Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Three Friends
 At School
 Life At School
 The Sister of Mercy
 Frederick the Great's Cook
 The Duty
 Ruth and Her Silk-Worms
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: The three friends : and other select stories for the young : with illustrations.
Title: The three friends
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024381/00001
 Material Information
Title: The three friends and other select stories for the young : with illustrations
Physical Description: 4, 120, 8 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Nimmo, William Philip, 1831-1883 ( Publisher )
Laplante, Charles, d. 1903 ( Engraver )
Bayard, Émile Antoine, 1837-1891 ( Illustrator )
James Ballantyne and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: William P. Nimmo
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Manufacturer: Ballantyne and Company
Publication Date: 1870
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1870   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1870   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
England -- London
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Laplante after Emile Bayard.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00024381
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238535
notis - ALH9051
oclc - 57195630

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Title Page
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Table of Contents
        Page 11
        Page 12
    List of Illustrations
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The Three Friends
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    At School
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Life At School
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The Sister of Mercy
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Frederick the Great's Cook
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    The Duty
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Ruth and Her Silk-Worms
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Back Matter
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Back Cover
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
Full Text
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THE THREE FRIENDSAND OTHERtIdti itoris for ite noulng.With Illustqations.EDINBURGHWILLIAM P. N I M MO.1870.



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THE THREE FRIENDS.CHAPTER I.-HOME-LIFE.UCILE LAPORTE, Sarah Verneuil, andClemence Villement were united in theclosest bonds of friendship, and in theseminary where they were educated they went bythe name of the Inseparables.Lucile was a poor sickly child, whose delicatehealth caused her parents much anxiety. Herfather, who loved her tenderly, never allowed herto be contradicted in the slightest thing, and thephysician having declared that all work was pre-judicial to her health, little Lucile did very much asshe pleased.Mr Laporte, who was a rich wool merchant, livedin a large substantial house, which stood in theVOL. VII. A

2THE THREE FRIENDS.middle of an enclosure on the banks of a beautifulriver. Here, in the month of June, a number ofwomen washed the fleeces of wool in large baskets,which they plunged into the water, and afterwardsspread them out on sheets in the enclosure to dry.Lucile was a great favourite with all the workers,over whom she exercised a certain sway, owing to herready sympathy for these poor women.If they had a favour to ask, or any claims to make,she was always entrusted with the message to herfather, who never could refuse her anything.She frequently accompanied them when, after theday's toil was over, they returned to their homes tomake ready the evening repast. She assisted inspreading the cover outside; for, at this period, allthe inhabitants of the Faubourg supped in the openair; and this little girl, who, when seated at herfather's sumptuously-spread table, would seldom tasteher food, ate with apparent relish the coarse farewhich was offered her with so much cordiality onthose occasions. In return, she would ask hermamma for the remainder of the dessert, whichshe laid aside for the children of her poorer neigh-bours, whose homes she entered at all hours, to seeif they had need of anything, in which case she spared

THE THREE FRIENDS.3neither her own nor her father's purse in order toprocure it.Although Lucile had not learned the usual branchesof education taught to children of her age, she wasnot by any means devoid of knowledge. Besidesobserving attentively all that passed around her, shelistened to the conversation that took place at herfather's table, and in this way she gained a good dealof information; for Mr Laporte, who was frequentlyobliged to travel on business matters, had alwayssomething to relate about the countries he hadvisited, and was never tired answering the child'sendless questions. Finally, Lucile passed a goodpart of the day beside Sister Blanchard, a poor nunwhom her father had rescued from the gloom of theconvent, and who kept a little school in a retiredcomer of the house. There the little girl learned toread, the only thing, with the catechism and prayers,the good nun could teach her.Lucile, who was passionately fond of reading,especially poetry, read and re-read a volume ofRacine so often that she knew the two tragedies itcontained by heart. She recited the principalpieces very well, although certainly she did not feelall their beauties. Every one was surprised to see

4THE THREE FRIENDS.this pale and. delicate child become so impassionedon such occasions.Poor Lucile was very plain-looking, and peoplehad thoughtlessly spoken of it before her, which hadthe effect of developing in the child great mistrust andsusceptibility of character, which sometimes amountedto suffering. Her parents, who were tenderly attachedto her, took great care never to hurt her feelings;but, notwithstanding, she could never believe thata daughter like her could ever flatter their self-love.Mr Villement, one of the wealthiest proprietors inthe neighbourhood, had often occasion to call on MrLaporte on business. In his frequent visits to themerchant, he had remarked little Lucile, whose quickintelligence pleased him exceedingly. He spoke ofher to his sister, who had lived with him since hiswife's death, as a charming companion for hisdaughter Clemence, then about twelve. years ofage; but the old lady objected to the proposal onthe ground of the child's inferior position. MrVillement, paying no attention to his sister's scruples,obtained Mr Laporte's promise to bring Lucile withhim the next time he came to the castle. Not, how-ever, without some opposition on the part of his wife,

THE THREE FRIENDS.5who, like a prudent woman, thought it better thateach should remain in her own sphere.The day when Lucile went toVillement, her mammadressed her with the greatest care; she made herturn round and round, in order to see that every-thing was as it ought to be. The poor lady, know-ing that her little girl would be much impressed witheverything at the castle, feared she would feel herown inferiority. She gave her plenty good advice,and told her to pay particular attention to all thatwas said to her.The merchant and his daughter were warmly re-ceived at the castle. Lucile at first was rather shy,but she very soon recovered her equanimity, andreplied with uncommon presence of mind to thenumerous questions Miss Villement put to her.Clemence and she were soon great friends. Theformer, naturally indolent, and completely isolatedfrom children of her own age, was quite charmedwith the vivacity and winning manners of her newcompanion. After having rambled over the parktogether, the little girls were as'intimate as if theyhad known each other for years.On her return home, Lucile spoke to her mammamuch about Clemence, of the kind welcome she had

6THE THREE FRIENDS.received, and the pressing invitation from all the familyto repeat her visit very soon again. Mrs Laporte onlyshook her head in reply, although at the same timeshe felt flattered by the honour done to her daughter."But, dear mamma, one would think you were not.satisfied with our reception," said Lucile."It is not that, my child; I am quite satisfied onthat point; but I grieve to see this intimacy betweenyou and Miss Villenient.""And why, then, mamma dear ? If you only knewwhat a charming creature she is.""I do not doubt it, but you are not on the samefooting in society, and that friendship may yet causeyou more pain than pleasure."Lucile was much struck with her mamma's words,which she never forgot. However, in spite of all herobjections, Mrs Laporte allowed her to go to Ville-ment frequently during the two years that precededher departure for school.Her education had to be attended to at last; andwhen Lucile was thirteen years of age, her' mammaplaced her in Mrs Lasneau's seminary, which hadbeen highly recommended to'her by a friend.At Villement, Lucile became acquainted with SarahVerneuil, the granddaughter of one of Mr Villement's

THE THREE FRIENDS.7tenants. This little girl was only ten years old whenher father, an officer in the artillery, was seized with ahopeless decline. His wife, much alarmed, consultedtheir physician, who assured her that a milder climatewould considerably alleviate his sufferings. Accord-ingly she took him to the south of France, where theinvalid for a time felt much better; but soon hewearied of his sojourn there, and insisted upon goingto Italy, when he visited Rome and Florence; thenhe spoke of nothing but Switzerland, feeling sure thatthe mild mountain air would re-establish his health.They hastened thitherward, but here the poor manwas no better. Feeling his end approaching, he wasfilled with an intense longing to see his native landonce more. His strength gradually declined, and afew days after his arrival at home, he died, leavinghis wife and daughter almost penniless.Sarah, their only child, was her father's joy. Sheaccompanied him in all his walks, and he conversedwith her in a style far beyond her years, which hadthe effect of developing her intelligence. Mr Ver-neuil lost no opportunity of instructing his littledaughter. On the shores of the Mediterranean, hetaught her the history and geography of the surround-ing countries. In Italy, he made her sing and draw;

8TTHE THREE FRIENDS.and during their sojourn in Switzerland, he amusedher with botany and natural history. Whilst there,they would set off in the mornings in search of somebeautiful site for Sarah to sketch. On such occasions,he would converse with her about the power andgoodness of God, and spoke with calm resignation ofhis approaching end. The child was thus prepared,.by-his instruction, to be content with little in this life,and to hope for much in the world to come.After her husband's death Mrs Verneuil returnedto Villement, and along with Sarah, took up herabode with Mrs Lenoir, her mother. The terribleshock she had sustained proved too much for her,and from the day he died, she declined with nospecific malady, and gradually sunk till death closedher earthly scene. Before her decease she entreatedher mother to give Sarah a good education, whichwould prove a blessing to her in the future.Sarah, already much shaken by the recent deathof her beloved father, was quite overwhelmed by thisnew loss. Her grandmamma, who could not thinkof sending her away from home just yet, allowed herto wander all day in the woods and meadows. Oftenwas she seen seated by the brook, watching the fleet-ing clouds, and listening to the murmur of the

