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4-PARENTS AND CHILDREN;OR, ,STORIES FOR THE HOME CIRCLE.P '0
'I~:-:-Vi ATHE FAI THFU L WATCHER
PARENTS AND CHILDRENL,-"u ii C* "c:^to^..
4: --_-"- ... .-` j' -PARENTS AND CHILDREN;OR,STORIES FOR THE HOME CIRCLE.FROM TIE FREN( IH OFMIAD AM\E DE WITT.MSlith Elirto-fibc lltustr.itionm bi PAifrth be flctbill:LONDON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER O\ :EDINBIX RGH AND NEW AI 1RK.iIS73-
i rcfacc.' ] HE following Tales are adapted from the.',,p French of Mada me de Witt (the sister" of the illustrious French statesmant Guizot), several of whose works havealready been submitted to the Englishpublic with very great success.That the present volume will not be less suc-cessful is confidently believed; for the briefnarratives which it contains are full of vivacity,incident, natural conversations, and picturesquesituations, while they agreeably range from thehumorous to the pathetic. They do not preachat the young reader after the direct fashion ofsome of our older English juvenile books, butthey all imply or convey a valuable moral,which is all the more likely to be rememberedfrom the delicacy with which it is impressedupon the mind.
'i PREFACE.In rendering Madame de Witt's Stories intoEnglish, the translator has made no attempt toadapt them to English manners, or to givethem English localities. Any such attempt, inthe translator's opinion, would have deprivedthem of much of their naturalness and sim-plicity.The reader will not fail to appreciate thegrace and power of -M. Alfred de Neuville'sIllustrations.Z.SM''
I. THIE FIREWORK, ...... 9II. THE POSTAGE-STAMP ALBUM, ... ... .. 44III. THI LAND Y-MAID, ... ... ... GSIV. THE STORY OF A DOG, ... ... ... ... 87V. A HUNTING A)VENTURE, ... ... ... 123VI. LIFE IN AN ATTIC, ... ... ... ... 138VII. THE WHITE TURBAN, ... ... ... ... 153VIII. A JOI'RNEY OF DISCOVERY, ... ... ... 182IX. VINTAGE-TIME IN NOIMANDY, ... .. ... 216X. THE BOX OF MATCHES ... ... ... ... 248
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V%4I.THE FIREWORKS.A flahing, sparkling, coruscating streamOf splendour, like the rays which dart and glowWhen all the northern sky is kindling withThe meteor-lights.S HAT can we do to celebrate papa's"vy birthday " said the children of M.de Salviac, one fine Saturday morn-Sing. It was the month of July-the season of long sunny days, beauti-ful evenings, golden harvests, and ripe fruits."I don't know; but have not you been
1) PAPA'S BIRTHDAY.working at something or other, for ever solong a time, you girls ? " said a twelve-year-old scholar, resting idly against the boundaryfence, which separated the park from the sur-rounding meadows." Certainly, we have worked; our chair isnearly finished," replied Louise, the eldest ofall the flock, caressing the child she carried inher arms, the last little sister, the spoiled childof the whole house, the tiny Sarah. " Butwe are speaking of a festival, an entertainment;and now that papa is a member of the CouncilGeneral, we ought to celebrate his election atthe same time as his birthday."" Oh yes; let us keep it-let us keep it! "shouted Harry, a stout lad of ten years old,who was straddling on horseback upon theboundary fence, and threatening every momentto tumble headlong on a little girl seated at thefoot of a post, and engaged in weaving a daisy-chain. She lifted up to him a pair of eyes,languishing and astonished." What did you say, Harry ? " she inquired." That we must celebrate jollily papa's elec-tion,' answered Harry, stooping to speak more
THE DEAF SISTER. 11distinctly, and nearer his sister's ear. LittleMartha was deaf, and without hope of cure;her mother even found that the malady in-creased as the child grew older." It is an excellent school for the others, mydear," 3M. de Salviac would say, when he saw,by his wife's melancholy look, that she hadascertained some new progress in their poordaughter's infirmity. " Observe how that care-less Harry repeats to her everything that issaid, and how Paul takes her by the handwhenever a carriage passes along the road."" Yes, but she ?" replied Madame de Salviac;and the large tender eyes of Martha, who wasseated on her knees, alone consoled her for herchild's misfortune. For the moment, at least,her mother's affectionate care sufficed to renderher happy.Meantime, the discussion by the boundaryfence was growing very warm." What shall we do? " repeated Louise." Light up some fireworks," cried Paul, " andilluminate the garden."" Yes, yes, let us illuminate," said Harry,
12 A PYROTECHNICAL DISPLAY.springing erect upon the fence; " it will becharming! wreaths of coloured flames amongthe chestnuts ; Bengal lights in the copses andthickets; and in the lawn, some kind of mag-nificent structure with papa's and mamma'sinitials upon the facade "" And a thousand pounds to pay the cost "resumed Louise, with a calm voice."A thousand pounds! a thousand pounds!you are out of your mind," said Paul, whokept his position against the fence, in spite ofall Harry's gymnastics; "one pound, youmea ? "" I only know that mamma told me that aBeautiful display of fireworks at Paris costfully a thousand pounds," replied Louise, withan air of vexation. She was very saga-cious, and prudent-at least for her thirteenyears, and was displeased if any one accusedher of want of sense." Oh, Paris is Paris; we are not speaking ofthat. I saw the other day in a newspaper thatyou could buy fifty pieces of fireworks fora sovereign. Is not that jolly ? Fifty pieces:"" But have we got a sovereign ? " said Harry,
MARTHA'S PURTE-IMONNAIE:. 13prudent for the first time in his life. " Letus see, now. To begin with me, I have seven-pence halfpenny,-or, more correctly .:.. -i'",.sevenpence three farthings."" I-I have eighteenpence," said Paul." I have four shillings," said Louise, " buthave two skeins of wool to pay for. Marthahas some money, I believe, but not enough."" Have you any money for the fireworks,Martha ? " shouted Harry.Martha did not answer."She does not hear, poor girl! Have youany money ? " cried he, in a louder voice.Martha trembled, as if suddenly roused froma reverie ; drew forth her porte-momnaie, andhanded it to her brother." Oh, how jolly rich she is She has threehalf-crowns!" said Harry, investigating everypocket. " How do you manage to keep yourmoney ? "" I don't know," said the little girl, laughing;" perhaps because no one asks for it loud enoughfor me to hear."" Well, this time I'll ask you in a tremendousvoice ;-will you give your three half-crowns
14 SMALL MEANS, SMALL ENDS.for the fireworks ? I have only sevenpencethree farthings," he added honestly."Take whatever you want; only I havepromised a pair of subot,* to little PeterRavait. They will not cost more than nine-pence." Then, six and ninepence, and three shillingsfrom Louise-that makes nine and ninepence;add Paul's eighteenpence, and my fortune-we have not got more than eleven shillings andtenpence three farthings, which is not enoughfor a grand and unparalleled pyrotechnical dis-play !"" Is there no means, then," said Paul, with agesture of vexation, " of carrying out ouridea ? ""Suppose I wrote to my godfather? " saidMartha; who, having risen, could catch nearlyevery word her brothers and sisters shouted." Oh, capital! What a jolly notion Writeto your godfather, Martha. He will give ussome wonderful advice; nay, perhaps he willcome himself And if he doesn't come, heshall at least hear all alout the fireworks,"S'olow.s: wooden shoes
THE GOOD GODFATHER. 15murmured Harry, who felt slightly ashamed ofhis confidence."There was never a godfather like mine,except in fairy stories," declared Martha, witha positive air; and everybody was of her opinion.Martha's godfather was an elderly cousin ofMadame de Salviac: he had never married;and the children were convinced that he hadbeen in love with their mother, but had neverhad the courage to ask her to marry him.Perhaps their conjecture was not very far fromthe truth. At all events, M. de Butin lived abachelor's life at about twenty leagues from LaRaveline, M. de Salviac's country-house. Heinhabited a Gothic chAteau of the 14th century;a marvel of preservation and restoration ; andnot so large that M. de Butin could lose himselfin wandering about it." My godfather is not tall," said Martha;"and he is somewhat hunchbacked; but he isvery handsome and generous, like all the goodfairies."Martha was exceedingly fond of fairy-stories,and dreamed all to herself of the wonderfulstory of Little Red Riding-Hood, or Puss in
16 MARTHA'S OCCUPATION.Boots, while everybody around her was talk-ing.They continued to discuss the projected fire-works, on the supposition of some assistancefrom M. de Butin; and Harry had just seizedupon the notion of making a balloon also, whenMartha, grave and silent, retired to her cham-ber. It was also Louise's room ; but she wasa busy little person, always on the stir-nowhere, now there; looking after baby Sarah, orconveying her mamma's orders; and, conse-quently, she was rarely in her chamber ;--whileMartha remained alone, engaged in reading orwriting, or in working for her little friends ofthe Charity School and the Asylum. In spiteof all the efforts of her brothers and sisters, herinfirmity isolated her to a very great extent,and the little eight-year-old lassie had acquiredthe habit of and taste for solitude. On thisoccasion she was going to write to her god-father-quite an enterprise I for Martha as yetdid not write very easily. However, shealways had some nicely ruled letter-paper inher desk, thanks to her mother's foresight;and, therefore, she established herself before the(389)
THE LETTER TO GODFATHER. 17table, and plunging, not only her pen, but thetips of her fingers, into the ink, she began towrite :-My Dear Godfather,Are you not soon coming to see us ? [ hopethat you are quite well; we are all very well here athome. Harry has had a bad finger; for two nightshe could not sleep, but it is all over now. We havehad splendid weather; papa has got in nearly all hishay, and we have begun to eat the apricots. Those atBl tin must be ripe also. We are in very great wantof you, my dear godpapa; we want to give papa atreat on his birthday. Harry says it is also on accountof his election, and we don't know what to do, becausewe have only eleven shillings and tenpence three far-things. Come for a little while, oh do! and give youropinion ; perhaps you may know how to make fire-works yourself, and then it will not cost us so much.I embrace you, my dear godfather.Your little godchild,MARTHAPoor Martha was much fatigued ; shestretched out her little fingers, cramped withholding the pen so long, for she had neverbefore .. -:,.I,. such an epistle to her godfather.389) 2
18 A WILD PROPOSAL.Four big pages, and the large handwritingwhich would not dry Martha destroyed twoenvelopes before she could write legibly thefollowing address:-Monsieur de Butin,au Butin,Par Chinon,(Indre-et-Loire.) *"I cannot put an i ., -. de Batin,," shesaid; "it is much too long, and it is of noimportance to godpapa. Oh, if he would butcome!"The boys were even more anxious than"1I ir !:' for 1. de Butin's appearance." He will know how to make balloons, wemay be sure, for he knows how to do every-thing; and he will teach us," said they. "We'llsuspend a parachute to it-a boat-and in theboat we'll put Louise's cat! "" What 1 do you think," said Louise, " thatI would trust my cat to you ? "" We will put Louise's cat in the boat,"" Monsieur de Butin, at Butin, near Chinon, in the department ofIndre and Loire.
