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formed the favourite morning meal of the old
gentleman, Monsieur de Beaulieu. The
hasty-pudding was always to be got ready by
seven o'clock exactly, When this had been
done, Marie was next required to take the
infirm old lady, Madame de Beaulieu, every
morning to mass. She was then to go to
market, and get all the provisions that were
wanted for the daily use of the family; and
she was, finally, to look to the cooking of the
food and make herself additionally useful
(with some occasional asistance from Madame
Duparc and her daughter) in every other
remaining branch of household work. The
wages she was to receive for performing all
these conflicting duties amounted to
precisely two pounds sterling of English money.

She had entered her new place on a
Wednesday. On Thursday she took her first
lesson in preparing the old gentleman's
morning meal. One point which her mistress
then particularly impressed on her was, that
she was not to put any salt in the hasty-

On the Saturday following, when she went
out to buy milk, she made a little purchase
on her own account. Of course the purchase
was an article of dressa, piece of fine bright
orange-coloured stuff, for which she paid nearly
the whole price on the spot, out of her small
savings. The sum of two sous six deniers
(about a penny English) was all that Marie
took credit for. Onl her return to the house,
she showed the piece of stuff to Madame
Buparc, and asked to be advised whether
she should make an apron or a jacket of it.

The next day being Sunday, Marie marked
the occasion by putting on all the little finery
she had. Her pair of festive pockets, striped
with blue and white, and wonderfully smart
to look at, came out of her bundle along
with other things. When she had put them
on, she hung the old work-a-day pockets
which she had worn, on leaving Bayeux to
the back of a chair in her bed-chamber.
This was a little room on the ground-floor,
situated close to the dining-room, and
perfectly easy of access to everyone in the
house. Long afterwards, Marie remembered
how pleasantly and quietly that Sunday
passed. It was the last day of happiness the
poor creature was to enjoy in the house of
Madame Duparc.

On the Monday morning, she went to fetch
the milk as usual. But the milkwoman was
not in the shop to serve her. After returning
to the house, she proposed making a
second attempt; but her mistress stopped
her, saying that the milk would doubtless be
sent before long. This turned out to be the
case, and Marie, having cleaned the saucepan
for Monsieur de Beaulieu's hasty-pudding,
received from the hands of Madame Duparc
the earthen vessel containing the meal used
in the house. She mixed this flour and put
it into the saucepan, in the presence of
Madame Duparc and her daughter. She
had just set the saucepan on the fire, when
her mistress said, with a very remarkable

"Have you put any salt in it?"

"Certainly not, ma'am," answered Marie,
amazed by the question. "You told me
yourself that I was never to put salt in it."

Upon this, Madame Duparc snatched up
the saucepan without saying another word,
turned to the dresser, stretched out her hand
towards one of four salt-cellars which always
stood there, and sprinkled salt into the saucepan
or (to speak with extreme correctness,
the matter being important), if not salt,
something which she took for salt.

The hasty-pudding made, Marie poured
it from the saucepan into a soup-plate which
her mistress held. Madame Duparc herself
then took it to Monsieur de Beaulieu. She
and her daughter, and one of her sons
remained with the old man, while he was
eating his breakfast. Marie, left in the
kitchen, prepared to clean the saucepan;
but, before she could do so, she was
suddenly called in two different directions, by
Madame de Beaulieu, and Madame Duparc.
The old lady  wished to be taken to
mass; and her mistress wanted to send her
on a number of errands. Marie did not stop
even to pour some clean water, as usual into
the saucepan. She went at once to get
her instructions from Madame Duparc, and to
attend on Madame de Beaulieu. Taking the
old lady to church, and then running on her
mistress's errands, which were much more
numerous than usual, kept her so long away
from the house, that it was half-past eleven
in the forenoon, before she got back to the

The first news that met her on her return
was that Monsieur de Beaulieu had been
suffering, ever since nine o'clock, from a
violent attack of vomiting and colic.
Madame Duparc ordered her to help the old
man to bed immediately; and inquired,
when these directions had been followed,
whether Marie felt capable of looking after
him herself, or whether she would prefer
that a nurse should be sent for. Being a
kind-hearted, willing girl, always anxious to
make herself useful, Marie replied that she
would gladly undertake the nursing of the
old man; and, thereupon, her bed was moved
at once into Monsieur de Beaulieu's room.

Meanwhile, Madame Duparc fetched from
a neighbouring apothecary's, one of the
apprentices of the shop, to see her father. The
lad was quite unfit to meet the emergency of
the case, which was certainly serious enough
to require the attention of his master, if not
of a regularly qualified physician. Instead
of applying any internal remedies, the
apprentice stupidly tried blistering. This course
of treatment proved utterly useless; but no
better advice was called in. After he had
suffered for hours without relief, Monsieur
de Beaulieu began to sink rapidly towards

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