Torrent Upstairs Downstairs !LINK!
Torrent Upstairs Downstairs https://cinurl.com/2t2BEH
Last year we saw the triumphant return after thirty-four years of the award winning and much beloved series Upstairs Downstairs to Masterpiece Classic. The original series (1974-77) focused on the Bellamy family upstairs and their household staff downstairs: all living at 165 Eaton Place, a posh townhouse in London. Last year Season 1 began in 1936, six years after the close of the original series. We were treated to only three episodes: The Fledgling; The Ladybird; and The Cuckoo. Original co-creators of the series Jean Marsh and Dame Eileen Atkins were heavily involved in the new sequel. Marsh returned as housekeeper Rose Buck and Dame Eileen Atkins as the Dowager Lady Holland was one of the stellar new characters. You can read my preview of Season 1 to catch up on the new cast and the reaction when it aired in the UK 2010.
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They went there every evening about eleven o'clock, just as they would goto the club. Six or eight of them; always the same set, not fast men,but respectable tradesmen, and young men in government or some otheremploy, and they would drink their Chartreuse, and laugh with the girls,or else talk seriously with Madame Tellier, whom everybody respected, andthen they would go home at twelve o'clock! The younger men wouldsometimes stay later.It was a small, comfortable house painted yellow, at the corner of astreet behind Saint Etienne's Church, and from the windows one could seethe docks full of ships being unloaded, the big salt marsh, and, risingbeyond it, the Virgin's Hill with its old gray chapel.Madame Tellier, who came of a respectable family of peasant proprietorsin the Department of the Eure, had taken up her profession, just as shewould have become a milliner or dressmaker. The prejudice which is soviolent and deeply rooted in large towns, does not exist in the countryplaces in Normandy. The peasant says:"It is a paying-business," and he sends his daughter to keep anestablishment of this character just as he would send her to keep agirls' school.She had inherited the house from an old uncle, to whom it had belonged.Monsieur and Madame Tellier, who had formerly been innkeepers nearYvetot, had immediately sold their house, as they thought that thebusiness at Fecamp was more profitable, and they arrived one fine morningto assume the direction of the enterprise, which was declining on accountof the absence of the proprietors. They were good people enough in theirway, and soon made themselves liked by their staff and their neighbors.Monsieur died of apoplexy two years later, for as the new place kept himin idleness and without any exercise, he had grown excessively stout, andhis health had suffered. Since she had been a widow, all the frequentersof the establishment made much of her; but people said that, personally,she was quite virtuous, and even the girls in the house could notdiscover anything against her. She was tall, stout and affable, and hercomplexion, which had become pale in the dimness of her house, theshutters of which were scarcely ever opened, shone as if it had beenvarnished. She had a fringe of curly false hair, which gave her ajuvenile look, that contrasted strongly with the ripeness of her figure.She was always smiling and cheerful, and was fond of a joke, but therewas a shade of reserve about her, which her occupation had not quite madeher lose. Coarse words always shocked her, and when any young fellow whohad been badly brought up called her establishment a hard name, she wasangry and disgusted.In a word, she had a refined mind, and although she treated her women asfriends, yet she very frequently used to say that "she and they were notmade of the same stuff."Sometimes during the week she would hire a carriage and take some of hergirls into the country, where they used to enjoy themselves on the grassby the side of the little river. They were like a lot of girls let outfrom school, and would run races and play childish games. They had acold dinner on the grass, and drank cider, and went home at night with adelicious feeling of fatigue, and in the carriage they kissed Madame'Tellier as their kind mother, who was full of goodness and complaisance.The house had two entrances. At the corner there was a sort of tap-room,which sailors and the lower orders frequented at night, and she had twogirls whose special duty it was to wait on them with the assistance ofFrederic, a short, light-haired, beardless fellow, as strong as a horse.They set the half bottles of wine and the jugs of beer on the shakymarble tables before the customers, and then urged the men to drink.The three other girls--there were only five of them--formed a kind ofaristocracy, and they remained with the company on the first floor,unless they were wanted downstairs and there was nobody on the firstfloor. The salon de Jupiter, where the tradesmen used to meet, waspapered in blue, and embellished with a large drawing representing Ledaand the swan. The room was reached by a winding staircase, through anarrow door opening on the street, and above this door a lantern inclosedin wire, such as one still sees in some towns, at the foot of the shrineof some saint, burned all night long.The house, which was old and damp, smelled slightly of mildew. At timesthere was an odor of eau de Cologne in the passages, or sometimes from ahalf-open door downstairs the