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The Pink Domino

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I. A Hpht cloud had juut partially hiden tlio brilliant rays of the raoon, when a sliadow passed rapidly along tho wall nclofiug part of the park belorigf to tho iig!i aad powerful Duke of , and, topping at a low arclied door (almost nvisiWe, shadtd as it wns by tbo long, bick branehfs of a neighboring oak), ut a key in the lock, and sallied forth, fter cloiug it carefully. A c.arr'uige was in attendance, u man opened the [oor without uttering a syllable, and, umping on bis seat, drove with all seed oward the Palace of Yersaillcf?, ïlie drive was not a long one, and yet eemed Interminable to the fair oocunnt, whose excitement had lulled the ears which for days bad been alraost inoltralle. At lusf a etring oí carriages a) pearcd, the ooachman drevv up, and, rh light as a fawn, the stepped out of the carriage, following the crowd of masks en tering the cour (Pbonnettr of the palace. The Domino nt her hand to her heart as f to stay its beating; then tnking courage, ascended tho grand staircaso and soon found herself in the g&llery, regplendeat with lights, wtiioh lod to the salon where Louis XV. and his Queeu, the good Maria Leokzinska, 8at on a magnifica Dt throne, surveying the galaxy ot beauty that stood before them Most of tho'women were without masks, but all the men, with tho exceptioa of tho King, wore them Our Pink Domino, with her b'iuch of ivy leaves on tlic left side, Lad retiiained almost transfixed at ihe sigbt of Louis XV., and no wonder, fur to whomsoever he appearcd for tlie first timo H was ii visión nover to be forpottea ! Musio had poured forth itsjoyous gtrains, dancing had begun, but the Pink Domiuo was s ül in the same pot, haviijg neMier ears nor eyes for what passed around her. Louis XV., beautiful as Hope, was the stiir slie gazed at - a Inning sun n-hich reflccted its rays upon ber wonderiug eyes; she had lieard of bim ; but what doacription could come up (o what slio beheld 'Í Lost in admiration, sho had been deaf to all the witty words that had been whispered to hor, and it was only when the King escort ed back the Quecn to her o partment that the Piuk Domino reraembered wbere she was. Louis XV. had remarked the statuo like (iomino, as she ltant near a column with ber fixed glance upou him, and liad guessed he was the cause of the pieoccupaliou of the (air unknown, who, undei' her velvct mask, hid, most likoly, ihe lovely features of sonie one wishing to romaiu incognito, Amueed at tlio idea of trying to fine! out wbo it was he thus so charmod, he hastened to cover himself with a black domino and repair to tlio grand Balon During the time the Pink Domino hac remained in the same spot, still impassiblo, and refusing to answer questions o: the inquisiiive inssks. "Wby so silent, fair mask?" said a vniiie which made her turn with a start towards her interlocutor. "lías your lover proved faitbless and deserted you ï If so, take my arm and let uü have a cbat togotber." Not a word escapod tbe Ups of the Domino, but, impelled by au irrasintible power, ehe pataed her arm through tbe j onc that had been offered to htr, and turucd the 8Üght pressure of the unkiiOwn m:is!c. "Motliinks the heat is very grfat Iioro ; would yoo not like lo h'ave tuis nrowd for oiiiü (j'iict nook n the terrace?" "Witli all uiy heurt, for I on!y oame hero t aoe tho kin:, and, as ho i.- gout', I feel no mero interest in tlio psgeant." "Oh ! the kuif I 1) you iiko the kirg, via ioule belt ?" 'No, Í do uot Iiko tho Icing bul I worsl)i h 111, and I vvoulil die at this raooieot ior ono look ín m his beuutil'ul f jea !" "It is not fiattering to me, Ihis speeah of youni; do you kuow I luid begun to tliink jou were in love with me, nnd now 3011 cooly teil me you would die for his y. Why theu did you ucvept my i arm 't You f-hould have waited in cise Louis XV'. sliould return, as of courm) hu is ure tu do." "Let us go baok and show hirj to me, tlion I can go aul rpebk ti biui iNexl to tho king I h-el I c;ui trust you. Quiok ! let us return, tbat I may "soe bim aguio," "What if, instead of leaditig you back to the orowd, I wero to couduet yo where you would see his majety (ace to face ; would it not bc a oreer plan ?" "Cuuld you, would you, do this for me, unknown as I tim to you f" "Te pleaso you, niy f.tir one, 1 would doanything. Gome, aud d a few minutos Louis XV. w 1 1 1 to you." J.ith mssks left tho terrace, and, winding iheir way Lbrjttjfh, vaiious 1 sages, caoie to a dark, narrow staiicasa nbioh they ascended, and the Black Doiiiino pushi d open a door, leadiug bis oompaiiion, who, from tho subdued light of a suüill lamp, saw at a glauca they were in nu apartment probabiy seldom oceupied The Jilack IJomino touctied a largt! picture, and it elid away slowly inio ihe wall, the Piijk Domino was oahered into one of those delightful retreats that the magnificarle-.) of a king CouUl alone devii-c. The picture had roturned to its place, and, alter ieading Ihe unknnwn toa roI, ha Black Domino slowly divested hiinself of his diïguist;, and discovered to the tewilderud eyea of his visitor the beau tiful features of the king ! As quick as lightniug the Piük Domiio was on her kneea with óutstretebed and", as if to ak mercy for bec temeiiy ; but, with a bewitohiug emüe, Louis XV. took her hands, aod nising her Voni her kneeling posture, snid : "Now that your wish has been grati fied, 11 you uot ia your turngiatify niue V And, without waiting for an mswer, ho threw of l!io dorrárm, and, tto'ii-ti-ning tho maak, bebeld a fuee sach as in all his dieam any rivl Dever lad ortrayed, A flrod of golden balr lad fallen on ghoulders whosu whiteoew reaiizod tho snow. The eyes were d jut with the swectness of lb( se of an anti-lopn ; the mouth and thu were 'aaltlest - in a wonl, all in tho visión hat appeared before him was perfoct. "Who are you f" said the king, drawing her toward bim, and lonkiiig in her eyes with a gazo that made a thrill of delight pass tbrough her wholo frame; ''who are you, niy beautifui angel 't Oh, teil met at once who you ara." ''Sire, I cannot ; pres.s me not, do not ask my name, for to-duy, for the iirst time, I aiu dishonnring it. Let me only say once more that tor your love I would lay my head at vour feet aad die lappy !" "What ! so yourig and lovely, and yet peak of death '( Aud couid you - couid vou leave me, never to meet ugain '! ' "I do not know about death, but I am sure that this will be our tirst and last nteíview a Btrajige presentirnent tcils me ro.;' "But you couid not forget me if your ova is f uch as you desoribe ! And yet so young, it will be but a dream in your ife ! Oh yes, you will surely forget." "Your majesty will forget, but I.never can and never shall " And without letting ber finish, Louis XV. uhowercd kisses and csreeses on the daughter of Eve, who had forgotten that unstaincd blood ran in her veins, and gave berself up entirely toa dream of love. The hours flittod away os thoy only can for lovers, and the beau tiful unknown tore herself at last from the arnis of her royal lover. "I must leave your majesty now - I have already been too long." "Cali me Louis; and what uame shall I treasuro in my heart?" "Alix I" "My sweet Alix, one moro kiss." ''My own beloved Louis, fareweU !" " Wait, my owu, only for one moment." And the king went to a drawer, and, taking a sdiall miniature of himself, be preseutcd it to the young girl. öüe pressea ït to hor lip, aud, with a gazo n which adorution wb depioted, ehe threw herself once more iuto the the kiiig's arms, gave him a long, passionate kiss, and said : "I am yours uut o death ! Probably we eliall oever moet agaiu, but wben I die tliia will be found lying on my heart." Once moro tho picture glided for their exit. Louis XV. took the arm of the Pink Domiuo and led her to tho carriage that awaited her. Tliere was one more pressure oí' the hand, one nioro farewell, and tho carriage rolled away Alix re-euterod the park and flew to her room, but, oh, horror! 