When he had conquered the involuntary emotion which the name or remembrance of General Simon had occasioned, Rodin’s master said to the secretary: “Do not yet open the letters from Leipsic, Charlestown, and Batavia; the information they contain will doubtless find its place presently. It will save our going over the same ground twice.”
The secretary looked inquiringly at his master.
The latter continued—“Have you finished the note relating to the medals?”
“Here it is,” replied the secretary; “I was just finishing my interpretation of the cipher.”
“Read it to me, in the order of the facts. You can append to it the news contained in those three letters.”
“True,” said Rodin; “in that way the letters will find their right place.”
“I wish to see,” rejoined the other, “whether this note is clear and fully explanatory; you did not forget that the person it is intended for ought not to know all?”
“I bore it in mind, and drew up the paper accordingly.”
“Read,” said the master.
M. Rodin read as follows, slowly and deliberately:
“’A hundred and fifty years ago, a French Protestant family, foreseeing the speedy—revocation of the edict of Nantes, went into voluntary exile, in order to avoid the just and rigorous decrees already issued against the members of the reformed church—those indomitable foes of our holy religion.
“’Some members of this family sought refuge in Holland, and afterwards in the Dutch colonies; others in Poland, others in Germany; some in England, and some in America.
“’It is supposed that only seven descendants remain of this family, which underwent strange vicissitudes since; its present representatives are found in all ranks of society, from the sovereign to the mechanic.