Imágenes de páginas




Most persons have paused for an hour or But we all agreed that we were very well two on the road between Paris and London off where we were. The sun was not too hot: to lounge round the quaint old seaport town we were out of the immediate influence of the of Dieppe. We, at least, did give so much smells : each had a preparation of tobacco to time to the port as was necessary to note

So, one sitting on the top step these its peculiarities before wending our on- of the stairs, another on a perilous piece of ward way to Paris : and we did even more balustrade, and a third on the ancient lead, than this. Securing the guidance of a grey- our guide began his story of the mad woman. haired hanger-on of the church, we mounted I cannot pretend to repeat it with half the up many foot-scooped steps, and through an vividness of the original narrator. It must atmosphere containing as much dust as oxygen, lose much in translation ; more from want of to the topmost platform of the roof. The accent and gesticulation. The old man was view was worth the trouble. Right below the really no mean conteur." tower, market men and women, in their blue As we had seen, the poor mad woman was and red clothes, were hurrying hither and pot at all dangerous : she never did any thither over the place, and filling the clear harm. There was no reason at all why she fresh morning air with their chaffering cries. should not be allowed the liberty she had. From a thicket of black masts and cordage She had a friend--the husband, indeed, of her rose the chimneys of the packet that had sister—who was very good to her, and gave carried us over the kindly sea; which sea her a home and food and clothing. And spread blue and placid till it was lost in the many were ready to help her, for they knew curve of the earth. The tall cones of the her sad story. But how did she become mad? castle seemed to belong to another age, and Yes, that is the important part of the tale. made me think for a moment whether I wore Twenty years ago she was not mad at all: the colours of the Bearnais or of Mayenne- she was the prettiest, merriest, brightest girl no light matter when to wear the wrong ones

in all Dieppe. And as old Pochon, her was death. But the cicerone recalled me from father, was one of the most flourishing fisherthe past by calling attention to a spick-and- men in all the Quartier de Pollet, it was span new house, in a quarter where bright red hardly necessary to say that Annette and her walls and green shutters were more frequent sister Marie were very popular with all the than the older yellow plaster, and exclaiming, lads, and were much envied by all those with civic exultation, “See there the house of damsels whose eyes were less bright, whose the Prefect!”

skin was less clear, and whose ear-rings were “And look there, Martin," cried one of my less massive. Marie was soon disposed of to companions,“ down there between the trees, the worthy Pierre, who had a shop in the in that sort of close. There's that crazy town, and who was still the generous mainwoman who was at the porch when we came tainer of his afflicted sister. But Annette, in. Look! she's walking on in the same much to the confusion of all the sturdy absurd way, as if only a patch of ground here Dieppois, showed no favour to any one of and there were good enough for her to put them. Not that she was inclined to colibacy. her feet on. See there ; she nearly fell in There was a certain Bobbe Carreterre (it is all that last stride. Mine is out : may I light but impossible to suggest the manner of the up from yours ?”

enunciation of this name) who, I am sorry to “Ah! it is mad Annette that you regard say, was an Englishman. This Carreterre was down there, monsieur. Yes, she is truly huge of body and strong of limb; and on the droll ; but it is sad, it is very sad that, if occasion of the periodical visits of the brig in monsieur knew the history."

which he served to Dieppe, made great havoc “A story! By all means; out with it, among the hearts of the young fisherwomen. old Cockywax !”

At last he paid peculiar and special attentions "Comment, monsieur ?”

to Annette Pochon, and met with nothing Jack, don't be absurd. If you would like a rebuff. The old guide could well have the obligingness to recount the story, it remember how he had seen the pair strolling would give us much pleasure to hear.” on the beach,—he big and burly, with light

“But below, monsieur means to say, with- brown hair knotted on his round head in out doubt.”

thick close-cropped curls, and brown shiny

[ocr errors]



