delicate epicure, witty in conversation, polite to obsequiousness, supple, adroit, insinuating, Baleinier was one of the oldest favorites of the congregational set of the Princess de Saint-Dizier. Thanks to this powerful support, its cause unknown, the doctor, who had been long neglected, in spite of real skill and incontestable merit, found himself, under the Restoration, suddenly provided with two medical sinecures most valuable, and soon after with numerous patients. We must add, that, once under the patronage of the princess, the doctor began scrupulously to observe his religious duties; he communicated once a week, with great publicity, at the high mass in Saint Thomas Aquinas Church. At the year's end, a certain class of patients, led by the example and enthusiasm of Madame de Saint-Dizier's followers, would have no other physician than Doctor Baleinier, and his practice was now increased to an extraordinary degree. It may be conceived how important it was for the order, to have amongst its "plain clothes members" one of the most popular practitioners of Paris. A doctor has in some sort a priesthood of his own. Admitted at all hours to the most secret intimacy of families, he knows, guesses, and is able to effect much. Like the priest, in short, he has the ear of the sick and the dying. Now, when he who cares for the health of the body, and he who takes charge of the health of the soul, understands each other, and render mutual aid for the advancement of a common interest, there is nothing (with certain exceptions), which they may not extract from the weakness and fears of a sick man at the last gasp--not for themselves (the laws forbid it)--but for third parties belonging more or less to the very convenient class of men of straw. Doctor Baleinier was therefore one of the most active and valuable assistant members of the Paris Jesuits. When he entered the room, he hastened to kiss the princess's hand with the most finished gallantry. "Always punctual, my dear M. Baleinier." "Always eager and happy to attend to your highness's orders." Then turning towards the marquis, whose hand he pressed cordially, he added: "Here we have you then at last. Do you know, that three months' absence appears very long to your friends?" "The time is as long to the absent as to those who remain, my dear doctor. Well! here is the great day. Mdlle. de Cardoville is coming." "I am not quite easy," said the princess; "suppose she had any suspicion? " "That's impossible," said M. Baleinier; "we are the best friends in the world. You know, that Mdlle. Adrienne has always had great confidence in me. The day before yesterday, we laughed a good deal, and as I made some observations to her, as usual, on her eccentric mode of life, and on the singular state of excitement in which I sometimes found her--" "M. Baleinier never fails to insist on these circumstances, in appearance so insignificant," said Madame de Saint-Dizier to the marquis with a meaning look. "They are indeed very essential," replied the other. "Mdlle. Adrienne answered my observations," resumed the doctor, "by laughing at me in the gayest and most witty manner; for I must confess, that this young lady has one of the aptest and most accomplished minds I know." "Doctor, doctor!" said Madame de Saint-Dizier, "no weakness!" Instead of answering immediately, M. Baleinier drew his gold snuff-box from his waistcoat pocket, opened it, and took slowly a pinch of snuff, looking all the time at the princess with so significant an air, that she appeared quite reassured. "Weakness, madame?" observed he at last, brushing some grains of snuff from his shirt-front with his plump white hand; "did I not have the honor of volunteering to extricate you from this embarrassment?" "And you are the only person in the world that could render us this important service," said D'Aigrigny. "Your highness sees, therefore," resumed the doctor, "that I am not likely to show any weakness. I perfectly understand the responsibility of what I undertake; but such immense interests, you told me, were at stake--" "Yes," said D'Aigrigny, "interests of the first consequence." "Therefore I did not hesitate," proceeded M. Baleinier; "and you need not be at all uneasy. As a man of taste, accustomed to good society, allow me to render homage to the charming qualities of Mdlle. Adrienne; when the time for action comes, you will find me quite as willing to do my work." "Perhaps, that moment may be nearer than we thought," said Madame de Saint-Dizier, exchanging a glance with D'Aigrigny. "I am, and will be, always ready," said the doctor. "I answer for everything that concerns myself. I wish I could be as tranquil on every other point." "Is not your asylum still as fashionable--as an asylum can well be?" asked Madame de Saint-Dizier, with a half smile. "On the contrary. I might almost complain of having too many boarders. It is not that. But, whilst we are waiting for Mdlle. Adrienne, I will mention another