• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Advertising
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Preface
 Off
 Brittany
 France
 Switzerland
 Italy
 London
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag. Shawl-Straps
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 Material Information
Title: Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag. Shawl-Straps
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1872
Edition: BAL 171.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00074977
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001939185
notis - AKB5344

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Advertising
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece 1
        Frontispiece 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Off
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
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        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
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        Page 17
    Brittany
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
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        Page 24
        Page 25
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    France
        Page 68
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        Page 126
        Page 127
    Switzerland
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
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    Italy
        Page 150
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    London
        Page 194
        Page 195
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        Page 226
    Advertising
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text












AUNT JO'S SCRAP-BAG

Is now full, and contains

I MY BOYS, and other stories.
II SHAWL-STRAPS. Sketches of a European Trip.
[IL CUPID AND CHOW-CHOW, and other stories.
IV. MY GIRLS, and other stories.
V. JIMMY'S CRUISE IN THE PINAFORE, and
other stories.
VI. AN OLD-FASHIONED THANKSGIVING, and
other stories.

Six volumes neatly bound in cloth. Price, $6.oo.

ROBERTS BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
BOSTON.






Messrs. Roberts Brothers' Publications.

MRS. DODGE'S POPULAR BOOK.


A PORTRAIT OF DOROTHY AT SIXTEEN.

DONALD AND DOROTHY.

BY MARY MAPES DODGE.
Beautifully Illustrated and Bound. Price $1.50.
-4--
An honest tribute from an admiring friend.
"DEAR MRS. DODGE, I have just finished your book called 'Donald ana
Dorothy' for the third or fourth time, and would like very much to know
whether Dorothy is a real person, and if so, what is her name? I am nearly
Is old as Dorothy was at the close of the book, so am very much interested
In her. I would also like to know how old she is, and where she lives. If you
would be kind enough to reply, yoa would greatly oblige
1 Your admiring friend,"
ROBERTS BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS. BOSTON
ROBERTS BROTHERS, PuBLISHeRS. BosToN











































The Consultation Trunks or "Shawl-Straps." PAG 69.














,' II -I t i
--' II'I





1-6


II \












Let's see what it is; and, lighting a candle, the fair Amazons looked
boldly about. PAGF 113-










AUNT Jo's SCRAP-BAG.


SHAWL-STRAPS.


BY LOUISA M. ALCOTT,
AUTHOR OF "LITTLE WOMEN," "AN OLD-FASIIIONED GIL," "LITTLE MEN,'
"HOSPITAL SKETCHES."


BOSTON:
ROBERTS BROTHERS
1889.
































Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by

LOUISA M. ALCOTT,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington






















UNIVERSITY PRESS: JOHN WILSON & SON.
CAMBRIDGE.





















CONTENTS.


I. OFF . .... .
II. BRITTANY .......
III. FRANCE . .
IV. SWITZERLAND . .
V. ITALY . .
VI. LONDON .... ..


18
. . 18

. . 68
. . 128
. . 150
. . 194














PREFACE.




TimIE is a sort of fate about writing books ol
travel which it is impossible to escape. It is vain
to declare that no inducement will bribe one to
do it, that there is nothing new to tell, and that
nobody wants to read the worn-out story: sooner
or later the deed is done, and not till the book is
safely shelved does peace descend upon the victim
of this mysterious doom.
The only way in which this affliction may be
lightened to a long-suffering public is to make
the work as cheerful and as short as possible.
With this hope the undersigned bore has abstained
from giving the dimensions of any church, the
population of any city, or description of famous
places, as far as in her lay; but confined herself to
the personal haps and mishaps, adventures and
experiences, of her wanderers.








Vi PREFACE.

To explain the undue prominence given to Miss
Lavinia, it should be stated that she is an old and
intimate friend of the compiler of this frivolous
work; and therefore her views on all subjects,
though less valuable, were easier to obtain than
those of the younger and more interesting shawl.
Atrappists.
L. M A.
NoVBaMBu, 1872.











SHAWL-STRAPS.




I.

OFF.

"O N the first day of February we three will
sail from Boston for Messina, in the little
fruit ship 'Wasp.' We shall probably be a month
going, unless we cross in a gale as I did, splitting
sails every night, and standing on our heads most
of the way," said Amanda, folding up her maps with
an air of calm decision.
"Hurrah! what fun!" cried Matilda, waving a
half-finished dressing-case over her head.
But Lavinia, with one sepulchral groan, fell flat
upon her bed, and lay there, dumb with the horrors
of such a voyage.
Just the thing for you, my poor old deai. Think
of the balmy airs of Sicily, the oranges, the flowers.
Then a delicious month or two at Sorrento, with no
east winds, no slosh, no spring cleaning. We shall








SHA WL-STRAPS.


bb as merry as grigs, and get as buxom as dairy-
maids in a month," said the sprightly Amanda.
You promised to go, and if you back out we are
lost, for we must have a duenna. You can lie round
in Europe just as well as here, and I have no doubt
it will do you a world of good," added Matilda.
"I shall keep my word, but you will bury me in
the Atlantic, so make up your minds to it. Do you
suppose that I, a poor, used-up, old invalid, who
can't look at a sail-boat without a qualm, can sur-
vive thirty days of standing on my head, and thirty
nights of sail-splitting, as we go slamming and lurch-
ing across two or three awful oceans?" demanded
Lavinia, with the energy of despair.
Before any one could reply, Amanda's little Mer-
cury appeared with a note.
"The 'Wasp' will not take passengers, and no
other fruit ship sails this spring," read Amanda.
"Oh dear! sighed Matilda.
Saved !" cried Lavinia.
Be calm: we shall go, sooner or later, if I buy a
ship and sail her myself;" with which indomitable
remark Amanda went forth to grapple with and con-
quer untoward circumstances.








OFF.


, A month of plans, vicissitudes, and suspense fol-
lowed, during which Amanda strove manfully, Ma-
tilda suffered agonies of hope and fear, and Lavinia
remained a passive shuttlecock, waiting to be tossed
wherever Fate's battledore chose to send her.
Exactly two weeks from to-day, we sail with a
party of friends in the French steamer 'Lafayette,'
from New York for Brest. Will you be ready?"
demanded Amanda, after a protracted wrestle with
aforesaid adverse circumstances.
But that is exactly what we didn't mean to do.
It's expensive and fashionable, France and not Italy,
north and not south."
"That's because I'm in the party. If you take a
Jonah nothing will go well. Leave me behind, and
you will have a charming trip," said Lavinia, who
had an oyster-like objection to being torn from her
bed.
"No matter, we are going, live or die, sink or
swim; and I shall expect to meet you, all booted
and spurred and fit for the fight, April first," said
the unwavering Amanda.
"A most appropriate day for three lone women
to start off on a wild-goose chase after health and








SHA WL-STRAPS.


pleasure," groaned Lavinia from among her pil-
lows.
"Very well, then, I leave you now, and shall ex-
pect to meet on the appointed day ? "
If I'm spared," answered the sufferer.
"I'll bring her, never fear," added the sanguine
Mat, as she rattled the trays out of an immense
trunk.
How they ever did it no one knows; but in a week
every thing was ready, and the sisters had nothing
eft to do but to sit and receive the presents that
showered upon them from all quarters. How kind
every one was, to be sure! Six fine dressing-cases
arrived, and were hung upon the walls; four smelling-
bottles, one for each nostril; bed-socks; rigolettes;
afghans; lunch-baskets; pocket-flasks; guide-books;
needle-cases; bouquets in stacks; and a great cake
with their names on top in red and blue letters three
inches long.
Friendly fingers sewed for them; even the gentle-
men of the house, and there were eight, had a bee "
and hemmed handkerchiefs for Mat, marked towels;
and one noble being actually took off his coat and
packed the trunks in layers of mosaic work wonder-








OFF.


ful to behold. A supper celebrated the last evening;
and even the doleful Lavinia, touched by such kind-
ness, emerged from her slough of despond and elec-
trified the ball by dancing a jig with great spirit and
grace.
Devoted beings were up at dawn to share the
early breakfast, lug trunks, fly up and down with
last messages, cheer heartily as the carriage drove
off, and then adjourn en masse to the station there
to shake hands all round once more, and wave and
wring handkerchiefs as the train at last bore the
jocund Mat and the resigned Lavinia toward the
trysting-place and Amanda.
All along the route, more friends kept bursting
into the cars as they stopped at different places,
more gifts, more hand-shakes and kisses, more good
wishes and kind prophecies, till at last in a chaos of
smiles, tears, smelling-bottles, luncheon, cloaks, books,
and foot-warmers, the travellers left the last friendly
face behind and steamed away to New York.
"How de-licious this is!" cried the untravelled
Matilda, as they stepped upon the deck of the
"Lafayette," and she sniffed the shippy fragrance
that caused Lavinia to gasp and answer darkly, -








SEA WL-STRAPS.


"Wait till to-morrow."
While Mat surveyed the steamer under the care
of Devoted Being No. 10, who appeared to see them
off, Lavinia arranged the state-room, stowing away
all useless gear and laying forth dressing-gowns,
slippers, pocket-handkerchiefs with an anguished
smile. She had crossed the ocean twice, and was a
wiser, sadder woman for it. At eight she turned in,
and ten minutes later Amanda came aboard with a
flock -of gay friends. But no temptations of the
flesh could lure the wary spinster fiom her den; for
the night was rough and cold and the steamer a
Babel of confusion.
"It's perfectly delightful! I wish you'd been
there, Livy. We had supper, and songs, and funny
stories, and all sorts of larks. There are quantities
of nice people aboard, and we shall have a perfectly
splendid trip. I shall be up bright and early, put
on my scarlet stockings, my new boots, and pretty
sea suit, and go in for a jolly day," said the ardent
Matilda, as she came skipping down at midnight and
fefl asleep full of rosy visions of the joys of a

"Life on the ocean wave."








OFF.


"Deluded .child!" sighed Lavinia, closing her
dizzy eyes upon the swaying garments on the wall,
and feebly wishing she had hung herself along with
them.
In the gray dawn, she was awakened by sounds
of woe, and peering forth beheld the festive Matilda
with one red stocking on and one off, her blonde
locks wildly dishevelled, her face of a pale green,
and her hands clasping lemons, cologne, and salts,
as she lay with her brow upon the cool marble of
the toilet table.
"How do you like it, dear ? asked the unfeeling
Lavinia.
"Oh what is it? I feel as if I was dying. If
somebody would only stop the swing one minute.
Is it sea-sickness ? It's awful, but it will do me
good. Oh, yes! I hope so. I've tried every thing
and feel worse and worse. Hold me! save me! Oh,
I wish I hadn't come!"
"Shipmates ahoy! how are you, my loves?" and
Amanda appeared rosy, calm, and gay with her pea.
jacket on, skirts close reefed, hat well to windward,
and every thing taut and ship-shape, for she was a
fine sailor and never missed a meal.








SHIA WL-STRAPS.


Wails greeted her, and faint inquiries as to the
state of things in the upper world.
"Blowing a gale; rain, hail, and snow, very dirty
weather; and we are flying off the coast in fine
style," was the cheerful reply.
"Have we split any sails?" asked Lavinia, not
daring to open her eyes.
"Dozens I dare say. Shipping seas every five
minutes. All the passengers ill but me, and every
prospect of a north-easter all the way over," con-
tinued the lively Amanda, lurching briskly about
the passage with her hands in her pockets.
Matilda dropped her lemons and her bottles to
wring her hands, and Lavinia softly murmured,--

Lord, what fools we mortals be,
That we ever go to sea!'"

"Breakfast, ladies?" cried the pretty French
stewardess prancing in with tea-cups, bowls of
gruel, and piles of toast balanced in some miraculous
manner all over her arms.
Oh, take it away! I shall never eat again,"
moaned Matilda, clinging frantically to the marble,
as the water-pitcher went down the middle with a








OFF.


hair-brush, and all the boots and shoes had a grand
promenade round the room.
"Don't speak to me; don't look at me; don't even
think of me for three days at least. Go and enjoy
yourself, and leave us to our doom," with which
tragical remark Lavinia drew her curtains and was
seen no more.
Great heavens, what a week that was! Rain,
wind, fog; creak, pitch, toss; noise, smells, cold.
Broken sleep by day, woe in every variety by night,
food and drink a delusion and a snare, society an
affliction, life a burden, death a far-off blessing not
to be had at any price. Slowly, slowly the victims
emerge from the lower depths of gloom, feebly smile,
faintly joke, pick fearfully but wistfully at once-
rejected dishes; talk about getting up, but don't do
it; read a little, look at their sallow countenances in
hand-glasses, and speculate upon the good effects of
travel upon the constitution. Then they suddenly
become daring, gay, and social; rise, adorn them-
selves, pervade the cabins, sniff the odors of engine
and kitchen without qualms, play games, go to table,
and just as the voyage is over begin to enjoy it.
Alas for poor Lavinia! no such resurrection was







S1IA WL-S 1APS.


possible for her. Long after Mat had bravely
donned the scarlet hose, cocked up her beaver and
gone forth to festive scenes, her shipmate remained
below in chrysalis state, fed by faithful Marie, vis-
ited by the ever-cheerful Amanda, and enlivened by
notes and messages from fellow-sufferers in far-off
cells.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Walmars, Jr., called and had
private theatricals in the passage. Dried-ginger
parties were held about the invalid's berth, poems
were composed, and conundrums circulated. A
little newspaper was concocted, replete with wit
and spirit, by these secluded ladies, and called the
"Sherald," to distinguish it from the Herald got
up by sundry gentlemen whose shining hours were
devoted to flirtation, cards, and wine.
"Perfect gentlemen, I assure you, my dear; for,
drunk or sober, they wear yellow kids from morning
till night, smoke the best cigars, and dance divinely,"
as Mrs. Twaddle said, sitting erect in the saloon,
shrouded in fur and velvet, with five diamond-rings
well displayed as she recounted the diseases she had
enjoyed, and did the honors of a remarkable work.
basket, containing eight different sorts of scissors.








OFF.


We shall be in to-morrow, so you'd better be dig.
going up the treasures you have buried, you old
magpie," said Mat, appearing to the pensive Livy on
the eleventh day.
"The sun is out, come on deck, and help us get
up the last edition of our paper. How will this
do? Query--If steamers are named the Asia, the
'Russia,' and the Scotia,' why not call one the Nau-
sea?'" added Amanda, popping her head into the
den. Lavinia threw a pillow at .her, but the
undaunted joker continued, -
"Also this: Financial -This being a feminine
paper, gold is no longer at Pa, but at Ma."
"Good! Add this: Argument in favor of the
Superiority of Women The sluggard was not told
to go to his uncle."
"Thank you," and Amanda departed to twine
with her forty-third bosom friend, while Lavinia dis-
interred, from holes and corners of her berth, money,
nuts, and raisins; books, biscuits, and literary efforts
much the worse for deluges of soup and daubs of
butter.
The cry of "Land!" on the morrow caused pas-
sengers unseen before to appear like worms after a








SHA WL-STRAPS.


shower; all heroically did up their back hair, put
on their best suits, and walked forth with the de-
lusive hope that no one would know how ill they
had been.
A French Marquis with a sickly little son, whose
diet of fried potatoes and sour wine perhaps
accounted for his having the temper of a young
fiend, appeared, and were made much of by dear,
title-loving Americans.
A Spanish opera singer, stout, saffron-colored,
and imperious, likewise emerged from obscurity,
with a meek little husband, who waited on her like F
servant, and a big, bald parrot who swore like a
trooper.
Several nuns languished in corners of the saloon,
surveying the vanities of life with interest, and telling
their beads devoutly when they saw any one look-
ing at them.
A mysterious lady in green velvet with many dia-
monds, and a shabby, speechless companion, sailed
about the ship, regardless of the rumors told of her, -
deserted husbands, stolen jewelry, lovers waiting on
the other side, and many equally pleasant little tales.
The gentlemen with orange gloves and copper,










colored noses got themselves up in the most superb
style, though few were going to land at Brest, and
took tender farewells of such ladies as did, each pro-
fessing desolation and despair at the termination of
a twelve days' flirtation.
"I am not fond of dirt, but I could kneel down
and kiss this mud, so grateful am I to feel solid
ground under my feet, after leading the life of a fly
for so long," said Lavinia with emotion, as the three
trudged up the wharf at Brest into a sort of barn
which served for a custom-house.
"Now let each sit upon her luggage and clamor
till some one comes and examines it, else it will get
whisked away heaven only knows where," ordered
Amanda, who was the leader in right of her knowl-
edge of tongues.
Each perched accordingly on her one big trunk,
and tried to clamor." But nothing came of it save
loss of time and temper, for no one paid the slightest
heed to them; and it was maddening to see trunk
after trunk parsed and sent off followed by its
rejoicing owner. Especially hard to bear was the
sight of the green-velvet sinner, who with a smile or
two won the sternest official to pass her five trunks







SHA WL-STRAPS.


without turning a key, and sailed away with a scorn-
ful glance at the virtuous Three planted on their
property and feebly beckoning for help.
"I shall bear this no longer. Mat, sit there and
guard the small things, while you and I, Livy, charge
boldly among these imbeciles and drag them to
their duty," and Amanda marched away to clutch a
cockaded victim by the shoulder with an awe-inspir-
ing countenance.
Lavinia picked out a feeble, gray officer, and
dogged him like an Indian, smiling affably, and
pointing to her luggage with a persistent mildness
that nearly drove the poor man mad.
No matter where he went, or what he did, no
matter how thick the crowd about him, or howioud
the din, still, like a relentless ghost, that mild, old
lady was ever at his side, mutely pointing and affa-
bly smiling. Of course he gave in, lifted one tray,
saw much flannel, nearly blew his venerable nose off
sniffing at one suspicious bottle, and slamming down
the lid scrawled a mysterious cross, bowed and fled.
Proudly returning to Amanda, the victorious one
found her friend in a high state of indignation; for
no officer there would touch her trunk because some








OFF.


American Express had put little leaden stamps here
and there for some unknown purpose. Not even
in her best French could the irate lady make the
thick-headed men understand that it was not a high
crime against the nation to undo a strap till some
superior officer arrived to take the responsibility of
so rash a step.
If they had comprehended the dire threats, the
personal remarks, and unmitigated scorn of those
three fair travellers, the blue-coated imbeciles would
have been reduced to submission. Fortunately the
great man came in time to save them from utter
rout; for the ladies were just trying to decide
whether to go and leave the luggage to its fate, or
to haul it forth and depart vi et armis, when a
stout old party came, saw, said, "It is nothing; pass
the trunk; a thousand pardons, Madame," and peace
was restored.
Instantly the porters, who till then had stood
back, eying the innocent, black ark as if it was an
infernal machine liable to explode at a touch, threw
themselves upon it, bore it forth, and heaving it atop
of an omnibus returned to demand vast sums for
having waited so long.







SHA WL-STRAPS.


Then was Amanda sublime, then did her comrades
for the first time learn the magnitude of her powers,
and realize the treasure they possessed. Stowing
Matilda and the smaller traps in the bus, and say-
ing to Lavinia, Stand by me," this dauntless maid
faced one dozen blue-bloused, black-bearded, vocif.
erous, demonstrative Frenchmen, and, calmly offer-
ing the proper sum, refused to add one sou more.
Vainly the drivers perjured themselves in behalf
of the porters, vainly the guard looked on with
imposing uniforms and impertinent observations,
vainly Mat cried imploringly, Pay any thing and
let us get off before there is a mob," still the indomi-
table Amanda held forth the honest franc, and, when
no one would take it, laid it on a post, and entering
the omnibus drove calmly away.
"What should we do without you ?" sighed
Lavinia with fervent gratitude.
"Be cheated right and left, and never know it,
dear," responded Amanda, preparing for another
fight with the omnibus driver.
And she had it; for, unwarned by the fate of the
porters, this short-sighted man insisted on carrying
the ladies to a dirty little hotel to dine, though







OFF. 17

expressly ordered to go at once to the station.
Nothing would induce them to alight, though the
landlord came out in person and begged them to do
so; and, after a protracted struggle and a drive all
over the town, they finally reached the depot.
Here another demand for double fare was promptly
quenched by an appeal to the chef de station, wLo,
finding that Mademoiselle was wide awake, crushed
the driver and saw justice done.
Exhausted but triumphant, the three at length
found themselves rolling slowly toward Morlaix
through a green and blooming country, so unlike
the New England spring they had left behind that
they rejoiced like butterflies in the sunshine.















BRITTANY.

A FTER a late dinner, at which their appetites
were pretty effectually taken away by seeing
dishes of snails passed round and eaten like nuts,
with large pins to pick ouit the squirming meat; a
night's rest somewhat disturbed by the incessant
clatter of sabots in the market-place, and a breakfast
rendered merry by being served by a garpon whom
Dickens would have immortalized, our travellers
went on to Caulnes-Dinan.
Here began their adventures, properly speaking.
They were obliged to drive fourteen miles to Dinan
in a ram-shackle carriage drawn by three fierce little
horses, with their tails done up in braided chignons,
and driven by a humpback. This elegant equipage
was likewise occupied by a sleepy old priest, who
smoked his pipe without stopping the whole way.
Also by a large, loquacious, beery man, who talked
incessantly, informing the company that he was a








BRITTANY.


fiend of Victor Hugo, a child of nature aged sixty,
and obliged to drink much ale because it went to his
head and gave him commercial ideas.
If it had given him no others it would have done
well; but, after each draught, and he took many, this
child of nature became so friendly that even the free
and easy Americans were abashed. Matilda quailed
before the languishing glances he gave her, and tied
her head up like a bundle in a thick veil. The scan-
dalized Lavinia, informing him that she did not
understand French, assumed the demeanor ofa griffin,
and glared stonily into space, when she was not dis-
locating her neck trying to see if the top-heavy
luggage had not tumbled off behind.
Poor Amanda was thus left a prey to the beery
one; for, having at first courteously responded to his
paternal remarks and expressed an interest in the
state of France, she could not drop the conver-
sation all at once, even when the friend of Victor
Hugo became so disagreeable that it is to be hoped
the poet has not many such. He recited poems, he
sung songs, he made tender confidences, and finished
by pressing the hand of Mademoiselle to his lips.
On being told that such demonstrations were nr.t








SHA WL-STRAPS.