No. 27

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

seen or

She says,

skin, towering above the smaller race of as he had proposed. Her friends were not Frenchmen : she, with little trim figure, fresh sanguine, but she would permit no questionand clean in blue woollen skirt and starched ing. A week went by: Annette began to cap, with great black eyes that were always look a little sad. Another week : blue lines meeting the grey ones of the perfidious Briton, rose round her dark eyes. A third : and and never said anything but “I trust you.” He Annette moved and spoke and looked in such also remembered how once, when Carter's ship a miserable, apathetic, lack-lustre way, that was expected in the port, Annette would watch all her friends grew seriously frightened for on the quay for hours ; and how, when the good her health. She would stray up and down brig was really within a few yards of land, and the beach and the port for hours and hours but for some almost miraculous mishap would in together, always declaring that she was looka few moments be safely moored in still water, ing for her Robert-always quite sure that he she ran to her home, and hid herself in the inner would come-only let them give him time : room in maiden bashfulness. And now Carter she trusted him. So two months went by. was mate of the brig, and gave his word that And though, indeed, on the one subject of her when he should next come to Dieppe he must faithless lover's return she was then already return with Annette as his wife to his own crazed, no one regarded her state as being land, and that she should be taken to see his worse than one of fresh and unhealed grief—a mother and his home, as well as the wonders state remediable by lapse of time and new of London, and that then the locality of their / associations. “ Poor girl !” said the neighfuture abode might be decided upon. In three i bours ; and Annette received their pity very weeks he might be expected in Dieppe again. kindly and very impassibly, only saying, “I

Old Pochon affirmed, quite confidently, know he will come to fetch me; and when I “ That is a man in whom we may put trust : see him I shall go to him." And of course that face cannot be the face of a liar. He Carter never came : he was never says, “Annette, do you love me with all your heard of at Dieppe again. And now more than heart ?'

* Robert, what shall I do four months had gone by. Annette's wanderto prove my love ?' • When I come to fetch ings became longer and more dreamy. Nothing you, shall you be very happy, and shall you done by her father or her friends availed to be ready to come to me directly ?' • When break her sorrowful stupor. Backwards and you come to fetch me, whenever it may be, forwards on the shore of the much-sounding I will spring forward to meet you, and no one sea she walked, waiting for the vainly-expected shall ever make me distrust you.'

| summons of her lover. At first a little cousin If her own father had confidence, what was sent to accompany her, for it was supavailed the fears of the neighbours ? The old 'posed that she might harm herself; but when guide had never liked that Carreterre, but it was found that she walked always to and what was he but a grumbler ? Things must i fro, gazing out to sea, and men began to know take their course without interference. And, the poor sad figure and its unhappy story, in truth, nobody had anything very valid to she was allowed to wander pretty much when urge against the match.

The bridegrooin was and where she liked. English, and Annette ought to have been the Up to this time she could not be said to be mother as well the child of good Dieppois. mad; she was only very sorrowful, and very But everybody does not see things in the fond of solitude. But now came the remark, same light as his neighbour.

ablo part of the story. It is not difficult to imagine the excited “Messieurs probably know the environs of eagerness with which Annette looked forward Dieppe ?” said the narrator. to the expiration of the allotted period. “Never in the place till last night.” Never was there a more joyous bride. No “Ah, truly. But you can imagine to letters passed between the parties ; indeed it yourselves the appearance of the coast which was improbable that either of them could I am about to describe. Along to the west, write. At the end of the third week, the down there, the beach is shelving shingle and collier by which Carter was to have travelled slimy masses of chalk under the clifis. At as a passenger appeared in the port, but no


low tide, long tracks of rock are discovered Carter was on board; nor had the collier's stretching out to sea, divided in all directions skipper had any dealings with any man by wide ragged fissures. Very green and very answering to the faithless mate's description. slippery are those tracks of rock. One day I After the first shock, Annette refused to allow had occasion to go a little journey in that that she was in the least degree doubtful. Of direction, and, as the tide would serve, I course he would come : of course some unfore. determined to go along the beach.

It was a seen hindrance had kept him from coming bleak day in December; the sky was very

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


black, and I had to walk steadily and briskly sees anything, it is in imagination. My eyes to keep out the cold. What did I see as I

are fixed
on her.

