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a tone of benevolence in it both to ourselves and others ; — I say ourselves, because I hold the sensation of peace and friendship with our own minds to be one of the best preparatives, as well as one of the best rewards of virtue.
Nor has Nature given us this propensity in vain. From this the principle of patriotism has its earliest source, and some of those ties are formed, which link the inhabitants of less favoured regions to the heaths and mountains of their native land. In cultivated society, this sentiment of Home cherishes the useful virtues of domestic life; it opposes, to the tumultuous pleasures of dissipation and intemperance, the quiet enjoyments of sobriety, economy, and family affection; qualities which, though not attractive of much applause or admiration, are equally conducive to the advantage of the individual, and the welfare of the community.
No. 62. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1779.
" TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR.
“When I was in Languedoc, many years ago, I had an invitation to a great entertainment given by the Intendant. The company was very numerous ; and, several foreigners happening to be present, the natives vied with each other in displaying their own importance. The conversation chanced
to turn on the campaign of Marshal de Villars, against the people of the Cévennes; and some of the guests were old enough to remember the events of those times.
6.M. de la Tour le Colombier, my father,” said an old lady, ' had connections with many of the most considerable Calvinists; and, after their defeat, he generously afforded an asylum to M. Cavalier, and three hundred and sixty-four of his followers. They were concealed among old ruins in a large forest, which lay behind my father's chateau, and composed part of his domain. None of the servants of the family were let into the secret, excepting one of my own maids, a sensible, handy girl; she and I went every day, and carried provisions to the whole band, and we dressed the wounds of such of them as had been wounded in the action. We did this, day after day, for a fortnight, or rather, if I remember right, for near three weeks. Minute circumstances are apt to escape one's memory, after an interval of many years; but I shall never forget the gratitude of those poor people, and the ardent thanks which they bestowed on us when they went away and dispersed themselves.'
“I took the liberty of observing, that the provisions necessary for so many mouths might possibly have been missed in the family, and that this might have led to a discovery. Not at all, replied she. * Feu M. mon Père se piquoit toujours de tenir bonne table, c'étoit sa maroêtte même (my father, who is now gone, always made a point of living handsomely; that was even his hobby-horse]. But, indeed, I recollect,' continued she, that we were once very near being discovered. The wives of some of the fugitives had heard, I know not how, that their husbands lay concealed near my father's chateau.
They came and searched, and actually discovered the lurking-place. Unfortunately, they brought a good many children along with them; and, as we had no eatables fit for the little creatures, they began to pule and cry, which might have alarmed the neighbourhood. It happened, that M. Cavalier, the general of the insurgents, had been a journeyman pastry cook before the war. He presently made some prune tarts for the children, and so quieted them. This was a proof of his good-nature, as well as of his singular presence of mind in critical situations. Candour obliges me to bear so ample a testimony in favour of a heretic and a rebel.'
“We had scarcely time to draw breath after this story, when a mean-looking elderly man said, with the affectation of modest dignity: 'I had the happiness to be known to M. de Villars, and he was pleased greatly to overrate my poor services. On a certain occasion, he did me the honour to present me with a horse of the unmixed Arabian breed, and a wonderful animal it was;' then addressing himself to Lady W — -:'I much doubt, my Ledi, whether it could have been matched in your country, so justly celebrated for fine women and horses.
One evening while I was in garrison at Pont St. Esprit, I took him out to exercise. Being in high spirits and excellent wind, he went off at an easy gallop, and did not stop till he brought me to the gates of Montpelier, between twenty and thirty leagues distant, and there, to my no small surprise, I found the Dean and whole Faculty of Medicine standing in their gowns to receive me. The Dean made a long harangue in Latin, of which, to say the truth, I understood not one word; and then, in the name of his brethren, put into my hands a diploma of Doctor of Physic, with the usual powers of curing, and so
forth. He would have had me to partake of an en. tertainment, prepared for the occasion, but I did not choose to sleep out of garrison ; so I just ordered my horse to be rubbed down, gave him a single feed, mounted again, and got back to Pont St. Esprit, as they were shutting the gates. Perhaps I have dwelt too long on the praises of my horse; but something must be allowed for the prejudices of education; an old horse-officer [un ancien capitaine de cavalerie] is naturally prolix, when his horse chances to be the subject of discourse.'
· Pray, Captain,' said one of the company, 'will you give me leave to ask the name of your horse ?' - The question was unexpected: Upon my word,' said he, 'I do not remember his name. Oh! now I recollect; I called him Alexander, after M. de Villars, the noble donor; that M. de Villars was a great man.' • True; but his Christian name was Hector.'.
· Was it Hector? then, depend upon it, my horse had the same Christian name [nom de baptême) as M. de Villars.'
“My curiosity led me afterwards to inquire into the history of the gentleman who always made a point of living handsomely;' and of the old horseofficer, whom M. de Villars so much distinguished.
“The former was a person of honourable birth, and had served, as the French express it, with reputation. On his quitting the army, he retired to a small paternal estate, and lived in a decent way with most scrupulous economy. His chateau had been ruined during the wars of the League, and nothing remained of it but one turret, converted into a pigeon-house. As that was the most remarkable object on his estate, he was generally known by the name of M. de la Tour le Colombier. His mansionhouse was little better than that of a middling tar
mer in the south of England. The forest, of which his daughter spoke, was a copse of three or four acres; and the ruins in which Cavalier and his associates lay concealed, had been originally a place of worship of the Protestants, but was demolished when those eminent divines, Lewis XIV. and Madame de Maintenon, thought fit that all France should be of one religion ; and, as that edifice had not received consecration from a person episcopally ordained, the owner made no scruple of accommodating two or three calves in it, when his cow-house happened to be crowded; and this is all that I could learn of M. de la Tour le Colombier.
“ As for the old horse-officer, he had served with eclat in the corps established for repressing smugglers of tobacco. This recommended him to the notice of the Farmers-general ; and, by their interest, he obtained an office that gave him a seat at those great tables to which all the world is invited ; and he had lived so very long in this station, that the meanness of his original seemed to have been forgotten by most people, and especially by himself.
“ Those ridiculous stories which excited mirth when I first heard them, afterwards afforded matter for much serious reflection.
“ It is wonderful that any one should tell things impossible, with the hope of being credited; and yet the two personages, whose legends I have related, must have entertained that hope.
“Neither is it less wonderful that invention should be stretched to the utmost, in order to persuade mere strangers to think highly of the importance of the relater. “Mle
. de la Tour le Colombier, and the old horseofficer, had not seen us before, and had little chance of ever seeing us again. We were the acquaintance