to all this, she was obliged to 
hear his praises sung by all the needy whom he visited : 
' A young man so good, so kind, and so well brought 
up.' She was a mere nothing now. They talked only 
of him, spreading out his gifts as if to shame hers. 
Notwithstanding her firm determination to forget him, 
she could not refrain from questioning them about him. 
What had he left ? What had he said ? He was very 
handsome, was he not? Tender and diffident as a 
woman ! Perhaps he might even have spoken of her ! 
Ah, yes indeed ! That was true, for he always talked 
of her. Then she was very angry ; yes, she certainly 
hated him, for at last she realised that he weighed on 
her breast too heavily. 

But matters could not continue in this way for ever, 
a change must take place ; and one May evening, at a 
wondrously beautiful nightfall, it came. It was at the 
home of the Lemballeuse, the family who lived in the 
ruins of the mill. There were only women there ; the 
old grandmother, seamed with wrinkles but still active, 
her daughter, and her grandchildren. Of the latter, 
Tiennette, the elder, was a large, wild-looking girl, 
twenty years of age, and her two little sisters, Rose and 
Jeanne, had already bold, fearless eyes, under their un- 
kempt mops of red hair. They all begged during the 
day on the highway and along the moat, coming back 
at night, their feet worn out from fatigue in their old 
shoes fastened with bits of string. Indeed, that very 
evening Tiennette had been obliged to leave hers among 

i 2 



i!6 THE DREAM 

the stones, and had returned wounded and with bleed- 
ing ankles. Seated before their door, in the midst of 
the high grass of the Clos-Marie, she drew out the 
thorns from her flesh, whilst her mother and the two 
children surrounded her and uttered lamentations. 

Just then Angelique arrived, hiding under her apron 
the bread which she had brought them, as she did once 
every week. She had entered the field by the little 
garden-gate, which she had left open behind her, as she 
intended to go back as quickly as possible. But she 
stopped on seeing all the family in tears. 

' What is the matter ? Why are you in such dis- 
tress ? ' 

' Ah, my good lady ! ' whined the mother Lembal- 
leuse, v do not you see in what a terrible state this great 
foolish girl has put herself? To-morrow she will not 
be able to walk, so that will be a whole day lost. She 
must have some shoes ! ' 

Rose and Jeanne, with their eyes snapping from 
under their tangled hair, redoubled their sobs, as they 
cried out loudly 

' Yes, yes ! she must have some shoes ! She must 
have some shoes ! ' 

Tiennette, half lifting up her thin, dark face, looked 
round furtively. Then, fiercely, without a word, she 
made one of her feet bleed still more, maddened over a 
long splinter which she had just drawn out by the aid 
of a pin, and which must have pained her intensely. 

Angelique, quite touched by the scene, offered her 
gift. 

' See ! here at least is some bread.' 
'Oh, bread!' said the mother. 'No doubt it is 
necessary to eat. But it is not with bread that she will 



THE DREAM 117 

be able to walk again, of that I am certain ! And we 
were to go to the fair at Bligny, a fair where, every year, 
she makes at least two francs. Oh, good heavens! 
What will become of us if she cannot go there ? ' 

Pity and embarrassment rendered Angelique mute. 
She had exactly five sous in her pocket. It surely was 
not with five sous that one could buy a pair of shoes, 
even at an auction sale. As it had often done before, 
her want of money now paralysed her. And that which 
exasperated her still more and made her lose her self- 
control was that at this moment, as she looked behind 
her, she saw Felicien, standing a few feet from her in 
the darkening shadow. "Without doubt he had heard 
all that had been said ; perhaps even he had been there 
for a great while, for he always appeared to her in this 
way when least expected without her ever knowing 
whence he came or whither he was going. 

She thought to herself, ' He will give the shoes.' 
Indeed, he had already come forward. The first 
stars were appearing in the pale sky. A sweet, gentle 
quiet seemed to fall down from on high, soothing to 
sleep the Clos-Marie, whose willows were lost in the 
dusk. The Cathedral itself was only a great black bar 
in the West. 

' Yes, certainly, now he will offer to give the shoes.' 
And at this probability she was really quite dis- 
couraged. Was he always, then, to give everything ? 
Could she never, even once, conquer him ? Never ! 
Her heart beat so rapidly that it pained her. She 
wished that she might be very rich, to show him that 
she, too, could make others happy. 

But the Lemballeuse had seen the good gentleman. 
The mother had rushed forward ; the two little sisters 



ii8 THE DREAM 

moaned as they held out their hands for alms, whilst 
the elder one, letting go of her wounded ankles, 
looked at the new-comer inquiringly with her wild 
eyes. 

' Listen, my noisy children,' said Felicien. Then, ad- 
dressing the mother, he continued, ' You may go to the 
Grand Rue, at the corner of the Rue Basse ' 

Angelique had understood immediately, for the 
shoemaker had his shop there. She interrupted him 
quickly, and was so agitated that she stammered her 
words at random. 

' But that is a useless thing to do ! What would 
be the good of it ? It is much more simple ' 

Yet she could not find in her own mind the more 
simple thing she desired. What could she do ? What 
could she invent, so to be before him in giving her 
charity ? Never had it seemed to her possible she could 
detest him as she did now. 

' You will say from me, that it is I who have sent 
you,' continued Felicien. ' You will ask ' 

Again she interrupted him. The contest lasted a 
moment longer. She repeated in an anxious way : 

' It is, indeed, much more simple ; it is much 
easier ' 

Suddenly she was calm. She seated herself upon a 
stone, thoughtfully examined her shoes, took them off, 
and then drew off her stockings, saying : 

' Look ! This is the best thing to do, after all ! Why 
should you have any trouble about the matter ? ' 

' Oh, my good young lady ! God will reward you ! ' 
exclaimed the mother Lemballeuse, as she turned over 
the shoes and found they were not only excellent and 
strong, but almost new. ' I will cut them a trifle on 



THE DREAM 119 

the top, to make them a little larger Tiennette, 

why do you not thank her, stupid creature ? ' 

Tiennette snatched from the hands of Hose and 
Jeanne the stockings they were coveting. She did not 
open her lips ; she only gave one long, fixed, hard 
look. 

But now Angelique realised that her feet were bare, 
and that Felicien saw them. She blushed deeply, and 
knew not what to do. She dared not move, for, were 
she to rise to get up, he would only see them all the 
more. Then, frightened, she rose quickly, and without 
realising what she was doing, began to run. In the 
grass her flying feet were very white and small. The 
darkness of the evening had increased, and the Clos- 
Marie was a lake of shadow between the great trees on 
one side and the Cathedral on the other. And on the 
ground the only visible light came from those same 
little feet, white and satiny as the wing of a dove. 

Startled, and afraid of the water, Angelique followed 
the bank of the Chevrotte, that she might cross it on a 
plank which served as a bridge. But Felicien had gone 
a shorter way through the brambles and brushwood. 
Until now he had always been overcome by his timidity, 
and he had turned redder than she as he saw her bare 
feet, pure and chaste as herself. Now, in the overflow 
of his ignorant youth, passionately fond of beauty and 
desirous for love, he was impatient to cry out and tell 
her of the feeling which had entirely taken possession 
of him since he had first seen her. But yet, when she 
brushed by him in her flight, he could only stammer, 
with a trembling voice, the acknowledgment so long de- 
layed and which burnt his lips ; 

' I love you.' 



120 THE DREAM 

She stopped in surprise. For an instant she stood 
still, and, slightly trembling, looked at him. Her anger 
and the hate she thought she had for him all vanished 
at once, and melted into a most delicious sentiment of 
astonishment. What had he said, what was the word 
he had just pronounced, that she should be so overcome 
by it ? She knew that he loved her ; yet when he said 
so, the sound of it in her ear overwhelmed her with an 
inexplicable joy. It resounded so deeply through her 
whole being, that her fears came back and were en- 
larged. She never would dare reply to him ; it was 
really more than she could bear ; she was oppressed. 

He, grown more bold, his heart touched and drawn 
nearer to hers by their united deeds of charity, re- 
peated : 

' I love you.' 

And she, fearing the lover, began to run. That was 
surely the only way to escape such a danger ; yet it was 
also a happiness, it was all so strange. The Chevrotte 
was gaily singing, and she plunged into it like a startled 
fawn. Among its pebbles her feet still ran on, under 
the chill of the icy water. The garden-gate was at last 
reached, it closed, and she disappeared. 



THE DREAM 121 



FOR two days Angelique was conscience-smitten. As 
soon as she was alone, she sobbed as if she had done 
something wrong. And this question, which she could 
not answer, came constantly to her mind : Had she 
sinned in listening to this young man ? Was she lost, 
like the dreadful women in the Legend, who, having 
been tempted, had yielded to the Devil ? Was life to- 
day as it was centuries ago ? The words, so softly 
uttered, ' I love you,' still resounded with such a tumult 
in her ears, and she was confused, yet pleased by them 
to such a degree, that they must certainly have come 
from some terrible power hidden in the depth of the 
invisible. But she knew not in fact, how could she 
have known anything in the ignorance and solitude in 
which she had grown up ? Her anguish was redoubled 
by this mysterious and inexplicable struggle within 
her. 

Had she sinned in making the acquaintance of 
Felicien, and then in keeping it a secret ? She recalled 
to her mind, one by one, all the details of her daily ex- 
perience during the past few weeks ; she argued with 
her innocent scruples. 

What was sin, in short ? Was it simply to meet 
to talk and afterwards to tell a falsehood to one'a 



122 THE DREAM 

parents ? But that could not be the extent of the evil. 
Then why was she so oppressed ? Why, if not guilty, 
did she suddenly seem to have become quite another 
p erson as agitated as if a new soul -had been given 
her ? Perhaps it was sin that had made her so weak 
and uncomfortable. Her heart was full of vague, un- 
defined longings so strange a medley of words, and 
also of acts, in the future, that she was frightened by 
them, without in the least understanding' them. The 
blood mounted to her face, and exquisitely coloured her 
cheeks, as she heard again the sweet, yet appalling 
words, ' I love you ' ; and she reasoned no longer, but 
sobbed again, doubting evident facts, fearing the com- 
mission of a fault in the beyond in that which had 
neither name nor form. 

But that which especially distressed her now was 
that she had not made a confidante of Hubertine. 
Could she only have asked her what she wished to 
know, no doubt the latter with a word would have ex- 
plained the whole mystery to her. Then it seemed to 
her as if the mere fact of speaking to someone of her 
trouble would have cured her. But the secret had 
become too weighty ; to reveal it would be more than 
she could bear, for the shame would be too great. She 
became quite artful for the moment, affected an air of 
calmness, when in the depths of her soul a tempest was 
raging. If asked why she was so pre-occupied, she 
lifted her eyes with a look of surprise as she replied 
that she was thinking of nothing. Seated before the 
working-frame, her hands mechanically drawing the 
needle back and forth, very quiet to all outward appear- 
ance, she was, from morning till evening, distracted by 
one thought. To be loved! to be loved! And for 



THE DREAM 123 

herself, on her side, was she in love ? This was still an 
obscure question, to which, in her inexperience, she found 
no answer. She repeated it so constantly that at last 
it made her giddy, the words lost all their usual mean- 
ing, and everything seemed to be in a whirl, which 
carried her away. With an effort she recovered herself, 
and realised that, with needle in hand, she was still 
embroidering with her accustomed application, although 
mechanically, as if in a half-dream. Perhaps these 
strange symptoms were a sign that she was about to 
have a severe illness. One evening she had such an 
attack of shivering when she went to bed that she 
thought she would never be able to recover from it. 
That idea was at the same time both cruel and sweet. 
She suffered from it as if it were too great a joy. Even 
the next day her heart beat as if it would break, and 
her ears were filled with a singing sound, like the ring- 
ing of a distant bell. What could it mean ? Was she 
in love, or was she about to die ? Thinking thus, she 
smiled sweetly at Hubertine, who, in the act of waxing 
her thread, was looking at her anxiously. 

Moreover, Angelique had made a vow that she 
would never again see Felicien. She no longer ran the 
risk of meeting him among the brambles and wild 
grasses in the Clos-Marie, and she had even given up 
her daily visits to the poor. Her fear was intense lest, 
were they to find themselves face to face, something 
terrible might come to pass. In her resolution there 
was mingled, besides a feeling of penitence, a wish to 
punish herself for some fault she might unintentionally 
have committed. So, in her days of rigid humiliation, 
she condemned herself not even to glance once through 
the window, so sure was she of seeing on the banks of 



1-4 THE 

the Chevrotte the one whom she dreaded. But, after 
awhile, being sorely tempted, she looked out, and if it 
chanced that he were not there, she was sad and low- 
spirited until the following day. 

One morning, when Hubert was arranging a dal- 
matic, a ring at the door-bell obliged him to go down- 
stairs. It must be a customer ; no doubt an order for 
some article, as Hubertine and Angelique heard the 
hum of voices which came through the doorway at the 
head of the stairs, which remained open. Then they 
looked up in great astonishment ; for steps were mount- 
ing, and the embroiderer was bringing someone with 
him to the workroom, a most unusual occurrence. And 
the young girl was quite overcome as she recognised 
Felicien. He was dressed simply, like a journeyman 
artist, whose hands are white. Since she no longer 
went to him he had come to her, after days of vain ex- 
pectation and of anxious uncertainty, during which he 
had constantly said to himself that she did not yet love 
him, since she remained hidden from him. 

' Look, my dear child, here is something which will 
be of particular interest to you,' explained Hubert. 
1 Monsieur wishes to give orders for an exceptional 
piece of work. And, upon my word, that we might 
talk of it at our ease, I preferred that he should come 
up here at once. This is my daughter, sir, to whom 
you must show your drawing.' 

Neither he nor Hubertine had the slightest sus- 
picion that this was not the first time the young people 
had met. They approached them only from a senti- 
ment of curiosity to see. But Felicien was, like An- 
gelique, almost stifled with emotion and timidity. As 
he unrolled the design, his hands trembled, and he was 



THE DREAM 125 

obliged to speak very slowly to hide the change in his 
voice. 

' It is to be a mitre for Monseigneur the Bishop. 
Yes, certain ladies in the city who wished to make him 
this present charged me with the drawing of the 
different parts, as well as with the superintendence of 
its execution. I am a painter of stained glass, but I 
also occupy myself a great deal with ancient art. You 
will see that I have simply reconstituted a Gothic mitre.' 

Angelique bent over the great sheet of parchment 
which he had spread before her, and started slightly as 
she exclaimed : 

' Oh ! it is Saint Agnes.' 

It was indeed the youthful martyr of but thirteen 
years of age ; the ' naked virgin clothed with her hair, 
that had grown so long only her little hands and feet 
were seen from under it, just as she was upon the pillar 
at one of the doors of the cathedral ; particularly, how- 
ever, as one found her in the interior of the church, in 
an old wooden statue that formerly was painted, but 
was to-day a light fawn colour, all gilded by age. She 
occupied the entire front of the mitre, half floating, as 
she was carried towards heaven borne by the angels ; 
while below her, stretched out into the distance, was a 
fine., delicate landscape. The other sides and the lap- 
pets were enriched with lance-shaped ornaments of an 
exquisite style. 

' These ladies,' continued Felicien, ' wish to make 
the present on the occasion of the Procession of the 
Miracle, and naturally I thought it my duty to choose 
Saint Agnes.' 

'The idea was a most excellent one,' interposed 
Hubert. 



126 THE DREAM 

And Hubertine added, in her turn : 

' Monseigneur will be deeply gratified.' 

The so-called Procession of the Miracle, which takes 
place each year on July 28, dates from the time of 
Jean V. d'Hautecoeur, who instituted it as a thanks- 
giving to God for the miraculous power He had given, 
to him and to his race to save Beaumont from the 
plague. According to the legend, the Hautecceurs are 
indebted for this remarkable gift to the intervention of 
Saint Agnes, of whom they were the greatest admirers ; 
and, since the most ancient time, it has been the custom 
on the anniversary of her fete to^ake down the old 
statue of the saint and carry it slowly in a solemn pro- 
cession through the streets of the town, in the pious 
belief that she still continues to disperse and drive away 
all evils. 

' Ah,' at last murmured Angelique, her eyes on the 
design, ' the Procession of the Miracle. But that will 
come in a few days, and we shall not have time enough 
to finish it.' 

The Huberts shook their heads. In truth, so deli- 
cate a piece of work required the most minute care and 
attention. Yet Hubertine turned towards her daugh- 
ter as she said : 

' I could help you, my dear. I might attend to the 
ornaments, and then you will only have the figure to 
do.' 

Angelique continued to closely examine the figure 
of the saint, and was deeply troubled. She said to 
herself, ' No, no.' She refused ; she would not give her- 
self the pleasure of accepting. It would be inexcusable 
on her part thus to be an accomplice in a plan, for it 
was evident that Felicien was keeping something back. 



THE DREAM 127 

She was perfectly sure that lie was not poor, and that 
he wore a workman's dress simply as a disguise ; and 
this affected simplicity, all this history, told only that 
he might approach her, put her on her guard, amused 
and happy though she was, in reality, transfiguring him, 
seeing in him the royal prince that he should be ; so 
thoroughly did she live in the absolute certainty of the 
entire realisation of her dream, sooner or later". 

' No,' she repeated, in a half-whisper, ' we should 
not have the needed time.' 

And without lifting her eyes she continued, as if 
speaking to herself: 

' For the saint, we could use neither the close em- 
broidery nor the lace openwork. It would not be worthy 
her. It should be an embroidery in gold, shaded by silk.' 

' Exactly,' said Felicien. ' That is what I had 
already thought of, for I knew that Mademoiselle had 
re-found the secret of making it. There is still quite a 
pretty little fragment of it at the sacristy.' 

Hubert was quite excited. 

' Yes, yes ! it was made in the fifteenth century, 
and the work was done by one of my far-off ancestresses. 
.... Shaded gold ! Ah, Monsieur, there was never 
anything equal to that in the whole world. But, un- 
fortunately, it took too much time, it cost altogether 
too dear, and, in addition, only a real artist ever suc- 
ceeded in it. Think of it ; it is more than two hundred 
years since anyone has ever attempted such embroidery. 
And if my daughter refuses, you will be obliged to 
give it up entirely, for she is the only person who is 
qualified to undertake it. I do not know of anyone else 
who has the delicacy of fingers and the clearness of 
eye necessary for it.' 



128 THE DREAM 

Hubertine, who, since they had spoken of the style 
of the work, realised what a great undertaking it was, 
said, in a quiet, decided tone : 

' It would be utterly impossible to do it in a fort- 
night. It would need the patience and skill of a fairy 
to accomplish it.' 

But Angelique, who had not ceased studying all the 
features of the beautiful martyr, had ended by making 
a discovery which delighted her beyond expression. 
Agnes resembled her. In designing from the old 
statue, Felicien certainly thought of her, and this idea 
that she was in his mind, always present with him, 
that he saw her everywhere softened her resolution to 
avoid him. At last she looked up ; she noticed how 
eager he was, and his eyes glistened with so earnest a 
supplication that she was conquered. Still, with the 
intuitive half-malice, the love of tormenting, this 
natural science which comes to all young girls, even 
when they are entirely ignorant of life, she did not 
wish to have the appearance of yielding too readily. 

' It is impossible,' she repeated. ' I could not do it 
for anyone.' 

Felicien was in despair. He was sure he understood 
the hidden meaning in her words. It was he whom 
she had refused, as well as the work. As he was about 
to go out of the room, he said to Hubert : 

' As for the pay, you could have asked any price you 
wished. These ladies gave me leave to offer as much 
as three thousand francs.' 

The household of the Huberts was in no way a selfish 
one ; yet so great a sum startled each member of it. 
The husband and wife looked at each other inquiringly. 
Was it not a pity to lose so advantageous an offer ? 



THE DREAM 129 

' Three thousand francs,' repeated Angelique, with 
her gentle voice ; ' did you say three thousand francs, 
Monsieur ? ' 

And she, to whom money was nothing, since she had 
never known its value, kept back a smile, a mocking 
smile, which scarcely drew the corners of her mouth, 
rejoicing that she need not seem to yield to the pleasure 
of seeing him, and glad to give him a false opinion of 
herself. 

' Oh, Monsieur, if you can give three thousand francs 
for it, then I accept. I would not do it for everyone, 
but from the moment that one is willing to pay so well, 
why, that is different. If it is necessary, I can work on 
it at night, as well as during the day.' 

Hubert and Hubertine then objected, wishing to 
refuse in their turn, for fear the fatigue might be too 
great for her. 

' No,' she replied. ' It is never wise to send away 
money that is brought to you. You can depend upon 
me, Monsieur. Your mitre will be ready the evening 
before the procession.' 

Felicien left the design and bade them good-day, for 
he was greatly disappointed, and he had no longer the 
courage to give any new explanations in regard to the 
work, as an excuse for stopping longer. What would 
he gain by doing so ? It was certainly true that she 
did not like him, for she had pretended not to recognise 
him, and had treated him as she would any ordinary 
customer, whose money alone is good to take. At first 
he was angry, as he accused her of being mean-spirited 
and grasping. So much the better ! It was ended 
between them, this unspoken romance, and he would 
never think of her again. Then, as he always did 

K 



I3 o THE DREAM 

think of her, he at last excused her, for was she not 
dependent upon her work to live, and ought she not to 
gain her bread ? 

Two days later he was very unhappy, and he began 
to wander around the house, distressed that he could 
not see her. She no longer went out to walk, she did 
not even go to the balcony, or to the window, as before. 
He was forced to acknowledge that if she cared not for 
him, if in reality she was mercenary, in spite of all, his 
love' for her increased daily, as one loves when only 
twenty years of age, without reasoning, following 
merely the drawing of one's heart, simply for the joy 
and the grief of loving. 

One morning he caught a glimpse of her for a 
moment, and realised that he could not give her up. 
Now she was his chosen one and no other. Whatever 
she might be, bad or good, ugly or pretty, poor or rich, 
he would give up his life rather than not be able to 

claim her. 

The third day his sufferings were so great that, not- 
withstanding all his wise resolves, he returned to the 
house of the embroiderers. 

After having rung the bell, he was received as 
before, downstairs, by Hubert, who, on account of the 
want of clearness in his explanations in regard to his 
visit, concluded the best thing to be done was to allow 
him to go upstairs again. 

< My daughter, Monsieur, wishes to speak to you on 
certain points of the work that I do not quite under- 
stand.' 

Then Felicien stammered, ' If it would not disturb 

Mademoiselle too much, I would like to see how far 

These ladies advised me to personally superintend the 



THE DREAM 131 

work that is, if by doing so I should not be in any- 
one's way.' 

Angelique's heart beat violently when she saw him 
come in. She almost choked, but, making a great 
effort, she controlled herself. The blood did not even 
mount her cheeks, and with an appearance of calm in- 
difference, she replied : 

' Oh, nothing ever disturbs me, Monsieur. I can 
work equally well before anyone. As the design is 
yours, it is quite natural that you should wish to follow 
the execution of it.' 

Quite discountenanced by this reception, Felicien 
would not have dared to have taken a seat, had not 
Hubertine welcomed him cordially, as she smiled in her 
sweet, quiet way at this excellent customer. Almost 
immediately she resumed her work, bending over the 
frame where she was embroidering on the sides of the 
mitre the Gothic ornaments in guipure, or open lace- 
work. 

On his side, Hubert had just taken down from the 
wall a banner which was finished, had been stiffened, 
and for two days past had been hung up to dry, and 
which now he wished to relax. No one spoke; the 
three workers kept at their tasks as if no other person 
had been in the room with them. 

In the midst of this charming quiet, the young man 
little by little grew calmer. When the clock struck 
three, the shadow of the Cathedral was already very 
long, and a delicate half-light entered by the window, 
which was wide open. It was almost like the twilight 
hour, which commenced early in the afternoon for this 
little house, so fresh and green from all the verdure 
that was about it, as it stood by the side of the colossal 

K 2 



I32 N THE DREAM 

church. A slight sound of steps was heard on the 
pavement outside ; it was a school of young girls being 
taken to Confession. 

In the workroom, the tools, the time-stained walls, 
everything which remained there immovable, seemed to 
sleep in the repose of centuries, and from every corner 
came freshness and rest. A great square of white 
light, smooth and pure, fell upon the frame over which 
Hubertine and Angelique were bending, with their 
delicate profiles in the fawn-coloured reflection of the 

gold. 

'Mademoiselle,' began Felicien, feeling very awk- 
ward, as he realised that he must give some reason for 
his visit' I wish to say, Mademoiselle, that for the 
hair it seems to me it would be better to employ gold 
rather than silk.' 

She raised her head, and the laughing expression of 
her eyes clearly signified that he need not have taken 
the trouble of coming if he had no other recommenda- 
tion to make. And she looked down again as she 
replied, in a half-mocking tone : 

There is no doubt about that, Monsieur.' 
He was indeed ridiculous, for he remarked then for 
the first time that it was exactly what she was doing. 
Before her was the design he had made, but tinted with 
water-colours, touched up with gold, with all the 
delicacy of an old miniature, a little softened, like what 
one sees in some prayer books of the fifteenth century. 
And she copied this image with the patience and the 
skill of an artist working with a magnifying glass. 
After having reproduced it with rather heavy strokes 
upon the white silk, tightly stretched and lined with 
heavy linen, she covered this silk with threads of gold 



THE DREAM 133 

carried from the bottom to the top, fastened simply at 
the two ends, so that they were left free and close to each 
other. "When using these same threads as a woof, she 
separated them with the point of her needle to find the 
design below. She followed this same drawing, re- 
covered the gold threads with stitches of silk across, 
which she assorted according to the colours of the 
model. In the shaded parts the silk completely hid the 
gold ; in the half-lights the stitches of silk were farther 
and farther apart, while the real lights were made by 
gold alone, entirely uncovered. It was thus the shaded 
gold, that most beautiful of all work, the foundation 
being modified by the silks, making a picture of mellow 
colours as if warmed from beneath by a glory and a 
mystic light. 

' Oh ! ' suddenly said Hubert, who began to stretch 
out the banner by separating with his fingers the cords 
of the trellis, ' the masterpiece of a woman who em- 
broidered in the olden time was always in this difficult 
work. To become a member of the Corporation she 
had to make, as it is written in the statutes, a figure by 
itself in shaded gold, a sixth part as tall as if life-size. 
You would have been received, my Angelique.' 

Again there was an unbroken silence. Felicien 
watched her constantly, as she stooped forward, absorbed 
in her task, quite as if she were entirely alone. For 
the hair of the saint, contrary to the general rule, she 
had had the same idea as he ; that was, to use no silk, 
but to re-cover gold with gold, and she kept ten needles 
at work with this brilliant thread of all shades, from 
the dark red of dying embers, to the pale, delicate 
yellow tint of the leaves of the forest trees in the 
autumn. Agnes was thus covered from her neck tQ her 



I3 4 THE DREAM 

ankles with a stream of golden hair. It began at the 
back of her head, covered her body with a thick 
mantle, flowed in front of her from the shoulders in 
two waves which united under the chin, and fell down 
to her feet in one wavy sheet. It was, indeed, the 
miraculous hair, a fabulous fleece, with heavy twists 
and curls, a glorious, starry efflorescence, the warm and 
living robe of the saint, perfumed with its pure 
nudity. 

That day Felicien could do nothing but watch 
Angelique as she embroidered the curls, following the 
exact direction of their rolling with her little pointed 
stitches, and he never wearied of seeing the hair grow 
and radiate under her magic needle. Its weight, and 
the great quivering with which it seemed to be unrolled 
at one turn, disturbed him. 

Hubertine, occupied in sewing on spangles, hiding 
the thread with which each one was attached with a 
tiny round of gold twist, lifted up her head from time 
to time and gave him a calm motherly look, whenever 
she was obliged to throw into the waste-basket a spangle 
that was not well made. 

Hubert, who had just taken away the side pieces of 
wood, that he might unstitch the banner from the frame, 
was about folding it up carefully. And at last, Feli- 
cien, whose embarrassment was greatly increased by 
this unbroken silence, realised that it was best for him 
to take leave, since as yet he had not been able to think 
of any of the suggestions which he had said he intended 
to make. 

He rose, blushed, and stammered : 
' I will return another day. I find that I have so 
badly succeeded in reproducing the charming design of 



THE DREAM 135 

the head of the saint that you may perhaps have need 
of some explanations from me.' 

Angelique looked him fully in the face with her 
sweet, great eyes. 

' Oh, no, not at all. But come again, Monsieur. 
Do not hesitate to do so, if you are in the least anxious 
about the execution of the work.' 

He went away, happy from the permission given 
him, but chilled by the coldness of manner of the young 
girl. Yes, he realised that she did not now, and never 
would, love him. That being the case, what use was 
there in his seeing her ? Yet on the morrow, as well 
as on the following days, he did not fail to go to the 
little house on the Rue des Orfevres. The hours which 
he could not pass there were sad enough, tortured as 
he was by his uncertainties, distressed by his mental 
struggles. He was never calm, except when he was 
near her as she sat at her frame. Provided that she was 
by his side, it seemed to him that he could resign himself 
to the acceptance of the fact that he was disagreeable 
to her. 

Every morning he arrived at an early hour, spoke 
of the work, then seated himself as if his presence there 
were absolutely necessary. Then he was in a state of 
enchantment simply to look at her, with her finely cut 
features, her motionless profile, which seemed bathed in 
the liquid golden tints of her hair ; and he watched in 
ecstasy the skilful play of her flexible hands, as she 
moved them up and down in the midst of the needlefuls 
of gold or silk. She had become so habituated to his 
presence that she was quite at her ease, and treated 
him as a comrade. Nevertheless, he always felt that 
there was between them something unexpressed which 



136 THE DREAM 

grieved him to the heart, he knew not why. Occasion- 
ally she looked up, regarding him with an amused, 
half-mocking air, and with an inquiring, impatient 
expression in her face. Then, finding he was intensely 
embarrassed, she at once became very cold and dis- 
tant. 

But Felicien had discovered one way in which he 
could rouse her, and he took advantage of it. It was 
this to talk to her of her art, of the ancient master- 
pieces of embroidery he had seen, either preserved 
among the treasures of cathedrals, or copies of which 
were engraved in books. For instance, there were the 
superb copes : that of Charlemagne, in red silk, with 
the great eagles with unfurled wings ; and the cope of 
Sion, which is decorated with a multitude of saintly 
figures. Then the dalmatic, which is said to be the 
most beautiful piece of embroidery in the whole world ; 
the Imperial dalmatic, on which is celebrated the glory 
of Jesus Christ upon the earth and in heaven, the 
Transfiguration, and the Last Judgment, in which the 
different personages are embroidered in silks of various 
colours, and in silver and gold. Also, there is a won- 
derful tree of Jesse, an orfrey of silk upon satin, which 
is so perfect it seems as if it were detached from a 
window of the fifteenth century ; Abraham at the foot, 
then David, Solomon, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and at 
the very top the Saviour. 

Among the admirable chasubles he had seen, one in 
particular was touching in its simplicity. It repre- 
sented Christ on the Cross, and the drops of blood from 
His side and His feet were made by little splashes of 
red silk on the cloth of gold, while in the foreground 
was Mary, tenderly supported by Saint John, 



THE DREAM 137 

On another one, which is called the chasuble of 
Naintre", the Virgin is seated in majesty, with richly- 
wrought sandals on her feet, and holding the Infant 
Jesus on her knees. Others, and still others of marvel- 
lous workmanship were alluded to, venerable not only 
from their great age and the beautiful faith that they 
expressed, but from a richness unknown in our time, 
preserving the odour of the incense of tabernacles and 
the mystic light which seemed to come from the slightly- 
faded gold. 

' Ah ! ' sighed Angelique, ' all those exquisite things 
are finished now. We can only find certain tones to 
remind us of their perfection.' 

With feverish hands and sparkling eyes she stopped 
working when Felicien related to her the history of the 
most noted men and women who were embroiderers in 
the olden time Simonne de Gaules, Colin Jolye, and 
others whose names have come down to us through the 
ages. Then, after a few moments, she took up her 
needles again, and made them fly vigorously, as she 
appeared transfigured, and guarded on her face the 
traces of the delight her artist nature had received in 
listening to all these accounts. Never had she seemed 
to him more beautiful, so enthusiastic was she, so 
maidenly and so pure, seated there in the brighter sur- 
roundings of so many coloured silks, applying herself 
with unfailing exactitude to her work, into the slightest 
details of which she put her whole soul. When he 
had left off speaking he looked at her earnestly, until 
roused by the silence, she realised the excited state 
into which all these histories had thrown her, and 
became as embarrassed as if she had done something 
wrong. 



138 THE DREAM 

1 Oh, dear, look ; all my silks are entangled again ! 
Mother, please not to move about so much.' 

Hubertine, who had not stirred at all, was amused, 
but simply smiled without saying anything. At first 
she had been rather disturbed by the constant attentions 
of the young man, and had talked the matter over 
thoroughly with Hubert one evening in their room. 
But they could not help being drawn towards him, 
and as in every respect his appearance was good and 
his manners perfectly respectful, they concluded it 
was not necessary to object to interviews from which 
Angelique derived so much happiness. So matters 
were allowed to take their way, and she watched over 
the young people with a loving air of protection. 

Moreover, she herself for many days had been op- 
pressed by the lamenting caresses of her husband, who 
seemed never to weary of asking her if he had been 
forgiven. This month was the anniversary of the time 
when they had lost their child, and each year at this 
date they had the same regrets and the same longings ; 
he, trembling at her feet, happy to realise that he was 
pardoned; she, loving and distressed, blaming herself 
for everything, and despairing that Fate had been inex- 
orable to all their prayers. They spoke of all this to 
no one, were the same to outsiders in every way, but 
this increase of tenderness between them came from 
their room like a silent perfume, disengaged itself from 
their persons at the least movement, by each word, and 
by their way of looking at each other, when it seemed 
as if for the moment they almost exchanged souls. All 
this was like the grave accompaniment, the deep con- 
tinuous bass, upon which sang in clear notes the two 
hearts of the young couple. 



THE DREAM 139 

One week had passed, and the work on the mitre 
advanced. These daily meetings had assumed a great 
and sweet familiarity. 

1 The forehead should be very high, should it not ? 
Without any trace of eyebrows ? ' 

' Yes, very high, and not the slightest shade. Quite 
like an old miniature.' 

' Will you pass me the white silk ? ' 

' Wait a minute, that I may thread it.' 

He helped her, and this union of work put them at 
their ease. It made the occupation of each day seem 
perfectly natural to them both, and without a word of 
love ever having been spoken, without their hands 
having once met by a voluntary touch, the bond between 
them grew stronger each hour, and they were hence- 
forth eternally united one to the other. It was suffi- 
cient for them to have lived until now. 

' Father, what are you doing thab we no longer hear 

you?' 

She turned and saw Hubert, who was occupied in 
winding a long spool, as his eyes were fixed abstractedly 
on his wife. 

' I am preparing some gold thread for your mother.' 
And from the reel taken to his wife, from the mute 
thanks of Hubertine, from the constant little attentions 
her husband gave her, there was a warm, caressing 
breath which surrounded and enveloped Angelique and 
Felicien as they both bent again over the frame. The 
workroom itself, this ancient hall, as it might almost be 
called, with its old tools and its peace of other ages, 
was an unconscious accomplice in this work of union. 
It seemed so far away from the noise of the street, re- 
mote as if in dreamy depths, in this country of good, 



140 THE DREAM 

simple souls, where miracles reign, the easy realisation 
of all joys. 

In five days the mitre was to be finished; and 
Angelique, now sure that it would be ready to be de- 
livered, and that she would even have twenty-four hours 
to spare, took a long breath of satisfaction, and seemed 
suddenly astonished at finding Felicien so near her, 
with his elbows on the trestle. Had they really become 
such intimate friends? She no longer attempted to 
struggle against what she realised was his conquering 
power; her half-malicious smiles ceased at what he 
tried to keep back, and which she so well understood, in 
spite of his subterfuges. What was it, then, that had 
made her as if asleep, in her late restless waiting ? And 
the eternal question returned, the question that she 
asked herself every evening when she went to her room. 
Did she love him ? For hours, in the middle of her 
great bed, she had turned over again and again these 
words, seeking for meanings she could not find, and 
thinking she was too ignorant to explain them. But 
that night, all at once, she felt her heart was softened 
by some inexplicable happiness. She cried nervously, 
without reason, and hid her head in her pillow that no 
one might hear her. 

Yes, now she loved him ; she loved him enough to 
be willing to die for him. But why ? But how ? She 
could not tell, she never would know ; simply from her 
whole heart came the cry that she did indeed love him. 
The light had come to her at last ; this new, overpower- 
ing joy overwhelmed her like the most ardent rays of 
the sun. 

For a long time her tears flowed, but not from 
sorrow. On the contrary, she was filled with an inex- 



THE DREAM 141 

plicable confusion of happiness that was indefinable, 
regretting now, more deeply than ever, that she had not 
made a confidante of Hubertine. To-day her secret 
burdened her, and she made an earnest vow to herself 
that henceforth she would be as cold as an icicle to- 
wards Felicien, and would suffer everything rather than 
allow him to see her tenderness. He should never know 
it. To love him, merely to love him, without even 
acknowledging it, that was the punishment, the trial she 
must undergo to pardon her fault. It would be to her 
in reality a delicious suffering. She thought of the 
martyrs of whom she had read in the ' Golden Legend,' 
and it seemed to her that she was their sister in tortur- 
ing herself in this way, and that her guardian angel, 
Agnes, would look at her henceforward with sadder, 
sweeter eyes than ever. 

The following day Angelique finished the mitre. 
She had embroidered with split silk, light as gossamer, 
the little hands and feet, which were the only points of 
white, naked flesh that came out from the royal mantle 
of golden hair. She perfected the face with all the 
delicacy of the purest lily, wherein the gold seemed like 
the blood in the veins under the delicate, silken skin. 
And this face, radiant as the sun, was turned heaven- 
ward, as the youthful saint was borne upward by the 
angels toward the distant horizon of the blue plain. 

