THE ADVENTURES OF A WHIITE RABBIT.
THE ADVENTURES OF A WHITE RABBIT
dtclttb b T Eiimetlf.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
LDINBI ,GH; AND NEW YOO x.
S a rule, the world does not allow
any large amount of intelligence to
individuals of my race, because,
ordinarily, we remain motionless,
and with eyes fixed. People often
would think we were dead, but for a slight
movement of the little tip of our nose. This
disadvantageous opinion, however, has not dis-
couraged me. Having been fortunate in a
home where I was carefully trained, I grew
very learned, and I repeated to myself, several
times daily, a line from a great fabulist, who,
I was told, had condescended to write about us,
and our cousins the hares:-
What could I do in mr buiw, if I did not sit and think?
And, therefore, I thought' And during
my long hours of meditation, the thought
occurred to me that I would write the history
of my early career.
It seemed to me that a narrative of the
events of which I had been the witness, and
in which I had sometimes been an actor-
that the delineation of the good and bad
qualities of the children with whom I was
brought up, and the repetition of the wise
lessons I had the good fortune to learn-could
not but be of advantage for young readers.
I dedicate these pages to the excellent family
who took such pains to make me happy. May
they accept them as a proof of the living grati-
tude of their very humble and affectionate
SNOWDROP, THE RABBIT.
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A '1' '
\ BIsmTN-A YOUsG LADIES' BoAKD16t-SCHOOL-t MY FsleD
LEoST16 TBE msTrIBUTrow or P lzls
WAS born at a young ladies boarding-
school-or seminary, as it is some-
times called ;-and upon opening my
eyes to the light, I found myself sur-
rounded by a numerous group of girls
who, on seeing me, all cried out, "Oh, the
darling little white rabbit! How pretty
"Has he pink eyes?" asked a handsome
brunette, who was too far off to judge for her-
"No, my dear," answered my nearest neigh-
"That is very singular," replied the brunette.
Mesdemoiselles mesdemoiselles she
said to some grown-up pupils who were con-
versing in an avenue of the garden; "come
and see a little white rabbit with browi eyes !"
Her exclamations attracted towards me the
attention of an aged lady, who, as I afterwards
learned, was the mother of the schoolmistress
She took me up in her hands, fondled me,
showed me to ler family, and christened me
"Snowdrop." And from that hour I became
the object of assiduous care and watchfulness,
and I shared even in the advantages of the
admirable education which was given in the
You will see from my example how great a
change education can effect in men and ani-
Two months passed away, in which I was
left to grow big and strong. It was the ful-
ness of summer; and I listened, much amused,
to the little ladies, who called themselves very
A NEW PET. 1I
busy. One would be learning her catechism
for the approaching examination; another,
Biblical history. The elder girls assumed a
grave air, and marched about with measured
steps, studying big-oh, such big -books.
Chat and gossip ceased; all the games were
given up; and even Snowdrop was neglected.
All this appeared to me very mysterious, and
I puzzled my brain fruitlessly to ascertain the
Several days passed by in these important
occupations. Then they came to an end, and
I was no longer forgotten. "Let us have a
game together, my pretty pet," said the hand-
some brunette, whose name was Leontine; "let
us have a game together, for now I have time
to amuse myself. I have obtained a lot of
good marks for my examination, and I am sure
to carry off a prize. But you, Snowdrop, don't
know what it is to have prizes; do you, foolish
little fellow ? Well, then, listen: prick up
S your ears, and pay attention. At the end of
every year, our mistresses have a grand day of
it. They invite all our mammas and friends
14 .NOWDROP AT LUNCH.
to attend, and into their presence they summon
every girl who has been like me, you know-
awfully wise, obedient, and industrious, and
got on well in our studies. They place a fine
wreath on our heads, and in our hands a mag-
nificent book, full of pictures, and covered with
gilt. Oh, it is very delightful; and our
mammas can't help weeping with joy !"
"That is fine," I said to myself; "and I
should very well like to be in my young
Leontine continued talking to me for a long
time. She told me that the holidays had
come, and she was about to go home. This
news brought tears into my eyes; but I felt
tliat after so much hard work she deserved a
rest. I became very sad, however, when I
thought of my coming loneliness; and Leon-
tine, as if she entered into my feelings, pro-
mised to visit me frequently, and to console
me, gave me part of her lunch. She seemed
delighted to do without it. I have since
learned, from my own experience, that it is in
the happiness of others we must seek our own.
A DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES. 17
Next day, the grand ceremony of distribut-
ing the prizes took place in the garden ; where,
on a platform erected for the occasion, all the
young ladies were seated, attired in white.
They looked very fair and innocent, and I am
sure it would not have been easy to find a prettier
spectacle. The mistresses spread a gay car-
pet over my hatch. I daresay it looked very
handsome, but it deprived me of much amuse-
ment, and, especially, prevented me from seeing
Leontine. I heard the speeches, however, and
the music, which was most delightful; and to
enjoy it fully, I made my little brothers and
sisters in the apartment adjoining mine keep as
still as possible. It seemed that my young
ladies were too busy on this memorable day to
bestow a thought on poor Snowdrop. Leon-
tine alone came to say Good-bye." I was
very hungry, but I would not tell her of it
She slipped her little white hand between the
bars of my hutch; I licked it affectionately;
and nourishing myself on my regret and
anxiety, I fasted until the following morning.
T.C liDl- Yo. UR a ,ot-, a n His, I
A soe templtation gall antly lthstood
LENTI- 1 lt. d --
Before him lay tu, a tempting prliey'
But, quick sa thought, ihe turned away ili% eyes
SinO I remember ly dIr mottlAs l o'S NOS"
Vo I wouhl neler her orers disobey .
WAS awakened by a dispute between
two young sparrows, who had found
J an old dead beetle, and could not
S agree to divide it. While they were
struggling and fighting with each
other, down swooped a merry swallow, and
carried off the prey; so they were rightly
punished for their selfishness and gluttony,
PARTIAL LIBERTY. 1D
There were four of us rabbits, with sometimes
only a single cabbage-leaf among us; but we
lived together in peace; and I know more than
one little girl who would do well to follow our
example. At length one of the servants came
with my breakfast, and I spent the most mel-
ancholy day imaginable. A continual rain in-
creased my depression; I saw none of my
young ladies; it seemed they were too tired
with the previous day's exertions to bid me
farewell. The greatest silence everywhere pre-
vailed, and I soon understood that each pupil
had gone home with her mamma.
The day following, the fine weather re-
turned; and my mistresses, the proprietary of
the school, allowed me to roam about the
courtyard, only prohibiting me from going
into the garden, for fear I should touch the
flowers and vegetables. At first I was over-
joyed with this partial liberty, and I shook my
ears as a token of obedience. They placed too
much confidence in me, however; for impelled
by curiosity, that ugly vice, I escaped one fine
morning at sunrise, and darted like a madman
20 IS THE U RDEN.
into the avenues, and across the flower-beds.
I soon grew weary, and arriving on a little
terrace, I abandoned myself to a frenzy of ad-
miration. Certainly the scene before me was
ravishing; I was present at the awakening of
the flowers. The roses balanced themselves on
their stalks, opening their delicious bosoms to
the first rays of the sun; the queen-daisies
shook from their petals the glittering dew-
drops; the immortelles and the May-flowerswere
still asleep ; only the Marvels of Peru drew
themselves up in all their pride, and expanded
their blossoms in the very ripeness of beauty,
to close them, however, as the heat of the day
increased. I could not grow tired of contem-
plating them, of listening to the sweet warble
of the birds and the hum of busy insects, wan-
dering hither and thither in search of food.
This last observation, and still more my un-
usual excursion, had sharpened my appetite.