noisy mirth of the common men sitting anddrinking rose to the first floor, much to the disgust of the gentlemenwho were there. Madame Tellier, who was on friendly terms with hercustomers, did not leave the room, and took much interest in what wasgoing on in the town, and they regularly told her all the news. Herserious conversation was a change from the ceaseless chatter of the threewomen; it was a rest from the obscene jokes of those stout individualswho every evening indulged in the commonplace debauchery of drinking aglass of liqueur in company with common women.The names of the girls on the first floor were Fernande, Raphaele, andRosa, the Jade. As the staff was limited, madame had endeavored thateach member of it should be a pattern, an epitome of the feminine type,so that every customer might find as nearly as possible the realizationof his ideal. Fernande represented the handsome blonde; she was verytall, rather fat, and lazy; a country girl, who could not get rid of herfreckles, and whose short, light, almost colorless, tow-like hair, likecombed-out hemp, barely covered her head.Raphaele, who came from Marseilles, played the indispensable part of thehandsome Jewess, and was thin, with high cheekbones, which were coveredwith rouge, and black hair covered with pomatum, which curled on herforehead. Her eyes would have been handsome, if the right one had nothad a speck in it. Her Roman nose came down over a square jaw, where twofalse upper teeth contrasted strangely with the bad color of the rest.Rosa was a little roll of fat, nearly all body, with very short legs, andfrom morning till night she sang songs, which were alternately risque orsentimental, in a harsh voice; told silly, interminable tales, and onlystopped talking in order to eat, and left off eating in order to talk;she was never still, and was active as a squirrel, in spite of herembonpoint and her short legs; her laugh, which was a torrent of shrillcries, resounded here and there, ceaselessly, in a bedroom, in the loft,in the cafe, everywhere, and all about nothing.The two women on the ground floor, Lodise, who was nicknamed La Cocotte,and Flora, whom they called Balancoise, because she limped a little, theformer always dressed as the Goddess of Liberty, with a tri-colored sash,and the other as a Spanish woman, with a string of copper coins in hercarroty hair, which jingled at every uneven step, looked like cooksdressed up for the carnival. They were like all other women of the lowerorders, neither uglier nor better looking than they usually are.They looked just like servants at an inn, and were generally called "thetwo pumps."A jealous peace, which was, however, very rarely disturbed, reigned amongthese five women, thanks to Madame Tellier's conciliatory wisdom, and toher constant good humor, and the establishment, which was the only one ofthe kind in the little town, was very much frequented. Madame Tellierhad succeeded in giving it such a respectable appearance, she was soamiable and obliging to everybody, her good heart was so well known, thatshe was treated with a certain amount of consideration. The regularcustomers spent money on her, and were delighted when she was especiallyfriendly toward them, and when they met during the day, they would say:"Until this evening, you know where," just as men say: "At the club,after dinner." In a word, Madame Tellier's house was somewhere to go to,and they very rarely missed their daily meetings there.One evening toward the end of May, the first arrival, Monsieur Poulin,who was a timber merchant, and had been mayor, found the door shut. Thelantern behind the grating was not alight; there was not a sound in thehouse; everything seemed dead. He knocked, gently at first, but thenmore loudly, but nobody answered the door. Then he went slowly up thestreet, and when he got to the market place he met Monsieur Duvert, thegunmaker, who was going to the same place, so they went back together,but did not meet with any better success. But suddenly they heard a loudnoise, close to them, and on going round the house, they saw a number ofEnglish and French sailors, who were hammering at the closed shutters ofthe taproom with their fists.The two tradesmen immediately made their escape, but a low "Pst!" stoppedthem; it was Monsieur Tournevau, the fish curer, who had recognized them,and was trying to attract their attention. They told him what hadhappened, and he was all the more annoyed, as he was a married man andfather of a family, and only went on Saturdays. That was his regularevening, and now he should be deprived of this dissipation for the wholeweek.The three men went as far as the quay together, and on the way they metyoung Monsieur Philippe, the banker's son, who frequented the placeregularly, and Monsieur Pinipesse, the collector, and they all returnedto the Rue aux Juifs together, to make a last attempt. But theexasperated sailors were besieging the house, throwing stones at theshutters, and shouting, and the five first-floor customers went away asquickly as possible, and walked aimlessly about the streets.Presently they met Monsieur Dupuis, the insurance agent, and thenMonsieur Vasse, the Judge of the Tribunal of Commerce, and they took along walk, going to the pier first of all, where they sat down in a rowon the granite parapet and watched the rising tide, and when thepromenaders had sat there for some time, Monsieur Tournevau said:"This is not very amusing!""Decidedly not," Monsieur Pinipesse replied, and they started off to walkagain.After going through the street alongside the hill, they returned over thewooden bridge which crosses the Retenue, passed close to the railway, andcame out again on the market place, when, suddenly, a quarrel arosebetween Monsieur Pinipesse, the collector, and Monsieur Tournevau aboutan edible mushroom which one of them declared he had found in theneighborhood.As they were out of temper already from having nothing to do, they wouldvery probably have come to blows, if the others had not interfered.Monsieur Pinipesse went off furious, and soon another altercation arosebetween the ex-mayor, Monsieur Poulin, and Monsieur Dupuis, the insuranceagent, on the subject of the tax collector's salary and the profits whichhe might make. Insulting remarks were freely passing between them, whena torrent of formidable cries was heard, and the body of sailors, whowere tired of waiting so long outside a closed house, came into thesquare. They were walking arm in arm, two and two, and formed a longprocession, and were shouting furiously. The townsmen hid themselves ina doorway, and the yelling crew disappeared in the direction of theabbey. For a long time they still heard the noise, which diminished likea storm in the distance, and then silence was restored. Monsieur Poulinand Monsieur Dupuis, who were angry with each other, went in differentdirections, without wishing each other good-by.The other four set off again, and instinctively went in the direction ofMadame Tellier's establishment, which was still closed, silent,impenetrable. A quiet, but obstinate drunken man was knocking at thedoor of the lower room, antd then stopped and called Frederic, in a lowvoice, but finding that he got no answer, he sat down on the doorstep,and waited the course of events.The others were just going to retire, when the noisy band of sailorsreappeared at the end of the street. The French sailors were shoutingthe "Marseillaise," and the Englishmen "Rule Britannia." There was ageneral lurching against the wall, and then the drunken fellows went ontheir way toward the quay, where a fight broke out between the twonations, in the course of which an Englishman had his arm broken and aFrenchman his nose split.The drunken man who had waited outside the door, was crying by that time,as drunken men and children cry when they are vexed, and the others wentaway. By degrees, calm was restored in the noisy town; here and there,at moments, the distant sound of voices could be heard, and then diedaway in the distance.One man only was still wandering about, Monsieur Tournevau, the fishcurer, who was annoyed at having to wait until the following Saturday,and he hoped something would turn up, he did not know what; but he wasexasperated at the police for thus allowing an establishment of suchpublic utility, which they had under their control, to be closed.He went back to it and examined the walls, trying to find out somereason, and on the shutter he saw a notice stuck up. He struck a waxmatch and read the following, in a large, uneven hand: "Closed on accountof the Confirmation."Then he went away, as he saw it was useless to remain, and left thedrunken man lying on the pavement fast asleep, outside that inhospitabledoor.The next day, all the regular customers, one after the other, found somereason for going through the street, with a bundle of papers under theirarm to keep them in countenance, and with a furtive glance they all readthat mysterious notice:"Closed on account of the Confirmation."PART IIMadame Tellier had a brother, who was a carpenter in their native place,Virville, in the Department of Eure. When she still kept the inn atYvetot, she had stood godmother to that brother's daughter, who hadreceived the name of Constance--Constance Rivet; she herself being aRivet on her father's side. The carpenter, who knew that his sister wasin a good position, did not lose sight of her, although they did not meetoften, for they were both kept at home by their occupations, and lived along way from each other. But as the girl was twelve years old, andgoing to be confirmed, he seized that opportunity to write to his sister,asking her to come and be present at the ceremony. Their old parentswere dead, and as she could not well refuse her goddaughter, she acceptedthe invitation. Her brother, whose name was Joseph, hoped that by dintof showing his sister attention, she might be induced to make her will inthe girl's favor, as she had no children of her own.His sister's occupation did not trouble his scruples in the least, and,besides, nobody knew anything about it at Virville. When they spoke ofher, they only said: "Madame Tellier is living at Fecamp," which mightmean that she was living on her own private income. It was quite twentyleagues from Fecamp to Virville, and for a peasant, twenty leagues onland is as long a journey as crossing the ocean would be to city people.The people at Virville had never been further than Rouen, and nothingattracted the people from Fecamp to a village of five hundred houses inthe middle of a plain, and situated in another department; at any rate,nothing was known about her business.But the Confirmation was coming on, and Madame Tellier was in greatembarrassment. She had no substitute, and did not at all care to leaveher house, even for a day; for all the rivalries between the girlsupstairs and those downstairs would infallibly break out. No doubtFrederic would get