permitted to strangers in America, he beat his breast
and cried out, "My God, so beautiful and so cold!
you do not comprehend that I am but a child. -Par-
don, and smile again I conjure you."
But Mademoiselle would not smile, and folding
her hands in her cloak appeared to slumber.
Whereat the gray-headed infant groaned patheti-
cally, cast his eyes heavenward, and drank more ale,
muttering to himself and shaking his head as if his
emotions could not be entirely suppressed.
These proceedings caused Lavinia to keep her eye
on him, being prepared for any outbreak from a
bullet all round to proposals to both her charges at
once.
With this smouldering bomb-shell inside, and the
firm conviction that one if not all the trunks were
lying in the dust some miles behind, it may be
inferred that duenna Livy did not enjoy that break-
neck drive, lurching and bumping up hill and down,
with nothing between them and destruction appar-
ently but the little humpback, who drove recklessly.
In this style they rattled up to the Porte de Brest,
feeling that they had reached Dinan only by the
grace of God," as the beery man expressed it, when








BRITTANY.


he bowed and vanished, still oppressed with the
gloomy discovery that American women did not
appreciate him.
While Amanda made inquiries at an office, and
Matilda had raptures over the massive archway
crowned with yellow flowers, Lavinia was edified
by a new example of woman's right to labor.
Close by was a clean, rosy old woman whose
unusual occupation attracted our spinster's atten-
tion. Whisking off the wheels of a diligence, the
old lady greased them one by one, and put them on
again with the skill and speed of a regular black-
smith, and then began to pile many parcels into a
char apparently waiting for them.
She was a brisk, cheery, old soul with the color
of a winter-apple in her face, plenty of fire in her
quick black eyes and a mouthful of fine teeth, though
she must have been sixty. She was dressed in the
costume of the place: a linen cap with several sharp
gables to it,.a gay kerchief over her shoulders, a blue
woollen gown short enough to display a pair of
sturdy feet and legs in neat shoes with bunches of
ribbon on the instep, and black hose. A gray
apron with pockets and a bib finished her ofi








SHA WL-STRAPS.


making a very sensible as well as picturesque cos
tume.
She was still hard at it when a big boy appeared
and began to heave the trunks into another char;
but gave oul at the second, which was large.
Instantly the brisk old woman put him aside,
hoisted in the big boxes without help, and, catching
up the shafts of the heavily laden cart, trotted away
with it at a pace which caused the Americans (who
prided themselves on their muscle) to stare after her
in blank amazement.
When next seen, she was toiling up a steep street,
still ahead of the lazy boy, who slowly followed with
the lighter load. It did not suit Lavinia's ideas of
the fitness of things to have an old woman trundle
three heavy trunks while she herself carried nothing
but a parasol, and she would certainly have lent a
hand if the vigorous creature had not gone at such
a pace that it was impossible to overtake her till she
backed her cart up before a door in most scientific
style, and with a bow, a smile, and a courteous
wave of the hand, informed them that "here the
ladies would behold the excellent Madame C."
They did behold and also receive a most cordial








BRITTANY.


welcome from the good lady, who not only embraced
them with effusion, but turned -her house upside-
down for their accommodation, merely because they
came recommended to her hospitality by a former
lodger who had won her kind old heart.
While she purred over them, the luggage wai
being bumped upstairs, the old woman shouldering
trunk after trunk, and trudging up two steep flights
in the most marvellous way. But best of all was her
surprise and gratitude on receiving-a larger fee than
usual, for the ladies were much interested in this
dear old Hercules in a cap of seven gables.
When she had blessed them all round, and trotted
briskly away with her carts, Madame C. informed
the new-comers that the worthy soul was a widow
with many children, whom she brought up excel-
lently, supporting them by acting as porter at the
hotel. Her strength was wonderful, and she was
very proud of it, finding no work too hard, yet
always neat, cheery, and active; asking no help, and
literally earning her daily bread by the sweat of her
brow. The ladies often saw her afterward, always
trotting and tugging, smiling and content, as if
some unseen hand kept well greased the wheels of








SHA WL-STRAPS.


her own diligence, which carried such a heavy load
and never broke down.
Miss Lavinia being interested in Woman's Righl,
and Wrongs was much impressed by the new rev(-
lations of the capabilities of her sex, and soon ceased
to be surprised at any demonstration of feminine
strength, skill, and independence, for everywhere
the women took the lead.
They not only kept house, reared children, and
knit every imaginable garment the human frame can
wear, but kept the shops and the markets, tilled the
gardens, cleaned the streets, and bought and sold
cattle, lea ing the men fiee to enjoy the only pur-
suits they seemed inclined to follow, breaking
horses, mending roads, and getting drunk.
The markets seemed entirely in the hands of the
women, and lively scenes they presented to unaccus-
tomed eyes, especially the pig-market, held every
week, in the square before Madame C.'s house. At
dawn the squealing began, and was kept up till sun-
set. The carts came in fiom all the neighboring
hamlets, with tubs full of infant pigs, over which the
women watched with maternal care till they were
safely deposited among the rows of tubs that stood








BRITTANY.


along the walk facing Anne of Bretaigne's gray old
tower, and the pleasant promenade which was once
the fosse about the city walls.
Here Madame would seat herself and knit briskly
till a purchaser applied, when she would drop her
work, dive among the pink innocents, and hold one
up by its unhappy leg, undisturbed by its doleful
cries, while she settled its price with a blue-gowned,
white-capped neighbor as sharp-witted and shrill-
tongued as herself. If the bargain was struck, they
slapped their hands together in a peculiar way, and
the new owner clapped her purchase into a meal-
bag, slung it over her shoulder, and departed with
her squirming, squealing treasure as calmly as a Bos-
ton lady with a satchel full of ribbons and gloves.
More mature pigs came to market on their own
legs, and very long, feeble legs they were, for a more
unsightly beast than a Breton pig was never seen
out of a toy Noah's ark. Tall, thin, high-backed, and
sharp-nosed, these porcine victims tottered to their
doom, with dismal wailings, and not a vestige ot
spirit till the trials and excitement of the day goaded
them to rebellion, when their antics furnished fun
for the public. %'ss Livy observed that the women








SHA WL-STRAPS.


could manage the pigs when men failed entirely.
The latter hustled, lugged, or lashed, unmercifully
and unsuccessfully; the former, with that fine tact
which helps them to lead nobler animals than pigs,
would soothe, sympathize, coax, and gently beguile
the pooe beasts, or devise ways of mitigating their be-
wilderment and woe, which did honor to the sex, and
triumphantly illustrated the power of moral suasion.
One amiable lady, who had purchased two small
pigs and a coop full of fowls, attempted to carry
them all on one donkey. But the piggies rebelled
lustily in the bags, the ducks remonstrated against
their unquiet neighbors, and the donkey indignantly
refused to stir a step till the unseemly uproar was
calmed. But the Bretonne was equal to the occa-
sion; for, after a pause of meditation, she solved the
problem by tying the bags round the necks of the
pigs, so that they could enjoy the prospect. This
appeased them at once, and produced a general lull;
for when the pigs stopped squealing, the ducks
stopped quacking, the donkey ceased his bray, and
the party moved on in dignified silence, with the
youthful pigs, one black, one white, serenely regard.
mg life from their bags.








BRITTANY.


Another time, a woman leading a newly bought
cow, came through the square, where the noise
alarmed the beast so much that she became unruly,
and pranced in a most dangerous manner. Miss Livy
hung out of the window, breathless with interest,
and ready to fly with brandy and bandages at a
minute's notice, for it seemed inevitable that the
woman wouldbe tossed up among the lindens before
the cow was conquered. The few men who were
lounging about, stood with their hands in their
pockets, watching the struggle without offering to
help, till the cow scooped the lady up on her horns,
ready for a toss. Livy shrieked, but Madame
just held on, kicking so vigorously that the cow was
glad to set her down, when, instead of fainting, she
coolly informed the men, who, seeing her danger,
had approached, that she "could arrange her cow
for herself, and did not want any help," which she
proved by tying a big blue handkerchief over the
animal's eyes, producing instant docility, and then
she was led away by her flushed but triumphant
mistress, who calmly settled her cap, and took a
pinch of snuff to refresh herself, after a scuffle which
would have annihilated most women.








SHA WL-STRAPS.


When Madame C.'s wood was put in, the new.
comers were interested in watching the job, for it
was done in a truly Bretonesque manner. It arrived
in several odd carts, each drawn by four great
horses, with two men to each team; and as the carts
were clumsy, the horses wild, and the men stupid,
the square presented a lively spectacle. At one time
there were three carts, twelve horses; and six men
all in a snarl, while a dozen women stood at their
doors and gave advice. One was washing a let-
tuce, another dressing her baby, a third twirling
her distaff and a fourth with her little bowl of
soup, which she ate in public while gesticulating
so frantically that her sabots clattered on the
stones.
The horses had a free fight, and the men swore
and shouted in vain, till the lady with the baby sud-
denly went to the rescue. Planting the naked
cherub on the door-step, this energetic matron
charged in among the rampant animals, and by some
magic touch untangled the teams, quieted the most
fractious, a big gray brute prancing like a mad
elephant, then returned to her baby, who was
placidly eating dirt, and with a polite Voila, me.








BRITTANY.


sieurs I" she whipped little Jean into his shirt, while
the men sat down to smoke.
It took two deliberate men nearly a week to split
the gnarled logs, and one brisk woman carried them
iLto the cellar and piled them neatly. The men
stoj ped about once an hour to smoke, drink cider, or
rest. The woman worked steadily from morning till
night, only pausing at noon for a bit of bread and
the soup good Coste sent out to her. The men got
two francs a day, the woman half a franc; and, as
nothing was taken out of it for wine or tobacco, her
ten cents probably went farther than their forty.
This same capable lady used to come to market
with a baby on one arm, a basket of fruit on the
other, leading a pig, driving a donkey, and sur-
rounded by sheep, while her head bore a pannier of
vegetables, and her hands spun busily with a distaff
How she ever got on with these trifling incum.
branches, was a mystery; but there she was, busy,
placid, and smiling, in the midst of the crowd, and at
night went home with her shopping well content.
The washer-women were among the happiest of
these happy souls, and nowhere were seen prettier
pictures than they made, clustered round the foun.








