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FIRST APPEARANCE IN SO CIE TY 217

" I have just been told that the son of the late Monsieur
le Marquis de Grandvilain is here, and I wish to say to
him that I am delighted to meet the son of a person
whom I esteemed and honored in every respect. Yes,
monsieur, I was well acquainted with monsieur your
father; he was a most excellent man; I have no doubt
that his son resembles him, and I trust that he will do
me the honor to call at my house. Here is my card, mon-
sieur ; I look forward to the pleasure of a visit from you."

Cherubin, bewildered by this unexpected invitation,
bowed and muttered a few commonplace words; but
Monsieur de Noirmont took his hand and led him away,
saying :

" Allow me to present you to Madame de Noirmont."

Cherubin made no resistance ; he allowed himself to be
led back, shuddering, to the little recess where he had
stood so long; but that time he was not compelled to
enter it. Monsieur de Noirmont introduced him to his
wife, saying:

" Monsieur le Marquis de Grandvilain, son of a man
who honored me by calling me his friend."

Madame de Noirmont, recognizing the young man
who had been her prisoner, repressed a gesture of sur-
prise, bowed coldly to Cherubin, and seemed to hesitate
to look at him, as if she dreaded to see Monfreville with
him again.

Little Ernestine bit her lips to keep from laughing,
when she heard her father give the name of Grandvilain
to the young man whom he presented.

At last Cherubin found himself at liberty once more,
and returned to Monfreville, who said to him:

" You have been introduced to Madame de Noirmont ? "

" Yes, my friend."

" What did she say to you ? "



2i8 THE BASHFUL LOVER

" Nothing ; indeed her greeting was decidedly cold."

" Shall you go to her house ? "

" Faith, I have no inclination to do so ; it seems to me
that it must be a horribly dull place. That Monsieur de
Noirmont has a stiff sort of courtesy that turns one cold.
After all, I am not obliged to visit all my father's friends ;
they are hardly of my age."

" You must leave your card at his door, that will be
enough ; I think with you that it will be as well for you
not to go to that house. But Madame Celival is looking
for you, she was asking just now what had become of
you; I think that you have made a conquest of her."

" Really ! Oh ! if that were true ! "

" Look, there she is yonder. Go and say something to
her."

"What shall I say?"

" Whatever you choose ; she will help you to keep up
the conversation. Don't be bashful, my dear fellow ; that
isn't the way to get ahead in the world."

Cherubin made an effort to overcome his diffidence, and
resolved to join Madame Celival; she, when she saw
him coming toward her, bestowed a charming smile on
him and at once motioned him to a seat by her side.
Encouraged by this greeting, Cherubin took his place
beside the lovely brunette, faltering some words which
it was impossible to hear, but to which Madame Celival
replied as if she had heard them. A clever woman always
finds a way, when she chooses, to impart assurance to
the most bashful man, by taking upon herself substan-
tially the whole burden of the conversation. Cherubin
gradually felt bolder, better pleased with himself; he
had almost reached the point of being entirely at ease
with his companion, when the inevitable Trichet planted
himself in front of them and exclaimed :



FIRS T APPEARANCE IN SO CIE TY 219

" I don't know what you are talking about, and yet,
I'll wager that I can guess."

Madame Celival, who appeared to be not at all pleased
that Monsieur Trichet had interposed in her conversa-
tion with Cherubin, answered the old bachelor:

" You always try to guess what people are saying, but
in this case you are quite likely to be mistaken. Tell me,
what was monsieur saying to me ? "

" That you are bewitching, adorable ; for no man can
say anything else to you."

Madame Celival smiled, with a less irritated air, while
Cherubin, blushing to the whites of his eyes, exclaimed:

" Why no, I didn't tell madame that ! "

"At all events, you thought it," rejoined Monsieur
Trichet, " and that amounts to the same thing."

Cherubin did not know what to say; he lowered his
eyes and made such a comical face that Madame Celival,
taking pity on his embarrassment, rose and said:

" Nonsense, my dear Trichet ; you are an old idiot !
That is why we all have to forgive you."

The old bachelor did not hear these last words; he
had run off to join a gentleman who was declaiming at
the other end of the salon, and whom it gave him great
pleasure to interrupt. Madame Celival left Cherubin,
saying, with a glance at once amiable and affectionate:

" I trust, monsieur, that you find my house agreeable ;
you will prove that you do if you come to see me
often."

" Well," said Monfreville, as he joined Cherubin once
more, " your business seems to be progressing."

