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EDINBURGH

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF 'CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 176. NEW SERIES.

JOURNAL

SATURDAY, MAY 15, 1847.

PRICE 1d.

have committed through ignorance, or selfishness, or perverseness. In such cases, the regard we pay to them should of course be accompanied by moral emotions of a suitable character. Beyond this, passive submission is mere ignorance or supineness-either a want of knowledge to discern the nature of the chastisement inflicted, or a want of moral courage to perform the duties necessary to its future prevention.

There is, in reality, except in the matter of magnitude, not the least difference between a great and a small calamity. In all of them alike there is a divine meaning and purpose; but it is strictly one meaning and purpose. That God conducts the affairs of the world by fixed arrangements, needs not in our day to be insisted on. Calamities are events incidental to, and inseparable from, the plan; they all occur, to use common language, in the course of nature. How a benevolent Deity should have permitted a feature which we feel to be so grievous, surpasses our power to find out; but there is no mystery in the philosophy of human conduct with regard to evils of all kinds. After a humble contemplation of the authority which has no doubt for wise purposes-permitted them, it is no more than obeying one of the simplest natural impulses to study them, to do what in us lies to remedy them, and to seek to reduce and avert them for the future. Often we may view in them the natural result of errors we

GREAT CALAMITIES.

An extensive failure of crops - the very kind of calamity which has given us the word-is perhaps the worst which we know. It is one which has inflicted tremendous sufferings upon the human race, and which has not yet taken its place amongst extinct things. But such calamities are, after all, of a limited nature, and liable to correction by expedients within our power.

WHEN a small calamity occurs, there is seldom, amongst the well-informed, any inclination to regard it as otherwise than an event in the natural procedure of the world-something which possibly human intelligence and foresight may prevent from recurring. For instance, if a ship sinks through faulty construction, we usually look to that bad construction as the cause, and think that such incidents may be made less frequent if we resort to better modes of building. Or if one has caught a severe disease from the malaria of stagnant water, we generally attack the malaria as the cause, and seek to avoid such evils in future by promoting drainage. When, however, a calamity on an extensive scale takes place, such as the failure of a great All herbage is subject to injuries from causes open department of human food, or a pestilence (too often to scrutiny, and remediable to an indefinite extent. It these are essentially one calamity), the general inclina- belongs to human ingenuity and industry to search out tion seems to be to regard it as an immediate demon- and limit the operation of these causes. And man is stration of Divine wrath, designed as a chastisement for actually at all times advancing in the attainment of some particular moral errors. There is no reason for means for so trimming and arranging nature, as to this, beyond the comparative wonderment which a grand make the results he desires in the vegetable creation event excites. It is merely that, in the one case, we the more certain. It is common to indulge in a descalmly proceed upon the common philosophy which ex-pondent tone regarding blights and mildews, as if they perience and observation have given us; in the other, were beyond all human remeed. It is a false tone, we are carried by the excitement of our feelings into tending, like all false things, to bad conclusions. In the region of an inferior and more childish judgment. reality, the progress which has been made in penetratUsually, a very little consideration would serve to showing the secrets of nature, gives the strongest reason to the great and insuperable objections there are to the expect that we shall in time discover all the influences latter idea: as, the non-relation of the event to the affecting vegetation; and it seems but fair to conclude, occurrence of any unusual acts of turpitude; the falling that to be hopeful on this subject, is favourable to the of the calamity upon the classes perhaps the most in- end in view. nocent; and so forth. But wonderment stops not to think it is content to dream, and to let calamities pass, as without a true reading, so also without a true improvement.

Vegetation seldom fails over several great regions of the earth at once. Its failure in one would obviously be of little consequence, if nations were on such terms with each other as to make mutual supply easy. Why they are not on such terms with each other, is because of the prevalence of jealous, selfish, and illiberal feelings. While we acknowledge, then, that such feelings exist, is it not equally evident that the dependence on each other for succour in case of light harvests, is an indication, as it were, by the finger of God himself, that such feelings ought not to exist, but be replaced by those of a kindly and social nature? Here is a reading of the Divinity in calamity-a reading of the true kind. Let the war of weapons, and the perhaps more mischievous war of duties,' cease; let peace and tolerance take the place of irritation and religious and social prejudices; and we take precautions against everything like local famines.

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It might happen that an almost universal crop-failure took place, though we know of no instance in past times. In anticipation of such a calamity, there is no reason why a more extensive reserving of grain should not take place. The world is perhaps at all times too slen

us.

derly provided with food. It might be well to keep in template the public calamities of our time. Let us so store greater quantities, and thus equalise at least the resign ourselves to the penalties they impose; and so pressure of bad seasons, if not secure us against any-betake ourselves to the duty which they place before thing like universal famine. Every provident man lays aside some portion of his present earnings as a resource against future contingencies; and why should not the principle which we applaud in one, be extended to communities and nations?

Thus it appears that the calamity referred to as above all others the greatest, might be averted by means within the scope of human power. What, then, is the just view to be taken of any actual occurrence of famine from the failure of crops? Simply, that we have suffered in consequence of defective knowledge-that endless cause of inconvenience and trouble to man-in consequence of our social arrangements being imperfect, or through a want of precaution and providence. Let the causes be removed, and the effect will of course be known no more.

The penal character of calamities is perhaps their most striking and important aspect. Nature's correctives they are, all of them, for the neglect or transgression of her appointments. It is particularly interesting to observe such as come as the punishment of moral errors on the part of great societies. The pestilence usually arises among the masses of the wretched, and spreads to the affluent. It may be said many then perish who have not failed to any signal extent in observing the rules of health; but while health has been attended to, social mischiefs have been left unremedied; hence the evil has arisen. The meaning of such pronunciations from the Divine Conductor of the world, is nothing more or less than this-Ye rich have failed in your duty to your humble brethren, and behold for this ye die. What ought the rich to have done? It is a nice and difficult question; but it is easy to see that something is wanting in our social arrangements with regard to the less fortunate parts of communities. The system of individual interests is so far well; it seems to be the means of eliciting many of the brightest features of human character; and no doubt independence is a noble word. But it is a system by which many are, as it were, thrown out. It seems to give advantages to some, to the overpowering and thrusting aside of the rest. God seems to have designed that we should go along more hand in hand together; at the least, it is evident that great relaxations and interdiffusions of means are called for, that all may be tolerably well. Even where moral power fails, those who possess it in good store are bound to use it to awaken, persuade, support, and stimulate the infirm brother. The laws of true society appear, in short, to demand great mutual care and helpfulness, as a supplementary force to self-helpfulnessnot in anyway to supersede it. If so, then are all great concentrations of misery evils for which society is chargeable, and for which pestilence, as well as crime, and every other resultant evil, is only the appointed punishment. Here, too, it may be said, let the causes be removed, and the effect will cease.

There is an essentially religious character in the whole of these considerations. The humble and attentive man sees the Divine will and power in calamity, as in every other part of the universal plan. He watches it as a pupil watches for the meaning of a teacher, or a servant for the command of a master-with the design of profiting by, and obeying it. Regarded as a chastisement for error, he yields to it as no more than just, and then he turns contritely to the work which he sees before him for the improvement of the future. Let us so con

A COMEDY IN A COURTYARD. In an ancient and gloomy court which existed a few years ago in the heart of Paris, there formerly resided an old public scrivener, known under the name of Monsieur Gant. He inhabited a narrow wooden man

sion of great antiquity, which stood in a shady corner of the court, near a stone fountain, half-way between a washerwoman's tubs and an applewoman's stall. A faded curtain interposed its dusty texture betwixt M. Gant's window and the vulgar gaze, whilst, by a neatly-written bill, fixed with wafers to a pane of glass, the scrivener modestly informed the public of his readiness to indite or copy out epistles in the French language, at a very moderate price.

The personal appearance of M. Gant was by no means remarkable. He was a thin, withered little man, who looked as though he had formerly been much larger, but had since shrunk through some unaccountable process. His character was a strange compound of simplicity and punctilio. He had a great opinion of his own sagacity and depth, was vain of his little learning, and, by a whimsical contradiction, loved to think himself haughty and implacable, whilst he was in reality the most simple and easy of good-natured beings. During the daytime, M. Gant was to be found in his wooden box, waiting with exemplary patience for the arrival of customers, who seldom made their appearance, and perusing a favourite copy of his favourite Cornelius Nepos; a work,' he often observed, gravely shaking his head, of thrilling interest.' In the evenings, when Sergeant Huron, an old friend of his, whose formidable his box was locked up, he repaired to the house of stature, gray mustache, and blustering ways, offered the greatest contrast to M. Gant's studied solemnity of manner. They had been brought up together, and this was the cause of their friendship; otherwise they had few sympathies in common: the scrivener was pedantic in his speech, whilst the old soldier's conversation and ideas never seemed to extend beyond Napoleon and his own exploits. Still they agreed very but very sincere ones. well upon the whole; and they were not only friends,

But if the scrivener had a friend, he also had that bane of life-an enemy. His foe was no other than the applewoman whose stall stood in close proximity to his box, most impertinently obstructing the passage to his door, and sometimes actually shutting him in. The mistress of the stall was a stout fiery-faced little woman, with a thick, hoarse voice, which became startlingly beneath whose fixity of stare it was averred that M. shrill when she was at all excited, and bead-like eyes, Gant himself had quailed; although the truth is, that, being a dauntless little man, he cared not a pin for her. Why they were foes, it would be hard to tell; yet they both felt that they were so; at least M. Gant, though incapable of the feeling, thought he hated the applewoman, who most cordially hated him. It would be tedious to relate by how many methods she sought to availing: he did not even condescend to answer her annoy the scrivener. But all her attacks proved unmost bitter taunts; he literally crushed her with the weight of his contempt.

The fact was, that owing to a certain philosophy, either constitutional or acquired, M. Gant could not be long teased by anything, and somehow or other the applewoman's most artful contrivances to vex him generally added to his comfort or pleasure in the end. One sore blow, however, she contrived to inflict, and this was by persuading a cobbler of her acquaintance to come and fix his abode in the court, exactly opposite the scrivener's box. Though he apparently remained indifferent to this attack, M. Gant was really an

noyed at what he sententiously termed the audacious encroachments of the vulgar;' and what so thoroughly vulgar as the smell of leather?' he observed, when relating the event to his friend. Sergeant Huron, who was always for carrying matters in a kind of military way, volunteered to go and make a few gentle remonstrances to the cobbler; but this offer the scrivener prudently declined, couching the motives of his refusal in a Latin quotation on the violence of warlike Mars. The cobbler's shed—which, as M. Gant indignantly declared, consisted of mud, wood, and plaster-was erected in the space of a few days, and pronounced ready to receive its new tenants, who accordingly hastened to remove to it. This important event took place on a fine summer's morning, when M. Gant, who had just seated himself before his desk, could look on the whole proceedings. A small wheelbarrow or handcart, drawn by a man with a very black face, and followed by a woman blacker still, first made its appearance. A cradle, which was to be swung from the roof of the shed, a dirty board, destined to act as table, a couple of bottomless chairs, a saucepan, and a washingtub, were successively taken out of the truck and placed in the shed; the care of the whole, besides that of the truck, at the bottom of which still remained some crockery, being confided to the cobbler's eldest son, a boy of seven or eight, whose parents, having more things to bring to their new abode, now left alone, with strong recommendations not to touch a certain pot of dripping, which it seems was also in the cart. It is well known what wonderful uses the French of the poorer classes make of dripping: in fact they live upon it. They take it in the morning, diluted with warm water, under the name of soup; spread it, for lunch, on their bread instead of butter; eat it again as soup in the evening; and apply it to various other purposes with most praiseworthy ingenuity.

How it happened we will not venture to say; but when the cobbler and his wife came back, they found their eldest son in a singularly awkward position. The dripping-pot was a very deep narrow one-an earthen marmite, that did not look much unlike a helmet. Whether this resemblance struck the fancy of young Louis, or whether he was impelled by a natural taste for dripping, would be difficult to determine; but certain it is that his parents found him sitting in the truck, and, to their unutterable dismay, with his head snugly ensconced in the dripping-pot. To see how it had got in, was easy enough; but to say how it was likely to get out again, was a more difficult task. The cobbler flew into a terrible passion: he bade Louis take his head out that very instant, and prepare for a sound whipping the next. The unfortunate Louis endeavoured to obey the first part of this injunction. His mother pulled at the pot, and he pulled, and all pulled; but it was of no use-off it would not come. The cobbler had promised his son a thrashing when the pot should be off; he now determined to give it him first, and wrathfully advanced to seize upon him; but hoodwinked as he was, Louis guessed his intention. He rapidly darted towards the top of the truck, which as suddenly flew to the ground: Louis lost his balance, and in a second down he rolled with the dripping-pot, and over him the truck with all its contents.