From my post I caught sight, at the bottom of
the garden, of a magnificent bed of cabbages,
which tempted me powerfully. My conscience
disturbed me at first at the idea of eating them
SOWuDOP' AT FAlLT. 21
without permission; it advised me to turn
away mine eyes; but instead of flying, I kept
my gaze fixed upon the spectacle. Then I
thought there could be no harm in going
nearer to examine such very fine vegetables.
I approached; and, alas! intoxicated by the
delightful fragrance, I put aside my scruples,
and tasted successively those which seemed to
me the finest. While I was making a hearty
breakfast, the cook arrived. She was struck
with astonishment at the sight of the ravages
I had committed !
"What will missus say ?" she cried; "the
very best cabbages nibbled at and spoiled!
And there, too! all Miss Clotilde's flowers
are trampled over Dear me, what a shame !
I am quite sure the mischief has been done by
those nasty rabbits; and if I get hold of them,
won't I pinch their ears, and beat them
I trembled with alarm, and kept myself
concealed behind an enormous gooseberry-bush.
Fortunately the cook did not see me, and went
away growling, to complain to her mistress. I
22 SNOWDROP PENITENT.
profited by the opportunity to return to my
hutch with the utmost speed. Oh, how fast I
ran !--but when I got there, I could not lift
the lid! Then I reflected seriously on the
consequences of my error; and conquering all
false pride, resolved to remain by my cabin,
and receive in silence and humility the punish-
ment I had deserved. I repented sincerely of
having disobeyed my excellent mistresses.
When they arrived, they were more affected
by my sad and contrite air than they were
willing to show. They made me re-enter my
hutch, without saying a single word. Their
cold looks, and the absence of their usual fond
caresses, were a chastisement so bitter and so
complete that I was entirely cured of my
greediness, though I dare not say of my love
of liberty. Though I am not a warren-rabbit,
I feel all the charm which those of my kind ex-
perience who spend their lives sometimes in the
deep shady woods, sometimes in the genial sun-
shine, or in the midst of purple heather, scented
with wild thyme. My life is a different one; but,
by way of compensation, I enjoy perfect security,
SNEW PUPIL. 23
food, and shelter. I am not exposed to the
danger of perishing by the hunter's gun. I
shall not be handed over to the remorseles
cook ; and, besides, the education I have re-
ceived procures me a host of intellectual enjoy-
ments. Decidedly, I am a happy creature.
The days which followed my escapade among
the cabbages passed quietly. I made a rapid
progress, especially in the art of observation.
I soon perceived that the days diminished in
length, and the rains became more frequent
My mistresses did not walk out so frequently,
and I learned, from a conversation which I
overheard, that one of them had set out for
Switzerland to bring back a new pupil. At
this intelligence I was delighted: my solitude
would soon terminate.
And a week later Miss Clotilde returned,
and did me the honour to present me to the
new boarder, who was called Marie. At first
she did not very much please me. She was
fair, short, and stout, with a large head, high-
coloured cheeks, a turned-up nose, and eyes
like a mole's. Nor was the sound of her voice
24 A GAME AT TRIC-TRAC.
agreeable to my ears; she crunched out three
or four words before me which I could not
understand. I afterwards learned that her
native tongue was German, and that she had
come to France to learn French. She did not
seem at all sorrowful at being separated from
her family; a circumstance which gave me a
poor opinion of her. All the little attentions
which she lavished on me gave me little pleas-
ure; for, in my belief, a good heart is the quality
which, more than any other, wins admiration.
Every day my mistresses' father played
tric-trac with Mademoiselle Marie to amuse
her. She was passionately fond of it, and
greatly amused at the alarm which the in-
cessant noise of the game excited in my timid
breast. I endeavoured gradually to accustom
myself to it, that she might no longer laugh at
my expense. By dint of self-control we may
conquer many weaknesses.
The game was generally followed by an in-
structive conversation. M. Antoine, an old
man of great intelligence and very amiable
manners, always combined the useful with the
SNOWDROP IN OOD SOCIETY. 27
agreeable. He compelled his pupil to pro-
nounce her words correctly-a task which she
found very difficult. All the time she remained
at the school she could not pronounce my name
properly ; and so it was with a host of words,
which greatly amused her companions, and
suggested various little jests and pleasantries,
which she bore with tolerable good-humour.
M. Antoine was very partial to little Snow-
drop; in fact, I became quite necessary to him,
and when the games at tric-trac came to an
end simultaneously with the holidays, I con-
tinued to pay him daily a prolonged visit.
His room was the general rendezvous of the
family and their most intimate friends, whose
acquaintance I made in due succession. When
they came I used to frolic before them, and
jump about joyously-I was so proud of being
admitted into the society of distinguished men.
How many fine sayings I heard how much
wit and wisdom I was unable to retain
them, however, in spite of all my efforts, for I
have not been gifted with a sufficient memory.
Yet in these agreeable social gatherings I did
28 AN AFFECTIONATE FAMILY.
not wish to be considered stupid : so I assumed,
as well as I could, an air of intelligence, and I
pricked my ears, sometimes forwards, some-
times backwards, according to the greater or
less interest which I felt in the conversation.
M. Valentine, a charming poet, like my master,
would often call attention to my attitude of
intelligence; at which, you may be sure, my
vanity was very much tickled.
But what gave me the greatest pleasure was
to see the tender and assiduous care which
each of my mistresses lavished on their excel-
lent father. Their affection for him was equalled
only by their veneration. He was fully sen-
sible of their love, and deeply happy in it, and
often blessed his dear family. How great
was their anxiety when he was ill! how raptur-
ous their delight when he recovered! I can-
not think of these things without feeling so
strong an emotion that the tears gather in my
The holidays drew to an end. Several little
girls had come to see me, but I had no news of
my special friend. How was I to learn some-
EVIL DAYS. 29
thing about her ? What a bitter grief I felt it
to be deprived of the power of speech! My
fancy brooded over the gloomiest ideas : I
dreamed of illness and accidents befalling my
beloved Leontine. Gradually I lost both sleep
and appetite. My mistresses declared that I was
growing quite a skeleton, and set me at liberty
in the garden. I had not seen it since my
escapade, and found it sadly changed: no more
flowers, no more cabbages-the ground was
strewn with dead leaves. I sadly gained the
terrace, after having nibbled at a few sprigs of
parsley. By my side a troop of black ants
were hastily collecting their winter supply of
No more butterflies--no more bees no
more sweet strains among the leafy shades i
Everything seemed dead within me and around
me ; and yet winter was not come. What,
then, would be the utter dreariness and deso-
lation of that closing season: But why allow
one's-self to feel discouraged beforehand ? To
each day suffices the burden. Providence
watches over us: let us not aggravate our
30 LEONTINE'S CHARACTER.
misfortunes by anticipated sorrows, but submit
to God's will in all humility of spirit. These
brief reflections did me much good. I returned
to my lodging with a lighter heart, and waited
patiently until the commencement of the school
session should restore to me my beloved Leon-
Hitherto I have simply said that she was a
brunette, and handsome ; but without any risk
of exaggeration or fear of partiality, I assert
that she was the most amiable of all the
pupils. Her companions recognized, and with-
out jealousy accepted, her superiority, because
she was so good to each. It was said that as
she had grown older she had carefully corrected
herself of many serious faults, such as a ten-
dency to telling stories, sloth, and greediness.
Her parents loved her with a wise affection,
and never spoiled her. In every respect they
had seconded the exertions of the worthy in-
structresses to whom they had intrusted her;
and Leontine, instead of becoming a vain, false,
selfish, and unendurable little creature, had
grown in virtue and in all precious qualities.