When Felicien entered that day, he exclaimed with 
admiration : 

' Oh ! how exactly she looks like you.' 

It was an involuntary expression ; an acknowledg- 
ment of the resemblance he had purposely put in the 
design. He realised the fact after he had spoken, and 
blushed deeply. 



142 THE DREAM 

1 That is indeed true, my little one ; she has the 
same beautiful eyes that you have,' said Hubert, who 
had come forward to examine the work. 

Hubertine merely smiled now, having made a similar 
remark many days before, and she was surprised and 
.grieved when she heard Angelique reply in a harsh, 
disagreeable tone of voice, like what she sometimes had 
in her fits of obstinacy years ago : 

' My beautiful eyes ! Why will you make fun of me 
in that way ? I know as well as you do that I am very 
ugly.' 

Then, getting up, she shook out her dress, over- 
acting her assumed character of a harsh, avaricious girl. 

' Ah, at last ! It is really finished ! I am thankful, 
for it was too much of a task, too heavy a burden on my 
shoulders. Do you know, I would never undertake to 
make another one for the same price ? ' 

Felicien listened to her in amazement. Could it be 
that after all she still cared only for money ? Had he 
been mistaken when he thought at times she was so ex- 
quisitely tender, and so passionately devoted to her 
artistic work ? Did she in reality wish for the pay her 
labour brought her ? and was she so indifferent that she 
rejoiced at the completion of her task, wishing neither 
to see nor to hear of it again ? For several days he had 
been discouraged as he sought in vain for some pretext 
of continuing, later on, visits that gave him such plea- 
sure. But, alas ! it was plain that she did not care for 
him in the least, and that she tiever would love him. 
His suffering was so great that he grew very pale and 
could scarcely speak. 

' But, Mademoiselle, will you not make up the 
mitre ? ' 



THE DREAM 143 

' No, mother can do it so much better than I can. 
I am too happy at the thought that I have nothing more 
to do with it.' 

'But do you not like the work which you do so 
well?' 

' I ? I do not like anything in the world.' 

Hubertine was obliged to speak to her sternly, and 
tell her to be quiet. She then begged Felicien to be so 
good as to pardon her nervous child, who was a little 
weary from her long-continued application. She added 
that the mitre would be at his disposal at an early hour 
on the following morning. It was the same as if she 
had asked him to go away, but he could not leave. He 
stood and looked around him in this old workroom, 
filled with shade and with peace, and it seemed to him 
as if he were being driven from Paradise. He had spent 
so many sweet hours there in the illusion of his brightest 
fancies, that it was like tearing his very heart-strings 
to think all this was at an end. What troubled him 
the worst was his inability to explain matters, and that 
he could only take with him such a fearful uncertainty. 
At last he said good-day, resolved to risk everything at 
the first opportunity rather than not to know the truth. 

Scarcely had ho closed the door when Hubert 
asked : 

' What is the matter with you, my dear child ? Are 
you ill?' 

' No, indeed. It is simply that I am tired of having 
that young man here. I do not wish to see him 
again.' 

Then Hubertine added : ' Very well ; you will not 
see him again. But nothing should ever prevent one 
from being polite.' 



144 THE DREAM 

Angelique, making some trivial excuse, hurried up 
to her room as quickly as possible. Then she gave free 
course to her tears. Ah, how intensely happy she was, 
yet how she suffered ! Her poor, dear beloved ; he was 
sad enough when he found he must leave her! But 
she must not forget that she had made a vow to the 
saints, that although she loved him better than life, he 
should never know it. 



THE DREAM 145 



CHAPTER VIII 

Ox the evening of this same day, immediately after 
leaving the dinner-table, Angelique complained of not 
being at all well, and went up at once to her room. 
The agitation and excitement of the morning, her 
struggles against her true self, had quite exhausted 
her. She made haste to go to bed, and covering her 
head with the sheet, with a desperate feeling of dis- 
appearing for ever if she could, again the tears came 
to her relief. 

The hours passed slowly, and soon it was night a 
warm July night, the heavy, oppressive quiet of which 
entered through the window, which had been left wide 
open. In the dark heavens glistened a multitude of 
stars. It must have been nearly eleven o'clock, and 
the moon, already grown quite thin in its last quarter, 
would not rise until midnight. 

And in the obscure chamber, Angelique still wept 
nervously a flow of inexhaustible tears, seemingly with- 
out reason, when a slight noise at her door caused her 
to lift up her head. 

There was a short silence, when a voice called her 
tenderly. 

' Angelique ! Angelique ! My darling child ! ' 

She recognised the voice of Hubertine. Without 

L 



146 THE DREAM 

doubt the latter, in her room with her husband, had just 
heard the distant sound of sobbing, and anxious, half- 
undressed, she had come upstairs to find out what was 
the matter with her daughter. 

' Angelique, are you ill, my dear ? ' 

Retaining her breath, the young girl made no 
answer. She did not wish to be unkind, but her one 
absorbing idea at this moment was of solitude. To be 
alone was the only possible alleviation of her trouble. 
A word of consolation, a caress, even from her mother, 
would have distressed her. She imagined that she saw 
her standing at the other side of the door, and from the 
delicacy of the rustling movement on the tiled floor 
she thought she must be barefooted. Two or three 
minutes passed, and she knew the kind watcher had 
not left her place, but that, stooping, and holding with 
her beautiful hands the clothing so carelessly thrown 
over her, she still listened at the keyhole. 

Hubertine, hearing nothing more, not even a sigh, 
did not like to call again. She was very sure that she 
had heard sobs ; but if the child had at last been able 
to sleep, what good would it do to awaken her ? She 
waited, however, another moment, troubled by the 
thought of a grief which her daughter hid from her, 
confusedly imagining what it might be from the tender 
emotion with which her heart seemed filled from sym- 
pathy. At last she concluded to go down as she had 
come up, quietly, her hands being so familiar with every 
turning that she needed no candle, and leaving behind 
her no other sound than the soft, light touch of her 
bare feet. 

Then, sitting up in bed, Angelique in her turn 
listened. So profound was the outward silence that 



THE DREAM 147 

she could clearly distinguish the slight pressure of the 
heel on the edge of each step of the stairway. At the 
foot, the door of the chamber was opened, then closed 
again ; afterward, she heard a scarcely-distinct murmur, 
an affectionate, yet sad blending of voices in a half- 
whisper. No doubt it was what her father and mother 
were saying of her ; the fears and the hopes they had in 
regard to her. For a long time that continued, although 
they must have put out their light and gone to bed. 

Never before had any night sounds in this old house 
mounted in this way to her ears. Ordinarily, she slept 
the heavy, tranquil sleep of youth ; she heard nothing 
whatever after placing her head upon her pillow ; whilst 
now, in the wakefulness caused by the inner combat 
against an almost overpowering sentiment of affection 
which she was determined to conquer, it seemed to 
her as if the whole house were in unison with her, that 
it was also in love, and mourned like herself. Were 
not the Huberts, too, sad, as they stifled their tears 
and thought of the child they had lost long ago, whose 
place, alas ! had never been filled ? She knew nothing 
of this in reality, but she had a sensation in this warm 
night of the watch of her parents below her, and 01 
the disappointment in their lives, which they could not 
forget, notwithstanding their great love for each other, 
which was always as fresh as when they were young. 

Whilst she was seated in this way, listening in 
the house that trembled and sighed, Angelique lost all 
self-control, and again the tears rolled down her face, 
silently, but warm and living, as if they were her life's 
blood. One question above all others had troubled her 
since the early morning, and had grieved her deeply. 
Was she right in having sent away Felicieii in despair, 

i. 2 



148 THE DREAM 

stabbed to the heart by her coldness, and with the 
thought that she did not love him ? She knew that 
she did love him, yet she had willingly caused him to 
suffer, and now in her turn she was suffering intensely. 
Why should there be so much pain connected with 
love ? Did the saints wish for tears ? Could it be 
that Agnes, her guardian angel, was angry in the know- 
ledge that she was happy ? Now, for the first time, 
she was distracted by a doubt. Before this, whenever 
she thought of the hero she awaited, and who must 
come sooner or later, she had arranged everything much 
more satisfactorily. When the right time arrived he 
was to enter her very room, where she would immedi- 
ately recognise and welcome him, when they would 
both go away together, to be united for evermore. But 
how different was the reality ! He had come, and, in- 
stead of what she had foreseen, their meeting was most 
unsatisfactory ; they were equally unhappy, and were 
eternally separated. To what purpose ? Why had 
this result come to pass ? Who had exacted from her 
so strange a vow, that, although he might be very dear 
to her, she was never to let him know it ? 

But, yet again, Angelique was especially grieved 
from the fear that she might have been bad and done 
some very wrong thing. Perhaps the original sin that 
was in her had manifested itself again as when she was 
a little girl ! She thought over all her acts of pretended 
indifference : the mocking air with which she had re- 
ceived Felicien, and the malicious pleasure she took in 
giving him a false idea of herself. And the astonish- 
ment at what she had done, added to a cutting remorse 
for her cruelty, increased her distress. Now, her whole 
heart was filled with a deep infinite pity for the suffer- 



THE DREAM 149 

ing she had caused him without really meaning to 
do so. 

She saw him constantly before her, as he was when 
he left the house in the morning : the despairing ex- 
pression of his face, his troubled eyes, his trembling 
lips ; and in imagination she followed him through the 
streets, as lie went home, pale, utterly desolate, and 
wounded to the heart's core by her. Where was he 
now ? Perhaps at this hour he was really ill ! 

She wrung her hands in agony, distressed that she 
cculd not at once repair the evil she had done. Ah ! 
how she revolted at the idea of having made another 
suffer, for she had always wished to be good, and to 
render those about her as happy as possible. 

Twelve o'clock would ere long ring out from the 
old church-tower ; the great elms of the garden of the 
Bishop's palace hid the moon, which was just appearing 
above the horizon, and the chamber was still dark. 
Then, letting her head fall back upon the pillow, 
Angelique dwelt no longer upon these disturbing ques- 
tions, as she wished to go to sleep. But this she could 
not do ; although she kept her eyes closed, her mind 
was still active ; she thought of the flowers which every 
night during the last fortnight she had found when she 
went upstairs upon the balcony before her window. 
Each evening it was a lovely bouquet of violets, which 
Felicien had certainly thrown there from the Clos-Marie. 
She recollected having told him that flowers generally 
gave her a sick headache, whilst violets alone had the 
singular virtue of calming her, and so he had sent her 
quiet nights, a perfumed sleep refreshed by pleasant 
dreams. This evening she had placed the bouquet by 
her bedside. All at once she had the happy thought 



ISO THE DREAM 

of taking it into her bed with her, putting it near her 
cheek, and, little by little, being soothed with its sweet 
breath. The purple blossoms did indeed do her good. 
Not that she slept, however ; but she lay there with 
closed eyes, penetrated by the refreshing odour that 
came from his gift ; happy to await events, in a repose 
and confident abandonment of her whole being. 

But suddenly she started. It was past midnight. 
She opened her eyes, and was astonished to find her 
chamber filled with a clear bright light. Above the 
great elms the moon rose slowly, dimming the stars in 
the pale sky. Through the window she saw the apse 
of the cathedral, almost white, and it seemed to her as 
if it were the reflection of this whiteness which entered 
her room, like the light of the dawn, fresh and pure. 
The whitewashed walls and beams, all this blank nudity 
was increased by it, enlarged, and moved back as if it 
were unreal as a dream. 

She still recognised, however, the old, dark, oaken 
furniture the wardrobe, the chest and the chairs, with 
the shining edges of their elaborate carvings. The 
bedstead alone this great square, royal couch seemed 
new to her, as if she saw it for the first time, with its 
high columns supporting its canopy of old-fashioned, 
rose-tinted cretonne, now bathed with such a sheet of ' 
deep moonlight that she half thought she was on a 
cloud in the midst of the heavens, borne along by a 
flight of silent, invisible wings. For a moment she 
felt the full swinging of it ; it did not seem at all strange 
or unnatural to her. But her sight soon grew accus- 
tomed to the reality ; her bed was again in its usual 
corner, and she was in it, not moving her head, her 
eyes alone turning from side to side, as she lay in the 



THE DREAM 151 

midst of this lake of beaming rays, with the bouquet of 
violets upon her lips. 

Why was it that she was thus in a state of waiting ? 
Why could she not sleep ? She was now sure that she 
expected someone. That she had grown quite calm 
was a sign that her hero was about to appear. This 
consoling light, which put to flight the darkness of all 
bad dreams, announced his arrival. He was on his 
way, and the moon, whose brightness almost equalled 
that of the sun, was simply his forerunner. She must 
be ready to greet him. 

The chamber was as if hung with white velvet now, 
so they could see each other well. Then she got up, 
dressed herself thoroughly, putting on a simple white 
gown of foulard, the same she had worn the day of their 
excursion to the ruins of Hautecoeur. She did not 
braid her hair, but let it hang over her shoulders. She 
put a pair of slippers upon her bare feet, and drawing 
an armchair in front of the window, seated herself, and 
waited in patience. 

Angelique did not pretend to know how he would 
appear. Without doubt, he would not come up the stairs, 
and it might be that she would simply see him over the 
Clos-Marie, while she leaned from the balcony. Still, 
she kept her place on the threshold of the window, as 
it seemed to her useless to go and watch for him just 
yet. So vague was her idea of real life, so mystic was 
love, that she did not understand in her imaginative 
nature why he might not pass through the walls, like 
the saints in the legends. Why should not miracles 
come now, as in the olden days, for had not all this 
been ordained from the beginning ? 

Not for a moment did she think she was alone to 



152 THE DREAM 

receive him. No, indeed ! she felt as if she were sur- 
rounded by the crowd of virgins who had always been 
near her, since her early youth. They entered on the 
rays of the moonlight, they came from the great dark 
trees with their blue-green tops in the Bishop's garden, 
from the most intricate corners of the entanglement of 
the stone front of the Cathedral. From- all the familiar 
and beloved horizon of the Chevrotte, from the willows, 
the grasses, and bushes, the young girl heard the 
dreams which came back to her, the hopes, the desires, 
the visions, all that which she had put of herself into 
inanimate objects as she saw them daily, and which 
they now returned to her. Never had the voices of the 
invisible unknown spoken so clearly. She listened to 
them as they came from afar, recognising particularly 
in this warm, beautiful night, so calm that there was 
not the slightest movement in the air, the delicate 
sound which she was wont to call the fluttering of the 
robe of Agnes, when her dear guardian angel came to 
her side. She laughed quietly to know that she was 
now by her, and waiting with the others who were near 
her. 

Time passed, but it did not seem long to Angelique. 
She was quite unconscious of what was passing around 
her. It appeared to her perfectly natural, and exactly 
as it had been foretold, when at last she saw Felicien 
striding over the balustrade of the balcony. 

His tall figure came out in full relief before the 
background of the white sky ; he did not approach the 
open window, but remained in its luminous shadow. 

' Do not be afraid. It is I. I have come to see 
you.' 

She was not in the slightest way alarmed ; she 



THE DREAM 153 

simply thought that he was exact to the hour of meet- 
ing, and said calmly: 

' You mounted by the timber framework, did you not ? ' 

' Yes, by the framework.' 

The idea of this way made her laugh, and he him- 
self was amused by it. He had in fact pulled himself 
up by the pent-house shed ; then, climbing along the 
principal rafters from there, whose ends were supported 
by the string-course of the first story, he had without 
difficulty reached the balcony. 

' I was expecting you. Will you not come nearer 
me? ' 

Felicien, who had arrived in a state of anger, not 
knowing how he had dared to come, but with many 
wild ideas in his head, did not move, so surprised and 
delighted was he by this unexpected reception. As he 
had come at last, Angelique was now certain that the 
saints did not prohibit her from loving, for she heard 
them welcoming him with her by a laugh as delicate 
as a breath of the night. Where in the world had she 
ever found so ridiculous an idea as to think that Agnes 
would be angry with her ! On the contrary, Agnes 
was radiant with a joy that she felt as it descended on 
her shoulders and enveloped her like a caress from two 
great wings. All those who had died for love showed 
great compassion for youthful troubles, and only re- 
turned to earth on summer nights, that, although in- 
visible, they might watch those young hearts who were 
sorrowful from affection. 

' But why do you not come to me ? I was waiting 
for you.' 

Then, hesitatingly, Felicien approached. He had 
been so excited, so carried away by anger at her indif- 



154 THE DREAM 

ference, that he had said she should be made to love 
him, and that, were it necessary, he would carry her 
away even against her will. And lo ! now finding her 
so gentle as he penetrated almost to the eotrance of 
this chamber, so pure and white, he became subdued at 
once, and as gentle and submissive as a child. 

He took three steps forward. But he was afraid, 
and not daring to go farther, he fell on his knees at the 
end of the balcony. 

' Could you but know,' he said, ' the abominable 
tortures I have passed through. I have never imagined 
a worse suffering. Really, the only true grief is to 
think that you are not beloved by the person to whom 
you have given your affection. I would willingly give 
up all else ; would consent to be poor, dying from 
hunger, or racked by pain ; but I will not pass another 
day with this terrible doubt gnawing at my heart, of 
thinking that you do not love me. Be good, I pray 
you, and pity me.' 

She listened to him, silent, overcome with com- 
passion, yet very happy withal. 

' This morning you sent me away in such a dread- 
ful manner ! I had fancied to myself that you had 
changed your feelings towards me, and that, appreciat- 
ing my affection, you liked me better. But, alas ! I 
found you exactly as you had been on the first day, 
cold, indifferent, treating me as you would have done 
any other simple customer who passed, recalling me 
harshly to the commonplaces of life. On the stair- 
way I staggered. Once outside, I ran, and was afraid 
I might scream aloud. Then, the moment I reached 
home, it seemed to me I should stifle were I to enter 
the house. So I rushed out into the fields, walking 



THE DREAM 155 

by chance first on one side of the road and then on 
another. Evening came, and I was still wandering up 
and down. But the torment of spirit moved faster 
than ever and devoured me. When one is hopelessly 
in love, it is impossible to escape from the pains ac- 
companying one's affection. Listen ! ' he said, and he 
touched his breast ; ' it is here that you stabbed me, 
and the point of the knife still' continues to penetrate 
deeper and deeper.' 

He gave a long sigh at the keen recollection of his 
torture. 

' I found myself at last in a thicket, overcome by 
my distress, like a tree that has been drawn up by the 
roots. To me, the only thing that existed in life, in the 
future, was yon. The thought that you might never 
be mine was more than I could bear. Already my feet 
were so weary that they would no longer support me. 
I felt that my hands were growing icy cold, and my 
head was filled with the strangest fancies. And that 
is why I am here. I do not know at all how I came, 
or where I found the necessary strength to bring 
me to you. You must try to forgive me ; but had I 
been forced to do so, I would have broken open doors 
with my fists, I would have clambered up to this bal- 
cony in broad daylight, for my will was no longer under 
my control, and I was -quite wild. Now, will you not 
pardon me ? ' 

She was a little in the shadow, and he, on his knees 
in the full moonlight, could not see that she had grown 
very pale in her tender repentance, and was too touched 
by his story to be able to speak. He thought that she 
was still insensible to his pleadings, and he joined his 
hands together most beseechingly. 



i$6 THE DREAM 

' All my interest in .you commenced long ago. It 
was one night when I saw you for the first time, 
here at your window. You were only a vague, white 
shadow ; I could scarcely distinguish one of your fea- 
tures, yet I saw you and imagined you just as you are 
in reality. But I was timid and afraid, so for several 
days I wandered about here, never daring to try to 
meet you in the open day. And, in addition, since 
this is a confession, I must tell you everything; you 
pleased me particularly in this half mystery ; it would 
have disturbed me to have you come out from it, for 
my great happiness was to dream of you as if you were 
an apparition, or an unknown something to be wor- 
shipped from afar, without ever hoping to become 
acquainted with you. Later on, I knew who you 
were, for after all it is difficult to resist the temptation 
to know what may be the realisation of one's dream. 
It was then that my restlessness commenced. It has 
increased at each meeting. Do you recollect the first 
time that we spoke to each other in the field near by, 
on that forenoon when I was examining the painted 
window ? Never in my life did I feel so awkward as 
then, and it was not strange that you ridiculed me so. 
Afterwards I frightened you, and realised that I con- 
tinued to be very unfortunate in following you, even in 
the visits you made to the poor people. Already I 
ceased to be master of my own actions, and did things 
that astonished me beyond measure, and which, under 
usual circumstances, I would not have dared attempt. 
For instance, when I presented myself here with the 
order for a mitre, I was pushed forward by an involun- 
tary force, as, personally, I dared not do it, knowing 
that I might make you angry. But at present I cannot 



THE DREAM 157 

regain my old self, I can only obey my impulses. I 
know that you do not like me, and yet, as you see, in 
spite of it all I have come back to you, that I may hear 
you tell rne so. If you would but try to understand 
how miserable I am. Do not love me if it is not in 
your heart to do so. I must accept my fate. But at 
least allow me to love you. Be as cold as you please, 
be hateful if you will i shall adore you whatever you 
may choose to be. I only ask to be able to see you, 
even without any hope ; merely for the joy of living 
thus at your feet.' 

Felicien stopped, disheartened, losing all courage 
as he thought he would never find any way of touching 
her heart. And he did not see that Angelique smiled, 
half hidden as she was by the open window-sash. It 
was an invincible smile, that, little by little, spread over 
her whole face. Ah ! the dear fellow ! How simple 
and trusting he was as he outpoured the prayer of his 
heart, filled with new longings and love, in bowing 
before her, as before the highest ideal of all his youth- 
ful dreams. 

To think that she had ever been so foolish as at first 
to try to avoid all meetings with him, and then, later 
on, had determined that although she could not help 
loving him, he should never know it ! Such folly oil 
her part was quite inexplicable. Since love is right, 
and is the fate of all, what good could be gained by 
making martyrs of them both ? 

A complete silence ensued, and in her enthusiastic, 
imaginative, nervous state, she heard, louder than ever, 
in the quiet of the warm night, the voices of the saints 
about her, who said love was never forbidden when it 
was so ardent and true as this. Behind her back a 



158 THE DREAM 

bright flash of light had suddenly appeared ; scarcely a 
breath, but a delicate wave from the moon upon the 
chamber floor. An invisible finger, no doubt that of 
her guardian angel, was placed upon her mouth, as if to 
unseal her lips and relieve her from her vow. Hence- 
forth she could freely unburden herself and tell the 
truth. All that which was powerful and tender in her 
surroundings now whispered to her words which seemed 
to come from the infinite unknown. 

Then, at last, Angelique spoke. 

' Ah ! yes, I recollect I recollect it all.' 

And Felicien was at once carried away with delight 
by the music of this voice, whose extreme charm was so 
great over him that his love seemed to increase simply 
from listening to it. 

' Yes, I remember well when you came in the night. 
You were so far away those first evenings that the little 
sound you made in walking left me in quite an uncer- 
tain state. At last I realised perfectly that it was you 
who approached me, and a little later I recognised your 
shadow. At length, one evening you showed yourself 
boldly, on a beautiful, bright night like this, in the full 
white light of the moon. You came out so slowly from 
the inanimate objects near you, like a creation from all 
the mysteries that surrounded me, exactly as I had 
expected to see you for a long time, and punctual to 
the meeting. 

' I have never forgetten the great desire to laugh, 
which I kept back, but which broke forth in spite of 
me, when you saved the linen that was being carried 
away by the Chevrotte. I recollect my anger when you 
robbed me of my poor people, by giving them so much 
money, and thus making me appear as a miser. I can 



THE DREAM 159 

still recall my fear on the evening when you forced me 
to run so fast through the grass with my bare feet. Oh, 
yes, I have not forgotten anything not the slightest 
thing.' 

At this last sentence her voice, pure and crystalline, 
was a little broken by the thought of those magic words 
of the young man, the power of which she felt so deeply 
when he said, ' I love you,' and a deep blush passed 
over her face. And he he listened to her with 
delight. 

' It is indeed true that I did wrong to tease you. 
When one is ignorant, one is often so foolish. One does 
many things which seem necessary, simply from the 
fear of being found fault with if following the impulses 
of the heart. But my remorse for all this was deep, 
and my sufferings, in consequence, were as great r.s 
yours. Were I to try to explain all this to you, it 
would be quite impossible for me to do so. When you 
came to us with your drawing of Saint Agnes, oh ! I 
could have cried out, " Thank you, thank you ! " I was 
perfectly enchanted to work for you, as I thought you 
would certainly make us a daily visit. And yet, think 
of it ! I pretended to be indifferent, as if I had taken 
upon myself the task of doing all in my power to drive 
you from the house. Has one ever the need of being 
wilfully unhappy ? Whilst in reality I longed to wel- 
come you and to receive you with open hands, there 
seemed to be in the depths of my nature another woman 
than myself, who revolted, who was afraid of and mis- 
trusted you whose delight it was to torture you with 
uncertainty, in the vague idea of setting up a quarrel, 
the cause of which, in a time long passed, had been 
quite forgotten. I am not always good ; often in my 



160 THE DREAM 

soul tilings seem to creep up that I cannot explain or 
account for. The worst of all was that I dared to speak 
to you of money. Fancy it, then ! Of money ! I, who 
have never thought of it, who would accept chariots of 
it, only for the pleasure of making it rain down as I 
wished, among the needy ! What a malicious amuse- 
ment I gave myself in thus calumniating my character. 
Will you ever forgive me ? ' 



THE DREAM 161 



CHAPTER IX 

FELICIEN was at her feet. Until now he had kept his 
place in the remote corner of the balcony. But in the 
intense happiness she gave him in thus unfolding the 
innermost secrets of her soul he had drawn himself on 
his knees towards her, as he approached the window. 
This great, illimitable joy was so unlocked for, that 
he yielded to it in all the infinitude of its hopes for the 
future. 

He half whispered : 

'Ah, dear soul, pure, kind, and beautiful, your 
wonderful goodness has cured me as with a breath ! I 
know not now if I have ever suffered. And, in your 
turn, you will now have to pardon me, for I have an 
acknowledgment to make to you. I must tell you who 
I am.' 

He was troubled at the thought he could no longer 
disguise himself or his position, since she had confided 
so freely and entirely in him. It would be disloyal in 
the highest degree to do so. Yet he hesitated, lest he 
might, after all, lose her, were she to be anxious about 
the future when at last she knew the facts. 

And she waited for him to speak again, a little 
malicious in spite of herself. 

In a very low voice he continued : 

M 



,6 2 THE DREAM 

' I have told a falsehood to your parents.' 

' Yes, I know it,' she said as she smiled. 

' No, you do not know it ; you could not possibly 
know it, for all that happened too long ago. I only 
paint 011 glass for my own pleasure, and as a simple 
amusement ; you really ought to be told of that.' 

Then, with a quick movement, she put her hand on 
his mouth, as if she wished to prevent this explana- 
tion. 

' I do not care to hear any more. I have been 
expecting you. I knew that sooner or later you would 
come, and you have done so. That is all-sufficient.' 

They talked no longer for a while. That little hand 
over his lips seemed almost too great a happiness for 

him. 

' When the right time comes, then I shall know all. 
Yet I assure you that I am ignorant of nothing con- 
nected with you, for everything had been revealed to 
me before our first meeting. You were to be, and can 
be, only the handsomest, the richest, and the most noble 
of men, the one above all others ; for that has ever been' 
my dream, and in the sure certainty of its full accom- 
plishment I wait calmly. You are the chosen hero who 
it was ordained should come, and I am yours.' 

A second time she interrupted herself in the tremor 
of the words she pronounced. She did not appear to 
say them by herself alone ; they came to her as if sent 
by the beautiful night from the great white heavens, 
from the old trees, and the aged stones sleeping outside 
and dreaming aloud the fancies of the young girl. From 
behind her voices also whispered them to her, the voices 
of her friends in the ' Golden Legend,' with whom she 
had peopled the air and the space around her. In this 



THE DREAM 163 

atmosphere she had ever lived mysticism, in which 
she revelled until it seemed fact on one side, and the 
daily work of life on the other. Nothing seemed strange 
to her. 

Now but one word remained to be said that which 
would express all the long waiting, the slow creation of 
affection, the constantly increasing fever of restlessness. 
It escaped from her lips like a cry from a distance, from 
the white flight of a bird mounting upward in the light 
of the early dawn, in the pure whiteness of the chamber 
behind her. 

' I love you.' 

Angelique, her two hands spread out, bent forward 
towards Felicien. And he recalled to himself the even- 
ing when she ran barefooted through the grass, making 
so adorable a picture that he pursued her in order to 
stammer in her ear these same words : ' I love you.' 
He knew that now she was simply replying to him with 
the same cry of affection, the eternal cry, which at last 
came from her freely-opened heart. 

' Yes, I love you. I am yours. Lead the way, and 
I will follow you wherever it may be.' 

In this surrender of her soul she gave herself to him 
fully and entirely. It was the hereditary flame relighted 
within her the pride and the passion she thought had 
been conquered, but which awoke at the wish of her 
beloved. He trembled before this innocence, so ardent 
and so ingenuous. He took her hands gently, and 
crossed them upon her breast. For a moment he 
looked at her, radiant with the intense happiness her 
confession had given him, unwilling to wound her deli- 
cacy in the slightest degree, and not thinking of yield- 
ing to the temptation of even kissing her hair. 

M2 



164 



THE DREAM 



' You love me, and you know that I love you ! Ah ! 
what bliss there is in such knowledge.' 

But they were suddenly drawn from their ecstatic 
state by a change about them. What did it all mean ? 
They realised that now they were looking at each other 
under a great white light. It seemed to them as if the 
brightness of the moon had been increased, and was as 
resplendent as that of the sun. It was in reality the 
daybreak, a slight shade of which already tinged with 
purple the tops of the elm-trees in the neighbouring 
gardens. What? It could not be possible that the 
dawn had come ? They were astonished by it, for they 
did not realise so long a time had passed since they 
began to talk together on the balcony. She had as yet 
told him nothing, and he had so many things he wished 

to say ! 

' Oh, stay one minute more, only one minute ! ' he 

exclaimed. 

The daylight advanced still faster the smiling 
morning, already warm, of what was to be a hot day in 
summer. One by one the stars were extinguished, and 
with them fled the wandering visions, and all the host 
of invisible friends seemed to mount upward and to 
glide away on the moon's rays. 

Now, in the full, clear light, the room behind them 
had only its ordinary whiteness of walls and ceiling, 
and seemed quite empty with its old-fashioned furniture 
of dark oak. The velvet hangings were no longer 
there, and the bedstead had resumed its original shape, 
as it stood half hidden by the falling of one of its cur- 
tains. 

* Do stay ! Let me be near you only one minute 

more ! ' 



THE DREAM 165 

Angelique, having risen, refused, and begged 
Felicien to leave immediately. Since the day had 
come, she had grown confused and anxious. The 
reality was now here. At her right hand, she seemed 
to hear a delicate movement of win-gs, whilst her hair 
was gently blown, although there was not the slightest 
breath of wind. Was it not Saint Agnes, who, having 
remained until the last, was now forced to leave, driven 
away by the sun ? 

' No, leave me, I beg of you. I am unwilling you 
should stay longer.' 

Then Felicien, obedient, withdrew. 
To know that he was beloved was enough for him, 
and satisfied him. Still, before leaving the balcony, he 
turned, and looked at her again fixedly, as if he wished 
to carry away with him an indelible remembrance of 
her. They both smiled at each other as they stood thus, 
bathed with light, in this long caressing look. 
At last he said : 
' I love you.' 

And she gently repeated : 
' I love you.' 

That was all, and he had in a moment, with the 
agility of a bird, gone down the woodwork of the corner 
of the building, while she, remaining on the balcony, 
leaned on the balustrade and watched him, with her 
tender, beautiful eyes. She had taken the bouquet of 
violets and breathed the perfume to cool her feverish- 
ness. When, in crossing the Clos-Marie, he lifted his 
head, he saw that she was kissing the flowers. 

Scarcely had Felicien disappeared behind the wil- 
lows, when Angelique was disturbed by hearing below 
the opening of the house-door. Four o'clock had just 



1 66 THE DREAM 

struck, and no one was in the habit of getting up until 
two hours later. Her surprise increased when she 
recognised Hubertine, as it was always Hubert who 
went down the first. She saw her follow slowly the 
walks of the narrow garden, her arms hanging listlessly 
at her sides, as if, after a restless, sleepless night, a 
feeling of suffocating, a need of breathing the fresh air, 
had made her leave her room so early. And Hubertine 
was really very beautiful, with her clothes so hastily 
put on ; and she seemed very weary happy, but in the 
deepest grief. 

The morning of the next day, on waking from a 
sound sleep of eight hours, one of those sweet, deep, 
refreshing sleeps that come after some great happiness, 
Angelique ran to her window. The sky was clear, the 
air pure, and the fine weather had returned after a 
heavy shower of the previous evening. Delighted, she 
called out joyously to Hubert, who was just opening 
the blinds below her : 

' Father ! father ! do look at the beautiful sunlight ; 
Oh, how glad I am, for the procession will be 
superb ! ' 

Dressing herself as quickly as possible, she hurried 
to go downstairs. It was on that day, July 28, 
that the Procession of the Miracle would pass through 
the streets of the upper town. Every summer at this 
date it was also a festival for the embroiderers ; all work 
was put aside, no needles were threaded, but the day 
was passed in ornamenting the house, after a traditional 
arrangement that had been transmitted from mother to 
daughter for four hundred years. 

All the while that she was taking her coffee, 
Angelique talked of the hangings. 



THE DREAM 167 

' Mother, we must look at them at once, to see if 
they are in good order.' 

1 We have plenty of time before us, my dear,' replied 
Hubertine, in her quiet way. ' We shall not put them 
up until afternoon.' 

The decorations in question consisted of three large 
panels of the most admirable ancient embroidery, which 
the Huberts guarded with the greatest care as a sacred 
family relic, and which they brought out once a jear 
on the occasion of the passing of this special pro- 
cession. 

The previous evening, according to a time-honoured 
custom, the Master of the Ceremonies, the good Abbe 
Cornille, had gone from door to door to notify the 
inhabitants of the route which would be taken by the 
bearers of the statue of Saint Agnes, accompanied by 
Monseigneur the Bishop, carrying the Holy Sacrament. 
For more than five centuries this route had been the 
same. The departure was made from the portal of Saint 
Agnes, then by the Hue des Orfevres to the Grand 
Rue, to the Rue Basse, and after having gone through 
the whole of the lower town, it returned by the Rue 
Magloire and the Place du Cloitre, to reappear again 
at the great front entrance of the Church. And the 
dwellers on all these streets, vicing with each other in 
their zeal, decorated their windows, hung upon their 
walls their richest possessions in silks, satins, velvets, 
or tapestry, and strewed the pavements with flowers, 
particularly \vith the leaves of roses and carnations. 

Angelique was very impatient until permission had 
been given her to take from the drawers, where they 
had been quietly resting for the past twelve months, the 
three pieces of embroidery. 



1 68 THE DREAM 

' They are in perfect order, mother. Nothing has 
happened to them,' she said, as she looked at them, en- 
raptured. 

She had with the greatest care removed the mass of 
silk paper that protected them from the dust, and they 
now appeared in all their beauty. The three were 
consecrated to Mary. The Blessed Virgin receiving the 
visit of the Angel of the Annunciation; the Virgin 
Mother at the foot of the Cross ; and the Assumption of 
the Virgin. They were made in the fifteenth century, 
of brightly coloured silks wrought on a golden back- 
ground, and were wonderfully well preserved. The 
family had always refused to sell them, although very 
large sums had been offered by different churches, and 
they were justly proud of their possession. 

' Mother dear, may I not hang them up to-day ? ' 
All these preparations required a great deal of time. 
Hubert was occupied the whole forenoon in cleaning the 
front of the old building. He fastened a broom to 
the end of a long stick, that he might dust all the 
wooden panels decorated with bricks, as far as the 
framework of the roof ; then with a sponge he washed 
all the sub-basement of stone, and all the parts of the 
stairway tower that he could reach. When that was 
finished, the three superb pieces of embroidery were put 
in their places. Angelique attached them, by their 
rings to venerable nails that were in the walls; the 
Annunciation below the window at the left, the Assump- 
tion below the window at the right, while for the 
Calvary, the nails for that were above the great window 
of the first story, and she was obliged to use a step-ladder 
that she might hang it there in its turn. She had 
already embellished the window with flowers, so that 



THE DREAM 169 

the ancient dwelling seemed to have gone back to the 
far-away time of its youth, with its embroideries of gold 
and of silk glistening in the beautiful sunshine of this 
festive day. 

After the noon breakfast the activity increased in 
every direction, and the whole Rue des Orfdvres was 
now in excitement. To avoid the great heat, the pro- 
cession would not move until five o'clock, but after 
twelve the town began to be decorated. Opposite the 
Huberts', the silversmith dressed his shop with draperies 
of an exquisite light blue, bordered with a silver fringe ; 
while the wax-chandler, who was next to him, made use 
of his window-curtains of red cotton, which looked more 
brilliant than ever in the broad light of day. At each 
house there were different colours ; a prodigality of 
stuffs, everything that people owned, even to rugs of all 
descriptions, were blowing about in the weary air of this 
hot summer afternoon. The street now seemed clothed, 
sparkling, and almost trembling with gaiety, as if changed 
into a gallery of fete open to the sky. All its inhabitants 
were rushing to and fro, pushing against each other, 
speaking loud, as if in their own homes ; some of them 
carrying their arms full of objects, others climbing, 
driving nails, and calling vociferously. In addition to 
all this was the reposoir, or altar, that was being prepared 
at the corner of the Grand Rue, the arrangements for 
which called for the services of all the women of the 
neighbourhood, who eagerly offered their vases and 
candlesticks. 