subject, which only relates to her indirectly, for it concerns the person who, bought Cardoville Manor, one Madame de la Sainte-Colombe, who has taken me for a doctor, thanks to Rodin's able management." "True," said D'Aigrigny; "Rodin wrote to me on the subject--but without entering into details." "These are the facts," resumed the doctor. "This Madame de la Sainte- Colombe, who was at first considered easy enough to lead, has shown herself very refractory on the head of her conversion. Two spiritual directors have already renounced the task of saving her soul. In despair, Rodin unslipped little Philippon on her. He is adroit, tenacious, and above all patient in the extreme--the very man that was wanted. When I got Madame de la Sainte-Colombe for a patient, Philippon asked my aid, which he was naturally entitled to. We agreed upon our plan. I was not to appear to know him the least in the world; and he was to keep me informed of the variations in the moral state of his penitent, so that I might be able, by the use of very inoffensive medicines--for there was nothing dangerous in the illness--to keep my patient in alternate states of improvement or the reverse, according as her director had reason to be satisfied or displeased--so that he might say to her: 'You see, madame, you are in the good way! Spiritual grace acts upon your bodily health, and you are already better. If, on the contrary, you fall back into evil courses, you feel immediately some physical ail, which is a certain proof of the powerful influence of faith, not only on the soul, but on the body also?'" "It is doubtless painful," said D'Aigrigny, with perfect coolness, "to be obliged to have recourse to such means, to rescue perverse souls from perdition--but we must needs proportion our modes of action to the intelligence and the character of the individual." "By-the-bye, the princess knows," resumed the doctor, "that I have often pursued this plan at St. Mary's Convent, to the great advantage of the soul's peace and health of some of our patients, being extremely innocent. These alternations never exceed the difference between "pretty well," and "not quite so well." Yet small as are the variations, they act most efficaciously on certain minds. It was thus with Madame de la Sainte-Colombe. She was in such a fair way of recovery, both moral and physical, that Rodin thought he might get Philippon to advise the country for his penitent, fearing that Paris air might occasion a relapse. This advice, added to the desire the woman had to play 'lady of the parish,' induced her to buy Cardoville Manor, a good investment in any respect. But yesterday, unfortunate Philippon came to tell me, that Madame de la Sainte-Colombe was about to have an awful relapse--moral, of course--for her physical health is now desperately good. The said relapse appears to have been occasioned by an interview she has had with one Jacques Dumoulin, whom they tell me you know, my dear abbe; he has introduced himself to her, nobody can guess how." "This Jacques Dumoulin," said the marquis, with disgust, "is one of those men, that we employ while we despise. He is a writer full of gall, envy, and hate, qualities that give him a certain unmercifully cutting eloquence. We pay him largely to attack our enemies, though it is often painful to see principles we respect defended by such a pen. For this wretch lives like a vagabond--is constantly in taverns--almost always intoxicated--but, I must own, his power of abuse is inexhaustible, and he is well versed in the most abstruse theological controversies, so that he is sometimes very useful to us." "Well! though Madame de la Sainte-Colombe is hard upon sixty, it appears that Dumoulin has matrimonial views on her large fortune. You will do well to inform Rodin, so that he may be on his guard against the dark designs of this rascal. I really beg a thousand pardons for having so long occupied you with such a paltry affair--but, talking of St. Mary's Convent," added the doctor, addressing the princess, "may I take the liberty of asking if your highness has been there lately?" The princess exchanged a rapid glance with D'Aigrigny, and answered: "Oh, let me see! Yes, I was there about a week ago." "You will find great changes then. The wall that was next to my asylum has been taken down, for they are going to build anew wing and a chapel, the old one being too small. I must say in praise of Mdlle. Adrienne" continued the doctor with a singular smile aside, "that she promised me a copy of one of Raphael's Madonnas for this chapel." "Really? very appropriate!" said the princess. "But here it is almost noon, and M. Tripeaud has not come." "He is the deputy-guardian of Mdlle. de Cardoville, whose property he has managed, as former agent of the count-duke," said the marquis, with evident anxiety, "and his presence here is absolutely indispensable. It is greatly to be desired that his coming should precede that of Mdlle. de Cardoville, who may he here at any moment." "It is unlucky that his portrait will not do as well," said the doctor, smiling maliciously, and drawing a small pamphlet from his pocket. "What is that, doctor?" asked the princess. "One of those anonymous sheets, which are published from time to time. It is called the 'Scourge,' and Baron Tripeaud's portrait is drawn with such faithfulness, that it ceases to be satire. It is really quite life- like; you have only to listen. The sketch is entitled: 'TYPE OF THE LYNX SPECIES.' "'The Baron Tripeaud.