Archive for May, 2018

That’s life (that’s life) that’s what mama say
She’s saying what is not true-
May be for her
In her time but sure not for me:
When I’m young I know this life is all that
I have, that’s life (that’s life) and mama spent it all:
Some people get their kicks
Stompin’ on a dream
But I don’t mind what mama did with her dream.
‘Cause this fine old world of her is rockin’ chair now
I’ve been a crawler, a moppet, a drooler
A kiddo, a bloke and a jerk
I’ve been up and down and over and out
But I know one thing
Each time I find my feet I know life is out there
I pick myself up and get back for some more-
That’s life (that’s life) I tell ya, I can’t deny it
I thought of quitting, mama
But my heart just ain’t up to follow
And being old is when I have nothing more to do.



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In ancient India there was a sage by name Samsara. He was so revered that gods discussed how to honor him suitably. Elephant God suggested to place him in the sea bed so whoever wished to ask any boon must negotiate with sea creatures. The sea god suspected bad motives in such a suggestion so he said, “Why make poor mankind learn to swim while the air is free?”. “Trimurthy should not mind one more god in their fold?,”Monkey God queried. Brahma laughed and replied, “Four means the end of Trinity” They rejected the idea. Finally they yielded to have him placed him beneath their abode. “Should not we ask Samsara his opinion in the matter?”Elephant God asked. So Sage Samsara was consulted and he said, “Yes, I have a boon to ask. “I am content to live on this dungheap. It must find its level so I shall not be envied by gods or by man. “Yes the goods were all as one, “Why bring up Sage Samsara up? Let him find his own level”. Thus he came to dwell atop the Mount Kailas which at first was merely a hillock.
Eons later when Brahma came down he saw Sage Samsara and he was almost placed as high as heavens. He exclaimed:”What,- impossible! How did you come so high?” Sage Samsara said, “I relied on your own godly powers and the rest on the gullibility of people who worship me. The Trinity muttered to one another,” Retreat quietly, we have many cosmic cycles to solve this riddle.”
This is how Science has arrived at the Theory of Almost Everything. First let us go through what we have achieved. Standard Model, for example.
The ancients believed that everything is made of just five elements earth, water,fire air and aether. The world around us is made of molecules, and molecules are made of atoms. Chemist Dimitri Mendeleev figured that out in the 1860s and organized all atoms – that is, the elements – into the periodic table But there are 118 different chemical elements. There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium … and 114 more.
By 1932, scientists knew that all those atoms are made of just three particles – neutrons, protons and electrons. The neutrons and protons are bound together tightly into the nucleus. The electrons, thousands of times lighter, whirl around the nucleus at speeds approaching that of light. Further studies of Physicists Planck, Bohr,Schroedinger Heisenberg and few others had invented a new science and it explained this motion, quantum mechanics.
Just three particles. But held together how? The negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons are bound together by electromagnetism. But the protons are all huddled together in the nucleus and their positive charges should be pushing them powerfully apart. The neutral neutrons can’t help.
What binds these protons and neutrons together? particles to just three. Really four, because photon the particle of light that Einstein described. Four grew to five when Anderson measured electrons with positive charge – positrons – striking the Earth from outer space. At leastDirac had predicted these first anti-matter particles. Five became six when the pion, which Yukawa predicted would hold the nucleus together, was found.
Then came the muon – 200 times heavier than the electron, but otherwise a twin. That sums it up. Number seven. Not only not simple, redundant.
By the 1960s there were hundreds of “fundamental” particles. In place of the well-organized periodic table, there were just long lists of baryons (heavy particles like protons and neutrons), mesons like Yukawa’s pions and leptons (light particles like the electron, and the elusive neutrinos) – with no organization and no guiding principles.
the Standard Model by mid-sixties became a simple theory, and then five decades of experimental verification and theoretical elaboration.
Quarks They come in six varieties we call flavors. Like ice cream, except not as tasty. Instead of vanilla, chocolate and so on, we have up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. In 1964, Gell- Mann and Zweig taught us the recipes: Mix and match any three quarks to get a baryon. Protons are two ups and a down quark bound together; neutrons are two downs and an up. Choose one quark and one antiquark to get a meson. A pion is an up or a down quark bound to an anti-up or an anti-down. All the material of our daily lives is made of just up and down quarks and anti-quarks and electrons. keeping those quarks bound is a feat. They are tied to one another so tightly that you never ever find a quark or anti-quark on its own. The theory of that binding, and the particles called gluons (chuckle) that are responsible, is called quantum chromodynamics. It’s a vital piece of the Standard Model, but mathematically difficult, even posing an unsolved problem of basic mathematics.
Discovering the Higgs boson in 2012, long predicted by the Standard Model and long sought after, was a thrill but not a surprise. It was yet another crucial victory for the Standard Model over the dark forces that particle physicists have repeatedly warned loomed over the horizon. Concerned that the Standard Model didn’t adequately embody their expectations of simplicity, worried about its mathematical self-consistency, or looking ahead to the eventual necessity to bring the force of gravity into the fold, physicists have made numerous proposals for theories beyond the Standard Model. These bear exciting names like Grand Unified Theories,Supersymmetry, Technicolor and String Theory.
Sadly, at least for their proponents, beyond-the-Standard-Model theories have not yet successfully predicted any new experimental phenomenon or any experimental discrepancy with the Standard Model.
After five decades, far from requiring an upgrade, the Standard Model is all we have nevertheless the Amazing Theory of Almost Everything. Almost in the Science means nothing beyond a theory.
(Ack:The Standard Model of particle physics: The absolutely amazing theory of almost everything/Glenn Starkman/the conversation/May 23,2018)
Moral: While reading The Absolutely Amazing Theory of Almost everything read ‘Doubt’ in place of almost.