Angelique ran down to carry the two candelabra, of 
the style of the Empire, which they had on the mantel- 
shelf of their parlour. She had not taken a moment's 
rest since the early morning, but had shown no signs of 



I 7 o THE DREAM 

fatigue, being, on the contrary, supported and carried 
above herself by her great inward happiness. And as 
she came back from her errand, her hair blown all 
about her face by the wind, Hubert began to tease her 
as she seated herself to strip off the leaves of the roses, 
and to put them in a great basket. 

' You could not do any more than you have done 
were it your wedding-day, my dear. Is it, then, that 
you are really to be married now ? ' 

'But yes! oh, yes! Why not?' she answered 
gaily. 

Hubertine smiled in her turn, 

' While waiting, my daughter, since the house is so 
satisfactorily arranged, the best thing for us to do is to 
go upstairs and dress.' 

' In a minute, mother. Look at my full basket.' 
She had finished taking the leaves from the roses 
which she had reserved to throw before Monseigneur. 
The petals rained from her slender fingers ; the basket 
was running over with its light, perfumed contents. 
Then, as she disappeared on the narrow stairway of the 
tower, she said, while laughing heartily : 

' We will be quick. I will make myself beautiful as 
a star ! ' 

The afternoon advanced. Now the feverish move- 
ment in Beaumont-l'Eglise was calmed ; a peculiar air 
of expectation seemed to fill the streets, which were all 
ready, and where everyone spoke softly, in hushed, 
whispering voices. The heat had diminished, as the 
sun's rays grew oblique, and between the houses, so 
closely pressed the one against the others, there fell 
from the pale sky only a warm, fine shadow of a gentle, 
serene nature. The air of meditation was profound, as 



THE DREAM 171 

if the old town had become simply a continuation of the 
Cathedral ; the only sound of carriages that could be 
heard came up from Beaumont-la- Ville, the new town 
on the banks of the Ligneul, where many of the factories 
were not closed, as the proprietors disdained taking part 
in this ancient religious ceremony. 

Soon after four o'clock the great bell of the northern 
tower, the one whose swinging stirred the house of the 
Huberts, began to ring ; and it was at that very 
moment that Hubertine and Angelique reappeared. 
The former had put on a dress of pale buff linen, 
trimmed with a simple thread lace, but her figure was 
so slight and youthful in its delicate roundness that she 
looked as if she were the sister of her adopted daughter. 
Angelique wore her dress of white foulard, with its soft 
ruchings at the neck and wrists, and nothing else ; 
neither earrings nor bracelets, only her bare wrists and 
throat, soft in their satiny whiteness as they came out 
from the delicate material, light as the opening of a 
flower. An invisible comb, put in place hastily, 
scarcely held the curls of her golden hair, which was 
carelessly dressed. She was artless and proud, of a 
most touching simplicity, and, indeed, ' beautiful as a 
star.' 

' Ah ! ' she said, ' the bell ! that is to show that 
Monseigneur has left his palace.' 

The bell continued to sound loud and clear in the great 
purity of the atmosphere. The Huberts installed them- 
selves at the wide-opened window of the first story, the 
mother and daughter being in front, with their elbows 
resting on the bar of support, and the husband and father 
standing behind them. These were their accustomed 
places ; they could not possibly have found better, as 



1 7 2 THE DREAM 

they would be the very first to see the procession as it 
came from the farther end of the church, without miss- 
ing even a single candle of the marching-past. 

' Where is my basket ? ' asked Angelique. 

Hubert was obliged to take and pass to her the 
basket of rose-leaves, which she held between her arms, 
pressed against her breast. 

' Oh that bell ! ' she at last murmured ; ' it seems as 
if it would lull us to sleep ! ' 

And still the waiting continued in the little vibrating 
house, sonorous with the musical movement ; the street 
and the great square waited, subdued by this great 
trembling, whilst the hangings on every side blew about 
more quietly in the air of the coming evening. The 
perfume of roses was very sweet. 

Another half-hour passed. Then at the same 
moment the two halves of the portal of Saint Agnes 
were opened, and they perceived the very depths of the 
church, dark in reality, but dotted with little bright 
spots from the tapers. First the bearer of the Cross 
appeared, a sub-deacon in a tunic, accompanied by the 
acolytes, each one of whom held a lighted candle in his 
hand. Behind them hurried along the Master of the 
Ceremonies, the good Abbe Cormlle, who, after having 
assured himself that everything was in perfect order in 
the street, stopped under the porch, and assisted a 
moment at the passing out, in order to be sure that the 
places assigned to each section had been rightly taken. 
The various societies of laymen opened the march : 
charitable associations, schools, by rank of seniority, and 
numerous public organisations. There were a great 
many children : little girls all in white, like brides, and 
little bareheaded boys, with curly hair, dressed in 



THE DREAM 173 

their best, like princes, already looking in every direc- 
tion to find where their mothers were. A splendid 
fellow, nine years of age, walked by himself in the 
middle, clad like Saint John the Baptist, with a sheep- 
skin over his thin, bare shoulders. Four little girls, 
covered with pink ribbons, bore a shield on which was 
a sheaf of ripe wheat. Then there were young girls 
grouped around a banner of the Blessed Virgin ; ladies 
in black, who also had their special banner of crimson 
silk, on which was embroidered a portrait of Saint 
Joseph. There were other and still other banners, in 
velvet or in satin, balanced at the end of gilded batons. 
The brotherhoods of men were no less numerous ; peni- 
tents of all colours, but especially the grey penitents in 
dark linen suits, wearing cowls, and whose emblem 
made a great sensation a large cross, with a wheel, to 
which were attached the instruments of the Passion. 

Angelique exclaimed with tenderness when the 
children came by : 

' Oh, the blessed darlings ! Do look at them all ! ' 
One, no higher than a boot, scarcely three years of 
age, proudly tottered along on his little feet, and looked 
so comical that she plunged her hands into her basket 
and literally covered him with flowers. He quite dis- 
appeared under them for an instant ; he had roses in 
his hair and on his shoulders. The exquisite little 
laughing shout he uttered was enjoyed on every side, 
and flowers rained down from all the windows as the 
cherub passed. In the_humming silence of the street 
one could now only hear the deafened sound of the 
regular movement of feet in the procession, while 
flowers by the handful still continued to fall silently upon 
the pavement. Very soon there were heaps of them. 



I 74 THE DREAM 

But now, reassured upon the good order of the lay- 
men, the Abbe Cornille grew impatient and disturbed, 
inasmuch as the procession had been stationary for 
nearly two minutes, and he walked quickly towards the 
head of it, bowing and smiling at the Huberts as he 
passed. 

' What has happened ? What can prevent them 
from continuing ? ' said Angelique, all feverish from 
excitement, as if she were waiting for some expected 
happiness that was to come to her from the other end 
that was still in the church. 

Hubertine answered her gently, as usual : 
' There is no reason why they should run.' 
' There is some obstruction evidently ; perhaps it is 
a reposoir that is still unfinished,' Hubert added. 

The young girls of the Society of the Blessed Virgin, 
the ' daughters of Mary ' as they are called, had already 
commenced singing a canticle, and their clear voices 
rose in the air, pure as crystal. Nearer and nearer the 
double ranks caught the movement and recommenced 
their march. 



THE DREAM 175 



CHAPTER X 

AFFER the civilians, the clergy began to leave the church, 
the lower orders coming first. All, in surplices, covered 
their heads with their caps, under the porch ; and each 
one held a large, lighted wax taper ; those at the right 
in their right hand, and those at the left in their left 
hand, outside the rank, so there was a double row of 
flame, almost deadened by the brightness of the 
day. First were representatives from the great semi- 
naries, the parishes, and then collegiate churches ; then 
came the beiieficed clergymen and clerks of the Cathedra^ 
followed by the canons in white pluvials. In their 
midst were the choristers, in capes of red silk, who 
chanted the anthem in full voice, and to whom all the 
clergy replied in lower notes. The hymn, 'Pange 
Lingua,' was grandly given. The street was now filled 
with a rustling of muslin from the flying winged sleeves 
of the surplices, which seemed pierced all over with tiny 
stars of pale gold from the flames of the candles. 

' Oh ! ' at last Angelique half sighed, ' there is Saint 
Agnes ! ' 

She smiled at the saint, borne by four clerks in 
white surplices, on a platform of white velvet heavily 
ornamented with lace. Each year it was like a new 
surprise to her, as she saw her guardian angel thus 



17 6 THE DREAM 

brought out from the shadows where she had been 
growing old for centuries, quite like another person under 
the brilliant sunshine, as if she were timid and blushing 
in her robe of long, golden hair. She was really so old, 
yet still very young, with her small hands, her little, 
slender feet, her delicate, girlish face, blackened by 

time. 

But Monseigneur was to follow her. Already the 
swinging of the censers could be heard coming from the 
depths of the church. 

There was a slight murmuring of voices as Angelique 
repeated : 

' Monseigneur, Monseigneur,' and with her eyes still 
upon the saint who was going by, she recalled to mind 
at this moment the old histories. The noble Marquesses 
d'Hautecoeur delivering Beaumont from the plague, 
thanks to the intervention of Agnes, then Jean V. and 
all those of his race coming to kneel before her image, to 
pay their devotions to the saint, and she seemed to see 
them all, the lords of the miracle, coming one by one 
like a line of princes. 

A large space had been left empty. Then the 
chaplain charged with the care of the crozier advanced, 
holding it erect, the curved part being towards him. 
Afterward came two censer-bearers, who walked back- 
wards and swung the censers gently from side to side, 
each one having near him an acolyte charged with the 
incense-box. There was a little difficulty before they 
succeeded in passing by one of the divisions of the door 
the great canopy of royal scarlet velvet, decorated with 
a heavy fringe of gold. But the delay was short, order 
was quickly re-established, and the designated officials 
took the supports in hand. Underneath, between his 



THE DREAM 177 

deacons of honour, Monseigneur walked, bareheaded, 
his shoulders covered with a white scarf, the two ends of 
which enveloped his hands, which bore the Holy Sacra- 
ment as high as possible, and without touching it. 

Immediately the incense-bearers resumed their 
places, and the censers sent out in haste, fell back again 
in unison with the little silvery sound of their chains. 

But Angelique started as she thought, where had she 
ever seen anyone who looked like Monseigneur ? She 
certainly knew his face before, but had never been 
struck by it as to-day ! All heads were bowed in 
solemn devotion. But she was so uneasy, she simply 
bent down and looked at him. He was tall, slight, 
and noble-looking ; superb in his physical strength, not- 
withstanding his sixty years. His eyes were piercing as 
those of an eagle; his nose, a little prominent, only seemed 
to increase the sovereign authority of his face, which was 
somewhat softened by his white hair, that was thick and 
curly. She noticed the pallor of his complexion, and it 
seemed to her as if he suddenly flushed from some un- 
known reason. Perhaps, however, it was simply a 
reflection from the great golden-rayed sun which he 
carried in his covered hands, and which placed him in a 
radiance of mystic light. 

Certainly, he to-day made her think of someone, but 
of whom ? As soon as he left the church, Monseigneur 
had commenced a psalm, which he recited in a low voice, 
alternating the verses thereof with his deacons. And 
Angelique trembled when she saw him turn his eyes 
towards their window, for he seemed to her so severe, 
so haughty, and so cold, as if he were condemning the 
vanity of all earthly affection. He turned his face 
towards the three bands of ancient embroidery Mary 

N 



I 7 8 THE DREAM 

and the Angel, Mary at the foot of the Cross, Mary 
being borne to Heaven and his face brightened. 
Then he lowered his eyes and fixed them upon her, but 
she was so disturbed she could not tell whether his 
glance was harsh or gentle ; at all events it was only ' 
for a moment, for quickly regarding the Holy Sacrament, 
his expression was lost in the light which came from the 
great golden vessel. The censers still swung back and 
forth with a measured rhythm, while a little blue cloud 
mounted in the air. 

But Angelique's heart now beat so rapidly she could 
scarcely keep still. Behind the canopy she had just 
seen a chaplain, his fingers covered with a scarf, who 
was carrying the mitre as devoutly as if it were a sacred 
object, Saint Agnes flying heavenward with the two 
angels, the work of her hands, and into each stitch of 
which she had put such deep love. Then, among the 
laymen who followed, in the midst of functionaries, of 
officers, of magistrates, she recognised Felicien in the 
front rank, slight and graceful, with his curly hair, his 
rather large but straight nose, and his black eyes, the 
expression of which was at the same time proud and 
gentle. She expected him ; she was not at all surprised 
to find him transformed into a prince ; her heart simply 
was overflowing with joy. To the anxious look which 
he gave her, as of imploring forgiveness for his falsehood, 
she replied -by a lovely smile. 

' But look ! ' exclaimed Hubertine, astonished at 
what she saw, ' is not that the young man who came to 
our house about the mitre ? ' 

She had also recognised him, and was much disturbed 
when, turning towards the young girl, she saw the latter 
transfigured, in ecstacy, avoiding a reply. 



THE DREAM 179 

{ Then he did not tell us the truth about himself? 
But why? Do you know the reason? Tell me, my 
dear, do you know who this young man is ? ' 

Yes, perhaps in reality she did know. An inner 
voice answered all these questions. But she dared not 
speak ; she was unwilling to ask herself anything. At 
the right time and at the proper place the truth would 
be made clear. She thought it was approaching, and 
felt an increase of pride of spirit, and of great love. 

' But what is it ? What has happened ? ' asked 
Hubert, as he bent forward and touched the shoulder of 
his wife. 

He was never present at the moment of an occur- 
rence, but always appeared to come from a reverie to the 
realisation of what passed about him. When the young 
man was pointed out to him, he did not recognise him 
at all. 

( Is it he ? I think not. No, you must be mis- 
taken ; it is not he.' 

Then Hubertine acknowledged that she was not 
quite sure. At all events, it was as well to talk no more 
about it, but she would inform herself later on. But 
the procession, which had stopped again in order that 
Monseigneur might incenso the Holy Sacrament, which 
was placed among the verdure of a temporary altar at 
the corner of the street, was now about to move on 
again ; and Angelique, whose hands seemed lost in the 
basket on her lap, suddenly, in her delight and confusion, 
made a quick movement, and carelessly threw out a 
great quantity of the perfumed petals. At that instant 
Felicien approached. The leaves fell like a little 
shower, and at last two of them fluttered, balanced 
themselves, then quietly settled down on his hair. 



t8o THE DREAM 

It was over. The canopy had disappeared round 
the corner of the Grand Rue, the end of the cortege went 
by, leaving the pavements deserted, hushed as if quieted 
by a dreamy faith, in the rather strong exhalation of 
crushed roses. Yet one could still hear in the distance, 
growing weaker and weaker by degrees, the silvery 
sound of the little chains of the swinging censers. 

' Oh mother ! ' said Angelique, pleadingly, ' do let 
us go into the church, so as to see them all as they come 
back.' 

Hubertine's first impulse was to refuse. But she, 
for her own part, was very anxious to ascertain what she 
could about Felicien, so she replied : 

' Yes, after a while, if you really wish to do so.' 

But they must, of course, wait a little. Angelique, 
after going to her room for her hat, could not keep still . 
She returned every minute to the great window, which 
was still wide open. She looked to the end of the street 
inquiringly, then she lifted her eyes as if seeking some- 
thing in space itself; and so nervous was she that she 
spoke aloud, as she mentally followed the procession 
step by step. 

' Now they are going down the Rue Basse. Ah ! 
see, they must be turning on the square before the Sous 
Prefecture. There is no end to all the long streets in 
Beaumont-la- Ville. What pleasure can they take in 
seeing Saint Agnes, I would like to know. All these 
petty tradesmen ! ' 

Above them, in the heavens, was a delicately rose- 
tinted cloud, with a band of white and gold around it, 
and it seemed as if from it there came a devotional peace 
and a hush of religious expectation. In the immobility 
of the air one realised that all civil life was suspended, 



THE DREAM 181 

as if God had left His house, and everyone was awaiting 
His return before resuming their daily occupations. 
Opposite them the blue draperies of the silversmith, and 
the red curtains of the wax-chandler, still barred the 
interior of their shops and hid the contents from view. 
The streets seemed empty ; there was no reverberation 
from one to the other, except that of the slow march of 
the clergy, whose progress could easily be realised from 
every corner of the town. 

' Mother ! mother ! I assure you that now they are at 
the corner of the Rue Magloire. They will soon come 
up the hill.' 

She was mistaken, for it was only half-past six, and 
the procession never came back before a quarter-past 
seven. She would have known well, had she not been 
over-impatient, that the canopy must be only at the 
lower wharf of the Ligneul. But she was too excited to 
think. 

' Oh ! mother dear ! do let us hurry, or we may not 
find any places.' 

{ Come, make haste then, little one,' at last Huber- 
tine said, smiling in spite of herself. ' We shall cer- 
tainly be obliged to wait a great while, but never 
mind.' 

' As for me, I will remain at home,' said Hubert. 
* I can take down and put away the embroidered panels, 
and then I will set the table for dinner.' 

The church seemed empty to them, as the Blessed 
Sacrament was no longer there. All the doors were 
wide open, like those of a house in complete disorder, 
where one is awaiting the return of the master. Very 
few persons came in ; the great altar alone, a sarcopha- 
gus of the severe Bomanesque style, glittered as if burn- 



1 82 THE DREAM 

ing at the end of the nave, covered as it was with stars 
from the flame of many candles; all the rest of the 
enormous building the aisles, the chapels, and the 
arches -seemed filled with shadow under the coniing-on 
of the evening darkness. 

Slowly, in order to gain a little patience, Angelique 
and Hubertine walked round the edifice. Low down, it 
seemed as if crushed, thickset columns supported the 
semicircular arches of the side-aisles. They walked 
the whole length of the dark chapels, which were buried 
almost as if they were crypts. Then, when they crossed 
over, before the great entrance portal, under the tri- 
forium of the organ, they had a feeling of deliverance as 
they raised their eyes towards the high, Gothic windows 
of the nave, which shot up so gracefully above the 
heavy Romanesque coursed work. But they continued 
by the southern side-aisle, and the feeling of suffocation 
returned again. At the cross of the transept four 
enormous pillars made the four corners, and rose to a 
great height, then struck off to support the roof. There 
was still to be found a delicate purple-tinted light, the 
farewell of day, through the rose windows of the side 
fronts. They had crossed the three steps which . led to 
the choir, then they turned by the circumference of the 
apse, which was the very oldest part of the building, 
and seemed most sepulchral. They stopped one moment 
and leaned against the ancient grating, which entirely 
surrounded the choir, and which was most elaborately 
wrought, that they might look at the flaming altar, 
where each separate light was reflected in the old 
polished oak of the stalls, most marvellous stalls, covered 
with rare sculptures. So at last they came back to the 
point from which they started, lifting up their heads as 



THE DREAM 183 

if they breathed more freely from the heights of the 
nave, which the growing shades at night drove farther 
away, and enlarged the old walls, on which were faint 
remains of paintings and of gold. 

' I know perfectly well that we are altogether too 
early,' said Hubertine. 

Angelique, without replying, said, as if to her- 
self: 

' How grand it is ! ' 

It really seemed to her as if she had never known 
the church before, but that she had just seen it for the 
first time. Her eyes wandered over the motionless sea 
of chairs, then went to the depth of the chapels, where 
she could only imagine were tombs and old funereal 
stones, on account of the increased darkness therein. 
But she saw at last the Chapel Hautecceur, where she 
recognised the window which had been repaired, with 
its Saint George, that now looked vague as a dream, in 
the dusk. She was unusually happy. 

At last there was a gentle shaking through .the 
whole building, and the great clock struck. Then the 
bell began to ring. 

' Ah ! now,' she said, ' look, for they are really coming 
up the Rue Magloire.' 

This time it was indeed so. A crowd invaded the 
church, the aisles were soon filled, and one realised that 
each minute the procession approached nearer and nearer. 
The noise increased with the pealing of the bells, with a 
certain rushing movement of air by the great entrance, 
the portal of which was wide open. 

Angelique, leaning on Hubertine's shoulder, made 
herself as tall as possible by standing upon the points of 
her feet, as she looked towards this arched open space, 



1 84 THE DREAM 

the roundness of whose top was perfectly defined in the 
pale twilight of the Place du Cloitre. The first to ap- 
pear was, of course, the bearer of the Cross, accompanied 
by his two acolytes with their candelabra ; and behind 
them the Master of the Ceremonies hurried along the 
good Abbe Cornille, who now seemed quite out of 
breath and overcome by fatigue. At the threshold of 
the door, the silhouette of each new arrival was thrown 
out for a second, clear and strong, then passed quickly 
away in the darkness of the interior. There were the 
laymen, the schools, the associations, the fraternities, 
whose banners, like sails, wavered for an instant, then 
suddenly vanished in the shade. One saw again the 
pale ' daughters of Mary,' who, as they entered, still 
sang with their voices like those of seraphim. 

The Cathedral had room for all. The nave was 
slowly filled, the men being at the right and the women 
at the left. But night had come. The whole place 
outside was dotted with bright points, hundreds of 
moving lights, and soon it was the turn for the clergy, 
the tapers that were held outside the ranks making a 
double yellow cord as they passed through the door. 
The tapers seemed endless as they succeeded each other 
and multiplied themselves ; the great seminary, the 
parishes, and the Cathedral ; the choristers still singing 
the anthem, and the canons in their white pluvials. 
Then little by little the church became lighted up, 
seemed inhabited, illuminated, overpowered by hundreds 
of stars, like a summer sky. 

Two chairs being unoccupied, Angelique stood upon 
one of them. 

' Get down, my dear,' whispered Hubertine, ' for 
that is forbidden,' 



THE DREAM 185 

But she tranquilly remained there, and did not 
move. 

' Why is it forbidden ? I must see, at all events. 
Oh ! how exquisite all this is ! ' 

At last she prevailed upon her mother to get upon 
the other chair. 

Now the whole Cathedral was glowing with a reddish 
yellow light. This billow of candles which crossed it 
illuminated the lower arches of the side-aisles, the depth 
of the chapels, and glittered upon the glass of some 
shrine or upon the gold of some tabernacle. The rays 
even penetrated into the apse, and the sepulchral crypts 
were brightened up by them. The choir was a mass of 
flame, with its altar on fire, its glistening stalls, and its 
old railing, whose ornamentation stood out boldly. And 
the flight of the nave was stronger marked than ever, 
with the heavy curved pillars below, supporting the 
round arches, while above, the numbers of little columns 
grew smaller and smaller as they burst forth among the 
broken arches of the ogives, like an inexpressible 
declaration of faith and love which seemed to come from 
the lights. In the centre, under the roof, along the 
ribs of the nave, there was a yellow cloud, a thick odour 
of wax, from the multitude of little tapers. 

But now, above the sound of feet and the moving of 
chairs, one heard again the falling of the chains of the 
censers. Then the organ pealed forth majestically, a 
glorious burst of music that filled to overflowing the 
highest arches as if with the rumbling of thunder. It 
was at this instant that Monseigneur arrived on the 
Place du Cloitre. The statue of Saint Agnes had 
reached the apse, still borne by the surpliced clerks, and 
her face looked very calm under the light, as if she were 



186 THE DREAM 

more than happy to return to her dreams of four cen- 
turies. At last, preceded by the crosier, and followed 
by the mitre, Monseigneur entered with his deacons 
under the canopy, still having his two hands covered 
with a white scarf, and holding the Blessed Sacrament 
in the same position as at first. The canopy, which was 
borne down the central aisle, was stopped at the railing 
of the choir, and there, on account of a certain unavoid- 
able confusion, the Bishop was for a moment made to 
approach the persons who formed his suite. Since 
Felicien had reappeared, Angelique had looked at him 
constantly. It so happened that on account of the 
pressure he was placed a little at the right of the canopy, 
and at that moment she saw very near together the 
white head of Monseigneur and the blonde head of the 
young man. That glance was a revelation ; a sudden 
light came to her eyes ; she joined her hands together as 
she said aloud : 

' Oh ! Monseigneur, the son of Monseigneur ! ' 

Her secret escaped her. It was an involuntary cry, 
the certainty which revealed itself in this sudden fact of 
their resemblance. Perhaps, in the depths of her mind, 
she already knew it, but she would never have dared to 
have said so ; whilst now it was self-evident, a fact of 
which there could be no denial. From everything 
around her, from her own soul, from inanimate objects, 
from past recollections, her cry seemed repeated. 

Hubertine, quite overcome, said in a whisper, ' This 
young man the son of Monseigneur ? ' 

Around these two the crowd had gradually accumu- 
lated. They were well known and were greatly ad- 
mired ; the mother still adorable in her simple toilette 
of linen, the daughter with the angelic grace of a cheru- 



THE DREAM 187 

bim, in her gown of white foulard, as light as a feather. 
They were so handsome and in such full view, as they 
stood upon their chairs, that from every direction eyes 
were turned towards them, and admiring glances given 
them. 

' But yes, indeed, my good lady,' said the mere 
Lemballeuse, who chanced to be in the group ; ' but yes, 
he is the son of Monseigneur. But how does it happen 
that you have not already heard of it ? And not only 
that, but he is a wonderfully handsome young man, and 
so rich ! Rich ! yes indeed, he could buy the whole town 
if he wished to do so. He has millions and millions ! ' 

Hubertine turned very pale as she listened. 

' You must have heard his history spoken of? ' con- 
tinued the beggar-woman. ' His mother died soon after 
his birth, and it was on that account that Monseigneur 
concluded to become a clergyman. Now, however, after 
all these years, he sent for his son to join him. He is, 
in fact, Felicien VII. d'Hautecceur, with a title as if he 
were a real prince. 

Then Hubertine was intensely grieved. But Angel- 
ique beamed with joy before the commencement of 
the realisation of her dream. She was not in the 
slightest degree astonished, for she had always known 
that he would be the richest, the noblest, and the hand- 
somest of men. So her joy was intense and perfect, 
without the slightest anxiety for the future, or suspicion 
of any obstacle that could possibly come between them. 
In short, he would in his turn now make himself known, 
and would tell everything. As she had fancied, gold 
would stream down with the little nickering flames of 
the candles. The organs would send forth their most 
glorious music on the occasion of their betrothal. The 



1 88 THE DREAM 

line of the Hautecoeurs would continue royally from the 
beginning of the legend Norbert I., Jean V., Felicien 
III., Jean XII., then the last, Felicien VII., who just 
turned towards her his noble face. He was the descen- 
dant of the cousins of the Virgin, the master, the superb 
son, showing himself in all his beauty at the side of his 
father. 

Just then Felicien smiled sweetly at her, and she 
did not see the angry look of Monseigneur, who had re- 
marked her standing on the chair, above the crowd, 
blushing in her pride and love. 

' Oh, my poor dear child ! ' sighed Hubertine. 

But the chaplain and the acolytes were ranged on 
the right and the left, and the first deacon having taken 
the Holy Sacrament from the hands of Monseigneur, he 
placed it on the altar. It was the final Benediction 
the Tantum ergo sung loudly by the choristers, the in- 
censes of the boxes burning in the censers, the strange, 
brusque silence during the prayer and in the midst of 
the lighted church, overflowing with clergy and with 
people, under the high, springing arches, Monseigneur 
remounted to the altar, took again in his two hands the 
great golden sun, which he waved back and forth in the 
air three times, with a slow sign of the Cross. 



THE DREAM 189 



CHAPTER XI 

THAT same evening, on returning from church, Angelique 
thought to herself, ' I shall see him again very soon, 
for he will certainly be in the Clos-Marie, and I will go 
there to meet him.' 

Without having exchanged a word with each other, 
they appeared to have silently arranged this interview. 
The family dined as usual in the kitchen, but it was eight 
o'clock before they were seated at the table. Hubert, 
quite excited by this day of recreation and of fete, was 
the only one who had anything to say. Hubertine, un- 
usually quiet, scarcely replied to her husband, but kept 
her looks fixed upon the young girl, who ate heartily 
and with a good appetite, although she scarcely seemed 
to pay any attention to the food, or to know that she put 
her fork to her mouth, so absorbed was she by her fancies. 
And under this candid forehead, as under the crystal of 
the purest water, Hubertine read her thoughts clearly, 
and followed them as they formed themselves in her 
mind one by one. 

At nine o'clock they were greatly surprised by a 
ringing of the door-bell. It proved to be the Abbe 
Cornille, who, notwithstanding his great fatigue, had 
come to tell them that Monseigneur the Bishop had 
greatly admired the three old panels of marvellous 
embroidery. 



190 THE DREAM 

' Yes, indeed ! and he spoke of them so enthusiasti- 
cally to me that I was sure it would please you to know 
it.' 

Angelique, who had roused up on hearing the name 
of Monseigneur, fell back again into her reveries as 
soon as the conversation turned to the procession. Then 
after a few minutes she got up. 

' But where are you going, dear ? ' asked Hubertine. 

This question startled her, as if she herself knew not 
why she had left her seat. 

' I am going upstairs, mother, for I am very tired.' 

In spite of this plausible excuse, Hubertine imagined 
the true reason that influenced her. It was the need 
of being by herself, the haste of communing alone with 
her great happiness. 

When she held her in her arms pressed against her 
breast, she felt that she was trembling. She almost 
seemed to avoid her usual evening kiss. Looking 
anxiously in her face, Hubertine read in her eyes the 
feverish expectation connected with the hoped-for 
meeting. It was all so evident to her that she promised 
herself to keep a close watch. 

' Be good, dear, and sleep well.' 

But already, after a hurried good-night to Hubert 
and to the Abbe Oornille, Angelique was halfway up the 
stairs, quite disturbed, as she realised that her secret 
had almost escaped her. Had her mother held her 
against her heart one second longer, she would have 
told her everything. When she had shut herself in her 
own room, and doubly locked her door, the light troubled 
her, and she blew out her candle. The moon, which 
rose later and later, had not yet appeared above the 
horizon, and the night was very dark. Without un- 



THE DREAM 191 

dressing, she seated herself before the open window, 
looked out into the deep shade, and waited patiently 
for the hours to pass. The minutes went by rapidly, as 
she was fully occupied with the one idea that as soon as 
the clock struck for midnight she would go down to 
find Felicien. As it would be the most natural thing 
in the world to do, she traced out her way, step by step, 
and every movement she would make with the most 
perfect composure. 

It was not very late when she heard the Abbe Cor- 
nille take his leave. Soon after, the Huberts, in their 
turn, came upstairs. Then it seemed to her as if some- 
one came out of their chamber, and with furtive steps 
moved cautiously as far as the foot of the stairway, then 
stopped, as if listening for a moment before returning. 
Then the house soon sank, as if in the quiet of a deep 
sleep. 

When the great church clock struck twelve, Angel- 
ique left her seat. ' Now I must go, for he is waiting 
for me.' She unlocked the door, and, passing out, 
neglected closing it after her. Going down the first 
flight of stairs, she stopped as she approached the room 
of the Huberts, but heard nothing nothing but the 
indefinable quivering of silence. Moreover, she was 
neither in a hurry, nor had she any fear, for being 
totally unconscious of any wrong intentions, she felt at 
perfect ease. It would have been quite impossible for 
her not to have gone down. An inward power directed 
and led her, and it all seemed so simple and right ; she 
would have smiled at the idea of a hidden danger. 
Once in the lower rooms, she passed through the kitchen 
to go out into the garden, and again forgot to fasten the 
shutters. Then she walked rapidly towards the little 



1 92 THE DREAM 

gate of the Clos-Marie, which she also left wide open 
after her. Notwithstanding the obscurity and the 
dense shadows in the field, she did not hesitate an 
instant, but went direct to the little plank which served 
as a bridge to the Chevrotte, crossed it, guiding herself 
by feeling the way, as if in a familiar place, where every 
tree and bush were well known to her. Turning to the 
right, under a great willow-tree, she had only to put 
out her hands to have them earnestly grasped by 
Felicien, whom she knew would be there in waiting 
for her. 

For a minute, without speaking, Angelique pressed 
Felicien's hands in hers. They could not see each other, 
for the sky was covered with a misty cloud of heat, and 
the pale moon, which had just risen, had not yet lighted 
it up. At length she spoke in the darkness, her heart 
filled to overflowing with her great happiness : 

' Oh, my dear seigneur, how I love you, and how 
grateful I am to you ! ' 

She laughed aloud at the realisation of the fact that 
at last she knew him ; she thanked him for being 
younger, more beautiful, and richer even than she had 
expected him to be. Her gaiety was charming ; it was 
a cry of astonishment and of gratitude before this present 
of love, this fulfilment of her dreams. 

' You are the king. You are my master ; and lo ! 
here am I, your slave. I belong to you henceforth, and 
my only regret is that I am of so little worth. But I 
am proud of being yours ; it is sufficient for you to love 
me, and that I may be in my turn a queen. It was 
indeed well that I knew you were to come, and so 
waited for you ; my heart is overflowing with joy since 
finding that you are so great, so far above me. Ah ! 



THE DREAM 193 

my dear seigneur, how I thank you, and how I love 
you.' 

Gently he put his arm around her as he said : 

' Come and see where I live.' 

He made her cross the Clos-Marie, among the wild 
grass and herbs, and then she understood for the first 
time in what way he had come every night into the field 
from the park of the Bishop's Palace. It was through 
an old gate, that had been unused for a long time, and 
which this evening he had left half open. Taking 
Angelique's hand, he led her in that way into the great 
garden of the Monseigneur. 

The rising moon was half-hidden in the sky, under 
a veil of warm mist, and its rays fell down upon them 
with a white, mysterious light. There were ' no stars 
visible, but the whole vault of heaven was filled with a 
dim lustre, which quietly penetrated everything in" this 
serene night. Slowly they walked along on the borders 
of the Chevrotte, which crossed the park ; but it was no 
longer the rapid rivulet rushing over a pebbly descent 
it was a quiet, languid brook, gliding along through 
clumps of trees. Under this mass of luminous vapour, 
between the bushes which seemed to bathe and float 
therein, it was like an Elysian stream which unfolded 
itself before them. 

Angelique soon resumed her gay chattering. 

' I am so proud and so happy to be here on your arm.' 

Felicien, touched by such artless, frank simplicity, 
listened with delight as she talked unrestrainedly, con- 
cealing nothing, but. telling all her inmost thoughts, as 
she opened her heart to him. Why should she even 
think of keeping anything back ? She had never harmed 
anyone, so she had only good things to say. 





I94 THE DREAM 

1 Ah, my dear child, it is I who ought to be exceed- 
ingly grateful to you, inasmuch as you are willing to 
love me a little in so sweet a way. Tell me once more 
how much you love me. Tell me exactly what you 
thought when you found out at last who I really was.' 

But with a pretty, impatient movement she inter- 
rupted him. 

' No, no ; let us talk of you, only of you. Am 1 
really of any consequence ? At all events, what matters 
it who I am or what I think ! For the moment you 
are the only one of importance.' 

And keeping as near him as possible, going more 
slowly along the sides of the enchanted river, she 
questioned him incessantly, wishing to learn everything 
about him, of his childhood, his youth, and the twenty 
years he had passed away from his father. ' I already 
know that your mother died when you were an infant, 
and that you grew up under the care of an uncle who 
is a clergyman. I also know that Monseigneur refused 
to see you again.' 

Then Felicien answered, speaking in a very low 
tone, with a voice that seemed as if it came from the 
far-away past : 

' Yes, my father idolised my mother, and it seemed 
to him as if I were guilty, since my birth had cost her 
her life. My uncle brought me up in entire ignorance of 
my family, harshly too, as if I had been a poor child 
confided to his cave. I had no idea of my true position 
until very recently. It is scarcely two years, in fact, 
since it was revealed to me. But I was not at all 
surprised in hearing the truth ; it seemed as if I had 
always half-realised that a great fortune belonged to me. 
All regular work weariel me ; I was good for nothing 



THE DREAM 195 

except to run about the fields and amuse myself. At last 
I took a great fancy for the painted windows of our 
little church.' Angelique interrupted him by laughing 
gaily, and he joined her in her mirth for a moment. 

' I became a workman like yourself. I had fully 
decided to earn my living by painting on glass, and 
was studying for that purpose, when all this fortune 
poured down upon me. My father was intensely dis- 
appointed when my uncle wrote him that I was a good- 
for-nothing fellow, and that I would never consent to 
enter into the service of the Church. It had been his 
expressed wish that I should become a clergyman ; 
perhaps he had an idea that in so doing I could atone 
for the death of my mother. He became, however, 
reconciled at last, and wished for me to be here and 
remain near him. Ah ! how good it is to live, simply 
to live,' he exclaimed. ' Yes, to live to love, and to be 
loved in return.' 

This trembling cry, which resounded in the clear 
night air, vibrated with the earnest feeling of his healthy 
youth. It was full of passion, of sympathy for his dead 
mother, and of the intense ardour he had thrown into 
this, his first love, born of mystery. It filled all his 
spirit, his beauty, his loyalty, his ignorance, and his 
earnest desire of life. 

' Like you,' he continued, ' I was, indeed, expecting 
the unknown, and the evening when you first appeared 
at the window I also recognised you at once. Tell me 
all that you have ever thought, and what you were in 
the habit of doing in the days that have passed.' But 
again she refused, saying gently : 

' No ; speak only of yourself. I am eager to know 
every petty incident of your life, so please keep nothing 

02 



196 



THE DREAM 



back. In that way I shall realise that you belong to 
me, and that I love you in the past as well as in the 
present.' 

She never would have been fatigued in listening to 
him as he talked of his life, but was in a state of joyous 
ecstasy in thus becoming thoroughly acquainted with 
him, adoring him like a little child at the feet of some 
saint. Neither of them wearied of repeating the same 
things: how much they loved each other and how 
dearly they were beloved in return. The same words 
returned constantly to their lips, but they always 
seemed new, as they assumed unforeseen, immeasurable 
depths of meaning. Their happiness increased as they 
thus made known the secrets of their hearts, and 
lingered over the music of the words that passed their 
lips. He confessed to her the charm her voice had 
alwavs been to him, so much so that as soon as he 
heard it he became at once her devoted slave. She 
acknowledged the delicious fear she always had at 
seeing his pale face flush at the slightest anger or dis- 

pleasure. 

