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Title: Tales and Novels for Youth of Both Sexes
Author: Anonymous
Illustrator: "Chasselat" [Chasselat, Charles-Abraham (1782-1843)]
Engraver: "Geoffroy"
Date of first publication: 1831
Edition used as base for this ebook: Paris: G. Doyen, 1831 (first edition)
Date first posted: 8 June 2010
Date last updated: 8 June 2010
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #549

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Donna M. Ritchey & the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Internet Archive/American Libraries

Les deux Colombes.

Chasselat del.            Geoffroy sc.

Les deux Colombes.





Rue Saint-Jacques, No. 38.


Transcriber's notes: Obvious printer errors have been silently corrected and hyphenated words have been standardized. The Table of Contents has been moved from the end of the book to the front of the book.


The Two Doves 1
The Old Woman's Muff 13
The Writing-Master 26
The Grenadier's Cap 163
The Sisters of Saint Camilla 61
The Nosegay 81
The Sentinel 95
The Fable of La Fontaine 111
The Bust of Henry the Fourth 126
The White Kid 143
The Poor Blind Man 159
The Military Salute 181
The Rural Repast 201
Each in his Turn 223
The Shepherd's Cabin 246
The Paralytic 246


A Lesson for the First Age.

[Pg 1]


Two pretty children, Louisa, five years of age, and Henry her brother, scarcely turned of four, lived in a large castle built by their ancestors. They gained the affections of every one, and were the hope and consolation of the tenderest of mothers. Brought up together under the tutelary aegis of a kind and provident wisdom, they[Pg 2] never quitted each other. They shared equally the pleasures, and the little griefs, so keenly felt at that tender age.

Louisa could not remain alone an instant without her brother; Henry was never so happy as when with his sister. They were like two lilies of the spring, growing side by side, mingling their budding leaves, and rising majestically under the pure heaven, which protects them. The attachment those children felt for each other, influenced their thoughts as well as their actions. The wishes of one always became those of the other, and, though nature might produce in them some slight difference of taste, feelings, and disposition, they gave constant proofs of affection for each other[Pg 3] in their words and actions. Amusements, walks, hours of repast, of study and prayer, were all enjoyed together; sometimes you might see the great doll of Louisa leaning on the arm of Henry's old grenadier; the fiery war-horse, composed of black paste-board, belonging to the latter, lying near the beautiful bay horse of his sister; upon different seats were huddled together an embroidered cap, ornamented with flowers, and a little dragoon's cap; a kerchief of Louisa's with the gorget of an officer of the guards; a work-box, with a cartridge-pouch; a fan and a reticule, with a hussar's sabre, and the beard of a sapper. Nothing was more droll, and, at the same time, more interesting than this odd mixture of the attributes of the[Pg 4] two sexes; for every thing announced that the most perfect harmony reigned between Henry and Louisa.

They had a present made them of two young white doves, whose brilliant plumage was set off with a little black collar, elegantly designed by nature. This charming symbol of brotherly love delighted and interested the two children. They were never weary of seeing their tame and playful doves, perch on their heads, arms and shoulders, and take from their hands the nutritive millet-seed; sometimes they even dared to peck it from their innocent lips, then flutter their wings as if to ask a kiss. «Oh! what beautiful birds!» cried Louisa; «I have never seen any thing from which I have derived so[Pg 5] much pleasure.» «They are like ourselves,» said Henry, «inseparable; they think of nothing but loving each other.» «Let us imitate them, my brother, and promise never to leave each other;» «no, sister, never!» and behold our two children embracing, whilst the doves, fluttering around them, appeared to share their joy. Some time passed away, the doves, quite happy, and well tended in the cage they occupied, became more beautiful every day; nothing could equal the whiteness of their plumage, the gracefulness and vivacity of their motions. Often tasting the sweets of liberty, from the indulgence of Louisa and Henry, who almost every moment opened the door of their cage, they availed themselves of it only in[Pg 6] order to caress and thank them for all the happiness they owed them; but too much precaution is often injurious. They vied with each other in opening the bars which enclosed their beloved birds; sometimes they disputed with each other the right of changing the grain that nourished them, and the pure water that quenched their thirst; sometimes their caresses were anxtiously courted; they felt inexpressible delight at seeing them on their shoulders, and feeding them from their hands. Louisa would have it that they preferred her brother to her, Henry maintained that they had more love for his sister. At length, that spur to envy, the fatal desire of possession, which, alas! too often misleads every age, inspired the children[Pg 7] with the idea of having each his own dove.

They acquainted their worthy mother with their project, who, without blaming or approving it, gave orders for fitting up a second cage in Louisa's apartment. The next day she agreed with her brother, that when they let out the two doves, as usual, that which first rested on her head or arm should belong to her, and that Henry should possess the other.

The proposal was accepted; they opened the cage, and each of the children soon takes possession of a dove, and fervently presses it to his bosom. The poor little creatures were almost suffocated, and their mutual looks, at the fatal moment of separation, appeared to express their[Pg 8] sufferings, and predict all the evils they were about to endure. At length the doves, shut up in separate cages, became melancholy and silent.

Their handsome, white plumage turned yellow; no more fluttering of the wings, no more sweet cooings; in vain did they see themselves surrounded with yellow millet-seed, with odoriferous hemp-seed, the freshest of plants, and the clearest water, nothing could support them under so cruel a separation. Each of them, sorrowfully perched upon the highest stick of the cage, whether to see if her dear companion was not coming to rejoin her; and, weary of waiting in vain, they concealed their heads beneath their wings, as if to shun the light, until[Pg 9] death should terminate their sufferings.

Henry and Louisa became alarmed. They informed their tender mother of their fears, who, under pretence of obliging them to yield the assistance which their unfortunate victims required, ordered them to remain in separate apartments.

The first day appeared rather long; but the amiable person who had the care of them, and the charm of possession, concurred to divert them. The second day was more tiresome; the third became insupportable. «Oh! how dull it is to play alone,» said Henry! «I would give all my playthings to see my sister a single moment.» «I wish it were possible to go to[Pg 10] my brother,» said Louisa; «without him there is neither pleasure nor amusement; without him every thing fatigues, every thing wearies me: I shall never be able to bear it.» At length, being no longer able to support the privation of each other's society they supplicated their mother to unite them again; because it was impossible for one to exist without the other. «Well,» said she to them, sternly, «it is the same with your young doves, hatched in the same nest, brought up under the same foliage, accustomed to live and breathe the same air together, they suffer, as you do, the torments of a cruel separation, and are near dying with grief.» At these words, Louisa and Henry sprang towards both cages, the doors[Pg 11] of which they immediately opened; instantly they saw the two prisoners reunited, revived by each others caresses, fluttering around their dear liberators, and testifying their joy and gratitude by tender cooings. They soon reassumed their graceful movements, and the rich colour of their plumage: the second cage was set aside, Louisa and Henry agreed to possess the two doves in common, and to separate them no more. «O my children,» said their excellent mother, pressing them to her bosom, «you have just had a proof that the ties of infancy are the most gratifying to the heart, the first charm of our existence: may you long bear with each other! never forget that on a throne, as well as in a cottage; in the midst of a[Pg 12] brilliant court, as in the humblest solitude, nothing is more sweet to utter, or more delicious to hear, than the loved names of brother and sister.»

[Pg 13]



Louis-Charles, the last Dauphin of France, joined to a beautiful face the most graceful and seducing softness of manners. The sound of his voice penetrated the soul, his enchanting look inspired a tender and respectful emotion.

When he looked on you with his fine blue eyes, which appeared to reflect the azure and the goodness of heaven, he irretrievably gained your[Pg 14] affections. No one was ever weary of admiring, nor could any one help loving, this royal child, in whom it was said that nature had been pleased to unite all her gifts. The Queen, Marie-Antoinette, his mother, was constantly giving him lessons, still more valuable than all the gifts of nature; for grace, beauty, and illustrious birth, are nothing without a good heart. Louis-Charles, at the earliest age, was remarkable for his urbanity, and, above all, for his respect for women, young or old, ugly or handsome, noble or obscure; all were entitled to his salutation, and were treated by him with the greatest deference.

At the early age of four he was accustomed to bodily exercises, in order[Pg 15] that his limbs might be strengthened, and his physical powers developed. In the first days of spring he passed a part of the morning on the terrace of the palace of Versailles, over against the apartment he inhabited, busying himself with loading and rolling, in a small wheelbarrow, a heap of sand, which he conveyed to a spot at about twenty-five paces distance; and, as soon as he had finished this healthy exercise, he received from his august mother the promised reward. Sometimes it was a precious and long-wished for plaything; sometimes a couple of small white rabbits, of which he was excessively fond; sometimes a few pieces of gold, which he took great pleasure in giving to old, disabled veterans, who often stopped to look[Pg 16] at him, as they leaned on the iron-railing by which the terrace was surrounded.

Nothing could be more curious and interesting to the moralist, than to contemplate the heir to the throne, with his shovel in his hand, acting the part of a common labourer, learning, by that means, what fatigue and trouble the working classes have to go through, and how much they deserve the esteem and bounty of the rich. He resembled Henry the Fourth, when yet a child, busied in rustic labours, on the mountains of Bearn.

One day Louis-Charles had just finished the task which had been imposed upon him: he stopped to take breath under a small tent which had been erected in the midst of the terrace;[Pg 17] and sitting down on a wheelbarrow, he wiped off, with a handkerchief, the perspiration which was trickling down his face. An elderly lady, whose decent exterior announced her to be of the middling class, was leaning on the iron-railing, and, like many others, admiring the august child, who was endeavouring to become a man. She drew from her pocket a small silver snuff-box, of an antique form, and, while taking some snuff, which she had long been in the habit of doing, she let fall, inside the railing, a small muff of crimson velvet, which was then called Petit-Gérard. It was old and threadbare; the prayer book, which the good old lady often put into it when she went to fulfil her religious duties, had worn out the[Pg 18] yellow satin lining. Of course it would have been no great loss; but, as elderly people are generally much attached to their old garments, she immediately tried to take up the muff which had fallen down upon the gravel; but in vain did she lean over the railing, and stretch out her long fleshless arm; the muff was still a foot beyond her reach. The young Dauphin, perceiving her efforts and embarrassment, instantly left his playthings, pickaxe, shovel, and beloved wheelbarrow, ran to pick up the dirty old muff, which he shook with great care, in order to free it from the dust, and presented it to the old lady, saying:—«You should have called me, ma'am, and not given yourself so much trouble.» «How! my lord,» replied she,[Pg 19] struck with surprise and admiration, and making him a low courtesy; «is it possible that you can be so kind?»—«Are you not a woman?» replied Louis-Charles. At these words he came still nearer, and returned her muff with such a charming simplicity, that the good old lady thought no more about her Petit-Gérard, she was so wholly taken up with the angelic countenance of the young prince, and his politeness, so astonishing at such a tender age. At last she took her old muff, which she determined to keep all her life. Oh! how happy would she have been if she could have kissed the pretty hand that restored it to her! her eyes, swimming in tears, were for a long time fixed on the Dauphin, and still followed him,[Pg 20] with an expression of gratitude, when he re-entered his apartments. This interesting scene, which was described to me by a relation of mine, who was an eye-witness of it, appeared quite natural to Louis-Charles, and soon passed from his memory, as the perfume of a flower borne away on the wings of the zephyr. But this scene had not passed unnoticed by Marie-Antoinette, who watched her son from the balcony, to see that he did not take any exercise beyond his strength. She experienced that inexpressible delight which a mother must always feel, who perceives the germ of her own virtues in the heart of her children. She saw that Louis-Charles would prove himself worthy the race from which he sprung, that he would[Pg 21] be kind, affable, courteous, and beneficent; that he would be a man, in short, who would compassionate the sorrows of his fellow-beings. Oh! what a delightful hope for a queen, a mother! and what a sweet reward for all her tender care! She would not at first say any thing to her son, concerning what he had done: the latter, who considered that he had merely fulfilled his duty, neglected mentioning it to the queen, and his modesty and discretion only rendered him more worthy the reward that awaited him.

The next morning Louis-Charles perceived, upon a chair in his apartment, a muff of crimson velvet, lined with yellow satin, exactly like that of the old lady. He got up hastily, and,[Pg 22] putting his hands into the muff, found a small tortoise-shell box, mounted with gold, and filled with pastils of chocolate, of which he was very fond: besides that, a punchinello, opening its mouth and moving its eyes, and which, by means of a spring, made the most comical gestures and the most amusing gambols. The next day the young prince thought he perceived that the muff, which he had placed upon a table by the side of his bed, moved;—he put his hand into it, and immediately pulled out a little white rabbit, with rose-coloured eyes, having on a silver-collar, on which were written these words: «I belong to the Dauphin.» A few days after he found in the same little muff a tame squirrel, which climbed, with the quickness of[Pg 23] lightning, on his arms, his shoulders, or head, and then all at once would come and thrust its head into his bosom. Some time after he received, through the same medium, a parrot, which would distinctly pronounce: «Louis-Charles respects the ladies—God will bless him.» Besides those, were two canary-birds, one of which would repeat, every moment: «Kiss me, pretty Dauphin!» and particularly a starling, that whistled the popular tune of Henry IV. It may easily be imagined how dear this fortunate talisman became to the young prince; how glad he was of having picked up the old woman's muff; for he had no doubt but that all he received was a homage paid him by gratitude. For several months, indeed, he could scarcely[Pg 24] form a single desire that was not speedily satisfied; and when, one day, taking in his hand the miraculous muff, he said to it, laughing: «My dear muff, I should like to have some playthings and sweetmeats, to give to all the children I meet—my dear muff! I want a few pieces of money to offer to the poor people who accost me»—the next morning all his wishes were satisfied. He immediately ran to the arms of his worthy mother, to express to her his delight, and asked her to what beneficent genius he was indebted for his finding in the Petit-Gérard every thing he could desire. «Nothing can be more easy to explain,» replied the queen, kissing him; «the old lady has told every one of your respectful behaviour towards[Pg 25] her, and the women of every rank and every age are vying with each other in giving you proofs of their gratitude and satisfaction. Remember, my son, it is urbanity of manners that renders us most engaging, and gains us most friends; and that every kind of happiness will attend a young prince, who makes it a point of duty to defend and respect all women—Never forget the old woman's muff!»

[Pg 26]



Of all the young French princes, who have signalized their childhood by traits of good-nature, there is none more worthy of being offered as a model than Charles-Ferdinand D'Artois, whose name will remain for ever imprinted on all hearts. The charming trait that I am about to relate, of what a firm and constant will is capable, and what we owe to persons who, by dint of patience and assiduity, succeed in subduing our caprices, and in[Pg 27] alleviating the vexations and difficulties of an education necessary to all men, and particularly to those whom Heaven has ordained to govern their fellow-creatures.

Charles, at the tenderest age, had signalized himself by those roguish pranks, and that charming vivacity, which usually denote in a child a good heart and amiable disposition; he could already read fluently the pretty stories of Perrault, the interesting dramas of Berquin, which were just come into vogue at this period, and had procured him many delicious moments. One who is fond of reading is never alone, and never finds time lie heavy on his hands; an amusing and instructive book is a faithful friend, that we quit, and to whom we return[Pg 28] when we please, that can follow us every where, and occupies very little room. Charles very soon felt a wish to know how to write; it is certainly very agreeable to read what has been thought and said by others, but to be able one's-self to trace on paper whatever presents itself to one's mind, to address it to a beloved mother, sister, brother, or friend, is an advantage still more delightful, a pleasure still more exquisite.

The young prince then gave himself up with ardour to his first lessons in writing, which were given him by a respectable man named Rochon; this person, who was of an advanced age, joined to great dexterity in the art which he professed, great good-nature, and a patience proof against[Pg 29] every thing. He had much occasion for it: Charles, often hurried away by his natural vivacity, did not always pay sufficient attention to the precepts of his master. Sometimes he pretended that he kept him too long on the same letter, which annoyed him excessively: sometimes he complained that he had, for copies, words of an interminable length, which fatigued his hand, and created in him an invincible disgust. In short, there was no pretence which the young prince did not employ to excuse the antipathy which he had against writing. The venerable Rochon despaired of ever being able to perfect his pupil in the art which he taught; and his patience was exhausted when he saw him purposely go above the line which guided[Pg 30] him, and write all awry. «My lord, you are writing too high.» «Do you think so, Mr Rochon?», and immediately the rogue went from the top of the paper to the bottom.

«My lord, you are now going too low;» «Yes, you are right;» and he once more wrote in a contrary direction. Sometimes he had his pens mended twenty times, saying they were detestable. Then he said the ink was too thick, gaped every moment, moved about on his stool, and stamped with his feet, and, if it had not been for the presence of his governor, whom he feared to displease, he would have left his place to go and play at balls, flourish his whale-bone sabre, or ride on his great black paste-board horse.[Pg 31]

One day he perceived that Rochon was sorrowful and abstracted; his natural good-nature soon made him suppose that his roguishness and want of application afflicted this good old man, and that day he did every thing in his power to please him; but in vain did he observe exactly his counsels, in vain did he speak to him in the most gracious manner, and pay him the greatest attention, nothing could draw him from the gloomy melancholy into which he was plunged.

As soon as he was gone, the young prince enquired, of the persons who were present, what could be the dejection of his master. He was told by a valet-de-chambre, that this honest man, confiding too much in the probity of a false friend, had the imprudence[Pg 32] to back a bill of exchange for twelve hundred livres, which had but one month to run, and, that, in spite of all his efforts, he still wanted six hundred livres, to complete which, he would be obliged to sell, at a loss, the greater part of his furniture.

Charles pretended not to pay any attention to this important discovery, and thought of nothing but relieving his writing-master from the cruel position, to which his blind confidence and goodness of heart had re him.

He might no doubt have easily extricated him from his dilemma, by revealing the secret to his august father, who was always rejoiced at having an opportunity of doing good: but he secretly resolved to avail himself of[Pg 33] this circumstance, in order to correct himself, and procure Mr Rochon the honourable reward of the progress he should make.

The next day Charles, while talking with his excellent father, adroitly turned the conversation to his writing lessons.

«If you knew, papa, how tiresome it is!» «I allow, my dear child, that the rudiments of this art are not very interesting; but, as it is absolutely necessary for a prince to know how to write, I think you had better resign yourself to it with a good grace.» «Yes, certainly, papa, and I will promise you to arm myself with courage, if you will condescend, in your turn, to promise me one thing.»—«What is it?» «I should wish to have, at[Pg 34] every mark of approbation I receive from my master, a Louis-d'or, with permission to do with it what I please.» «Oh, I risque nothing by making such an engagement with you, my dear boy. I agree to it, Charles, and should be glad to see you exhaust my purse in this manner, I should become the richest of all princes.»

This treaty was sealed by tender embraces on both sides. The countenance of the child was radiant with delight and joy at the promise he had received; and the prince, seeking in vain to penetrate the mystery in which his son enveloped himself, would not press him with questions, and thought it right to respect his secret.

