But the procession, consisting of myself alone, did not go beyond the different rooms and the kitchen. I did not go into the loft, because who ever heard of a grand imposing ceremony taking place in a loft? I would, however, have gladly gone into the garden to ask a blessing upon our rose trees, and the one apricot tree which grew there, but which never had any apricots on it; only the notorious intolerance of that little bantam-cock prevented the procession venturing out of doors.

When I met my mother, as I marched about the passages in pomp, she would smile kindly at me, and kiss me as I passed. Then I would whisper in her ear, “Mamma, I should like to be a 长沙桑拿最好的场子 priest.”

“And why not, my darling,” would be her reply, “if it is your vocation?”
One day when my father came home from fishing he went into the kitchen, where my mother was making some cakes, and remained there talking earnestly with her for some time. While this conversation was going on I appeared upon the scene dressed up in my surplice, for I was just in the middle of one of my grandest processions. As I was about to enter the kitchen I was rooted to the spot by these words, which I heard proceeding from my father’s lips.

“You say, my dear, that he talks of becoming a priest: the fact is he knows neither what he is talking about nor what he wishes. You must not suppose that because a child arranges little chapels in the corners of rooms, pretends he is joining in a religious procession, and wears 长沙桑拿 his mother’s apron as a surplice, that he is therefore fitted to be a priest when he grows up. You might just as well say that a boy must become a soldier because he puts a feather in his cap and plays the drum all day; and then,” he went on in a melancholy tone of voice, “Paul would certainly be a worthy priest to offer to God’s service! Priest, do you say?” Then exclaimed my father bitterly, “No; a priest, like a soldier, must ever be ready to sacrifice his own life. A priest must think nothing of danger or suffering, if he incurs either for the good of others! A priest must be ready at any hour of the day or night to visit and solace those dying from pestilence. However contagious an illness may be, no priest may shrink from visiting those stricken down with it, at the risk of his own life. Do you think Paul has a vocation 长沙桑拿休闲娱乐会所 for this?”

My mother hung her head and said nothing. Alas! what could she have said? My father’s words were wise indeed. As for me, I stood motionless in the shadow of the dark corridor, with my little bell in my hand. I listened to all that was said, standing there too distressed to remember that I ought not to listen to my father and mother’s conversation when they were unconscious of my presence.

“You see, my dear,” my father continued in a more gentle voice, “a man requires courage in whatever position he may be placed and in whatever profession he may choose. But the duty of a priest is to give others courage when they fail in it, and how can he do that if he is wanting in it himself? He must set others the example. No, our boy is less fitted to be a priest than anything else; for a priest must be courageous, and his courage must be of the highest order. But mind, I would not, for anything in the world, prevent our unfortunate son from following his vocation, if he really had one. I will not deny that I had hoped he might become a soldier, because I was one myself; but alas! I have had to give up that hope.” And he repeated slowly, in a sad tone of voice, “Yes, I have given it up!”

The bell fell from my hand: at the noise it made, both my father and mother turned round and discovered me. “Ah! you are there,” said my father, looking sadly at me. “It is as well, perhaps, that you heard what I said. At all events it is said, and you have heard it. However, I did not intend you should do so, my poor boy!” he exclaimed as he kissed my forehead. “But you will understand some day why I have at times seemed severe with you.”

“Kiss papa,” said my mother, “and try to remember what you have heard. You are very young, you have time to profit by his words. You may yet do better. I am pleased with his progress in his lessons,” she went on, addressing my father in a conciliatory tone, “I have taught him all I can, he knows, as much as I do.”
These words of my mother, intended to settle matters happily, at once raised another cloud on my horizon.

“Well then,” answered my father, “if you have taught him all you can, we must send him to college. Now then, little man, don’t let me see your nose turn white.”

College! word odious to my ears, and terrible to my imagination. Robert Boissot, was he not at college? I could judge from this sample of a schoolboy how horrid all the rest must be. What awful things had that boy told me about his companions, who set their masters at nought and fought such terrible fights that they almost tore each other to pieces. At this fearful thought I instinctively put up my hand to my nose. If I took that poor nose to school, should I ever bring it back again?

My mother sighed as she answered my father. “I have thought, dear, that it would be hard upon our boy to send him at once to college. The college boys are so rough and inclined to bully the little ones: you see, too, Paul has really not been accustomed to play with boys at all.”

“And whose fault is that?” said my father.

“I know, I know,” answered my poor mother; “but all I would say is, don’t you think it would be better to send him first to Miss Porquet’s school? It is so near us; there are not many pupils, and nearly all are younger than Paul. Miss Porquet is very gentle and at the same time very firm. And the boys at that school are not always having those dreadful quarrels and fights which they have at the college. She teaches Latin to several of the children, for instance to one little boy whose mother I know, and who told me yesterday that he was getting on extremely well.”

“Very well,” replied my father, “let us settle it so, that he goes to Miss Porquet’s school first. And now, my poor little Paul, you must try to be brave. Fight against this terrible cowardice. Little by little, if you struggle hard, you will be able to overcome your foolish fears. If you try each day to be a little more courageous, you will at length find you are as brave as anyone else. Things don’t come all at once. It is only by striving hard that you can acquire a virtue or overcome a weakness.”

I promised my father to do all I could to overcome my cowardice. My mother kissed me fondly in the passage and whispered in my ear, “Poor 长沙桑拿休闲场所 darling!”
I went to bed that night with the best intentions in the world, and


with my head resting on the pillow I formed thousands of projects, one more daring than the other, so that I might show my parents how much I loved them and how hard I tried to please them. When my mother came up to tuck me into my little bed, as she did every night, and stooped over me to kiss me, I threw my arms round her neck and drawing her quite close whispered in her ear: “I do so love you!”

“Darling little fellow!” she answered, resting her cheek against mine.

I was so excited that I could not go to sleep for a long time. I kept turning over in my mind a most daring project, a most audacious deed which I was determined to perform. Yes, I was determined I would walk into the garden the next day and beard the little 长沙桑拿全套酒店 bantam-cock. How surprised he would be to see me come up to him without the least fear. Ah! it would be


his turn to be afraid now. Yes, I would just open the door leading from the corridor, open it quite wide! then I would walk up to the apricot tree: walk straight up to it without hurrying, or trembling. Then he would come up to me; I should just appear as if I did not see he was there. Then what would he do? He would most likely fly at me. Very well, let him; but I would raise my hand at the moment he began his attack, and I would give him such a blow with my fist that he would not forget it in a hurry. But then, perhaps he would give me a terrible peck, the vicious little horror! Pooh, what of that? I could easily prevent it!

Having come to this conclusion, I at last fell asleep. My plan was to get up early the next 长沙桑拿攻略 morning without making any noise; to go downstairs and into the garden before anyone was about, for I did not wish people to witness my exploit. I was determined to try if I could not carry my project out with courage and success; but I could not be quite sure how matters would turn out, so I would rather have my first battle over without a witness.

When I opened my eyes the next morning, it was broad daylight. I jumped out of bed, said my prayers, and dressed as fast as I could.
From the staircase, down which I bounded two or three steps at a time, I could hear the cock-a-doodle-doo of my enemy. His shrill voice seemed to pierce through one’s head, it was such a self-satisfied, such a confident tone of voice, that as I listened I seemed to hesitate in my design of bearding the little cock. However, 长沙桑拿休闲场所推荐 after a moment I regained my courage, and I said to him—just as if he could hear me,—“Hollo, Mr. Cock, in five minutes you won’t hold your cockscomb quite so high!”