White Lies

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: HI. " Paupers ? " "Alas!" " Members of the nobility paupers ? " " Yes ; for their debts are greater than their means ; they live by sufferance — they lie at the mercy of the law, and of their creditors; and every now and then these monsters threaten us, though they know we struggle to give them their due." " What do they threaten ? " " To petition government to sell the chateau and lands, and pay them — the wretches ! " " The hogs ! " " And then the worst of it is, the family can't do any thing the least little bit mean. I was in the room when M. Perrin, the notary, gave the baroness a hint to cut down every tree on the estate, and sell the timber, and lay by the money for her own use. She heard him out, and then, oh ! the look she gave him — it withered him up on his chair. " ' I rob my husband's and my Josephine's estate of its beauty ! cut down the old trees that show the chateau is not a thing of yesterday, like your Directory, your Republic, and your guillotine ! ' " So then, Monsieur Perrin, to soften her, said : ' No, madame, spare the ancient oak of course, and indeed all the very old trees ; but sell the others.' " ' The others ? what, the trees that my own husband planted ? and why not knock down my little oratory in thepark—he built it. The stones would sell for something—so would Josephine's hair and Laure's. You do not know, perhaps, each of those young ladies there can sit down upon her back hair. Monsieur, I will neither strip the glory from my daughters' heads, nor from the ancient lands of Beaurepaire —nor hallow some Republican's barn, pig stye, or dwelling- Tiouse, with the stones of the sacred place where I pray for my husband's soul.' " Those were her words. She had been sitting quite quiet like a cat, watching for him. She ... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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