drunk, and when he was in that state, he would knockanybody down for a mere word. At last, however, she made up her mind totake them all with her, with the exception of the man, to whom she gave aholiday until the next day but one.When she asked her brother, he made no objection, but undertook to putthem all up for a night, and so on Saturday morning the eight-o'clockexpress carried off Madame Tellier and her companions in a second-classcarriage. As far as Beuzeville they were alone, and chattered likemagpies, but at that station a couple got in. The man, an old peasant,dressed in a blue blouse with a turned-down collar, wide sleeves tight atthe wrist, ornamented with white embroidery, wearing an old high hat withlong nap, held an enormous green umbrella in one hand, and a large basketin the other, from which the heads of three frightened ducks protruded.The woman, who sat up stiffly in her rustic finery, had a face like afowl, with a nose that was as pointed as a bill. She sat down oppositeher husband and did not stir, as she was startled at finding herself insuch smart company.There was certainly an array of striking colors in the carriage. MadameTellier was dressed in blue silk from head to foot, and had on a dazzlingred imitation French cashmere shawl. Fernande was puffing in a Scotchplaid dress, of which her companions had laced the bodice as tight asthey could, forcing up her full bust, that was continually heaving up anddown. Raphaele, with a bonnet covered with feathers, so that it lookedlike a bird's nest, had on a lilac dress with gold spots on it, and therewas something Oriental about it that suited her Jewish face. Rosa had ona pink skirt with largo flounces, and looked like a very fat child, anobese dwarf; while the two Pumps looked as if they had cut their dressesout of old flowered curtains dating from the Restoration.As soon as they were no longer alone in the compartment, the ladies puton staid looks, and began to talk of subjects which might give others ahigh opinion of them. But at Bolbeck a gentleman with light whiskers, agold chain, and wearing two or three rings, got in, and put severalparcels wrapped in oilcloth on the rack over his head. He lookedinclined for a joke, and seemed a good-hearted fellow."Are you ladies changing your quarters?" he said, and that questionembarrassed them all considerably. Madame Tellier, however, quicklyregained her composure, and said sharply, to avenge the honor of hercorps:"I think you might try and be polite!"He excused himself, and said: "I beg your pardon, I ought to have saidyour nunnery."She could not think of a retort, so, perhaps thinking she had saidenough, madame gave him a dignified bow and compressed her lips.Then the gentleman, who was sitting between Rosa and the old peasant,began to wink knowingly at the ducks whose heads were sticking out of thebasket, and when he felt that he had fixed the attention of his public,he began to tickle them under the bills and spoke funnily to them to makethe company smile."We have left our little pond, quack! quack! to make the acquaintanceof the little spit, qu-ack! qu-ack!"The unfortunate creatures turned their necks away, to avoid his caresses,and made desperate efforts to get out of their wicker prison, and then,suddenly, all at once, uttered the most lamentable quacks of distress.The women exploded with laughter. They leaned forward and pushed eachother, so as to see better; they were very much interested in the ducks,and the gentleman redoubled his airs, his wit and his teasing.Rosa joined in, and leaning over her neighbor's legs, she kissed thethree animals on the head, and immediately all the girls wanted to kissthem, in turn, and as they did so the gentleman took them on his knee,jumped them up and down and pinched their arms. The two peasants, whowere even in greater consternation than their poultry, rolled their eyesas if they were possessed, without venturing to move, and their oldwrinkled faces had not a smile, not a twitch.Then the gentleman, who was a commercial traveller, offered the ladiessuspenders by way of a joke, and taking up one of his packages, he openedit. It was a joke, for the parcel contained garters. There were bluesilk, pink silk, red silk, violet silk, mauve silk garters, and thebuckles were made of two gilt metal cupids embracing each other. Thegirls uttered exclamations of delight and looked at them with thatgravity natural to all women when they are considering an article ofdress. They consulted one another by their looks or in a whisper, andreplied in the same manner, and Madame Tellier was longingly handling apair of orange garters that were broader and more imposing looking thanthe rest; really fit for the mistress of such an establishment.The gentleman waited, for he had an idea."Come, my kittens," he said, "you must try them on."There was a torrent of exclamations, and they squeezed their petticoatsbetween their legs, but he quietly waited his time and said: "Well, ifyou will not try them on I shall pack them up again."And he added cunningly:. "I offer any pair they like to those who willtry them on."But they would not, and sat up very straight and looked dignified.But the two Pumps looked so distressed that he renewed his offer to them,and Flora, especially, visibly hesitated, and he insisted: "Come, mydear, a little courage! Just look at that lilac pair; it will suit yourdress admirably."That decided her, and pulling up her dress she showed a