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Impia tortorum longas hic turba furores Sanguinis innocui non satiata, aluit. Sospite nunc patria, fracto nunc funeris antro, Mors ubi dira fuit vita salusque patent.
[Quatrain composed for the gates of a market to be erected upon the site of the Jacobin Club House in Paris.]
I WAS sick, sick unto death, with that long agony, and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me. The sentence, the dread sentence of death, was the last of distinct accentuation which reached my ears. After that, the sound of the inquisitorial voices seemed merged in one dreamy indeterminate hum. It conveyed to my soul the idea of REVOLUTION, perhaps from its association in fancy with the burr of a mill-wheel. This only for a brief period, for presently I heard no more. Yet, for a while, I saw, but with how terrible an exaggeration! I saw the lips of the black-robed judges. They appeared to me white–whiter than the sheet upon which I trace these words–and thin even to grotesqueness; thin with the intensity of their expression of firmness, of immovable resolution, of stern contempt of human torture. I saw that the decrees of what to me was fate were still issuing from those lips. I saw them writhe with a deadly locution. I saw them fashion the syllables of my name, and I shuddered, because no sound succeeded. I saw, too, for a few moments of delirious horror, the soft and nearly imperceptible waving of the sable draperies which enwrapped the walls of the apartment; and then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and seemed white slender angels who would save me: but then all at once there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my frame thrill, as if I had touched the wire of a galvanic battery, while the angel forms became meaningless spectres, with heads of flame, and I saw that from them there would be no help. And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave. The thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my spirit came at length properly to feel and entertain it, the figures of the judges vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall candles sank into nothingness; their flames went out utterly; the blackness of darkness superened; all sensations appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades. Then silence, and stillness, and night were the universe.
I had swooned; but still will not say that all of consciousness was lost. What of it there remained I will not attempt to define, or even to describe; yet all was not lost. In the deepest slumber–no! In delirium–no! In a swoon–no! In death–no! Even in the grave all was not lost. Else there is no immortality for man. Arousing from the most profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterwards (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed. In the return to life from the swoon there are two stages; first, that of the sense of mental or spiritual; secondly, that of the sense of physical existence. It seems probable that if, upon reaching the second stage, we could recall the impressions of the first, we should find these impressions eloquent in memories of the gulf beyond. And that gulf is, what? How at least shall we distinguish its shadows from those of the tomb? But if the impressions of what I have termed the first stage are not at will recalled, yet, after long interval, do they not come unbidden, while we marvel whence they come? He who has never swooned is not he who finds strange palaces and wildly familiar faces in coals that glow; is not he who beholds floating in mid-air the sad visions that the many may not view; is not he who ponders over the perfume of some novel flower; is not he whose brain grows bewildered with the meaning of some musical cadence which has never before arrested his attention.
Amid frequent and thoughtful endeavours to remember, amid earnest struggles to regather some token of the state of seeming nothingness into which my soul had lapsed, there have been moments when I have dreamed of success; there have been brief, very brief periods when I have conjured up remembrances which the lucid reason of a later epoch assures me could have had reference only to that condition of seeming unconsciousness. These shadows of memory tell indistinctly of tall figures that lifted and bore me in silence down–down–still down–till a hideous dizziness oppressed me at the mere idea of the interminableness of the descent. They tell also of a vague horror at my heart on account of that heart’s unnatural stillness. Then comes a sense of sudden motionlessness throughout all things; as if those who bore me (a ghastly train!) had outrun, in their descent, the limits of the limitless, and paused from the wearisomeness of their toil. After this I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is MADNESS–the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.
Very suddenly there came back to my soul motion and sound–the tumultuous motion of the heart, and in my ears the sound of its beating. Then a pause in which all is blank. Then again sound, and motion, and touch, a tingling sensation pervading my frame. Then the mere consciousness of existence, without thought, a condition which lasted long. Then, very suddenly, THOUGHT, and shuddering terror, and earnest endeavour to comprehend my true state. Then a strong desire to lapse into insensibility. Then a rushing revival of soul and a successful effort to move. And now a full memory of the trial, of the judges, of the sable draperies, of the sentence, of the sickness, of the swoon. Then entire forgetfulness of all that followed; of all that a later day and much earnestness of endeavour have enabled me vaguely to recall.
So far I had not opened my eyes. I felt that I lay upon my back unbound. I reached out my hand, and it fell heavily upon something damp and hard. There I suffered it to remain for many minutes, while I strove to imagine where and what I could be. I longed, yet dared not, to employ my vision. I dreaded the first glance at objects around me. It was not that I feared to look upon things horrible, but that I grew aghast lest there should be NOTHING to see. At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. I struggled for breath. The intensity of the darkness seemed to oppress and stifle me. The atmosphere was intolerably close. I still lay quietly, and made effort to exercise my reason. I brought to mind the inquisitorial proceedings, and attempted from that point to deduce my real condition. The sentence had passed, and it appeared to me that a very long interval of time had since elapsed. Yet not for a moment did I suppose myself actually dead. Such a supposition, notwithstanding what we read in fiction, is altogether inconsistent with real existence;–but where and in what state was I? The condemned to death, I knew, perished usually at the auto-da-fes, and one of these had been held on the very night of the day of my trial. Had I been remanded to my dungeon, to await the next sacrifice, which would not take place for many months? This I at once saw could not be. Victims had been in immediate demand. Moreover my dungeon, as well as all the condemned cells at Toledo, had stone floors, and light was not altogether excluded.
A fearful idea now suddenly drove the blood in torrents upon my heart, and for a brief period I once more relapsed into insensibility. Upon recovering, I at once started to my feet, trembling convulsively in every fibre. I thrust my arms wildly above and around me in all directions. I felt nothing; yet dreaded to move a step, lest I should be impeded by the walls of a TOMB. Perspiration burst from every pore, and stood in cold big beads upon my forehead. The agony of suspense grew at length intolerable, and I cautiously moved forward, with my arms extended, and my eyes straining from their sockets, in the hope of catching some faint ray of light. I proceeded for many paces, but still all was blackness and vacancy. I breathed more freely. It seemed evident that mine was not, at least, the most hideous of fates.
And now, as I still continued to step cautiously onward, there came thronging upon my recollection a thousand vague rumours of the horrors of Toledo. Of the dungeons there had been strange things narrated–fables I had always deemed them–but yet strange, and too ghastly to repeat, save in a whisper. Was I left to perish of starvation in this subterranean world of darkness; or what fate perhaps even more fearful awaited me? That the result would be death, and a death of more than customary bitterness, I knew too well the character of my judges to doubt. The mode and the hour were all that occupied or distracted me.
My outstretched hands at length encountered some solid obstruction. It was a wall, seemingly of stone masonry–very smooth, slimy, and cold. I followed it up; stepping with all the careful distrust with which certain antique narratives had inspired me. This process, however, afforded me no means of ascertaining the dimensions of my dungeon; as I might make its circuit, and return to the point whence I set out, without being aware of the fact, so perfectly uniform seemed the wall. I therefore sought the knife which had been in my pocket when led into the inquisitorial chamber, but it was gone; my clothes had been exchanged for a wrapper of coarse serge. I had thought of forcing the blade in some minute crevice of the masonry, so as to identify my point of departure. The difficulty, nevertheless, was but trivial, although, in the disorder of my fancy, it seemed at first insuperable. I tore a part of the hem from the robe, and placed the fragment at full length, and at right angles to the wall. In groping my way around the prison, I could not fail to encounter this rag upon completing the circuit. So, at least, I thought, but I had not counted upon the extent of the dungeon, or upon my own weakness. The ground was moist and slippery. I staggered onward for some time, when I stumbled and fell. My excessive fatigue induced me to remain prostrate, and sleep soon overtook me as I lay.
Upon awaking, and stretching forth an arm, I found beside me a loaf and a pitcher with water. I was too much exhausted to reflect upon this circumstance, but ate and drank with avidity. Shortly afterwards I resumed my tour around the prison, and with much toil came at last upon the fragment of the serge. Up to the period when I fell I had counted fifty-two paces, and upon resuming my walk I had counted forty-eight more, when I arrived at the rag. There were in all, then, a hundred paces; and, admitting two paces to the yard, I presumed the dungeon to be fifty yards in circuit. I had met, however, with many angles in the wall, and thus I could form no guess at the shape of the vault, for vault I could not help supposing it to be.
I had little object–certainly no hope–in these researches, but a vague curiosity prompted me to continue them. Quitting the wall, I resolved to cross the area of the enclosure. At first I proceeded with extreme caution, for the floor although seemingly of solid material was treacherous with slime. At length, however, I took courage and did not hesitate to step firmly–endeavouring to cross in as direct a line as possible. I had advanced some ten or twelve paces in this manner, when the remnant of the torn hem of my robe became entangled between my legs. I stepped on it, and fell violently on my face.
In the confusion attending my fall, I did not immediately apprehend a somewhat startling circumstance, which yet, in a few seconds afterward, and while I still lay prostrate, arrested my attention. It was this: my chin rested upon the floor of the prison, but my lips, and the upper portion of my head, although seemingly at a less elevation than the chin, touched nothing. At the same time, my forehead seemed bathed in a clammy vapour, and the peculiar smell of decayed fungus arose to my nostrils. I put forward my arm, and shuddered to find that I had fallen at the very brink of a circular pit, whose extent of course I had no means of ascertaining at the moment. Groping about the masonry just below the margin, I succeeded in dislodging a small fragment, and let it fall into the abyss. For many seconds I hearkened to its reverberations as it dashed against the sides of the chasm in its descent; at length there was a sullen plunge into water, succeeded by loud echoes. At the same moment there came a sound resembling the quick opening, and as rapid closing of a door overhead, while a faint gleam of light flashed suddenly through the gloom, and as suddenly faded away.
I saw clearly the doom which had been prepared for me, and congratulated myself upon the timely accident by which I had escaped. Another step before my fall, and the world had seen me no more and the death just avoided was of that very character which I had regarded as fabulous and frivolous in the tales respecting the Inquisition. To the victims of its tyranny, there was the choice of death with its direst physical agonies, or death with its most hideous moral horrors. I had been reserved for the latter. By long suffering my nerves had been unstrung, until I trembled at the sound of my own voice, and had become in every respect a fitting subject for the species of torture which awaited me.
Shaking in every limb, I groped my way back to the wall–resolving there to perish rather than risk the terrors of the wells, of which my imagination now pictured many in various positions about the dungeon. In other conditions of mind I might have had courage to end my misery at once by a plunge into one of these abysses; but now I was the veriest of cowards. Neither could I forget what I had read of these pits–that the SUDDEN extinction of life formed no part of their most horrible plan.
Agitation of spirit kept me awake for many long hours; but at length I again slumbered. Upon arousing, I found by my side, as before, a loaf and a pitcher of water. A burning thirst consumed me, and I emptied the vessel at a draught. It must have been drugged, for scarcely had I drunk before I became irresistibly drowsy. A deep sleep fell upon me–a sleep like that of death. How long it lasted of course I know not; but when once again I unclosed my eyes the objects around me were visible. By a wild sulphurous lustre, the origin of which I could not at first determine, I was enabled to see the extent and aspect of the prison.
In its size I had been greatly mistaken. The whole circuit of its walls did not exceed twenty-five yards. For some minutes this fact occasioned me a world of vain trouble; vain indeed–for what could be of less importance, under the terrible circumstances which environed me than the mere dimensions of my dungeon? But my soul took a wild interest in trifles, and I busied myself in endeavours to account for the error I had committed in my measurement. The truth at length flashed upon me. In my first attempt at exploration I had counted fifty-two paces up to the period when I fell; I must then have been within a pace or two of the fragment of serge; in fact I had nearly performed the circuit of the vault. I then slept, and upon awaking, I must have returned upon my steps, thus supposing the circuit nearly double what it actually was. My confusion of mind prevented me from observing that I began my tour with the wall to the left, and ended it with the wall to the right.
I had been deceived too in respect to the shape of the enclosure. In feeling my way I had found many angles, and thus deduced an idea of great irregularity, so potent is the effect of total darkness upon one arousing from lethargy or sleep! The angles were simply those of a few slight depressions or niches at odd intervals. The general shape of the prison was square. What I had taken for masonry seemed now to be iron, or some other metal in huge plates, whose sutures or joints occasioned the depression. The entire surface of this metallic enclosure was rudely daubed in all the hideous and repulsive devices to which the charnel superstition of the monks has given rise. The figures of fiends in aspects of menace, with skeleton forms and other more really fearful images, overspread and disfigured the walls. I observed that the outlines of these monstrosities were sufficiently distinct, but that the colours seemed faded and blurred, as if from the effects of a damp atmosphere. I now noticed the floor, too, which was of stone. In the centre yawned the circular pit from whose jaws I had escaped; but it was the only one in the dungeon.
All this I saw indistinctly and by much effort, for my personal condition had been greatly changed during slumber. I now lay upon my back, and at full length, on a species of low framework of wood. To this I was securely bound by a long strap resembling a surcingle. It passed in many convolutions about my limbs and body, leaving at liberty only my head, and my left arm to such extent that I could by dint of much exertion supply myself with food from an earthen dish which lay by my side on the floor. I saw to my horror that the pitcher had been removed. I say to my horror, for I was consumed with intolerable thirst. This thirst it appeared to be the design of my persecutors to stimulate, for the food in the dish was meat pungently seasoned.
Looking upward, I surveyed the ceiling of my prison. It was some thirty or forty feet overhead, and constructed much as the side walls. In one of its panels a very singular figure riveted my whole attention. It was the painted figure of Time as he is commonly represented, save that in lieu of a scythe he held what at a casual glance I supposed to be the pictured image of a huge pendulum, such as we see on antique clocks. There was something, however, in the appearance of this machine which caused me to regard it more attentively. While I gazed directly upward at it (for its position was immediately over my own), I fancied that I saw it in motion. In an instant afterward the fancy was confirmed. Its sweep was brief, and of course slow. I watched it for some minutes, somewhat in fear but more in wonder. Wearied at length with observing its dull movement, I turned my eyes upon the other objects in the cell.
A slight noise attracted my notice, and looking to the floor, I saw several enormous rats traversing it. They had issued from the well which lay just within view to my right. Even then while I gazed, they came up in troops hurriedly, with ravenous eyes, allured by the scent of the meat. From this it required much effort and attention to scare them away.
It might have been half-an-hour, perhaps even an hour (for I could take but imperfect note of time) before I again cast my eyes upward. What I then saw confounded and amazed me. The sweep of the pendulum had increased in extent by nearly a yard. As a natural consequence, its velocity was also much greater. But what mainly disturbed me was the idea that it had perceptibly DESCENDED. I now observed, with what horror it is needless to say, that its nether extremity was formed of a crescent of glittering steel, about a foot in length from horn to horn; the horns upward, and the under edge evidently as keen as that of a razor. Like a razor also it seemed massy and heavy, tapering from the edge into a solid and broad structure above. It was appended to a weighty rod of brass, and the whole HISSED as it swung through the air.
I could no longer doubt the doom prepared for me by monkish ingenuity in torture. My cognisance of the pit had become known to the inquisitorial agents–THE PIT, whose horrors had been destined for so bold a recusant as myself, THE PIT, typical of hell, and regarded by rumour as the Ultima Thule of all their punishments. The plunge into this pit I had avoided by the merest of accidents, and I knew that surprise or entrapment into torment formed an important portion of all the grotesquerie of these dungeon deaths. Having failed to fall, it was no part of the demon plan to hurl me into the abyss, and thus (there being no alternative) a different and a milder destruction awaited me. Milder! I half smiled in my agony as I thought of such application of such a term.
What boots it to tell of the long, long hours of horror more than mortal, during which I counted the rushing oscillations of the steel! Inch by inch–line by line–with a descent only appreciable at intervals that seemed ages–down and still down it came! Days passed–it might have been that many days passed–ere it swept so closely over me as to fan me with its acrid breath. The odour of the sharp steel forced itself into my nostrils. I prayed–I wearied heaven with my prayer for its more speedy descent. I grew frantically mad, and struggled to force myself upward against the sweep of the fearful scimitar. And then I fell suddenly calm and lay smiling at the glittering death as a child at some rare bauble.
There was another interval of utter insensibility; it was brief, for upon again lapsing into life there had been no perceptible descent in the pendulum. But it might have been long–for I knew there were demons who took note of my swoon, and who could have arrested the vibration at pleasure. Upon my recovery, too, I felt very–oh! inexpressibly–sick and weak, as if through long inanition. Even amid the agonies of that period the human nature craved food. With painful effort I outstretched my left arm as far as my bonds permitted, and took possession of the small remnant which had been spared me by the rats. As I put a portion of it within my lips there rushed to my mind a half-formed thought of joy–of hope. Yet what business had I with hope? It was, as I say, a half-formed thought–man has many such, which are never completed. I felt that it was of joy–of hope; but I felt also that it had perished in its formation. In vain I struggled to perfect–to regain it. Long suffering had nearly annihilated all my ordinary powers of mind. I was an imbecile–an idiot.
The vibration of the pendulum was at right angles to my length. I saw that the crescent was designed to cross the region of the heart. It would fray the serge of my robe; it would return and repeat its operations–again–and again. Notwithstanding its terrifically wide sweep (some thirty feet or more) and the hissing vigour of its descent, sufficient to sunder these very walls of iron, still the fraying of my robe would be all that, for several minutes, it would accomplish; and at this thought I paused. I dared not go farther than this reflection. I dwelt upon it with a pertinacity of attention–as if, in so dwelling, I could arrest HERE the descent of the steel. I forced myself to ponder upon the sound of the crescent as it should pass across the garment–upon the peculiar thrilling sensation which the friction of cloth produces on the nerves. I pondered upon all this frivolity until my teeth were on edge.
Down–steadily down it crept. I took a frenzied pleasure in contrasting its downward with its lateral velocity. To the right–to the left–far and wide–with the shriek of a damned spirit! to my heart with the stealthy pace of the tiger! I alternately laughed and howled, as the one or the other idea grew predominant.
Down–certainly, relentlessly down! It vibrated within three inches of my bosom! I struggled violently–furiously–to free my left arm. This was free only from the elbow to the hand. I could reach the latter, from the platter beside me to my mouth with great effort, but no farther. Could I have broken the fastenings above the elbow, I would have seized and attempted to arrest the pendulum. I might as well have attempted to arrest an avalanche!
Down–still unceasingly–still inevitably down! I gasped and struggled at each vibration. I shrunk convulsively at its very sweep. My eyes followed its outward or upward whirls with the eagerness of the most unmeaning despair; they closed themselves spasmodically at the descent, although death would have been a relief, O, how unspeakable! Still I quivered in every nerve to think how slight a sinking of the machinery would precipitate that keen glistening axe upon my bosom. It was hope that prompted the nerve to quiver–the frame to shrink. It was HOPE–the hope that triumphs on the rack–that whispers to the death-condemned even in the dungeons of the Inquisition.
I saw that some ten or twelve vibrations would bring the steel in actual contact with my robe, and with this observation there suddenly came over my spirit all the keen, collected calmness of despair. For the first time during many hours, or perhaps days, I THOUGHT. It now occurred to me that the bandage or surcingle which enveloped me was UNIQUE. I was tied by no separate cord. The first stroke of the razor-like crescent athwart any portion of the band would so detach it that it might be unwound from my person by means of my left hand. But how fearful, in that case, the proximity of the steel! The result of the slightest struggle, how deadly! Was it likely, moreover, that the minions of the torturer had not foreseen and provided for this possibility! Was it probable that the bandage crossed my bosom in the track of the pendulum? Dreading to find my faint, and, as it seemed, my last hope frustrated, I so far elevated my head as to obtain a distinct view of my breast. The surcingle enveloped my limbs and body close in all directions save SAVE IN THE PATH OF THE DESTROYING CRESCENT.
Scarcely had I dropped my head back into its original position when there flashed upon my mind what I cannot better describe than as the unformed half of that idea of deliverance to which I have previously alluded, and of which a moiety only floated indeterminately through my brain when I raised food to my burning lips. The whole thought was now present–feeble, scarcely sane, scarcely definite, but still entire. I proceeded at once, with the nervous energy of despair, to attempt its execution.
For many hours the immediate vicinity of the low framework upon which I lay had been literally swarming with rats. They were wild, bold, ravenous, their red eyes glaring upon me as if they waited but for motionlessness on my part to make me their prey. “To what food,” I thought, “have they been accustomed in the well?”
They had devoured, in spite of all my efforts to prevent them, all but a small remnant of the contents of the dish. I had fallen into an habitual see-saw or wave of the hand about the platter; and at length the unconscious uniformity of the movement deprived it of effect. In their voracity the vermin frequently fastened their sharp fangs in my fingers. With the particles of the oily and spicy viand which now remained, I thoroughly rubbed the bandage wherever I could reach it; then, raising my hand from the floor, I lay breathlessly still.
At first the ravenous animals were startled and terrified at the change–at the cessation of movement. They shrank alarmedly back; many sought the well. But this was only for a moment. I had not counted in vain upon their voracity. Observing that I remained without motion, one or two of the boldest leaped upon the frame-work and smelt at the surcingle. This seemed the signal for a general rush. Forth from the well they hurried in fresh troops. They clung to the wood, they overran it, and leaped in hundreds upon my person. The measured movement of the pendulum disturbed them not at all. Avoiding its strokes, they busied themselves with the annointed bandage. They pressed, they swarmed upon me in ever accumulating heaps. They writhed upon my throat; their cold lips sought my own; I was half stifled by their thronging pressure; disgust, for which the world has no name, swelled my bosom, and chilled with heavy clamminess my heart. Yet one minute and I felt that the struggle would be over. Plainly I perceived the loosening of the bandage. I knew that in more than one place it must be already severed. With a more than human resolution I lay STILL.
Nor had I erred in my calculations, nor had I endured in vain. I at length felt that I was FREE. The surcingle hung in ribands from my body. But the stroke of the pendulum already pressed upon my bosom. It had divided the serge of the robe. It had cut through the linen beneath. Twice again it swung, and a sharp sense of pain shot through every nerve. But the moment of escape had arrived. At a wave of my hand my deliverers hurried tumultously away. With a steady movement, cautious, sidelong, shrinking, and slow, I slid from the embrace of the bandage and beyond the reach of the scimitar. For the moment, at least I WAS FREE.
Free! and in the grasp of the Inquisition! I had scarcely stepped from my wooden bed of horror upon the stone floor of the prison, when the motion of the hellish machine ceased and I beheld it drawn up by some invisible force through the ceiling. This was a lesson which I took desperately to heart. My every motion was undoubtedly watched. Free! I had but escaped death in one form of agony to be delivered unto worse than death in some other. With that thought I rolled my eyes nervously around on the barriers of iron that hemmed me in. Something unusual–some change which at first I could not appreciate distinctly–it was obvious had taken place in the apartment. For many minutes of a dreamy and trembling abstraction I busied myself in vain, unconnected conjecture. During this period I became aware, for the first time, of the origin of the sulphurous light which illumined the cell. It proceeded from a fissure about half-an-inch in width extending entirely around the prison at the base of the walls which thus appeared, and were completely separated from the floor. I endeavoured, but of course in vain, to look through the aperture. As I arose from the attempt, the mystery of the alteration in the chamber broke at once upon my understanding. I have observed that although the outlines of the figures upon the walls were sufficiently distinct, yet the colours seemed blurred and indefinite. These colours had now assumed, and were momentarily assuming, a startling and most intense brilliancy, that give to the spectral and fiendish portraitures an aspect that might have thrilled even firmer nerves than my own. Demon eyes, of a wild and ghastly vivacity, glared upon me in a thousand directions where none had been visible before, and gleamed with the lurid lustre of a fire that I could not force my imagination to regard as unreal.
UNREAL!–Even while I breathed there came to my nostrils the breath of the vapour of heated iron! A suffocating odour pervaded the prison! A deeper glow settled each moment in the eyes that glared at my agonies! A richer tint of crimson diffused itself over the pictured horrors of blood. I panted ‘ I gasped for breath! There could be no doubt of the design of my tormentors–oh most unrelenting! oh, most demoniac of men! I shrank from the glowing metal to the centre of the cell. Amid the thought of the fiery destruction that impended, the idea of the coolness of the well came over my soul like balm. I rushed to its deadly brink. I threw my straining vision below. The glare from the enkindled roof illumined its inmost recesses. Yet, for a wild moment, did my spirit refuse to comprehend the meaning of what I saw. At length it forced –it wrestled its way into my soul–it burned itself in upon my shuddering reason. O for a voice to speak!–oh, horror!–oh, any horror but this! With a shriek I rushed from the margin and buried my face in my hands–weeping bitterly.
The heat rapidly increased, and once again I looked up, shuddering as if with a fit of the ague. There had been a second change in the cell–and now the change was obviously in the FORM. As before, it was in vain that I at first endeavoured to appreciate or understand what was taking place. But not long was I left in doubt. The inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors. The room had been square. I saw that two of its iron angles were now acute–two consequently, obtuse. The fearful difference quickly increased with a low rumbling or moaning sound. In an instant the apartment had shifted its form into that of a lozenge. But the alteration stopped not here–I neither hoped nor desired it to stop. I could have clasped the red walls to my bosom as a garment of eternal peace. “Death,” I said “any death but that of the pit!” Fool! might I not have known that INTO THE PIT it was the object of the burning iron to urge me? Could I resist its glow? or if even that, could I withstand its pressure? And now, flatter and flatter grew the lozenge, with a rapidity that left me no time for contemplation. Its centre, and of course, its greatest width, came just over the yawning gulf. I shrank back–but the closing walls pressed me resistlessly onward. At length for my seared and writhing body there was no longer an inch of foothold on the firm floor of the prison. I struggled no more, but the agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long, and final scream of despair. I felt that I tottered upon the brink–I averted my eyes–
There was a discordant hum of human voices! There was a loud blast as of many trumpets! There was a harsh grating as of a thousand thunders! The fiery walls rushed back! An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell fainting into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle. The French army had entered Toledo. The Inquisition was in the hands of its enemies.