" Ah ! my dear fellow, that woman is delightful ! In
her company, it seemed to me that I actually had some
wit. I have never been so well pleased with myself."

" It is always so !



220 THE BASHFUL LOVER

" ' A great man's friendship is a boon of the gods ; '
but an agreeable woman's love is the greatest blessing on
earth! Come; you don't play, nor I; it is time to go."

They left the salon, which the Noirmont family had
quitted just before.



XIX

THE COMTESSE DE GLOBESKA

It was nine o'clock at night, and two men, who seemed
to be waiting and watching for somebody, were walk-
ing back and forth on Rue Grenetat. One of them, whose
beat was from the centre of the street almost to the
fountain at the corner of Rue Saint-Denis, wore a long
frockcoat which fitted his figure perfectly and was but-
toned to the chin, together with straw-colored gloves and
the general outfit of a dandy; but when he passed a
lighted shop, one could see that his coat was worn and
spotted in many places, and that his gloves were no
longer perfectly fresh. This gentleman was smoking a
cigar with all the grace of a regular customer at Tortoni's.

The second individual, who was enveloped in an old
nut-colored box-coat, with which we are already familiar,
wore a round hat, with so broad a brim and so low a
crown, that at a short distance he seemed to be arrayed
in the headgear of a coal man. He walked only a
few steps from a house with a dark passageway, the
gate of which was open, to the second or third house on
each side of it; but his eyes never lost sight of the
passage.



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBE SKA 221

In these two individuals the reader will already have
recognized Darena and his worthy friend Monsieur
Poterne.

Since his agent had been unable to do business with
the young Marquis de Grandvilain, Darena had fallen off
lamentably from his former magnificence; as his profits
had been squandered in a very short time, he had fallen
back into what is called noble indigence; " completely
cleaned out," was Monsieur Poterne's way of stating it.

Darena still had recourse to his young friend's purse
from time to time ; but he was afraid of ruining himself
entirely in Cherubin's estimation, if he abused that
method; for, despite his ingenuous candor, the young
man was possessed of some natural common sense which
enabled him to divine what was not in accordance with
propriety; and Darena did not wish the doors of the
hotel de Grandvilain to be closed to him.

" By God ! is that beast of a Poterne making a fool of
me ? " said Darena, stopping at the street corner to shake
the ashes off his cigar. " The idea of doing sentry-go on
Rue Grenetat, where it's always muddy! It's like the
country ! I ought to be in the foyer of the Opera now !
But I forget that my costume is a little seedy ! What a
beastly cigar! Pah! there's nothing decent in this
region ! "

Darena threw away the end of his cigar, retraced his
steps, and, halting beside Poterne, who was leaning
against a post, with his eyes fixed on the dark passage-
way facing him, nudged him with his elbow and said :

" Are we going to say here long, old tom-cat ? Do
you know that I am beginning to be deucedly bored ? "

" When you want to carry an undertaking through to a
good end, you must be patient," rejoined Poterne, with-
out turning his head.



222 THE BASHFUL LOVER

" To a good end ! I fancy that your end won't be very
good, you old rascal. But why does the damsel keep
us waiting ? Doesn't she know that you are here ? Come,
Poterne, answer your friend."

Poterne turned quickly and said in an undertone:

" Don't call me by name, I beg you ; there's no need of
the girl's knowing my real name ; she might repeat it
by accident, or from stupidity, and my whole plan would
be overboard."

" You ought to be overboard yourself ! But come, tell
me what scheme you have thought up, and let me see if
it has any sense; for I didn't listen to you very care-
fully this morning."

" It is very simple ; we propose to try to make young
Cherubin fall in love, in order to entangle him in an
intrigue which may prove lucrative for us."

" Alas, yes ! for although ' gold may be a mere
chimera,' all these rascally tailors refuse to make coats
for me without some of that same chimera ! "

" To make sure that our Adonis becomes deeply en-
amored, we must first of all find a pretty girl."

"That is true; it's the same way with jugged hare
first catch your hare."

" Well, I have discovered what we need ; here, in this
house, on the third floor back, there is a rose, a genuine
rose!"

" A rose in this vile hovel and on the back ! I am
terribly afraid that your rose is only a hip ! "

" You will be able to judge for yourself directly. This
is the time when the workgirls leave their work ; indeed,
I am surprised that they haven't come out yet."

" And what does this blush rose do ? "

" She makes Italian straw hats."

