the Carmel

Reading notes by Louis Martin

Poems and prose copied by Louis Martin and read with the family in the evening.

This notebook is important for understanding the formation of Thérèse and that of her sisters, at a time without television or radio. Some poems were probably sung, easily memorized.

Contemplation of a meadow

[32nd Consideration in The Lessons of Nature Presented to Mind and Heart
By Louis Cousin-Despréaux, Alfred Mame et Cie 1865]

What a spectacle is that of nature in the beautiful days of spring and how beneficent is this hand which, not content to present to us from all sides the things necessary for life, sows profusely beauty and charms around our homes. Everything pleases in a landscape, hills, valleys, woods, vineyards, hamlets, castles, even hovels, rocks and ravines: the combination of these objects forms a mixture where the eye wanders with delights. But of all the rural places that we visit in turn, the one where we return most often and which we have the most difficulty in leaving, is this pleasant carpet of greenery, enamelled with a thousand flowers, trodden by the numerous herds of big cattle, on which leaps the tender lamb, and which is at the same time for all these beings destined for the service of man, the bed where they take a sweet rest, and a table covered with the most exquisite dishes. Dark and majestic woods, where the fir raises its haughty head, where the beech displays the most pleasant foliage, where the thick oaks spread their cool shade and you rivers, which roll your silvery waves between grayish mountains, do not yet come to offer you to my imagination eager for your charms.


My distant homeland
Paul Loysel

I cry your sun
I mourn your meadow
In such sweet sleep
And when dawn breaks
Alas! i'm still crying
Of your sonorous steeple
The angelic awakening!

Stat crux dum volvitur orbis
by Brizeux

Sing, sing, proud Breton women
And you birds of my heather!
I know a love song
Sad and cheerful by turns.

by Paul Loiselle

How sweet it is to tread the lawn of Brittany,
Under the fragrant shade of its green countryside
You see your horizon change with each step.
And I don't know what the sweetest season is,
To lose your footsteps in the Breton forest,
Of summer, spring or dying autumn,
Winter itself is beautiful in our harsh climates.
When he spreads his cloak of frost everywhere.
sowing the green wheat with white snowflakes
So that from a mortal cold this veil protects them,
Suspending, in the morning, transparent crystals.
With branches stripped of their fragrant fruits.
And with an icy breath chasing the clouds
Which appear in the air of bizarre images
As the sleet shivered under my feet,
And that at the nearby steeple sounded a knell,
I have sometimes stopped alone
To see our thatched roofs with their earthen walls
Scattered on the hill like a white herd
Or, to admire myself, bordering the water of a stream.
And, from each abode with great care closed,
I saw the whitish smoke rising,
Which ascended to Heaven, like a pure incense
Offered to Jesus Christ by innocent hearts.
But, when the spring sheds its breath,
Makes everything bloom and sprout in the plain,
When the snow has melted on the damp grass:
When the white sheep have taken their fleece:
It is then that we must see our smiling meadows
Spread their treasures of rich gems
Like a carpet embroidered with a hundred thousand colors,
Wrapped with honeysuckle and flowering hawthorn
Heather amaranth gladdened the moor.
The cherry tree suspends its garlands on the wheat
That the breeze in its flight agitates softly,
And would like to take to the blue firmament
On a virginal brow, as pure as the rose.
Sometimes, for a moment, the garland rests,
Looks like the hand of the angel Gabriel
Try on a forehead the crown of heaven.
Oh ! in all the bushes what beats of wings!
That we hear in the distance the moaning of doves!
How many thousands of birds per couple united,
Busy, under the flowers, building nests!
To life, to love, nature awakens;
We see again the ant, the swallow and the bee:
Cherished month of Mary, O laughing month of May,
You flower my Brittany, and I have always loved you,
You appear and already smiles the young girl,
With a sweet gaiety her forehead radiates and shines
Our pastures [patours?] are as happy as starlings;
I hear their voices rising from the middle of the middle of the broom
In the last glimmers of pale twilight,
The melancholic song bursts and modulates:
(?) like a sigh of a soft distant echo,
Who seems to repeat: "Will I still live tomorrow?"
Sometimes like a burst of noisy joy,
Which springs from a heart consumed with tenderness.

I see the humble forest from where the voice soars
In the peaceful air and to bend its golden boughs;
Two sheep come out followed by a...?
And of a child who beats the goat his nurse.
When summer in the wheat sowed bluets
Under the heat of the sun the birds are dumb.
Loves are past; the tender dove
Lost the little ones warmed by his wing:
Since her brood took flight away,
You no longer hear the nightingale sing in the evening:
But the flowering buckwheat perfumes Brittany,
And with a virgin's veil surround her countryside.
Oh ! why did the apple tree lose its blossom,
which united so well with their white color?
The virginal veil does not want adornment,
And only awaits ornament on the grave.
Barely the sickle begins the harvest
Which begins and ends with the sound of a song
The threshing floor is full of wheat, the plagues in cadence
The day resounds there, and in the evening we dance there,
The spinning round throws its cries in the air
And from the thundering rifles springs the quick flash.
The autumn that ends with melancholy,
Is for the harvester the time of madness
The sweet juice of the apple tree flows under the press
The jug full in hand, the Breton comes to sit down
Near the blackened hearth opened by its chimney,
And rest a little from the work of the year.
So everything dies, everything changes, and never the future
Don't make us entirely the object of memory
So each season shows us a figure
And everything is varied even in nature.
It is however a permanent and divine seal
That nothing will erase from Armorican soil;
It is the seal of the cross imprinted on this earth
Her humblest hill is still a calvary
The Breton in front of him uncovers his forehead,
But often the stranger lavishes the affront on him.
The cross ! it is our property, our only inheritance.
Since freedom is no longer our share
We plant it everywhere, along the paths,
On the slopes covered with brambles and wild roses
In the moor, witness of the bloody battles
She takes root there on the day of the funeral.
We find her standing in the song of death
Like a shepherd watching over his sleeping flock,
Sometimes, it was carved in a large block of stone,
On his venerable forehead one would say to see written:
"Your fathers like you worshiped Jesus Christ!"
Sometimes, tottering wood supported by an oak tree,
Looks like the savior in the night of the supper,
Leaning on the bosom of a beloved Angel;
And in his pious arms tenderly enclosed:
Sometimes her noble brow rises like a beacon,
At the top of a rock overlooking the shore:
The wind holds no power against it
The pilot, on his return, sees it, as if saying goodbye: from God.

by Malfilatre

...From Juno the agile messenger
Glide through the air on a light wing.
Of its colors the dazzling mixture
Shine after him, and paint in an instant
The immensity of the celestial fields,
Descends in an arc below the mountains,
Touch the pines, the oaks, and appear,
By lighting it up, igniting the forest.

Flood chart

by Lord Byron

Already the marble towers were buried under the waves, already black waves were rolling. Their enormous masses on the heads of the mountains. The frowning face of a rock alone still rose from the depths of the waters. A frightful tumult reigned round its flanks beaten by the waves; the wretches who in their despair sought to climb its summit, uttered lamentable cries while death carried on the waves, pursued the soles of their feet. There ...? portion of the mountain is detached and rushes with all its burden of groaning men in the mutinous waves: here impetuous currents formed by stormy rains, carry away the son who seeks in vain to save his dying father or to drag his mother higher sorry, surrounded by her other children. Only the upper summit remained, which still rose from the depths of the abyss. It was on this summit that Semin, a generous young man, had saved Sémire, his beloved: two tender lovers who had just sworn eternal love to each other. They were alone, the waves had swallowed up everything else; they were alone in the middle of the storm and the furious winds. The torrents of rain rushed over them. Thunder rumbled above their heads, a raging sea roared beneath their feet. Frightful darkness reigned around them, unless they saw the flashes shining in the middle of this scene of horror. Every cloud bore terror on its dark brow, and every tide laden with...? rolled through the storm, and sought further destruction? Semire takes her lover close to her beating heart; tears mingled with drops of rain, streamed down her pale cheeks: she said with broken words: There is no longer salvation for us, o my beloved! my dear Semi! Surrounded on all sides by dreadful death!... O destruction! O desolation! She always advances closer to death! which of these waves, oh! which will be the one that will bury us? Support me, oh my beloved, support me in your trembling arms. Soon, soon drawn into destruction...? you will be no more, I will be no more!... Behold... oh God!... Do you see this wave? How terrible it is and do you see it in the light of lightning? how it goes! Behold... oh God!... oh judge!... She said and bent over Semin's bosom.

Semin's weak arms squeezed the fainting girl, his trembling lips were silent, he no longer saw the surrounding destruction, he only saw his fainted lover, leaning on his bosom; and at this sight he feels more than the pangs of death. He kissed her pale cheeks, washed by the cold water of the rain; and taking her more tightly to his heart he said: Semire, my dear Semire, wake up. Ah! come back once again to this horror scene. Let your eyes once again turn on me; may your discolored lips say once again that you love me, that you will love me until death: once again before we are carried away by the waves. He said, and she awoke: she turned on him her gaze in which were expressed the liveliest tenderness and the deepest affection. Then looking down on the destruction she exclaimed: O God! O judge! there is therefore no longer salvation, no longer mercy for us! O how the waters rush as the thunder rumbles around us! What terrors manifests the implacable vengeance of the Eternal! O God! Our years passed in innocence. You, of the most virtuous young men... Woe, Ah! woe to me! They are no longer the ones who filled my life with a thousand sweets! And you who gave me life... ¸cruel... the waves carried you away from my shores, you once again raised your head and your hands. You wanted to bless me, but you were swallowed up... Alas! they all perished, and yet...O Semin! Semin, the lonely, destroyed world would be for me a garden of delights at your side. God, the years of our youth passed away in innocence. Alas! there is therefore no more salvation, no more mercy to hope for!... But what does my torn heart say? O God! Forgive: We die. What is the innocence of the man before you?

The young man was supporting his lover who was looking for? to the assaults of the ?... and said yes, yes, my beloved, every living being has been destroyed on earth; you no longer hear a dying man groan in the midst of this destruction. O my Semira! my dear Semire! the next moment will be our last moment. Yes, the hopes of this life have all vanished! all the charming perspectives that we saw in the delicious hours of our loves, they have all vanished, we are dying, death is rushing towards us; it is already touching my trembling feet, but let's not wait, like the reprobates the general destiny. We die. And... Oh! my beloved ! what would be our longest, most delicious life? A drop of dew suspended on a rock, and which the morning sun makes flow into the sea. Reinvigorate your courage. An eternity of happiness awaits us beyond this life. Let's not tremble now that we...? Embrace me and let us wait with resignation for our fate. Soon, O my Semira, soon our souls will rise above these abysses of horror: penetrated by the feeling of an inexpressible bliss, they will soar. Good Lord ! it is with this confidence that my soul hopes. Yes, my dear Semire, let us raise our hands to God. Is it for mortals to judge his days? He whose breath animates us sends death to the just and the unjust. But happy is he who walks in the path of virtue! It is no longer for life that we implore you, O just God. Take us away in your judgment, but rekindle the great hope of that inexpressible bliss that death can no longer disturb. Rumble, thunders, rise up, abysses, come upon us, O waves. Praise be forever, the righteous God! Let that be our last thought.

Joy and courage reappeared on Semire's embellished face: then, raising her hands in the middle of the storm, she said yes, I am henceforth filled with all these great hopes. Praise the Lord, O my mouth. Shed tears of joy, my eyes, until death comes to close you. A sky full of bliss awaits us. You preceded us there, O all of you who were so dear to us! We follow you, and soon we will see each other again. They now surround the throne of the Most High, the righteous; God after his judgment gathered them before his face. Rumble, thunder, roar, abysses: you are the canticles of his justice. Bury us, oh waves!... Here is ah, my beloved! kiss Me. Here it comes, death; she advances on this black wave. Kiss me, Semin; do not abandon me. Ah! already the wave lifts me up.

"I kiss you, Semire, said the young man, I kiss you, O death, I salute you; here we are. Praised be the eternally just being!" They spoke thus, and holding each other in embrace, they were swept away by the waves.


Sublime feeling of a mother who was trying to prepare for the imminent loss of her son.

A mother lost her adored child;
His worthy and old pastor on his sharp suffering
Poured the happy balm of sweet eloquence
"Revive," he said, "that crushed courage;
Of the pious Abraham imitate the virtue:
God asked for his son, and God obtained him from the father
─ Oh! God would never have required it of his mother!"

Death of Coligny

“The signal is given without tumult and noise;
It was under cover of the shadows of the night.
Of this unhappy month the uneven course
Seemed to hide its trembling light in terror:
Coligny languished in the arms of rest,
And deceitful sleep poured out its poppies.
Suddenly of a thousand cries the dreadful noise
Come to tear his senses from this pleasant calm:
He gets up, he looks, he sees on all sides
Running from hasty assassins;
He sees torches and arms shining everywhere,
His palace ablaze, a whole people in alarm,
His bloody servants suffocated in flame,
Murderers in droves heated to carnage,
Shouting aloud: “Let no one be spared;
It is God, it is Medici, it is the king who orders it! »
He hears the name of Coligny resound;
He sees the young Téligny from afar,
Téligny whose love deserved his daughter,
The hope of his party, the honor of his family,
Who, bloody, torn, dragged by soldiers,
Asked him for revenge, and held out his arms to him.
"The unfortunate hero, unarmed, defenseless,
Seeing that it is necessary to perish, and perish without revenge,
Wanted to die at least as he had lived,
With all his glory and all his virtue.
"Already assassins the numerous cohort
From the drawing-room which enclosed him was going to break down the door;
He opens himself to them, and shows himself in their eyes
With that serene eye, that majestic brow,
As in combat, master of his courage,
Quiet he stopped or hurried on the carnage.
“To this venerable air, to this august aspect,
Surprised murderers are filled with respect;
An unknown force suspended their rage.

"Companions," he said to them, "finish your work,
"And with my icy blood stain these white hairs,
“That the fate of battles respected forty years;
“Knock, fear not; Coligny forgives you;
“My life is a small thing, and I leave it to you...
"I would have preferred to lose her fighting for you..."
These tigers at these words fall to his knees:
One, seized with terror, abandons his arms;
The other kisses his feet, which he soaks with his tears
And of his assassins this great man surrounded
Seemed a mighty king by his people adored.
“Besme, who in the yard awaited his victim,
Climb up, run up, indignant that their crime is postponed;
Of assassins who are too slow he wants to hasten the blows;
At the feet of this hero he sees them all trembling.
To this touching object he alone is inflexible;
He alone, to pity always inaccessible,
Would have thought to commit a crime and betray Medici,
If any remorse he felt surprised.
Through the soldiers he runs with a quick step:
Coligny awaited him with an intrepid face;
And soon in the side this furious monster
Plunges his sword into him, looking away,
Lest at a glance that august countenance
Did not make his arm tremble, and chill his courage.
Of the greatest of Frenchmen such was the sad fate,
They insult him, they insult him again after his death,
His body, pierced with blows, deprived of burial,
Devouring birds were the unworthy pasture;
And they carried his head to the feet of Medici,
Conquest worthy of her, and worthy of her son.
Medici received her with indifference,
Without seeming to enjoy the fruit of his vengeance,
Without remorse, without pleasure, mistress of her senses,
And as accustomed to such presents.

Words of a believer
Felicity of La Mennais 

When, after a long drought, rain falls on the earth, it eagerly drinks the water from the sky which refreshes and fertilizes it. So the thirsty nations will drink the word of God eagerly when it descends on them like a warm shower And righteousness with love and peace and freedom will spring up in their bosoms And it will be as in the days when all were brothers and sisters. we will no longer hear the voice of the master nor the voice of the slave, the groans of the poor nor the sighs of the oppressed, but songs of joy and blessing! The fathers will say to their sons; our first days were troubled full of tears and anguish Now the sun rises and sets on our joy. Praise be to God who showed us these goods before he died. And mothers will say to their daughters: See our foreheads now so calm, grief and pain once dug deep furrows there. Yours are like the surface of a lake in the spring, unstirred by any breeze. Praise be to God who showed us these goods before dying!

