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recommendation, accompanied him and his party to the Corne de Cerf. It was too hot to do anything in the way of sight-seeing until after dinner, but we remained the next day, though I think it was scarcely worth while. I am not going to give you a long description of public buildings, paintings, &c., it is time enough when any one arrives at a place to find what there is to see in it. I shall only tell you what places we thought worth inspecting, and Rennes is not one of them. It was mostly destroyed by fire about one hundred and fifty years ago, and what is not yet rebuilt remains blackened and singed, what is restored is handsomely done, wide streets with trottoirs, squares, and handsome shops.
Secured places in the coupée on our arrival, for the following day, June 14th, and shared it with a pleasant gentlemanly French
Our route to-day much the same as that between Dinant and Rennes, pleasant enough, but no ways striking. We speculated on the resemblance of the country and inhabitants to our own, for we are now in Brittany, you know, which is said to have received a colony from England, and fancied traces of their ancient origin, in the appearance both of the people and their country. Stopped at Chateaubriand for some refreshment-and at Nort embarked in a little steam-boat belonging to the same company, in which we accomplished the remainder of our to-day's journey very pleasantly, down the Erdre, which falls into the Loire below Nantes. The evening was delightful, and several objects of interest, to us English at least, were pointed out; amongst them a Trappist monastery, and in the distance the castle, now in ruins, of the renowned Blue Beard, who of course you know was a real Duke of Brittany.
Arrived at Nantes we proceeded to an hotel, the appearance of which was so dirty, that we made an excuse and went on to another which was at least as bad. Nantes is one of the dirtiest places I ever was in. There is, however, a good deal of interest about it, and a great deal to see. Most people have heard of it in connection with the famous edict of Henri IV., but all may not know that it is also celebrated for the invention of omnibuses, which run about in all directions at the cost of three sous, hold from twelve to sixteen people, are on six wheels, and mostly drawn by one horse ; they are not at this season of the year, however, like ours, being entirely open with an awning. They show the house here where the Duchess de Berri was concealed for so many hours. The history of the Bishop of this place is very singular; he has in succession followed the professions of soldier, préfet, and maire, was married, resided twelve years in England during the revolution, afterwards being left a widower, became a Priest, and finally Bishop. He has a married daughter residing in the city.
Here is a nice gallery of pictures and a good public library, but we should not have stayed so long but for the hope of seeing the celebrated Mademoiselle Rachel. However, though we presented ourselves at the spectacle as soon as the doors were open, and though the prices were doubled, we could only get just far enough to see the house crammed from top to bottom-but our money was returned.
18th. We left Nantes at six in the morning (or rather, went on board the boat), for Bordeaux, as we only dropped down a few miles, and then waited three hours for the tide; after which we proceeded very pleasantly till we got into the Bay of Biscay, when a very short time cleared the deck. Individually, I enjoyed it well enough, but I was the only one who did not suffer from sea-sickness; the cabin below was enough to upset the stoutest stomachmen, women, children, all huddled together, and almost all sick. However, the wind was so high and cold, that we were driven down too, when night came on, but we made our escape as early as we could, and had some breakfast on deck in the morning. We reached Bourdeaux at five o'clock. But I think this letter is long enough, so I must tell you all about Bordeaux and its environs in
C. A. B.
MY AUNT NELLY'S PORTFOLIO.
(Continued from page 123.)
I SAID truly that Mrs. Suppleton is as ready to take as I am to give advice, and I suppose that in this creditable way we go on fostering our respective foibles. The long-indulged habit of dwelling on the theory of Education, has very likely engendered in me some dictatorial tendencies, while my friend's diffidence, taking part with her over-sensitive because not clearly enlightened conscience, deprives her of that confidence in her own judgment so needful towards directing the judgment of others. This lowly bearing of her's, with her winning desire to be taught better, takes from me all heart to find fault when we are face to face; perhaps I may be more courageous with my pen—there is no harm in trying-especially as she sets herself most sedulously to read the little“ Churchman,” in hopes of gaining some new lights on education,-only the misery is, that when you feel
you have brought her round to your way of thinking, you call the next day and find you have the whole of the ground to go over again. The weathercock of her convictions has whirled round; somebody else has advised something else, and your late counsels are as completely thrown away as if you had addressed them to the waves of yesterday's receding tide. This over-readiness of compliance is the more to be deplored when mixed up with so much kindliness of heart—I wonder will she recognise the portrait ! I have no apprehensions lest any others should, for it is worthy of observation how trifling a variation in a leading feature will, if cleverly managed, succeed in foiling detection. A friend of mine told me, that at a masquerade she had conversed for more than an hour with her own nephew without finding him out, and all by virtue of an artificial pose. Hoping that certain little innocent artifices by which I have sought to screen my friend's identity may be as effectual as the adroit substitution of a nez retroussé for one of the true aquiline cut, I venture to pursue the relation of her lamentable mistakes in the bringing up of two fine intelligent girls, who were early left to her sole management by the premature death of her husband. He was a witty, facetious man, and in allusion to the remarkable difference in the dispositions of his two daughters, Bell and Laura, bestowed on them the sobriquet of “Bell and the Dragon.” Whether or not his over-indulgence helped on the sad transformation of the younger, a pretty, lively child, into an outrageous little animal whom nobody could manage, we will not now inquire; enough to say that the mother's gentle rule proved wholly unequal to that task, and that in consequence, poor Laura was subjected to various educational processes—had had two domestic governesses, been at three boarding-schools in succession — and we all know that change (some aver that even change for the better) is an evil in education. All this portion of her history I knew before ; and had observed with feelings of anxiety the ripening intimacy between her and my poor Helen, whose present state of mind might, I feared, leave her more open to moral contagion; but I was not prepared for what followed-sufficiently alarming even after it had passed through the alembic of a mother's love. Her “unfortunate girl,” she said, had done little else throughout these long holidays, but read plays, novels and newspapers, and those but skimmingly; indite and receive idle letters, run to and from the post-office, and—worse still, on finding her sister showed no relish for her stories of school-intrigue -- things smuggled in, and smuggled out—had made a confidante of her mamma's maid, one of a class not likely to discourage diverting recitals of governesses hood-winked, and teachers out-witted.
