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&c., produced by the community, to each
mother of a family, and she used to spin and
make the clothes of her own separate household.
Gault was irreproachable in its morals.
Prudent, sober, honest, virtuous, it set an
example to the whole district, and was
regarded as the moral mirror of Saint Bénin
des Bois. But things changed. In eighteen
hundred and sixteen, Stephen, or Étienne,
son of François, then master of the
community, withdrew; giving the first example
during five hundred years, of any one
voluntarily renouncing the advantages of the
community of Gault. He received the same
sum as a woman's marriage-portionfifty-
five pounds,—and went off with it. In
eighteen hundred and forty-three, François,
son of this Étienne, a youth who had been
born and brought up out of the community,
sued the members of the association before
the Court of Nevers for his share. Judgment
was given in his favour, not as the
representative of his father, whose affairs had
been duly settled, but as the heir by
representation of his grandfather François, and of
his grandmother, both of whom had died in
the community after the retirement of
Étienne. The Court of Bourges, where the
case was carried, in appeal from the decision
of that of Nevers, quashed this verdict, and
upheld the community. But the internal
dissension to which the case had given rise,
broke up the unity and good feeling of the
whole, and in eighteen hundred and forty-
six, the community of Gault had ceased to
exist. An old and intelligent member gave
the following version of the affair.

"The oldest master whose name I know
was Father Nicé. I never saw him, but I
often heard my grand (father) speak of him.
He was all at once invested with the authority
of master at thirty-four years of age, in
consequence of an epidemic which ravaged
the community, and left him the oldest of all
the surviving members. His government
was wise and respected. He had the entire
disposition of the common property, which he
divided justly amongst all, according to the
needs of each. The members on their side
performed with a good grace the labours he
assigned to them, sure that the master who
had seen them all grow up around him, and
who had always treated them as his own
children, knew better than they what was
right to do. In a word he ruled well, and all
were submissive to him.

"During his lifetime Father Nicé chose
Étienne le Gault, called le Petit-Tienne,
brother of my grand (sic) (father?), whom he
took about everywhere with him, and who
succeeded him. Under the administration of
Master Petit-Tienne all remained as in the
past; things went only by the orders of the

"But under François, my grand (sic), who
died towards eighteen hundred and thirty,
aged eighty-four years, the spirit of
insubordination crept into the community; the
young men became proud, and would no longer
listen to their elders, whom they wished to
guide; seeing which Father François often
said, 'A hundred devils, my children, you
will see that you will no longer prosper.'

"From this time, and under Master Claude,
who closed the list of the masters of the
community, things went from bad to worse;
religious duties were forgotten; the young
men began to swear; they would only work
according to their own fancy for the
community, diverting all that they could, either
in work or of other common property, to the
advantage of their own private possessions,
though the laws forbad the direct cultivation
of these. They also arrogated to themselves
the right of requiring the accounts, and of
watching over the partition of the harvests
and produce. From thence distrust, and
often quarrels. And from this time the days
of calm and of happiness which the community
had known disappeared without return."


SWIFT speeds our little boat over the flaunting
billow as we bear down from one of the
Greek Islands, and fly like a seagull into the
breezy bay of Smyrna. A man must be a
nautical sort of genius, however, to like this
kind of thing, pleasant and dashing as it
reads. We are crammed, six or seven of us,
in one of those rakish little Greek boats that
do the coasting trade in these parts, and a
very brisk trade it is. We crowd on such a
press of canvas that most of us cling devoutly
to one side of the boat, the other being
scarcely an inch removed from the angry
water. We bend, and dip, and swerve, and
then shoot on like an arrow over the waves.
I mentally resolve that the sun shall never
again shine upon the day which sees me
clinging on for dear life to the slippery
sides of a little Greek boat in the coasting
trade; wondering with each gust of wind
whether the lithe, bending mast will break
at last, or whether the swelling sail will not
prove too much for us, and turn our crazy
little bark fairly upside down. I am
in no wise reassured by the cold, sneering,
philosophical expression of the boatman,
who sits perched on the prow as easily as a
groom at Tattersall's would sit a plunging
horse. I know that his countrymen are as
rash in running into danger as they are
entirely wanting in presence of mind at a crisis;
besides, I should not be surprised if the
rogue is a fatalist, and so would not even try
to avert any unfavourable event; in a word,
that he would expect us all to go down like a
cargo of stones with the placid conviction, that
our hour was come and could not be

In consequence of these reflections, my
spirits revive considerably when we come to
an anchor opposite the British Consulate;

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