At his next lesson of writing, Charles[Pg 35] displayed such docility, application, and, in particular, so much patience, that it created the greatest surprise in his master. This child, until then, so volatile, so turbulent, did not stir from his stool, kept his position at the desk with a most ravishing grace, and formed every letter exactly like the copy he had before him: he did not once go beyond the ruled lines; and, what was still more astonishing, did not change his pen. This last trait made a sensible impression on Mr Rochon, who did not cease saying to him, «very well, my lord! very well, indeed! if you go on in that manner, I will put you in round hand in less than a fortnight. At the next lesson, there was the same application on the part of the pupil, and the same astonishment on the master's[Pg 36] side. Indeed, my lord, a miracle, which I cannot comprehend, has been wrought in you;» «You are satisfied with me then, father Rochon?» «Satisfied is not the word, say rather, surprised, delighted; I feel the greatest pleasure in being at last able to do you justice.» «Well, then, what I demand of you is a ticket of good behaviour to give my papa, who always fancies I will do nothing.»—«Most willingly, my lord; and you shall be sure of having one every time you take your lesson as well as you have done to-day.» Charles lost no time in transmitting it to his excellent father, from whom he obtained the promised reward. O how dear to him was the first louis that he received! it was the fruit of his labour; it was a property[Pg 37] lawfully acquired. He put the piece of gold into a pretty little purse, and made a firm resolution to add to it every day with a similar one.

In effect, his application and progress increased to such a degree, that he soon wrote round-hand; not long words, which signify nothing, but those entire phrases which express an idea, those little dialogues and pretty stories which interest the heart, or excite laughter, and make a lesson of writing an agreeable, and often instructive amusement.

Every morning, when he embraced the august author of his being, Charles delivered to him the ticket of good behaviour, which he had received the evening before, and saw his dear treasure increasing every day.[Pg 38]

The prince experienced great pleasure in paying his son the sum agreed upon, but, as it had been already renewed nearly twenty times, he thought that the good Mr Rochon treated his pupil with too much indulgence, and desired the latter to show him his copy-books. Charles immediately comes in triumph, and proves the astonishing progress he has made for the last three weeks. The prince could not but yield to such evidence; and, a short time after, the young Charles found himself possessed of twenty-five pieces of gold, the object of his secret ambition.

The bill of exchange backed by Mr Rochon had but three days more to run. This worthy man had been, without success, to supplicate his creditor[Pg 39] to grant him a short delay; he was a rapacious, inexorable usurer. The poor writing-master got into such a consternation, that evident marks of it were to be seen in his countenance and behaviour: he intended, the same day, to carry the small quantity of silver plate, which he made use of, to a silversmith's, in order to realize the six hundred livres which were wanting to pay off the bill of exchange. Entirely taken up with the sacrifice he was about to make, he came to give his lesson to the young prince rather later than usual, and excused himself, on account of an important affair which had detained him. The face of the old man was as sad and dejected, as that of the youth was radiant with joy and happiness. «What[Pg 40] is the matter with you, father Rochon? You are not so gay as you used to be.» «It is true, my lord, we have all our little torments and troubles.» «You, troubles! you must confide them to me, and that immediately, you know how much I love you.»

At this expression, so sincere and touching, Rochon was on the point of revealing every thing to his pupil, who, by saying a single word to his father, could relieve him from his distress; but modest merit has always a secret pride. The idea of taking advantage of the honourable access he had to an Infant of France, to beg a favour, alarmed the old man's delicacy, and, the better to conceal his secret, he hastened to change the conversation. «You are not so well disposed[Pg 41] to take your lesson as you were yesterday, my lord.» «Do you think so, father Rochon?» «You are very absent.» «Yes, I have something on my mind.» «Your hand trembles, and you cannot remain quiet.»—«Well, you are the cause of it.»—«I! my lord?» «Yes, you, yourself! O! I can resist no longer.» At these words he rose up with precipitation, opened the table drawer, where he had deposited his treasure, and, throwing himself on the neck of his old master, put the purse in his hand, saying, «here, this will pay your bill of exchange, I hope this will prevent you from selling your furniture.» Rochon saw that his secret was discovered. However, in spite of the emotion which he felt, he did not[Pg 42] yet dare to take the purse presented to him by the young prince. But the latter informed him of the treaty he had made with his father, and that these twenty-five Louis were the fruit of his application. At this avowal, the old man could not contain his tears, he seized the two hands of the child, carried them to his lips, pressed them to his bosom, and exclaimed, with the liveliest expression of astonishment and gratitude, «what my lord, was it to relieve me from distress, that for a whole month you have subdued the petulance of your disposition, braved the tediousness, and surmounted the disagreeableness inseparable from the art in which I instruct you? I receive with pride, this honourable and affecting offering, it will[Pg 43] restore to me, at once, my repose and happiness. O! how sweet will it be to owe them to you; I will publish every where this trait of beneficence, strength of mind, and perseverance, it shall be one day transmitted to your children; it belongs to history. Ah! who could be surprised at it? Ought one to expect less from a grandson of Henry the Fourth?»

[Pg 44]


«How warm you are, brother!» said a young princess to the beloved companion of her infancy. «I plainly see that you have been playing at skittles with the old grenadier.» «'Tis true, sister, I have just won three games following of him.» «That is because he allowed you to do so; that good Francoer is so complaisant?» «Yes, he is an excellent man, I like his fine countenance, his majestic figure; what pleases me most, are his great mustachios, and particularly the three sabre[Pg 45] cuts he has received on his forehead; as soon as he has finished his duty, he comes to us, he draws me in my car from one end of the terrace to the other; I am never in any fear of being overturned by him. He makes me go through the exercise with my carabine, and commands me as if I was a private soldier, and that pleases me very much.» «But he is proud, very proud. The other day he refused several pieces of gold, which I offered him, in a small purse, saying, with his big voice, which does not frighten me in the least, 'It is for pleasure, and not for interest that I have the honour to play with you, miss.'» «And I, sister, could never make him accept any thing but that ebony pipe, mounted with silver, with the initials of my[Pg 46] name, which he always wears at his button-hole. These good grenadiers, how attached they are to us! My uncle said, yesterday, that they are a prince's best friends, and that when once one has gained their affections, it is for life and death. O! I shall never forget that.» This conversation, which was often renewed between the brother and sister, took place in a delicious summer-house, where these two lovely children often went to breathe the pure air of the country, and to indulge themselves more freely in all the amusements of their age.

They were still talking of the old grenadier, when some one came to request that they would return to their apartments, to partake of their usual[Pg 47] repast. It was then the month of August; the day was excessively hot. Francoeur, nearly sixty years of age, being fatigued with passing the night at his military post, and with the long walks he had taken in the park with the Infants of France, was reposing on a bench, at the turning of a walk in front of a guard house. The thick foliage of the trees sheltered him from the burning heat of the sun. The coolness of the shade, soon diffused a pleasing calm through his senses; after having smoked his pipe, he pulled off his large cap, which he placed by his side on the bench, and soon fell into a profound sleep.

The two children, having finished their repast, again returned to their[Pg 48] play, and, in order to avoid the heat of the day, they rambled down a row of linden trees, the verdure of which formed a thick shade, where, at the first turning, they found the old grenadier in a deep sleep. The sun had, in his course, found a passage through the foliage, and darted his burning rays on the head of the good Francoeur.

His scarred brow was covered with perspiration; an excessive redness was visible under his thick mustachios. The two children experienced an anxiety, proportioned to the attachment they bore this brave veteran. «O! brother, see, he is quite overcome with heat. His poor head is exposed naked to the ardour of the sun; that must be very injurious to him. If[Pg 49] it were to make him ill!» «We must wake him, sister.» «No, no: he stands in need of repose. Let us do still better, let us entwine above his head some branches of those lilacs, which will preserve him from the rays of the sun.» «Yes, that is an excellent idea.» They immediately began to busy themselves about forming a bower of verdure; but all their efforts produced no effect, they were too short to reach the most leafy branches; and they had scarcely succeeded in joining those which were within their reach, and in entwining them, as well as they could, when all at once they escaped from their hands, and the aged sleeper was more exposed than before. «Well, sister, we must put his cap on his head.» «That is very easy to say,[Pg 50] but we are not strong enough. This cap is bigger than we are.» «It weighs less than you think, I am sure, and I take upon myself to do it.» At these words he cautiously mounted the bench, took in his little hands the enormous grenadier's cap; raised it, not without difficulty, whilst the young princess, with her eyes fixed on her brother, and scarcely breathing, said to him in a low voice. «Take care you do not wake him!» «No, no, leave me alone.» He approached still nearer, and succeded in putting the cap on Francoeur's head, with so much caution and address, that the peaceful repose of the latter was not in the least disturbed.

This interesting scene had been remarked by the sentinel of the military[Pg 51] post, that was established at the end of the walk; and was soon divulged among the grenadiers of the guard. They all experienced that strong emotion which brave men feel at the relation of a trait that honours and flatters them. They resolved to inform their comrade of it, and were never tired of eulogizing the little princes, who, at so early an age, announced so much attachment, and shewed so much respect for a soldier. The children, who did not suppose they had been seen by any one, enjoyed their good action in secret, and watched the old grenadier with delight, as he continued his peaceful repose; but he soon began to make some motions, which seemed to announce that he was about to awake; the two children[Pg 52] went away, that he might conceive no suspicion of them; and, resolving to say nothing to any one concerning what they had just done, they returned to the apartments of the castle.

Francoeur wished, on awaking, to take his cap from the bench where he had laid it. He could not at first conceive how it came on his head; but perceiving that the sun had reached him, and feeling his countenance quite burning and covered with sweat, he imagined that it was some grenadier of the guard who had rendered him that important service. «It is you, then,» said he to some of his comrades, «who put my cap on my head?» «No,» replied a corporal. «I am sure I could not have dreamed,» said he, «that I put it on the[Pg 53] bench.» «Undoubtedly; but some one, whom you love very much, and whom we all love, feared that the heat of the sun would injure you.» «Who was it then?» «Guess.» «Faith, I don't know; you are all good-natured fellows!» «It is neither of us.» «Who is it then?» «The young prince.» «Is it possible!» «He himself; ask Sans Quartier, who is still on guard: he saw him, as well as myself, try first, with his sister, to shelter you with the branches of a tree; but the dear little creatures not being able to accomplish it; one replaced your cap on your head, whilst the other stood guard.»

«It was the prettiest sight in the world;» Sans Quartier had tears in his eyes, while he related this. «I can[Pg 54] easily believe it, since I myself am quite softened, merely by listening to you; but you must not believe that it shall be passed over in silence; and since they are so good to old soldiers, we will prove to them, that they have not to do with ungrateful fellows.» «What do you mean to do then?» «I have a project, which you will all approve. In the mean time let us go and empty a few bottles of good wine to the health of these dear children. And I will treat you.»

The next day, about the same hour, the two little princes found Francoeur in the park, waiting to play with them. With what eagerness and what complaisance he did every thing to please them! he invented all sorts of[Pg 55] new and amusing games; never had the old grenadier appeared more lively, more active, nor told more interesting stories. He was careful, however, notwithstanding the emotion he felt, to take care not to mention what had passed the day before; and both were more than ever convinced that their secret was not discovered. They already experienced that the pleasure of a good action is doubled by mystery; and that it is much sweeter to be able to applaud ourselves in secret for a good action, than to see ourselves overwhelmed with praises, which often produce only mortification.

Some days passed away; the post which had been established, for a week past, at the summer-house, was[Pg 56] going to be discharged from duty, and was the next day to be replaced by another company of the grenadiers of the guard.

The little prince, for whom military discipline had already many charms seldom, failed to be present at the renewal of the guard. Nothing is more necessary for a child, destined one day to command, than to learn how to obey. It is necessary to become a good soldier, in order to make a good general; and the princes who have covered themselves with the greatest glory, have signalized their earliest years by their address in the exercise of arms. Henry the Fourth, at twelve years of age, was an excellent marksman; and Turenne, when he was still very young,[Pg 57] passed a whole night on a cannon, in order to try, at break of day, to point it with address.

The young prince, after having received the salute of the grenadiers on relieving the post, and of those who quitted it, had repaired to his worthy mother's apartments.

He was preparing to resume, with his sister, their accustomed sports, when they heard some military music. He immediately perceived, through the windows, a great number of grenadiers, at the head of whom was Francoeur. They marched four abreast, holding in each other's arms. They soon filled the vestibule, and requested to be admitted to the presence of his Royal Highness. They were immediately admitted, and old Francoeur,[Pg 58] bearing with great ceremony a small grenadier's cap, advanced, and related to the princess what the Royal Infants of France had done for him. «Then,» he added, with strong emotion, «one, who knows how to honour, and take care of an old soldier, is entitled to rank among French grenadiers.»

«The prince condescended to place, with his own hands, my cap on my head; I take the liberty of placing, in my turn, on his, that which I have the honour to offer him in the name of all my comrades.» At these words, he drew his sabre, which became a signal for all those who accompanied him; and suddenly they joined their arms together, so as to form, as it were, but one heap. Francoeur then[Pg 59] resumed, with great emotion, «Remember, august son of the French army, that our hearts are united in love for you, as well as our sabres to defend you.»

Then, placing one knee on the ground, he put the little grenadier's cap on the prince's head, gently touched his two shoulders with the blade of his sabre, and rose up again, saying «I refrain, through respect, from giving you the usual embrace; I should be afraid that my mustachios would be too rough for your beautiful white skin.»

The young prince, delighted with the homage paid him, and moved at the natural eloquence of Francoeur, fixes the cap firmly on his head, and vows to God that he will preserve it[Pg 60] all his life. His sister shared his transport, and the happy mother of these lovely children, as she pressed them tenderly to her bosom, congratulated and thanked them for what they had done. Then she said, with imposing dignity: «My son, never forget, whatever be the destinies that await you, that one of your noblest titles is that of a French Grenadier.»

[Pg 61]


Caroline, a young princess, was accustomed from her earliest infancy to the exercise of a mild and tolerant religion; it gave her the greatest pleasure to bestow on the poor the money she received from her parents. If she perceived, from the windows of the castle in which she dwelt, an aged sufferer, one afflicted with lameness, asking alms; an indigent mother, accompanied by two or three children, and imploring the compassion of the[Pg 62] public, she immediately sent one of the persons attached to her service, to distribute to these unfortunate people whatever was in her power. No one, at so tender an age, could prove more worthy the favours of Heaven, nor fulfil with so much fervour the first duties of charity.

Caroline had often heard mention, with the greatest interest, the pious devotion of the sisters of Saint Camilla, who, devoted by their sublime institution, to alleviate the sufferings of their fellow beings, had left their peaceful retreat, in order to convey to Barcelona the succours and consolations with which their humanity inspired them. «Those women,» said the young princess, «cannot[Pg 63] fail of being much beloved, and much respected: O! how much I should like to be acquainted with them!»

Chance, or rather Providence, which watches over pious children, was not long in satisfying the desire of Caroline. For some days past she had been living with a beloved aunt, who was a model of the rarest virtues, in a solitary habitation, possessed by that august princess, in the neighbourhood of Paris. One evening the latter was reading to her niece, whom she tenderly loved, a faithful relation of the journey of the sisters of Saint Camilla into Spain, when all at once a terrible hurricane arose, the thunder growled, and the whole horizon was illuminated[Pg 64] by flashes of lightning, which succeeded each other with astonishing rapidity.

In a short time, they perceived, from the windows of the castle, three nuns, who were walking along, apparently in great fear, and pressing closely to each other, as if for protection from the storm. A tremendous wind tore off the veils which covered their modest brows; and the rain, which fell in torrents, soon penetrated their light garments.

They took refuge with the house-keeper of the castle, who received them with the respectful deference they inspired, and afforded them all the assistance they stood in need of.

The storm having abated, the three nuns were preparing to set out again[Pg 65] on their journey, when a gentleman-usher came to announce to them, that Her Highness wished to speak to them.

They at first hesitated, from diffidence and discretion; but having been informed, that their refusal would hurt the princess, who was accustomed to reverence whatever concerned religion, they could not but yield to her commands. They then traversed a long range of apartments, but soon found themselves in the presence of Her Royal Highness, who gave them the most flattering reception, and asked them «to what order they belonged.» «To that of Saint Camilla,» replied the eldest of the sisters, a woman of great merit, and distinguished birth, «What!» replied[Pg 66] the princess, «are you the companions of those two angels, whom Heaven has conducted to Barcelona?» «You see them before you, madam,» replied Sister Saint Vincent, pointing to her two companions.

«O! aunt,» exclaimed Caroline, «how happy I am to see them!» At these words they arose and made them a profound curtsy. At a sign from the princess, seats were brought forward for the sisters. «And what, ladies,» said she to them, «has procured me the pleasure of seeing you?» «We were returning from fulfilling the mission which God had intrusted to us,» replied Sister Saint Vincent.

Being informed that a dangerous epedemic fever was ravaging several[Pg 67] villages in the neighbourhood of the capital, and that it was principally upon children, that this dreadful malady exercised its ravages, we hastened thither, guided by the care of a celebrated physician, who had the good fortune to succour a great number of interesting beings, to restore many industrious labourers to their useful occupations, and comfort many afflicted mothers; for maternal love is felt as strongly in the cabin of the peasant, as in the palace of the prince. At the request of Her Highness, the three sisters related to her exactly in what manner religion had inspired them to fly to the assistance of suffering humanity; and this recital, in which candour and humility were preeminent, excited in the youthful heart of Caroline an[Pg 68] irresistible and tender emotion, and a profound admiration. She addressed a thousand questions to the nuns on their good works, as well at Barcelona, as at the villages whence they were returning, and said to them, with that charming ingenousness peculiar to her age, «Have you saved many little girls?» «A great many, Miss,» replied Sister Saint Vincent. «Whenever we found any whose looks expressed the same goodness as your own, we redoubled our zeal and our prayers, and Heaven has seldom refused to listen to them.» «O! how grateful must the mothers of these little girls have been to you, and how well they ought to have rewarded you for your trouble.» «We almost always receive the greatest reward of[Pg 69] our cares; and when we have the happiness of saving a child from death, we usually obtained from its parents,»—«What?» said Caroline. «The right of blessing it, miss: that is the only reward we are permitted to receive; we aspire to no higher.»

At these words, Caroline was so struck with admiration, that she asked her aunt's permission to be blessed in her turn, by the sisters of Saint Camilla.

She immediately crossed her little arms on her breast; and, putting one knee on the ground, she said, with the accent of real piety: «Deign, ladies, to grant me also your benediction; it will be an omen of future happiness.» The three nuns standing before her were also strongly affected; and, with[Pg 70] the approbation of the princess, they joined their pure and beneficent hands over the head of her charming niece, to whom Sister Saint Vincent addressed these words, in a solemn and affecting tone. «Yes, we bless thee, august and beloved child, how should God refuse his infinite favours to the daughters of kings, who does not disdain to bestow them on his most humble servants.»

The sisters of Saint Camilla were invited by the princess to pass the night in her peaceful abode. «We will show you every care and attention you deserve. It is but just that you should find, in palaces, what you bestow so generously in cottages.»

