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intention of obtaining employment as a weaver. Being very skilful in his trade, he soon got work; but unfortunately the climate disagreed with his health, and a long illness reduced him to the most deplorable poverty. At this time, hearing of a vessel which was about to sail for France, he resolved to beg a passage for himself and his daughter; and for this purpose dragged himself down to the quay, feeble as he was ; but the captain refused to take him without pay, unless he could work his passage out, which his weakness, of course, put out of the question. Worn out with fatigue and disappointment, the poor man began to retrace his steps instinctively, though he had given up his lodging, and knew not where to go. Just as he was passing the door of the house where Mark Connel lived, his strength failed him, and while he leaned against the wall for support, his daughter knocked, in the hope of obtaining assistance from those within. In attempting to express his gratitude for the kindness with which he had been treated, Dubois found his slender stock of English insufficient; he poured forth blessings in his own language, which were rendered intelligible by his expressive gestures.
Mark contrived to make him understand that he might remain where he was till he should be somewhat better, and that then it would be time enough to consider what could be done for him ; but this time never came. Poor Dubois grew rapidly worse; and a few days after his arrival he died, leaving his child to the care of the strangers who had so hospitably received him. They could not afford to pay her passage to France ; and as neither they nor the orphan herself could write, they had no means of communicating with her relations. “ Therefore," said Mark, in talking over the subject with his wife, “ she must stay with us, and take the bit with our children.” “ That is just what I was thinking,” said the kind-hearted woman ; expense will not be much ; and besides, there is a blessing on the roof that shelters an orphan.” The children were delighted to hear that their new friend, Lisette, was to remain with them ; for her good-humoured and obliging disposition had already made her a favourite with them all. Many of their neighbours blamed the Connels for burdening themselves with a child who had no claim on them ; but they paid no regard to what was said ; and though the times were hård, and they certainly felt the additional expense caused by their adopted child, they never for a moment repented of what they had done. Meanwhile, Lisette was like a gleam of sunshine in the abode of her protectors. Everything grew more cheerful under the influence of her gay and sprightly temper. She was older than any of Mark's children, and could therefore be of more use in many ways. She helped Mrs. Connel in her work, sang the baby to sleep with the songs of her native country, and amused the children during many a long winter evening with stories about the village in which she had been brought up, and which she described as the most beautiful spot in the world. It cannot be supposed that the young stranger did not sometimes contrast the dark narrow street in which she was now living with the pleasant cottage standing in the midst of green meadows, in which her childhood had been passed with an uncle and aunt who had brought her up. She felt it painfully when spring came, and she thought of the flowers she used to gather with her young companions, and of all the pleasures of the country at that season. But she repressed these feelings as ungrateful to her benefactors, and in time became reconciled to her new situation.
About four years after these events, a new railroad was opened in the north of France; and as the French were not very skilful in that kind of work, there was a great demand for English or Irish labourers. Mark Connel, who had long been struggling with poverty, determined to save enough money to pay for a passage,
and to go with his whole family to France, to procure employment on the railway. What was Lisette's joy on hearing of this plan! She could not contain her delight. To revisit her native country, in company with the kind friends who had adopted her, was a pleasure so great that she had never dared to think of it, except in her dreams. There was also a chance of her finding her own relations, for the part of France to which they were now going was her native province ;—but it was only a chance,- for her uncle had been on the point of changing his residence when she and her father left them, and she did not know where he had settled. Lisette assisted, as far as she could, to earn the money requisite to pay for the passage ; for she was now a strong active girl of fifteen, and had learned to work neatly (as well as to read and write) at the school which she had attended with Mark's elder children.
At length the wished-for moment arrived, and they embarked for France ; it was not certainly a moment of such pleasure to the Connels as to Lisette, for they were leaving their own country to go among strangers, of whose language, habits, and manners they were ignorant. Still they were cheered by going in company with one who could interpret for them, and who gave so agreeable a description of the province they were going to, that the younger part of the family expected, confidently, to be happier than they had ever been before. After a prosperous voyage they landed at Havre, a fine city, standing at the mouth of the river Seine, and one of the principal seaports of France. After taking leave of their fellow-passengers, our travellers remained standing on the quay, hardly knowing what to do next, so bewildered did they feel with the novelty of their situation. Crowds of busy people were passing in all directions, talking so fast and so eagerly, that but for their merry faces one might almost have thought they were quarrelling. Now came a troop of fishwomen with curious high caps and short striped petticoats, carrying huge baskets of fish; then an idle sailor sauntered past, wearing a red cap and gilt earrings; then a band of noisy children paused in their game of play to look for a moment at the Irish strangers, and then ran off, their wooden shoes clattering on the stones.