AN ACCIDENT. 31
Happy the husband who in due time shall
take to himself a wife so charming affection-
ate, truthful, and devoted! A good, and lov-
ing and dutiful daughter cannot fail to make
a good, and loving, and attentive wife.
I think we are sometimes the victim of what
I may call sympathetic presentiments, for I
afterwards learned that my anxiety respecting
Leontine had not been in vain. She had met
with a severe fall from a carriage, and had
suffered much, though recovering as rapidly as
could be expected. Her parents were kind
enough to send a servant to the school with
this information, and to ask that their daugh-.
ter's holidays might be extended. I was not
forgotten the worthy man brought me a thick
root of chicory, which she had cut for me with
her own hands. This friendly gift completed
REGO RONCEEIT OF RTUDRS-FOITST OF T1RO IssTAII-
GOERNESSE-PENITENCE riOl R UnENESs-LEONTINES RR-
TURN-T IRyDRT DELIGHTED, AND SECIAILY sNhOWDRO.
Have pity on the stinger i shre who ines
And work's jut recompene Let no chii frown
Afflict her hear t; but by our genia heath
Let her find happines
T length the pupils returned. It was
one of those rare but beautiful days
which seem the last adieux of
The mistresses gave up this day
entirely to their pupils, that they might prattle
entirely at their ease, and make acquaintance
with the new-comers. The elder ones came to
see me, and presented me to the rest They
found that I had grown considerably, and had
AN ENGLISH GOVERNESS. 33
learned some very pretty habits. I received
numerous compliments; some fine apples and
a quantity of nice crumbs-for these young
ladies had so much to say they could not find
time to eat. It was a cross fire of questions
and answers, and it seemed as if the oh's !"
and "ah's !" would never end. Especially they
examined the new-comers; and from a distance
took the measure of the English governess,
who, fortunately for her, had the good luck to
please the majority. This lady stood apart,
but closely watched everything that transpired.
Some thoughtless, giddy-pated girls concluded
that she could speak only her native language.
They therefore took it into their heads to crowd
around her, and make bad jokes against Eng-
land and the English. Miss Helen seemed not
to understand them; but I saw her draw from
her pocket a small red note-book, and pencil in
it a few lines with a cold, severe air.
The young jesters felt uneasy at this pro-
ceeding, and separated. Some of them felt a
little remorse, and asked one another whether
it would not be wiser if they admitted their
34 THE FIRST SCENE.
error and made an apology; but pride and the
hope of impunity stifled their good intentions.
They were deaf to the voice of conscience, and
resumed their pastimes.
Shortly afterwards one of the mistresses came
upon the scene. Miss Helen approached her,
and in a clear, firm voice expressed her regret
that there should be some among her future
pupils utterly deficient in good breeding as
well as good feeling. Mademoiselle Clemence
seemed much troubled at this accusation, and
asked Miss Helen to point out the offenders.
She declined, however; saying that she did not
wish to bring punishment upon them on the
first day of her arrival, but that she should be
compelled to use some severity if they did not
immediately beg her pardon. The guilty ones
revealed themselves by their crimson-coloured
faces. Mademoiselle Clemence pointed out in
affectionate words their rudeness and want of
good feeling; and spoke warmly of the zeal of
Miss Helen, who had quitted her country and
family to assist in perfecting their education.
This wise language was not without effect:
"DEAR HELEN." 35
moved to repentance, the guilty ones advanced,
and humbly requested a pardon, which was very
This little incident effectually confirmed the
position of the assistant-governess, who thence-
forth was beloved and respected. She was an
admirable lady, but her natural melancholy
was revealed by her sadness of manner. She
wore none but black garments, which harmon-
ized with her eyes, her complexion, and her
hair: the latter she wore in short curls, and
arranged like a boy's. This strange exterior
concealed a host of qualities, which made her
cherished and appreciated, and which I was
not the last to recognize. My mistresses loved
and treated her like a sister : they always
spoke of her as dear Helen," and admitted
her into their confidence.
There was also at the boarding-school another
assistant, a non-resident-Mademoiselle Hen-
riette-to whom the elder pupils paid great
attention, in order to learn the news of the
town. She was a pretty young person, some-
what affected, and not well instructed: but
36 AN UNPLEASANT AMUSEMENT.
then, on the other hand, she was always ac-
quainted with the current fashions; she gave
the ton, as it is called, to the boarders, taught
them to make their great chignons, and to wear
huge bands of hair, crimped and turned back.E
To this assistant was entrusted the care of the
youngest pupils-a task requiring little know-
ledge, but much patience ; and it must be
owned that Mademoiselle Henriette was very
gentle with the little ones.
How I loved to see them at their sports!
Sometimes they came and invited me to join
in a round dance; to which I consented, to
please them, on condition that I was placed in
the middle of the ring. Fortunately for me,
the bad weather soon put an end to this species
of amusement, which nearly always made me
On a certain Thursday, at the hour the chil-
dren went out for their usual walk, I had
climbed up to M. Antoine's room, and installed
myself comfortably upon his knees. Whilshe
was gently stroking my back, some persons
entered suddenly, and without announcing
SNOWDROP Ans LlEOTINE. 39
themselves. I immediately leaped to the
ground, almost mad with pleasure. It was
Leontine-my dearest Leontine Yes, it was
Leontine, accompanied by her parents. She had
grown taller, and more beautiful than ever. After
the usual courtesies, she caught sight of me.
What, are you there, my Snowdrop:" she
exclaimed. How big you are grown Come
quickly, and say 'How do you do?' "
A feeling of shame possessed me. and I was
literally unable to move.
"Do you no longer love me, then ? I thought
you had more sense and feeling than common
Don't you see," said her mother, "that we
frighten him? Snowdrop knows neither me
nor your father. Wait a moment, and he will
recover from his alarm."
Leontine having now drawn close to me, I
soon showed her that she was not forgotten.
I licked her hands with so much eagerness that
she and her parents soon ceased to doubt the
faithfulness of my memory and the nature of
40 A Ai'l'Y RECOUiITIOX.
They then dismissed me that they might
discuss business Leontine carried me off with
her to visit her old schoolfellows and learn the
news. The moment she made her appearance
there was a general outburst of enthusiasm.
It is impossible to describe the welcome she
received-the shouts, the kisses, the embraces,
the confusion. I was nearly trodden under
foot in the crowd, and saved myself with diffi-
culty under Mademoiselle Eleonore's desk. By
degrees tranquillity was re-established. I heard
from my hiding-place that my friend was com-
pelled to relate at least ten times the accident
by which she had nearly lost her life, and I
cannot tell you how many commentaries it
provoked. I was not at all at my ease under
the desk, and rejoiced when the dinner-bell
called away the boarders and allowed me to
emerge from my lair. Besides, I was very
much in want of rest after all my emotions
Tw WSLPa-oIIc -r-OIvowo( n Ab'n 1HE LOTITE--LEOBTIY E WIas
k book full of pictures and handsomely bo-nd,-
Ao waken tile -nlil, or summon tre teo,--
OME weeks after this incident, an ex-
traordinary agitation prevailed in the
school. The snow fell in great flakes
the sky was gray, and yet I could see
through the window-panes glimpses of
fresh toilettes of white muslin. Many shouts
of laughter travelled as far as my hutch, and I
bitterly regretted the snow-fall which kept my
young friends in-doors; for, if I could have
caught a few snatches of conversation, I should
quickly have understood all thatwas transpiring.
42 SNOWDROP AND THE LOTTERY.
While I gave full reins to my impatient
curiosity, a deputation came in search of me to
conduct me with all imaginable ceremony to
the principal class-room, which I found had
been transformed; by means of curtains, flags,
and wreaths, into a bright salon de dase.
My arrival was loudly applauded; afterwards a
profound silence prevailed throughout the room.
