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I was destined, might not, after all, she said, suit my taste; and it appeared desirable to her, that, under all circumstances, I should be fitted for another career. Her piety led her to wish that I should decide for the Church : she therefore proposed that I should be sent to college, where I might learn mathematics, drawing, the English Language, and military exercises. She did not venture to speak of Greek or Latin, for fear of alarming my father ; but resolved that I should commence secretly, and, when I had made some progress, to proceed openly. My father agreed to her proposal; and it was determined that I should enter the College of Dol. Preference was given to this city, because it lay on the road from St. Malo to Combourg

During the very severe winter which preceded scholastic seclusion, a fire broke out in the otel where we resided. I was saved by my eldest sister, who carried me through the midst of the flames. M. de Chateaubriand retired to his château, desired his wife to come to him ; but he could not join her till the spring.

The spring in Bretagne is more genial than in the environs of Paris, and the blossoms are more than three weeks in advance. The five birds which announce the coming spring --the swallow, the lorist, the cuckoo, the quail and the nightingale arrived with the breakers which sought shelter in the gulphs of the Armoricaine Peninsula. The ground was clad with daisies, pansies, jonquils, narcissus', hyacinths, ranunculus', anemonies, like the wild spots which surround St. John of Lateran, and the Holy Cross of Jerusalem at Rome. The glades were diversified with the blended tints of tall and elegant firs, intermingled with the flowers of the broom and the furze, so brilliant that they might have been mistaken for gold-winged butterflies. The hedges, which abounded with wild strawberries, raspberries and sweet smelling violets, were decked with the hawthorn, honeysuckle and briar, whose dark and entwining stems were covered with blossoms and magnificent foliage. Bees, birds and butterflies animated every place; and the numerous birds' nests arrested the steps of children at every turn.

Here and there, in some sheltered spot, the


laurel-rose and the myrtle flourished in the open air as in Greece; the fig-tree yielded its fruit as in Provence, and every apple-tree, with its carmine flowers, resembled the bouquet of a village bride.

In the twelfth century, the cantons of Fougères, Rennes, Bécherel, Dinan, St. Malo and Dol were occupied by the forest of Brécheliant; it had been the battle-field of the Franks and of the people of the Dommonée. Wace relates that “the savage, the fountain of Berenton and the golden basin,” might be seen here. An historical document of the fifteenth century

Usemens et coutumes de la forêt de Brécilien,” confirms the Romance of Rou : it states that “it is large and of vast extent; has four castles, a great number of beautiful ponds, fine hunting tracts, where no noxious beasts are found, nor flies molest the traveller ; two hundred forests, and as many springs, especially the fountain of Belenton, by the side of which the Chevalier Pontus commenced his campaigns."

To this day the country preserves the traits of its origin; intersected by wooded trenches, it presents from afar the appearance of a forest, and reminds one of England It is the abode of fairies, and you will learn by and bye that I actually encountered a sylph there. The narrow valleys are watered by little rivers, which are not navigable, and separated by heaths and lofty forests of holly and vines. Along the coast rise a succession of light-houses, watch-towers, dolmins, Roman buildings, ruins of castles of the Middle Ages, and belfreys of the times of the Renaissance : the whole is bounded by the sea. Pliny says of Bretagne :-"Péninsule spectatrice de l'océan.”

Between the ocean and the land, extend the Pelagian Champaigns, the indecisive frontiers of the two elements. Here the field lark and the lark of the ocean fly side by side, the plough and the boat are a stone's throw from each other, furrowing the land and the water. The navigator and the shepherd mutually interchange their language, the sailor speaks of the

vagues moutonnent,” and the shepherd of the “flottes de moutons." The divers coloured sands, the variegated banks of marine shells, the sea-weed, the fringes of silver foam mark the golden or verdant outline of the wavy corn.

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in what island of the Mediterranean I have seen a bas-relief representing the Nereides attaching festoons to the hem of the garment of Ceres.

But the object of the greatest admiration in Bretagne is the moon rising on the land and setting in the sea.

Constituted by God, arbitress of the deep, the moon has her wanes, her vapours, her rays, her eclipses, like the sun; but, unlike him, she retires not solitary-a cortège of brilliant stars accompanies her to her rest. In proportion as, on my native shores, she gradually descends the sky, she increases its silence, which she communicates to the sea; soon she sinks to the horizon, intersects it, shows only the half of her countenance overcome by sleep, she gently inclines, and then disappears in the soft swelling of the waves. The starry retinue of this queen, before plunging to follow her, seem to stop suspended on the crested waves to wish their last good night. The moon has no sooner sunk to rest, than a stiff breeze springs up and effaces the image of the constellations, as the lamps of the festal hall are extinguished when the queen of the feast has withdrawn her shining presence.