~ " i -"O IE II: E -i I ILOUISE CARRIED HER CAT OUT OF 1lR BROTHERS' IE I/H"'' 1 9 +t +S" ,L '.-. ,.+ ,+ ., " " --_- .$ ,' -+,'.+ \++-,.
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AN UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL. 21resumed Paul, as unmovedly as if his sister hadnot spoken; " it will do the creature a greatdeal of good; she wants something to stir herup a little, she grows too fat."Louise, in a fit of exasperation, carried hercat out of her brothers' reach, followed slowlyby timid, toddling Sarah, who had just begunto walk.One morning they were all at lunch in alarge dining-room open to the south, all whoseblinds were carefully lowered, when the roll ofwheels and the rattle of pebbles was heard inthe drive. The children all sprang to thewindow.":If it were but my godfather!" criedMartha," It is Ferdinand, I doubt not," said Madamede Salviac, rising in her turn; " but how is it hehas not written to inform us of his intention? "Mamma knew nothing of the firework pro-ject, nor of Martha's letter." She would have guessed it all if she hadonly known that I wrote to my godfather,"murmured the little girl, accustomed to thematernal penetration.
22 THE GODFATHER COMES!" Above all, my cousin, do not tell mammathat Martha wrote to you; it is a secret! "said Paul, when Madame de Salviac entered theporch.M. de Butin was always welcome at LaRaveline; his room was always ready; so heasked permission to wash his hands beforesitting down to lunch." I am rather late," he said; " when chang-ing, horses at the last stage, the horses werenot ready ; they had to be unyoked from a haywaggon !" And the postmaster, I doubt not, did notscruple to rail at your mania for always travel-ling post, instead of by rail," replied Madamede Salviac." Oh, the postmaster is my farmer," con-tinued M. de Butin; " if he incurs any loss, hewill deduct it from his rent." And the wholeflock of children accompanied him in triumphto the door of his room, Martha clasping hergodfather's hand.Scarcely was lunch concluded before M. deButin was in request on all sides." Since you are here, Ferdinand," said M.
ASKING FOR A HOLIDAY. 23de Salviac, "you can come and analyze a newkind of cattle-food, of which I received a speci-men yesterday, and which seems to me likelyto prove very valuable."" When you have done playing chemist,"said the mother, " I rely on your joining me inthe rosary; I have not yet decided which speciesto propagate; at this moment they are all inflower, and we can form a good opinion of theirbeauty."The countenances of the children lengthened." And next," said M. de Butin, with assumedindifference, "I have engaged to meet thechildren; they made me promise immediately Ileft my room. I hope my visit will procurethem a holiday, according to custom ? ""Ask it for to-morrow," whispered Harry:"to-day is too far gone.""A holiday for to-morrow; are you willing,Paul? " continued this incomparable godfather,turning towards M. de Salviac." Yes, yes, to-morrow; but come into mylaboratory now."" What good fortune," exclaimed Madame deSalviac, gaily, as she followed her husband and
24 A CHEMICAL EXPERIMENT.cousin, " that Paul could not persuade you toquit Butin, and establish yourself here con-pletely! We should never have been able tobring up the children ""That I foresaw," said her cousin, casting aglance, half gay, half melancholy, upon thechildren. "They can do with me whateverthey choose."And he plunged into a chemical experiment.The children meanwhile resumed their lessons,for it was late. Their godfather's arrival haddelayed the luncheon.But at length the children's turn arrived.After a prolonged visit to the roses, the fiveyoung heads enclosed M. de Butin, who hadseated himself in a little arbour erected byPaul." It is solidly built, cousin," had said thearchitect; and the good cousin seated himselfon a bench which inclined very much towardsthe left." So then, my little ones, you want to man-age a display of fireworks ? It is a good idea.We will ask your mamma to open all the gatesof the park, and the surrounding villages will
A FIREWORK-MIAKER. 25enjoy the festival. To-morrow I will send Ger-main to the town-""Ah, you have brought Germain! But Ihave not seen him," cried Louise.," You know very well that I can do nothingand go nowhere without Germain," said M. deButin, laughing. "I am like a pretty woman,and do not travel without my lady's-maid. Ishall send Germain into town for a supply ofgunpowder and the other necessary ingredients.""Is powder dear? " inquired Martha, whocould always hear the shrill, tremulous, butdistinct voice of her godfather. " We haveonly eleven shillings and tenpence three far-things.""Oh, we will settle that affair among our-selves," replied her godfather, laughing. " Ihave been a t..;.-., 'l--maker in my youth, andI know how to do these things very cheaply."The cause of Pyrotechny, as it is called, hadwon the day." Hurrah! " shouted Harry, climbing up oneof the supports of the arbour.The post was frail, and not deep enough inthe ground. A great crash was heard, and
26 PAUL'S ARBOUR.down came Harry and the whole edifice on thebench where M. de Butin was lying!Harry was picked up, Paul and Louise beganto remove the trellis-work, M. de Butin did notstir, Martha grew very pale, and Sarah cried."Go and get some water, Harry," criedLouise, in a choked voice, but without losingher presence of mind.The lad darted off like an arrow, and broughtback half a dozen drops of water in his cap.Fortunately, in the interval, Paul had discovereda garden watering-pot, half full; and M. deButin recovered his sensesunder the influenceof a jet of greenish water.He smiled." It is nothing," he said, seating himself onthe ground. " But when the houses fall, it isallowable to feel ill under their ruins. Youcould not have sunk your posts deep enough inthe ground, Paul ""They were very solid," cried Paul, whohad now had leisure enough to put himself outof temper. " It is Harry's fault. Who couldhave imagined that any one would be madenough to climb along an arbour? "
--i*:- -- ... -"- D THiLUE OF A JT GE WAE.-"UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A JET OF GREENISH WATER."
