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pellation which he continues to deserve, and to receive on the same account, to the end of his adventures. On leaving the school at Orleans, he goes to Paris to pursue the study of medicine. A disclosure of the unworthy arts too frequently resorted to by gentlemen of the faculty, made to him by a physician of some eminence who very kindly undertakes to initiate him into the secrets of medical practice, gives bim a disgust of that profession, and he betakes himself to the study of the law. The chicaneries of the law, drive him to learn the mysteries of trade, and an insight into the frauds of trade, makes him think of enter ing the army. He converses with an officer, who talks of his gains by pillages and contributions, of the satisfaction he feels at the news of a declaration of war, of the hope of succeeding to the place of his comrades who might fall in the contest, of good wine, and of pretty girls, till George's martial ardour is extinguished. He returns to his native town, resolved to cultivate his farm as his father had done before him. His relations, consisting of M. St. Firmin a physician and his wife, M. Dupré his cousin an attorney, and M. La Morinière another cousin, who held a situation in the Sous Prefecture, and whose wife is a shopkeeper, assemble to hear the story of his adventures in Paris.
“ His repeated changes of situation were not exactly approved of by George's friends, who now, in addition to the former epithets of simpleton and novice, added those of a dissatisfied weathercock fellow who would never settle in life. He is a chap,' said they, 'who will never get on in the world.' It was still worse when, in the simplicity of his heart, our hero explained to them, without reserve, his motives for quitting so soon all the various professions to which he had successively applied himself. Each thought himself personally reflected upon.
• Do you mean to insinuate any thing against me?' inquired his cousin, the man of law, when you consider ali attorneys as knaves ?"
• Or do you imagine,' asked the doctor, that all medical men are quacks destitute of humanity ?'
“I know not,' observed La Morinière,' what the tradespeople of Paris may be; but I can assure you that my wife is as conscientious a shopkeeper, as she is a clever one.'
Perceiving the blunder he had committed, and the offence he had given, George began to apologize, saying,
"True, there are undoubtedly honest people in all callings, and I believe you to be of the number.'
On this they set about justifying those very transactions that had appeared to our novice to be so very questionable.
The doctor maintained that a certain degree of quackery was necessary for a physician.
And why should I spare my clients?' said the attorney, with a laugh half satirical and half candid:can I be found fault with, if I am no worse than others ? So much the worse for those who go to law: I pity them; but I must live by them; it is my business.'
The conscientious lady who kept shop was of opinion that good bar
gains were not to be neglected, and that the most was to be made of a customer who knew not how to deal.
• That is it,' said the doctor; 'in addition to the particular knowledge requisite for any profession, it is necessary to have a certain tact and address, to understand the inystery of one's trade, and to know how to turn our knowledge to account.”—pp. 30, 31.
George, however, meets with a very different reception from his mother, who is happy that her son has returned an honest man. He soon has ample occasion for the display of this trait in his character. He refuses to be guilty of a fraud upon the collection of the land tax, by means of a legal evasion which every body else practises without scruple--for which his relations call him a blockhead ; he declines the hand of an antiquated virgin, greatly his senior, but very rich and very tender, and falls in love with a pretty girl without a penny, a temporary resident in the village with her father-for which all the world call him a blockhead; he is importuned by his damsel to commit a dishonest action for the sake of securing to her a considerable marriage portion, a proposal which he rejects with indignation and renounces her love,—for which the young lady's friends call him a blockhead; and George, having learned soon after that the nymph and her father had decamped, and that he had narrowly escaped being matched with a yourg lady of a very doubtful character, is ready to call himself a blockhead. After a variety of adventures, in none of which does he retrieve his character for worldly wisdom, he has the misfortune to lose his mother, a loss for which he manifests greater affliction than either bis relations or the world think necessary. Having no longer any ties to attach him to his country, he resolves to travel, and departs with a venture of merchandise for the United States. At the end of three years he returns, and finds his relations settled in Paris. Instead of telling them of the splendid fortune be has made, he talks of the imposing political spectacle
