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'Gloria Victis!' A Romance   By: (1854-1934)

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Transcriber's Note: 1. Page scan source:

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].



BY OSSIP SCHUBIN Author of "Our Own Set."

"Alas! poor human nature!"

Chesterfield .

From the German by MARY MAXWELL


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886 by William S. Gottsberger in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington

Press of William E. Gottsberger New York



"There is no help for it, I must do it to day," the Baroness Melkweyser murmured with a sigh breathed into the depths of the toilet glass, before which, she was sitting while her maid dressed her hair. "It is now just a week," she went on to herself, after having uttered the above words aloud, "quite one week since Capriani entrusted the affair to me. I have met him three times, and each time was obliged to tell him that there had been no favourable opportunity as yet. He is beginning to take my delay ill. Come, then, courage! .... en avant! .... Truyn certainly ought to be glad to marry his daughter as soon as possible, and I cannot see why Gabrielle should make any objection to becoming the sister in law of the Duke of Larothiére. To be sure, most Austrians have such antediluvian ideas! Nons verrons! I will, as Capriani desires, see how the land lies."

She shrugged her shoulders as though shifting off all responsibility and turning to her maid exclaimed: " mais dépêchez vous donc , Euphrosine, will you never remember how much I always have to do!" Whereupon the impatient lady, snatched from her maid the head dress which she was arranging, and, quite in the style of Napoleon I., crowned herself.

The scene lies in Paris. The short after season which, like an echo of the carnival, is wont to follow Lent, that holy intermezzo crowded with charity bazaars, musical soirées and other elegant penitential observances, is rather duller than usual this year. Easter came too late and although Figaro continues its daily record of balls and routs, Paris takes very little heed. All genuine enthusiasm for such entertainments is lacking. Paris thinks of nothing now save the races, the last auction at the Hôtel Drouôt, the latest change of ministry, and the newest thing in stocks.

It is the beginning of May. Two weeks ago, rather later than usual, spring made its appearance like a young king full of eager benevolence, and generous promises, with green banner held aloft and crowned with sunshine thus it swept above the earth which sullenly and reluctantly opened its weary eyes. "Awake, awake, I bring with me joy!" called spring in sweet siren tones sometimes low and wooing and anon loud and imperious. And a mysterious whisper thrilled and stirred the land, the trees stretched their black branches, the buds burst. Men felt a pleasant languor, while their hearts beat louder.

The spring advanced quickly, working its lovely miracles loading the trees with blossoms and filling human hearts with joy and upon those for whom its lavish hand had left nothing else, it bestowed a smile, or it granted them a dream.

There are, indeed, some unfortunates for whom its brilliant splendour never does aught save reveal the scars of old wounds, which in its careless gayety it formerly inflicted; and while others flock abroad to admire its beauty, these hide away their misery... Continue reading book >>

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