thick leg fit fora milkmaid, in a badly fitting, coarse stocking. The commercialtraveller stooped down and fastened the garter. When he had done this,he gave her the lilac pair and asked: "Who next?""I! I!" they all shouted at once, and he began on Rosa, who uncovered ashapeless, round thing without any ankle, a regular "sausage of a leg,"as Raphaele used to say.Lastly, Madame Tellier herself put out her leg, a handsome, muscularNorman leg, and in his surprise and pleasure, the commercial travellergallantly took off his hat to salute that master calf, like a true Frenchcavalier.The two peasants, who were speechless from surprise, glanced sideways outof the corner of one eye, and they looked so exactly like fowls that theman with the light whiskers, when he sat up, said: "Co--co--ri--co" undertheir very noses, and that gave rise to another storm of amusement.The old people got out at Motteville with their basket, their ducks andtheir umbrella, and they heard the woman say to her husband as they wentaway:"They are no good and are off to that cursed place, Paris."The funny commercial traveller himself got out at Rouen, after behavingso coarsely that Madame Tellier was obliged sharply to put him in hisright place, and she added, as a moral: "This will teach us not to talkto the first comer."At Oissel they changed trains, and at a little station further onMonsieur Joseph Rivet was waiting for them with a large cart with anumber of chairs in it, drawn by a white horse.The carpenter politely kissed all the ladies and then helped them intohis conveyance.Three of them sat on three chairs at the back, Raphaele, Madame Tellierand her brother on the three chairs in front, while Rosa, who had noseat, settled herself as comfortably as she could on tall Fernande'sknees, and then they set off.But the horse's jerky trot shook the cart so terribly that the chairsbegan to dance and threw the travellers about, to the right and to theleft, as if they were dancing puppets, which made them scream and makehorrible grimaces.They clung on to the sides of the vehicle, their bonnets fell on theirbacks, over their faces and on their shoulders, and the white horse wenton stretching out his head and holding out his little hairless tail likea rat's, with which he whisked his buttocks from time to time.Joseph Rivet, with one leg on the shafts and the other doubled under him,held the reins with his elbows very high, and kept uttering a kind ofclucking sound, which made the horse prick up its ears and go faster.The green country extended on either side of the road, and here and therethe colza in flower presented a waving expanse of yellow, from whicharose a strong, wholesome, sweet and penetrating odor, which the windcarried to some distance.The cornflowers showed their little blue heads amid the rye, and thewomen wanted to pick them, but Monsieur Rivet refused to stop.Then, sometimes, a whole field appeared to be covered with blood, sothick were the poppies, and the cart, which looked as if it were filledwith flowers of more brilliant hue, jogged on through fields bright withwild flowers, and disappeared behind the trees of a farm, only toreappear and to go on again through the yellow or green standing crops,which were studded with red or blue.One o'clock struck as they drove up to the carpenter's door. They weretired out and pale with hunger, as they had eaten nothing since they lefthome. Madame Rivet ran out and made them alight, one after another, andkissed them as soon as they were on the ground, and she seemed as if shewould never tire of kissing her sister-in-law, whom she apparently wantedto monopolize. They had lunch in the workshop, which had been clearedout for the next day's dinner.The capital omelet, followed by boiled chitterlings and washed down withgood hard cider, made them all feel comfortable.Rivet had taken a glass so that he might drink with them, and his wifecooked, waited on them, brought in the dishes, took them out and askedeach of them in a whisper whether they had everything they wanted. Anumber of boards standing against the walls and heaps of shavings thathad been swept into the corners gave out a smell of planed wood, a smellof a carpenter's shop, that resinous odor which penetrates to the lungs.They wanted to see the little girl, but she had gone to church and wouldnot be back again until evening, so they all went out for a stroll in thecountry.It was a small village, through which the highroad passed. Ten or adozen houses on either side of the single street were inhabited by thebutcher, the grocer, the carpenter, the innkeeper, the shoemaker and thebaker.The church was at the end of the street and was surrounded by a smallchurchyard, and four immense lime-trees, which stood just outside theporch, shaded it completely. It was built of flint, in no particularstyle, and had a slate-roofed steeple. When you got past it, you wereagain in the open country, which was varied here and there by clumps oftrees which hid the homesteads.Rivet had given his arm to his sister, out of politeness, although he wasin his working clothes, and was walking with her in a dignified manner.His wife, who was overwhelmed by Raphaele's gold-striped dress, walkedbetween her and Fernande, and roly-poly Rosa was trotting behind withLouise and Flora, the Seesaw, who was limping along, quite tired out.The inhabitants came to their doors, the children left off playing, and awindow curtain would be raised, so as to show a