And the young men will say to the young virgins You are beautiful like the flowers of the field, pure like the dew which refreshes them, like the light which colors them. It is sweet for us to see our fathers, it is sweet for us to be with our mothers; but when we see you and are near you, something happens in our souls that has a name only in heaven. Praise be to God who showed us these goods before dying!

And the young virgins will answer: The flowers wither; they pass; a day comes when neither the dew refreshes them, nor the light no longer colors them. There is only virtue on earth, which never fades or passes away. Our fathers are like the ear that fills with grain towards autumn and our mothers like the vine that is loaded with fruit. It is sweet to us to see our fathers, it is sweet to us to be with our mothers, and the sons of our fathers and mothers are sweet to us too. Praise be to God who showed us these goods before he died.                                                 

to friendship
de Duke

Noble and tender Friendship, I sing to you in my verses.
From the weight of so many evils sown in the universe,
By your consoling care, it is you who relieve us.
Treasure of all places, happiness of all ages,
Heaven made you for man, and your touching charms
Are our first pleasures, are our first inclinations.
Who of us, when the soul still naive and pure
Begin to glimpse it and open up to nature.
Our steps felt first, by a happy instinct
The enchanting need, this need to be two,
To tell his friend his pleasures and his sorrows!

by Boileau in “Le lectern”

Between these old supports including the hideous great hall
Supports the enormous weight of its infernal vault,
Is a famous pillar, respected litigants,
And always Normans at noon frequented.
There, on dusty heaps of sacks and practice,
Screams every morning an emaciated Sibyl:
It is called Chicane; and this odious monster
Never for equity had ears or eyes.
Scarcity with a pale complexion, and sad Famine,
Devouring Sorrows, and infamous Ruin,
Children unfortunate of its refinements,
Trouble the surrounding air with long groans.
Constantly leafing through laws and customs,
To consume others, the monster consumes itself;
And, devouring whole houses, palaces, castles,
Returns for heaps of gold vain heaps of papers.
Under the guilty effort of your black insolence,
Themis has seen her scales shake a hundred times.
Incessantly he goes from detour to detour.
Like an owl, he often hides from the light:
Sometimes, his eyes on fire, he is a superb lion;
Sometimes, humble snake, it slips under the grass.
In vain, to tame him, the fairest of kings
Settle the chaos of the tenebrous laws;
Its claws in vain by Pussort shortened,
Are already lengthening, still in blackened ink;
And his tricks, piercing and dykes and ramparts,
Through a hundred breaches are already coming in from all sides.

Return of a convalescent Fougeray
CH September 24, 1834

Ferns, fresh country, bristling with hills,
I love the limpid streams of your valleys.
Yesterday, arriving by the fast lane
Who dominates this mountain that the Lançon borders
When my eye discovered, after happy detours
Of the Gothic castle the formidable towers,
The roofs which from the heights crown all the ridges.
The temples of the Lord, then my retreats.
I breathed so well that I conceived hope
To heal with pleasure, nice to see you again
For the second time, city I salute you;
Your ... ? especially delight my sight:
Because the countryside here only yields with regret
To extend your walls to any field that pleases us,
So that surrounded by coolness and shadows,
We pass by leaving you under dark shade.
You only saw me for a day and you don't know me anymore.
Know then that an asylum where formerly I no longer
A road to my liking in the valley traced,
A stream whose course amused my thoughts,

A tree, a fresh lawn where I liked to sit,
An open hillside where I dreamed in the evening,
Remain in my mind, as well as face,
Repeat the flowers on the flow that travels
I cling to the past; because of the river of days
I have already descended all the pleasant detours;
I only encounter insipid strikes,
Nothing that in the future should embellish my dreams.
In addition to your pure air, to your eyes of which never
No silt tarnishes the still fresh crystal,
I come to ask again for this treasure that we envy
Often to the unfortunate who complains about life,
Health. If you make my nights sleep,
If I may, wandering the rural surroundings,
Finally deliver me from these disastrous icicles
Whose cruel scourge imposes on me the rigor,
Grateful host, out of my languor,
I will greet your walls with a song that I dare to believe,
Fougères will not be lost, for your glory.

Palemon in Idylls and rural poems
by Solomon Gessner

May the dawn shine pleasantly through these hazels and these wild roses which stretch before my window! Let the swallow sing merrily on the beam that supports the roof of my cabin! The lively lark also sings from the air. All of nature is awakening. The dew has revived the plants, they seem rejuvenated; I believe in rejuvenating too. My stick, the support of my old age will lead me to the door of my cottage.

There, I will place myself opposite the rising Sun, and I will run my eyes over the greenery of the meadows. How beautiful everything around me is! all I hear is the voice of happiness and gratitude; The birds in the air, the shepherd in the plain sing the joy that animates them; The herds on the green hills and in the valleys interspersed with streams, express the pleasure by their bellowing. How long, O God! How long will I still be a witness of your goodness! I have seen the revolution of the seasons ninety times and when my thoughts turn back to contemplate from that moment until the hour of my birth that vast but sweet perspective whose first term escapes my sight and seems to lose oneself in the vagueness of a pure and serene air Ah! then my whole heart is moved! This transport that my tongue cannot stammer, these tears of joy that I shed ah! God, are these not too small thanksgivings for your benefits? Ah! flow my tears, flow down my cheeks! When I look back, it seems to me that my whole life has been one long spring and that the dark moments sown in my heart have been those passing storms that refresh the countryside and revive the plants. Never has a fatal contagion diminished my herd, never has any accident caused my trees to perish; misfortune never rested long on my cabin.

With what transports I envisaged the future when my children smiled as they frolicked in my arms or when my hand guided their tottering steps. Seeing these tender offspring germinate, I carried my sight into the future, I shed tears of joy: I want to say, I want to guarantee them from all accidents; I will watch over their growth and God will bless my efforts; they will rise, they will bear fruit, they will become trees and the soft freshness of their shade will recreate my feeble old age. As I spoke, I pressed them against my chest. Now that they have finished growing under God's blessing, my grizzled old age finds a happy shelter under its shadow. That's how I saw those apple trees, those pear trees and those big walnut trees grow that I planted in my youth around my cabin. Now in the distance their ancient branches, and cover my little dwelling with pleasant shade.

St Barthelemy


Who could however express the ravages
Whose images this cruel night displayed?
The death of Coligny, first fruits of the horrors,
Was but a faint test of all their furies.
From a people of assassins the frantic troops.
Out of duty and zeal for relentless carnage,
Walked iron in hand, eyes sparkling,
Over the lying bodies of our bloody brothers.
Guise was at their head, and, boiling with anger,
Revenge on all mine! the ghosts of his father.
Nevers, Gondi, Tavanne with a dagger in his hand.
Raised transports with their inhuman zeal;
And, bearing before them the list of their crimes,
Led them to murder, and marked the victims.
I will not paint you the tumult and the cries.
The blood on all sides streaming in Paris,
The son murdered on the body of his father.
Brother with sister, daughter with mother.
Spouses expiring under their burning roofs.
The children in the cradle on the crushed stone:
Human fury is what we should expect.

vocal tracking 2e from La Henriade

“O how many heroes unworthily perished!
Resnel and Pardaillan among the dead descended;
And you, brave Guerchy, you, wise Lavardin,
Worthy of more life and another destiny.
Among the unfortunate that this cruel night
Plunged into the horrors of an eternal night,
Marsillac and Soubise, condemned to death,
Defend their unfortunate days for a while.
Bloody, stabbed, and barely breathing,
As far as the doors of the Louvre they are pushed, they are dragged;
They stain this odious palace with their blood,
By imploring their king, who betrays them both.
“From the top of this palace stirring up the storm,
Medici contemplated this feast at leisure:
His cruel favorites, with a curious look,
Saw the streams of blood overflow before their eyes,
And of Paris on fire the fatal ruins
Were of these heroes the triumphal pomps.

Farewell of Philoctetes to his lair
in The Adventures of Telemachus
by Fenelon

“O happy day, sweet light, you finally show yourself after so many years! I obey you, I leave after having greeted these places. Farewell, dear den. Farewell, nymphs of these damp meadows. I will no longer hear the muffled sound of the waves of this sea. Farewell, shore where so many times I suffered the insults of the air. Farewell, promontory, where Echo repeated my moans so many times. Farewell, sweet fountains that were so bitter to me. Farewell, O land of Lemnos..."


A summer night on the banks of the Neva
in St. Petersburg evenings -first interview by Joseph de MAISTRE
(the passages in orange have not been copied by Mr. Martin)

It was about nine o'clock in the evening; the sun was setting in superb weather; the weak wind which was pushing us died in the boat which we saw dribbling. Soon the pavilion which announces the presence of the sovereign from the top of the imperial palace, falling motionless along the mast which supports it, proclaims the silence of the air. Our sailors took to the oars; we ordered them to drive us slowly.

Nothing is more rare, but nothing is more enchanting than a beautiful summer night in St. Petersburg, which the length of winter and the rarity of these nights give them, by making them more desirable, a particular charm; or that really, as I believe, they are milder and calmer than in the most beautiful climates.

The sun which, in the temperate zones, rushes to the west, and leaves after it only a fleeting twilight, here slowly razes a land from which it seems to detach itself reluctantly. Its disc surrounded by reddish vapors rolls like a flaming chariot over the dark forests which crown the horizon, and its rays, reflected by the glazing of the palace, give the spectator the idea of ​​a vast fire.

Large rivers usually have a deep bed and steep banks which give them a wild appearance. The Neva flows to the full within a magnificent city: its limpid waters touch the lawn of the islands it embraces, and throughout the whole extent of the city it is contained by two granite quays, aligned as far as the eye can see. , a kind of magnificence repeated in the three great canals which run through the capital, and of which it is not possible to find the model or the imitation elsewhere.

A thousand rowboats pass each other and criss-cross the water in all directions: you can see from afar the foreign vessels which fold their sails and drop anchor. They bring under the pole the fruits of the burning zones and all the productions of the universe. The brilliant birds of America sail on the Neva with groves of orange trees: on arriving they find again the nut of the coconut tree, the pineapple, the lemon, and all the fruits of their native land. Soon the wealthy Russian seizes the riches presented to him, and throws the gold, without counting, to the greedy merchant.

From time to time we met elegant longboats whose oars had been removed, and which let themselves go gently in the peaceful current of these beautiful waters. The rowers sang a national tune, while their masters silently enjoyed the beauty of the spectacle and the calm of the night.

Near us a long boat was rapidly carrying off a wedding party of wealthy merchants. A crimson baldachin, trimmed with gold fringes, covered the young couple and the parents. Russian music, crowded between two lines of rowers, sent the sound of its noisy cornets far away. This music belongs only to Russia, and it is perhaps the only thing peculiar to a people that is not ancient. A crowd of living men have known the inventor, whose name constantly awakens in his country the idea of ​​ancient hospitality, elegant luxury and noble pleasures. Unique melody! dazzling emblem made to occupy the mind far more than the ear. What does it matter to the work that the instruments know what they are doing? twenty or thirty automatons acting together produce a thought foreign to each of them; the blind mechanism is in the individual: the ingenious calculation, the imposing harmony are in the whole.

The equestrian statue of Peter I stands on the banks of the Neva, at one end of the huge Isaac Square. His severe face looks at the river and still seems to animate this navigation, created by the founding genius. All that the ear hears, all that the eye contemplates on this superb theater exists only by a thought of the powerful head which made emerge from a swamp so many pompous monuments. On these desolate shores, from which nature seemed to have exiled life, Peter established his capital and created subjects for himself. His terrible arm is still extended over their posterity, which presses around the august effigy: we watch, and we do not know if this bronze hand protects or threatens. and the confused noise of the city receded imperceptibly. The sun had sunk below the horizon; brilliant clouds shed a soft light, a golden half-light which cannot be painted, and which I have never seen elsewhere. Light and darkness seemed to mingle and as if to agree to form the transparent veil which then covers these countrysides.


in The Three Kingdoms of Nature by Jacques Delille 

Look at this proud steed, noble friend of his master.
His warrior companion, his rural servant,
Dragging him in a chariot or rushing under him,
As soon as the brass has sounded, as soon as the iron has him,
He wakes up, he comes to life, and raising his head,
Provoke the melee, insult the storm
From his burning nostrils he breathes terror
He leaps with joy, he shudders with fury
We charge, he says Let's go, gets angry and rushes
He defies the musket he confronts the spear;
Among the fire, the iron, the dead and the dying
Terrible, disheveled, sinks into the ranks;
The sound of warrior chariots makes the earth resound,
Lend to the thunderbolts of Mars the wings of thunder,
It warns the spur, it obeys the brake,
Gets drunk on the value of carnage and glory
And share with us the pride of victory;
Then returns to our fields forgetting his exploits
Resuming a calmer air and gentler employments.
Humbly surrenders to rustic labors,
And console Ceres for the fury of Bellona.

Death of Joan of Arc
by De Barante

Jeanne was condemned to be burned alive. When this harsh and cruel death was announced to the poor girl, she began to cry and tore her hair. Her voices had often warned her that she would perish; often also she had believed that their words promised her deliverance; but today she thought only of this horrible torture. “Alas! she said, reduce to ashes my body which "is pure and has nothing corrupted about it." I would seven times rather have my head cut off. If, as I asked, I had "been guarded by the people of the church, and not by my enemies, it would not have happened to me so cruelly." Ah! I appeal to God, the great judge, of the cruelties and injustices done to me. » 

When she saw Pierre Cauchon: "Bishop," she said, "I am dying for you." Then to one of the assessors: “Ah! Master Pierre, where will I be today? "Have you not good hope in God?" he replied.

— Yes, she went on, God helping, I really hope to go to paradise. By a singular contradiction with the sentence, he was allowed to take communion. On May 30, seven days after her abjuration, she got into the executioner's cart. Her confessor, Brother Martin l'Advenu, and Brother Isambart, who had more than once demanded justice in the trial, were near her. Eight hundred Englishmen, armed with axes, spears, and swords, marched around. On the way she prayed so devoutly, and lamented so sweetly, that no Frenchman could restrain his tears. Some of the assessors did not have the strength to follow her to the scaffold. Suddenly a priest broke through the crowd, reached the cart and got on it. It was Master Nicolas l'Oiseleur, who, with a contrite heart, came to ask Jeanne's pardon for her perfidy. The English hearing him and furious at his repentance, wanted to kill him; the Earl of Warwick had great difficulty in saving him.

Arrival at the place of execution: “Ah! Rouen, she said, Rouen, should I die here? The Cardinal of Winchester and several French prelates were placed on one scaffold, the ecclesiastical and secular judges on another. Jeanne was brought before them. They first gave him a sermon to reproach him for his relapse; she heard him with patience and great calm. “Jeanne, go in peace, the Church cannot defend you, and deliver you into secular hands. These were the preacher's last words.

Then she knelt down and commended herself to God, to the Blessed Virgin and to the saints, especially to Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; she showed so much fervor that everyone wept, even the Cardinal of Winchester and several Englishmen. The Bishop of Beauvais read the sentence which declared her relapsed and abandoned her to the secular arm. Thus rejected by the Church, she asked for the cross. An Englishman made one of two sticks and gave it to him. She took it devoutly and kissed it; but she wished to have that of the parish; they went to fetch her, she hugged her tightly to her heart, continuing her prayers.

However, the soldiers of the English, and even some captains, began to tire of so many delays: "Come on, priest, will you make us dine here?" said some; give it to us, said the others, it will soon be over. "Do your duty," they said to the executioner. Without further command and before the sentence of the secular judge, the executioner seized her. She kissed the cross and walked towards the stake. English men-at-arms trained furiously there. Jean deMailly, Bishop of Noyon, and some other French clergy, unable to endure such a lamentable spectacle, descended from their scaffold and retired.