After this, I need not say that I sat upon metaphorical needles and pins until the young folk assembled for tea, when I learnt with concern that, instead of having accompanied their elder sisters to visit a little sick scholar, as I had supposed, the younger pair had been closeted together somewhere—“ looking over drawings,” Laura said; but that ill accounted, I thought, for Helen's restless, flushed looks. I vainly strove to catch her
eye, hitherto so ready to exchange gladsome, kind glances,-but now sedulously averted. Then followed an arrangement, that these two young ladies should sit together at a small round table in a recess,- quite a needless one, there being abundance of room at our's, but it seemed to have been Laura's
design from the first to monopolize Helen-to hedge her round from all other
No prime minister, suspecting a plot against the State, ever set himself more earnestly to listen than I did; but the low conspirator-tone in which this back-table conversation was carried on, together with the talking all around me, for awhile baffled my object. At last I caught the word Pope,” and heard Laura laughingly ask Helen if she knew what it came from? But without waiting a reply, she added, “ Selon moi Papa should be derived from Pope, instead of Pope from Papa don't
you think so ?" Then followed something about “ dispensations, which in default of being granted should be taken.”
My heart actually turned sick; and the instant the party had finished their tea, I hastened our departure on the plea--a sincere one-that we had promised a sick person to call, on our way home. Helen would thus, I flattered myself, be quit of her besieger ; but I found myself grievously mistaken, for this adroit damsel had slipped out at a back-door; and all unbonneted as she was, pursued Helen far down the lane, to have, she said, “ more last words." The few I was able to catch of these were not calculated to relieve my fears; they were spoken by Helen with passionate emphasis —" I would not for ten thousand worlds." I fancied they might refer to the interdicted pages, and if so they were susceptible of two very conflicting meanings: either she would not for all those worlds have read the magazine, or would not have it known that she had read it: how much hung on the true meaning of those few words none can know who have not, like me, staked their all of happiness on the well-being of nieces and nephews whom they have watched over from their
At length the laggarts joined us, they could not avoid it, for we had stopped, at Willie's request, to gather a difficult branch of honeysuckle, intended as an offering for mamma.'- While we were thus engaged, Laura slipped away, and Helen perforce made one of our party, but she was abrupt, disputatious, and wore that challenging air which, while it seems to bid defiance to censure, betrays a consciousness of deserving it.
“ What have you done with your companion ?” I inquired, for something to say.
“ Done with her? What should I have done with her I am not her nursery-maid, am I ?"
I glanced at the speakera look of impulsive surprise ; so also
did the others, for rudeness was a new thing among us; and of all rudeness repeating a person's words is about the worst : nevertheless, in Helen's but too evident frame of mind I judged it best to take the thing good-humouredly, and told her that the brusquerie of her reply brought to my mind a passage of her own early childhood, when sitting on my lap, looking over the Bible-pictures
“Tell it, tell it, Aunt Mary, please," ejaculated Willie, pressing in to listen. Gertrude also drew nearer to my side, while she to whom I especially addressed myself seemed to find the hedges a more interesting study. Notwithstanding, I persevered in addressing myself to her
“It was where Abel, you recollect, is represented lying dead on the sward; his parents are lamenting over him with an expression of mingled grief and remorse as if remembering, amid their anguish, who it was had brought death and sin into the world. In the back-ground appears Abel's accepted offering, and in the foreground-a happy touch of the artist-is observed the jawbone of some propitiatory victim. Little Nelly--we called you 'little Nelly' then, dear Helen, in memory of one who is now a saint at rest — you were the first to point out this graphic feature.” — Here I paused, but in vain, for the slightest comment. “You then asked me to tell you all about it, and I thought it best- I always do-to read aloud the sacred text. Nothing so clear and concise. When we came to the passage' Am I my brother's keeper ?' you burst forth, `Impertinent fellow! Your eyes and cheeks glowing with righteous indignation."
The sublimity of the sentiment contrasting so strangely with the familiarity of the phrase, made us all laugh.”.
No sinile, however, now lighted up poor Helen's habitually open brow.--She hastily rejoined,
“ There is no use, as far as I see, in tormenting childrentrying to make them good-they are certain to turn out wicked as they grow older.”
Again Gertrude sent a wondering look at the speaker; and even little Willie suspended his occupation of firing off popdocks to gaze at her.
“That, dear child, is another of the questions which, happily, is decided for us. There is nothing in Holy Writ more unmisakably laid down, than the duty of training young people perseveringly in the way they should go; and linked with the command we meet a precious promise.
Just look at our own Church, see how she obeys the gracious mandate, by inviting her children to drink in her instructions day by day—
Well, I can never think we are required to obey human authority so blindly, when the dictates of our