The Adventures of Francois: Foundling, Chief, Juggler, and Fencing-Master During the French Revolution

By: Mitchell, S. Weir

Price: $15.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good

First edition. Spine lightly toned, front hinge starting, ink gift note on front free endpaper. 1898 Hard Cover. We have more books available by this author!. xi, 321 pp. EXCERPT: In the summer of the year 1777 a lad of about ten years, clad in a suit of gray, was playing in the high-walled garden of the Benedictine Asylum for Orphans in Paris. The sun was pleasant, the birds sang overhead, the roses were many, for the month was June. A hundred lads were noisily running about. They had the look of being well fed, decently clothed, and kindly cared for. An old priest walked to and fro, at times looking up from his breviary to say a pleasant word or to check some threatening quarrel. Presently he paused beside the boy who was at the moment intently watching a bird on a branch overhead. As the priest turned, the boy had thrown himself on the grass and was laughing heartily. What amuses thee, my son? said the father. I am laughing at the birds. And why do they make thee laugh, Franois! I do not know. And I, said the priest, do not know why the birds sing, nor why thou dost laugh. Thou hast a talent that way. The good God grant thee always cause; and with his eyes on his breviary, and his lips moving in prayer, he walked away. The lad fell back again on the grass, and laughed anew, as if overcome with some jest he shared with no one but the birds overhead. This was a kindly little waif brought hither from the Enfants Trouvs, nameless except for the card pinned on the basket in which he lay when the unknown mother left him, a red-faced baby, to the charity of asylum life. His constant mirthfulness was a sad cross to some of the good fathers, for neither punishment, fast, nor penance got the better of this gaiety, nor served to repress its instinctive expression. He had, too,what is rare in childhood,quick powers of observation, and a certain joy in the world of nature, liking to lie on his back and watch the birds at work, or pleased to note the daily changes of flowers or the puzzling journeys of the ants which had their crowded homes beneath the lilacs in undisturbed corners of the garden. His nearest mother, Nature, meant the boy to be one of those rare beings who find happiness in the use of keen senses and in a wakeful mind, which might have been trained to employ its powers for the partial conquest of some of her many kingdoms. But no friendly hand was here to guide, no example present to incite or lift him. The simple diet provided for the intellect of these little ones was like the diet of their tablethe same for one and for all.

Title: The Adventures of Francois: Foundling, Chief, Juggler, and Fencing-Master During the French Revolution

Author: Mitchell, S. Weir

Categories: Historical,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: New York, The Century Co.: 1898

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Seller ID: 2307428