The stake was erected on a solid mass of plaster. When Jeanne was taken up there, a miter was placed on her head on which were written the words heretic, relapse, apostate, idolater. Brother Martin l'Advenu, her confessor, had gone to the stake with her; he was still there when the executioner lit the fire! "Jesus," cried Jeanne, and she called down the good priest. "Stand below," she said, "raise the cross in front of me so I can see it as I die, and speak pious words to me until the end." »

The bishop approached, she repeated to him: "I am dying for you." And she assured again that the voices came from God, that she did not believe that she had been deceived, and that she had done nothing except by order of God. “Oh! Rouen, she added, I am very much afraid that you will suffer from my death. Thus, protesting his innocence, and commending himself to heaven, he was still heard praying through the flame. The last word that could be made out was: “Jesus! »

There were few men tough enough to hold back their tears; all the English, except a few soldiers, who continued to laugh, were touched. "It's a fine end," said some, "and I consider myself happy to have seen her, for she was a good woman." The French murmured that this death was cruel and unjust. “She dies a martyr for her true Lord. "Oh! we are lost, we burned a saint. "Would to God that my soul were where his is!" Such were the speeches that were made. Another had seen the name of Jesus written in letters of flame above the stake.

But what was more marvelous was what happened to an English man-at-arms. He had sworn to carry a fagot of his own hand to the stake; when he approached to do what he had said, hearing the muffled voice of Jeanne, who cried: “Jesus! his heart failed him, and they carried him fainting to the next tavern. In the evening he went to find Brother Isambart, confessed to him, said that he repented of having hated the Maid so much, that he held her for a holy woman, and that he had seen her soul fly away from the flames. towards the sky, in the form of a white dove. The executioner also came to confession the same day, fearing never to obtain God's forgiveness. (...)

It remained no less established in people's minds, in France and in Christian countries, that the English had cruelly put this poor girl to death out of base revenge, out of anger at their defeats, and putting their will in its place. of Justice. The Burgundians themselves in no way shared the resentment of the English, and among them they always spoke of the Maid as a marvelous girl, valiant in war, and who in no way deserved this horrible sentence.


Bourbon Island
in Letter to Bertin, from Parny

Here my hand steals from the blossoming orange tree
Those apples whose brilliance seduced Atalanta;
Here the most cherished pineapple
Lift up her shining crown with pride;
Of all the fruits together it unites the smell.
On this hillside the stony atte
Delivers to my appetite a flattering cream;
The pomegranate farther opens slowly;
The banana turns yellow under its enlarged leaf;
The mango prepares me a softened flesh;
A solid, hard honey hangs from the top of the date palm;
Fishing is also growing on this distant shore;
And even more auspicious, the useful coconut tree
Provides me with both food and drink.


Bird's nests
in British Review

Reading the description of the nests, we recognize minor birds, masons, carpenters, weavers and tailors. Some seek in the bosom of the earth a more equal and warmer temperature for their tender eggs; the others are building a cottage for them; impatiently waiting for the little foundations of mud mixed with straw to be quite dry, they tighten them by sticking their tails there, and pressing them with all the weight of their little bodies, until the first layer of masonry can collapsing in enduring a second.

The ivory-billed magpie is the king of carpenter birds; the bark of the hardest woods opens to furnish it with food, and in the sapwood its nest is rounded. In the lowlands of Carolina this bird, to make its home there, chooses the mighty swamp cypress. Male and female work together alternately, digging a cavity in it two to five feet deep and turning it so that the wind cannot penetrate it. Among the basket-making birds we must distinguish the baya, a species of sparrow found in Hindustan, which is distinguished by the beauty of its plumage and its sagacity in making its nest: it weaves it skilfully with long blades of grass, in the form of wide-bellied, narrow-necked bottles used by chemists, and he suspends it by the thinnest end at the end of a branch strong enough only to support the weight of the small dwelling and its guests, thus guaranteed against attacks by snakes, squirrels and birds of prey. These nests have several divisions: they are complete apartments. In one the female broods, the other, consisting of a small thatched roof, shelters a short horizontal pole, on which the male places himself sheltered from the rain, keeps his nest swaying by the wind at the end of the day. 'a light-hearted thread, and amusing his family with his merry chirps. We see hundreds of these little baskets hanging from the same tree. The hedge sparrows, the wagtail, the robin, the linnet, are weavers and line their nests with a worker's braid: he makes a kind of felt from which he forms a pocket six to seven feet in length, which he stuffed with what he can find softer and finished with a layer of horsehair. The cozy bed is sheltered by a natural canopy or umbrella of leaves; for like the home of the baya, it is attached to the end of a light branch. In the season when the thresher makes its nest, the women are obliged to watch over the thread or the cotton which they lay outside, for the bird often steals a great quantity of it. The bengal oxis, very common in India, weaves with blades of turf a nest similar to the sheet, in the shape of a bottle, attaches it strongly to the high branches of the tall Indian fig tree or palm tree, above the cool fumes from a well or a murmuring stream, exposed so that the winds blow it. He places the entrance below to shelter the brood from birds of prey. This nest, which contains two or three separate rooms, he lights up at night with a glowing worm; he catches the living insect and sticks it, fixing it to the walls of his little palace with a bit of moist, greasy earth. The tailor bird, smaller than our kinglet and living in the Indies, uses its beak like a needle to sew a dead leaf and a perennial, and attaches its light nest of down to them. Other birds trample the felt of their nests; still others make them into succulent pasta, delights of the ...


Romance caught in the last song of Harold's pilgrimage
Harold's Pilgrimage by Alphonse de Lamartine

XXVII Sow, sow narcissus and roses,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!
Why cry? It's your most beautiful day!
Virgin with black eyes, why bend your head
Like a beautiful lily bent by the storm,
That its soft weight tilts on the water?
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!
He's your lover! He comes; I hear his footsteps.
May this ring be the seal of his flame!
If your love has entered his soul,
Without breaking it he will not come out.
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!
In your hands take this sacred torch;
That with a pure fire your soul consumed
So perfume the road to the tomb!
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!

Do you see these crowned kids playing,
That on your threshold have left your companions?
So soon the enamel of our campaigns
Will see your happy newborns leap.
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!
Fly to the valley, bend a myrtle into a hoop,
To shade your sleeping child.
The reaper prepares his basket,
The young mother rounds her cradle!
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!
Do you know the tunes it takes to doze off
The young child hanging from the breast?
Hear, hear the dove moaning;
Of flowing water imitates the sigh!
     Sow, sow narcissus and rose,
     Sow the bed where beauty rests!


To Brittany romance by a Breton

Yes, I love you dearly, oh my dear Brittany,
Yes, I love you with love, with your poverty,
With your stony ground and your rough countryside,
With your long hair and your untamed brow!
The stranger forsakes you and says dark country
But it's your sadness that my heart is in love with
Because always a mother, a mother
Is beautiful for her son
Yes I love you, oh my land, because you are my country.

See in these rocks a small heritage
Arid and burning ground, without tower and without mansion:
We don't see any flowers there, we don't see any shadows
Only four walls in a field of buckwheat.
But my heart, poor field that saw my first steps,
For the most beautiful Kingdom would not give you Because always a mother etc...

Ah happiness, I see the plank footbridge
And the wild torrent that I so loved to see;
Our barefoot Bretons with their white headdresses
Go away singing from the big town to the washhouse.
But the image darling flees with sleep
Oh ! my beautiful homeland, I cry for you when you wake up
           If he is far from his mother,
There is no happiness for a son
           I mourn you poor earth,
Because I am far from you my country.


The day of the Dead

by Chateaubriand

If there exist in our Brittany absurd and gross superstitions, there are also sweet and poetic ones, which open the soul to tender sentiments, and dispose it to virtue. On the Day of the Dead, for example, if you enter a Breton farmhouse, you see the grandfather (whose seat is placed in the corner of the hearth, least exposed to the wind, his rosary between his fingers); his head, on which only a few gray hairs forgotten by time remain, is uncovered. The patriarch of the family has the privilege of sitting alone, eighty-five winters have almost welded his joints but his children and his great-grandsons, are prostrate before God, their fervor is greater today than ever . A tradition teaches them that the souls of their deceased relatives are there near them, that they are freed until tomorrow from the penalties due to their sins: so they would believe themselves guilty if they did not watch to pray. I would like you to hear them in their language, simple and energetic, depicting the pain of the unhappy soul which returns to the place of its sufferings, without being able to present to God the petition of its friends, for its deliverance. If the inhabitants of our campaigns do not seem to feel keenly the loss of a son, of a father, of all those who slip from their arms, oh! it is because they know that the plowman can only rest in the grave. Certain of the happiness of the other life, they hope to obtain it for the object of their affection. Here they are in the posture of a publican who has been answered; never without imploring divine mercy for their parents, they never allow the day of the dead to pass.


Combat of Hercules and Acheloüs
in Ovid's Metamorphoses, trans. by M. de Saint-Ange

Fearless fighter, my muscles are stiff
And I prepare for the fight my two rounded fists.
Hercules with both hands covers me with dust.
I cover it in my turn. He steps back.
He rushes forward, he attacks my feet, my flanks, my arms.
And seeks to surprise me where I least expect it.
Defended by my weight, firm feet motionless
I resist, and I render his attack useless.
I'm like a rock beaten by the waves
By its firm mass, repels their assaults.
Apart from each other, we catch our breath.
Then with more ardor returned to the arena,
Both to hold firm obstinate at the same time.
My feet press his feet, my fingers press his fingers.
My forehead hits his forehead. Such at the bottom of a dark wood
Lovers of a heifer in peace lying in the shade
I saw two superb bulls collide.

However uncertain which of these two rivals
Must overcome and conquer the bocage empire,
The whole herd shudders from their savage struggle
Three times my enemy that I hug and hold
In vain wants to free hers from my arms.
But with a last effort the mighty jolt
Pushes him away from me, pushes me away from him.
Already his closed fist presses me restlessly,
I turn around and suddenly leap on my back,
I won't hide anything; I say it to my shame,
Hercules seizes me, Hercules overcomes me.
I am not exaggerating: at this moment I believe,
That a mountain fallen on me, overwhelms me with its weight.
In his feet that he bends hobbled out of breath,
My arms from between his arms tear themselves with difficulty,
Exhausted with fatigue, flooded with sweat,
I lose in vain efforts a remnant of vigour.
He grabs my throat, he chokes me, he squeezes me,
Crushes me and under its weight makes me bite the ground

The cloud
by J. Veillat 

Friends you know when nature dark
Took its bold flight under the breath of God,
He sees the mountains, the woods that he covers with his shadow
Deserts, cities and peoples without number,
And bids them, in passing, an eternal farewell;
He always goes following his wandering course,
Under the hand of the lord bending his broad forehead,
Like a horse without brakes, unaware of what world
His senseless steps will stop, at what wave
From its torn side the waves will mingle.
Like the proscribed Jew of Holy Scripture.
He would like to stop in some beautiful valley,
Fall asleep above a large greenery;
Admire yourself for a moment at the bottom of a pure wave;
But the voice from the very top pushes him and says "let's go".


The storm in the deserts of America


The sun is covering, the first rolls of thunder are heard; the crocodiles respond to it with a dull roar, as thunder responds to another thunder. A huge column of clouds extends to the northeast and southeast; the rest of the sky is of a semi-transparent dirty copper, dyed with lightning. The desert lit by a false day, the storm hanging over our heads and about to burst offer a picture full of grandeur. Here comes the storm! imagine a deluge of fire without wind or water; the smell of sulfur fills the air; nature is illuminated as by the light of a conflagration Now the cataracts of the abyss are opening; the grains of rain are not separated: a veil of water unites the clouds to the earth.

not copied: The Indians say that the noise of thunder is caused by huge birds fighting in the air and by the efforts of an old man to vomit up a snake of fire. In proof of this assertion they show trees where lightning has traced the image of a serpent.

Storms often set fire to forests; they continue to burn until the fire is stopped by the course of some river; these burnt forests change into lakes and marshes The curlew whose voice we hear in the sky amid the rain and thunder announces the end of the hurricane. The wind tears the clouds which fly broken across the sky, thunder and lightning, attached to their sides, follow them, the air becomes cold and sonorous: all that remains of this deluge are drops of water which fall in pearls from the foliage of the trees Our nets and our travel provisions float in the canoes filled with water up to the neck of the oars.


St Aubin du Cormier.

in Picturesque Traveler's Guide to France.

St Aubin du Cormier is a small town situated on a steep hill, near the forest of that name, four and three-quarters leagues from Fougères. Population 1730 inhabitants. This town owes its origin to a fortified castle built in 1223 by Pierre de Dreux, Duke of Brittany. Its high position gives it a very lively air and a very wide horizon.

It was besieged and taken from the Bretons by the French, in the war that ended gloriously for the latter with the famous battle of St Aubin, won by the Vicomte de la Trémouille, General-in-Chief of Charles VIII at the age of ten. eight years, against the Duke of Brittany, François DII the Prince of Orange and the Duke of Orleans, the year 1488. The Duke of Orleans was taken prisoner there, but he was released some time later. All that remains of its Gothic castle are a few sections of walls and a very high tower, which in the distance signals this former ducal residence, temporarily inhabited by Duchess Anne. Beside this picturesque ruin is a chain of enormous rocks, more picturesque still. A rugged and tortuous path runs along their steep ridge. Nearby [we] see a beautiful pond.


Fragment of melancholy
by Legouve

Let's stop at the fields that a rich enamel colors
The purple of the grapes and the gold of the guerets
The smiling aspect, first of all, has for us attractions
But how much we prefer the thickness of dark wood!
This is where we are happy! there, the sun and the shade
Who form in their struggle a charming half-light
Provide clarity conducive to feeling;
A thousand trees that bend their disheveled heads,
Sometimes in the distance lengthen an alley.
Of a maze sometimes make meander the folds,
Draw groves or group thickets,
Finally the gentle zephyr, which, silent in the plain;
Moans in the branches shaken by his breath;
Everything disposes to think, invites to soften;
Beneath these dense domes the heart loves to open itself;
And, led by their calm to tender reveries;
Delights in waking up his cherished wounds.
Beneath these inspiring woods does a stream flow,
Emotion rises at this soft sound of water
Who in his plaintive course that we listen to with charms
Seems to roll sighs and tears at the same time.
And a weeping willow by a happy inclination
In its murmuring waves soaks her long hair,
We feel then, in our softened soul
All the voluptuousness of melancholy.

This moaning wave and this beautiful weeping tree
We seem to be two friends touched by our misfortunes;
We tell them our troubles, our memories, our fears;
We believe their sadness attentive to our complaints,
And filled with the regrets they both express,
We find happiness in moaning with them.
Let's listen: birds begin to warble;
Of these winged singers only one has our homage;
It is Philomène [sic] in the distance lamenting her regrets.
Oh that his plaintive voice enchants the forests;
That I like to stop under the harmonious shadow
Where drags in sighs its painful song,
With ear and heart I follow her sweet accents,
Dreamy, and totally devoted to its delightful sounds.
I don't notice if, hovering over my head,
Frightful clouds gather the storm,
If the thunder rumbles, or if the day that flees
Yield the firmament to the veils of night,
I see only the evils that this bird deplores:
He stops singing and I still listen to him!
Such a sweet feeling is melancholy!


in To the soldiers - ch. 8 Address to soldiers on piety and religion
by Louis de Boussanelle:

Soldiers, my friends, my companions, said Bertrand Du Guesclin to his warriors, three points; soldiers three points: the first the fear of God; the second the care of your honor more than of your life; the third the service of the King when morals were pure and innocent...


The sea
by François-René de Chateaubriand

Vast seas philosophical picture,
You please the troubled heart of sorrows:
When from your bosom tormented by the winds,
When pitfalls and ancient strikes
Sounds come out, melancholy voices;
The soul softened in its dreams is lost,
And, straying from thinking about thinking,
Like the waves from whisper to whisper,
It blends with all of nature:
With the winds, in the depths of the deserts,
She moans along the wild woods,
Over the ocean flies with the storms,
Rumbles in lightning, and thunders in the seas.