muslin cap, while an oldwoman with a crutch, who was almost blind, crossed herself as if it werea religious procession, and they all gazed for a long time at thosehandsome ladies from town, who had come so far to be present at theconfirmation of Joseph Rivet's little girl, and the carpenter rose verymuch in the public estimation.As they passed the church they heard some children singing. Littleshrill voices were singing a hymn, but Madame Tellier would not let themgo in, for fear of disturbing the little cherubs.After the walk, during which Joseph Rivet enumerated the principal landedproprietors, spoke about the yield of the land and the productiveness ofthe cows and sheep, he took his tribe of women home and installed them inhis house, and as it was very small, they had to put them into the rooms,two and two.Just for once Rivet would sleep in the workshop on the shavings; his wifewas to share her bed with her sister-in-law, and Fernande and Raphaelewere to sleep together in the next room. Louise and Flora were put intothe kitchen, where they had a mattress on the floor, and Rosa had alittle dark cupboard to herself at the top of the stairs, close to theloft, where the candidate for confirmation was to sleep.When the little girl came in she was overwhelmed with kisses; all thewomen wished to caress her with that need of tender expansion, that habitof professional affection which had made them kiss the ducks in therailway carriage.They each of them took her on their knees, stroked her soft, light hairand pressed her in their arms with vehement and spontaneous outbursts ofaffection, and the child, who was very good and religious, bore it allpatiently.As the day had been a fatiguing one for everybody, they all went to bedsoon after dinner. The whole village was wrapped in that perfectstillness of the country, which is almost like a religious silence, andthe girls, who were accustomed to the noisy evenings of theirestablishment, felt rather impressed by the perfect repose of thesleeping village, and they shivered, not with cold, but with those littleshivers of loneliness which come over uneasy and troubled hearts.As soon as they were in bed, two and two together, they clasped eachother in their arms, as if to protect themselves against this feeling ofthe calm and profound slumber of the earth. But Rosa, who was alone inher little dark cupboard, felt a vague and painful emotion come over her.She was tossing about in bed, unable to get to sleep, when she heard thefaint sobs of a crying child close to her head, through the partition.She was frightened, and called out, and was answered by a weak voice,broken by sobs. It was the little girl, who was always used to sleepingin her mother's room, and who was afraid in her small attic.Rosa was delighted, got up softly so as not to awaken any one, and wentand fetched the child. She took her into her warm bed, kissed her andpressed her to her bosom, lavished exaggerated manifestations oftenderness on her, and at last grew calmer herself and went to sleep.And till morning the candidate for confirmation slept with her head onRosa's bosom.At five o'clock the little church bell, ringing the Angelus, woke thewomen, who usually slept the whole morning long.The villagers were up already, and the women went busily from house tohouse, carefully bringing short, starched muslin dresses or very long waxtapers tied in the middle with a bow of silk fringed with gold, and withdents in the wax for the fingers.The sun was already high in the blue sky, which still had a rosy tinttoward the horizon, like a faint remaining trace of dawn. Families offowls were walking about outside the houses, and here and there a blackcock, with a glistening breast, raised his head, which was crowned by hisred comb, flapped his wings and uttered his shrill crow, which the othercocks repeated.Vehicles of all sorts came from neighboring parishes, stopping at thedifferent houses, and tall Norman women dismounted, wearing dark dresses,with kerchiefs crossed over the bosom, fastened with silver brooches ahundred years old.The men had put on their blue smocks over their new frock-coats or overtheir old dress-coats of green-cloth, the two tails of which hung downbelow their blouses. When the horses were in the stable there was adouble line of rustic conveyances along the road: carts, cabriolets,tilburies, wagonettes, traps of every shape and age, tipping forward ontheir shafts or else tipping backward with the shafts up in the air.The carpenter's house was as busy as a bee-hive. The women, in dressing-jackets and petticoats, with their thin, short hair, which looked fadedand worn, hanging down their backs, were busy dressing the child, who wasstanding quietly on a table, while Madame Tellier was directing themovements of her battalion. They washed her, did her hair, dressed her,and with the help of a number of pins, they arranged the folds of herdress and took in the waist, which was too large.Then, when she was ready, she was told to sit down and not to move, andthe women hurried off to get ready themselves.The church bell began to ring again, and its tinkle was lost in the air,like a feeble voice which is soon drowned in space. The candidates cameout. of the houses and went toward the parochial building, whichcontained the two schools and the mansion house, and which stood quite atone end of the village, while the church was situated at the other.The parents, in their very best clothes, followed their children, withembarrassed looks, and those clumsy movements of a body bent by toil.The little girls disappeared in a cloud of muslin, which looked likewhipped cream, while the lads, who looked like embryo waiters in a cafeand whose heads shone with pomatum, walked with their legs apart, so asnot to get any dust or dirt on their black trousers.It was something for a family, to be proud of, when a large number ofrelatives, who had come from a distance, surrounded the child, and thecarpenter's triumph was complete.Madame Tellier's regiment, with its leader at its head, followedConstance; her father gave his arm to his sister, her mother walked bythe side of Raphaele, Fernande with Rosa and Louise and Flora together,and thus they proceeded majestically through the village, like ageneral's staff in full uniform, while the effect on the village wasstartling.At the school the girls ranged themselves under the Sister of Mercy andthe boys under the schoolmaster, and they started off, singing a hymn asthey went. The boys led the way, in two files, between the two rows ofvehicles, from which the horses had been taken out, and the girlsfollowed in the same order; and as all the people in the village hadgiven the town ladies the precedence out of politeness, they cameimmediately behind the girls, and lengthened the double line of theprocession still more, three on the right and three on the left, whiletheir dresses were as striking as a display of fireworks.When they went into the church the congregation grew quite excited. Theypressed against each other, turned round and jostled one another in orderto see, and some of the devout ones spoke almost aloud, for they were soastonished at the sight of those ladies whose dresses were more elaboratethan the priest's vestments.The mayor offered them his pew, the first one on the right, close to thechoir, and Madame Tellier sat there with her sister-in-law, Fernande andRaphaele. Rosa, Louise and Flora occupied the second seat, in companywith the carpenter.The choir was full of kneeling children, the girls on one side and theboys on the other, and the long wax tapers which they held looked likelances pointing in all directions, and three men were standing in frontof the lectern, singing as loud as they could.They prolonged the syllables of the sonorous Latin indefinitely, holdingon to "Amens" with interminable "a-a's," which the reed stop of the organsustained in a monotonous, long-drawn-out tone.A child's shrill voice took up the reply, and from time to time a priestsitting in a stall and wearing a biretta got up, muttered something andsat down again, while the three singers continued, their eyes fixed onthe big book of plain chant lying open before them on the outstretchedwings of a wooden eagle.Then silence ensued and the service went on. Toward the close Rosa, withher head in both hands, suddenly thought of her mother, her villagechurch and her first communion. She almost fancied that that day hadreturned, when she was so small anti was almost hidden in her whitedress, and she began to cry.First of all she wept silently, and the tears dropped slowly from hereyes, but her emotion in creased with her recollections, and she began tosob. She took out her pocket handkerchief, wiped her eyes and held it toher mouth, so as not to scream, but it was in vain. A sort of rattleescaped her throat, and she was answered by two other profound,heartbreaking sobs, for her two neighbors, Louise and Flora, who werekneeling near her, overcome by similar recollections, were sobbing by herside, amid a flood of tears; and as tears are contagious, Madame Telliersoon in turn found that her eyes were wet, and on turning to her sister-in-law, she saw that all the occupants of her seat were also crying.Soon, throughout the church, here and there, a wife, a mother, a sister,seized by the strange sympathy of poignant emotion, and affected at thesight of those handsome ladies on their knees, shaken with sobs wasmoistening her cambric pocket handkerchief and pressing her beating heartwith her left hand.Just as the sparks from an engine will set fire to dry grass, so thetears of Rosa and of her companions infected the whole congregation in amoment. Men, women, old men and lads in new smocks were soon allsobbing, and something superhuman seemed to be hovering over their heads--a spirit, the powerful breath of an invisible and all powerful Being.Suddenly a species of madness seemed to pervade the church, the noise ofa crowd in a state of frenzy, a tempest of sobs and stifled cries. Itcame like gusts of wind which blow the trees in a forest, and the priest,paralyzed by emotion, stammered out incoherent prayers, without findingwords, ardent prayers of the soul soaring to heaven.The people behind him gradually grew calmer. The cantors, in all thedignity of their white surplices, went on in somewhat uncertain voices,and the reed stop itself seemed hoarse, as if the instrument had beenweeping; the priest, however, raised his hand to command silence and wentand stood on the chancel steps, when everybody was silent at once.After a few remarks on what had just taken place, and which he attributedto a miracle, he continued, turning to the seats where the carpenter'sguests were sitting; "I especially thank you, my dear sisters, who havecome from such a distance, and whose presence among us, whose evidentfaith and ardent piety have set such a salutary example to all. You haveedified my parish; your