"My dears," said Mademoiselle Eleanore,
" you were disputing who should draw the
tickets for the lottery; now I think we will
bestow this honour upon Snowdrop, whose ex-
traordinary intelligence you all admire."
At first I was confounded by the importance
of the position to which I was so suddenly
called, but I understood that I ought to do my
best to deserve Mademoiselle Eleanore's culo-
giums. So, collecting all my presence of mind,
I drew in succession the tickets placed in an
elegant basket. Our mistress then read aloud
the number written on the ticket, and indicated
the lot which corresponded to that number.
Oh, what a shout of joy on the part of the
I'""""' ''" ~"'""""'" '" ""
SNowDROP's PRIZE. 45
When fate favoured any studious and gentle
girl, I myself applauded heartily; I desired,
above all, to secure the best prize for ny dear
Leontine, but my paw was not gifted with any
prophetic power, and, therefore, I was unfor-
tunate enough, as I thought, to choose for her
only a small book. That amiable maiden, how-
ever, wished for nothing better; far from it, I
learned that the volume, thin and tiny as it
was, had a special value in Leontine's eyes. It
was a collection of beautiful poems, edited by
the good old gentleman whom we all loved.
Was not this worth much more than laces, and
comfits, and toys ? You see, we must not
judge by appearances.
I myself was not forgotten. "Snowdrop's
prize! Snowdrop's prize!" cried the young
girls in chorus, seizing the last parcel left on
the table; "let us see if he can open it un-
aided." I was somewhat puzzled. Leon-
tine detected my embarrassment, and, coming
to my assistance, showed me the largest car-
rot I had ever seen in my life. I was warmly
congratulated, and carried back in triumph
46 A SPLENDID FESTIVAL.
to my hutch, armed with my splendid
Dances and round games lasted until ten
o'clock in the evening, and the twelfth-night
entertainment was closed by a magnificent
supper, of whose dainties and delicacies the
guests did nothing but talk for the next fort-
TRAoICAI AD W,11, wrn A CAT-LESON*S .I DII WIND--
I ko,,tln dAs f ntlnkdrb.
She had not kept the door fast locked and barred*
i _i i i. winter rolled by very slowly:
r i I was ever of a dull leaden hue,
S- lay thick upon the ground.
'* I'.. appeared to me incrusted
with ice, notwithstanding all the external
precautions taken by my mistresses to protect
me from the cold. Sometimes I coiled myself
up in a motionless heap, as if I had been cut
out of card-board; sometimes I trotted out
in the garden, to unbend my limbs, and re-
turned frozen and shivering. One day, I re-
48 ArPARITION OF AN ENEMY.
marked that the snow was covered with the
footprints of a cat. I had never seen this rest-
less animal except at a distance, on the roof of
a house, or climbing up the trees of the garden
in pursuit of birds. I had heard say that big
cats eat the little rabbits; but, thanks to my
size, I had no reason to fear any such cata-
strophe, and I would not have been sorry to ex-
amine our enemies more closely. An oppor-
tunity soon presented itself. One evening, I
heard the snow cracking near me, and putting
my nose to the only aperture which had been
left to give me air and light, I saw a great
black cat prowling through the darkness in
search of prey. He soon discovered the im-
prudent Snowdrop. His two eyes glittered
like burning coals. He fixed them upon me,
and commenced a conversation in our animal
language, which, for the benefit of little boys
and girls, I translate:
"Would my brother kindly give me hospi-
tality for this one night? I am dying with
cold and hunger, and would take up a very
small corner in his cabin. If my brother has
SNOWDROP'S PRUDENCE. 49
by him a crust of bread which he could spare,
I should be so content, and should feel so
sincere a gratitude towards him, that I would
praise his generosity to all the cats of the dis-
For a moment I was tempted to yield to the
feeling of compassion which his artful words
awakened; but, counselled by prudence, I re-
I regret, my brother, that I have no means
of assisting you: in the first place, I have
nothing to eat; in the second, judge for your-
self if you could get through this tiny opening;
it is scarcely large enough to admit your paw."
In his rage at my refusal, the cruel creature
tore off a piece of my lip with one stroke
of his claws, and then took to flight. I re-
mained stupified with terror; but my wound
recalled me to my senses; and I felt that, bad
as it was, I had been fortunate in escaping a
more serious accident. It is necessary, as you
young people should always remember, to be
on our guard when dealing with strangers.
But for my regular visits to M. Antoine, my
50 sIrTIN FOR A PFORTAIT.
days, at this season of the year, would have
been intolerably long and dreary. In his nice
warm room, however, I always enjoyed some
hours of relaxation. Occasionally I saw there
one of his old friends, or sometimes a pupil or
two, who had made some pretext to get away
from their lessons for awhile. On a certain
occasion, I had the honour to be present at a
lesson in drawing, and the young ladies were
all very eager to take my portrait. I was
delighted, and assuming a proper position, re-
mained quite motionless, with the exception of
my nostrils. This delightful occupation lasted
for a couple of months. Nothing amused me
so much as to hear M. Antoine's remarks on the
efforts of his pupils:-
"There now," he would say, "you have
given Snowdrop a hump on his back, short,
thick legs, and a twist in his nose."
But, sir," they would answer, "we can't
draw Snowdrop's nose; he can't keep it quiet."
At least," M. Antoine would exclaim, with
a smile, you need not give him the back of a
dromedary and the legs of an elephant. Take
-. m mwamrneeo
SNOWDROP CRITICIZED. 53
special note of his outlines, and observe that
Providence has endowed every animal with
limbs suitable to the particular part it has to
play in life. Snowdrop's hind paws are longer
than his fore; because, in a wild state, the
rabbit crosses with a leap brooks and trenches
of tolerable width. He is equally nimble in
running, and holds himself constantly on the
watch, ready to start at the least alarm."
', -i, < -. -
A HOLIDAY VaIO--THE CHIUNSE sDOWS "-sNowDRorP's
ranoRB--THE ETBsR VAOATION-A GOADENEBR-A CAORPETE.I
ray tell me, t your eOrly age,
Which is lor you the nipeslt tage? -
What threat do you frequent'
SWy, i ii not he 0njurorsten,
HO cuses wondrous lorms to Ir1,--
-dak spiriyt, to your d ol-d -0s
INSEIEUi ANTOINE was proceeding
with his explanation, when he was
suddenly interrupted by the appear-
ance of Mademoiselle Clotilde. Hav-
ing dismissed the pupils, she said to
her father:-" My dearest father, we have not
given the children any amusement since they
PROPOSAL FOR A MERRY EVENING. 5
came back after the holidays, and I have come
to the conclusion that it would be a good thing
to get up a merry evening for them, with the
assistance of yourself and M. Valentine. I have
a great sheet of 'Chinese shadows,' full of all
kinds of figures, which you can easily manoeuvre;
I leave to you and your friend the choice of
subjects, and all the merit of the invention.
During the intervals of the exhibition M. Valen-
tine, I doubt not, will sing some of his gay
little ballads, or tell us some of his charming
M. Antoine was well pleased with the idea,
and my excellent mistress had no difficulty in
persuading her mother and sisters to give their
Chance, or rather, affection, brought M.
Valentine to the house, a few minutes after.
"How fortunate it is you have called upon
us!" exclaimed M. Antoine; "I will let Clo-
tilde know of your arrival, or she will be going
to your house in search of you. We shall keep
you here until ten o'clock p.m.,-that's certain!
You are indispensable. After dinner, we in-
56 STAGE PREPARATIONS.
tend to surprise our young ladies with an ex-
hibition of the 'Chinese shadows;' and more
.han any other person in this wide world, my
friend, will you lend life and animation to this
improvised entertainment. My daughter will
send up the puppets we shall have to act with,
and we can make our preparations up to as late
an hour as six o'clock."
