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grims. In passing over the cobble-pavement strewed poems in stone, is a feast in itself; and the vast firewith garbage, you notice that stables are sandwiched place, where a knight could sit in the saddle, shows between the shops and the little stone houses, though what they thought in old times of good cheer. But, at one point a freshly-restored mansion meets the in speaking of the “ Marvel,” it will be necessary to eye, indicating the possession of some wealth and shun details, and simply say that this is a marvel, taste. The steep street ends in a succession of zig- and a place where one might spend days without zag stone steps, that tax even a strong man's strength; exhausting the features of interest. There is much the prospect opening and widening as you ascend. to be seen even among the substructions of St.Finally, the convent is reached, the portal of which Michel, such as the crypt, catacombs, and dungeons. is guarded by a couple of scenic towers, built in 1257. The latter are consecrated to eternal gloom. The Then come more stairs, then vast halls and corridors, dungeon of Cellini, in the castle of St. Angelo, at with huge, prison-like doors, devised for strength; Rome, is humane in comparison ; while that of the but the halls are enlivened by bazaars, where pil Prison of Chillon, at Lake Leman, appears an elegrims drive through bargains for medals, badges, and gant salon. beads. When these buildings are cleared, the plat It is with a feeling of intense relief that we esform upon which the church stands is reached, and cape from the stifling atmosphere, to climb the roof the visitor is enabled to look down upon the town, of the grand old church, where we again look down and away across the sands, far out to sea. The upon the town, in whose little street the men approspect is one of much grandeur ; but the most pear like mice. Landward we see the fair hills of elevated view is from the roof of the church. A Brittany and Normandy, and seaward, beyond the bass-relief over the south door of the sanctuary tells mount, stretches the gray Sahara, bounded in the us of Aubert's interview with the archangel ; and, distance by resplendent windrows of snow-white foam entering by this door, the visitor finds himself within proclaiming the advance of the incoming sea. Standa really splendid church. The present nave dates ing here amid a forest of bold pinnacles and flying back to the year 1140, while the pointed Gothic buttresses, which almost recall the roof of the Cathechoir is of the fourteenth century. There is no dral of Milan, the attention is divided between the gaudy ornamentation, and indeed no excess of or- boldness of the architect and the solemnity of the namentation of any kind, though the building is grèves, which once, according to old chronicles, were worthy of the grand situation it occupies upon the dry land. The manuscripts give the names of villages summit of this wondrous rock. On the north side that no longer exist, and which have been engulfed of the church is the so-called “ Marvel,” standing by the sea. There is something peculiarly attrac
upon the brink of a perpendicular and unassailable tive about these drowned lands, which open the way precipice, of which its outer wall is a part, and pre- to curious speculations ; but there is much to do, and senting in its three different stories many splendid the notes of a chant now break upon the ear. Turnhalls, besides extensive dortoirs, refectories, kitchens ing from the line of distant breakers, we look towfit for kings, and all the varied appointments that ard the shore, and catch a glimpse of a procession, mark an imperial establishment. The grand refec- whose standard-bearer has just stepped upon the tory, with its lovely architecture, full of exquisite sands. At the distance of a mile we hear the an
tiphonal song, floating up to us on the calm air. Let thundering bass wellnigh causing the roof to quake us go to the welcome of this pilgrim band. In de- in the pilgrim hymn endingscending proceed by the walls, noticing the hanging
“ Pour Rome donc et pour la France gardens whose soil has been brought from the main
Nous implorons votre secours : land, thus furnishing flowers for this sterile rock ;
Armez-vous pour leur delivrance ! and observing the strong battlements and ports, the
Sauvez-les! gardez-les toujours !” frowning bastions, and all the various inventions for
This is all intensely political, as one of the priests increasing the destructiveness as well as the pomp admitted, but then, he added, “ it makes the people of war. Issuing at last from the gate, we walk forth upon result of intercession, they point to the fact that, in
religious, and teaches them to pray.” And, as one the sands, and take a deliberate view of the mount, the late war, the portions of France where the archfinding it more impressive than ever, and noting, now perhaps for the first time, the Orphelinat, where poor fact almost nothing, from the inroads of the Germans:
angel is honored the most suffered the least, and in children are protected by the monks. The waves, at full sea, beat against the very foundations of the
... So much the fear house. Another time we may walk around the
