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de Meaux, the fairy-like creature of my childhood, now I fear extinct.

The big white lilies are looking magnificent in every cottage garden, and the little thorny Scotch roses, the red china ones, and many another are creeping over the cottages, though alas ! the flame-coloured Austrian briar, which used to be the glory of the village, is dead. A tramp was overheard saying to his mate, 'Now what is a rose like?' He must have enlarged his experience before he had passed through the place!

Long ago, in that still pretty, well-gardened cottage, which stands sideways to the road and looks up the hill, we had an enthusiastic gardener, an amateur in that as in other things, but so good, so remarkably good-poor dear man!-that I must tell his history, since there is no one left who can be pained by it. He was a baker by profession, and made excellent bread, besides certain fair-complexioned plain buns, which swelled to a huge size in a cup of tea, and had a fame of their own in the neighbouring town where in later times I have seen spurious articles sold by their names. All he produced had that delicate nicety which belongs to the work of a conscientious man, who does everything with his own hands and on a small scale, a perfection never attained by machinery, which may prevent the very bad, but never attains to the very good. His was genuine 'homemade' bread, made with real yeast of beer. Ordinary baker's bread had, he said, a 'vinosity taste.'

His delight was however in his plants. He had ingeniously contrived to glaze over the great excrescence made by his oven at the back of his cottage, and put shelves over it, and in this primitive greenhouse he nursed geraniums and myrtle, and occasionally sold an extra one. He was also a real old-fashioned herbalist, and had one or two curious old books which I wish I could see with eyes better able to judge than I had in his time. He compounded drugs and gave his attendance and his medicines freely out of pure charity. It was really valuable doctoring in many simple cases. Union doctors were not. Parishes were supposed to be attended by busy surgeons, but this came to nothing. The lady in each parish had to be doctor, and make the best of the remarkable complaints she heard of. I remember a great white jug, where 'Jesuits' bark' was soaked before quinine in powder was cheaply attainable for the ague, which was then common in the parish. But the cure my mother thought the greatest was of a man of whom it was reported that

the doctor said his liver was no bigger than a pigeon's egg, and he might take what he pleased, so would she send an 'imposing draught?' My father really knew a good deal about medicine and sent a dose of calomel, and the man recovered. For ague one prescription in the next village was, among many others, to have a bandage round the wrists, lined with gunpowder and set on fire. Or to be led to the top of a mound, and violently pushed down! As a remedy for fits, to wear a ring of beaten sixpences given by six young women who had married without changing their surname; or to wear suspended from the neck 'a hair from the cross on the back of a he donkey.' Moreover, a gentleman's butler, feeling a lump or rising in his throat, swallowed shot to 'keep down his lights;' and chaney-crushed porcelain—was a favourite remedy.

But our little baker's was real herbalist treatment with simples, and as far as we knew, not empiric. By-and-by, during the illness of the good man who united the offices of clerk and schoolmaster, he fulfilled them con amore, and was appointed. 'My Lords' had not risen on the horizon, he could read, write, and cypher better than most men in the parish, and he was deeply in earnest. I believe there was no complaint of his discipline, though it was peculiar, and a row of naughty boys were set down to kneel at a bench with books before them, and hands tied behind. His copies too were remarkable. One was, 'A blind man's wife needs no paint.' 'Proverbs, sir, Proverbs,' he answered, when asked where it came from.

He kept a pair of felt shoes for the church, and it was a sight. to see him, only wanting a frock to look a perfect lay brother, gliding about with a soft brush to the carving, which has never been so well kept since his time; and still more wonderful it was to see him when a dramatic passage of Scripture was being read, unconsciously acting it. To this hour, the Gospel for the Sunday in Lent recalls him, raising his chin as in the Syro-Phenician woman's entreaty, stretching out his hand to repel her-finally looking satisfied, all unconsciously, in intense attention; but resolution not to look at him was needful.

Alas! it was an excitable brain, and overtasked. He had two sisters, who lived with him, both partially insane though harmless; but he was often up half the night with one or other of them. Each, too, had a son (perhaps one was a stepson), and one of these was to assist in the business, but was pronounced 'Never to get beyond the A B C book of baking.' The other

was a cobbler, but both preyed upon him; his affairs became entangled, and things grew worse and worse. The village shopkeeper, the maker of the ' vinosity' bread, actually came in private to beg the clergyman to convey secretly from him means for the household, saying he had often known bad debtors, whom he himself had refused, go and get their bread from the good man's unfailing charity.

While the authorities were considering what could be done for the dear little man, came the first note of school inspection, very mild, entirely religious, by Archdeacon Allen. But the very idea was fatal. The good man told the Curate that he could not stand it; and knowing the distress he was in, he was assured that his school should not be examined; but the very notion, coming on all the rest, had developed the latent insanity. He was missed, and finally found in the river, to the lasting grief of those who had always loved and honoured him, through all his quaintness.






THE threatened attempt at invasion had forced George II. to remain in England with 12,000 soldiers, while Marshal Wade, in the Low Countries, had neither rank nor character sufficient to overawe the Austrian and Dutch generals, who, moreover, had brought so much smaller contingents than had been promised, that he could not make his intended advance into the French territory. However, Charles of Lorraine came up with a considerable army.

Then Louis XV. began to stir. If my country is to be devoured,' he said, 'it will be hard for me to see it gobbled up (croqué) without stirring to prevent it.'

When money enough had been collected, he set off for the army at Valenciennes, in unusually high spirits. He visited the hospitals and forts and tasted the patients' soup and the soldiers' bread, and when an envoy came from Holland to sue for an armistice, he replied, I know what you are come about. answer you in Flanders '-speaking with such animation and fire that he seemed at thirty-four years old to be awakening, and people asked one another, Have we got a king?'

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Marshal Saxe took various small forts, and the French army seemed triumphant, till Prince Charles being joined by a far better general, Marshal Traun, crossed the Rhine at Philipsburg, and began to ravage that perpetual bone of contention-unhappy Alsace.

Louis was at Dunkirk when the tidings reached him, but he hastened at once to Metz, and all was in preparation for a great battle. 'A crisis is imminent,' he himself had written when on the night of the 4th of August he fell ill of a fever, and in a few days was in great danger. The Duchess of Châteauroux lodged in a neighbouring abbey (!!), but a gallery had been made by

which she could visit the king, and she, with her supporter, the Duke of Richelieu, at first excluded every one, and chiefly, the king's almoner, Fitz James, the Bishop of Soissons, a son of the Duke of Berwick, a Jansenist, good, upright, and with all his father's courage.

But on the 12th of August the king was so ill that the Count of Clermont, a prince of the Condé line, but in Holy Orders, forced his way in and then followed Fitz James. On preparing to say mass, the latter asked if the king would confess. Not yet,' said Louis; but he was uneasy, and two days later, when he had a fainting fit, he was filled with terror, and shrieked out for his confessor. The bishop came to him, and as soon as the interview was over, the king sent for the Duke of Bouillon. 'You can serve me now,' he said, 'I have sacrificed my favourites to what the Church requires from the most Christian king and the eldest son of the Church.' The bishop proceeded to the room where the Duchess of Châteauroux was waiting with her sister and the Duke of Richelieu, and told them that the king's orders were that the ladies should retire.

Richelieu had the insolence to declare that, in the name of the king, he opposed commands extorted at a moment of feverish excitement.

Then the bishop commanded that the tabernacles of the Host should be closed till the ladies were gone; and he won the day, so far as to expel them, even from the city, before he would administer to the king the last sacraments; and though he must have felt how little real repentance there was all the time, extreme unction was given, and all France was in a passionate transport of grief. He is dying for having tried to save us!' was the cry, and there were fervent prayers and bitter lamentations.

The queen was on her way to Metz, and so was the dauphin, his only son. The regular physician had entirely given up the patient, and a chance practitioner was allowed to come in, who gave him a violent emetic, the effect of which saved his life, so that the Paris doctor arriving at last, declared him on the way to recovery.

Thus, the poor queen was very coldly received; and to the dauphin his father would scarcely speak, supposing that the poor boy of thirteen had only come out of eagerness for the succession; and, indeed, he was never entirely forgiven, but was always an object of jealousy.

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