resented by the United States; and when he is asked what had become of his venture, he informs them that he had been eased of part of it by a cheat, and had given the remainder to a worthy man in distress. He is again reproached by his benevolent relations with his folly and ignorance of the world, and informed that they can neither afford him shelter nor assistance. The rudeness of this reception is suddenly changed into excessive kindness on accidentally learning, in the course of this very friendly interview, that while travelling in America, Dercy bad contracted an intimacy with Count Dharville, a gay and dissipated butgenerous and warm hearted young man, the son of Marquis Dharville, a nobleman who possessed a powerful interest at court. George is so delighted with the returning cordiality of
his relations, that he does not once reflect on its motive, and undertakes to employ his credit with his noble friend to procure them certain profitable places under government. Some very pleasant and lively scenes arise out of the attempts of George to serve his relations which, being made with his usual simplicity and probity, are not very successful and again subject him to their reproaches-Dharville, however, obtains for George a place in the private cabinet of the Duke of minister of state. Here he applies himself faithfully to his duties, and though he sometimes disobliges the duke by his steady integrity, is yet retained in office. About this time a relation dies ; Dercy becomes master of a million francs; the Duke offers him an important political advancement on condition that he will attach himself to his party; he declines the offer, and prefers to retain the humble post of private secretary to the Duke. His relations, who had been enriched equally with himself
, now press him to marry, and propose a Mademoiselle Dubrocard, the daughter of a wealthy receiver-general, whom they represent as exceedingly beautiful, amiable and accomplished, and to whom George very dutifully agrees to pay his addresses. In the mean time, he meets with one Dauvert, an old schoolfellow, a man of an entirely different character from himself, cunning, intriguing and false from his very cradle, who contrives to possess himself of his project of obtaining the hand of Mademoiselle Dubrocard, and to borrow a hundred louis of him. With the aid of this money, he equips himself in such a manner as to eclipse Dercy in the eyes of the young lady, and being introduced by Dercy to the Duke, contrives to supplant him in the office he holds. He thus communicates the news of his success to Dercy.
My worthy, excellent fellow, how unfortunate you are!' said he, squeezing his hand, while the tears started to his eyes, for there are soine people who have them always at command. While George, not recovered from his first surprise, was waiting in silence for an explanation of this singular address, “How I pity you, how I am concerned for you,'continued Dauvert, after a pause. Yet I thought it was better that I myself-I indeed conceive it to be my duty, though a most painful one. Whatever construction the world and malicious people may put upon it, I have thought that the news would be less distressing to you if communicated by a friend—a friend, my good Dercy, whose sincerity you cannot for an instant doubt; one, too, who wishes to explain to you his conducta conduct inspired by honour—and who hopes that he shall be able to offer you some consolation, some reparation, some atonement.'
And what, if you please, is really the matter ?' cried George, quite out of patience, at this awful, and apparently never-to-be-ended proem.
'Ab! replied Dauvert, still as if wishing to gain time, and interrupting himself every minute by his parentheses, ' Ah! why has your dis
position, so generous, so noble, induced you to act with such a stern kind of inflexibility-dare I say with such imprudent sincerity ? or rather by what fatality has it happened that, possessing as we do the same principles of morality, you have not had, or at least have not appeared to have, the same political sentiments ? But this is not the time to make you the slightest reproach. No! it is not now when my dear friend is suffering fronı his imprudence that I will allow myself
'But I absolutely do not understand you, Dauvert. What has happened that you are so full of concern for me?'
I should be very insincere towards you, my worthy George, did I not own that the minister is offended at the part you have chosen to act during the election. However, in spite of his anger, he has still a great regard for you-he esteems you very highly, very highly indeed. And I am certain that had he been left to himself he would never have thought of showing the least resentment; but he has been compelled to act as he does. A hint in a very powerful quarter-Ah! you understand.'
* Perfectly,' returned Dercy, with a smile. He dismisses me from
• Here is his letter,' said Dauvert, taking it out of his pocket, and then proceeding in a more composed tone of voice.' 'It is full of expressions that reflect honour upon you, yet it is not the less afflicting to me. The duke did not wish that it should be sent to you by an ordinary messenger. I therefore offered to be the bearer of it, for I thought that I could communicate the tidings to you in a more cautious, more delicate manner; and thus lighten the blow as much as possible. Nor have I had any difficulty in persuading the worthy duke to accompany this official desparch by a private note expressive of his regrets ;-you will find it within the envelope.