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A LITTLE ACCIDENT. 29" If your arbour had been well built, I couldnot have upset it," said Harry, laughing." I tell you it was firm as a rock.""I tell you it was not."And the two brothers began to square theirfists, when A1. de Butin interfered."I am going to my room to remove thetraces of this little accident," he said. " Myshirt is covered with green spots, and I think Iam wet through."He walked with difficulty, and Paul has-tened to offer him his arm."You are not hurt, godpapa, are you ? "sighed the sweet, gentle voice of Martha."No, no, my child. I am only a littleshaken; and I think the corner of the seat hastaken the skin off my nose."All the children turned to look at theircousin." You look as if you wore a pair of spec-tacles," cried Harry; and it was with muchdifficulty he prevented himself from laughing.In fact, the skin was grazed, both on the noseand under one eye." The accident will be visible," said M. de
30 A KEG OF POWDER.Butin; " but your mother will not be alarmed,and Harry is not-eh, is it not so, my boy ? "" No," cried Harry, somewhat ashamed ofhis giggling."What on earth have you done to yournose, Ferdinand ? " asked Madame de Butin, atdinner. "Is it chemistry that has marked you soprettily ? ""No, no, it is a trifling accident;" and hehastened to change the subject of conversation.Next day, at eleven o'clock, Germain re-turned from the town loaded with parcels-some upon his arms, some in his pockets, andsome in a large basket. The children hastenedto meet him." Have you the powder, Germain ? " theycried." Only some few parcels, Master Harry ; justenough to make us jump into the air. But thestore-dealer will bring a small keg of it in hisbarrow.""A keg of powder! a keg of powder!" Theboys danced about the lawn, while Louisesaid,-
TAKING PRECAUTIONS. 31" I hope my cousin will keep the keg, whenhe has all that gunpowder about him, or thehouse and all of us will be blown into the air."" Powder don't explode if you don't set fireto it," remarked Paul, with an air of wisdom." But if you go too near it with your matchesyou will set fire to it," answered Louise, whopicked up in the house daily a whole bundle ofmatches burned by her brothers. The house-maid could never keep a couple of matches inher match-box." Excellent, excellent, Mademoiselle Prudence!but we know all this as well as you do; " andthe two boys hastened to inform their cousin ofGermain's arrival.M. de Butin had taken the precaution to askfor the use of a solitary little room, without achimney, on the second story, saying to _1 .i ,,'.de Salviac, " Don't ask our secrets; only giveme the key I"It was no longer a secret to Madame de Sal-viac. Little Sarah had heard the word "fire-works" repeated so often that she attempted tostammer it out. " Firrets firrets I " she saidto her mother, who, however, might not have
32 THE FORBIDDEN CHAMBER.divined the hidden meaning of the word if shehad not heard Harry muttering in his sleep,when she paid her final visit to his bedroom,-"Ah, how fine! Have you any Romancandles, cousin ? Take care, Martha, or arocket-stick will fall on your head "So she asked no questions, but intrusted thekey to M. de Butin, whose prudence she knewshe could trust.For a whole week, very little was seen ofMartha's godpapa. A quarter of an hour beforelunch, he slipped out of his laboratory, whosedoor was kept carefully closed. He was al-ways black with gunpowder, and had a wearylook about him. He went to cleanse himselffrom the traces of his work before making hisappearance in public. The boys haunted thecorridor."May we come in, cousin? " they wouldsay, in a pitiful tone." No," was his ordinary reply.But sometimes, out of compassion, he wouldopen the door a little, and a fusee, or a Cathe-rine's wheel, which had just been completed,revealed itself to the children's enchanted eyes.
THE TWO HUNDRED OIL-LAMPS. 33" It is prettier when it is alight, is it not,godfather ? " said Martha, who saw nothing verybeautiful in little white packets, and circles,and long thin sticks."Much prettier, mademoiselle," answeredGermain, who was helping his master; and thedoor would again be closed.At length it was the 5th of August ; and onthe 6th was the famous anniversary. Early inthe morning the children had been admittedinto the laboratory." All is finished," said M. de Butin; " andnow the oil-lamps must be prepared, which Ileave to you. Germain ordered two hundred,and they have just arrived. They are inthe little orangery, and we must make themready.""Make them ready How? " cried Harry." With flowers, of course," said Louise."That would be pretty, but would give nolight," said M. de Butin. " We must fill themwith oil, and put a wick in the middle."Louise made a grimace." But we have neither oil nor wicks, god-father," objected Martha.(38. 3
34 IS THE PLEASeRE WORTH THE PAIN 1"Germain has got the oil, and the cottonfor the wicks. If you are afraid to soil yourhands, Louise," he added, laughing, " whatthink you of me, who for the last eight dayshave resembled a charcoal-Luuner or a gunner("Louise blushed, and, without another word,proceeded to attire herself in an old faded dress,which her coquettishness would not allow herto wear in general; Martha was overwhelmedin a worn-out blouse of Harry's ; and the boysput on some old shirt-sleeves.There was much hard work to be done ; andbefore the fiftieth lamp was filled, the childrenasked themselves whether the pleasure wasworth the pain."I tell you the eflet will be superb,'' saidHarry, to encourage his sisters; "and ourcousin has sent Germain to the Mayors of Bon-neville, Saint-Martin, and La Limacerie, to in-vite them to see the fireworks at ten o'clock inthe evening ""And has nothing been said to our ownMayor? " inquired Louise."Ev., v-l...l in the place knows what occursat La Raveline," answered Paul, with a smile,
SARAH'S MISFORTUN 'E. 35"except the Mayor, who knows nothing aboutanything. But I think my cousin has."The oil-lamps made good progress while thisconversation was being carried on,-the barrelof oil was decreasing, the wicks were diminish-ing,-when Louise, turning abruptly, discoveredthat Sarah was dipping her little rosy fingers inthe oil of all the lamps, successively. The eldersister was not even sure that she had not seenher lick them. She sprang towards the littlegirl. Alas! her white dress, her straw hat,her pinafore, and her little arms were coveredwith a complete coat of oil, mixed with ends ofthread." You are not fit to be handled with a pairof tongs," cried Louise, half laughing, halfvexed; and seizing Sarah in her arms, shecarried her off promptly, to avoid the anger ofthe nurse, who did not approve of lamps orfireworks."All this is dirty work," she said, energeti-cally; "and it will be very fortunate if to-morrow evening no one gets blinded '"M. de Salviac was too busy to trouble him-
36 THE FATHER'S ASTONISH3LENT.self much about his children's secrets. Twiceor thrice lie had asked his wife how Ferdinandspent his time, and why he never saw him;but receiving only evasive answers, he gave thematter no further thought. Great, therefore,was his astonishment, on the morning of the6th of August, when, going forth at an earlyhour to see what his workmen were about," before the shower of nosegays," as he said tohis wife, he discovered the village carpentererecting some posts on the beautiful verdantlawn which spread in front of the house."What are you doing there, Leudin? " hecried, with a feeling of anger."Why, sir, you surely know," said Leudin,astonished, " that it is the framework for thedisplay of fireworks.""A display of fireworks ; And who is togive it ? "" Monsieur Ferdinand, I think, sir. It wasto his presence that Monsieur Germain sum-moned me the other day; and it was he whogave me every instruction. I thought monsieurknew, or I would not have allowed myself-"" Good, good, Leudin," said M. de Salviac,
" MANY HAPPY RET URNS." 37laughing. " Go on with your work." And hemoved away, muttering to himself,-" He isquite right, that poor Ferdinand. The childrendo make him do whatever they choose Whatan idea of the boys, to be sure "At seven in the evening, when all were seatedat the dinner-table, M. de Salviac perceivedvarious groups of peasants in their holidayclothes, moving about the garden. Some passedthrough the gate at the very moment he hap-pened to look out of the window." Have they also come to wish me 'manyhappy returns of the day'?" said he. "I wantno more nosegays, gentlemen; of that I warnyou at the outset. My little Sarah's is quitesufficient, for it is as big as herself;" and hesmiled at his daughter, who seemed to under-stand him." They come, Paul, to congratulate you onyour birthday; and next, perhaps, to see-well, to see what they shall see ""Oh, mamma has guessed " cried the chil-dren in chorus, and with an air of dismay."It would be wonderful if she had notguessed, since the framework has been erected
38 WHO IS THE TALE-TELLER ?on the lawn. Your mamma has seen fireworksbefore, children," observed M. de Butin." Ah, Ferdinand! " she cried, laughing, " itis you, who have spoken the word. I had buta vague idea."" You are the tale-teller you are the tale-teller cousin;" and there was much ado toprocure a shadow of silence at the joyous board.During the dinner, Germain, with some me-chanics, had laboured incessantly, and liadarranged the two hundred lamps in every cor-ner of the lawn and garden. All was readyat last, and the day was declining, thoughnot enough as yet to allow the beginning ofthe illumination. But the peasants ftiom thefour surrounding communes walked about the"grounds; and Germain conducted the childrento a certain little arbour, more firmly built thanPaul's, where they found, concealed in thegrass, an immense jug of milk and a supply ofcakes, which seemed to possess the property ofrenewing themselves incessantly."I ask your pardon for having taken uponmyself the food supply," said M. de Butin to
AMUSING THE BOYS. 39his cousin, when she had in her turn discoveredthe improvised j', r, t; " but it would have be-trayed our secret if we had given you duenotice of our wants, and Germain can manageanything."" As his master is good to everybody," re-plied Madame de Salviac, pressing her cousin's] [and." Paul wants to know if it is not time tolight the lamps," said Martha's tiny voice bythe side of his godfather. " Mother Surin hasknocked her head against one of the chestnut-trees, and has bruised it black and blue. It istrue, though, she is rather blind," said the littlegirl, lowering her voice." Blind or no, she was not able to see veryclearly. We may light the lamps," said M. deButin. " That will quiet the boys. And whenall the lamps are flaming, we will kindle ourBengal fires in the darkest nooks."Martha started off to carry the good news toher brothers; but they were close at hand, andhad heard the voice of M. de Butin, which hehad pitched in a high key for the sake of hisgod-daughter. Already reddish gleams shot
40 WHO IS THE MAGICIAN ?through the chestnut-trees, on the grassy slopes,and on the edge of the beds of flowers. Itseemed as if an army of enormous glow-wormshad suddenly invaded the park.As soon as the last lamp was kindled, the bedof roses appeared suddenly in flames. The redBengal fire lit up all the surrounding bushes, anda crowd hastened to contemplate the splendidspectacle. Right and left, nearly at the samemoment, green fires, violet fires, yellow fires,illuminated the different clumps of flowers, thegroups of dark green trees, the bank of thewinding rivulet. The effect was fairy-like.The children cried with joy, and the aston-ished peasants looked on with mouths wide-open !" It is said that M. Ferdinand did all this,"they murmured one to another. " He musthave worked well. He is as skilful as a magi-cian "" He is a magician, and has all the air ofone," said a Parisian artisan, who had come towork in the country. " He has a hump, likeRiquet with the Tuft."*" An allusion to a w ll-known fairy tale
THE FIREWORKS BEGIN. 41Everybody loved M. Ferdinand, as theycalled him." You know nothing at all about him," theysaid to the Parisian, and left him by himself.Meanwhile, M. de Butin, as excited as Harryor Paul, placed himself near the framework ofhis pyrotechnical display. Soon, a small house,all in flames, was outlined on the turf; squibsand rockets followed; and with the rockets,the joyous shouts of children. The little peas-ants had forgotten their timidity, and drewcloser for the sake of a better prospect. M. deSalviac's servants arranged them in a ring, inthe broad walk surrounding the lawn; but,every moment, some boy or other ventured to setfoot on the turf, and stole close to the seats occu-pied by Monsieur and Madame de Salviac, Louise,Martha, and two or three young ladies, theirfriends. Already the rocket-shells had fallen onsome of their heads. But curiosity provedmore powerful than fear; and M. de Butinfound himself encircled by a group of youngpeople, who threatened to embarrass his move-ments, when a shriek of terror issued from every
42 A TERRIBLE ALARM.mouth, and Germain, leaping from his post be-hind the framework, seized in his arms thelittle Martha, who had drawn dangerously near,and set her frock on fire." Martha! " and Madame de Salviac, quickerthan lightning, rolled up her daughter in athick shawl she had fortunately brought withher. The child allowed this to be done insilence. Her mother, shuddering, clasped herclosely in her arms; but only a lappet of hergown was burned." Martha, my love, you have had a terriblealarm," said she, embracing her; and her sweetmelodious voice sounded even more charmingthan usual.Martha opened her eyes." I hear, mamma," she said-" I hear every-thing, even your heart beating." And shepressed close against her mother.It was true.* The shock, the emotion, the" WCases in which a partially deaf person has recovered his or herhearing by some sudden external shock, or under the influence of someviolent emotion, are by no means uncommon; and the foregoing storyis not, therefore, entirely a creation of the imagination. But peopleborn deaf are generally born dumb also, and veryseldom recover the useif either organ. At all events, they become dumb at a very early age;because, being deaf, they are unable to imitate the sounds of the humanvoice, and. by further imitation, to articulate syllables or words.]
