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The wine, I may observe, was some of the best
Burgundyat the priceI ever drank, and we
gave it due honour accordingly, to the delight
of the Père, who prided himself especially
upon his cellar. We invited him to partake,
and he immediately sat down and grew
communicative. The conversation turned
naturally upon himself; then upon his house.
He had commenced on his present system, he
told us, a poor man, without a penny to bless
himself with. By the exercise of industry
and economy, whichI have since learned
approached to something like heroism, he
became what I saw him. As I saw him,
he was simply a cook in a white cap and
apron. But he was, in reality, something
very different. His wealth, I have since
learned, was immense indeed, he had the
reputation of being a millionaire. Yet, with all
his prosperity, he never changed his old habits,
nor made the slightest attempt to set himself
up higher in the social scale, which men of a
tenth part of his means are accomplishing
successfully every day. He might have
married his daughters to bankers even; but he
gave them to men of his own rank, and was
satisfied so that they were happy. As for the
business, it had increased by degrees to its
present extent; and even now it augmented
day by day. Nor did he gain his wealth by
any undue contribution upon the poor: on
the contrary, the Petit Ramponneau was the
greatest blessing that they could enjoy. A
dinner there, he assured me to my surprise, cost
the visitor but five sous, exclusive of wine,
which, however, could be enjoyed at a
proportionately economical rate. If any testimonial
was wanting to the excellence of the system,
it could be found in the number of persons
who availed themselves of itsometimes
from three to four and five thousand in the
course of the day. Of these, the majority
were of the very poorest class, as I could see
for myself; but among them were many of
an apparent respectability that made their
presence there a matter of surprise. The
number of persons of the better classes who
were reduced by "circumstances" to dine
there, was by no means inconsiderable. He
himself, the Père, had often recognised faces
that had been familiar to him in far different
scenes. And he was convinced that the
establishment which, by good management, was
so large a source of profit to himself, was an
inestimable benefit to the poorer classes of

I thought of the many thousands in London
who starve more expensively than they could
dine at the Petit Ramponneau, and entirely
agreed with the worthy Père.

While we were talking, the guests had
been gradually moving off; plates and dishes
were being carried away in huge piles; the
tables and benches were being cleared and
re-arranged; the copper had ceased to hiss,
and the furnace to roar. Everything denoted
preparations for closing.

Presently half-a-dozen men began to roll
some huge tubsnearly as high as themselves
into the court-yard. I asked the meaning
of this arrangement. "They are the
wine-barrels that have supplied the consumption
of to-day," was the reply.

I was fairly astonished, and by a matter
of the merest detail. It gave me the best
idea I could have formed of the large number
of the frequenters of the Petit Ramponneau.
But so it always is. Statistics tell us very
astonishing things in calculations and total
results; but they suggest nothing definite to
ordinary minds; but the sight of these huge
empty wine-barrels gave me a more distinct
idea of the enormous consumption of wine in
one day, than the most skilful grouping or
tabulating of figures could possibly have done.

Here we took our leave of our new
acquaintances, and made the best of our way
into Paris. As for the Petit Ramponneau, it
flourishes still, I believe; but I regret to
learn that the worthy proprietor is among
the things that were. Poor fellow! he died,
I am told, true to the last to his simple
unostentatious system; in his white cap and
apron by the side of the great copper and the
roaring furnace.



IN a corner of a newspaper we met, the
other day, with a neat little story of a
sanguine man. It bore the heading "Privy
Council," and took the form of an application
for the renewal of a patent.

The hero of the tale is a gentleman named
Berrington, who, some time agocertainly
more than fourteen years agoinvented an
improved knapsack. The knapsacks then
used in the army were notoriously cumbrous,
artfully contrived to press the belt over the
lungs in walking, and to impede the free
movements of the soldier. Mr. Angelo, who
instructs the army in sword exercise, stated
that chiefly, or entirely, owing to the weight
and bad adjustment of the belt and knapsack
employed in the army fifteen years ago,
nine out of ten of the infantry became flat-chested.

Mr. Berrington, impressed with this fact,
exercised his wits in the invention of a knapsack
that should be light, that should be so
hung as to remove the pressure from the
surface of the chest, and that should in itself be
more convenient than the old knapsack for the
purposes to which a knapsack is applied. Mr.
Berrington succeeded in his intention; at
any rate, he said that he did, and no man
contradicted him. His improved knapsack
had the further claim on patronage that it
was a float, and would act as a life-preserver
in case of shipwreck. So that, in case of the
wreck of a transport-shipand the recent

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