8he found hereelf ooufronted by her father ! She uttered a laúd sbrieb and feil senseless to the Hoor. The duke raised her, laid her on a coucb, and, divesting her of her domino, and snatching the mask oñ her face, he looked for a fow minuten at the lovelj form bsfore him, but without the slightest touch of tendernos or forgiveneB - her doom was soajed. Ile lcft the npartment, and before Alix liad recovered from her fainting fit hchad rotiirned, and wrapping her up with a largo cloak, he carried his burden down stuirs, placed her in a traveling carriage drawn by four borses, gat by lier side, a:id gave orders to the postillions tOBtart off. Tho rapid motion of the carriago recalled tho unfortunate girl to her Henses, and by the gray down of the morning ene met onco moro the haugbty and scornful gazo of the duko. Trembling, and almost dond with foar, she threw lierBelf on hor kuces to imploro her father's forgivenese, but it was in vain ; ho did aot inijuiro of hor doings, byt tol J her to bo hilcnt ; iiis curse was upon her, lis said, and Alix kncw wull wluit it ineant. II. The convent bell of at Chaillnt lang llic nunsto carly roaps, and like ;i prccesoioB of piumtoms Ihey güdud süenüy through tho long corridor whieh led to tlie cluipel. At the somc mnment tho Bharp tinkliug of ihc tour i beli was heard, itnd ihc treur tourwrt, letting fall fier rosury st her sido, drew tlie fitring to siive eotrance to t!ie new corners, and goiui; to tbe grating of the parloir, tbe beheld the fin, bandsome but. hnughiy fiio of t!ic Puko of , wit I a lady kaniii:; on li's BTIn. ';[ itíb i to see the abbess k," x-Mil be íti au autlioritative tcno l iwildered uun, who was not aeoiH ' ■ to such noble visitors at no carlv unhooif. "Your name, monporgneur ?" "Nevcr niind my name ; ii is not nuant for jour eaf." The nun illsappcnrtd, nnd in a few minutes a tr.ll, portly womaii of i: bout i öOjeaisofDge onlcred. Her l'.atures : were btindsome, but so much larshnes was depicted ou her fiice, and. her cobl, stern blue eyes loaked so cruel, that Alix ahuddered in thinking of tho doom thut ■ awaited hor. The duke cravod a few miouteo of private ooDverkaticin wiih the abbess, Alix beiug under the surveülanca ol the touricre. Pour Alix ! how her heart as hreak ing witiiin hor ! But a few hours beiore and all the joya that enn only beftilt by those who have loved passionately had been hers, and lor those few liouro (whicli had appearod to lier seconde) of intense bliss and supremo happinups, she was perbapa to be condeiMied to years of misery, and vet if it were to l'Ui.'in ügaii), would ulie fly from tem;v tation ? "No," she ina-ardly said, -ng.iin nnd' again, "I could not, I would not. Oh ! my lovfd Louis, my own 'ödorei king, no one eball be b!e to pravent my ; thinkirg of jou; I shall love vou moro aod uioie every dj', uniil that love kills ■ me by iuches, and, if ona leinonibers on he othcr side uf the toiab, thou shalt ev( r be with me I" Tho umnusital voice of tho abbcss drew her from herdroamy thoughtn ; sho was alone, and telling Alix to l'ollow hr, boíb entered a durk, low passage, :it tho end of wliith was a door; tho abbt'-s uuloukcd it nud made Alix enter. Lt waa u eoll whose darknets was 1 veoted by a flickerin lamp carried by I tli i mm ; a pallet for bed, a chair and a crucifix ou ihe wal! consliluted the iiurp. ön the cbair lay the complots dress ! of a novice, and in onu orner a pitcher of water with a pieoe of bread. "Tbis cell, my daughter, is for tho present yurs. Yon shll expíate here your bud conduot ; if you aro rebellious jour chastisemeiit will do a'most unendarable, but ii yen colinde in me and confesa your iniddeedí, your punishineDt íhall be of thorter duration, and, inste;id of proloning your novitiate, you wil! be free in a few inouths to tako the vows. [ leave you until 1 1 ; you will hnvo time to nlloct over your wickeduess, and I shall be ready to receivo ibe svowal of tho dark deeds you havo committed, and do not neglect to tbrow off the livery of Satan in order to cover your finful body witb tbo holy habit you aru so unworthy to wear," The abbess leffc, the door was lookod, and tho benuliful and desoluto Aüx tbrew heraelf bcforo thu crucifix to imploro forgivenoss from tho All-powerful One who could alone wash her from her sins. Like the Magdalan cf old she entreated for pardon ; but, alas, human lovo was stül stiong in her heart ; the image of Louis was engraved in indelible characters upon it, and it was but in vain fbe struggled for a few moinents of prayer ; the name of Louis v.'as ever on her tips, and laiut aud wearied sho tbrew herself on the pallet, pressing tightly to her heart the picture of her beloved. Ouce