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fence outside the château as to interrogate that face of his. The nephew looked at him in vain, in passing on to the door.
“Good night,” said the uncle. “I'll look to the pleasure of seeing you again in the morning. Good repose. Light Monsieur my nephew to his chamber, there !-And burn Monsieur my nephew in his bed, if you will,” he added to himself, before he rang his little bell again, and summoned his valet to his own bedroom.
The valet come and gone, Monsieur the Marquis walked to and fro in his loose chamber-robe, to prepare himself gently for sleep, that hot still night. Rustling about the room, his softly-slippered feet making no noise on the floor, he moved like a refined tiger ;-and looked like some enchanted marquis of the impenitently wicked sort, in story, whose periodical change into tiger form was either going off or just coming on.
He moved from end to end of his voluptuous bedroom, looking again at the scraps of the day's journey that came unbidden into his mind; the slow toil up the hill at sunset, the setting sun, the descent, the mill, the prison on the crag, the little village in the hollow, the peasants at the fountain, and the mender of roads with his blue cap pointing out the chain under the carriage. That fountain suggested the Paris fountain, the little bundle lying on the step, the woman bending over it, and the tall man with his arms up, crying, "Dead !"
"I am cool now," said Monsieur the Marquis, "and may go to bed."
So, leaving only one light burning on the large hearth, he let his thin gauze curtains fall around him, and heard the night break its silence with a long sigh as he composed himself to sleep.
The stone faces on the outer walls stared blindly at the black night for three heavy hours; for three heavy hours the horses in the stables rattled at their racks, the dogs barked, and the owl made a noise with very little resemblance in it to the noise conventionally assigned to the owl by men-poets. But it is the obstinate custom of such creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them.
For three heavy hours the stone faces of the château, lion and human, stared blindly at the night. Dead darkness lay on all the landscape, dead darkness added its own hush to the hushing dust on all the roads. The burial-place had got to the pass that its little heaps of poor grass were undistinguishable from one another; the figure on the Cross might have come down, for anything that could be seen of it. In the villages, taxers and taxed were fast asleep. Dreaming perhaps, of banquets, as the starved usually do, and of ease and rest, as the driven slave and the yoked ox may, its lean inhabitants slept soundly, and were fed and freed.
The fountain in the village flowed unseen and unheard, and the . fountain at the château dropped unseen and unheard—both melting away like the minutes that were falling from the spring of Timethrough three dark hours. The gray water of both began to be ghostly in the light, and the eyes of the stone faces of the château were opened.
Lighter and lighter, until at last the sun touched the tops of the still trees, and poured its radiance over the hill. In the glow, the water of the château seemed to turn to blood, and the stone faces crimsoned. The carol of the birds was loud and high, and on the weather-beaten sill of the great window of the bed-chamber of Monsieur the Marquis, one little bird sang its sweetest song with all its might. At this, the nearest stone face seemed to stare amazed, and with open mouth and dropped underjaw, looked awe-stricken.
Now the sun was full up, and the movement began in the village. Casement windows opened, crazy doors were unbarred, and people came forth shivering—chilled, as yet, by the new sweet air. Then began the rarely lightened toil of the day among the village population. Some to the fountain; some to the fields; men and women
here to dig and delve; men and women there to see to the poor livestock, and lead the bony cows out to such pasture as could be found by the roadside. In the church and at the Cross a kneeling figure or two; attendant on the latter prayers, the led cow, trying for a breakfast among the weeds at its foot. The château awoke later, as became its quality, but awoke gradually and surely.
First, the lonely boar-spears and knives of the chase had been reddened as of old; then had gleamed the trenchant in the morning sunshine; now doors and windows were thrown open, horses in their stables looked round over their shoulders at the light and freshness pouring in at doorways, leaves sparkled and rustled at iron-grated windows, dogs pulled hard at their chains and reared, impatient to be loosed.
All these trivial incidents belonged to the routine of life and the return of the morning. Surely not so the ringing of the great bell of the château, nor the running up and down the stairs, nor the hurried figures on the terrace, nor the booting and tramping here and there, and everywhere, nor the quick saddling of horses and riding away?
What winds conveyed this hurry to the grizzled mender of roads already at work on the hill-top beyond the village, with his day's dinner (not much to carry) lying in a bundle that it was worth no crow's while to pick at, on a heap of stones? Had the birds, carrying some grains of it to a distance, dropped one over him as they sow chance seeds? Whether or no, the mender of roads ran, on the sultry morning, as if for life, down the hill, knee-high in dust, and never stopped till he got to the fountain.
All the people of the village were at the fountain, standing about in their depressed manner, and whispering low, but showing no other emotions than grim curiosity and surprise. The led cows, hastily brought in and tethered to anything that would hold them, were looking stupidly on, or lying down chewing the cud of nothing particularly repaying their trouble, which they had picked up in their interrupted saunter. Some of the people of the château, and some of those of the post-house, and all the taxing authorities, were armed more or less, and were crowded on the other side of the little street in a purposeless way that was highly fraught with nothing. Already the mender of roads had penetrated into the midst of a group of fifty particular friends and was smiting himself in the breast with his blue cap. What did all this portend, and what portended the swift hoisting-up of Monsieur Gabelle behind a servant on horseback, and the conveying away of said Gabelle (double-laden though the horse was), at a gallop, like a new version of the German ballad of Leonora ? It portended that there was one stone face too many, up at the château.
The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the night, and had added the one stone face wanting; the stone face for which it had waited through about two hundred years.
It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. It was like a fine mask, suddenly started, made angry, and petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure attached to it, was a knife. Round its hilt was a frill of paper, on which was scrawled :“Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques.”
From A Tale of Two Cities.
Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
There were no need of arsenals or forts:
And every nation, that should lift again
From The Arsenal at Springfield.
-HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
BY WILLIAM KNOX
0, why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
The child that the mother attended and loved,
The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne,