Jean Nicolas Bouilly.

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of their dear benefactors.

" But I expect," said Georgiana, who shared
their transports, " that you will regale us with a
song and a dance." " Most assuredly," said the
eldest ; and they both began making gambols
and gesticulations, and indulging in all sorts of
foolish attitudes, which made Georgiana, Mr.
Mirval, and all the people of the house whom the
sound of the bagpipe had drawn up stairs, almost



THE LOUIS D'OR. 139

die with laughing. When the boys had done
dancing, Mr. Mirval ordered a good breakfast for
them in the kitchen, and Georgiana expressed
her hope when they left the room, that the two
louis d'ors might prove beneficial to them. She
begged them not to forget to call whenever they
came by the hotel, as they should always find a
good breakfast. The two little mountaineers
withdrew, more affected and more contented than
ever. They were handsomely regaled in the
kitchen, where they repeated the frolics they had
played before Mr. and Miss Mirval.

Many months elapsed, and they were not heard
of. Mr. Mirval and his daughter did not know
how to account for their disappear ajice. " Per-
haps," said Georgiana, " they have spent their
two louis d'ors, and will not show themselves be-
fore us." " No, no," replied Mr. Mirval, " the
natives of Auvergne are too great economists ;
they don't so easily dissipate the money they get;
their greatest happiness is to carry it to their
country, where money is very scarce ; there they
give it to their parents, or purchase a few pieces
of land to enlarge their moderate patrimony. Mr.
Mirval and his daughter were alike mistaken with
respect to the use to which the two little moun-



140 THE LOUIS D'OR.

taineers had put their money. Two louis d'ors
at once ! they never had possessed such a capi-
tal. It fired their ambition. From the condition
of sweeps and performers on the bagpipe, they
became at once dealers in linen, which they pur-
chased at the manufactories, and hawked about
from village to village. Their little concern pros-
pered so much, that at the end of some time, they
added cheap thread, lace, handkerchiefs, and
cotton prints to their stock, and as the two young
pedlars were growing up in proportion as they
extended their trade, they each, in two years'
time, carried a bale of goods on their backs, fre-
quented the country fairs, and retailed their arti-
cles about in small towns. Insensibly, they made
themselves known by their good nature, and,
above all, by their probity. The names of James
and William, the two mountaineers, were familiar
to the country people. In every hamlet, on every
road, at all the inns, they had acquired a reputa-
tion which greatly contributed to their prosperity.
When they were about seventeen years of age,
they found themselves rich enough to purchase a
strong mule in their native country. Young and
healthy as they were, they now began to travel
over France from one end to the other, extending



THE LOUIS D'OR. 141

their concerns, and causing themselves to be be-
loved and esteemed wherever they went.

Many years elapsed before they visited Paris
again. In the mean time Mr. Mirval had mar-
ried his daughter to a rich land owner, who pos-
sessed an extensive estate in Normandy, near
Falaise. It was in the month of September
when the famous fair of Guibrai is held, to which
merchants resort from all parts of France, and
even from other countries in Europe. James and
William, who for some time past had engaged in
the commerce of silks from the city of Lyons,
came to the fair, where they displayed the richest
articles and the newest ribands. Mr. Mirval and all
his family went to the fair of Guibrai. He stopped
with his daughter arid his son-in-law before the
shop of James and William, who, affected and
surprised at seeing him, whispered to each other,
"It is our benefactor and his amiable daughter."

It so happened that Mr. Mirval's daughter
bought two louis d'ors' worth of ribands. She
took the money out of her purse, and offered it to
the shopkeepers, who had displayed their silks
and ribands with particular attention and remark-
able alacrity ; but one of them said in a very
12*



142 THE LOUIS D'OR.

expressive manner, and with his eyes fixed upon
her, "Madam, we are paid already."

" What do you mean ?" said Georgiana. " Has
my father paid you before hand, and without my
being aware of it ?" " I !" said Mr. Mirval, " I
have not paid a farthing ; I don't know what you
mean."

" My brother is perfectly right," observed the
other shopkeeper, with the same emotion. " Yes,
sir, we are paid, and you might take all our goods
in this shop, or in our larger warehouses, and we
should still be your debtors."

These words increased the astonishment of
Mr. Mirval and his family, who did not know
what to make of this strange adventure, when
James and William, jumping both at once over
the counter, threw themselves at Mr. Mural's feet,
and exclaimed, in their native dialect, " Have
you forgotten the two poor little mountaineers
whom you so generously assisted ?"

" How !" said Georgiana, not less surprised
and pleased than her father. " Are these my
poor little sweeps ! How tall they are grown !
Good luck and probity are painted in their faces.
What polished manners, and what a change of
language !" " Oh !" said James, " by rambling



THE LOUIS D'OR. 143

so long through the world, we adopt its manners :
we have no doubt improved a little during the
ten years that we have been travelling all over
France." " Do you remember, madam," said
William to Georgiana, " when you gave me a *
louis d'or, that I might be as rich as my brother,
you said, and with much good nature, ' I wish it
may prosper in your hands ? ' It has indeed
prospered, madam ; every one of our undertak-
ings has been successful, and through you we are
become what you see us. This valuable shop
contains but a small portion of our goods ; our
credit is immense, our commerce extends all
over France. Inquire of the richest merchants
collected at Guibrai ; they will tell you whether
James and William are held in esteem." " Come,"
added James, " come to the warehouse; it is
your property. At the time you gave us the two
louis d'ors, which have been the source of our
fortune, you regaled us with the best breakfast
we had ever enjoyed. Accept of a dinner in our
back shop, and we will relate to you, sir, what
we did to arrive at the point which we have
attained, and we will repeat the dance and the
songs of our country, which made your daughter
Jaugh so heartily." " Well, well, we accept of



144 THE LOUIS D'OR.

your invitation," said Georgiana, " and I think
that I shall make a delicious repast. Oh ! how
happy I feel to have encouraged so many excel-
lent qualities, and how sweet it is to find my two
little mountaineers in a state of affluence !"

On saying this, Mr. Mirval and his family
entered into James and William's back shop,
where they were soon regaled with an excellent
dinner, the pleasure of which was enhanced by
the purest joy and the most lively gratitude.

After dinner, James and William danced one
of their dances, which they accompanied with a
song, in which they once more expressed the
happiness they felt in entertaining their dear
benefactors. While they were abandoning them-
selres to joy, an alarm of fire was given in the
fair, and a great tumult ensued. James and
William ran from their warehouse into the street ;
they perceived the flames bursting out of the
shop of a rich manufacturer from Lyons. This
respectable man, who was the father of several
children, wishing to save his stock, which was
considerable, rushed into the midst of the flames.
His two daughters, who had accompanied him to
Guibrai, expressed the greatest alarm for the fate
of their father, and filled the air with their cries,



THE LOUIS D'OR. 145

when, suddenly, James and William darted after
him into the shop, exposing themselves to immi-
nent danger, and appeared soon after in the midst
of the acclamations of the bystanders, carrying
in their arms the manufacturer, who proclaimed
aloud their goodness. The fire having been got
under by means of the powerful assistance afford-
ed from all quarters, James and William offered
to Mr. Blondel (this was the name of the manu-
facturer) to carry to their shop the goods which
he had saved, and to transact his business there
till the conclusion of the fair. The manufacturer
accepted this offer. He went with his two daugh-
ters, Emily and Louisa, to the shop of James and
William, who informed him that in order to ac-
commodate them, they would lodge at the inn.

Their offers were proffered with so much sin-
cerity, that they were readily accepted. Mr.
Blondel told them, at the same time, that although
the accident he had met with could not eventu-
ally hurt his fortune, he was, however, under the
disagreeable necessity of postponing the engage-
ments he had entered into during the fair, and
that for the first time of his life he was forced to
stop payment.

" Stop payment, Mr. Blondel ! " exclaimed



146 THE LOUIS D'OR.

James : " No, we shall not suffer one of the first
manufacturers of Lyons to stain the credit which
he has acquired by fifty years of industry and
probity ; when we offered you to share our dwel-
ling, our shop, we also meant that our purse too
should be yours." " Yes," added William, " all
your acceptances shall be paid, and you may
reimburse us whenever you think proper. When,
five years ago, we came to you at Lyons with a
bag on our back, you intrusted us with goods ;
you helped us with your credit. Well ! it is our
turn to-day. Yes, it is a duty which we are
happy and proud to perform."

