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head was very hot, and the blood tingled in his
hands, and he felt like a man who had suffered a
severe blow ; but all this almost painful excite-
ment was, au fond, a pleasant sensation.

He was not to be spared another trial, however.

A knock came to his door, and then entered the
master of the floor he lived on.

«'Sir," said he, "pay me."

" Certainly," said Charles, rising. The posses-
sor of £3,000 would do that.



148 A BARTERED HONOUR.

<^ Pay me my money.''

*' How much ? "

" A week's rent^ five francs."

Charles put his hand into his pocket as if to
find his £3,000 there. It was empty. He had paid
away his last sou in telegraphing to Herbert.

" Wait a little," said he.

"No I won't/' blustered the man. " If you
can't pay five francs you're no good. I knew you
had no money. You row a boat. I don't let my
room to Camorristi ! "

^' You must wait," said Charles, "lam expect-
ing money to-day.

" Aye, aye, from the Queen of Italy, eh ? Who
owes you money ? Carogna I You lie a-bed and
cheat honest folks. Birbone f—^''

" I tell you you must wait," said Charles, quietly.

" And I tell you I won't, barcaiout ! Pay me
now. You have nothing. I will take your dog.
He will make soup. Dog and figlio cZ' un cane ;
pay me."

" I cannot."

" I will take your dog."

" You will not."

"I will."

"You are an insolent scoundrel," said Charles,
bursting into a torrent of wrath. "A disgraceful,
insolent ruffian."

The man stepped up to him, he was a tall,
powerful fellow, struck him down, and kicked him
on the head. Charles lay stunned, but Fang,
hurling himself at the man, revenged his master.



QUAE FEKRUM NON SANAT, IGINIS SANAT. ] 49

'and the cowardly Italian ran, shrieking to the
Madonna for help, bleeding from the dog's savage
bites, out of the room.

Whom medicines cure not, iron cures, whom iron
cures not, fire cures. It was indeed consummated.
Their lay beaten on to the ground by a gutter-born
keeper of lodgings, Charles Hauberk, soi-disant
eighth earl of Brookshire, helpless, penniless, and
insulted with the greatest insult. Pride trodden
to the very ground by Dirt and Insolence. The
beggar had beaten the aristocrat. The Italian
thief had lain the English gentleman low.

From his sleep of unconsciousness, Charles was
roused by a series of growls and snappy barks, and
becoming conscious, found himself lying on the
floor. Fang lay by his side with his paws on his
master's chest, and was growling viciously at a
man who had entered the room.

" Call your dog off," said the stranger, " or I
will go away."

" Who's there ? What is it ? Fang, lie down.
Where am I?"

'' Here, you've got to sign this," said the man,
a postman, holding out a receipt book and a
registered letter. " Sharp, too, or I'll go away."

Charles signed mechanically, and took the letter,
then feeling giddy, he walked to his bed and lay
down.

" Have you nothing for the postman ? I've
come up eight stories," said the man viciously.

" No, come to-morrow, I have no change."

With a " maledetto birbo " the man went away.



150 A BARTERED HONOUR.

As soon as Charles had recovered a little he
opened his letter. It contained a line from
Dorothy, and a cheque on Turnbull & Co. for-
£270, forwarded through Miss Crosthwaite hj
John Elphinstone.



CHA.PTEE XIV

THE CHEVALIEE PEOPOSES.
^' EUPHEOSTNE."

" Yes, little mother/'

" Come here, mj child, I have to talk seriously
with you."

Euphrosjne looked as grave as possible, and
going up to her mother, seated herself on a little
footstool at her feet.

*' What is it, little mother ? "

The Baroness threw one arm round the girl's
fair neck, and smoothing the profusion of brown
hair off her daughter's forehead, began the serious
talk.