IHE THREE FRIENDS.9water, whilst her face was bathed in tears; but, onre-entering the house, she concealed her grief for fearof vexing her grandmamma.A few months after, when Sarah had recovered alittle from this terrible shock, she occupied herself inhousehold matters, such as assisting Mrs Lenoir inthe superintendence of the dairy and poultry-yard.Clemence, who frequently met her in her walks, tookher to the castle, where she was well received by MissVillement, who thought her society might be bene-ficial to her niece. This friendship, considerablylessened the bitter grief which filled Sarah's heart,without, however, dispelling it altogether. At thistime, she also became acquainted with Lucile Laporte,and thus a year passed rapidly away.She was now nearly fourteen, and as her judgmentwas more developed than that of most young girlsat her age, Sarah recalled to her grandmamma hermamma's last words, and begged of her to sendher to school beside her dear Lucile.Clemence Villement had no recollection of hermamma, whom she had lost a few years after herbirth. Miss Olive Villement, her father's sister, hadgiven up all thoughts of marriage, in order to acceptthe direction of his household affairs, together with

IO THE THREE FRIENDS.the care and education of her niece. This lady wasa very austere, practical person, with a cold, reservedmanner, which awoke no sympathy, and she lovedno one in the world save Clemence. The child'seducation savoured of this rigidity, which suppressedall emotions. In a manner, imprisoned in thecastle, which she seldom quitted without her aunt,she never made a single gesture, never spoke a singleword, that had not been dictated by the old lady.When eleven years old she was very tall and beauti-ful. Her indolent nature agreed very well with thisprogramme, which, having an article for every hourof the day, dispensed with all wish or will of her own.She learnt very little during the first part of herchildhood, which was mostly passed in hearing piouslegends, or rather, the noble deeds done by theVillements. This had the effect of engendering morepride than was natural to her heart, generous by nature.Often would this goodness of heart try to make itselfmanifest, but the old lady suppressed all its emotions,thinking it a sign of weakness to give way to the mostamiable and natural feelings. For example, shescolded her niece severely one day on seeing herreturn home with neither shoes nor stockings& Thechild having met a poor little beggar girl, had taken

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THE THREE FRIENDS.I3them off and given them to her, and then broughther to the castle and loaded her with no end of goodthings.Poor Clemence was leading a very quiet, uncon-ventional life when she became acquainted withLucile Laporte. The following year Sarah went toreside with her grandmamma, who lived in a prettyfarm-house not far from the castle; and Clemencealso made her acquaintance.Sarah, who had travelled a good deal, often spokeenthusiastically about Switzerland, which inspiredClelrTnce with the desire to see this beautifulcountry. She gave her papa no peace till he pro-mised to spend the following summer there.On their return home, towards the end of autumn,Clemence took an early opportunity of calling onSarah, to speak to her of Switzerland and all that shehad seen; but, alas! Sarah was gone-her grand-mamma had sent her to school."Dear aunty," said Clemence, one day shortlyafter, "I am quite ashamed of my ignorance; so doask papa to send me to school beside Sarah !""What an idea, child !" exclaimed the old lady,staring at her in blank astonishment; "a young ladyin your station never goes to school."

14 THE THREE FRIENDS.Clemence, always very submissive, made no reply.Some days after, she asked her papa to take her tocall on Lucile, hoping to prevail on her to come andspend a few weeks at the castle. What was her sur-prise on learning Lucile was beside Sarah at school!On returning home, she implored Mr Villement toreunite her to her two friends, which he at last con-sented to do; arid a month later she was installed inMrs Lasneau's establishment.CHAPTER II.-AT SCHOOL.THREE years had passed away. Sarah was noweighteen, Clemence seventeen, and Lucile sixteen.It was a beautiful morning in May when, break-fast being over, the pupils, before commencingtheir studies, were assembled in the large school-room, as usual, for prayers. The exercises-whichwere conducted by Miss Amaury, one of theassistant-teachers-were already begun, when thedoor opened, and Mrs Lasneau entered. Her un-expected appearance caused great consternationamongst the pupils, for Madame was only visible onvery solemn occasions.This lady was formerly a nun of the Christian

TH E THREE IFRIENDS.I5Union, an order who devoted themselves to theeducation of young girls. After leaving the conventwhere she had been for many years, she established aschool, in spite of the difficulty of the times, andadmitted as assistants the Misses Amaury,-threesisters well qualified for the task.Although very aged, and in delicate health, MrsLasneau governed her house with a firm hand, andwas feared afd respected by all the pupils, who veryrarely saw her. Her presence was always the presageof some great event. She took her place in themiddle of the room, and, after the prayer was over,made a sign for the pupils to remain in their places." My dear children," said she, in a slow and gravevoice, "a theft has been committed in this house,and I need not tell you how it grieves me to say it.Some one has stolen a purse of money from one ofyour companions. The child has made no complaint,only she was surprised to find it away from the placewhere she had laid it, and her surprise has not escapedour notice; for, children, remember our eye, likethat of God's, is continually upon you."The pupil who has committed this theft is surelynot aware of the enormity of her fault-sad conse-quence of the small attention she pays to the religious

r6 THE THREE FRIENDS.instruction she receives here. How can a youngperson, well brought up, as you all are, degradeherself to such an extent? Within the last twentyyears this is the first time such a thing has happenedin my house."I do not wish to know the culprit, as I would beunder the painful necessity of expelling her, and whHcan tell what would become of her! Here, at least,she will get a good example set her. To your knees,girls and let us pray to God to have mercy on thispoor wandering sheep, and to bring her to repent-ance."The prayer finished, she added:"Like me, children, do not try to discover theculprit"Then she went slowly out of the room.The pupils, who had hardly dared to lift their eyesduring this admonition, commenced to disperse intogroups. One young girl, about fifteen years old,alone continued to pray, but no one seemed to noticeher. After a great deal of whispering had takenplace, most of them left the school-room.Clemence and Lucile retired to the drawing-room,which communicated with the school-room by a glassdoor.

THE THREE FRIENDS.I7" Have you any idea who it can be?" askedClemence."No. I never dared lift my eyes during Madame'sdiscourse, for fear of adding to the culprit's con-fusion.""Just look before you, at the foot of the school-room."And she pointed to the pale young girl."Endora !" cried Lucile; "is it possible ? I couldnever have believed her capable of such baseness.Sarah is already beside her. Noble girl! she isalways on the spot when there is a tear to dry or aheart to comfort. O Clemence! what an exampleshe sets us, and how small we feel beside her !""What, Lucile, do you approve of it?""I do more, Clemence; I admire such conduct.""All right! But as for me, I would not eventouch the culprit's hand, for fear of encouraging her.""We ought to shun the sin, but not the sinner;and we ought not to confound the one with the other.Have you not heard Mrs Lasneau tell us that charityis one of the most meritorious virtues in God's eyes.Besides, how do we know the reason that has inducedEndora to commit such an act, and ought we not tomake allowance for her youth ?"VOL. VII. B

i8 THE THREE FRIENDS.Clemence shrugged her shoulders in reply."Whatever she has done," continued Lucile, gettingexcited, "it ill becomes us, the companions of thepoor girl, to treat her thus."Clemence, however, was not convinced."Just look how she clings to Sarah! Does yourheart remain untouched by such deep distress?""Oh yes, Lucile, I feel ready to cry; butduty"-"Our duty is to console those who suffer," repliedLucile.Sarah now joined them." Poor Endora is in a sad state," said she to herfriends. " I have tried in vain to comfort her. Shecannot even weep !"It was now winter; all the house was warmed bystoves, with the exception of the music-room, wherethere was always a good fire kept burning. Here thepupils were in the habit of coming to warm them-selves during play-hours. One morning when anumber of foolish children were seated round thefire on a semi-circular bench, discussing the greattopic of the day, without, however, mentioning anyname, Endora entered the room and seated herselfbeside them. All at once, the little band dispersed

THE THREE FRIENDS.19like frightened birds: left alone, the poor girl burstinto tears.Seeing the girls enter the school-room in fits oflaughter, Sarah at once saw what was wrong."Let us go and comfort the poor child," said sheto Lucile and Clemence; "it would be cruel to forsakeher in her grief.""Go you first, as you have already spoken toher," replied Lucile, "and we shall follow in a fewmoments."" You doubtless speak for yourself," said Clemence,in a dignified tone. " I do not intend to go near her.""Clemence, Clemence 1 how can you be so un-charitable? Do not listen to her, Sarah; be quickand go to Endora. I answer for Clemence, she willcome."" Come, let us get one or two of our companionsto go with us, in order that our arrival may not havethe appearance of an arranged affair, for we musttake care not to hurt the poor child's feelings."On entering the room, Sarah found Endora withher head leaning against the chimney-piece, and soabsorbed in her grief, that she did not hear her enter.Slipping quietly up to the litle girl, she said to herin a kindly voice-

20 THE E THREE FRIENDS."You are troubled about something, Endora. Letme try to comfort you.""0 Sarah! I was sure you would not forsake theculprit." And laying her head on the young girl'sshoulder, Endora wept anew." Dry your tears, my dear, and do not give way toyour grief. We need courage to support the trials ofthis life."" Yes; but a fault i""A fault being the greatest of all, demands thegreatest courage. But I hear some one coming; sodry your eyes, and we shall speak of all that someother time."Clemence and Lucile now entered, followed by fiveor six others. They were deep in conversation, andpaid no attention to Endora, who was sufficientlyrecovered to return to the school-room when the bellrang.A few days after, as Endora was seated all alonein the drawing-room, the door suddenly opened, anda little girl about eight years old ran in."Endora," said she, "will you kiss me ?""Oh, yes dear little Laura."Laura was the pupil whose purse had beenstolen.