This generous enthusiasm of James and Wil-
liam penetrated Mr. Blondel with joy and emo-
tion. He alternately took them by the hand.
Emily and Louisa could not help being equally
affected, and their sensibility enhanced their beau-
ty. Mr. Mirval, who, during this touching scene,
kept silent, as well as his daughter and his son-
in-law, congratulated himself more than ever for
having, by a single gold coin, enriched society
with two such honest men and estimable mer-
chants. After having passed the remainder of
the day with these good people, he obtained their
promise, that as soon as the fair was over, they



THE LOUIS D'OR. 147

would all come for a few days to his son-in-law's
estate, which was only two short leagues from the
town. They then separated, and when supper
was over, James and William left Mr. Blondel
and his two daughters in their dwelling, and re-
tired to the inn to enjoy that repose which they
stood so much in need of.

The following days Mr. Blondel was busy ar-
ranging his affairs, which had been thrown into
confusion by the conflagration, and paying, with
James and William's money, the bills and accep-
tances which were presented for payment. When
the fair was over, all five repaired, agreeably to
their promise, to the seat of Mr. Mirval's son-in-
law. They were received with the most marked
distinction. Mr. Blondel was inexhaustible in
his encomiums on James and William, who had
advanced him nearly eighty thousand livres to
enable him to perform his engagements. " I
will," added the respectable manufacturer, "pub-
lish their generous behaviour wherever I go, and
if they have contributed to save my honor, I hope
I shall contribute to augment their credit and
reputation."

" And," observed Emily, with the accent of
the most lively gratitude, " I shall never forget



148 THE LOUIS D'OR.

what Messrs. James and William have done for
us." ' My father may do what he pleases," said
Louisa in her turn, " but he never will be able
to acquit himself towards them."

" There is but one way of doing it," said Mr,
Mirval. " And which is that ?" asked Mr. Blon-
del, eagerly. " Don't you wish to establish your
daughters ? Who are better calculated to render
them happy than James and William ?"

' " Ah, sir ! what are you saying ?" observed
James, interrupting him : " The distance is too
great ; the young ladies deserve, and will, no
doubt, meet with more advantageous offers."

" What are you saying about distance ?" said
Mr. Blondel ; " you are tradesmen like me. In
time your fortune may be equal, or even superior
to mine. You possess what I most value in men >
a good heart, an unblemished probity, and, above
all, a habit of industry. If my daughters think
as I do, they will be yours. At these words,
Emily and Louisa cast down their eyes and kept
a profound silence.

" Mind what you say," observed William, with
an ingenuous cheerfulness ; " we might take you
at your word, and dare to become your sons-in-
law, provided your lovely daughters would judge



THE LOUIS D'OR. 149

of us with that indulgence which my brother and
I stand so much in need of." " As for me,"
added James, with feeling, " I am afraid the
good fortune of having saved Mr. Blondel's life
will cost me the repose of mine. The few days
we have passed near these young ladies has caus-
ed me sensations which I never felt before, and if
ever I did regret not being possessed of the bril-
liant exteriors, it is particularly at this moment."
" What are exterior advantages," answered Em-
ily, " compared to those you have rendered us ?"
" Do the benefactors of our father," added Louisa,
with emotion, " want any other title in our eyes ?"

The formal consent of Louisa and Emily, raised
the transports and happiness of James and Wil-
liam to the highest pitch. Throwing themselves
at their feet, they offered them the assurance of
unalterable happiness ; and then turning to Mr.
Mirval and his daughter, they exclaimed, " Oh,
noble friends ! enjoy the fruits of your kindness.
This new happiness is again your work ; and
you, whom we may now call our father," said
they, addressing Mr. Blondel, " how much we
are indebted to an occurrence which afforded us
an opportunity of offering you assistance."

The good old man was so affected that he
13



150 THE LOUIS D'OR.

could only reply by closing his two sons-in-law in
his arms. Joy sat enthroned on every face, and
Mr. Mirval, as well as Georgiana, insisted upon
having the double wedding celebrated at the
castle.

The necessary writings were soon prepared ;
the family of Mr. Blondel was sent for from Ly-
ons. At length the happy day arrived. James
married Emily, and William Louisa. Their hap-
piness was never disturbed by the least quarrel ;
their union was never overcast by a single cloud.
James and William became the first merchants
in France, but neither their success nor their
wealth could ever make them forget that the good
we do, be it never so little, is always sure to con-
tribute to our happiness.

