They were on most comfortable terms. They had walked all over Versailles together, and talked under their breath of the murdered Queen; they had been through the Louvre, and Isabel, knowing it well of old, found all made vivid and new by his enthusiastic delight; they had marvelled together at the poor withered ‘popular trees,’ whose name had conferred on them the fatal distinction of trees of liberty; they had viewed, like earnest people, the scenes of republican Paris, and discussed them with the same principles, but with sufficient difference in detail for amicable argument. They had thought much of things and people, and not at all of each other.
Only Isabel thought she would make the Viscount into a Vidame, both as more quaint and less personal, and involving slight erasures, and Louis was surprised to find what was the true current of his thoughts. With Isabel propitious, without compunction in addressing her, with all the novelty and amusement before him, he found himself always recurring to Mary, trying all things by Mary’s judgment, wondering whether he should need approval of his theories in Mary’s eyes, craving Mary’s sympathies, following her on her voyage, and imagining her arrival. Was it the perverse spirit of longing after the most unattainable?
He demanded of himself whether it were a fatal sign that he regretted the loss of Isabel, when she went to spend a few days with her old governess. Miss Longman had left the Conway family in order to take care of the motherless children of a good-for-nothing brother, who had run too deeply into debt to be able to return to England. He was now dead, but she was teaching English, and obtaining advantages of education for her nieces, which detained her at Paris; and as she had a bed to offer her former pupil, Isabel set her heart on spending her last three days in the unrestrained intercourse afforded by a visit to her. Louis found that though their party had lost the most agreeable member, yet it was not the loss of the sun; and that he was quite as ready to tease his aunt and make Virginia laugh, as if Isabel had been looking on with a smile of wonder and commiseration for their nonsense.
THE FANTASTIC VISCOUNT.
Search for a jewel that too casually
Hath left mine arm: it was thy master’s. Shrew me
If I would lose it for a revenue
Of any king’s in Europe!—Cymbeline.
’My dear Fitzjocelyn, what is to be done? Have you heard? Delaford says these horrid creatures are rising! There was an attack on the Hotel de Ville last night! A thousand people killed, at least!—The National Guard called out!’
’One of the lions of Paris, my dear aunt; Virginia is seeing it in style.’
’Seeing it! We must go at once. They will raise those horrid barricades;—we shall be closed in. And Isabel gone to that governess! I wish I had never consented! How could I come here at all? Fitzjocelyn, what is to be done?’