Even in her way of speaking, Athalie made a parade of an insufferable humility, although, or rather because, she knew it hurt Timéa. If the latter asked for anything, Athalie rushed to fetch it with an alacrity like that of a black slave who fears the whip.
And Timéa swore with that maimed and trembling hand that she had forgotten everything, and could not even remember whether the murderer with whom she had struggled was a man or a woman. "Fool!" muttered Athalie between her teeth. "We are not asking that," said the president.
Only Athalie said nothing: she sought a clew to the mystery and found none. What had come to Timar? His countenance betrayed something like happiness; what was he concealing under his care for Timéa? In company he was bright and cheerful, unconstrained and at ease with Athalie, sometimes even taking her for a turn in the cotillon. Was he really happy, or was he indifferent?
She was charmed when Athalie dressed her in the queer old silk gowns, and struck the high comb and bright ribbon in her hair. She thought she looked lovely, and took the smiles of the people whom she met in the street for admiration, hastening on so as not to be stared at. In the town she was always called "the mad Turkish girl." And it was easy to make fun of her without her taking it ill.
His vow prevented his return to his old employment, yet he feared to refuse the request. He compromised the matter by dramatising the touching bible history of Esther. At court the play had a wonderful success, and the poet tried again upon the story of Atheliah of the house of Judah; and in "Athalie" we have the best of all his dramas.
Ali Tschorbadschi was mixed up in the movement, and was forced to fly. You poor old Tschorbadschi, to have been such a fool!" When Timéa heard her father's name, she kissed the hand of Brazovics. She supposed he had sent some pious blessing after the dead man. Athalie went to bed, and Timéa carried the light for her.
Timéa forgets her wounds; with clasped hands she implores the gentlemen, the doctor, the magistrate, and her betrothed too, to tell no one, and keep the whole thing secret. But that would be impossible; the proofs are in the hands of justice, and there is no longer hope for Athalie except in God's mercy.
Duquesnel had the happy idea of putting Athalie on again, with Mendelssohn's choruses. Beauvallet, who had been odious as a professor, was charming as a comrade. By special permission from the Ministry he was to play Joad. The role of Zacharie was assigned to me. Some of the Conservatoire pupils were to take the spoken choruses, and the female pupils who studied singing undertook the musical part.
When they bore the coffin down to the open grave, the nearest friends, relations, and admirers of the deeply mourned followed him into the vault. Among them was Major Katschuka; in the crowd on the narrow steps he came in contact with Timéa and with Athalie.
Cyr, which met with prodigious success. "Athalie," considered the most perfect of his works, was composed with similar views; theatricals having been abandoned at the school, however, the play was published, but found no readers. Discouraged by this second injustice, Racine finally abandoned the drama.