Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/360

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302
THE PYRENEES

company, as if he were really mad. I immediately recognized him as my countryman, from his manner of skipping and frisking about. The prince was charmed with his humour and activity. After the dance I sent for him, and inquired who he was. 'A poor priest, at your service, my lord,' said he; 'my name is Pousastin, and Béarn is my native country. I was going into Catalonia to serve in the infantry, for, God be praised, I can march very well on foot; but since the war is happily concluded, if your lordship pleases to take me into your service, I would follow you everywhere, and serve you faithfully.' 'Monsieur Poussatin,' said I, 'my lordship has no great occasion for a chaplain; but since you are so well disposed towards me, I will take you into my service.'

"The Prince of Condé, who was present at this conversation, was overjoyed at my having a chaplain. Poor Poussatin was in a very tattered condition, and I had no time to provide him with a proper habit at Perpignan; but giving him a spare livery of one of the Marshal de Grammont's servants, I made him get up behind the prince's coach, who was like to die with laughing every time he looked at poor Poussatin's uncanonical mien in a yellow livery.

"As soon as we arrived in Paris the story was told to the queen, who at first expressed some surprise at it; this, however, did not prevent her from wishing to see my chaplain dance; for in Spain it is not altogether so strange to see ecclesiastics dance, as to see them in livery.

"Poussatin performed wonders before the queen; but as he danced with great sprightliness, she could not bear the savour which his violent motions diffused through the room; the ladies likewise began to pray for relief."


The Eastern Pyrenees have, to my mind, been unduly neglected, and yet they present scenes of great beauty, an are very easily reached. To botanists they should be especially attractive. The Val d'Eyne, near Mont Louis, is known to possess flowers found nowhere else in the range. The ravine of the Aude is as fine as any in the Hautes Pyrénées. Then