Read CHAPTER XLV of Raphael Pages Of The Book Of Life At Twenty, free online book, by Alphonse de Lamartine, on

Nevertheless, as I spoke thus, I fell quite overcome, with my face hidden in my hands, on a chair that was near the wall far from hers. I remained there without speaking a word. “Let us begone,” she said; “I am cold; this place is not good for us!” We gave some money to the good woman, and we returned slowly to Chambery.

The next day Julie was to start for Lyons. In the evening Louis came to see us at the inn, and I induced him to go with me to spend a few weeks at my father’s house, which was situated on the road from Paris to Lyons. We then went out together to inquire at the coachmaker’s in Chambery for a light caleche, in which we could follow Julie’s carriage as far as the town where we were to separate. We soon found what we sought.

Before daylight we were off, travelling in silence through the winding defiles of Savoy, which at Pont-de-Beauvoisin open into the monotonous and stony plains of Dauphiny. At every stage we got down and went to the first carriage to inquire about the poor invalid. Alas! every turn of the carriage-wheel which took her further from that spring of life which she had found in Savoy seemed to rob her of her bloom, and to bring back the look of languor and the slow fever which had struck me as being the beauty of death the first time I saw her. As the time for our leaving her drew near, she was visibly oppressed with grief. Between La-Tour-du-Pin and Lyons, we got into her carriage for a few leagues to try and cheer her. I begged her to sing the ballad of Auld Robin Gray for my friend; she did so, to please me, but at the second verse, which relates the parting of the two lovers the analogy between our situation and the hopeless sadness of the ballad, as she sung it, struck her so forcibly that she burst into tears. She took up a black shawl that she wore that day, and threw it as a veil over her face, and I saw her sobbing a long while beneath the shawl. At the last stage she fell into a fainting fit, which lasted till we reached the hotel where we were to get down at Lyons. With the assistance of her maid, we carried her upstairs, and laid her on her bed. In the evening she rallied, and the next day we pursued our journey towards Macon.