Some months passed away, and[Pg 71] Caroline had always present to her idea the benediction of the sisters of Camilla. She was constantly making enquiries concerning the good actions they performed. The soft voice of Sister Saint Vincent still resounded in her ear. She fancied that Providence was every day fulfilling the prayers which these pious maidens had offered up for her. Kind and beneficent, without ostentation, Caroline saw herself beloved by every one around her; she was the delight of her august family.

One day, as she was accompanying her aunt to a charitable meeting, the coach was stopped, at the turning of a street in Paris, by a great number of persons, who were crowding to assist a nun, who had just been knocked[Pg 72] down by the cabriolet of a young man of fashion. «Fortunately,» said one, «the worthy woman is more frightened than hurt.» «What a pity it would have been, if that fellow had wounded or bruised one of the revered sisters of Saint Camilla!» At this name Caroline looked out of the coach window, and exclaimed, «It is the Sister Saint Vincent!» The princess, who shared in the emotion of her niece, alighted from her carriage, and, preceded by her servant, she accosted the pale and trembling nun. The latter relieved the anxiety of those present, by affirming that she had not the slightest hurt; but Her Highness insisted she should not return on foot to her monastery, in her present trembling condition; she[Pg 73] herself condescended to lend her the assistance of her arm, and had her placed by the side of Caroline, who testified to her, by the kindest questions, the tender interest she felt for her.

The humble sister of Saint Camilla was so touched with the honour conferred on her, and which excited the admiration of all the spectators, that she had not power to utter a single word. At length, having recovered strength enough to express herself, she confessed that one thing afflicted her, which was, that she was obliged to delay conveying necessary assistance to a poor sick man. «Where does he live,» asked the princess, eagerly. «Rue St Severin, No. 15.» Immediately the coachman received orders[Pg 74] to drive to the place. «The poor man is joiner,» resumed Sister Saint Vincent, «the father of five small children; he is very severely wounded in the leg; the surgeons wished to amputate it; but I opposed it, and hope, by the grace of God, to preserve this good father safe and sound to his numerous family, of whom he is the sole support.»

«He is an excellent workman, and an old soldier, full of honour and courage.»

«A soldier, say you! I will see him, and join my assistance to yours.»

At these words the princess put a purse in Caroline's hand; and after having ascertained that the wound of the old soldier had nothing contagious[Pg 75] in it, she accompanied the sister of Saint Camilla in her pious visit. She and Caroline passed through a joiner's workshop, and reached a back shop, remarkable for its neatness.

The wounded man, seated in an old arm-chair, with his leg supported on a joint-stool, was reading to his three little daughters something instructive and suitable to their age. Their mother was employed in suckling her youngest child, and rocking the fourth, who was about twelve months old. At sight of the Sister Saint Vincent, the three eldest ran to her arms.

She related to them, with every particular, the accident she had just met with; and, pointing to the august[Pg 76] princess, she said, «that if it had not been for that good lady, who had had the kindness to bring her in her carriage, she would not have been able to visit so soon the wounded patient.» The joiner and his wife were profuse in their acknowledgments to Her Highness, whom they took merely for one of those opulent women accustomed to make a worthy use of the favours of fortune. The princess rejoiced at this mistake, took advantage of it, in order to ask the old soldier a few questions concerning his numerous services. In the mean time the three little girls surrounded Caroline, and overwhelmed her with their attentions and caresses. On a sign from her aunt she put the purse into the hand of the youngest, who instantly[Pg 77] running to her father exclaimed, in the most joyful tone: «Look, father, see what this pretty young lady has just given us.» «What do I see?» cried he, opening the purse, and finding it full of gold: «I cannot accept so large a sum.» «It is the amount of five years' pension due to you, and the warrant of it shall be sent you in a few days.» «What, madam, can you be?» «The wife of a commanding officer, to whom every old soldier is dear. You shall know who I am all in good time.» At these words, she took Caroline's hand, and made a motion to get into her carriage; but they were instantly surrounded by the whole family, who overwhelmed them with thanks and benedictions. The mother seized one hand of Her Highness[Pg 78] which she carried with transport and respect to the innocent lips of her youngest child. The old soldier, at the risk of opening his wound afresh, made a motion to cast himself at the feet of the unknown; and was only restrained, in the transport of his gratitude, by Sister Saint Vincent, who ordered him not to stir. Caroline saw at her feet the wounded man's three little girls, covering her hands with kisses, and crying out, «God will bless this kind, beautiful young lady; Heaven will reward her: O! we will pray for her every day.» Her august aunt, perceiving her emotion, and wishing to avoid the acclamations of this honest family, disengaged the young princess from the caressing arms that entwined her, and went out,[Pg 79] enjoining the nun not to name her to the old soldier, until he had received the warrant for his pension; which the Sister Saint Vincent promised her; at the same time she could not help letting fall these words: «Ah! madam, what an example you give! how happy is Mademoiselle in having such a guide!»

«Well, my dear Caroline,» said the princess, as she conducted her to the place of their destination, «are you not delighted with having visited these good people?» «O my dear aunt! I shall never forget the caresses of those three charming little girls, I could not suppose there had been so much pleasure in doing good.» «You have just had a proof, my beloved child, that our happiness is composed of that which we bestow on others.[Pg 80] Never was your young heart more strongly affected in the rich apartments we inhabit, than in the humble retreat of this old soldier.

«Be not satisfied with merely sending assistance to the unfortunate: go and relieve them yourself; and you will soon see, that of all the advantages, of all the enjoyments which rank and fortune procure us, nothing is comparable to that secret and inward satisfaction, to that truly celestial felicity, that is produced by Christian charity.»

[Pg 81]


If we see, in an humble cottage, a poor child carefully tending his infirm grandfather, rolling him about in an arm-chair, to warm him in the rays of the sun; in short, inventing every means that can alleviate his sufferings, we ought not to be surprised at the tender attachment and profound respect, which two young princes bear towards their paternal grandfather, whose gracefulness of manners, vivacity of wit, and warmth of soul, would almost make one suppose him to be[Pg 82] still in the flower of his age. We are always attached to those who protect our infancy; the more provident and affectionate they are, the more submissive, grateful, and attached we become to them.

Such are the two young scions of an illustrious race, that I have chosen for models; and whose filial love I shall endeavour to describe. The name of grandpapa is never pronounced by them, without a movement of joy and affection. It was one of the first words pronounced by their innocent lips; and one which is still constantly uttered by them. Grandpapa seems to be the watch-word for their amusements and studies: it is the beneficent divinity which they invoke to double and vary[Pg 83] their pleasures, and alleviate their transitory troubles. So true it is that old age and infancy are connected by all the wants of life, by an infinity of ties incessantly renewed, the charm of which is irresistible.

They were drawing towards the end of autumn; Saint Charles's day was approaching, and it was the birthday of an august and justly beloved prince. His grandchildren were already preparing their filial offerings, flowers fresh as themselves, pure as the prayers they addressed to Heaven for their grandpapa. They were usually admitted to his presence in the morning, about ten o'clock; but as he was then surrounded by several sincere friends, and a number of nobles, who came to pay him their homage,[Pg 84] the two lovely children were introduced with the accustomed ceremony.

The little prince, as heir to the illustrious name of Henry the Fourth, presented his nosegay first; his sister followed his example, and their prayers, their kisses, their flowers, were so deliciously mingled together, that they brought tears into the eyes of the tenderest and happiest of fathers.

But, whether it was the natural effect of the extreme attachment the young princess bore her grandfather, or, perhaps, the desire of sharing the prerogatives of her brother, whom she loved too much to be jealous of, she thought of managing for once in such a manner as to banish all etiquette, in[Pg 85] order to congratulate her beloved grandfather, if not the first, at least at the same moment as the dear companion of her infancy. On the eve of that solemn day, as she was busied in preparations for the morrow, she proposed to her brother that they should wait on their august grandsire, not at the accustomed hour, but about seven o'clock, the time he usually awoke. «We will enter the room,» said she, «very softly, without being announced, with our flowers in our hands, and with any compliment that may present itself to our minds; people say that is always the best. As soon as grandpapa opens his eyes, we will rush into his arms; and, as we shall be alone with him, we may caress him as much as we please.[Pg 86] Afterwards we will return with the usual ceremonies.»

This proposal pleased the little prince very much, for he loved his grandfather at least as much as his sister. He, as well as herself, wished very much to embrace him without witnesses. They imparted their project to the persons who had the care of them; it was generally approved, and every thing was prepared for its execution.

The next day, the princess awoke very early; she waited with impatience for her brother, who soon came to her. The liveliest joy was depicted in the countenances of those lovely children. In the transports of their joy they every moment raised their voices in spite of themselves, and then, mutually[Pg 87] bid each other be silent. They wore a plain morning-dress, their simple graces, their countenances radiant as Aurora first appearing above the horizon, had no need of ornament.

They each of them had a nosegay composed of the most beautiful flowers that could be found in the autumnal season, and every thing was prepared for their appearance in the apartment of the prince. It was first to be decided which of the two should present the first flowers; and this created great debates between the brother and sister. The latter claimed that honour, as being the eldest, and particularly as being a young lady; the former insisted that it belonged to him, because, as he said ingenuously,[Pg 88] he was the son. «But, brother, there is no question about etiquette now.» «I know it very well, sister; but grandpapa must first of all be embraced by the one he loves most, and that certainly is myself.» «You, brother! you are mistaken, I assure you; he prefers me.» «It is I!» «It is I!» cried they, both together, and they immediately began to recapitulate, each in his turn, the most convincing proofs of the tender attachment shewn them by the best of fathers. «When I beat the drum,» said the young prince, «and every body here exclaims against it, as an insupportable noise, grandpapa does not even perceive that I make any.» «And I,» said his sister, «when ever I carry my large doll into his[Pg 89] apartment, he always receives me with smiles, and allows me to present her to him, as if she were a duchess.» «What is that, sister, in comparison with his extreme kindness towards me? Did you not see me, no longer ago than yesterday, make him perform the exercise with my carabine, as if he had been a common soldier?» «And do you not see me, brother, constantly climbing upon his knees and arms, and kiss him twenty times following, without being the least chid for it?» «You speak of his kindness for you, and what shall I say then of his for me, when he teaches me the prettiest little games, when he condescends to allow me even to mount on his back?» «You do not long remain there alone, sister, for I[Pg 90] soon jump up behind you, and grandpapa goes round his apartment, with both of us on his back, as we see in that pretty picture he gave us of our good grandfather Henry the Fourth, carrying his three children.»

The more proofs the brother and sister brought forward, the more impossible it was for them to know which was preferred. The rights of one are so exactly balanced by those of the other, that both are forced to confess, that they are equally dear to the august prince whom they are about to congratulate. «I see but one way of putting an end to our perplexity,» said the young princess, who was very tenacious in not allowing her brother to have the precedence on such an occasion. «And in what[Pg 91] manner, sister?» «Let us make but one of our two nosegays, and present them together. Neither of us will give up any thing to the other.» «You are right; O! what an excellent idea yours is, we must not lose a moment.»

Immediately the two children, who preferred the pleasure of concord and good fellowship to the prerogative of etiquette, arranged their flowers into a large nosegay, and, walking side by side, so that one should not pass before the other, they arrived at the apartment of the prince, who was still sleeping, at the moment day was breaking. They were introduced into his bedchamber, by an officer on duty, whom they had let into the secret; and the august Charles,[Pg 92] on opening his eyes, perceived at his pillow his little grandchildren, whom he at first took for two angels sent from heaven; but he soon recollected their lovely features and moving voices, and asked them the cause of so early a visit. «We wished,» replied the little prince, «to be the first to congratulate you.»

«You have come so many times,» added his sister, «to caress us in our cradle, whilst we slept, that we wish to embrace you as soon as you should awake.»

At these words, they both threw themselves on the neck of the happy Charles, who, receiving at the same time their kisses and their flowers, confounds those two charming heads with the roses which surround them,[Pg 93] and bestows equally, on brother and sister, the sweetest caresses that paternal love can inspire.

He soon learnt from their innocent mouths their dispute for precedence, their uncertainty which was the most beloved by him, and the resolution they had taken to confound their flowers and homage. The prince, whose imagination was lively and brilliant, and whose generous soul was susceptible of every impression, experienced an inexpressible delight; and, pressing once more to his bosom those two lovely beings, who made him feel all the happiness of being a father, he entwined them together so tenderly in his arms, that the young princess could not help saying to him, with that charm of expression which characterises[Pg 94] her: «You see now, grandpapa, that we have followed the best plan; and that it is really impossible for us to know which you love best.»

[Pg 95]


Of all the rich presents that had been made to a young prince, and of the numerous pretty playthings he possessed, nothing pleased him so much as a French grenadier, about three feet and a half high, and which, by the effect of springs in the socle on which it was placed, performed different military exercises, when it was rolled on the floor. He carried and presented arms, stood at ease, and stretched[Pg 96] out his hand, as if he wished to press that of a comrade. The face of this ingenious automaton was martial, and perfectly analogous to the imposing strength and fine proportions of his body; his eyes were dark, and full of fire, overhung with black arched eyebrows; an aquiline nose, expressive lips, covered with thick mustachios, his complexion dark, a sabre wound was on his right cheek, from the ear to the mouth, and on his forehead were two deep scars. In a word, every thing offered the young prince a perfect resemblance of one of those brave grenadiers of the guard whom he loved so much, and whom he was ambitious of leading one day to the field of honour. And, wishing to designate[Pg 97] at once in his grenadier all the qualities of a devoted, courageous, and faithful soldier, he had named him Trocadero. One may easily imagine, how many times in a day, and even in an hour, the young prince, whom we shall call Ferdinand, put this admirable piece of mechanism into motion. Punchinello, Harlequin, the barking dog, the magic lanthorn, and even the elegant carriage with six white horses, were nothing in comparison with Trocadero.

He was the wonder of the day. What a pleasure it was to command him such or such a movement of his gun, which he instantly executed! When he moved his lips and long mustachios, and rolled his large eyes, he seemed to threaten the enemies of France; when[Pg 98] one would have said that he was proudly uttering the name of the Prince who had conducted him to victory: and when he stretched out his hand, you were tempted to clasp it with cordiality. Ferdinand was incessantly heard crying out, «Carry arms! Present arms! Stand at ease! Trocadero, give me your hand!» And the automaton obeyed, as if by magic.

The grenadier, it may be easily foreseen, became the object of Ferdinand's decided predilection. He himself cleaned Trocadero's arms, curled his fine mustachios with the greatest care, brushed his uniform, and took care that his cartridge-box was in good order. In a word, he took such a liking to his beloved grenadier, that in the evening, when he went to bed, he placed him near his couch, whispered[Pg 99] in his ear, and then said, in a conseqential tone of voice, «Now I shall be able to sleep without fear; he knows the watch-word.»

He asked the sentinel, whom he well knew had never stirred from his post, what had passed during the night; and he immediately added, with dignity, «Grenadier, I am perfectly satisfied with your services; and if you continue to behave so well, I shall take upon myself to demand for you the cross of honour.»

Trocadero then moved his eyes and lips, and seemed to thank his young protector for his kindness towards him. But one morning, as the Prince, on awakening, asked the sentinel to make his usual report, he was astonished to see that the automaton, putting out his hand, presented with him[Pg 100] a written paper. Unfortunately Ferdinand scarcely knew his letters, and for the first time regretted much that he did not know how to read. He took the paper; turned it and returned it a hundred ways, and was burning in vain with desire of knowing its contents. At that moment he perceived his sister, who was his elder by twelve months, coming towards him, to engage with him in their usual amusements, and begged her to read to him the mysterious writing.

The young Princess, eager to satisfy the amiable companion of her infancy, unfolded the paper, and read these words: «Bulletin of his Lordship's conduct yesterday.» «This is singular,» said Ferdinand; «Trocadero had orders to watch over only what should take place around me during the[Pg 101] night.» «It seems, brother, he has also received orders to observe what you do in the day-time. Listen,» «His Lordship, as he was getting up, was mischievous enough to torment the person charged with the trouble of dressing him.» «That is true, sister, but I asked his pardon, and we became reconciled.» «His Lordship wished to divide his breakfast with an old pioneer of the guards, who had been introduced to him.» «Nothing could be more just; he allowed me the other day, as we were walking in the park, to eat some of his soup, which appeared to me delicious; and I had a mind to do the same in my turn.» «His Lordship, when playing with his sabre, struck the end of Mademoiselle's foot.» «But I threw myself[Pg 102] immediately on my knees, my dear sister, and kissed the place where I had the misfortune to strike you.» «And I,» said his sister, «soon forgot the pain, and did not shed a single tear.» «His Lordship uttered a piercing cry at seeing a lancer of the guards fall from his horse on the parade; and was not pacified until some one came and assured him that the horseman was not wounded. His Lordship would not read, nor even say his letters.»

«O! there I was very wrong,» said he; «but I will apply myself so well, that I hope soon to be able to read every thing that shall be written to me.»

In short the sentinel's bulletin contained, with the most scrupulous exactness, every thing the young Prince had said and done, from the time he[Pg 103] got up until he went to bed. But as the number of good actions greatly overbalanced that of his faults, and as the latter were only the passing effect of petulance and giddiness, Ferdinand was not grieved at it. He could not, however, help reflecting on his conduct rather oftener than usual; and when he happened to shew any impatience, or sudden passion, as was sometimes the case, he instantly turned his eyes towards the sentinel. «Trocadero will not fail to put all that into his bulletin.» In effect, the next day the young Princess, having become her brothers confidant, read him an exact enumeration of all that he had done the day before.

Ferdinand wished to know who was the mysterious writer of all these faithful revelations. He knew very[Pg 104] well that a simple automaton had no intellectual faculty, and consequently could not approve or blame what was said and done by him; but he found it impossible to gain the least information on that head. Trocadero was not able to tell him who it was that every morning gave him the scroll; he was then obliged to allow this formidable witness of all his secret actions to remain in his apartment; and for some time Ferdinand had recourse to the complaisance of his charming sister, in order to know what blame or praise was attached to his conduct. But the young Princess was as quick and roguish as her brother, and she more than once laughed at his expense when reading certain things revealed by the sentinel. It was then that Ferdinand[Pg 105] perceived the necessity of knowing how to read. Self love is a great master. He redoubled his zeal and application so well, that at the end of two months he found himself able to decypher the written account of his conduct, which was generally traced in large and very legible characters.

O! how happy he was at being freed from the cruel constraint and painful subjection in which he had been until then! What a pleasing advantage it appeared to him to be able to read without a witness an exact relation of all the faults he had committed, and all the good he had done!

This advantage became so much the more dear to him, as Trocadero then joined to the bulletin of the young Prince's conduct, salutary counsels,[Pg 106] which he was eager to profit by. He insensibly got into the habit of reflecting on all that he did, and without losing any of that amiable vivacity, which was only the mark of a good heart too susceptible of impressions, Ferdinand became more reserved, and gained the love of every one; and soon gave the persons entrusted with his education the sweetest and most honorable reward for their cares and labours.