But when the day on the trembling waves
Goes away to die; when, still smiling,
The old sun icing purple and gold
The changing green of sparkling seas,
In fleeing and velvety distances,
By sinking my thought and my sight,
I like to create enchanted worlds
Bathed in the waters of an unknown sea.
The ardent desire, conquering obstacles,
Find, beautify bocage shores,
Places of peace, islands of happiness,
Where, transported by sweet chimeras,
I abandon myself to the dreams of my heart.


The Moscow fire
by Ph. de Segur in the Home of Families, publication of the Society of Saint Victor - Illustrated CATHOLIC MAGASIN 1850

The conflagration, continuing its ravages, soon reached the most beautiful quarters of the city. In an instant all these beautiful palaces which we had admired for the elegance of their architecture and the taste of their furnishings were consumed by the violence of the flames. Their superb pediments, decorated with bas-reliefs and statues, running out of supports fell with a crash on the debris of their columns. The churches, although covered with sheet metal or lead, also fell; and with them those superb domes which we had seen the day before, all resplendent with gold and silver. The hospitals, where there were more than twenty thousand sick or wounded, were soon set on fire; the ensuing disaster revolted the soul and froze it with fear. Dismayed by so many calamities, we hoped that the shadows of the night would cover the frightful picture; they only served to make the fire more terrible and to bring out more the violence of the flames, agitated by the wind, they rose up to the sky. We could also see the incendiary rockets that the criminals launched from the top of the steeples: they furrowed clouds of smoke and from a distance looked like falling stars. The next day, the places where there had been houses could only be distinguished by a few pillars of charred and blackened stones. a terrible roar the huge sheets of sheet metal that covered the palaces. Whichever way you turned your eyes, you saw only ruins or an ocean of flames. The fire caught on as if it had been set by an invisible power; immense quarters ignited, burned and disappeared all at the same time.

Through thick smoke appeared a long train of carriages, all laden with booty; forced by the congestion to stop at every step, we heard the cries of the conductors, who fearing to be burned, uttered terrible imprecations in order to advance. The fire was in the Kremlin; but Napoleon, master at last of this palace of the czars, persisted in not yielding this conquest, even to fire. Deaf to the solicitations, because all the officers had gathered around him, it was only after having judged for himself the danger, that he finally decided to flee. He quickly descended the northern staircase, famous for the massacre of the strililz. But we were besieged by an ocean of flames; they blocked all the parties that were tempted. After some trial and error we discovered through the rocks, a postern that overlooked the Moskowa. It was through this narrow passage that Napoleon, his officers and the guard managed to escape from the Kremlin. But what had they gained by this exit? Closer to the fire they could neither retreat nor remain; and how to advance. How to rush through the waves of this sea of ​​fire? Those who had walked through the city, deafened by the storm, blinded by the ashes could no longer recognize each other, since the streets disappeared in smoke and rubble. We had to hurry, however. At every moment the roaring of the flames grew louder around us. A single, winding, scorching narrow street seemed more like the entrance than the exit from this hell. The Emperor rushes on foot and without hesitation, in this dangerous passage. He advanced through the crackling of these braziers to the sound of the creaking of the vaults and the fall of the burning beams and the iron roofs which crumbled around him. This debris obstructed his steps. The flames which devoured the buildings between which he walked exceeded their tops, bent under the wind, and curled over our heads. We were walking on a land of fire, under a sky of fire, between two walls of fire! A devouring air, sparkling ashes ignited our breathing, dry panting and already suffocated by the smoke. Our hands were burning, trying to protect our face from an unbearable heat, and pushing back the flames which constantly covered and penetrated our clothes. 


Le serpent
from Belille: The Three Reigns in French Lessons in Literature and Morals 1841.

Dweller in forests and mountains and fields
The snake in turn has rights to my songs
By her beautiful movements and her rich adornment,
Dear to poetry as well as to painting;
The snake has its customs, its fights, its loves,
Her audacious bearing her skilful detours;
But he escapes our eyes in the bosom of the undergrowth.
In the cracks of the rocks or the hollow of the walls,
He seems to be saddened by his sad reputation
He hides his remorse his shame and his poison.
I will not describe the numerous species.
Different aspects of inclinations and skills,
I would rather count the sands of the deserts.

The leaves of the woods and the waves of the seas
That the varieties of his frightening race.
It runs, swims, leaps, climbs, flies or meanders.
Sometimes to the distant sound of rustic pipes
Hidden in the harvest he waits for the flocks.
And the scaled folds that he forcefully unfolds,
Seizes embraces chokes and devours its prey.
The kid, the ewe, often a whole beef,
Suddenly engulfed in his wide throat
Struggle in vain in its gaping mouth.
But soon expiating his devouring fury
He falls asleep under the weight of the huge feast.
And delivering to the hunter easy plunder,
Under the heavy club or the iron of the savage
Tomb swollen with blood and gorged with carnage.


The wooden leg
by Gessner trans. from German by M. Huber

On the mountain from where the torrent of Rauti rushes into the valley a young shepherd was grazing his goats, His blowtorch cheerfully called the echo of the caves of the rock and seven times of his melodious songs the echo made the valleys resound. Suddenly he saw a man climbing the hillside. This man was old. The years had whitened his head. A stick bent under his heavy and unsteady steps, for he had a wooden leg. He approached the young man and sat down beside him on the moss of a rock. The young shepherd looked at him in surprise, and his eyes rested on the wooden leg. My son, the old man said to him, smiling: don't you think that, impotent as I am, I would have done better to stay in the valley? Know, however, that I only make this trip once a year; and as you see it, my friend, this leg is more honorable to me than to many others, the straightest and most supple. I would like, my father, resumed the shepherd, that she be more honorable to you; but I bet the others are more convenient. No doubt you are tired. Do you want milk from my goats or fresh water from the spring that gushes over there in the hollow of the rock?

The old man :

I love the candor painted on your face A little cold water will be enough to relieve me if you want to bring me some here, I'll tell you the story of this wooden leg. The young shepherd ran to the fountain and was soon back.

When the old man had refreshed himself, he said: When you see your fathers crippled and covered with scars, young people, adore heaven, and bless their valor heat of the sun, and to make the echoes repeat songs of joy. Joy and gaiety inhabit the hills and valleys, and your songs echo from mountain to mountain. Freedom ! sweet freedom, it is you who spread happiness on this beloved land! Everything we see around us belongs to us. Satisfied, we cultivate our own fields. The harvest we make there is ours and our harvests are feast days.

The young Shepherd: This one is not worthy of being a free tomme who can forget that it is at the cost of the blood of his fathers

The old man : In their place, my son, who would not do what they did, is no more.... Since the bloody day of Nefels, I come once a year to this mountain; but I feel it, I come there for the last time... From here I can still see the whole order of the battle in which freedom made us conquer. Look, that's where the enemy was coming from. Thousands of lances flashed in the distance with more than two hundred knights, covered in superb armour. The plumes that shaded their helmets fluttered over their heads, and the earth quivered under the steps of their horses. Already our little troop had been broken up. We were only three to four hundred fighters. The cries of distress resounded on all sides and the smoke of Nefels ablaze, filled the valley, and spread with horror along the mountains. However, at the foot of the mountain where we are, our leader had gone. He was where those two pines jut out from the edges of the steep rock. Surrounded by a small number of warriors, I think I still see him, firm, unshakable, calling back the troops scattered around him I hear the sound of this flag that his arm waved in the air it was like the sound of the winds which precede the storm. People rushed to him from all sides. Do you see these springs rushing from the top of the mountains. Stones, rocks, overturned trees oppose their course in vain; they cross, they carry everything and gather at the bottom of this pond. So we hastened to the voice of our general, breaking through the enemy. Arranged around the hero, we made an oath, and God heard us, to conquer or die.

The enemy, approaching in battle order, fell on us with impetuosity. We attacked him in our turn. We had already charged it eleven times, but always forced to retire to the shelter of these heights, we tightened our ranks there as unshakable as the rock which protected us. Finally reinforced by thirty warriors from Schwitz; we fell suddenly on the enemy, like the fall of a mountain, like a rock which bursts, falls, rolls through the forest and shatters the trees with a crash as it passes. From all sides the enemies, horsemen and infantry, confused in the most horrible tumult, fell on each other to escape our fury. Relentless in combat, we trampled the dead and the dying under our feet to carry vengeance and death further. I was in the middle of the fray. An enemy horseman knocked me down in his flight and his horse smashed my leg. The warrior who was fighting closest to me, having seen me, loaded me on his shoulders and ran, thus carrying me out of the field of battle. A good monk, prostrated not far from there on a rock, implored heaven for us... Take care, my father, of this warrior, my liberator told him, he fought as a free man. He says so and flies back into battle. The victory was ours, my child, it was ours. But many of our people were stretched out on heaps of enemies So they say rests the weary reaper on the sheaves he has reaped himself. I was cured, I was cured But I was never able to discover the one to whom I owe my life. I searched for it in vain. I made vows and pilgrimages so that a saint in paradise or some angel wanted to reveal it to me. Alas! all my efforts have been useless I will no longer be able to prove my gratitude to him in this life.

The young shepherd had listened to the old warrior with tears in his eyes. He said to him: No my father in this life you will no longer be able to prove your gratitude to him.

The surprised old man exclaimed: Heaven, what are you saying? Do you know, my son, who was my liberator?

The young shepherd : I would be mistaken or it was my father, yes, it was himself. Often he told me the story of the battle and often I heard him say: Is the man I took from the battlefield still alive?

The old man : O God! angels of heaven! This generous man would be your father?

The Young Shepherd : He had a scar here. (pointing to his left cheek) He had been wounded by the splinter of a spear; maybe he was before he took you out of the fray.

The old man : His cheek was covered in blood when he picked me up. O my child, o my son.

The Young Shepherd : He died two years ago and as he was poor I am reduced to live to keep these goats.... The old man kissed him, and said Heaven be blessed; I can reward you for your benefits. Come my son, come with me, let someone else guard these goats

They went down together in the valley and they walked towards the residence of the old man. He was rich in fields and herds, and a kind daughter was his only heiress.

My child, he told him, the one who saved my life was the father of this young shepherd. If you could love him I would be happy to see you united with him.

The young man was amiable in face, freshness and gaiety shone on his face, curls of golden blond shaded his brow, and the bright fire in his eyes was tempered by a gentle modesty. The young girl with an ingenuous reserve asked for three days to think about it but the third seemed very long to her. She gave her hand to the young man and the old man shed tears of joy and said to them: May my blessing rest on you my children! It is today that I am the happiest of men!


in The wholesale landscape of Jean Racine

That I like these mountains
That soaring to the skies
With a graceful diadem
Crown these beautiful campaigns!
O God, what lovely objects
They come there to offer my senses!
From their rich valleys,
What a bright and confused cluster
Of gathered beauties,
Dazzled my wild eyes!
From there I see the meadows
On the plains and the hills
Among the trees and the waters
Spread their flowery pumps,
From there I see the green vines
Enrich one hundred miscellaneous mounds
Of their fruitful clusters
And there the prodigal guerets
Of their blond bleaches
Border meadows and forests


What a lovely thing
To see this graceful pond
Where as in a precious bed
The wave is still calm and dormant!
My eyes, let's take a closer look,
The inimitable portraits
Of this wet mirror,
Let's take a good look at the powerful charms
Whose its liquid ice,
Enchants and deceives all the senses.

2 stanzas have been skipped in the copy and he continues:

There the fluttering swallow,
Skimming the clear and polished waves,
There comes, with a hundred little cries,
Fuck his budding image
There a thousand other little birds
Still painting in the waters
Their dazzling plumage:
The eye cannot judge outside
Who flies or who swims,
Of their shadows and their bodies
What admirable riches
Do not have these inlaid swimmers,
Those silverback fish,
On their pleasant scales!
Here I see them coming together,
Mingle and untangle
In their deep layer
There I see them (God! what attractions)
Walking in the wave,
Walk in the forests

a skipped stanza
Finally this beautiful liquid carpet
Seems to lock between its edges
All that spews of treasures
The ocean on an arid sand:
Here the gold and the azure of the skies
Make their precious shine
Like a rich mixture
There, the emerald of the twigs
Of a pleasant fringe,
Surround the crystal of the waters.


1er January

Of three hundred and sixty-five days
Who of the year make up the course,
This is the first of all where we lie more
No one else shows so much duplicity.
How much on this day so celebrated,
Do we see by fatal usage,
False kisses and given and returned!
How much friendship holds the sweet language,
Who would like to see perish those they flatter the most
From there certainly comes the double face
That the fable gives to Janus.


in The Adventures of Telemachus by Fénelon

We arrive at [the door of] the cave of Calypso where Telemachus was surprised to see, with an appearance of rustic simplicity, everything that can delight the eye. There was neither gold, nor silver, nor marble, nor columns, nor pictures, nor statues; this grotto was cut into the rock, in vaults, full of rocks and shells, it was lined... with a young vine which extended its supple branches equally on all sides. The two zephyrs preserved in this place, in spite of the ardor of the sun, a delicious freshness, fountains, flowing with a soft murmur on meadows sown with amaranths and violets, formed in various places baths as pure and as clear as the crystal; a thousand budding flowers dotted the green carpets surrounding the grotto. There one found a grove of those thick trees which bear golden apples, and whose flowers, which are renewed in all seasons, spread the sweetest of all perfumes; this wood seemed to crown these beautiful meadows, and formed a night which the rays of the sun could not pierce. There one never heard anything but the chirping of birds or the sound of a stream which, rushing down from the top of a rock, fell in great bubbles full of foam, and fled across the meadow. The cave of the goddess was on the slope of a hill. From there you could see the sea, sometimes clear and smooth like ice, sometimes slightly irritated against the rocks where it broke, moaning and raising its waves like mountains. On the other side you could see a river where islands were formed, bordered by flowering lime trees and tall poplars which carried their superb heads up into the clouds. The various channels which formed these islands seemed to play out in the countryside: some rolled their clear waters with rapidity, others had a peaceful and still water; others, by long detours retraced their steps, as if to go back to their source, and seemed unable to leave these enchanted shores. We could see hills and mountains from afar, which were lost in the clouds, and whose bizarre shape formed a horizon as desired for the pleasure of the eyes. The nearby mountains were covered with green vndit vines, which hung down in festoons. The grape brighter than purple could not hide under the leaves, and the vine was overwhelmed with its fruit. The fig tree, the olive tree, the pomegranate tree, and all the other trees; covered the countryside and turned it into a large garden.


The fight of the bull

by Florian in French lessons in literature and morals

In the middle of the field is a vast circus surrounded by numerous steps; it is there that the august queen, skilled in this sweet art of winning the hearts of her people by attending to their pleasures, often invites her warriors to the most cherished spectacle of the Spaniards. There, the young chiefs, without cuirass dressed in a simple silk habit, armed only with a spear, come on fast steeds to attack and defeat wild bulls. Foot soldiers, lighter than hair; wrapped in nets, hold in one hand a veil of purple, in the other sharp spears.  Not copied: The alcalde proclaims the law not to help any combatant, to leave them no other weapons than the spear to immolate, the purple veil to defend themselves.

The kings surrounded by their court, preside over these bloody games, and the whole army, occupying the immense amphitheatres, testifies, by cries of joy, by transports of pleasure and intoxication, what is its unbridled love for these ancient battles. The signal is given, the barrier opens, the bull rushes into the middle of the circus; but, at the sound of a thousand fanfares, at the shouts, at the sight of the spectators, he stops, uneasy, disturbed; his nostrils smoke, his burning eyes wander over the amphitheatres; he also seems to be in the grip of surprise and fury. Suddenly he rushes on a horseman who wounds him and flees quickly to the other end. The bull gets angry, pursues it closely, strikes the ground with redoubled blows and swoops down on the dazzling veil presented to it by a combatant on foot. The skilful Spaniard, at the same moment, avoids meeting her, hangs the light veil from her horns and shoots her a sharp arrow, which again makes her blood flow. Soon pierced by all the spears, wounded by those penetrating darts whose curved iron remains in the wound, the animal leaps into the arena utters horrible bellows stirs as it runs through the circus shakes the many arrows thrust into its broad neck , makes the crushed pebbles, the shreds of bloody purple, the waves of reddened foam fly together, and finally falls exhausted from the efforts of anger and pain.