But what struck the travellers more than anything else was the hearing of a foreign language spoken all around them; every one was talking, yet not a word could they understand ; they felt that they were indeed in a land of strangers. At length Lisette reminded them that it would not do to stand on the
all the morning, and asked if she should inquire the way to an inn. “We are too poor to stop at inns, except just for the night,” said Mark, "and how we are to do even that I scarcely know, for I have but very little money.” “But," said Mrs. Connel, “ shillings and pence will be of no use here,-at least so the people on board ship told us : we might as well have no money at all, it seems to me." At this moment a sailor belonging to the ship in which they had come over approached them, and laughingly asked if they were tired of France already, that they remained still on the quay, as if wishing to embark again. Mark explained his difficulty, and the sailor, who was a good-natured fellow, offered to change their money for French coin, with which he happened to be provided. This difficulty removed, Mark and his family set out without further delay, for as it was still early they hoped to get some way on their journey before dark. Lisette was as ignorant of the way as any of them; it was therefore necessary to obtain directions concerning the road from some passenger in the streets. Accordingly Lisette stopped a respectable-looking countrywoman who was carrying a basket of fruit and vegetables, and begged her to be kind enough to tell them how far the new railroad station was from Havre, and which was the road to it. She said it was a great way off, near the city of Rouen ; if they went on foot, they would not be able to arrive in much less than three days. They
were somewhat disappointed on hearing this, but the kindness of the fruit-woman consoled them ; she walked through the town with them, pointed out the right road for their journey, and gave the children some apples out of her basket. About dusk they reached a village, where they determined to pass the night ; the whole party were much in need of rest, and the two youngest children especially were crying from fatigue, though their parents had carried them a great part of the way. A lodging and supper were soon obtained at a small public-house, and the landlord, seeing they were poor people, demanded only a trifling sum, so that their slender stock of money was not much reduced.
The next morning the travellers set out, with renewed strength and spirits, to continue their journey. The country through which they passed was exceedingly pleasant. In the distance they could perceive the broad river Seine glittering in the sunshine, while near at hand there were cheerful-looking villages surrounded by meadows and corn-fields, or half hidden among the trees. The children were particularly delighted with the numerous orchards, for it was now the middle of autumn, and the trees were weighed down by their rich treasure of rosy apples. Normandy, for so this beautiful part of France is called, is famous for its apples, great quantities of which are used by the inhabitants for making cider. It is also an agricultural province, and the substantial farm-houses encircled by fields and orchards, which meet the traveller's eye, form a pleasing contrast to the wretched cottages, each with its patch of corn, which are seen in some other parts of France; for land is never so profitable when cut up into small portions as when cultivated on a large scale.
But though their journey lay through so agreeable a country, the Connels could not help wishing it was over, for they were unaccustomed to walking, and suffered greatly from fatigue ; besides, they were obliged to travel slowly on account of the children, the eldest of whom was only twelve years old, and the youngest little more than a baby. Lisette, though too happy at being in her own country to let her spirits be damped by any difficulties, was yet somewhat disappointed to find that their route did not approach within many miles of the village where her uncle and aunt had lived, and where she might have made inquiries concerning them.
On the fourth day after their landing in France they were beginning to feel extremely weary, and to doubt whether they could get much further that night, though it still wanted an hour to sunset, when they were struck by the sound of merry voices and laughter, apparently not far off. They soon discovered whence this cheerful noise proceeded : 'a group of boys and girls were engaged in gathering apples in an orchard belonging to a farm-house at a little distance from the high road. It was a pleasant scene of work and play united. Some of the boys were knocking down the fruit with long poles, others piling them in heaps, or filling large baskets ; in one tree of uncommon size, whose branches seemed scarcely able to sustain their heavy load, a little boy was seated quite at his ease, throwing down the redcheeked apples into his sister’s apron, which she held to receive them. Presently one of the little girls observed the party of strangers, whose dusty clothes and languid steps showed that they had been long on foot. She ran to the orchard-gate, and asked them to sit down while she fetched them some milk. Lisette came forward to answer her, and explained who the travellers were, adding that she was herself a French girl, and that her name was Lisette Dubois. The little girl then said she would ask her mother's leave to invite them to come into the house and rest; so saying, she hastened away, and returned in a few minutes, accompanied by a middle-aged woman, whose appearance at once told that she was the mistress of the house. Her good-humoured face was decorated by a pair of immensely long gold earrings, and the snow-white cap which rose nearly a foot above her head was trimmed with handsome lace, while a short scarlet petticoat and striped apron completed her dress. The travellers had scarcely time to make these observations, before she reached the gate, and exclaimed eagerly, 66 Where is she? where is Lisette Dubois ? Is it possible that she is my long-lost niece ?— the only child of my poor sister !”
At these words Lisette sprang forward, for • she had recognised her aunt. “Do I indeed see you again ?"
she cried, “ am I not in a dream ?” Madame Benoit (for that was the good woman's name) answered by flinging open the gate and clasping Lisette in her arms. The girls and boys threw down their poles, and crowded round to learn what had happened. Several of them were Lisette's cousins, but, being a good deal younger than she was, they had not recollected her sufficiently to know her after a separation of more than four years.
The Connels did not, of course, understand what was said, but they saw that Lisette had found her friends, and they rejoiced at her good fortune; she told her aunt in a few words who they were, and what they had done for her. Madame Benoit expressed her gratitude in a way that could not be misunderstood; she took Mark and his wife by the hand, and looked with tearful eyes, first