SHAWL-STRAPS.


tains or tanks by the way, scrubbing, slapping, sing-
ing, and gossiping, as they washed or spread their
linen on the green hedges and daisied grass in the
bright spring weather. One envied the cheery faces
under the queer caps, the stout arms that scrubbed
all day, and were not too tired to carry home some
chubby Jean or little Marie when night came, and,
most of all, the contented hearts in the broad bosoms
under the white kerchiefs, for no complaint did one
hear fiom these hard-working, happy women. The
same brave spirit seems to possess them now as that
which carried them heroically to their fate in the
Revolution, when hundreds of mothers and children
were shot at Nantes and died without a murmur.
But of all the friends the strangers made among
them, they liked old Mbre Oudon best, a shrivelled
leaf of a woman, who at ninety-two still supported
her old husband of ninety-eight. Hle was nearly
helpless, and lay in bed most of the time, smoking,
while she peeled willows at a sou a day, trudged up
and down with herbs, cresses, or any little thing she
could find to sell. Very proud was she of her
"master," his great age, his senses still quite perfect,
and most of all his strength, for now and then the








BRITTANY.


old tyrant left his bed to beat her, which token of
conjugal regard she seemed to enjoy as a relic of
early days, and a proof that he would long be spared
to her.
She kept him exquisitely neat, and if any one gave
her a plate of food, a little snuff, or any small com-
fort for hei patient old age, she took it straight to
the master," and found a double happiness in giving
and seeing rhm enjoy it.
She had but one eye, her amiable husband having
put out the other once on a time as she was leading
him home tipsy from market. The kind soul bore
no malice, and always made light of it when forced
to tell how the affliction befell her.
"My Yvon was so gay in his young days, truly,
yes, a fine man, and now most beautiful to see in his
clean bed, with the new pipe that Mademoiselle sent
him. Come then and behold him, my superb master,
who at ninety-eight has still this strength so won.
derful."
The ladies never cared to see him more than once,
but often met the truly beautiful old wife as she
toiled to and fro, finding her faithful love more won-
derful than his strength, and feeling sure that when







SHA WL-STAPS.


she lies at last on her clean bed," some good angel
will repay these ninety-two hard years with the
youth and beauty, happiness and rest, which nothing
can destroy.
Not only did the women manage the affairs of this
world, but had more influence than men with the
good powers of heaven. A long drought parched
France that year, and even fertile Brittany suffered.
More than once processions of women, led by
priests, poured through the gates to go to the Croix
du Saint Esprit and pray for rain.
"Why don't the men go also ?" Miss Livy asked.
Ah they pray to the Virgin, and she listens best
to women," was the answer.
She certainly seemed to do so, for gracious
showers soon fell, and the little gardens bloomed
freshly where the mother's hard hands had planted
cabbages, onions, and potatoes to feed the children
through the long winter.
Nor were these the only tasks the women did.
The good ladies had a hospital and a neater, cheerier
place was never seen; few invalids, but many old
people sitting in the sunny gardens, or at work in
the clean rooms. La Garaye is in ruins now, but the







BRITTANY.


memory of its gentle lady still lives, and is preserved
in this benevolent institution for the sick, the old
and poor.
A school for girls was kept by the good nuns, and
the streets at certain hours were full of little dam-
sels, with round caps on their braided hair, queer
long gowns of blue, white aprons and handkerchiefs,
who went clattering by in their wooden shoes,
bobbing little curtsies to their friends, and readily
answering any questions inquisitive strangers asked
them. They learned to read, write, sew, and say
the catechism. Also to sing, for, often as the
ladies passed the little chapel of Our Lady, a chorus
of sweet young voices came to us making the flowery
garden behind the church of St. Sauveur a favorite
resting-place.
In endeavoring to account for the freedom of the
women here, it was decided that it was owing to
Anne of Brittany, the "gentle and generous Du.
chesse," to whom her husband Louis XII. allowed
the uncontrolled government of the duchy. Relics
of the firee Bretonne," as Louis called her, are still
treasured everywhere, and it was pleasant to know
not only that she was an accomplished woman,
a







SHA WL-STRAPS.


writing tender letters in Latin verse to her hua.
band, but also a wise and just Princess to her
people, showing herself by spirit and independence
to be the most worthy of all her race to wear the
ducal crown." So three cheers for good Duchesse
Anne, and long life to the hardy, happy women of
Brittany!
While Miss Lavinia was making these observa-
tions and moralizing upon them, the younger ladies
were enjoying discoveries and experiences more to
their tastes.
They had not been in the house half a day before
Madame C. informed them that "Mademoiselle, the
so charming miss whom they beheld at dinner, was
to be married very soon; and they should have
the rapture of witnessing a wedding the most beau-
tiful."
They welcomed the prospect with pleasure, for
Dinan is not a whirl of gayety at the best of times;
and that spring the drought, rumors of ws., and
fears of small-pox, cast a shadow upon the sunny
little town. So they surveyed Mademoiselle Pelagie
with interest, and longed to behold the happy man
who was to be blessed with the hand of this little,








BRITTANY.


yellow-faced girl, with red eyes, dirty hands, and a
frizzled crop, so like a wig they never could make up
their minds that it was not.
Madame, the mamma, a buxom, comely widow
who breakfasted in black moire, with a diadem of
glossy braids on her sleek head, and many jet orna-
ments rattling and glistening about her person,
informed them, with voluble affability, of the whole
affair.
"My brother, M. le Prdsident, had arranged the
marriage. Pelagic was twenty, and beautiful, as you
behold. It was time to establish her. Mon Dieu I
yes; though my heart is lacerated to lose my angel
I consent. I conduct her to a ball, that she may be
seen by the young man whose parents desire that he
should espouse my infant. He beholds her. He
says: 'Great heavens, I adore her! My father, 1
consent.' He is presented to me; we converse. She
regards him with the angelic modesty of a young
girl, but speaks not. I approve, the parents meet,
it is arranged, and Jules is betrothed to my Pelagie.
They have not met since; but next week he comes
for the marriage, and he will be permitted to address
her in my presence. Ah, yes! your customs are not







SHA WL-STRAPS.


as ours, and to us seem of a deplorable freedom.
Pardon that I say it."
On inquiring how Pelagie regarded her future
lord, they found that she thought very little about
him ; but was absorbed in her trousseau, which she
proudly displayed. To those accustomed to see and
hear of American outfits, with their lavish profusion
and extravagant elegance, poor little Pelagie's mod-
est stores were not at all imposing. Half a dozen
pretty dresses fiom Paris; several amazing hats, all
rosebuds, lace, and blue ribbon; a good deal of em-
broidery; and a few prophetic caps, completed the
outfit.
One treasure, however, she was never tired of dis-
playing, a gift from Jules, a camels'-hair shawl,
m a black walnut case, on which was carved the
Clomadoc arms. A set of pearls were also from the
bridegroom; but the shawl was her pride, for married
women alone could wear such, and she seemed to
think this right of more importance than any the
wedding-ring could confer upon her.
To the young ladies, both of whom had known
many of the romantic experiences which befall
comely American girls, the idea of marrying a man








BRITTANY.


whom they had only seen twice seemed horrible;
and to have but one week of courtship, and that in
Mamma's presence, was simply an insult and a wrong
which they would not bear to think of.
But Pelagie seemed quite content, and brcoded
over her finery like a true Frenchwoman, showing
very little interest in her Jules, and only anxious for
the time to come when she could wear her shawl
and be addressed as madame.
While waiting for the grand event, the girls
amused themselves with Gaston, the brother of the
bride-elect. He was a languid, good-looking youth
of three and twenty, who assumed blasi airs and
attitudinized for their benefit. Sometimes he was lost
in fits of Byronic gloom, when he frowned over his
coffee, sighed gustily, and clutched his brow, regard-
less of the curls, usually in ambrosial order. The
damsels, instead of being impressed by this display
of inward agony, only laughed at him, and soon ral-
lied him out of his heroics. Then he would try
another plan, and become all devotion, presenting
green tulips, ancient coins, early fruit, or sketches
of his own, so very small that the design was quite
obscure. If these delicate attentions failed to touch








SHA WL-STRAPS.


the stony hearts of the blonde Americans, he would
air his entire wardrobe, appearing before them one
day in full Breton costume of white cloth, embroid-
ered in gay silks, buckled shoes, and hat adorned
with streaming ribbons and flowers. Quite Arcadian
was Gaston in this attire; and very effective on the
croquet ground, where sundry English families dis-
ported themselves on certain afternoons. Another
time he would get himself up like a Parisian dandy
bound for a ride in the Bois de Boulogne; and,
mounting with much difficulty a rampant horse, he
would caracole about the Place St. Louis, to the
great delight of the natives.
But this proved a failure; for one of the fair but
cruel strangers donned hat and habit, and entirely
eclipsed his glories by galloping about the country
like an Amazon. The only time Gaston played
escort she was nearly the death of him, for he sel-
dom did more than amble a mile or two, and a hard
trot of some six or eight miles reduced our Adonis
to such a state of exhaustion that he fell into his
mother's arms on dismounting, and was borne away
to bed with much lamentation.
After that he contented himself with coming to







BRITTANY.


show himself in full dress whenever he went to a
party; and, as that was nearly every other evening,
they soon got accustomed to hearing a tap at their
door, and beholding the comely youth in all tho
bravery of glossy broadcloth, a lavish shirt-bosom,
miraculous tie, primrose gloves, varnished shoEs, and
curls and mustache anointed and perfumed in the
most exquisite style. He would bow and say "Bon
soir," then stand to be admired, with the artless
satisfaction of a child; after which he would smile
complacently, wave his crush hat, and depart with
a flourish.
Dear, dandified, vain Gaston. His great desire
was to go to Paris, and when the war came he had
his wish; but found sterner work to do than to
dress and dance and languish at the feet of ladies.
I hope it made a man of him, and fancy it did; for
the French fight well and suffer bravely for the
country they love in their melodramatic fashion.
As the day approached for the advent of the
bridegroom, great excitement prevailed in the quiet
household. Madame C. and her handmaid, dear
old Marie, cackled and bustled like a pair of impor-
tant hens. Madame F., the widow lived at the








SBA WL-STRAPS.


milliner's, so to speak, and had several dress re.
hearsals for her own satisfaction. Gaston mounted
guard over his sister, lest some enamoured man
should rend her from them ere her Jules could
secure the prize. And Pelagie placidly ate and
slept, kept her hair in crimping-pins from morning
till night, wore out her old clothes, and wiled away
the time, munching bonbons and displaying her shawl.
"Mercy on us! I should feel like a lamb being
fattened for the sacrifice if I were in her place,"
cried one of the freeborn American citizenesses,
with an air of unmitigated scorn for French ways
of conducting this interesting ceremony.
"I should feel like a galley-slave;" said the other.
"For she can't go anywhere without Gaston or
Mamma at her elbow. Only yesterday she went
into a shop alone, while Gaston waited at the door.
And when she told it at home as a great exploit all
the ladies shrieked with horror at the idea, and
Mamma said, wringing her hands: 'Mon Dieul
but they will think thou art a married woman, for
it is inconceivable that any girl should do so bold
a thing.' And Pelagie wept, and implored them
not to tell Jules, lest he should discard her"







BRITTANY.


Hero the Americans all groaned over the pathetic
absurdity of the whole affair, and wondered with
unrighteous glee what the decorous ladies below
would say to some of their pranks at home. But,
fearing that M. le Pr4sident might feel it his duty
to eject them from the town as dangerous persons,
they shrouded their past sins in the most discreet
silence, and assumed their primmest demeanor in
public.
"He has come! Look quick, girls!" cried La-
vinia, as a carriage stopped at the door, and a rush-
ing sound, as of many agitated skirts, was heard in
the hall. Three heads peeped from the window
of the blue parlor, and three pairs of curious eyes
were rewarded by a sight of the bridegroom, as he
alighted.
Such a little man! Such a fierce mustache!
Such a dignified strut! And such an imposing
uniform as he wore! For Jules Gustave Adolphe
Marie Clomadoc was a colonel in some regiment
stationed at Boulogne. Out he skipped; in he
marched; and, peeping over the banisters, they saw
him salute Madame F. with a stately kiss on the
hand, then escort her up to her salon, bowing loftily







SHAWL-STRAPS.


and twisting his tawny mustache with an air that
gave him the effect of being six feet in height and
broad in proportion.
How he greeted his fiancee they knew not, but
the murmur of voices came from the room in steady
flow for hours, and Gaston flew in and out with an
air of immense importance.
At dinner the strangers were proudly presented
to M. le Colonel, and received affable bows from the
little man, who flattered himself that he could talk
English, and insisted on speaking an unknown
tongue, evidently wondering at their stupidity in
not understanding their own language.
He escorted Madame down, sat between her and
Pelagie, but talked only to her; while the girl sat
silent and ate her dinner with an appetite which no
emotion could diminish. It was very funny to see
the small warrior do his wooing of the daughter
through the mother; and the buxom widow played
her part so well that an unenlightened observer
would have said she was the bride-elect. She
smiled, she sighed, she discoursed, she coquetted,
and now and then plucked out her handkerchief and
wept at the thought of losing the angel, who was