She advances, swiftly turned round one of the headlands of the making her way towards a tall rock on her cliff? What but Annette Pochon wandering right hand. She is agile and sure-footed. on like a woman in a dream! Quite slowly, She steps over the chasms between the rocks. as if she cared nothing for the cold wind.” She stands poised for a moment on a weedy

Good day, Mademoiselle Annette. It is ledge : she is half hidden in a pool. She has very cold down here by the sea, is it not ?' fallen. No; she is rushing on again. She “I am not cold, Monsieur Godin.'

has reached the tall rock. With hands and 6. For I call myself Godin, messieurs. And knees she clambers to the summit, throws her she smiled such a sad smile.

arms wide open, gives a loud shriek, and ««What does mademoiselle seek this morn- clasps—nothing—nothing but air. She starts ing on the cold beach ?'

again—starts off to the left, messieurs, look. “Monsieur, I have a rendezvous with a ing no bigger than the men and women you friend.'

see in the place down below. I see her, now “Poor girl! I thought ; your friend will up, now down ; sometimes splashiug the wator never come ; and you will be very cold and from some rock basin—taking long steps from wretched.

rock to rock ; sometimes falling ; on again “When my affairs were finished, now, I in a moment. Soon she stands still again, said, I will return along the road on the top once niore opens her arms, gives another loud of the cliff ; that beach is too damp and slip- 'cry of disappointment, and hurries off, this pery; so I set off briskly again. Ah, mes- time direct to the sea. Should I have tried sieurs! I could walk then as I cannot walk to get down ? By the cliff before me, impos

But, as I have had the honour to tell sible with life. I stood looking I could not you, it is nearly twenty years ago.

As I was

take my eyes off. Before Annette now a ridge going along the road, with the rising ground of rock rises out of the shore, with an almost that ended soon in the cliff edge on my left straight course along the top, so that where hand, I thought on a sudden of Annette. Is the last rock meets the advancing tide there is she there still ? I said to myself. She will be a fall of some height. She runs-runs-runs ; terribly frozen. She should be kept at home: she is close to the sea; she will stop? No! she should not be allowed to go out. I must She falls : I see her no more. She will be speak to old Pochon. Now I will mount the hurt by the fall. The tide will mount, and edge of the cliff, and see if she is still on the she cannot move : she will be drowned ! shore. It was just about here that she was “ Before I had thought half this, messicurs, when I passed below two hours ago.

I turned I was far on my way to the nearest path that quickly from the road, messieurs, and in a I knew from the cliff to the shore. I ran as moment I was on the brink, with the great fast as Annette. In five minutes I was down shelving chalk cliff at my feet. The tide had and on the rock whence the poor girl had now quite gone down, and the surf seemed a fallen. Ah! it was sad to see. Annette was long way from me. Green rocks, and sand, lying in the moist sand, quite still, as one and pools stretched away for many, many who is dead, the height of a man below me. yards. Was Annette there ? Yes, sitting on | And her long black hair was all matted round a white fragment of cliff below me. So I her beautiful face ; and on one of her littlo stood watching the fair prospect and the sea brown feet a shell had made a cruel cut, from stretching out as we see it now; not, how- which the red blood trickled out into the ever, smooth and blue ; then it was dark and | sand ; and twice or thrice the harsh waves troubled, and white waves broke the had crawled over her, and she was all wet furthest ledges of rock. As I gaze down at and cold. Ah, messieurs, it was sad, sad, Annette, suddenly she rises : she springs for- sad ! What could I do? Was she drowned ? ward with a loud cry as of delight, runs I did not know. I listed her up : I carried her rapidly across the highest bank of shingle and in my arms, poor child ! about half a mile to a sand, and waits an instant where the rocks cottage in the hollow where the cliff sinks down. begin. What does she see? My thoughts I tried to run ; indeed I made the best haste I jump directly to the object of her desire. Is could, messieurs. Might not her life depend there any sign of the coming husband ? Is upon my speed ? Under the remedies known there a craft in sight that the girl recognises ? to the good woman of the house, the patient Nothing. Two or three fishing-boats close in gradually recovered. Warmth and life came shore-boats that I know well—not boats back together. Then I was very thankful, for I that have come from England. Nobody on yearned over that poor motherless, miserable the shore, and nothing at sea. If Annette child. She came to herself : but no, I cannot

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

say that-she has never since come to herself. and sank cosily on the comfortable cushions But she lived, and she began to mutter in a of the railroad running southwards. low, plaintive voice, Yes, my well-loved, I About three miles out of Dieppe, Jack see thee.