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Let us examine how the Spirit arranges the predictive part of the narrative from the point of view of the Son.

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations (Joel 3:1) Here we have a prophecy about the nation of Israel which is as good a place to understand how the Spirit deals with prophecies. The Spirit the third office in the Trinity is particular about time on which God and man can have a meaningful context. Time is God’s Time to which the Son of man is the emblem. So so many symbols, bread from heaven, the vine, the Good Shepherd  are all indicative time quality of which is not limited to man’s life span. mankind of all ages and clime regardless of race or clans draw on its divine quality. Similarly the fellowship of which the Father-Son relationship built up, is also an emblem. So when the Spirit uses phrases like ‘In the beginning’ and ‘in the end times’ or fullness of times we are left with no doubt as to the quality of Core Will. Man is inducted into it through the Son of man.

In the Time reset by the Spirit the Lamb slain before the worlds began’ is a kangaroo word. Into which many events must flow in. God who commanded ‘Let there be light’, reveals the divine Will. By the same token the Word was God (Jn.1:1). By restructuring time scales for God and man what the Spirit has achieved is underpinning, a scaffolding for the whole Scripture. Thus the Image of the invisible God is perceptible as spoken word of the Father and also a symbol. Father of lights is of the same quality and weight as the Son who “…was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world Jn.1:9”.

God the Son was present at the Creation Day and when the Spirit qualifies him as the Firstborn of all creation it is true. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (Col.1:15-NIV)  This has a direct bearing on the following verse: “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son. Ex.4:22-NIV).” The Lamb slain before the worlds began as an emblem relates to the nation of Israel through God’s promise to Abraham. So must all families and nations  from the same promise. It is valid for God’s Time so nation of Israel is only one part. Remember the ladder of Jacob where so many steps laid one after another reaching to heaven? Each nation marks a time frame. God deals with nation of Israel as with others which is consistent with the prophecies, which are articulate. Articulated prophecies are like many pleats in a concertina working in unison in Time. We see it in Daniel’s vision of 70 weeks Dan.9:24 Daniel is informed of only one part and the other is separated as the river as the angels of God who stood on either side of it. This shall throw light on a few other passages.

Coming back to the prophecy of Joel what do we see in the manner the Holy Spirit places several gatherings of the nation of Israel as one? Beginning with Moses to coming of the Messiah the persons are what value the Spirit tags each. Moses as servant of God and Messiah as anointed Christos are predicted. So is Immanuel. “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations (Joel 3:1). In those days and in that time are in God’s Time. 70 year of Israel as a state must expect captivity and gathering that must only happen in God’s Time. What we need remember is that God the Son stands as a symbol stumbling stone, corner stone as well as the rock cut without hands. As many strings strung on a single thread of God’s Will. Remnant of nations is as true as the total number of the children of Israel are all in context of the Son who serves as the fulfillment.


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Testimony of God is eternal. When the Spirit reorganizes narrative account from the view of God, the Father and the Son he is setting into Time, which for clarity sake must be understood is not time counted as we do. For example when the Spirit writes, ‘Now is the day of your salvation’. Salvation of man is brought into it. Saul or Paul’s conversion as he journeyed towards Damascus is covered by ‘Now’ as the time you and I accepted the call and became His children. What does that mean? Time is reset so salvation is part of the Core Will without any unseemly joint of being an afterthought or correction.

At the mouth of two or three every matter is settled. Witness of God the Father and the Son make time established and it is how we ought to approach the Bible.

Topolgy is a term belonging to the field of mathematics also in computing.  It has two meanings. One is the study of geometrical properties and spatial relations unaffected by the continuous change of shape or size of figures. 2nd meaning is the way in which constituent parts are interrelated or arranged. Topology of the Spirit refers to the manner the Spirit has rearranged two narrative bodies from God the Father and God the Son respectively into one. Time also is set by the Spirit to hold the Scripture as one single narrative. Think of the Bible as obeying the topology where we hold to the second meaning.

The Book of Zechariah mentions of the vision of a flying roll (Zech.5:1) ( Zech.5:1). Suppose we take a similar roll and were to set down the narrative from the Son and the Father along the length and breadth respectively truth of the roll is not lost. The roll can serve as ice cream cone for waffle or as dunce cap is still true since integrity of the roll is intact. The Spirit similarly fits the scriptural passages according to the purpose. Topology of the Spirit assigns God’s Time to the Father-Son relationship,- entire Will and Fulfillment, in order to fit. It is the Testimony of God set in verbal mode.

Core Will is the Testimony of God applied to the earth and mankind. Time operating here is God’s Time. In order to hold the inerrancy of the Word we are to read as the Spirit has applied it to the Scripture.

Core Will when applied to heaven and mankind ask ourselves what must take precedence God or man. Blessings always conferred from the greater to the lesser. Thus God the Son is about whom CoreWill of the Father revolves.

The Spirit while reorganizing the narrative bodies from the Father and the Son uses symbols. The Greater Light and the Lesser Light for example are symbols to indicate the Father-Son Relationship. Light radiating from heaven is for man. Light reaching other worlds besides the earth is not for man’s benefit so we may concentrate our attention on our kind.