The actors arrived,-carefully wrapped up,
I can assure you; and my good master and his
friend, dismissing me to the garden, shut them-
selves into their room, that no one might gain
an inkling of their stage-secrets.
At last, the hour arrived for the joyous ex-
hibition. All the school, and all the house-
hold, were collected in a spacious apartment,
and I was seated in the lap of my gentle Leon-
tine, who had placed herself among the youngest
pupils, that I might have a good view, she
said, of the wondrous spectacle. For the mo-
ment, I saw nothing at all: the room was in
darkness, with the exception of a luminous
transparency from which I was unable to turn
my gaze. The most complete silence prevailed,
A BEAUTIFUL TRANSPARENCY. DI
and each young lady awaited, almost breathless,
the beginning of the entertainment.
A bell rung, and all was ready.
Then on the transparency appeared a mag-
nificent forest, whose trees thrust down their
roots to bathe them in a small brook that
rippled through the shades. A noble stag was
peacefully quenching his thirst in the cool fresh
water, when the sound of a horn was heard in
the distance. The stately animal raised his
head perturbedly. While he sought to dis-
cover from what quarter it proceeded, a pack
of'hounds came sweeping through the wood.
The stag took flight; was pursued and over-
taken by the dogs; a couple of huntsmen gal-
lopped up, and fired at the unfortunate stag,
who fell dead. The attendants took up his
body, and carried it off; the chase disappeared,
and we could hear in the distance the triumph-
ant blast of the horn.
The forest was once more silent and lonely.
A few hares, and some wild rabbits, were frisk-
ing in various directions, when a gentle shep-
herdess made her appearance, with her distaff
58 THE SONG OF LABOUR.
in her hand. She was leading a flock of goats
and sheep to the pasture, and while they
cropped the fragrant herbage, she seated herself
on a bank, and sang aloud to console herself
against the feeling of alarm the loneliness of
the scene inspired. Meanwhile the spindle
revolved rapidly in her nimble hands.
Let me write down the pretty song she sang,
and which may fitly be called the Song of
,, Nfor dawn readens in tile skies
loud is thle stin of Claticleer ;
Straight to his forge te bacmith hi ,
And thick he ddy sparks appear.
From earlier dawn all nature toils,
FAnd sti our efforts renew ;
Like yonder ant, which bent with spoils,
Wil long its weary pth pursue
And so, eahl little ell o store
With honied sweetnea, works the be ;
Each necsared flower it lovers o'er,
And sklms with eer wing th,e lea
The shepherd d on the hilside grn
Close watches o'er his wondering band :
And quickly goe the ploughshare keen,
When guided by a skilful hand.
And wilt thou then, 0 lady fair,
Thy racio hous m n folly spend ?
Oh, sae how earth, nd sea, and air
Thei wealth on toi-ll man -expnd
END OF THE FIRST ACT. 59
Ah w.en the m lshed el, t loga
To borow but a little seed,
Of what avail is idle song
It peishes ain utter need ,"
"Encore! encore!" shouted all the young
ladies, clapping their hands in an ecstasy of
delight. Oh, show us again the little shep-
herdess, and let us hear her song." The re-
quest was complied with, and the last verse
ended amidst a storm of applause. A thick
curtain was then let down in front of the
"End of the first act," cried M. Valentine;
"audience permitted to talk, but only in a
whisper !" Of this permission each pupil took
advantage, to the extent of deafening her
neighbour and herself.
,A loud stroke on the bell once more re-
established silence. The curtain rose, and
revealed the interior of a kitchen and dining-
room, ornamented with a piano. A young
girl of twelve, with her eyes in the air, was
strumming on the instrument, when her mamma
"Rosalie, Rosalie, I wish to speak to you."
60 ROSALIE AhD HE.. MAMA.
What do you want of me, mamma ?"
I am going out to see your little sister."
"Will you not take me with you, mamma?"
"No; you must stay at home, and look
after the dinner until I return. Come with
me to the kitchen, and I will tell you what I
want you to do. First, you must take care
and keep this pot on the boil, for it contains
a delicious sausage-pudding. You know how
fond your papa, is of it, and I want to sur-
prise him with his favourite dish."
"Next, you must put some more fire under
the oven to cook the leg of mutton; and be
sure you don't let it burn."
"And mind you see the cat does not get at
the sausage-pudding, when you take it off the
"Yes, yes, mamma; you can trust me; I
assure you I will attend to all your instruc-
tions, and not leave the kitchen for a single
moment. There now!"
"That is right; and if you do what I have
ENTER VICTORINE. 61
told you, I will think of some reward for a
good girl. If you do not, I shall have to
And so speaking, mamma disappeared.
"Let me look at this fine pudding," said
Rosalie, removing the lid, and placing the pot
on the fender; "oh, how nice it smells!"
(She forgets to put on the lid again.) "Who
is that at the door ? I am coming, I am com-
A young neighbour enters.
"What, is it you, Victorine ? How kind
of you to come and see me Just fancy, 1
am all alone Mamma has gone out, and left
me in charge of the house."
Oh, capital! What a good opportunity
to enjoy ourselves !" exclaimed Victorine;
"let us go into the garden, and pick some
cherries; there is such a quantity of them that
your mamma will never miss a few."
Oh, but don't you see, Victorine, I pro-
mised mamma that I would not leave the
kitchen, but look after the sausage-pudding
and the leg of mutton."
62 AN UNWELCOME INTRUDER.
"Rubbish! won't a sausage-pudding boil
without your looking at it ? Come, my dear,
come ; we need not stay long in the cherry-
tree, only ten minutes or so"
"Are you quite sure, Vietorine?"
"Yes, my dear, ten minutes. We will not
stay longer, I promise you."
The two girls go out into the garden.
Scarcely have they disappeared, before-
mew mew mew !-a great black cat jumps
through the open window. He goes all around
the kitchen, sniffing and smelling, until he is
attracted to the fender by the exquisite odour
of the sausage-pudding. He draws close to
the pot; put his nose in, burs it, and quickly
pulls it out again. Then he stretches forth a
paw, and contrives to hook up the dainty
pudding, which he rolls about the kitchen until
it is tolerably cold. Satisfied on this point,
he takes it up with his teeth, and bolts out of
the window much more quickly than he en-
A minute or two afterwards, the young girls
END OF ACT SECOND. 63
"Let us see if the pudding is ready," said
Rosalie. She peeped into the pot; alas, it was
empty Her companion immediately abandons
her to her fate, and Rosalie, in a sad state of
mind, waits for her mother's return, and the
punishment she knows she has deserved. At
length, mamma arrives, and I leave you to
guess the consequences.
"End of Act Second !" cries M. Valentine,
and the curtain drops a second time. The
buzz of voices recommences, and my darling
companion caresses me, saying,-
"Don't you think, Snowdrop, if you had
been Rosalie's mamma, you would have given
her the cane, and kept her without her dinner?"
I licked her hand by way of answer.
The second entr'acte, or pause, would have
seemed to us very long, had not M. Valentine
come forward, and recited some pretty fables
of his own composition. At their close he
announced a representation of different animals,
to take place in the beautiful forest we had
And in truth, when the curtain rose, the
64 SNOWDROP HAS A FRIGHT.
landscape beamed before us. A light bark
moved slowly along the river, the fisherman
pausing from time to time to haul up his lines.
Suddenly he uttered a loud cry. An enormous
serpent reared its huge crest before him on the
margin of the water. He raised his iron-shod
pole to defend himself, but the frightful monster
avoided the blow, and sprang to the opposite
shore, where he had selected another victim.