more tho door creaks on its hinges, and tbo abbeps entors. "I havo come to hear the oonfession of your guili,"she says, briugiog the oh&ir near to tho bedside ; "let me hear it at once." "Madame," said Alix, whose proud blood began to boil in her voins, l'my guilt, whutever it bas been, shall bc buried with me ; you can inflict any amount of torture you liko on me ; I can suffer. Ob, yes ! with the remembrauce of my pust happiness, I can suïer a ihousaud deatha !" The oold, untlinching eye of tbs nun was upnn poor Alix ; she used throats of all descriptiüiis, but in rain ; the young girl was uot to bo overawed. The abbess rose at last, and ordering Alix to change her olotherf, she lelt the cell with rage depicted on her oountenance. When, hours afterward, she returned, she found the young girl slill down ; she bado her rise, aud mailing her kneel, adniiuistered her la discipline. Shred after shred of the dress which had toucbed royalty is torn under the lash ; even the beuutiful shoulders do not escape the torture. ]Not a word, not a sigh paesed the lipe of the unhappy girl, and as soon as the enraged abbess left the cell, she took out the picture of Louis XV., hiddeu in her bosom, covering it wiih the most passionate kisses and moistcning it with tears; then sbe puts it back on her beart, and exhausted with fatigue, falla into a deep slumber. She dreams, the boautiful but unfortunate sinner, a soothÍDg, charmiug dream ; but alas for the wakening ! She U nt Versailles ; heavenly sounds strike her e:irs, and sho sees advaucing to meet her the majestio fortn of the king ; he extends his arms to hor, and sho throws horaelf on bi heart ; ho prosees her to it, covers her with buruing kisses; he calis her bis own beloved Alix but at that moment a hard grnsp takes hold of her arm ; she shrioks with pain, she wakes, and by thelight of a dark-lanteru bhe finds herself agaiu faou to face with her tornieutor. bhe is draggod from her couch, forced to kneel down and remaiu in tho samo position until, exhausted and faint, she lul 1 s on her face beforo the sorrowing looking image of her liodeemer. Has the sun utiü '! Alix cannot teil. She is stift wilh the icy coldness of the stoae she is lyiug upon ; shc tries to ris, nnd, after a paiuful effort, shc reaohcs the chair whero the olotlies have been left ; it reminds hor she may be utiareheil f she dclaj'8 in öhaagiog hor drops, umi dowly and witb ligha pbe throws off her luundauo attire for the relijio;M ono ; I she shudders in putling on ihe sombre fjiirb; 1-h.n feels eo faint (forhe has lastcd notiiing since she enterad her prison) that the offott fha has made is loo mu oh for her; however, sho aocompüsbes the tak ; she bas t'rn off u knct of ribbon I lio kin-; l,u touched, an'l placfs it with the inin'ature; ihen, grnping her way to har pallot, sho hys once inoro down her weary head nnd sloops. lier Hlumbers liivc DOt laste 1 Iwf A sudden flish of üght passes over her eyeí : sho w a Ie es and sei-s standing heIbre her a mun dressed as a Curmeiitn inostt ; s!ie funcies she must bo droaxiiug. but a low mellow volee andueeivaS lier; she looks into tho fuco, wIiohí í'ca'ures aru r.ow plttiolj rëvealed to ber ly tho liglit of the lamp, and hu ceai-en o tour ; the aus'rre look vanishas t miku room tor ono of dtepiy fait aornpaniün ; !h"nis SieetnesH in ihnpray av, acd Oiuoh huavity on the h ili-'ipKned lip., rc-aiiy to aitcr wordi of eomfbrt to h.r detolate soul. "üu r.ot fiaid, tny düiighter. 1 do not come t upbn.ii!, but to pity ; not to chile, for tlieio Í8 oae lii-j!ur i' Cg ■■::' Bhal: j 1 1 d j e büth yi;u and me :tt Lat day. I oi'Uie ouly to yuti to sy have onufideuco in me. 1 wi II r,ot betray your trust, but try to biing peuce to your afflicted heait." Alix icüiainel muto for a minuto or two, then tiied to 8je:ik, but in vain, her exhaustion was too ftreat, and the monb peroeniug if, left the cll autl returned wi:h u pbial cuntaining some cordial. He pour.-d it into a glass ai.d made her drink; itsooo revived her, rd she tbanki'd him with Ler lovely, but now sorrowful, Bmile, A profonod reiges in tho ccll; I the tnonk flretns planged n deep thougbt ; ' J. vii-iun h;t9 lased befnre hiin, :i vi.