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Rousseau himself bought the Peasant spreading Manure and with touching kindness concealed from Millet that he was the purchaser and made him believe that an American had bought it. It was Rousseau, too, who bought the Peasant grafting a Tree.

With the proceeds of the Woman feeding Chickens, for which the amateur Letrône paid 2000 francs, a sum that seemed to him fabulous, Millet was able to take a little journey and spend four months with his children in his native district at La Hague (June 1854). He painted with pious precision everything that had belonged to his family, the homestead, the garden, the cider-press and the stables; he made fourteen paintings, twenty drawings, and filled two sketch-books. After his mother's death the inheritance had been divided among the eight children. Millet gave up his share of the house and land; he only asked for the books and the old oak cupboard. He undertook the education of two of his brothers who wished to become artists too, and who came to live with him at Barbizon.

This was the period of Rousseau's greatest