THE THREE FRIENDS.2I"Endora," continued she, "if you weep like that,I shall weep also."Here their conversation was interrupted by theloud ringing of the tea-bell, and the two parted.The same evening after prayers were over, MrsLasneau read one of the seven penitential psalms,for those of her lpulils whose hearts weere not alive tocharity. Her eye, which seemed to penetrate intothe inmost recesses of the heart, filled the pupils witha wholesome fear.CHAPTER III.-THE CONFIDENCEMRS LASNEAU, true to the good old customs of herconvent, never permitted the young ladies to dresstheir hair according to the fashion; all were obligedto wear it in smooth braids, a style seldom adopted atthis period, when ladies old and young had their hairfrizzed. Every morning, two of the Misses Amaury,and a niece of Mrs Lasneau, installed themselves in alarge dressing-room situated above the lobby, anddressed the pupils' hair.The day after the rebuke, Endora entered theroom alone, which was already occupied by six

22 THE THREE FRIENDS.pupils. The three who waited their turn immedi-ately took their departure. Miss Bonne Amaurydressed Endora's hair whilst the other two governessesremained idle. They requested two of the pupils tocome, but all in vain; the room was not filled againtill Endora quitted it.The same day during play-hours, Sarah seeing hercompanion's supplicating look fixed on her, pro-posed to accompany her to the dressing-room. Thisroom, which was always kept very tidy, waS usedby the pupils as a sort of parlour, when they had any-thing particular to say to each other; it being ar-ranged among themselves that no one had any rightto interrupt those who already occupied it.Endora, finding herself alone with Sarah, said toher with a sob: "How unkind these girls are to me,and how badly they practise the charity of whichMrs Lasneau speaks !""Have courage, my poor child! you have com-mitted a great fault, and the bitterer the punishmentthe sooner will it be over."" How can you love me, I who have fallen so lowin the opinion of every one else ?""Because if you yielded to temptation in an evilmoment, I am sure it was not baseness on your part."a.,S ->;*,-. ''*

THE THREE FRIENDS.23"Neither baseness nor temptation, Sarah! Isimply wished to play a trick on Laura, who ispassionately fond of money. I intended to return thepurse after the child had wept a little; but her excla-mation having attracted the teacher's attention, Ilost my presence of mind, and, fearing lest it shouldbe found in my possession, I ran and hid it in thegarden; since then I have sought in vain for a favour-able moment to replace the money without any oneseeing me. Go, dear Sarah, and get the unfortunatepurse, which you will find behind the flower-stand."Sarah accordingly ran to the garden, and found thepurse, which she put back in its place, and then re-joined Endora. "Why," said she to her, "have younever confessed that to Mrs Lasneau ?"" I was so confused; it was quite impossible for meto speak to her, when all these girls had their eyesfixed upon me; and then, had I intended to makepoor Laura cry I was so ashamed when I thoughtof it all; I tried to find means to exculpate myselffrom that odious accusation of theft; and although Ihad not fallen so.Sow, I felt very guilty, and I wouldhave had nothing to say in my favour, even if I hadhad courage to speak."Sarah went down-stairs, and related all to her two

24 THE THREE FRIENDS.friends, who accompanied her up to the dressing-room."Now," said she to Endora, "that restitution ismade, you must resume your usual appearance. Thesegirls have made you suffer for your fault, and youought to have courage enough to stand their imper-tinent looks; besides, are we not on your side ?""Let us ascend to the music-room," said Lucile,"and we shall see! "Sarah entered first, with Endora leaning on herarm; Lucile and Clemence followed, leading littleLaura by the hand.The bench in front of the fire was occupied byfour of the Lenoir pupils, and the conversation,which was very animated when the Inseparablesentered, suddenly ceased. The latter seated them-selves without saying a word.A few minutes after, Lucile said to Endora, " Come,dear, take your harp and accompany us in my aunt'spretty duet."Endora took her harp with trembling hands, and,did as requested.The singer's emotion communicated a singularcharm to the beautiful song; the voices were morethrilling, and the accompaniment more expressive,

THE THREE FRIENDS.25than usual; the quartelte were so charmed with thelittle concert, they soon forgot their conspiracy.Sarah then went to the piano, and played withgreat expression a waltz of her own composition.Lucile took Endora, Clemence another young girl,and commenced to dance. The four others followedtheir example, and each taken up with her ownamusement, thought no more of Endora.The dancers, breathless after their exertions, wereabout to throw themselves on chairs, when the doorquietly opened, and Mrs Lasneau appeared on thethreshold, and in her usual solemn tone, said-"Well, girls, I am satisfied with you."There was much meaning in these few words, forMrs Lasneau was never very lavish with her praises.Endora pressed Lucile's hand, and the bell callingeach to duty, the music-room was soon empty.A few days after there remained no traces of thestorm.CHAPTER IV.--LIFE AT SCHOOL.IT was a beautiful morning in the month of May.The sun shone brightly in the heavens, and the birdswarbled merrily. The glass-doors of the school-room

26 THE THREE FRIENDS.leading into the garden were open to admit the balmyfresh air and the sweet fragrance of the flowers. Eachpupil, seated before her desk, her face turned to thewall, could not see what was going on in the room,nor knew if her movements were particularly watched.In each corer a governess was seated.As all speaking was strictly forbidden during schoolhours, if a pupil had any communication to make,she wrote a note, which was passed from hand tohand till it reached its destination. If it had topass one of these formidable corners, it required thegreatest dexterity and skill to succeed in the attempt.On the day of which we speak, a note of this kindwas in circulation quite open, in order that eachmight see it. Clemence having read it, was about topass it to her neighbour, when some one seized herarm. She turned round quickly, and beheld MrsLasneau beside her, who said to her-"Read this note aloud, miss."Clemence obeyed reluctantly.Now, this is what it contained-"Girls, take care what you are about, for Madameis in high dudgeon to-day."" Doubtless you know the handwriting?""Yes, ma'am, I do."

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THE THREE FRIENDS.29"Will you be good enough, then, to tell me theauthor of the note ? "" Is it to me that you make this request, ma'am ?"exclaimed Clemence, indignantly."Yes," replied Mrs Lasneau, mildly."I am sorry, ma'am, I cannot comply with yourrequest.""And why not, may I ask ?"" Because a Villement has never yet betrayed anyone.""You seem to forget I might order you to do it.""Even them, ma'am, I could not obey."After a moment of silence, Mrs Lasneau added--"Then, Miss Villement, am I to understand thatyou refuse to make known the author of this re-mark ?"Clemence bowed in silence."It is sufficient. Seat yourself, and continue yourwork."Clemence, very red, and her eyes filled with tearsthat her pride could hardly keep back, bowed andseated herself.As soon as school was over, the poor girl fled intothe garden, where she was soon joined by her twofriends.

30 THE THREE FRIENDS."To make me a spectacle for all these children tostare at," she cried, " it is disgusting If I was notgoing to leave next vacation, I would not stay a daylonger."And she gave full vent to her tears."My dear," said Sarah, " calm yourself a little.""Calm myself, when I have been so affronted !""But, my dear," said Lucile, "others have beenaffronted before now, and I don't think you everthought much about it.""Oh it is very different, though.""In what respect, may I ask? You seem to thinkour obscure names have no lustre to preserve !""Still your endless discussions," said Sarah. " Itappears to me, Clemence, that you do not view thisaffair with your ordinary good sense. If I were inyour place, I would not admit I could be so easilyoffended, and I would attach no importance to suchtrifles.""You are right, Sarah," replied Clemence, dryingher eyes. "I oughtn't to allow such things to vexme."And she left her two friends."She has gone, with her usual pride, only to fallinto some other scrape," said Lucile.

THE THREE FRIENDS.31"You are very hard on your friend, Lucile. In-stead of reciprocating her love, of which you ought tobe proud, you set it at defiance, and really it is verybad of you. If Clemence is proud, you are fault-finding, and are always ready to suspect one's inten-tions."" I am wrong, Sarah, dear; but forgive me-you areso perfect. Allow me to make one remark, however,which I have never dared to make till now, in spiteof our great confidence."" Say your say, dear; I am all attention.""All right; well, I am very much astonished thata sensible girl like you can be, in a sort of fashion,dependent on Miss Villement's favour and bounty.""In reply, all I have to say is, that I think youtake advantage of the dignity of a poor orphan, whois obliged to work for a livelihood. I esteem MissVillement's character, and have too much respect formyself, to adopt the humiliating programme youwould chalk out for me. I go to the castle becauseI am kindly received and treated.""You are certainly not on a footing of equality.""No, it is true; but I never forget that fact; andI always keep in my proper place, without, however,humbling myself, I trust."

