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his head and neck draggling on the blown about by a current of air, for notground, in the light of a great fire, which withstanding the cold, the windows were rose and fell, lighting up the whole square. left open. A sentinel was walking up and One of these men, with his shirt-sleeves down in front of them, his musket on his rolled up on his muscular arm, was cutting arm, stopping from time to time to take a it up. He had cleft it from top to bottom; look at the table. The man with the great the blue entrails fell into the mud mixed whiskers, all the time cutting and eating, with blood. The face of that man with his spoke with a gruff voice: bare neck and his old wig was terrible to “So you are a physician," said he to my
uncle. I understood at once that the Republi- Yes, Monsieur Commandant." cans had surprised the village; and while I “ Call me Commandant briefly, or citiwas dressing myself I invoked the aid of zen commandant, as I told you before; the Emperor Joseph, of whom Monsieur Monsieur and Madame are out of fashion. Karolus Richter talked so often.
But to come to business: you ought to The French had arrived during my first know the country; a country doctor is alsleep, and must have been there for two ways upon the high road. How far are we hours at least, for when I was ready to go from Kaiserslautern ? ” down I saw three of them, in shirt-sleeves, “ About seven leagues, Commandant." like the butcher, who were taking the " And from Pirmasens ?" bread out of our oven with our shovel. " Nearly eight." They had spared Lisbeth the trouble of “ And from Landau ?" baking, as the other had saved Sepel the · I think five good leagues." trouble of killing. These people knew how “I think, — very nearly, about;- is to do everything; nothing put them out. that the way a man familiar with the coun
Lisbeth, seated in one corner, her hands try should speak? Listen to me; you seem crossed upon her knees, was looking at to be frightened; you are aíraid that if the them with a tolerably peaceful air, having white coats should pass through here they got over her first alarm. She saw me at would hang you for giving me information. the top of the stairs, and called out, Put that idea out of your head. The
“ Come down, Fritzel, they will do you French Republic protects you." no harm."
And looking my uncle straight in the face So I went down, and the men went on with his grey eyes, with their work without troubling them- ". To the prosperity of the Republic, one selves about me. The door to the passage and indivisible,” said he, raising his glass. on the left was open, and I saw in the They touched glasses, and my uncle, quite store-room two other Republicans prepar- pale, drank to the Republic. ing to mix the dough for a second and Ah, good! " said the other. “ Have third baking. At last, on the right hand you seen any Austrians here?” side, through the half open door of the ball, “No, Commandant." I saw Uncle Jacob near the table, sitting " Are you quite sure of it? Come now, on a common chair, while a stout man, with look me in the face." large red whiskers, a short round nose, • I have not seen any." projecting eyebrows, his cars starting from “Ihve you been at Reethal, lately?" his head, and an old flax-coloured wig big as My uncle had been at Reethal three days one's arm hanging between his shoulders, before; he thought the Commandant must was installed in the arm-chair, and cutting have heard of it from some of the villagers, up one of our hams with a good appetite. and replied,
Nothing was to be seen but his great "Yes, Commandant." brown hands going and coming, the knife “ Ah! and there were
no Austrians in one, the fork in the other, and his big there?” heavy chops working away. From time to No!" time he took his glass, raised his elbow, The Republican emptied his glass, castdrank a full cup, and went on again. ing a sidelong look upon my Uncle Jacob,
Ile wore lead-colored epaulettes, a great then, stretching out his arm, he seized him sabre with a leather sheath, the hilt of by the wrist with a strange manner. which reached up bebind his elbow, and “ Do you say no ?” boots so covered with mud that nothing Yes, Commandant." could be seen but the yellow soil, which “Well, you lie, then ! " was beginning to dry:
And speaking slowly he added, From his hat, which had been placed up- “We do not hang, but we sometimes on the buffet, hung a bunch of red feathers sboot those who deceive us.”
