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The cost in cabs and carriages is prodigious;
whereas abroad there is always a
porter service, with light hand-carts,
immensely used. We might learn something
from the invaluable aid of the Swiss post-
office, where trunks are taken like letters,
and forwarded like letters, all over the
country. Here, the theory seems to be
that a passenger may not be divorced from
his baggage; or that once separated from
him it must go wandering about helplessly,
get strayed or stolen, with no one to look
after it. All these matters require reform.

          IN TWO PARTS. PART I.
* See Those Convent Belles, ALL THE YEAR ROUND,
New Series, vol. i. p. '115.

PUBLISHED "impressions" and autobiographies
possess two distinct kinds of value.
The first lies in the truthfulness of their
portraiture, the second in the skill of their
literary workmanship. The two combined
would give a perfect sample of memoir
writing. The original of the following
narrative has the former merit, but is
greatly deficient in the latter. All the
personages are individualities, unmistakably
drawn from life. They are human,
made of flesh and blood, very thinly covered
with a monastic crust. There are no
conventional, melodramatic monks and nuns,
black or white to the backbone, and
demoniacal or angelic without comprehensible
motive, and solely for badness' or goodness'
sake. On the contrary, you feel that,
were you frocked or veiled, you might be
brought to do even as they did.

Some people, however, cannot tell their
own tale, and Sister X.—if it be a sister,
and not an editor or an amanuensisis one
of these. She is diffuse, unmethodical, in
her story; she omits trifles essential to
clearness, as if you knew as much about
the matter as herself. Moreover, there is a
duchesse who has a family interest in forcing
her to take vows of celibacy; and there is
a scene of hocussing by opium, to get her
to sign away, in favour of the convent, a
thumping legacy, of which she had been
kept in ignorance. These, skilfully told,
might improve the drama, although they in
no way complete the picture. We therefore
omit them, producing merely a condensed
summary of parts of the narrative, and
referring the reader who is curious to learn
more to the original, published by
M. Degorge-Cadot,Paris.

Sister X. was the only child of an officer
in the army named Soubeyran, who had
lost a leg in his country's service, and
who had a small pension and the brevet of
an officer in the Legion of Honour. These
scanty resources were further eked out by
an appointment to a receivership of taxes
at St. Marceau, a large market-town in
the Orléanais. Her mother was quiet,
almost austere, in her ways, speaking little,
and occupying herself with her household
affairs without fuss or ostentation.

At the age of fifteen Sister X. was
affianced to a young officer of great promise,
of Alsatian origin, named George Sturm,
the son of one of her father's companions
in arms. He was a Protestant in faith, of
middle stature, strongly built, fair-haired
as a thoroughbred German, with large
blue eyes, quiet and gentle in all his ways.
On his betrothed completing her nineteenth
year, George so wearied her parents with
his importunities, that a speedy marriage
was agreed to. His regiment was then in
garrison only twenty leagues from St.
Marceau. The lady's father and their friend
the aged curé would have dispensed with
the formalities of the trousseau, and other
matrimonial preliminaries. Her mother,
perhaps in consequence of economical
considerations, as well as her unwillingness to
part with her daughter, succeeded in
putting off the event for several months. This
delay was fatal. In consequence of an
insurrection in Algeria, George was suddenly
obliged to leave without being able to bid
his friends adieu.

The good old curé of St. Marceau died.
He was succeeded by a young priest, the
Abbé Desherbiers, not more than thirty
years of age, sent from another diocese at
the instance of a wealthy family in the
neighbourhood. Soon after his installation,
there came to St. Marceau, in search of a
dwelling, a demoiselle Dufougeray, a sort of
adventuress, unknown to everybody, and
to the new curé himself, as he pretended.
She was a strange personage, who must
have been more than forty years of
but who did her best to disguise the ravages
of time. She fixed her residence at St.

Mademoiselle Dufougeray soon made
acquaintance with the curé, and forced herself
into the house of the receiver of taxes,
whether he would or not. Naturally
Mademoiselle Soubeyran went to confession to
the Abbé Desherbiers, as she had gone
to his predecessor; and he so thoroughly
acquired her confidence as gradually to