32 THE THREE FRIENDS.Lucile remained pensive, and pressed her friend'shand on parting.The next day there was a competition in history,and Miss Josephine Lasneau superintended the class.Thais, a tall and beautiful Spaniard, was seated be-tween Clemence and Sarah. Although gifted withgood abilities, this young lady was very idle. Conse-quently she made little progress in her studies."Clemence," said she, "allow me to copy yourcomposition, like a dear. I have such a splittingheadache, I cannot collect my thoughts, try as I like.Be easy, I shall not compromise you," she added,seeing the dissatisfied look of her companion, "for Ishall intersperse it with plenty of faults to render itunrecognisable.""Thais, I am sorry I cannot oblige you; but Inever lend an exercise.""Are you afraid I take your place?" repliedThais, shrugging her shoulders." If not mine, perhaps that of some one else, whohas worked harder than you during the month."" Singular scruples," said Sarah. " Here, Thais, Ihave finished my copy, which you may have the loanof; but make haste, for you have not overmuch time."A little while after Clemence said to her friend--

THE 7HREE FRIENDS.33"It surprises me, Sarah, how you could have ahand in such deception.""Really, my dear, you exaggerate so! It was onlyto oblige Thais, and I see no great harm in it after all.""Perhaps not; but I don't think civility should becarried to such a height."After a moment's silence, Sarah said-"Perhaps I have committed myself too rashly.Well, to redeem this fault, I shall not give in mycomposition this evening, although it seems to bevery well done."" But the deception will still subsist, and, believeme, it will cause you some uneasiness yet.""I may have done wrong, but I did not think of itat the time."No one suspected the deception; Thais had verygood marks, and was complimented on her success.Miss Amaury, quite pleased, said she had improvedgreatly, and only needed to try in order to succeed.Miss Bonne Amaury, who was particularly fond ofSarah, was astonished she had not competed, andasked the cause of such negligence. Sarah, proud ofthe sacrifice she had made, stood these interrogationsvery well at first; but when repeated so often, thepoor girl began to suffer. Having met Clemence'sVOL. VII. C

34 THE THREE FRIENDS.sad look, as she answered Miss Amaury for the hun-dredth time, she felt deeply humbled, as her friendhad predicted. Then Thais, wishing to sustain hernewly-acquired reputation, was constantly begging forhelp with her exercises and compositions, much toSarah's annoyance. Lucile showed little sympathyfor the latter. She laughed, in place of consoling herfriend. Her tendency to make light of the grief ofothers was a very bad trait in her character. Cle-mence often rebuked her for it, saying, that it becameher worse than any one else."Why so, may I ask?""On account of your unmistakable superiority.Who should practise charity, if not you ?""If every one were as strict as you, where wouldhave any fun ?""Anywhere rather than at another's expense."Lucile felt her friend was right, although she wouldnot acknowledge it. She returned to the school-room, where she found a group of school-fellowsassembled at the open window, all very busy withtheir needlework. She took her embroidery in avery bad humour. In a few minutes after, turning toone of her companions who stood near her, she said,in a very irritable tone-

THE THREE FRIENDS.35"Really, child, you are quite unbearable! Yousee I am doing a very particular piece of work, andhere you come and place yourself between me andthe light!""Oh! Verenne never thinks of others," said ayoung girl. "If, during the interval of recreation,one needs quietness to learn a lesson, it is just thetime she will sing and make a noise !""Good heavens! girls, what have I done to makeyou all rise up against me ? However, I am no worsethan the rest of you!""Perhaps not; but when you take it into yourhead to do a thing, you care little whether you annoyothers or not.""Is it, then, such a great sin not thinking ofothers?""Certainly, my dear," said Sarah, " we should doeverything in our power to give pleasure to others,and not always think of ourselves.""No one," said Clemence, "is better fitted tomake that remark than Sarah-she who constantlyforgets herself to oblige her companions.""Oh," cried Verenne, throwing her arms roundSarah's neck, "how I wish I were more like you!"" What a simpleton, to be sure If you were seen

36 THE THREE FRIENDS.kissing Sarah, she would be punished as well asyou.""Did ever any one hear the like of that?" ex-claimed Lucile. "I call it downright tyranny.""My dear," replied Clemence, " we are not hereto discuss the rules of the school, but only to obeythem I""You always stand up for authority !""Is it not my duty ? ""Oh, of course, that everlasting word duty I""Laugh as you like; but it is very useful to knowhow to bend to it without costing you any effort.""I could fancy I hear your aunt speaking. Beassured, my dear, that this great love of duty is notaltogether free from pride."" Girls girls !" interrupted Laura, running breath-lessly into the room; "we are to have a holiday to-morrow l"" In honour of what ? " asked Thais." In honour of the new arrival. Do you not seeher out there, near the large fir-tree ?""What a guy !" continued Thais, contemptuously,looking towards the indicated spot."Just look, girls !" said Verenne; "doesn't shelook like a wild bird in a poultry-yard !"

THE THREE FRIENDS. 37"The comparison is not at all a happy one," saidLucile. " You were just as ridiculous at first ""Never to such an extent But I must away andmake her acquaintance. Oh, Sarah is beside her!I am sure she loves her already ""What is her name ?" asked Verenne."Armide," replied Laura."Armide! Good heavens! Did ever any onehear such a name !" exclaimed Thais.Sarah having noticed the child's solitude and dis-tress, approached her and said-"Why, dear, do you not join in the games withyour new companions ?"" How can I? They laugh at me so. I thoughtI would be so happy at school, and was so glad tocome; but I am very sorry now.""Never mind, my child; you will very soon getaccustomed to it. Would you like me to be yourmamma ?""Oh, so much I who have no mamma. I feel asif I loved you already I ""And I love you also, Armide. But here comesEndora, whom you must love also. Run and playwith her for a little."" What a vulgar-looking child !" said Thais to Sarah;

38 THE THREE FRIENDS." I very much doubt if you will ever make anything ofher.""We shall see," said Sarah, quietly.At this moment, two little girls, who were playingat hide-and-seek, ran into the lobby. The former,fearing to be caught, banged to the door after her.One of the Lenoir pupils hearing the crash, gave ascream, a thing which was strictly forbidden in MrsLasneau's establishment. Her niece immediatelyappeared, and asked who had cried out.No one answered."Miss Thais, I recognised your voice, as well asMiss Sarah's and Lucile's, and I shall certainly giveyou all a bad mark. If I am mistaken, tell me ?"Now, a bad mark was the greatest, in fact, the onlypunishment inflicted at Mrs Lasneau's. A list of thepupils, and the course of study they followed, washung up in the school-room, where every one couldsee it. Each well-learnt lesson, each well-performedduty, received a good point; each carelessly learntlesson, each infraction of the rules, a bad one. Onthe first of every month, the list was read aloud inpresence of the assembled teachers and pupils. Thosewho had not failed in a single good point, were highlycomplimented by Mrs Lasneau.; but the poor unfortu-

THE THREE FRIENDS.39nate who, in the course of the month, had had a badpoint, and who had waited in the agonies of suspense,was then pale and trembling to hear her punishmentproclaimed." Miss Lasneau !" exclaimed the three girls, simul-taneously; "I assure you, I did not scream !"" Very well; name the culprit! "No one answered." Then if you do not choose to answer me, youngladies, you cannot blame me for giving you a badmark."After she had taken her departure, Thais ex-claimed-"What frightful injustice! To punish me for athing I did not do! It beats everything But if sheis in hopes that I shall ask pardon, she is very muchmistaken; for I would rather suffer the punishmentthan give her this satisfaction !""I protest against that system of tale-bearing!"said Lucile."And I-I shall accept this punishment, unmeritedthough it may be!" said Sarah. "We commit somany faults for which we deserve to be punished,that really it is only right we should clear our debtwithout murmuring when an occasion presents itself."

40 THE THREE FRIENDS."Doris must have little courage," said Thais, bit-terly; "to fly as soon as she caught sight of MissJosephine; for it was she and the children whoscreamed."Here the conversation was interrupted by the ring-ing of the tea-bell.CHAPTER V.-SARAH'S SACRIFICE.THE holidays were fast approaching, and the day forthe distribution of prizes drew near. The pupils,each seated at the desks prepared for the greatexamination at the close of the term. One wasbusily employed in giving the final touch to a draw-ing, another perfecting herself in a piece of music, orfinishing an elegant piece of fancy work. Everynook in the house was thus occupied; and theteachers, going from one to another, gave theirassistance and encouragement when needed.The nseparables were ensconced in the dressing-room, and, like every one else, were very busy.Lucile, who possessed the quickest intelligence andmost retentive memory of the three, had a rare apti-tude for all head work; although, undeniably, Sarahwas her superior in judgment and understanding.

THE THREE FRIENDS.4IOne day, during the interval of recreation, thepupils were assembled in groups in the garden dis-cussing some very important question. Now, it wasnecessary on this day to settle to whom the prizefor good conduct should be given, the decisionbeing left to the pupils themselves. Lucile beingproposed by one, Thais exclaimed,-"She shall not have my vote, at any rate. Shemakes her superiority to be felt too much for mytaste.""And then," added another, "one dare hardlyspeak to her for fear of offending her. She is sosusceptible.""What do you say to Clemence ? " asked another."Oh, as for her," replied the daughter of a wealthywine merchant, who continually spoke of her father'smillions, "she is unbearable with her affected sim-plicity.""Yes," chimed in several voices at once. "Shegives herself such airs and graces, she quite over-whelms one with her distinction.""And what have you to say against Sarah?""Yes, yes, Sarah " exclaimed a group of thejunior pupils. "Sarah is good, and kind, andmodest "-

42 THE THREE FRIENDS.The canvassers hastened to the spot where theInseparables were standing along with Endora andLaura. They took Clemence aside, and a fewminutes after beckoned for Lucile to join them.Sarah, seeing all eyes fixed on her, suspected shewas the subject of the conference; and approachingher two friends, she led them to a remote corner ofthe garden." My dears," said she, "let us unite our efforts toperform a good action. You have not forgottenEndora's confidence ? You have seen how exem-plary her conduct has been since that unfortunatepurse affair? Nowher character is softened. She,once so peevish and irritable, is now gentle andamiable, always ready to forgive and oblige hercompanions. Therefore, to encourage her, let usaward her the prize.""Just think," exclaimed. Clemence, indignantly,"to give it to a pupil guilty of such a grave offence "" Clemence, repentance is pleasing in the eyes ofour Lord; is it, then, nothing in yours ? Indeed, forthe last six months, Endora has displayed morevirtues than most of us during the whole year."" They would have been more appreciated if shehad not failed."