" Very good ; and she is virtuous ? "



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBESKA 223

" Oh ! I don't hold her out as a prize-winner ; but
she makes a very modest appearance; she is very fond
of a little pays 1 of hers, who was obliged to go into the
army as a simple tourlourou, 2 and it would make her
perfectly happy to be able to save up enough money to
marry her little pays when he comes home. So she
won't listen to any of the young men who run after her
every night, because she knows that they're ne'er-do-
wells, who won't help her to set up housekeeping with
her little pays."

" Bravo ! the young woman has excellent principles.
How did you make her acquaintance? by treating her to
chestnuts ? "

" By defending her against a young wig-maker's ap-
prentice, who, when he pretended to take her arm, always
took hold of something else."

" Those wig-makers are sad villains. This is what the
habit of making curls leads to! What proposition have
you made to this rose-bud ? "

" In the first place, I represented myself as a Polish
noble, the Comte de Globeski."

" You sinner ! to presume to take the title of count !
What next?"

" I told the girl that, if she chose, I would put her
in the way of making a very neat little sum. As she
thought at first that I was in love with her, she answered
that I was too ugly."

" That's good, I like that outspokenness."

" I reassured her by telling her that I wasn't talking
about myself, but about a very comely young man, whom,
for family reasons, we desired to become amorous of
her."

1 A native of the same province.

2 Infantryman.



224 THE BASHFUL LOVER

" I adore family reasons ! Go on."

" My pretty working-girl did not seem to have a very
alert imagination; however, she almost understood.
She's an Alsatian, and her name is Chichette Chichemann.
She has a slight accent, but it is not at all disagreeable and
will pass for a Polish accent, especially as Polish is very
like German. I have an appointment with her for this
evening; we will take her to a cafe, and there we will
agree on our movements; you will see that she is ex-
tremely pretty, and that she has a little virginlike way
about her that is most deceptive. When she is dressed as
a Polish countess, the young marquis must inevitably
fall madly in love with her."

" We will hope so, and then we must act in all haste,
for Monfreville is taking Cherubin into society now.
Our real marchionesses and countesses will find the
youngster very attractive; and he, in his turn, will fall
in love with one of them ; and if his heart is once fairly
caught "

" We should be our expenses out of pocket ! "

" Bah ! that won't make any difference, if your damsel
is really pretty; there's always room for a new love in
the human heart. At eighteen years and a half, I could
have loved all four quarters of the globe. Attention!
I think the flock is coming out."

As he spoke, several young women in little caps and
modest aprons came from the dark passage; some of
them were soon joined by young men who were waiting
for them; others walked away alone. Darena and
Poterne, stationed on the other side of the street, let
them all pass. The last of all leaped the gutter with
agility and walked up to Poterne, who tried to impart
an amiable tone to his voice as he said:

" Did you recognize me, Mademoiselle Chichette ? "



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBE SKA 22$

" I should say so ; you look like a coal man with
your big hat."

Darena laughed aloud, and the girl stepped back, say-
ing:

" Ah ! there's someone with you, Messie Globeski ? "

" Yes, an intimate friend of mine, who is employed to
manage the affair I spoke to you about. We will go
somewhere and talk it over."

" Yes, my dear child," said Darena, taking the girl's
arm and passing it through his, " we will go and have a
chat and a glass of punch. Do you like punch ? "

" Oh, yes ! ever so much ! " the Alsatian replied, look-
ing at Darena.

" Very good ; I see that we shall be able to come to an
understanding! I am not quite so ugly as monsieur;
take my arm, I shall frighten you less than he will. Is
there a decent cafe hereabout? Let us go to Rue Saint-
Denis. I haven't looked at you yet, but I am told that
you are enchanting; however, I must satisfy myself.
Here's a drug store."

Darena led the little hat-maker in front of the drug
store, and, placing her under one of those blue globes
which cast a sickly light into the street, he scrutinized
her, then exclaimed:

" Excellent ! Very pretty, on my word ! And if we
are like this, seen through a colored bottle, what shall
we be in a moment? Here's a cafe, let's go in."

The gentlemen entered the cafe with Mademoiselle
Chichette; they chose a table in the corner, so that they
might talk with less constraint, and Darena said to the
waiter :

"A bowl of rum punch the very best that can be
made."

Poterne made a wry face and whispered to Darena :



226 THE BASHFUL LOVER

" The little one would be perfectly satisfied with beer ;
it isn't worth while to "

" What's that ? We are growing stingy, are we ?
Poterne, my friend, you know that I don't like that sort
of thing."