In the mean time the young Prince was more than ever desirous of knowing the hand that traced so exactly the bulletin which he found, on awaking, in the sentinel's hand. It could be no other than some confidential person, who was allowed to penetrate at all hours into his apartment; his suspicions first fell on an officer of the[Pg 107] guards whom he was very fond of, and with whom he played every day; but the latter, although he approved the ingenious stratagem, affirmed that he had no knowledge of the author. Ferdinand then thought he might discover the person among the ladies attached to his service. There were several whose wit, graces, and accomplishments, might easily have inspired them with this excellent means of correcting his defects. He employed every effort to satisfy his ardent curiosity, but without effect; at length he mentioned it to his august mother, who asked him what motive made him desire to know his mysterious censor.

«Are you then angry,» said she, «at any thing that the bulletins contain!» «Quite the contrary, Mamma,[Pg 108] I am very grateful for it, since it is to that I owe the advantage of knowing how to read, and the happiness of having corrected myself of many defects which I was not aware of possessing.»

«So, my son, far from blaming this person,»—«I would thank him,» interrupted he; «I would beg your permission to reward him.» «And what reward would you give him?» «If it be a man, I will attach myself to him; I will make him my guide, my friend—he shall never quit me.» «And if it be a woman,» replied the Princess, with an emotion she could scarcely repress. «O! mamma, how dearly I should love her! You would see me immediately throw myself into her arms.» «Come then into mine,» exclaimed the happy mother, «and[Pg 109] what other but myself, my dear child, would have had the patience and courage to conquer by degrees your character, and instil into you that amiable urbanity which doubles the splendour of birth, and give you that taste for study which is so precious, and that desire for solid instruction, useful to all men, but indispensable to princes?» She then informed him that it was herself who had invented and got made for him, by a skilful mechanician, that grenadier whom he was so fond of, that Trocadero, who for three whole months had not ceased to deliver to him, every morning, the bulletin of all that had passed the day before; then she added, pressing him once more to her bosom, «Remember, my son, that a prince's least words[Pg 110] and his most secret actions are at the same moment divulged by those who surround him. Every time you fix your eyes on the sentinel, say to yourself: This is the image of France, who contemplates me and listens to me; let me strive to preserve her esteem, and merit her love.»

[Pg 111]


Nothing shocks my eyes so much, nothing afflicts my heart more than to see a young prince exposed to the adulation of ambitious courtiers, who corrupt the blessed gifts which he has received from nature. I fancy I hear a swarm of malevolent insects incessantly buzzing around a young lily to rifle and corrupt the first perfumes it exhales. Ah! if in the middling[Pg 112] classes of society, it is a culpable error to inspire children with a pride which will for ever render them unhappy, is it not a monstrous crime, is it not drying up the source of public happiness, to mislead princes in their infancy, to intoxicate them with an incense which they believe to be pure and durable, to raise them by their baneful flatteries at such a distance from the people, that they can neither see nor hear them?

This preamble is perhaps too serious for the august children to whom this collection is destined; but I thought, that if on writing this tale, I ought to address myself first of all to those, who, from habit or calculation, might cruelly make a sport of spoiling happy qualities with which Heaven[Pg 113] has been pleased to endow the young offspring of our kings. It is a sacred deposit for every Frenchman who is desirous of the glory and happiness of his country. The first virtues of a heir to the throne constitute a public property, of which each man ought to be the faithful guardian.

I will, for this end, borrow the aid and genius of the immortal fabulist whose first apologues were consecrated to the instruction of the eldest son of Louis the Fourteenth.

I shall make use of his ingenious fable, on flattery, to transmit to the august descendants of the Dauphin the delightful lesson which this great painter of nature gave him.

A princess, as much distinguished[Pg 114] for the qualities of the heart, as for the greatness of mind she displayed in the most remarkable events of her life, was the mother of an only daughter, whose happiness became every day the object of her most secret thoughts and of her tenderest cares. The young princess, whom we shall call Maria, gave proofs from her infancy of a lively and penetrating imagination, and particularly a clearness of discernment, which rendered it necessary that the language of truth alone should be addressed to her. But this language, oftentimes austere, was not always attended to by Maria with an entire submission. Whatever deference she might have for the worthy persons that surrounded her, she suffered herself sometimes to be[Pg 115] hurried away by certain movements of self-love and pride, which they vainly sought to repress. Maria, open and confiding, abandoned herself too easily, to the adulation of which she was the object, and believed all the flattering things that were said to her to be sincere.

Her worthy mother, who was acquainted with the human heart, and knew how to distinguish the true friend, the devoted faithful servant, from all those fine talkers and bowers, whose pliancy of body is usually proportioned to the littleness of their mind, wished to preserve her daughter from the dangers of flattery.

Nothing is so precious for infancy as to furnish the memory without fatiguing it. What we recite always[Pg 116] constrains us to make use of a more correct and more studied elocution, and insensibly gives to language greater charms of expression.

Of all the advantages which render us remarkable in the world, the talent of speaking well is the most powerful and the most durable.

If a young princess, in our time, speak her language incorrectly, she would find herself confounded, among the most obscure beings, and would dim, by that alone, the splendour of her birth.

Maria was taught, by the care of her tender mother, several of La Fontaine's fables. It was that of the Fox and the Crow which struck her most forcibly, and which she the most easily retained. She experienced the[Pg 117] greatest pleasure in reciting it, which she did in the most expressive manner. With what grace and what finesse she repeated the words of the cunning fox, who covets the cheese! With what truth and nature she depicted the crow, puffed up with foolish pride, and letting fall her prey, which the cunning flatterer immediately seized, laughing all the while at his dupe! «Well,» said the Princess to her daughter, «we, who are placed in high stations are constantly surrounded by these wicked foxes, who assume different forms to flatter and deceive us. If you don't take care, my dear child, they will serve you as that ugly crow, who thought herself the most charming of the feathered inhabitants of the[Pg 118] grove. Mistrust all these smooth-tongued hypocrites, my dear Maria, who will tell you, Mademoiselle is an angel, her person is a prodigy, which one could gaze on for ever; there is something divine in her, before which the whole world should fall prostrate.

«Prefer, my daughter, to these perfidious flatterers, to these court-foxes, those frank but austere persons who warn you of faults unavoidable at your age; who will love you for yourself alone, and will not been to displease you by giving you useful counsels, and daring to direct your first steps in the world.» Maria was not long in perceiving the truth of what her mother had revealed to her.

One day, as she was present at a[Pg 119] grand levee, adorned less by the splendour of her dress than the innocent graces of her age, she heard several persons speaking of her aloud, in terms of the greatest eulogy, and seeking at the same time, in her looks, an approbation which was to be the reward of their skilful flatteries: she particularly remarked a young lady of high rank, who seemed to outdo all the others, and to describe her in the most flattering colours.

«Such dazzling charms, and so many rare qualities united, had never been seen in so young a princess. She was,» added the young lady with grace, «one of those phenomena which appear but seldom, to prove that perfection exists on the earth.»

These expressions appeared to Maria[Pg 120] rather too flattering to be believed, but they were uttered by so charming a mouth, and with an accent so persuasive; they were, moreover, accompanied by a glance so tender and penetrating, that the young Princess could not forbear a secret movement of pride, and a delicious sensation which insinuated itself into the bottom of her soul. Oh! how charming and witty did the young lady appear to her, by whom such praises had been bestowed upon her; she promised herself to give her always a most distinguished reception. She had even almost resolved to make her her confidant, and perhaps her friend!—but how cruelly was the credulous Maria deceived, when, in crossing a saloon which conducted to her apartment, she heard the same lady, who[Pg 121] was as volatile as she was seducing, say to several young girls who surrounded her: «You see how vain the little Princess was at listening to what I amused myself in saying concerning her? How she held up her head and bridled! I think she then looked very much like her own doll. Upon my honour she thinks herself quite a miracle. We must have some fun with her.» Maria reddening, with tears in her eyes, pretended not to hear the deceitful creature; and said to herself, as she retired without being perceived, «this is then the manner in which they deceive me! Mamma is in the right; one cannot be too mistrustful of these wicked flatterers, and I am firmly resolved never to be again their dupe. I will take care not to be so foolish as La Fontaine's Crow.»[Pg 122]

The Fable of this inimitable poet immediately presented itself to her mind; she was constantly repeating it, she admired more than ever its astonishing truth, and easy and delightful style; and did not fail to apply it to herself when she saw herself exposed to the adulations of the lords and ladies of the court. She soon distinguished among them those modest and sensible persons who, far from addressing to her such excessive praises, examined her with interest, and remarked in her every thing that could be susceptible of improvement. She courted their presence and conversations; she derived from them salutary counsels, useful lessons, and determined to choose her friends among them. At length she conceived such a repugnance for every species of[Pg 123] flattery, that one day when the Princess held a grand levee, Maria being placed beside her at the moment when an old ambassador of the Austrian court was introduced to her, she could not help smiling at his affected congees, and at the studied expressions he made use of, and, if it had not been for a glance from her august mother, who knew how to preserve all her dignity on such occasions, Maria would, perhaps, have forgotten hers. But when, after having paid the Princess the homage that was due to her, the German ambassador, addressing Maria, became still more emphatical, and compared her sometimes to a rising star, that appears above the horizon for the ornament and happiness of the world; sometimes[Pg 124] to the vernal rose, that is about to eclipse, by its dazzling hues, the most beautiful flowers of Flora's vast empire; Maria who, a few moments before the arrival of the old courtier, was repeating her favourite fable of the Fox and the Crow, soon recognized in his studied language that of the flatterers for whom she felt so great an aversion; and all at once, turning towards her mother, she said to her with a roguish smile, accompanied with the most charming expression of countenance, «I think his Excellency the Ambassador has a mind to taste of my cheese.»

The latter, who could not feel all the justness and pertinacy of this remark, was surprised and disconcerted; he asked what Mademoiselle meant. The[Pg 125] princess herself, not being able to suppress a smile, gave the happy remark of her daughter an interpretation that might conceal the motive of it, or soften its impropriety. She easily made an excuse for the simplicity of a child, and the shade of the good La Fontaine obtained a new triumph.

[Pg 126]


If the descendants of the great man may he allowed to be proud of his name, we must not be surprised at the respectful love which his royal descendants have, for more than two ages past, borne to the memory of Henry the Fourth.

What monarch was ever dearer to all classes of the people than this man, who was so brave in the field of[Pg 127] honour, and so faithful in friendship; this patron of agriculture, who said, on ascending the throne, he had conquered at the point of his sword: «if God grant me life, I am resolved that there shall not be in France a peasant so poor that he shall not be able to put a fowl in his pot on Sundays!» How can one repeat without emotion and admiration the words of this beneficent king, addressed to the nobles of his court, whom he sent to check the disorders committed by the army in Champagne: «If my people are ruined, who will feed me; who will sustain the burthens of the state, and pay your pensions, gentlemen? To take from my people is to take from myself.»

The name of Henry the Fourth is become the object of adoration. We[Pg 128] find him beloved in the peasant's cottage, as well as in the prince's palace. The ballads which bear the name of this royal troubadour are repeated with transport in towns and hamlets, by old men and children; and, since the inhabitants of Paris have replaced his statue, which they paid for from their own purses, which they themselves drew for a distance of a whole league, not a day, an hour, a single moment passes, but it is saluted both by the rich man who is lolling in his chariot, and the labouring man bending under his burden: so true it is that a good king upon earth is the most perfect image of the Divinity.

Perefixe, the preceptor of Louis the Fourteenth, composed for his august[Pg 129] pupil the history of Henry the Great. Fenelon, in presenting to the Duke of Burgundy the remarkable traits of the life of this great prince, succeeded in forming an accomplished prince, worthy of restoring one day to France the monarch so dear to her remembrance. The Cardinal de Fleury, in the course of his lessons, never ceased embellishing with the finest words of Henry the Fourth the memory and youthful heart of Louis the Well-beloved. It is not astonishing, then, that this being transmitted to the latest offspring of our kings, should have inspired them for their great ancestor a veneration which increases in proportion as their intellectual faculties are developed. It is this laudable veneration which produced,[Pg 130] some time ago, the interesting scene that I shall endeavour to describe, and in which I would it were in my power to infuse all the charm of which it is susceptible.

It was on the eve of St Henry's day; this day being religiously kept throughout all France, seemed still dearer, since it had become the name of a young prince given by Heaven, to soften long misfortunes, and repair great losses. Two lovely children, one of whom bore this beloved name, were brought up together, and were the darlings of their illustrious family. The new Henry's young sister felt the tenderest attachment for her brother. She admired in him that frankness of heart, which added so many charms to their attachment, and gave so much[Pg 131] variety to their sports and pleasures. Caroline, on her side, was not behind her brother with respect to petulance: and her lively imagination gave to all her movements an activity which, if well directed, might still add to her natural graces. She had been considering for some days what she should offer her dear Henry, on his birthday. As for playthings: they had both an abundance of them. A pretty book: the little prince scarcely began to read. «I should like,» said Caroline to herself, «to offer him something of my own making, that would prove that I had been busied about him.» She then ranged with one of the ladies who had the care of her, to the park and gardens of their beautiful abode: she gathered a great number of amaranths[Pg 132] of every form and colour; and, seconded by a skilful and experienced hand, she formed a crown with them, the exact size of her brother's head. The next day, as soon as the young prince was up, she went to his room; after having embraced him tenderly, she presented him her offering, saying: «I wish, my dear brother, that the number of your years may be as great as that of the flowers of which I have composed your crown.» She placed it immediately on his head, and each floweret, mingled with Henry's fine fair hair, added new charms to his expressive countenance. Every one was charmed at the grace with which he wore his crown: the vivacity of his look, the force and dignity of his mien, all announced, that if he[Pg 133] should one day ascend the throne, he would know how to defend it, and make himself at once beloved and respected. The young prince, delighted with his new head-dress, for which he thanks Caroline by the sweetest caresses, wished to present himself in this manner before his august mother, that she might herself judge how well this crown of amaranths became his countenance, and what an imposing air it gave him. He then took his sister by the hand, and crossed several apartments with her. As they passed through a saloon which led into the library, where their mother usually sat, they perceived a very fine bust of Henry the Fourth, recently placed on a pedestal; and the two children, by a spontaneous[Pg 134] movement, stopped to contemplate it. «Is it his fête also,» said Henry, with quickness; «we must congratulate him upon it.»—«With all my heart; but what shall we give him? First of all we will both salute him as being the chief of the family,»—«Oh, as to that, nothing can be more just!» and they both made a profound inclination before the image of their illustrious ancestor. «Let us go into the garden, and gather some flowers,» replied Caroline, «and we will come and place them under that good-natured, jovial countenance.»—«I think it will be better, sister, to put upon his head the crown of flowers you placed on mine: it will become still more dear to me for having been worn by him.»—«Oh, what a good[Pg 135] thought that is, brother! From what I already know of Henry the Fourth, he well deserves this homage——» They immediately drew towards the bust a small seat which was standing in the embrasure of the window, and Caroline, being the tallest, took upon herself to crown the august chief of the race of the Bourbons. But in vain did she raise herself on the tips of her toes, and stretch out her little arms as much as possible: she could not reach higher than Henry the Fourth's shoulder. «O dear! I am too short,» cried she, vexed and quite out of breath; «we must beg the assistance of some one; and I should have felt so much pleasure in crowning his venerable brow myself!»—«There is one way, my dear sister; you know that I am[Pg 136] strong for my age; mount upon me!» He instantly jumped upon the seat, placed himself on all fours, and rounded his back as much as possible; and Caroline, divided between the fear of injuring her brother, and the ardent desire of paying a just homage to her beloved ancestor, jumps with the lightness of a young gazelle on the back of the young Prince; and, clinging to the pedestal, she succeeds, not without effort, in placing the crown of flowers on the head of Henry the Fourth.

This charming picture, worthy of the pencil of our greatest masters, was viewed by the worthy mother of the two young princes. Being disturbed while reading some interesting book, by the rolling of the sofa on the floor,[Pg 137] and by the cries of joy uttered by Henry and Caroline, she had softly opened the door of the library, and, her eyes fixed on her children, she could not refrain from a strong emotion at seeing the young descendants of Henry the Fourth thus honouring his memory. But her emotion was at the highest when she heard the following discourse, that took place between them, before the bust they had just been adorning with amaranths. «Confess, sister, that this crown becomes him very well. How I like to see it on his head! He was so good! O! if I could resemble him—what must I do?» «You ought to know that, as you read the history of this great king in that fine gilded book.» «At first I read that he was not at all proud,[Pg 138] and that in his infancy he played with simple peasants on the mountains of Bearn, as I do on the castle-terrace with all the soldiers I meet. If he perceived an old shepherd returning to his cabin, he assisted his wearied steps, and gave him all he had about him.» «Give! that is not difficult; and it is so great a pleasure!» «He was fond of the society of husbandmen, and often shared their frugal meal.» «And I sometimes go and taste the soup of our brave grenadiers. But what he loved best of all was his mother!» «O! not more than I love mine! She was singing at the moment she gave him birth.» «I was born, as I have been told, in the midst of cries of joy. As soon as he had seen the light, the King of Navarre, his[Pg 139] grandfather, made him swallow a few drops of good old wine to make him gay and healthy. The king my great uncle did the same; and you see how strong I am.» «It is certain, brother, that you bear a great resemblance to Henry the Fourth.» «But, to resemble him completely, I will every day come here and salute him with you; I make some progress in reading: we will peruse the history of Henry the Great; that will make me worthy to bear his name.»

Their conversation was interrupted for a moment by one of the officers of the guards, who was crossing the saloon. Caroline begged him to take down the crown of amaranths she had will on the bust, in order to return it to her brother; but the latter wished[Pg 140] it to remain always in the same place. «Allow me, my dear sister,» said he to her, «thus to dispose of your present: I cannot make a better use of it.» «His Lordship is right,» cried the officer; «Henry the Fourth never suffered any one to touch his crown; may the Princes of his blood never forget this great example!»

The next day the two charming children came again to salute the image of their ancestor. They were both looking with the greatest pleasure at the amaranths on the august brow of Henry the Fourth, which announced that his great name was imperishable, when, all at once, their looks were arrested by a laurel-wreath, placed on the pedestal, at the foot of the bust, with a written paper,[Pg 141] which the young prince, aided by his sister, read with delight, and which contained these words:—

«To the young inheritor of my name.

«My dear Henry, in exchange for the crown of flowers thou hast given me, I offer thee the one I received from the inhabitants of Paris when I made my entry as their legitimate sovereign. Be careful of these laurels; and, every time thou regardest them, say, in remembrance of me; There is for a monarch a blessing still more precious than glory; it is the love of the people, whose happiness God has intrusted to his care.»

The young prince kisses with reverence these sacred characters, which will never be effaced from his remembrance; and Caroline, examining them[Pg 142] in her turn, smiles with delight, and recognizes the writing of her august mother.

[Pg 143]


The simplest action often produces important results and great enjoyments.

This truth teaches us that we ought not to neglect the smallest opportunity of doing good. It is not always from that beneficence that is exercised publicly, and with ostentation, that we derive most satisfaction; but that which emanates from that first movement[Pg 144] of the heart, that makes us find in ourselves our sweetest reward.