A mother to the Lord.
To the Poles

Look at me, Lord! take pity on a mother
Who bathes his bloody irons with his tears!!
Master of my sad and devastated palaces,
They sleep...and I watch!...and like a stranger,
I hardly dare moan in my own cities.

Bare and bruised feet, wandering by the river,
Who flees with horror these once sacred walls,
I see, the clothes and the torn breast:
In midnight shadows, fallen queen and widow,
I bury the bones of my slaughtered sons!...
It was for freedom that they seized arms,
That women, children, old men fought together:
If my maternal cries are not heard,
Lord you didn't count all my tears,
So you haven't counted the threads I've lost!

Cry out to the Lord, forests whose foliage
Hide the tomb of heroes from their enemies!
Ghosts of my children!... of the earth and the waves,
Cry out to the Lord!...vast fields of carnage.
Ask the Lord for justice from the executioners.

Yes, revenge! My God ! By this girl,
Which the viol defiled and threw to the dagger!
By the tongue and the eyes torn from the old men,
The mother of his blood flooding his family,
And whose severed breasts were drying on the ramparts.

But above all vengeance, Lord, of my ancestors,
Of those unworthy sons who struck my heart:
Without them, my White Eagle would be free and victorious
May your hand, every night, squeeze the necks of traitors;
Plant them on their target gold to your fury!

Grace for my martyrs, who in Siberia,
Drag horrible irons under terrible skies.
Take pity on those tears that freeze in their eyes;
Console their sleep with a dream of homeland,
And break the stick that rises on them.
On the shadow of your wing, to their dull prayers,
Let hope come and sew their rags
Their icy sun revives the rays;
To nourish my avengers: swell the breast of mothers;
Save those Daniels in the lion's den!

My God also protect my scattered tribe,
Serene stars, guide their glory and their misfortune,
Put strength in their arms, your grace in their hearts,
In the soul of their host, a noble thought,
And of your pure wheat keep for them the flower.

Lord, if of my blood every drop that falls
Fertilized the field of my posterity,
Ah! hit that bleeding breast again!
And that one day, one day only, I hear from my grave,
That hooray from my sons...Poland!...and freedom.


Fragment of Harold's Pilgrimage  

But on the dark waves what sound is reborn, expires,
And as a plaintive cry rolls around the ship?
Would it be...? Harold, rebel to the cries of the sailors,
Recognizes a voice,.., rushes within the waves,
Swim to the noise, see floating on the night of the abyss,
A debris kissed by a young victim;
Snatches it from the jealous waves, carries it triumphant,
And comes back on deck to drop off... a child.
Wiping her beautiful eyes from the flood that floods them,
From his soaked hair he makes the waves flow,
Warms her up in the rays of a rekindled hearth,
And, under his half-burnt garment,
To the rings of a necklace that hangs on his chest,
He discovers a portrait!... He takes it, he bows;
In the light of the flame he contemplates... Great gods!

These features!... are those of Harold! ! ! He can't believe his eyes.
" What is your name? - Adda. - Your country? - Epidaurus.
- Your mother? - Eloydne. - Your father? - I do not know:
My mother, expiring under the assassin's sword,
Hidden, without naming him, his image within me.
They say that a stranger... But who knows this mystery?
- That's enough, said Harold; go, I will be your father! »
And, pressing to her heart the abandoned child,
He whispered the name of Eloydne in a low voice!
Either he knew the secret of his sad birth,
Either he was moved by the graces of childhood,
And wanted to oppose to his saddened heart.
This image of the sky: innocence and beauty!


Notes on the Franks
from Chateaubriand

"The young Frankish chief walked on foot in the midst of his people; his scarlet and white silk clothing was enriched with gold; his hair and his complexion had the brilliance of his finery. His companions wore animal skins for footwear. furnished with all their hair; their legs and knees were bare, the cassocks of these warriors rose very high, hugged the hips and barely came down to the hocks; the sleeves of these cassocks did not exceed the elbow; over this first garment saw a wise woman of green color embroidered with scarlet, then a fur coat and a narrow belt, and their weapons served them as much for ornament as for defense. to throw, their left arm was concealed by a shield with silver limbs and a golden bump. Such were our fathers."


by Beranger

Girl with laughing face
What are you looking for in this shade?

Flowers to adorn my hair.
I go to the next village
With Spring and the Games
Shepherds, shepherdesses in love
Will dance on the new grass;
Already the sistrum calls them:
Glycère is no doubt with them;
Of this hamlet it is the most beautiful:
I want to erase it from their eyes,
See these flowers it's an omen

THE OLD MAN Do you know what this wild place is?

THE YOUNG GIRL No, and everything seems new to me.

Rest, beautiful stranger
The most beautiful of this hamlet:
These flowers, to erase Glycère
You pick them from his tomb.


The Country Tombs
by François-René de CHATEAUBRIAND

In the quivering air I hear the long whisper
Of the evening bell that tinkles slowly;
The herds, bleating, wander over the greenery;
The shepherd withdraws and delivers nature
To the lonely night, to my dreamy thinking.

In the azure east the star of night advances,
And the whole air fills with a solemn calm.
Of the old green temple under this immortal ivy
The bird of the night alone disturbs the great silence.
We only hear the noise of the uncertain insect,
And sometimes still, through these beeches,
The interrupted sounds of country doorbells
Of the herd that falls asleep on the distant hillside.

In this field where we see the melancholy grass
Floating on the furrows these tombs form,
The rustic ancestors of our humble hamlets
At the sound of the night wind, sleep under the ancient yew.
Of young Progné the confused song,
From the zephyr, in the morning, the fresh and celestial voice,
The piercing crowing of the rooster will no longer wake
These sleeping shepherds under this rustic layer.
By the burning hearth a modest bride
Do not prepare the rural meal for them any more;
Never on their return will they see, alas!
Of soft-spoken children a light troop,
Surrounding their knees and delaying their steps,
Fighting over a father's love and kisses.
Often, O ploughmen! Ceres matures for you
Floating harvests in the fields she gilds;
Often with a crash fell under your blows
The resounding pines in the sonorous forest.
In vain ambition, intoxicated by his desires,
Despises both your work and your simple leisure:
Hey! what are honours? child of victory,
The peaceful mortal who drives a herd,
Also die; and the steps of glory,
Like those of pleasure, only lead to the grave.
What does it matter to us that empty panegyrics
In an unfaithful voice swelled the accents?
The animated busts, the pompous monuments,
Do they make the mute relics speak of the dead?

Thrown away from the chances that form virtue,
Frozen by poverty to the days they lived,
Perhaps here death chains in its empire
Rustic Newtons of earth ignored,
Illustrious strangers whose sacred talents
Had charmed the gods on the breathing lute:
Thus shines the pearl at the bottom of the vast seas;
Thus die in the fields of passing roses
Whom we do not see blushing, and who, far from the shepherdesses,
Useless perfumes perfume the deserts.

There sleep in oblivion the inglorious poets,
Speakers without voices, heroes without victory:
What did I say ? Titus made to be adored.
But if fate veils so many sublime virtues,
Under these trees in mourning how many crimes
Have not silence and death devoured!
Far from a deceiving world, these shepherds without envy,
Carrying with them their tranquil virtues,
On the river of time unknown passengers,
Silently crossed the deserts of life.
A stone, to passers-by asking for a sigh,
From the shipwreck of the years saved their memory;
An ignorant muse engraved their history there
And the sacred text that helps us die.
By fleeing forever from the fields of light.
Who doesn't turn their heads at the end of their career?
The man who is about to pass seeks new help:
That the hand of a friend, that his dear and tender care,
Gently open the stone of the tomb!
The fire of friendship still lives in our ashes.

For me who celebrated these graves without honours,
If some traveler, drawn to these shores
By the love of dreaming and the charm of tears,
Inquires about my fate in its thoughtful errands,
Perhaps an old shepherd, tending his flocks,
He will simply tell my story in these words:
"Often we have seen him, in his poised walk,
At the mouse of the morning, in the vermilion orient,
Climb the cool hillsides through the dew,
To admire the sunrise in the distance.
Over there, by the stream, on the light moss,
In the shade of the lime tree bathed by the current,
Motionless he dreamed, all day remaining
Eyes fixed on the passing wave.
Sometimes in the woods he meditated his verses
To the plaintive murmur of the foliage and the air.
One morning our eyes, under the century-old tree,
Searched for him in vain in the bend of the stream;
The dawn reappeared, and the tree and the hillside,
And the heather again, everything was lonely.
The next day, alas! lengthened in a row.
A convoy advanced by the way of the temple.
Approach, traveler! read these verses, and contemplate
This sad monument that the moss has eaten away. »
Here sleeps sheltered from the storms of the world
The one who has long been the plaything of their fury.
From the forests he sought the deep retreat,
And melancholy dwelt in his heart.
Of divine friendship he adored the charms,
To the unfortunate gave all he had, tears.
Passing by, do not carry an indiscreet torch
Into the abyss where death hides him from your sight;
Let him rest on the unknown shore,
On the other side of the tomb.


in The Traveler's Picturesque Guide to France; 1838

Fougères is a city very pleasantly located at the intersection of five main roads on a height which gives it a healthy air and a very beautiful horizon. It is regularly built, the streets are wide, well bored and lined with pleasant houses; but there is no remarkable square Behind the parish church is a terraced promenade, from which one enjoys a charming view of a smiling and cool valley, watered by the Nançon, a small river whose waters also bright and limpid enliven a pretty meadow shaded by clumps of trees and which after a quarter of a league will be lost in the Couesnon. Sinuous slopes, some softened, others steep, all shaded and green like the valley itself; rustic houses scattered in this pretty landscape, and the castle built by Raoul de Fougères, whose old ramparts and Gothic towers still remain, form a pleasant and romantic ensemble. The valley largely surrounds Fougères, and must have made access difficult for anyone arriving either from Rennes or Saint Malo. The castle was of weak defense for the city since only commanding the suburbs, it was itself controlled by the upper part of the city, as well as by the surrounding eminences. It is at the bottom of the valley that the roads of Rennes and Saint Malo meet, with a once very rapid descent, followed by an even faster ascent. A strong levee, executed for several years, today crosses the deep gorge where the old road sank.


The hummingbird
Selections from Buffon

Of all animated beings, here is the most elegant in form and the most brilliant in color. The stones and metals polished by our art are not comparable to this jewel of nature, she has placed it in the order of the birds at the last degree of the scale of greatness. maxim miranda in minimis.

His masterpiece is the little hummingbird. She showered him with all the gifts she only shared with the other birds; lightness, speed, nimbleness, grace and rich adornment, all belong to this little favourite. Emerald, ruby, topaz shine on her clothes; he never defiles them with the dust of the earth and in his aerial life, one hardly sees him touching the grass at times; it is still up in the air. Flying from flower to flower, he has their freshness as he has their brilliance, he lives on their nectar and only inhabits climates where they are constantly renewed. It is in the warmest countries of the New World that all these species of hummingbirds are found; they are fairly numerous and seem confined between the two tropics; for those who advance in summer into the temperate zones only make a short stay there; they seem to follow the sun, to advance, to retire with it, and to fly on the wing of the zephyrs following an eternal spring. The Indians, struck by the brilliance and fire which the colors of these brilliant birds give them, had given them the names of the rays or hair of the sun) For the volume, the small species of these birds are below the large fly ( the gadfly), for the size and of the bumblebee for the size. Their beak is a fine needle, and their tongue a slender thread; their little black eyes look like two shining points, the feathers of their wings are so delicate that they seem transparent. You can barely see their feet, they are so short and slender; they make little use of it, and they only rest to pass the night, and during the day allow themselves to be carried up into the air; their flight is continuous, buzzing and rapid: the sound of their wings is compared to that of a spinning wheel. Their beat is so lively that the bird stopping in the air seems not only motionless but completely without action. We see him stop like this for a few moments in front of a flower, and set off like a dash to go to another; he visits them all, plunging his little tongue into their breasts, flattering them with his wings without ever settling there, but also without ever leaving them. He presses his inconstancy only to better follow his loves and multiply his innocent pleasures, because this light lover of flowers lives at their expense without withering them, he only sucks their honey and it is for this purpose that his tongue seems solely intended it is composed of two hollow fibers forming a small channel divided at the end into two nets; it has the shape of a proboscis, the functions of which the bird shoots out of its beak and plunges it to the bottom of the calyx of the flowers to draw the juices.

Nothing equals the vivacity of these little birds if not their courage or rather their audacity. We see them furiously pursuing birds twenty times their size, attaching themselves to their bodies and letting themselves be carried away by their flight, pecking them with redoubled blows until they have satisfied their little anger. Sometimes they even engage in very lively combat among themselves, impatience seems to be their soul. If they approach a flower and find it faded, they tear off its petals with a haste that shows their spite. They have no other voice than a little cry screp screp frequent and repeated they make it heard in the woods from dawn until at the first rays of the sun all take flight and disperse in the campaign.


Elegy   a sleepless night.

The bell of the hamlet tolls the funeral knell,
The horizon darkens, nature is in mourning;
Of its pale light dissipating the darkness,
The torch of the night watches over a coffin.

In the arms of love or under the wing of an angel
The unfortunate falls asleep forgetting his pain:
Alone, I no longer expect anything from this happy lie,
I watch to moan and to shed tears.

How I suffer, O my God! that my head is hot;
And can I live like this?... live without hoping
That life is bitter, and death is slow
For the one who waits for it and who only has to cry!

Cry... alas! my tears would be a crime;
It is necessary for the eyes of all to devour my pain:
Of my ulcerated heart would they understand the abyss,
You did it, my God, so different from theirs.

I need terrors, I need dread
Death alone has invincible attractions for me,
I want to sit down, like a wandering shadow,
On the icy marbles where everything sleeps forever.

Midnight!... I quivered with hope and fear,
In the night towards the goal finally carrying my steps,
I have crossed the formidable enclosure from the tombs,
I found the life where death reigns.

Here is this stone where my broken soul
To die of pain, live down forever
In the eternal motionless and icy night,
The one I loved so much and by whom I lived.

Dear and sacred shade, idol of my life,
Take pity on my tears, come down from heaven!
Before being mine, you who were taken from me,
Like a ray of hope come shine in my eyes

In the bosom of your God sleep, O my tender friend!
While prostrate on these cold monuments,
Like the exile who mourns his country,
I will raise my pleading eyes to him

I adore his decrees without seeking their causes;
I have faith in the future, in a new world;
No, no, death is not the end of all things,
Eternity begins beyond the grave.

