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labours of his father, abandons, without regret, his mountain; he joyfully resigns his crook into weaker hands; henceforth the pick-axe and the spade will more worthily employ his nervous arm; yet, before he descends into the plains, he casts a sorrowful look upon his flock, hitherto the sole object of all his cares, and he does not receive without a tender regret the last caresses of his faithful dog. Admitted into the class of labourers, we remain there till the decline of our strength; but when we can no longer labour at agriculture, we humbly resume our scrip and crook, and

pass the rest of our days in these meadows.” The old man was silent, a slight cloud for an instant darkened the serenity of his brow: I saw that he recalled with some regret the time when old age had forced him to devote himself for ever to a pastoral life; but he was silent and I dared not to interrogate him more; but soon after breaking silence :-“ And for the remainder,” resumed he,

age is perfectly happy, it slides away in a sweet tranquillity.' “ But,” interrupted I, “ so long a habit of labouring must render this eternal repose tedious ?”. No, replied he.-r because this repose is useful. I should be consumed with weariness if I remained unemployed in our cottages; he who does not render himself useful to others is a burthen to himself: but taking care of these flocks, sitting all day under these rocks, I am as useful to my family as when I was able to till the earth and to follow the plough ; this thought alone suffices to make me love my peaceable retreat. Besides, think, that when a man has, during fifty years, exercised, without intermission, his arıns and his strength, that it is a sweet reflection to have no other duty to fulfil than that of passing his days softly reclining on the turf of the meadow.".

'" And in this state of inaction do you never experience discontent ?" “ How can I experience discontent surrounded by such dear objects, and which recall to my memory

our old

such dear thoughts? I have traversed all those mountains which encompass us in my earliest youth, I can discover from here, by the situation of the groups of fir-trees, and of the mass of rocks, the places I oftenest frequented; my weakened sight will not permit me to distinguish all that your eyes discover; but my memory supplies the defect; it represents faithfully what my eye cannot perceive; this kind of reverie demands a certain attention which increases the interest. My imagination transports me on the elevated hills which are lost in the clouds; impressions never to be obliterated guide me to traverse those winding routs, those steep and slippery paths, which intersect and unite them, whilst my decaying memory abandons nie all at once sometimes on the brink of a torrent, sometimes on the edge of a precipice; I stop, I shudder, and if that instant I can recollect the road I have lost, my heart palpitates with as much joy as in the spring of my days. It is thus without moving from my place, transported on the mountains, I see them, I run over them, and I recall all the quick emotions and all the pleasures of my youth."

As the old man ended these words, we heard at a distance, and at the summit of the mountain behind us, the notes of a flageolet : “ Ah !” said the old man, smiling, " There's Tobie come on the rock; he is repeating the air that I love so much, it is the romance that I played so often at his age.” In saying these words the good old man marked time slowly with his head, and gaiety sparkled in his eyes.

is Who is Tobie?" I asked. “ He is a shepherd in his fifteenth year, he loves my grand-daughter Lina, they are of the same age; may I see them united before I die! This is the time our grand-daughters bring us some refreshment every morning. Then Tobie always bring's his goats to the rock where he knows I repose.” The old man was still speaking when I perceived at a distance, at the other end of the valley, a number of