day long; whilst his wife, as industriously engaged, sewed, washed, and cooked-all in the shed-and accompanied her husband's strains by scolding her three unruly children. Still they were, upon the whole, a happy, good humoured, and simple family, who won so much upon M. Gant's affections by the unbounded deference they paid im, that he began in time to like the cobbler's merry songs, the noise and romping of his children, and even the scolding of their mother. It was, besides, very pleasant for a philosopher like him to watch daily the household concerns of the simple people of the shed, who with the greatest candour and naïveté laid open to his view every incident of joy or wo in their humble existence. He thus, unconsciously to them, and without ever having addressed them, became the partner of their little trials, and the unknown sharer of their mirth. He watched the children growing up, and the parents growing gray. A certain screaming baby, called Marianne, who had long annoyed hi became in time a pretty laughing child, and then a blushing maiden, on whom he loved to gaze; Louis of the dripping-pot assumed quite a manly air, and, owing to his cheerfulness and good-temper, was M. Gant's especial favourite; and thus the most formidable attempt which the applewoman had yet made against the scrivener's peace of mind, turned out like all the rest, and literally added to his pleasure and happiness. Seeing that he was really invulnerable, his enemy at last gave him a short respite, and, intrenched behind her stall, silently brooded over her defeat.

The scene that ensued-for the cobbler's other two children, who were now arrived, joined in the cry-no pen can describe: suffice it to say, that there was not a saucepan but was considerably damaged, nor a plate that was not broken. When picked up by his alarmed mother, Louis was found completely unshelled, very little injured, but somewhat scratched and bedaubed with dripping to an extraordinary degree. Such were the incidents which marked the cobbler's removal to the court, and on which M. Gant looked with high indignation, anticipating the most unpleasant consequences from such a neighbourhood. Yet strange to say, this impression soon wore off. The cobbler was a merry industrious man, who sang and worked all the

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When Louis, who was now a journeyman carpenter, was somewhere in his twenty-second year, M. Gant began to observe what had been visible to all the inhabitants of the court for several years; namely, that the young man carried on a kind of sentimental flirtation with the washerwoman's daughter, Angélique, a girl of eighteen, very pretty, and very capricious, but withal very charming. It was a great source of pleasure to M. Gant to observe the progress of their simple courtship. At first Louis, when coming home from his work in the evening, would loiter at the fountain; and whilst the good housewives of the court, Angélique's mother among the rest, were filling their buckets with water, and chatting together, he would address a few insignificant phrases to the young girl, and retire quite satisfied with her coy and monosyllabic answers. Gradually, however, he grew more bold and confident. Angélique had a pretty voice and a good ear, the result of which was, that she sang all the day long, to the scrivener's infinite gratification, and the applewoman's consequent annoyance. With the view of indulging her taste, Louis brought her home all the songs he could procure; then he taught her the tunes; and at last he sang them with her in the cool summer evenings, until the whole court gathered around them; for, to say the truth, Louis never saw Angélique but on the threshold of her mother's door. Several months had thus elapsed, when, as the conclusion of the whole affair was evidently drawing near, M. Gant uneasily noticed certain symptoms of change in the demeanour of the lovers. One evening Louis, contrary to his usual custom, came not to the meeting: the next day Angélique received him with such evident coldness, that he retired earlier than usual. On the following evening Louis came home from his work somewhat later, and, without going near Angélique, paused for a few seconds at the fountain: on seeing him, she hastily entered her mother's house, and closed the door. The next day the young carpenter did not even approach the washerwoman's abode, though the scrivener caught a glimpse of him in the court. Several days elapsed, and yet there was no change on either side: the lovers only became cooler and cooler, until, at the end of a week, they seemed totally estranged.

M. Gant saw this, and grew sad: he had been cheered a while by the sight of their simple courtship; he had loved to watch its progress evening after evening, and be the unseen witness of many little circum

stances which had escaped the vulgar gaze; and now those in whom he had felt such a deep interest grew, like the world, indifferent and cold, depriving him of one of his few remaining pleasures. The scrivener's only comfort was, as usual, to pour his sorrows into Sergeant Huron's friendly bosom. The old soldier, who was somewhat hasty, immediately offered to go and speak to Louis and Angélique, averring he could make everything right in a few minutes; but M. Gant, reminding him that lovers' quarrels were best let alone, with some difficulty induced him to give up the idea.