They had now left the misty banks of the Chevrotte, 
arm-in-arm they entered under the shadows of the 



great elm-trees. 

' Oh ! this beautiful garden,' whispered Angelique, 
happy to breathe in the freshness which fell from the 
trees" ' For years I have wished to enter it ; and now 
I am here with you yes, I am here.' 

It did not occur to her to ask him where he was 
leading her, but she gave herself up to his guidance, 
underthe darkness of these Centenarian trees. The 
ground was soft under their feet ; the archway of leaves 
above them was high, like the vaulted ceiling of a 



THE DREAM 197 

church. There was neither sound nor breath, only the 
beating of their own hearts. 

At length he pushed open the door of a little 
pavilion, and said to her : ' Go in ; this is my home.' 

It was there that his father had seen fit to instal 
him all by himself, in this distant corner of the park. 
On the first floor there was a hall, and one very large 
room, which was now lighted by a great lamp. Above 
was a complete little apartment. 

' You can see for yourself,' he continued smilingly, 
' that you are at the house of an artisan. This is my 
shop.' 

It was a working-room indeed ; the caprice of a 
wealthy young man, who amused himself in his leisure 
hours by painting on glass. He had re-found the 
ancient methods of the thirteenth century, so that he 
could fancy himself as being one of the primitive glass- 
workers, producing masterpieces with the poor, un- 
finished means of the older time. An ancient table 
answered all his purposes. It was coated with moist, 
powdered chalk, upon which he drew his designs in red, 
and where he cut the panes with heated irons, disdain- 
ing the modern use of a diamond point. The muffle, a 
little furnace made after the fashion of an old model, 
was just now quite heated ; the baking of some picture 
was going on, which was to be used in repairing another 
stained window in the Cathedral ; and in cases on every 
side were glasses of all colours which he had ordered to 
be made expressly for him, in blue, yellow, green, and 
red, in many lighter tints, marbled, smoked, shaded, 
pearl-coloured, and black. But the walls of the room 
were hung with admirable stuffs, and the working 
materials disappeared in the midst of a marvellous 



I9 8 THE DREAM 

luxury of furniture. In one corner, on an old tabernacle 
which served as a pedestal, a great gilded statue of the 
Blessed Virgin seemed to smile upon them. 

' So you can work you really can work,' repeated 
Angelique with childish joy. 

She was very much amused with the little furnace, 
and insisted upon it that he should explain to her 
everything connected with his labour. Why he con- 
tented himself with the examples of the old masters, 
who used glass coloured in the making, which he shaded 
simply with black; the reason he limited himself to 
little, distinct figures, to the gestures and draperies of 
which he gave a decided character ; his ideas upon the 
art of the glass-workers, which in reality declined as 
soon as they began to design better, to paint, and to 
enamel it; and his final opinion that a stained-glass 
window should be simply a transparent mosaic, in 
which the brightest colours should be arranged in the 
most harmonious order, so as to make a delicate, shaded 
bouquet. But at this moment little did she care for 
the art in itself. These things had but one interest for 
her now that they were connected with him, that they 
seemed to bring her nearer to him and to strengthen 
the tie between them. 

'Oh!' she exclaimed, 'how happy we shall be to- 
gether. You will paint, while I embroider.' 

He had just retaken her hands, in the centre of this 
great room, in the luxury of which she was quite at her 
ease, as it seemed to be her natural surrounding, where 
her ^race would be fully developed. Both of them re- 
mained silent for a moment. Then she was, as usual, 
the first to speak. 

Now everything is decided upon, is it not?' 



THE DREAM 199 

' What ? ' lie smilingly asked, ' what do you mean ? ' 

' Our marriage.' 

He hesitated an instant. His face, which had been 
very pale, flushed quickly. She was disturbed at such 
a change. 

' Have I made you angry in any way ? ' 

But he had already conquered himself, and pressed 
her hands tenderly, with a grasp that seemed to cover 
everything. 

' Yes, it is decided upon, and it is sufficient for you 
to wish for a thing that it should be done, no matter 
how many obstacles may oppose it. Henceforward my 
one great desire in life will be to obey you.' 

Then her face beamed with perfect happiness and 
delight. 

She did not have a single doubt. All seemed to her 
quite natural, to be so well-arranged that it could be 
finished on the morrow with the same ease as in many 
of the miracles of the ' Golden Legend.' The idea never 
occurred to her that there could be the slightest hin- 
drance or the least delay. Since they really loved each 
other, why should they be any longer separated ? It 
was the most simple thing in the world for two persons 
who loved each other to be married. She was so secure 
in her happiness that she was perfectly calm. 

' Since it is agreed upon,' she said jokingly, ' give 
me your hand.' 

He took her little hand and kissed it, as he said : 

' It is all arranged.' 

She then hastened to go away, in the fear of being 
surprised by the dawn, and also impatient to relieve 
her mind of her secret. He wished to accompany 
her. 



200 THE DREAM 

1 No, no,' she replied. ' We should not get back 
before daylight. I can easily find the way. Good-bye 
until to-morrow.' 

' Until to-morrow, then.' 

Felicien obeyed, and watched Angelique as she ran, 
first under the shady elms, then along the banks of the 
Chevrotte, which were now bathed in light. Soon she 
closed the gate of the park, then darted across the Clos- 
Marie, through the high grass. While on her way, she 
thought it would be impossible to wait until sunrise, 
but that she would rap at the door of the Huberts' 
room as soon as she reached home, that she might wake 
them up and tell them everything. She was in such 
an expansion of happiness, such a turmoil of sincerity, 
that she realised she was incapable of keeping five 
minutes longer this great secret which had been hers 
for so long a time. She entered into their garden and 
closed the gate. 

And there, near the Cathedral, Angelique saw 
Hubertine, who waited for her in the night, seated 
upon the stone bench, which was surrounded by a small 
cluster of lilac-bushes. Awakened, warned by some 
inexpressible feeling, she had gone upstairs, then down 
again, and on finding all the doors open, that of the 
chamber as well as that of the house, she had under- 
stood what had happened. So, uncertain what it was 
best to do, or where to go, in the fear lest she might 
aggravate matters, she sat down anxiously. 

Angelique immediately ran to her, without em- 
barrassment, kissed her repeatedly, her heart beat- 
ing with joy as she laughed merrily at the thought 
that she had no longer need of hiding anything from 
her. 



THE DREAM 201 

' Oh, mother mine, everything is arranged ! We 
are to be married very soon, and I am so happy.' 

Before replying, Hubertine examined her closely. 
But her fears vanished instantly before the limpid eyes 
and the pure lips of this exquisite young girl. Yet 
she was deeply troubled, and great tears rolled down 
her cheeks. 

1 My poor, dear child,' she whispered, as she had 
done the previous evening in church. 

Astonished to see her in such a way, she who 
was always so equable, who never wept, Angelique 
exclaimed : 

' But what is the matter, dear mother ? It is, 
indeed, true that I have not done right, inasmuch as 
I have not made you my confidante. But you would 
pardon me if you knew how much I have suffered from 
it, and how keen my remorse has been. Since at first 
I did not speak, later on I did not dare to break the 
silence. Will you forgive me ? ' 

She had seated herself near her mother, and had 
placed her arm caressingly around her waist. The old 
bench seemed almost hidden in this moss-covered 
corner of the Cathedral. Above their heads the lilacs 
made a little shade, while near them was the bush of 
eglantine which the young girl had set out in the hope 
that it might bear roses ; but, having been neglected 
for some time, it simply vegetated, and had returned to 
its natural state. 

' Mother, let me tell you everything now. Come, 
libteii to me, please.' 



202 THE DREAM 



CHAPTER XII 

THEN, in a low tone, Angelique began her story. She 
related in a flow of inexhaustible words all that had 
happened, calling up the most minute details, grow- 
ing more and more excited at the recollection of them. 
She omitted nothing, but searched her memory as if it 
were for a confession. She was not at all embarrassed, 
although her cheeks grew very red and her eyes 
sparkled with flashes of pride ; yet she did not raise 
her voice, but continued to talk earnestly in a half- 
whisper. 

At length Hubertine interrupted her, speaking also 

very low : 

' Ah, my dear ! now you are too excited. You have 
indeed to correct yourself, for you are carried away by 
your feelings, as if by a great wind. Ah, my vain, 
my headstrong child, you are always the same little girl 
who refused to wash up the kitchen floor, and who kissed 
her own hands.' 

Angelique could not prevent herself from laughing. 

' No, do not laugh. It may be that by-and-by you 
will not have tears enough to weep. My poor darling, 
this marriage can never take place/ 

Again her gaiety burst out in a long musical 
laugh. 



THE DREAM 203 

' But mother, mother, what are you saying ? Do 
you wish to punish me by teasing me ? It is a very 
simple matter. This evening Felicien is to talk of it 
with his father. To-morrow he will come to arrange 
everything with you.' 

Could it be true that she believed all this ? 
Hubertine was distressed, and knew not what to do. At 
last she concluded it was best to be pitiless and tell her ; 
that it would be impossible for a little embroiderer 
without money and without name to marry Felicien 
d'Hautecoeur. A young man who was worth so many 
millions ! The last descendant of one of the oldest 
families of France ! No, that could never be. 

But at each new obstacle Angelique tranquilly 
replied : ' But why not ? ' It would be a real scandal, a 
marriage beyond all ordinary conditions of happiness. 
Did she hope, then, to contend against all the world ? 
' But why not ? ' Monseigneur is called very strict 
and very haughty, proud of his name, and severe in his 
criticisms in regard to all marks of affection. Could 
she dare to expect to bend him ? 

' But why not ? ' And, unshakable in her faith, in 
her firm, ingenuous manner she said : ' It is very odd, 
dear mother, that you should think people all so bad ! 
Especially when I have just assured you that every- 
thing is well under way, and is sure to come out all right. 
Do you not recollect that only two months ago you 
scolded me, and ridiculed my plans ? Yet I was right, 
and everything that I expected has come to pass.' 

' But, unhappy child, wait for the end ! ' 

Hubertine thought of the past, and was angry with 
herself, as she now reflected, more bitterly than ever 
before, that Angelique had been brought up in such 



204 THE DREAM 

ignorance. Again she predicted to her the hard lessons 
of the reality of life, and she would have liked to have 
explained to her some of the cruelties and abomina- 
tions of the world, but, greatly embarrassed, she could 
not find the necessary words. What a grief it would be 
to her if some day she were forced to accuse herself of 
having brought about the unhappiness of this child, who 
had been kept alone as a recluse, and allowed to dwell 
in the continued falsehood of imagination and dreams ! 

'Listen to me, dearest. You certainly would not 
wish to marry this young man against the wish of us 
all, and without the consent of his father ? ' 

Angelique had grown very serious. She looked her 
mother in the face, and in a serious tone replied : 

1 Why should I not do so ? I love him, and he loves 
me.' 

With a pang of anguish, Hubertine took her again 
in her arms, clasped her tenderly, but convulsively, and 
looked at her earnestly, but without speaking. The pale 
moon had disappeared from sight behind the Cathedral, 
and the flying, misty clouds were now delicately coloured 
in the heavens by the approach of the dawn. They 
were both of them enveloped in this purity of the early 
morn, in the great fresh silence, which was alone dis- 
turbed by the little chirping of the just-awakening birds. 

' But alas ! my dear child, happiness is only found in 
obedience and in humility. For one little hour of 
passion, or of pride, we sometimes are obliged to suffer 
all our lives. If you wish to be contented on this earth, 
be submissive, be ready to renounce and give up every- 
thing.' 

But feeling that she was still rebellious under her 
embrace, that which she had never said to anyone, that 



THE DREAM 205 

which she still hesitated to speak of, almost involun- 
tarily escaped from her lips : 

' Listen to me once more, my dear child. Yon think 
that we are happy, do yon not, your father and I. We 
should indeed be so had not our lives been embittered 
by a great vexation.' 

She lowered her voice still more, as she related 
with a trembling breath their history. The marriage 
without the consent of her mother, the death of their 
infant, and their vain desire to have another child, which 
was evidently the punishment of their fault. Still, they 
adored each other. They had lived by working, had 
wanted for nothing ; but their regret for the child they 
had lost was so ever-present that they would have been 
wretchedly unhappy, would have quarrelled, and perhaps 
even have been separated, had it not been that her 
husband was so thoroughly good, while for herself she 
had always tried to be just and reasonable. 

' Reflect, my daughter. Do not put any stumbling- 
block in your path which will make you suffer later on. 

Be humble, obey, check the impulse of your heart as much 

as possible.' 

Subdued at last, Angelique restrained her tears, but 

grew very pale as she listened, and interrupted her by 

saying : 

' Mother, you pain me terribly. I love him, and I 

am sure that he loves me.' 

Then she allowed her tears to flow. She was quite 

overcome by all she had listened to, softened, and with 

an expression in her eyes as if deeply wounded by the 

glimpse given her of the probable truth- of the case. 

Yet she could suffer, and would willingly die, if need be, 

for her love. 



2o6 THE DREAM 

Then Hubertine decided to continue. 
' I do not wish to pain you too deeply at once, yet 
it is absolutely necessary that you should know the 
whole truth. Last evening, after you had gone upstairs, 
I had quite a talk with the Abbe Cornille, and he ex- 
plained to me why Monseigneur, after great hesitation, 
had at last decided to call his son to Beaumont. One 
of his greatest troubles was-the impetuosity of the young 
man, the uncontrollable haste which he manifested to 
plunge into the excitement of life, without listening to 
the advice of his elders. After having with pain re- 
nounced all hope of making him a priest, his father 
found that he could not establish him in any occupation 
suitable to his rank and his fortune. He would never 
be anything but a headstrong fellow, restless, wandering, 
yielding to his artistic tastes when so inclined. He was 
alarmed at seeing in his son traits of character like those 
from which he himself had so cruelly suffered. At last, 
from fear that he might take some foolish step, and fall 
in love with someone beneath him in position, he wished 
to have him here, that he might be married at once. 

' Very well,' said Angelique, who did not yet under- 
stand. 

' Such a marriage had been proposed even before his 
arrival, and all preliminaries were settled yesterday, so 
that the Abbe Cornille formally announced that in the 
autumn Felicien would wed Mademoiselle Claire de 
Voincourt. You know very well the Hotel de Voincourt 
there, close to the Bishop's Palace. The family are very 
intimate with Monseigneur. On both sides, nothing 
better could be hoped for, either in the way of name or of 
fortune. The Abbe himself highly approves of the union.' 
The young girl no longer listened to these reasons 



THE DREAM 207 

of the fitness of things. Suddenly an image appeared 
to come before her eyes that of Claire. She saw her, 
as she had occasionally had a glimpse of her in the 
alleys of the Park during the winter, or as she had seen 
her on fete days in the Cathedral. A tall young lady, 
a brunette, very handsome, of a much more striking 
beauty than her own, and with a royal bearing and ap- 
pearance. Notwithstanding her haughty air, she was 
said to be very good and kind. 

' So he is to marry this elegant young lady, who is 
not only beautiful but very rich,' she murmured. 

Then, as if suddenly pierced by a sharp agony, she 
exclaimed : 

' He uttered a falsehood ! He did not tell me 
this ! ' 

She recollected now the momentary hesitation of 
Felicien, the rush of blood which had coloured his cheeks 
when she spoke to him of their marriage. The shock 
was so great that she turned deadly pale, and her head 
fell heavily on her mother's shoulders. 

' My darling, my dear darling ! This is. indeed, a 
cruel thing ; I know it well. But it would have been 
still worse had you waited. Take courage, then, and 
draw at once the knife from the wound. Repeat to 
yourself, whenever the thought of this young man comes 
to you, that never would Monseigneur, the terrible Jean 
XII., whose intractable pride, it appears, is still recollected 
by all the world, give his son, the last of his race, to a 
little embroiderer, found under a gateway and adopted 
by poor people like ourselves.' 

In her weakness, Angelique heard all this without 
making any objection. What was it she felt pass over 
her face ? A cold breath coming from a distance, from 



208 THE DREAM 

far above the roofs of the houses, seemed to freeze her 
blood. Was it true that her mother was telling her of 
this misery of the world, this sad reality, in the same 
way that parents relate the story of the wolf to unreason- 
able children ? She would never forget the shock and 
the grief of this first experience of a bitter disappointment. 
Yet, however, she already excused Felicien. He had 
told no falsehood ; he simply had been silent. Were 
his father to wish him to marry this young girl, no doubt 
he would refuse to do so. But as yet he had not dared 
to rebel. As he had not said anything to her of the 
matter, perhaps it was because he had just made up 
his mind as to what it was best for him to do. Before this 
sudden vanishing away of her air- castles, pale and weak 
from the rude touch of the actual life, she still kept her 
faith, and trusted, in spite of all, in the future realisa- 
tion of her dream. Eventually the fair promises for the 
future would come to pass, even although now her pride 
was crushed and she sank down into a state of humilia- 
tion and resignation. 

' Mother, it is true that I have done wrong, but I 
will never sin again. I promise you that I will be 
patient, and submit myself without a murmur of revolt 
to whatever Heaven wishes me to be.' 

It was true grace which spoke within her. The 
trial was great, but she was able to conquer, from the 
effects of the education she had received and the excel- 
lent example of the home life in which she had 
grown up. Why should she doubt the morrow, when 
until this present moment everyone near her had been 
so generous and so tender towards her ? She prayed 
that she might be able to have the wisdom of Catherine, 
the meekness of Elizabeth, the chastity of Agnes; and 



THE DREAM 209 

re-comforted by the aid of the saints, she was sure that 
they alone would help her to triumph over every trouble. 
Was it not true that her old friends the Cathedral, the 
Clos-Marie, and the Chevrotte, the little fresh house of 
the Huberts, the Huberts themselves, all who loved her, 
would defend her, without her being obliged to do any- 
thing, except to be obedient and good ? 

' Then, dear child, you promise me that you will 
never act contrary to our wishes, and above all against 
those of Monseigneur ? ' 

' Yes, mother, I promise.' 

' You also promise me not to see this young man 
again, and no longer to indulge in the foolish idea of 
marrying him ? ' 

At this question her courage failed her. She almost 
felt the spirit of rebellion rise again within her, as she 
thought of the depth of her love. But in a moment she 
bowed her head and was definitely conquered. 

' I promise to do nothing to bring about a meeting 
with him, and to take no steps towards our mar- 
riage.' 

Hubertine, touched to the heart, pressed the young 
girl most affectionately in her arms as she thanked her 
for her obedience. Oh! what a dreadful thing it was, 
when wishing to do good to the child she so tenderly 
loved, she was forced to make her suffer so intensely. 
She was exhausted, and rose up hastily, surprised that 
daylight had come. The little cry of the birds had in- 
creased in every direction, although as yet none were to 
be seen in flight. In the sky the clouds, delicate as 
gauze, seemed to float away in the limpid blueuess of 
the atmosphere. 

Then Angelique, whose look had mechanically fallen 



2IO THE DREAM 

upon her wild rose-bush, at last noticed it with its puny 
leaves. She smiled sadly as she said : 

' You were right, mother dear ; it will never be in 

blossom.' 

At seven o'clock in the morning Angelique was at 
her work as usual. The days followed each other, and 
every forenoon found her seated before the chasuble she 
had left on the previous evening. Nothing appeared to 
be changed outwardly ; she kept strictly her promise, 
shut herself up, and made no attempt whatever to see 
Felicien. This did not seem to depress her at all, but 
she kept her bright, youthful look, smiling sweetly at 
Hubertine when occasionally she saw her eyes fixed 
upon her as if astonished. However, in this enforced 
silence she thought only of him ; he was always in her 

mind. 

Her hope remained firm, and she was sure that in 
spite of all obstacles everything would come out all 
right in the end. In fact, it was this feeling of cer- 
tainty that gave her such an air of courage, of haughty 
rectitude, and of justice. 

Hubert from time to time scolded her. 

' You are over-doing, my dear ; you are really grow- 
ing pale. I hope at least that you sleep well at 

night.' 

Oh yes, father ! like a log ! Never in my life did 

I feel better than now.' 

But Hubertine, becoming anxious in her turn, pro- 
posed that they should take a little vacation, and said : 

' If you would like it, my child, we will shut up the 
house, and we will go, all three of us, to Paris for a while.' 

' Oh ! mother mine, of what are you thinking ? 
What would become of all our orders for work ? You 



THE DREAM 211 

know I ain never in better health than when closely 
occupied.' 

In reality, Angelique simply awaited a miracle, some 
manifestation of the Invisible which would give her to 
Felicien. In addition to the fact that she had promised 
to do nothing, what need was there of her striving, since 
in the beyond some unknown power was always working 
for her ? So, in her voluntary inaction, while feigning 
indifference, she was continually on the watch, listening 
to the voices of all that quivered around her, and to the 
little familiar sounds of this circle in which she lived 
and which would assuredly help her. Something must 
eventually come from necessity. As she leaned over 
her embroidery-frame, not far from the open window, 
she lost not a trembling of the leaves, not a murmur of 
the Chevrotte. The slightest sighs from the Cathedral 
came to her, magnified tenfold by the eagerness of her 
attention ; she even heard the' slippers of the beadle as 
he walked round the altar when putting out the tapers. 
Again at her side she felt the light touch of mysterious 
wings ; she knew that she was aided by the unknown, 
and at times she even turned suddenly, thinking that a 
phantom had whispered in her ear the way of gaining 
the hoped-for victory. But days passed and no change 
came. 

At night, that she need not break her word, Angel- 
ique at first did not go out upon the balcony, for fear of 
being tempted to rejoin Felicien, were she to see him 
below her. She remained quietly waiting in her cham- 
ber. Then, as the leaves even scarcely stirred, but 
seemed to sleep, she ventured out, and began to question 
the dark shadows as before. 

From whence would the miracle come ? Without 

P2 



2,2 THE DREAM 

doubt, in the Bishop's garden would be seen a flaming 
hand, which would beckon to her to approach. 

Or, perhaps, the sign would appear in the Cathedral, 
the great organs of which would peal forth, and would 
call her to the altar. 

Nothing would have surprised her: neither the 
doves of the ' Golden Legend ' bringing the words of bene- 
diction, nor the intervention of saints, who would enter 
through the walls, to tell her that Monseigneur wished 
to see her. The only thing at which she wondered was 
the slowness of the working of the marvel. Like the 
day, the nights succeeded nights, yet nothing, nothing 
manifested itself. 

At the close of the second week, that which aston- 
ished Angelique above all was that she had not seen 
Felicien. She, it was true, had pledged herself to take 
no steps towards meeting him, yet, without having said 
so to anyone, she thought he would do all in his power 
to find her. But the Clos-Marie remained deserted, and 
he no longer walked among the wild grasses therein. 
Not once during the past fortnight had she had a glimpse 
of him by day, or even seen his shadow in the evening. 
Still her faith remained unshaken ; that he did not come 
was simply that he was occupied in making his prepara- 
tions to rejoin her. However, as her surprise increased 
there was at length mingled with it a beginning of 
anxiety. 

At last, one evening the dinner, was sad at the em- 
broiderer's, and as soon as it was over Hubert went out, 
under the pretext of having an important commission to 
attend to, so Hubertine remained alone with Angelique 
in the kitchen. She looked at her for a long time with 
moistened eyes, touched by such courage. During the 



THE DREAM 213 

past fortnight not one word had been exchanged between 
them in reference to those things with which their 
hearts were full, and she was deeply moved by the 
strength of character and loyalty her daughter displayed 
in thus keeping her promise. A sudden feeling of deep 
tenderness made her open her arms, and the young girl 
threw herself upon her breast, and in silence they clasped 
each other in a loving embrace. 

Then, when Hubertine was able to speak, she 
said : 

' Ah ! my poor child, I have been impatient to be 
alone with you, for you must know that now all is at an 
end ; yes, quite at an end.' 

Startled, Angelique rose quickly, exclaiming : 

1 What ! is Felicien dead ? ' 

' No ! oh no ! ' 

' If he will never come again, it is only that he is 
dead.' 

So Hubertine was obliged to explain to her that the 
day after the procession she had been to see him, and 
had made him also promise that he would keep away 
from them until he had the full authorisation of 
Mon seigneur to do otherwise. It was thus a definite 
leave-taking, for she knew a marriage would be utterly 
impossible. She had made him almost distracted as she 
explained to him how wrongly he had done in thus com- 
promising a young, ignorant, confiding child, whom he 
would not be allowed to make his wife ; and then he 
had assured her, that if he could not see her again, he 
would die from grief, rather than be disloyal. 

That same evening he confessed everything to his 
father. 

' You see, my dear,' continued Hubertine, ' you are 



2I 4 THE DREAM 

so courageous that I can repeat to you all I know with- 
out hesitation. Oh ! if you realised, my darling, how I 
pity you, and what admiration I have for you since I 
have found you so strong, so brave in keeping silent and. 
in appearing gay when your heart was heavily burdened. 
But you will have need of even more firmness ; yes, 
much more, my dear. This afternoon I have seen the 
Abbe Cornille, and he gives me no encouragement what- 
ever. Monseigneur refuses to listen to the subject, so 
there is no more hope.' 

She expected a flood of tears, and she was astonished 
to see her daughter reseat herself tranquilly, although 
she had turned very pale. The old oaken table had 
been cleared, and a lamp lighted up this ancient ser- 
vants' hall, the quiet of which was only disturbed by 
the humming of the boiler. 

' Mother, dear, the end has not yet come. Tell me 
everything, I beg of you. Have I not a right to know 
all, since I am the one above all others most deeply in- 
terested in the matter ? ' 

And she listened attentively to that which Huber- 
tine thought best to tell her of what she had learned from 
the Abbe, keeping back only certain details of the life 
which was as yet an unknown thing to this innocent 
child. 



THE DREAM 215 



CHAPTER XIII 

SINCE the return of his son to him Monseigneur's days 
had been full of trouble. After having banished him 
from his presence almost immediately upon the death of 
his wife, and remaining without seeing him for twenty 
years, lo ! he had now come back to him in the pleni- 
tude and lustre of youth, the living portrait of the one 
he had so mourned, with the same delicate grace and 
beauty. This long exile, this resentment against a child 
whose life had cost that of the mother, was also an act 
of prudence. He realised it doubly now, and regretted 
that he had changed his determination of not seeing him 
again. Age, twenty years of prayer, his life as clergy- 
man, had not subdued the unregenerate man within him. 
It was simply necessary that this son of his, this child 
of the wife he had so adored, should appear with his 
laughing blue eyes, to make the blood circulate so 
rapidly in his veins as if it would burst them, as he 
seemed to think that the dead had been brought to life 
again. He struck his breast, he sobbed bitterly in 
penitence, as he remembered that the joys of married life 
and the ties springing therefrom were prohibited to the 
priesthood. The good Abbe Cornille had spoken of all 
this to Hubertine in a low voice and with trembling lips. 
Mysterious sounds had been heard, and it was whispered 



2i6 THE DREAM 

that Monseigneur shut himself up after twilight, and 
passed nights of combat, of tears and of cries, the violence 
of which, although partly stifled by the hangings of his 
room, yet frightened the members of his household. 
He thought that he had forgotten ; that he had con- 
quered passion ; but it reappeared with the violence of 
a tempest, reminding him of the terrible man he had 
been formerly the bold adventurer, the descendant of 
brave, legendary chieftains. Each evening on his knees 
he flayed his skin with haircloth, he tried to banish the 
phantom of the regretted wife by calling from its coffin 
the skeleton which must now be there. But she 
constantly appeared before him, living, in the delicious 
freshness of youth, such as she was when very young he 
had first met her and loved her with the devoted affection 
of maturity. The torture then recommenced as keen 
and intense as on the day after her death : he mourned 
her, he longed for her with the same revolt against God 
Who had taken her from him ; he was unable to calm 
himself until the break of day, when quite exhausted by 
contempt of himself and disgust of all the world. Oh ! 
this passion, this old Adam that he wished to crush in 
order to re-enter with humility into the sweet peace of 
Divine love ! When he went out of his room Monseigneur 
resumed his severe attitude, his expression was calm 
and haughty, and his face was only slightly pale. The 
morning when Felicien had made his confession he 
listened to him without interruption, controlling himself 
with so great an effort that not a fibre of his body 
quivered, and he looked earnestly at him, distressed 
beyond measure to see him, so young, so handsome, so 
eager, and so like himself in this folly of impetuous love. 
It was no longer with bitterness, but it was his absolute 



THE DREAM 217 

will, his hard duty to save his son from the ills which 
had caused him so much suffering, and he would destroy 
the passion in his child as he wished to kill it in himself. 
This romantic history ended by giving him great anxiety. 
Could it be true that a poor girl a child without a 
name, a little embroiderer, first seen under a pale ray of 
moonlight, had been transfigured into a delicate Virgin 
of the Legends, and adored with a fervent love as if in 
a dream ? At each new acknowledgment he thought 
his anger was increased, as his heart beat with such an 
inordinate emotion, and he redoubled his attempts at 
self-control, knowing not what cry might come to his 
lips. He had finished by replying with the single word, 
' Never ! ' Then Felicien threw himself on his knees 
before him, implored him, and pleaded his cause as well 
as that of Angelique, in the trembling of respect and of 
terror with which the sight of his father always filled 
him. Until then he had approached him only with 
fear. He besought him not to oppose his happiness, 
without even daring to lift his eyes towards his saintly 
personag'e. With a submissive voice he offered to go 
away, no matter where ; to leave all his great fortune to 
the Church, and to take his wife so far from there that 
they would never be seen again. He only wished to 
love and to be loved, unknown. Monseigneur shook 
from trembling as he repeated severely the word, ' Never! ' 
He had pledged himself to the Voincourts, and he would 
never break his engagement with them. Then Felicien, 
quite discouraged, realising that he was very angry, went 
away, fearing lest the rush of blood, which empurpled 
his cheeks, might make him commit the sacrilege of an 
open revolt against paternal authority. 

' My child,' concluded Hubertine, ' you can easily 



2i8 THE DREAM 

understand that you must no longer think of this young 
man, for you certainly would not wish to act in oppo- 
sition to the wishes of Monseigneur. I knew that 
beforehand, but I preferred that the facts should speak 
for themselves, and that no obstacle should appear to 
come from me.' 

Angelique had listened to all this calmly, with her 
hands listlessly clasped in her lap. Scarcely had she 
even dropped her eyelids from time to time, as with 
fixed looks she saw the scene so vividly described 
Felicien at the feet of Mouseigneur, speaking of her in 
an overflow of tenderness. She did not answer immedi- 
ately, but continued to think seriously, in the dead 
quiet of the kitchen, where even the little bubbling 
sound of the water in the boiler was no longer heard. 
She lowered her eyes and looked at her hands, which, 
under the lamplight, seemed as if made of beautiful 
ivory. Then, while the smile of perfect confidence came 
back to her lips, she said simply : 

' If Monseigneur refuses, it is because he waits to 
know me.' 

That night Angelique slept but little. The idea 
that to see her would enable at once Monseigneur to 
decide in her favour haunted her. There was in it no 
personal, feminine vanity, but she was under the influ- 
ence of a deep, intense love, and her true affection for 
Felicien was so evident, she was sure that when his 
father realised it he could not be so obstinate as to make 
them both unhappy. Many times she turned restlessly 
in her bed as she pictured what would happen. Before 
her closed eyes Monseigneur constantly passed in his 
violet-coloured robe. Perhaps it was, indeed, through 
him, and by him, that the expected miracle was to 



THE DREAM 219 

appear. The warm night was sleeping without, and 
she eagerly listened for the voices, trying to know what 
the trees, the Chevrotte, the Cathedral, her chamber 
itself, peopled with such friendly shadows, advised her 
to do. But there was only an indistinct humming, and 
nothing precise came to her. It seemed, however, as if 
mysterious whispers encouraged her to persevere. At 
last she grew impatient of these too slow certitudes, and 
as she fell asleep she surprised herself by saying : 
' To-morrow I will speak to Monseigneur.' 
When she awoke, her proposed plan seemed not only 
quite natural but necessary. It was ingenuous and 
brave ; born of a proud and great purity. 

She knew that at five o'clock on every Saturday 
afternoon Monseigneur went to kneel in the Chapel 
Hautecocur, where he liked to pray alone, giving him- 
self up entirely to the past of his race and to himself, 
seeking a solitude which was respected by all connected 
with the Cathedral. As it fortunately happened, this 
was a Saturday. She quickly came to a decision. At 
the Bishop's Palace, not only would she be apt to find 
it difficult to be received, but, on the other hand, 
there were always so many people about she would be 
ill at ease ; whilst it would be so simple to await him in 
the chapel, and to introduce herself to Monseigneur as 
soon as he appeared. That day she embroidered with 
her usual application and composure. Firm in her wish, 
sure of doing the right thing, she had no impatient 
fever of expectation. When it was four o'clock she spoke 
of going to see the mere Gabet, and went out, dressed 
as for an ordinary walk, wearing her little garden-hat 
tied carelessly under her chin. She turned to the 
left, and pushing open the linted, stuffed door of the 



2 2o THE DREAM 

portal of Saint Agnes, let it fall back heavily behind 
her. 

The church was empty ; alone, the confessional of 
Saint Joseph was still occupied by a penitent, the edge 
of whose black dress was just seen as one passed. An- 
gelique, who had been perfectly self-possessed until now, 
began to tremble as she entered this sacred, cold solitude, 
where even the little sound of her steps seemed to echo 
terribly. Why was it that her heart grew so oppressed ? 
She had thought she was quite strong, and the day had 
passed most peacefully she was so sure of being right 
in her desire to be happy. But now that she was 
ignorant of what might happen she turned pale as if 
guilty, quite frightened at thinking that she was to see 
Monseigneur, and that in truth she had come there ex- 
pressly to speak to him. She went quietly to the 
Chapel Hautecoeur, where she was obliged to remain 
leaning against the gate. 

This chapel was one of the most sunken and dark 
of the old Romanesque apse. Like a cave hewn in a 
rock, straight and bare, with the simple nerves of its 
low, vaulted ceiling, it had but one window, that of 
stained glass, on which was the Legend of St. George, 
and in whose panes the red and blue so predominated 
that they made a lilac-coloured light, as if it were 
twilight. The altar, in black and white marble, was 
unornamented, and the whole place, with its picture of 
the Crucifixion, and its two chandeliers, seemed like a 
tomb. The walls were covered with commemorative 
tablets, a collection from top to bottom of stones 
crumbling from age, on which the deeply-cut inscrip- 
tions could still be read. 

Almost stifled, Angelique waited, motionless. A 



THE DREAM 221 

beadle passed, who did not even see her, so closely hud 
she pressed herself against the interior of the iron 
railing. She still saw the dress of the penitent who 
was at the confessional near the entrance. Her eyes, 
gradually accustomed to the half-light, were mechanically 
fixed upon the inscriptions, the characters of which she 
ended by deciphering. Certain names struck her, 
calling back to her memory the legends of the Chateau 
d'Hautecoaur, of Jean V. le Grand, of Kaoul III., and of 
Herve VII. 

She soon found two others, those of Laurette and of 
Balbine, which brought tears to her eyes, so nervous 
was she from trouble and anxiety Laurette, who fell 
from a ray of moonlight, on. her way to rejoin her 
betrothed, and Balbine, who died from sudden joy at the 
return of her husband, whom she thought had been 
killed in the war. They both of them came back at night 
and enveloped the Castle with their immense, flowing 
white robes. Had she not seen them herself the day of 
their visit to the ruins, as they floated, towards evening, 
above the towers in the rosy pallor of the dusk ? Ah ! 
how willingly she would die as they did, although but 
sixteen years of age, in the supreme happiness of the 
realisation of her dream ! 

A loud noise which reverberated under the arches 
made her tremble. It was the priest who came out 
from the confessional of Saint Joseph and shut the door 
after him. She was surprised at no longer seeing the 
penitent, who had already gone. And when in his turn 
the clergyman went out by way of the sacristy, she 
realised that she was absolutely alone in the vast solitude 
of the Cathedral. At the loud sound of the door of the 
confessional, as it creaked on its hinges, she thought 



222 THE DREAM 

that Monseigneur was coining. It was nearly half an 
hour since she had expected him, yet she did not realise 
it, for her excitement prevented her from taking any 
note of time. 

Soon a new name drew her eyes towards the tablets 
Felicien III., who went to Palestine, carrying a candle 
in his hand, to fulfil a vow of Philippe le Bel. And 
her heart beat with pride as she saw before her, mentally, 
the youthful Felicien VII., the descendant of all these 
worthies, the fair-haired nobleman whom she adored, 
and by whom she was so tenderly loved. She suddenly 
became filled with pride and fear. Was it possible that 
she herself was there, in the expectation of bringing 
about a prodigy ? Opposite her there was a fresher 
plaque of marble, dating from the last century, the black 
letters upon which she could easily read. Norbert 
Louis Ogier, Marquis d'Hautecoeur, Prince of Mirande 
and of Rouvres, Count 'of Ferrieres, of Montegu and of 
Saint Marc, and also of Villemareuil, Chevalier of the 
four Royal Orders of Saint Esprit, Saint Michel, Notre 
Dame de Carmel and Saint Louis, Lieutenant in the 
Army of the King, Governor of Normandy, holding 
office as Captain-General of the Hunting, and Master of 
the Hounds. All these were the titles of Felicien's 
grandfather, and yet she had come, so simple, with her 
working-dress and her fingers worn by the needle, in 
hopes of marrying the grandson of this dead dignitary ! 
There was a slight sound, scarcely a rustling, ou the 
flagstones. She turned and saw Monseigneur, and 
remained motionless at this silent approach without the 
pomp and surroundings she had vaguely expected. He 
entered into the chapel, tall, erect, and noble -looking, 
dressed in purple, with his pale face, his rather large 



THE DREAM 223 

nose, and his superb eyes, which still seemed youthful 
in their expression. At first he did not notice her 
against the black gate. Then, as he was about to kneel 
down, he saw her before him at his feet. 

