66 but

“Que voulez-vous, Madame ?" asked the old gardener, pettishly. “ We have cut them down to make chicken-hatches for Madame."

The stranger, to console me, exhibited the phenomenon of the echo, so often cited to Madame de Grignan, and which, as it could not be turned to any account for the hen-coops, still remains in all its original mystery.

“ L'allée de ma fille still existed in 1810,” said my guide, as evident a Sevignite as myself; there now remains not one of those venerable witnesses, which so often shaded and sheltered in their promenades the tenderest of niothers and the most adored of daughters. Not one old and silent confidant exists of those piquantes causeries between the witty maman beauté, and that trésor de folie, her still wittier son, -of the strange but humorous confessions, followed by such mild reprimands, and such sarcastic pleasantries,—and of those aveux naïfs de l'aimable vaurien, who in one night at Lansequenet mangeait 500 gros chênes à sa mère, and who, brave as Condé, spirituel as St. Evremont, had entered the lists with Dacier, concerning Horace, had lived with Racine,

laughed with Molière, jilted Ninon, se grisait par bon air, committed a thousand follies, confessed them all a thousand times to his belle mamun, and, always forgiven, continued to repent old pleasures at Les Rochers, and to solicit new, on his return to Paris.”

I inquired in vain for those formal and venerable allées, ornamented with so many pretty devices, and consecrated by such recollections ;-all had fallen victims to the axe of the terrible Baron Breton. Their names, however, still survived ; and I had the melancholy pleasure of walking over the ground which was still known as “ l'Allée Royale,” “ l'Allée du Point du Jour," “ l'Allée. de Tremaine,” and “l'Allée de l'Infinie.” At the farther extremity of the Allée Royale, a semicircular seat of verdure, commanding a delicious view of the coteaux boisés of the immediate neighbourhood, invited us to a momentary halt. This was the charming spot, whence Madame de Sevigné wrote so many of her letters,—“ la Place de Madame." It was decorated with a fine old orange-tree, which had been removed from its vast green-house, in a wooden caisse, by the stranger

himself, in the absence of the baron. While we gazed on the rich and lovely vista, the sunlight gradually faded from the summits of the loftiest trees, the shadows deepened, and the necessity of returning was acknowledged with regret, and obeyed with reluctance.

Having begged permission, therefore, to gather a little bouquet from the orange-tree which shaded“ la Place de Madame," I again accepted the arm of the courteous cicerone. As we proceeded towards the carriage, my thoughts were so completely transported to the days of the La Rochefoucaulds, the Coulanges, and the La Moussés, that, forgetting the lapse of a century, and of events that had doubled that interval, I inquired if any of the family of the amusing Mademoiselle du Plessis, the bas bleu of Vitri, and the subject of Madame de Sevigné's humorous delineations, were still in the neighbourhood.* He replied, that of the dramatis persona of Les Rochers, of all those who had played such amusing and characteristic parts in the correspondence of Madame de Sevigné, he knew but one name that had survived the lapse of time and the general bouleversement. It was that of Pilois.

* " Mademoiselle du Plessis est tout justement comme vous l'avez la issée. Elle a une nouvelle amie à Vitri, dont elle se pare, parceque c'est un bel esprit, qui a lu tous les romans, et qui a reçu deux lettres de la Princesse de Tarente. J'ai fait dire méchamment par Vaillant, que je ne témoignerais rien ; mais que mon cæur étoit saisi. Tout ce qu'elle dit là-dessus, est digne de Molière."

Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, vol. i. p. 199.

66 What !" I said, 66 the favourite and venerable gardener of Madame de Sevigné, who planted those very trees under whose shade we are walking ?* Do any of his descendants reside here?"

“ His great grandson has the honour of addressing you,” he replied, bowing.

We were now within view of the carriage; and taking from my neck a little cross of Irish bog. wood, I requested him to accept of it, as a small token of acknowledgment for the pleasure I had derived through his means, in being permitted to visit the shrine of the goddess “of my idolatry," and to enjoy a conversation with the descendant of her faithful friend and domestic, to whose character his illustrious lady had communicated a classic and deathless interest. The good clergyman blushed, bowed, and accepted my offering, with as much courtesy, and a feeling apparently as deep, as if it had been of “one entire and perfect crysolite.” The spring was now patched up, and pronounced capable of carrying us to Rennes. We therefore bade a hasty adieu to our accidental acquaintance, and soon lost sight of the ancient and memorable towers of Le Château des Rochers. *

* « Mes petits arbres sont d'une beauté surprenante. Pilois les élève jusqu'au nues. Rien n'est si beau que ces Allées, que vous avez vu naitre. Vous savez que je vous donnai une manière de dévise, qui vous convenoit. Voici un mot que j'ai écrit sur un arbre pour mon fils, qui est revenu de Candie, 'vago di fama."" Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, p. 200.

* This article, already printed, has been so favourably received by the public, that I have ventured to reclaim it from the miscellany in which it originally appeared. It may be scarcely necessary to add, that as far as the personal narrative is concerned, the production is a mere jeu d'esprit, undertaken to fulfil a task incurred at a game of forfeits.

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