The spectacle of a beautiful night in the deserts of the new world

An hour after sunset, the moon rose above the trees on the opposite horizon. A balmy breeze that this queen of the nights brought with her from the east seemed to precede her into the forests like her fresh breath. The solitary star rose little by little in the sky: sometimes it peacefully followed its azure course; sometimes it rested on groups of clouds, which resembled the summits of high mountains crowned with snow. These clouds, bending and unfolding their veils, unrolled in diaphanous zones of white satin, dispersed in light flakes of foam, or formed in the sky banks of a dazzling wadding, so soft to the eye, that one believed to feel their softness and their elasticity. The scene on earth was no less enchanting: the bluish, velvety light of the moon descended through the intervals of the trees, and pushed forth sheaves of light even into the depths of the deepest darkness. The river which flowed at my feet, alternately lost itself in the woods, alternately reappeared all brilliant with the constellations of the night, which it repeated in its bosom. In a vast meadow, on the other side of this river, the light of the moon slept motionless on the lawns. Birches stirred by the breezes, and scattered here and there in the savannah, formed islands of floating shadows, on a motionless sea of ​​light. Nearby, all was silence and rest, apart from the fall of a few leaves, the sudden passage of a sudden wind, the rare and interrupted groans of the tawny; but in the distance, at intervals, one heard the solemn rumbles of the cataract of Niagara, which, in the calm of the night, were prolonged from desert to desert, and expired through the solitary forests.
        The grandeur, the astonishing melancholy of this picture cannot be expressed in human languages; the most beautiful nights in Europe can only give an idea. In vain in our cultivated fields, the imagination seeks to expand; it meets the dwellings of men on all sides: but in these desert countries, the soul delights in sinking into an ocean of forests, in wandering on the shores of immense lakes, in hovering over the abyss of cataracts, and so on. say to be alone before God.*

Apollo pastor
by Fenelon in Fables of Fenelon and Aesop

Apollo, indignant that Jupiter, by his thunderbolts, disturbed the sky in the most beautiful days, wanted to avenge himself on the Cyclopes who forged the thunderbolts, and pierced them with his arrows. As soon as Mount Etna ceased to vomit whirlwinds of flame, the blows of the terrible hammers were no longer heard, which, striking the anvil, made the deep caverns of the earth and the depths of the sea groan: iron and iron. brass, no longer polished by the Cyclops, began to rust. Vulcan, furious, comes out of his furnace: although lame, he climbs in diligence towards Olympus; he arrives, sweating and covered with dust, in the assembly of the gods: he makes bitter complaints. Jupiter is irritated against Apollo, drives him out of the sky, and precipitates him on the earth. His empty chariot took its ordinary course of its own accord, to give men days and nights, with the regular change of the seasons. Apollo, stripped of all his rays, was forced to become a shepherd, and to guard the flocks of King Admetus. He played the flute, and all the other shepherds came in the shade of the elms, on the edge of a clear fountain, to listen to his songs. Until then they had led a savage and brutal life: they only knew how to drive their sheep, shear them, milk their milk and make cheese; the whole countryside was like a terrible desert.
Soon Apollo showed all these shepherds the arts that can make life pleasant. He sang of the flowers with which spring is crowned, the perfumes it spreads and the greenery which springs up under its feet; then he sang of the delicious nights of summer, when the zephyrs refresh men and when the dew quenches the earth. He also mixed in his songs the golden fruits with which autumn rewards the labors of the ploughmen, and the rest of winter, during which the playful youth dances near the fire. Finally, he represented the dark forests which cover the mountains, and the hollow valleys where the rivers, by a thousand detours, seem to play in the middle of the pleasant meadows. He also taught the shepherds the charms of country life, when one knows how to taste what simple nature has that is gracious. The shepherds, with their flutes, soon saw themselves happier than the kings, and their cabins attracted crowds of pure pleasures which flee from gilded palaces. Games, laughs, graces followed the innocent shepherdesses everywhere. Every day was a celebration: nothing could be heard but the chirping of the birds, or the sweet breath of the zephyrs playing in the branches of the trees, or the murmur of a clear wave falling from some rock, or the songs that the Muses inspired the shepherds who followed Apollo. This god taught them to win the prize of the race, and to pierce deer and stags with arrows. Even the gods became jealous of the shepherds; this life seemed sweeter to them than their glory, and they recalled Apollo to Olympus.

The lion and the eagle
by Delille

To the lion in the woods, to the eagle in his yard
Who does not recognize the same character
Both are proud, both tyrants of their vassals
In their royal desert want no equals
The imperious love, the need for a wife,
Only tame the furies of their jealous pride
Both kings of states won by victory,
Only want feasts that they've conquered
Generous enemies and magnanimous conquerors,
Finally both make grace with weak victims,
So the same instinct produces the same moods
And different in race they are joined by manners.

by Aime Martin - translated Fabliaux

Honor to the knight who arms himself for France
In the fields of honor he received birth
Cradled in a shield in a nursing helmet,
Ripping lions with bloody flanks,
He walks without rest where glory calls him.
At the sight of the fight his face sparkles
Love arms his arm and honor leads him.
It seems everything shivers it fights everything flees
Within the storm lying on the earth,
He sleeps peacefully to the crash of thunder:
And when the dust, in thick swirls
Hide the bloody battalions from enemies,
He alone still sees them and rushes forward with joy;

Like the haughty eagle discovering its prey
And who in his fury plunging from the high heavens
Strikes it, seizes it, tears it in our eyes.
Mountains, woods and stormy seas
Saracens defeated the unhappy shores
Often sounded the noise of his exploits.
He avenges weakness, he protects kings.
Twenty bands of warriors scattered before him,
The frightened couriers, the shattered weapons,
Satisfy all the desires of his warlike heart,
And these are its pleasures, its feasts and its games.


The sick lion and the fox
by Jean de La Fontaine

        By the King of Beasts,
            Who in his lair was sick,
            Was made known to his vassals
            That every species in embassy
            Send people to visit it:
            Under promise to treat well
            The Deputies, them and their suite,
            Faith of Lion, very well written,
            Good passport against the tooth;
            Against the claw just as much.
            The Prince's edict is executed:
            Of each species he is deputed.
            The Foxes guarding the house,

            One of them says this:
            Footsteps in the dust
By those who go to pay court to the sick,
All, without exception, look at his lair;
            Not one scores back.
            This makes us suspicious.
            May His Majesty dispense us:
            Many thanks for his passport.
            I believe it is good; but in this lair
            I see very well how we enter,
            And don't see how we get out of it.

Pleasures brought to the agronomist by the cultivation of fields and gardens

Most work obliges man to shut himself up, but he who devotes himself to the cultivation of the fields finds himself in the open air, and breathes freely on the magnificent theater of nature. The azure sky is a canopy. The earth carpeted with flowers is his floor, the air which circulates around him is not corrupted by the poisonous exhalations of the cities: a crowd of pleasant objects are offered to his eyes; and if he has any taste for the beauties of nature, real and pure pleasures cannot fail him. In the morning, as soon as the light of day opens the brilliant spectacle of creation, he hastens to go and enjoy it in the gardens or in the fields. The dawn announces to him the approaching arrival of the sun; the fresh grass straightens up and its points are all brilliant with drops of dew which look like so many diamonds, emeralds or sapphires. The delicious perfumes exhaled by the flowers come from him. The song of the birds is heard, expressing their joy and happiness. They publish in their own way, the glory of the creator, of which they also experience the benefits.

And what delicious nights follow these fine days! See the star which presides there in the middle of the firmamant and surrounds with a curtain of clouds which its rays dissipate by degrees. Its light spreads imperceptibly on the mountains which shine a silvery green. The winds held their breath. One hears in the woods, at the bottom of the valleys, small cries, soft murmurs of birds which move in their nests, rejoiced by a weak light and by the calm which reigns in all nature. Stars sparkle and reflect within waves that repeat their trembling images.


in The songwriter of the graces for 1831

Our ancestor (in her womb that Jesus collects her!)
Hearing the owls delight in the night,
Said to us: In the cold weather as a leaf falls,
A soul is going to fall... my children, cross yourselves!
When a misfortune for us is about to come,
When our angel comes to pick us up,
The bird of the nights stops three times
At the sharp peak of the black steeple.
The chaperone on your head
With a crepe must be decorated
Silence your party songs
And let's get ready to mourn Our grandmother etc.

Follow famous men-at-arms
Last year Messire left;
Maybe the bird of darkness
Saw him give up the ghost...thank you!
At the foot of the Holy Mountain,
Would he have seen our valiant heroes,
And the green cross of Brittany
In the hands of the leader of the disbelievers? Our grandmother etc.

While for noble marriage
May our lords come to the chatel,
Let vassalage be invited,
Let us adorn our shrines with flowers,
Maybe a solitary herdsman,
On spouses casting a spell,
Search the barren heath
A herb that kills.  Our grandmother etc.

Thunder and black storms,
Ardens and evil of fire,
French archers of their ravages,
Preserve us, Mother of God!...
But his fear was not in vain,
But was not for the damsel,
For sir or the chatelaine,
Alas, the tomb opened!  Our ancestress etc....


The pleasures of the botanist
in Basic botanical demonstrations
by Marc-Antoine-Louis Claret de La Tourrette, François Rozier and Jean Emmanuel Gilibert.

When spring laughs at me, I climb the mountains
And, guided by Jussieu, I detach these plants,
These simple beneficents, whose powerful virtues
Warm the inactive languor of the old man,
And in a suffering body suspending pain,
Their scent betrays them...Your enamel new flowers
And your bright colors and your forms so beautiful,
Fight over the right to fix my gaze.
The sky is less brilliant and fewer scattered stars
Shine in the azure of its superb vault.
Thus nonchalantly walked from grass to grass
Tufts of lemon balm with a fragrant ...?net
And from the acanthus in bloom to the humble wild thyme
My eye follows these living machines in their games
I classify, I match their fine nuances.
Constantly surrounded by these smiling objects,
I study and their laws and their secret reports
And I learn from these flowers, sisters and rival beauties!
Own character and general mores
The disc of the crystal of my eyes brought closer,
Magnifies, reveals, stretches the too hidden organ,
Or sharp steel, the subtle wounds
Help me to penetrate their learned structures.
For the price of so much care, my mind finally sees
Of their varieties the principle and the end.


Double Knight
tale by Théophile Gautier

Who makes the blonde Edwige so sad? What is she doing, sitting apart, her chin in her hand and her elbow on her knee, more gloomy than despair, paler than the alabaster statue weeping over a tomb? From the corner of her eyelid a big tear rolls down the down of her cheek, just one, but it never dries up; like that drop of water which oozes from the vaults of the rock and which in the long run wears away the granite, this single tear, by falling relentlessly from his eyes to his heart, has pierced and traversed it openly.

Edwige, blond Edwige, do you no longer believe in Jesus Christ, the gentle Saviour? Do you doubt the indulgence of the most holy Virgin Mary? Why do you constantly carry your small diaphanous, thin and slender hands like those of Elves and Willis? You are going to be a mother; it was your dearest wish; your noble husband, Count Lodbrog, has promised an altar of solid silver, a ciborium of fine gold to the church of St. Cuthbert if you bear him a son.

Alas! alas! poor Edwige has her heart pierced with the seven swords of pain; a terrible secret weighs on his soul. A few months ago, a stranger came to the castle; the weather was terrible that night: the towers shook in their framework, the weathercocks chirped, the fire crept up the chimney, and the wind beat at the window like an intruder trying to enter.

The stranger was handsome like an angel, but like a fallen angel; he smiled softly and looked softly, and yet this look and this smile froze you with terror and inspired you with the dread one experiences when leaning over an abyss. A villainous grace, a perfidious languor like that of a tiger watching its prey, accompanied all his movements; he charmed like the snake that fascinates the bird.

This stranger was a blackmailer; his tanned complexion showed that he had seen other skies; he said he came from the depths of Bohemia, and asked for hospitality for that night only. He stayed that night, and still other days and still other nights, because the storm could not calm down, and the old castle shook on its foundations as if the gust wanted to uproot it and bring down its crown. battlements in the frothy waters of the torrent.

To charm the weather, he sang strange poems which troubled the heart and gave rise to furious ideas; all the time he was singing, a glossy black raven, shining like jet, stood on his shoulder; it beat time with its ebony beak, and seemed to applaud while shaking its wings. – Edwige grew pale, grew pale like lilies in the moonlight; Edwige was blushing, blushing like the roses of dawn, and leaning back in her big armchair, languid, half-dead, intoxicated as if she had breathed in the fatal perfume of those flowers that kill. At last the blackmailer was able to leave; a small blue smile had just wrinkled the face of the sky. Since that day, Edwige, the blonde Edwige has only been crying in the corner of the window.

Edwige is a mother; she has a beautiful child, all white and ruddy. “Old Count Lodbrog ordered the massive silver altar from the founder, and he gave the goldsmith a thousand pieces of gold in a reindeer-skin purse to make the ciborium; it will be large and heavy, and will hold a large measure of wine. The priest who will empty it can say that he is a good drinker. The child is all white and all ruddy, but he has the black gaze of a stranger: his mother has seen it clearly. Ah! poor Edwige! why did you look so much at the stranger with his harp and his crow?...

The chaplain waves the child; – he is given the name of Oluf, a beautiful name! – The target goes up on the highest tower to draw the horoscope. The weather was clear and cold: like a deerwolf's jaw with sharp white teeth, a cutout of snow-covered mountains bit the edge of the sky's robe; the large, pale stars shone in the blue starkness of the night like silver suns.

The sight takes the height, notes the year, the day and the minute; he makes long calculations in red ink on a long parchment studded with cabalistic signs; he goes back into his study, and goes back up on the platform, he was not, however, mistaken in his calculations, his nativity theme is just like a trebuchet for weighing fine stones; however, he begins again: he has made no mistake.

Little Count Oluf has a double star, one green and one red, green like hope, red like hell; one favorable, the other disastrous. Has it ever been seen that a child has a double star?

With a serious and formal air, the mire returns to the room of the mother and says, passing his bony hand in the waves of his great magician's beard:

“Countess Hedwig, and you, Count Lodbrog, two influences presided over the birth of Oluf, your precious son: one good, the other bad; that's why it has a green star and a red star. He is subject to a double ascendant; he will be very happy or very unhappy, I don't know which; maybe both at the same time. »

Count Lodbrog answered the chart: "The green star will prevail." But Edwige feared in her mother's heart that it was red. She put her chin back in her hand, her elbow on her knee, and started crying again in the corner of the window. After nursing her child, her sole occupation was to watch through the window the snow falling in dense, hurried flakes, as if the white wings of all the angels and all the cherubim had been plucked up there.

From time to time a crow passed in front of the pane, croaking and shaking this silvery dust. It made Edwige think of the singular crow which always stood on the shoulder of the stranger with the gentle gaze of a tiger, the charming smile of a viper. And her tears were falling faster from her eyes onto her heart, onto her pierced heart.

Young Oluf is a very strange child: it looks like there are in his little white and vermilion skin two children of a different character; one day he is good as an angel, another day he is wicked as a devil, he bites his mother's breast, and tears his governess's face with his fingernails. Old Count Lodbrog, smiling into his gray mustache, says Oluf will make a good soldier and is belligerent. The fact is that Oluf is an insufferable little fellow: sometimes he cries, sometimes he laughs; he is capricious like the moon, whimsical like a woman; he goes, comes, suddenly stops without any apparent reason, abandons what he had undertaken and makes the most restless turbulence succeed the most absolute immobility; although he is alone, he seems to be conversing with an invisible interlocutor! When asked the cause of all this commotion, he says that the red star torments him.

Oluf is almost fifteen years old. His character becomes more and more inexplicable; her face, although perfectly beautiful, is of an embarrassing expression; he is blond like his mother, with all the features of the northern race; but under his snow-white forehead, which has not yet been scratched by the hunter's skate or smeared by the foot of the bear, and which is indeed the forehead of the ancient race of the Lodbrogs, between two orange eyelids glistens an eye with long black eyelashes, a jet-black eye lit up with the feral ardor of Italian passion, a velvety, cruel and sweet gaze like that of the blackmailer of Bohemia.

How the months fly away, and even faster the years! Edwige now rests under the dark arches of the Lodbrog vault, beside the old count, smiling, in his coffin, not to see his name perish. She was already so pale that death didn't change her much. On his tomb there is a beautiful statue reclining, hands clasped, and feet on a marble levre, faithful company of the departed. What Edwige said in her last hour, no one knows, but the priest who was confessing her has become even paler than the dying woman.

