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"A family consultation was held as to what
course should be pursued. Should they again
be burdened with an idle dependant, who
would be more useless than ever, incapable
of work, with military habits of smoking,
drinking, and dissipation, to consume the
produce of the farm and the dairy? If
Jerome chose to present himself at their door
as a broken-down beggar, claiming a crust
of bread and a night's lodging, of course they
could not drive him away; but, to invite him
was quite a different matter. In vain Penelope
pleaded her utmost. It was decided
that no notice should be taken of Jerome's
letter, and that events should be allowed to
follow their own course.

"A few weeks afterwards, a disabled
veteran returned to Belleclé. His first thought,
after seeing his own friends, was to call on
the Douriez family, and congratulate them
yes, congratulate them! on the honour which
Jerome had shed on their name. What!
Did they not know that he had risen to be a
general, with fortune, and decorations, and
high renown! And, as he was now fast
recovering from his late dangerous wound,
did they not know that there was no guessing
what eminence he might reach. Even Marshal
of France, perhaps!

"'Jerome rich! Jerome powerful! Jerome
high in favour with the Emperor! Oh! let
us send word to him to come without delay!
Penelope, you are the only writer amongst
us. Write instantly; we will dictate.'

"A letter was dictated, even more mean
spirited and transparently interested than
their previous silence. They even had the
injustice and the cunning to make poor
Penelope take upon herself the blame with
which they alone were chargeable for the
tardiness of their missive. It was dispatched.
At the end of a few anxious days, no answer.
Another week; no answer. Another year;
no answer. Forty long years; and no answer."

Here, I discontinued my reading, and looking
at General Delacroix, insidiously said,
"I should have done the very same thing
myself. I never would have responded to the
advances of people who had so heartlessly
and cruelly cast me off, even though they
were my own brother and sister, and the sole
relations I had in the world."

"Would you not?" he thoughtfully
returned. "I do not know whether I should,
or not. But you are younger than I, and
your passions have greater power over you.
Men's resolutions change as they advance in
years. Life is short, and anger should not be
eternal. Please to go on, if you are not tired."

"Forty long years," I continued from my
feuilleton, "is a longer space of time than
people are in the habit of imagining. Douriez
senior, departed this life. One of his sons
caught a fever, while too closely overlooking
some labourers in the marshes; and he
died too. The other heated himself in
thrashing flax-seed; obstructed perspiration,
and a whole week passed in an atmosphere
loaded with dust, brought on inflammation
of the lungs, which terminated in a rapid
consumption. Both the young men had
continued single; so Penelope remained
inheritress of all. After a decent delay of
eighteen months, she married a young
farmer, between whom and herself there had
long existed an intelligence of looks. He
was not spared to her many years, and she
was left a widow, with an only son.

I paused.

"Well," said the General, impatiently,
"is that all? Or are we to have the
continuation in the next number?"

"No. The whole is here. The rest is very
soon told."

"The estrangement of the surviving brother
and sister still continued. In fact, neither of
the two knew whether the other were living
or not, though each felt a secret yearning in
the recesses of the heart. At length, Jerome
happened to read, in one of our most popular
novelists, a tale which strongly reminded him
of his early youth, but the conclusion of
which was more in accordance with the dictates
of natural affection, than with the unyielding
maintenance of displeasure that refused
to be intreated. He remembered that no
reconciliation could take place in the grave.
He made cautious inquiries. He found
that those of whom he had most right
to complain, and whom he now began to
pity for their narrowmindedness, were gone;
that the sister whom he loved, was left,
and had a worthy son, whom she loved
too. He formed the bold resolution to
swallow his long-cherished pride and anger,
and to make the first step. He sought his
sister; found her unchanged, except by years
and sorrows; and saw at a glance that her
child, his nephew, would stand him in the
place of a son. The relatives met, to part
no more. One roof covers them by night;
around one table they daily assemble in
cheerful thankfulness; and now, at their last
hour they can, without hypocrisy, utter the
prayer, 'Father, forgive us our trespasses as
we forgive them that trespass against us!'"

"And that, General," I said, laying down
the paper, and assuming a sort of commercial-
traveller's self-complacency, "that's my first
attempt at a feuilleton." But my sprightliness
met with no response.

"You say, sir, this little story is founded
on fact?"

"I am acquainted with all the parties. Of
course, the real names are not given."

"And Jerome, the elder brother, who rose
in the armydo you know him?"


He seemed disappointed at this answer.

He then observed, more as if talking to
himself than addressing me, "I should much
like to see how those people get on together."

"Nothing is easier;" I interposed. "I
want to transact business with them to-