He placed himself before one of my brothers,
drew the hapless victim into his yawning jaws,
and swallowed him alive
At this horrid spectacle, I was paralyzed
with fear, and remained in a swoon on Leon-
tine's knees until the scene had ended.
My friend then perceived my condition, car-
ried me into the open air, rubbed me, put her
eau-de-Cologne bottle to my nostrils, and did
not leave me until I was completely recovered.
All night I dreamed that I was being de-
voured alive by gigantic serpents!
At length, this protracted winter drew to-
wards a close. The garden turf was green
again. The sparrows quitted their solitary
~'' "~^'""" '"^ """"" """' "'" "'""" "^" """""~'
APPROACH OF SPRING. 67
nest, and came to pay me frequent visits. They
no longer wore a frightened and half-starved
aspect, for on the soil they found seeds and
insects of all kinds, and uttered little joyous
chirps as they basked in the rays of the sun,
which came anew to warm them. Not that it
was yet spring ; but the earth felt the sweet
influence of its coming. Every day when I
took my walk abroad, I discovered some new
flower among the herbage ; sometimes a daisy,
sometimes a violet, or, perhaps, a pimpernel or
two, and a cluster of wild pansies. The tips
of the branches were coloured red, which gave
them a charming aspect.
At intervals, the young ladies brought their
skipping-ropes into the court; but this, as yet,
was a rare amusement, for their mistresses took
them out walking after dinner.
Easter soon afterwards arrived, and brought
with it a short vacation. I had, therefore, only
a few days of solitude to support, and these
were shortened by a host of amusing incidents.
First came the gardener, to prune the vine, and
turn up the garden, ready for fresh seeds and
68 WORK OS ALL SIDES.
plants. I followed him from point to point,
admiring the eagerness with which the spar-
rows devoured the insects turned up by his
The good man flattered and caressed me
warmly, and I soon grew quite familiar with
him. He pointed it out to my mistresses, who
replied by praising me fondly; and adding
that they allowed me full liberty in the garden,
so great was their confidence in my discretion.
At these kind words, I recollected the serious
fault of which I had once been guilty, and the
tip of my nose blushed suddenly. Fortunately,
no one noticed my confusion.
I was very glad, however, when the conver-
sation changed. We visited the dead trees to
root them up, and plant new ones, and we
selected a suitable place for the erection of a
Next day, it was the turn of the carpenter,
who came to run up the hen-house, which was
painted green, and surrounded by flowering
shrubs. We installed in it a fine hen, with
fifteen chickens; and it was very amusing to
A GOOD EXAMPLE. by
see them clustering round their mother, and
obeying her slightest signal. My good mis-
tress frequently brought the younger pupils
thither to show them the admirable example;
but I do not say that all of them profited
PUNCOO RETU EN 0 THE PUPILS--M. HECTOR--EVERY YOUNG
LDY HER OWN GARDENED -M. HECTOR INSPECTS THE GAR-
=h G -ardnr- ------
Nothing know I so good as the ich and genial earti,
Wh7ch, from her fertile breat, to flowen and plants give birth;
Sgood mistresses had promised a re-
ward to the pupils if they returned
-. punctually to school on the ap-
pointed day. The device succeeded,
; and there were not more than three
behind time. The novelties of the garden
proved a complete success, and the first hour of
recreation was spent in a visit to the chickens.
UNGRATEFUL SPIRITS. 71
I experienced a feeling of jealousy, but did
my best to conquer it; besides, Leontine had
again thought of me, and brought me some
delicious straw and a fine cabbage. This gen-
erous patron of mine bade the servant never
come without fresh straw for my litter, and
she watched keenly that her order was not
Several weeks passed by, and the children
heard nothing of the promised reward, and
some were ungrateful enough to express their
You will see," said certain troublesome
spirits, "that she does not intend to give it.
'Twas just a stratagem of Mademoiselle Clo-
tilde, to make us return punctually."
Oh, that is impossible," replied the others;
"our mistresses always keep their promises,
but we don't see that they are obliged to do
so to the minute! And then again, if they
intend to give us a pic-nic in M. Valentine's
great park, we must wait for fine weather; or,
at all events, until the cherries are ripe, and as
yet they are green. We know you too well,
72 AN AMATEUR OF GARDENING.
young ladies; you are always in a hurry to do
Oh, how virtuous we ae So you think
yourselves qualified to give us a moral lecture !"
The bell rang for school, and interrupted a
discussion which was growing angry.
My good mistresses had an amiable neigh-
bour, who was particularly partial to roses and
rare plants. Though he was seventy-five years
o age, he cultivated with great success a couple
of pretty parterres, one of which led to a small
conservatory, admirably arranged, and filled
with representatives of the vegetable wealth of
all parts of the world. M. Hector's great delight
was to offer his productions to his numerous
friends and these ladies. Every day brought
some new surprise, according to the season; and
he was always consulted on the management of
One Thursday, after dinner, while the school
were out walking, I saw him enter with
Mademoiselle Clotilde, the eldest of the mis-
tresses; they measured the beds which sur-
AN UNEXPECTED PLEASURE. 73
rounded the court, and divided them into little
square plots of different sizes. In each square
they planted a stake, to which was attached
a cord. By the time this allotment was
finished, the pupils returned home; and Miss
Helen, who had received her instructions,
brought them into the garden, and made them
take their places in silence, according to their
ages. Then Mademoiselle Clotilde spoke :-
"Young ladies, I promised to reward you
for the punctuality with which you returned
to school at Easter. I now keep my word, 'by
giving to each two of you a little garden to
cultivate; and our excellent neighbour here has
taken the trouble to partition them off in sizes
adapted to your years."
"Oh, how delightful! How agreeable How
much obliged we are to mademoiselle, and M.
"That is not all, young ladies," said M.
Hector, stepping forward; "close at hand is
my florist and nurseryman, whom I will intro-
duce to your notice."
He disappeared for a few minutes, to return
74 HURRAH0 FOR HECTOR !
with an immense basket full of plants and cut-
tings of every kind. Then, calling the young
ladies forward, in due order, he supplied them
with materials for the decoration of their little
flower-beds, accompanying his gifts with suit-
able advice,-such as to pluck up weeds, re-
move stones, and water the plants only after
sunset He concluded with a promise to visit
them frequently, and reward the most successful
gardeners. As joy spurns all limits, they
shouted merrily, "Hurrah for M. Hector!"
Sand promised to show themselves worthy of his
generosity. So each set to work most dili-
gently. They planted, they dug, they raked,
and they watered, and were so busy that for
once the dinner-hour came unexpectedly, and
was considered unwelcome.
A few days afterwards, M. Hector came on
a visit of inspection. "Here comes our florist!"
cried Leontine; quick, girls, let us show him
our wonders, and do our best to please him."
He was soon surrounded by the young ladies, and
accompanied by them, began his critical survey.
From the corner where I was lying I could
THE YOUNG LADY GARIDENEIS. 77
hear the praises he bestowed upon them; nor
did he leave without acknowledging that he
was very well pleased with the results they had
obtained-an opinionwhich seemed to give them
It was charming to see the solicitude in-
spired by the tiniest flower if it appeared to
droop; it was watched with redoubled care.
Every moment they came to me, saying:
"Snowdrop, you will not walk in my garden,
will you? You won't eat my flowers, and,
especially, my pretty pinks, or I shall love you
no longer." I pricked up my ears as a sign
that I agreed: whereupon they all exclaimed,
"Snowdrop understands, you see: oh, he is
the most intelligent of rabbits !"