Oluf, the dark-haired and fair-haired son of the desolate Edwige, is twenty years old today. He is very adept at all the exercises, no one shoots the bow better than him; he splits the arrow which has just been planted while trembling in the heart of the goal; without bit or spur he tames the wildest horses. He never looked at a woman or a young girl with impunity; but none of those who loved him were happy. The fatal inequality of his character opposes any achievement of happiness between a woman and him. Only one of his halves feels passion, the other feels hatred; sometimes the green star wins, sometimes the red star. One day he says to you: “O white virgins of the North, sparkling and pure as the ice of the pole; sloes of moonlight; cheeks nuanced with the freshness of the aurora borealis! And the other day he exclaimed: "O daughters of Italy, gilded by the sun and blond as orange!" hearts of flame in breasts of bronze! What is sadder is that he is sincere in both exclamations.

Alas! poor desolate women, sad plaintive shadows, you do not even accuse him, for you know that he is more unhappy than you; its heart is a ground unceasingly trodden by the feet of two unknown wrestlers, each of whom, as in the combat of Jacob and the Angel, seeks to desiccate the hock of his adversary. If one went to the cemetery, under the broad velvety leaves of the verbascum with their deep cuts, under the asphodel with its unhealthy green branches, among the wild oats and the nettles, one would find more than one abandoned stone where the morning dew alone sheds its tears. Mina, Dora, Thecla! is the earth very heavy to your delicate breasts and your charming bodies?

One day Oluf calls Dietrich, his faithful squire; he told him to saddle his horse.

“Master, look how the snow is falling, how the wind whistles and bends the tops of the fir trees to the ground; don't you hear in the distance howling the lean wolves and howling like lost souls the dying reindeer?

– Dietrich, my faithful squire, I will shake off the snow as one does a down that clings to the coat; I will pass under the arch of the fir trees, tilting the aigrette of my helmet a little. As for the wolves, their claws will be blunted on this good armour, and with the end of my sword searching the ice, I will discover the poor reindeer, who moans and cries hot tears, the fresh and flowery moss that he cannot reach. »

Count Oluf of Lodbrog, for such is his title since the old count died, sets off on his good horse, accompanied by his two giant dogs, Murg and Fenris, for the young lord with the orange eyelids has an appointment. you, and already perhaps, from the top of the small pointed turret in the shape of a pepperbox, leans over the sculpted balcony, despite the cold and the wind, the worried young girl, trying to disentangle in the whiteness of the plain the panache of the knight.

Oluf, on his big elephant-shaped horse, whose flanks he plows with his spurs, advances in the countryside; it crosses the lake, of which the cold has made only a single block of ice, where the fish are embedded, their fins extended, like petrifications in the paste of marble; the four horseshoes, armed with hooks, firmly bite the hard surface; a mist, produced by his sweat and his breath, envelops him and follows him; it looks like it is galloping in a cloud; the two dogs, Murg and Fenris, blow, on each side of their master, through their bloody nostrils, long jets of smoke like fabulous animals.

Here is the fir wood; like specters, they stretch out their heavy arms laden with white cloths; the weight of the snow bends the youngest and most flexible: it looks like a series of silver arches. Black terror dwells in this forest, where the rocks assume monstrous forms, where each tree, with its roots, seems to brood at its feet a nest of numb dragons. But Oluf does not know terror.

The path narrows more and more, the pines inextricably cross their lamentable branches; barely a few bright spells allow you to see the chain of snowy hills which stand out in white undulations against the dull black sky. Fortunately Mopse is a vigorous steed who could carry Odin the gigantic without bending; no obstacle stops him; he leaps over the rocks, he steps over the bogs, and from time to time he tears from the pebbles which his hoof strikes under the snow a plume of sparks immediately extinguished.

“Come on, Mopse, courage! you only have to cross the little plain and the birch wood; a pretty hand will caress your satiny collar, and in a very warm stable you will eat hulled barley and oats in abundance. »

What a charming sight the birch wood is! All the branches are padded with a plush of frost, the smallest twigs stand out in white against the darkness of the atmosphere: it looks like an immense filigree basket, a silver madrepore, a grotto with all its stalactites; the bizarre ramifications and flowers with which the jelly tints the panes do not offer more complicated and more varied designs.

“Lord Oluf, how late you have been! I was afraid that the mountain bear had blocked your way or that the elves had invited you to dance, said the young chatelaine, making Oluf sit down on the oak armchair inside the fireplace. But why did you come to the love rendezvous with a companion? Were you afraid to go through the forest alone?

– Which companion do you mean, flower of my soul? said Oluf very surprised to the young chatelaine.

– From the knight with the red star that you always carry with you. The one who was born from a gaze of the bohemian singer, the baneful spirit that possesses you; get rid of the knight with the red star, or I will never listen to your words of love: I cannot be the wife of two men at the same time. »

Try as he might, Oluf said, he could only manage to kiss the little pink finger on Brenda's hand; he went away very displeased and resolved to fight the knight with the red star if he could meet him.

Despite Brenda's stern welcome, Oluf set out the next day for the castle with its pepperbox-shaped turrets: lovers are not easily discouraged.

As he walked he said to himself, “Brenda is probably mad; and what does she mean with her knight with the red star? »

The storm was most violent; the snow swirled and barely made it possible to distinguish the earth from the sky. A spiral of crows, despite the barks of Fenris and Murg, which leapt in the air to seize them, circled ominously above Oluf's plume. At their head was the jet-shiny raven that beat time on the shoulder of the gypsy singer.

Fenris and Murg stopped suddenly: their moving nostrils sniff the air uneasily; they suspect the presence of an enemy. “It is neither a wolf nor a fox; a wolf and a fox would be but a pittance for these brave dogs. A sound of footsteps is heard, and soon a knight appears at the turn of the road, mounted on a large horse and followed by two enormous dogs.

You would have taken him for Oluf. He was armed in exactly the same way, with a historiated overcoat of the same coat of arms; only he wore a red feather on his helmet instead of a green one. The road was so narrow that one of the two knights had to step back.

"Lord Oluf, step back so that I can pass," said the knight with his visor lowered. The journey I am taking is a long journey; I am expected, I must arrive.

“By my father's mustache, you're the one who will back down. I'm going on a date, and lovers are in a hurry,” Oluf replied, putting his hand to the hilt of his sword.

The stranger drew his, and the fight began. The swords, falling on the steel mesh, sent forth sheaves of sparkling sparks; soon, though of superior temper, they were chipped like saws. One would have taken the combatants, through the smoke of their horses and the haze of their panting breaths, for two black blacksmiths bent on a hot iron. The horses, animated by the same rage as their masters, bit their veiny necks with great teeth, and tore off shreds of chest; they tossed about with furious jolts, reared up on their hind feet, and using their hooves like clenched fists, they dealt terrible blows while their riders hammered horribly over their heads; the dogs were just a bite and a howl.

The drops of blood, oozing through the interlocking scales of the armor and falling all warm on the snow, made little pink holes in it. After a few moments it looked like a sieve, so frequent and hurried were the drops falling. Both knights were wounded.

Strangely, Oluf felt his blows to the unknown knight; he suffered from the wounds he had and from those he had received: he had felt a great cold in his chest, as from iron entering and searching for his heart, and yet his cuirass was not torn at the place of the heart: his only injury was a blow to the flesh in the right arm. A singular duel, where the victor suffered as much as the vanquished, where giving and receiving were indifferent.

Gathering up his strength, Oluf made his adversary's terrible helm fly with a backhand. – O terror! what saw the son of Hedwig and Lodbrog? he saw himself before him: a mirror would have been less exact. He had fought with his own ghost, with the knight with the red star; the specter uttered a great cry and disappeared.

The spiral of crows rose again in the sky and the brave Oluf continued on his way; when he returned to his chateau in the evening, he carried the young chatelaine behind him, who this time had kindly listened to him. The knight with the red star no longer being there, she had decided to let fall from her rosy lips, on Oluf's heart, this confession which costs modesty so much. The night was clear and blue, Oluf raised his head to look for his double star and show it to his fiancée: there was only the green one, the red one had disappeared.

On entering, Brenda, very happy with this prodigy which she attributed to love, pointed out to young Oluf that the jet of his eyes had changed to azure, a sign of celestial reconciliation. – Old Lodbrog smiles with pleasure under his white mustache at the bottom of his tomb; for, to tell the truth, although he had testified nothing to it, Oluf's eyes had sometimes made him reflect. – Hedwig's shadow is all joyful, because the child of the noble lord Lodbrog has finally overcome the evil influence of the orange eye, the black crow and the red star: the man has slain the incubus .

This story shows how a single moment of oblivion, even an innocent look, can have an influence. Young women, never cast your eyes on the Bohemian mastersingers, who recite intoxicating and diabolical poetry. You girls trust only the green star; and you who have the misfortune to be double, fight bravely, even if you should strike on yourselves and wound yourselves with your own sword, the adversary within, the wicked knight.

If you ask who brought us this legend from Norway, it's a swan; a beautiful bird with a yellow beak, which crossed the Fjord, half swimming, half flying.


Farewell [Departure]

by Casimir Delavigne

May the sea breeze bring you my farewell,
O France, I leave you; farewell, dear France!
Farewell, sweet native sky, land where I opened my eyes!
Farewell, fatherland! farewell, fatherland!

8 stanzas of the original are missing

Family, and you, friends, accept my farewell!
And you, France, forgive! Farewell, dear France,
Farewell, sweet native sky, land where I opened my eyes!
Farewell, fatherland! farewell, fatherland!...

9 stanzas of the original are missing

Defend your freedom, these are my farewells!
France, prefer your cherished freedom to everything;
Farewell, sweet native sky, land where I opened my eyes!
Farewell, fatherland! farewell, fatherland! [END]

and Mr. Martin signs at the bottom:

          Louis Martin !!!................................


by E. Plouvier - in Family Museum: Evening Readings, Volume 7

Oh! Paris who will ever be able to define you well? Who will be able to collect your thousand different parts to offer them under the same point of view, to express you by a single thought? Paris! Pantheon of vice, loathing of virtue, great thing and ignoble thing, incessant antithesis of the good and the bad, of the beautiful and the deformed, of the celestial and the muddy. Paris, something as difficult to define as the world itself, an enigma without words, a monstrous assemblage, a sublime mix, a filthy amalgam. Paris ! Paris ! everyone judges him from the point of view where fate has placed him. For a mathematician, it is a multiplied whole. For a teenager, it's a sweet and good thing, we love it, we are loved there. For a man who has exhausted his life, it is a filthy cesspool where his soul is soiled. For a lawyer, it is a court where everyone pleads for himself. For an artist, it is a theater on which to shine despite envy, stupidity and injustice. For a doctor, it's a huge hospital. For a diplomat, it is a vast cabinet where the most skilful keeps the first place. For a priest it is a place of trials! Paris! altar, scaffold, pinnacle, sewer, sanctuary, brothel, forest, arena, gambling den, asylum, hell, Eden, market, temple!!!


Seduction of Eve
in Milton's Paradise Lost, trans. by Jacques Barthelemy Ségales - 1807.

In the middle of Eden a dense wood rises;
In these enchanting places the proud Satan towards Eve
Carry his steps, hidden under the features of the serpent
He didn't crawl on the earth,
How one sees this enemy race slipping into it;
He hastens, raised on his firm croup,
Whose various rings placed on top of each other,
In living mazes rose intertwined.
Her noble neck, her head with floating grace
And from the ruby ​​fires its shining pupil,
And her dress, where played the bright and pure reflection
Of a thousand scales of emerald and azure gold,
Embellished this elegant and superb body,
Whose last folds unrolled on the grass.
He approaches it by taking winding detours
Such, on the azure of the seas near the tortuous edges
From a long cape where the wind always turns and changes
The ship that a sailor skilfully steers,
Of this uncertain breath follows all the movements
And in turn present either its front or its flanks
Like the snake near Eve, as a skilful courtier,
Varies his moving gait at every moment;
And various folds drawing the outline,
To be seen, form a hundred paces of love.
Of a work laughing entirely occupied,
Of these brilliant reflections Eve is not struck.
The animals so often played in his footsteps,
That his gaze towards them did not turn away.
So the clever snake, without his eye calling him
As if to admire her, stands in front of her.
He seems delighted with his august appearance,
A thousand times he bows, as a sign of respect,
And the wandering plume of a pompous head,
And of an enameled collar the undulating suppleness;
With a sparkling eye devours its charms,
And kisses with transport the trace of his footsteps.
These obstinate efforts and this mute homage,
D'Eve, who observes them, has suspended the work.
Finally on the snake his gaze is fixed,
He approaches her pretending to be embarrassed,
And with these flattering words captivates his ear:
"Queen of the Universe, rare and only marvel
Of which our divine groves must be proud
That this speech for you has nothing wonderful
Above all, while looking for you, if I may have displeased you,
Deign to hide your anger from my eyes.
This cruel feeling is not made for your eyes
As soft as the azure with which the Heavens adorn themselves.
Ah! rather reassure a subject than intimidate
The august majesty that resides on this brow.
No doubt I should have fled this secluded place
Which your divine aspect makes a sacred temple;
But I wanted to see you pensive and lonely
I could not escape this burning desire.
And if it's a fixed price to beg you,
Accuse your attractions that make you forget everything
Yes you are God's brightest image,
It is in you that the earth loves to pay homage to him,
Everything that lives, drunken love transported,
Adore this noble and celestial beauty,
May his mighty hand be fruitful in prodigies,
Made like the Sun to enchant the world;
But this charming work in which its author liked
Deserved like him more than one admirer:
I groan to see you imprisoned in Eden,
Among the animals, blind and rude troop
Who could not feel, in his limited instinct
All the price of the charms with which this forehead is adorned.
Only living beings drawn to your footsteps,
Man can worthily appreciate your graces;
But when you collect so many treasures,
A single being a single judge is enough for them.
Goddess condemned to too little praise,
You deserve for continuation and the Gods and the Angels.
They're the ones who should be kissing your knees
Share their incense between their master and you.
He is silent: His skillful and gentle flattery
Of Eve whom he makes blush, seduces the tender soul.
Of the speeches of the snake she feels disturbed:
Surprise at the same time to hear him speak
O prodigy!... is it true? like me you express yourself,
Your very voice rises to sublime thoughts!

How do you possess this present that in this place
The man alone with the Angel had received from God?
Of such a great miracle, tell me the mystery,
Say by what interest, more careful to please me,
You pay me this eager homage today,
That the animal still did not address me."
The deceiver redoubling his deep cunning:
Belle Eve, he goes on, first charm in the world,
When you command it is sweet for me to obey
When God of clarity allowed me to enjoy;
I was in every way like the brute fed
Grass that your feet tread on the prairie
I had by instinct alone enlightened each day
And the mind without thought, and the heart without love.
But one morning, emerging from a balsamic cradle,
I saw in the distance a magnificent tree,
Loaded with immense fruits that purple and gold
Of their rich colors still embellished;
I run there with surprise: a balmy breath
Exhaling from these fruits with which my sight is charmed,
Bring to my sense of smell more flattering spirits
Than the scent of milk and the breath of flowers.
And this sweet smell these seductive forms,
My hunger irritates the most pressing ardours.
I can't resist it anymore: from my tortuous body
At the same time, I kiss the majestic tree.
Crossing its branches which soar up to the sky
I climb to the branch where its fruits sway,
On its high peak at the reached end,
I pick up one of these gifts, O unknown transport!
No, the sweet juice of the meadows, the crystal of the fountains,
Never flowed through my burning veins
A joy, a happiness that can be compared
To these new pleasures which came to intoxicate me.
I would paint in vain their inconceivable charm,
But that's nothing yet; of this wonderful tree
Hardly had I left the celestial nourishment,
That I feel in my soul a sudden change.
The shadow that veiled her with its coarse vapor
Disappears reason throws its light there.
The nascent thought is quick to form there;
On my lips the words hasten to express it;
And keeping my features alone I enter confidently,
Under the same exterior in another existence!
Since that happy time, my soul with ardor
A works of God measures greatness.
I saw, I compared, on land, on the wave,
In the pure firmament, immense vault of the world,
All that admirable they can display:
This Universe has nothing that can match you:
Of your dazzling gifts the supreme assemblage
Makes you the most beautiful, makes it beauty itself.
That's what brings me, and, even if you get tired
The tributes that my heart loves to send to you,
Allow that in you I observe, admire, adore
The one with which everything is adorned and which nothing decorates;
Finally, the one who lowers or raises her eyes
Offer to my intoxicated people the masterpiece of heaven.
These words in which the lie skilfully disguises itself,
Over-attentive D'Eve increases the surprise.
Curious she says: "By flattering my beauty,
You forbid me to believe in this vaunted tree,
I doubt that the fruits that form its adornment
Have all the virtue of which your mouth assures me.
But where does it stand in this vast garden?
He's not far from here, he suddenly replies,
We see it in the plain pouring out its foliage
On the edges of a source, in the middle of a bocage
Where the orange tree balms and the linden blossom,
Dispute about perfume, shade, color,
And of thick myrtles a fragrant alley:
From this divine tree is the charming road,
But without a guide your eyes would not find it.
"Alone you can use it, well guide my steps,
She said. "The snake immediately precedes it;
In rapid rings he rolls he leaps;
Her cruel joy bursts out guiding her
Its crest is brighter and its eye more ardent,
Such, under dark skies colored by its redness,
Wandering through the air ignites a meteor
Phenomenon that shadow and earth have produced
By an evil spirit this ever-driven fire,
To the eye of the traveler in the dark night
Shines floating a deceptive light,
A brilliance that soon leads him astray on a path
Where some open abyss swallows him whole.