emotion has warmed all hearts; without you, thisgreat day would not, perhaps, have had this really divine character. Itis sufficient, at times, that there should be one chosen lamb, for theLord to descend on His flock."His voice failed him again, from emotion, and he said no more, butconcluded the service.They now left the church as quickly as possible; the children themselveswere restless and tired with such a prolonged tension of the mind. Theparents left the church by degrees to see about dinner.There was a crowd outside, a noisy crowd, a babel of loud voices, wherethe shrill Norman accent was discernible. The villagers formed tworanks, and when the children appeared, each family took possession oftheir own.The whole houseful of women caught hold of Constance, surrounded her andkissed her, and Rosa was especially demonstrative. At last she took holdof one hand, while Madame Tellier took the other, and Raphaele andFernande held up her long muslin skirt, so that it might not drag in thedust; Louise and Flora brought up the rear with Madame Rivet; and thechild, who was very silent and thoughtful, set off for home in the midstof this guard of honor.Dinner was served in the workshop on long boards supported by trestles,and through the open door they could see all the enjoyment that was goingon in the village. Everywhere they were feasting, and through everywindow were to be seen tables surrounded by people in their Sunday best,and a cheerful noise was heard in every house, while the men sat in theirshirt-sleeves, drinking glass after glass of cider.In the carpenter's house the gaiety maintained somewhat of an air ofreserve, the consequence of the emotion of the girls in the morning, andRivet was the only one who was in a jolly mood, and he was drinking toexcess. Madame Tellier looked at the clock every moment, for, in ordernot to lose two days running, they must take the 3:55 train, which wouldbring them to Fecamp by dark.The carpenter tried very hard to distract her attention, so as to keephis guests until the next day, but he did not succeed, for she neverjoked when there was business on hand, and as soon as they had had theircoffee she ordered her girls to make haste and get ready, and then,turning to her brother, she said:"You must put in the horse immediately," and she herself went to finishher last preparations.When she came down again, her sister-in-law was waiting to speak to herabout the child, and a long conversation took place, in which, however,nothing was settled. The carpenter's wife was artful and pretended to bevery much affected, and Madame Tellier, who was holding the girl on herknee, would not pledge herself to anything definite, but merely gavevague promises--she would not forget her, there was plenty of time, andbesides, they would meet again.But the conveyance did not come to the door and the women did not comedownstairs. Upstairs they even heard loud laughter, romping, littlescreams, and much clapping of hands, and so, while the carpenter's wifewent to the stable to see whether the cart was ready, madame wentupstairs.Rivet, who was very drunk, was plaguing Rosa, who was half choking withlaughter. Louise and Flora were holding him by the arms and trying tocalm him, as they were shocked at his levity after that morning'sceremony; but Raphaele and Fernande were urging him on, writhing andholding their sides with laughter, and they uttered shrill cries at everyrebuff the drunken fellow received.The man was furious, his face was red, and he was trying to shake off thetwo women who were clinging to him, while he was pulling Rosa's skirtwith all his might and stammering incoherently.But Madame Tellier, who was very indignant, went up to her brother,seized him by the shoulders, and threw him out of the room with suchviolence that he fell against the wall in the passage, and a minuteafterward they heard him pumping water on his head in the yard, and whenhe reappeared with the cart he was quite calm.They started off in the same way as they had come the day before, and thelittle white horse started off with his quick, dancing trot. Under thehot sun, their fun, which had been checked during dinner, broke outagain. The girls now were amused at the jolting of the cart, pushedtheir neighbors' chairs, and burst out laughing every moment.There was a glare of light over the country, which dazzled their eyes,and the wheels raised two trails of dust along the highroad. Presently,Fernande, who was fond of music, asked Rosa to sing something, and sheboldly struck up the "Gros Cure de Meudon," but Madame Tellier made herstop immediately, as she thought it a very unsuitable song for such aday, and she added:"Sing us something of Beranger's." And so, after a moment's hesitation,Rosa began Beranger's song "The Grandmother" in her worn-out voice, andall the girls, and even Madame Tellier herself, joined in the chorus:"How I regretMy dimpled arms,My nimble legs,And vanished charms.""That is first rate," Rivet declared, carried away by the rhythm, andthey shouted the refrain to every verse, while Rivet beat time on theshaft with his foot, and with the reins on the back of the horse, who, asif he himself were carried away by the rhythm, broke into a wild gallop,and threw all the women in a heap, one on top of the other, on the bottomof the conveyance.They got up, laughing as if they were mad, and the Gong went on, shoutedat the top of their voices, beneath the burning sky, among the ripeni