Certainly, Snowdrop understood," remarked
Miss Helen; "he is better bred than certain
little girls of my acquaintance, who are greedy
enough to pick green gooseberries and eat them;
while others invent all sorts of excuses to leave
their class, and trespassing on the terrace, are
guilty of the same fault at the risk of making
themselves ill. But I keep my eye on all
78 LITTLE PILFERERS.
these petty acts of disobedience, and will cau-
tion Madame Antoine." At the close of this
admonition, they dispersed, but a keen ob-
server would have noticed signs of confusion
on at least a dozen faces.
Green plums seemed an irresistible tempta-
tion for some of these imprudent girls. A
shake of the elbow, skilfully given, shook the
tree, and brought the fruit to the ground.
They profited by an instant when the governess
turned her back, to pick them up, and pocket
them, with incomparable rapidity. But their
mistresses soon detected these paltry tricks
They then explained to them how mean and
dishonest was such conduct, and that to take
the fruit, whether green or ripe, was to commit
an act of theft, dishonourable to children brought
up with so much care. They made the offenders
pay a slight fine for the benefit of the poor.
And as, though greedy and thoughtless, they
were not wanting in goodness of heart, they
readily discharged their penance, and faithfully
promised to avoid for the future all such shame-
The Prodigail upraised o Heaven his hand .,
Ad bent his ead in teal, hnmbl prayer
Then at his father' knees hmself he cat,
To gin the pardon which he sought with teas.
ATURE was rejoicing in the balmy
airs and sweet sunshine of May;
melodious songs of birds and streams
echoed on every breeze. The acacias
flung abroad the perfumes of their
pliant branches; everything lived, everything
breathed. The happy note of the cuckoo once
more pealed through the glades, and the faith-
80 OUT IN THE GARDEN.
ful swallow rebuilt with ardent industry her
All those pleasures were very sweet to me,
and I blessed God that he had bestowed them
on all his creatures, even on me, a poor pet
rabbit. I stayed but little in my hutch, greatly
preferring the freshness and beauty of the gar-
den. The young ladies thought me very for-
tunate in being able to spend my time so
agreeably. At the beginning of every half-
holiday, or every hour of relaxation, their faces
shone with delight; but oh, how gloomy they
looked when the bell summoned them back to
How delightful it is in the garden !" said
the graceful Sophie (by this time I knew all
their names); "if we were only allowed to do
our needlework here, I declare we would toil,
and toil, like so many benevolent fairies. My
dear Mademoiselle Cldmence, will you allow us?"
Sophie's request was so warmly seconded by
the majority, that their mistress could not but
consent. Some seats were quickly procured,
and the young girls set zealously to work
TELLIN A TALE. 81
"We have no more interesting books to
read," said Sophie; "we have exhausted all
our present supply. Would you, Miss C 1mence,
oblige us by relating one of your pretty little
"I have no objection, my dear Sophie."
"Two victories, Sophie!" whispered one of
her companions; "what a pity you cannot
become a lawyer!"
Before I tell my tale," remarked Mademoi-
selle Cl4mence, I will fetch Mademoiselle
Henriette and the junior class, who will be
delighted to sit here in the pleasant shade
And then I will hear some of you read. Re-
member, my children, we must never neglect
our duties for the sake of pleasure."
The reading lasted an hour, which, to the
impatient audience, seemed an age. At length
it was done, and Miss Clemence, requesting
perfect silence, and prohibiting interruptions,
announced her intention to relate the History
of Little Peter and Lucette ; or, the Fatal Con-
sequences of Disobedience and Idleness." I
should never have been able to lodge the whole
82 PETER AND LUCETTE.
of it in my brain, which has not enough room
for such long stories; but it was committed to
writing by one of the school girls, from whose
manuscript it is now transcribed for the reader's
gistorg of little peter antb ucatte;
oR, Teo caTc, cOxsEqoE cEs Oc DOo eDI00CR 0m acrSNS.
The little village of Sinard is situated on a
narrow table-ground in the heart of the moun-
tains of Dauphind. On its right it overhangs
the famous torrent of the Drac, and on its left
a succession of charming valleys, bright with
castles and villages. In the distance, the
snowy peaks and azure glaciers of the Alps are
outlined against a deep blue sky. Altogether,
the scene is one of singular and surpassing
The inhabitants of Sinard are compelled to
labour incessantly for the simplest comforts.
From a very early age, the children, both boys
and girls, weave and twist the coarse straw
of which the workmen's hats are made, and at
the same time watch the herd while pasturing.
THE VILLAGE OF SINARD. 83
When a few years older, the boys work in the
fields, while the girls sew, with extraordinary
skill, the seams of leather gloves; but they earn,
in spite of all their industry, a very insufficient
Some years ago, they used to point out, in
the immediate neighbourhood of the church,
the ruins of a small cottage. I am going to
repeat the story which they told of its former
One day, there came from the town of Oisans,
driven out by a terrible fire, an aged woman
and her daughter. They brought with them
some few articles of furniture, and a box or
two full of the fashions of the day. At a low
rent, they engaged the cottage of which I have
spoken, and took up their residence in it. The
young girl was a milliner and dressmaker, and
was accustomed to set out in the only window
of the cottage the specimens of her handiwork,
The good curd of the village quickly called
upon his new parishioners : he interested the
lady of the chateau in their lot, and about a
month after their arrival at Sinard, Lucie mar-
84 LEFT MOTHERLESS.
tried a young and honest workman, employed
on one of the chatelaine's farms. The three
first years of their married life passed in perfect
happiness. God had sent them a fine boy,
whom they called Little Peter, after his father,
and a sweet little girl, named Lucette, after her
The young family prospered. Every day
Peter repaired to his work at the farm, returning
in the evening to rest himself in the pleasant
companionship of his wife and children. The
peace and joy which flow from a good con-
science made their home most happy; nor was
there any sign or indication that this happiness
would be disturbed.
Some years had passed since the birth of the
children, when their mother fell ill. For a
whole month she struggled bravely against the
inroads of a severe fever, and then she sank,
-with her last breath commending the two
children, so soon to he motherless, to the care
of her husband and their grandmother.
Little Peter at this time was eight, and
Lucie six years old. They were two handsome
A COUPLE OF SPOILED CHILDREN. 85
children, but spoiled by excessive indulgence;
and spoiled especially by their grandmother,
who was unable to resist them in the indulgence
of any of their caprices. To speak of spoiled
children is to speak of idle children Little
Peter and his sister would never go to school.
They were utterly ignorant, and spent their
days playing in the woods and meadows, where
Little Peter was always capturing birds' nests.
Their parents, seeing them grow tall and
strong, never interfered ; waiting until they
should receive their first religious instruction
at the hands of the curb to commence their
education. In vain the good curd had remon-
strated. The two children had no other law
than that of their own will, and they became
true vagabonds At length their father saw
how much evil had been done, and endeavoured
to remedy it. He prayed and entreated, but
all to no purpose. Then he resorted to severe
measures; but these only drove the children
from their home. They would stay away from
their father's house for whole days; and at last,
one fatal day, they did not return. In great
86 THE FUGITIVES.
distress of mind their father went in search of
them; and after vainly exploring the neigh-
bourhood for miles around, he was compelled
to apply to the authorities at Grenoble. On
his return to the village, everybody pitied him
from the bottom of their heart, for he was very
much esteemed. The aged grandmother grieved
so bitterly over the loss of her grandchildren,
that she fell ill and died, leaving Peter plunged
in an excess of misery and despair. The un-
fortunate man returned to his work for the
sake of a livelihood; but silence and solitude
awaited him on his return to his deserted
home. His brain was unable to endure the
constant anxiety, and he went mad.
What became of Little Peter and Lucette ?