With trembling limbs, overcome by respect and fear, 
Angelique had fallen upon her knees. He seemed to 
her at this moment like the Eternal Father, terrible in 
aspect and absolute master of her destiny. But her 
heart was still courageous, and she spoke at once. 

' Oh! Monseigneur, I have come ' 

As for the Bishop, he had risen immediately. He 
had a vague recollection of her ; the young girl, seen 
first at her window on the day of the procession, and 
re-found a little later standing on a chair in the church ; 
this little embroiderer, with whom his son was so 
desperately in love. He uttered no word, he made no 
gesture. He waited, stern and stiff. 

' Oh ! Monseigneur, I have como on purpose that 
you may see me. You have, it is true, refused to accept 
me, but you do not know me. And now, here I am. 
Please look at me before you repel me again. I am the 
one who loves, and am also beloved, and that is all. 
Nothing beyond this affection. Nothing but a poor 
child, found at the door of this church. You see me at 
your feet, little, weak, and humble. If I trouble you it 
will be very easy for you to send me away. You have 
' ouly to lift your little finger to crush me. But think 
of my tears ! Were you to know how I have suffered, 
you would be compassionate. I wished, Monseigneur, 
to plead my cause in my turn. I love, and that is why 
I kneel before you, to tell you so, I am ignorant in 
many ways ; I only know I love. All my strength and 
all my pride is centred in that fact. Is not that suffi- 



224 THE DREAM 

cient ? It certainly makes one great and good to be 
able to say that one really loves.' 

She continued with sighs, and in broken phrases, to 
confess everything to him, in an unaffected outpouring 
of ardent feeling. It was a true affection that thus 
acknowledged itself. She dared to do so because she 
was innocent and pure. Little by little she raised her 
head. 

' We love each other, Monseigneur. Without doubt 
he has already told you how all this came to pass. As 
for me, I have often asked myself the question without 
being able to reply to it. But we love each other, and if 
it is a crime to do so, pardon it, I beseech you, for it 
came from afar, from everything in short that surrounded 
us. When I realised that I loved him, it was already 
too late to prevent it. Now, is it possible to be angry 
on that account ? You can keep him with you, make 
him marry some other person, but you cannot prevent 
him from giving me his heart. He will die without 
me, as I shall if obliged to part from him. When he 
is not by my side I feel that he is really near me, and 
that we will never be entirely separated, since we carry 
each other's life with us. I have only to close my eyes 
to re-see him when I wish, so firmly is his image im- 
pressed on my soul. Our whole natures are thus closely 
united for life. And could you wish to draw us away 
from this union ? Oh ! Monseigneur, it is divine ; do 
not try to prevent us loving each other ! ' 

He looked at her in her simple working-dress, PO 
fresh, so unpretending, and attractive. He listened to 
her as she repeated the canticle of their love in a voice 
that both fascinated and troubled him, and which grew 
stronger by degrees. But as her garden-hat fell upon 



THE DREAM 225 

her shoulders, her exquisite hair seemed to make a halo 
around her head of fine gold, and she appeared to him, 
indeed, like one of those legendary virgins of the old 
prayer-books, so frail was she, so primitive, so absorbed 
in her deep feeling of intense and pure affection. 

' Be good, be merciful, Monseigneur. You are the 
master. Do allow us to be happy ! ' 

She implored him, and finding that he remained un- 
moved, without speaking, she again bowed down her 
head. 

Oh ! this unhappy child at his feet ; this odour of 
youth that came up from the sweet figure thus bent 
before him ! There he saw, as it were again, the beauti- 
ful light locks he had so fondly caressed in the days 
gone by. She, whose memory still distressed him after 
twenty years of penitence, had the same fresh youthful- 
ness, the same proud expression, and the same lily-like 
grace. She had re-appeared ; it was she herself who 
now sobbed and besought him to be tender and merci- 
ful. 

Tears had come to Angelique, yet she continued to 
outpour her heart. 

' And, Monseigneur, it is not only that I love him, 
but I also love the nobility of his name, the lustre of his 
royal fortune. Yes, I know well that being nothing, that 
having nothing, it seems as if I were only desirous of 
his money. In a way, it is true it is also for his wealth 
that I wish to marry him. I tell you this because it is 
necessary that you should know me thoroughly. Ah ! 
to become rich by him and with him, to owe all my 
happiness to him, to live in the sweetness and splendour 
of luxury, to be free in our loving home, and to have no 
more sorrow, no misery around us ! That is my ideal ! 

Q 



226 THE DREAM 

Since lie has loved me I fancy myself dressed in heavy 
brocades, as ladies were in olden days ; I have on my 
arms and around my neck strings of pearls and precious 
stones ; I have horses and carriages ; groves in which I 
take long walks, followed by pages. Whenever I think 
of him my dream recommences, and I say to myself, " This 
must all come to pass, for it perfects my desire to become 
a queen." Is it, then, Monseigneur, a bad thing to love 
him more because he can gratify all my childish wishing 
by showering down miraculous floods of gold upon me 
as in fairy-tales ? ' 

He saw then that she rose up proudly, with a charm- 
ing, stately air of a true princess, in spite of her real 
simplicity. And she was always exactly like the fair 
maiden of other years, with the same flower-like 
delicacy, the same tender tears, clear as smiles. A 
species of intoxication came from her, the warm breath 
of which mounted to his face the same shadow of a 
remembrance which made him at night throw himself 
on his devotional chair, sobbing so deeply that he dis- 
turbed the sacred silence of the Palace. Until three 
o'clock in the morning of this same day he had contended 
with himself again, and this long history of love, this 
story of passion, would only revive and excite his incur- 
able wound. But behind his impassiveness nothing was 
seen, nothing betrayed his effort at self-control and his 
attempt to conquer the beating of his heart. Were he 
to lose his life's blood, drop by drop, no one should see 
it flow, and he now simply became paler, was silent and 
immovable. 

At last this great persistent silence made Angelique 
desperate, and she redoubled her prayers. 

' I put myself in your hands, Monseigneur. Do 




; 1 put myself in your hands, Afonseigiunr.' 



THE DREAM 227 

with me whatever you think best ; but have pity when 
deciding my fate.' 

Still, as he continued silent, he terrified her, and 
seemed to grow taller than ever as he stood before 
her in his fearful majesty. The deserted Cathedral, 
whose aisles were already dark, with its high vaulted 
arches where the daylight seemed dying, made the agony 
of this silence still harder to bear. In the chapel, where 
the commemorative slabs could no longer be seen, there 
remained only the Bishop in his purple cassock, that now 
looked black, and his long white face, which alone seemed 
to have absorbed all the light. She saw his bright eyes 
fixed upon her with an ever-increasing depth of expres- 
sion, and shrunk from them, wondering if it were 
possible that anger made them shine in so strange a way. 

' Monseigneur, had I not come to-day, I should have 
eternally reproached myself for having brought about 
the unhappiness of us both from my want of courage. 
Tell me then, oh, tell me that I was right in doing so, 
and that you will give us your consent ! ' 

What use would there be in discussing the matter 
with this child? He had already given his son the 
reasons for his refusal, and that was all-sufficient. That 
he had not yet spoken was only because he thought he 
had nothing to say. She, no doubt, understood him, 
and she seemed to wish to raise herself up that she might 
be able to kiss his hands. But he threw them behind 
him violently, and she was startled at seeing his white 
face become suddenly crimson, from a rush of blood to 
his head. 

1 Monseigneur ! Monseigneur ! ' 

At last he opened his lips, to say to her just one word, 
the same he had said to his son : 

Q2 



228 THE DREAM 

' Never ! ' 

And without remaining to pray that day, as was 
his wont, he left the chapel, and with slow steps soon 
disappeared behind the pillars of the apse. 

Falling on the flagstones, Angelique wept for a long 
time, sobbing deeply in the great peaceful silence of the 
empty church. 



THE DREAM 229 



CHAPTER XIV 

THAT same evening in the kitchen, after they left the 
dinner-table, Angelique confessed everything to Hubert, 
telling him of her interview with the Bishop, and of the 
latter's refusal. She was very pale, but not at all excited. 

Hubert was quite overcome. What ? Could it be 
possible that his dear child already suffered ? That she 
also had been so deeply wounded in her affections ? His 
eyes were filled with tears from his sympathy with her, 
as they were both of that excessively sensitive nature 
that at the least breath they were carried away by their 
imaginations. 

' Ah ! my poor darling, why did you not consult me ? 
I would willingly have accompanied you, and perhaps I 
might have persuaded Monseigneur to yield to your 
prayers.' 

With a look Hubertine stopped him. He was really 
unreasonable. Was it not much better to seize this 
occasion to put an end at once to all ideas of a marriage 
which would be impossible ? She took the young girl 
in her arms, and tenderly kissed her forehead. 

' Then, now it is ended, my dear child ; all ended ? ' 

Angelique at first did not appear to understand what 
was said to her. Soon the words returned to her as if 
from a distance. She looked fixedly before her, seem- 



230 THE DREAM 

ing anxious to question the empty space, and at last she 
replied : 

' Without doubt, mother.' 

Indeed, on the morrow she seated herself at the 
work-frame and embroidered as she was wont to do. 
She took up her usual routine of daily work, and did 
not appear to suffer. Moreover, no allusion was made 
to the past ; she no longer looked from time to time out 
of the window into the garden, and, gradually losing 
her paleness, the natural colour came back to her cheeks. 
The sacrifice appeared to have been accomplished. 

Hubert himself thought it was so, and, convinced of 
the wisdom of Hubertine, did all in his power to keep 
Felicien at a distance. The latter, not daring to openly 
revolt against his father, grew feverishly impatient, to 
such a degree that he almost broke the promise he had 
made to wait quietly without trying to see Angelique 
again. He wrote to her, and the letters were intercepted. 
He even went to the house one morning, but it was 
Hubert alone who received him. Their explanatory 
conversation saddened them both to an equal degree, so 
much did the young man appear to suffer when the 
embroiderer told him of his daughter's calmness and her 
air of forgetfulness. He besought him to be loyal, and 
to go away, that he might not again throw the child into 
the fearful trouble of the last few weeks. 

Felicien again pledged himself to be patient, but he 
violently refused to take back his word, for he was still 
hopeful that he might persuade his father in the end. 
He could wait ; he would let affairs remain in their 
present state with the Voincourts, where he dined twice 
a week, doing so simply to avoid a direct act of open 
rebellion. 



THE DREAM 231 

And as he left the house he besought Hubert to 
explain to Angelique why he had consented to the 
torment of not seeing her for the moment ; he thought 
only of her, and the sole aim of everything he did was 
to gain her at last. 

When her husband repeated this conversation to her, 
Hubertine grew very serious. Then, after a short silence, 
she asked : 

' Shall you tell our daughter what he asked you to 
say to her ? ' 

' I ought to do so.' 

She was again silent, but finally added : 

' Act according to your conscience. But he is now 
under a delusion. He will eventually be obliged to 
yield to his father's wishes, and then our poor, dear little 
girl will die in consequence.' 

Hubert, overcome with grief, hesitated. But after 
contending with himself, he concluded to repeat no- 
thing. Moreover, he became a little reassured each day 
when his wife called his attention to Angelique's tranquil 
appearance. 

* You see well that the wound is healing. She is 
learning to forget.' 

But she did not forget ; she also was simply wait- 
ing. All hope of human aid having died within her, she 
now had returned to the idea of some wonderful prodigy. 
There would surely be one, if God wished her to be 
happy. She had only to give herself up entirely into 
His hands ; she believed that this new trial had been 
sent to her as a punishment for having attempted to 
force His will in intruding upon Monseigneur. With- 
out true grace mankind was weak, and incapable of 
success. Her need of that grace made her humble, 



2 32 THE DREAM 

bringing to her as an only hope the aid of the Invisible ; 
so that she gave up acting for herself, but left everything 
to the mysterious forces which surrounded her. Each 
evening at lamplight she recommenced her reading of 
the ' Golden Legend,' being as delighted with it as when 
she was a young child. She doubted none of the miracles 
related therein, being convinced that the power of the 
Unknown is without limit for the triumph of pure souls. 

Just at this time the upholsterer of the Cathedral 
ordered of the Huberts a panel of the very richest 
embroidery for the throne of Monseigneur the Bishop. 
This panel, one yard and a half in width and three 
yards in length, was to be set in old carved wood, and 
on it were to be represented two angels of life-size, 
holding a crown, on which were to be the arms of the 
Hautecocurs. It was necessary that the embroidery 
should be in bas-relief, a work which not only required 
great artistic knowledge, but also needed physical 
strength, to be well done. When proposed to the 
Huberts, they at first declined the offer, being not only 
fearful of fatiguing Angelique, but especially dreading 
that she would be saddened by the remembrances which 
would be brought to her mind as she wrought thread 
after thread during the several weeks. But she in- 
sisted upon accepting the command, and every morning 
applied herself to her task with an extraordinary energy. 
It seemed as if she found her happiness in tiring herself, 
and that she needed to be physically exhausted in order 
to be calm. 

So in the old workroom life continued in the same 
regular way, as if their hearts had not even for a 
moment beaten more quickly than usual. Whilst 
Hubert occupied himself with arranging the frames, or 



THE DREAM 233 

drew the patterns, or stretched or relaxed the materials, 
Hubertine helped Angel ique, both of them having their 
hands terribly tired and bruised when evening came. 
For the angels and the ornaments it had been necessary 
at the beginning to divide each subject into several 
parts, which were treated separately. In order to per- 
fect the most salient points, Angelique first took 
spools of coarse unbleached thread, which she re-covered 
with the strong thread of Brittany in a contrary 
direction ; and as the need came, making use of a heavy 
pair of shears, as well as of a roughing-chisel, she 
modelled these threads, shaped the drapery of the 
angels, and detached the details of the ornaments. In 
all this there w r as a real work of sculpture. At last, 
when the desired form was obtained, with the aid of 
Hubertine she threw on masses of gold thread, which 
she fastened down with little stitches of silk. Thus 
there was a bas-relief of gold, incomparably soft and 
bright, shining like a sun in the centre of this dark, 
smoky room. The old tools were arranged in the same 
lines as they had been for centuries the punches, the 
awls, the mallets, and the hammers ; on the work-frame 
the little donkey waste-basket and the tinsel, the thim- 
bles and the needles, moved up and down as usual, 
while in the different comers, where they ended by 
growing rusty, the diligent, the hand spinning-wheel, 
and the reel for winding, seemed to sleep in the peace- 
ful quiet which entered through the open window. 

Days passed. Angelique broke many needles be- 
tween morning and evening, so difficult was it to sew 
down the gold, through the thickness of the waxed 
threads. To have seen her, one would have said she was 
so thoroughly absorbed by her hard work that she could 



234 THE DREAM 

think of nothing else. At nine o'clock she was ex- 
hausted by fatigue, and, going to bed, she sank at once 
into a heavy, dreamless sleep. When her embroidery gave 
her mind a moment's leisure, she was astonished not to see 
Felicien. Although she took no step towards seeking 
him, it seemed to her that he ought to have tried every 
possible way to come to her. Yet she approved of his 
wisdom in acting as he did, and would have scolded 
him had he tried to hasten matters. No doubt he also 
looked for something supernatural to happen. It was 
this expectation upon which she now lived, thinking 
each night that it would certainly come on the morrow. 
Until now she had never rebelled. Still, at times she 
lifted up her head inquiringly, as if asking c What ! has 
nothing yet come to pass ? ' And then she pricked her 
finger so deeply that her hand bled, and she was 
obliged to take the pincers to draw the needle out. 
When her needle would break with a sharp little sound, 
as if of glass, she did not even make a movement of 
impatience. 

Hubertine was very anxious on seeing her apply 
herself so desperately to her work, and as the time for 
the great washing had come again, she forced her to 
leave her panel of embroidery, that she might have four 
good days of active outdoor life in the broad sun- 
light. The mere Gabet, now free from her rheumatism, 
was able to help at the soaping and rinsing. It was a 
regular fete in the Clos-Marie, these last August days, 
in which the weather was splendid, the sky almost 
cloudless, while a delicious fragrance came up from the 
Chevrotte, the water of which as it passed under the 
willows was almost icy cold. The first day Angelique 
was very gay, as she beat the linen after plunging it 



THE DREAM 235 

in the stream ; enjoying to the full the river, the elms, 
the old ruined mill, the wild herbs, and all those 
friendly surroundings, so filled with pleasant memories. 
Was it not there she had become acquainted with 
Felicien, who under the moonlight had at first seemed so 
mysterious a being, and who, later on, had been so adora- 
bly awkward the morning when he ran after the dress- 
ing-sacque that was being carried away by the current ? 
As she rinsed each article, she could not refrain from 
glancing at the gateway of the Bishop's garden, which 
until recently had been nailed up. One evening she 
had passed through it on his arm, and who could tell 
but he might suddenly now open it and come to take 
her to the presence of his father ? This hope enchanted 
her as she applied herself to her work in the midst 
of the frothy foam that at times almost covered 
her. 

But the next day, as the mere Gabet brought the 
last barrow of linen, which she spread out on the grass 
with Angelique, she interrupted her interminable chat- 
tering upon the gossip of the neighbourhood to say 
maliciously : 

' By the way, you know that Monseigneur is to 
marry his son ? ' 

The young girl, who was just smoothing out a sheet, 
knelt down in the grass, her strength leaving her all at 
once, from the rudeness of the shock. 

' Yes, everyone is talking of it. The son of Mon- 
seigneur will in the autumn marry Mademoiselle de 
Voincourt. It seems that everything was decided upon 
and arranged yesterday.' 

She remained on her knees, as a flood of confused 
ideas passed through her brain, and a strange humming 



236 THE DREAM 

was in her ears. She was not at all surprised at the 
news, and she realised it must be true. Her mother 
had already warned her, so she ought to have been pre- 
pared for it. She did not yet even doubt Felicien's 
love for her, as that was her faith and her strength. 
But at the present moment, that which weakened her 
so greatly and excited vher to the very depths of her 
being was the thought that, trembling before the com- 
mands of his father, he could at last yield from weari- 
ness, and consent to wed one whom he did not love. 
Then he would be lost to her whom he really adored. 
Never had she thought such an act on his part possible ; 
but now she saw him obliged by his filial duty and his 
sense of obedience to make them both unhappy for ever. 
Still motionless, her eyes fixed upon the little gate, she 
at lasb revolted against the facts, feeling as if she must 
go and shake the bars, force them open with her hands, 
run to Felicien, and, aiding him by her own courage, 
persuade him not to yield. She was surprised to hear 
herself reply to the mere Gabet, in the purely mechanical 
instinct of hiding her trouble : 

'Ah ! then he is to marry Mademoiselle Claire. She 
is not only very beautiful, but it is said she is also very 
good.' 

Certainly, as soon as the old woman went away, she 
must go and find him. She had waited long enough ; 
she would break her promise of not seeing him as if it 
were a troublesome obstacle. What right had anyone 
to separate them in this way ? Everything spoke to 
her of their affection the Cathedral, the fresh water, and 
the old elm-trees under which they had been so happy. 
Since their affection had grown on this spot, it was 
there that she wished to find him again, to go with him 



THE DREAM 237 

arm-in-arm far away, so far that no one would ever see 
them. 

' That is all,' said at last the mere Gabet, as she 
hung the last napkins on a bush. ' In two hours they 
will be dry. Good-night, mademoiselle, as you no longer 
have need of me.' 

Now, standing in the midst of this efflorescence of 
linen that shone on the green grass, Angelique thought 
of that other day, when, in the tempest of wind, among 
the flapping of the sheets and tablecloths, they unfolded 
so ingenuously the secrets of their lives to each other. 
Why had he discontinued his visits to her ? Why had 
he not come to meet her during her healthy exercise of 
the past three days ? But it would not be long before 
she would run to him, and when he had clasped her in 
his arms, he would know well that he was hers, and hers 
only. She would not even need to reproach him for his 
apparent weakness ; it would be enough for her to show 
herself to make him realise that their happiness was in 
being together. 

He would dare everything for her sake when once 
she had rejoined him. 

An hour passed, and Angelique walked slowly be- 
tween the pieces of linen, all white herself from the 
blinding reflection of the sun ; and a confused sentiment 
awoke in her breast, which, growing stronger and 
stronger, prevented her from going over to the gate, as 
she had wished to do. She was frightened before this 
commencement of a struggle. What did it mean ? She 
certainly could act according to her own will. Yet 
something new, inexplicable, thwarted her and changed 
the simplicity of her passion. It was such a simple 
thing to go to a beloved one ; yet she could not pos- 



238 THE DREAM 

sibly do so now, being kept back by a tormenting 
doubt. Also, since she had given her promise, perhaps 
it would be wrong to break it. In the evening, when 
the whole ' wash ' was dry, and Hubertine came to help 
her to take it to the house, she was still undecided what 
to do, and concluded to reflect upon it during the night. 
With her arms filled to overflowing with linen, white as 
snow, and smelling fresh and clean, she cast an anxious 
look towards the Clos-Marie, already bathed in the twi- 
light, as if it were a friendly corner of Nature refusing 
to be her accomplice. 

In the morning Angelique was greatly troubled 
when she awoke. Several other nights passed without 
her having come to any decision. She could not re- 
cover her ease of mind until she had the certainty that 
she was still beloved. "Were her faith in that unshaken 
she would be perfectly at rest. If loved, she could bear 
anything. A fit of being charitable had again taken 
possession of her, so that she was touched by the slight- 
est suffering, and her eyes were filled with tears ready 
to overflow at any moment. The old man Mascart 
made her give him tobacco, and the Chouarts drew 
from her everything they wished, even to preserved 
fruits. But the Lemballeuses also profited by her gifts, 
and Tiennette had been seen dancing at the fetes, 
dressed in one of ' the good young lady's ' gowns. And 
one day, as she was taking to the grandmother some 
chemises promised her the previous evening, she saw 
from a distance, in the midst of the poor family, Madame 
de Voincourt and her daughter Claire, accompanied by 
Felicien. The latter, no doubt, had taken them there. 
She did not show herself, but r&turned home at 
once, chilled to the heart. Two days later she saw the 




S/ic sa-ni from a distance Claire, accompanied by Feliden. 



THE DREAM 239 

two again as they came out from the Chateau ; then 
one morning the old man Mascart told her of a visib 
he had received from the handsome young gentleman and 
two ladies. Then she abandoned her poor people, who 
seemed no longer to have claims upon her, since Felicien 
had taken them and given them to his new friends. She 
gave up her walks for fear she might see them, and thus 
be so deeply wounded that her sufferings would be in- 
creased tenfold. She felt as if something were dying 
within her, as if, little by little, her very life was passing 
away. 

One evening, after one of these meetings, when 
alone in her chamber, stifling from anguish, she uttered 
this cry : 

' But he loves me no longer.' 

She saw before her, mentally, Claire de Voincourt, 
tall, beautiful, with her crown of black hair, and he was 
at her side, slight, proud, and handsome. Were they 
not really created for each other, of the same race, so 
well mated that one might think they were already 
married ? 

' He no longer loves me ! Oh ! he no longer loves 
me ! ' 

This exclamation broke from her lips as if it were 
the ruin of all her hopes, and, her faith once shaken, 
everything gave way without her being able to examine 
the facts of the case or to regard them calmly. The 
previous evening she believed in something, but that 
had now passed by. A breath, coming from she knew 
not where, had been sufficient, and all at once by a single 
blow she had fallen into the greatest despair that of 
thinking she was not beloved. He had indeed spoken 
wisely when he told her once that this was the only real 



240 THE DREAM 

grief, the one insupportable torture. Now her turn 
had come. Until then she had been resigned, she felt 
so strong and confident as she awaited the miracle. But 
her strength passed away with her faith ; she was tor- 
mented by her distress like a child ; her whole being 
seemed to be only an open wound. And a painful 
struggle commenced in her soul. 

At first she called upon her pride to help her ; she 
was too proud to care for him any more. She tried to 
deceive herself, she pretended to be free from all care, as 
she sang while embroidering the Hautecreur coat of 
arms, upon which she was at work. But her heart was 
so full it almost stifled her, and she was ashamed to 
acknowledge to herself that she was weak enough to 
love him still in spite of all, and even to love him more 
than ever. For a week these armorial bearings, as they 
grew thread by thread under her fingers, filled her with 
a terrible sorrow. Quartered one and four, two and 
three, of Jerusalem and d'Hautecoeur ; of Jerusalem, 
which is argent, a cross potence, or, between four cross- 
crosslets of the last ; and d'Hautecoeur, azure, on a 
castle, or, a shield, sable, charged with a human heart, 
argent ; the whole accompanied by three fleurs-de-lys, 
or, two at the top and one in the point. The enamels 
were made of twist, the metals of gold and silver thread. 
What misery it was to feel that her hands trembled, and 
to be obliged to lower her head to hide her eyes, that 
were blinded with tears, from all this brightness. She 
thought only of him ; she adored him in the lustre of 
his legendary nobility. And when she embroidered the 
motto of the family, ' Si Dieu veult, je veuxj in black silk 
on a streamer of silver, she realised that she was his 
slave, and that never again could she reclaim him. 



"THE DREAM 241 

Then tears prevented her from seeing, while mechani- 
cally she continued to make little stitches in her work. 
After thia it was indeed pitiable. Angelique loved 
in despair, fought against this hopeless affection, which 
she could not destroy. She still wished to go to Felicien , 
to reconquer him by throwing her arms around his neck ; 
and thus the contest was daily renewed. Sometimes 
she thought she had gained control over her feelings, so 
great a silence appeared to have fallen within and around 
her. She seemed to see herself as if in a vision, a 
stranger in reality, very little, very cold, and kneeling 
like an obedient child in the humility of renunciation. 
Then it was no longer herself, but a sensible young girl, 
made so by her education and her home life. Soon a 
rush of blood mounted to her face, making her dizzy ; her 
perfect health, the ardent feelings of her youth, seemed 
to gallop like runaway colts, and she resaw herself, proud 
and passionate, in all the reality of her unknown origin. 
Why, then, had she been so obedient ? There was no 
true duty to consult, only free-will. Already she had 
planned her flight, and calculated the most favourable 
hour for forcing open the gate of the Bishop's garden. 
But already, also, the agony, the grave uneasiness, the 
torment of a doubt had come back to her. Were she 
to yield to evil she would suffer eternal remorse in con- 
sequence. Hours, most abominable hours, passed in 
this uncertainty as to what part she should take under 
this tempestuous wind, which constantly threw her 
from the revolt of her love to the horror of a fault. And 
she came out of the contest weakened by each victory 
over her heart. 

One evening, as she was about leaving the house to 
go to join Felicien, she suddenly thought of "her little 

R 



242 THE DREAM 

book from the Society of Aid to Abandoned Children. 
She was so distressed to find that she no longer had 
strength to resist her pride. She took it from the 
depths of the chest of drawers, turned over its leaves, 
whispered to herself at each page the lowness of her 
birth, so eager was she in her need of humility. Father 
and mother unknown ; no name ; nothing but a date 
and a number ; a complete neglect, like that of a wild 
plant that grows by the roadside ! Then crowds of 
memories came to her : the rich pastures of the Mievre 
and the cows she had watched there ; the flat route of 
Soulanges, where she had so often walked barefooted ; 
and Maman Nini, who boxed her ears when she stole 
apples. Certain pages specially attracted her by their 
painful associations : those which certified every three 
months to the visits of the under-inspector and of the 
physician, whose signatures were sometimes accom- 
panied by observations or information, as, for instance, 
a severe illness, during which she had almost died ; a 
claim from her nurse on the subject of a pair of shoes 
that had been burnt; and bad marks that had been 
given her for her uncontrollable temper. It was, in 
short, the journal of her misery. But one thing dis- 
turbed her above all others the report in reference to 
the breaking of the necklace she had worn until she 
was six years of age. She recollected that she had in- 
stinctively hated it, this string of beads of bone, cut in 
the shape of little olives, strung on a silken cord, and 
fastened by a medallion of plaited silver, bearing the 
date of her entrance into the ' Home ' and her number. 
She considered it as a badge of slavery, and tried 
several times to break it with her little hands, without 
any fear as to the consequences of doing so. Then, 



THE DREAM 243 

when older, she complained that it choked her. For a 
year longer she was obliged to wear it. Great, indeed, 
was her joy when, in the presence of the mayor of the 
parish, the inspector's aid had cut the cord, replacing 
this sign of individuality by a formal description, in 
which allusion was made to her violet-coloured eyes 
and her fine golden hair. Yet she always seemed to 
feel around her neck this collar, as if she were an animal 
that was marked in order that she might be recognised 
if she went astray ; it cut into her flesh and stifled her. 
When she came to that page on this day, her humility 
came back to her, she was frightened, and went up to 
her chamber, sobbing as if unworthy of being loved. 
At two other times this little book saved her. At last 
it lost its power, and could not help her in checking 
her rebellious thoughts. 

Now, her greatest temptation came to her at night. 
Before going to bed, that her sleep might be calm, she 
imposed upon herself the task of resuming reading the 
Legends. But, resting her forehead on her hands, not- 
withstanding all her efforts she could understand 
nothing. The miracles stupefied her ; she saw only a 
discoloured flight of phantoms. Then in her great bed, 
after a most intense prostration, she started suddenly 
from her sleep, in agony, in the midst of the darkness. 
She sat upright, distracted ; then knelt among the half 
thrbwn-back clothes, as the perspiration started from 
her forehead, while she trembled from head to foot. 
Clasping her hands together, she stammered in prayer, 
' Oh ! my God ! Why have You forsaken me ? ' 

Her great distress was to realise that she was alone 
in the obscurity at such moments. She had dreamed 
of Felicien, she was eager to dress herself and go to join 



244 THE DREAM 

him, before anyone could come to prevent her from 
fleeing. It was as if the Divine grace were leaving 
her, as if God ceased to protect her, and even the ele- 
ments abandoned her. In despair, she called upon the 
unknown, she listened attentively, hoping for some sign 
from the invisible. But there was no reply; the air 
seemed empty. There were no more whispering voices, 
no more mysterious rustlings. Everything seemed to 
be dead the Clos-Marie, with the Chevrotte, the wil- 
lows, the elm-trees in the Bishop's garden, and the 
Cathedral itself. Nothing remained of the dreams she 
had placed there ; the white flight of her friends in 
passing away left behind them only their sepulchre. 
She was in agony at her powerlessness, disarmed, like 
a Christian of the Primitive Church overcome by original 
sin. as soon as the aid of the supernatural had departed. 
In the dull silence of this protected corner she heard 
this evil inheritance come back, howling triumphant 
over everything. If in ten minutes more no help came 
to her from figurative forces, if things around her did 
not rouse up and sustain her, she would certainly suc- 
cumb and go to her ruin. ' My God ! my God ! why 
have You abandoned me ? ' Still kneeling on her 
bed, slight and delicate, it seemed to her as if she were 
dying. 

Each time, until now, at the moment of her greatest 
distress she had been sustained by a certain freshness. 
It was the Eternal Grace which had pity upon her, and 
restored her illusions. She jumped out on to the floor 
with her bare feet, and ran eagerly to the window. 
Then at last she heard the voices rising again ; invisible 
wings brushed against her hair, the people of the ' Golden 
Legend ' came out from the trees and the stones, and 



THE DREAM 245 

crowded around her. Her purity, her goodness, all that 
which resembled her in Nature, returned to her and 
saved her. Now she was no longer afraid, for she knew 
that she was watched over. Agnes had come back with 
the wandering, gentle virgins, and in the air she 
breathed was a sweet calmness, which, notwithstanding 
her intense sadness, strengthened her in her resolve to 
die rather than fail in her duty or break her promise. 
At last, quite exhausted, she crept back into her bed, 
falling asleep again with the fear of the morrow's trials, 
constantly tormented by the idea that she must succumb 
in the end, if her weakness thus increased each day. 

In fact, a languor gained fearfully upon Angelique 
since she thought Felicien no longer loved her. She 
was deeply wounded and silent, uncomplaining ; she 
seemed to be dying hourly. At first it showed itself by 
weariness. She would have an attack of want of breath, 
when she was forced to drop her thread, and for a mo- 
ment remain with her eyes half closed, seeing nothing, 
although apparently looking straight before her. Then 
she left off eating, scarcely taking even a little milk ; 
and she either hid her bread or gave it to the neigh- 
bours' chickens, that she need not make her parents 
anxious. A physician having been called, found no 
acute disease, but considering her life too solitary, 
simply recommended a great deal of exercise. It was 
like a gradual fading away of her whole being ; a dis- 
appearing by slow degrees, an obliterating of her 
physique from its immaterial beauty. Her form floated 
like the swaying of two great wings ; a strong light 
seemed to come from her thin face, where the soul was 
burning. She could now come down from her chamber 
only in tottering steps, as she supported herself by 



246 THE DREAM 

putting her two hands against the wall of the stairway. 
But as soon as she realised she was being looked at, 
she made a great effort, and even persisted in wishing 
to finish the panel of heavy embroidery for the Bishop's 
seat. Her little, slender hands had no more strength, 
and when she broke a needle she could not draw ifc 
from the work with the pincers. 

One morning, when Hubert and Hubertine had been 
obliged to go out, and had left her alone at her work, 
the embroiderer, coming back first, had found her on the 
floor near the frame, where she had fallen from her 
chair after having fainted away. She had at last suc- 
cumbed before her task, one of the great golden angels 
being still unfinished. Hubert took her in his arms, and 
tried to place her on her feet. But she fell back again, 
and did not recover consciousness. 

' My darling ! My darling ! Speak to me ! Have 
pity on me ! ' 

At last she opened her eyes and looked at him in 
despair. Why had he wished her to come back to life ! 
She would so gladly die ! 

' What is the matter with you, my dear child ? 
Have you really deceived us? Do you still love 
him?'* 

She made no answer, but simply looked at him with 
intense sadness. Then he embraced her gently, took 
her in his arms, and carried her up to her room. 
Having placed her upon her bed, when he saw how white 
and frail she was he wept that he had had so cruel a 
task to perform as to keep away from her the one whom 
she so loved. 

* But I would have given him to you, my dear ! 
Why did you say nothing to me ? ' 



THE DREAM 247 

She did not speak ; her eyelids closed, and she ap- 
peared to fall asleep. He remained standing, his looks 
fixed upon the thin, lily-white countenance, his heart 
bleeding with pity. Then, as her breathing had become 
quiet, he went downstairs, as he heard his wife come 
in. 

He explained everything to her in the working- 
room. Hubertine had just taken off her hat and gloves, 
and he at once told her of his having found the child on 
the floor in a dead faint, that she was now sleeping on 
her bed, overcome with weakness, and almost lifeless. 

' We have really been greatly mistaken. She thinks 
constantly of this young man, and it is killing her by 
inches. Ah ! if you knew what a shock it gave me, 
and the remorse which has made me almost distracted, 
since I have realised the truth of the case, and carried 
her upstairs in so pitiable a state. It is our fault. We 
have separated them by falsehoods, and I am not only 
ashamed, but so angry with myself it makes me ill. 
But what ? Will you let her suffer so, without saying 
anything to save her ? ' 

Still Hubertine was as silent as Angelique, and, 
pale from anxiety, looked at him calmly and soothingly. 
But he, always an excitable man, was now so overcome 
by what he had just seen that, forgetting his usual sub- 
mission, he was almost beside himself, could not keep 
still, but threw his hands up and down in his feverish 
agitation. 

'Very well, then! I will speak, and I will tell her 
that Felicien loves her, and that it is we who have had 
the cruelty to prevent him from returning, in deceiving 
him also. Now, every tear she sheds cuts me to the 
heart. Were she to die, I should consider myself as 



248 THE DREAM 

having been her murderer. I wish her to be happy. 
Yes ! happy at any cost, no matter how, but by all 
possible means.' 

He had approached his wife, and he dared to cry 
out in the revolt of his tenderness, being doubly irri- 
tated by the sad silence she still maintained. 

' Since they love each other, it is they alone who 
should be masters of the situation. There is surely 
nothing in the world greater than to love and be beloved. 
Yes, happiness is always legitimate.' 

At length Hubertine, standing motionless, spoke 
slowly : 

' You are willing, then, that he should take her from 
us, are you not ? That he should marry her notwith- 
standing our opposition, and without the consent of his 
father ? Would you advise them to do so ? Do you 
think that they would be happy afterwards, and that 
love would suffice them ? ' 

And without changing her manner she continued in 
the same heart-broken voice : 

1 On my way home I passed by the cemetery, and 
an undefinable hope made me enter there again. 1 
knelt once more on the spot that is worn by our knees, 
and I prayed there for a long time.' 

Hubert had turned very pale, and a cold chill replaced 
the fever of a few moments before. Certainly he knew 
well the tomb of the unforgiving mother, where they 
had so often been in tears and in submission, as they 
accused themselves of their disobedience, and besought 
the dead to send them her pardon from the depths of 
the earth. They had remained there for hours, sure 
that if the grace they demanded were ever granted them 
they would be cognisant of it a.t once. That for which 



THE DREAM 249 

they pleaded, that for which they hoped, was for another 
infant, a child of pardon, the only sign which would 
assure them that at last they themselves had been for- 
given. But all was in vain. The cold, hard mother, 
was deaf to all their entreaties, and left them under the 
inexorable punishment of the death of their firstborn, 
whom she had taken and carried away, and whom she 
refused to restore to them. 

' I prayed there for a long time/ repeated Hubertine. 
' I listened eagerly to know if there would not be some 
slight movement.' 

Hubert questioned her with an anxious look. 

' But there was nothing no ! 110 sound came up to 
me from the earth, and within me there was no feeling 
of relief. Ah ! yes, it is useless to hope any longer. 
It is too late. We brought about our own unhappiness.' 

Then, trembling, he asked : 

' Do you accuse me of it ? ' 

' Yes, you are to blame, and I also did wrong in 
following you. We disobeyed in the beginning, and 
all our life has been spoiled in consequence of that one 
false step.' 

' But are you not happy ?' 

' No, I am not happy. A woman who has no child 
can never be happy. To love merely is not enough. 
That love must be crowned and blest.' 