" Dear child — or rather dear daughter, for it is not
to the child I speak, but to my grown-up young
lady — 3'ou are now old enough to understand what
I have to say to you. You will marry some day " —

" Marry, mamma ? Why marry ? "

" It is every woman's duty, and certainly the
duty of intelligent and beautiful women, to share
their joys and sorrows with a man. You wiU
marry some day ; you are even now being sought
in marriage."

"No, mamma."

" Have you never received pressing attentions
from any of the gentlemen who come here — the
Chevalier— "



152 A BAHTEEED HONOUR.

A merry laugh. inteiTupted her. Then with, eyes
wide open and a pretty little blush, Euph.rosyne
said —

" 'No, no, mamma, never. You don^t think he
wants me, do you mamma ? "

" Yes, child, he came to IS'aples on purpose. '^

^' How very silly of him ! Oh, mamma, how
could you think of him. I mustn^t marry him,
must I?"

^' There is no must in the matter. You shall
marry whom you please. I will never constrain
you, and though my only purpose in life is now to
see you happy, I would rather see you condemned
to the chill of eternal spinsterhood than marry
you to anyone against your wish. But what I
want to say to you is not this."

The Baroness opened a writing case that lay on
the table, and took from it a sealed packet, on
which was written in faded ink —

" To he read to my darling daughter , Euphrosyne,
on her eighteenth birthday,"

Euphrosyne caught at the letter, and then with,
her eyes filling with tears, said in a low voice —

"It is poor papa."

"Yes, child,-''' answered the Baroness very
gravely, and repressing a sigh, "it is from your
father. He wrote this on the eve of the fatal day,
when he died in defence of his honour, and gave
it to me, bidding me follow the direction, should
anything happen to him. I have told you the
rest," said the Baroness breaking down.

" Yes," said Euphrosyne, rising to her feet, and



THE CHEVALIER PROPOSES. 153

Tj:issiiig away the tears that had welled up in her
mothei-'s eyes. "Yes I am proud of papa.
Notre lionneur avant notre vie, is our motto, and
he died for that."

After a little while the Baroness proceeded —
" To-day is your eighteenth birthday, and to-day
I will break this seal and read your father's
dying words, his last command to you."

'' Stay, mother, tell me. Did papa love me very
much ? "

" Yes, my child."

" What did he say to me as I lay in my cradle
that night ? Tell me again."

" He bent over you, and kissed you, and kissed
you, and took your little hand in his and said —

" ' Little daughter, be a true daughter of your
father, be a true Bienaimee.' "

"And ami?"

The Baroness kissed her daughter in reply ;
then she opened the packet and read —

"My Daughter,

"The last words of your father are —
" ' Marry a gentleman, a man of honour, and he
worthy of him/

"My blessing and eternal love be upon you and
with you always.

"Your Father,

" GiLLEROY

de Bienaimee.'^

The Baroness then kissed the signature, and
folding the letter up again, gave it to her daughter.



154 A BARTERED HONOUR.

'' When lie gave me that packet years ago,"
she continued, *'he said that he had but one thing
to tell you, for the rest he trusted to me/'

" Poor little father,'' said Euphrosyne tenderly^

"Well, now you know his wish. You are to
marry a gentleman."

*' What do you call a gentleman, mamma? "

" A man of good family, of untarnished name,
of legitimate birth, who has a full respect in all
cases for the feelings of others, who lives within
his income, and does not endeavour to increase it
by acts unbecoming his position or his honour/'
said the Baroness rather pointedly.

" Is Arnolfo a gentleman ? " said Euphrosyne,
with a tinge of sorrow in her tone.

"Certainly, certainly, my child," said the^
Baroness, quickly, " most certainly."

" Who does not endeavour to increase his
income by acts unbecoming his position," said
Euphrosyne, quoting her mother's words. "Is
gambling unbecoming ? "

"N — o," answered Mme. de Bienaimee. "I
think not. All gentlemen gamble ; your father
did. It is a bad habit, but it has caste."

"Well, is de la Yigne a gentleman? "

"Yes, my child, he is. And talking about
Alphonse, I want to tell you what I suspect you
know, that he wants to marry you."