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them." mount, mark the magnificent elevation from every view-point, and try to take in the stupendous fact, In recognition of his services, a general contribution which grows upon one like Niagara; but at present was made to secure the silver statue of the leader of the tide and the pilgrims are coming, both of which, the hosts, now seen in the church. The pope in. rising above human law, wait for no man. Midway dorses this, which we might call the cultus of Michel, the sands we meet the procession, singing, according and pilgrimages and invocations are attended by to the order enjoined, the “Litany of the Saints," large indulgences. The confraternity of St.-Michel and we catch the suffrage “ Sancte Michael, ora pro is numerous, and extends over all France ; but the nobis.” This procession, like scores of others that we work of the society falls upon a few, chiefly priests, see in the course of a few days' sojourn, is every way who reside in the convent, and have the charge of remarkable, being composed of men, women, and entertaining the pilgrims. They are also the custochildren, bearing numerous banners ; the children in dians of the monuments of the mount, and hope to long white robes and gay sashes, the women in pe- derive enough from the pilgrimages to repair and reculiar Breton and Norman costumes, the men in store all the buildings, which, in such an exposed holiday attire, and decorated with badges, and the situation, go rapidly to decay. As already indicated, priests, in official regalia, leading the office. On the at the French exhibition last season magnificent | long column moves, with the steady step of solemn drawings were displayed, showing the mount as it is, enthusiasm, until reaching the gate, when, according and as it will appear when divested of what does to the pilgrim ritual, the litany ends, and the singers not belong to it. What is needed is more power on take up the hymn to St. Michael, “Prince most glo- the part of the convent authorities, who should be rious,” in adoration of whom, on his descent from allowed to manage the affairs of the town, now simheaven, “the sea lifts itself up,” while “ the earth ply a kind of irresponsible republic without governtrembles.” Chanting the solemn invocation, they ment, or at least without municipal law. The peoslowly climb the mount. At the entrance of the ple, indeed, conduct themselves very well, but they church a second hymn to the archangel is sung. are chiefly stupid fishermen, and have no conception The song ended, the service begins, and the preach- of decent sanitary habits. They live and worship er, before mass, pronounces a fervid discourse ; the by themselves, and possess a very ancient and quaint whole being interspersed with invocations, sung or chapel. Indeed, everything here bears the stamp pronounced with a wild enthusiasm, saluting the of the archangel, and the inhabitants, as well as archangel as the guardian of paradise, and beseech- pilgrims and tourists, have only one idea. Stanfield, ing him to intercede with the Father and the Son the coast-painter, after his visit, could scarcely divest on their behalf, and lead them to the “joy eternal,” himself of the subject, and therefore begged lit. annexing his name to the threefold ascription. erary friend to write a “Drama of Mont St.-Michel,” Sometimes there is a mass at every altar at the same which he might illustrate with his pencil, and thus time, the choir being full of banners and regalia, and possibly get relief. The material for such a drama the peer democratically standing by the side of the is abundant, but then how would the drama itself peasant in his blue blouse, all being animated by one appear compared with Stanfield's illustrations ? The heart and mind, namely, the relief of France and reader will judge of that after making his own pilRome, which all believe may be accomplished by grimage, and forming some adequate acquaintance St. Michael's puissant arm; the shrill treble and with this marvelous mount.
ONCE knew, in the neighborhood of Paris, a was gazing with delight at the exquisite effect of
good old priest who was gentleness itself. His the antique wrought-iron work under the brilliant every movement was replete with episcopal unction, light. and his soft, sweet voice sounded in the ears of the “What are you doing?" asked one of her friends. afflicted like a soothing melody. In listening to My dear fellow,” she answered, gayly, “my him one could appreciate the legend of David charm- three selves are in ecstasies. The Cossack is looking away the melancholy of King Saul by the sounds ing enviously at a collection of candles, the Parisian of his harp.
is enchanted by the blaze of light, and the lover of One evening after dinner, as we were sitting to the beautiful is contemplating an old work of art." gether on the banks of the Seine, the priest said to Let us remain in this salon, whose doors are me, in his quietly deliberate voice:
closed to all but a few faithful friends--the members "I once belonged to the Third Cuirassiers. One of the Croizette Club. There meet almost every day, day while intoxicated I had the misfortune to kill, in from four to six o'clock, M. Perrin, the manager of - duel, a comrade who had supplanted me in the the Comédie Française, Prince Radziwill, the Chevaheart of a grisette."