THIE THREE FRIENDS.43" 0 Clemence how unmerciful you are If Godwas as rigorous as you, what would become of us ?"After a moment's silence, Clemence said-"Perhaps you are right; but I have been broughtup with such great respect for duty, that it is withdifficulty I can excuse a fault.""My dear," continued Sarah, gravely, " one of ourfirst duties is to love our neighbour as ourselves; andsometimes it is the most difficult to fulfil.""That is true; but, notwithstanding, I am notclear about giving my vote for Endora.""You surely do not remember the sublime wordsof the evangelist: 'There is more joy in heaven overone sinner that repenteth, than over ninety-nine justpersons.'""Come, then, let us try what we can do forEndora; for, I must confess, you are in the right."The great day was near at hand. Those of thepupils who were busy with drawings of their owncomposition worked in separate rooms, in order thatno one might see the subject which they handleduntil it was finished. Amongst this number wereSarah and Clemence, both of whom possessed greatartistic powers. After being duly criticised by twocompetent judges, these prize studies were spread

44THE THREE FRIENDS.out on a table in the drawing-room, which no onewas allowed to enter until the day of the exhibition.The two days previous to that great event, the pupilsdecorated the house with evergreens and garlands offlowers, and made preparations for their departure.The long-wished-for day at length arrived. Thefriends and relatives of the pupils were expected toarrive at twelve o'clock, and at eleven precisely thefolding-doors of the drawing-room were thrown open.Clemence's delight and surprise were great on per-ceiving amongst the drawings a beautiful oil-paintingrepresenting the spot at Villement where she hadmet the little beggar to whom she gave her boots.This scene of her childhood, which had been admir-ably treated by Sarah, affected her deeply.Conspicuous among the figures was one reproducingthe scene in the music-room, when Endora, with herhead leaning on Sarah's shoulder, told her of hergrief. This subject had been executed by Clemencewith no ordinary skill, and gave ample evidence ofher superior taste and power in the art.After all the guests were seated, the ceremonyopened with a concert, in which Sarah and Luciledistinguished themselves by their singing and playing,which were loudly applauded. Then, after a neat

THE THREE FRIENDS.45and appropriate address from Mrs Lasneau, beganthe distribution of the prizes.The whole school was divided into four classes,to each of which were awarded so many prizes as togive every pupil a fair chance of at least gaining one.Lucile and Sarah were in the highest class, and inalmost every case the first and second prizes wereawarded to them. Clemence also distinguished her-self by carrying off more than one.But one more premium remained to be awarded.This was the prize for good conduct.The pupils each having written a name on apiece of paper, handed it to Miss Amaury, whoread it aloud. On hearing her name pronounced,Endora at first thought her companions wished tomake a fool of her; but being assured that themajority of them wished her to get the prize, thenext moment she stood before Mrs Lasneau, whopresented her with a beautiful Bible, which she re-ceived with trembling hands.CHAPTER VI.-SEPARATION.THE next day was rather a sad one for the Lenoirpupils. Their education was completed, and they

46 THE THREE FRIENDS.were to return home. While they anticipated withpleasure meeting their parents, brothers, and sisters,they grieved at the approaching separation from theirdear companions, with whom they had passed somany happy days. Who could tell if they would evermeet again in this vale of tears !The Inseparables were especially grieved. Clemenceand Lucile were to return home; whilst Sarah, whosegrandmamma was now dead, was going to remain afew years longer in the seminary in the capacity ofunder-governess. This separation from her twofriends was a great trial to her."What will become of me when you are bothgone?" she said. "I will have no one to care forme, and you will very soon forget me.""Oh, you foolish darling how can you doubt us?And how could we ever forget you, the dearest andmost amiable creature in existence! "After an affecting scene, which quite upset theInseparables, Sarah, the most reasonable of the three,said, while drying her eyes-" My dears, we oughtn't to give way to our grief;on the contrary, let us make ourselves strong in orderto bear the trials that await us in this life."" Sarah," said Clemence, " the charming picture you

THE THREE FRIENDS.47have given me will always be very precious, and willbe the most beautiful ornament in my room. HowI wish my talent for drawing was equal to yours.""I also attach the greatest value to the one youhave given me; but, notwithstanding, I should liketo present it to one of our companions whom itwould render both proud and happy.""I understand, dear; give her the picture by allmeans, and you can have another; my portfolio isfull, so choose one for yourself."Endora, who was to remain at the seminary duringthe holidays, her parents being out in India, enteringthe drawing-room in search of the Inseparables,Clemence, at Sarah's request, took the little picturewhich hung on the wall, and offered it to her, saying-" Keep this as a remembrance of the happy dayswe have passed together in this dear old house."Poor Endora, surprised and delighted, remainedspeechless for a little. At last she exclaimed-"Oh! how kind you all are to me I shall never,never forget you, although, doubtless, I may neversee you again."The three friends slept little that night, and thenext morning they parted with renewed expressionsof attachment and tearful adieus.

48 THE THREE FRIENDS.A few years later the beautiful Clemence made abrilliant marriage, and died very young. As forSarah, after having accumulated a little fortune by herown exertions, she returned to her native land, whereshe lived to a good old age, respected and belovedby all who knew her; while Lucile still remains in herown home, practising the same unselfish charity whichhad distinguished her so much in her childhood.

II.THE SISTER OF MERCY.RS MELVILLE, when very young, lost herhusband, and her grief was so great, itwas feared her mind might give way.The caresses of her little daughter Lucy couldalone draw her from this deep despair. Seeing herchild, who never left her side, so tender and affec-tionate, the poor widow remembered that a sacredduty remained for her to fulfil; therefore, she rousedherself to life, though without being able to recoverher former health.Lucy, endowed with rare gifts both of mind andbody, fully realised the hopes of her mother, whomshe so passionately adored.Mrs Melville at first experienced the greatesthappiness in her child's love, which was truly ex-traordinary in one so young; but ere long sheVOL. VII. D

50 TiE SISTER OF MERCYperceived the danger of this great exaltation. Shesaw very well that the retired way in which theylived was very prejudicial to her little girl, so she'renewed her acquaintance with the surroundingfamilies, in order to bring Lucy into contact withchildren of her own age, hoping that in this wayshe might form some lasting friendship.But it was in vain that she drew the youngpeople to her house, and offered Lucy the mostattractive amusements. It is true, she received herguests with a charming grace, and did the honoursof the table in the most becoming manner possible,but all the while the little girl was sad at heart, andlonged for the moment to come when she would bealone with her mamma.Mrs Melville, much astonished at Lucy's strangeconduct, studied her character attentively, and, toher surprise, discovered that she was completelyoccupied with the thought of her mother's happi-ness.During the summer months, they lived in abeautiful old manor, situated in one of the mostpicturesque counties of England; and when Lucy'seducation was completed, they prolonged their stayin the country, much to her delight. Whilst here,

THE SISTER OF MERCY.51Mrs Melville occupied her time in extensivecharities. Every morning regularly, accompanied byLucy, she visited the sick in the surrounding dis-trict, to help those who had need of it, and towhom the manor was open at all hours. She re-garded such with pitying kindness, and worked withher own hands to relieve their necessities.Lucy would have liked much to assist her motherin her work of love; but the sick and maimed in-spired her with an unutterable repugnance, and thesight of a wound or sore caused her a disgust whichshe could not overcome.When Lucy had reached her eighteenth year, MrsMelville became subject to frequent fainting fits,which obliged her to keep the house; the doctorespecially prohibited her from walking, and coun-selled Lucy to watch whenever her mamma madethe slightest movement. Wishing to spare MrsMelville all kind of regret, she resolved to takeher mamma's place in visiting the sick, whatever itmight cost her.One day, being told that the village joiner hadcut his hand severely, she set off to his house,furnished with everything that was necessary todress the wound.