Emily and Louisa were as happy as their re-
spectable father had foreseen. Their husbands
found their credit and wealth increase, and were
always known to be merchants of integrity. In
all the fairs they attended, and at all the ware-
houses which they opened in France and in for.
eign countries, their sign over the door was always
THE LOUIS D'OR.



2E S ^ 2 W



THE Cock he crows, it 's time to rise,
The sun is mounting in the skies ;
The morning 's fine, and I should know
It's time to rise, when he does crow.

See how majestic he appears,
And slyly laying down his ears,
Listening, look out for food
For the hen's young tender brood.

He 's got a very pretty comb,
He seldom wanders from his home ;
His feathers are both clean and bright,
He goes to rest betime at night.

What lesson does the Cock teach me ?
Why, early rising that like he,
The sweets of morning may enjoy,
And make myself a healthy boy.



152 EARLY RISING.

Early I should the morning greet,
Inhale its cheering breezes sweet ;
And early pay my vows to Heav'n,
Which thus the morning's dawn has giv'n.

Like him, content at home should stay,
And never wander far away ;
Like him, with cheerful heart and voice>
In nature's God I should rejoice.



BY MRS. S. C. HALL.

BEFORE I commence my lesson for " little ears,"
I cannot avoid saying a word or two to those
whose duty it is to take care that " little ears "
grow without being contaminated. If the eye of
a mother rests upon this page, I would simply
beg her to recall the days of her own childhood ;
let her think how many things she heard, which
she ought not to have heard, and call to mind
how much happier she would have been, and how
many prejudices she would have avoided, if her
parents, friends, or attendants, had been more
cautious of their conversation in her presence.
Memory is of earlier and more rapid growth than
reason ; children will remember when they can-
not argue ; but then, as their reason developes,
they will recall what they have heard, and argue
upon it after their own fashion.
13*



154 LITTLE EARS.

" You punish me, mamma, for eating apples,
when you say no," said a child of five years old
to her mother, a few weeks past, before me ;
" you forget how you eat apples your own sef,
when you were ittle girl."

" I eat apples when I was a little girl !" ex-
claimed the mother. " How do you know whether
I did or not ?"

" You tell papa, many days ago, how you stole
them, tip-toe, out of your ^aw-mamma's closet
window, and she never found you out ; why you
beat ittle Sarah for what you do your own sef?"

The poor mother explained to the child that
she had been wrong and naughty, and all that,
and said much to do away the impression her
words had evidently made : a great deal she said
which her little girl could not understand, though
she smiled at the idea of "mamma's" having
been naughty " like little Sarah," and with that
smile " mamma" lost a portion of her influence j
her child seemed to think it a sort of excuse for
her own misdemeanor. Her mother sincerely
regretted her want of caution, but said, what I
hope you will not say : " It is very true, Mrs.
Hall, but it is so hard to be always on one's guard."
Granted, lady, it is hard to be always on your



LITTLE EARS. 155

guard ; but it is, nevertheless, your duty to be so ;
one of the many important duties that devolved
upon you when you became a mother. Perhaps
the most important, for on early, I had almost
written on infantine, impressions depends the
conduct, the character, the happiness, temporal
and eternal, of your child. The poor mother,
who pays twopence a-day to have her child taken
care of, while she labors to earn its daily bread,
performs her duty to the extent of her knowledge,
not to the extent of her feelings ; for, amid all
her toils, her heart yearns towards her offspring,
and now, since the establishment of infant schools,
she can leave it in comparative safety. But I
address you, well-born, accomplished, if not well-
educated women ; rich in the good things of this
world : rich in the gifts that many covet, of
children born to perpetuate your name, your
rank. If, by any neglect of yours ; if, by an
unpardonable negligence, your children receive
wrong and dangerous Jirst impressions, believe
me, you ensure to yourselves anxious maturity,
neglected old age, and the reproaches of your
own conscience. I must not be told of " the
claims of society," of " engagements," cf other
duties ; a well-arranged menage will provide for



156 LITTLE EARS.

all ; and, if you are careful yourself, your gov-
erness, your nurse, will become careful also , you
may soon discover, at all events, whether such is
or is not the case. The less children see of
strangers, until their Jirst impressions are made,
the better; the ease of manner, which I know
many mothers are most anxious their children
should possess at a very period of life, is a sad
exchange for the bad impressions which chil-
dren's balls, and coming in to the dessert " when
there is company," cannot fail to give. But 1
must not go on, or I should be tempted to write
an essay on the effect of first impressions, instead
of a story. I can, therefore, only entreat both
parents to watch their words in the presence of
their children, and to bear in mind that " little
ears " have a decided propensity for remembering
what they ought not to remember.

