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fatigue, as were also our conductors. In refused. “ Monsieur le Curé," said an offiorder to guard us more easily, the Prussians cer, “ your resistance is tiresome. We are demanded from the curé the keys of the conquerors, everything belongs to us. If church, and we were confined there, the you do not instantly give up the keys of the doors being strongly barricaded and watched church, we will take them by force, and you by sentinels, so that we had no hope of es shall be” – cape. The curé had asked leave of the “I understand," interrupted the veneraPrussians to remove the Blessed Sacrament. ble priest. “In a military execution, how The church was ancient; there were chapels many balls do you fire upon the condemned of feudal times, and walls pierced with holes man?” “Eight, and the coup-de-grace." looking toward the altar, exactly as in the “Well! before you enter my church to prochurch of Pesmes (Jura), which is near our fane it, you may fire eight balls into me, and home. We had made ourselves as com- you may give me the coup-de-grace, then fortable as we could on the benches, and I only shall you enter the church over my think I had fallen asleep, when, about mid- body.' night, I heard a voice calling," Chasseur, chasseur!” I rubbed my eyes, looked

The curé of Neuville, in the dearound, and saw the head of the curé pro- partment of the Ardennes, was the jecting from a square hole in the wall, which Abbé Cor, more than eighty years I had taken for a cupboard to hold the

old. Accused of having favored the cruets. “ Do you want to escape from the Prussians ?” asked the curé. «Indeed we

march of the French, and retarded do. How can we get away?” “ Here; that of the Prussians, the old man make your comrades leave the candles burn- was arrested. The Prussians fastened ing, which I have lighted on purpose, and him to the tail of a horse, and in this make no noise, for the Prussians are close at hand.” We were soon ready, and one

manner dragged him over the roads after another we climbed into the opening

and ploughed land. Often the old in the wall. This opening led to an an nan fell, but a Prussian cavalier cient chapel, in which were kept some pulled him by a cord fastened to the church furniture. The window, which had

leg of the curé; his hands and face no bars, was rather high, but the curé had

were bleeding, his limbs bruised, placed a ladder, by which we descended to the garden of the presbytery, each man car

? his clothes in rags. Finally, the rying his shoes in his hand. Thence a little

Prussians threw him into a ditch by gate let us out into the country, and the the roadside. Seeing him thus covcuré said, “ Are you all here?” “ Yes, ered with blood and mire, one of Father,” replied a sergeant. “Well, my his parish

my his parishioners said to him : “ Monfriends, put on your shoes, and let us be off!" We followed the good cure in silence,

sieur le Curé, what a state you are no longer conscious of fatigue, for the idea in !”. “Oh,” replied the curé, “it of freedom gave us wings. When we had is only my old cassock.” Where in been walking two hours, the curé said, all history can we find a finer reply, “ My friends, you are out of danger from your guards. At dawn you will see three

or one so simple, so philosophical ? villages where there are no Prussians. You “It is only my old cassock!" The must separate and try to find clothes. And body has nothing to do with it, and now, a pleasant journey, and may the good the soul still less. God guide you." “ But you, Monsieur le After the battle of Forbach the Curé, what will become of you? The Prussians will be furious. If they find you,

curé of Gunstatt was seized, and carthey will shoot you.” “They will not find ried before a kind of Prussian courtme, for I cannot go back.” « But they will martial. It is not known what was burn your house--your church.” “Is it required of him, but he gave the not worth while to risk my house and my most explicit refusal to the demands church for the liberty of fifty-three such

th of the enemy. Some hours were brave soldiers as you are ?" We wept with emotion. The curé embraced us, and we given him for reflection, at the exset off. Oh, the brave man! And the ras piration of which he again refused. cals say the curés brought the war and the The council condemned him to Prussians! Let them ask the fourth bat death. A respite of two hours was talion of chasseurs. On their entry into Sarreguemines, the

the

sun

still given, which the priest passed in Prussians demanded the keys of the church prayer. When the Prussian soldiers of the curé the Abbé Muller. The old man came to lead him to execution, he said in German, “I prefer death to frankness of a brave and honest the crime of treason to France." man. “Monsieur le Curé," said A few moments later he was shot. the General, “ you and I must hold

At a great official dinner, given a little council of war.” The curé on the 26th of February, 1872, at took his snuff box, opened it slowly, Rome, by the Bavarian Ambassador, and taking a pinch, said gayly, “I M. de Tauffkirchen, to the Prince might remind you, General, that Frederick Charles, the prince spoke history has often shown us the Church these words, which find an appro- enlightening the councils of soverpriate place: “ There is in France eigns, and pointing out the best only one class upright and dignified, route for their armies. But let us worthy and patriotic, this is the come to the point. What is your clergy. It was impossible not to aim, General? Where do you come admire their conduct on the battle- from? Where are you going? Do field.”

you wish for fighting, or do you At the beginning of the last war, wish to avoid it?" The General a strong French column, escaping replied to these questions with comfrom the pursuit of the enemy, and plete confidence. The curé took a trying to rejoin the corps d'armée to pencil, and traced some lines on the which it belonged, reached a vil- map, then, after a moment's silence lage of Lorraine. The wooded and he said to the General: “The enemy broken country, and lack of informa- is twenty or twenty-five kilometres tion about the strength and position from here, at a point which I have of the Germans rendered the retreat marked by an A ; they will not come difficult and dangerous. On enter- up with you before to-morrow morning the village the French General ing. Your troops are weary, and Camb- halted his troops, and must rest, but not in the village, summoned the authorities. The which is commanded on all sides by mayor and most of the inhabitants hills. Three kilometres on, followwere gone, but the curé remained at ing the road, at the top of this little his post. When the curé appeared, ascent, you will find a plateau, surthe General, who was studying a rounded by the river, which forms a small and very imperfect map, could wooded peninsula, and there you not conceal his disappointment, for, will be in safety. To pursue you, indeed, the good priest seemed little the enemy will leave the highway, fitted for the post to which the which is longer than the cross-road, chances of war had destined him. and requires the passage of the More than seventy years old, below bridge which you have seen ; fearmedium height, prodigiously stout, ing that the bridge may be destroyed, with head close upon his shoulders, the Prussians will come by the wood, face bloated, hands swollen, and feet following the line A B. They will in heavy sabots, the curé walked come out, then, to-morrow morning with difficulty, leaning on a staff. at B, where we are; as soon as they He told the General that he was tor- appear, you will hear the bell of my mented with gout, and that he was church. The twenty or thirty solonly a poor ignorant servant. The diers, whom you will leave in the vilGeneral, who was not stupid, dis- lage, will withdraw without firing a cerned in the physiognomy of the shot, not by the road, that would indipriest great intelligence; his small cate your direction, but by the little gray eyes sparkled beneath thick path B C. You will yourself leave eyebrows, his smile was full of ex- the highway, and turn to the left, at pression, and under an air of rustic the point D, where the inn of the good nature, the General saw a quick Cheval Blanc is. Thus you will wit, an energetic character, and the withdraw from the enemy, and put between you the river E F, which the curé. All was silent except for has only one ford. Your march will the low tones of the old man, who be masked by hills. At evening you prayed to God. Towards three will have rejoined your corps d'armée. o'clock in the morning, the curé I will now point out to you the vil- laid his hand on the shoulder of one lage houses where you will find what of the soldiers, and with his finger you need; I shall make a note of pointed out an object almost invisiwhat you take, and you will sign me ble in the depth of the forest. At a a receipt; but I beg of you, let distance of a hundred metres from there be no disorder, and respect the shed, great trees formed a vast the property of others. All the in- circle; the soldiers saw nothing but habitants will contribute in propor- motionless trees, and shrubs stirred tion to their means, for our defend- by the morning breeze. “See,” ers must live; besides,” added the whispered the curé, “they are creepcuré, taking another pinch of snuff, ing along behind the trunks of the " as the Prussians are going to pil- oaks, they are stopping to listen." lage us to-morrow, we need not be “I see nothing,” said a grenadier. too miserly to-day.".

