, so faithfully does it picture the manners and
customs, the surroundings and the heartiness of her noble old land,
where a sort of melancholy reigns, hardly to be defined; caused,
perhaps, by the aspect of life in Brittany, which is deeply touching.
This power of awakening a world of grave and sweet and tender memories
by a familiar and sometimes lively ditty, is the privilege of those
popular songs which are the superstitions of music,--if we may use the
word "superstition" as signifying all that remains after the ruin of a
people, all that survives their revolutions.
As he finished the first couple, the singer, who never took his eyes
from the attic curtain, saw no signs of life. While he sang the
second, the curtain stirred. When the words "Receive these flowers"
were sung, a youthful face appeared; a white hand cautiously opened
the casement, and a girl made a sign with her head to the singer as he
ended with the melancholy thought of the simple verses,--"Alas! your
fleeting honors will fade as they."