lier Nigra, Baron de Beyens, Baron Finot, and the You may imagine the surprise that this confession financiers Stern, Joubert, and Martini. No journalcaused me. Well, I felt exactly the same impression ists, no artists, no musicians. some ten years later, when, between the acts of The conversation is as brilliant as it was at the "Jean de Thommeraye,” I went behind the scenes Hôtel de Rambouillet, and, although lacking the to compliment Mademoiselle Croizette on her in- celebrated blue hanging starred with silver of the terpretation of the character of the courtesan Baron- salon of Artémise, the walls are none the less internette. She talked to me of her childhood, of her esting to examine. The pictures by Carolus Duran education, and ended by saying:
and by Jadin are calculated to fix the attention of “ I came very near becoming a governess.” an teurs, The furniture is covered with Eastern
A governess! What an idea ! The Baronne stuffs. In one corner stands Mademoiselle Croizette's d'Ange, the Duchesse de Septmonts, a governess — writing-desk, hidden behind a gilt trellis-work, over that fair creature a governess, who unites all seduc- which climb tropical plants. On the blotting-book tions in her own person, and who proves that Venus lies a just-finished letter. Croizette does not like to did not perish in the wreck of the pagan world! write, and yet, strange to say, her handwriting is Can one imagine Croizette with blue spectacles, a colossal. Her lazy pen takes twice the trouble that grammar in her hand, and employed in wiping re- is necessary, for the letters that it forms are not less calcitrant noses? No, it is impossible ; so it is all than half an inch long. Only the official signature for the best. And we are unspeakably grateful to of a monarch can equal hers in size. The flourish the theatre for having rescued from teaching that is bold and masterly. strange profile, better suited to the blaze of the foot. "If I were you,” said Dumas to her, “I should lights than to the smoky lamps of a boarding-school. ask in my will that the only inscription on my tombThe portrait of Croizette is not an easy thing to
stone should be that original signature." take. None of her features possess that mathemati Mademoiselle Croizette intends to follow this ad. cal regularity which suits the hackneyed phrases. vice. She has already spoken to the stone-cutter on Her eyes are small, her nose is large. The model. the subject. ing of the mouth is heavy and contorted. And yet I will not detain my reader long in the other what a charm and what harmony in this assemblage rooms of this beautiful home. We will cast a rapid of defects! Everything about her, from a certain glance into the bedroom, hung with blue satin, with break in her contralto tones to the merry or angry its suite of furniture in the style of Louis XVI., ensparkle in her brown eyes—everything attracts at ameled white, with blue lines. We observe in the tention to this woman, whose originality is striking ebony bookcase the works of Hugo, Balzac, Vol-above all, in private life. Those who are satisfied taire, De Musset, and the plays of Alexandre Duwith laconic definitions say of her, “She is modern,” mas fils, bound in dog-fish skin, that skin that, with or, “She has a strange temperament,” or else, “She its gold veins, reminds one of lapis lazuli. In the has an exceptional nature.”
dressing-room we note the secretary and cheval-glass But, preferring precise terms to a hollow brevity, of Mademoiselle Mars, purchased at a sale in Verwe will describe Croizette as follows:
sailles, and, after a caress for the three dogs, the four “A native of St. Petersburg, transplanted to cats, and the paroquet, who seem to be the real masParis at a very early age, amid an intelligent society, ters of the house, we will turn our steps toward the she shows traces of her three nationalities, which are Théâtre Français, to the dressing-room of the young -Russia, France, and Art."
actress. One reception-evening in the Rue de l'Échelle, Actresses' dressing-rooms have often been deNo. 8 (her residence is situated half a block from the scribed, but I do not think that the reader has ever Comédie Française), the candles of the superb chan- been introduced into one of those reserved by the delier that hangs in her salon were lit. Croizette Comédie Française for its company. We will not
find there the smoky, stuffy little closets of the other of a negress on an ochre background, signed by her theatres. They are pretty rooms, well aired and rival, Sarah Bernhardt. spacious, and transformed by the aid of the uphol Pens, ink, packs of cards for the games of soli. sterer into elegant boudoirs.
