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toadyism in their "Dinner-table Pencillings," or their "Rainbow Memories," written with Yankee ink, after their visits to the old country.

"Lafitolle, do you, who know every woman in Paris, from the oldest Ninon de l'Enclos, fascinating her first lover's grandsons, to the youngest débutante at the Gymnase, know a charming little creature, one of your compatriots, with the loveliest eyes in the world, and a skin like blushroses? because I nearly killed her the other night, and, if she's living now, after the fright, I should like to find her out, and apologise a second time for the sake of such another smile and 'ce n'était rien, monsieur!" Come, think over your repertoire of beauties," said Carlton, one evening, when he and one of his favourite friends were dining together at Tortoni's.

The Marquis de Lafitolle sipped his demi-tasse, and answered,

"Mon garçon, I know fifty women with the loveliest eyes in the world, and twice fifty who have a skin like blush-roses-they manufacture those things really beautifully now. Madame de Maintenon would have nothing valuable in her negress's secret now-a-days; every lady's-maid and coiffeur gives vernal youth, so many francs for each additional beauty."

"You speak feelingly," laughed Carlton,; "have you spent a good deal in that line yourself? But do try and find this girl out for me, there's a good fellow. You know, if there is a game for which you and I have a weakness, it is the beau sexe, and we ought to help one another now and then, as sportsmen tell each other where there are most fish in the river, or broods in the stubble. I've done you many a good turn, Léonce was I not pounced upon by the police when I was pleading your cause with that lovely little nun of Sainte-Marie Réparatrice!"

"Yes, devil take you!" swore Léonce de Lafitolle, "and nicely you pleaded it, too, so that I do believe you made her like your English face better than my French one, and if the police and the supérieure hadn't interfered, we should have seen another instance of perfidious friendship-Damon carrying off Pythias's love. Peste on you British, you are such handsome dogs; I believe women would go mad after you you never opened your lips. To be sure, you have here a reputation that serves you well with them, that of being 'le plus mauvais des mauvais sujets.' If there's anything extra wild or wicked done in this modern Babylon, as your London Massillons call it, I always find 'c'est un Anglais' that is at the bottom of it."

"Which serves as well with your countrywomen, they being les plus méchantes des méchantes femmes," laughed Carlton. "I know the Parisians give us that character, but I think it's difficult to out-Herod you in any devilries. But, you see, as London gets the scum of France, so Paris gets the scum of England, and forms her ideas of us chiefly from swindlers, exiled bank-directors, or railway defaulters, who cross the Channel to escape the law-courts, and cut a dash in Boulogne établissements or Paris hotels with other people's money—

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"And noble lords, like Viscount Carlton, who live en prince, puzzle us non-sporting Parisians with their delight in hazarding their own lives and limbs, and furnish court scandales à la Hamilton and Grammont," laughed De Lafitolle. "But about your Boulevards belle-you must be a little more explicit."

"She wasn't a belle-at least I've seen women fifty times over more handsome but I liked her face, it took my fancy," said Carlton; "though I may be tired of a good many things, I shall never be blasé de beaux yeux; and I think if a man sees some he likes once, he is a fool if he does not try to look twice at them. We are bidden to be grateful for all good things the gods give us; I can't see why it should be a point of virtue to be ungrateful and neglectful of the very best of them all. You may depend the preachers who urge renunciation of all soft lips and bright eyes have been ugly fellows themselves to whom women would have nothing to say; at all events, Léonce, we shall have to exile ourselves to the airy altitude of a Simon Stylites before we follow the doctrine," laughed Albany. "And now, as you seem indisposed to finish that Château Margaux, shall we go to the Italiens? You know it is Cerisette's début.”

"Si tu veux, mon ami. Who knows but we may find your incognita among the coulisses ?"

Carlton shook his head as he threw away the end of his Manilla, and

rose.

“No, she's not that style."

"Don't be too sure. Madame de Cheffontaine engaged what she thought a first-class governess for her daughter the other day, till her husband told her he'd last seen her immaculate Mademoiselle Lesage as Mademoiselle Babette at the Château Rouge."

"So she might; women may deceive other women, but never men. I know characters and horses by the eye; if my petite amie had been that stamp she'd have made much more of the rencontre; besides, bécasse, do you suppose I don't know every face worth looking at in those coulisses of yours where I've been an habitué for the last fifteen years ?" said Carlton, throwing himself back in his carriage with a brief" Aux Italiens! -What's the matter with you, Léonce?" he went on, as we rolled off to the Italiens. "You are a little bit triste, for old fellow; I thought the heaviest thunder-shower couldn't send the blessed mercury of your spirits down for five minutes." "If you

you,

"No more it ever does," said that liveliest of Parisians.

