Page:François-Millet.djvu/86

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JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET

that its wide brim dropped in a bell shape on his head; and heavy wooden shoes on his feet.[1]

Madame Millet was "a woman of simple habits, accustomed from childhood to the life of the fields; she considered her husband as altogether a superior being." She bore Millet nine children; the first being born in 1846, and the last in 1863. Millet loved her very much. Wheelwright says he always remembers the affectionate tenderness with which Millet used to call her "my old woman," as he rested his hand on her shoulder. Burty describes them at the family meal: "Millet with his deep chest and grave head, presiding at the long table which had no cloth, and around which half-a-dozen children passed up their earthen plates to the smoking soup tureen. Madame Millet would be trying to put a child to sleep on her lap. There would be great pauses of silence in which no sound was heard but the purring of the cats curled up before the stove."

Millet's dwelling was a peasant's house,

  1. This portrait is composed from the recollections of Sensier, Burty and Wheelwright, and from Millet's portraits of himself.

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