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her baggage. Her trunks-bigger and more the bottom of Aurelia's dress. It was a corner numerous than I should dare to state—had torn from the “ Fremdenblatt," whose publicabeen sent on from Salzburg by some method tion had just been resumed with the beginning or other which gave her no concern, and al- of the early autumn season; and as she stooped ready she had come to feel that if ever in her to see if picking would do for her what shaking life she was to have a chance to dress, these would not, a name all too familiar flashed from halls of pride should be the witness of her the type to her eyes. She crumpled the bit of magnificence. Already she began to sniff paper in her hand, and at the first convenient triumph in the air, and she found it easier now opportunity she was reading an account of a to forgive Zeitgeist for having peremptorily concert which Mlle. Eugénie Pasdenom had told her that it was impossible and unneces- given at the Kurhaus on the previous evening. sary to drag those portentous chests through And if she had turned the paper over she would the Val d'Ampezzo, and across the complica- have learned not only that Mlle. Pasdenom tion of chains and passes which make up the was stopping at the Habsburgerhof, but that country of south Tyrol; while the series of Tempo-Rubato and Fin-de-Siècle were at the protests and bickerings which had accom- Erzherzog Johann. panied those huge constructions across Swit- It may be imagined that if the Duchess zerland came to be only a hazy recollection. (with a voice so limited by nature and a conAurelia had been sheathed in woolen walk- stituency so limited by place and season) was ing-skirts and heavy shoes for more than two attempting concerts in the Tyrol, her original months, and she was beginning to feel an irre- plan had undergone considerable modifications. sistible desire to burst into bloom-a process In fact, the tour projected in the first place to which time, place, and circumstance now all had turned out none too satisfactorily, and she conduced. She conceded that she was beau- had brought it to an abrupt termination sevtiful, she acknowledged that her dresses were eral weeks before. After all, she was abroad handsome, and she was only too certain that largely for recreation, she had plenty of other the daughters and nieces of the Baroness were things to occupy herself with, and three or four doomed to absolute eclipse. One of her gowns, of the secondary lights of her troupe were quite in particular—but we shall reach that presently enough for the carrying out of her latest idea.
The entire castle and its belongings seemed Doubtless this new departure had been an embut a parterre contrived for her efflorescence. barrassment to her manager, yet there were History and romance, legend and adventure, other managers that she had not merely embartrophies and tapestries, armory and picture- rassed, but ruined. And possibly it was a bit gallery,chapels and chambers, turrets and stair- trying to the humble members of the chorus ways, horses and hounds, stewards, tutors,chap- and orchestra, too; but then the Duchess never lains, lackeys, and foresters, worshipful tenants, descended to details. Upon her breaking with and reverencing peasantry-whata background her impresario, Tempo-Rubato, whose selfbefore which to trail the latest confections of confidence was equal to any undertaking, had Paris! All this for her, Miss Aurelia R. West thrown himself into the breach. He was willof Rochester; and yet there were those who ing to engineer any new enterprise that she postponed Paradise beyond this present life! might care to embark in. He would be her
Yes, it was Paradise; nothing was wanting impresario or her financial sponsor; he would but the serpent, and the serpent came along do the baritone parts, or the leading tenor ones promptly enough.
if they could be brought down a third; he Aurelia, who was always rendered restless would take tickets, or he would shift the scenery. and uneasy by the vicinity of vendible mer- On the spur of the moment he proposed a little chandise, and who already had communicated tour on the other side of the Alps: Verona, Bresa touch of the subtle poison of shopping to cia, Bergamo, and so on, ending with Milan, the Chatelaine, had felt herself impelled, on the where the people would, no doubt, be oververy first morning after their arrival, to go down joyed to have a revival of “Orphée aux Enfers” to Meran to make a few purchases. Not for on the stage of La Scala. And when she seemed two weeks had her petticoats grazed a coun- likely to resent this obvious sarcasm, he intrepter, and her gnawing desire to chaffer and idly suggested another tour-one beginning bargain was as insufferable as the torture of at Trieste and running along the coast of Dalthe opium-eater when his favorite drug is with matia; he himself would charter a steamer. held. The Chatelaine was also beginning to There was Capo d'Istria, where ten thousand feel the need of meeting requirements hereto- people had probably been waiting all their lives fore hardly dreamed of, and so the Baroness to form an acquaintance with Offenbach and sent them down on wheels together.