That the music dates from the XNUMXth century
Fragment (Victor Hugo)

God ! that Palestrina, in man and in things,
Must have heard joyful and morose voices!
How we feel that at this age when our heart smiles,
Where he was already thinking, he has in his mind
Carried away like a fleeting river,
Everything thrown at him by the cloud or the shore!
As he walked, all childish, all pensive,
In the fields, and, at dawn, at the bottom of the solid wood,
And near the precipice, terror of mothers!
Alternately drowned in shadow, dazzled by chimeras,
As he opened his soul as the spring
Dip the flowering shore in the water of clear pools,
Let the ivy rise to favorite branches,
Let the buttercup grass mix the daisies!
At this indecisive hour when the day is about to die,
Where everything falls asleep, the heart forgetting to suffer,
The birds to sing and the herds to graze,
How often before his eyes a country cart,
Living group of noise, horses and voices,
Climbed up the hillside in the woods
Some road dug between the yellow ochres,
While, near a water that leaked under the alders,
He listened to moaning in the evening mists
A hoarse bell at the bottom of a black valley!
How often, spying on the noise of the cottages,
The mocking blade of grass that hisses between two stones,
The plaintive cry of the groaning and dragged ploughshare,
The chattering nest at the bottom of the ruined cloister

From where the shadow spreads over the tombs of the monks,
The field golden by dawn where the oats talk
Who to see us pass, like a happy people,
Lean in tumult at the edge of the sunken road,
The bee that cheerfully sings and talks to the rose,
Among all those objects of which being is composed,
How many times he dreamed, tenebrous scrutineer,
Seeking to explain what they were saying among themselves!
And every evening, after his long walks,
Leaving the serenades laughing under the balconies,
When he came back happy, serious and mute,
Something more in his heart stirred.
Fly, he had his honey; shrub, its dew.
He gradually came to think that in his mind
Everything lived. – Holy work that poets do!
In his head, like the deep universe,
The air ran, the birds sang, the flame and the wave
Curved, the harvest gilded the blond earth,
And the roofs and the mountains and the shadow that descends
Were mingled, and evening came, dark and chasing
The brute to his lair and the man to his shelter,
And the high forests, stirred by a wind from heaven,
Happy to be reborn at the start of winters,
Madly shook their great green plumes!
Thus it is that spirit, form, shadow, light and flame,
The urn of the whole world poured out in his soul!


Evening prayer aboard a ship

The globe of the sun, whose brilliance our eyes could then sustain, ready to plunge into the sparkling waves, appeared between the ropes of the ship, and still poured light into boundless spaces. One would have said, by the rocking of the stern, that the radiant star changed its horizon every moment. The masts, the shrouds, the yards of the ship were covered with a tint of pink. A few clouds wandered without order in the east, where the moon was rising slowly, the rest of the sky was pure; and on the northern horizon, forming a glorious triangle with the star of day and that of night, a waterspout charged with the colors of the prism rose from the sea like a column of crystal supporting the vault of heaven. It would have been well to pity the one who in this beautiful spectacle had not recognized the beauty of God! Tears flowed from my eyelids in spite of myself, when all my companions, taking off their tarred hats, came to sing in a hoarse voice, their simple and pious canticle to Our Lady of Good Help, patroness of sailors. of those men who, on a fragile plank in the middle of the ocean, contemplated the setting sun on the waves! How deep was this invocation of the poor sailor. This humiliation before him who sends storms and calm, this awareness of our smallness in the sight of the Infinite; these songs stretching far away on the waves, ..... the night approaching with its pitfalls; the marvel of our ship in the midst of so many marvels, a religious crew seized with admiration and fear, an august priest in prayer. God leaning over the abyss, with one hand holding the sun at the western gates, with the other raising the moon on the opposite horizon, and lending, through the immensity, an attentive ear to the faint voice of his creature, that is what cannot be painted and what the whole human heart is barely enough to feel.


History of France: the angry people of Jumieges

by Théodore Muret When with the rising tide you enter the mouth of the Seine, and you engage in the capricious detours of the river; after Harfleur and its high steeple built by the English, a monument both to their reign and their defeat, have passed before your eyes; the ruins of the manor of Tancarville, the tip of Duilleboeuf, famous for so many shipwrecks; then finally Caudebec, and its small port where a few rare tide hunts sleep, you see on the left bank, two slender and white towers, which stand out in relief from the azure of the sky during the day, these two towers which end in slender pyramids, serve as a point of recognition for ships; you can see them at a great distance, and in the evening, towards the end of a fine day, when the air is transparent and pure, they look like two white phantoms standing on the shore. Isolated in the countryside at the end of one of the peninsulas formed by the winding course of the Seine, these two towers which from afar seem to announce the approach of a large city, are there gloomy and lost, without other inhabitants. than the families of birds whose yelping cries have replaced the resonant voice of bells and the pious concerts of church songs. Because it was there, formerly, a rich and famous abbey, whose origin was going to join, through the centuries, the first times of the French monarchy.

   Jumièges, holy retreat, asylum for so long of prayer and learned work, was already famous in the time of the first successors of Clovis. It is said the tradition, in the year of grace 640, under the reign of King Dagobert, of glorious memory, that Saint Philibert and some other cenobites chose, five leagues from Rouen, a very small town in those remote times, the peninsula of Jumièges for their asylum. They built there a monastery which the following ages increased and embellished successively, by endowing the holy abbey with Blessings, with all the marvels, with all the magnificence of their architecture. Gothic art prodigal for Jumièges its most slender columns,

its boldest arches, the most elegant caprices of its miraculous sculptures. He made the stone assume more graceful forms, he cut it like lace; statues of saints carved with incredible delicacy; arabesques in which unfolds a richness of imagination that seems to be magical, he threw all this with both hands to adorn Jumièges. And imagine that the artists, authors of so many marvels, each of which would suffice for the glory of a man, have not even for the most part left their name behind them! Imagine how great he was in the arts, this Middle Ages time of barbarism, according to some, who thus sowed on all sides, as his daily occupation, so many magnificences and marvels! Now it was a few years after the foundation of Jumièges: the humble and poor monastery then was still famous only for the sanctity of its recluses. Philibert, founder and first abbot of Jumièges, accompanied by one of his monks, was walking one day along the banks of the Seine, blessing God for the peace he had given to his servants, in this time of cruel war and bloody devastation, in the depths of this pious asylum. Behold, the holy abbot saw in the distance, sailing haphazardly on the river, without sail or oars, a boat which the winds and the waves delight in. This boat continuing to go down the current, Saint Philibert could see that it had not been abandoned by fishermen facing a storm, as he first believed. A man was in the boat, letting himself go with it along the Seine without making a useless effort to direct it. Finally carried by the waves, the gondola came to land near the abbey; and what was the surprise of Saint Philibert, when he saw stretched out on rich cushions, at the bottom of this frail boat, two weak and pale young people, their two arms enveloped in linen still bleeding! “These are the words of the servant who was with them in the boat, the two sons of our lord Clovis, annoyed by the orders of the king their father!” The servant had said the truth. To punish his sons for the crime of rebellion, the king had made them enervated, that is to say, the sinews of their arms had been cut off to render them incapable of wielding a sword in the future; and this penalty was equivalent to interdiction from the throne, in those warlike times, when every prince was little more than a captain, whose principal privilege was to march first into battle. The nobles of the kingdom, who at first demanded the death of the young princes, contented themselves with this punishment with great difficulty. They had thrown these two unfortunates into a boat without sails or oars, giving them only provisions, and a man to serve them, and they had abandoned them to the care of Providence. From this other town which became our great Paris, they were thus sailing on the river, to the place where Saint Philibert received them. The prayers and care of the good cenobite soon healed their wounds. Shortly after, the two young princes made their profession and put on the holy robe to live and die in this hospitable solitude. Warned that his sons were saved and cured, Clovis, happy that heaven took under its protection those struck down by cruel justice, came to Jumièges, accompanied by Queen Bathilde. He saw and embraced his children again and richly endowed the abbey which was to serve as their retreat.

Many centuries have passed since that time. Many princes, many high lords visited Jumièges, before and after Charles VII, who came to rest from the hassle of arms with this beautiful Agnès Sorel, whose simple and modest retreat can still be seen, not far from the abbey. , this laugh manor which his memory has consecrated. Many abbots have succeeded the good Saint Philibert in his pious functions; many times, the surrounding populations came under the bold arches of the church, to attend the services, guided by the reputation of holiness enjoyed by the convent. Today everything in Jumièges is silent and devastated. The revolutions, more than the centuries, have weighed their hands on this magnificent and pious edifice. The roof has strewn with its debris the foot of the high columns which no longer have anything to support. Vandals have thrown into a lime kiln or sold to the English for a few miserable gold coins, the greater part of these marvels of sculpture, of these figures of saints, of all these masterpieces of which the arts had decorated Jumièges. Birds alone people these desolate ruins; grass is growing in the halls and in the church. Nothing left but solitude, abandonment and the two tall towers that would no doubt have been knocked down to sell the stones, if they hadn't served as a guide for sailors going up the river; but if you visit Jumièges, in the middle of all this desolation not far away where the heart of Agnès Sorel was laid, you will still be shown, half hidden under brambles and rubble, the tomb of the two Enervés.


A beautiful summer night [The Religious Old Man or the Night]
in Morality in action, or Elite of memorable facts and instructive anecdotes.
by Laurent Pierre Bérenger and Eustache Guibaud - 1813. 

One fine summer evening, tired of the heat, I went out to breathe fresh air; the fiery sun was leaving the horizon, and the shadows descending from the mountains were already spreading over the plain.

Soon I lost sight of the hamlet where I live, and the thundering forges where, with a terrified eye, one sees the sons of Vulcan, armed with long pincers, drawing the gleaming iron from the fiery furnace and plunging it into the quivering wave.

The shepherds were bringing back their numerous herds from all sides, playing the flute and the torch, the oxen were returning from plowing at a late stage. I wandered in the countryside, and I only heard in the distance the sound of heavy hammers, falling with redoubled blows on the resounding anvils; Imperceptibly I advanced and always moved away. It is so sweet to find oneself alone in places one loves, and to abandon oneself to one's daydreams! I thus prolonged my walk, without noticing that the night had already reigned for a long time, but far from frightening me, it seemed interesting to me! and how delicious it is to enjoy the spectacle of a beautiful night!

The air was pure, the sky was darkened by no cloud, brilliant stars embellished its azure vault, a beautiful moonlight spread everywhere, gave rural objects a new charm.

This half-light, this uncertain light, mingled in the distance with the shade of the woods and the hillsides, inspired a gentle melancholy.

Everything rested in nature; you could barely hear the faint brook that waters it murmuring in the meadow. How much universal calm did this vast silence soften my soul and fill it with august and religious sentiments! I stopped in front of a superb lake, smooth as ice and bordered by willows and poplars, between which you can see a few isolated cottages: with what delight, under the silver rays of the torch of the night, I contemplated the magnificent vault of the heavens, reversed and reproduced in its entirety in this vast basin, and the trees which seemed to lengthen and flee, and their leaves stirred by a fresh wind, swaying and floating in the faithful mirror of the tranquil wave.

I went to sit in a nearby grove, to consider at leisure so many marvels and there I gave myself up to all the reflections that such a sweet spectacle can inspire, when the sound of a voice came to draw my soul from the enchantment. where it was immersed, this voice seeming to me not far away, I noiselessly parted the thick branches which let me see not far from me an old man. His almost bald head, his noble and serene face, his undulating beard whitened by his long years, impressed a holy respect. He was on his knees under an oak tree, whose trunk, conquering time, was still producing vigorous gushes. Eyes raised to the sky, he spoke briskly. I listened in silence and I heard this majestic and touching prayer, which came from a heart full of the divinity he was invoking.

(The following in orange is omitted by Mr. Martin) O you whose whole nature manifests with so much grandeur the existence and the infinite power father of men from the height of this sublime throne surrounded by innumerable choirs of pure spirits who live on your love, who burn with your fires and celebrate unceasingly on ravishing harps your divine praises, condescend for a moment to listen to a weak mortal and to receive his homage. In the middle of the silence of the night, I raise my voice and I come to adore this eternal Intelligence which drew me from nothing. The universe, great God is your temple. Lit by day with the dazzling sun which is your image, and strewn by night with sparkling stars which form your crown, the immense heavens are the vault of this magnificent temple and the innocent and pure man is its priest. Oh how foolish mortals could they misunderstand this universal visible wisdom which governs the world with such brilliance! How at the aspect of these radiant globes, which roll above the clouds, of the deep seas which embrace the earth and bring nations together, of these treasures spread with so much profusion on its surface and in its entrails, how thus surrounded by so many prodigies have forgotten their author! I bless you Supreme God for having given me birth in the fields, far from the corrupt cities and for having removed pride and ambition from my heart thanks to your paternal goodness I have enjoyed for a century the only true goods of the life, peace of mind and happy mediocrity. You have never ceased to lavish on me the gifts of your love; my last days are still all marked by your benefits: abundant harvests fill my attics, you water my meadows, you give fertility to my flocks, you fertilize my vineyards, your hand covers my trees with flowers and fruits that never ravaged the violent Africus nor the stormy Auster. For the height of happiness you have preserved my peaceful companion and our two children whose tenderness is the charm of our old age. my God, I have nothing more to desire than to die before them. I feel it, I'm nearing the end of my career, soon I'll mix my ashes with those of my fathers. When they have lowered me into their tomb, protector of my long life, I commend you my children, take pity on their tender mother who watches from the heights of heaven over such dear heads, oh my God! never give up on them. At the end of these words his eyes filled with tears; deep sighs were exhaled from his heart, he was barely breathing. I thought then I saw something divine shining on the forehead of this venerable old man. He got up and quietly retired to his home where I still heard him bless the Supreme Being for a long time...

Meanwhile the dazzling dawn prepared to open the gates of heaven; the birds fluttering in the thick trees, began to chirp; already the rabbits, springing from their burrows, were running in the vast meadows whitened by the dew, and were browsing on the wild thyme, while the yelping fox was pursuing the terrified hare in the woods. Already the diligent plowman was harnessing his lowing oxen to the plow; already the sheep, escaping in crowds from the stable, were spreading bleating over the countryside, followed by dogs barking, and shepherdesses singing rustic airs; the forehead crowned with rubies and rays of gold, the sun emerged from the bosom of the wave and launched its first fires: the soul moved and delighted by what I had seen, by what I had just heard, I got up and quietly returned to my rural retreat.

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