I was to accompany my sisters to Combourg, and we commenced our journey thither in the early part of May. We, that is to say, my mother, my four sisters and I, left St. Malo at sunrise, in a huge old-fashioned coach, with double gilt pannels and projecting steps and purple tassels pendent from the four corners of the roof. We were drawn by eight horses, decked, like the mules in Spain, with bells at their necks, and bridles caparisoned with trappings and fringes of divers coloured wools. My mother


sisters kept chattering till they were out of breath. As for me, I sat and listened with both my ears, and had my eyes


open, full of astonishment at every turn of the road. It was the first step of the Wandering Jew, which could never afterwards be

hed, and

VOL. 1.


arrested. Yet, if man merely changes his place of abode, his days and his heart change also.

We rested our horses at a small fishing village on the shores of Cancale. We then traversed the marshes and the aguish city of Dol, passed the gates of the college which I was soon to enter, and then struck into the interior of the country.

For four long hours, we saw nothing but heaths fringed with wood, stunted furze, patches of miserable short black corn, presenting a wretched prospect for the future. Colliers were leading trains of puny horses, with long shaggy manes ; peasants, clad in goat skins and wearing lanky hair, were urging on their lean kine with shrill cries, and following a heavy plough, such as is used by the foresters. At length, we descried a valley in the distance, at the bottom of which rose the spire of a church of a country town, close to a little pond; the battlements of a feudal château towered proudly amid the trees of a forest, lighted up by the setting sun.

While penning these lines, I was obliged to pause. My heart beat as if it would push back the table at which I was writing. The souvenirs which were suddenly awakened in my memory, completely overcame me by their force and multitude. Yet, after all, what are they to the rest of the world ?

Descending the hill, we forded a river; and, after having followed the main road for a quarter of an hour, we suddenly quitted the direct line, and the carriage turned off at right angles into a most beautiful avenue of elm-trees, the tops of which formed an arch above our heads. I remember even now the moment when I entered this sombre shade, and the mixture of joy and terror which I experienced.

Issuing from the obscurity of the wood, we crossed a forecourt planted with nut-trees, adjoining the house and garden of the steward. Thence we proceeded by a beaten road to a verdant lawn, called “ La cour verte.” To the right, was a long w of stables and a clump of chestnuts ; and to the left, was another cluster of these noble trees. At the further extremity of the lawn, the ground gradually ascended, and the château rose between two groups of trees. The stern and melancholy façade presented a curtain with a narrow covered denticulated gallery. This curtain united two towers, unlike in age, material, height and size. The towers were surmounted by pinnacles, above which rose a pointed roof, like a cap placed upon a gothic crown.

A grated window appeared here and there upon the naked wall. A large flight of steps, straight and steep, twenty-two in number, without rails or balustrades, replaced the ancient drawbridge over the moat which had been filled up ; it led to the portal of the château, in the middle of the curtain. Above this portal were the arms of the Lords of Combourg, and the loop-holes from which the chains and rests of the drawbridge formerly issued.

The carriage stopped at the foot of the grand staircase. My father came down to receive us. The meeting with his family so softened his feelings for the moment, that he welcomed us with a smiling countenance. We ascended the perron, and entered a vestibule, with a vaulted roof; and from this vestibule we went into a small inner hall.

This hall led into the building which faced the south and looked out upon the pond, and was joined by two little towers. The whole château had the appearance of a chariot on four wheels. We then entered, on the same floor, into a large hall, formerly called “Salle des Gardes."

A window was open at each extremity, and two others intersected the lateral line. In order to enlarge these four windows, it had been necessary to excavate the walls, which were from eight to ten feet thick. Two corridors, with inclined planes, like the corridor of the great Pyramid, divided the two outer angles of the hall, and led to the two little towers. A winding staircase in one of these towers maintained the communication between the “Salle des Gardes” and the upper story. Such was the construction of our dwelling.

The body of the facade of the high and the wide tower, which commanded the north on the side of the “ cour verte, was composed of a square, dark kind of dormitory, which was used as a kitchen. This abutted upon the vestibule, the perron, and the chapel. Above these apartments was the Hall of the Archives, or, as it was indifferently called, the

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