All Scripture is intended as set forth in 2 Ti.3:16  for our correction, consolation; it is most conducive for man to be built up from examples for instruction in righteousness. For this reason the Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ above everything else. He is the key figure. (Jn.16:14) This we shall see from the first book to the last His shadow looms over everything else so we may be consoled, enthused and be instilled in virtues. To all intent and purpose God the Son who became a man makes heaven and the earth as one. His quintessence Love is the mortar that holds Core Will together.

From many examples we shall see the Spirit keeps time. Conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch owes to his direct intervention (Ac.8:29). Holy Spirit pouring over the Gentiles also owe to him (Ac.10:19).When the Spirit writes about the Lamb slain before the worlds began it is set in Time. When God warns of the death of firstborn in all Egypt we have punishment for disobedience in balance. The Son had already paid the price and it makes Punishment and Atonement in balance. So who shall accuse God of injustice?



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Many persons, worthy of credit, have seen Jeannot and Colin at school in the town of Issoire, in Auvergne, France — a town famous all over the world for its college and its caldrons.

Jeannot was the son of a dealer in mules, of great reputation, and Colin owed his birth to a good substantial farmer in the neighborhood, who cultivated the land with four mules, and who, after he had paid all taxes and duties at the rate of a sol per pound, was not very rich at the year’s end.

Jeannot and Colin were very handsome, considering they were natives of Auvergne. They dearly loved each other. They had many enjoyments in common, and certain little adventures of such a nature as men always recollect with pleasure when they afterwards meet in the world.

Their studies were nearly finished, when a tailor brought Jeannot a velvet suit of three colors, with a waistcoat from Lyons, which was extremely well fancied. With these came a letter addressed to Monsieur de la Jeannotière.

Colin admired the coat, and was not at all jealous; but Jeannot assumed an air of superiority which gave Colin some uneasiness. From that moment Jeannot abandoned his studies; he contemplated himself in a glass, and despised all mankind.

Soon after a valet de chambre arrived post-haste, and brought a second letter to the Marquis de la Jeannotière. It was an order from his father, who desired the young marquis to repair immediately to Paris. Jeannot got into his chaise, giving his hand to Colin with a smile, which denoted the superiority of a patron. Colin felt his littleness, and wept. Jeannot departed in all the pomp of his glory.

Such readers as take a pleasure in being instructed should be informed that Monsieur Jeannot, the father, had, with great rapidity, acquired an immense fortune by business. You will ask how such great fortunes are made. My answer is, by luck. Monsieur Jeannot had a good person, so had his wife; and she had still some freshness remaining. They went to Paris on account of a lawsuit, which ruined them; when fortune, which raises and depresses men at her pleasure, presented them to the wife of an undertaker belonging to one of the hospitals for the army. This undertaker, a man of great talents, might make it his boast that he had buried more soldiers in a year than cannons destroy in ten. Jeannot pleased the wife; the wife of Jeannot interested the undertaker. Jeannot was employed in the undertaker’s business; this introduced him to other business. When our boat runs with wind and stream we have nothing to do but let it sail on. We then make an immense fortune with ease. The poor creatures who from the shore see you pursue your voyage with full sail, stare with astonishment; they cannot conceive to what you owe your success; they envy you instinctively, and write pamphlets against you which you never read.

That is just what happened to Jeannot, the father, who soon became Monsieur de la Jeannotière; and who, having purchased a marquisate in six months’ time, took the young marquis, his son, from school in order to introduce him to the polite world at Paris.

Colin, whose heart was replete with tenderness, wrote a letter of compliments to his old companion, and congratulated him on his good fortune. The little marquis did not reply. Colin was so much affected at this neglect that he was taken ill.

The father and mother immediately consigned the young marquis to the care of a governor. This governor, who was a man of fashion, and who knew nothing, was not able to teach his pupil anything.

The marquis would have had his son learn Latin. This his lady opposed. They then referred the matter to the judgment of an author, who had at that time acquired great reputation by his entertaining writings. This author was invited to dinner. The master of the house immediately addressed him thus:

“Sir, as you understand Latin, and are a man acquainted with the court — ”

“I understand Latin! I don’t know one word of it,” answered the wit, “and I think myself the better for being unacquainted with it. It is very evident that a man speaks his own language in greater perfection when he does not divide his application between it and foreign languages. Only consider our ladies; they have a much more agreeable turn of wit than the men; their letters are written with a hundred times the grace of ours. This superiority they owe to nothing else but their not understanding Latin.”

“Well, was I not in the right?” said the lady. “I would have my son prove a notable man, I would have him succeed in the world; and you see that if he were to understand Latin he would be ruined. Pray, are plays and operas performed in Latin? Do lawyers plead in Latin? Do men court a mistress in Latin?”

The marquis, dazzled by these reasons, gave up the point, and it was resolved that the young marquis should not misspend his time in endeavoring to become acquainted with Cicero, Horace, and Virgil.

“Then,” said the father, “what shall he learn? For he must know something. Might not one teach him a little geography?”

“Of what use will that be?” answered the governor. When the marquis goes to his estate won’t the postilion know the roads? They certainly will not carry him out of his way. There is no occasion for a quadrant to travel there; and one can go very commodiously from Paris to Auvergne without knowing what latitude one is in.”

“You are in the right,” replied the father; “but I have heard of a science called astronomy, if I am not mistaken.”

“Bless me!” said the governor, “do people regulate their conduct by the influence of the stars in this world? And must the young gentleman perplex himself with the calculation of an eclipse when he finds it ready calculated to his hand in an almanac which, at the same time, shows him the movable feasts, the age of the moon, and also that of all the princesses in Europe?”

The lady agreed perfectly with the governor; the little marquis was transported with joy; the father remained undetermined. “What then is my son to learn?” said he.

“To become amiable,” answered the friend who was consulted, “and if he knows how to please he will know all that need be known. This art he will learn in the company of his mother without either he or she being at any trouble.”

The lady upon hearing this embraced the ignorant flatterer and said: “It is easy to see, sir, that you are the wisest man in the world. My son will be entirely indebted to you for his education. I think, however, it would not be amiss if he were to know something of history.”

“Alas! madam, what is that good for?” answered he; “there certainly is no useful or entertaining history but the history of the day; all ancient histories, as one of our wits has observed, are only fables that men have agreed to admit as true. With regard to modern history it is a mere chaos, a confusion of which it is impossible to make anything. Of what consequence is it to the young marquis, your son, to know that Charlemagne instituted the twelve peers of France and that his successor stammered?”

“Admirably said,” cried the governor; “the genius of young persons is smothered under a heap of useless knowledge; but of all sciences, the most absurd, and that which, in my opinion, is most calculated to stifle genius of every kind, is geometry. The objects about which this ridiculous science is conversant are surfaces, lines, and points that have no existence in nature. By the force of imagination the geometrician makes a hundred thousand curved lines pass between a circle and a right line that touches it, when, in reality, there is not room for a straw to pass there. Geometry, if we consider it in its true light, is a mere jest, and nothing more.”

The marquis and his lady did not well understand the governor’s meaning, yet they were entirely of his opinion.

“A man of quality, like the young marquis,” continued he, “should not rack his brains with useless sciences. If he should ever have occasion for a plan of the lands of his estate he may have them correctly surveyed without studying geometry. If he has a mind to trace the antiquity of his noble family, which leads the inquirer back to the most remote ages, he will send for a Benedictine. It will be the same thing with regard to all other wants. A young man of quality endowed with a happy genius is neither a painter, a musician, an architect, nor a graver; but he makes all these arts flourish by generously encouraging them. It is, doubtless, better to patronize than to practise them. It is enough for the young marquis to have a taste; it is the business of artists to exert themselves for him; and it is in this sense that it is said very justly of people of quality (I mean those who are very rich), that they know all things without having learned anything; for they, in fact, come at last to know how to judge concerning whatever they order or pay for.”

The ignorant man of fashion then spoke to this purpose:

“You have very justly observed, madam, that the grand end which a man should have in view is to succeed in the world. Can it possibly be said that this success is to be obtained by cultivating the sciences? Did anybody ever so much as think of talking of geometry in good company? Does any one ever inquire of a man of the world what star rises with the sun? Who inquires at supper whether the long-haired Clodion passed the Rhine?”

“No, doubtless,” cried the marchioness, whom her charms had in some measure initiated into the customs of the polite world; “and my son should not extinguish his genius by the study of all this stuff. But what is he, after all, to learn? for it is proper that a young person of quality should know how to shine upon an occasion, as my husband observes. I remember to have heard an abbé say that the most delightful of all sciences is something that begins with a B.”

“With a B, madam? Is it not botany you mean?”

“No, it was not botany he spoke of; the name of the science he mentioned began with a B, and ended with on.”

“Oh, I comprehend you, madam,” said the man of fashion; “it is Blason you mean. It is, indeed, a profound science; but it is no longer in fashion since the people of quality have ceased to cause their arms to be painted upon the doors of their coaches. It was once the most useful thing in the world, in a well regulated state. Besides, this study would be endless. Nowadays there is hardly a barber that has not his coat of arms; and you know that whatever becomes common is but little esteemed.”

In fine, after they had examined the excellencies and defects of all the sciences it was determined that the young marquis should learn to dance.