52 THE SISTER OF MERCY.More than once she stopped when removing thelinen bandage which bound his hand, and when atlast she caught sight of the bleeding wound she turnedvery pale, and felt ready to faint; but rememberingthe pleasure she would give her mamma, she musteredall her courage, and finished her task.Lucy was still very pale when she reached home."What is the matter, child?" asked Mrs Melville,in an alarmed tone; "something has vexed you, Iam sure.""Calm yourself, dear mamma," she answered; " itis nothing; only I wished to try and fill your placewith the poor, and I have been away dressing oldJoseph's hand, which he cut this morning.""Poor child !" said Mrs Melville, kissing her;"what an effort such a trifle costs you; but thanks,my dear, for the pleasure you have given me."Lucy at this time received several good offers ofmarriage; but she refused them all. To the frequententreaties of her mamma she would answer-"Never speak to me of marriage again, dearmamma, I beg of you I am perfectly happy whereI am, and nothing in this world can alter my deter-mination."" My poor child, what is to become of you when I

THE SISTER OF MERCY.53am gone ? I am convinced there is something very farwrong with me. Sometimes I am quite overcome with-out any cause, or else I feel as if some great calamitywere going to befall us. I know, darling, I am very,very far from well, and I am not growing better.""0 mamma! how can you entertain such fears?"cried Lucy; "you are not really so ill. Allow me totake care of you, and you shall soon be well andstrong again. Just think you are still quite young,only eighteen years more than I, who am not yettwenty! We shall grow old together, dear mamma,happy in our mutual love, with no one to comebetween us."Then, laying her head on Mrs Melville's shoulder,she added, in her sweetest tones-"Then, mamma, it is arranged; you must never,never speak to me of marriage again !"The poor lady, not having the heart to insist uponit, the subject was dropped. Feeling herself grow-ing daily worse in spite of Lucy's unremitting care,Mrs Melville consulted her physician, who foundher, as she had thought, suffering from palpitationof the heart. Fearing to alarm the invalid, he didnot enlighten her on the imminence of her dan-ger, but ordered absolute quietness, at the same

54 7HE SISTER OF MERCY.time advising Lucy to distract her mamma's thoughtswithout causing her the least excitement. Lucy, likea distressed daughter, did all in her power to diverther attention. Every morning she ran to the woodsto gather flowers to place in her mamma's room.Sometimes she would sing some sweet melody, orshe would play a nocturne of Chopin, or one ofBeethoven's solemn andantes; but generally shesat on a low stool by the invalid's couch, and theywould talk together of the past; or else Lucy wouldarrange some scheme for the future, when her dearmamma's health would be once more re-established.Mrs Melville smiled sadly as she witnessed theseexpressions of Lucy's ever-watchful love. She knewher daughter was entirely ignorant of her danger,and she felt it her duty, however hard the task mightbe, to disclose the whole truth to her.One lovely August evening, Mrs Melville camedown-stairs by her own wish-but it was for the lasttime. All the windows were thrown open, for theoppressive heat of the evening was quite overpower-ing. Her couch was drawn close up to them, thatshe might have all the air possible; and there shelay quite still, watching the sun sinking behindthe purple clouds. The splendour of the scene

THE SISTER OF MERCY.55moved her to such a degree, that the idea, she wassoon to bid adieu to this beautiful world, broughttears to her eyes.She stooped to kiss her daughter, who, seated byher couch, was busily engaged reading aloud somebeautiful hymns. She felt that the time to speak hadnow come, and, making a great effort, she openedher lips to introduce the painful subject; but, insteadof words, she gave a great cry, and then faintedaway.Lucy, terrified, called for help A messenger wasimmediately despatched for the doctor, but when hearrived all was over. The soul had fled, and nowstood in the presence of its Maker.Those alone who have been deprived of a belovedparent, in whose affection they have concentratedtheir happiness, can, to the full, comprehend theviolence of Lucy's grief.The first six months after her terrible bereavementshe passed in solitude and reflection. When at lengthshe was a little calmer, her good old pastor tried torouse her to action by impressing on her that her lifecould not thus pass away in listless sorrow; "for,"said he, "every one in this world has a task to fulfil;and you, like every one else, must perform yours."

56 TEE SISTER OF MERCY." My task," answered the poor orphan, " was tolove my mother, and to try and make her happy;and God knows I have fulfilled it with joy. But nowthat she is gone, what can I do ? ""Do you then deny that those on whom Godhas bestowed wealth have no great duties to per-form?"" Let them take my riches; I only want my motherback."" My dear, your grief makes you forget that she isfar happier in heaven than she would be here below;and it would be selfish to wish her back. You oughtnot to think only of yourself, and shut yourself up insolitude, for it is very prejudicial to your mind, which,like a field, needs to be cultivated in order that it maybring forth good fruit."A few days after this conversation had taken place,Lucy said to him-" I have resolved what to do. I shall devote mywealth to works of charity, and I have made up mymind to enter a convent."" My child," said he, " I cannot blame you for thisresolution; but allow me to tell you that, in order toplease God, it is not sufficient to consecrate your lifeto His service in a time of affliction, but it is also

THE SISTER OF MERCY.57necessary that the sacrifice be made willingly andeven joyfully."Lucy assured him of the sincerity of her intentions.A few months after, she founded an hospital near themanor where she had been born, and where her dearmother had died; and after seeing to the well-being ofher servants and those oppressed with want, she setoff for London, where she entered a convent; andsome years after, she pronounced her vows under thename of Sister Thekla.In spite of her great piety and firm resolutions,Lucy, accustomed to exercise her will without experi-encing the least contradiction, yielded with difficultyto the passive obedience demanded of her in thesmallest things; and she often felt her mind revoltfrom the tasks imposed upon her. At such times thepoor girl would retire to her room, throw herselfon her knees, and pray to God to make her morehumble, and give her strength to perform her dutyin all things.One day the Superior summoned her to the parlour,where she found a young lady seated, who had cometo ask for a Sister to take care of her uncle, an oldgeneral, who was dangerously ill."I warn you," said she to Lucy, " that my uncle is

58 THE SISTER OF M.ERCY.no ordinary invalid: his great sufferings have madehim very irritable. He has succeeded in exhaustingthe patience of all his friends and of his most de-voted servants; and the sick-nurses have left him.""Do you understand, my daughter," said the ab-bess, addressing Lucy, "do you feel yourself com-petent to fulfil this task ? for you know, however hardit may be, you ought not to leave the invalid so longas you can be of any service to him."" If the task is hard," said Lucy, " God will grantme grace to persevere in it; and the hope of bringingthe invalid to a better state of mind will sustain mycourage.""Do not be too sanguine," said Miss Dalmeny;"many have tried it before, and got nothing for theirpains but rude reproaches.""That is not a sufficient excuse for leaving thepoor man, whose heart God may yet soften; besideshe has need of care. I am therefore quite willing togo whenever you are ready."Lucy accordingly followed Miss Dalmeny to thegeneral's carriage, which was in waiting, and they verysoon reached his house. When they entered his room,he cried in a towering passion-" You are surely in a great hurry to get quit of me,

THE SISTER OF MERCY.59that you leave me thus alone with no one to take careof me !"His niece gave Lucy an intelligent look, as muchas to say, " You see I am right in what I told you !""But, uncle," she answered, "did I not leave anurse with you? How does it happen, then, she isno longer here ?""She was such a fool, who wept whenever I spoketo her, that I ordered her off."" Very well, uncle; here is some one come to takeher place "-"And who," said the general, bitterly, "will notknow any better than the others how to put up withthe whims of a poor old man.""You have no right to complain, uncle; you haveexhausted the patience and charity of every one whohas come near you.""True charity is inexhaustible; it rejoices withthose who rejoice, weeps with those who weep, andsuffers with those who suffer. If the persons youspeak of had been animated with the spirit of truecharity, they would not have left me thus."Here the old general was interrupted by a violentfit of coughing which choked his utterance-Lucyimmediately ran to him and administered a potion

60 THE SISTER OF MERCY.which had the effect of calming him; and very soonhe fell into a deep sleep.After the lapse of two hours he awoke, and foundLucy seated by his bedside, holding in her hand acup of medicine, which she presented to him.The old man looked at her in astonishment, andsaid, with a sneer-" You are really very attentive What interest canyou have in tending me with such care ?"Lucy made no response."Are you dumb," continued he, " that you do notspeak? Do you wish to add ennui to my other com-plaints ? if so, you had better return to your conventas soon as you like. Let us see !" said he, a momentafter; " be a good girl! and tell me what you expectfor all your tender care ? "" The hope of being able to give you some reliefsustains my zeal, General.""And what will you gain by it ?"" What did you gain, General, in those battles whereyou risked your life every moment ?""Glory my child," said the old man, becomingexcited, " and the praise of my chief."" I, General, have the glory of doing an action whichis pleasing in the sight of God."



THE SISTER OF MERCY.63, The sick man made no reply. For the rest of theday he remained tolerably quiet; but the day follow-ing his sufferings kept him in a state of great irrita-tion, and he did not spare poor Lucy, on whom hevented all his wrath." Do you think, by any chance, you will make mebelieve that you are quite disinterested? I am notquite so easily convinced !" he would say sometimes.Instead of replying to such speeches, Lucy endea-voured to lead him on to speak of his campaigns,and the dangers he had come through, which generallyhad the effect of calming him for the time being.Miss Dalmeny, who was in the habit of dining withLucy, said to her one day-" Really, I admire your benevolence, which makesyou endure with so much sweetness my uncle's terribletemper."" And to whom ought we to be kind if not to thosewho suffer as much as he does ? ""But he makes a mock of everything, even ofthings the most sacred.""What ca:{you expect?" answered Lucy; "he isa poor, blinded creature, for whom it is our duty topray. At the same time, we must love him, for it isonly by love we can soften his heart. Just think,"

64 THE SISTER OF MERCY.she added, " how glorious it would be to lead him toa better state of mind. Unreasonable as he is, I lovehim and feel for him, as I would do for a poor, help-less child."The sick man, who never could bear Lucy out ofhis sight for a moment, having rung, they hastenedto his room."You surely take a long time to dine," said he,ironically, as they entered." You are very unreasonable, uncle. We have notbeen away more than ten minutes," answered MissDalmeny; "and we returned whenever the bellrang."The doctor not making his appearance on thisday, Lucy was obliged to dress an old wound of theGeneral's which had reopened. More than once shefelt her hands tremble when performing her task, forthe poor girl could not, in spite of her firm resolution,overcome her former repugnance." What a brave Sister of Mercy! " cried the General."When people have no more courage than you, theyshould not undertake a task they are not fit for."Miss Dalmeny was in the habit of watching besideher uncle for an hour or so every day whilst Lucywent for a walk.