On the day of their flight, having supplied
themselves with a double allowance of bread,
they had abandoned the frequented roads, in
order to avoid recognition, and taken the by-
paths across the fields which led to the town of
Oisans, their mother's native place. They
came eventually to a place crowded by people
returning from a fair. Some were leading the
IN THE HANDS OF BEGGARS. 87
cattle they had purchased, others were loaded
with provisions; all seemed surprised to see
two children, alone, unattended, and at such a
distance from any habitation. To the questions
put to them, the little fugitives replied, that
some friends expected them not far from this
spot, and that they should soon arrive at their
However, the road began to get very lonely,
and evening was coming on. Our fugitives
were trembling with fear, and weeping with
remorse, when they fell in with a troop of
beggars. These, on seeing the children, stopped,
and held a short consultation; after which,
without paying attention to their cries, they
tied their hands behind them, and compelled
them to follow, threatening to beat them if
they were disobedient. Little Peter and Lu-
cette now lost all their headstrong audacity,
and thought with painful regret of the home
they had deserted. They had spurned the
authority of their father,-for what?-to fall
into the hands of wicked vagabonds, who
would treat them with the utmost cruelty.
88 WEARY WITH TRAVEL.
Fain would they have returned to their native
village, but they were too closely watched to
be able to escape. And thus, you see, their
punishment had commenced; would they know
how to profit by it ?
On the threshold of a wood the beggars
halted, and after having handed a crust of hard
bread to the poor children, they questioned
them respecting their parents and friends; not
indeed with any intention of returning them
to their family, for they saw clearly that the
children were poor, and that no reward was to
be expected; but that they might keep away
from their village, and avoid the pursuit of the
police. Little Peter told them his story, and
prayed them to take him and Lucette home.
But the beggars, far from complying with the
pathetic petition, quitted the country, passed
into Italy, and did not revisit France until
after a long sojourn in Savoy. They travelled
by short stages, and on the road taught the
children their dishonest trade, and all the vices
which accompany it. Little Peter and Lucette
profited too well by these wicked lessons, and
"w ~ ~ ~"~ ~"~ *"" """"""" '""
A SISTER OF MERCY. 91
before long were versed in every kind of
roguery and deception.
However, the orphans had in heaven a
mother and a grandmother whose love watched
over them. One evening, on entering the
great city of Lyons, where they were begging
in company, their resemblance to one another
surprised a charitable woman, of whom they
had asked alms. She was what is called a
Sister of Mercy, and had dedicated her life to
the performance of works of benevolence and
love. I have nothing to give you, my chil-
dren," she said; "but I can help you in
another way. You appear to me much too old
and strong to beg publicly for your daily bread,
which it is far more honourable to gain by
honest labour. You interest me; I see that
you are brother and sister, and, perhaps, more
unfortunate than guilty. Come with me: let
me try to move your hearts, to awaken better
feelings in your bosoms, and to rescue you from
a shameful life which can lead you only to
The first thought of the young mendicants
92 THE CHILDREN RESCUED.
was to fly, and preserve the wretched kind of
liberty they had bought at so fearful a price.
But in the Sister of Mercy's countenance there
was a sad yet gentle look which reminded
them of their mother. They felt, as it were,
a dim remembrance of their paternal cottage.
It seemed to them as if they were once more
kneeling at the feet of their grandmother, and
repeating the morning and evening prayer
which they had long since forgotten; and it
was with bended head and streaming eyes they
followed their new-found friend.
On reaching the door of the asylum, she
showed them into a little room, and bade them
sit down and rest. After a few minutes she
conducted them into the kitchen, and supplied
them with an ample meal, which they eagerly
devoured. Next she led them to the matron,
to whom she had already given notice of their
arrival. These admirable women listened at-
tentively to the children's simple relation of
the various incidents of their lives. Tears
flowed from their eyes, for they knew not
whether they should succeed in reclaiming
WORDS OF GOOD COUNSEL. 93
the two poor creatures from the evil of their
My children," said the matron, it is the
will of Providence to save you, since it is Pro-
vidence alone that has sent you hither,-the
Providence of God; but you must be willing
to throw off your past sins. I cannot compel
you, and, therefore, I give you until to-morrow
morning to reflect. If you choose the path of
truth, and virtue, and piety, you will find in
this asylum all the means necessary for your
honourable return into society. If you persist
in the way of evil, the law demands that
vagabonds of your early age shall be confined
in a reformatory, whither you will accordingly
be removed. While waiting your decision, I
place you in the care of the good sister whom
you already know. Humble yourself before
God, and think of your unfortunate father,
who, it may be, still mourns your loss, if grief
and anxiety have not slain him."
The minds of both brother and sister were
agitated by very contrary sentiments up to
the moment which was to decide their future.
94 A HAPPY ENDING.
But in this conflict between good and evil,
the voice of their conscience-that still, small
voice," so long neglected and despised-once
more obtained a hearing; and when their pro-
tectress came to learn their resolution, she
found them on their knees, with their hands
folded in prayer. They followed her once more
into the matron's presence. At a glance she
perceived that good had triumphed; she opened
her arms to receive them tenderly, and adopted
them as her children in the sight of God.
Many years have passed away since this
event took place, and I know from the excel-
lent curd at Sinard that Peter and Lucette have
persevered in well-doing. Peter has become a
clever workman, and lives with his father, who
has been happily restored to reason. Lucette
is now the wife of a decent tradesman in
Lyons, and sets to all her neighbours a bright
example of industry, benevolence, and piety.
The young ladies were very much affected
by this simple story, and for some minutes
preserved a profound silence.
SOME REFLECTIONs. 95
At length Marguerite exclaimed:-
"When I leave school, and return to the
country, I will do all I can to help the chil-
dren of the poor; I will call them together in
my father's house, and teach them the Cate-
chism, and to read the Bible."
"You know," said Elise, "that my father
is a lawyer, and I am his only daughter. I
shall have much to do at home, but every
week I intend to visit the good people of the
village, to find out who are sick or unhappy,
and in need of help or consolation."
"And I," added Leontine, "as my father is
proprietor of a large factory, shall insist on
work being found for all the poor, and that
they shall send their children to school."
Such were the reflections inspired by Made-
moiselle C14mence's affecting story, and Snow-
drop trusts they have not been without good
fruit. It is useless for us to mean well, if we will
not do well. Good deeds are worth more than
good thoughts, and true charity consists in an
active devotion of our lives to the welfare of
those who surround us, and have claims upon us.
A nlva To s8NOsoR APPEsR ON THE soENE--A TBE FmND--
Which make you Ifngtful to the view
ERY pleasantly day after day passed
by. I had become, I may venture
to assert, indispensable to certain
young ladies; and even the eldest
did not hesitate to converse in my
presence, and repeat their secrets. They did
not fear to confide them to me : I was ac-
quainted with their most intimate friendships;
I knew all their little schemes for walking
together when they went out on their daily
ROSITTE THE KrITTE. 97
promenades ; I saw them divide and share
their dainties, of which they never failed to
offer me a portion, much to my satisfaction.
One evening, after they had completely
gorged me, I was on the point of falling asleep
when a lady arrived, a friend of my mistresses.
She drew from her basket a very little kitten,
about the size of your fist, and offered it to
Mademoiselle Eleonore. "She is called Rosette,"
said the lady, "and is only two months old.
* I have brought her up for you. She is very
gentle, and will soon grow accustomed to Snow-
drop, and become very friendly with him.
Please introduce them to one another."
Mademoiselle Eleonore brought Rosette to see
me. At first she was very much frightened;
but when she saw that I did not stir, she
gradually recovered her composure, and amused
herself with the bits of straw which projected
through the bars of my cage. I found her
exceedingly pretty and graceful. Her coat was
of three colours; her four paws were white.
Mademoiselle Eleonore decorated her with a
ruby-velvet collar, to which was attached a little