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THE HONOUR OF THE; .FAUBOURG.…

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THE HONOUR OF THE; FAUBOURG. 1 The Yiecv.nte de Bonnereuil, an ixisigniti- ant but embittered old gentleman, the VicoratesKe, melancholy and pious, and their three daughters—Hermengarde the eldest, handsome and haughty, Annie and Kate, the wo younger ones, light-minded and vivacious—occupied the ungracious position of poor relations in the family of their cotisins, the Signerols. The genus poor relation is not uncommon in the Faubourg St Germain, in the circle where fortunes fly away every day, and cannot be re-made except by marriages with the banking mfce- j terest or with trade and though such mar- riages cam hardly be called exceptional, they are not quite the rule, either. The whole family ha.d put their wits to work to provide for the dreadful old vicomte and his wife and daughters. The Murquis de Signerol had given them the mansard ^oor of his old hotel in Sant I Dominique-street, quite respectable apart- ments for a younger son for instance, and furthermore paid for their firss and lights. The Marquise de Signerol dressed the three sisters every season, and other rela- tives gave the girls presents of spending money on their birthdays. I omit other sources of revenue, for the Bonnereui s be- longed to the noble army of genteel beggars. Oh their begging was of the most reiined and dignified kind, as befitced people who 'were quite aware that the keeping up of ap- pearances in their case was a matter of con- cern to the whole Faubourg. They sought, alms in the name of a principle. So they lived along with their five thousand francs income, supplemented by about as much more incidentally acquired but they raged inwardly, gave themselves protesting airs, II and went about with perpetually discon- tented faces. They suffered agonies at the sight of their opulent cousins' luxury and fashion. The Signerols were kind to them, and invited thyrn to informal dinners and to almost all their evening parties. But the three: sisters I could not show in new gowns as often as they wished, and it gnawed them to the heart's core. When they came home from a walk during calling hours, the swell equipage in the porte-cochere — not for them-filled them with bitterness and re- sentrnent. If the marquise sent them out in her landau for a turn in the Bois with her little sons, the girls were haunted by the fear of being taken for the children's governesses. In the bosom of the family they had to endure their father's irritability. He reproached them by continual allusions with not being boys. Oh, if he only had a A son might have rescued them all from poverty. A son could have made a rich -mesalliance with some banker's daughter or merchant's heiress, selling his name very dear, since names are for sale and even con- fer vast honour upon those to whom they are sold. But how could a, man dispose of three dowerless girls ? They must be old maids or nuns. This perpetual harping on one theme gradually impressed the eldest of tho Bonnereuil girls, Hermenjarde. She was a strong-willed girl, of stately brunette beauty, hilly decided upon tasting life, and within whom, under her well-drilled grace and the thin veneer of a convent education, throbbed the warlike and brigand ardour of her far-away ancestors. Her poverty mad- dened her. What is a name ? Is not the I true noble the one with the power to seize and to retain ? If a name is marketable, why should she not sell hers ? The wife's name is easily hyphenated with the hus- band's. Doubtless the trade would be harder for a girl to make than for a man, but what would be the harm of looking about one ? And she looked about her. At about the same time Ernest Foussard, the eminently modern business man that all Paris knows, owner of a sugar refinery, two 'I sailing vessels, three newspapers, and four minor theatres, realised, in running over his books, that he had just gaihered in his twentieth million. Married to the landlady of a family hotel with a bank account, and soon left a widower, he had thought at first that he would not marry again, arguing that a man without- a wife—be he bachelor or widower—is freer to enjoy l&dies' society. But now that his fortune was made, now that he had everything—swell house in Paris, picture gallery, historic chateau in the country, his nomination by the Conser- vative interest at the last election, and, last and most conclusive, that he was verging on fifty-rhe idea occurred to him to take a wife who should bring him the sole thing he lacked, a great name to tack on (by and with the consent of the Senate) to his pat- ronymic Foussard, and thereby, sooner or later, after a resistance which