Charlotte, a young Princess, was not satisfied with being kind to every one, and compassionate toward the unfortunate: she took an interest in animals in proportion to their utility. If, in her walks, she saw any one beating a horse too heavily loaded, or strike a poor dog that was drawing a little cart, panting and hanging out his tongue, she immediately turned away her eyes, and the tenderest pity was depicted on her charming countenance. She would allow no one in her presence to ill-use the weakest or even the most repulsive being. She has been seen more than once to retire from the window of her apartment, under which a little Savoyard was[Pg 145] striking his sleeping marmot, or a juggler making a monkey leap by whipping him. Charlotte even blamed her young brother, whom she so tenderly loved, when he was mischievously amusing himself with pulling the ears of his beautiful greyhound, making the parrot cry, or frightening the birds out of their cages.

One fine spring morning, Charlotte was playing with her brother on a bench of the terrace of the château where they resided. They were discoursing on the happiness of being beloved, and of diffusing blessings on all around them, when a white kid, ascending the terrace-steps with the rapidity of lightning, ran bleating towards the young Princess. She at first experienced a slight movement[Pg 146] of fear; but the pretty little creature was so familiar, and he appeared to invoke so earnestly the assistance of Charlotte, that she ventured to caress him.

The kid immediately licks the hands and arms of his young protectress; he would even have dared to lick her face, if she had not withdrawn herself from the vivacity of his motions.

Charlotte knew not to whom this pretty kid belonged. «I dare say,» said she, «he is looking for his mother, or perhaps he has escaped from some house in the village. We must send to gain all the information necessary.» As she concluded these words, she perceived one of the cooks belonging to the castle, coming in[Pg 147] pursuit of the kid, which was flying to escape being put to death; and, drawing his great glittering knife, he was about to cut the poor animal's throat; the latter cast another look at the young Princess, which seemed to say, «save me.» It could not have addressed itself to a better person. In effect, Charlotte sprang before the trembling kid, and said, with a noble assurance: «It has licked my hand, it shall not die.»

The cook, struck with these words, pronounced with as much force as dignity, uncovered himself with respect, and retired.

O! how grateful the little kid shewed itself towards its benefactress! Sometimes it gently rubbed the top of its head against the pretty[Pg 148] little arms of the young Princess, and sometimes made a thousand graceful skips and gambols around her. Charlotte soon felt the interest with which this little animal had first inspired her, increase. We attach ourselves more than we think to the being who owes us life; every time he breathes we experience an inward satisfaction that fills the soul with a delicious sensation. The young Princess obtained without difficulty, from her parents, permission to bring up the young kid, which became every day more charming. It followed its deliverer every where; and, if at times it lost sight of her, immediately uttered plaintive bleatings until it had found her; then it could hardly contain itself for joy.[Pg 149]

They constructed for the kid in the park opposite Charlotte's apartment, an elegant and commodious cabin, where the latter amused herself with carrying to him the freshest herbage, and abundant food.

At length, at the end of a few months the darling kid became a very fine white she-goat; she was seen wandering about freely, and grazing in every part of the park. She wore a collar of blue velvet, to which were attached two little bells, and an escutcheon, bearing these words; I belong to the Princess Charlotte.

The gardeners, and all the servants of the castle vied with each other in tending and caressing Perrette, for so her mistress called her. But, of all the persons who amused themselves,[Pg 150] by offering her bread, fruit, or leaves, she would obey no one so readily as Charlotte. On entering the park, the moment she cried Perrette, the goat, were she ever so far off, would run bleating to the feet of her dear mistress.

The following spring Perrette yielded milk, and every day procured Charlotte the inexpressible pleasure of eating delicious cheeses, which had no less charms for her than those which Henry the Fourth so long received from his nurse. Nothing was spoken of in the castle but Perrette's cheese; and when the Princess gave rural repasts, to the young ladies of the court, they always served up a dish of cream, made of the excellent milk of the beautiful[Pg 151] white she-goat, who then came to receive the felicitations of the whole assembly; but nothing flattered her so much as a single caress from her dear deliverer. All these pleasures, which were often renewed, rewarded Charlotte in the sweetest manner for what she had done. Not a day passed but she congratulated herself for having saved the life of the white kid. But all the happiness she had enjoyed until then was nothing compared to the heartfelt pleasures that her darling kid procured her. Among the ladies of the court was remarked a young duchess, the intimate friend of Charlotte's august mother, who filled a high office near the person of Her Royal Highness.

This lady, whose amiable qualities[Pg 152] set off the splendour of her beauty, had given birth, a short time before, to a son, the pledge of mutual love, and of a most happy union. She had made it a point of duty to suckle him herself, and would not intrust so dear a treasure to the care of a stranger. The beautiful duchess had reason to congratulate herself on her maternal resolution. The child gained every day fresh strength, a glow of health shone on his charming features, and his first smile had already paid his happy mother for all her cares.

Brilliant fêtes were held at court to celebrate certain glorious events. At a grand hunt, where all the nobles vied with each other in grace and dexterity in riding the most superb coursers, the duchess accompanied[Pg 153] the Princess in her barouche, when, all at once, she perceived the duke her husband, who, wishing to leap over some rails, as several cavaliers had done before him, fell from his horse and remained stretched on the earth without motion, and scarcely with the appearance of life. The duchess utters a piercing cry, springs out of the carriage, and hastens to the assistance of her husband, who soon returns to his senses. He had received no hurt, and being quite recovered from the shock which his unexpected fall had produced, he was the first to laugh at it, and only thought of calming his wife, whose paleness and a convulsive shuddering, that shook her whole person, plainly indicated the violent agitation that affected her. It was so[Pg 154] strong indeed, that on returning to the castle, this tender mother in vain attempted to give suck to her dear nursling. The extreme fright with which she had been seized had dried up the source. The child, scarcely three months old, was about to pass into the arms of another nurse. This idea overwhelmed the duchess with grief: she was so deeply afflicted at it, that for a whole week she employed all the assistance of art to give her child a fictitious nourishment which she thought might suffice; but nothing can supply the place of nature. The poor little fellow could not accustom himself to the ingenious means that were employed. His heart-rending cries, his pretty eyes bathed in tears, and the paleness that already began[Pg 155] to wither the roses in his cheeks, showed him to be in great pain. His excellent mother suffered still more, she, as well as her husband, was almost in despair, when the idea occurred to Charlotte of offering them her she-goat, in order to suckle their beloved son. She had often seen in the park another she-goat suckling the gardeners child; and this scene presented itself to her remembrance. «Perrette,» said she to the duchess, «my Perrette is so pretty, so affectionate, and her milk is so pure, she will easily supply the place of a nurse.» «'Tis Heaven that has inspired thee,» replied her mother, pressing her in her arms, «and has thus rewarded thy goodness.»[Pg 156]

Charlotte ran towards the cabin of her goat, which she brought out, and shewing her the little duke, who was in great pain, and lying on his mother's knees; she said, stroking her head, «Perrette, you must suckle that pretty child.» At the same moment the excellent animal, accustomed to understand whatever her young mistress said to her, replied by a gentle bleating, which seemed to imply the pleasure she felt at obliging her benefactress. She gently licked the child's hands, and, lying down at his feet, presented him her dug, which he seized with eagerness.

His painful cries soon ceased, a sweet smile again appeared on his lips; the paleness of his complexion gave place to the most vivid colours;[Pg 157] and every motion announced increasing strength and the return of health. How many caresses Perrette then received from the mother of her nursling! How many times, while she was yielding her abundant and pure milk, the duchess passed and repassed her grateful hand over the head and body of this excellent animal.

In the mean time, Charlotte and the ladies of the court, and the Princess herself went into the garden to gather fruits and savoury plants, which they gave her to eat. One would have said, at sight of this beautiful white she-goat, surrounded by young Princesses attending her with such care, that it was Amalthea guarded by the Nymphs, suckling Jupiter.[Pg 158]

As Charlotte contemplated this delightful spectacle, how was it possible for her not to compassionate the pains of every suffering being? «If I had not had the good fortune to save Perrette, my mother's best friend would have been a prey to grief.—Children of my own age, who find pleasure in tormenting peaceable animals, who are deaf to the cries of suffering, remember my white kid!»

[Pg 159]


After having described the pure and durable pleasures produced by that tender interest we bear to every suffering being, even to animals, let us endeavour to retrace the vexations and humiliations experienced, sooner or later, by those who forget themselves so far as to make a sport of human[Pg 160] infirmities. A story-teller is a painter; shades are necessary to the different pictures it composes, without that, the uniformity of colours would soon produce disgust and ennui. It is not always in a flowery path that a moral writer ought to conduct young Princes, for whom he is charged to write. His duty prescribes that he should accustom them to find thorns on the journey of life, and to teach them how to avoid them.

The anecdote I am going to relate, took place in my presence. I was fortunate enough to suggest the dénouement of it to a Russian Princess, as much distinguished by her personal qualities, as by the splendour of her birth, and who often deigned to consult[Pg 161] me concerning the education of her only daughter.

The success which this excellent mother obtained, makes me hope that the tale of the Poor Blind Man will not be without interest and utility.

Erneska, a charming little girl about five or six years old, was the only hope and object of the affections of the Countess D***, the widow of a general officer, that had fallen on the field of battle in the last wars against France.

Finding in Russia nothing but sorrowful remembrances of the past, she came to establish herself at Paris, where she soon acquired a deserved celebrity.

A great name, immense riches, beauty[Pg 162] and grace, these are no doubt sufficient to make a person shine in the world; but in order to be surrounded by true friends, the first treasure that a Princess ought to aspire to, it is necessary to be accomplished, amiable, open, and sensible; one must cultivate arts and literature; without them, power itself becomes dull and monotonous. In short, we must say to ourselves every moment of our lives, it is not enough to be honoured for our rank, we must also be loved for ourselves.

So thought she, whose name was as much revered in the study of the artist, as it was blessed in the humble abode of indigence. But, what occupied her more particularly, and became[Pg 163] the object of her constant watching, and her most tender care, was her dear Erneska, whose promising dispositions were often counteracted by a petulant vivacity that nothing could subdue.

This giddy little creature, acting almost always without reflection, gave herself up to whatever could flatter her taste and caprices. She sometimes even carried her love of mischief so far, as to excite doubts of the goodness of her heart. A fault which is committed through giddiness, is regarded by the world, in the same light as one intentionally committed. Nothing is more fatal than the first bad impression we give of ourselves; the greatest efforts can[Pg 164] hardly destroy it. Erneska often went to walk in the garden of the Tuileries, either with her mother, who seldom quitted her, or with a respectable lady entrusted with the care of her.

The young princess generally alighted from her coach at an iron gate, near which a poor old blind man stood, supplicating charity from the passers by. This miserable creature seemed to unite in his person every kind of deformity; his hideous countenance, ill-shaped person, and shrill squeaking voice, were more fit to frighten away those whose assistance he invoked, than to excite their commiseration. Erneska could not bear to look at him, and when he dinned into her ears these words:[Pg 165] «Remember the poor blind man, if you please!» she could not help saying: «O! the ugly creature, how I dislike him.» «It is precisely,» replied the countess, «because this wretch appears to be abandoned by the whole world, that we ought to redouble our pity for him. To assist a venerable looking old man, a young mother surrounded by pretty children, is not simply performing a good work; it is procuring ourselves a pleasure. But to relieve misery under rags, not to dread approaching infirm indigence, in a word, to listen only to the cry of misfortune, and to succour it, under whatever features it may present itself; that, my daughter, is what I call doing good, that is the duty which Heaven imposes on[Pg 166] fortune's favourites, towards those who have experienced the greatest rigours of destiny.» At these words, the countess gave Erneska her purse, from which the latter took a piece of money, which she put into the blind man's little cup, who, appearing to her still uglier than before, she again repeated, «O! the disgusting creature! how much he displeases me!»

However, every time Erneska came to walk in the garden of the Tuileries with her mother, she was obliged to fulfil the duties of charity; which gave her an insurmountable aversion for this wretched being. One day, as she was walking with the lady, to whose care she was confided, and the countess had forgotten to supply her[Pg 167] daughter with her accustomed offering, the latter conceived the design of amusing herself, at the expense of the old blind man, and of revenging herself for the dislike which he had inspired her with.

While talking with her governess, and playing with her in one of the walks, Erneska picked up a small pebble, which she concealed in her hand; and, on passing through the gate at which this poor infirm man stood, she pretended to put into his cup the piece of money she used to give him, and slipped in the pebble, the weight of which, made the poor man think it to be a five-franc piece, bestowed on him by some benevolent person. He overwhelmed her with prayers and thanks, while the little[Pg 168] rogue regained her coach, and left the place, delighted with having taken in the blind man. But the latter soon found out his mistake, and was indignant that any one should dare to take advantage of his infirmity, and make a jest of his misfortune.

Erneska, who considered this outrage merely as a simple piece of roguery, applauded herself in secret for her trick, and heartily laughed at the idea of the figure the blind man would cut on finding that he had been deceived.

This idea tickled the imagination of Erneska so much that, without thinking of the cruelty of such an action, she repeated it three times following, and always with the same success. But the blind man,[Pg 169] whose cunning was as great as his anger, had remarked, that it was about the same hour, that some one thus trifled with his credulity; he therefore kept himself on his guard, and, at the moment when she placed in his cup a fourth pebble, which he instantly recognized by its weight, and the noise it made, he suddenly put out his hand, seized Erneska by the petticoat, and made her publicly the most humiliating and deserved reproaches.

Every one present stopped, and was astonished that a young lady, whose exterior announced her to be of distinguished rank, should have forgotten herself so far as to outrage an infirm wretch, whom the lowest classes of the people respected[Pg 170] and were eager to assist. «This is the fourth time she has deceived me in this manner,» cried the old man, with his shrill voice, and still keeping hold of her robe. «I will know her name, I will be revenged on her.»

The confusion and remorse of Erneska are not to be described, struck dumb with surprise and shame, she dared not raise her eyes, from which bitter tears escaped. Entirely in the power of the blind man, who seized her by the arm. She was not extricated from this humiliating situation until her governess promised the poor man that he should have ample reparation for the affront which had been offered him, and thanked him for the lesson he had given to a thoughtless[Pg 171] girl of six years of age, whose inexperience alone could excuse the fault she had committed.

The blind man, who did not expect to find the criminal of so tender an age, is the first to excuse her. His voice is no longer shrill and squeaking, it has the accent of indulgence, and of the most touching kindness. Erneska even fancies that the features of the poor man are less disagreeable; and on leaving him to return to her carriage, her last looks are directed towards the blind man, and she has no longer power to repeat, «O! the ugly fellow! how I dislike him!» The next day, she returned to the garden of the Tuileries, accompanied by her governess, whom she had intreated to say nothing to[Pg 172] her mother about what had taken place.

She held in her hand, a little purse, containing a five franc piece, which the countess used to give her every week for pocket-money. On alighting from her coach, she went straight towards the old man, and said to him with great emotion: «Good old man, this is a not a pebble, but a crown-piece, which I promise to renew as many times as I have had the misfortune to insult your infirmity.» In effect, every week as soon as Erneska received from her mother what she usually employed in satisfying any accidental fancy, she hastened to offer it to the blind man, as a just reparation for the wrong she had done him.[Pg 173]

Her fault then appeared to her in some sort repaired, and what consoled her most, was being sure of the discretion of her governess, she hoped that her mother would never be informed of the mischievous trick she had been guilty of. But the scene had been too public not to reach the ears of the countess. The latter did not think the reparation her daughter had made the blind man sufficient, and intended to give her a second lesson, the remembrance of which should never be effaced.

Erneska, being the only daughter of a rich mother, easily obtained from her all that could excite her desires.

Playthings of every kind, necklaces, the most fashionable dresses, nothing was denied her. Whenever the[Pg 174] countess went to make purchases at the Palais-Royal, her daughter was particularly anxious to accompany her. One evening, as they were sauntering through these fine galleries, where are displayed the finest productions of art, Erneska remarked in a rich toy-shop a large German doll, which, by means of a spring, which was put into action, gracefully flirted a fan, moved its eyes, opened its mouth, and pronounced very distinctly, mamma! mamma! How was it possible to resist so many united qualities? Erneska very naturally testified a desire to possess this admirable doll, which by the words she pronounced, would become her sister; and the countess pretended to yield to her desires. She bargained[Pg 175] for the precious plaything, which was not to be obtained for less than two hundred and forty francs. «I will deprive myself of every thing for six months,» cried Erneska: «never, my dear mamma, did I receive any thing from you, which flattered me so much as this beautiful doll.» The countess gave her purse to her daughter, who hastened to open the clasp, in order to take out the ten pieces of gold demanded by the shopkeeper, who was at that moment surrounded by several persons. But what was her surprise to find in this purse, the exterior of which was so rich, nothing but pebbles, about the same bigness as those she had put into the blind man's cup! She had then no doubt but her mother knew[Pg 176] all. «Well, my daughter,» said she, pretending not to see her trouble and confusion, «what hinders you from paying for the doll?» «Can I do so with pebbles only?» «What, is not that the current coin? I was told that a young Princess relieved several times with them a poor infirm man.» «Ah! mamma,» cried Erneska, falling on her knees, «the blind man has deigned to pardon me, will you be less indulgent?» «If I were not convinced,» replied the countess, in a severe tone, «that your usual thoughtlessness prevented you from feeling the cruelty and wickedness of your conduct, I would never pardon you. But if you desire, my daughter, that your fault should be entirely effaced from my remembrance, you must[Pg 177] make up your mind to a new reparation.» «Ah! speak, what must I do?» «Come with me, and give to the unhappy man you so ill used, the price of this beautiful doll, which I should have felt so much pleasure in presenting to you.» «With all my heart, my dear mother, there is no sacrifice I will not make to prove my repentance.» At these words, she left the shop, casting a last look of regret on the speaking doll, and repaired with her mother to the gate of the Tuileries, where the latter asked pardon, herself, of the poor blind man, for her daughter, who put into his hand the ten pieces of gold.

The speaking doll was constantly present to the mind of Erneska; but this painful privation was softened[Pg 178] by the idea of the service rendered to indigence, and that she had regained the tenderness of her mother.

The countess wished to assure herself if her daughter was worthy of it, and made trial of her for the last time, by placing before her eyes the remembrance of her fault. One morning the latter, on awaking, perceived on a piece of furniture of her room, in the place which the fine doll was to have occupied, a poor blind man, sitting on a joint stool, with his dog at his feet. He humbly presented his little cup, at the bottom of which was discovered a pebble; and by the movement of his lips, he seemed to ask charity. He had the same features, and dress, as the blind[Pg 179] man at the Tuileries, and the illusion was so complete, that Erneska uttered a piercing cry, and was quite confounded; but immediately arming herself with a magnanimous resolution, she seized the faithful image of the blind man, went and threw herself on her mother's bosom, and thanked her for her present, which she resolved never to part with. «Remember, my dear child,» said the countess to her, «that a person who has publicly committed a great fault, ought to have courage to repair it in the same manner. Every time you look on this effigy of the unfortunate man you have so cruelly deceived, may you remember, my daughter, that nothing degrades us so much, whatever may be[Pg 180] our rank, in the world, as to make a sport of the credulity of a poor infirm being.»

Le salut militaire.