MARTHA RECOVERS HER HEARING. 43discharge of the fireworks-I know not which-had triumphed over the unknown obstaclewhich prevented little Martha from hearing.She was deaf no longer; and the joy withwhich she repeated, "I hear I hear " whileher mother was undressing her darling to puther to bed, proved how bitterly she had suf-fered from the privation she had so long under-gone, though as yet she had not felt all itsworst anguish." I am going to thank God in my prayers,"said little Martha, " for being so good as togive me back my ears."The mother had not waited so long to offer"up her gratitude to God.7-e
I I.THE POSTAGE-STAMP ALBUM." URICE, I have told you twenty"- times that I do not like to see you.:. so constantly in the offices: what7 did you want of 3. Hubert ?" said,; ': Madame Minent to her son, as hecame from the cashier's room." I went to seaif the postman had broughthim many letters this evening," replied Mau-rice, in a low voice, and blushing.
MAURICE'S IDLENESS. 45" Always those postage-stamps ; it is quite amania. How far had you got with your Greektranslation when you threw it aside to go inquest of the cashier ?"Not more than two-thirds of .he translationwas done; and of this Maurice was well aware."It is not quite finished, mamma, but I willset about it directly;" and gliding like a ser-pent under his mother's arm, he descended thenarrow corridor with a rush, and returned tohis own room.Madame Minent had not pushed her investi-gations far enough : she ought to have asked ifthe crop of stamps was plentiful, and to haveconfiscated the product until the Greek trans-lation was finished.Maurice sat with his exercise-book and dic-tionary before him; but instead of looking up)the meaning of the difficult phrase whichhad bothered him, lie drew from his pocketone stamp--two stamps-three stamps. " Ishall soon have a complete collection of Aus-tralians. And here is that famous rose-colouredSwan River stamp which I have so long beenseeking! M. Hubert is very good to take so
4G MORE HASTE, WORSE SPEED.much trouble in exchanging for me. I couldnot myself go to the merchants' cashiers andask them for stamps. What a capital idea itwas of his to go to that great dealer in woollen-stuffs WNell iow I must melt my gum, andstick all thee stamps into my album."The gum melted slowly : Maurice rose againand again to see if it were fit for use ; and thetranslation made no progress. His mother wasoccupied by visitors; his sister Gabrielle hadgone out. Suddenly the sound of a bellfrightened the little lad. It was just dinner-time-mamma perhaps was already dressed.And the translation! Maurice began to writeas if impelled by a steam-engine; withoutlooking up any words, without construing hisphrases, almost without understanding them.By the second bell he was ready ; his book shut.his exercise thrust into his portfolio, his copyeven already done. Maurice was triumphant." You have not washed your hands, Mau-rice," said his mother, on meeting with him aquarter of an hour afterwards.Maurice. " Yes, mamma ; I washed myself.Did I not, Gabrielle ?"
MOTHER AND SON. 47Gabr;elle. "I did not see you; only yourhands were moist when you came into my room."The good girl did not say that Maurice hadplaced his wet hands on a drawing she hadbeen working at since eight o'clock, and whichlie had covered with spots. f" If my hands were moist, it follows I musthave washed them," replied Maurice, who hadforgotten all about the drawing; " only I wasin a bit of a hurry, and I did not dry them well,mamma-that is all."Madame Minent. " Nor wash them well;your hands are covered with ink. And whywere you in a hurry ?"Maurice. " I had just finished my Greektranslation, mamma, and had but one minutebefore the last dinner-bell."Madame M linent. " Is your exercise copied ?"Maurice. " Yes, mamma."Madame linent was expecting company, andtherefore had her orders to give and arrange-ments to make. She entered into the drawing-room, bidding Maurice retire and learn hislessons, and did not look at his exercises aswas her custom.*
48 MAURICE AND HIS ALBUM.M. Minent was a great banker, always ab-sorbed in business. He intrusted absolutely tohis wife the education of their children. Hehad confined himself to deciding that his sonshould never be resident pupil in a college."I was too unfortunate there," said he, " andtoo ill-treated."Maurice, therefore, went every morning tothe college. For a year he had had a privatetutor, who made him work between the classes;but this tutor had fallen ill, business was notvery flourishing, and Madame Minent foundshe could do without a substitute for the absentprofessor. "I can see very well if Mauriceworks," said she; and as she was busily en-gaged in a thousand other occupations, theresult was that Maurice did not work. Thelessons were learned-sometimes badly, some-times well; and Maurice had gummed on hisstamps-sometimes badly, sometimes well."You do things too hastily," said his sisterGabrielle, on looking over his album. " Hereis one of rose, which you have placed underthe heading 'orange,' because you did not ob-serve the shade and the description. "
RETURNING FROM COLLEGE. 49" Oh, that's nothing," said Maurice ; " Ialways ungum them two or three times."" That is the reason," said Gabrielle, " youoften tear them. But now it is time for youto go to bed, and for me to appear in thedrawing-room." And play the beauty," said Maurice. " Well,I had rather go to bed. Good-night." AndMaurice went to sleep without thinking any-thing more of his exercises. " Besides, theyare all !-lii-h.1i," he said to himselfYes, they were finished ; but howIt was half-past eleven next morning whenMaurice returned from college. His step washeavy, his manner rough. He upset the um-brella-stand in the hall, and, in picking it up,made such a noise that the housemaid and thecook emerged from their respective demesnes tosee what had happened."These horrible things get under everybody'slegs," grumbled Maurice ; and he entered hischamber, slamming the door after him." Lunch is ready, Maurice," said a little voiceoutside his door. " I cannot open the door;(389) 4
50 THE BANKER AT LUNCH.but mamma sent me to see if you had comehome."" Here I am--I am coming !" said Maurice:and he opened his door a minute afterwards, tofind little Emmanuel seated on the door-mat,patiently waiting the good pleasure of his elderbrother. "Come, my cauliflower," said Maurice,whose bad temper nearly always gave way at thesight of his toddling brother, " come and lunch."" On horseback, Maurice dear !" And Em-manuel stretched out his tiny arms.Maurice planted him on his shoulders; anid,the one carrying the other, the two brothersentered the dining-room.Luxury reigned both in the apartment andthe repast; but neither the gilded furnitnurnor the pdte' de foie gras could smooth thebanker's forehead. He was dull and gloomy,and answered only by monosyllables to theconversational rt;i. t of his wife. At last sheturned towards Maurice." Were your exercises good this morning ?"she inquired.Maurice blushed. " No, mamma ; theywere not."