Thou art come now to fetch me, broke a long and meditative silence with a and I go to thee without a moment's delay. remark: "Do you know, you fellows, I believe Stay for me, my darling! I am close to thee. that sort of thing generally ends in something What ! thou art farther off? Only wait, and or other —in something—in something of that I will reach thee. Thou beckonest: I am

sort, you know." coming-I am coming.' So she went on, messieurs, always the same story : and never

A NEW ERA IN PORTRAITURE, since has she said anything else. “I went back to Dieppe ; I informed the

Ever since the introduction of photography old Pochon. For weeks Annette lay in a

the votaries of that art have been anxiously fever at old mother Callot's ; for weeks raving awaiting the discovery of some means for re(always on the same subject), for weeks more producing in their natural colours the objects too weak to walk. Since that day she has so elaborately pictured by the camera and its been quite silly. She never seems to know co-operative chemical processes. Hitherto the any one, or to care for anything, except artist's pencil has had to supply the coveted

Yes, once she did seem to have some deficiency, and the photograph so coloured has feeling of real things : that was when her had to descend from its independent position dead baby was taken away from her. she wept for a little time, for a little time,

sketch, It is a disputed question whether artimessieurs."

ficial colouring improves photography or not: And two big round tears rolled down the colouring certainly robs the photograph of its old man's wrinkled cheeks as he spoke. natural purity and accuracy, but on the other

“What a threnody!” cried Jack ; though hand it bequeaths it a charm and an interest I don't believe he had understood half of it. that more than compensate for the integrity so

“ And all that refers to that respectable but lost. There is, however, good reason to hope eccentric party that we saw down stairs ?” that, ere many years have elapsed, the assistance “And you never heard any more of the

of the artist to add the fascination of colour man Carter ?

to the sun picture will be dispensed with, and “ Never have I seen him since, sir. He that the sun, the source of all colour, will was not likely to come to Dieppe. If I do condescend to paint the pictures he so faithsee him, I will—but what am I, sir ? The fully draws. A number of facts and experiences good God will punish him. And perhaps point to the probability of perfecting a process Annette may yet be healed."

by which this desideratum will be obtained. Now, Martiu, come along down ; we've Every photographer-we allude to the scientific been up here more than half an hour. What | photographer, and not the mere "operator"shall we give the old man ?"

is aware that a certain chemically prepared We tumbled, and groped, and choked on paper exposed to the sun's rays shining through the narrow stair again, and were soon on the fragments of variously stained glasses, is imlower earth once more.

pressed more or less distinctly with the parAnnette was at the porch again.

ticular colour of each glass. In the early hisLooking out on the merry world with a tory of photography, Herschel and Hunt, in mechanical, meaningless smile, she was seated this country, succeeded, by the use of the on a rude stool, under the shadow of the juices of flowers and various chemical preparachurch wall. The old guide touched her tions, in producing coloured impressions of the hand, and aid, “Good day, Annette !” No beautiful optical phenomenon known as the greeting came in reply.' The smile remained, solar spectrum : and, in France, M. Becquerel but did not change. As we turned away, a and M. Niepce have made most interesting little lad of some half-dozen years, evidently and satisfactorily resulting experiments in this full of importanco at “minding” the poor department of science ; M. Niepce having gone lunatic, came running up, and cried, “Come, so far as to send to the late International Exmy aunt, it is necessary that thou return : my hibition specimens of naturally coloured phomother awaits you."

tographs. We cannot therefore endorse the The little hand was suffered to close round frequently-expressed opinion that the perfection the long thin fingers, and to lead away an of “heliochromy" — for that is the name of unresisting and impassible charge.

the looked-for art—is a dream ; the great bulk We passed through the busy market.


of evidence being in favour of the hypothesis, settled our hotel bill, drove to the station, and showing that, instead of being impossible,