young girls who advanced neatly dressed, and were: soon dispersed in the plain : at the same time the shepherds of the hills all ran together, and appeared on the steep borders of the mountains that encompassed us; one party pressed forward to the extremity of the precipice, which made one shudder to see the earth that supported them shake under their feet; the others had climbed up trees in order to discover sooner the lively and amiable party that attended every day at the same hour : at this epoch of the day the flocks of the mountains were abandoned in an instant to wander at libérty; all was in movement on the hills and in the plain; curiosity, glowing love, paternal tenderness, produced a general emotion among both the young and old shepherds. The young villagers separated to seek their grandfathers in the meadow, to present their pretty osier baskets with fruits and cheeses : they ran with eagerness towards these good old men who held out their arms to receive them. I admired the grace and light figure of these pretty peasants of the Pyrenees, who were all remarkable for the elegance and beauty of their shapes; but my heart was most interested for Lina; she was still at a hundred paces from us when her grandfather pointed her out from a group of young girls, in saying, “ There is the prettiest ;' and it was not paternal fondness, for indeed Lina was charming. She threw herself into the arms of the old man, who pressed her tenderly to his heart; she then quitted him to fetch her basket, which one of her companions held; in this motion Lina raised her timid eyes towards the summit of the mountain, and Tobie, on the point of the rock, received this tender look, for which he had impatiently waited since the rising of Aurora, and which sweetly recompensed him for all his day's labour. Tobie then threw down a bunch of roses, which fell a few paces from the group formed by Lina and her companions. Lina blushed, but dared not pick them up; the old

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man enjoyed her confusion, and the other girls laughing, with a little malice and- a great deal of gaiety, cried out altogether, “ It is for Lina, it is for Lina;' at last Lina was condemned to take the bouquet ; with a trembling hand she placed it in her bosom, and to hide her embarrassment took refuge on the rock with her grandfather, and seated herself by him. I left them to enjoy the charms of a conversation full of tenderness and sweetness, and with my head full of the respectable old man, of Lina, and of Tobie, I reached my little habitation, saying, if happiness exists on earth, it is here ; such are the sentiments which ought to assure us the possession.

We have seen that the life of a peasant of the Pyrenees is divided into three remarkable epochs : he is first a shepherd of the mountain, from the age eight to fifteen; he then enters the class of the labourer, and when he arrives at old age he becomes a shepherd of the valley. The most brilliant of these periods is wben the young man is promoted to the rank of a labourer; they celebrate this with great solemnity. As soon as the shepherd of the mountain has attained his fifteenth year, his father goes and conducts him into the fields or vineyards, which he is from henceforth to cultivate: this memorable day is a day of rejoicing to the young man's family; I wished to see this rural ceremony ; I spoke to my good old friend, Lina’s grand-father, who informed me that Tobie in a month would quit for ever the mountain and the rock, to which his love for Lina had so often conducted him. And there is another circumstance which will add still more to the interest of this ceremony: Tobie's father, who is seventy, will on that day renounce the class of a cultivator to enter into that of a shepherd; he will assemble his four sons of a first marriage; Tobie is a child of the second, and the youngest of his brothers is at least thirty. The day fixed for the ceremony at last arrived, I was on the plain three hours before sun-set. I found all the old shepherds assembled at the foot of the mountain, where Tobie watched his flock; soon after we perceived a crowd of peasants and villagers advancing, of all ages, fantastically attired; Lina, conducted by her mother, placed herself near me, and without doubt was not the least interested in the festival. This party preceded Tobie's father, who gravely advanced, surrounded by his four sons: the old man carried a spade, and was supported by his eldest son.

Being arrived at the foot of the mountain, all the multitude separated to let him have a free passage; but the old man stopped, and, sorrowfully surveying the steep road which led to the summit of the mountain, he sighed, and after a moment's silence:"I ought,” said he, “ according to the general custom, to go myself and fetch my son, but I am seventy years old, and can only wait for him.”—“Ah, my father!" cried his children, we will carry you.'

They received universal applause for this proposition; the old man smiled; and his sons formed, with their arms twined together, a kind of litter, took him gently up, and began the march immediately.

All the country women remained in the plain, but I followed the old man, as I wished to be a witness of the meeting with Tobie. We walked slowly, the old man making them stop from time to time, to take breath, and to contemplate the places we were traversing, and which brought to his memory the sweet recollection of his youth. He started at hearing from all quarters, the clear sounds of the bells hung at the necks of the sheep and goats, and which are only used for the flocks of the mountain : he frequently told us of particular objects that we should see; but time had often destroyed or changed what he had represented. He regarded all that was offered to our view, on the road, with a double interest of sentiment and curiosity; as we advanced farther on, the expression of his countenance became more lively and animated; joy

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