Nature, which does all, had given him a talent that quickly displayed itself surprisingly; it was that of singing ballads agreeably. The graces of youth, joined to this superior gift, caused him to be looked upon as a young man of the brightest hopes. He was admired by the women; and having his head full of songs he composed some for his mistress. He stole from the song, “Bacchus and Love,” in one ballad; from that of “Night and Day,” in another; from that of “Charms and Alarms,” in a third. But as there were always in his verses some superfluous feet, or not enough, he had them corrected for twenty louis d’or a song; and in the annals of literature he was put upon a level with the La Fares, Chaulieus, Hamiltons, Sarrazins, and Voitures.

The marchioness then looked upon herself as the mother of a wit, and gave a supper to the wits of Paris. The young man’s brain was soon turned; he acquired the art of speaking without knowing his own meaning, and he became perfect in the habit of being good for nothing. When his father found that he was so eloquent he very much regretted that his son had not learned Latin; for he would have bought him a lucrative place among the gentry of the long robe. The mother, who had more elevated sentiments, undertook to procure a regiment for her son; and, in the meantime, courtship was his occupation. Love is sometimes more expensive than a regiment. He was very improvident, whilst his parents exhausted their finances still more by expensive living.

A young widow of fashion, their neighbor, who had but a moderate fortune, had an inclination to secure the great wealth of Monsieur and Madame de la Jeannotière and appropriating it to herself by a marriage with the young marquis. She allured him to visit her; she admitted his addresses; she showed that she was not indifferent to him; she led him on by degrees; she enchanted and captivated him without much difficulty. Sometimes she lavished praises upon him, sometimes she gave him advice. She became the most intimate friend of both the father and mother.

An elderly lady, who was their neighbor, proposed the match. The parents, dazzled by the glory of such an alliance, accepted the proposal with joy. They gave their only son to their intimate friend.

The young marquis was now on the point of marrying a woman whom he adored, and by whom he was beloved; the friends of the family congratulated them; the marriage articles were just going to be drawn up, whilst wedding clothes were being made for the young couple, and their epithalamium composed.

The young marquis was one day upon his knees before his charming mistress whom love, esteem, and friendship were going to make all his own. In a tender and spirited conversation they enjoyed a foretaste of their coming happiness; they concerted measures to lead a happy life. When, all on a sudden, a valet de chambre belonging to the old marchioness, arrived in a great fright.

“Here is sad news,” said he. “Officers have removed the effects of my master and mistress; the creditors have seized upon all by virtue of an execution; and I am obliged to make the best shift I can to have my wages paid.”

“Let’s see,” said the marquis, “what is this? What can this adventure mean?”

“Go,” said the widow, “go quickly, and punish those villains.”

He runs, he arrives at the house; his father is already in prison; all the servants have fled in different ways, each carrying off whatever he could lay his hands upon. His mother is alone, without assistance, without comfort, drowned in tears. She has nothing left but the remembrance of her fortune, of her beauty, her faults, and her extravagant living.

After the son had wept a long time with his mother he at length said to her:

“Let us not give ourselves up to despair. This young widow loves me to excess; she is more generous than rich, I can answer for her; I will go and bring her to you.”

He returns to his mistress and finds her in company with a very amiable young officer.

“What, is it you, M. de la Jeannotière,” said she; “what brings you here? Is it proper to forsake your unhappy mother in such a crisis? Go to that poor, unfortunate woman and tell her that I still wish her well. I have occasion for a chambermaid and will give her the preference.”

“My lad,” said the officer, “you are well shaped. Enlist in my company; you may depend on good usage.”

The marquis, thunderstruck, and with a heart enraged, went in quest of his old governor, made him acquainted with his misfortune and asked his advice. The governor proposed that he should become a tutor, like himself.

“Alas!” said the marquis, “I know nothing; you have taught me nothing, and you are the first cause of my misfortunes.” He sobbed when he spoke thus.

“Write romances,” said a wit who was present; “it is an admirable resource at Paris.”

The young man in greater despair than ever ran to his mother’s confessor. This confessor was a Theatin of great reputation who directed the consciences only of women of the first rank. As soon as he saw Jeannot he ran up to him:

“My God, Mr. Marquis,” said he, “where is your coach? How is the good lady your mother?”

The poor unfortunate young man gave him an account of what had befallen his family. In proportion as he explained himself the Theatin assumed an air more grave, more indifferent, and more defiant.

“My son,” said he, “it is the will of God that you should be reduced to this condition; riches serve only to corrupt the heart. God, in his great mercy, has then reduced your mother to beggary?”

“Yes, sir,” answered the marquis.

“So much the better,” said the confessor, “her election is the more certain.”

“But father,” said the marquis, “is there in the meantime no hopes of some assistance in this world?”

“Farewell, my son,” said the confessor; “a court lady is waiting for me.”

The marquis was almost ready to faint. He met with much the same treatment from all; and acquired more knowledge of the world in half a day than he had previously learned in all the rest of his life.

Being quite overwhelmed with despair, he saw an old-fashioned chaise advance which resembled an open wagon with leather curtains; it was followed by four enormous carts which were loaded. In the chaise there was a young man dressed in the rustic manner, whose fresh countenance was replete with sweetness and gayety. His wife, a little woman of a brown complexion and an agreeable figure, though somewhat stout, sat close by him. As the carriage did not move on like the chaise of a petit-maitre, the traveller had sufficient time to contemplate the marquis, who was motionless and immersed in sorrow.

“Good God!” cried he, “I think that is Jeannot.” Upon hearing this name the marquis lifts up his eyes, the carriage stops, and Colin cries out, ” ‘Tis Jeannot, ’tis Jeannot himself.”

The little fat bumpkin gave but one spring from the chaise and ran to embrace his old companion. Jeannot recollected his friend Colin, while his eyes were blinded with tears of shame.

“You have abandoned me,” said Colin; “but though you are a great man I will love you forever.”

Jeannot, confused and affected, related to him, with emotion, a great part of his history.

“Come to the inn where I lodge and tell me the rest of it,” said Colin; “embrace my wife here and let us go and dine together.” They then went on foot, followed by their baggage.

“What is all this train,” said Jeannot; “is it yours?”

“Yes,” answered Colin, “it all belongs to me and to my wife. We have just come in from the country. I am now at the head of a large manufactory of tin and copper. I have married the daughter of a merchant well provided with all things necessary for the great as well as the little. We work a great deal; God blesses us; we have not changed our condition; we are happy; we will assist our friend Jeannot. Be no longer a marquis; all the grandeur in the world is not to be compared to a good friend. You shall return with me to the country. I will teach you the trade; it is not very difficult; I will make you my partner, and we will live merrily in the remote corner where we were born.”

Jeannot, quite transported, felt emotions of grief and joy, tenderness and shame; and he said within himself: “My fashionable friends have betrayed me, and Colin, whom I despised, is the only one who comes to relieve me.” What instruction does not this narrative afford!

Colin’s goodness of heart caused the seeds of a virtuous disposition, which the world had not quite stifled in Jeannot, to revive. He was sensible that he could not forsake his father and mother.

“We will take care of your mother,” said Colin; “and as to the good man your father, who is now in jail, his creditors seeing he has nothing will compromise matters for a trifle. I know something of business and will take the whole affair upon myself.”

Colin found means to procure the father’s release. Jeannot returned to the country with his relatives, who resumed their former way of life. He married a sister of Colin, and she being of the same temper with her brother, made him completely happy.

Jeannot the father, Jeannotte the mother, and Jeannot the son, were thus convinced that happiness is not the result of vanity.

( Ack: tr. by William F. Fleming)

The End

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Major Graf Von Farlsberg, the Prussian commandant, was reading his newspaper as he lay back in a great easy-chair, with his booted feet on the beautiful marble mantelpiece where his spurs had made two holes, which had grown deeper every day during the three months that he had been in the chateau of Uville.