" Don't call me Poterne, I tell you."

" Then be quiet, and don't annoy me with your foolish
reflections."

Mademoiselle Chichette had taken her place at the table,
where she seemed to pay no heed at all to anything that
was said by the gentlemen who were with her. The
Alsatian seemed about twenty years of age; she was
very small, but she had a very becoming measure of
embonpoint; her face was round, with dark eyes, not
very large, but well-shaped and surmounted by grace-
fully arched light eyebrows; a tiny mouth, pretty teeth,
a plump little chin adorned by a faint dimple, chubby
cheeks, and an extremely fresh complexion combined to
form a charming village girl's face; but there was no
character to it, no expression in her eyes; always the
same placidity and the same smile.

Darena scrutinized the Alsatian anew, then said to
Poterne under his breath:

" She's very pretty, and as fresh as a rose. She looks
respectable; in fact, she has rather a stupid air; but
that will pass for innocence. Do you know, you have
made a genuine find; when she is handsomely dressed,
Cherubin cannot possibly help falling in love with her.
Ah! here's the punch let's have a drink! Drink,
young Chichette. Alsatians generally have a well-de-
veloped gullet."

Mademoiselle Chichette smiled and took a glass, say-
ing:

"Oh, yes! I don't object."



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBE SKA 227

" The accent is a little pronounced," muttered Darena.
" However, it doesn't matter, it's Polish that's under-
stood. Some macaroons, waiter! What! you see that
we have a lady with us, and you forget the macaroons!
Haven't you any? If not, you should make some."

" I have sent for some, monsieur."

" That's lucky for you. Meanwhile, give us some
cakes, or gingersnaps whatever you have."

During this dialogue Poterne heaved a succession of
stifled sighs. At last a dish was brought and placed by
Darena in front of the young work-girl, and he himself
stuffed himself with cakes as if he had not dined. Where-
upon Monsieur Poterne also decided to attack the plate,
and to devour all the gingersnaps.

" You see, Comte de Globeski," said Darena, in a serio-
comic tone, " that I did well to order these trifles. But
now let us talk business, and come to the point. Made-
moiselle Chichette, you have one of the prettiest faces to
be met with in Paris or the suburbs. We desire a young
man to fall violently in love with you. That will be easy
to bring about; but we wish his passion to encounter
obstacles. Why? That does not concern you; the
essential thing is that you should do exactly what you
are told to do. In the first place, you are Monsieur le
Comte de Globeski 's wife consequently you are the
Comtesse de Globeska. That is the usual custom in
Poland: the man's name ends in i and his wife's in a."

" Oh, no ! I want to be my little pays's wife ! I've
promised him."

" Sacrebleu ! this is only a joke ; it's part of the comedy
we want you to play."

" Oh, yes, yes ! a joke ! I'll do it."

" You are the Comtesse de Globeska, then, a Polish
refugee; and your friend here this gentleman who



228 THE BASHFUL LOVER

is so ugly is horribly jealous; stuff all that in your
head. We will give you a pretty costume; that can't
offend you; and you will live with monsieur for a few
days, except at night ; but with honorable intentions ! "

" Oh, yes, yes ! "

" And when the young man is dead in love, you may
love him too, if you please ; in fact, he is well worth the
trouble he's a charming fellow. You don't dislike
charming fellows, do you ? "

"Oh, yes, yes!"

" And for all this you shall have twenty -five napoleons ;
in other words, five hundred francs."

" That's too much ! it's too much ! " whispered Poterne,
nudging Darena, " she would have helped us for two or
three louis."

" Yes, you shall have five hundred francs," continued
Darena, " six hundred, in fact, if the affair goes off well.
I will guarantee you that amount, and monsieur here will
pay it. Isn't that rather pleasant, eh ? "

" Oh, yes, yes ! "

" Sapristi ! " said Darena, turning: to his companion,
" she strikes me as being stupider than a flock of geese !
However, it makes no difference ; Love is blind, and he is
entitled to be deaf too. Let's have a drink! Another
bowl, waiter."

" But but "

" Be quiet, Comte de Globeski ! you are at liberty not
to drink any more, but you will still have the privilege of
paying."

The second bowl was brought; the young Alsatian's
color became more brilliant than ever; even her eyes
began to show some life and Darena exclaimed :

" Fichtre! if only Cherubin could see her now! What
a conflagration she would kindle! Comte de Globeski,



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBE SKA 229

see to it that Chichette has such eyes to-morrow evening ;
make her a little tipsy."