My uncle became still paler, yet still, in “ You have no use for this map, citizena firm tone and raising his head, be re- doctor,” said he in German, “but I require peated,
it, and I demand it for the service of the “Commandant, I affirm upon my honour Republic. Come, come! let us make that three days ago there were no Imperial- amends. We will drink another glass to ists at Reethal.”
cement the feasts of concord.” “And I,” cried the Republican, whose It may be imagined with what readiness small grey eyes sparkled under his thick, Lisbeth went down into the cellar to get tawny eyebrows, ' I tell you that they were another bottle. Uncle Jacob had regained there. Is that plain ? ”
his confidence. The Commandant, who There was silence. All who were in the then looked at me, asked him, kitchen had turned round; the mien of the “Is that your son ?” Commandant was not tranquillising. As for · No, he is my nephew." me, I began to cry. I even went into the “ A sprightly little fellow, solidly built. room as if to help Uncle Jacob, and placed When I saw him come to your assistance myself behind him. The Republican looked just now, it gave me pleasure. Come, at us both, frowning; but this did not hin- come to me,” said he, drawing me to him der him from swallowing another mouthful by the arm. of ham, as if to give himself time to reflect. He passed his hand through my hair, and Outside Lisbeth sobbed aloud.
said, in a voice a little rough, but yet pleas“Commandant,” sai:) my uncle, with firm- ant at the same time, “Bring up that boy ness, “ you do not know, perhaps, that there to love the rights of man. Instead of keepare two Reethals, one on the side of Kaisers- ing cows, he may become a commandant or lautern, and the other on the Queich, three a general, as others have done. Now all leagues from Landau. The Austrians were, doors are open, all places are ready to be perhaps, down there, but upon this side taken; nothing is needed but courage and nothing had been seen of them on Wednes- a chance to succeed. I myself, such as you day night."
see me, I am the son of a blacksınith at Sar“Well
, now," said the Commandant, in raguemines ; but for the Republic I should wretched Lorraine German, with a sneer, be still hammering on the anvil. Our great
that is not bad. But we are as sharp as booby of a count, who is with the white you. At any rate, unless you prove that coats, would be an eagle, by the grace of there are two Reethals, I will not conceal God, and I should be an ass; while now it from you that it is my duty to arrest you and is quite the contrary, by the grace of the try you by court-martial."
Revolution." He abruptly emptied his glass, "Commandant,” exclaimed my uncle, ex- and, half-closing his eyes, said with a sly tending his arm, “ the proof that there are look, two Reethals is that they may be seen upon • That makes some difference." all the maps of the country.” And he By the side of the ham was one of our pointed to our old map hanging on the wall. cakes which the Republicans had baked Then the Republican turned round in his with the first heating of the oven; the Comarm-chair, and looked at it, saying, mandant cut a piece of it for me.
“Ah! is that a map of the country ? Let “Swallow that boldly,” said he, quite us have a look at it."
good-humouredly, and try to become a My uncle took the map down and spread man!" it on the table, pointing out the two vil- Then turning toward the kitchen,lages.
Sergeant Lafleche!” cried he, with his “You are right,” said the Commandant. voice like thunder. An old sergeant with “Very well! I ask no better proof than to grey moustaches, dry as a smoked herring, see plainly.” Putting both his elbows on the appeared upon the threshold. table, and his great head between his hands, How many loaves, sergeant ?” he examined it.
• Forty." “ Well, well, this is famous," said he. “In an hour we must have fifty; with Where did this map come from?” our ten ovens, five hundred; three pounds
“My father made it; he was a sur- of bread per man." veyor."
The sergeant went back into the kitchen. The Republican smiled.