THE SISTER OF MERCY.65On one occasion he said to her, "I should likemuch to know the motives which impel this girl to beso kind and attentive to me. Nothing tires her,nothing discourages her; let me say what I like, sheis always the same. I am convinced she is in hopesthat I shall leave her a legacy.""You surely forget that a Sister of Mercy is pro-hibited from accepting anything of-the kind; besides,Miss Melville having taken the vow of poverty, can-not possess anything of her own. She was once rich,but she renounced the world to devote her life todeeds of charity.""It is really very unaccountable," answered theGeneral.When Lucy was once more alone with him, he saidto her-" Come, be frank with me, my girl. I was thinkingthat the hopes of a legacy stimulated your zeal; butI was told you could not accept it. Tell me, then,what makes you persevere in your affectionate carefor an old wretch like me.""Is it not a sufficient reason that you suffer?"answered Lucy." Mere words, of course. There is certainly some-thing else in your head."VOL. VII. E

66 THE SISTER OF MERCKY"I feel an affection for you, founded on theunhappy condition you are in. Infirm in body, in-firm in heart, you love no one; infirm in mind, youbelieve in nothing. Is it not, then, all the morenecessary that I should remain with you, and that Ishould pray to God to take pity on you?"The General declined rapidly, and it soon becameapparent to every one that he had not long to live.He became more patient, and his manner with Lucywas now marked with respect." How proud you would be if you could lead meto repentance," he said to her one evening.Lucy made no answer, but prayed to God in silenceto touch this man's hardened heart.His sufferings now became so acute that his tem-per broke out anew. The presence or absence of hisniece irritated him alike. Lucy alone could stay withhim. She never left his bedside; and when she sawhim becoming excited, she would speak in such anendearing voice that it always had the effect of calm-ing him.At length the old General was touched by Lucy'sardent charity. Her heart filled with joy when hesaid to her one day-"Do not grieve if your cares have not cured me.

THE SISTER OF MERCY.67I owe you more than life, for you have made me believein virtue. Pray to God to have mercy on me, a poormiserable sinner! "Two days after, the General was no more

III.FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.- IN the middle of last century a little boy dis-ISM tinguished himself at the Issondun Cate-chism, by the great attention he paid tothe parson's instructions, as well as by his aptitudefor learning.This child, Cyr Ajame by name, was the son ofpoor but honest parents, who were burdened with alarge family.His quickness of intelligence, his gentle disposi-tion, as well as his interesting features, had made hima great favourite with the parson, who resolved totake him for a chorister.The boy's duties, which consisted in lighting thecenser, and filling the cruets with oil, brought himfrequently to the vicarage, and in this way he becameacquainted with the parson's servant, Martha.

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 69The old woman, having taken a great fancy forCyr, begged of her master to bring him up." Sir," she would say, when speaking of the matter,"it would be a real act of charity, for his father hasenough to do to support his large family. Besides,"she would add, "you are not properly served, for Iam broken down with age, and this boy would be ofgreat assistance."When her master objected to the extra expenseCyr would incur in a house where all ought to belongto the poor, she cried-"And is the dear boy not also poor? His breadwill cost a mere trifle, and there are lots of old clothesin the house to dress him with."The pastor, who loved the boy, acceded to Martha'swish, and Cyr Ajame was installed at the vicarage thefollowing day. The poor boy, very happy and com-fortable in his new home, and well aware he wasindebted to Martha's intercession for all his advan-tages, tried to show his gratitude to her in every pos-sible way. He plucked the fowls, pulled the vege-tables, gathered in the eggs, and drew the water, andsometimes even assisted in the culinary department.But all these occupations never made him neglecthis duties. In his leisure hours he would run to the

70 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.woods and gather flowers and evergreens to deck thealtar; which were the admiration of all beholders.His master was enchanted; and, to reward thelittle boy, he taught him to read and write. Everyevening he gave him a lesson, and the pupil's rapidprogress made this a delightful task for the master.Martha's health, which had been in rather a pre-carious state for some time, now gradually declined.Cyr, who was much attached to her, would notallow her to do the slightest thing; he took her placein all her duties, without their master having the leastsuspicion, Martha not wishing to vex him by tellinghim of her sufferings.An accident brought the truth to light at last. OneFriday, whilst the pastor and Cyr were at chapel say-ing mass, the old woman, in spite of her feebleness, setout to gather in the eggs, but she had hardly gone thelength of the door, when she fell to the ground, whereshe remained utterly helpless. Cyr, on his returnfrom church, was much alarmed at finding her in thissad condition. After carrying her to her bed, he ranfor a doctor, who pronounced the poor woman to bestruck with paralysis.This announcement perplexed the parson exces-sively. Besides being much attached to his old

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 7Iservant, who had served him faithfully for the lastforty years, the worthy man was dismayed when hethought he would be obliged to alter his mode ofliving. She had always attended to his personalcomfort in the smallest matters. If he returnedhome on a rainy day, he would find his slipperswarming before the fire; his chocolate was alwaysat boiling point, his dinner punctual to the minute,and no one knew better than Martha how to preparea good cup of coffee. All combined to render herservice very pleasing in the eyes of her master, whowas quite at a loss how to fill her place.The old man, much perplexed, sent for her sisterPerpetue, an old maid who from time immemorialhad washed his surplices and taken charge of thechurch linen. She at once consented to the proposi-tion of the parson to take Martha's place-a positionthat she had long envied. But although willing andobliging, she did not possess the activity and intelli-gence of her sister.All these incidents had postponed the dinner, butthe old man, too much occupied with his troubles,seemed to have forgotten all about it, till Cyr an-nounced it was on the table. The parson's surprisewas great indeed, when, instead of the miserable

72 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.cheer he expected to await him, he saw a sumptuousrepast placed before him. Looking at his servant,he said to him, in a tone of mild reproach-"Cyr, my boy, I cannot afford to have my dinnercooked at a confectioner's !"" Sir," replied the boy, " it has been cooked in yourown house.""What! do you mean to say that old Perpetue,whom I thought good for nothing, possesses such aculinary talent ?""Sir," said the good woman, entering at this mo-ment, " I'm no hand at cooking, and never will be.I am so dull in the uptake, and at my time of life onecan never learn. It is your little chorister who hasdone it all.""What does she say ? It is certainly not you, Cyr,who can cook thus ? Where could you have learnedit?"" In your own house, dear master; for the last twoyears I have taken poor Martha's place.""And I never to know of it!""The good creature feared to tell you.""But the pastry has never been better," continuedthe pastor." Ah, sir, when I had time I went to my

FREDERICK THE GREAI 'S COOK. 73uncle, the confectioner's, and he taught me how tomake it.""It is no wonder that I thought Martha had im-proved in her old age! My boy, you must neverleave me, and I shall give you a large wage, for it isnot just that you should work for nothing, when youcould make a little fortune elsewhere."" How can I ever do enough for you, dear master,who have loaded me with benefits ? I ask no otherfavour than to pass my life with you.""My poor boy," said the old man, smiling sadly,"this engagement with me cannot last long; remem-ber I am already seventy-six! "Cyr resolved henceforth never to leave his master,whom he loved more and more every day.Two years after, the parson gave a sumptuousentertainment in honour of the martyr of St Cyr, andto give more pomp to the feast, he invited all theneighbouring clergy."Cyr, my boy," said he to his young servant," now is the time to distinguish yourself! Spareneither pains nor expense, in order that eachguest may retire satisfied with your old pastor'shospitality."The young man, stimulated by the wish to do

74 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.honour to his master, prepared a dinner the like ofwhich had not been seen for years before.At this feast were seated the priors of St. Cyr andSt. Paterne, the superiors of the Capuchin Friars, andsome of the surrounding clergy. But the most im-portant personage of all was the Abbot of Pree, awealthy convent, built in a beautiful spot on thebanks of the river Arnon. This gentleman, being agreat connoisseur in the art of cooking, and muchastonished to see such a royal repast at a poor par-son's table, could not keep silent."I was entirely ignorant," said he to his host,"that your town possessed such culinary resources,and I regret very much not having taken advantageof them when his highness did us the honour ofvisiting our poor abbey."" Alas my reverend sir, I cannot afford to hire acook; this dinner is prepared by one of my formerchoristers, who now acts in the capacity of cook.""What the pastry, jellies, creams, and all ? ""Yes, sir," answered the worthy old man, overjoyedat hearing the talent of his little servant praised."He must be a wonderful fellow. Will you bekind enough to allow me to see the boy, in order thatI may compliment him on his success."