BRITTANY.


placidly gnawing bones and wiping up the gravy on
her plate with bits of bread.
Jules responded with spirit, talked, jested, quoted
poetry, paid compliments right and left, and now
and then passed the salt, filled a glass, or offered a
napkin to hisfiancee with a French shrug and a ten-
der glance.
After dinner Madame F. begged him to recite one
of his poems; for it appeared this all-accomplished
man was beloved of the muse, and twanged the lyre
as well as wielded the sword. With much persua-
sion and many modest apologies, Jules at length
consented, took his place upon the rug, thrust one
hand into his bosom, turned up his eyes, and, in a
tremendous voice, declaimed a pensive poem of
some twenty stanzas, called, Adieu to my past."
The poet's friends listened with rapt counte-
nances and frequent bursts of emotion or applause;
but the Americans suffered agonies, for the whole
thing was so absurdly melodramatic that it was
with great difficulty they kept themselves from
explosions of laughter. When the little man
dropped his voice to a hoarse whisper, in bidding
adieu to the lost loves of his youth, tender-hearted








SHA WL-STRAPS.


old C. sobbed in her napkin; while Livy only saved
herself from hysterics, by drinking a glass of water,
and Pelagie ate sugar, with her round eyes fixed on
her lover's face, without the slightest expression
whatever.
When the poet mourned his blighted hopes, and
asked wildly of all the elements if he should live or
die, Gastor. c.st reproachful glances at the alien
charmer, who had nipped his passion in the bud;
and when Jules gave a sudden start, slapped his
brow, and declared that he would live for his coun-
try, old Marie choked in her coffee, while Madame
F. clapped her fat hands, and cried: "It is sub-
lime!"
The poem closed there, and the providential
appearance of their donkeys gave the ladies an
excuse for retiring to their room, where they laughed
till they could laugh no more.
Each meal was as good as a play, and every
glimpse they had of the little pair gave fresh food
for mirth. Every thing was so formal and polite, so
utterly unlike the free-and-easy customs of their
native land, that they were kept in alternate states
of indignation and amusement the whole tima








BRITTANY.


Jules never was alone with his Pelagie for an
instant; such a breach of etiquette would have
shocked the entire town. In the walks and drives
which the family took together, Madame was always
at the Colonel's side; while Gaston escorted his
sister, looking as if he was fast reaching a state of
mind when he would give her away without a pang.
Many guests came and went, much kissing and bow-
ing, prancing and rustling, went on, up and down
stairs. Stately old gentlemen called, papers were
signed, fortunes discussed, and gifts displayed.
Pelagie went much to mass; also to the barber's,
and the bath. Agitated milliners flew in and out.
A great load of trunks arrived from Nantes, where
Madame formerly lived; and the day before the
wedding a whole carriage full of Clomadocs ap-
peared, and Babel seemed to have come again.
A great supper was given that evening, and the
three were banished to their own rooms; where,
however, they fared sumptuously, for Madame C.
and good old Marie ate with them, having no place
left them but the kitchen. Madame C. was m-clh
hurt that she had not been asked to the wedding. It
seemed the least Madame F. could do after taking








SHAWL-STRAPS.


possession of the house, and turning its rightful
owner out of every room but the attic. Madame C.
was a gentlewoman; and, though a meek old soul,
this rudeness hurt her very much. She said noth-
ing; but Marie fumed and scolded fiercely, and pro-
posed that the neglected ones should all go away on
the wedding-day, and make a fite for themselves
somewhere. So they decided to drive to Dinare,
enjoy the fine views of the sea and St. Malo, dine,
and return at dusk, leaving the house free for the
wedding festivities.
The day was fine, and the ladies were graciously
invited to behold the bride before she left for church.
She looked as much like a fashion-plate as it was
possible for a living girl to look; and they dutifully
kissed her on both cheeks, paid their compliments,
and retired, thanking their stars that they were not
in her place.
Mamma was gorgeous to behold, in royal purple
and black lace. Gaston was so glossy and beruffled
and begemmed, that they gazed with awe upon the
French Adonis. But the bridegroom was a sight
for gods and men. In full regimentals with a big
Pword, so many orders that there was hardly room








BRITTANY.


for them on his little breast, and a cocked hat, with
a forest of feathers, in which he extinguished him-
self at intervals. How his tiny boots shone, his
tawny mustache bristled with importance, and his
golden epaulettes glittered as he shrugged and
pranced! His honored papa and mamma were both
tall, portly people, beside whom the manikin looked
like a child. Livy quite longed to see Madame
Clomadoc take little Jules on her knee, and amuse
him with bonbons when he got impatient at the
delay of the carriage.
The three peeped out of windows, and over the
banisters, and got fine glimpses of the splendors
below. Flocks of elegant ladies went sailing up the
narrow stairs. Gentlemen with orders, dandies
wonderful to behold, and a few children (to play
with the bridegroom, as Livy wickedly said), adorned
the hall and salon. Every one talked at the top
of his or her voice. Shrieks of rapture, groans of
despair, greeted a fine toilette or a torn glove.
Peals of laughter from the gentlemen, and shrill
cries from the infants, echoed through the once
peaceful halls. As Frangoise said, "It was truly
divine."








SHA WL-STRAPS.


At eleven, every one trooped into the carriages
again. How they ever got so many full-dressed
people into one carriage is a mystery to this day.
But in they piled, regardless of trains, corpulency,
or height; and coach after coach lumbered away to
the church.
The bride's carriage could not be got very near
the door. So she tripped out to it, leaning on her
uncle's arm, while the devoted Gaston bore her train.
Mamma sailed after in a purple cloud; and when
two young damsels, in arsenic green, were packed inq
away they went, leaving the bridegroom to follow.
Then came the catastrophe! Stout papa and
mamma were safely in; a friend of Jules, some six
feet high, shut himself up like a jack-knife; and,
with a farewell wave of the cocked hat, the small
bridegroom skipped in after them. The coachman
cracked his whip, intending to dash under the
arched gateway in fine style. But alas! the harness
was old, the big horses clumsy, and the road half
paved. The traces gave way, the beasts reared,
the big coach lurched, and dismal wails arose. Out
burst the fierce little hero of the day, and the tall
friend followed by instalments.








BRITTANY.


Great was the excitement as the natives gathered
about the carriage with offers of help, murmurs of
sympathy, and unseemly mirth on the part of the
boys. Jules did the swearing; and never were
heard such big oaths as fell from the lips of this
irate little man. It really seemed as if he would
explode with wrath. He dashed the impressive
cocked hat upon the stones, laid his hand upon his
sword, tore his hair, and clutched his mustache in
paroxysms of despair.
His bride was gone, waiting in agitated suspense
for him. No other coach could be had, as the
resources of the town had been exhausted. The
harness was in a desperate state, the men at their
wit's end how to mend it, and time flying fast.
Maire and priest were waiting, the whole effect of
the wedding was being ruined by this delay, and
"ten thousand devils" seemed to possess the awk-
ward coachman.
During the flurry, Papa Clomadoc appeared to
slumber tranquilly in the recesses of the carriage.
Mamma endeavored to soothe her boy with cries of
" Tranquillize yourself, my cherished son. It is
nothing." Come, then, and reassure papa." "In.








SHA WL-STRAP,.


hale the odor of my vinaigrette. It will compose
your lacerated nerves, my angel."
But the angel wouldn't come, and continued to
dance and swear, and slap his hat about until the
damages were repaired, when he flung himself
exhausted, into the carriage, and was borne away
to his bride.
"A lively prospect for poor Pelagie." "What a
little fiend he is!" "Spinsters for ever!"
With these remarks, the ladies ordered their own
equipage, an infant omnibus, much in vogue in
Dinan, where retired army officers, English or
Scotch, drive about with their little families of
eighteen or twenty. One Colonel Newcome, a
grave-looking man, used to come to church in a bus
of this sort, with nine daughters and four sons, like
a patriarch. The strangers thought it was a board-
ing-school, till he presented the entire flock, with
paternal pride, as "my treasures."
Madame C., in a large Leghorp bonnet, trembling
with yellow bows, led the way with an air of lofty
indifference as to what became of her house that
day. Marie bore a big basket, full of cold fowls,
salad, and wines; she also was in a new, spring hat








BRITTANY.


of purple, which made her rosy old face look like a
china aster. Lavinia reposed upon the other seat;
and the infants insisted on sharing the driver's seat,
up aloft, that they might enjoy the prospect, which
freak caused Flabeau's boy to beam and blush til'
his youthful countenance was a deep scarlet.
They had a pleasant day; for good old Madame
soon recovered her temper, and beguiled the time
with lively tales of her mother's trials during the
Revolution.
Marie concocted spiced drinks, salad that was
a thing to dream of, not to tell, and produced such
edible treasures that her big basket seemed bottom-
less.
The frisky damsels explored ruins, ran races on
the hard beach, sniffed the salt breezes, and aston-
ished the natives by swarming up and down "preci-
pices," as they called the rocks.
That was a fatal day for Flabeau's boy (they
never knew his name); for, as if the wedding had
flown to his head, he lost his youthful heart to one
of the lively damsels who invaded his perch. Such
tender glances as his China-blue eyes cast upon her;
tuchgrins of joy as he gave when she spoke to him








SHA WL-STRAPS.


such feats of agility as he performed, leaping down
to gather flowers, or hurling himself over thorny
hedges, to point out a dolmen or a menhir (they
never could remember which was which). Alas,
alas! for Flabeau's boy Deeply was he wounded
that day by the unconscious charmer, who would as
soon have thought of inspiring love in the bosom
of the broken-nosed saint by the wayside as in the
heart that beat under the blue blouse.
I regret to say that "the infants," as Madame
C. always called Miss Livy's charges, behaved them-
selves with less decorum than could have been
wished. But the proud consciousness that they
never could be disposed of as Pelagie had been had
such an exhilarating effect upon them that they
frisked like the lambs in the field.
One drove the bus in a retired spot and aston-
ished the stout horses, by the way in which she
bowled them along the fine, hard road. The other
sang college songs, to the intense delight of the old
ladies, whc admired the chants Ameriques so gay,"
and to the horror of their duenna, who knew what
they meant. A shower came up, and they would
remain outside; so the boy put up a leather hood,







BRITTANY.


and they sat inside in such a merry mood that the
silent youth suddenly caught the infection, and
burst forth into a Breton melody, which he con-
tinued to drone till they got home.
The house was a blaze of light when they arrived,
and Frangoise, the maid, came flying out to report
sundry breakages and mishaps. How the salad had
precipitated itself downstairs, dish and all. How
Monsieur Gaston was so gay, so inconceivably gay.
that he could hardly stand, and insisted on missing
her clandestinely. That Mademoiselle Pelagie had
wept much because her veil was torn; and Madame
F. had made a fresh toilette, ravishing to behold.
Would the dear ladies survey the party, still at
table? Regard them from the little window in the
garden, and see if it is not truly a spectacle the
most superb!
They did regard them, and saw the bride at the
head of the table, eating steadily through the
dessert; the bridegroom reciting poems with tre-
mendous effect; Gaston almost invisible behind a
barricade of bottles; and Madame F., in violet
velvet, diamonds, plumes, and lace, more sleek and
buxom than ever. The ladies all talked at once,







SHAWL-STRAPS.