One evening, when M. Gant, who had grown quite misanthropic, was bitterly ruminating in the solitude of his wooden mansion, he was startled by a knock at his door. He opened, and Louis entered. The scrivener eyed him with silent surprise, whilst the young man, unconscious of the feeling he excited, laid on his desk a small slip of paper, which he briefly requested him to correct and copy out. Merely signing him to be seated, M. Gant put on his spectacles, and read the paper attentively. It was a rude scrawl, in which the young carpenter had somewhat imperfectly expressed his feelings. Its incoherence did not, however, much astonish M. Gant; for he was accustomed to love-letters-we need scarcely say this was one-but he paid more attention to its general purport. Louis, strong in conscious innocence, appealed to Angélique's heart, cautiously avoiding to mention her name, however a needless piece of discretion, which made M. Gant smile inwardly-demanded to know his error, if indeed he had committed any; and after beginning by asserting that he was ready to forget her for ever if she wished, he ended with a most passionate protestation of eternal love.

'Or perhaps you are unable to write yourself?' hinted the scrivener.

Angélique frowned, and looked displeased. I know how to write, sir,' she stiffly replied; but since he has chosen to apply to you to write to me, I shall answer him in the same manner.'

'And who told you that it was I who wrote this letter?' asked M. Gant, turning inquiringly towards her; for if you know that, I know that you were out yesterday.'

'What could all this mean?' Such was the scrivener's thought, when the unexpected entrance into his lodge of a woman, wrapped up in a coarse dark shawl, awakened him from his reverie. He turned with surprise towards the new-comer; but notwithstanding her disguise, a glance was enough to let him know that Angélique stood before him. As soon as the door was closed upon her, she sat down, and without attempting to conceal her person any longer, she said in a proud and firm tone, Monsieur Gant, I am come to ask you to render me a service. I received yesterday this letter' and she laid Louis's epistle on the desk-from a person with whom I wish to hold no further correspondence. Will you please to tell him so in my name?'

M. Gant took up his pen: a sheet of letter-paper was before him; he placed his hand upon it, as though to write; but laid it down again, and calmly said, Why not tell him as much yourself, mademoiselle? You see him every day.'

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Because I do not wish to speak to him any more, sir,' she indignantly answered.

Angélique coloured, but evasively answered, 'Monsieur Gant, if you do not wish to write this letter, pray say so at once?'

Nay,' said the scrivener, as she rose to depart, ' since you are determined to be miserable, I shall no longer seek to prevent you.'

And so saying, he once more took hold of his pen, and in a few brief words, as severe as Angélique could wish them to be, he intimated to poor Louis that the capricious beauty cared for neither his repentance nor for his most passionate protestations. When he had finished his task, M. Gant handed the letter to the young girl, watching her features, in the hope of seeing them betray some compunction for the severity of his expressions. But far from it: she seemed highly delighted with the epistle, thanked him very warmly, liberally remunerated him for his trouble, and left him sadder than ever, and in a bitter mood of invective against girls, their lovers, and human nature in general. 'For,' he observed, when he was left alone with his own thoughts, it is easy to see how thoroughly bad human nature is, since those young people, who have known each other from their childhood, who have been lovers for years, now part for ever, not only without a pang, but even with joy; and, in all probability, owing to some mere trifle that has come between them.'

M. Gant was a judge of the human heart. He saw that the letter, with all its incoherence, was a good one: for it was true. He therefore merely corrected the Now, although he could not possibly imagine what spelling, and copied it out; and when it was finished, he this important trifle was, M. Gant had his own prihanded it to Louis, who, placing a franc on his desk, vate suspicions concerning his spiteful little neighthanked him and retired. The scrivener saw him de- bour the applewoman, to whom he was indeed in the part with a melancholy glance; for one of the two habit of referring every evil that occurred. It was beings whose fate had of late been his chief concern evident that some mischievous person had informed looked upon him as on a stranger. Still his interest in Angélique of Louis's visit to him, a step not unlikely to Louis and Angélique was not diminished; and it was prejudice him in her eyes; but then there existed no with the utmost impatience that he waited for the next proof that this fact had been revealed to the young evening, in order to see the effect the letter had pro-girl by the applewoman; and though he narrowly duced. The lovers met, seemingly by chance, as usual, scanned her features more than once, M. Gant could near the stone fountain. Louis timidly approached the discover in them none of the malicious triumph which young girl, and whispered something in her ear; but generally betrayed her when she had been engaged she scornfully drew back, and with a toss of her head, on some work of mischief. She was apparently calm, retired to her mother's shop. Louis looked sadly after and wholly unconscious of what was going on. The her, still standing rooted to the same spot, until the next day passed, and nothing occurred, save that in stifled giggling of some mischievous girls near the foun- the evening Louis came home from his work seemtain aroused him from his trance. Suddenly starting, ingly much disheartened, so that the scrivener, who was he cast an indignant glance around him, and hastened very fidgetty, and constantly on the look-out, concluded to depart, apparently much mortified by Angélique's that he had received Angélique's letter. On the folcontemptuous treatment. lowing morning, as he sat at an early hour in his box, he noticed Louis in a remote corner of the court engaged in a mysterious conference with his pretty sister Marianne. M. Gant easily guessed the subject of their conversation; and as Marianne was not only cheerful and good-tempered, but also possessed of much intuitive tact, and stood, moreover, on friendly terms with Angélique, he augured success from her interposition, and impatiently waited for its result. But Marianne was a real diplomatist; and instead of injudiciously hurrying to perform her delicate errand, she loitered about the court, now entering, now leaving her father's shed with a most unconcerned air. It was not until the afternoon was far advanced, that the scrivener saw her at length proceeding towards the washerwoman's shop. She could not have chosen a more unlucky moment; for Angélique, who was ironing in a little back parlour, was also there, entertaining a sentimental young tailor, laughing and chatting with him very merrily. Now this young man, who lived in the court, had formerly paid no little attention to Marianne, who, when teased on the subject, very seriously averred that she did not

care for him; indeed she did not!' Nevertheless, when she entered the parlour, and saw how thoroughly poor Louis was slighted, and for whom, all her sisterly feelings were aroused, and she felt so indignant at Angélique's coquetry, that she could scarcely contain herself. In short, she threw out such hints, that ere long the young tailor prudently departed; whilst Angélique, who was not very patient, retorted in so high a strain, that Marianne fairly lost her temper, and flounced out of the room in a state of great indignation. Though M. Gant saw nothing of this, he conjectured, by the young tailor's retreat, and Marianne's agitation, that the ambassadress had failed, a surmise which was confirmed by Louis's behaviour on the next morning; for as he was entering his wooden box, the young man followed him in, and requested him to transcribe the following laconic epistle:- Mademoiselle-You tell me to forget you. I will obey you as soon as I can. Farewell. LOUIS.' On the evening of the same day, the following answer was dictated by Angélique to the scrivener :'The sooner you forget me, the better. ANGELIQUE.'

'And now,' pettishly observed M. Gant when she had retired, I suppose that fine correspondence of theirs, by means of which they contrived to keep me in hot water for the last week, is over at length.' But the scrivener evidently did not understand such matters; for although there was a kind of two days' truce, during which Louis went early to his work, and came home late, never once approaching the old stone fountain-near which Angélique openly flirted with the young tailor-it was evident, by the attitude of both parties, that things could not last long as they were. On the evening of the third day, Louis entered M. Gant's box in a state of great agitation. Monsieur Gant,' he exclaimed, this is more than human flesh and blood can endure, and you must tell her so!'

'Oh, you have not forgotten her yet?' ironically observed the scrivener. But Louis cared not for irony: he was desperate; he had just caught a glimpse of Angélique seated in her mother's shop with his rival, and his overcharged heart poured itself forth in a torrent of eloquent reproaches, which he charged M. Gant to commit to paper, never once reflecting that the scrivener could not possibly recollect as much as the one-tenth of what he was saying. M. Gant did not make the attempt; he let the young man speak away, conjecturing it would relieve him, and do him good; and in the meanwhile he cast a stern and angry glance towards the spot where Angélique was sitting with the tailor. To the scrivener's satisfaction, the young man rose to depart. Angélique tried to detain him; but he persisted in his resolution, and went away. Although she hummed a tune, and tried to look indifferent, Angélique could not conceal her vexation; and on hearing some remark made by one of the washerwomen, she left the shop in a pet, and walked out into the court. It was at this moment that Louis, who had seen nothing of all this by-play, reached the most pathetic part of his imaginary epistle, and eloquently reminded Angélique of their former attachment, once more begging to know how he had erred. Nay,' here interrupted the scrivener, who had been anxiously watching his opportunity for the last two or three seconds, you can best tell her all this yourself.' And before Louis could make any reply, he had partly opened his door, and calling on Angélique, who was just then passing before it, made her enter. It was not until she was in, and the door had been securely closed upon her by the considerate M. Gant, that the young girl became aware of Louis's presence. On seeing her lover, she started back and grew pale; but soon rallying, and casting a wrathful glance on the scrivener, she addressed Louis in an offended tone.