--This man, who is as basely humble towards his social superiors, as he is insolent and coarse to those who depend upon him--is the living, frightful incarnation of the worst pardon of the moneyed and commercial aristocracy--one of the rich and cynical speculators, without heart, faith or conscience, who would speculate for a rise or fall on the death of his mother, if the death of his mother could influence the price of stocks. "'Such persons have all the odious vices of men suddenly elevated, not like those whom honest and patient labor has nobly enriched, but like those who owe their wealth to some blind caprice of fortune, or some lucky cast of the net in the miry waters of stock-jobbing. "'Once up in the world, they hate the people--because the people remind them of a mushroom origin of which they are ashamed. Without pity for the dreadful misery of the masses, they ascribe it wholly to idleness or debauchery. because this calumny forms an excuse for their barbarous selfishness. "'And this is not all. On the strength of his well-filled safe, mounted on his right of the candidate, Baron Tripeaud insults the poverty and political disfranchisement-- "'Of the officer, who, after forty years of wars and hard service, is just able to live on a scanty pension-- "'Of the magistrate, who has consumed his strength in the discharge of stern and sad duties, and who is not better remunerated in his litter days-- "'Of the learned man who has made his country illustrious by useful labors; or the professor who has initiated entire generations in the various branches of human knowledge-- "'Of the modest and virtuous country curate, the pure representative of the gospel, in its charitable, fraternal, and democratic tendencies, etc. "'In such a state of things, how should our shoddy baron of in-dust-ry not feel the most sovereign contempt for all that stupid mob of honest folk, who, having given to their country their youth, their mature age, their blood, their intelligence, their learning, see themselves deprived of the rights which he enjoys, because he has gained a million by unfair and illegal transactions? "'It is true, that your optimists say to these pariahs of civilization, whose proud and noble poverty cannot be too much revered and honored: "Buy an estate and you too may be electors and candidates!" "'But to come to the biography of our worthy baron--Andrew Tripeaud, the son of an ostler, at a roadside inn '" At this instant the folding-doors were thrown open, and the valet announced: "The Baron Tripeaud!" Dr. Baleinier put his pamphlet into his pocket, made the most cordial bow to the financier, and even rose to give him his hand. The baron entered the room, overwhelming every one with salutations. "I have the honor to attend the orders of your highness the princess. She knows that she may always count upon me." "I do indeed rely upon you, M. Tripeaud, and particularly under present circumstances." "If the intentions of your highness the princess are still the same with regard to Mdlle. de Cardoville--" "They are still the same, M. Tripeaud, and we meet to-day on that subject." "Your highness may be assured of my concurrence, as, indeed, I have already promised. I think that the greatest severity must at length be employed, and that even if it were necessary." "That is also our opinion," said the marquis, hastily making a sign to the princess, and glancing at the place where the man in spectacles was hidden; "we are all perfectly in harmony. Still, we must not leave any point doubtful, for the sake of the young lady herself, whose interests alone guides us in this affair. We must draw out her sincerity by every possible means." "Mademoiselle has just arrived from the summer-house and wishes to see your highness," said the valet, again entering, after having knocked at the door. "Say that I wait for her," answered the princess; "and now I am at home to no one--without exception. You understand me; absolutely to no one." Thereupon, approaching the curtain behind which the man was concealed, Mme. de Saint-Dizier gave him the cue--after which she returned to her seat. It is singular, but during the short space which preceded Adrienne's arrival, the different actors in this scene appeared uneasy and embarrassed, as if they had a vague fear of her coming. In about a minute, Mdlle. de Cardoville entered the presence of her aunt. CHAPTER XXXIX. THE SKIRMISH.
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