and the gentlemen drank health every five minutes.
A very French and festive scene it was; for the
room was small, and twenty mortals were stowed
therein. One fat lady sat in the fireplace, Papa
Clomadoc leaned his heavy head upon the side-
board, and the plump shoulders of Madame F
were half out of the front window. "But it was
genteel. Oh! I assure you, yes," as Frangoise
said.
How long they kept it up the weary trio did not
wait to see; but retired to their beds, and slum-
bered peacefully, waking only when Gaston was
borne up to his room, chanting the Marseillaise"
at the top of his voice.
Next day M. and Madame Clomadoc, Jr., made
calls, and Pelagie had the joy of wearing her shawl.
For three days she astonished the natives by prom-
enading with her lord in a fresh toilette each day.
On the fourth they all piled into a big carriage, and
went away to make a round of visits, before the
young people settled down at Boulogne.
The Americans never thought to hear any more
of Pelagie; but, as dear old Madame C. wrote to
them several times after they left, the little story







BRITTANY.


may be finished here, though the sequel did not
actually come till a year later.
Many were the sage predictions of the three, as
to the success of this marriage. Amanda approving
of that style of thing, Matilda objecting fiercely to
the entire affair, and Lavinia firmly believing in the
good old doctrine of love, as your only firm basis for
so solemn a bargain.
Wagers were laid that the fiery little colonel
would shoot some one in a jealous fit, or that
Pelagie would elope, or both charcoal themselves to
death, as the best way out of the predicament. But
none of them guessed how tragically it would really
end.
Late in the following spring came a letter from
Madame C., telling them that Jules had gone to the
war, and been shot in his first battle; that Pelagie
was with her mother again, comforting herself for
her loss with a still smaller Jules, who never saw
his father, and, it is to be hoped, did not resem-
ble him. So little Pelagie's brief romance ended;
and one would fancy that the experiences of that
year would make her quite content to remain
under mamma's wing, with no lord and master but







SHA WL-STRAPS.


the little son, to whom she was a very tender
mother.
Pleasant days those were in quaint old Dinan;
fbr spring's soft magic glorified earth and sky, and
a delicious sense of rest and freedom gave a charm
tc that quiet life. Legends of romance and chivalry
hung about the ruins of castle and chateau, as green
and golden as the ivy and bright wall-flowers that
tapestried the crumbling walls, and waved like
banners from the turret tops. Lovely walks into
woods, starred with pale primroses, and fragrant
with wild hyacinths; down green lanes, leading to
quaint cottages, or over wide meadows full of pink-
tipped daisies, and dear familiar buttercups, the
same all the world over.
Sometimes they took gay donkey-drives to visit
a solemn dolmen in a gloomy pine-wood, with
mistletoe hanging from the trees, and the ghosts
of ancient Druids haunting the spot. The caval-
cade on such occasions was an imposing spectacle.
Matilda being fond of horses likewise affected don-
keys (or thought she did, till she tried to drive one),
and usually went first in a small vehicle like a chair
on wheels, drawn by an animal who looked about the








BRITTANY


size of a mouse, when the stately Mat in full array.
yellow parasol, long whip, camp-stool, and sketch-
book, sat bolt upright on her perch, driving in the
most approved manner.
The small beast, after much whipping, would
break into a trot, and go pattering over the hard,
white road, with his long ears wagging, and his tiny
hoofs raising a great dust for the benefit of the other
turnout just behind.
In a double chair sat Lavinia, bundled up as usual,
and the amiable Amanda, both flushed with con-
stant pokings and thrashings of their steed. A
venerable ass, so like an old whity-brown hair trunk
as to his body, and Nick Bottom's mask as to his
head, that he was a constant source of mirth to the
ladies. Mild and venerable as he looked, however,
he was a most incorrigible beast, and it took two
immortal souls, and four arms, to get the ancient
donkey along.
Vain all the appeals to his conscience, pity, or pride:
nothing but a sharp poke among his ribs, a steady
shower of blows on his fuzzy old back, and frequent
"yanks" of the reins produced any effect. It was
impossible to turn out for any thing, and the ladies








SHA WL-STRAPS.


resigned themselves to the ignominy of sitting still,
in the middle of the road, and letting other car-
riages drive over or round them.
On rare occasions the beast would bolt into the
ditch as a vehicle drew near; but usually he paused
abruptly, put his head down, and apparently went
to sleep.
Matilda got on better, because little Bernard Du
Guesclin, as she named her mouse, was so very
small, that she could take him up, and turn him
round bodily, when other means failed, or pull him
half into the chair if danger threatened in front.
He was a sprightly little fellow, and had not yet
lost all the ardor of youth, or developed the fiendish
obstinacy of his kind; so he frequently ran little
races; now and then pranced, and was not quite
dead to the emotion of gratitude in return for bits
of bread.
Truly, yes; the fair Mat with her five feet seven
inches, and little Bernard, whose longest ear, when
most erect, did not reach much above her waist,
were a sweet pair of friends, and caused her mates
great amusement.
"I must have some one to play with, for I can't







BRITTANY.


improvee my mind all the time as 'Mandy does, or
cuddle and doze like Livy. I've had experience
with youngg donkeys of all sorts, and I give you my
word little Bernie is much better fun than some
Pve known with shorter ears and fewer legs."
Thus Matilda, regardless of the jeers of her friends,
when they proposed having the small beast into the
salon to beguile the tedium of a rainy day.
As the summer came on, picnics were introduced,
and gay parties would pile into and on to Flabeau's
small omnibus, and drive off to Hunandaye, Co6t-
quen, La Belliere, Guingamp, or some other unpro-
nounceable but most charming spot, for a day of
sunshine and merry-making
The hospitable English came out strong on these
occasions, with campers s of 'am-sandwiches, bottled
porter and so on, don't you know ? all in fine style.
Even the stout doctor donned his knickerbockers
and gray hose, unfurled his Japanese umbrella, and,
with a pretty niece on either arm, disported him-
self like a boy.
But pleasantest of all were the daily strolls
through the little town and its environs, getting
glimpses of Breton manners and customs.








SHA WL-STRAPC.


The houses were usually composed of one room,
where, near the open fire, and fixed against the wall,
stands the bedstead or lit clos, of old oak, shut in by
carved sliding panels, often bearing an inscription or
some sacred symbol. The mattresses and feather-
beds are so piled up, that there is hardly room to
creep in. Before it is the big chest containing tha
family wardrobe, answering the double purpose of a
seat and a step by which to ascend the lofty bed.
Cupboards on each side often have wide shelves,
where the children sleep. Settles and a long table
complete the furniture; the latter often has little
wells hollowed out in the top to hold the soup instead
of plates. Over the table, suspended by pulleys, are
two indispensable articles in a Breton house, -a
large round basket to cover the bread, and a wooden
frame to hold the spoons. Festoons of sausages,
hams, candles, onions, horse-shoes, harness, and tools,
all hang from the ceiling. The floor is of beaten
earth. One narrow window lets in the light.
There are no out-houses, and pigs and poultry mingle
freely with the family.
The gardens are well kept, and produce quanti.
ties of fruit and vegetables. The clief food of the








BRITTANY.


p orer class is bread or porridge of buckwheat, with
cabbage soup, made by pouring hot water over cab-
bage leaves and adding a bit of butter.
They are a home-loving people, and pine like the
Swiss, if forced to leave their native land. They are
brave soldiers and good sailors. Their vices," as
a Breton writer says, "are avarice, contempt for
women, and drunkenness; their virtues, love of
home and country, resignation to the will of God,
loyalty to each other, and hospitality." Their motto
is, "En tout chemin loyaut6."
They are very superstitious, and some of their
customs are curious. At New Year pieces of bread
and butter are thrown into the fountains, and from
the way in which they swim the future is foretold.
If the buttered side turns under, it forebodes death;
if two pieces adhere together, it is a sign of sickness;
and if a piece floats properly, it is an assurance of
long life and prosperity.
Girls throw pins into the fountain of Saloun to
tell by their manner of sinking, when they will be
married. If the pin goes down head-foremost, there
is little hope; but, if the point goes first, it is a sure
sign of being married that year.








SHA WL-STRAPS.


Their veneration for healing-springs is very gyeat
and, though at times forbidden by the Church, is
still felt. Pounded snails, worn in a bag on the
neck, is believed to be a cure for fever; and a cer
tain holy bell rung over the head, a cure for head-
ache. "If we believed in that last remedy what a
ceaseless tingling that bell would keep up in
America," said Lavinia, when these facts were men-
tioned to her.
In some towns they have, in the cemetery, a bone-
house or reliquary. It is the custom, after a certain
time, to dig up the bones of the dead, and preserve
the skulls in little square boxes like bird-houses,
with a heart-shaped opening, to show the relic
within. The names and dates of the deceased are
inscribed outside.
Saint Ives or Yves is the favorite saint, and
images of him are in all churches and over many
doors. He was one of the remarkable characters
of the thirteenth century. He studied law in Paris,
and devoted his talents to defending the poor; hence,
he was called "the poor man's advocate:" and so
great is the confidence placed in his justice, that,
even now, when a debtor falsely denies his debt, a








BRITTANY.


peasant will pay twenty sous for a mass to St. Ives,
sure that the Saint will cause the faithless creditor
to die within the year or pay up.
His truthfulness was such that he was called
"St. Yves de veritV." He was the special patron
of lawyers, but he does not seem to be their
model.
The early monks taught the people to work, and
their motto was "The Cross and the plough, labor
and prayer." They introduced apples, now the
principal fruit of Brittany. Much cider is made and
drank; and in old times they got their wine from
France in exchange for wax and honey, as they
were famous bee-keepers. Great fields of buck-
wheat still afford food for the "yellow-breeched
philosophers," and in many cottage gardens a row
of queerly shaped hives stand in sunny nooks.
These monks were the model farmers of those
days, and their abbeys were fine farms. One had
twenty piggeries, of three hundred pigs each, in its
forests. The monks also reared sheep and horses,
and bred fish in their ponds.
Many were also brewers, weavers, carpenters, and
so on. Evidently they lived up to their motto and







SHA WL-STRAPS.


labored quite as much as they prayed, and doubtless
were saved by works as well as by faith.
The little Place Du Guesclin, with a stumpy
statue of the famous knight in the middle and
chestnut trees all around, was a favorite resting
place of the ladies. Especially when the weekly
fair was held and booths of all sorts were raised al
one end. Here Amanda bought a remarkable jack.
knife, which would cut nothing but her fingers:
Matilda speculated in curious kinds of cake; one
sort being made into gigantic jumbles so light that
they did excellently for grace-hoops; another sort
being used by these vandals as catch-alls, so deep
and tough were they. Lavinia examined the va-
rious fabrics, and got bits of linen as samples, also
queer earthen pots and pans impossible to carry
away.
The church of St. Sauveur, a dim and ancient
little place with Du Guesclin's heart buried by the
side of his wife, was another haunt. The castle,
now a prison, contained the arm-chair in which
Duchess Anne sat, and the dungeons where were
crammed two thousand English prisoners of war in
the last century. The view from the platform of







BRITTANY.


tne keep was magnificent, extending to Mont Do.
and the distant sea.
The sunny promenade on the fosse, that goer
half round the town, was very charming, with the
old gray walls on one side, and, on the other, the
green valley with its luxuriant gardens, and leafy
lanes, winding up to the ruined chateau, or the
undulating hills with picturesque windmills whirling
on the heights.
On the other side of the town, from the high
gardens of the church, one looked down into the
deeper valley of the Rance, with the airy viaduct
striding from hill to hill, and the old part of the
town nestling at its base.
Soft and summery, fertile and reposeful, was the
scene; and the busy peasants at their work added
to the charm. Pretty English children with Breton
nurses, each in the costume of her native town,
played under the lindens all abloom with odorous
flowers and alive with bees. Workmen came to
these green places to eat the black bread and drink
the thin wine that was all their dinner. Invalids
strolled here after their baths at the little house in
the rose-garden below. Pretty girls walked there