Oh!' said George, having opened the packet, and read both the papers; and with the same smile as before; "the wound is not so very severe after all. Do you know who it is that is to succeed me?'
It is this,' replied Dauvert, 'precisely this circumstance that enables me to offer you some consolation and hopes for the future. The duke must soon perceive how unjustly he has acted. I shall be there to take care that not only he himself shall have his eyes opened with regard to you; but likewise that he afterwards undeceives those high personages who have exercised such a fatal influence over him. Yes, he has forced meabsolutely forced me, I say, to accept the situation you have hitherto held. At first I refused, and with a firmness and determination that struck even the duke himself. But he has insisted ; would take no denial; and therefore looking boldly at all the consequences of the affair, and braving all the inalicious things that may be insinuated against me, well assured that you, my good George, would not hesitate for an instant to do justice to my motives, and judging also that it would be to your interest to let the storm blow over a little, and then to bring you safe into harbour, I have overcome my repugnance* And accepted my place?
Yes, but in order to keep it for you.' ''Tis very generous on your part; but keep it for yourself. The duke has only anticipated my wishes. I began to despair of being serviceable in this employment which my friends urged me to accept; and already thought of giving it up, in order to carry into execution a scheme that's have always had, and which my fortune now allows me to indulge inthat of retiring altogether from business, and looking after my estates.'
Indeed!' cried Dauvert, affecting to be greatly astonished, though really not in the least surprised at such a resolution on the part of Dercy. • Well, this firmness, I may even say this fortitude, with which you support the loss of your situation, induces me to cominunicate to you at once another piece of intelligence that will probably not pain you so much ; or, after what I have witnessed, will, perhaps, be perfectly indifferent 10 you.'
"And what is it then!'
'This M. Dubrocard-he is a very excellent, worthy man, but very ch angeable in his opinions, and very obstinate in whatever opinion be holds at the moment, like the generality of weak-minded persons ; as fot myself, after I became connected with the duke, I thought I perceived that the intentions of the ministry were really good; and my political principles do not now exactly accord with your own: yet I do not blame you at all because you think differently from myself—but it is not the same with Dubrocard. What has happened at the election has set him against you. He has informed me of his resentment towards you, which I have vainly endeavoured to calm, and am quite concerned at not baving been able to succeed.'
“Oh! pray do not concern yourself at all about it,' replied George: • It is very natural that, in consequence of his new opinions, M. Dubrocard—whom, by the bye, I regarded extremely-has taken some offence ; but I excuse him with all my heart.'
But this is not all,' continued Dauvert; 'you were introduced to the receiver-general as a young man who would be a very desirable match for his daughter; but an accident—the merest accident in the world you know-first brought me acquainted with the family. Now I perceive—at least so I fancy—that the young and charming Alphonsine has made no impression upon you; and it was indeed very natural, that as you seemed to take no pains to render yourself
agreeable to her, but always preserved an inflexible silence both to herself and her friends, you inade as little impression upon her. It was then that I— who would never have acted with so little delicacy as to do aught that might appear like supplanting a friend, being quite convinced in my own mind that you had not the least inclination for a inarriage with her—what shall I own?yes, I listened to the inclination of my heart--I no longer attenipted to do any violence to my affections. Do not imagine that it is her fortune that attracts me; but I believe in truth that there is some sympathy between us.
I believe so too.' 'I then, as I was going to say, permitted myself to lay, both before the young lady and her parents, my honourable intentions-my passion, as profound as it is sincere. I have every reason to hope that my offers will be accepted; but my happiness must not be purchased at the price of a single regret to my friend.'
Nor will it: it will not cost me a single sigh.'
• What then! really! you would not be offended with me, even if I should marry her ?'
“Oh! good Heavens! by no means.'
• Ah! what an incomparable friend you are! and how it cuts me to the soul to be the bearer of such good news, when you behave so generously !—Vol: 2, pp. 47–53.