AN UNHAPPY WRETCH. 51Madame 11;,.... 1. " Which ?"Maurice. " My Greek translation.""Was it very bad ?" inquired M. Minent,who turned towards his son."Yes, papa," answered Maurice, courageously.The young teacher, new to his work, andnot yet indifferent to the neglect of hisscholars, had torn Maurice's version in two.It was full of nonsense from beginning to end,and thickly sprinkled with the grossest mis-takes in spelling." You are doing nothing, then-you do notwork ? Ah, well; listen to me, Maurice. Ifyou go on like this, you will die in an attic;in an attic, do you hear me ?---like the unfortu-nate Sillet, who has just failed for two hundredthousand pounds. Unhappy wretch !" Andthe hand of M. Minent fell heavily on theshoulder of the frightened child.His mother came to his assistance. " Mauricewill work better for the future, I am sure, mydear; and as a beginning, he will go and dohis essay.-Gabrielle, take away Emmanuel."And the three children disappeared." Why did papa speak to me with so terrible
52 MAURICE AND HIS TREASURE.an air, and press me so hard ?" inquired Mau-rice of Gabrielle. " I am sure I shall have themarks of his fingers on my shoulder ; I did notknow he had such a heavy fist."Gabrielle sighed. " It may be that papa isworried about business matters. The best thingfor us to do is to say nothing about it, and tothink no more of it."And five minutes later Maurice did think nomore of it. He was absorbed in his Latintheme ; this time with a sincere desire to do itwell. He had no more stamps to gum into hisalbum; and next day his exercise was so goodthat he was let off two verses.He returned triumphant; not so much onaccount of his well-written exercise, as becausehe carried a treasure in his pocket."A Cape of Good Hope stamp !" he cried,rushing into Gabrielle's room; " a red Cape ofGood Hope stamp-the very rarest!"Gabrielle. " Was your exercise properlydone ? "iMaurice. " Yes; I was let off two verses.But look here at my stamp. It has cost mesixpence That is dear ; but Barbier is a real
BARBER'S TRICKERY. 53Jew. I .rti.., i1 him mny penholder-inkstand-everything; but he would have money."Gabrielle examined the stamp. Withoutsaying a word, she took a drop of the watershe used in painting, and gently rubbed herbrother's acquisition. Gradually under herfinger the colours disappeared; soon nothingremained but a bit of white paper Mauricehad watched her actions with an air of conster-nation." Why," he burst out, indignantly, " it wasa forgery! Oh, if Barbier knew it! And Ibelieve he did; for he had a craven, downcastlook, when I handed him my sixpence. Ithought he was laughing at me for paying sohigh a sum; but I'll bet he knew what he wasselling me. Give me the bit of paper, Gabrielle;I want him to see it."" Do not accuse him lightly," said Gabrielle." Of so infamous an action I can hardly believehim guilty.""He i " said 1M I w.. with a contemptuousair. " He is daily doing something quite asbad. He is a regular thief, ,1 ;,_- off what-ever he can lay his hands on -sometimes a
;4 LOOKING FORWARD.seal, sometimes an inkstand. And it is theyoung ones he plunders; he is afraid of beingthrashed by the big boys. Well, I am not abig boy, certainly; but if I see that he knewhe was selling me a sham, let him lookout !"And Maurice next day set out for collegewith the most bellicose intentions."Barbier turned pale, like a coward and athief as he is," said Maurice, on his return."He declared he thought the stamp a goodone, but has given me two others in exchange.These are good, I know, for I tried them beforeconsenting to take them." And Maurice has-tened in search of his album. " We must loseno time. To-morrow is Thursday ; Charles andSuzanne will be here, and perhaps they willbring with them something very beautiful. Ihave picked out three magnificent seals fortheir collection; but if they wish to have them,they must give me some stamps. Ah, if I werein the minister's office, as they are, what asplendid collection I would make !"" They give you all they can procure," re-plied Gabrielle : " and. besides, I believe that
THE DANCING-LESSON. 55M. Hubert has many more resources than allthe minister's clerks."" It is true; commerce is a magnificent thing,"said Maurice, drawing himself up proudly." When I am a banker, I shall take careto be known both in the Old and New Worlds.I will do business in America, Australia, andAsia; I will go to the Indies. Really, I feela great interest in my future operations."" Meanwhile finish gumming your stamps,"said Gabrielle; " it is close upon time for ouidancing-lesson.""Ah, what a nuisance is this dancing-lesson!"cried Maurice, who always went about with hishead and shoulders bent forward, seated himselfsideways on his chair, turned his feet underhim, and was guilty of a thousand awkwardgestures and attitudes which much distressedhis mother."That boy will never have a well-bred air,"said she; and Maurice, to his great disgust,was obliged to take dancing-lessons. His master,however, was of the same opinion as his mother,and at times would lean against the wall ina frenzy of despair. " Monsieur Maurice,"
56 THE LITTLE COUSINS.he would say, " sometimes seems made of wood,sometimes of gutta-percha ; either he does notbend at all, or he bends in the wrong way."Despite of his dancing-lesson and its aggra-vations, Maurice got his exercises done in time.He had worked up to ten o'clock on theprevious evening, that he might have time toexamine the seals and crests of ('i i andSuzanne-two little cousins, with whom heand his brother and sister lived on terms of themost affectionate intimacy. The children saweach other regularly every Thursday and Sun-day : sometimes at the office of the Minister forForeign Affairs, where M. Doucin, one of thesecretaries, resided-sometimes at M. Minent'shouse; and on each occasion seals and stampswere the principal subject of conversation."Where is your album, ('I,- ..., ?" criedMaurice, at the moment his cousins entered theante-chamber. " I have three capital seals foryou, if you have brought me any remarkablestamps." What seals ?" inquired (. I. "I havea yellow Chili stamp, and, what is far finer andrarer, the great Amecrican five-dollar one."
EXAMINING THE STAMPS AND SEALS. 57" Oh, where, Charles ? Here, give it mequickly !" And Maurice flunbled in his pocketto find his seals-M. Ponsard's, M. Villemain's,and M. Cousin's. " Look at these seals! Thegreat man who used this fine one, M. Cousin,has just died. It is very curious; the son ofan academician gave it to me."" I am not sure that the three are worth myfive-dollar stamp. But it is all the same; Igive it to you. And look, is it not beautiful ?"The two little boys ran into Charles's room,followed 1by Suzanne, her brother's faithful aco-lyte in all his sports and pastimes. From theday that it had been said to ('I, ,I .-, then twoyears old, " Come, and look into this cradle-here is a little sister for you to love and takecare of," ('n. hlad regarded Suzanne as hispersonal property. As she grew up, the littlegirl had grown accustomed to follow him likehis shadow. They had everything in common :their tutor was even obliged to give Suzannesome lessons in Latin, because she had beenfound weeping over a grammar she could not un-derstand, though resolved to learn the very samebooks as C(I I -, and she had gravely proposed
.)> A MINING EXPLOSION.to her mother that she should be dressed like aboy, and sent to school with her brother! Soto-day they had scarcely opened the postage-stamp album before both, possessed with thesame thought, exclaimed simultaneously,-" Have you seen the account of the poorminers of Saint Etienne '"" No," said Maurice " was it in the dailypapers ?""Certainly it was," replied i('li.,., ; "itwas in the paper to-day, for papa read it to usat breakfast. At Saint Etienne-or, morestrictly speaking, close to Saint Etienne-oc-curred an explosion of fire--, fire-, fire--"" Fire-damp, probably," interrupted Gabri-eile." Exactly ; an explosion of fire-damp. Idon't know what that means; but it appearsto be very dangerous, and ordinarily to proceedfrom some imprudent action. Papa says thatan old miner, perhaps, had chosen to light hispipe, and that in this carelessness all the evilhad arisen.""What evil?" exclaimed Alaurice impatiently." You do nothing bunt talk about your fire-
17 " ,,,iS"._ __-. ,^",tK D T r -J.-. ," THEVk 111 D S *ARCELY OPENED THIE IP0,TAkGE,-S'TA31' AJ.HUR,
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A PAINFUL NARRATIVE. c(1damp, and have not said a word respecting theminers."" Well, a portion of the mine has blown up-I don't well know how it happened; but thereare seventy persons killed."" How horrible !" said Gabrielle, turningpale. She was past the age when children arefond of either violent or sorrowful emotions,and her mind was oppressed by the thought ofthe poor widows and orphans these poor minershad left behind them." Is it not melancholy ? They are going totake measures to get at the poor workmen;but no one hopes to find any one of them alive.How is it your papa did not tell you of this,as he reads the paper daily ?""Oh, papa said nothing this morning atlunch ; he was too gloomy. Yesterday hescolded me. For the last few days he has beenin a very bad temper," continued Maurice,lowering his voice, and without observingGabrielle's signal of disapprobation." If any one would buy our collection ofseals," said Suzanne, " we would send themoney to Saint Etienne."
62 CHARLES AND HIS SEALS.Maurice made a step backward& Suzannehad not spoken of his stamps, but he was afraidshe would soon do so." Oh, nobody," said he, " buys children'scollections."" Who knows!" cried Charles. "I wouldgladly sell all my seals for two pounds-thoughthey are worth more than that-if I could helpthe poor miners."Maurice said nothing more : he could not asyet brace himself up to the sacrifice.So they gummed on the famous five-dollarstamp, and fixed in their places the three newseals. Next they had a feast; but in spite ofsweets and cakes, the miners always came intotheir conversation."At college we must make some inquiries,"observed Maurice. " Perhaps we may collecta little money to send to the widows and chil-dren of these poor people."" Bah " exclaimed Charles ; "the richestpupils would just dole out their sixpences.Now, I would like to send a really useful sumof money. Ah, if we could sell our seals, weshould then have something worth giving!"