taire that while away the length of the entr'actes Croizette's dressing-room differs from the others, (here her Russian origin betrays itself), a glass of however, as she does not affect the daintily-pretty water, and bottles of peppermint, her favorite remestyle. The walls are hung with striped ticking, dy for nervous attacks, are scattered over the slabs which gives the room the aspect of a military tent. of the inlaid furniture. Sometimes on the mantelThere the actress arms herself for the combat. As piece a bouquet of roses and white lilacs perfume a general, before a battle, studies his plans, so she the air. Like an affable and generous hostess, Croistudies her intonations and prepares her effects. zette detaches sprays of this perfumed cluster of She will stop suddenly, her face daubed with pearl- flowers for the button-holes or corsages of her visitors. white and her hands covered with paste, to repeat a Outside of her profession, which Croizette loves speech of whose effect she is not quite sure. Here above all things, and to the study of which she it was, before these large swing-mirrors, that she brings the strong will and the energy that gained studied that terrible death-scene of the “Sphinx” that for her her diplomas from the Hôtel-de-Ville and the sharp tongues of the company were wont to call the Conservatoire ; outside of the theatre, Croizette a death with mushroom-sauce."
has but one passion-horses. To such a point does And since I have touched upon the chapter of she carry her love for them that, whenever she visits the local squabbles, I will mention here that none a magnificent stable, she envies the lot of the stablefound, upon their entrance into the house, more boys. When quite a child, her greatest ambition coldness and ill-feeling (from the ladies of the com was to ride on horseback, and, if I remember rightly, pany naturally) than Croizette. At the present she ran away from her mother's house in Versailles time her kind heart has won pardon for her beauty to join a coachman of the neighborhood, who inand her success, but at her debut she saw revived for dulged her with a ride occasionally. They had her benefit the cutting sarcasms and silent hostility locked her in her room, but she broke a pane of that long ago had greeted Mademoiselle Plessy, in glass, and went to keep her appointment, with her whom the “old stagers" saw a rival and suspected wrist streaming with blood. a star. Croizette received all attacks with perfect The character of Sophie Croizette is in some serenity. Only once-and that quite recently-was respects exceedingly masculine. The sight of blood she roused from her calm.
awakes no repugnance. She will watch a surgical A sociétaire, whose figure is as meagre as hers is operation without flinching, will dress a wound, or opulent, said at the end of a rehearsal, “Undoubt. watch beside a corpse. Her physician calls her edly Sophie has talent, but she does not understand Mademoiselle Nélaton. her profession--she is not yet accustomed to the To finish with the masculine tastes of the young boards."
actress, I will group them all together in a rather “I confess,” said Croizette, turning toward her strange mixture. The heroine of " L'Étrangère" precharitable comrade, that, so far as boards are con fers meat to any other kind of food, despises descerned, you have the advantage of me.”
serts, disdains all ornaments, has no idea of the But let us enter the dressing-room on whose value of money, is utterly devoid of coquetry, and threshold we have lingered. · The room is divided is never so happy as when, arrayed in a riding-habit, into two parts by a curtain, which permits the actress and mounted on a thorough-bred horse, she can to change her dress without forcing her visitors to gallop over the country. withdraw. As soon as she is dressed the curtain is My sketch is finished. I see, however, on lookdrawn back, and the conversation is resumed. ing it over, that I have given to my sitter a multitude Croizette, however, continues to "make up" her of good qualities, and not one bad one. face according to the inevitable requirements of the But it is never too late to mend. Croizette is stage. The hare's-foot spreads the pearl-powder on outrageously absent-minded. The other day she her features; a black pencil marks in the corners of entered her bath with her shoes and stockings on, her eyes the touch that lengthens them, and a stick and never noticed the fact until an hour later, when of pink cosmetic deepens the crimson of her lips. she began to dress. Meantime the hair-dresser arranges the frizzes over She has another defect, and that an involuntary her forehead, or twists up the masses of her blond She makes havoc among the hearts of the hair, and her maid walks around her, smoothing the college-students, and creates whirlwinds beneath the satin bows, or pulling out the rebellious puffs. caps of young officers. She receives daily at the
Those who are tired of watching these operations theatre a number of letters, wherein collegians recontemplate the pictures on the walls—a portrait spectfully propose to espouse her as soon as they of Bressant, who was Croizette's first professor; a have graduated. Sometimes they send her verses. photograph of Delaunay, with an affectionate in. The verses are invariably bad. But at least for that scription ; a sketch by Carolus Duran; and a head | fault, Croizette is not in the least responsible.