“V’la Monseigneur!” called out Pierre, our coachman, on the pier, the lineaments of whose face half seemed a memory suddenly grown vivid and real.—“Mon Dieu!” he cried laughing and crying, as he looked at me closely, “It’s M’sieu Chamilly! My dear child, it was painful to have you absent so long. Why did you not come even to see us?—Please give me your hand again. But how you are loaded! Come, where is your valise? Let me do something for you, M’sieu Chamilly.”
“V’la M’sieu Chamilly!” the shouts went up.
“It’s the young Seigneur! the young Seigneur!” spread among the villagers,—they welcomed, they addressed us, the kind spirit of French Canadians took us to itself, and I was drawn to my people, as I had not been even during the conversation of the delightful Madame Fauteux. My father received them with both hands and all sorts of gay remarks, “How do you like this, Chamilly?” he laughed, with the satisfaction of an Archduke returned to his dominions.
“Are you come to fish, Monsieur?” asked Pierre, in affectionate garrulity, as he took up the reins.
“No, good Pierre, I do not know what I am coming for.”
“You will troll as formerly? Our magnificent maskinonge are polite as guests for a wedding. Yesterday I took one of ninety-seven pounds!”
The good hearted fellow kept talking as we drove.
One familiar scene after another! The village street of which I knew every doorstep. Ah!—a new wayside across in front of Widow Priedieu’s—and the gay mast before the Captain Martinet’s—the blacksmith’s dusty shop—the inn-keepers’ poles holding out their oval hotel-signs—the merry little cocked house where they had that famous jollification immortalized in the song:
“Au grand bal chez Boule.”
But my friends! my friends!—to see my old friends was the great enjoyment. “Hola,” deliberate Pierre; and you three Jeans—gros Jean, grand Jean and petit Jean; “Monsieur le Notaire, bon jour!” the faces at the panes and the heads at the door!
And lo, the gardens,—the broad fields so generous of harvest—the Manoir trees in the distance!
And as of yore,—driving up the road those merrymen in the carts singing that well remembered “En roulant”:
“Le fils du roi s’en
En roulant, ma boule."[E]
And with sympathetic exhilaration, I swing into the old life again on the current of the jovial chorus:
“En roulant, ma boule roulant:
En roulant, ma boule!”
[Footnote E: “The Dauphin forth a hunting
Roll, roll on, my rolling ball.”
THE LIFE OF LEADERSHIP.
.... “Pourvu qu’ils vivent noblement et ne fassent aucun acte derogeant a noblesse.”