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change their sabots; and in three minutes every soul was ready upon a little esplanade before the house to begin. The old man and his wife came out last, and, placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a sofa of turf by the door.
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The old man had some fifty years ago been no mean performer upon the vielle, and, at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sung now and then a little to the tune, then intermitted, and joined her old man again as their children and grandchildren danced before them.
It was not till the middle of the second dance, when, for some pauses in the movement wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity. In a word, I thought I beheld Religion mixing in the dance; but, as I had never seen her so engaged, I should have looked upon it now as one of the illusions of an imagination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said that this was their constant way; and that all his life long he had made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to Heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay—
Or a learned prelate either, said I.
WHEN you have gained the top of Mount Taurira, you run presently down to Lyons; adieu then to all rapid movements! -'tis a journey of caution; and it fares better with sentiments, not to be in a hurry with them so I contracted with a voiturin
to take his time with a couple of mules, and convey me in my own chaise safe to Turin, through Savoy.
Poor, patient, quiet, honest people! fear not; your poverty, the treasury of your simple virtues, will not be envied you by the world, nor will your valleys be invaded by it. Nature! in the midst of thy disorders, thou art still friendly to the scanținess thou hast created: with all thy great works about thee, little hast thou left to give, either to the scythe or to the sickle-but to that little thou grantest safety and protection; and sweet are the dwellings which stand so sheltered!