He had fallen into a chair, faint and overcome, as 
tears came to his eyes. Never before had she reproached 
him for the ever-open wound which marred their lives, 
and she who always after having grieved him by an 
involuntary allusion to the past had quickly recovered 
herself and consoled him, this time let him suffer, look- 
ing at him as she stood near, but making no sign, 



250 THE DREAM, 

taking no step towards him. He wept bitterly, ex- 
claiming in the midst of his tears : 

' Ah ! the dear child upstairs it is she you condemn. 
You are not willing that Felicien should marry her, as 
I married you, and that she should suffer as you have 

done.' 

She answered simply by a look : a clear, affectionate 
glance, in which he read the strength and simplicity of 
her heart. 

' But you said yourself, my dear, that our sweet 
daughter would die from grief if matters were not 
changed. Do you, then, wish for her death ?' 

' Yes. Her death now would be preferable to an 
unhappy life.' 

He left his seat, and clasped her in his arms as they 
both sobbed bitterly. For some minutes they embraced 
each other. Then he conquered himself, and she in her 
turn was obliged to lean upon his shoulder, that he 
might comfort her and renew her courage. They were 
indeed distressed, but were firm in their decision to 
keep perfectly silent, and, if it were God's will that their 
child must die in consequence, they must accept it sub- 
missively, rather than advise her to do wrong. 

From that day Angelique was obliged to keep in her 
room. Her weakness increased so rapidly and to such 
a degree that she could no longer go down to the work- 
room. Did she attempt to walk, her head became dizzy 
at once and her limbs bent under her. At first, by the 
aid of the furniture, she was able to get to the balcony. 
Later, she was obliged to content herself with going 
from her armchair to her bed. Even that distance 
seemed long to her, and she only tried it in the morning 
and evening, she was so exhausted. 



THE DREAM 251 

However, she still worked, giving up the embroidery 
in bas-relief as being too difficult, and simply making 
use of coloured silks. She copied flowers after Nature, 
from a bunch of hydrangeas and hollyhocks, which, 
having no odour, she could keep in her room. The 
bouquet was in full bloom in a large vase, and often she 
would rest for several minutes as she looked at it with 
pleasure, for even the light silks were too heavy for her 
fingers. In two days she had made one flower, which 
was fresh and bright as it shone upon the satin ; but 
this occupation was her life, and she would use her 
needle until her last breath. Softened by suffering, 
emaciated by the inner fever that was consuming her, 
she seemed now to be but a spirit, a pure and beautiful 
flame that would soon be extinguished. 

Why was it necessary to struggle any longer if 
Felicien did not love her ? Now she was dying with 
this conviction ; not only had he no love for her to-day, 
but perhaps he had never really cared for her. So long 
as her strength lasted she had contended against her 
heart, her health, and her youth, all of which urged her 
to go and join him. But now that she was unable to 
move, she must resign herself and accept her fate. 

One morning, as Hubert placed her in her easy 
chair, and put a cushion under her little, motionless 
feet, she said, with a smile : 

'Ah ! I am sure of being good now, and not trying 
to run away.' 

Hubert hastened to go downstairs, that she might 
not see his tears. 



252 THE DREAM 



CHAPTER XV 

IT was impossible for Angelique to sleep that night. 
A nervous wakefulness kept her burning eyelids from 
closing, and her extreme weakness seemed greater than 
ever. The Huberts had gone to their room, and at last, 
when it was near midnight, so great a fear came over 
her that she would die if she were to remain longer in 
bed, she preferred to get up, notwithstanding the im- 
mense effort required to do so. 

She was almost stifled. Putting on a dressing-gown 
and warm slippers, she crept along slowly as far as the 
window, which she opened wide. The winter was some- 
what rainy, but of a mild dampness ; so the air was 
pleasant to breathe. She sank back into her great arm- 
chair, after having turned up the wick of a lamp which 
was on a table near her, and which was always allowed 
to be kept burning during the entire night. There, by 
the side of the volume of the ' Golden Legend,' was the 
bouquet of hydrangeas and hollyhocks which she had 
begun to copy. That she might once more attach her- 
self to the life which she realised was fast passing from 
her she had a sudden fancy to work, and drawing her 
frame forward, she made a few stitches with her trem- 
bling fingers. The red silk of the rose-tremiere seemed 
of a deeper hue than ever, in contrast with her white 



THE DREAM 253 

hands : it was almost as if it were the blood from 
her veins which was quietly flowing away drop by 
drop. 

But she, who for two hours had turned in vain from 
side to side in the burning bedclothes, yielded almost 
immediately to sleep as soon as she was seated. Her 
head drooped a little toward her right shoulder, being 
supported by the back of her chair, and the silk remain- 
ing in her motionless hands, a looker-on would have 
thought she was still embroidering. White as snow, 
perfectly calm, she slept under the light of the lamp in 
the chamber, still and quiet as a tomb. The faded, 
rosy draperies of the great royal couch were paler than 
ever in their shady corner, and the gloom of the walls 
of the room was only relieved by the great chest of 
drawers, the wardrobe, and the chairs of old carved 
oak. Minutes passed ; her slumber was deep and 
dreamless. 

At last there was a slight sound, and Felicien 
suddenly appeared on the balcony, pale, trembling, 
and, like herself, looking very worn and thin, and his 
countenance distressed. When he saw her reclin- 
ing in the easy chair, pitiable and yet so beautiful to 
look at, he rushed at once into the chamber, and his 
heart grew heavy with infinite grief as he went forward, 
and, falling on his knees before her, gazed at her with 
an expression of utter despair. Could it be that she 
was so hopelessly ill ? Was it unhappiness that had 
caused her to be so weak, and to have wasted away to 
such a degree that she appeared to him light as air 
while she lay there, like a feather which the slightest 
breath would blow away ? In her sleep, her suffering 
and her patient resignation were clearly seen. He in 



254 THE DREAM 

fact would have known her only by her lily-like grace, 
the delicate outlines of her neck, her drooping shoulders, 
and her oval face, transfigured like that of a youthful 
virgin mounting towards heaven. Her exquisite hair 
was now only a mass of light, and her pure soul shone 
under the soft transparency of her skin. She had all 
the ethereal beauty of the saints relieved from their 
bodies. He was both dazzled and distressed ; the violent 
shock rendered him incapable of moving, and, with hands 
clasped, he remained silent. She did not awake as he 
continued to watch her. 

A little air from the half-closed lips of Felicien must 
ha^e passed across Angelique's face, as all at once she 
opened her great eyes. Yet she did not start, but in 
her turn looked at him with a smile, as if he were a 
vision. Yes, it was he ! She recognised him well, 
although he was greatly changed. But she did not 
think she was awake, for she often saw him thus in her 
dreams, and her trouble was increased^ when, rousing 
from her sleep, she realised the truth. 

He held his hands out towards her and spoke : 
' My dearest, I love you. I was told that you were 
ill, and came to you immediately. Look at me ! Here 
I am, and I love you.' 

She straightened herself up quickly. She shuddered, 
as with a mechanical movement she passed her fingers 
over her eyes. 

' Doubt no longer, then. See me at your feet, and 
realise that I love you now, as I have ever done.' 
Then she exclaimed : 

' Oh ! is it you ? I had given up expecting you, and 
yet you are here.' 

With her feeble, trembling hands, she had taken his, 



THE DREAM 255 

thus assuring herself that he was not a fanciful vision of 
her sleep. 

He continued : 

' You have always loved me, and I love you for ever. 
Yes, notwithstanding everything; and more deeply 
even than I should have ever thought it possible to 
do.' 

It was an unhoped-for excess of happiness, and in 
this first minute of absolute joy they forgot everything 
else in the world, giving themselves up to the delight- 
ful certainty of their mutual affection, and their ability 
to declare it. The sufferings of the past, the obstacles 
of the future, had disappeared as if by magic. They 
did not even think of asking how it was that they had 
thus come together. But there they were, mingling 
their tears of joy together as they embraced each other 
with the purest of feelings : he was overcome with pity 
that she was so worn by grief and illness that she 
seemed like a mere shadow in his arms. In the en- 
chantment of her surprise she remained half-paralysed, 
trembling from exhaustion, radiant with spiritual beauty, 
as she lay back in her great easy chair, so physically 
weary that she could not raise herself without falling 
again, but intoxicated with this supreme contentment. 

' Ah, dear Seigneur, my only remaining wish is 
gratified. I longed to see you before death came.' 

He lifted up his head, as with a despairing move- 
ment, and said : 

' Do not speak of dying. It shall not be. I am here, 
and I love you.' 

She smiled angelically. 

' I am not afraid to die now that you have assured 
me of your affection. The idea no longer terrifies me. 



256 THE DREAM 

I could easily fall asleep in this way, while leaning on 
your shoulders. Tell me once more that you love 
me.' 

' I love you as deeply to-day as I loved you yester- 
day, and as I will love you on the morrow. Do not 
doubt it for one moment, for it is for eternity! Oh, 
yes, we will love each other for ever and ever.' 

Angelique was enraptured, and with vague eyes 
looked directly before her, as if seeing something be- 
yond the cold whiteness of the chamber. But evidently 
she aroused herself, as if just awaking from sleep. In 
the midst of this great felicity which had appeased her, 
she had now had time for reflection. The true facts of 
the case astonished her. 

' You have loved me ! Yet why did you not at once 
come to see me ? ' 

* Your parents said that you cared for me no longer. 
I also nearly died when learning that. At last, I 
was determined to know the whole truth, and was sent 
away from the house, the door being absolutely closed 
against me, and I was forbidden to return.' 

O 

' Then they shut the door in your face ? Yet my 
mother told me that you did not love me, and I could 
but believe her, since, having seen you several times 
with that young lady, Mademoiselle Claire, I thought 
naturally you were obeying your father.' 

' No. I was waiting. But it was cowardly on my 
part thus to tremble before him. My great mistake has 
been to allow the matter to go so far ; for my duty was 
to have trusted only in you, to have insisted upon seeing 
you personally, and to have acted with you.' 

There was a short silence. Angelique sat erect for 
an instant, as if she had received a blow, and her ex- 



THE DREAM 257 

pression grew cold and hard, and her forehead was cut 
by an angry wrinkle. 

' So we have both of us been deceived. Falsehoods 
have been told in order to separate us from each other. 
Notwithstanding our mutual love, we have been tortured 
to such a degree that they have almost killed us both. 
Very well, then ! It is abominable, and it frees us 
from the promises we made. We are now at liberty to 
act as we will.' 

An intense feeling of contempt so excited her that 
she stood up on her feet. She no longer realised that 
she was ill, but appeared to have regained her strength 
miraculously in the reawakening of ail the passion and 
pride of her nature. To have thought her dream ended, 
and all at once to have refound it in its full beauty and 
vitality, delighted her. To be able to say that they 
had done nothing unworthy their love, but that it was 
other persons who had been the guilty ones, was a 
comfort. This growth of herself, this at last certain 
triumph, exalted her and threw her into a supreme 
rebellion. 

She simply said : 

' Come, let us go.' 

And she walked around the room, brave in the 
return of her energy and her will. She had already 
selected a mantle to throw over her shoulders. A lace 
scarf would be sufficient for her head. 

Felicien uttered one cry of joy as she thus antici- 
pated his desire. He had merely thought of this flight, 
but had not had the boldness to dare propose it ; and 
how delightful indeed it would be to go away together, 
to disappear, and thus put an end to all cares, to over- 
come all obstacles. The sooner it was done the better, 



258 THE DREAM 

for then they would avoid having to contend with 
reflection or afterthought. 

' Yes, darling, let us go immediately. I was coming 
to take you. I know where we can find a carriage. 
Before daylight we will be far away : so far that no one 
will ever be able to overtake us.' 

She opened her drawers, but closed them again 
violently, without taking anything therefrom, as her 
excitement increased. Could it be possible that she 
had suffered such torture for so many weeks ! , She had 
done everything in her power to drive him from her 
mind, to try to convince herself that he cared no more 
for her, until at last she thought she had succeeded in 
doing so. But it was of no use, and all this abominable 
work must be done over again. No ! she could never 
have strength sufficient for that. Since they loved 
each other, the simplest thing in the world to do was to 
be married, and then no power on earth could separate 
them. 

' Let me see. What ought I to take ? Oh ! how 
foolish I have been with all my childish scruples, when 
I think that others have lowered themselves so much 
as even to tell us falsehoods ! Yes ! even were I to 
have died, they would not have called you to me. But, 
tell me, must I take linen and dresses ? See, here is a 
warmer gown. What strange ideas, what unnumbered 
obstacles, they put in my head. There was good on 
one side and evil on the other : things which one might 
do, and again that which one should never do ; in short, 
such' a complication of matters, it was enough to make 
one wild. They were all falsehoods : there was no truth 
in any of them. The only real happiness is to live to 
love the one who loves you, and to obey the promptings 



THE DREAM 259 

of the heart. You are the personification of fortune, 
of beauty, and of youth, my dear Seigneur ; my only 
pleasure is in you. I give myself to you freely, and you 
may do with me what you wish.' 

She rejoiced in this breaking-out of all the here- 
ditary tendencies of her nature, which she thought had 
died within her. Sounds of distant music excited her. 
She saw as it were their royal departure : this son of a 
prince carrying her away as in a fairy-tale, and making 
her queen of some imaginary realm ; and she was ready 
to follow him with her arms clasped around his neck, 
her head upon his breast, with such a trembling from 
intense feeling that her whole body grew weak from 
happiness. To be alone together, just they two, to 
abandon themselves to the galloping of horses, to flee 
away, and to disappear in each other's arms. What 
perfect bliss it would be ! 

' Is it not better for me to take nothing ? What 
good would it do in reality ? ' 

He, partaking of her feverishness, was already at the 
door, as he replied : 

1 No, no ! Take nothing whatever. Let us go at 
once.' 

' Yes, let us go. That is the best thing to 
do.' 

And she rejoined him. But she turned round, 
wishing to give a last look at the chamber. The lamp 
was burning with the same soft light, the bouquet of 
hydrangeas and hollyhocks was blooming as ever, and 
in her work-frame the unfinished rose, bright and 
natural as life, seemed to be waiting for her. But the 
room itself especially affected her. Never before had it 
seemed so white and pure to her ; the walls, the bed, 

8 2 



a6o THE DREAM 

the air even, appeared as if filled with a clear, white 
breath. 

Something within her wavered, and she was obliged 
to lean heavily against the back of a chair that was near 
her and not far from the door. 

' What is the matter ? ' asked Felicien anxiously. 

She did not reply, but breathed with great difficulty. 
Then, seized with a trembling, she could no longer 
bear her weight on her feet, but was forced to sit 
down. 

{ Do not be anxious ; it is nothing. I only want to 
rest for a minute and then we will go.' 

They were silent. She continued to look round the 
room as if she had forgotten some valuable object there, 
but could not tell what it was. It was a regret, at first 
slight, but which rapidly increased and filled her heart 
by degrees, until it almost stifled her. She could no 
longer collect her thoughts. Was it this mass of white- 
ness that kept her back ? She had always adored 
white, even to such a degree as to collect bits of silk 
and revel over them in secret. 

' One moment, just one moment more, and we will 
go away, my dear Seigneur.' 

But she did not even make an effort to rise. Very 
anxious, he again knelt before her. 

' Are you suffering, my dear ? Cannot I do some- 
thing to make you feel better ? If you are shivering 
because you are cold, I will take your little feet in my 
hands, and will so warm them that they will grow strong 
and be able to run.' 

She shook her head as she replied : 

' No, no, I am not cold. I could walk. But please 
wait a little, just a single minute.' 



THE DREAM 261 

He saw well that invisible chains seemed again to 
have taken possession of her limbs, and, little by little, 
were attaching themselves so strongly to her that very 
soon, perhaps, it would be quite impossible for him to 
draw her away. Yet, if he did not take her from there 
at once, if they did not flee together, he thought of the 
inevitable contest with his father on the morrow, of the 
distressing interview before which he had recoiled for 
weeks past. Then he became pressing, and besought 
her most ardently. 

' Come, dear, the highways are not light at this 
hour ; the carriage will bear us away in the darkness, 
and we will go on and on, cradled in each other's arms, 
sleeping as if warmly covered with down, not fearing 
the night's freshness ; and when the day dawns we will 
continue our route in the sunshine, as we go still farther 
on, until we reach the country where people are always 
happy. No one will know us there ; we will live 
by ourselves, lost in some great garden, having no other 
care than to love each other more deeply than ever at 
the coming of each new day. We shall find flowers as 
large as trees, fruits sweeter than honey. And we will 
live on nothing, for in the midst of this eternal spring, 
dear soul, we will live on our kisses.' 

She trembled under these burning words, with which 
he heated her face, and her whole being seemed to be 
fainting away at the representation of these promised 

joys- 

' Oh ! in a few minutes I w r ill be ready ; but wait a 
little longer.' 

'Then, if journeying fatigues us, we will come back 
here. We will rebuild the Chateau d'Hautecosur, and 
we will pass the rest of our lives there. That is my 



262 THE DREAM 

ideal dream. If it is necessary, we will spend willingly 
all our fortune therein. Once more shall its donjon 
overlook from its height the two valleys. We will 
make our home in the Pavilion d'Honneur, between the 
Tower of David and the Tower of Charlemagne. The 
colossal edifice shall be restored as in the days of its 
primitive power: the galleries, the dwellings, the chapels, 
shall appear in the same barbaric luxury as before. 
And I shall wish for us to lead the life of olden times ; 
you a princess and I a prince, surrounded by a large 
company of armed vassals and of pages. Our walls of 
fifteen feet of thickness will isolate us, and we shall be 
as our ancestors were, of whom it is written in the 
Legend. When the sun goes down behind the hills 
we will return from hunting, mounted on great white 
horses, greeted respectfully by the peasants as they 
kneel before us. The horn will resound in welcome, 
the drawbridge will be lowered for us. In the even- 
ing, kings will dine at our table. At night, our couch 
will be on a platform surmounted by a canopy like a 
throne. While we sleep peacefully in purple and gold, 
soft music will be played in the distance.' 

Quivering with pride and pleasure, she smiled now, 
but soon, overcome by the great suffering that again 
took possession of her, her lips assumed a mournful 
expression and the smile disappeared. As with a 
mechanical movement of her hands she drove away the 
tempting pictures he called forth, he redoubled his 
ardour, and wished to make her his by seizing her and 
carrying her away in his arms. 

' Come, dear. Come with me. Let us go, and for- 
get everything but our united happiness.' 

Disengaging herself brusquely, she escaped him, 



THE DREAM 263 

with an instinctive rebellion, and trying to stand up, 
this cry came at last from her : 

' No, no ! I cannot go. I no longer have the power 
to do so.' 

However, again lamenting her fate, still torn by the 
contest in her soul, hesitating and stammering, she 
again turned towards him imploringly. 

' I beg you to be good and not hurry me too much, 
but wait awhile. I would so gladly obey you, in order 
to prove to you my love ; I would like above all to go 
away on your arm to that beautiful far-away country, 
where we could live royally in the castle of your dreams. 
It seems to me an easy thing to do, so often have I my- 
self planned our flight. Yet now, what shall I say to 
you ? It appears to me quite an impossibility ; it is as 
if a door had suddenly been walled up between us and 
prevented me from going out.' 

He wished to try to fascinate her again, but she 
quieted him with a movement of her hands. 

' No ; do not say anything more. It is very singular, 
but in proportion as you utter such sweet, such tender 
words, which ought to convince me, fear takes posses- 
sion of me and chills me to the heart. My God ! What 
is the matter with me ? It is really that which you say 
which drives me from you. If you continue, I can no 
longer listen to you ; you will be obliged to go away. 
Yet wait wait a little longer ! ' 

She walked very slowly about the room, anxiously 
seeking to resume her self-control, while he looked at 
her in despair. 

' I thought to have loved you no longer ; but it was 
certainly only a feeling of pique, since just now, as soon 
as I found you again at my feet, my heart beat rapidly, 



264 THE DREAM 

and my first impulse was to follow you as if I were 
your slave. Then, if I love you, why am I afraid 
of you ? What is it that prevents me from leaving 
this room, as if invisible hands were holding me back 
by my whole body, and even by each hair of my 
head ? ' 

She had stopped near her bed ; then she went 
as far as the wardrobe, then to the different articles 
of furniture, one after the other. They all seemed 
united to her person by invisible ties. Especially the 
walls of the room, the great whiteness of the mansard 
roof, enveloped her with a robe of purity, that she could 
leave behind her only with tears ; and henceforth all 
this would be a part of her being ; the spirit of her sur- 
roundings had entered into her. And she realised this 
fact stronger than ever when she found herself opposite 
her working-frame, which was resting at the side of the 
table under the lamplight. Her heart softened as she 
saw the half- made rose, which she would never finish 
were she to go away in this secret, criminal manner. 
The years of work were brought back to her mind : 
those quiet, happy years, during which life had been 
one long experience of peace and honesty, so that now 
she rebelled at the thought of committing a fault and 
of thus fleeing in the arms of her lover. Each day in 
this little, fresh house of the embroiderers, the active 
and pure life she had led there, away from all worldly 
temptations, had, as it were, made over all the blood in 
her veins. 

Then Felicien, realising that in some inexplicable 
way Angelique was being reconquered and brought to 
her better self, felt the necessity of hastening their de- 
parture. He seized her hands and said ; 



THE DREAM 265 

'Come, dear. Time passes quickly. If we wait 
much longer it will be too late.' 

She looked at him an instant, and then in a flash 
realised her true position. Freeing herself from his 
grasp she exclaimed, resolutely and frankly : 

1 It is already too late. You can see for yourself 
that I am unable now to follow you. Once my nature 
was so proud and passionate that I could have thrown 
my two arms around your neck in order that you might 
carry me away all the more quickly. But now I am no 
longer the same person. I am so changed that I do not 
recognise myself. Yes, I realise now that it is this 
quiet corner where I have been brought up, and the 
education that has been given me, that has made me 
what I am at present. Do you then yourself hear 
nothing ? Do you not know that everything in this 
chamber calls upon me to stay ? And I do not rebel 
in the least against this demand, for my joy at last is 
to obey.' 

Without speaking, without attempting to discuss 
the question with her, he tried to take her hands again, 
and to lead her like an intractable child. Again she 
avoided him and turned slowly toward the window. 

' No, I beseech you to leave me. It is not my hand 
that you wish for, it is my heart ; and also that, of my 
own free will, I shall at once go away with you. But I 
tell you plainly that I do not wish to do so. A while 
ago I thought to have been as eager for flight as you 
are. But sure of my true self now, I know it was only 
the last rebellion, the agony of the old nature within 
me, that has just died. Little by little, without my 
knowledge, the good traits of my character have been 
c]rawn together and strongly united : humility, duty, 



266 THE DREAM 

and renunciation. So at each return of hereditary tend- 
ency to excess, the struggle has been less severe, and 
I have triumphed over temptation more easily. Now, 
at last, everything assures me that the supreme contest 
has just taken place ; that henceforth it is finished for 
ever. I have conquered myself, and my nature is freed 
from the evil tendencies it had. Ah ! dear Seigneur, I 
love you so much ! Do not let us do the slightest thing 
to mar our happiness. To be happy it is always neces- 
sary to submit.' 

As he took another step towards her, she was at the 
threshold of the great window, which was now wide 
open on to the balcony. She had stopped him with a 
half-smile as she said : 

' You would not like to force me to throw myself 
down from here. Listen, and understand me when I 
say to you that everything which surrounds me is on 
my side. I have already told you that for a long time 
objects themselves have spoken to me. I hear voices in 
all directions, and never have they been so distinct as 
at this momeut. Hear ! it is the whole Clos-Marie that 
encourages me not to spoil my life and yours by giving 
myself to you without the consent of your father. This 
singing voice is the Chevrotte, so clear and so fresh 
that it seems to have put within me a purity like crystal 
since I have lived so near it. This other voice, like 
that of a crowd, tender and deep, it is that of the entire 
earth the grasses, the trees, all the peaceable life of 
this sacred corner which has so constantly worked for 
the good of my soul. 

' And there are other voices which come from still 
farther away, from the elms of the garden of Monsei- 
gneur, and from this horizon of branches, the smallest of 



THE DREAM 267 

which interests itself in me, and wishes for me to be 
victorious. 

' Then, again, this great, sovereign voice, it is that 
of my old friend, the Cathedral, who, eternally awake, 
both day and night, has taught me many important 
things. Each one of the stones in the immense build- 
ing, the little columns in the windows, the bell-towers 
of its piers, the flying buttresses of its apse, all have a 
murmur which I can distinguish, a language which I 
understand. Listen to what they say : that hope re- 
mains even in death. When one is really humble, love 
alone remains and triumphs. And at last, look ! The 
air itself is filled with the whisperings of spirits. See, 
here are my invisible companions, the virgins, who are 
ever near me and aid me. Listen, listen ! ' 

Smiling, she had lifted up her hand with an air of 
the deepest attention, and her whole being was in 
ecstasy from the scattered breathings she heard. They 
were the virgins of the ' Golden Legend ' that her imagi- 
nation called forth, as in her early childhood, and whose 
mystic flight came from the old book with its quaint 
pictures, that was placed on the little table. Agnes 
was first, clothed with her beautiful hair, having on her 
finger the ring of betrothal to the Priest Paulin. Then 
all the others came in turn. Barbara with her tower 
Genevieve with her sheep ; Cecilia with her viol ; 
Agatha with her wounded breast; Elizabeth begging 
on the highways, and Catherine triumphing over the 
learned doctors. She did not forget the miracle that 
made Lucy so heavy that a thousand men and five yoke 
of oxen could not carry her away : nor the Governor 
who became blind as he tried to embrace Anastasia. 
Then others who seemed flying through the quiet night, 



268 THE DREAM 

still bearing marks of the wounds inflicted upon them 
by their cruel martyrdom, and from which rivers of 
milk were flowing instead of blood. Ah ! to die from 
love like them, to die in the purity of youth at the first 
kiss of a beloved one ! 

Felicien had approached her. 

' I am the one person who really lives, Angelique, 
and you cannot give me up for mere fancies.' 

' Dreams ! fancies ! ' she murmured. 

' Yes; for if in reality these visions seem to surround 
you, it is simply that you yourself have created them 
all. Come, dear ; no longer put a part of your life 
into objects about you, and they will be quiet.' 

She gave way to a burst of enthusiastic feeling. 

' Oh no ! Let them speak. Let them call out 
louder still ! They are my strength ; they give me the 
courage to resist you. It is a manifestation of the 
Eternal Grace, and never has it overpowered me so 
energetically as now. If it is but a dream, a dream 
which I have placed in my surroundings, and which 
comes back to me at will, what of it ? It saves me, 
it carries me away spotless in the midst of dangers. 
Listen yourself. Yield, and obey like me. I no longer 
have even a wish to follow you.' 

In spite of her weakness, she made a great effort 
and stood up, resolute and firm. 

' But you have been deceived,' he said. ' Even 
falsehood has been resorted to in order to separate us ! ' 

' The faults of others will not excuse our own.' 

' Ah ! You have withdrawn your heart from me, 
and you love me no longer.' 

' I love you. I oppose you only on account of our 
love and for our mutual happiness. Obtain the con* 



THE DREAM 269 

sent of your father ; then come for me, and I will fol- 
low you no matter where/ 

' My father ! You do not know him. God only 
could ever make him yield. Tell me, then, is this 
really to be the end of everything ? If my father orders 
me to marry Claire de Yoincourt, must I in that case 
obey him ? ' 

At this last blow Angelique tottered. Was no tor- 
ture to be spared her? She could not restrain this 
heai'tbroken cry : 

' Oh ! that is too much ! My sufferings are greater 
than I can bear. I beseech you go away quickly and 
do not be so cruel. Why did you come at all ? I was 
resigned. I had learned to accept the misfortune of 
being no longer loved by you. Yet the moment that I 
am reassured of your affection, all my martyrdom re- 
commences ; and how can you expect me to live now ? ' 

Felicien, not aware of the depth of her despair, and 
thinking that she had yielded simply to a momentary 
feeling, repeated his question : 

' If my father wishes me to marry her ' 

She struggled heroically against her intense suffer- 
ing ; she succeeded in standing up, notwithstanding 
that her heart was crushed, and dragging herself slowly 
towards the table, as if to make room for him to pass 
her, she said : 

' Marry her, for it is always necessary to obey.' 

In his turn he was now before the window, ready to 
take his departure, because she had sent him away 
from her. 

' But it will make you die if I do so.' 

She had regained her calmess, and, smiling sadly, 
she replied : 



270 THE DREAM 

' Oh ! that work is nearly done already.' 

For one moment more he looked at her, so pale, so 
thin, so wan ; light as a feather, to be carried away by 
the faintest breath. Then, with a brusque movement 
of furious resolution, he disappeared in the night. 

When he was no longer there, Angelique, leaning 
against the back of her armchair, stretched her hands 
out in agony towards the darkness, and her frail body 
was shaken by heavy sobs, and cold perspiration came 
out upon her face and neck. 

' My God ! ' This, then, was the end, and she would 
never see him again. All her weakness and pain had 
come back to her. Her exhausted limbs no longer 
supported her. It was with great difficulty that she 
could regain her bed, upon which she fell helpless, but 
calm in spirit from the assurance that she had done 
right. 

The next morning they found her there, dying. 
The lamp had just gone out of itself, at the dawn ot 
day, and everything in the chamber was of a triumphal 
whiteness. 



7 HE DREAM 271 



CHAPTER XVI 

ANGELIQUE was dying. 

It was ten o'clock one cold morning towards the 
end of the winter, the air was sharp, and the clear 
heavens were brightened up by the beautiful sunshine. 
In her great royal bed, draped with its old, faded, rose- 
coloured chintz, she lay motionless, having been uncon- 
scious during the whole night. Stretched upon her 
back, her little ivory-like hands carelessly thrown upon 
the sheet, she no longer even opened her eyes, and her 
finely-cut profile looked more delicate than ever under 
the golden halo of her hair; in fact, anyone who had 
seen her would have thought her already dead, had it 
not been for the slight breathing movement of her 
lips. 

The day before, Angelique, realising that she was 
very ill, had confessed, and partaken of the Communion. 
Towards three o'clock in the afternoon the good Abbe 
Cornille had brought to her the sacred Viaticum. Then 
in the evening, as the chill of death gradually crept 
over her, a great desire came to her to receive the 
Extreme Unction, that celestial remedy, instituted for 
the cure of both the soul and body. Before losing 
consciousness, her last words, scarcely murmured, were 
understood by Hubertine, as in hesitating sentences she 



272 THE DREAM 

expressed her wisb for the holy oils. ' Yes oh yes ! 
as quickly as possible before it is too late.' 

But death advanced. They had waited until day, 
and the Abbe, having been notified, was about to 
come. 

Everything was now ready to receive the clergyman. 
The Huberts had just finished arranging the room. 
Under the gay sunlight, which at this early morning 
hour struck fully upon the window-panes, it looked pure 
as the dawn in the nudity of its great white walls. 
The table had been covered with a fresh damask cloth. 
At the right and the left of the crucifix two large 
wax- tapers were burning in the silver candelabrum 
which had been brought up from the parlour, and there 
were also there the consecrated wafers, the asperges 
brush, a ewer of water with its basin and a napkin, and 
two plates of white porcelain, one ot which was filled 
with long bits of cotton, and the other with little cornets 
of paper. The greenhouses of the lower town had 
been thoroughly searched, but the only inodorous 
flowers that had been found were the peonies great 
white peonies, enormous tufts of which adorned the 
table, like a shimmering of white lace. And in the 
midst of this intense whiteness, Angelique, dying, with 
closed eyes, still breathed gently with a half-perceptible 
breath. 

The doctor, who had made his first morning visit, 
had said that she could not live through the day. She 
might, indeed, pass away at any moment, without even 
having come to her senses at all. The Huberts, resolute 
and grave, waited in silent despair. Notwithstanding 
their grief and tears, it was evidently necessary that 
this should be the end. If they had ever wished for 



THE DREAM 273 

this death, preferring to lose their dear child rather 
than to have her rebellious, it was evident that God 
also wished it with them, and now, that in this last 
trying moment they were quite powerless, they could 
only submit themselves to the inevitable. They re- 
gretted nothing, although their sorrow seemed greater 
than they could bear. Since she, their darling, had 
been there, suffering from her long illness, they had 
taken the entire care of her day and night, refusing all 
aid offered them from outside. They were still there 
alone in this supreme hour, and they waited. 

Hubert, scarcely knowing what he did, walked 
mechanically to the porcelain stove, the door of which 
he opened, for the gentle roaring of the flaming wood 
sounded to him like a plaintive moan ; then there was 
a perfect silence. The peonies seemed even to turn 
paler in the soft heat of the room. 

Hubertine, stronger than her husband, and still 
fully conscious of all she did, listened to the sounds of 
the Cathedral as they came to her from behind the 
walls. During the past moment the old stones had 
vibrated from the swinging of the bell of the great 
tower. It must certainly be the Abbe Cornille leaving 
the church with the sacred oils, she thought ; so she 
went downstairs, that she might receive him at the 
door of the house. 

Two minutes later, the narrow stairway of the little 
tower was filled with a great murmuring sound. Then 
in the warm chamber, Hubert, struck with astonish- 
rnent, suddenly began to tremble, whilst a religious fear, 
mingled with a faint hope, made him fall upon his 
knees. Instead of the old clergyman whom they had 
expected, it was Monseigneur who entered. Yes ! 

T 



274 THE DREAM 

Mon seigneur, in lace surplice, having the violet stole, 
and carrying the silver vessel in which was the oil 
for the sick, which he himself had blessed on Holy 
Thursday. His eagle-like eyes were fixed, as he looked 
straight before him ; his beautiful pale face was really 
majestic under the thick, curly masses of his white 
hair. Behind him walked the Abbe Cornille, like a 
simple clerk, carrying in one hand a crucifix, and under 
the other arm a book of ritual service. 

Standing for a moment upon the threshold, the 
Bishop said in a deep, grave voice : 

' Pax Jiuic domui.' l 

' Et omnibus habitantilms in ea,' 2 replied the priest 
in a lower tone. 

When they had entered, Hubertine, who had come 
up the stairs after them, she also trembling from sur- 
prise and emotion, went and knelt by the side of her 
husband. Both of them prostrated themselves most 
humbly, and prayed fervently from the depths of their 
souls. 

A few hours after his last visit to Angelique, Felicien 
had had the terrible and dreaded explanation with his 
father. Early in the morning of that same day he had 
forced open the doors, he had penetrated even into the 
Oratory, where the Bishop was still at prayer, after one 
of those nights of frightful struggling against the 
memories of the past, which would so constantly re- 
appear before him. In the soul of this hitherto always 
respectful son, until now kept submissive by fear, 
rebellion against authority, so long a time stifled, 
suddenly broke forth, and the collision of these two 

1 .' Peace be to this house.' 
A ' And to all the inhabitants thereof.' 



THE DREAM 275 

men of the same blood, with natures equally prompt to 
violence, was intense. The old man had left his de- 
votional chair, and with cheeks growing purple by 
degrees, he listened silently as he stood there in his 
proud obstinacy. The young man, with face equally 
inflamed, poured out everything that was in his heart, 
speaking in a voice that little by little grew louder and 
rebuking. He said that Angelique was not only ill, 
but dying. He told him that in a pressing moment of 
temptation, overcome by his deep affection, he had 
wished to take her away with him that they might flee 
together, and that she, with the submissive humility of 
a saint, and chaste as a lily, had refused to accompany 
him. Would it not be a most abominable murder to 
allow this obedient young girl to die, because she had 
been unwilling to accept him unless when offered to 
her by the hand of his father ? She loved him so sin- 
cerely that she could die for him. In fact, she could 
have had him, with his name and his fortune, but she 
had said 'No,' and, triumphant over her feelings, she 
had struggled with herself in order to do her duty. 
Now, after such a proof of her goodness, could he per- 
mit her to suffer so much grief ? Like her, he would 
be willing to give up everything, to die even, if it 
might be, and he realised that he was cowardly. He 
despised himself for not being at her side, that they 
might pass out of life together, by the same breath. 
Was it possible that anyone could be so cruel as to wish 
to torment them, that they should both have so sad a 
death, when one word, one simple word, would secure 
them such bliss ? Ah ! the pride of name, the glory of 
wealth, persistence in one's determination : all these 
were nothing in comparison to the fact that by the 

T 2 



276 THE DREAM 

union of two hearts the eternal happiness of two human 
beings was assured. He joined his hands together, he 
twisted them feverishly, quite beside himself as he 
demanded his father's consent, still supplicating, already 
almost threatening. But the Bishop, with face deeply 
flushed by the mounting of his blood, with swollen lips, 
with flaming eyes, terrible in his unexpressed anger, at 
last opened his mouth, only to reply by this word of 
parental authority : ' Never ! ' 

Then Felicien, absolutely raving in his rebellion, 
lost all control over himself. 

He spoke of his mother, he really threatened his 
father by the remembrance of the dead. It was she 
who had come back again in the shape of her son to 
vindicate and reclaim the right of affection. Could it 
be that his father had never loved her ? Had he even 
rejoiced in her death, since he showed himself so harsh 
towards those who loved each other, and who wished to 
live ? But he might well do all he could to become 
cold in the renunciations demanded by the Church ; she 
would come back to haunt and to torture him, because 
he was willing to torture the child they had had, the 
living witness of their affection for each other. She 
would always be there, so long as their son lived. She 
wished to reappear in the children of their child for ever. 
And he was causing her to die over again, by refusing 
to her son the betrothed of his choice, the one through 
whom the race was to be continued. "When a man had 
once been married to a woman, he should never think of 
wedding the Church. Face to face with his father, who, 
motionless, appeared in his fearful silence to grow 
taller and taller, he uttered unfilial, almost murderous 
words. Then, shocked at himself, he rushed away, 



THE DREAM 277 

shuddering at the extent to which passion had carried 
him. 