" Yes, with brandy ! " muttered Poterne, blowing his
nose.

" Attention ! as it is easier to become acquainted at the
theatre than anywhere else, the Comte de Globeski will
take his wife to the theatre to-morrow evening to the
Cirque; that is the favorite theatre of foreigners."

" Very good," said Poterne, " we will go to the Cirque ;
we will sit in the second amphitheatre."

" And why not in paradise, at once ? Hum ! you make
me blush for you, Globeski! You will take seats in the
first balcony in a box."

" But "

" No buts ! Madame must be dressed in perfect taste."

" I will do my best."

" And you, count, will look to it that you bear no re-
semblance to a certain hound named Poterne."

" There's no danger."

"We will sit in your box, behind you; the Comtesse
de Globeska will assassinate my young friend with her
glances. Do you understand, my girl ? "

"Oh, yes, yes!"

" And above all things she must not seem to know me."

"Yes, yes!"

" Comte de Globeski will go out during the entr'acte
without his wife, who will answer the sweet speeches'
my young friend will make to her. She will not talk
much, for fear of making a slip, but she will be loving
and passionate."

"Oh, yes, yes!"

" After the play the count will take his wife away, and
we will follow them. He will take a cab, we will do
the like. The rest will go of itself. It's all agreed and



230 THE BASHFUL LOVER

understood. There's no more punch ; pay the bill, count,
and let's be off."

Poterne paid with a groan; Darena even compelled
him to give the waiter six sous ; then they left the cafe.
Mademoiselle Chichette lived on Rue Saint-Denis; they
escorted her home and she promised not to go out on the
following day, but to await Monsieur de Globeski's com-
ing. Then Darena went to stroll in the Palais-Royal,
and Poterne went home to bed.

Darena had taken his measures in advance; he knew
that Monfreville was to attend a large dinner on the fol-
lowing day, so that Cherubin would be free. He had
seen him in the morning and had said to him :

" I want to pass the evening with you to-morrow ;
surely you will sacrifice your great ladies to me for one
evening! You are always in the fashionable salons now
they monopolize you. Monfreville is never away from
you; but my friendship demands its turn, and as I do
not go into society for the moment! I have such sea-
sons why, we will go to the theatre."

Cherubin had agreed. But he was beginning to enjoy
large parties ; the pleasant welcome that he received
everywhere gradually dispelled his shyness. Madame
Celival was more amiable with him than with any other
man; which fact seemed to annoy several gentlemen,
among others, the colonel who resembled a cat, and the
young dandy who had the look of a Roman.

Nor was this all: the fascinating Comtesse Valdieri,
that fanciful, nervous, ethereal creature, who often re-
ceived as if by special favor the homage that was ad-
dressed to her, had supposed at first that Marquis Cheru-
bin would speedily help to swell the crowd of her ador-
ers; but the young man had contented himself with
admiring her at a distance, and in this case his shyness



THE COMTESSE DE GLOBE SKA 231

had served him well. The little countess was deeply
offended by behavior which she attributed to indiffer-
ence; for in these days it is not to be presumed that
young men are bashful, and Madame Valdieri, seeing that
Cherubin talked a great deal with Madame Celival, did
her utmost to steal that new conquest from her. With
women anger sometimes leads to love, and any other
than Cherubin would already have taken advantage of
the rivalry he had caused.

The pretty countess had invited the young marquis to
come to her receptions. Monsieur Valdieri, like a com-
placent husband, had seconded his wife's invitation ; and
Cherubin waited upon the flighty Emma, who was most
affable to him and seemed to forget her nerves.

And then, in a street near the hotel de Grandvilain,
there was a rather pretentious linen-draper's shop, and
in that shop, among a number of young women who
were always at work at the counter, there was one fair-
haired damsel, somewhat red about the eyes, with a little
turned-up nose a la Roxelane, and an extremely wide-
awake air. When Cherubin passed, she always found a
way to be at the door and smile at him ; or to go out into
the street for a moment on the most trivial pretext ; and
several times, as she passed the young man, she had said :

" I come out at nine o'clock every night ; if you would
like to speak with me, wait at the end of the street; my
name is Celanire."

And lastly Cherubin had met Mademoiselle Malvina
several times, no longer dressed as a Swiss, but very
alluring with her little pink tucker, her short skirt, and
the black silk scarf, which was wound so lightly about
her waist that it caused her hips to stand out in a very


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