'Pray, sir, what is it so very particular you have to say to me here?'

I assure you, mademoiselle,' stammered forth Louis, 'I only came for a letter which Monsieur Gant He looked for the letter on the desk, but there was none.

'Yes,' observed the scrivener in a tone of studied irony, 'I was waiting till you should have done. As mademoiselle is now here, you can tell her all you have to say. I have no doubt,' he superciliously added, it will spare me the trouble of writing down a good deal of nonsense;' and with a look of thorough contempt for all love-letters and love affairs, he took down Cornelius Nepos, and became to all appearance deeply absorbed by its contents.

There was a long and awkward silence: Louis at length began speaking in an embarrassed tone; his words were incoherent and low; but warming with his subject, he gradually grew so eloquent and pathetic, that M. Gant thought it was not in the heart of mortal maiden to resist him. Angélique, however, not only appeared to hear Louis without emotion, but when he had concluded, inquired, with freezing politeness, what else he had to say?

'Nothing,' faintly answered Louis. Angélique turned towards the door: the scrivener saw it was time for him to interfere.

'Children, children!' he reproachfully exclaimed; what is all this about? Who has come between your hearts and the love of so many years?' Angélique hung down her head, but remained silent.

'Nay,' observed Louis, now fairly exasperated, 'let her alone, Monsieur Gant, since she will not be softened.'

'And pray, sir,' cried Angélique angrily, who asks you to think of me at all?' Thus the scrivener's kind effort to effect a reconciliation between the lovers was on the point of embittering the quarrel; but by dint of coaxing, intreaties, and soothing words, he at last induced them to give him a patient hearing. This discourse, though somewhat long, was not very varied: he only spoke of their childhood and youth so happily spent in the court, of the pleasant evenings by the fountain, when Angélique sang, and Louis listened; yet he touched so many tender chords, and managed the matter so skilfully, that ere long Angélique drew forth a little white pocket handkerchief, which she applied to her eyes, whilst Louis turned his head away, and pretended to look into the court. M. Gant immediately followed up his advantage, and in less than five minutes had effected an entire reconciliation between the two lovers, who, to say the truth, were not sorry for it.

'And now,' said he, 'that it is all over, you must tell me what you quarrelled about.' This was, however, seemingly no easy matter to determine. Louis looked at Angélique, and Angélique at Louis; both were evidently in doubt on the subject. But M. Gant was a shrewd cross-questioner, and he soon elicited from Louis that he had long been secretly jealous of the young tailor, and that one evening when Angélique had provoked him by some unusual attention bestowed on his rival, he had spitefully declared a new purchase of hers odiously vulgar; an expression which, being uttered in the presence of several persons, the tailor included, had so ortally offended Angélique, that she had instantly resolved to discard him for ever.

'And this,' observed M. Gant in a tone of great contempt, after hearing them out-this was the cause of your quarrel?' Though somewhat abashed, they confessed it was. But the scrivener was not satisfied; he had his own ideas on the subject; and indeed it soon came out that the applewoman was at the bottom of it all. With her usual malice she had first diverted the young tailor's attention from Marianne to Angélique; then by dark hints excited poor Louis's jealousy; and at last persuaded Angélique that no woman of spirit ought to forgive the affront she had endured. In short, she had, like all mischievous persons, been so very industrious in her evil task, that M. Gant no longer wondered at the trouble the quarrel of the two lovers had given him.

After some further conversation, Louis and Angélique rose to depart, not, however, without hearing M. Gant, who addressed them in a little set speech, rather formal and pedantic, but nevertheless kind and sensible,

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