Le Cocq; there was Pola, the principal station As they were strolling along the arcades of of the Austrian fleet, whose officers would rally Unter den Lauben a scrap of paper caught on as a man; there was Fiume, and she could then say that she had been in Hungary; there was Here was Bertha, the Chatelaine of La Zara, where she might count upon the influence Trinité, a beautiful young creature, well bom, of a good friend of his, a personage once high well bred, fair, fresh, wholesome, with position, in the political world and a devoted supporter family, estate, yet who was there that appreof the opera, but now residing in retirement ciated her? Not Fin-de-Siècle, whose interest and cultivating roses, as Diocletian at Spalato was hardly above the level of an impertinent had cultivated cabbages; there was Spalato curiosity. Not Tempo - Rubato, whose treatitself, and Ragusa, and Cattaro, where they ment of her had scarcely been more than might give the Turks a chance to form an opin- an indulgent condescension. Not Zeitgeist, ion of "Fatinitza,” and where she might buy a surely, who, with the best opportunities of all, prayer-rug, if she fancied.
was finding more of interest at this very moThe Duchess ignored the amphitheaters, and ment in the strange woman from Paris. What cathedrals, and Venetian campaniles of the was this creature's charm? She was not really Dalmatic coast, but she shed angry tears at the beautiful; she was not actually clever; she prayer-rug — two of them, one from each eye. certainly could lay no claim to family. Was it He was not to speak to her in that way; she style, was it audacity, was it experience, was would not listen to anything of the kind. He it the genius of worldliness ? Could this be the retorted that she should listen, to anything of model that the great work of reconstruction that kind or of any other kind. Then there designed by her, Aurelia West, must follow had been neither listening nor speaking for a model so shocking, yet so impelling? But three days, and then they had come together was it so shocking, after all? Who, if not the through the Vorarlberg into the Tyrol. And Pasdenoms, gave the tone to the capital which then, two days after the arrival of the Gover- she herself had voluntarily selected as a place nor's party at Meran, they crossed over the of residence? Who else set the pace, governed Brenner to Italy.
the mode, suggested and regulated manners, But before she departed, Aurelia West had costumes, amusements ? But deliberately to a glimpse of her. One afternoon the Frau pattern the reconstructed Chatelaine on such Baroninn ordered out her coach,-in whose lines as these-oh, no; there must be a dreadcrested panelings and so on Aurelia took great ful hitch in her logic somewhere; surely there pride,- and bowled her young visitors down must be some other theory upon which she to Meran again. As they rolled along the could proceed, and she must have the wit to Wassermauer they observed a couple strolling frame it. along intimately enough under the poplar-trees Aurelia, in fact, was feeling within her the close to the stream. The costume and car- impulse to produce a work of art. Some of riage of the lady would have distinguished her the ideas on this subject that Fin-de-Siècle anywhere, and the gentleman, who walked and the Governor had battledored back along with his head inclining over toward his and forth had fallen on the ground, - good companion, and who trolled a small pug-dog ground,- and now, watered by Aurelia's asin their wake, was easy enough to recognize. siduous regard for the Chatelaine, promised Aurelia looked straight ahead with a non- to spring up and to produce an abundant har. committal stare, and the Chatelaine, about vest. Aurelia had no hope of achieving a work whose ears the leaves of the tree of knowledge of art that could be ranged in any convenhad lately been rustling, looked sternly in the tional or recognized class. She fully realized opposite direction; but the Baroness deliber- that the grandest productions of the native ately put up her glasses and gave the pair a American genius had not been brought about leisurely and minute survey. Seldom before by the work of man in clay, or color, or cathad she seen her abstruse and self-absorbed gut, or calligraphy, but by the working of man son exhibit such an effect of unconsciously ec- on man. She would not attempt to subdue static complacency, and she was interested in marble or to make color captive, but she was noting the person who could bring about so anxious to show what might result from the striking a change. Aurelia's feeling, however, working of woman on woman. was far from being one of curiosity. She was Well, then,- to go over the ground again, impatient with Zeitgeist, and indignant at him. carefully and in a different direction - here She was beginning to feel that she had more was the Chatelaine, whose attractive person. cause to complain of him than he of her; and ality had been thoroughly canvassed already. as the couple passed along the walk in a state Consider, now, her status. She was the last of smiling preoccupation, Aurelia's wits began of a long race: two grandfathers, four greatto work still more rigorously and insistently grandfathers, eight great-great-grandfathers, upon a problem which had lately come to oc- and so on and on, each of the series possessed cupy her, and which was daily taking more and of a name and title, a niche in history, and a more of her attention.