A cup of coffee was smoking on a small inlaid table, which was stained with liqueur, burned by cigars, notched by the penknife of the victorious officer, who occasionally would stop while sharpening a pencil, to jot down figures, or to make a drawing on it, just as it took his fancy.
When he had read his letters and the German newspapers, which his orderly had brought him, he got up, and after throwing three or four enormous pieces of green wood on the fire, for these gentlemen were gradually cutting down the park in order to keep themselves warm, he went to the window. The rain was descending in torrents, a regular Normandy rain, which looked as if it were being poured out by some furious person, a slanting rain, opaque as a curtain, which formed a kind of wall with diagonal stripes, and which deluged everything, a rain such as one frequently experiences in the neighborhood of Rouen, which is the watering-pot of France.
For a long time the officer looked at the sodden turf and at the swollen Andelle beyond it, which was overflowing its banks; he was drumming a waltz with his fingers on the window-panes, when a noise made him turn round. It was his second in command, Captain Baron van Kelweinstein.
The major was a giant, with broad shoulders and a long, fan-like beard, which hung down like a curtain to his chest. His whole solemn person suggested the idea of a military peacock, a peacock who was carrying his tail spread out on his breast. He had cold, gentle blue eyes, and a scar from a swordcut, which he had received in the war with Austria; he was said to be an honorable man, as well as a brave officer.
The captain, a short, red-faced man, was tightly belted in at the waist, his red hair was cropped quite close to his head, and in certain lights he almost looked as if he had been rubbed over with phosphorus. He had lost two front teeth one night, though he could not quite remember how, and this sometimes made him speak unintelligibly, and he had a bald patch on top of his head surrounded by a fringe of curly, bright golden hair, which made him look like a monk.
The commandant shook hands with him and drank his cup of coffee (the sixth that morning), while he listened to his subordinate’s report of what had occurred; and then they both went to the window and declared that it was a very unpleasant outlook. The major, who was a quiet man, with a wife at home, could accommodate himself to everything; but the captain, who led a fast life, who was in the habit of frequenting low resorts, and enjoying women’s society, was angry at having to be shut up for three months in that wretched hole.
There was a knock at the door, and when the commandant said, “Come in,” one of the orderlies appeared, and by his mere presence announced that breakfast was ready. In the dining-room they met three other officers of lower rank–a lieutenant, Otto von Grossling, and two sub-lieutenants, Fritz Scheuneberg and Baron von Eyrick, a very short, fair-haired man, who was proud and brutal toward men, harsh toward prisoners and as explosive as gunpowder.
Since he had been in France his comrades had called him nothing but Mademoiselle Fifi. They had given him that nickname on account of his dandified style and small waist, which looked as if he wore corsets; of his pale face, on which his budding mustache scarcely showed, and on account of the habit he had acquired of employing the French expression, ‘Fi, fi donc’, which he pronounced with a slight whistle when he wished to express his sovereign contempt for persons or things.
The dining-room of the chateau was a magnificent long room, whose fine old mirrors, that were cracked by pistol bullets, and whose Flemish tapestry, which was cut to ribbons, and hanging in rags in places from sword-cuts, told too well what Mademoiselle Fifi’s occupation was during his spare time.
There were three family portraits on the walls a steel-clad knight, a cardinal and a judge, who were all smoking long porcelain pipes, which had been inserted into holes in the canvas, while a lady in a long, pointed waist proudly exhibited a pair of enormous mustaches, drawn with charcoal. The officers ate their breakfast almost in silence in that mutilated room, which looked dull in the rain and melancholy in its dilapidated condition, although its old oak floor had become as solid as the stone floor of an inn.
When they had finished eating and were smoking and drinking, they began, as usual, to berate the dull life they were leading. The bottles of brandy and of liqueur passed from hand to hand, and all sat back in their chairs and took repeated sips from their glasses, scarcely removing from their mouths the long, curved stems, which terminated in china bowls, painted in a manner to delight a Hottentot.
As soon as their glasses were empty they filled them again, with a gesture of resigned weariness, but Mademoiselle Fifi emptied his every minute, and a soldier immediately gave him another. They were enveloped in a cloud of strong tobacco smoke, and seemed to be sunk in a state of drowsy, stupid intoxication, that condition of stupid intoxication of men who have nothing to do, when suddenly the baron sat up and said: “Heavens! This cannot go on; we must think of something to do.” And on hearing this, Lieutenant Otto and Sub-lieutenant Fritz, who preeminently possessed the serious, heavy German countenance, said: “What, captain?”
He thought for a few moments and then replied: “What? Why, we must get up some entertainment, if the commandant will allow us.” “What sort of an entertainment, captain?” the major asked, taking his pipe out of his mouth. “I will arrange all that, commandant,” the baron said. “I will send Le Devoir to Rouen, and he will bring back some ladies. I know where they can be found, We will have supper here, as all the materials are at hand and; at least, we shall have a jolly evening.”
Graf von Farlsberg shrugged his shoulders with a smile: “You must surely be mad, my friend.”
But all the other officers had risen and surrounded their chief, saying: “Let the captain have his way, commandant; it is terribly dull here.” And the major ended by yielding. “Very well,” he replied, and the baron immediately sent for Le Devoir. He was an old non-commissioned officer, who had never been seen to smile, but who carried out all the orders of his superiors to the letter, no matter what they might be. He stood there, with an impassive face, while he received the baron’s instructions, and then went out, and five minutes later a large military wagon, covered with tarpaulin, galloped off as fast as four horses could draw it in the pouring rain. The officers all seemed to awaken from their lethargy, their looks brightened,, and they began to talk.
Although it was raining as hard as ever, the major declared that it was not so dark, and Lieutenant von Grossling said with conviction that the sky was clearing up, while Mademoiselle Fifi did not seem to be able to keep still. He got up and sat down again, and his bright eyes seemed to be looking for something to destroy. Suddenly, looking at the lady with the mustaches, the young fellow pulled out his revolver and said: “You shall not see it.” And without leaving his seat he aimed, and with two successive bullets cut out both the eyes of the portrait.
“Let us make a mine!” he then exclaimed, and the conversation was suddenly interrupted, as if they had found some fresh and powerful subject of interest. The mine was his invention, his method of destruction, and his favorite amusement.
When he left the chateau, the lawful owner, Comte Fernand d’Amoys d’Uville, had not had time to carry away or to hide anything except the plate, which had been stowed away in a hole made in one of the walls. As he was very rich and had good taste, the large drawing-room, which opened into the dining-room, looked like a gallery in a museum, before his precipitate flight.
Expensive oil paintings, water colors and drawings hung against the walls, while on the tables, on the hanging shelves and in elegant glass cupboards there were a thousand ornaments: small vases, statuettes, groups of Dresden china and grotesque Chinese figures, old ivory and Venetian glass, which filled the large room with their costly and fantastic array.
Scarcely anything was left now; not that the things had been stolen, for the major would not have allowed that, but Mademoiselle Fifi would every now and then have a mine, and on those occasions all the officers thoroughly enjoyed themselves for five minutes. The little marquis went into the drawing-room to get what he wanted, and he brought back a small, delicate china teapot, which he filled with gunpowder, and carefully introduced a piece of punk through the spout. This he lighted and took his infernal machine into the next room, but he came back immediately and shut the door. The Germans all stood expectant, their faces full of childish, smiling curiosity, and as soon as the explosion had shaken the chateau, they all rushed in at once.
Mademoiselle Fifi, who got in first, clapped his hands in delight at the sight of a terra-cotta Venus, whose head had been blown off, and each picked up pieces of porcelain and wondered at the strange shape of the fragments, while the major was looking with a paternal eye at the large drawing-room, which had been wrecked after the fashion of a Nero, and was strewn with the fragments of works of art. He went out first and said with a smile: “That was a great success this time.”
But there was such a cloud of smoke in the dining-room, mingled with the tobacco smoke, that they could not breathe, so the commandant opened the window, and all the officers, who had returned for a last glass of cognac, went up to it.
The moist air blew into the room, bringing with it a sort of powdery spray, which sprinkled their beards. They looked at the tall trees which were dripping with rain, at the broad valley which was covered with mist, and at the church spire in the distance, which rose up like a gray point in the beating rain.
The bells had not rung since their arrival. That was the only resistance which the invaders had met with in the neighborhood. The parish priest had not refused to take in and to feed the Prussian soldiers; he had several times even drunk a bottle of beer or claret with the hostile commandant, who often employed him as a benevolent intermediary; but it was no use to ask him for a single stroke of the bells; he would sooner have allowed himself to be shot. That was his way of protesting against the invasion, a peaceful and silent protest, the only one, he said, which was suitable to a priest, who was a man of mildness, and not of blood; and every one, for twenty-five miles round, praised Abbe Chantavoine’s firmness and heroism in venturing to proclaim the public mourning by the obstinate silence of his church bells.
The whole village, enthusiastic at his resistance, was ready to back up their pastor and to risk anything, for they looked upon that silent protest as the safeguard of the national honor. It seemed to the peasants that thus they deserved better of their country than Belfort and Strassburg, that they had set an equally valuable example, and that the name of their little village would become immortalized by that; but, with that exception, they refused their Prussian conquerors nothing.
The commandant and his officers laughed among themselves at this inoffensive courage, and as the people in the whole country round showed themselves obliging and compliant toward them, they willingly tolerated their silent patriotism. Little Baron Wilhelm alone would have liked to have forced them to ring the bells. He was very angry at his superior’s politic compliance with the priest’s scruples, and every day begged the commandant to allow him to sound “ding-dong, ding-dong,” just once, only just once, just by way of a joke. And he asked it in the coaxing, tender voice of some loved woman who is bent on obtaining her wish, but the commandant would not yield, and to console himself, Mademoiselle Fifi made a mine in the Chateau d’Uville.
The five men stood there together for five minutes, breathing in the moist air, and at last Lieutenant Fritz said with a laugh: “The ladies will certainly not have fine weather for their drive. Then they separated, each to his duty, while the captain had plenty to do in arranging for the dinner.
When they met again toward evening they began to laugh at seeing each other as spick and span and smart as on the day of a grand review. The commandant’s hair did not look so gray as it was in the morning, and the captain had shaved, leaving only his mustache, which made him look as if he had a streak of fire under his nose.