he foresaw and half-approved, his entree into the mysteri- ous, inaccessible circled of the Faubourg. And he looked about him. Now, in th e course of their looking a bout them, Hermengarde de Bonnereuil and Ernest Foussard met. The first time was at a charity fair, where he raid her a thousand francs for a pair of curT-outtons in her booth. He had first got thoroughly posted about her and knew that she had nothing in the world but her great name and her great eyes. A few days after, he sent her a number of barrels of sugar and a mammoth bundle of clothing for her charities." Her noble papa wrote to thank him. The following week Foussard called on the Bonnereuils outright. He was received and saw Hermengarde. He came again. Let us abridge. Ernest Fouss.-rd and Hermengarde had found each other out at the first glance, but both went through with the required acts of the comedy with the, proper amount of dis- cretion and seriousness. Foussard pleased the viscount by the purity of his monarchical convictions, and won over the viscountess by the purity of his religious convictions. At the end of three months he proposed for the hand of Hermengarde. The viscount" was all lofty regret. Sir," he-said, it pains me that you have had the imprudence to formulate a request whieh our principles compel us to meet with the most express denial. It pains me, I repeat, for I have felt drawn toward you—yes—very much drawn toward you, I am sure. At least," replied Foussard, "grant me one favour. Be kind enough to lay my pro- posal before Mile, de Bonnereuil. If she, too, refuses, my grief will be overwhelming, but as I shall then know there is no hope for me, I believe I shall be able to summon; more resolution to quell this fatal passion sustained by the feeling that I am obeying her wishes solely." Sir," said the viscount, "you are one of nature's noblemen, and your words prove the delicacy of your sentiments." When the Vicount told his daughter of Foussard's proposal, she said simply At last!" And then added "The Signerols will froth at the mouth." Do you mean to accept him ?' cried the father. "I should say I do said Hermengarde 41 I've had all the poverty I want. Besides, think a moment. Did not our Cousin Sillery, and the little Prince of Castelfidar- do, and old Count d Artenay all marry Jewesses within the That's not at all the same," said the mother. Well," argued Hermengarde, Mr Foussard can be a Papal count whenever he wishes. If ho likes, he can be legally Foussard de Bonnereuil until the Fcussard is dropped altogether for the sakw of brevity. You know it as well as I do." But if I rwfuM « live my •oa*«nt f" Mtid the yisconnt. I am twenty-two years old, my dar father. I shall ba tweetly obstinate, and— I kn~>wyou so well!—you love your daujht*r so much that you would not have the heart to remain angry with her long." "My child, you astonish and pain me in- describably. You do not speak like a girl that occupies your position in the world," added the viscountess. All this did not prevent the viscount from writing to Ernest Foussard :— co SIR,—It is my duty to inform you that, to my reat surprise, my daughter receives your proposal I confess that I have opposed her resolution with all my strength. But the feelings with which you have inspired her are such that she has announced her intention of proceeding, if ncceary, to legal remonstrance against my ritci'i! authority. Such is th? present situation. ib? ? ?ua M gnu15 a ftr. b?wed down with grief, the respite of a snort time to master his When the Viscount told the Signerols about Foussard's proposal and Hermen- garde's answer, there was war and tumult. The Marq uis and his wife declared that the mere notion of such a marriage should fill a gentleman wibh repugnance. The Viscount agreed with them, but they went too far they declared they would never suffer that Foussard—" that off-scouring, that Thing —to cross, the threshold of their home again. The Viscount protested against such strin- gent measures bitter words were ex- changed, the Viscount departed abruptly, in a lofty rage the very next day he moved out oi the Signerol top-floor, and, with his wife and daughters, established himself in a t litHe fiat-Rue du Bac. There was general consternation through- out the Faubourg. Doubtless this was not the first mesalliance which had occurred there that was exactly it—there had been quite too many these last few years. Beside, this one was altogether too conspicuous. Foussard was in particularly bad odour he was mera raw money-money naked and not ashamed, amassed too fast and by ways and means really too-modern. Such a. mar- riage would signify, with much too insolent distinctness, that money can buy everything, that everything indiscriminately is