portrait in the family gallery. She held her position in her own right; on her had de enthusiastic Aurelia quite beside herself. What scended the accumulated fortunes of the fam- a grand opportunity to take the Chatelaine's ily; from her high-perched castle she swayed measure, to hold a full-dress rehearsal of the it over a valley of peasantry, doting and com- drama which was to be enacted at La Trinité, plaisant, no doubt, to a degree. What posi- to revise the draperies of the statue before it tion more lofty, more gracious, more noble ? came to rest on its own proper base! With Ah, she had it! The whole situation was bril- what emotion did Aurelia lift these draperies liantly clear, absurdly simple. It was merely a from the recesses of the biggest of her big case of goddess and pedestal; only the goddess trunks! They appertained to the one conspicmust be made to feel that she was a goddess, and uously magnificent creation of the entire wardto see that her proper place was not beside the robe, a Parisian inspiration, the emanation of pedestal, but upon it. And now a friendly Intel- a master mind,-a talent of such a high order ligence had come to show the divinity how to that to many of its patrons only a thin partimount to her place, or, if need be, actually to lift tion divided it from genius,-a mind that, when her to it. And under these altered conditions it judged itself, broke through even this. It was worship would follow as a matter of course. this garment that Aurelia herself had fondly
Such, in brief, was the program evolved by hoped to wear; but with a look of high resolve the transported Aurelia while the carriage rolled she thrust this flattering idea aside, and when rapidly along on its graveled way, and the Bar- she glanced at herself in the mirror she was oness and the Chatelaine sat silent side by rewarded by seeing, if not a martyr, at least a side. Not merely those uncertain young men heroine. Her mind was big with one idea, her were to see what she could do, but the Gover- imagination was in a state of conflagration; and nor himself should be a witness to her skill; he it lighted up an image of a beautiful creature was to see all of his own lofty lucubrations (adequately attired) sailing in stately fashion about arrangement and presentation and the down the crimson covering of a marble stairrest reduced to working order. And as for her case, while a loud announcement heralded the own poor self— that was a paltry candle to coming of The Most Noble and High-born be snuffed forth with, since all the light was to (supposing that to be the proper form), the fall on quite a different part of the stage. So Lady Berthe Gloiredesalpes (supposing that to overjoyed was she to think that Providence be the exact name), the Chatelaine of La Trihad sent the Chatelaine a friend so dexterous, nité, and the This of That, and the That of so sympathetic, so self-sacrificing, that she The Other (which sketchy string of titles stood broke the stern silence with a laugh, a most subject, of course, to revision in light of later undeniable one. Both her companions looked and more detailed information). After which at her disapprovingly, and she felt that in the burst of poetic frenzy the sibyl confessed herChatelaine's eyes she had slipped back to the self exhausted, and threw herself upon her bed. precarious ground on which she had stood at But not to lie there long; she was too excited Lucerne, while the aspect of the Baroness was to rest, and there was a good deal to do before such as to make it seem likely that the rest of she could adjust the Chatelaine to her new ather visit might have to be spent in reinstating tire. For the Chatelaine had none too high a herself in her hostess's good graces.