A BENEVOLENT PROJECT. 03" I will ask mamma for some money," saidMaurice.C'(1l. and Suzanne were silent. M. Doucinwas not rich ; his salary did not permit of anyuseless expense, and his wife had much difficultyin satisfying the urgent necessities of the poolwhom she knew, and whose troubles were herdaily concern in Paris. There was no moneyin the house for the poor miners of SaintEtienne, unless the children could carry intoexecution their generous I.... t.. of selling theircollection of seals.Maurice continued : " If I get a good placein my class on Saturday, papa will be pleased.He will give me some money, and I will sendit to the miners."They separated in a hopeful spirit. But asthey returned home, Charles and Suzanne spokeonly of the pleasure they should have in send-ing their money, when they had it, to the poorwomen and little children; and in their ardourthey walked so quickly that their old nursecould scarcely keep up with them, and at lastshe caught Suzanne by the arm, just as shewas going to cross the Rue Royale.
61 THE NEW IIALF-CROWN." Are you out of your mind, MademoiselleSuzanne ?" said she. " You will certainly berun over; which will be much worse than thefate of those poor miners you are so occupiedwith."" No, no, nurse," said (.'i.. I .. " The minershad wives and children, who will die of hunger;and, besides, there were seventy of them."Honorine shrugged her shoulders. Her charitywas not universal; and she eared more for Su-zanne's little finger than for the safety of allthe miners of Saint Etienne.On Sunday, when Madame Minent's childrenarrived at their cousins' house, Maurice drewfrom his pocket a new half-crown with an air ofgreat importance, and, showing it to ( i1 I- .-" Here is something for the miners," he said."I was fifth in my class-which was not sohad-and papa gave me half a crown. At firsthe gave me only a shilling; hut when he knew[ wanted the money for the poor miners, he gaveme half a crown. But where are your seals ?I don't see the album ; and I have brought twofamous ones-quite new."
SELLING THE ALBUM. 65"You can offer them to its new owner,"replied Charles, laughing until he almost chokedhimself." The new owner Have you really soldit ? Have you found some person to buy thecollection ?"" It is going to Saint Petersburg," saidSuzanne, in her turn. "A Russian gentlemanwho came here to see papa purchased it. Thealbum was lying on the table; he turned overits leaves, and exclaimed, 'Ah, my little boy,too, has a mania for collecting seals!' Myuncle Henry, who had introduced him, beganto laugh, and said, This collection is for sale;my nephew and niece are much in want ofmoney to send to the miners who were killedat Saint Etienne.' The Russian laughed also.I always call him the Russian, because I can'tpronounce his name-"" Iartowitch," interrupted Charles. " Andhe gave immediately the two pounds whichuncle Henry asked, and carried off the album,saying his little boy would be very much pleasedwith it. It's my opinion he will not find inall Russia many collections equal to that."(389) 5
66 TWO POUNDS FOR THE SUFFERERS." I don't know," said Maurice ; "great person-ages can make better collections than children-they have a wider circle of acquaintance.-Allthe same, I would like to sell my stamps forthe miners.-What have you done with yourmoney ?"" Papa sent it to the office of a newspaperin the department of the Loire, where a sub-scription had been opened," replied Suzanne." We would have liked to buy gowns for thewomen, and shoes and stockings for the littlechildren; but mamma says we do not knowwhat is most necessary for them, and that itwas much better to send the money."Maurice, as he crossed the bridge and turnedinto the Rue de Lazare, on his way home, waslost in a dream." If I could sell my stamps " he said atlast to Gabrielle ; "half a crown is so small asum. I daresay that there are little children,no 1. than Emmanuel, dying over there ofhunger.""I will send them my dinner," said thelittle boy, clasping his brother's hand; " I amnot hungry now."
GENEROUS TOO LATE. 67" I should think not," replied Maurice ; "youhave just been eating. But at seven o'clockyou will be hungry; and the little boys of thepoor miners who have been killed will behungry also, and their mothers, perhaps, willhave nothing to give them. I should havebeen a better boy if I had said to Charles im-mediately, that if he gave his seals I wouldgive my stamps; and then perhaps the Russianwould have purchased both."Maurice's generosity came too late. Godloves those who give willingly, and he hadgranted Charles the inexpressible pleasure ofwell-doing. Maurice could no longer look athis stamp collection without melancholy; andEmmanuel often said at dinner-time,-" I would like to know if the little boysand girls of the miners have any bread thisevening.
III.THE LAUNDRY-MAID.S a small brick house, low-built andS modest, in a little street of the littlej town of Carentan, lived MadameS Ozenno; her husband was captain ofa large merchant-ship, and his voy-ages sometimes lasted two or three years.When, after his marriage, he had brought hisyoung wife to his natal town, his mother wasstill living, and he could leave her under a
MOTHER AND DAUGIITER. 69sure, though somewhat rough, protection. Nowthe old lady was dead, the little house seemedsadder than ever to Madame Ozenne. Yet shepossessed a treasure which would have sufficedto render happy many women. A little daugh-ter, whom her father had not seen until threemonths after her birth, had arrived in thegloomy building, and she grew up, strong andvigorous, without troubling herself because hermother took no notice of her-leaving her com-pletely in the charge of old Desir&e, a stoutvigorous servant of fifty years old, who hadnever quitted Carentan nor M. Ozenne's housesince she was fifteen years old.The home-visits of the captain, short as theywere sweet, formed the sole events and thesole source of animation in Mathilde's life. Bydegrees, as she grew old, she connected all hermemories with some one of papa's visits, andwhen she reflected, she would say :-" Whenpapa was last at home, mamma often left herroom to go walking in the fields."In fact, after the last departure of her hus-band, when Mathilde was eleven years old,Madame Ozenne had sunk into such an apa-
7t0 A HYPOCHONDRIAC LADY.thetic condition that she never quitted herchamber. Married when young, out of enthusi-asm for her husband's adventurous profession, thesolitary life which she led had gradually plungedher into a state of diseased dreaminess. Herhealth was considerably shaken; she sufferedconstantly, and thought herself even worse thanshe was. Far from profiting by the resourceswhich her monotonous existence offered her,she had never employed herself about the edu-cation of her daughter, who grew up as bestshe could, with such education as was affordedby a primary school, by a small boarding-school for young ladies, and by Desirde'spractical instructions. She had lost the abilityto make the slightest exertion, and ceasingto return the visits paid to her, the littleworld of Carentan had completely ostracizedher. No one gave a thought to her; only,sometimes, a passer-by observing the closedwindows of her little house, would say: " PoorMadame Ozenne she has lost her wits;nor is it ;I-t.!i-!]h. since she always keepsin one room, and never takes the freshair." Madame ()znne. however, had not lost
MATHILDE AS LADY'S-MAID. 71her wits; but she was ill, alone, and melan-choly.Mathilde and Desiree frequently went out.The old servant had gradually taken the placeof the mother, who demanded continual ser-vices from her child, without any idea of thehappiness she would feel if she took a littlemore interest in the education and pleasures ofher daughter. Solely occupied with her ownhealth, Madame Ozenne scarcely raised her eyeswhile Desiree put her room in order, or whileMathilde dusted with a light hand the porce-lain ware and delicate sculptures brought backby the captain from his numerous voyages.When the little girl, taught by habit, tookcharge of her mother's toilette, combed her longfair tresses, which were still very beautiful, andwhose manipulations Madame Ozenne wouldnever intrust to Ddsir6e, the mother thanked thedaughter as one thanks a lady's-maid, throughhabitual politeness, and without paying anyparticular attention. Mathilde terminated hertask every morning by bringing in on alackered tray a cup of fine porcelain, a tea-pot,a sugar-basin, and an antique silver cream-jug ;
72 THE FAITHFUL SERVANT.a couple of delicate little slices of bread andpreserves completed the lunch of MadameOzenne, who could not live, she said, withouttea. Then Mathilde shared with Desir&e adish of haricot beans, and a lump of fat; andthe old woman led the little girl into the fieldsabout Carentan,-fields green and fertile, thepasture of cattle and young horses. There theywould walk about for hours, while Desirde re-lated to Mathilde how, in her grandmother'stime, the house was filled with visitors."Everybody came, even the mayor and hiswife,-rich people those They have hun-dreds and thousands, but they are not proud.Madame is good to the poor, but not to herservants: that is, she will have the work welldone; and, after all, she is right, since she paysthem."" You say the mayor and his wife came tovisit grandmamma," interrupted Mathilde, whocared little for the household economy of themayoress; "why don't they come to seemamma? "" Oh, because mamma has not returned theirvisits. I have heard say, that she has grown
A CONVERSATION. 73weary and spiritless here. She is a native ofCaen, and Caen is a large town, much finerthan Carentan; almost as fine, it is said, asParis. Our captain met with her on one of hisvoyages; she was very pretty then; but shedid not amuse herself when your papa wasaway, and the people here having tired her,she left off seeing them, and no one now comesnear her. And, besides, she is ill; she is muchchanged, I think, since the captain last wentto sea.""You think so ? And how calmly you sayit! " cried Mathilde, who was always ready totake fire when any one spoke of her mother."But mamma will never see the doctor; shesays he knows nothing of her illness; she isunhappy in papa's absence, and that is all;and if she prefer to remain in her own room,what does it matter to you or to any one else?""Ta, ta, ta,-don't worry yourself,-it isall the same to me what your mamma does,no one can say she is too gay in her husband'sabsence; even the nuns are not so shut up intheir cloisters. But one thing I must tell you,Mademoiselle Mathilde, and that is, I hope and
74 ASKING FOR MONEY.trust your papa will return soon,--I havescarcely any money left."" Shall I ask mamma for some ? " said Ma-thilde, who had no idea that money could everbe deficient in her home. It must be confessedthat very little was spent there."I shall be very glad if she has any, but Idon't know. Monsieur always gives me enoughfor household expenses; but this time, he hasbeen longer away than he expected, or I havenot made the best use of the money. It seemsto me, however, that I have not spent more thanordinary.""I will ask mamma for some money," re-peated Mathilde; and both of them bent theirsteps homeward.Great was the confusion of Mathilde whenshe brought in triumph to Desir&e her mother'spurse, and they found in it nothing but a bank-bill for four pounds."This is something," said Desiree ; "but willnot go far to feed, and warm, and light, andclothe three persons-food, fuel, candles, andclothes! I shall be obliged to draw some ofmy money from the banker's."