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FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 77Cyr Ajame appeared, in a few minutes after, verytrim and neat, dressed in a white suit, and carry-ing his cap in his hand. The worthy parson lookedat him complaisantly, and smiled to himself as hethought of the boy's satisfaction on hearing thepraises of the Abbot of Pree." My boy," said the latter, in a patronising tone,"you have a rare talent for cooking, and it wouldbe wrong to allow that talent to remain uncultivated.Come to Pree, and I will make something of you,and be responsible for your future."The young man bowed in silence, and lookedanxiously at his master.The abbot, noticing it, said to the parson, indiffer-ently-" You will grant your permission, won't you ?"" Sir," replied the old man, " your will is law to me.""Very well, young man," continued the abbot,without paying the least attention to the visible dis-pleasure depicted on the old priest's countenance;"it is settled then. I am going to make some callsin town, and to-night we shall sleep at Pree."When the guests had taken their departure, Cyrran to his master, and, with tears streaming down hischeeks, cried-

78 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK." Dear, honoured master, do not let me quit youthus I cannot, and will not. Do not, I pray you,deprive me of the happiness of taking care of youin your declining years !"" Alas my dear child, this wish of his reverenceis equivalent to a command, and I must yield. Ihad hoped never to have parted with you, but Godhas ordered it otherwise; and we must accept thetrial with humble and grateful hearts." Before parting, perhaps for ever, allow me to tellyou that, without a quiet conscience, you can neverfind peace or happiness in this world. In your trade,my boy, there are many temptations. May the loveof God, and the remembrance of your old master,preserve you from falling! "Proud of his new acquisition, the abbot invited allthe surrounding gentry to come and judge of the skillof his young cook, whose fame had rapidly spread.Some months after, the Archbishop of Bourgesannounced his intention of visiting Pree. The abbot,wishing to do his highness all honour, as well as tosurprise him, ordered Cyr to prepare a dinner worthyof the occasion. The boy, as on former occasions,proved himself equal to the task, his efforts beingcrowned with success.

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 79Much surprised at finding such a well-served tablein a secluded abbey, the archbishop cried-" It is certainly not a cook from Bourges who couldprepare a dinner like this; I know them all, andmine, who is considered the best in the diocese, isfar from equalling the man who prepared this re-past.""My lord," replied the abbot, with false modesty," poor recluses like me can only entertain your high-ness according to their resources. Our cook is amere child, who was brought up at the vicarage ofIssondun.""Will you be kind enough to let me see thisstrange phenomenon ?"" My lord," said the abbot, much alarmed, "he isdoubtless in a state of disorder, and not fit to appearbefore your highness."" Never mind, my dear fellow," replied the prelate,maliciously, evidently enjoying the abbot's discom-fiture; "it is precisely the reason I wish to see him."Cyr, being summoned, presented himself before hishighness, dressed in a spotless white vest and apron."What! is this child the famous artist ?""Yes, my lord !" said the abbot, bowing."To an indisputable talent he seems to join un-

80 FERDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.common cleanliness," continued the archbishop, scru-tinising Cyr from top to toe."As well as great economy and irreproachablehonesty," said the abbot, yielding to a vain impulse;"and though small in stature, his worth is great! ""So great, my dear friend, I fear he will be astumbling-block in your holy house; and as it wouldbe a pity to allow his talent to get rusted in this ab-stemious place, you will perhaps grant me permissionto take him with me to Berri?"" Your highness is at liberty to do as you please,"replied the abbot, hardly able to contain himself." Young man," said the archbishop, putting somecoins into Cyr's hand, "you shall accompany me toBourges to-morrow morning."The boy bowed respectfully, at the same timedarting a triumphant glance at his reverence.A week after, Cyr was installed in his new master'shouse in Paris as principal cook. There he workedwonders. Every one who was admitted to the pre-late's table spoke of the prodigious talent of hisyoung cook.One evening, at Versailles, the Prussian ambas-sador approached the archbishop, and said-" My lord, I have heard of the fame of your cook,

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 81which is noised abroad, and have come to ask wherehe acquired his wonderful knowledge ?""In an obscure abbey in my diocese," replied thearchbishop."Permit me to ask you another question, whichdoubtless may appear strange, but which, I hope,you will excuse when you know my reasons. Doesthis man merit all the praise bestowed on him ?"" If my lord will condescend to dine with a poorprelate," replied the archbishop, with a complaisantsmile, " he can judge for himself."The ambassador accepted this invitation withapparent pleasure, and the next day he was seatedat the archbishop's table. During the repast heremained silent and thoughtful, like a man calledupon to pronounce a verdict on a grave question.After dinner, he sweetened his coffee in a pre-occupied manner; and as he still kept silence, thearchbishop approached him, and said-" Be frank, my lord, has your dinner not come upto your expectations, and do you think my cookis unworthy of his reputation?"" Very far from it; his talent far surpasses my ex-pectations.""Then what is wrong? are you indisposed ?"VOL. VII. F

82 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK." Alas my lord, I am only embarrassed, very muchembarrassed; and if your highness will give me yourattention for a few minutes I shall tell you thecause."Then leading the prelate into a corner, he continued-"My lord, the cabinet of Versailles has entrustedme with a letter for the king, my master, the contentsof which I am confident he will not agree to; how-ever, if he comes to terms, it will be a great bless-ing for both countries, and your highness, withoutrising from your chair, may bring about this happyresult.""What !" cried the archbishop, smiling, "do youwish me to pry into the secrets of the cabinet?""You are, perhaps, ignorant that the king is fond,even to excess, of the pleasures of the table, a dozencooks of various nations being employed to ministerto the gratification of his palate. His Majesty, who isvery difficult to please, alleges that France is badlyrepresented in his kitchen. He has, therefore,charged me to bring him a subject well skilled in theculinary art, but unfortunately my efforts have beenin vain, and this rare phcenix is still to find."" And"-

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 83"And, my lord, I was thinking I might take theliberty of asking you to deliver up your famous cookto the king. This acquisition would put him into greatgood humour, and I might obtain his consent to suchterms as will maintain peace between the two king-doms.""All right, sir, you may carry off my cook; butremember and say to the king that I would not havemade this sacrifice for any one else but himself."Immediately on reaching Berlin, the ambassadorhastened to the palace, and before discussing moreimportant topics, he spoke to the king of the un-rivalled cook he had brought him. Frederick sentfor him at once; for, pretending to be a great physi-ognomist, he thought he could judge of every oneat first sight.On seeing Cyr enter, the king cried in an angrytone-"What is this you have brought, my lord? doubt-less some novice who will spoil all the sauces ?""Your Majesty might, at least, give him a trialbefore pronouncing a verdict."Although much discomfited by the reception he gotfrom his formidable master, Cyr began his work with-out delay, and next day served a dinner the like of

84 FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK.which his Majesty had never tasted. It had the effectof putting the king into great good humour, and theambassador succeeded in his peaceful mission, as hehad predicted.The king's cooks always accompanied the army,each having his materials and provisions at hiscommand; for his Majesty insisted on being as wellserved under the tent as in his own palace: strangeluxury in a prince who affected such great simplicityin every other thing !Being in the habit of conversing with his domesticsoccasionally, he had on more than one occasionremarked the quick intelligence of his young cook,who amused him by his wily repartee. His Majestyfrequently spoke to him about the French, and howhe would govern them, if he were king, adding, thathe would very soon have discipline. Cyr wouldanswer, with all the independence of his native coun-try, that it would take a gentler hand and more flexibletemper than his Majesty possessed to succeed; theFrench being more impatient than the Prussians. Itwas precisely this independence of character thatmade the young cook such a favourite with the king,who would say to him: " Cyr, my boy, I never dinesatisfactorily unless you serve me !"

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S COOK. 85"Very well," replied the boy, resolutely; "mayyour Majesty allow me the honour of doing so allthe year !""I am obliged to maintain European equilibriumin my kitchen !" answered Frederick, laughing.On the death of the king, Cyr retired to a smallcottage in the suburbs of Berlin, where he lived fortwenty years.But as he got up in years, feeling a longing desireto see his native land once more, he returned toIssondun. Every one there had completely for-gotten him, and even his family had difficulty inrecognising him. He continued to live alone in ahouse which he had bought, close to the vicarage,where he had spent so tnany happy days. There hepassed many weary hours, seated in his garden, think-ing of his dear old pastor, and Martha, the only beings,along with Frederick the Great, whom he had lovedall his life.Cyr lived to a good old age, and when he tookpossession of his last earthly resting-place, he leftneither regrets nor remembrances behind him.

IV.THE DUTY.R CLIFFORD having lost his wife, felt hi'sheart overflowing with love for the littlegirl she had bequeathed to him. He re-solved to educate her himself, and never to allowher out of his sight unnecessarily. He took herwherever his business affairs called him; but as thechild gradually advanced in years, he felt his in-sufficiency to fulfil the difficult task which he hadimposed upon himself. The poor man was muchembarrassed, not wishing to confide his preciouscharge to an ordinary governess.It so happened that one of his old friends, MrTrevor by name, whom he had lost sight of for sometime, wrote to him on some business matter. Recol-lecting having heard Mrs Trevor spoken of as a veryestimable person, and much distinguished for her

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