My uncle and I observed all this without “Yes; the woods, the rivers, the roads, stirring. everything is marked," said he. “I recog- The Commandant again put his elbows nise that; we passed there; this is good, — upon the map with his head between his excellent."
hands. And straightening himself up,
The greyish day began to dawn; we
could see the shadow of the sentinel as country only fair or brown haired women, he marched, his musket on his shoulder, this woman produced on me, young as I before our windows. A kind of stillness was, an effect of astonishment and extraorwas established. Many of the Republicans dinary admiration. I looked at her wonderwere no doubt sleeping, their heads on struck; my uncle appeared to me not less astheir knapsacks, around the large fires they tonished than I was, and when she entered, had lighted, others in their houses. The followed by five or six other Republicans, pendulum moved slowly, the fire sparkled dressed as the others were, during the whole all the time in the kitchen.
time she was there we did not take our eyes This lasted some minutes, when a great from her. noise arose in the street; windows were As she came into the room, we saw that thrown up, a door was violently opened, she had on a large cloak of blue cloth with and our neighbour, Joseph Spick, the tav- a triple cape falling below her elbows, and ern-keeper, began to cry out, -"Help! bore a small cask, the string of which passeil
crosswise over her shoulder; around her But no one stirred in the village; every neck was a big cravat of black silk with one was quite content to keep quiet in his long fringe, some booty of war no doubt, own house. The Commandant listened. which still heightened the beauty of her Sergeant Lafleche!” said he.
calm and haughty head. The Commandant The sergeant bad gone to see; he did waited till every one had come in, particunot appear till after a minute.
larly observing Joseph Spick, who seemed “What is going on?" demanded the more dead than alive. Then, addressing Commandant.
the woman, who just raised her hat with a “ It is an aristocrat of a tavern-keeper, motion of her bead, who refuses to comply with the requisitions “Well, Thérèse," he said, “what is the of the citizeness Thérèse," replied the ser- matter?" geant with a serious air.
• You know, Commandant, that at the Very well! let them bring him to me." last halt I had not a drop of brandy left,"' The sergeant went out.
said she, in a firm and distinct tone; my Two minutes afterward our entry was first care on arriving here was to find some, full of people. The door was opened paying for it of course. But the people again, and Joseph Spick, in his short waist-hid every thing, and only within half an coat, bis long cloth pantaloons, and his cap hour I discovered the pine branch at the of curled wool, appeared on the threshold door of this man. Corporal Merlot, the between four soldiers of the Republic, with fusileer Cincinnatus, and the drum-major their muskets on their shoulders, their faces Horatius Cocles, followed to assist me. as yellow as gingerbread, their hats worn, We went in, asked for some wine or brandy, holes in their elbows, patches on their no matter which, but this Imperialist had knees, their shoes in tatters fastened to- nothing; he did not understand, he pregether with strings; all which, however, tended to be deaf. We then began to did not prevent them from holding up their search for it, to look into all the corners, and heads and being as proud as kings.
finally we found the entrance to the cellar Joseph, his hands the pockets of his at the end of a woodpile in the court, bevest, his shoulders stooping, his face flat, hind a heap of fagots which he had put in and his cheeks hanging, could scarcely front of it. We might have got angry; but support himself upon his long legs; he instead we went down and found some wine, looked on the ground as if he was utterly some bacon, some sour-crout, and some scared.
brandy; we filled our casks, we took some Behind, in the shadow, was seen the bacon, and then we came up again without head of a woman, pale and thin, which im- making any disturbance. But upon seeing mediately attracted my attention. She had us come back so loaded, this man who had a high forehead, a straight nose, a long kept himself quiet in his room began to chin, and hair of a bluish black. Her hair shout like a blind man, and instead of acwas brought down in large bands upon her cepting my assignats he tore them up, and cheeks, and was drawn up in braids behind taking me by the arm he shook me with all her ears in such a way that her countenance, his might. Cincinnatus, putting his load which was visible only in front, and not at on the table, took the great booby by the the sides, seemed extremely long. Her collar and threw him against the window of eyes were large and black. She wore a his hovel. Just then Sergeant Lafleche felt hat with a tri-colored cockade, and over came in. That is all, Commandant." her hat a red handkerchief tied under her When this woman had thus spoken, she chin. As until then I had seen in our) withdrew behind the others, and immedisaid,
ately a little dried-up man, thin and gruff, | little houses with their broad thatched roofs whose hat was cocked on one side and who and their black windows, and in the distance, held under his arm a long cane with a brass on each side of the village, upon the Altentop shaped like an onion, came forward and berg and the Reepockel, above the orchards
and the hemp fields, the bayonets of the Commandant, what the citizeness Thé- sentinels sparkling among the belated stars ; rèse has just communicated to you is indig- no, I never shall forget this strange spectanation at the bad faith, which every one cle; I was very young then, but such rewould have felt at finding himself face membrances are eternal. to face with an Imperialist devoid of all As the day came on, the scene became civic sentiment, and who intended” more animated; a head was raised, rested
" That will do,” interrupted the Com- upon the elbow, looked round, then gaped mandant. "The word of the citizeness and went to sleep again; in another place Thérèse is enough for me."
