Jasmin and Mariette

Falls in Love-- Marries Mariette Barrere-- Jasmin's Marriage Costume-- Prosperity in Business-- The 'Curl-Papers'-- Christened "Apollo"-- Mariette dislikes Rhyming-- Visit of Charles Nodier-- The Pair Reconciled-- Mariette encourages her Husband-- Jasmin at Home-- The "rivulet of silver"-- Jasmin buys his House on the Gravier-- Becomes Collector of Taxes

Jasmin was now a bright, vivid, and handsome fellow, a favourite with men, women, and children. Of course, an attractive young man, with a pleasant, comfortable home, could not long remain single. At length love came to beautify his existence. "It was for her sake," he says, "that I first tried to make verses in the sweet patois which she spoke so well; verses in which I asked her, in rather lofty phrases, to be my guardian angel for life."

Mariette1 was a pretty dark-eyed girl. She was an old companion of Jasmin's, and as they began to know each other better, the acquaintance gradually grew into affection, and finally into mutual love. She was of his own class of life, poor and hardworking. After the day's work was over, they had many a pleasant walk together on the summer evenings, along the banks of the Garonne, or up the ascending road toward the Hermitage and the rocky heights above the town. There they pledged their vows; like a poet, he promised to love her for ever. She believed him, and loved him in return. The rest may be left to the imagination.

Jasmin still went on dreaming and rhyming! Mariette was a lovely subject for his rhymes. He read his verses to her; and she could not but be pleased with his devotion, even though recited in verse. He scribbled his rhymes upon his curl-papers; and when he had read them to his sweetheart, he used them to curl the hair of his fair customers. When too much soiled by being written on both sides, he tore them up; for as yet, he had not the slightest idea of publishing his verses.

When the minds of the young pair were finally made up, their further courtship did not last very long. They were willing to be united.

"Happy's the wooing that's not long a-doing."
The wedding-day at length arrived! Jasmin does not describe his bride's dress. But he describes his own. " I might give you," he says in his Souvenirs, "a picture of our happy nuptial day. I might tell you at length of my newly dyed hat, my dress coat with blue facings, and my home-spun linen shirt with calico front. But I forbear all details. My godfather and godmother were at the wedding. You will see that the purse did not always respond to the wishes of the heart."

It is true that Jasmin's wedding-garment was not very sumptuous, nor was his bride's; but they did the best that they could, and looked forward with hope. Jasmin took his wife home to the pleasant house on the Gravier; and joy and happiness sat down with them at their own fireside. There was no Charivari, because their marriage was suitable. Both had been poor, and the wife was ready and willing to share the lot of her young husband, whether in joy or sorrow. Their home was small and cosy--very different from the rat-haunted house of his lame mother and humpbacked father.

Customers came, but not very quickly. The barber's shop was somewhat removed from the more populous parts of the town. But when the customers did come, Jasmin treated them playfully and humorously. He was as lively as any Figaro; and he became such a favourite, that when his customers were shaved or had their hair dressed, they invariably returned, as well as recommended others to patronize the new coiffeur.

His little shop, which was at first nearly empty, soon became fuller and fuller of customers. People took pleasure in coming to the hair-dresser's shop, and hearing him recite his verses. He sang, he declaimed, while plying his razor or his scissors. But the chins and tresses of his sitters were in no danger from his skipping about, for he deftly used his hands as well as his head. His razor glistened lightly over the stubbly beards, and his scissors clipped neatly over the locks of his customers.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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