" Why do you say so ? "

" His uncle, a relation of mine, wrote to me, ask-
ing me if I did not think that a marriage between
you two would be a very good thing."



THE CHEVALIER PROPOSES. 155

"Mother," said Euphrosyne gravely, "please
tell jour relation, de la Vigne's uncle, that it
would be a bad thing, a very bad thing."

" My child ? "

" Yes, mother, you cannot know me if you think
such a thing possible. I do not know much about
men and women, and the ways of the world, but
what I do know, and what I feel as vividly as I
feel my heart beat, is that de la Vigne is no gentle-
man."

" Euphrosyne ! "

^' I have an instinctive horror of the man. A
little while ago, I was quite a child then, I felt I
wanted to laugh at him, now I feel inclined to
run away when I see him.'"

" Dearest?"

" Yes, run away. I think I know him well
enough. I am to marry a gentleman, you know."

" Well, child, I said I would in no way constrain
you; and though de la Yigne is very elegant,
dresses well, and has an independent income, I
must say I should like you to become the wife of
a manlier man."

" Is Charles Hauberk a gentleman ? "

"No/' cried the Baroness, almost angrily.

"Mother?"

" No, no, no. In no single point. He is of no
family, of less than no family. He is here under
a false name. He has no money, no income " —

" How do you know all this ?" said Euphrosyne.

" I have it from a former friend, a creditor, by
the way, of his, that Mr. Man-geles, who has been



156 A BAKTEEED HONOUR.

staying liere^ wlio was presented by Alplionse.
His real name is Benson ; he ran away from
England because lie could not stay there any
longer, because he had made dishonest debts.
He lives as best he can, by adventuring. He
rows boats, he is an artistes model, he does any-
thing to live."

" I am sorry for that," said Enphrosyne, wind-
ing her mother's arm off her neck, and rising to
her feet. " I am very sorry for that, for " —

"Foi "—

'' I love Charles Hanberk, and if I am to leave
you for any man it will be to be with him always.
I love him."

^' But Euphrosyne, this is very wrong. I tell
you what this young man is. Eemember your
father's last words. '■'

" To marry a gentleman. He is one."

" But, child, I have already told you he is not.
You have heard what I have said."

"I love him."

''You may love him or not, you have no right
to do so. I forbid it — your dead father forbids it."

'' I think Carlo a gentleman."

" But he is not. He has a false name ; he does
wrong things — he does common things.^'

" For me he has no other name but — The
Beautiful. In my eyes he does nothing but sing
sweet songs."

" He rows a ferryboat one day, he lives in a
princely villa the next, next day he strips and
poses to an artist for hire."



THE CHEVALIER PROPOSES, 157

^' Because one day he has no monej, the next
he has no strength."

"Euphrosjne, do not argue with me. You
must not think of him."

" I think of him only."

'^ But it is wrong, very wrong; he is not of
your chiss, of your kind; he is of low birth."

" The rose-tree rises from the ground, the lark
springs from the soil."

" Aye, untarnished. He is " —

" Untarnished too."

" No, not untarnished. Tarnished, by no fault
of his own, but still, for all that, far beneath you.-**

" How can one so fair be tarnished, mother ? "

'^I cannot tell you. It is unhapj^y. He is
unhappy."

" If he is unhappy, I love him all the more."

" Euphrosyne, you force me to say it — he has no
father."

" I have none too."

" Aye, but you had one, an honourable man."

" He is a son of the sunlight, a son of the echo.
I love him."

" You shall never marry him."

" Then I will never marry at all."

" Now, Euphrosyne, do be reasonable."

" I am, mamma. It is not I who first talked
or thought of marriage. You speak of it, Bianca
speaks of it, Father Anselmo speaks of it. Every-
body who talks to me says, ' Euphrosyne, when
you are married.' The very beggar woman to
whom I gave a little gift yesterday, invoked bless-



158 A BAKTEEED HONOIJE.

ings on my marriage. I cannot lielp thinking
that it is necessity since everybody speaks of it
as certain. I never thought of it before. I thought
I might always live here, and always have you and
Bianca, and alvs^ays be very happy ; but since all
of you have put it into my head, I have accepted
the idea, and it is Charles Hauberk I love.'^

'' Whatever for ? "

" He is good, he is clever, he is sympathetical ;
he loves animals, he loves poetry, and he suffers.
He is very, very handsome, he is a preux chevalier,
he is a poet, and he is unhappy, and then, I love
him."

" Euphrosyne, I see you are a child. I have
spoken too soon. You must marry nobody yet.
We will wait."

The Baroness rose, kissed her daughter, and left
the room.

This is how all this had come about. The
Baroness, who had really been prepossessed by
Charles' appearance and manner, and was not
at first indisposed to allow him to take his chance
with her daughter, had been quite changed on
hearing from Mr. Mangles, that indiscreet and
unreflecting chatterer, all the dubious antece-
dents of the unhappy young man, and had been
strengthened in her new opinion by hearing from
de la Vigne , who, with the petty spite of weak
and efFeminale men, and his childish proclivity to
talk, that characterises men whose brains have
long lain inactive, had, fearing a dangerous rival



THE CHEVALIER PROPOSES. 159

ID Charles, revealed to her the position in which
he had found him in Mr. Kallandros' studio.

Now the Baroness, though a very kind woman,
had innate and irradicable opinions on social
matters ; and it was with real pain and surprise
that she had learnt how near her daughter she had
allowed this young man, who was nothing better
than an adventurer, to be ; and she had determined
to take the rirst opportunity to put her daughter
on her guard, and was most distressed to learn
how far the matter had gone. She was resolved,
however^ that it should go no further; and, though
her heart ached for her daughter and for the
young Knglishman, whom she sincerely pitied, as
she did it, she bade the servant give admittance
to the Yilla Dresda no more to Mr. Charles Hau-
berk.

Euphrosyne, after her mother had left the room,
remained standing a little while, lost in thought;
then she put her hand into her heaving bosom, and
drew from the innermost folds of her dress a little
bunch of withered flowers, the same that she had
taken off the altar of Venus, the love-offering
placed there by Charles.

These she laid on the table, and by their side,
the faded letter that the dear hand of her father
had written. She kissed both very tenderly, but
her warm lips seemed to cling longer to the flowers.
Then she said very sorrowfully —

" Poor Carlo, I love you still, whatever you be,
and whatever be your faults, and I will love you
always.""



160 A BARTERED HONOUR.

"The Chevalier de la Vigne/' said Giovanni,
throwing open the door of the room.

The Chevalier had come to have a final inter-
view with Euphrosyne, and claim her for his bride.
He had dressed himself so elegantly that he had
no doubt whatever of the result. He was rather
anxious, all the same, for that morning^s post had
brought a most pressing letter from that old
boursier, his uncle, urging him to finish his mission
and get engaged to Euphrosyne at once, adding a
postscript that as the shares of the Compagnie
Generale des Pots-au-feu Parisiens were so low,
and that as he had almost all his fortune invested
in the said Pots-au-feu, he should be unable any
longer to help the young man, and that it was
therefore his imperative duty to secure Euphrosyne
and her dot as soon as possible.

"Good morning, Euphrosyne," said the Che-
valier, trying to look affectionate.

" Good morning, cousin," said Euphrosyne.

" I have come, mademoiselle, to speak to you."

"I hope so. You would not come to be silent.""

" What esprit you have/' said the Chevalier,
looking with admiration at her.

" I did not mean to show any," said Euphro-
syne.

" But you did, you did, you did."

"I didn't, I didn't, I didn't."

"I love you, Euphrosyne," said the Chevalier,,
bringing it out at once.

Euphrosyne started ; she had never taken him
au serieux. Then she said very gravely —



THE CHEVALIER PEOPOSES. 161

" Why do you tell me this ? ''

That posed the Chevalier for a minute.

" Not as a compliment^ I hope/' continued the
girl, drawing Charles' flowers to her side.

" No/' said the Chevalier ; " to offer you com-
pliments would be like offering a pair of well- cut
pantaloons to Dusautoy, or a bottle of jockey club
to Piesse and Lubin. No ; I simply mentioned
the fact, to pave the way to another statement."

Euphrosyne's hand tightened over Charles^
flowers. She remained silent.

" For," said the Chevalier, sitting down, after
first drawing his trousers an inch above his ankles
to prevent them creasing at the knees, " I have a
statement to make. I have seen many things and
wanted many things. I have seen rises and fallSy
ambition and love. I have seen a woman's down-
ward progress from Worth^s to the Boulevard des
Italiens, from the Boulevard des Italiens to the
Louvre, from the Louvre to the Bon Marche, from
there to the Place Clichy, and so on. T have also
seen men whose sole ambition in life it was to find
fiacre No. 1, and drive in it. Yes, I have seen
many things."

" Do you love me for that ? " said Euphrosjme,
smiling in spite of herself, at the absurd talk.

" I will explain," said the Chevalier. " My
similes may be hard to understand. You are a
woman whose progress will be upwards ; you will
reach Worth some day. I am a man who has
higher ambitions than to ride in cab No. 1. Do
you understand? "

VOL. II. M



162 A BARTERED HONOTJR.

'^ 'No more than if you spoke in Turkish/' said
Euphrosjne.

'''I mean that we are not the ordinary people
whose downward lives and foolish ambitions I
have described; I mean we are suited for each
other."

*^ What do you mean ? ''

" I mean that I want you to marry me. Will
you ? "

Euphrosyne rose^ pointed to the door, and
shouted rather than said —

"No."

^' Et pourquoi pas ? " said the Chevalier.

*' Because no, no, no. Never."

*' Are you already engaged ? "

'^ You have no right to ask me.''

" I ask it as a favour."

'' Well, yes."

^' To whom ? Surely not to that young English-
man ? "

*' I do not answer more questions."

" Surel}^ not to that young man who looks as if
he once had credit with his tailor."

'' I do not answer."

" But surely you are not serious in refusing my
offer?"

" Offer ? What do you offer ? "

" My heart, my figure, hem — my name."

" Please, cousin, don't say anything more about
it. I cannot listen to you. Please leave me."

" I will write to you from Paris."

"You will write, I hope, and I hope you will be



THE CHEVALIER PROPOSES. 163

very happy, but don't ask me again, for I cannot,
I reall}^, really cannot."

The Chevalier bowed, left the room, and, going
to the telegraph office, telegraphed to his uncle :

Pots-aufeu or no Pots-au-feu, send the price of a
Pullman and accessories hack to Paris,

That night he received a telegram from his
uncle ; one single word, dating from the Bourse :

Dot?

However he answered it, he got the money and
left for Paris next day, remarking to himself as he
got into the railway carriage at Naples — " Yes, I
decidedly prefer Naples in La Muette de Portici,
Dusautoy is a blagueur after all."



CHAPTER XV.

CAN THE LEOPARD CHANGE HIS SPOTS ?

The conversation detailed in the last chapter,
with Euphrosjne's subsequent interview with the
Chevalier de la Vigne, took place one day after
Charles's change of fortune. This young man was
still in Naples, for Messrs. Turnbull & Co. would
not trust him as far as £270. Bankers often wiU
trust you for £10, but not for £100, ^.e., in their
eyes your honesty is worth no more than £10,
which reflection is not always very flattering. They
had sent his cheque to their London agent, and had
advanced him the sum at which they appraised his
commercial value, namely, 500 francs, and with
this Charles was living in splendour at his old
quarters, the Hotel des Etrangers.

He did not appear at Sorrento for two weeks,
and meanwhile the Baroness had received from the
Baron de la Vigne, the uncle of the little Chevalier,
a rather angry note : —

Paris,
Cafe de la Bourse.
" Dear Placide,

''Why did you not tell me before that
Euphrosyne was already engaged ? It would have
saved me much expease and my nephew much
anxiety and trouble. The poor gargon is very
much distressed indeed, and has shaved his



CAN THE LEOPARD CHANGE HIS SPOTS? 165

wtiskers and has quarrelled with his tailor. Had
I known that jour daughter was the fiancee of
another I would, of course, never have sent
Alphonse out to Naples. I think it strange of
you not to have told me.

deceive, mj cousin, the expression of my very
high consideration.

" Yours,
'' Isidore.
^' Baron de la Vigne,
" Ex-Courtier of the Bourse, &c., &c."

As soon as the Baroness received this note she
called Euphrosyne, and showing it to her said —

" Euphj'osyne, what does this mean? Did you
tell your cousin that you were already engaged ? ''

"Yes, mamma."

"Is it true?"

"Yes."

" To whom ? "

" To my father^s words."

"How?"

" He bade me marry a gentleman. Alphonse
was no gentleman."

"Euphrosyne?"

"No. No gentleman would have acted as he
did. He owed his life to Charles Hauberk, and
yet he came to you telling tales about the English-
man."

" He did quite right. He opened my eyes to
the great danger of allowing this young man to
be near you."

" What danger is there ? "



166 A BARTERED HONOUR.

'^You know he admires you — that is the
danger."

*^Why?"

" Because admiration leads to love. Love often
awakens responsive love. You might have learnt
to love this young man^ this adventurer, and then
there would have been interminable annoyance to
both of us."

'^ I tell you I do love him."

'^ And I tell you, Euphrosyne, you must not."

" Mother, you said I might choose as I pleased.
I have chosen."

" Your father's dying words forbid you. Charles
Hauberk is no gentleman."

"I cannot see why."

" Because, as I have already told you, he is of
low bii'th."

" I am a Republican, you know, mother."

*^ Be it, the Republic does not excuse im-
morality ; the Bonnet Eouge does not palliate
disgrace."

" I cannot understand you when you talk of im-
morality and disgrace with reference to this young
man."

" But they both exist."

Euphrosyne grew pale, the fire flashed from her
eyes, and drawing herself up she said very slowly
and very gravely —

" You are unjust."

" My daughter ? "

" Yes, my mother, you are unjust. You are
more, you are cruel. You are worldly. How often



CAN THE LEOPARD CHANGE HIS SPOTS? 167

have joH told me to hate the cold, cruel tenets of
the world ? How often have you professed to
despise its rules ? but now, where they serve you,
you do not shrink from their coldness, you do not
wince at their cruelty. I think 1 understand you.
I am old enouo^h and I have read enouofh to know
what you mean when you speak of his disgrace,
which is not his fault ; of his immorality, where
he is not immoral. You allow that it is not his
fault, you allow that no blame is his, and yet you
join with the world in condemning, contemning^
and rejecting him. In what are you better than
the world ? "

The Baroness listened quietly, casting glances
of love and admiration at her beautiful daughter,
while she spoke so bravely. Then she rose and
kissed her, saying —

" No better than the world, my child, no better ;
but brought up to certain principles we cannot
reject them. They form part of us, and we can no
more unlearn them than we can unlearn the rules
of social etiquette."

" But you see their injustice ? "

*' Yes, as clearly as I see the absurdity of several
social rules. Still I cannot practise according to
my perception in either case."

"Why not?"

" Because, first, I am Placide, daughter of
General the Baron de Granmont; secondly,
widow of the Baron de Bienamee ; thirdly,
because I am known in society ; finally, because T
am your mother."



168 A BARTERED HONOUR.

" Because you are my mother you should let me
be happy ; because you are known in society you
should show society that it is wrong ; because you
.are the Baroness de Bienaimee, nee de Granmout,


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