an old soldier started up suddenly, shook Then addressing Joseph Spick in German, the straw from his clothes, put on his old he said to him, frowning,
hat, and folded up his rag of a blanket; Say then, do you want to be shot ?. It another still rolled up his cloak and buckled will cost only the trouble of taking you into it upon his knapsack, while another drew your garden. Do you not know that the from bis pocket a short pipe, and struck a paper of the Republic is worth more than light. The early risers approached each the gold of tyrants ? Listen! for this once other and talked together; others joined I am pleased to pardon you, in consideration them, stamping their feet, for it was cold at of your ignorance, but if it happen that you this hour, and the fires that had been lighted again conceal your provisions, and refuse in the street and in the square had gone assignats in payment, I will have you shot out. upon the village square to serve as an ex- In front of our house in the small square ample to others. Come, march, you great was the fountain; numbers of the Republifool."
cans ranged around the two, large, mossy He uttered this little harangue very dis- troughs were washing themselves, laughing tinctly, then, turning to the cantinière, and joking in spite of the cold, while others
“It is all right, Thérèse," said he; "you were drinking from the spout. Then the may fill your casks, this man will make no house doors opened one after another, and more trouble. And you others, let him go the soldiers were to be seen coming out of free."
them, bending their large hats and their They all went out, Thérèse at the head knapsacks under the small doors. Almost and Joseph the last. The poor devil had all had their pipes lighted. scarcely a drop of blood in his veins; he To the left of our barn, in front of had run a great risk.
Spick’s tavern, the cantinière's cart was In the mean time day had come. The stationed, covered with a large cloth; it Commandant rose,
the map, and was shaped like a wheelbarrow, on two put it in his pocket. Then he went to one wheels, and the shafts were resting on the of the windows and began to look at the ground. Behind, the mule, who was covvillage. My uncle and I looked out of the ered with an old woollen horse-blanket in other window. It was about five o'clock in red and blue squares, was gravely chewing the morning.
a long bunch of hay, his eyes half-shut with a sentimental air.