When once more alone, Monseigneur, as if stabbed 
in the full breast by a sharp weapon, turned back upon 
himself and struggled deeply with his soul, as he knelt 
upon his prie-Dieu. A half-rattling sound came from 
his throat. Oh ! these frightful heart contests, these 
invincible weaknesses of the flesh. This woman, and 
his beloved dead, who was constantly coming back to 
life, he adored her now, as he did the first evening when 
he kissed her white feet ; and this son, he idolised him 
as belonging to her, as a part of her life, which she had 
left to him. And even the young girl, the little work- 
ing girl whom he had repulsed, he loved her also with 
a tenderness like that of his son for her. Now his 
nights were inexpressibly agitated by all three. With- 
out his having been willing to acknowledge it, had she 
then touched him so deeply as he saw her in the great 
Cathedral, this little embroiderer, with her golden hair, 
her fresh pure neck, in all the perfume of her youth ? 
He saw her again ; she passed before him, so delicate, 
so pure in her victorious submission. No remorse could 
have come to him with a step more certain or more 
conquering. He might reject her with a loud voice. 
He knew well that henceforth she held him strongly by 
the heart with her humble hands that bore the signs of 
work. Whilst Felicien was so violently beseeching him, 
he seemed to see them both behind the blonde head of 
the petitioner these two idolised women, the one for 
whom his son prayed, and the one who had died for her 
child. They were there in all their physical beauty, 
in all their loving devotion, and he could not tell where 
he had found strength to resist, so entirely did his 



278 THE DREAM 

whole being go out towards them. Overcome, sobbing, 
not knowing how he could again become calm, he 
demanded from Heaven the courage to tear out his 
heart, since this heart belonged no longer to God 
alone. 

Until evening Monseigneur continued at prayer. 
When he at last reappeared he was white as wax, dis- 
tressed, anxious, but still resolute. He could do nothing 
more, but he repeated to his son the terrible word 
' Never ! ' It was God alone who had the right to 
relieve him from his promise ; and God, although im- 
plored, gave him no sign of change. It was necessary 
to suffer. 

Some days had passed. Felicien constantly wan- 
dered round the little house, wild with grief, eager for 
news. Each time that he saw anyone come out he 
almost fainted from fear. Thus it happened that on the 
morning when Hubertine ran to the church to ask for 
the sacred oils, he learned that Angelique could not live 
through the day. The Abbe Cornille was not at the 
Sacristy, and he rushed about the town to find him, still 
having a last hope that through the intervention of the 
good man some Divine aid might come. Then, as he 
brought back with him the sought-for clergyman, his 
hope left him, and he had a frightful attack of doubt and 
anger. What should he do ? In what way could he 
force Heaven to come to his assistance ? He went 
away, hastened to the Bishop's palace, the doors of 
which he again forced open, and before his incoherent 
words his father was for a moment frightened. At last 
he understood. Angelique was dying ! She awaited 
the Extreme Unction, and now God alone could save her. 
The young man had only come to cry out all his agony, 



THE DREAM 279 

to break all relations with this cruel, unnatural father, 
and to accuse him to his face of willingly allowing this 
death. But Monseigneur listened to him without anger : 
upright and very serious, his eyes suddenly brightened 
with a strange clearness, as if an inner voice had spoken 
to him. Motioning to his son to lead the way, he fol- 
lowed him, simply saying at last : 

' If God wishes it, I also wish it.' 

Felicien trembled so that he could scarcely move. 
His father consented, freed from his personal vow, to 
submit himself to the goodwill of the hoped-for miracle. 
Henceforth they, as individuals, counted for nothing. 
God must act for himself. Tears blinded him. Whilst 
in the Sacristy Monseigneur took the sacred oils from 
the hands of the Abbe Cornille. He accompanied them, 
almost staggering ; he did not dare to enter into the 
chamber, but fell upon his knees at the threshold of the 
door, which was open wide. 

The voice of the Bishop was firm, as he said : 

' Pax hide domui.' 

' Et omnibus habitantibus in eci,' the priest replied. 

Monseigneur had just placed on the white table, 
between the two wax-candles, the sacred oils, making 
in the air the sign of the cross, with the silver vase. 
Then he took from the hands of the Abbe the crucifix, 
and approached the sufferer that he might make her kiss 
it. But Angelique was still unconscious : her eyes were 
closed, her mouth shut, her hands rigid, and looking 
like the little stiff figures of stone placed upon tombs. 
He examined her for a moment, and, seeing by the 
slight movement of her chest that she was not dead, he 
placed upon her lips the crucifix. He waited. His 
face preserved the majesty of a minister of penitence, 



28o THE DREAM 

and no signs of emotion were visible when he realised 
that not even a quivering had passed over the exquisite 
profile of the young girl, nor in her beautiful hair. She 
still lived, however, and that was sufficient for the re- 
demption of her sins. 

The Abbe then gave to Monseigneur the vessel of 
holy water and the asperges brush, and while he held 
open before him the ritual book, he threw the holy 
water upon the dying girl, as he read the Latin words, 
Asperges me, Domine, liyssopo et nvunddbor : lavdbis me, 
et super nivem dealbabor. 1 

The drops sprang forth in every direction, and the 
whole bed was refreshed by them as if sprinkled with 
dew. It rained upon her hands and upon her cheeks ; 
but one by one the drops rolled away as if from insen- 
sible marble. At last the Bishop turned towards the 
assistants and sprinkled them in their turn. Hubert 
and Hubertine, kneeling side by side, in the full union 
of their perfect faith, bent humbly under the shower of 
this benediction. Then Monseigneur blessed also the 
chamber, the furniture, the white walls in all their bare 
purity, and as he passed near the door he found himself 
before his son, who had fallen down on the threshold, 
and was sobbing violently, having covered his face with 
his burning hands. With a slow movement, he raised 
three times the asperges brush, and he purified him 
with a gentle rain. This holy water, spread everywhere, 
was intended at first to drive away all evil spirits, who 
were flying by crowds, although invisible. Just at this 
moment a pale ray of the winter sun passed over the 

1 ' Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean : thou 
ghalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." 



THE DREAM 281 

bed, and a multitude of atoms, light specks of dust, 
seemed to be living therein. They were innumerable 
as they came down from an angle of the window, as 
if to bathe with their warmth the cold hands of the 
dying. 

Going again towards the table, Monseigneur re- 
peated the prayer, ' Exaudi nos.' l 

He made no haste. It was true that death was 
there, hovering near the old, faded chintz curtains, but 
he knew that it was patient, and that it would wait. 
And although in her state of utter prostration the child 
could not hear him, he addressed her as he asked her : 

' Is there nothing upon your conscience which dis- 
tresses you? Confess all your doubts and fears, my 
daughter ; relieve your mind.' 

She was still in the same position, and she was 
always silent. When, in vain, he had given time for a 
reply, he commenced the exhortation with the same full 
voice, without appearing to notice that none of his 
words reached her ear. 

' Collect your thoughts, meditate, demand from the 
depths of your soul pardon from God. The Sacrament 
will purify you, and will strengthen you anew. Your 
eyes will become clear, your ears chaste, your nostrils 
fresh, your mouth pure, your hands innocent.' 

With eyes fixed upon her, he continued reading to 
the end all that was necessary for him to say ; while 
she scarcely breathed, nor did one of her closed eyelids 
move. Then he said : 

' Recite the Creed.' 

After having waited awhile, he repeated it himself: 

1 ' Give ear to us.' 



282 THE DREAM 

* Credo in umnn Deum, Patrem omnipotent-em? l 

1 Amen ' replied the Abbe Cornille. 

All this time the heavy sobbing of Felicien was 
heard, as upon the landing-place he wept in the ener- 
vation of hope. Hubert and Hubertine still prayed 
fervently, with the same anxious waiting and desire, 
as if they had felt descend upon them all the invisible 
powers of the Unknown. A change now came in the 
service, from the murmur of half-spoken prayers. Then 
the litanies of the ritual were unfolded, the invocation 
to all the Saints, the flight of the KyrieEleison, calling 
Heaven to the aid of miserable humanity, mounting each 
time with great outbursts, like the fume of incense. 

Then the voices suddenly fell, and there was a deep 
silence. Monseigneur washed his fingers in the few 
drops of water that the Abbe poured out from the ewer. 
At length he took the vessel of sacred oil, opened the 
cover thereof, and placed himself before the bed. It 
was the solemn approach of the Sacrament of this last 
religious ceremony, by the efficacy of which are effaced 
all mortal or venial sins not pardoned, which rest in the 
soul after having received the other sacraments, old 
remains of forgotten sins, sins committed unwittingly, 
sins of languor which prevented one from being firmly 
re-established in the grace of God. The pure white 
chamber seemed to be like the individuals collected 
therein, motionless, and in a state of surprise and ex- 
pectation. Where could all these sins be found ? They 
must certainly come from outside in this great band of 
sun's rays, filled with dancing specks of dust, which 
appeared to bring germs of life even to this great royal 

1 ' I believe in one God, the Father Almighty.' 



THE DREAM 283 

couch, so white and cold from the coming of death to a 
pure young maiden. 

Monseigneur meditated a moment, fixing his looks 
again upon Angelique, assuring himself that the slight 
breath had not ceased, struggling against all human 
emotion, as he saw how thin she was, with the beauty 
of an archangel, already immaterial. His voice retained 
the authority of a divine disinterestedness, and his 
thumb did not tremble when he dipped it into the 
sacred oils as he commenced the unctions on the five 
parts of the body where dwell the senses : the five 
windows by which evil enters into the soul. 

First upon the eyes, upon the closed eyelids, the 
right and then the left ; and slowly, lightly, he traced 
with his thumb the sign of the Cross. 

' Per istam sanctam unctionem, et suam piissimam 
misericordiam, indidgeat tili Dominus quidquid per visum 
deliquisti* l 

And the sins of the sight were redeemed ; lascivious 
looks, immodest curiosity, the pride of spectacles, un- 
wholesome readings, tears shed for guilty troubles. 

And she, dear child, knew no other book than the 
' Golden Legend,' no other horizon than the apse of the 
Cathedral, which hid from view all the rest of the world. 
She had wept only in the struggle of obedience and the 
renunciation of passion. 

The Abbe Cornille wiped both her eyes with a bit 
of cotton, which he afterwards put into one of the little 
cornets of paper. 

1 ' By this holy anointing and His gracious mercy, the Lord forgive 
whatever sins thou hast committed tlirough seeing.' [This formula 
is repeated with reference to the other senses hearing, smell, taste 
and touch.] 



284 THE DREAM 

Then Monseigneur anointed the ears, with their lobes 
as delicate and transparent as pearl, first the right ear, 
afterwards the left, scarcely moistened with the sign of 
the cross. 

' Per istam sanctam unctionem, et suam piissimam 
misericordiam, indulgeat tibi Dominus quidquid per 
auditum deliquisti.' ' 

So all the abominations of hearing were atoned for : 
all the words and music which corrupt, the slanders, 
the calumnies, the blasphemies, the sinful propositions 
listened to with complacency, the falsehoods of love 
which aided the forgetfulness of duty, the profane 
songs which excited the senses, the violins of the 
orchestra which, as it were, wept voluptuously under 
the brilliant lights. 

She in her isolated life, like that of a cloistered nun 
she had never even heard the free gossip of the 
neighbours, or the oath of the carman as he whips his 
horses. The only music that had ever entered her ears 
was that of the sacred hymns, the rumblings of the 
organs, the confused murmurings of prayers, with which 
at times vibrated all this fresh little house, so close to 
the side of the great church. 

The Abbe, after having dried the ears with cotton, 
put that bit also into one of the white cornets. 

Monseigneur now passed to the nostrils, the right 
and then the left, like two petals of a white rose, which 
he purified by touching them with the sacred oil and 
making on them the sign of the cross. 

' Per istam sanctam unctionem, et suam piissimam 
misericordiam, indulgeat tibi Dominus quidquid per 
odoratum deliquisti.' 1 



THE DREAM 285 

And the sense of smell returned to its primitive 
innocence, cleansed from all stain : not only from the 
carnal disgrace of perfumes, from the seduction of flowers 
with breath too sweet, from the scattered fragrances of 
the air which put the soul to sleep ; but yet again from 
the faults of the interior sense, the bad examples given 
to others, and the contagious pestilence of scandal. 
Erect and pure, she had at last become a lily among 
the lilies, a great lily whose perfume fortified the weak 
and delighted the strong. In fact, she was so truly 
delicate that she could never endure the powerful 
odour of carnations, the musk of lilacs, the feverish 
sweetness of hyacinths, and was only at ease with the 
scentless blossoms, like the marguerites and the peri- 
winkles. 

Once more the Abbe, with the cotton, dried the 
anointed parts, and slipped the little tuft into another 
of the cornets. 

Then Monseigneur, descending to the closed mouth, 
through which the faint breath was now scarcely 
perceptible, made upon the lower lip the sign of the 
cross. 

' Per istam sanctam unctionem, et snam piissimam 
misericordiam, indulgeai tibi Dominus quidquid per 
cjustum deliquisti.' l 

This time it was the pardon for the base gratifica- 
tions of taste, greediness, too great a desire for wine, or 
for sweets; but especially the forgiveness for sins of the 
tongue, that universally guilty member, the provoker, 
the poisoner, the inventor of quarrels, the inciter to 
wars, which makes one utter words of error and false- 
hood which at length obscure even the heavens. Yet 



286 THE DREAM 

her whole month was only a chalice of innocence. 
She 'Jhad never had the vice of gluttony, for she had 
taught herself, like Elizabeth, to eat whatever was 
set before her, without paying great attention to her 
food. And if it were true that she lived in error, it 
was the fault of her dream which had placed her there, 
the hope of a beyond, the consolation of what was 
invisible, and all the world of enchantment which 
her ignorance had created and which had made of 
her a saint. 

The Abbe having dried the lips, folded the bit of 
cotton in the fourth white cornet. 

At last Monseigneur anointed first the right and 
then the left palms of the two little ivory-like hands, 
lying open upon the sheet, and cleansed them from their 
sins with the sign of the cross. 

' Per istain sanctam undionem, et suam piissima/m 
misericordiam, vndulgeai tibi Dominus qmdqmd per 
tactwn deliquisti.' 

And the whole body was purified, being washed 
from its last spots those of the touch the most re- 
pugnant of all. Pilfering, fighting, murder, without 
counting other sins of the breast, the body, and the feet, 
which were also redeemed by this unction. All which 
burns in the flesh, our anger, our desires, our unruled 
passions, the snares and pitfalls into which we run, and 
all forbidden joys by which we are tempted. Since she 
had been there, dying from her victory over herself, she 
had conquered her few failings, her pride and her 
passion, as if she had inherited original sin simply for 
the glory of triumphing over it. She knew not, even, 
that she had had other wishes, that love had drawn her 
towards disobedience, so armed was she with the breast- 



THE DREAM 287 

plate of ignorance of evil, so pure and white was her 
soul. 

The Abbe wiped the little motionless hands, and 
putting the last puff of cotton in the remaining cornet, 
he threw the five papers into the fire at the back of the 
stove. 

The ceremony was finished. Monseigneur washed 
his fingers before saying the final prayer. He had now 
only to again exhort the dying, in placing in her hand 
the symbolic taper, to drive away the demons, and to 
show that she had just recovered her baptismal inno- 
cence. But she remained rigid, her eyes closed, her 
mouth shut as if dead. The holy oils had purified her 
body, the signs of the cross had left their traces on the 
five windows of the soul, without making the slightest 
wave of colour, or of life, mount to her cheeks. 

Although implored and hoped for, the prodigy did 
not appear, and the room was silent and anxious. 
Hubert and Hubertine, still kneeling side by side, no 
long?r prayed, but, with their eyes fixed upon their 
darling, gazed so earnestly that they both seemed 
motionless for ever, like the figures of the donataires 
who await the Resurrection in a corner of an old painted 
glass window. Felicien had drawn himself up on his 
knees and was now at the door, having ceased from 
sobbing, as with head erect he also might see if God 
would always remain deaf to their prayers. Was it 
then a mere lure ? would not this holy Sacrament bring 
her back to life ? 

For the last time Monseigneur approached the bed, 
followed by the Abbe Comille, who held, already lighted, 
the wax-taper which was to be placed in the -hand 
ef the young girl. And the Bishop, not willing "to 



288 THE DREAM 

acknowledge the state of unconsciousness in which she 
remained, determining to go even to the end of the rite, 
that God might have time in which to work, pronounced 
the formula : 

' Acdpe lampadem ardentem, custodi undionem tuani, 
ut cum Domimis ad judicandum venerit, possis occwrere 
ei cum omnibus sanctis et vivas in saecula saeculorum.' l 

1 Amen ' replied the Abbe. 

But when they endeavoured to open Angelique's 
hand and to press it round the taper, the hand, power- 
less, as if already dead, escaped them and fell back upon 
her breast. 

Then, little by little, Monseigneur yielded to a great 
nervous trembling. It was the emotion which, for a 
long time restrained, now broke out within him, carry- 
ing away with it the last rigidity of priesthood. He 
dearly loved her, this child, from the day when she had 
come to sob at his feet, so innocent, and showing so 
plainly the pure freshness of her youth. Since then, 
in his nights of distress, he had contended chiefly 
against her, to defend himself from the overwhelming 
tenderness with which she inspired him. At this 
moment she was worthy of pity, with this pallor of 
death, with an ethereal beauty which showed, however, 
so deep a suffering that he could not look at her 
without his heart being secretly overwhelmed with 
distress. 

He could no longer control himself. His eyelids 
were swollen by the great tears which at last rolled 
down his cheeks. She must not die in this way : he 

1 ' Receive this light, and keep the unction thou hast received, 
that -when the Lord shall come to judgment thou noayest meet Him 
with all His saints, and live with Him_for ever and ever.' 



THE_ DREAM 289 

was conquered by her touching charms even in. 
death, and all his paternal feelings went out towards 
her. 

Then Monseigneur, recalling to mind the numerous 
miracles of his race, the power which had been given 
them by Heaven to heal, thought that doubtless God 
awaited his consent as a father. He invoked Saint 
Agnes, before whom all his ancestors had offered up 
their devotions, and as Jean V. d'Hautecoeur prayed at 
the bedside of those smitten by the plague and kissed 
them, so now he prayed and kissed Angelique upon her 
lips. 

' If God wishes, I also wish it.' 

Immediately Angelique opened her e} T elids. She 
looked at the Bishop without surprise as she awoke 
from her long trance, and, her lips still warm from the 
kiss, smiled upon him. These things were not strange 
to her, for they certainly must have been realised sooner 
or later, and it might be that she was coming out of 
one dream only to have another still ; but it seemed 
to her perfectly natural that Monseigneur should 
have come to betroth her to Felicien, since the hour 
for that ceremony had arrived. In a few minutes, 
unaided, she sat up in the middle of her great royal 
bed. 

The Bishop, radiant, showing by his expression his 
clear appreciation of the remarkable prodigy, repeated 
the formula: 

' Accipe lampadem ardentem, custodi unctioncm tuam, 
id cum Dominus ad judicanditm venerit, post's occur- 
rerc el cum omnibus sanctis ct vivas in saecula saecu- 
lorum.' 

* Amen ' replied the Abbe. 

u 



290 THE DREAM 

Angelique had taken the lighted taper, and held it 
up with a firm hand. Life had come back to her, like 
the flame of the candle, which was burning clear and 
bright, driving away the spirits of the night. 

A great cry resounded through the room. Felicien 
was standing up, as if raised by the power of the 
miracle, while the Huberts, overwhelmed by the same 
feeling, remained upon their knees, with wonder-stricken 
eyes, with delighted countenances, before that which 
they had seen. The bed had appeared to them en- 
veloped with a brilliant light ; white masses seemed 
still to be mounting up on the rays of the sunlight, and 
the great walls, the whole room in fact, kept a white 
lustre, as that of snow. 

In the midst of all, Angelique, like a refreshed lily, 
replaced upon its branch, appeared in the clear light. 
Her fine golden hair was like a halo of glory around her 
head, her violet-coloured eyes shone divinely, and her 
pure face beamed with a living splendour. 

Felicien, seeing that she was saved, touched by the 
Divine grace that Heaven had vouchsafed them, ap- 
proached her, and knelt by the side of the bed. 

' Ah ! dear soul, you recognise us now, and you will 
live. I am yours. My father wishes it to be so, since 
God has desired it.' 

She bowed her head, smiling sweetly as she said, 
1 Oh ! I knew it must be so, and waited for it. All that 
I have foreseen will come to pass.' 

Monseigneur, who had regained his usual proud 
serenity, placed the crucifix once more on her lips, and 
this time she kissed it as a submissive servant. Then, 
with a full movement of his hands, through the room, 
above the heads of all present, the Bishop gave the final 



THIt DREAM 291 

benediction, while the Ehiberts and the Abbe Cornille 
wept. 

Felicien had taken one of the little hands of Angel- 
ique, while in the other little hand the taper of 
innocence burned bright and clear. 



u 2 



292 THE DREAM 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE marriage was fixed for the early part of March. 
But Angelique remained very feeble, notwithstanding 
the joy which radiated from her whole person. She 
had wished after the first week of her convalescence to 
go down to the work-room, persisting in her determina- 
tion to finish the panel of embroidery in bas-relief 
which was to be used for the Bishop's chair. 

' It would be,' she said cheerfully, ' her last, best 
piece of work ; and besides, no one ever leaves,' she 
added, ' an order only half-completed.' 

Then, exhausted by the effort, she was again forced 
to keep her chamber. She lived there, happy and 
smiling, without regaining the full health of former 
times, always white and immaterial as the sacred sacra- 
mental oils ; going and coming with a gentle step like 
that of a vision, and after having occasionally made the 
exertion of walking as far as from her table to the win- 
dow, finding herself obliged to rest quietly for hours 
and give herself up to her sweet thoughts. At length 
they deferred the wedding-day, thinking it better to 
wait for her complete recovery, which must certainly 
come if she were well nursed and cared for. 

Every afternoon Felicien went up to see her. Hu- 
bert and Hubertine were there, and they passed together 



THE DREAM 293 

most delightful hours, during which they continually 
made and re-made the same bright projects. Seated in 
her great chair she laughed gaily, seemed trembling 
with life and vivacity, as she was the first to talk of the 
days which would be so well filled when together they 
could take long journeys ; and of all the unknown joys 
that would come to them after they had restored the old 
Chateau d'Hautecceur. Anyone, to have seen her 
then, would have considered her saved and regaining 
her strength in the backward spring, the air of which, 
growing warmer and warmer daily, entered by the 
open window. In fact, she never fell back into the 
deep gravities of her dreams, except when she was 
entirely alone "and was not afraid of being seen. In 
the night, voices still appeared to be near her : then it 
seemed as if the earth were calling to her ; and at last 
the truth was clearly revealed to her, so that she fully 
understood that the miracle was being continued only 
for the realisation of her dream. Was she not already 
dead, having simply the appearance of living, thanks to 
the respite which had been granted her from Divine 
Grace ? This idea soothed her with deep gentleness in 
her hours of solitude, and she did not feel a moment's 
regret at the thought of being called away from life in 
the midst of her happiness, so certain was she of always 
realising to its fullest extent her anticipated joy. The 
cheerfulness she had hitherto shown became simply a 
little more serious ; she abandoned herself to it quietly, 
forgetting her physical weakness as she indulged in the 
pure delights of fancy. It was only when she heard 
the Huberts open the door, or when Felieien came to 
see her, that she was able to sit upright, to bring her 
thoughts back to her surroundings, and to appear as if 



294 THE DREAM 

she were regaining her health, laughing pleasantly 
while she talked of their years of happy housekeeping, 
far away, in the days to come. 

Towards the end of March Angelique grew very 
restless and much weaker. Twice, when by herself, 
she had long fainting fits. One morning she fell at the 
foot of her bed, just as Hubert was bringing her up a 
cup of milk ; by a great effort of will she conquered 
herself, and, that she might deceive him, she remained 
on the floor and smiled, as she pretended to be looking 
for a needle that had been dropped. The following day 
she was gayer than usual, and proposed hastening the 
marriage, suggesting that at all events it should not be 
put off any later than the middle of April. All the 
others exclaimed at this idea, asking if it would not be 
advisable to wait awhile, since she was still so delicate. 
There was no need of being in such a hurry. She, 
however, seemed feverishly nervous, and insisted that 
the ceremony should take place immediately yes, as 
soon as possible. Hubertine, surprised at the request, 
having a suspicion as to the true motive of this eager- 
ness, looked at her earnestly for a moment, and turned 
very pale as she realised how slight was the cold breath 
which still attached her daughter to life. The dear 
invalid had already grown calm, in her tender need of 
consoling others and keeping them under an illusion, 
although she knew personally that her case was hope- 
less. Hubert and Felicien, in continual adoration 
before their idol, had neither seen nor felt anything 
unusual. Then Angelique, exerting herself almost 
supernaturally, rose up, and was more charming than 
ever, as she Blowly moved back and forth with the light 
step of former days. She continued to speak of her 



THE DREAM 295 

wish, saying if it were granted she would be so happy, 
and that after the wedding she would certainly be 
cured. Moreover, the question should be left to Mon- 
seigneur ; he alone should decide it. That same even- 
ing, when the Bishop was there, she explained her 
desire to him, fixing her eyes on his, regarding him 
steadily and beseechingly, and speaking in her sweet, 
earnest voice, under which there was hidden an ardent 
supplication, unexpressed in words. Monseigneur real- 
ised it, and understood the truth, and he appointed a 
day in the middle of April for the ceremony. 

Then they lived in great commotion from the neces- 
sary bustle attendant upon the preparations for the 
marriage. Notwithstanding his official position as 
guardian, Hubert was obliged to ask permission, or 
rather the consent of the Director of Public Assistance, 
who always represented the family council, Angelique 
not yet being of age; and Monsieur Grandsire, the 
Justice of the Peace, was charged with all legal details, 
in order to avoid as much as possible the painful side of 
the position to the young girl and to Felicien. But the 
dear child, realising that something was being kept 
back, asked one day to have her little book brought up 
to her, wishing to put it herself into the hands of her 
betrothed. She was now, and would henceforth remain, 
in a state of such sincere humility that she wished him 
to know thoroughly from what a low position he had 
drawn her, to elevate her to the glory of his well- 
honoured name and his great fortune. These were her 
parchments, her titles to nobility ; her position was ex- 
plained by this official document, this entry on the 
calendar where there was only a date followed by a 
number, She turned over all the leaves once more, 



2 c6 THE DREAM 

then gave it to him without being confused, happy in 
thinking that in herself she was nothing, but that she 
owed everything to him. So deeply touched was he by 
this act, that he knelt down, kissed her hands while 
tears came to his eyes, as if it were she who had made 
him the one gift, the royal gift of her heart. 

For two weeks the preparations occupied all Beau- 
mont, both the upper and the lower town being in a 
state of great excitement therefrom. It was said that 
twenty working-girls were engaged day and night upon 
the trousseau. The wedding-dress alone required three 
persons to make it, and there was to be a corbeille, or 
present from the bridegroom, to the value of a million 
of francs : a fluttering of laces, of velvets, of silks and 
satins, a flood of precious stones diamonds worthy a 
Queen. But that which excited the people more than 
all else was the great amount given in charity, the 
bride having wished to distribute to the poor as much 
as she had received herself. So another million was 
showered down upon the country in a rain of gold. At 
length she was able to gratify all her old longings of 
benevolence, all the prodigalities of her most exagge- 
rated dreams, as with open hands she let fall upon the 
wretched and needy a stream of riches, an overflow of 
comforts. In her little white, bare chamber, confined 
to her old armchair, she laughed with delight when the 
Abbe Cornille brought to her the list of the distribu- 
tions he had made. ' Give more ! Give more ! ' she 
cried, as it seemed to her as if not enough were done. 
She would, in reality, have liked to have seen the Pere 
Mascart seated for ever at a table before a princely 
banquet ; the Chouteaux living in palatial luxury; the 
mere Gabet cured of her rheumatism, and by the aid. 



THE DREAM 



297 



of money to have renewed her youth. As for the Lem- 
balleuse, the mother and daughters, she absolutely 
wished to load them with silk dresses and jewellery. 
The hail of golden pieces redoubled over the town as in 
fairy-tales, far beyond the daily necessities, as if merely 
for the beauty and joy of seeing the triumphal golden 
glory, thrown from full hands, falling into the street 
and glittering in the great sunlight of charity. 

At last, on the eve of the happy day, everything 
was in readiness. Felicien had bought a large house 
on the Rue Magloire, at the back of the Bishop's palace, 
which had been fitted up and furnished most luxuri- 
ously. There were great rooms hung with admirable 
tapestries, filled with the most beautiful articles imagin- 
able ; a salon in old, rare pieces of hand embroidery ; a 
boudoir in blue, soft as the early morning sky; and 
a sleeping-room, which was particularly attractive : a 
perfect little corner of white silk and lace nothing, in 
short, but white, airy, and light an exquisite shim- 
mering of purity. But Angelique had constantly 
refused to go to see all these wonderful things, although 
a carriage was always ready to convey her there. She 
listened to the recital of that which had been done with 
an enchanted smile, but she gave no orders, and did not 
appear to wish to occupy herself with any of the arrange- 
ments. ' No, no,' she said, for all these things seemed 
so far away in the unknown of that vast world of which 
she was as yet totally ignorant. Since those who loved 
her had prepared for her so tenderly this happiness, she 
desired to partake thereof, and to enter therein like a 
princess coming from some chimerical country, who 
approaches the real kingdom Avliere she is to reign for 
ever. In the same way she preferred to know nothing, 



298 THE DREAM 

except by hearsay, of the corbeille, which also was wait- 
ing for her a superb gift from her betrothed, the 
wedding outfit of fine linen, embroidered with her ci- 
pher as marchioness, the full-dress costumes tastefully 
trimmed, the old family jewels valuable as the richest 
treasures of a cathedral, and the modern jewels in their 
marvellous yet delicate mountings, precious stones of 
every kind, and diamonds of the purest water. It was 
sufficient to her that her dream had come to pass, and 
that this great good future awaited her in her new 
home, radiant in the reality of the new life that was 
opening before her. The only thing she saw was her 
wedding-dress, which was brought to her on the mar- 
riage morning. 

That day, when she awoke, Angelique, still alone, 
had in her great bed a moment of intense exhaustion, 
and feared that she would not be able to get up at all. 
She attempted to do so, but her knees bent under her ; 
and in contrast to the brave serenity she had shown for 
weeks past, a fearful anguish, the last, perhaps, took 
utter possession of her. Then, as in a few minutes 
Hubertine came into the room, looking unusually happy, 
she was surprised to find that she could really walk, for 
she certainly did not do so from her own strength, but 
aid came to her from the invisible, and friendly hands 
sustained and carried her. They dressed her ; she no 
longer seemed to weigh anything, but was so slight and 
frail that her mother was astonished, and laughingly 
begged her not to move any more if she did not wish 
to fly quite away. During all the time of preparing 
her toilette, the little fresh house of the Huberts, so 
close to the side of the Cathedral, trembled under the 
great breath of the Giant, of that which already was 



THE DREAM 299 

humming therein of the preparations for the ceremony, 
the nervous activity of the clergy, and especially the 
ringing of the bells, a continuous peal of joy, with 
which the old stones were vibrating. 

In the upper town, for over an hour there had been 
a glorious chiming of bells, as on the greatest holy days. 
The sun had risen in all its beauty, and on this limpid 
April morning a flood of spring rays seemed living 
with the sonorous peals which had called together all 
the inhabitants of the place. The whole of Beaumont 
was in a state of rejoicing on account of the marriage 
of this little embroiderer, to whom their hearts were so 
deeply attached, and they were touched by the fact of 
her royal good fortune. This bright sunlight, which 
penetrated all the streets, was like the golden rain, the 
gifts of fairy-tales, rolling out from her delicate hands. 
Under this joyful light, the multitude crowded in masses 
towards the Cathedral, filling the side-aisles of the 
church, and coming out on to the Place du Cloitre. 
There the great front of the building rose up, like a 
huge bouquet of stone, in full blossom, of the most 
ornamental Gothic, above the severe Romanesque of 
the foundation. In the tower the bells still rung, and 
the whole facade seemed to be like a glorification of 
these nuptials, expressive of the flight of this poor girl 
through all the wonders of the miracle, as it darted up 
and flamed, with its open lace-work ornamentations, the 
lily-like efflorescence of its little columns, its balus- 
trades, and its arches, the niches of saints surmounted 
with canopies, the gable ends hollowed out in trefoil 
points, adorned with crossettes and flowers, immense 
rose-windows opening out in the mystic radiation of 
their mullions. 



300 THE DREAM 

At ten o'clock the organs pealed. Angelique and 
Felicien were there, walking with slow step towards 
the high altar, between the closely-pressed ranks of the 
crowd. A breath of sincere, touching admiration came 
from every side. He, deeply moved, passed along proud 
and serious, with his blonde beauty of a young god 
appearing slighter than ever from his closely-fitting 
black dress-coat. But she, above all, struck the hearts 
of the spectators, so exquisite was she, so divinely 
beautiful with a mystic, spiritual charm. Her dress 
was of white watered silk, simply covered with rare 
old Mechlin lace, which was held by pearls, a whole 
setting of them designing the ruches of the waist and 
the ruffles of the skirt. A veil of old English point 
was fastened to her head by a triple crown of pearls, 
and falling to her feet, quite covered her. That was 
all not a flower, not a jewel, nothing but this slight 
vision, this delicate, trembling cloud, which seemed to 
have placed her sweet little face between two white 
wings, like that of the Virgin of the painted glass win- 
dow, with her violet eyes and her golden hair. 

Two armchairs, covered with crimson velvet, had 
been placed for Felicien and Angelique before the altar ; 
and directly behind them, while the organs increased 
their phrases of welcome, Hubert and Hubertine knelt 
on the low benches which were destined for the family. 
The day before an intense joy had come to them, from 
the effects of which they had not yet recovered, and 
they were incapable of expressing their deep, heartfelt 
thanks for their own happiness, which was so closely 
connected with that of their daughter. Hubertine, 
having gone once more to the cemetery, saddened by 
the thought of their loneliness, and the little house, 



THE DREAM 301 

which would seem so empty after the departure of the 
dearly-beloved child, had prayed to her mother for a 
long time ; when suddenly she felt within her an inex- 
plicable relief and gladness, which convinced her that 
at last her petition had been granted. From the depths 
of the earth, after more than twenty years, the obstinate 
mother had forgiven them, and sent them the child of 
pardon so ardently desired and longed for. Was this 
the recompense of their charity towards the poor for- 
lorn little creature whom they had found one snowy 
day at the Cathedral entrance, and who to-day was to 
wed a prince with all the show and pomp of the greatest 
ceremony? They remained on their knees, without 
praying in formulated words, enraptured with gratitude, 
their whole souls overflowing with an excess of infinite 
thanksgiving. And on the other side of the nave, 
seated on his high, official throne, Monseigneur was 
also one of the family group. He seemed filled with 
the majesty of the God whom he represented ; he was 
resplendent in the glory of his sacred vestments, and 
the expression of his countenance was that of a proud 
serenity, as if he were entirely freed from all worldly 
passions. Above his head, on the panel of wonderful 
embroidery, were two angels supporting the brilliant 
coat of arms of Hautecosur. 

Then the solemn service began. All the clergy 
connected with the Cathedral were present to do 
honour to their Bishop, and priests had come from the 
different parishes to assist them. Among the crowd of 
white surplices which seemed to overflow the grating, 
shone the golden capes of the choristers, and the red 
robes of the singing -boys. The almost eternal night 
of the side-aisles, crushed down by the weight of the 



302 THE DREAM 

heavy Romanesque chapels, was this morning slightly 
brightened by the limpid April sunlight, which struck 
the painted glass of the windows so that they seemed 
to be a burning of gems, a sacred bursting into blos- 
som of luminous flowers. But the background of the 
nave particularly blazed with a swarming of wax-tapers, 
tapers as innumerable as the stars of evening in a sum- 
mer sky. In the centre, the high altar seemed on 
fire from them, a true ' burning bush,' symbolic of the 
flame that consumes souls ; and there were also candles 
in large candelabra and in chandeliers, while before the 
plighted couple, two enormous lustres with round 
branches looked like two suns. About them was a 
garden of masses of green plants and of living blossoms, 
where were in flower great tufts of white azaleas, of 
white camellias, and of lilacs. Away to the back of the 
apse sparkled bits of gold and silver, half-seen skirts of 
velvet and of silk, a distant dazzling of the tabernacle 
among the sombre surroundings of green verdure. 
Above all this burning the nave sprang out, and the 
four enormous pillars of the transept mounted upward 
to support the arched vaulting, in the trembling move- 
ment of these myriads of little flames, which almost 
seemed to pale at times in the full daylight which 
entered by the high Gothic windows. 

Angelique had wished to be married by the good 
Abbe Cornille, and when she saw him come forward in 
his surplice, with the white stole, followed by two clerks, 
she smiled. This was at last the triumphant realisa- 
tion of her dream she was wedding fortune, beauty, and 
power far beyond her wildest hopes. The church itself 
was singing by its organs, radiant with its wax-tapers, 
and alive with the crowd of believers and priests, whom 



THE DREAM 33 

she knew to be around her on every side. Never had 
the old building been more brilliant or filled with a 
more regal pomp, enlarged as it were in its holy, sacred 
luxury, by an expansion of happiness. Angelique 
smiled again in the full knowledge that death was at 
her heart, celebrating its victory over her, in the midst 
of this glorious joy. In entering the Cathedral she 
had glanced at the Chapel d'Hautecceur, where slept 
Laurette and Balbine, the ' Happy Dead,' who passed 
away when very young, in the full happiness of their 
love. At this last hour she was indeed perfect. Vic- 
torious over herself, reclaimed, renewed, having no 
longer any feeling of passion or of pride at her triumph, 
resigned at the knowledge that her life was fast leaving 
her, in this beautiful Hosanna of her great friend, the 
blessed old church. When she fell upon her knees, it 
was as a most humble, most submissive servant, entirely 
free from the stain of original sin ; and in her renuncia- 
tion she was thoroughly content. 