[Pg 181]



The Prince Royal of a brave and generous nation, who was at all times the faithful ally of France, took upon himself the education of his children; he particularly attended to that of his eldest son, destined by his birth to ascend one day the throne of his ancestors.[Pg 182]

This young Prince, whom we shall call Edward, joined to a charming countenance all the graces of infancy. He was slight, and well proportioned; he had, in his carriage, a certain ease and dignity, which at the same time created respect and love.

The mildness of his look, the penetrating tone of his voice, announced a soul susceptible of the most tender sentiments; and his innocent gaiety, and happy repartees, shewed a lively wit and most amiable disposition. In a word, every thing concurred to form some day, in Edward, who was then six years of age, an accomplished prince, and one worthy of the love of that people of whom he was the hope and idol.[Pg 183]

But his august father, who constantly studied his character, and watched all his motions, far from suffering himself to be dazzled by what others so much admired in this sweet child, had perceived that the Princess his mother, and particularly his grandmother, the Queen, often spoiled by their excessive tenderness the blessed gifts he had received from nature.

By dint of hearing himself flattered, Edward thought himself a little prodigy, and decided on every thing with an assurance which charmed his grandfather and grandmother, blinded by their love, and filled with ecstacy, those courtiers whose fatal practice it is to mislead a young prince so far as to make him believe a[Pg 184] ridicule to be a grace, and a defect a virtue.

Fortunately for Edward, the prince his father had not been brought up in this dangerous effeminacy, amidst those adulations which enervate the heart, mislead the mind, and prevent the heir to the throne from attaining that perfection which his situation required. The royal Prince, whose name, from respect, I refrain from pronouncing, had long been acquainted with adversity, which he had often braved in the field of battle. His august brow was adorned with honourable scars; and what he prized above all was the brave man, who consecrates his life to defend the glory of his King, and assure the repose and prosperity of his country.[Pg 185]

He saw in every soldier a brother in arms, and the simplest warrior was entitled to his affection.

It was not so with Edward: accustomed at his grandfather's court to see himself surrounded by chosen guards, and commanding-officers, the consideration he shewed for every soldier was only in proportion to his rank.

He never uncovered himself but to a general officer; a colonel obtained from him merely an inclination of the head. A motion of his hand sufficed for a major: a captain or lieutenant was only honoured with a look of protection. As to a private soldier, he was in Edward's eyes merely as an atom that is lost in infinite space, an imperceptible[Pg 186] spot that deserves no attention. His father was accustomed to take him into the city in the morning, on foot, and without escort; neither of them hearing any mark of distinction. He was fond of pointing out to his son, the moving picture of the people over whom he was one day to reign. He made him remark with care, the different classes of the population, which a young prince cannot too early habituate himself to observe, to cherish, and to protect. «Look, my dear Edward,» said the Prince, «look at that shopkeeper, at her counter, surrounded by her playful children, and that artisan in his workshop, who is singing, and at the same time directing his numerous workmen. Observe that porter[Pg 187] bowing under his load, and shewing, on his countenance, contentment and security; that collier, that water-carrier, distributing their goods to all the families of the neighbourhood. Admire with me this exchange of labours and services, this general concourse of activity, existence, and public honour! Such is the people; it is they whose happiness God has particularly entrusted to Kings.

«The great are but few in number, and share amongst each other the first favours of the sovereign whom they surround; intriguing and ambitious men rise sooner or later on the wheel of fortune; but that numerous class of the people, who live by the labour of their hands, are contented[Pg 188] with little, often support want without complaining, and never approach the throne.

«It is then the monarch's place to draw near them, to busy himself about whatever interests them, and to shew himself worthy of their love. O! my son! it is not sufficient for the paternal heart of a King, that his praises should resound in splendid saloons, it is in work-shops, under the thatch, and in public places, that he ought to be anxious to hear blessings showered upon his head.»

Edward listened with an attentive ear to this discourse; and the emotion that was visible on his handsome face rewarded his happy father for all his cares. But these remarkable words were soon effaced from the[Pg 189] young Prince's memory, and were dissipated as a dream. When he returned to the palace of his grandfather and grandmother, the intoxicating flatteries of those who surrounded him revived in him that fatal disdain for all that did not hold the first rank about him, or whose birth did not command his veneration.

One morning, as Edward had just been rambling over the city with his worthy parent, and had received some important advice from him, on the manner of judging and appreciating men, he perceived, at the entry of the Palais-Royal, a young soldier on duty, who recognized the two Princes and presented arms. The Prince pulled off his hat, and returned[Pg 190] the sentinel the usual salute. Edward passed before the soldier with his hat on, and regarding him with a disdainful air. «Why do you not salute him?» said his father, with surprise. «O! he is only a private soldier,» answered Edward, with a contemptuous smile. «It matters not, every soldier, under arms, is entitled to the respect of his chiefs.»

«But, my dear papa, you see he has not even the insignia of a corporal.»

«Sentinel!» exclaimed the Prince with a stern voice, «send for the officer of the guard!» The commander of the post immediately arrived, and at the aspect of the Prince Royal, he waited for his orders with respect. «Captain,» said the latter, presenting Edward to him, «here is a young[Pg 191] fellow, who has failed in subordination; I deliver him into your hands, you may keep him at the guard-house until further orders:» the young Prince blushed with confusion, his eyes were suffused with tears, he sought to excuse himself, but his father cast an angry look at him, departed, and left him among the soldiers of the guard, who surrounded him, and sought to know the cause of this strange event. «Captain,» said Edward, with a deference which he had never shown for one of his rank, «I beg you will suffer me to rejoin my father, and I shall soon be able to obtain his pardon.» «My lord,» replied the officer, «I am extremely sorry I cannot at this moment obey your Royal Highness; the order of[Pg 192] my Commander is exact, and sacred for me.» «Captain, take me from hence! conduct me to my father, and rely upon my gratitude and protection.» «I should be unworthy of it, my lord, for I should voluntarily depart from what duty and honour prescribes to me. Your Highness must consent to remain among us, until further orders; we will endeavour to soften as much as we can the tediousness of your Highness's arrest.» At these words, he takes him respectfully by the hand, and introduces him into the guard-house, where the soldiers gazed at him, and asked each other a hundred questions, which threw him into the most cruel embarrassment. The sentinel who had been relieved, and[Pg 193] who alone was in the secret, revealed it with eagerness to all his comrades; who could not help admiring and approving aloud the excellent lesson the Prince Royal had just given to his son. «He does not despise the soldier, not he!» said an old pioneer with a red beard; «he has twenty times squeezed my hand in the camp, and always permitted me to smoke before him.» «He has done still more for me,» cried an old serjeant of the grenadiers, shaking his pipe; «he carried me more than two hundred yards on his back, when I was struck by a cannon-ball in the thigh; and saved my life.» «Ah! if all my blood were to be shed to spare his!» added a third. «Long live our noble Prince!» cried they all at once:[Pg 194] «Long live the model of the brave; Long live the father of the soldier!»

These deserved praises became, in some sort, bitter reproaches to Edward for his conduct, and a direct reproof for his want of respect towards the soldier who had presented arms to him. In vain did the officer of the guard seek to direct the attention of the young Prince from his situation; remorse and confusion only increased on the prisoner's countenance: he experienced, for the first time, that there are moments in life when we must yield to force, and that a single action is sufficient to dim the splendour of rank and birth. Oh! how many reflections crowded on the mind of the royal youth! These old[Pg 195] grenadiers, covered with honourable wounds, and overwhelming his father with such touching praises, made him feel that the same dignity of man often exists under epaulettes of wool, as under the grand cordon of the Prince! Edward had given himself up for the last hour to this precious self-examination, when one of his father's equerries entered the guard-house, and announced to the commanding officer, that his Royal Highness left his son to the discretion of the sentinel whom he had insulted. Edward, who imagined he had come to deliver him from his painful situation, blushed and cast down his eyes; but without suffering the slightest murmur to escape him. He advanced towards the young soldier, saying to him with[Pg 196] a penetrating voice, and in the most submissive tone: «Comrade, what do you require of me?» «Follow me instantly to your august father,» replied the latter, with warmth and emotion. He held out his hand to him, with respect, which Edward eagerly clasped in his, and both, followed by the equerry, repaired to the Prince's apartment. On entering, the soldier threw himself at the feet of his general, and begged forgiveness for a fault, which the young prince had so well expiated. «Rise, my brave fellow!» said Edward's father to him, «I expected no less from you.»

«This trait of generosity deserves speedy promotion; and I will take care of that. As for you, my son,» added he, pressing him in his arms,[Pg 197] «come and resume the place which the noble and touching repentance, that I see impressed on your countenance, restores to you! Remember, my dear Edward, that it is not by any distinctive marks, but by examining the heart, that we must judge men. You see, at this moment, what a simple soldier can do; he alone could obtain your pardon.»

Fifteen years after, war was kindled in all Europe: the Prince Royal had just ascended the throne; Edward was invested with the august title of his father. He was then twenty-two years of age, heir to a crown, and convinced that it is never more brilliant and more solid, than when placed on a brow adorned with noble scars; he obtained the honour of commanding[Pg 198] the first corps of cavalry. A grand combat took place; the new Prince Royal distinguished himself by his intrepid valour. In one of those actions in which the chief, confounded with his soldiers, fights hand to hand, and has no other resource than his strength and skill, Edward found himself in the midst of several of the enemy's hussars, who wished to make him lay down his arms. He resisted, and was about to fall into their power, when he was suddenly delivered from this imminent danger by a warrior, whose features he was prevented from distinguishing by clouds of dust; but scarcely had he arrived wounded at the ambulance, borne on the arms of his men, than he recognized in the person of their brave chief, the sentinel[Pg 199] whose military salute he had formerly disdained, and who, having become colonel of a regiment of cuirassiers, to whose valour the victory was due, had thus completed his reputation by saving the King's son. Edward stretched out his arms to his deliverer, whom he proclaimed general on the field of battle; and this private soldier, who had not even the insignia of a corporal, when the prince was yet a child, and insulted him, received from his hand the grand cordon, by the order of the King. So true it is that nothing should be disdained in the army; that a great number of heroes have risen from the ranks; and as Louis the Eighteenth said to the young pupils of Saint Cyr,[Pg 200] pointing to the cartridge-box of one of them; «Gentlemen, there is within that box the staff of a marshal.»

[Pg 201]


A Princess of the blood, was fond of hiding her rank and birth under the most modest exterior. She occupied herself in instilling into her only daughter, aged six years, her taste for simplicity, which made her find charms in private life, facilitated her communications with the people whom it was her delight to study, and procured her amusing[Pg 202] scenes, in which without being known she experienced the truest pleasure, gathered useful truths, and learned how to make a good use of time, which so many others employ in trifles, or pass away in listlessness.

This Princess, who was as much beloved as respected, was never happier than when she could withdraw from the etiquette of the court, to ramble through hamlets and villages, where her beneficence had made her well known. A love for the arts inflamed her strong and brilliant imagination, as much as the love of doing good occupied her generous soul. She cultivated painting, and her favourite occupation was to retrace with her pencil, a smiling landscape, the interior of a farm, or a[Pg 203] forest, enlivened by shepherds watching their flocks. It was particularly about the beginning of autumn, the season when verdure offers to the artist's eye so many different shades, and such an infinite variety of colours, that the Princess used to delight in ranging the woods. She was usually followed by two attendants, one of whom carried an easel and colour-box, and the other a stool, and the canvass which was to receive the sketch of some enchanting landscape. Delightful occupation! Engaging study, which carries to the senses, the softness of the air we breathe, and to the ideas, the pureness of the heaven, and freshness of the foliage, of which we imitate the form and colour! The Princess[Pg 204] often took with her Amelia, her beloved daughter.

She made her range on foot through the long walks of the forest, cross deep ravines; and whilst she stopt to sketch some picturesque view, some tufted hill, the young Princess, would hunt butterflies, or amused herself with forming a nosegay of wild flowers, with which she would deck the bosom of her mother.

It was drawing towards the end of September; the Princess and her daughter had come, for the first time, to pass a few days in an ancient and superb chateau, situated some leagues from the capital, and adjoining a forest, much celebrated for its romantic views, and the beauty of its trees.[Pg 205] One very warm day, about noon, the Princess got into her coach with her dear Amelia, and penetrated a great way into the forest. She alighted at a barrier, and, followed by her footmen, who were furnished with whatever related to the art she cultivated, she sketched with avidity any thing that appeared worthy her pencil. The heat was excessive that day, the shade had never been more necessary, nor appeared more delicious. After a long walk, Amelia felt a burning thirst, but how was she to appease it?

They were at the summit of the hill; and could perceive no spring. The young Princess accustomed to have all her desires speedily satisfied,[Pg 206] imagined, that because she wanted to quench her thirst, a liquid fountain ought to spout out from the turf under her feet, at which some naiad should present her the liquid element; but, alas! she found that nature, in whose eyes all her children are equal, does no more for the rich than for the poor. Amelia's mother was not sorry that she had received this lesson: she sought, however, to calm the repeated complaints of her daughter, when she heard, at about a hundred paces distance, the laughing voices of several persons.

She approaches, looks through the branches of the trees, and perceives, in a glade of the forest, a convivial party, seated around a rural repast, and near them some[Pg 207] young folks, dancing with great glee. «Remain under this thick foliage,» said the Princess to her suite, «until I return to you, and as for you, my dear child, come with me and your thirst shall be quenched!

«But we had better avail ourselves of the simple dress we wear to conceal our rank; by that means, we shall avoid the homage, and shall partake more at our ease the pleasures of those we are going to visit.» Amelia willingly consented, and they immediately joined the gay party, whom the Princess asked, with her usual affability, «if they would have the goodness to give her little girl something to drink.» «Certainly,» replied a venerable old man, who seemed to be the head of the family;[Pg 208] «we shall consider it a duty, as well as a pleasure, to offer this pretty child not only, water, but whatever else she may have a mind to.» At these words, a young man of an interesting appearance, hastened to rinse a glass in the limpid water of a fountain which flowed just by, and presented it to the unknown lady, that she, herself, might quench her daughter's thirst. «Oh! what a pretty girl!» said a young person softly, «what lovely blue eyes, and what beautiful light hair,» added a second. «What a sweet figure, and what agreeable manners,» said a third. And each of them offered the little stranger fruits, cakes, and cream, which she accepted, after a sign of approbation from her mother, who[Pg 209] sat down herself, and, yielding to their importunities, did honour to the repast.

The conversation became animated. The old man informed her he had been a justice of the peace for the last thirty years, of a neighbouring town, and that those by whom he was surrounded, were children and grandchildren, who were celebrating his birthday. The Princess, seeing that every one was burning with a desire to know who she was, wished to preserve the veil of secresy that covered her, and, pointing to a sketch-book with a crayon in it, which she carried in her hand, said, she was a landscape-painter, busied in drawing several pictures that had been ordered by[Pg 210] the Princess for the chateau in which she had been some time residing. She added, «that, pursuant to the orders of her Highness, who sometimes deigned to admit her into her presence, she did not suffer a single fine morning to pass without coming into the forest to take sketches from nature.» «Oh! madam,» cried the old man, «since you have the honour to approach the Princess so often, you must be so good as to procure me the pleasure of seeing her. I am now seventy-two years of age, and I would not quit this world, without knowing her who conciliates the hearts of every one.» «And we also,» said the ladies, who surrounded the venerable old man, «should like to see the Princess her daughter; they say she[Pg 211] is so charming, so well brought up.» «Oh! do show her to us, madam,» cried the young ladies, almost all at once, «Nothing can be more easy,» replied Her Highness, endeavouring to conceal the emotion she felt. «I will mention it this very day to the Princess, and I will describe your sentiments for her so faithfully, that I am convinced she will feel a great pleasure in granting you an interview.»—«Oh how much we shall be obliged to you!»—«Be assured I shall be an equal sharer in the pleasure you promise yourselves,» replied the Princess.

«Will you come and play with us, little girl,» said a child about her own age, to the young Princess. «Most willingly!» replied Amelia, «if mamma[Pg 212] will condescend to allow me,» «Certainly, my dear! I am much flattered that these young ladies should be kind enough to admit you as a sharer in their sports,» «Oh! madam, the honour is entirely on our side.» Then they began to play at four-corners, blind-man's buff, hide and seek, hot cockles; in short, all the games suitable to their age. Amelia took an active share in these innocent pleasures, whilst her august mother, under the exterior of a simple artist, penetrated into the hearts of this numerous family, and experienced a delight, of which those Princes deprive themselves, who disdain to mingle with the people; and by that means, never know what is thought of them.[Pg 213]

But the sun began to sink below the horizon. «One may easily forget how time passes with you,» said the Princess, «night approaches, and I leave you with regret. Amelia, ask your young companions permission to embrace them; let us return, the carriage is waiting for us!» «But your little girl is very warm, ma'am,» said a young person embracing her, «she might catch cold, allow me to lend her my handkerchief. You will return it to me when we go to the chateau.»—«I accept your offer, miss, and thank you for your kindness.»

The young girl immediately took up a small sky-blue handkerchief of Barege, which she had laid on a tuft of grass; and placing it herself on Amelia's shoulders, she said to her[Pg 214] softly, and loud enough for the Princess to hear: «Take care of it my dear; for I have but that to wear on Sundays.»

At length they separated after the usual compliments, and a mutual promise to see each other again as soon as possible. The old man and his children were inexhaustible in their praises of this charming woman, so worthy in their opinion to be near Her Royal Highness. The latter on her part did not cease talking to her daughter of the pleasure she had enjoyed, and representing to her that all that homage one receives in the quality of Princess, is not worth the inexpressible enjoyment of being beloved for one's self, and of hearing[Pg 215] one's name blessed in the bosom of respectable families.

The next morning about ten o'clock, a master of the horse, followed by three coaches, each drawn by four horses, arrived at the house of the magistrate; he was the bearer of a letter signed C***, landscape painter. This lady announced, that in consequence of the great age of the venerable man, and the number of his children, she had without difficulty obtained permission to have them all transported to the chateau, where they might see their Royal Highnesses at their leisure. They repaired thither immediately; and in crossing that part of the gardens leading to the apartments, they perceived[Pg 216] under a tent, adorned with drapery and foliage, preparations for a repast, for about twenty persons, on the verdant turf, with a velvet cushion at each place. They were shewn into a rich gallery decorated with statues and pictures, among which were several landscapes newly painted; they supposed these to be the work of the amiable artist they had the pleasure of entertaining two evenings before, and whom they were impatient to see again. As they did not know her name, they asked the officers on duty, whom they met, to present them to the lady who painted landscapes for Her Royal Highness. They were told, that they knew no person at court filling such[Pg 217] an office near the Princess. «She is a fair young lady,» replied the old man, «with lively blue eyes; a face at once cheerful and imposing; not very tall, but full of grace and dignity. She is the mother,» added he, «of a charming little girl, named Amelia.»—«Ah! I know who you mean,» replied the officer they had interrogated, smiling. «She is waiting for you; I am going to inform her of your arrival, and you will soon see her appear.» In effect they soon heard some one walking in the adjoining room. The door opened, and an usher announced, Madame! And instantly the Princess, elegantly dressed and leading by the hand her daughter, who wore round her neck the little sky-blue handkerchief[Pg 218] that had been lent her, appeared before the eyes of this family, who, seized with astonishment, recognise in Her Royal Highness the lady they believed to be a simple landscape painter.