notion of her own merits, and she was inclined Aurelia fancied that she had already made to hang back a little bashfully from so novel an a very fair estimate of the castle, but she re- experience; even when she had finally been ceived quite a new impression of the possibili- induced to try on things experimentally, it was ties of the place and of the general pleasantness seen that a good many changes would have of hereditary distinction on the occasion of the to be made before the ideal was reached. There celebration of Zeitgeist's own birthday, for was also the matter of gloves and shoes; Aurewhich fête the banners were, indeed, hung on lia's hands and feet were absurdly small. These the outward walls, and the cry might well have and kindred matters necessitated a good deal been, “ They come!” The magnates of the of snipping and basting within the castle, as district came with their wives and daughters; well as repeated excursions down to Meran. the sons came with their spurs and sabers; the But the end crowns the work, and when the tenantry came tramping up the valley and flock- Chatelaine finally came to stand before the clusing down from the mountains with music and tered wax-lights that surrounded Aurelia's long addresses and torches and hurrahs. What mirror, and took a final view of herself previous a delightful situation, thought Aurelia, this to treading the crimson-covered marbles that right to cheers as a mere matter of rank and had filled so important a place in the mind of her descent! How vastly better than the situation imaginative friend, the artist joyfully expressed in poor, crude America, where if a man wanted her unqualified satisfaction. The Chatelaine hurrahs he must hurrah for himself. The tur- gazed at her own reflection with big, startled moil of preparation for this observance put our eyes, and as she moved about, and heard the
low swish and rustle of the silk and lace and tulle dragging behind her, a fearful joy possessed her, her spirit rose mettlesomely, new vistas of surpassing reach and splendor opened before her, and life, she began to feel, included a great many things the existence of which she had not heretofore even suspected. Then the high priestess administered the final touch — with a powder-puff. There was really no practical reason for this, since the Chatelaine's complexion was perfect; perhaps Aurelia regarded this rite as a kind of secular sacrament by which the Chatelaine was admitted into society.
The Governor was startled, delighted, electrified. He would have asked nothing better than to spend the whole long evening in rapt contemplation of his metamorphosed godchild; but the Baroness appreciated him almost as much as he appreciated the Chatelaine. She knew that but for certain disagreeable events in the first years of the century her guest might have been a reigning prince,-not Professor, but Elector, - and so she was disposed to make the most of him. The Governor always professed to be bored by this particular line of historical reminiscence, and perhaps he was. He almost always told the truth; so I suppose we may believe him — or not. The Baroness had an idea, too (quite an erroneous one), that the Governor was an old man, and she considered that she was properly placing and honoring him when she led him to the card-room, with the other elders, and sat down opposite him for a game of cribbage. But his play could not have increased the Baroness's admiration. It was erratic, terribly mal à propos, constantly disturbed by little fits and starts as the crowd of young people surged by, and incessantly punctured by sudden sidelong glances through doors and windows. The Baroness cut, shuffled, dealt, and pegged with her pudgy hands, counting up the Governor's knave of trumps once or twice, and frequently seeing fifteen-six where he had seen only fifteen-four. She presently gave up her place to her sister-in-law, who cut, shuffled, dealt, and pegged with her pudgy hands, catching the Governor's knave once or twice more, and seeing fifteen-six where he had seen only fifteen-two. Meanwhile, whiffs of perfume and melody came floating in from without, there was a muffled sound of shufAing feet from the ball-room, and now and then the tones of fresh young voices came in through the windows that opened on the terrace. The Governor blundered on, misdealing, misplaying, miscounting, while the sister-in-law raised her surprised eyebrows higher and higher until once they were almost lost under her wig. Then, all of a sudden, the Governor threw down his hand, face up, and rose to his feet. His startled opponent looked toward the wide doorway, too: the Chatelaine was passing. She trailed by in a kind of slow and stately splendor on the arm of a tall young cavalry officer. Her face was delicately flushed, her eyes sparkled with a vivacious sense of triumph, and she lowered her
а high-poised head to the Governor in such a fashion as to leave the old gentleman weak and trembling with delight. Behind her, in company with a Serene Insignificancy from Vienna, walked Aurelia ; she was looking out sharply on the Chatelaine's behalf for entangling spurs, and was holding herself in readiness to administer stimulant in case the conversation required it, being seldom at a loss for a notion and never for a word. She did not look especially magnificent, having given the Chatelaine not only the best of her wardrobe, but the best of her jewel-case as well; yet her face glowed with pleasure, and it was a face, let me say, to which nothing was more becoming than an idea.