The cantinière, in the opposite window, All my life long I shall remember that si- was mending a little pair of small-clothes, lent street encumbered with sleeping people, and bent down now and then to cast a look some stretched out, others doubled up, their under the shed. heads upon their knapsacks. I yet see those There the drum-major, Horatius Cocles, muddy feet, those worn soles, those patched Cincinnatus Merlot, and a great jolly felcoats, those weather-beaten young faces, low, thin and dry, straddling across some those old rigid cheeks, those closed eyelids ; bundles of hay, were dressing each other's those large hats, those faded epaulettes, those queues, combing the locks, and making pompons, those woollen blankets with red them smooth by spitting in their hands. borders and full of holes, those grey cloaks, Horatius Cocles, who was the head of the that straw scattered in the mud. And the band, hummed an air, and his companions great silence of sleep after the forced march, repeated the refrain under their breath. that absolute repose so like death, and the Near them, against two old casks, slept bluish dawn enveloping all with its uncer- a little drummer about twelve years old, tain light, the pale sun rising in mist, the quite fair, like me, and who interested me
particularly. It was he whom the cantin- ! loaves in sacks and baskets. The distribuiere watched, and whose trousers no doubt tion began. she was mending. His little red nose was As the Republicans had made soup on turned up in the air, his mouth half open, their arrival, they strapped the loaves for his back against the two barrels, and one each other upon their knapsacks. arm over his drum; his drumsticks were " Come," cried the Commandant in a passed under his shoulder-belt, and over his cheerful tone, “we must be off.” feet, covered with a little straw, was stretched He took his cloak, threw it over his shoula large and very muddy poodle, which kept der, and went out without saying either hiin warm. Every minute this animal raised good-day or good-night to us. his head and looked at him as if to say, We were thinking that we had got rid of “I should like extremely to make a tour these people forever. through the kitchens of the village." But Just as the Commandant went out, the the little boy did not move, he slept so well. burgomaster came to beg uncle Jacob to go And when at a distance some dogs barked, directly to his house, saying the sight of the the poodle yawned; he would so have liked Republicans had made his wife ill. to make one of the party.
They went out together immediately. Soon two officers came out from the Lisbeth was already setting up the chairs neighbouring house; two slender young and sweeping the room. We heard the men, their bodies squeezed into their coats. officers outside giving the word of command, As they passed before the house, the Com-“ Forward! march! The drums sounded, mandant called to them,
the cantinière cried Gee ho! and the bat“ Duchesne! Richer!"
talion went on its way, when a terrible sort “Good-day, Commandant,” said they, of crackling resounded from the end of the turning.
village. It was the firing of guns, some“ Are the posts relieved ? ”
times several at a time, sometimes one by “ Yes, Commandant."
The Republicans were about to enter Anything new?"
the street. Nothing, Commandant."
“ Halt !” cried the Commandant, who, In half an hour we must be on the standing on his stirrups, looked forward. march. Let the call to arms be sounded, listening. Richer! Come in, Duchesne."
I had placed myself at the window, and I One of the officers entered; the other saw all these men attentive, and the officers passed under the shed and spoke to Hora- out of the ranks around their chief, who was tius Cocles. As for me, I was looking at speaking eagerly: the new-comer. The Commandant had had Suddenly a soldier appeared at the turn a bottle of brandy brought, and they drank of the street, running, bis gun
on his shoultogether, when a sort of humming was der. “ Commandant,” said he from a disheard outside. It was the call to arms. I tance, quite breathless, “the Croats! The ran to see what was going on. Horatius advance guard is taken, they are coming!” Cocles, holding up a cane, in front of five Scarcely had the Commandant heard him drummers, the little boy being on the left, than he turned, galloped along the line at regulated the drum-beat. As long as the full speed, shouting, “ Forin the square!' cane was raised, the drumming continued. The officers, the drummers, the cantiniere, The Republicans came in from all the lanes fell back at the same time around the founof the village; they ranged themselves in tain, while the companies crossed each other two lines in front of the fountain, and their like a shuffling of cards ; in less than a minsergeants began the roll-call. My uncle ute they formed the square in three ranks, and I were astonished at the order which the others in the middle; and almost as reigned among these people; as they were quickly there was a frightful noise in the called they answered so quickly that it was street. The Croats were coming, the earth like a murmur on all sides. They had trembled under them! I see them still, taken up their guns and held them at will pouring in at the turning of the street, their on their shoulders or the butt end on the large red cloaks floating behind them like ground.
the folds of fifty standards, and bent so low After the roll-call there was great silence, upon their saddles, with their spears forward, and several of the men were detached, un- that their bony and brown faces and yellow der the lead of their corporals, to go to get moustaches were scarcely to be seen. bread. The citizeness Thérèse then har- It must be that children are possessed by nessed her mule to the cart. After some the devil, for instead of running away, I minutes the squads returned, bringing the remained, my eyes wide open in order to