«I have too pleasing a remembrance of the reception you gave me,» said she to them, «not to testify to you my gratitude as soon as possible. The rural repast to which you were so kind as to admit me suggested to me the idea of offering you one in my turn, at which I wish to shew you the same frank cordiality I found in your company.» At these words she conducted them under a tent, placed the old man at her right hand, and the Princess her daughter by the side of the young person who[Pg 219] had lent her her handkerchief. But it was in vain that Her Royal Highness did every thing in her power to enliven the conversation, and to excite a decent gaiety, the respect with which she inspired her happy guests, kept up a reserve which nothing could subdue.

After the repast, the Princess Amelia proposed the game of hot cockles; but seeing that her young companions of the forest dared not engage in it through respect for her, she hid her charming face on the knees of her august mother, and presented her pretty little hand which no one dared to strike.

Not wishing, however, that she should wait in vain, the head of this interesting family advanced softly,[Pg 220] and kissed, with the greatest respect, the young Princess's hand. «Oh! that is not in the game,» said Amelia, rising; «and I cannot guess in that manner.»—«I can easily conceive indeed,» replied the old man, «that it is impossible for Mademoiselle to discover who is the most eager of us all, to enjoy the honour of kissing her hand.»

At length Her Royal Highness perceiving that nothing could subdue the respectful reserve of her guests, and not wishing to keep them any longer under constraint, gave orders for the carriages to advance for their return. At the moment, the young girl, who cast a look at the handkerchief she had lent the young Princess, saluted her, and was preparing to[Pg 221] depart; the latter stopped her, and said to her with an affectionate tone, «Your shawl is become too dear for me to part with it; but as you might in your turn suffer from the coolness of the evening, allow me to offer you one which may recall me to your remembrance.»

She then gave her a very beautiful white cachemire shawl, surrounded with a garland of flowers, and a present for each of her amiable companions.

They separated, mutually satisfied with each other. The Princess constantly made her daughter observe, that the more attentive we are towards people, the more we secure their respect and love.

The father of this numerous family,[Pg 222] on his part, was never weary of blessing Her Highness, and said to his children, «confess with me, that Princes never raise themselves so high, as when they descend to us.»

[Pg 223]


The good actions of a Prince almost always redound to the honour of his children. The splendid actions and great deeds that history transmits to posterity compose the renown of an illustrious personage; but his private virtues yield him that pure felicity which becomes a precious inheritance for his family after him.

The Duke Charles, Prince of the[Pg 224] Blood Royal used to range over the capital in which he resided, as well as its environs, sometimes on foot, sometimes in a gig; which he usually drove alone, in order to have no witness to his acts of generosity. He met, at some distance from the city, a child about nine or ten years of age, bearing on his head an enormous basket, and who appeared almost sinking under the burthen. He asked him «where he was going.» «At the other end of the suburbs, my good sir; I have already walked a whole league.» «And what are you carrying?»—«Vegetables and fruits,» said he. «How much does it weigh?»—«I don't know, but I am quite tired.» The Prince immediately alighted from his gig, and lifting the burthen, which[Pg 225] he found much too heavy for the poor boy's strength, he asked him who had ordered him to carry such a load. «My father, a fruit-merchant in the faubourg, opposite the church. We buy of the gardeners outside the barriers, in order to get things cheaper, and I, being the eldest, am obliged to fetch them.»

He had scarcely finished these words, when the Prince himself put the basket of vegetables into the gig, made the child get up behind, and carried him to the place of his destination.

«What! you a father,» said he to the fruit-merchant, «and oblige your son to carry a burthen so much beyond his strength?» «He must accustom himself to work,» replied[Pg 226] the fruit-merchant in a surly tone. «True, when nature has developed his strength; but at so tender an age! you run the risk of laming him for life.» «It is easy enough for you rich folks to talk in this manner; but when a man has only his hands to support an infirm wife and six children——who will mind the shop if Joseph does not go to fetch the articles?» «Well,» replied the Prince, with that vivacity so natural to generous souls: «here are ten pieces of gold to buy for your son one of those animals that are accustomed to bear burthens, and with which he will be able to do his work——the child pleases me; he has such a sweet expression on his countenance! accustom him to work: nothing is[Pg 227] more proper, certainly; but do not fatigue him too much, I beseech you.»

He put the money into the astonished merchant's hand, got into his gig, and drove off with the rapidity of lightning.

The benevolent intentions of the stranger were faithfully fulfilled.

The following day, Joseph had at his disposal an excellent ass to provide for his father's shop. The latter, who concealed a good heart under his habitual bluntness, could not help being moved at what the generous protector of his son had just done.

«You know that gentleman, then?» said he; «Not at all, father, 'tis the first time I ever saw him.[Pg 228]

«He has something in his look that inspires confidence, and commands respect. He is certainly some great personage. But he is not at all proud; for he himself relieved me from my basket with the greatest complaisance!—--He questioned me in a tone so mild, and so compassionate!—--Oh! he is an excellent man!»

Some time passed away: the Prince, who did not do good by halves, wished to assure himself, with his own eyes, that the poor little fellow was relieved from his labours. He returned several times to the barrier of the capital, where he had met him sinking under his burthen, and perceived him leading along his ass gaily, and humming a tune. The child recognised[Pg 229] his benefactor, accosted him, and said with the frankness and ingenuousness of his age, «You see, my good sir, that my father has kept his word; and, thanks to you, I shall not be so fatigued and harrassed any more. I shall soon grow tall and strong——there is only one thing wanting to make me completely happy; that is, to know who you are.» «For what reason, my good boy?» «It is, that as my little brothers and myself pray to God every morning, we would name you in our prayers; and that alleviates the weight of gratitude.» «Well, my name is Charles,» answered the Prince, «and since you appear so grateful for what I have done, here are six pieces of gold to purchase fodder for the companion[Pg 230] of your labours.» At these words, he left Joseph, who hastened to deliver to his father the new present he had received; and the name of Charles was blessed by the whole family.—«But who is this Mr Charles?» asked these good folks, as they gave themselves up to a thousand conjectures. «He must be very rich,» said one, «to bestow his gold so profusely.» «He must be very kind-hearted,» said another, «to pay attention to a poor child sinking under a burthen; and particularly to place a large basket of vegetables into his carriage himself.» «Oh!» cried Joseph, «if Heaven would but grant me the favour to requite him some day for his beneficence!»——He thought of nothing else but the generous stranger.[Pg 231] Constantly tormented with the desire of knowing him, he never approached the barrier, where he had had the happiness to meet him twice, without looking eagerly on all sides; but his benefactor was no where to be seen.

Gratitude is inventive, and Joseph, convinced by his martial air, and that frankness of manners he had observed in the good Mr Charles, that he was a military man of high rank, employed the Sunday, which was the only day he could freely dispose of, in visiting the different parts of the capital where any troops were exercised. With his eyes fixed on every commanding-officer and captain that filed off at the head of their companies, the poor boy sought to discover[Pg 232] those features that gratitude had so strongly impressed on his memory. Tired of seeking in vain, more than ever tormented with the desire of knowing his benefactor, he penetrated into the Court of the Palace where the monarch dwelt, one day when there was to be a grand parade.

He examined with the most scrupulous attention all the general officers that passed and repassed before him, when all at once he perceived a commander of light horse, before whom several squadrons of chasseurs and lancers were filing off. The light plume which adorned his head, and the insignia of the orders with which he was invested, made Joseph doubt for a moment whether this was the simple and complaisant Mr.[Pg 233] Charles; but he could not mistake that open and expressive countenance, that look so firm and so full of fire: then addressing himself to the persons who surrounded him, he asked them with strong emotion, «who that officer was, that was passing the others in review.» He was informed, it was the Duke Charles, one of the King's nephews.

«What,» cried Joseph, «is that the Prince who is so much spoken of in our suburbs. Ah! I am no longer surprised at what he has done for me——.» He immediately returned to his father's, and told him who it was that had so generously assisted him. This news was soon spread through the whole quarter, and reached at last the interior of the capital. Nothing[Pg 234] was spoken of, but the compassionate action of the Prince, loading himself, and lifting into his gig a large basket of vegetables, of which he had eased the shoulders of the little errand boy. This anecdote was collected with fidelity. The arts took possession of it, and whilst the pen of the moral writer transmitted it to posterity, the pencil of the painter, and the graver of the lithographist propagated it in châteaux and cottages; and the name of the Prince was blessed by all classes of society, but no one was more sensibly touched at it than Joseph. This adventure did not quit his thoughts for a moment, he was never tired of relating it, and, in the excess of his gratitude and admiration, «Ah!» said he, «if Heaven would[Pg 235] some day grant me the power to requite it!»

Eight years passed away, the Duke Charles had become the father of two pretty children. Being both arrived at that age when the faculties begin to be developed, they went to pass a great part of the day in a delightful solitude, situated on the banks of a river at a short distance from the capital. It was there that the young Princess, who was about six years old, and her brother, who was no more than five, used to amuse themselves with the sports of childhood, and made their first essays of the pleasures of life.

The cultivation of flowers was their sweetest occupation: directed by the persons charged with the care of instructing[Pg 236] them, they learnt while playing, to know the different species of plants, to distinguish in each of them the corolla, the petals, and the stamina; not to confound a plant with a shrub; and, by this means, they insensibly went through a little course of botany.

Among the gardeners who used to work in embellishing this delicious retreat, there was one named Bertrand, about eighteen or twenty years of age, and to whom alone was intrusted the care of cultivating the two children's little garden; for each of them had a separate spot of ground, surrounded with a fine border of flowers, of which they were the sole possessors, and could plant, root up, or[Pg 237] overturn every thing according to their caprices. The young Princess's garden was remarkable for a rich collection of all the roses known; she took the greatest care of them, and often had the happiness to offer a nosegay of them to her mother. The little Prince's garden did not offer the same richness nor the same harmony. By wishing to unite every thing, he had scarcely any thing; he imagined for instance that a laurel would grow very fast. He was astonished that those which he cultivated himself, and which scarcely appeared above the ground, did not already procure him wherewith to make a crown.

«Patience, my good lord!» said Bertrand to him, «it will come[Pg 238] in time, laurels do not grow so fast; and, Prince as you are, time alone will bring them to perfection.»

It may be conceived how much courage and patience were necessary for the gardener to satisfy the desires and wishes of his young master and mistress. Both, with the spade or watering pot in their hands, often plucked up what had been planted the evening before, drowned the flower, which only required the warmth of the sun, and refused a salutary watering to that which was almost dried up. But nothing could slacken the zeal, or weary the complaisance of Bertrand. He knew how to repair, with an admirable address, the disorders committed by the brother and sister, there was never[Pg 239] the least expression of ill-humour on his face; nor the slightest reproach for the havoc they made. He only thought of pleasing them in every thing; he could not fix his eyes upon them without experiencing an emotion which plunged him into a soft revery, which more than once made him forget his work. Oh! what touching cares and what respectful deference had he for these two charming creatures! How many agreeable surprises he would procure for them in the park, how many pretty games would he not invent for them! When they came to repose themselves near him, he would relate to them simple and interesting stories; and if, by chance, he found means to press[Pg 240] his lips by stealth on their garments, he experienced a transport that was visible in every feature.

In the midst of the park was a large basin tolerably deep, on which floated majestically two fine swans, which the little Prince was very fond of. Not a day passed but he gave them something to eat. One of them was so tame, that he would come to the edge of the water, stretch out his long white neck, and take from the Royal youth's hand a piece of bread or cake, which he presented to him. This amusement never took place but in presence of the persons who waited on the Prince, whose petulance equalled his thoughtlessness; and whilst with one hand he[Pg 241] offered food to his darling swan, he was held by the other by one of the ladies attached to his service, and who followed him like his shadow.

But, however watchful they might be over him, there are moments of distraction which cannot be avoided. The young Prince, whose self love was hurt at being constantly held by the arm whenever he walked along the edge of the basin, was one day seated under some thick foliage with his sister and two ladies of their suite. He amused himself in making them twine a garland of flowers for him, which he gathered as he walked up and down; and availing himself of a moment, when he was hid from the view[Pg 242] of those who took care of him, he reached the basin, and presented to the swan the piece of cake which he held in his hand——but he paid dear for his disobedience: while caressing his favourite swan, he imprudently advanced too far; his head overbalanced the rest of his body, and the child fell into the water. The noise of the fall, reached the ears of the two governesses; they ran to him, followed by his young sister. The latter rent the air with her cries, and would have sprung in after her brother; but at that very moment, Bertrand, who was working just by, jumped in, and brought back the young Prince to the arms of the women, whom his[Pg 243] imprudence had dreadfully frightened, and might cause them to be dismissed.

«At length I have discharged my debt,» cried the gardener, in a transport of joy; «I have saved him! Each in his turn.» Bertrand's inexpressible delight, contrasted so strongly with the terror imprinted on the faces of the persons who surrounded him, and these words, «I have discharged my debt!» appeared so singular, that every one demanded an explanation of this strange mystery. He informed them that he was the boy whom the Duke Charles had so generously assisted in his labour. He added, that for ten years past he had only thought of[Pg 244] proving himself worthy of such goodness; that having arrived by his labour to the rank of first flower gardener, he had no other ambition than to belong to the august children of his benefactor, hoping to find an opportunity of testifying his gratitude to them; and that, at length, this moment, the object of his secret desires, was arrived!—--The brother and sister were charmed to find in Bertrand the little Joseph of whom they had so often heard speak; they felt how sweet it is to reap the fruits of a fathers beneficence. Joseph Bertrand will never quit them; and whilst the little Prince was led back to the chateau to have his clothes dried, this excellent young man[Pg 245] following him with his eyes, repeated again, with transport:——«Each in his turn!—--Each in his turn!»

[Pg 246]


Amelia, a charming little Princess, between six and seven years of age, had but one defect, that was to appear to disdain every one, whose rank was much inferior to that she occupied in the world. Her eyes usually soft and penetrating, her[Pg 247] pretty mouth accustomed to the wittiest repartees, immediately assumed an expression of pride and contempt when she was accosted by people of low rank.

One would have said, that their approach infected the air she breathed: her lips, then, would scarcely suffer a few inarticulate words to escape, and in her whole person were remarked, ill-humour, vexation, and pride.

Amelia's mother, who knew how to conciliate all hearts by the most gracious urbanity of manners, endeavoured to destroy in her daughter this tone of contempt, which alienates them for ever.

She would often repeat to her the[Pg 248] admirable traits of sovereigns, who have immortalized themselves by their affability and condescension.

Sometimes she would speak of the mother of St. Louis, carrying victuals and clothes to the French prisoners taken at Bélesme by the Duke of Brittany; sometimes the magnanimous and admired Maria Theresa, going to visit, in the suburbs of Vienna, a poor old woman sick of the palsy, who was constantly expressing her sorrow at not being able to be present at the Temple, when the Empress was there; sometimes the beautiful Sophia of Isembourg, Princess of Suabia, offering her bosom to the infant of a young widow, whose milk had been dried up by grief and misery; sometimes that august protectress of the[Pg 249] unfortunate, and of orphans, who is now to be seen in Paris, visiting hospitals and charitable institutions, not disdaining to penetrate into the abode of indigence, and personally to assist suffering humanity.

Amelia, whose imagination was lively, and whose heart was excellent, listened to these relations with the greatest attention. She could not help admiring those traits of benevolence and christian humility. She would then form projects to overcome her pride, and reform her character, and for some time she was more affable in her address to the poor people who came into her presence; but that fatal pride which had taken root in her heart, soon destroyed[Pg 250] the wisest resolutions; and her natural disposition reappeared in all its force.

It was drawing towards the end of summer, one evening after sun-set, Amelia was walking with her excellent mother, in the environs of an ancient chateau which that Princess possessed, at fifteen leagues from the capital. They perceived an old shepherd, who had just been penning his sheep, and was drawing near them, not without difficulty, a small cabin covered with thatch, mounted on four wheels, and the door being open, allowed them to see the interior, the furniture of which consisted of a truckle-bed about two feet and-a-half wide, a chest, and a stool.[Pg 251]

The young Princess, struck with the smallness of such an abode, could not believe it possible for any one to live in it. However, she saw the shepherd walk his rounds once more; and after having distributed among his dogs the remains of his scrip, he pulled off his cap, raised his eyes to heaven, murmured a prayer, and got into his cabin, the door of which he shut. «What!» said Amelia to her mother, «is he going to pass the whole night in that place?» «Yes, my daughter, and he often reposes more peaceably than we do on down, and pillows fringed with gold.» «Oh, how shocking! If I were obliged to dwell in such a wretched prison!»—«You would do as the shepherd does; resign yourself to it with a good[Pg 252] grace.» At that moment they heard a prelude on a rustic instrument, followed by several sweetly-expressive tunes, the charm of which was irresistible. «You see, my dear, he is happy with his lot, and covets nothing in the world.»—«Happy in such a poor little nook!»—«He finds in it peace of mind; he is not tormented by intrigues, nor deceived by false friends; he there receives the caresses of his faithful guardians, and more than once, perhaps, has had the good fortune to shelter the way-worn traveller.»—«Oh! mamma, who could ever have courage to enter such a miserable place?»—«My dear child, we should disdain nothing; we do not know to what extremities fortune may reduce us.»[Pg 253]

The night which was coming on put an end to their conversation: the Princess returned through the park with Amelia to the chateau. The latter was constantly talking of the old shepherd and his wretched cabin; and when she compared it with the richness of her own apartment, she found herself very happy, and could not help thanking God for having placed her in a rank which secured her from dwelling beneath a straw-built shed. But Providence, who is often pleased to lower our pride, and make us feel that we, as well as poor shepherds, are subjected to its decrees, wished to undeceive Amelia, and give her a lesson, which, by correcting her for ever of this most ridiculous and prejudicial[Pg 254] defect, would make a perfect woman of her—a Princess truly worthy of the blood from which she sprung.

Amelia bore towards her august mother the most tender and respectful love; she found an infinite charm in their private conversations. It was particularly in the country, far from the tumult and continual distractions of the court, that the Princess conversed freely with her daughter; and, when she was obliged to leave her for a short time, she would confide her to the Duchess of D***, her first lady of honour, who had become her friend, and deserved that title by an assemblage of the most engaging qualities, and the most admirable virtues. An inestimable[Pg 255] treasure for Princes, who, constantly feeling the want of a confidential friend, cannot be too secure of those who are the depositaries of their affections and most secret thoughts.

Towards the close of one of those fine autumnal days, when we still feel the burning heat of summer, Her Highness was taking a ride, an exercise which she found necessary for her health. Followed by several servants on horseback, she had been to breathe the balmy air of the woods, and enjoy the coolness of the shade. Amelia, who was never so happy as when with her mother, proposed to the duchess, that they should go and meet her as far as the park-gate leading to[Pg 256] the forest; the lady of honour acceded to the proposal, and crossed together the great walk in front of the chateau.