Aurelia's satisfaction was complete when Zeitgeist put on a grand manner,— he wore his spectacles, too, -and took the Chatelaine in to supper. She saw that he did not do this simply because the Chatelaine was a special and particular guest, nor because of his mere indebtedness to the Governor. No; he did it be.
cause he enjoyed doing it, and he did it as if what discredited instrument and the violonthe doing conferred a distinction upon him- cello rose on several afternoons to the ears of self. Ah, very good; the young man was not the Baroness in her chamber above. Their blind, after all, he recognized the sun when work was principally on compositions of his he saw it shining. And there were others to own; most of them having been turned out, whose notice she should like to bring the same too, since their emergence from the Dolomites. heavenly phenomenon.
There were few trios among them, the flauto During the few remaining days of their stay transverso having more or less dropped out other fêtes followed at other places, and it of the combination; but Aurelia West pleased gratified Aurelia to see the Chatelaine's altered herself with the belief that many of them were attitude. Bertha apprehended this new world duets. A more discriminating critic would keenly, she entered into it with a satisfactory have detected their true nature: they were readiness and self-possession, and it began to simply cello solos, as elaborate and showy as look as if she was soon to be completely at the Baron's technic permitted, with accomhome in it and thoroughly committed to it. paniments, quite simple and completely subIn nothing was this shown more clearly than in ordinate, for the piano. But Aurelia was no the manner with which she met Zeitgeist's sug- critic; so when Zeitgeist's little finger trembled gestions for excursions - Meran being nothing with a pathetic wabbling on the A string, or if not excursional, while walks and points of his middle one slid with a desolating moan view abound. Every other height for miles up the full length of the D, or a light touch from and down the valley, for instance, held out its one or the other sent canary-like harmonics ruined castle; the Chatelaine walked up to one through the trellised vines about them (the or two of them, though with some indifference: poor Chatelaine, meanwhile, pegging away why did they offer her castles draped with ivy steadily with her prosaic chords), their listener and dedicated to the dismal owl, when others, almost saw the heavens opening; she even just as near, were garlanded with flowers and forgave Zeitgeist for having once told her, as flooded with the melody of the waltz ? They they sat in front of the Casino at Interlaken, talked tentatively to her of the Alps of the that the selection the band was playing was Oetzthal, of the snow-peaks and glaciers of the “Ah, che la morte,” that this air was from the Ortler; but she had lived, thought, eaten, “Il Trovatore," and that “Il Trovatore "was breathed mountains all her life, and she was now an Italian opera by Verdi. And after he had beginning to feel that nothing would please her given the Chatelaine a little piece which he more, say, than to put on a long-trained gown had composed for her, and dedicated to her, and to trail it through Holland. The Baroness Aurelia would have forgiven him even worse. took her to the old residence of the counts of And she forgave him all future offenses, too, Tyrol in Meran, and put before her its display when he said that he had half an idea of of frescos and painted glass and armorial bear- accompanying them part way down to Italy. ings; but the Chatelaine saved her interest for On the Governor's suggesting that they might the Kurhaus, the band, and the promenade. leave the railway at Trent and piece out the The Governor rambled about alone, picking up journey with a carriage-drive along the shore his pebbles and his flowers for himself. The old of the Lake of Garda, the other half of the order was changing; the powder-puff had be- idea reached him, and when it came time to gun to do its work.
set out, his baggage was in as complete readiness as theirs. Aurelia attributed all this to the Chatelaine, choosing to ignore the fact that
Zeitgeist and the Governor usually got along VERONA: THE VERY REALM OF LOVE.
very pleasantly together, and the other fact that The Chatelaine's share in the musical do- the curling waves of Garda, along with the ings at the Schloss did not end with her trip- pillared vineyards and lemon-groves of Riva, ping to other people's pipings, for she did a made a sufficient reason of themselves. But little piping of her own — if one may allude in even the finest mind cannot hope to cover a such a way to the piano, the only instrument wide field completely. over which she had command. For the spoils It was the middle of the second afternoon of Salzburg yielded many a duet and trio, nor when the carriage turned away from the shores was Zeitgeist without such a knack in the di- of Garda and struck out over the highway to rection of musical notation as was required to Verona. And it was within some ten miles fasten a few of his own ideas on paper. The of Verona that their vetturino made his last fount of melody was beginning to flow within halt for rest and water. This occurred at a him, and he had his piano trundled out to little town that spread itself out long and thin a certain arbored corner of the terrace, from in its attempt to inclose a very large piazza which retreat the mingled tones of that some- a piazza dull and grass-grown, with a café and