have felt compelled to give tears to his victims, and not spared ire and keen reproach to himself. He deserved it; but it was difficult to shake him in his firm conviction that the work was righteous and needed.

Breakfast being over and mass attended, the school-bell rang and the rooms filled. A very pretty spectacle was presented in classe. Pupils and teachers sat neatly arrayed, orderly and expectant, each bearing in her hand the bouquet of felicitation—the prettiest spring flowers, all fresh, and filling the air with their fragrance. I only had no bouquet. I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me. Mademoiselle St. Pierre marked my empty hands. She could not believe I had been so remiss. With avidity her eye roved over and round me; surely I must have some solitary symbolic flower somewhere, some small knot of violets, something to win myself praise for taste, commendation for ingenuity. The unimaginative “Anglaise” proved better than the Parisienne’s fears. She sat literally unprovided, as bare of bloom or leaf as the winter tree. This ascertained, Zélie smiled, well pleased.

“How wisely you have acted to keep your money, Miss Lucie,” she said. “Silly I have gone and thrown away two francs on a bouquet of hot-house flowers!”

And she showed with pride her splendid nosegay.

But hush! a step—the step. It came prompt, as usual, but with a promptitude, we felt disposed to flatter ourselves, inspired by other feelings than mere excitability of nerve and vehemence of intent. We thought our professor’s “footfall” (to speak romantically) had in it a friendly promise this morning, and so it had.

He entered in a mood which made him as good as a new sunbeam to the already well-lit first classe. The morning light playing amongst our plants and laughing on our walls caught an added lustre from M. Paul’s all-benignant salute. Like a true Frenchman (though I don’t know why I should say so, for he was of strain neither French nor Labassecourian), he had dressed for the “situation” and the occasion. Not by the vague folds, sinister and conspirator-like, of his soot-dark paletôt were the outlines of his person obscured; on the contrary, his figure (such as it was, I don’t boast of it) was well set off by a civilized coat and a silken vest quite pretty to behold. The defiant and pagan bonnetgrec had vanished. Bare- headed he came upon us, carrying a Christian hat in his gloved hand. The little man looked well, very well. There was a clearness of amity in his blue eye and a glow of good feeling on his dark complexion which passed perfectly in the place of beauty. One really did not care to observe that his nose, though far from small, was of no particular shape, his cheek thin, his brow marked and square, his mouth no rosebud. One accepted him as he was, and felt his presence the reverse of damping or insignificant.

He passed to his desk; he placed on the same his hat and gloves. “Bon jour, mes amies,” said he, in a tone that somehow made amends to some amongst us for many a sharp snap and savage snarl. Not a jocund, good-fellow tone, still less an unctuous priestly accent, but a voice he had belonging to himself—a voice used when his heart passed the words to his lips. That same heart did speak sometimes; though an irritable, it was not an ossified organ. In its core was a place tender beyond a man’s tenderness—a place that humbled him to little children, that bound him to girls and women; to whom, rebel as he would, he could not disown his affinity, nor quite deny that, on the whole, he was better with them than with his own sex.

“We all wish monsieur a good day, and present to him our congratulations on the anniversary of his fête,” said Mademoiselle Zélie, constituting herself spokeswoman of the assembly, and, advancing with no more twists of affectation than were with her indispensable to the achievement of motion, she laid her costly bouquet before him. He bowed over it.

The long train of offerings followed. All the pupils, sweeping past with the gliding step foreigners practise, left their tributes as they went by. Each girl so dexterously adjusted her separate gift that when the last bouquet was laid on the desk, it formed the apex to a blooming pyramid—a pyramid blooming, spreading,

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