LITTLE EARS.



" Oh, never mind what you say before Miss
Lucy," said Mrs. Martha, the nurse, to Aggy,
the nurse-maid; "never mind what you say
before Miss Lucy, she has such little ears, that
she cannot remember any thing."



LITTLE EARS. 157

" Little ears are sometimes sharp," replied the
observant maid to the careless nurse, " and she
always looks as if she was listening."

" Play with your doll, there's a dear, and here
is the butterfly-toy : toss the butterflies, my love,
sweet-tempered little miss she is, to be sure !
And to think of all the money she'll have ; an
heiress in her own right! I don't suppose that
there will be any brothers to live ; she's first and
best, the precious one ! though my lady has had
three since."

" And will soon perhaps have another," ob-
served the maid.

" Oh, I am sure I hope not," cried the nurse ;
" what would become of dear Miss Lucy then ?
If she had a little brother now she ought to hate
him, for he would take the very bread out of her
mouth!"

Poor little Lucy heard this, though she had
little ears, and tossed the butterflies, or played
with her doll all the time. She had not sense
enough to know, that the nurse who had made
the observation was an ignorant woman, but she
had memory enough to remember it long after
nurse Delay had left her nursling.



158 LITTLE EARS.

" Come here, my little darling. Oh, how
lovely she is, Lady Emily !" exclaimed one of
her mamma's friends, as Lucy entered the draw-
ing-room. Though old enough to know better,
she was, 1 am sorry to say, a very vain silly
woman : Lady Emily Elmore knew this ; and
knowing, also, how very apt little girls are to
believe what people say to them, only from a
desire to please their papas and mammas, she
replied, " Hush, my dear madam, Lucy is a very
good little girl that is better than being hand-
some, you know ; and indeed I do not think her
handsome, by any means : here, Lucy, take Carlo
to the window and play with him." Lucy did as
she was desired she took Carlo to the window
and played with him : but she did more ; she
listened, with greater attention than she would
have done to her lessons, to what the vain silly
lady said of her beauty. She heard that her eyes
were blue, that her skin was delicate, and her
hair " superb," and she saw in an opposite mirror
that all this was true ; and then she heard the
foolish old lady declare, in an under tone, which,
however, was quickly caught by little ears, that
" beauty, such as that sweet child's, ought to
command any thing ;" and so, not understanding



LITTLE EARS. 159

exactly what she meant, but pleased, poor silly
child ! with the idea of being beautiful and fit to
command, she resolved to order, and not request,
the servants, in future, to do what she required.
*****

" Miss Elmore is so exceedingly clever," said
her music master, in a low tone of voice, to Lady
Emily, which only served to quicken the child's
attention, who was at the further end of the
drawing-room, looking out some music, "Miss
Elmore is so exceedingly clever, that she can
learn in fifteen minutes what will take other
young ladies thirty."

Poor Lucy was too young to comprehend that
the music master wished to secure Lady Emily's
patronage, by praising her daughter, and she was
too well pleased with the praise to note the cor-
rectness of her mother's reply.

" She is quick," said Lady Emily, " but she is
careless ; so that her quickness is of little use."
Lucy remembered the commendation because it
saved her what she disliked trouble ; and ne-
glected her mother's comment because she saw
it was intended for her ear.

*****

Lucy was very apt to fly into (for a little girl)



160 LITTLE EARS.

very violent passions, and her good mamma al-
ways reproved her, and punished her as she de-
served. She was getting the better of this wicked
habit, and had really succeeded, once or twice,
in conquering herself; when she heard a gentle-
man say, with reference to some person he had
been speaking of,

" I always laugh at his passions, he is so very
good natured ; kind-hearted people are always
passionate."

" Oh, oh !" said little ears, " then I need not
take so much pains to conquer my passion ; kind-
hearted people are always passionate, and nurse
says I'm very good natured !"

*****

My dear little friends, do you say it was odd
that Lucy Elmore should remember what a stran-
ger said, and pay more attention to it, than to


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Online LibraryJean Nicolas BouillyThe juvenile scrap-book and youth's annual → online text (page 7 of 8)