want your thermometer to go up, you have nothing to do but to take it into a conservatory, and up the quicksilver will go. It is the same with one's spirits; if they are down, take a little cognac-not too much, but just un petit peu-and go and laugh at the Médécin malgré Lui,' or

Le Cuisinier et le Secrétaire,' you will be quite a different man. But bah! you English know nothing of that sort of philosophy. Blue devils are the guardian spirits of your inviolate isle; a dingy study in a dirty street, with musty folios on the walls, a November fog in the air, and cats quarrelling beneath you in the gutters, dripping with rain; that is the sort of atmosphere in which all your philosophies appear to me to be penned, they are so unspeakably dreary. Believe me, mon ami, Sir Charles Morgan was right; many suicides that sound very romantic might have been averted by some timely grains of blue pill. However, au point. Why am I triste? If I am, it is because I have had disagreeables forced upon me, not because I have taken them up of my own accord. I have heard that my poor friend De Félice will be arrested if he can be found, and be shipped off, to die at his leisure among the east winds of Cayenne.”

"De Félice? Let me see, do I know him?"

"No, you never saw him-at least, I fancy not; I think Paris has been too hot to hold him since you have been much in it. He is Legitimist to the backbone; entre nous, so am I, but I can keep my tongue in my head and Gaston cannot, so I am left at peace to amuse myself as I like with my innocent petits soupers, lansquenet, and Closerie des Lilas, but he will betake himself to conspiracies, défendue correspondence, and all sorts of things forbidden under the present régime, and, par conséquent, the present régime will get rid of him by fair means or foul, as it is its custom to do with all things that come in its way."

"And is he in Paris still?”

"Je ne sais pas. I think not. I hope not, for if he be, take my word for it, the secret police will ferret him out somehow. I waltzed with a charming countess last night, a woman whom one would hardly think knew anything deeper than Mes Confidences,' or her own visiting list; but I was warned to be careful lest I let that innocent face beguile me into saying anything objectionable, or those soft lips would report it at the bureaux, and I should pay for my waltz by a transportation to Brest. Bah! mon cher Carlton, our Dalilahs are always on the side of the Philistines; because hands are small and white, it is no security that they are over clean, or proof against gold. A good deal of beauty, a good deal of talent, and not a few titles are in the pay of the secret police, and serve all dynasties alike. But taisons-nous! the atmosphere has not only ears, but can report in short-hand here. Here we are. Le diable t'emporte, why did you put me in mind of poor Gaston? it will not profit him for me not to enjoy the opera. Friendship is all very well, but it is a great bore if it interferes with one's comfort."

"

"So if I go off at your dinner-table one day in a fit of apoplexy," laughed Carlton, "you will say, like Voltaire, Point de sauce blanche.' "Certainly, if alive you had prevented me from having sauce blanche, what the deuce would you be the better in your grave for my having my ragoût spoilt out of regard to your defunct tastes? Reason, mon ami, should always govern one," replied De Lafitolle, turning his lorgnon on to a handsome Spaniard, whom, for a wonder, he did not know; while Carlton left the beauties for the entr'acte, and settled himself to enjoy the Huguenots.

II.

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CARLTON FINDS THE FLEUR-DE-LYS IN THE STREETS OF PARIS.

THE opera came to an end, as all things do-even public dinners and Spurgeon sermons. Cerisette's début was pronounced a decided success. Carlton flung a bouquet at her in a jewelled cornucopoeia worth much more than the recipient of it, as many like gifts to like destinations are, and took his way out of the opera, stopping en route to receive smiling words from half the handsomest women in the house. He had loitered so long both in the coulisses and the boxes that he was one of the last to leave; but la voiture de Milor Carlton was used to waiting for its master. As he and Léonce stood on the pavé debating whether they should go to Cerisette's petit souper, or to lansquenet at Oscar de Brisac's, a man very famed for beau jeu, Carlton's arm was suddenly

grasped by a woman's hand, and a voice that sounded familiar, stifled as it was by hesitation and fear, cried,

"Sauvez-moi de grace, monsieur; donnez-moi votre protection, je vous en prie !"

Carlton swang round, and saw looking up to his, very pale in the light of the gas-lamps, the face he had seen on the Boulevards the day before; she shrank nearer to him, trembling like a fawn with a staghound after it.

"Aidez-moi, monsieur, de grace! il voudrait m'insulter. Protégezmoi, comme vous voudriez voir votre sœur protégée !"

"Oui, mademoiselle, soyez tranquille, je vous garderai de toute insulte," answered Carlton, quickly, as he turned on to the man who had followed her, by his appearance some draper's assistant, or notary's clerk, more than half entre deux vins. "Comment osez-vous suivre et insulter cette demoiselle ?"