-i'j.i of the past, vvhen Uo too loved, pcriia) s, as-paetiouatcly as the vietim iow be fore liiiii ; but he ia s rong, he shakrs ofl' ! tlie tempter, he oali.s to bis uitl bis good BOgel, and bas gainetl the victory. And DOW he epeaks to Alix as a kim!, lond f.ither woold to Lia el.ild. tího lietens, she 'is moved by tho deep oaruesteess of bit words, at.d when he has Bnirhed she fes.1, sho can speak, not to divulga her secret eotirely, hut lu p[ eak of her love, for he will lis. en tj her, and ,-h uiifolds to bint the yeürnings of her passionate 8)ul ; sho tulla how luuch she has lovtd, how muc'i she loves stil!, how eho h; B praycd, and feit that He'wbo luffored so rauch lor biiinRr looks down upon her with ,i!y, pot with apger, and thu inonk liatens and pities, and prays inwardly thnt eba may have peace. Ho rises to leave ; she begs ho will return again ; be promises to do 80, acd, with na blessiug upou the fair, desolate siDtier, hú disappear. Every oight the samo tormenta aro inflieted by the cruel abbesi upon tho young girl, aud every day tho (Jarmelite monk uouicB to pour balui iuto the deep wounds of tho soul of the hear t-brokon Alix. At last a chango takes place ; he obtains permissioD that she shall be released from her prison, and sho is oonducted to a lighter cel! ; proper food Bgiven to her ; she rallies, nnd now and then tho monk is seen to walk with her in the garden, (rom which height the great city can be seeo. Ha shows to her the tnonument8 her young eyes can easily discern; she carelessly asks him whero the Tuileries and tho Louvre are, and from that moment hev gaze ia constantly fixed ou the distant spot. Under the oustody of the abbees she goe3 to chapel every day, but otherwise is entirely separated from the other nuna, asit bas been decided between tho arohbishop anc1 tho obbess that tho rules muat bo broken once upon hsr aceouut, to pleado the duke, and it ij announced to the siaterhood that a desciudant of the uoble Duke of - - is going to take the veil. Tho Carmelito monk bas prepared her, and though he knows well that the heart ia still rebellious, hc feela sLc canüot escape Ler doom, but bo will watcb over hor. Tho day for tho sacrifico hts dawned, and the jourt is jToing to be represented by all its moet brilliaut star3. Tho queen who loves all religious coreinooies, signifiea hor intention to b) present, and tho liing, who bas heard of tho beauty of the duke's daughter, wishes to aouom! paöy ber. All is ready, and theorgau poalsforth ts soletan stiuius at tbe en trance of kleaveu's brido. A low murmnr of admiratiou escapes tbe lipa of all present, and uever iDdeed so celestial a benut)1 has been seen on earth - sho does not Heem to belong to it. She advances alowly to the altar wbere she ia goiog ti be saoriiiced. Sbe is dressed as a bride, ber rich rube sweeps tho ground, aad she is loaded with tlie most msgniticent diamonds, the beirloom of the great ducal family. Ia her right hand she holds a bouquet of exótica, which she will throw behind her ia pronounciug tho worda that aro to bind her to Heaven, and show abe has forsaken tho pomps and vauities of the world. She comes nenrer. Louis XV. is almost petrified at the ight of her ; she has not raised ber eyea yet, but tho nearer she coinés the more her heart beats, üDOOnsoioaa though sho bo of his presonco ; she is now near tbe altnr step, aud the kiiiif 's arm-chair is quite close ; sbe lookti up, utturs a ery of joy, but it has beon too much for lier ; sho staggers, tbo king rises, stretuhes his arms and roceiveg her in time to prevent her fallinp; ; he Icoks in hor hioc, tho eyes are olosed, aud aome red drops tricklo on her lips, She is doad ! It is evoning. Tho Carraelito monk winds his steps to the onll of the beiiutiful departed, and imkes n sigu to the min who watchei to retiro. Ou a table stands a caeket ; hú opeus it, and sees nmong the diamonds the poi trait ol Louis ! He guesses all. He shuta up the casket, goos to tho bed whero Alix is lnid, he removes her guimpo, slips the ininiutura back, ank restores to her in in death what she had so much prized in life; he kneels down, utters a few fer1 Teut words of praysr, aud bids farowel! forcver to tlio remaius of lbo baautiful Alix.


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Michigan Argus