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which were duly searchedwas she missed.
In short, she was not to be found at all. All
was amazement on the Boulevards. Hardened
old flaneurs turned pale under their rouge,
and some of the younger ones went about
with drooping moustaches, which, for want
of the cire, had fallen into the " yellow leaf."

A few days sufficed, however, for the cure
of these sentimentalists. A clever little monkey
at the Hippodrome, and a gentleman
who stood on his head while he ate his dinner,
became the immediate objects of interest, and
Hermance seemed to be forgotten. I was
one of the few who retained any hope of finding
her, and my wanderings for that purpose,
without any guide, clue, information, or indication,
seem to me now something absurd.
In the course of my walks, I met an old man,
who was pointed out to me as her father
met him frequently, alone. The expression
of his face was quite sufficient to assure me
that he was on the same missionand with
about as much chance of success as myself.
Once I tried to speak to him; but he turned
aside, and avoided me with a manner that
there could be no mistaking. This surprised
me, for I had no reason to suppose that he
had ever seen my face before.

A paragraph in one of the newspapers at
last threw some light on the matter. The
Bouquetière had never been so friendless or
unprotected as people had supposed. In all
her wanderings she was accompanied, or
rather followed, by her father; whenever she
stopped, then he stopped also; and never was
he distant more than a dozen yards. I wonder
that he was not recognised by hundreds, but
I conclude he made some change in his attire
or appearance, from time to time. One morning
this strange pair were proceeding on their
ramble as usual, when, passing through a
rather secluded street, the Bouquetière made
a sudden bound from the pavement, sprung
into a post-chaise, the door of which stood
open, and was immediately whirled away, as
fast as four horses could tearleaving the
old man alone with his despair, and the
basket of flowers.

Three months have passed away since the
disappearance of the Bouquetière; but only a
few days since I found myself one evening
very dull at one of those " brilliant receptions,"
for which Paris is so famous. I was
making for the door, with a view to an early
departure, when my hostess detained me, for
the purpose of presenting me to a lady who
was monopolising all the admiration of the
eveningshe was the newly-married bride of
a young German Baron of great wealth, and
noted for a certain wild kind of genius, and
utter scorn of conventionalities. The next
instant I found myself introduced to a pair
of eyes that could never be mistaken. I
dropped into a vacant chair by their side, and
entered into conversation. The Baronne observed
that she had met me before, but could
not remember where, and in the same breath
asked me if I was a lover of flowers.

I muttered something about loving beauty
in any shape, and admired a bouquet which
she held in her hand.

The Baronne selected a flower, and asked
me if it was not a peculiarly fine specimen.
I assented; and the flower, not being redemanded,
I did not return it. The conversation
changed to other subjects, and, shortly
afterwards the Baronne took her leave with
her husband. They left Paris next day for the
Baron's family estate, and I have never seen
them since.

I learned subsequently that some strange
stories had obtained circulation respecting the
previous life of the Baronne. Whatever they
were, it is very certain that this or some other
reason has made the profession of Bouquetière
most inconveniently popular in Paris. Young
ladies of all ages that can, with any degree of
courtesy, be included in that category, and of
all degrees of beauty short of the hunch-back,
may be seen in all directions intruding their
flowers with fatal pertinacity upon inoffensive
loungers, and making war upon button-holes
that never did them any harm. The youngest
of young girls, I find, are being trained to the
calling, who are all destined, I suppose, to
marry distinguished foreigners from some
distant and facetious country.

I should have mentioned before, that a
friend calling upon me the morning after my
meeting with the Baronne, saw the flower
which she had placed in my hand standing
in a glass of water on the table. An idea
struck me: " Do you know anything of the
language of flowers? " I asked.
    " Something," was the reply.
    " What, then, is the meaning of this?"
    " SECRECY"


LIFE's but a mask upon the face of Death;
     When left untill'd, the mind lies idly fallow;
And, vainly rising on the stammering breath,
     The brood of thought remains unfledged and callow.

Then unimproved are Man's peculiar gifts,
     The noblest portion of his compound being;
Untasted then the happiness that lifts
     Him nearer Heaven, as year by year is fleeing.

Yet countless thousands of the human race
    Live thus in death, as when the world was younger;
Rulers of realms the beaten footpath trace,
    Content to succour helpless want and hunger.

Yon aged peasant, leaning on his staff,
    Peering around with sunken eyes and faded,
Mumbles and mutters with a vacant laugh,
    By mindless toil to idiotcy degraded.

Some, half-instructed, but unschool'd to think,
    Devour the page which teems with vice and treason;
Till, straying heedlessly on error's brink,
     They fall, unguided by the light of reason.

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