SHA WL-STRAPS.


m the twilight with long-haired lovers in knee
breeches and round hats. Nuns in their gray
gowns went to and fro from hospital and the insane
asylum or charity school; and the beautiful old priest
sometimes went feebly by smiling paternally on his
flock, who rose and uncovered reverently as he
passed.
Flowers were everywhere, in the gardens of the
rich, at the windows of the poor. The stalls in the
market were gay with plumy lilacs, splendid tulips,
roses of every shade, and hyacinths heavy with odor.
All along the borders of the river waved the blos-
soming grass; every green bank about the mills at
Lehon was yellow with dandelions, and the sunny
heads of little children welcoming the flower of the
poor. Even the neglected churchyard of the ruined
abbey, where the tombs of the stately Beaumanoirs
still stand, was bright with cheerful daisies and
blue-eyed forget-me-nots.
The willows in the valley were covered with
fragrant tassels, and the old women and children
sat all day on door-stones and by the wayside
stripping the long, white wands for basket-making.
Flax fields were blooming in the meadows, and








BRITTANY. 67

acres of buckwheat, with its rosy steins and snowy
blossoms, whitened the uplands with a fair prophecy
of bread for all.
So, garlanded about with early flowers and painted
in spring's softest, freshest colors, Brittany remains
for ever a pleasant picture in the memory of those
who have been welcomed to its hospitable homes,
and found friends among its brave and loyal people.













ill.

FRANCE.

" IRLS, I have had a scintillation in the night:
listen and approve!" said Amanda, coming
into the room where her comrades sat upon the
floor, in the first stages of despair, at the impossi-
bility of getting the accumulated rubbish of three
months' travel into a couple of immense trunks.
"Blessed girl! you always bring a ray of light
just at the darkest moment," returned Lavinia, with
a sigh of relief, while Matilda looked over a barricade
of sketch-books bristling with paint-brushes, and
added anxiously,--
"If you could suggest how I am to work this
miracle, you will be a public benefactor."
Behold the amendment I propose," began
Amanda, perching herself on one of the arks. "We
have decided to travel slowly and comfortably,
through Fiance to Switzerland, stopping where we
like, and staying as long as we please at any place








FRANCE.


we fancy, being as free as air, and having all the
world before us where to choose, as it were."
"The route you have laid out is a charming one,
and I don't see how you can improve it," said Lavi-
nia, who, though she was supposed to be the matron,
guide, and protector of the younger girls, was in
reality nothing but a dummy, used for Mrs. Grundy's
sake, and let the girls do just as they pleased, only
claiming the right to groan and moan as much as
she liked when neuralgia, her familiar demon,
claimed her for its own.
"One improvement remains to be made. Are
these trunks a burden, a vexation of spirit, a curse ? "
demanded Amanda, tapping one with her carefully
cherished finger-tips.
"They are! they are groaned the others,
regarding the monsters with abhorrence.
Then let us get rid of them, and set out with no
luggage but a few necessaries in a shawl-strap."
"We will! we will!" returned the chorus.
Shall we burn up our rubbish, or give it away ?"
asked Lavinia, who liked energetic measures, and
was ready to cast her garments to the four winds of
heaven, to save herself from the agonies of packing.








70 SHAWVL-STRAPS.

I shall never give up my pictures, nor mq
boots!" cried Matilda, gathering her idols to he
breast in a promiscuous heap.
"Be calm and listen," returned the scintillator.
"Pack away all but the merest necessaries, and we
will send the trunk by express to Lyons. Then
with our travelling-bags and bundles, we can follow
at our leisure."
"'Tis well! 'tis well!" replied the chorus, and
they all returned to their packing, which was per-
formed in the most characteristic manner.
Amanda never seemed to have any clothes, yet
was always well and appropriately dressed; so it
did not take her long to lay a few garments, a book
or two, a box of Roman-coin lockets, scarabse
brooches, and cinque-cento rings, likewise a swell hat
and habit, into her vast trunk; then lock and label
it in the most business-like and thorough manner.
Matilda found much difficulty in reconciling paint-
pots and silk gowns, blue hats and statuary, French
boots and Yankee notions. But order was at length
produced from chaos, and the young lady refreshed
her weary soul by painting large red M's all ovei
the trunk to mark it for her own.








FRANCE.


Miss Lavinia packed and repacked four or five
times, forgetting needfuls, which, of course, were
always at the very bottom. At the fifth plunge into
the depths her patience gave out, and with a vow to
be a slave no longer to her treacherous memory, she
tumbled every thing in, performed a solemn jig on
the lid till it locked, then pasted large, but illegible
placards in every available spot, and rested from her
labors with every nerve in a throbbing condition.
Shawl-straps of the largest, strongest sort were
next procured, and the three bundles made up with
much discussion and merriment.
Into Amanda's went a volume of Shakspeare of
great size and weight, but as indispensable as a
tooth-brush to its owner; toilet-articles tied up in a
handkerchief, a few necessary garments, and much
paper,- for Amanda was inspired with poetic fire
at unexpected moments, also had five hundred
bosom friends, in answering whose epistolary gush-
ings much stationery was consumed. A pistol, a
massive crust of bread, and an oval box containing
all the dainty appliances for the culture, preserva-
tion, and ornamentation of the finger-nails, made up
her store.








SHA WL-STRAPS.


Matilda's bundle consisted of sketch-books, a
trifle of haberdashery, a curling-stick that was
always tumbling out at inopportune moments, yards
of blue ribbon, and a camp-stool strapped outside in
company) with a Japanese umbrella, a gift from the
stout doctor, destined to be cursed in many languages
by the unhappy beings into whose backs, eyes, and
stomachs it was poked before its wanderings ended.
Lavinia confined herself to a choice collection of
bottles and pill-boxes, fur boots, a gray cloud, and
several French novels, the solace of wakeful nights.
A scarlet army blanket, with U. S. in big black
letters on it, enveloped her travelling medicine-chest,
and lent a cheerful air to the sombre spinster, whose
black attire and hoarse voice made the sobriquet
of Raven most appropriate.
With these imposing bundles in one hand, little
pouches slung over the shoulder, plain travelling-
suits, subdued hats, and resolute but benign coun-
tenances, our three errant damsels set forth one
bright June day, to wander through France at their
own sweet will. Not a fear assailed them; for all
men were civil, all women friendly, and the world
wore its sunniest aspect. Not a doubt perplexed








FRANCE.


them; for the gifted Amanda spoke many tongues,
understood all sorts of money, could grapple suc-
cessfully with Murray and Bradshaw, and never got
into the wrong corporation when she traced a route
with unerring accuracy through the mysteries of an
Indicator. No lord and master, in the shape of
brother, spouse, or courier, ordered their outgoing
and incoming; but liberty the most entire was
theirs, and they enjoyed it heartily. Wisely and
well too; for, though off the grand route, they
behaved themselves in public as decorously as if the
eyes of all prim Boston were upon them, and proved
by their triumphant success, that the unprotected
might go where they liked, if they conducted them-
selves with the courtesy and discretion of gentle-
women.
How pleasant were the early sail down the Rance
from Dinan to St. Malo, the comfortable breakfast in
the flowery little court of Hotel Franklin, and the
stroll afterward about the quaint old town, looking
at the churches, buying fruit, and stoutly resisting
the temptations of antique jewelry displayed in the
dingy shops! Lavinia never forgave herself, how-
ever, for not securing a remarkable watch, and








SHA WL-STRAPS.


Amanda sighed months afterward for a Breton
collar and cross of charming antiquity and ugliness.
Matilda boldly planted her camp-stool, unfurled
her umbrella, and, undaunted by the crowd of round-
capped, blue-bloused, wooden-shoed children about
her, began to draw the church.
"I intend to study architecture, and to sketch all
the cathedrals we see," said the ardent art-student,
struggling manfully with the unruly umbrella, the
unsavory odors from the gutter, and the garrulous
crowd leaning over her shoulder, peering under her
hat-brim, and examining all her belongings with a
confiding freedom rather embarrassing.
"Do you know what impertinent things these
little scamps are saying to you?" asked Amanda,
pausing in a lecture on surface drainage which she
was delivering to Lavinia, who was vainly struggling
to cram a fat wine bottle, a cabbage leaf of straw-
berries, and some remarkable cakes into the lunch-
basket.
"No: I don't; and that is the advantage of not
knowing any language but my own," complacently
replied Matilda, who considered all study but that
of art, as time wasted, and made her small store of








FRANCE.


French answer admirably, by talking very loud and
fast, and saying, Oui, oui, oui," on all occasions
with much gesticulation, and bows and smiles of
great suavity and sweetness.
Clear out this rabble, or come back to the hotel
and wait for the bus. We shall have the whole
town round us soon, and 1 can't stand it," said
Amanda, who had no romantic admiration for the
Great Unwashed.
"You think I can't do it? Voila/" and, rising
suddenly to an unexpected height, Matilda waved
the umbrella like a baton, cried Allez!" in a stern
voice, and the children fled like chaff before the
wind.
"You see how little is needed, so don't vex me
with learning your old verbs any more!" and
Matilda closed her book with an air of calm satis-
faction.
Come home and rest. It is so warm here I am
fairly melted," prayed Lavinia, who had been long-
ing for summer, and of course, was not suited when
she got it.
"Now, do remember one thing: don't let us be
gregarious. We never know who we may pick up








SHA WL-STRAPS.


if we talk to people; and stray acquaintances are
sad bores sometimes. Granny is such a cross old
dear she won't say a word to any one if she can help
it; but you, Mat, can't be trusted if we meet any
one who talks English. So be on your guard, or
the peace of this party is lost," said Amanda,
impressively.
"We are not likely to meet any but natives in
this wilderness; so don't excite yourself, Mandy,
dear," replied Matilda, who, being of a social turn
and an attractive presence, was continually making
friends, to the great annoyance of her more prudent
comrades.
In the flowery court-yard sat the group that one
meets everywhere on the Continent, even in the
wilds of Brittany. The father and mother stout,
tired, and rather subdued by the newness of things;
the son, Young America personified, loud, impor-
tant, and inquisitive; the daughter, pretty, affected,
and over-dressed.; all on the lookout for adventures
and titles, fellow-countrymen to impress, and for-
eigners eager to get the better of them.
Seeing the peril from afar, Amanda buried her-
self in Murray, to read up the tomb of Chateau.








FRANCE.


briand, the tides, population, and any other useful
bit of history; for Amanda was a thrifty soul, and
Gathered honey all the day,
From every opening flower."
Lavinia, finding the court damp, shrouded herself
in the gray cloud, put her feet on the red bundle,
and fortified herself with a Turner's pill.
But Matilda, guileless girl, roamed to and fro,
patted the horses at the gate, picked flowers that no
French hand would have dared to touch, and
studied the effect of light and shade on the red head
of the gargon, who gazed sentimentally at the
blonde Mees,'" as he artlessly watered the wine for
dinner.
The Americans had their eye upon her, and felt
that, though the others might be forbidding English
women, this one could be made to talk. So they
pounced upon their prey, to the dismay of her mates,
and proceeded to ask fifty questions to the minute.
Poor Mat, glad to hear the sound of her native
tongue, fell into the snare, and grew more confiding
every moment.
"She is telling the family history," whispered
Lavinia, in a tone of despair.








