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And lo! her voice, as sweet as his,
Echoes again his song of bliss:
What music can compare to this?

When she retreats, a sprite you fear,
Her footsteps you can scarcely hear,
And yet you saw her figure near.

See! she retreats up yonder flight
Of broadest stepsyou lose the sight
And then the mansion streams with light.

In that old grey and silent place,
Is it some spirit loves to trace
The paths it used in life to pace?

It may be so: that form so frail,
The step so light, the cheek so pale,
Will all bear witness to the tale.

Or, is she loved of flesh and blood;
Has loved, and suffer'd, and withstood,
Bearing the fate of womanhood?

Or, is some beating soul the guest,
Or struggling prisoner, of her breast,
As though she'd flee, and be at rest?

To read such sibyl-leaves, forbear!
How shall you scan such powers rare?
You only know that she is fair.



EXACTLY one hundred years ago, there
lived in Paris, in the Rue Saint Martin, a rich
silk-merchant named Gombert. He was
about sixty years of age, a widower, with an
only child, a beautiful girl of nineteen, who
was no less admired for her personal
attractions than for the handsome fortune
which she was likely one day to inherit.
Madeleine Gombert was, indeed, the great
match of the quarter in which the silk-
merchant dwelt, and if she did not marry it
was not certainly for want of suitors. A
hundred years ago the reign of the Encyclopedists
had begun, their doctrines had
penetrated far and wide, and religion was going
out of fashion; but a stranger accidentally
dropping into the church of Saint Merri, on a
Sunday morning, would have concluded, from
the number of young men who knelt at
mass and sat out the sermon, that devotion
hadat all eventslost no ground in that
quarter of the city. He would, however, have
been wrong; the cause of this crowd of
devotees arising simply from the fact, that
Saint Merri was the parish church of Monsieur
Gombert and his daughter, and that to see
and, possibly, attract the notice of the beautiful
Madeleine, had a great deal more to do
with their attendance than the sincerity of
their faith, or their admiration for the
preacher. Whether Madeleine Gombert were
aware, or not, of the sensation which her
presence excited I will not pretend to
say: the chances are, that feminine instinct
set her right on this point, though it did not
influence her conduct. As for Monsieur
Gombert, he was as far as possible from
putting a right construction on this peculiar
demonstration: to doubt was not his habit.
He accepted every thing literally, and believed
religiously in all he saw.

Of course, it was never intended by nature
or custom, by Madeleine Gombert or her
father, that the possessor of so much beauty
and the heiress of so much wealth should go
to the grave unwed. Her marriage had, in
fact, been a thing decided on, after the usual
French mode of that time,—where there
was anything to marry for,—while she was
yet a child. The business of the silk-
merchant of the Rue Saint Martin had thrown
him in very close relations with a rich
manufacturer of the city of Lyons, of the name
of Bodry. As the connection increased, the
desire arose on each side to cement it by
the union of the two families. Monsieur
Bodry had an only son, Monsieur Gombert
an only daughter. Could anything be more
natural than a compact between two
capitalists, the terms of which should be, that
Monsieur Bodry's son should marry Monsieur
Gombert's daughter ?

Although the proposed marriage of Henri
Bodry and Madeleine Gombert was an
arrangement of ten years' standing between
their parents, which needed no consent on
the part of the contracting parties, still,
with the view of making them acquainted,
Monsieur Bodry one fine morning consented to
the request of his son, that he might go to
Paris to see his betrothed, a few months
before he came of age; on which occasion the
nuptials were to take place. The young
man felt, without doubt, a certain degree of
curiosity respecting the person who was
destined to be his partner for life; butif the
truth must be told,—he was, though of feeble
constitution and uncertain health, extremely
fond of pleasure. Then, as now, Paris was the
focus of enjoyment, and to have his full
swing of the capital before he settled down
for good was the thing of all others which
the young Lyonnese most ardently desired.
Supplied then, with a full purse and the letter
of introduction to Monsieur Gombert, which
constituted his sole credentials, Henri Bodry
set out from his native city, about the latter
end of November, in the year seventeen
hundred and fifty-seven.

A hundred years ago, the journey from
Lyons to Paris was an affair of time.
Ordinary travellers usually went by roulage,
and consumed nearly twenty days on the
road; but the wealthier middle classed
aspired to the coche, a lumbering carriage
without springs, nearly as heavy and almost
as slow as the public wagon, but infinitely
more genteel. As the roulier did not
comport with the dignity of Henri Bodry, he
took the coche. In those days of rare