In spite of the rain, they left the window open, and one of them went to listen from time to time; and at a quarter past six the baron said he heard a rumbling in the distance. They all rushed down, and presently the wagon drove up at a gallop with its four horses steaming and blowing, and splashed with mud to their girths. Five women dismounted, five handsome girls whom a comrade of the captain, to whom Le Devoir had presented his card, had selected with care.
They had not required much pressing, as they had got to know the Prussians in the three months during which they had had to do with them, and so they resigned themselves to the men as they did to the state of affairs.
They went at once into the dining-room, which looked still more dismal in its dilapidated condition when it was lighted up; while the table covered with choice dishes, the beautiful china and glass, and the plate, which had been found in the hole in the wall where its owner had hidden it, gave it the appearance of a bandits’ inn, where they were supping after committing a robbery in the place. The captain was radiant, and put his arm round the women as if he were familiar with them; and when the three young men wanted to appropriate one each, he opposed them authoritatively, reserving to himself the right to apportion them justly, according to their several ranks, so as not to offend the higher powers. Therefore, to avoid all discussion, jarring, and suspicion of partiality, he placed them all in a row according to height, and addressing the tallest, he said in a voice of command:
“What is your name?” “Pamela,” she replied, raising her voice. And then he said: “Number One, called Pamela, is adjudged to the commandant.” Then, having kissed Blondina, the second, as a sign of proprietorship, he proffered stout Amanda to Lieutenant Otto; Eva, “the Tomato,” to Sub- lieutenant Fritz, and Rachel, the shortest of them all, a very young, dark girl, with eyes as black as ink, a Jewess, whose snub nose proved the rule which allots hooked noses to all her race, to the youngest officer, frail Count Wilhelm d’Eyrick.
They were all pretty and plump, without any distinctive features, and all had a similarity of complexion and figure.
The three young men wished to carry off their prizes immediately, under the pretext that they might wish to freshen their toilets; but the captain wisely opposed this, for he said they were quite fit to sit down to dinner, and his experience in such matters carried the day. There were only many kisses, expectant kisses.
Suddenly Rachel choked, and began to cough until the tears came into her eyes, while smoke came through her nostrils. Under pretence of kissing her, the count had blown a whiff of tobacco into her mouth. She did not fly into a rage and did not say a word, but she looked at her tormentor with latent hatred in her dark eyes.
They sat down to dinner. The commandant seemed delighted; he made Pamela sit on his right, and Blondina on his left, and said, as he unfolded his table napkin: “That was a delightful idea of yours, captain.”
Lieutenants Otto and Fritz, who were as polite as if they had been with fashionable ladies, rather intimidated their guests, but Baron von Kelweinstein beamed, made obscene remarks and seemed on fire with his crown of red hair. He paid the women compliments in French of the Rhine, and sputtered out gallant remarks, only fit for a low pothouse, from between his two broken teeth.
They did not understand him, however, and their intelligence did not seem to be awakened until he uttered foul words and broad expressions, which were mangled by his accent. Then they all began to laugh at once like crazy women and fell against each other, repeating the words, which the baron then began to say all wrong, in order that he might have the pleasure of hearing them say dirty things. They gave him as much of that stuff as he wanted, for they were drunk after the first bottle of wine, and resuming their usual habits and manners, they kissed the officers to right and left of them, pinched their arms, uttered wild cries, drank out of every glass and sang French couplets and bits of German songs which they had picked up in their daily intercourse with the enemy.
Soon the men themselves became very unrestrained, shouted and broke the plates and dishes, while the soldiers behind them waited on them stolidly. The commandant was the only one who kept any restraint upon himself.
Mademoiselle Fifi had taken Rachel on his knee, and, getting excited, at one moment he kissed the little black curls on her neck and at another he pinched her furiously and made her scream, for he was seized by a species of ferocity, and tormented by his desire to hurt her. He often held her close to him and pressed a long kiss on the Jewess’ rosy mouth until she lost her breath, and at last he bit her until a stream of blood ran down her chin and on to her bodice.
For the second time she looked him full in the face, and as she bathed the wound, she said: “You will have to pay for, that!” But he merely laughed a hard laugh and said: “I will pay.”
At dessert champagne was served, and the commandant rose, and in the same voice in which he would have drunk to the health of the Empress Augusta, he drank: “To our ladies!” And a series of toasts began, toasts worthy of the lowest soldiers and of drunkards, mingled with obscene jokes, which were made still more brutal by their ignorance of the language. They got up, one after the other, trying to say something witty, forcing themselves to be funny, and the women, who were so drunk that they almost fell off their chairs, with vacant looks and clammy tongues applauded madly each time.
The captain, who no doubt wished to impart an appearance of gallantry to the orgy, raised his glass again and said: “To our victories over hearts and, thereupon Lieutenant Otto, who was a species of bear from the Black Forest, jumped up, inflamed and saturated with drink, and suddenly seized by an access of alcoholic patriotism, he cried: “To our victories over France!”
Drunk as they were, the women were silent, but Rachel turned round, trembling, and said: “See here, I know some Frenchmen in whose presence you would not dare say that.” But the little count, still holding her on his knee, began to laugh, for the wine had made him very merry, and said: “Ha! ha! ha! I have never met any of them myself. As soon as we show ourselves, they run away!” The girl, who was in a terrible rage, shouted into his face: “You are lying, you dirty scoundrel!”
For a moment he looked at her steadily with his bright eyes upon her, as he had looked at the portrait before he destroyed it with bullets from his revolver, and then he began to laugh: “Ah! yes, talk about them, my dear! Should we be here now if they were brave?” And, getting excited, he exclaimed: “We are the masters! France belongs to us!” She made one spring from his knee and threw herself into her chair, while he arose, held out his glass over the table and repeated: “France and the French, the woods, the fields and the houses of France belong to us!”
The others, who were quite drunk, and who were suddenly seized by military enthusiasm, the enthusiasm of brutes, seized their glasses, and shouting, “Long live Prussia!” they emptied them at a draught.
The girls did not protest, for they were reduced to silence and were afraid. Even Rachel did not say a word, as she had no reply to make. Then the little marquis put his champagne glass, which had just been refilled, on the head of the Jewess and exclaimed: “All the women in France belong to us also!”
At that she got up so quickly that the glass upset, spilling the amber-colored wine on her black hair as if to baptize her, and broke into a hundred fragments, as it fell to the floor. Her lips trembling, she defied the looks of the officer, who was still laughing, and stammered out in a voice choked with rage:
“That–that–that–is not true–for you shall not have the women of France!”
He sat down again so as to laugh at his ease; and, trying to speak with the Parisian accent, he said: “She is good, very good! Then why did you come here, my dear?” She was thunderstruck and made no reply for a moment, for in her agitation she did not understand him at first, but as soon as she grasped his meaning she said to him indignantly and vehemently: “I! I! I am not a woman, I am only a strumpet, and that is all that Prussians want.”
Almost before she had finished he slapped her full in the face; but as he was raising his hand again, as if to strike her, she seized a small dessert knife with a silver blade from the table and, almost mad with rage, stabbed him right in the hollow of his neck. Something that he was going to say was cut short in his throat, and he sat there with his mouth half open and a terrible look in his eyes.
All the officers shouted in horror and leaped up tumultuously; but, throwing her chair between the legs of Lieutenant Otto, who fell down at full length, she ran to the window, opened it before they could seize her and jumped out into the night and the pouring rain.
In two minutes Mademoiselle Fifi was dead, and Fritz and Otto drew their swords and wanted to kill the women, who threw themselves at their feet and clung to their knees. With some difficulty the major stopped the slaughter and had the four terrified girls locked up in a room under the care of two soldiers, and then he organized the pursuit of the fugitive as carefully as if he were about to engage in a skirmish, feeling quite sure that she would be caught.
The table, which had been cleared immediately, now served as a bed on which to lay out the lieutenant, and the four officers stood at the windows, rigid and sobered with the stern faces of soldiers on duty, and tried to pierce through the darkness of the night amid the steady torrent of rain. Suddenly a shot was heard and then another, a long way off; and for four hours they heard from time to time near or distant reports and rallying cries, strange words of challenge, uttered in guttural voices.
In the morning they all returned. Two soldiers had been killed and three others wounded by their comrades in the ardor of that chase and in the confusion of that nocturnal pursuit, but they had not caught Rachel.
Then the inhabitants of the district were terrorized, the houses were turned topsy-turvy, the country was scoured and beaten up, over and over again, but the Jewess did not seem to have left a single trace of her passage behind her.
When the general was told of it he gave orders to hush up the affair, so as not to set a bad example to the army, but he severely censured the commandant, who in turn punished his inferiors. The general had said: “One does not go to war in order to amuse one’s self and to caress prostitutes.” Graf von Farlsberg, in his exasperation, made up his mind to have his revenge on the district, but as he required a pretext for showing severity, he sent for the priest and ordered him to have the bell tolled at the funeral of Baron von Eyrick.
Contrary to all expectation, the priest showed himself humble and most respectful, and when Mademoiselle Fifi’s body left the Chateau d’Uville on its way to the cemetery, carried by soldiers, preceded, surrounded and followed by soldiers who marched with loaded rifles, for the first time the bell sounded its funeral knell in a lively manner, as if a friendly hand were caressing it. At night it rang again, and the next day, and every day; it rang as much as any one could desire. Sometimes even it would start at night and sound gently through the darkness, seized with a strange joy, awakened one could not tell why. All the peasants in the neighborhood declared that it was bewitched, and nobody except the priest and the sacristan would now go near the church tower. And they went because a poor girl was living there in grief and solitude and provided for secretly by those two men.
She remained there until the German troops departed, and then one evening the priest borrowed the baker’s cart and himself drove his prisoner to Rouen. When they got there he embraced her, and she quickly went back on foot to the establishment from which she had come, where the proprietress, who thought that she was dead, was very glad to see her.
A short time afterward a patriot who had no prejudices, and who liked her because of her bold deed, and who afterward loved her for herself, married her and made her a lady quite as good as many others.
The End

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