SHA WT-STRAPS.


"Now they are asking where we came from,"
added Amanda, casting dow n her book in agony.
Wink at her," sighed Lavinia.
"Call to her,2' groaned Amanda, as they heard
their treasured secret betrayed, and the enemy
clamoring for further information about this charm-
ing trip.
"Matilda! bring me my shawl," commanded the
Dowager.
"Come and see if you don't think we had better
go direct to Tours," said the wary Amanda, hoping
to put the enemy off the track.
The victim came, and vials of wrath were poured
upon her head in one unceasing flow till the omnibus
started, and the ladies were appeased by finding that
the enemy did not follow.
Promise that you won't talk to any but natives,
or I decline to lead this expedition," said Amanda
firmly.
"I promise," returned Mat, with penitent meek-
ness.
Now we've got her!" croaked the Raven; "foi
she will have to learn French or hold her tongue."
"The language of the eye remains to me, and ]







FRANCE.


am a proficient in that, ma'am," said Mat, roused by
those efforts to deny her the right of free speech.
You are welcome to it, dear," and Amanda
departed to buy tickets and despatch the trunks,
with secret misgivings that they would never be
found again.
Now we are fairly started, with no more weigh-
ing of luggage, fussing over checks, or packing of
traps to afflict us. What a heavenly sense of free-
dom it gives one, to have nothing but an indepen-
dent shawl-strap," said Matilda, as they settled
themselves in a vacant car, and stowed away the
bundles.
What a jolly day that was to be sure! Whether
it was the air, the good coffee, or the liberty, certain
it is that three merrier maids never travelled from
St. Malo to Le Mans on a summer's day. Even the
Raven forgot her woes, and became so exhilarated
that she smashed her bromide bottle out of the win-
dow, declaring herself cured, and tried to sing
Hail Columbia," in a voice like an asthmatic bag-
pipe.
Mat amused herself and her comrades by picking
up the different articles that kept tumbling down or







SHA WL-STRAPR


her head from her badly built bundle; while Amanda
scintillated to such an extent that the others laughed
themselves into hysterics, and lay exhausted, prone
upon the seats.
They ate, drank, sung, gossiped, slept, read, and
revelled, till another passenger got in, when pro
priety clothed them as with a garment, and the
mirthful damsels became three studious statues.
The new-comer was a little priest; so rosy and
young that they called him the Reverend Boy."
He seemed rather dismayed, at first; but, finding
the ladies silent and demure, he took heart and read
diligently in a dingy little prayer-book, stealing shy
glances now and then from under his broad-brimmed
hat at Amanda's white hands, or Matilda's yellow
locks, as if these vanities of the flesh had not quite
lost their charms for him. By and by he fell asleep,
and leaned in his corner, making quite a pretty pic-
ture; for the ugly hat was off, his boyish face as
placid as a child's, his buckled shoes, and neat black-
stockinged legs stretched comfortably out, his plump
hands folded over the dingy book, and the little
bonds lay peacefully on his breast.
He was quite at their mercy now; so the three








FRANCE.


women looked as much as they liked, wondering if
the poor dear boy was satisfied with the life he had
chosen, and getting tenderly pitiful over the losses
he might learn to regret when it was too late. His
dreams seemed to be pleasant ones, however, for
once he laughed a blithe, boyish laugh, good to
hear; and when he woke, he rubbed his blue eyes
and stared about, smiling like a newly roused baby.
He got out all too soon, was joined by several
other clerical youths, and disappeared with much
touching of big beavers, and wafting of cassocks.
Innocent, reverend little boy! I wonder what
became of him, and hope his sleep is as quiet now as
then, his awakening as happy as it seemed that
summer day.
Six o'clock saw our damsels at Le Mans; and,
after dinner, a sunset walk took them to the grand
old cathedral, where they wandered till moonrise.
Pure Gothic of the twelfth century, rich in stained
glass, carved screens, tombs of kings and queens,
dim little chapels, where devout souls told their
beads before shadowy pictures of saints and martyrs,
while over all the wonderful arches seemed to soar,
one above the other, light and graceful as the natu







SHA WL-STRAPS.


ral curves of drooping branches, or the rise and fah
of some great fountain.
"We shall not see any thing finer than this, I'm
sure. It's a perfect revelation to me," said Matilda,
in a calm rapture at the beauty all about her.
"This is a pious-feeling church, and I could say
my prayers here with all my soul; for it seems as if
the religion of centuries had got built into it," added
Lavinia, thinking of the ugly imitations at home.
"You will both turn Catholic before we get
through," prophesied Amanda, retiring to study the
tomb of Berengaria, Ceur de Lion's wife.
The square before the hotel was gay with a
market, many soldiers lounging about, and flocks
of people eating ices before the cafes. The ladies
enjoyed it from the balcony, and then slumbered
peacefully in a great room with three alcoves, much
muslin drapery, and a bowl and pitcher like a good-
sized cup and saucer.
Another look at the cathedral in the early morn-
ing, and then away to Tours, which place they found
a big, clean, handsome city, all astir for the 'Fte-
Dicu.
"We will stay over Sunday and see it," was the








FRANCE.


general vote as the trio headed for the great church,
and, catching sight of it, they subsided into a seat
by the fountain opposite, and sat looking silently at
the magnificent pile.
How strangely impressive and eloquent it was!
' he evening red touched its gray towers with a
mellow light, like sunshine on a venerable head.
Lower down, flights of rooks circled round the fretted
niches, quaint windows, and grotesque gargoyles,
while the great steps below, swarmed with priests
and soldiers, gay strangers and black-robed nuns,
children and beggars.
For an hour our pilgrims sat and studied the
wonderful facade, or walked round the outside,
examining the rich carvings that covered every inch
of the walls. Twilight fell before they had thought
of entering, and feeling that they had seen enough
for that night, they went thoughtfully home to
dream of solemn shadows and saintly faces, for the
cathedral haunted them still.
Next day was spent in viewing Charlemagne's
Tower, and seeing the grand procession in honor of
the day. The streets were hung with garlands, gay
tapestries and banners, strewn with fresh boughs,







SHA WL-STRAPS.


and lined with people in festival array. As the
procession passed, women ran out and scattered
rose-leaves before it, and one young mother set her
blooming baby on a heap of greenery in the middle
of the street, leaving it there, that the Holy Ghost
under its canopy might pass over it. A pretty sight,
the rosy little creature smiling in the sunshine as it
sat playing with its own blue shoes, while the golden
pageant went by; the chanting priests stepping
carefully, and looking down with sudden benignity
in their tired faces as the holy shadow fell on the
bright head, making baby blessed and saved for
ever in its pious mother's eyes.
A great band played finely, scarlet soldiers fol.
lowed, then the banners of patron saints were borne
by children. Saint Agnes and'her lamb led a troop
of pretty little girls carrying tall, white lilies, filling
the air with their sweetness. Mary, Our Mother,
was followed by many orphans with black rit bone
crossed over the young hearts that had lost so much.
Saint Martin led the charity boys in purple suits of
just the color of the mantle he was dividing with
the beggar on the banner. A pleasant emblem of
the charitable cloak that covers so many.







FRANCE.


Priests in full splendor paced solemnly along with
censers swinging, candles flickering, sweet-voiced
boys singing, and hundreds kneeling as they passed.
Most impressive figures, unless one caught a glimpse
of something comically human to disturb the effect
of the heavenly pageant. Lavinia had an eye for
the ludicrous, and though she dropped a tear over
the orphans, and with difficulty resisted a strong
desire to catch and kiss the pretty baby, she scan-
dalized her neighbors by laughing outright the next
minute. A particularly portly, pious-looking priest,
who was marching with superb dignity, and chant-
ing like a devout bumble-bee, suddenly mislaid his
temper, and injured the effect by boxing a charity
boy's ears with his gilded missal, and then capped
the climax by taking a pinch of snuff with a sono-
rous satisfaction that convulsed the heretic.
The afternoon was spent in the church, wandering
to and fro, each alone study and enjoy in her own
way. Matilda lost her head entirely, and had silent
raptures over the old pictures. Amanda said her
prayers, looked up her dates, and imparted her facts
in a proper and decorous manner, while Lavinia
went Ut and down, finding for herself little pictures







SHA WL-STRAPS.


not painted by hands, and reading histories more
interesting to her than those of saints and martyrs.
In one dim chapel, with a single candle lighting
up the divine sorrow of the Mater Dolorosa, knelt a
woman in deep black, weeping and praying all alone.
In another flowery nook dedicated to the Infant
Jesus, a peasant girl was telling her beads over the
baby asleep in her lap; her sunburnt face refined
and beautified by the tenderness of mother-love. In
a third chapel a pale, wasted, old man sat propped
in a chair, while his rosy old wife prayed heartily to
St. Gratien, the patron saint of the church, for the
recovery of her John Anderson. And most striking
of all, was a dark, handsome young man, well-dressed
and elegant, who was waiting at the door of a con-
fessional with some great trouble in his face, as he
muttered and crossed himself, while his haggard
eyes were fixed on the benignant figure of St. Fran-
cis, as if asking himself if it were possible for him
also, to put away the pleasant sins and follies of the
world, and lead a life like that which embalms the
memory of that good man.
"If we don't go away to-morrow we never shall,
tbr this church will bewitch us, and make it impos-








FRANCE.


sible to leave," said Amanda, when at length they
tore themselves away.
"I give up trying to sketch cathedrals. It can't
be done, and seems impious to try," said Matilda,
quite exhausted by something deeper than pleas-
ure.
"I think the 'Reminiscences of a Rook' would
make a capital story. They are long-lived birds,
and could tell tales of the past that would entirely
eclipse our modern rubbish," said Lavinia, taking a
last look at the solemn towers, and the shadowy
birds that had haunted them for ages.
The ladies agreed to be off early in the morning,
that they might reach Amboise in time for the
eleven o'clock breakfast. Amanda was to pay the
bill, and to make certain inquiries at the office;
Mat to fly out and do a trifle of shopping; while
Lavinia packed up the bundles and mounted guard
over them. They separated, but in half an hour all
met again, not in their room according to agree-
ment, but before the cathedral, which all had decided
not to revisit on any account.
Matilda was there first, and as each of the others
came stealing round the corner, she greeted them







SHA WL-STRAPs.


with a laugh, in which all joined after the first sur.
prise was over.
"I told you it would bewitch us," said Amanda;
and then all took a farewell look, which lasted so
long they had to rush back to the hotel in most
unseemly haste.
"Now uo fresh chateaux and churches new," sang
Lavinia, as they rolled away on the fourth stage of
their summer journey. A very short stage it was,
and soon they were in an entirely new scene, for
Amboise was a little, old-time village on the banks
of the Loire, looking as if it had been asleep for a -
hundred years. The Lion d'Or was a quaint place,
so like the inns described in French novels, that one
kept expecting to see some of Dumas' heroes come
dashing up, all boots, plumes, and pistols, with a
love-letter for some court beauty in the castle on
the hill beyond.
Queer galleries and stairs led up outside the house
to the rooms above. The salle-d-manger was across
a court, and every dish came from a kitchen round
the corner. The garcon a beaming, ubiquitous crea-
ture, trotted perpetually, diving down steps, darting
into dark corners, or skipping up ladders, producing




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