The conversation turned on the means of making one's self beloved; and the duchess, by that touching simplicity and candour which had gained her so many friends, joined example to precept. They soon perceived that the horizon was loaded with thick clouds, that sent forth numerous flashes of lightning, while the thunder already began to growl.

Suddenly big drops of rain began to wet the earth, from which exhaled a strong sulphurous smell. Amelia and her guide wished to return to the castle, by cutting across the park, but they mistook the path, and instead[Pg 257] of arriving where they intended, they found themselves near a gate leading to a field newly plowed up, where the old shepherd, whom the Princess recognised, had just rolled his cabin. This good man perceiving that the storm would be violent, and of long duration, hastily collected his sheep together, who with their heads hanging down, and clinging closely to each other, took refuge within the fold destined to enclose them. The rain and wind encreased every moment. Amelia and the lady of honour had taken refuge under a very large elm, the thick foliage of which would have sheltered them for some time from the storm, but the duchess, who joined a knowledge of natural philosophy[Pg 258] to the other qualities that distinguished her, knew that nothing is more dangerous than to stand under a tree during a thunderstorm. She then declared to the young Princess she would not remain under the one that sheltered them, that she preferred being in the open field, even though her clothes should be wet through, «unless,» said she, pointedly, «you will consent to take shelter in the shepherd's cabin.»——«But it is so small!—--The description you have given me of it is so uninviting!»——«However, I see no other shelter.» Amelia blushes, she hesitates: the rain increases—the thunder becomes dreadful; she was at last obliged to consent to enter this wretched hole. The old shepherd,[Pg 259] seeing a lady and child whom he did not know coming towards him, immediately opened his cabin to them, saying, «make haste, for the storm will be very violent: look at my poor dogs, how frightened they are.»——«And what will you do, my good man?» said the duchess. «Oh! there is room enough for all three of us; and, besides, I have my covering of goat's skin. Go in, go in, do not lose a moment!»

The duchess then took Amelia under the arm, and made her get into the cabin. The latter testified, on entering, a disdain and repugnance which made the old shepherd smile. The duchess went in after her, expressing her gratitude to this[Pg 260] worthy man. She seated herself on the truckle-bed, and made the young Princess sit on a stool, where she kept herself motionless, not daring to touch any thing, for fear of dirtying her hands; and holding up her little feet, for fear of placing them on any thing filthy. But scarcely had she cast her confused looks on all that surrounded her, than she was astonished at the neatness and order which reigned in this humble retreat. What in particular excited her surprise, mingled with a lively emotion, was, that beneath a large image of St John, the patron of shepherds, crowned with holy box, she saw several other subjects, extremely interesting, not so much for the correctness of the drawing, and the harmony[Pg 261] of the colours, as for the pleasing associations connected with them. In one place was the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux, with this inscription. «God has given him to us.» Here were two portraits of the Royal Children of France, surrounded by a garland of lilies and amaranths; at the bottom she read these words, «The love and hope of the French.» Farther on was an equestrian portrait of that Prince so dear to the brave, of the modest conqueror of Trocadero, saying to the officers of his staff, who wished him to remove at a distance from the enemy's batteries, the balls of which endangered his life; «Well, I shall die in good company.» Just by——and this last picture appeared to have been placed[Pg 262] recently, was seen the entry of Charles X. in the Champ-de-Mars, recalling these words of the chivalrous king to the lancers of his guard, who wished to prevent the people from approaching him: «My friends, no halberds now!»

Amelia thought it was a dream, and her young heart, open to every new sensation, leaped within her at sight of this Royal gallery. «Well,» said the duchess to her, «you were far from expecting to find in the shepherd's cabin this honourable and touching collection. You see, that under the thatch, and the most obscure and meanest garments, there exist good hearts and true friendship. Confess that we often disdain from external appearance, what most[Pg 263] deserves our esteem and attachment.»——«Oh! my good friend,» replied the young Princess, «I promise you never to despise any one again: I shall be too much afraid of being mistaken.»

In the mean time the storm came on with great violence, and the rain fell in torrents. The old shepherd was obliged to lie down under his cabin, and his trembling dogs came for refuge by his side.

At length the sky seemed to open, and sent forth a tremendous clap of thunder; and the terrified little Princess threw herself into the arms of the duchess, who endeavoured to appease her, and make her feel how precious was the humble retreat they had chosen.[Pg 264]

But the clouds soon dissipated, the sun reappeared, and gilded the tops of the trees. The birds announced, by their warbling, that nature had resumed its calm, and was restored to its usual admirable order: the soft bleatings of the old shepherd's sheep expressed their desire to return to the pastures. The latter came to open the door of his cabin, from whence Amelia and the duchess prepared to descend; but as the ground was quite inundated, and they could not without a good deal of trouble leave the newly-ploughed field in which they were, he drew his cabin with some difficulty to the edge of the highway where the park-gate was; he put down the two strangers, and remarked, on the countenance of[Pg 265] the youngest, an expression of deep gratitude. Amelia wished to add to her thanks a gift worthy the touching hospitality she had received; but she had nothing at that moment which she could dispose of; and the lady who accompanied her had unfortunately forgotten her purse. The latter then drew from her finger a brilliant ring which the Princess had given her, put it into the hand of the old man, with an injunction to bring it to her at the castle the next morning. She departed with Amelia, and both re-entered the park——but what an object presented itself to their sight! The great elm which had at first sheltered them, and under which the young Princess had insisted on remaining, had just been[Pg 266] shattered by lightning. «My beloved child,» cried the lady of honour, with a mingled feeling of terror and joy, and pressing her to her bosom, «what thanks do I not return to Heaven for my happy foresight, and how dear the shepherd's cabin is become to me!»

Amelia turned pale at the sight of the danger she had run, and shudderingly acknowledged, «that her excessive pride had like to have cost her her life.»

The next day, the old shepherd presented himself at the castle, where, on showing the ring he was immediately conducted to the Princess's presence. Amelia and the duchess awaited him with impatience. He was informed that it was the only daughter[Pg 267] of Her Highness, and her first lady of honour, that he had had the good fortune to preserve from the tempest. He restored to the duchess the precious jewel she had confided to him, and received in exchange a purse of gold.

The Princess proposed to this excellent man to make him inspector of her stables, and offered him an annual salary, which would procure him an easy maintenance; but the old shepherd said, he should be much happier in the fields; that he found in them peace of mind, and old habits, which were become dear to him; and begged permission to rejoin his flock. The only thing he dared to hope was, that in case age and infirmities should no longer[Pg 268] permit him to carry his crook, he should have a place in the hospital her Highness had built near her castle, and that he might pass his latter days there in praying to God for her: he retired satisfied, rejoined his three dogs, which were waiting for him at the entrance of the castle, and returned to his sheep. Every time Amelia returned to this beautiful seat, she made it a point of duty to pay a visit to this truly wise man, this child of nature, whom she always found more and more satisfied with his lot, and whom she could not help admiring. She for ever renounced that disdainful vanity which is the attribute only of little minds: she accustomed herself, by degrees, t o judge of persons and[Pg 269] things, without suffering herself to be prejudiced by appearances——and never forgot the shepherd's cabin.

[Pg 270]


If the fiery cavalier, ill treating the old charger with whom he fought his first battles, excites our indignation; if the hunter, who strikes his favourite dog, which he wishes to render responsible for his want of skill, appear to us unjust and barbarous,[Pg 271] what shall we think of a young Prince, who forgets himself so far as to ill use his oldest servants; to make them feel the prerogatives of his rank and birth, and reward their faithful services with ingratitude?

The anecdote which I am going to relate concerns the youth of a great king. He used to be fond of relating it himself, as being most profoundly engraved on his memory, and to which he owed the inestimable happiness of being for ever cured of that selfish pride, which makes a sovereign the scourge of the people, of whom he ought to be the father.

The young Prince, whom we shall[Pg 272] designate by the simple name of Adolphus, was the son of a monarch whose singularities and roughness of character were neither tempered by goodness of heart, nor loftiness of ideas. He was in some sort the chief of a savage horde: every thing in him recalled the ancient barbarity of the people of the north. Adolphus had consequently much to suffer in his infancy, and the ferocious austerity of his father's character began to take possession of his soul; when he had for his governor a man of merit who had for a long time resided at the court of France, where he had learnt that noble politeness, those graceful manners, that chivalrous honour, which are the inestimable fruits of civilization.[Pg 273]

Adolphus, guided by his governor, whom he loved and honoured as a father, began to subdue that roughness of character which he had received at his birth. He was less severe, less rigorous towards the persons attached to his service; and by that means obtained more respect and greater attention from them. There is a manner of commanding our inferiors, which makes them feel, without blushing, the distance that exists between them and us, and makes them more disposed to please us.

Among the persons by whom Adolphus had been surrounded from his infancy, was a venerable old man, named Frankman, to whom was entrusted[Pg 274] the care of the young Prince's wardrobe. This office was not always easy to fulfil. The latter, although scarcely six years of age, showed himself already rather foppish in his dress, and very capricious in his tastes; what he desired was to be executed immediately; and at the slightest contradiction, he gave himself up to the most violent fits of passion, which his governor himself had much difficulty in calming. Fortunately, the old Frankman was endowed with a patience proof against every thing, and a gaiety which often disarmed his young master. He acquired the greatest ascendency over the mind of the latter; and, without ever[Pg 275] failing in the respect he owed to the heir of the throne, he sometimes dared to make remonstrances, prepared with so much address, and which proved such a tender attachment, that the young Prince, struck with the justness of ideas, and the penetration of his old valet-de-chambre, profited by his counsels and long experience. Not a day passed, but he consulted him on such or such an action; and the old man never failed giving him his advice with his usual frankness. This honourable confidence was too flattering to Frankman for him to make an ill use of it; and when he concealed, with respectful discretion, a fault of any magnitude[Pg 276] which the Prince had committed, the latter easily read on the countenance of his old servant, that he had done wrong; and immediately reflected on the means of repairing it.

These flattering successes emboldened the happy valet-de-chambre, and made him assume insensibly the office of adviser, which he considered his right.

We too often see old servants identify themselves in such a manner with their young masters, that they exercise over them a sort of authority, as if they were of the family.

Adolphus, among the defects, which were observed in him, gave[Pg 277] proofs of excessive self-love. More than once his pride, which increased daily, had been wounded by Frankman's remonstrances. That this good old man should tell him his opinion when he questioned him, nothing could be more just; however severe it might be, the young Prince bore it, because he had provoked it. But that a simple officer of the chamber, respectable, it is true, from his age and entire devotedness, should dare to criticise or blame what the Prince Royal did, and take upon himself the tone of an austere censor, that was improper; that was what Adolphus could no longer endure.——He forgot, alas! that these familiarities which never took place[Pg 278] but in a tête-à-tête, were only the natural consequence of their private conversations, and the liberties he himself took with his complaisant and discreet valet-de-chambre. He forgot that there are some pleasing habits, that we cannot break off entirely; and that this worthy old man seeing in him only a child, whom he had so often carried in his arms, and so tenderly nursed, imagined it to be his duty to contribute to his education, and give him all the advice he thought necessary, to render him the best of Princes.

Frankman, however, perceived that his zeal sometimes carried him too far, and that his young master was hurt at the observations he took the[Pg 279] liberty to make. He abstained by degrees from those overflowings of the heart; he even observed a profound silence on the faults often committed by Adolphus, the violence of whose character became every day more and more difficult to be subdued.

He had just completed his seventh year: the course of serious studies that he began, the homage of the courtiers, who already sought to gain his favour, only tended to increase his haughtiness. He thought himself formed of a different mould from that of other men; he looked upon himself as a divinity upon earth, before whom all men ought to prostrate themselves. It was in vain that his governor endeavoured to undeceive[Pg 280] him, by convincing him that he was but a mere mortal, subjected, as well as his fellow-creatures to the will of the Deity, destined to bear all the evils inherent to the human species; in vain did his enlightened guide endeavour to make him feel, that it is not exterior form, or haughtiness of mien which distinguish a Prince, but elevation of sentiments, and goodness of heart. Adolphus, dazzled with his rank and expectations, surveyed with disdain every one that was not of his august race. He principally exercised his despotism over the officers of his household; and his faithful valet-de-chambre was not exempt from it. Whatever cares, whatever deference this old man shewed him, he was[Pg 281] often treated in a manner that humiliated him, and gave him great pain of mind.

One day, among others, when Adolphus was preparing for a ride with his governor, Frankman had for the first time mistaken the coat which the young Prince was to wear. Troubled at the idea of making him wait, so much did he dread exciting his impatience, he brought a plain coat, in which the latter used formerly to take his rides, and which was not decorated by any marks of distinction.

Adolphus suddenly fell into a violent fit of passion; without giving his valet-de-chambre time to excuse himself, he said to him, in a severe and[Pg 282] disrespectful tone, «Your service fatigues and annoys me.»

«My lord, that is ordering me to quit it instantly,» replied the old man, in a sorrowful tone, and bowing respectfully. At these words he went away, casting a last look at his young master, who, far from appearing grieved at their separation, did not disguise his joy at being rid of an old servant, in whose presence he was often obliged to constrain himself. Frankman then left the apartment, and two hours after had quitted the palace, to repair to a hamlet in the neighbourhood, where his brother lived, who was an old cavalry officer, and who, having been severely wounded,[Pg 283] was obliged to retire from the army.

It was believed at court, that Frankman had resigned his place of his own accord. He was replaced by a smooth-tongued, elegant young valet-de-chambre, at whose address the young Prince was quite charmed. He was never mistaken concerning the coat which pleased his young master most; and, far from daring to address to him the humblest remonstrance on his violence and fits of passion, he only thought of flattering him, of anticipating all his wishes, of indulging him in all his caprices, and humbled himself to such a degree before him, that the young despot gave himself up more[Pg 284] than ever to his excessive pride and tyrannical disposition.

Two years passed away; nothing more had been heard of Frankman, who was known to have retired to his brother's, where both joining their small pensions lived peaceably in the bosom of their family. Adolphus, however, could not help thinking sometimes of his old valet-de-chambre; and when the new one overwhelmed him with a profusion of respectful officiousness or praises which he well knew he did not deserve, he then recollected the attachment of Frankman, and the salutary counsels which this worthy servant dared to give him at the risk of displeasing him.[Pg 285]

He recollected above all the noble disinterestedness of the honest old man, and the good actions he often performed in his young master's name; and comparing him with those hypocritical flatterers, those place-hunters, who are only anxious about their personal interests, Adolphus regretted, from the bottom of his soul, this excellent man, and reproached himself for the humiliating expressions which alone had necessitated his old valet-de-chambre to withdraw his services. The young Prince had just reached his eighth year, destined by his birth to command armies, and to support the fatigues of war, he was early accustomed to bodily exercise.[Pg 286]

He rode out every day on horseback. Seduced by the delightful aspect of a fine spring morning, he extended his ride through several villages, where his governor made him remark the activity of the husbandmen, the share which they have in the prosperity of the state, their title to the esteem and protection of the Prince, when, all at once, they perceived, at the entrance of an humble dwelling, an old man sleeping in a large arm-chair, which a young woman and two pretty children were gently drawing along. Adolphus examined, at a distance, the countenance of this venerable old man, and thought he recognised the features of his old valet-de-chambre. He instantly[Pg 287] alighted, as well as his governor, he advanced with eagerness, and asked if that was not Mr Frankman.

«It is he himself;» replied the young woman: «he was attacked with the palsy six months ago; and we are exposing him to the rays of the sun in order to warm his poor stiffened limbs.»—«And may one know, madam,» demanded the governor in his turn, «the cause of this dreadful infirmity?»

«It is some deep sorrow, which he has never been able to surmount.»

«What sorrow?» asked Adolphus, eagerly.

«You see in him, sir, our Prince's first valet-de-chambre, whom he has[Pg 288] quitted, and would never tell us the reason of it. He vainly imagined that he might, in the bosom of his family, accustom himself to a separation from the august child, with whom he had lived from his birth, and to whom he was happy and proud to belong.»

«He would not confess it to us; but how can we doubt it, since, in his troubled sleep, he pronounces the name of the young Prince in so sorrowful a tone!—--Listen, you may judge of it yourself,» and that moment in effect the paralytic, who fancied in his dream that he was still with his young master, pronounced the following words in a broken voice, «And is it you, my lord——that[Pg 289] can say to me, your service fatigues and displeases me——Oh! my God, those words pierced me to the heart!—--»

Adolphus turned pale, and his eyes were filled with tears. «This then,» said his Governor, «is the cause of the deplorable condition of this faithful servant! Ah! if the young Prince could see and hear him, what a terrible lesson would it be for him!»

«He will profit by it,» replied Adolphus, with great emotion; «he will repair every thing.»

«Repair every thing!» cried the young woman——«and will he be able to restore to my unfortunate[Pg 290] uncle his exhausted strength? Will he be able to recal to life his elder brother, who died for grief at seeing him in such a state? In short, will he be able to console their numerous family for the loss they have already suffered, and that which threatens them? Our two uncles are our adopted fathers; their united pensions formed our only resource——Ah! we are very unfortunate!»

«Courage, Madam!» replied the Governor, who remarked on Adolphus's countenance an expression of the deepest concern, «continue your tender cares towards this old man, whose repose we must not disturb.——I promise you, that the Prince Royal shall know all this very day——and[Pg 291] I shall be much surprised if he does not find means, if not to repair, at least to soften the cruel misfortunes he has caused.»

He immediately led away his pupil, who was too much shocked to be able to utter a word. They remounted their horses, which had been left to the care of a groom, and on returning to the Palace, Adolphus hastened to send word to his old valet-de-chambre, that, on a demand being made to the King, his pension was doubled; and that it was to be continued to his family ten years after his death. He invited him to arm himself with resignation in order to prolong his career in this life, and promised to go and see him.[Pg 292]

A few days after, he repaired to the humble habitation of Frankman, whose niece, and grand-nephews, were seized with fear, on seeing the young Prince. He was conducted into the presence of the worthy friend of his infancy, with all the precautions necessary from the weak state of the old man, who was transported with joy at seeing him, and wished in vain to express the happiness that his presence procured him. At that moment, the Prince Royal himself, much moved, honoured him with a hearty shake by the hand; it seemed to restore to him the use of his limbs; but the emotion was so strong, that the poor old man[Pg 293] after two or three convulsive movements breathed his last in the arms of his young master.

Adolphus was torn by his Governor from this afflicted family, whom he vowed never to abandon. The heart-rending spectacle of his valet-de-chambre, dying for joy at seeing him, gave him a just idea of the tender attachment which that excellent man bore towards him, and all that he had suffered since their separation: then recollecting the extreme vivacity that had caused it, he was constantly saying—«Ah! if a word is sufficient for Princes to make themselves beloved, a single hard expression escaping from their mouth is sufficient to alienate from them the hearts of all.[Pg 294]»

«Ye great men of the earth, added his Governor, weigh well your words! Your happiness, and the public prosperity depend on them.——Never forget, that the more exalted we are on the stage of the world, the more affable and indulgent we ought to appear for others; and the more severe we ought to be for ourselves!»


[End of Tales and Novels for Youth of Both Sexes by Anonymous]