for sate, and that, in order to make the sarnie match as Rohan or a Montmorency, the vulgarest \>f tradesmen had only to put up his coin. Then, again, if this Foussard was a man to C.oncluc:bimMlÎ with discretion and veil his success—but not at all everyone felt that ne would shout it from every pinnacle of notoriety, emblazon it, advertise it on all the walls, fences, and railway stations if he could. Three morning papers had already announced the thing under initials, aa tran- sdarent-as wedding-cards. Portly dowagers climbed the five flights that led to rhe Bcnnereuils, and exhorted Hermengarde for hours together, passing from the melting to the indignant, and from threats to prayers. Sho remained obdurate. One of the most admired clergymen of the Faubourg, the Rev Father de Sainte-Ama- rante, came to admonish the young insur- gent in his turn. He could only extract ger.4?- ii-i bi.- ,urn. lie coLi-'d orly e-?- t ra-, t They don't want me to sell my name ? Well, a thing that can be sold can be bought back. We must infer that the excellent father understood this dark saying, for he imme- diately held a long conference with the Vicomte de Bonnereuil. We shall never know the precise words exchanged by. the pair, but when the viscount escorted his visitor to his modest landing, the holy man said to him in a low voice :— Let us sum up, monsieur la vicomte. We said, an annual pension of forty thousand francs, of which twenty thousand go to you and your cherished younger daughters, upon the condition that they shall marry only men. in their own social circle and twenty- thousand for Mile. Hermengardo upon the same condition. Am I cuite accurate ? A,,reed ? I undertake to submit your pro- position to the Marquis de Signerol, and to the marquise, an(i to ail those whom it will interest. The proposition was accepted. Father de Sainte-Amarante hawked about among the dwellers of the Faubourg a sort of subscrip- tion-list for the Bonnereuil pension. The profane called these visits "the good work for poor relations." But the list filled rapidly, for self-esteem entered into the matter, as if the amount of each subscription were the measure of race-feeling in each sub- scriber and the gauge of his blood's azure. Some families that could ill afford it, that kind that worries along on thirty thousand francs a year, even preserving a decent air of grandeur about the ancestral manor, the6u- imposed veritable privations upon them- selves. Th" most highly heroic mite, how- ever, was undoubtedly the contribution of ever, was undoubtedly the con-l-ri ,)u-I.ion ox 11113 Chevalier d'Outarville is the last chevalier extant. Of course he had been page at the co rt of Charles the Tenth. He was a natty old fellow, full of superannuated politeness, replete with prejudice and dis- interestedness. He lived on a tiny income with one old servant, a whits-haired Parisian, J oseph Bonhomm. One evening, when by chance the cheva- lier did not dine out, and as he was eating his modest meal at home, he said aloud What times these are That Tittle Her- mengarde de Bounereull In my day-ah, well Old Joseph sympathized respectfully with a silent nod. The chevalier continued it is a great work to prevent such dis- honour. W h. can not I contribute ? But we are not rich enough, my old Joseph Full of lofty sadnes? the chevalier only played with his dinner. I The meal was shore that evening. Joseph, as much overwhelmed as his master, ap- peared to be reflecting deeply. The next morning, however, when he brought the chevalier's chocolate, the old servant was almost blythe. "Monsieur the chevalier may take heart again," he said "I have gone thoroughly over my books. With precaution and judg- ment, by pruning a little in every direction, if I get up a little earlier to go to mrket, we could save fifty francs a month. And I promise monsieur the chevalier that it shall not be too perceptible to monsieur the chevalier." Ernest Foussard received the following j letter from the Vicomte de Bonnereuil :— Sir,—Having consecrated to the most serious reflection the respice I begged you to grant in the matter we all have so mnch at heart, it becomes my melancholy duty to inform you that my daughter no longer looks favourably upon your rait. We hesitated for a long time, with so much esteem has your character inspired u,, but we feel constrained to admit that there are certain para- mount principles t which we must sacrifice 7i3,,)ant urin,-4 K? ,7-u tho, bett,-r th'Ls everytr.,al.,P. will the, better appreciate this feeling a3 these principles are, at bottom, yoar own, and you will apprqivo their stern aiid, --t times, sad autocracy. Believe me, ever," &c. The honour of Faubourg was saved.

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