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• journeyman pastry cook before the war.
He presently made some prune tarts for the children, • and so quieted them. This was a proof of his
good-nature, as well as of his singular presence of mind in critical situations. Candour obliges me to bear so ample a testimony in favour of
a heretic • and a rebel.
We had scarcely time to draw breath after this story, when a mean-looking elderly man said, with the affectation of modest dignity, I had the happi• ness to be known to M. de Villars, and he was
pleased greatly to overrate my poor services. On
a certain occasion, he did me the honour to pre• sent me with a horse of the unmixed Arabian • breed, and a wonderful animal it was :' Then addressing himself to Lady W
"I much - doubt, my Ledi, whether it could have been • matched in your country, so justly celebrated for • fine women and horses. One evening, while I . was in garrison at Pont St. Esprit, I took him out to exercise. Being in high spirits and excellent
wind, he went off at an easy gallop, and did not • stop till he brought me to the gates of Montpelier
(between twenty and thirty leagues distant], and there, to my no small surprise, I found the Dean • and whole Faculty of Medicine standing in their gowns to receive me.
The Dean made a long • harangue in Latin, of which, to say the truth, I o understood not one word; and then in name • of his brethren, put into my hands a diploma of • Doctor of Physic, with the usual powers of curing, • and so forth. He would have had me to partake • of an entertainment prepared for the occasion ; • but I did not choose to sleep out of garrison; so • I just ordered my horse to be rubbed down, gave • him a single feed, mounted again, and got back • to Pont St. Esprit, as they were shutting the gates.
• Perhaps I have dwelt too long on the praises of
my horse ; but something must be allowed for the prejudices of education; an old horse-officer · [un ancien Capitaine de Cavalerie] is naturally prolix, • when his horse chances to be the subject of dis• course.'
• Pray, Captain,' said one of the company, will you give me leave to ask the name of your horse ?' -The question was unexpected:Upon my word;' said he, • I do not remember his name. • Oh! now • I recollect; I called him Alexander, after M. de
Villars, the noble donor : that M. de Villars was a great man.'
• True ; but his Christian name was Hector.'— Was it Hector? then depend upon it, my
horse had the same Christian name [nom de . Baptême] as M. de Villars.'
My curiosity led me afterwards to inquire into the history of the gentleman who always made a point of living handsomely ;' and of the old horse-officer whom M. de Villars so much distinguished.
The former was a person of honourable birth, and
paternal estate, and lived in a decent way with most scrupulous æconomy. His Chateau had been ruined during the wars of the League, and nothing remained of it but one turret, converted into a
pigeon house. As that was the most remarkable object on his estate, he was generally known by the name of M. de la Tour le Colombier. His mansion-house was little better than that of a middling farmer in the south of England. The forest of which his daugh. ter spoke, was a copse of three or four acres; and the ruins in which Cavalier and his associates lay concealed, had been originally a place of worship of the Protestants, but was demolished when those
eminent divines, Lewis XIV. and Madame de Maine tenon, thought fit that France should be of one religion ; and, as that edifice had not received consecration from a person episcopally ordained, the owner made no scruple of accommodating two or three calves in it, when his cow-house happened to be crowded ; and this is all that I could learn of M. da la Tour le Colombier.
As for the old horse-officer,' he had served with eclat in the corps established for repressing smugglers of tobacco. This recommended him to the notice of the Farmers General; and, by their interest, he obtained an office that gave him a seat at those great tables to which all the world is invited ; and he had lived so very long in this station, that the meanness of his original seemed to have been forgotten by most people, and especially by himself..
Those ridiculous stories which excited mirth when I first heard them, afterwards afforded matter for much serious reflection.
It is wonderful that any one should tell things impossible, with the hope of being credited ; and yet the two personages, whose legends I have related, must have entertained that hope.
Neither is it less wonderful that invention should be stretched to the utmost, in order to persuade mere strangers to think highly of the importance of the relater.
Mle de la Tour le Colombier, and the old horseofficer, had not seen us before, and had little chance of ever seeing us again. We were the acquaintance of the day, entertained without affection, and parted from without regret; and yet what pains did they take to leave on our minds the impression of their consequence.
The country where this scene lay is the land of
the nativity of Romance; and it is probable that warm suns and pure skies enliven and fertilize the invention of its inhabitants. But Romance, for I will not give it a harsher name, thrives not in the bleaker and more northern climates : there it is forced fruit, without that flavour which it has in its own soil.
We can as little rival the French in their ease of behaviour, and in the inexhaustible talent of enunci. ating trifles with grace, as in their Colloquial Ro
How do I feel for my countrymen, on observing them toil through a romance, compose sen. tence by sentence as they go on, hesitate with the .consciousness of doing wrong, stare like a criminal, at once abashed and obdurate, and at length produce a story as tedious and as dull as truth?
I am, &c.
N° 63. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1779.
Celebrare domestica Facta.
T'he incidents attending domestic and private situations are of all others the most apt to affect the heart. Descriptions of national events are too general to be very interesting, and the calamities befalling Kings and Princes too far removed from common life to make a deep impression. With the virtues
of such personages, it is nearly the same as with their sufferings ; the heroic qualities which history ascribes to great and illustrious names, play around the imagination, but rarely touch the feelings, or direct the conduct; the humbler merits of ordinary life are those to which we feel a nearer rela
from which, therefore, precept is more powerfully enforced, and example more readily drawn.
Mr. Hargrave is one of my earliest friends. Be. ing many years younger than he, I have ever been accustomed to regard him both as my guardian and my friend; and the reverence with which I looked on him in the one character, never took from the tender and affectionate warmth I felt for him in the other. After having been for some time, a good deal in the world, he retired to the country, where he lived with elegance and ease.
His wife, a very amiable woman, died soon after her marriage, leaving one only child, a girl, to the care of whose education Mr. Hargrave, after her mother's death, devoted his whole attention. Nature had done much for her; and the instruction she received from an accomplished father gave
every grace adorn the female character.
Emily Hargrave was now in her twentieth year. Her father was advanced in life, and he began to feel the weaknesses of age coming fast upon him. Independent of the gratification which he used to receive from the observation of his daughter's vir. tues and accomplishments, he had come to feel a pleasure somewhat more selfish from the advantage which those virtues were of to himself. Her care and dutiful attention were almost become necessary to him; and the principal pleasure he received was from her company and conversation. Emily was sensible of this; and though she was at pains to concea