A LETTER FROM THE CAPTAIN. 75"No, no," said Mathilde ; "the money in thebank is your own, and I do not want ittouched.""And what does it matter if I touch it foryour sake, since it is all yours ? " replied D4-siree, embracing Mathilde with a more demon-strative affection than usual.Mathilde was accustomed to the idea of beingDdsirde's heiress ; but did not wish to prey inadvance on the old servant's fortune."Perhaps," she said, "papa will soon re-turn ? "But, next day, a letter came from the islandof Bourbon, to the effect that the captain hadbeen detained by the difficulty of getting acargo, and that he must not be expected homefor another six months."I think," he added, "that Desir6e will stillhave some money, for whenever I return shealways hands me back a portion; and I havebut very little myself just at present.""It is true that I have many times givenback some money to the poor captain on hisreturn," said Desire ; " but this time, he or Thave counted wrongly. Times will be bard
76 MORE MONEY WANTED.with us: we must do away with madame'stea, and her evening lamp; she must be con-tent with a common candle and a dish of beans;happily, there is no want of the latter in thegarden. But if you will let me, Mademoi-selle Mathilde, I will gladly draw out mymoney.Mathilde shook her head."Ah, if I were as clever as the young ladieswe read of in books, if I knew how to paint orembroider, I could earn some money.""And the beautiful paper ornaments whichyou put about the lamps or candles, would notthey sell ? " inquired Ddsirde ; " and the flowerswhich you learned to make in the boarding-school ? ""I do not think so," said Mathilde. " Per-haps they would, in a large town; but here,who would buy them? In each family theyoung ladies make them.""That is true," replied Desirde, with a dis-appointed air; "then there is nothing for usbut economy. Yet, how to make four poundsten shillings last over six months, completelypuzzles me."
THE OLD SERVANT'S PROPOSAL. 77Desire went down to the river to wash herclothes, leaving Mathilde engaged in mendingan article of dress; an occupation in whichshe excelled. Soon she heard the heavy stepof the old servant, and darted into the gardento assist her in depositing her basket, and hang-ing out her linen."You don't know, Mademoiselle Mathilde,"said Desirde, while preparing the lines, "whatthe mayor's wife asked me just now, whenshe met me in the street, bending under mybasket ?""No; what did she ask you? How mammawas ? ""Far better than that! She asked mewhether I knew a laundry-woman to wash andiron 'by the piece;' she does not wish to keepmore than a couple of servants, and can nolonger do the washing at home.""And you think we might undertake it ? "said Mathilde, with shining eyes: "what anexcellent idea! How fortunate it is I knowhow to iron! ""Oh, I can wash well, and iron well also "said Desiree, stretching out her long bony arms;
78 HOW IT IS CARRIED OUT." I have nothing to do here, and I love work-to work is my life ""Yes, but, unfortunately, you can iron onlyplain linen; while, by a lucky chance, I havepractised on mamma's lace collars. She toldme once, when putting away her cuffs, that Iplaited as well as the best laundry-woman inCaen.""Of Caen I know nothing, but I can answer forCarentan and C!(1. i..... : only, you understand,nobody must know that you put your hand tothe work; the house would be dishonoured ifany person guessed that the captain had notleft us enough money. It is only I, DesirdeHelbey, who work after hours to get a littlemoney, and add to my nest-egg at the banker's,-that's all.""As you like," said Mathilde, smiling; "buttell no falsehoods to save the honour of thehouse; it is not in danger, I assure you."Next day, the triumphant ]Desirde 1i .1to the river bundle after bundle of the mayor'slinen,-the best-equipped house in Carentan, itwas said. For three days she washed, or hungup to dry, incessantly, and with so much ardour,
DOWN AT THE RIVER. 79that her companions, laughing, told her shewould spoil the trade."Our mistresses will expect twice as muchfrom us in a single day, if you always worklike this, my friend."" Oh yes, but this is not for the family; itis a little job which I am doing for my ownprofit," replied DUsirde, imperturbably.In spite of a throbbing heart, and her fearlest she should burn the beautiful shirts of themayor, and the collars and cuffs of the mayoress,Mathilde accomplished her task in the mostsuccessful manner. As soon as the old servantreturned from the river, she took an iron inher turn, and both of them ironed, and ironed,continuously, scarcely stopping to take anyfood. Madame Ozenne, weak and nervous, didnot often look at her daughter; yet whenevening came, and Mathilde brought her, ac-cording to custom, a glass of syrup and a bis-cuit before proceeding to her nocturnal toilette,the mother remarked the red cheeks andfatigued air of her daughter."You have played too long in the gardenthis v-,il-." said Madame Ozenne.
80 GOSSIP OUT-OF-DOORS."Oh no, mamma, I have only been ironinga little," replied Mathilde; and Madame Ozennelanguidly resumed her book.Meanwhile, Madame the Mayoress, delightedwith her washerwoman, talked about the ex-cellent arrangement she had made with DesirdeHelbey."You know her well,-that tall, thin, anddry old servant, who has lived so long withthe Ozennes.""And what says Madame Ozenne ? " askeda friend, who by no means wished to see herservants turn washerwomen on their own ac-count."" Oh, I don't know at all, nor does it con-cern me She is always in her room or in herbed, with her nose deep in a book; she med-dles with nothing, and knows nothing. Be-sides, old DWsir&e is well able to make the potboil for the whole house with what I pay her,if she puts nothing in her own pocket."" Are the Ozennes in such straits, then? "they asked; and disquieting themselves nolonger about the supposed want of honesty on
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WASHING AND IRONING. 83the part of Desirde towards her master, theyall took her their linen to wash. And, forthe first time in their lives, the gentlemen ofCarentan no longer complained of the wayin which their shirts were ironed. Mathildeworked all day, and sometimes far into thenight. In vain Desir&e did all she could tosave her young mistress from fatigue; theywere compelled to attend to the orders whichcame in one upon another; and Desiree, whospent the whole day at the river, could notiron all night. Moreover, though she had madesome progress, Mathilde's delicate hands andtiny fingers accomplished masterpieces of gauf-fering and plaiting, which Desiree could nothope to rival."It will last only until papa comes home,"repeated the courageous daughter, when shedropped upon a chair exhausted with her pain-ful work. "Thank God, mamma has wantedfor nothing."And she resumed her iron.All the town knew what was going on atthe Ozennes'; they had divined or supposed thatthe pecuniary resources of the family had failed.
84 THE CAPTAIN'S RETURN."Why does not Madame Ozenne," said one,"borrow some money until her husband's re-turn ? "" Perhaps she knows," said another, "thather husband has not been fortunate on thisvoyage.""Stuff!" exclaimed a third; "she knowsnothing; not even that her daughter is killingherself with work."Mathilde was growing taller and paler beforeher stove, when one morning a tremendousknocking was heard at the door, and DWsiree,loaded with her bundle of wet linen, let it dropin the mud."My captain! my captain !" cried she.Mathilde threw down her iron, and sprangto the door;-with one bound she was in herfather's arms."You are in the middle, then, of 'a wash,' "said the captain, laughing; "and here is allthe linen in the mud. But how is your-mother? " asked he, as with enormous strideshe clambered up the staircase."She will be so happy, so happy, papal Entergently, for she has been very weak lately."