The Abbe Cornille, having mounted to the altar, 
had just come down again. In a loud voice he made 
the exhortation ; he cited as an example the marriage 
which Jesus had contracted with the Church ; he spoke 
of the future, of days to come when they would live and 
govern themselves in the true faith ; of children whom 
they must bring up as Christians ; and then, once more, 
in face of this hope, Angelique again smiled sweetly, 
while Felicien trembled at the idea of all this happiness, 
which he believed to be assured. Then came the con- 
secrated demands of the ritual, the replies which united 
them together for their entire existence, the decisive 
' Yes ' which she pronounced in a voice filled with 
emotion from the depths of her heart, and which he 



304 THE DREAM 

said in a much louder tone, and with a tender earnest- 
ness. The irrevocable step was taken, the clergyman 
had placed their right hands together, one clasping the 
other, as he repeated the prescribed formula : ' Ego con- 
jungo vos in matrimonium, in 'nomine Pah-is, et Filii, et 
Spiritus Sancti.' 1 But there were still the rings to be 
blessed, the symbols of inviolable fidelity, and of the 
eternity of the union, which is lasting. In the silver 
basin, above the rings of gold, the priest shook back 
and forth the asperges brush, and making the sign of 
the Cross over each one, said, ' Benedic, Domine, annu- 
lum hunc.' 2 

Then he presented them to the young couple, to 
testify to them that the Church sanctified their union ; 
that for the husband henceforth his heart was sealed, 
and no other woman could ever enter therein ; and the 
husband was to place the ring upon his wife's finger in 
order to show her, in his turn, that henceforth he alone 
among all men existed for her. This was the strict 
union, without end, the sign of her dependence upon 
him, which would recall to her constantly the vows she 
had made ; it was also the promise of a long series of 
years, to be passed together, as if by this little circle of 
gold they were attached to each other even to the 
grave. 

And while the priest, after the final prayers, ex- 
horted them once more, Angelique wore always the 
sweet expression of renunciation ; she, the pure souj, 
who knew the truth. 

Then, as the Abbe Cornille withdrew, accompanied 

1 I unite you in matrimony, in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' 
* ' Bless, Lord, this ring.' 



THE DREAM 35 

by his clerks, the organs again burst forth with peals of 
joy. Monseigneur, motionless until now, bent towards 
the young couple with an expression of great mildness 
in his eagle-like eyes. Still on their knees, the Huberts 
lifted their heads, blinded by their tears of joy. And 
the enormous depths of the organs' peals rolled and 
lost themselves by degrees in a hail of little sharp notes, 
which were swept away under the high arches, like the 
morning song of the lark. There was a long waving 
movement, a half-hushed sound amongst the reverential 
crowd, who filled to overflowing even the side-aisles and 
the nave. The church, decorated with flowers,^ glitter- 
ing with the taper lights, seemed beaming with joy from 
the Sacrament. 

Then there were nearly two hours more of solemn 
pomp; the Mass being sung and the incense being 

burnt. 

The officiating clergyman had appeared, dressed 
in his white chasuble, accompanied by the director 
of the ceremonies, two censer-bearers carrying the 
censer and the vase of incense, and two acolytes bear- 
ing the great golden candlesticks, in which were 
lighted tapers. 

The presence of Monseigneur complicated the rites, 
the salutations, and the kisses. Every moment there 
were bowings, or bendings of the knee, which kept the 
wings of the surplices in constant motion. In the old 
stalls, with their backs of carved wood, the whole chap- 
ter of canons rose ; and then again, at other times it was 
as if a breath from heaven prostrated at once the clergy, 
by whom the whole apse was filled. The officiating 
priest chanted at the altar. When he had finished, he 
went to one side, and took his seat while the choir in its 



x 



3o6 THE DREAM 

turn for a long time continued the solemn phrases of 
the services in the fine, clear notes of the young cho- 
risters, light and delicate as the flutes of archangels. 
Among these voices was a very beautiful one, unusually 
pure and crystalline, that of a young girl, and most de- 
licious to hear. It was said to be that of Mademoiselle 
Claire de Voincourt, who had wished and obtained per- 
mission to sing at this marriage, which had been so 
wonderfully secured by a miracle. The organ which 
accompanied her appeared to sigh in a softened manner, 
with the peaceful calm of a 'soul at ease and perfectly 
happy. 

There were occasionally short spells of silence. Then 
the music burst out again with formidable rollings, while 
the master of the ceremonies summoned the acolytes 
with their chandeliers, and conducted the censer-bearers 
to the officiating clergyman, who blessed the incense in 
the vases. Now there was constantly heard the move- 
ments of the censer, with the silvery sound of the little 
chains as they swung back and forth in the clear light. 
There was in the air a bluish, sweet-scented cloud, 
as they incensed the Bishop, the clergy, the altar, 
the Gospel, each person and each thing in its turn, 
even the close crowd of people, making the three move- 
ments, to the right, to the left, and in front, to mark 
the Cross. 

In the meantime Angelique and Felicien, on their 
knees, listened devoutly to the Mass, which is signifi- 
cant of the mysterious consummation of the marriage 
of Jesus and the Church. There had been given into 
the hands of each a lighted caudle, symbol of the purity 
preserved since their baptism. After the Lord's Prayer 



THE DREAM 307 

they had remained under the veil, which is a sign of 
subniissioo, of bashfulness, and of modesty ; and during 
this time the priest, standing at the right-hand side of 
the altar, read the prescribed prayers. They still held 
the lighted tapers, which serve also as a sign of remem- 
brance of death, even in the joy of a happy marriage. 
And now it was finished, the offering was made, the 
officiating clergyman went away, accompanied by the 
director of the ceremonies, the incense-bearers, and the 
acolytes, after having prayed God to bless the newly- 
wedded couple, in order that they might live to see anc. 
multiply their children, even to the third and fourth 
generation. 

At this moment the entire Cathedral seemed living 
and exulting with joy. The March Triumphal was 
being played upon the organs with such thunder-like 
peals that they made the old edifice fairly tremble. The 
entire crowd of people now rose, quite excited, and 
straining themselves to see everything ; women even 
mounted on the chairs, and there were closely-pressed 
rows of heads as far back as the dark chapels of the 
outer side-aisles. In this vast multitude every face 
was smiling, every heart beat with sympathetic joy. 
In this final adieu the thousands of tapers appeared to 
burn still higher, stretching out their flames like tongues 
of fire, vacillating under the vaulted arches. A last 
Hosanna from the clergy rose up through the flowers 
and the verdure in the midst of the luxury of the orna- 
ments and the sacred vessels. But suddenly the great 
portal under the organs was opened wide, and the 
sombre walls of the church were marked as if by great 
sheets of daylight. It was the clear April morning, 



308 THE DREAM 

the living sun of the spring-tide, the Place du Cloitre, 
which was now seen with its tidy-looking, white houses ; 
and there another crowd, still more numerous, awaited 
the coming of the bride and bridegroom, with a more 
impatient eagerness, which already showed itself by 
gestures and acclamations. The candles had grown 
paler, and the noises of the street were drowned in the 
music of the organs. 

With a slow step, between the double hedge of the 
worshippers, Angelique and Felicien turned towards 
the entrance-door. After the triumphant carrying out 
of her dream, she was now about to enter into the reality 
of life. This porch of broad sunlight opened into the 
world of which as yet she was entirely ignorant. She 
retarded her steps as she looked earnestly at the rows 
of houses, at the tumultuous crowd, at all which greeted 
and 'claimed her. Her weakness \v as so intense that 
her husband was obliged to almost carry her. How- 
ever, she was still able to look pleased, as she thought 
of the princely house, filled with jewels and with queenly 
toilettes, where the nuptial chamber awaited her, all 
decorated with white silk and lace. Almost suffocated, 
she was obliged to stop when halfway down the aisle ; 
then she had sufficient strength to take a few steps 
more. She glanced at her wedding-ring, so recently 
placed upon her finger, and smiled at this sign of eternal 
union. Then, on the threshold of the great door, at 
the top of the steps which went down into the Place du 
Cloitre, she tottered. Had she not really arrived at 
the summit of her happiness ? "Was not it there that 
the joy of her life, being perfected, was to end ? 
With a last effort she raised herself as much as pos- 
sible, that she might put her lips upon the lips of 



THE DREAM 309 

Felicien. And in that kiss of love she passed away 
for ever. 

But her death was without sadness. Monseigneur, 
with his habitual movement of pastoral benediction, 
aided this pure soul to free itself from the frail body. 
He had regained his calmness, and had once more found 
in the fulfilment of his sacred calling the desired-for 
peace. 

The Huberts, unconscious of what had taken place, 
were still kneeling, grateful for the pardon at last 
gi'anted them, and feeling as if re-entering into exist- 
ence. For them, as well as for their beloved daughter, 
the dream was to be accomplished. All the Cathedral 
and the whole town were en fete. The organs sounded 
louder than ever ; the bells pealed joyously ; the multi- 
tude waited to greet the loving couple on the threshold 
of the mystic church under the glorious spring sun- 
light. 

It was indeed a beautiful death. Angelique, happy 
and pure, carried away suddenly at the moment of the 
realisation of her fondest dream, taken into the heavenly 
life from the dark Romanesque chapels with the flam- 
boyant, Gothic -vaulted ceiling, from among the gilded 
decorations and paintings of ancient times, in the full 
Paradise of Golden Legends. What more could she 
have asked for ? 

Felicien held in his arms simply a soft and tender 
form, from which life had departed ; this bridal robe of 
lace and pearls seemed like the light wings of a bird, 
still warm to the touch. For a long time he had well 
known that he could claim but a shadow. The exqui- 
site vision that came from the Invisible had returned to 
the Invisible. 



3io THE DREAM 

It was merely a semblance, which effaced itself; the 
vanishing of an illusion. 

Everything is only a dream. 

And so, at the moment of supreme earthly happi- 
ness, Angelique had disappeared in the slight breath of 
a loving kiss. 



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A Journey Round My Room. By XAVIER 

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Harry Fludyer at Cambridge. 
Jeff Briggs's Love Story. BRET HARTE. 
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Esther's Glove. ByR. E. FRANCILLON, 
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This Mortal Coil. 
The Great Taboo. 



Phlllstia. 

Babylon. 

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Beckoning Hand. 

In all Shades. 

Dumaresq's Daughter. | Blood Royal. 

The Duchess of Powysland. 

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Phra the Phoenician. 

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Case of Mr.Lucraft. Monks of Thelema. 
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'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay. 
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All Sorts and Conditions of Men. 
The Captains' Room. | Herr Paulus. 
All In a Garden Fair 
The World Went Very Well Then. 
For Faith and Freadom. 



Dorothy Forster. 
Uncle Jack. 
Children of Gibeon. 
Bell of St. Paul's. 
To Call Her Mine. 



The Holy Rose. 
Armorel of Lyon- 

esse. 
St. Katharine's by 

the Tower. 



By ROBERT BUCHANAN. 

The Shadow of the Sword. | Matt. 
A Child of Nature. I Heir of Linne. 
The Martyrdom of Madeline. 
God and the Man. The New Abelard. 
Love Me for Ever. Foxglove Manor. 
Annan Water. Master of the Mine. 

By 11 A 1. 1, CA1NE. 
The Shadow of a Crime. 
A Son of Hagar. I The Deemster. 
ill OUT. & FRANCES COLLINS. 
Transmigration. 
From Midnight to Midnight. 
Blacksmith and Scholar. 
V 11] age Comedy. 1 You Play He Falae. 



By \VlLEvIF: COLLINS. 



Armadale. 
After Dark. 
No Name. 
Antonina. I Basil 
Hide and Seek. 
The Dead Secret. 
Queen of Hearts. 
My 



The Frozen Deep. 
The Two Destinies. 
Law and the Lady 
Haunted Hotel. 
The Fallen Leaves. 
Jezebel's Daughter. 
The Black Robe. 
Heart and Science. 
"I Say No." 
Little Novels. 
The Evil Genius. 
The Legacy of CalD 
A Rogue's Life. 
Blind Love. 



My Miscellanies. 
Woman in White. 
The Moonstone. 
Man and Wife. 
Poor Miss Finch. 
Miss or Mrs? 
New Magdalen. 

By DUTTON COOK. 
Paul Foster's Daughter. 

By UIATT CRIUI. 
Adventures of a Fair Rebel. 

By WILLIAM CYPI,E8. 
Hearts of Gold. 

ByALPHONSE DAUDET. 

The Evangelist ; or, Port Salvation. 

Bv ERASMUS DAWSsON. 

The Fountain of Youth. 

By JTAIUES E MILLE. 

A Castle In Spain. 

By J. LEIT1I DERWENT. 

Our Lady of Tears. | Circe's Lovers. 

By DICK DONOVAN. 

Tracked to Doom. 

By .Urn. ANNIE EWARI>E. 

Archie Lovell. 

By O. ITIANVILLE FENN. 

The Now Mistress. 

By PERCY FITZGER I LD. 

Fatal Zero. 

By R. E. FRANCIL ? .< X. 

Sucen Cophetua. I A Real Qu.-^n. 
ne by One. | King or Knave 

Prcf. by Sir R ART LE FRE RE. 
Pandurang Hari. 

By EOWARO ttARBETT* 
The Capel Girls. 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



THE PICCADILLY (3/6) NOVELS continued. 

li AKI.E:* .n:i:o\. 



The Golden Shaft. 
Of High Degree. 



Robin Gray. 

Loving a Dream. 

The Flower of the Forest. 

By !:. Ctl 
The Lost Heiress. 
Ihe Fossicker. 

By CECIL GRIFFITH. 
Corinthia Marazion. 

l!> TIMMI AS HARDY. 
Under the Greenwood Tree. 

By BRET I1ARTB. 
A Waif of the Plains. 
A Ward of the Golden Gate. 
A Sappho of Green Springs. 
Colonel Starbottle's Client. 

By .III. I A IV HAWTHORNE. 
Garth. Dust. 

Ellice Quentln. Fortune's Fool. 
Sebastian Strome. Beatrix Randolph. 
David Poindexter's Disappearance. 
The Spectre of the Camera. 

By Sir A. U E I I *. 
Ivan de Biron. 

By ISAAC) HENDERSON. 
Agatha Page. 

By Mm. ALFRED HUNT. 
The Leaden Casket. | Self-Condemned. 
That other Person. 

By JEAN INGELOW. 
Fated to be Free. 

By R. A SHE KINO. 
A Drawn Game. 
"The Wearing of the Green." 

By E. LYNN I.I Vg'ON. 



lone. 

Paston Carew. 

Sowing the Wind. 



Patricia Kemball. 

Under which Lord? 

"My Love I" 

The Atonement of Learn Dundas. 

The World Well Lost. 

By HENRY W. LUCY. 
Gideon Fleyce. 

By JUSTIN MCCARTHY. 

A Fair Saxon. Donna Quixote. 

Linley Rochford. Maid of Athena. 
Miss Misanthrope. Camiola. 
The Waterdale Neighbours. 
My Enemy's Daughter. 
Dear Lady Disdain. 
The Comet of a Season. 

By A GNE S MAC DONE I., I,. 
Cuaker Cousins. 

By D. CHRISTIE MURRAY. 
Life's Atonement. Val Strange. 
Joseph's Coat. Hearts. 

Coals of Fire. A Model Father. 

Old Blazer's Hero. 
By the Gate of the Sea. 
A Bit of Human Nature, 
First Person Singular. 
Cynic Fort me. 
The Way -,f the World. 

By Ml iiltAY & HE It HAN. 
The Bishops' Bible. 
1 -ml Jones's Alias. 

By HUME NISBET. 
"Bail Up!" 

By GEORGES OHNET. 
A Weird Gift. 

By MM. OLIPHANT. 
WhiteladiM. 



THE PICCADILLY (3/6) NOVELS continued. 
By OUIDA. 



Held In Bondage. 
Strathmore. 
Chandos. 
Under Two Flags. 
Idalia. 

CecilCastlemalne's 
Gage. 



Two Little Wooden 

Shoes. 

In a Winter City. 
Ariadne. 
Friendship. 
Moths. I Rufflno. 
Pipistrello. 



Tricotrin. | Puck. A Village Commune 



Folle Farine. 



Bimbi. I Wanda. 



A Dog of Flanders. Frescoes. \ Othmar. 
Pascarel. I Signa. In Maremma. 
Princess Naprax- Syrlin. 1 Guilderoy. 
ine. ' Santa Barbara. 

By MARGARET A. PAUL.. 
Gentle and Simple. 

By JAMES PAYN. 
Lost Sir Massingberd. 
Less Black than We're Painted. 
A Confidential Agent. 
A Grape from a Thorn. 
In Peril and Privation. 
The Mystery of Mirbridge. 
The Canon's Ward. 



Talk of the Town 
Holiday Tasks. 
The Burnt Million. 
The Word and the 

Will. 

Sunny Stories. 
PRICE. 
I The Foreigners. 



Walter's Word. 
By Proxy. 
High Spirits. 
Under One Roof. 
From Exile. 
Glow-worm Tales. 
By E. C. 
Valentina. 
Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. 

By RICIIAKD PRYCE. 
Miss Maxwell's Affections. 

By CHARLES READE. 
It Is Never Too Late to Mend. 
The Double Marriage. 
Love Me Little, Love Me Long. 
The Cloister and the Hearth. 
The Course of True Love. 
The Autobiography of a Thief. 
Put Yourself in his Place. 
A Terrible Temptation. 
Singleheart and Doubleface. 
Good Storiesof Men and other Animals. 
Hard Cash. Wandering Heir. 

Peg Woffington. A Woman-Hater. 
ChristieJohnstone. A Simpleton. 
Griffith Gaunt. Readiana. 
Foul Play. The Jilt. 

A Perilous Secret. 

By Mrs. J. II. RIDDELL. 
The Prince of Wales's Garden Party. 
Weird Stories. 

By F. \V. ROBINSON. 
Women are Strange. 
The Hands of Justice. 

By \V. CLARK RUSSELL, 
An Ocean Tragedy. 
My Shipmate Louise. 
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea. 

By JOHN SAUNDERS. 
Guy Waterman. | Two Dreamers. 
Bound to the Wheel. 
The Lion in the Path. 
Ry KATHARINE SAUNDERS. 
Margaret and Elizabeth. 
Gideon's Rock. j Heart Salvage, 
The High Mills. I Sebastian. 



CHATTO & WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



THE PICCADILLY (3/6) NOVELS continued. 

By Ll'Ii K SHARP. 
In a Steamer Chair. 

By II A\VI,i: V M.1I ART. 
Without Love or Licence. 

If) R. A. STERNDALE. 
The Afghan Knife. 

By BERTHA THOMAS. 
Proud Haisie. | The Violin-player. 
By FRANCES E. TROLLOPE. 
Like Ships upon the Sea. 
Anne Furness. | Mabel's Progress. 
By IVAN TIK; i:>Bi:i I , Ac. 
Btories from Foreign Novelists. 



THE PICCADILLY (3/6) NOVELS continued. 
By ANTHONY TKOH I 



Frau Frohmann. 
Marion Fay. 



Kept in the Dark. 
Land-Leaguers. 



The Way We Live Now. 
Mr. Scarborough's Family. 
By '. < . i if t -a it- r\ a 1,1:1: 
Mistress Judith. 

By NAISAII TV II, i: IS. 



Lady Bell. 

Buried Diamonds, 



The Bride's Pass. 

Noblesse Oblige. 

The Blackball Ghosts. 

By MARK TWAIN. 
The American Claimant. 

By .1. S. WINTER. 
A Soldier's Children. 



CHEAP EDITIONS OF POPULAR NOVELS. 

Post 8vo, illustrated boards, 2s. each. 



By ARTEIWUS WARD. 

Artemus Ward Complete. 

By IOI> ?!<>! ABOUT. 

The Fellah. 

By HAMILTON AIDE. 

Carr of Carrlyon. | Confidences. 
By MARY ALBERT. 

Brooke FInchley's Daughter. 

By Mrs. AliBXANDBR. 

Maid, Wife, or Widow? | Valerie's Fate. 

By GRANT ALLEN. 
Strange Stories. The Devil's Die. 
Philistla. This Mortal Coil. 

Babylon. In all Shades. 

The Beckoning Hand. 
For Maimie's Sake. | Tents of Shem. 
The Great Taboo. 

By ALAN ST.AUBYN. 
A Fellow of Trinity. 

By K v. S. BARING GOULD. 
Bed Spider. I Eve. 

By FRANK BARRETT. 
Fettered for Life. 
Between Life and Death. 
The Sin of Olga Zassoulich. 
Folly Morrison. ! Honest Davle. 
Lieut. Barnabas. A Prodigal's Progress. 
Found Guilty. I A Recoiling Vengeance. 
For Love and Honour. 
John Ford ; and His Helpmate. 
By W. BESANT A- J. RK'E. 



By Celia's Arbour. 
Monks of Thelcma. 
The Seamy Side. 
Ten Years' Tenant. 



This Son of Vulcan. 
My Little Girl. 
Case of Mr.Lucraft. 
Golden Butterfly. 
Ready-Money Mortiboy. 
With Harp and Crown. 
Twas in Trafalgar's Bay. 
The Chaplain of the Fleet. 

By WALTICU BKttlNT. 
Dorothy Forster. Uncle Jack. 
Children of Gibeon. Herr Paulus. 
All Sorts and Conditions of Men. 
The Captains' Room. 
All In a Garden Fair. 
The World Went Very Well Then. 
For Faith and Freedom. 
To Call Her Mine. 
The Bell of St. Paul'!, 
Ihe Holy Rose. 



By Nil E 1,81, EV BEAUCIIAMI*. 

Grantley Grange. 

By FREDERICK BOYLE, 

Camp Notes. | Savage Life. 

Chronicles of No-man's Land. 

By BRET IIARTE. 

Flip. I Californian Storlef 

Maruja. | Gabriel Conroy, 

An Heiress of Red Dog. 
The Luck of Roaring Camp. 
A Phyllis of the Sierras. 

By HAROLD BRYDGE*. 

Uncle Sam at Home. 

By ROBERT BUCHANAN. 

The Shadow of the The Martyrdom of 

Sword. Madeline. 

A Child of Nature. Annan Water. 
God and the Man. The New Abeiard. 
Love Me for Ever. Matt. 
Foxglove Manor. The Heir of Llnne. 
The Master of the Mine. 

By HALL CAINE. 

The Shadow of a Crime. 

A Son of Hagar. | The Deemster. 

By Commander CAMERON. 

The Cruise of the " Black Prince." 
By Mr. LOVETT CAMERON. 

Deceivers Ever. | Juliet's Guardian. 

By AUSTIN CLARE. 
For the Love of a Lass. 

By .Hi*. ARCHER CJLIVE. 
Paul Ferroll. 
Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife. 

Br MACLAREN COBBAN. 
The Cure of Souls. 

By C. ALLSTON COLLINS. 
The Bar Sinister. 

.MOIST. & FRANCES COLLINS. 
Sweet Anne Page. I Transmigration. 
From Midnight to Midnight. 
A Fight with Fortune. 
Sweet and Twenty. I Village Comedy. 
Frances. I You Play me Fals* 

Blacksmith and Scholar. 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



TWO-SHII.LIHG NOVELS continued. 

By UflL.Ii.li: COLLINS. 
Armadale. My Miscellanies. 

After Dark. Woman in White. 

No Name. The Moonstone. 

Antonina. | Basil. Man and Wife. 
Hide and Seek. Poor Miss Finch. 
The Dead Secret. The Fallen Leaves. 
Queen of Hearts. Jezebel's Daughter 
Miss or Mrs? The Slack Robe. 

New Magdalen. Heart and Science. 
The Frozen Deep. "I Say No." 
Law and the Lady. The Evil Genius. 
The Two Destinies. Little Novels. 
Haunted Hotel. Legacy of Cain. 
A Rogue's Life. Blind Love. 

By M. J. COLQUUOUN. 
Every Inch a Soldier. 

By Dill ON COOK. 
Leo. I Paul Foster's Daughter. 

By C. EGBERT CRADDOCK. 
Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

By B. M. CKOIiEiS. 
Pretty Miss Neville. 
A Bird of Passage. 
Diana Barrington. 
Proper Pride. 

By WILLIAM CYPLES. 
Hearts of Gold. 

By ALPHONSE DAUDET. 
The Evangelist; or, Port Salvation. 

By JAMES DE MILLE. 
A Castle in Spain. 

By .. I, KIT II DERWENT. 
Our Lady of Tears. | Circe's Lovers. 

By CHARLES DICKENS. 
Sketches by Boz. Oliver Twist. 
Pickwick Papers. Nicholas Nickleby. 

By DICK DONOVAN. 
The Man-Hunter. | Caught at Last! 
Tracked and Taken. 
Who Poisoned Hetty Duncan? 
The Man from Manchester. 
A Detective's Triumphs. 
In the Grip of the Law. 
By Mrs. ANNIE EDWARDES. 
A Point of Honour. | Archie Lovcll. 
By M. BETHAM-EDWARDS. 
Felicia. I Kitty. 

By EDWARD EGGLESTON. 

R By' PERCY FITZGERALD. 

Bella Donna. I Polly. 
Never Forgotten. I Fatal Zaro. 
The Second Mrs. Tillotson. 
Seventy-five Brooke Street. 
The Lady of Brantome. 
By PERCY FITZGERALD 

and otlurs. 
Strange Secrets. 

ALBANY DE FONBLANQUE. 
Filthy Lucre. 

By R. E. FRANCILLON. 
Olympla. I Queen Cophetua. 

One by One. King or Knave? 

A Real Queen. | Romances of Law. 
By HAROLD FREDERICK. 
Beth's Brother's Wife. 
The Lawton Girl. 

JPrel. by Sir E! A KTLE FREIJE, 
Pandurang Hari. 



TWO-SHILLING NOVELS continued. 

By IIAIN FRISWELL. 
One of Two. 

By EDWARD GARRETT. 
The Capel Girls. 

By CHARLES GIBBON. 



In Honour Bound. 
Flower of Forest. 
Braes of Yarrow. 
The Golden Shaft. 
Of High Degree. 
Mead and Stream. 
Loving a Dream. 
A Hard Knot. 
Heart's Delight. 
Blood-Money. 



Robin Gray. 
Fancy Free. 
For Lack of Gold. 
What will the 

World Say? 
In Love and War. 
For the King. 
In Pastures Green. 
Quean of Meadow. 
A Heart's Problem. 
The Dead Heart. 

By WILLIAM GILBERT. 
Dr. Austin's Guests. I James Duke. 
The Wizard of the Mountain. 

By ERNEST GLANVILLE. 
The Lost Heiress. 

By HENRY GKEVILLE. 
A Noble Woman. | Nikanor. 

By JOHN IIABBERTON. 
Brueton's Bayou. | Country Luck. 

By ANDREW HALLIDA Y. 
Every-Day Papers. 

By Lady DUFFUS HARDY. 
Paul Wynter's Sacrifice. 

By THOMAS HARDY. 
Under the Greenwood Tree. 
By J. BERWICK HARWOOD. 
Tha Tenth Earl. 

By JULIAN HAWTHORNE. 
Garth. Sebastian Strome. 

Eilice Qnentln. Dust. 
Fortune's Fool. Beatrix Randolph, 
Miss Cadogna. Love or a Name. 
David Poindexter's Disappearance. 
The Spectre of the Camera. 

By Sir ARTHUR HELPS. 
Ivan de Biron. 

By HENRY HERMAN. 
A Leading Lady. 

By Mrs. CASHEL HOEY. 
The Lover's Creed. 
By Mrs. GEORGE HOOPER. 
The House of Raby. 

By TIGHE HOPKINS. 
'Twixt Love and Duty. 

By Mrs. HUNGERPORD. 
A Maiden all Forlorn. 
In Durance Ylle. I A Mental Struggle. 
Marvel. I A Modern Circe. 

By Mrs. ALFRED HUNT. 
Thornlcroft's Model. Self Condemned. 
That Other Person. Leaden Casket. 

By JEAN INGELOW. 
Fated to be Free. 

By HARRIETT JAY 
The Dark Colleen. 
The Queen of Connaught. 

By MARK KERSHAW. 
Colonial Facts and Fictions. 

By R. ASHE KING. 
A Drawn Game. I Passion's Slav* 
" The Wearing of the Green." 
Bell Barry. 



CHATTO & WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



TWO-SHILLING NOVELS continued. 

By JOHN LEYS. 
The Lindsays. 

Br E. LYNN LINTON. 

Patricia Kcmball. Paston Carew. 

World Well Lost. "My Love I" 

UnderwhlchLord? lone. 

Tho Atonement of Learn Dun das. 

With a Silken Thread. 

Ths Rebel of the Family. 

Bowing the Wind. 

By HENRY W. LUCY. 
Gideon Fleyce. 

By JUSTIN MCCARTHY. 
A Fair Saxon. Donna Quixote. 

Linley Rochfcrd. Maid of Athens. 
Miss Misanthrope. Camiola. 
Dear Lady Disdain. 
The Waterdale Neighbours. 
My Enemy's Daughter. 
The Comet of a Season. 

By AGNES MACDONELL. 

Quaker Cousins. 

KATHARINF S. MACO.UOID. 

The Evil Eye. | Lost Rose. 

By W. II. MALLOCIt. 

The New Republic. 
By FLORENCE MARRYAT. 

Open! Sesame 1 | Fighting the Air. 
A Harvest of Wild Oats. 
Written in Fire. 

By JT. MASTERMAN. 

Haifa-dozen Daughters. 
By BRANDER MATTHEWS. 

A Secret of the Sea. 

By LEONARD MERRICK. 

The Man who was Good. 

By JEAN MIDULEMASS. 

Touch and Go. | Mr. Dorillion. 
By Mrs. MOLESWORTU. 

Hathercourt Rectory. 

By J. E. MUDDOCK. 
Stories Weird and Wonderful. 
The Dead Man's Secret. 

By D. CHRISTIE MURRAY. 
A Model Father. Old Blazer's Hero. 
Joseph's Coat. Hearts. 

Coals of Fire. Way of the World. 

Val Strange. Cynic Fortune. 

A Life's Atonement. 
By the Gate of the Sea. 
A Bit of Human Nature. 
First Person Singular. 

By MURRAY and HERMAN. 
One Traveller Returns. 
Paul Jones's Alias. 
The Bishops' Bible. 

By HENRY MURRAY. 
A Game of Bluff. 

By ALICE O' II AN I. ON. 
The Unforeseen. 1 Chance? or Fate? 



TWO-SHILLING NOVELS continued. 

By GEORGES OIINET. 
Doctor Rameau. A Last Love. 
A Weird Gift. 

By Mrs. OLIPHANT. 
Whiteladies. | The Primrose Path 
The Greatest Heiress in England. 
By Mrs. ROISEKT O REILLY. 
Phoebe's Fortunes. 

By 01 BOA. 



Held in Bondage. 

Strathmore. 

Chandos. 

Under Two Flags. 

Idalia. 

CecilCastlemaine's 



Tricotrin. 

Puck. 

Folle Farine. 

A Dog of Flanders. 

Pascarel. 

Signa. 

Princess Naprax- 

ine. 

In a Winter City. 
Ariadne. 



Two Little Wooden 
Shoes. 

Friendship. 

Moths. 

Pipistrello. 

A Village Com- 
mune. 

Bimbi. 

Wanda. 

Frescoes. 

In Maremma. 

Othmar. 

Guilderoy. 

Rufflno. 

Syrlin. 

Ouida's Wisdom, 
Wit, and Path js. 



MARGARET AGNES PAUL,. 

Gentle and Simple. 

By JAMES PAYN. 



200 Reward. 
Marine Residence, 
Mirk Abbey. 
By Proxy. 
Under One Roof. 
High Spirits. 
Carlyon's Year. 
From Exile. 
For Cash Only. 
Kit. 

The Canon's Ward 
Talk of the Town, 
Holiday Tasks. 



Bentinck's Tutor. 

Murphy's Mastar. 

A County Family. 

At Hsr Mercy. 

Cecil's Tryst. 

Clyffards of Clyffe. 

Foster Brothers. 

Found Dead. 

Best of Husbands. 

Walter's Word. 

Halves. 

Fallen Fortunes. 

Humorous Stories. 

Lost Sir Massingb3i'd. 

A Perfect Treasure. 

A Woman's Yengaance. 

The Family Scapegrace. 

What He Cost Her. 

Gwendoline's Harvest. 

Like Father, Like Son. 

Married Beneath Him. 

Not Wooed, but Won. 

Less Black than We're Painted, 

A Confidential Agent. 

Some Private Views. 

A Grape from a Thorn. 

Glow-worm Tales. 

Tha Mystery of Mirbridge. 

Tho Burnt Million. 

The Word and the Will. 

A Prince of the Blood. 

By C. L. PIRKIS. 
Lady Lovelace. 

By EDGAR A. POE. 
The Mystery of Marie Roget. 

By E. C. PRICE. 
Valentina. I The Foreign ars. 

Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. 
Gerald. 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY CHATTO & WINDUS. 



TWO-SHILLING NOVELS continued. 

Ity CHARLES ICKAUE. 
It is Never Too Late to Mend. 
Christie Johnstone. 
Put Yourself in His Place. 
The Double Marriage. 
Love Me Little, Love Me Long, 
The Cloister and the Hearlh. 
The Course of True Love. 
Autobiography of a Thief. 
A Terrible Temptation. 
The Wandering Heir. 
Singleheart and Doubleface. 
Good Stories of Men and other Animals. 
Hard Cash. A Simpleton. 

Peg Wofflngton. Readiana. 
Griffith Gaunt. A Woman-Hater. 
Foul Play. The Jilt. 

A Perilous Secret. 

By Mi-w. J. II. RIDDELL. 
Weird Stories. | Fairy Water. 
Her Mother's Darling. 
Prince of Wales's Garden Party. 
The Uninhabited House. 
The Mystery in Palace Gardens. 
The Nun's Curse. | Idle Tales. 
By F. W. ROBINSON. 
Women are Strange. 
The Hands of Justice. 

By JAMES RUNG'IMAN. 
Skippers and Shellbacks. 
Grace Balmaign's Sweetheart. 
Schools and Scholars. 

By \V. CLARK RUSSELL. 
Round the Galley Fire. 
On the Fo'k'sle Head. 
In the Middle Watch. 
A Voyage to the Cape. 
A Book for the Hammock. 
The Mystery of the "Ocean Star." 
The Romance of Jenny Harlowe. 
An Ocean Tragedy. 
My Shipmate Louise. 
QKORGE AUGUSTUS SALA. 
Gaslight and Daylight. 

By JOHN 8AUNDKB8. 
Guy Waterman. I Two Dreamers. 
The Lion in the Path. 
By KATHARINE SAUNDKKS. 
Joan Merry weather. Heart Salvage. 
The High Mills. Sebastian. 

Margaret and Elizabeth. 

By OI40IM.JI: 1C. SIMS. 
Rogues and Vagabonds. 
The Ring o' Bells. 
Mary Jane's Memoirs. 
Mary Jane Married. 
Tales of To-day. | Dramas of Life, 
Tinkletop's Crime. 
Zeph: A Circus Story. 

By AKTIIIJR SfiETCIILE Y. 
A Match in the Dark. 

By II A W 1, 1C Y SMART. 
Without Love or Licence. 

By T. W. !Sl';im T. 
The Mysteries of Heron Dyke. 
The Golden Hoop. I By Devious Ways. 
Hoodwinked, &c. | Back to Life. 



TWO-SHILLING NOVELS continued. 

By R. A. STERNDALE. 
The Afghan Knife. 

By R. 1,01 IS STEVENSON. 
New Arabian Nights. | Prince Otto. 
KY BERTH A THOMAS. 
Cressida. | Proud Maiaie. 

The Violin-player. 

By WALTER THORNBURY. 
Tales for the Marines. 
Old Stories Re-told. 

T. ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE. 

Diamond Cut Diamond. 

By F. ELEANOR TROLLOPE. 

Like Ships upon the Sea. 

Anne Furness. | Mabel's Progress. 

By ANTHONV TROLLOPE. 



Frau Frohmann. 
Marion Fay. 



Kept in the Dark* 
John Caldigate. 



The Way We Live Now. 

The American Senator. 

Mr. Scarborough's Family. . 

The Land-Leaguers. 

The Golden Lion of Granpere. 

By J. T. TROWBR1DG12. 

Farnell's Folly. 
By IVAN TURGENIEFF, Ac. 

Stories from Foreign Novelists. 
By MARK TWAIN. 

A Pleasure Trip on the Continent. 

The Gilded Age. 

Mark Twain's Sketches. 

Tom Sawyer. | A Tramp Abroad. 

The Stolen White Elephant. 

Huckleberry Finn. 

Life on the Mississippi. 

The Prince and the Pauper. 

By . C. FRASER-TYTLER. 
Mistress Judith. 

By SARAH TYTLKR. 



The Bride's Pass. 
Buried Diamonds. 
Saint Mungo'sCity. 



Noblesse Oblige. 
Disappeared. 
Huguenot Family. 
Blackball Ghosts. 



Lady Bell. 

What She Came Through. 

Beauty and the Beast. 

Citoyenne Jaqueline. 

By .Tlr*. F. II. WILLIAMSON. 

A Child Widow. 

By J. . WINTER. 
Cavalry Life. | Regimental Legends 

By II. F. WOOD. 
The Passenger from Scotland Yard. 
The Englishman of the Rue Cain. 

By Lady WOOD. 
Sabina. 

C'ELIA PARKER WOOI.I.-ICT. 
Rachel Armstrong; or, Love & Theology. 

By EDMUND V ATI- *. 
The Forlorn Hope. 1 Land at Last. 
Castaway. 



OGPKN, SMALE AND CO, LIMITED, PRINTERS, GREAT SAFFRON HILL) E.C 



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