“Nor 1,” said the other. “They After a moment's silence, the are assembling," resumed the old priest resumed: “General, you must curé; "and are about to start-an give me four soldiers, two shall be officer is speaking to them in an unstationed in the belfry to observe dertone-it is time to ring. You, the distance, the two others shall lie my friends, go quietly, and do not in ambush with me, on the edge of show yourselves. May God protect the village, near the fountain. you.“We will not leave you, Choose two brave fellows, insensible Monsieur le Curé; what will become to the cold of the night and the of you?” “I, my children, am temptation to sleep-give me two old and infirm; the good God will tried soldiers, for I do not know provide for me. The order of the what may await us." "Monsieur le General is for you to withdraw at Curé," cried the General, "you are the sound of the bell ;. obey! I give a hero!” The merry laugh of the you my blessing." So saying, the old priest brought on a violent priest sounded the little bell, and the cough, the snuff-box came to his aid, tocsin responded from the belfry of and he said: “The seminaries are the church. Shots resounded, the full of heroes of my sort, and the forest was illuminated with a thoubarracks too. To love one's coun- sand fires, a sudden clamor broke try is not heroism." The night was the stillness of the night, and clouds long and cold ; under a thatch-Cov- of smoke rose in the air. The curé ered shed three men were watch- knelt, made the sign of the cross, ing, crouched behind fagots of vine and had only time to repeat the branches, listening to the least words, “Our Father who art in breath, and gazing intently into the heaven." A ball struck him, and darkness. They were listening for he fell. The French column rethe enemy while the troops slept. treated without losing a single man, Two among them were young and and in the evening rejoined the active grenadiers, the third was corps d'armée. The priest was not easily recognized by his cassock and mortally wounded. Brought before white hair. The soldiers leaned a council of war, during his convaupon their guns; the priest held in lescence, he was condemned to death his hand a little altar-bell, which he for treason to the German army, was to ring when he saw the Prus- the sentence being commuted to imsians, and the men in the belfry were prisonment on account of his great to sound the tocsin at the signal of age.

A terrible conflict was raging a more than eighty years old, vainly few leagues from the village of Les besought the Prussian officer for parHorties. The curé was at the altar, don, proving to him that the inhabipraying for his country, while around tants were strangers to the attack. him the terror-stricken villagers be- All in vain. The six unhappy men sought God to protect them. A who had been chosen by lot were debody of German reinforcements livered to the Germans at five o'clock halted for a short rest at some dis- in the evening, and confined in the tance from the scene of battle. In school-room, on the ground floor of spite of the vigilance of the sentinels the mayoralty. The Prussian officer two young men crept noiselessly authorized the curé to give them the from bush to bush and fired four consolations of religion. He found shots upon the Prussians, then them in such a state of prostration bounded away and concealed them that they hardly understood his selves in a field of corn. Twenty words; two seemed to have fainted, balls whistled harmlessly about their and one was in the delirium of fever. ears, while three Prussians fell, At the end of the line, upright and struck in the breast, and a fourth apparently calm, was a man of forty, ball grazed the eagle on an officer's a widower and the only support of helmet. A detachment of German five young children. At first he soldiers marched immediately to the seemed to listen with resignation to village, where they seized six in the words of the priest, but, overhabitants at random and carried come by despair, he gave way to the them before the mayor. The leader most fearful imprecations; then, passof the detachment said to this func- ing from despair to tenderness, he tionary, “You are the first authority bewailed the fate of his children, here; I come, therefore, in the name abandoned to poverty, perhaps to of my august sovereign, to tell you death. After vainly endeavoring to that the soldiers of his Majesty have restore peace to this tortured soul, been fired upon near your village. the curé left him and went to the Being nearest to the scene of the headquarters of the officer; the latter, crime you are responsible. You smoking calmly a great porcelain must give up to us the guilty men, pipe, listened without interrupting. or six of your inhabitants will be “Captain," said the curé, “we have shot for the sake of the example. given you six hostages, who will be Make haste to decide; I will wait shot in a few hours. None of them till eleven o'clock to-morrow. The fired upon your troops, the guilty execution must take place at noon, men having escaped. Your aim is therefore you have no time to lose; not to punish those who attacked meanwhile your village is under you, but to give an example to the military occupation, and I keep the inhabitants of other places. It matsix prisoners.” It would be useless ters little whether you shoot Peter or to attempt to describe the despair of Paul, James or John-the better the poor villagers; with sobs and known the victim, the more salutary tears it was agreed that the victims will be the example. I come then should be chosen by lot. Those to ask that you will allow me to take who had fired upon the Germans the place of a poor father, whose did not belong to the village; they death will plunge five little children came from a distance, and had fol- into poverty. We are both innolowed the Prussian column, to choose cent, but my death will be more a favorable moment for their venge- profitable than his.” “Very well," ance. The day passed in discussion, said the officer. Four soldiers led in grief, and in despair. The mayor, the curé to prison, where he was put the curé, M. Geri, and two old men in bonds with the other victims, and the peasant returned to his home, true charity; and homesickness is congratulated by all. By daybreak much more a mental than a bodily the curé had revived the courage of disease.” his companions; the miserable men, On the day of the battle of Reichsstupefied by fear, had become, thanks hoffen, during the terrible retreat, a to the words of the priest, glorious young Sister of Charity was seen martyrs, sustained by Christian faith making her way timidly among the and the hope of a better life. At crowd of disorderly soldiers, while eleven o'clock the prisoners were shot and shells were cleaving the air led away, the curé walking at their and spreading havoc among the mass head, reciting aloud the office of the of men. Amid the tumult, she heard dead. As they approached the place a cry hehind her; a soldier has just chosen for the execution, the atten- fallen. The Sister stopped, knelt tion of a Prussian major, who chanced beside the wounded man, and was to be passing, was attracted by the tenderly caring for him, when a cansight of the priest. The captain ex- non-ball struck her, taking off both plained to him the affair, which legs, and she fell near the soldier. seemed less a matter of course to the M. Blandeau, who relates this incimajor than to his subordinate. He dent, adds: “Who can tell her ordered the execution to be sus- name? She had none-she was a pended, and sent a report to the Sister of Charity. Yes; a Sister of General, who summoned the curé to Charity, killed in battle, near a his presence. The General was a wounded soldier; she asked nothing man of courage, and after a short of us, and she gave us her life.” explanation understood the whole, At Paris, during the siege, fortysaying to the curé: “Monsieur, I seven Sisters were nursing at Bicêtre cannot make an exception in your the soldiers attacked by small-pox. favor, and yet I do not desire your Eleven Sisters were struck down by death. Go, tell your parishioners the disease in a few days. The rethat, for your sake, I pardon them maining thirty-six, exhausted by faall. Let it be the first and the last tigue, and suffering from the infected time.” When the curé was gone, air, were insufficient for the service the Prussian General said to the of the ambulance. Application was officers who had witnessed the scene : made for eleven more Sisters. Thirty“If all the French had the courage two presented themselves, from whom of this simple priest we should not the required number were chosen by be long on this side of the Rhine." lot. Does not this seem like one of

With one or two narratives of the those heroic pages of history, where devotion of the Sisters of Charity brave soldiers dispute the honor of during the war, we must close, al- leading an assault? though our author gives many mostA n officer relates the following striking and interesting instances of incident : the noble work done by these Sisters, “Near Chalons he met a Sister of Charity who were so often both nurses and and a soldier, coming towards Paris. The mothers to the soldiers, recalling to soldier was blind, in consequence of a wound them, when far removed from home in the head. The Prussians had left him on and home influences, all that was

the road, and his comrades, made prisoners,

had been unable to help him ; every door best in their past lives. Indeed,

was closed to the wounded soldier, and this General Ambert remarks that he has unhappy man, still wearing the French uniobserved soldiers are cured of home form, had been forced to beg a piece of sickness much sooner in hospitals bread to eat and a little straw to sleep upon.

He would have perished by the roadside, served by the Sisters of Charity, than

but for the Sister of Charity. The soldier in those served by regular nurses. who had passed a stormy career in Africa, “The Sister alone has the secret of had no relations and no property; ill-tem

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