A HAPPY HOME. 85Father and daughter found the mother stand-ing in the middle of her room, with arms ex-tended, and face transfigured by joy. Throughthe reveries of her sick brain, the wife had re-cognized her husband's step and voice at thedoor, before even Desir&e had uttered her cryof welcome. Mathilde withdrew, leaving herfather and mother together, and seated herselfon one of the stairs to weep with joy."Ah, now, monsieur," cried Desiree, whenplacing her accounts before the captain, "youdid not leave us enough money this last time,and if Mathilde and I had not known how totake care of ourselves, I should not have had asou to give you. And worse than that, weshould have had nothing to eat for manydays."Then she described to her master the cour-age and perseverance of his daughter."Brave girl of mine! " he exclaimed; "shehas true sailor's blood in her! Happily, sheseems in good health;--she is stronger thanher mother."But, while speaking, the captain remarked
86 MONEY IN THE HOUSE.how thin Mathilde had grown. He said no-thing about it, however, but added in a loudvoice,-"Carentan must seek another laundry-maid,Desire, I have brought back some money."And the emotion was great when every per-son in the town was informed that Ddsiree Hel-bey would no longer undertake to wash for allthe world, as they said."Ah, the captain has returned, and Desirdeno longer dares to play mistress," said theignorant."Ah, the captain has returned, and there ismoney in the house," said the knowing.1k
IV.THE STORY OF A DOG.\ f IWO young men were riding across one. .)- of the vast Australian plains. The" grass was short and scanty; the sun:"- burning; everything indicated a pro-longed season of dryness. But theywent slowly, for behind them, at a shortdistance, marched a man with black hair andsparkling eyes, who whistled between his teeth,stopping sometimes to chew a straw which he
S8 A STRAY DOG.carried in his mouth. The masters conversedin English, but some words which at intervalsescaped the lips of the shepherd, betrayed adifferent origin; he evidently spoke in a foreignlanguage.Suddenly, a gray dog, with thick entangledhair, and an intelligent but restless glance,crossed the road, drew near the horses, momen-tarily followed in their track, but withoutinterest, then approached the Provencal, and,after a brief examination, licked his hand. Theshepherd had raised his head to caress the ani-mal, when his master, Mr. Raston, who on per-ceiving the dog had turned back, cried eagerly:"A shepherd's dog, without a master! Hehas escaped, and, perhaps, is mad! Wait,Samuel; do not touch him," and the Australiandrew a pistol from his saddle-bow.The Provencal, by a swift movement,covered the animal with his body."Don't shoot him, sir," he said; "the dogis not mad.""How do you know! " replied his master;"consider the intense heat of the weather."And again he raised his pistol.
THE PROVEN(AL'S MUSINGS. 89"I recognize him; he is the dog of theScotchman Campbell, who lived with Mont-gomery at Bethel Camp," interrupted thesecond horseman, who had hitherto contem-plated the scene with indifference; " he broughthis Scotch collie with him.""What has become of the master, since thedog is astray ? ""The master will have given him a thrash-ing, and the dog has taken flight," returnedMr. Raston, and the horses resumed theirjourney.The Provencal, as we have called him,followed the horsemen with a step swift andeven, but, while walking, kept up a conversa-tion with the dog who followed him."A dog like you quit his master because hismaster had beaten him! How people talkwhen they don't know what they say! StillI would very much like to know where thatpoor Scotchman is, with his pale face, his tallfigure, his large hands, and his Sunday eveningpsalms. He was a brave man! He will havemet, perhaps, some treacherous savage, or agang of bush-rangers; but what astonishes me
90 TOBY IS DEAD.is, that you forsook him. However, you havehappened upon a good master," and he fondlystroked the dog's head.They arrived in front of the house; at thegates of Mr. Raston's demesne. He flung thebridle of his horse to a half-naked little boy,and was inviting his companion to take somerest and refreshment, when the Provengal ap-proached him."May I keep this dog, sir ? " he asked."And what will your own say? " inquiredMr. Raston, astonished." Toby is dead," replied the shepherd briefly,and with a gloomy countenance. Mrs. Raston,who had just issued from the house, lightlytouched her husband's arm:-"Never ask an Australian shepherd anynews of his dog," she whispered. "If thedog is not close at his heels, he is either dead,or has gone mad. Your question is sometimesanswered with a blow from a knife. It is veryclear, Harry, you were not born in thiscountry.""Come, come, dear; Samuel is not sangui-nary," cried Mr. Raston, laughing; "tell the
A SUCCESSOR TO TOBY. 91shepherd he may keep his dog, and take himwith him to the Morris Creek Station; I shallbe there to-morrow.-I have brought the news-papers with me, and here are some letters,"he continued, turning towards his wife, whoimmediately made herself mistress of the post-bag,-a priceless treasure in Australian wilder-nesses. Laughing together, they entered thehouse with their friend, while the Provencal,accompanied by his new dog, took the road toMorris Creek.He arrived late at the station. The shepherdwhom he was to replace was absent; the oldman whose business it was to watch the hutand do the cooking, was lying down fast asleep;and Samuel had some difficulty in gainingadmission. When at length the door wasopened, the dog had disappeared. The Pro-vencal was weary; he had not yet had time togrow strongly attached to the animal; thenight was dark; he therefore made no attemptto seek him, but entered the hut, swearing,and more than ever regretting the loss of hisToby."He would never have abandoned me," he
92 NOCTURNAL WANDERINGS.exclaimed; "he would have waited two hoursat the door, rather than have lost sight of me."But he forgot that he had brought up Tobyfrom his youth, while he had hardly possessedthe run-away a couple of hours.At four o'clock in the morning, the Provengal,rising from his mattress, prepared to seekalong the margin of the lake the flock he wasthenceforth to take charge of, when a hoarsebark was heard at the door."I do really believe it is he," said theshepherd, opening the door in all haste. Thedog was there, wagging his tail, his air joyousand grateful; but he was out of breath, hispaws were covered with mud, his belly waswet: evidently he had travelled far, and swamacross a lake or river. As soon as he hadeaten his food he fell asleep."Whence comes this dog? " muttered theastonished Provencal; but he did not wakehim, and went out alone to look over his flock.For a fortnight the same stratagem wasrepeated nightly; at nightfall, the dog dis-appeared; he returned in the morning, exhaustedand panting, but he always returned. The
THE SHEPHERD'S ADVENTURE. 93Provencal could no longer repress his curi-osity."You can do without me at supper thisevening," he said to the hut-keeper; "I anmgoing to see what becomes of my dog everynight. He is good for nothing during theday, and yet, unless I am very much mistaken,he is a shepherd's dog of the best breed.Perhaps he has discovered somewhere the bodyof his old master; I have always had an ideathat poor Campbell was murdered in some nookor corner."In the evening, when the dog was preparingto glide furtively from the hut, a strong handwas placed on his neck, and the Provencalfastened round it a leather collar, with a longrope attached to it."Now," he said, "you may go where youchoose."The dog turned, and seemed to understand.Then, dragging himself on his belly under thedoor of the hut, he plunged into the darkness,and sped like a flash of lightning. The shep-herd, who had wound the end of the cord abouthis waist, was compelled to run to keep up
"94 A LONG NIGHT-MARCIH.with the animal, who every moment pulledhard at the rope which held him.After about half an hour of this irregulartravelling, the Provencal, by the feeble light ofthe stars, found himself on the bank of a river.Fortunately, it was nearly dry at a certainpoint, and he contrived to direct the dog towardsthe ford, though, evidently, the animal hadbeen accustomed to swim across the stream.But he leaped from stone to stone, as if hewere convinced of the intellectual superiorityof his master."Ah, old fellow," said the shepherd, "youhad not found out this."And the dog wagged his tail. On reachingthe other side, he started off into a run."I have not run so much since I was fifteenyears old," murmured the Provencal to himself,who was upwards of forty; "I am nearly outof breath; I hope we shall soon reach ourjourney's end."The impetus of the dog slackened; he"seemed to follow a trace; twice or thrice hehalted, smelling the earth, and sniffing up theair.
THE SECRET DISCOVERED. 95"You have lost the scent! " said his master;"what are you seeking there? "The dog started off in a new direction, withshort, sharp, joyous barks.A light sound fell upon the Provencal's ears;so light that a shepherd alone could haverecognized it."He is after a flock," cried Samuel aloud;"I hear the sheep bleating; but how is it theyare out so late ? Why are they not pennedup?"The dog had also heard the sound; pullingon his cord with a dash which nearly draggedit from his master's hands, he bounded in thedirection of the sheeps' voice, the Provencaldarting after him."I'll wager it is the flock of his old master,"he said. "Ah, good dog brave dog! " Andhe kept up his speed.They could now distinguish in the shadowthe gloomy masses of a flock lying among thegrass, and soon afterwards heard men's voicesdistinctly."It is the dog," they said; "he is late thisevening."
96 THE TWO AUSTRALIANS.Two men stood outlined against the horizon;their dark forms being brought out in strongrelief by the pure blue sky. With a last effort,the dog snatched the rope from his master'shand, and flew around the flock, pressing, andranging in order the sheep, who recognized him.He drove them forward in the direction of asheepfold whose dim lines were visible in thedistance. If any one started aside, the barkingof the faithful guardian soon brought him backto the troop. The sheep were numerous, andthe dog was weary; but he did not quail fromhis task; he bit at the legs of the stragglers;the shepherds had nothing to do; they lookedon laughing while the faithful animal didhis work, and did not observe the Provencalmoving towards them."You don't seem at all uneasy," he said,"at making such use of my dog; what hasbecome of your own ? "The two Australians turned abruptly: onewas small, pale, with a keen, intelligent air;the other, a giant, with coarse features, thicklips, a violent and brutal expression. It wasthe former who answered:--