[ocr errors]

it is highly probable that, in course of time, obtain an accurate bust of himself for the heliochromatypes will become as familiar as the comparatively small cost of a guinea, and popular monochromatic cartes de visite : we with no more trouble to himself than is rewould rather put our faith in the prediction of quired to produce an ordinary photograph. the uncle of the above-mentioned M. Niepce, The current mania for public companies has that one day man would “see himself repre- led to the formation of an

“ International sented as faithfully on the plate as in a mirror.” Photosculpture Company,” for purchasing and The contradictory assertion made by an eminent working the patent in this country; so we may philosopher some years ago,

" that it was

hope ere long to see a photo-sculpture estautterly visionary ever to expect to produce blishment in London ; and, as some curiosity natural colours by any photographic process," has been excited by the appearance of the reminds us of a similar example of the miscal advertisements of this company in the columns culation of the rate of inductive research, by of our newspapers, as well as by the very beauan American telegraphist, who, in a treatise tiful specimens of the art that have been shown on the electric telegraph, written in the year at scientific soirées and public exhibitions, we 1852, asserted that “all ideas of connecting will endeavour to give as intelligible a résume Europe and America by lines extending directly as we can of the process by which there speciacross the Atlantic were utterly impracticable mens are produced. and absurd ;" yet six years afterwards the At- The sitter to the photo-sculptor is placed lantic telegraph became an accomplished fact. exactly in the centre of a circular chamber Of late years the photographic world has been surmounted by a glass dome, poseil upon a occasionally startled by reports, from across circular platform marked round its circumferthe Atlantic, of wonderful pictures being pro- ence with twenty-four equal divisions. Around duced by the camera, in all the glory of their the wall of the chamber are ranged twenty-four natural colouring ; but these have generally photographic cameras, each pointing to the been discovered to have sprung from the hoax- sitter, and each corresponding to one of the ing vagaries so freely indulged in by our trans- numbers of the divisions on the circular platatlantic brethren. *

form. These cameras, duly furnished with Bạt photography, for awhile shut out from photographic plates, are all uncovered at the the domain of the painter, has successfully same instant, and twenty-four pictures of the invaded the territory of the sculptor, and from sitter are taken, representing his contour as the fertility of its applications a new art has seen from each of the positions occupied by the arisen that threatens to revolutionise, or at least

The plates being removed from the to modify, the existing system of portraiture. cameras, and developed and fixed in the usual The name of this new art is “Photosculpture ;”. manner, the photographic department of the its inventor is M. François Willème, a young process is finished, and the sitter's attendance sculptor in Paris, and its object is to render is no more required. photography subservient to the production of The next portion of the process is mechanical, busts or statuettes, from living models, in clay, and is dependent upon an ingenious instrument plaster, wood, stone, or metal ; the photograph known as the pantograph, and used extensively furnishing the accurate resemblance, and a (before it was in part superseded by photomechanical appliance transferring the flat por- graphy) for enlarging or reducing, or copying traits on the photographic plates to the solid upon the same scale, plans and drawings, maps clay or plaster. About three years have elapsed and diagrams. It consists of a series of bars since the first notice of this invention was pub- of wood or metal, jointed together so as to lished, and at that time it was received with form a system of “similar triangles"; one ridicule, and its inventor regarded as a dreamer. of the bars carries at its extremity a tracing Since then, however, it has been so far per- point or style, and another a pen or pencil, the fected and rendered practicable that an asso- whole turning freely on a centre carried by a ciation, established in Paris under the name third bar. When the style is guided over the of the “Société Générale de Photo-Sculpture outline of a drawing the pencil moves with a de France,” has been successfully working the perfectly similar motion over a sheet of paper process for some months past, and buildings placed beneath it, and so produces a perfect have been erected and arrangements made for facsimile of the original. Its application to carrying it out upon an extensive scale. At photosculpture is as follows :-Photograph the atelier of the “Société"

any one can No. 1 (that is the photograph taken by the

camera opposite or corresponding to the diApropos of the American propensity for deception, an ingenious citizen of New York has within the last few weeks

vision marked 1 on the circular platform bebeen trying to hoax astronomers with an elaborately forged neath the sitter) is placed in a magic lantern, observation of a supposed planet, revolving between the orbits of Venus and Mercury.

and an enlargod image of it projected upon a


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »