Stéphanie Félicité Genlis.

Tales of the castle; or, Stories of instruction and delight. Being Les veillées du château (Volume 3) online

. (page 1 of 16)
Online LibraryStéphanie Félicité GenlisTales of the castle; or, Stories of instruction and delight. Being Les veillées du château (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook




O R,







By Madame la Comtesse de GENLIS,

Author op the Theatre ofEducatioKj
Adela and Theodore, &c.



Come raccende il gufto il mutar' efca,

Cos! mi par, che la mi a Iftoria, quanto

Or qua, or la piu variata fia,

MeRo a chi I'udira nojofa fia. Ariosto;

As at the board, with plenteous Viands grac'd,

Cate after Gate excites the fickening tafte,

So, while my Mufe purfucs her varied ftrains,

Tale following Tale the ravifli'd ear detains. Hoole.

The Second Edition.



Printed for G. G.J. and J. Robinson,

N^ 25j PaT£R-NOSTER-R0W«






Continuation of the Story of
Alphonso and Dalinda.

THELISMAR, as tliey drew near to France,
thought proper to make his young pupil
promife carefully to conceal his love from Dalinda.
You v/ill travel with her, faid he ; I have told you
it is the wifh of my heart to unite, by the moft
holy tics, two objeds who are now almofl: equally
dear to me ; but you cannot, Alphonfo, difpofe
of yourfelf without a father's confent : I have no
doubt his confent will be granted j yet there is a
pofTibility it may be refufed.
Oh heavens 1 refufed 1

VOL. Ill, B Were


Were I to prefent you to Dalinda as her future
hufband, fhe would look upon you, beyond difpute,
with the eye of affeftion ; and, uncertain as wc
are, would it be right to hazard troubling the rc-
pofe of her life ?

I trouble her repofe, or trouble your's ! though
but for a mcment ? No ; let me rather never be -

hold her but we are fo certain of my father's


And yet, fuppofe, through fome unaccountable
caprice, he fhould refufe.

What, my father pronounce fentence of death
upon me !

Either Alphonfo, I hzve loft the fruits of all
my cares, or you will fupport this misfortune with
fortitude. Is it in the power of fate to make us
miferable while we are virtuous, and while we
poflefs a faithful friend ?

Oh Thelifmar ! you fhall for ever be the fovc-
reign arbitrator of rny dcftiny. Do you not dif-
pofe of my actions, my opinions, my feelings, as
you pleafe ? Oh yes ; and the afcendency you have
acquired you can never lofe ; reafon, virtue, gra-
titude, and friendfhip confirm your power. I
will faithfully follow the law you impofe — I will

fee Dalinda, and be fdent Yet what an effort I

But fhall I doubt my power to perform what you
prefcribe ?



Our travellers came to Bourdeaux, whence
they immediately departed j and their carriage
breaking down at the diftance of thirty leagues from
Paris, they were obliged to ftop where the acci-
dent happened. Thelifmar wrote from this place
to his wife, informing her he fhould certainly be
vvith her the next day by five in the afternoon at
lateft, and delivered the letter to a courier, who
departed immediately. Thelifmar and his pupil
rofe before day-break, got into their carriage, and
departed for Paris.

What a charming morning 1 faid Alphonfo,
tranfported and embracing Thelifmar, as he be-
held the rifmg fun : what a fine day ! Before It
is ended, I fhall fee Dalinda.

Remember your promifc, replied Thelifmar;
I dread left you fhould betray your feelings at this
iirft interview.

Oh, I am certain of myfelf.

Do not be too fare : take my advice ; from this
moment moderate thofe tranfports ; thofe joys
which in a few hours muft be totally concealed j
let us fpeak of fomething elfe.

How is it poiTiblc ?

If you wifh to acquire a command over your
pafTions, accuftom yourfelf to regulate your ima-
gination at your pleafure, and to banifh any cer-
tain train of thoughts, when you wiih fo to do.
B2 But

4 THE T A L E 3 O F Tir E C AS T L f.

But provided my conduct Be always rational,
will it mutter what my thoughts are ?

Ilow is it poffible to give any marking proofs of
jortitude, if we are habitually feeble ? He who
fufters his imagination to have dominion over him,
can neither drive from his memory what is dan-
gerous to recoiled, cor rejedl thoughts he ought
not to entertain ; and can fuch a perfon always be
iuppoled rational ? The faculty of thinking fbould
be turned to the improvement of the heart and
mind j but we pervert this noble faculty, when
we fvifFer our im.aginatlon to dwell upon obje6ls
beneath, unworthy of, or derogatory to ourfelves ;
therefore there is no doubt but the moft fecret
thoughts of a wife man are far more pure and fub-
Jime than his words.

Aiphonfo fighed, and for a few moments re-
mained filent; then, by an effort over himfelf,
entered again into converfation. Thelifmar fpoke
of their travels, and recapitulated whatever they
had feen moft remarkable j difcourfed on the arts,
chymiflry, botany, and various (ubjeds of natural
hiftory, while Aiphonfo was -infenfibly drawn to
liften with pleafure.

How happy you are, faid Aiphonfo to Thelif-
mar ; how extenfive your knowledge, nothing
can aftonifh, nothing is new to you.

How miftaken jc« arc, replied Thelifmar. T^e
heaven and earth, the uijiY.erfc, all we fee, all that



ejivirons US, is the work of an infinite Being ; an
eternal book, in which man to the end of time fhaU
find fecrets that are impenetrable, objedts for ever
new, and difcover, through each fucceeding age,
myfteries the moft fublime, without ever knowing

them all.

Thus converling, they drew near to Paris,
vvlien our travellers, almoft equally moved, be-
cpme thoughtful and filen>: ; they remained fo a
confiderable time. At lair Alphoiifo faid to llie^
lifmar. Will you not own that, at prefent, you
do not chufeyour thoughts, but that you are obliged
to accept thofe which fo forcibly, fo naturally pre-
fent themfelves ?

As Alphonfo was fpeaking, the poftillion told
Thelifmar he few fomething which very much fur-
prized him in the air. Thelifmar looked out, and
difcovered, above the clouds, towards Paris, a
fmall round body, opaque and dark, which appear-
ed in motion, and flowly approaching as it were
to meet them.

Thelifmar aftonifhed, looked very attentively
at this phenomenon, and his aflonifhment in-
creafed at beholding the body become larger and
luminous. He determined to defcend the better to
examine it, and the terrified poftillion had al-
ready ftopt his horfes. They alighted in a charm-
ing meadow, adjoining to Arpajon, fix leagues
B 3 from


from Paris \ the luminous globe, however, feem*
cd ftill to increafe in fize.

It is a meteor, faid Alphonfo, and much fuch a
one as 1 Taw in Spain, when I was traA'elling to

It is no meteor, faid Thelifmar.

What is it then ?

I cannot conceive : it approaches ftiil, and ftill
becomes brighter. Have you your pocket tele-
fcope about you ?


Lend it me Thelifmar took the telefcope

that Alphonfo prefented him, and having adjufted
it, looked and cried, it is incredible ; I can perceive
underneath this globe a kind of veflel, a fmall
fhip faftened to it ; this is certainly an illufion—
Here, take your turn to look.

Alphonfo took the telefcope, and prefently ex-
claimed, good God ! I fee a man !

Thelifmar began to laugh ; you have hit it, faid
he, it is Abaris the Scythian [a).

I am not furprized at your incredulity, faid Al-
phonfo J for though I am certain I fee it, I do not

believe it and yet why what enchantmejit

is this r ^heavens !^ 1 now fee tv/o people

diflhi6cly !

{a) Abatis was faid to have received an arrow fiom A-
polio, on which he flew through the air.



Alphonfo rubbed his eyes, and the telefcopc
dropt from his hands ; he looked at Thclifmar,
who motionlefs and fixed in amazenaient, faid
/lot a word ! The globe ftill kept approaching^
and at laft appeared almoft over their heads. I
can doubt no longer, cried Thelifmar : this globe
of purple and gold contains living beings t— —

I fee them ! Oh inconceivable prodigy ! Oh

happy triufnph of audacious genius !

While Thelifmar was fpeaking, the globe
hovered over his head, majeftically defcended,
and they faw in the veiTel> fufpended to the globe,
two celeflial figures ; they were females : the one
had the dignity and beauty of Juno or Minerva ;
the other clothed in white, and crowned with
rofes, refembled Aurora, or the charming gcd-
defs of fpring-time and flowers.

Alphonfo flev/ towards the globe ; he was ftopt
by a violent palpitation of the heart ; no, cried he,

thefe ravifhing creatures cannot be mortal

they approach they come hand in hand— —

furcly it is Innocence and Virtue, defcending from

heaven to give back the golden age but — — •

good God — is it a new delufion ? — Oh, Dalinda,
this young divinity, the more to charm us, has

taken thy form 1 dare not believe my eyes,

and yet my heart cannot deceive mc— — Ye?, it
is fhe, it is Dalinda herfelf !

B 4 Alphonfo


Alphonfo wildly called Thelifmar, juft as the
globe and its car touched the earth ; while the
latter pale, trembling, petrified with furprize and
doubt, Jooked on it, fent forth, a piercing cry^
and tranfported with joy, ran,, or rather fled to-
wards them.

The tv/o divinities were not lefs eager ; they,
iprang, they v/ept, they funk in his arms.

Alphonfo, quite befide himfelf, durft not fol-
low the dictates of his heart ; he flopped, and the
excefs of his feelings obliged him to lean againib
a tree, for his trembling legs were unable to fup-
port his body.

In the firft moments of joy, the magic globey.
the car, the miracle, were totally forgotten. The-
lifmar beheld nothing but his wife and daughter,
and his curiofity was fufpended, fuperior to the.
power of all enchantment. Alphonfo, a v/itncfs
of this happy meeting, did not tafle a joy un-
mixed ; he contemplated Dalinda. with ravifhment;
he cnioyed, with tranfport, the Aveet pleafure of
underfcanding her in her native language, while
(lie fpoke every thing that filial affection could
infpire to a dear and tender father^ But this in-
terefling fcene brought to memory Don Ramirez,
and all his wrongs j and thus was one fingle fub-
jcd of remorfe fufficient to poifon all his plea-



Reflection, after a while, having again given
birth to furprize and curiofity, Dalinda and her
mother were queftioned concerning the miracle
they had feen. They replied, they had not ventured
themfelves paflengers in the Air balloin^ had they
not firft feen experiments which had afTured
them of its fafety ; that knowing the day and hour
when Thelifmar would arn\e, and having a
favourable wind, they could not reful their dcfire
of thus furprizing him^ efpeclally when it would
bring them fooner to his arms ; that living in the
fame houfe with a philofopher, who had a glouo
ready prepared, they had feized fo favourable an
opportunity of flying to meet a hufband and f:<-
ther fo dear ; they added, as they were hovering
over the meadow of Arpajcn, they had diftinguifh-
ed a carriage andhorfes with their telefcopes, and
confequently had defcended,

Thelifmar after this went to examine the globe,
and his wife gave a fhort account of the experi"
ments which had been made at the Muettc, ani
the Tuileries, Thelifmar felt himfelf greatly
moved, while fhe defcribed the general enthufiafnr
which thcfe fublime experiments had excited j and
the univerfal admiration with which the whole
nation beheld the immortal author of that difco-
verji and the two illuftrious philofophers, whofc
heroic daring had procured to France- a fpetSlacl^
fo pompous and fo new.

B ^ Thelifmar


Thelifmar likewife heard with pleafure, that all
the truely leafned partook in this well-founded na-
tional enthufiafm ; and Alphonfo was aftonifhed to
find, that envy wanted power topoifon the triumph
of the author of this brilliant difcovery.

A little reflection, faid Thelifmar, will rob you
of your furprize ; fuch lights as may fcrve to guide
men to the things they v/iih, are always received
with tranfport. Suppofe a chymift, by making a
difcovery, fhould open a new career to the learn-
ed, and furnifli materials for an infinity of intereft-
ing fpeculations, and a multitude of new ideas :
would he not thus afford them new means of dif-
tinguifhingthemfelves, andacquiringglory? From
one difcovery a thoufand others may arife, while
each philofophcr is only bufied in bringing -it to
perfe6tion, and thence deducing new lights and
further fame : thus, fiir from endeavouring to
diminifhthe merit of the firft invention, each em-
ploys his talents and his genius to make it more
ufeful, confequently more glorious.

You give me infinite pleafure, faid Alphonfo ;
there exifts then a way, in which men may run
towards the fame goal, may overtake and outfi:rip,
yet not hate each other. Oh noble triumph, in
which the victor is crowned by the vanquiflied j
where the excellence of an individual is the delight
of the whole, ^md becomes to them an inex-



hauftlble fourcc of fame and frefh fuccefs. Oh
that men of wit would follow this fublime ex-
ample !

You vvilha thing impoffible, anfwered Thelif-
mar ; fails cannot be denied ; a difcovery proved
by experiment, is beyond criticifm, above cenfure ;
but fo are not works of imagination. An author
who writes to the fancy, may ardently defire to
prove his work is good, but cannot do it geometric
cally J it is in vain that he may affirm it a hundred
diftcrent ways in his preface, when whofoever
pleafes can affirm the contrary : thus when he has
compofed-a Chef-d'oeuvre^ ill tafle and malignity
may deny his merit. Hence arife difputcs, unjuft
criticifnis, atid enmities which diihonour literature.
The philofophcr can write nothing w"hich defcribes
new facls that is not ufefui to all other philofo-
phers ; while the wit and talents of the man of
polite literature are fubferv lent only to his own
.individual f.une.

After this convcrfation, they took a turn in the
meadows, then entered their carriages, and went
for Paris, where they arrived in the evening.

Thelifmar made no ftay in this cit}', but de-
parted with his family and Alphonfo far England,
'ilwy palli^d fjrne time at London ; but not being-
able to learn any tidings of Don Ramirez they left
itj and went to Buxton in Dcrbylhire,

B 6 I will


I will condu61: you, faid Thelifmar, as they
were walking out, to a fountain, which, from the
fabulous virtues attributed to it, would be much
better placed in Sicily or Greece than England.
It. is pretended, that the fpring only flows for con-
ftant hearts ; and that any lover, capable of the
leaft infidelity, cannot drink of its waters, becaufe
they ftop at his approach. It is long fince I heard
this old tale, added Thelifmar, the gallantry of
which recals to memory the fountain Acadine and
the ftory of Argyra ( i ).

The guides now fpoke to Thelifmar in Englifh,
which language Alphonfo did not underftand :
they tell me, faid Thelifmar, we are not an hun-
dred yards from the fountain ; but as the road is
full of ftones and brambles, they and our fervants
will go before and clear the way. Let us fit down
under thefe trees a moment till they call. So fay-
ing, Thelifmar feated himfelf between his wife
and daughter, where they had not fat long, be-
fore the guides returned, and condu6led them to
the fountain.

I am going, faid Thelifmar, fmiling, to his
wife, to prove a fidelity, of which I hope you have
never doubted : befides, this clear and abundant
fpring invites me to drink ; I therefore willingly
confent to fubniit to this proof of perfedl con-



So faying, he approached the fpring and
drank two or three times. Who, continued he,
will, after this, pretend that men are inconftant !
You fee.— But come, Alphonfo, are not you

No, replied Alphonfo, laughing; however I
will drink.

Alphonfo drew near, but Thelifmar flopped him,
as he was going to ftoop, and whifpered. What,-
have you the audacity to expofe yourfelf to this
proof; have you forgot Greece, and the black-
eyed youthful Zoe ?

Nay, Thelifmar, now you are cruel.

Well, well, fmce you have engaged with fy
much temerity, you muft go through with it nowj
you muft drink..

While this dialogue v/as palling, Dalinda drew
near, and. Alphonfo fearing fhe might overhear
Thelifmar's jokes, ftooped towards the fountain;
but as his lips drew near the ftream, it inftantly
ceafed to flow. Alphonfo, abafhed and aftonifh-
ed, felt his heart violently beat, and ftood like the
ftatue of furprize. Dalinda bluflied and fmiled,
though with an air of feme conftraint, while
Thelifmar filently, with mifchievous pleafure,
looked on ; at laft. Away, profane mortal, faid
he, in a tragic tone, depart from thefe facred



Certainly, faid Alphonfo, this cannot be a real

I proteftj faid Thelifmar, it is.

I own it has all the appearance of 9ne. And can
you, who polTefs fo many other wonderful fecrctSy
forbid the fountain to flow ?

That would indeed be a wonderful fecret.

Yet I have feen you do things as furprizing.

This, however, furpafTes my power j I afTurc
.you I have no influence over this fountain ; the
prodigy at which you ftem fo much aftonifhed, is
entirely the work of nature. I will endeavour
this evening to explain the phenomenon ^ in the
jnean time, Alphonfo, cede your place to me, for
as I have a clear confcience, T dare fupply it, uti-
terrified by your difgrace ; look, and you ihall fee
tiie ftream flov/ once more.

As Thelifmar approached the fpring, it began
again impetuoufly to bubble forth, it's waters ; and
when he had enjoyed his triumph for a moment,
Thelifmar took Alphoiifo under the arm, and quit-
ted this miraculous fountain.

Alphonfo was not ignorant enough to believe the
fountain was enchanted ; and after feme reflec-
tion, he nearly divined the caufe of an effect fo ej^-
traordinary ; but Thelifmar's pleafantry had fodif-
concerted him, that he couid not recover himfclf
during the whole walk,



Thelifinar departed from Buxton, and condu£led
his wife and daughter to the frontiers of Scotland
(2), where they left him to go to Edinburgh,
The wife of TheHfmar had an ancient relation
and benefador who lived in that city, and who
was very defirous to fee her once again j whiJe,
therefore, they went to Scotland, it was deter-
mined that Alphonfo and Thclifmar fhould make
a tour to Iceland.

Alphonfo at parting from Dalinda, acquitted
himfelf with a fortitude that even furpafled the
hopes of Thelifmar ; fearing he fhould betray him-
felf, he determined fcarcely to look at her, and pro-
nounced no other kind of farewell but fuch as
mere politenefs required.

As foon as he was alone with his friend, he ut-
tered his tender plaints, but the praifes of Thelif-
mar foon foftcned his chagrin. They embarked
and arrived in Iceland, at Skalhot, whence they
went to Geizer, The firft thing they admired in
this wild place, was a cafcade of prodigious
height J but another, and a newer fpeclacle, foon
drew all their attention: look this way, faid
l^helifmar, behold the fuperb columns of ruby,
ivory, and cryilal, whicli cover that immenfe

Alphonfo turned, and over a vafl: extent of
ground, among rocks and gulfs, he faw thrown up
kito the air, at equal heights and diftances, innu-


meiable fpouts of water, as from prodigious foun-
tains, and of various colours ; fome of a bright red,
fome of a dazzling white, others of pure and
limpid water, but almoft reaching to the very
clouds (3).

Alphonfo and Thelifmar could not be tired with
fo beautiful, fo brilliant a fight. They admired
many other phaenomena in the fame ifland, equal-
ly curious ; and, after having feen every thing
it contained, of interefting and uncommon,
they re-embarked, and again returned for En-
gland, where Alphonfo once more faw Dalinda,
when the pains of abfence were forgotten, though
the neceflity of hiding it confiderably abated hi^


Thelifmar left England with inexpreflible fatis-
fa<Slion, and at laft embarked for Sweden. After
fo many travels-, fo many perilous voyages, to fee
himfelf in his own country, in the midft of his fa-
mily and friends, , was a delight net eafily to be de-

Here he had the pleafure to find once more the
virtuous Zulafki, with whom he had lodged at the
Azore Iflands, and whofe houfe v/as miraculoufiy
thrown into the fea. Thelifmar learnt with joy^
that the filial piety of this young nian had made
him the obje<5t of public admiration j that his So-
vereign had heaped benefits upon him j, that he had



found his miftrcfs faithful, and that he was mar-
ried, and the happieft of men.

Thelifmar wifhed to contemplate him in the
bofom of his f^imily ; he there faw Zulafki,.
with his fathei' on one fide of him, his wife on
the other, and his child, a beautiful boy, not twa
years old, on his Icnees. Oh Zulaflci ! faid Thelif-
mar, where is happlnefs that may be compared to
your's ? The wife you doat on, the child you love^
your wealth, your reputation, your plcafures, your
felicity, your glory, all, all the eftecls of your
virtues. And your happlnefs is ftill the more pure,,
fmce it is too intcrefling to Incite envy. Thofs
qualities which are only brilliant, have ever more
enemies than admirers ; but thofe which are the
offspring of the heart, obtain the fuffrages of all.
You cannot outfliine other men, without wound-
ijig their pride j whilft you aftonifli them, you
often irritate; and whenever you areperfonal, you
are afTuming. Your fon too,, that tender objedl of
your deareft hopes, what may you not expecl from
him ? fmce, to make him worthy of yourfelf, to
make him feel how extenfive are the facred duties
of nature, you have only to relate your own

Alphonfo more than ever a prey to difquietude
concerning the fate of his father, and cherifliing
ftill the fond hope of finding him in Ruflia, told
Thelifmar he was determined to go to Feterfburgh.



Eafily imagining what Alphonfo's afflictions mu{l
be, {hould he not find Don Ramirez there, The-
lifmar determined not to abandon, but go with

At Peterfburg they found Frederic, the old
friend of Thelifmar, whom they had met in the
ifland of Policandro : I am dcftined, faid Frederic^,
to iliew you, and fee in your company, extraordi-
nary things ; follow nne, and you ihall behold a
palace of cryftal.

We know, faid Alphonfo, that you call a cavern
formed by nature a palace. For this time,
however, replied Frederic, it is no play of words,
but a real palace, built by men, according to the
moft regular rules of archite6lure.


This affurance fcarcely could perfuade Al-
phonfo i therefore, to cure him of his incredu-
lity, Frederic immediately took him to the mar-
vellous palace. As foon as they came in fight
of it, Alphonfo uttered an exclamation of lur-
prize ! He faw a real tranfparent palace, of
beautiful architedure, apparently built of various
coloured cryflal.

Go on, faid Frederic, and your amazemen t will
be doubled : look at yonder battery.

What do I behold ? cried Alphonfo : Cannon
too of cryftal.

The concert is going to begin in this Inchanted
caftle, continued Frederic j you may go in, if you



dare enter a palace which muft at leaft be the ha-
bitation of fairies.
I am too much accuftomed to them now, faid

Alphonfo, to ftand in fear of enchantments.

So faying, he pafied beneath the brilliant porti-
coes of the palace ; and, led by celeftial harmony^
came to a magnificent hall, the walls andco'umns
of which, built of the fame materials with the
reft, were, likewife, ornamented with garlands and
fcftoons of rofcs ; the girandoles of cryftal, whicb
were placed in the angles of the hall^ were filled
with an infinite number of wax-lights, which be-
ing reflected on every fide, produced a moft daz-
zling brightnefs.

But what flruck Alphonfo moft, was the beauty
of the women, which he found aflembled in this
magic palace. He was in no danger of taking

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryStéphanie Félicité GenlisTales of the castle; or, Stories of instruction and delight. Being Les veillées du château (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 16)