"Sacrebleu ! comment osez-vous me parler, monsieur l'impertinent?" retorted the man, as, savage at the interference, he staggered forward and tried to catch hold of the girl; but Carlton, thoroughly English in his ideas of punishment or self-defence, straightened his arm and knocked him down, sans cérémonie. When the unknown lay prostrate from the double effects of the blow and previous petits verres, Carlton bent down to the other rather more interesting inconnue, tenderly, but not alarmingly so, for, lion though he was, he had certain, to Léonce, peculiar notions of chivalry still inherent in him.

"Calmez-vous, mademoiselle, il ne vous insultera plus; mais permettez-moi, je vous en prie, de vous conduire chez vous; les rues

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She looked up in his face, smiling gratefully-for the first time she recognised him; but warmly as she thanked him, she equally firmly rejected his offer to see her home. Vainly did Carlton represent to her that the streets were not quite the thing to walk about in, if ladies did not like making promiscuous acquaintances; vainly did he offer her his carriage without his companionship; vainly did he exert all his eloquence, which was not small, when he had such beaux yeux as inspiration. The girl resisted, and spoke at last so plaintively-" Non, monsieur, non; je prierai pour vous tous les jours, mais laissez-moi partir-de grace, oh, laissez-moi partir!"-that Carlton was fain to let her go, and she sped away in the darkness, while De Lafitolle pushed him into the carriage, and decided of his own accord on Cerisette's supper.

"Well, Carlton," said he, "I must say I should have thought you'd have improved the occasion better than that. To find your incognita in the street at midnight, and positively to let her go without learning her name or address! Well, I should have thought fifteen years of Paris and London had taught you better than that!"

"Get out," laughed Carlton; "before my Paris and London life, my mother stuck into me some notions of honour and right feeling; most of them are gone, I fear; but one or two are left, enough to make me not follow that girl with the self-same insult from which she asked my protection. But what do you Frenchmen know of such quibbles ?"

Perhaps, though he was a Frenchman, Lafitolle, with the same blood in him that had owed in the veins of men who had learnt of Bayard and Du Guesclin, had a perception that such quibbles were not altogether ridicules, and held his tongue till it ran on oiled wheels over Cerisette's

supper-table, where Carlton, to all semblance, forgot his incognita in the sparkling eyes and not over particular talk that accompanied Cerisette's Chambertin.

But though he did not think of her as he would have done had he been a dozen years younger, or a little less given to consoling himself with present beauties for absent ones, Carlton did not altogether lose his fancy to see the face that had pleased him on the Boulevards, and pleased him still better under the midnight stars. Beaux yeux, as he said, were his weakness, almost as much so as, when he was at Eton, disdaining all ordinary schoolboy passions, he had made such love to his tutor's wife as brought all the college about his ears, and got the precocious Viscount expelled. He thought of her several times, and would have given a good deal to have a secret police of his own to ferret her out for him. That very soft and pathetic voice, "Sauvez-moi, monsieur!" had not died wholly off his ear, and a thing he could not have had always had immense attractions for Albany. He is not singular in that: I know a good many grown-up schoolboys who will take any pains in life to get birds'-nests out of their reach, and do not care a hang how many times they imperil their necks, or how many greenfinch pères et mères' hearts they may break; yet who, as soon as they have the eggs safe in their mouths, see them stolen or cracked without caring a button. The CHASE is the thing. We fling the fox to the hounds as soon as we have had the run for it; before the finish it is the "noble quarry," after the finish we count it offal!

So, not being able to see his incognita, Carlton fancied he should like her better than the, as he admitted, fifty times handsomer women whom he could see any minute he chose, and make love to à son gré; Lafitolle, too, with the glimpse he had had of her, wanted to find her again, but was rather at a loss how to do it, the description of a woman's eyes being hardly enough to secure her identification in a crowded city, or to satisfy the intelligence of valets and police agents, though those two classes of individuals are almost as Argus-eyed in Paris as though they had Balzac's lorgnon to aid them in prying into locked boudoirs, sealed billets, and silent thoughts. A week and a fortnight went by, and Carlton could see nothing of his inconnue; it was very exigeant of him to set his mind so doggedly on a woman he could not get when there were hundreds ready to smile on him, but set it was, and though he was not, I must confess, over given to fidelity in such matters, for an entire three weeks did he compare those un-get-at-able beaux yeux with those that beamed round him and for him-disadvantageously, you are sure, to the latter, for it is wonderful what a beauty a very ordinary woman will seem to a man when viewed under the silver veils of absence and difficulty. Carlton, not used to meeting chevaux-de-frise in any of his pursuits, began to grow angry that, hunt the streets and the Boulevards, and all imaginable places, as he might, he could no way manage to catch a glimpse of the girl again, when, as his good or evil fortune--whichever future events might prove it to be-took him one day to a picturedealer's to look at a "véritable Mieris," purported to be sold there. He knew very well how the like manufactures are carried on in back slums of Poland-street or entresols of the Chaussée d'Antin, and he was not

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