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the prioress to let me live in perfect obscurity,
without corresponding with my friends,
or even with my relations. She declined to
grant this last request, thinking that my zeal
was leading me too far. On the other hand,
she complied with my wish to be employed
at once, without the slightest preparatory
indulgence or consideration, on any menial
labour which the discipline of the convent
might require from me. On the first day of
my admission a broom was put into my
hands. I was appointed also to wash up the
dishes, to scour the saucepans, to draw water
from a deep well, to carry each sister's
pitcher to its proper place, and to scrub the
tables in the refectory. From these occupations
I got on in time to making rope shoes
for the sisterhood, and to taking care of the
great clock of the convent; this last employment
requiring me to pull up three immensely
heavy weights regularly every day.
Seven years of my life passed in this hard
work, and I can honestly say that I never
murmured over it.

To return, however, to the period of my
admission into the convent.

After three months of probation, I took
the veil on the twentieth of January,
seventeen hundred and twenty-five. The
Archbishop did me the honour to preside at the
ceremony; and, in spite of the rigour of the
season, all Lyons poured into the church to
see me take the vows. I was deeply affected;
but I never faltered in my resolution. I
pronounced the oaths with a firm voice, and with
a tranquillity which astonished all the
spectators,—a tranquillity which has never once
failed me since that time.

Such is the story of my conversion.
Providence sent me into the world with an
excellent nature, with a true heart, with a
remarkable susceptibility to the influence of
estimable sentiments. My parents neglected
my education, and left me in the world,
destitute of everything but youth, beauty,
and a lively temperament. I tried hard to
be virtuous; I vowed, before I was out of
my teens, and when I happened to be struck
down by a serious illness, to leave the stage,
and to keep my reputation unblemished, if
anybody would only give me two hundred
livres a year to live upon. Nobody came
forward to help me, and I fell. Heaven pardon
the rich people of Paris who might have
preserved my virtue at so small a cost!
Heaven grant me courage to follow the better
path into which its mercy has led me, and to
persevere in a life of penitence and devotion
to the end of my days!

So this singular confession ends. Besides
the little vanities and levities which appear
here and there on its surface, there is surely
a strong under-current of sincerity and
frankness which fit it to appeal in some degree to
the sympathy as well as the curiosity of the
reader. It is impossible to read the narrative
without feeling that there must have
been something really genuine and hearty in
Mademoiselle Gautier's nature; and it is a
gratifying proof of the honest integrity of her
purpose to know that she persevered to the
last in the life of humility and seclusion
which her conscience had convinced her was
the best life that she could lead. Persons
who knew her in the Carmelite convent,
report that she lived and died in it,
preserving to the last, all the better part of the
youthful liveliness of her character. She
always received visitors with pleasure, always
talked to them with surprising cheerfulness,
always assisted the poor, and always willingly
wrote letters to her former patrons in Paris
to help the interests of her needy friends.
Towards the end of her life, she was afflicted
with blindness; but she was a trouble to no
one in consequence of this affliction, for she
continued, in spite of it, to clean her own
cell, to make her own bed, and to cook her
own food just as usual. One little
characteristic vanityharmless enough, surely?—
remained with her to the last. She never
forgot her own handsome face, which all
Paris had admired in the by-gone time; and
she contrived to get a dispensation from the
Pope which allowed her to receive visitors in
the convent parlour without a veil.


SCARCLIFF, on the north-eastern coast of
England, is one of the very few beautiful
spots so situated, which have not been
metamorphosed into fashionable watering-places.
Our pier is still constructed of great loose
stones, or boulders, upon which I am happy
to think no modern dandy could set foot
without considerable damage; our yellow
sands are not stuck over with mangy-looking
iron pipes (upon which the seawater has had
a horrible external effect), in order to supply
douche, tepid, and hot baths to people who
resemble the pipes; no committee of health
has removed the tangled wilderness of
weed that clings about our rocks when the
tide ebbs, and affords that refreshing
fragrance called the smell of the sea; no
esplanade of Portland stone, with this restriction
and that restriction printed up all over
it, and a policeman to see that every restriction
is attended to, deforms our beach; no infirm
imitations of the ark make our shores
hideous. If we want to bathe and are men,
we stride along the tinkling shingle and
craunch into the shell-abounding sand, as
far as the point yonder; and there, with one
of the many-coloured caves for our dressing-
room, we plunge down, down, down, away
from the sun and the sky, into another
world of shade and coolness, where we
cannot stay very long without inconvenience,
and all is man that comes to fishes'
net; then, breathless and palpitating, we
arise again, to take our pleasure upon the