bedside of his mother, who was at death's door. The physician, who was consulted as to her state, said that there might only be sufficient time for Jasmin to receive the deputation.

He accordingly came out for a few moments from his mother's bed-side. M. Gasc explained the object of the visit, and read to Jasmin the gracious letter of the Mayor of Toulouse, concluding as follows:-

"I thank you, in the name of the city of Toulouse, for the fine poem which you have dedicated to us. This branch of laurel will remind you of the youthful and beautiful Muse which has inspired you with such charming verses."

The Mayor of Agen here introduced Mademoiselle Gasc, who, in her turn, said :--

"And I also, sir, am most happy and proud of the mission which has been entrusted to me."

Then she presented him with the casket which contained the golden laurel. Jasmin responded in the lines entitled 'Yesterday and To-day,' from which the following words may be quoted :-

"Yesterday! Thanks, Toulouse, for our old language and for my poetry. Your beautiful golden branch ennobles both. And you who offer it to me, gracious messenger--queen of song and queen of hearts--tell your city of my perfect happiness, and that I never anticipated such an honour even in my most golden dreams.

"To-day! Fascinated by the laurel which Toulouse has sent me, and which fills my heart with joy, I cannot forget, my dear young lady, the sorrow which overwhelms me--the fatal illness of my mother--which makes me fear that the most joyful day of my life will also be the most sorrowful."

Jasmin's alarms were justified. His prayers were of no avail. His mother died with her hand in his shortly after the deputation had departed. Her husband had preceded her to the tomb a few years before. He always had a firm presentiment that he should be carried in the arm-chair to the hospital, "where all the Jasmins die." But Jasmin did his best to save his father from that indignity. He had already broken the arm-chair, and the old tailor died peacefully in the arms of his son.

Some four months after the recitation of Franconnette at Toulouse, Jasmin resumed his readings in the cause of charity. In October 1840 he visited Oleron, and was received with the usual enthusiasm; and on his return to Pau, he passed the obelisk erected to Despourrins, the Burns of the Pyrenees. At Pau he recited his Franconnette to an immense audience amidst frenzies of applause. It was alleged that the people of the Pyrenean country were prosaic and indifferent to art. But M. Dugenne, in the 'Mémorial des Pyrenées,' said that it only wanted such a bewitching poet as Jasmin--with his vibrating and magical voice--to rouse them and set their minds on fire.

Another writer, M. Alfred Danger, paid him a still more delicate compliment.

"His poetry," he said, "is not merely the poetry of illusions; it is alive, and inspires every heart. His admirable delicacy! His profound tact in every verse! What aristocratic poet could better express in a higher degree the politeness of the heart, the truest of all politeness."6

Jasmin did not seem to be at all elated by these eulogiums. When he had finished his recitations, he returned to Agen, sometimes on foot, sometimes in the diligence, and quietly resumed his daily work. His success as a poet never induced him to resign his more humble occupation. Although he received some returns from the sale of his poems, he felt himself more independent by relying upon the income derived from his own business.

His increasing reputation never engendered in him, as is too often the case with self-taught geniuses who suddenly rise into fame, a supercilious contempt for the ordinary transactions of life. "After all," he said, "contentment is better than riches."

  By PanEris using Melati.

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