Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/100

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95
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

district. I had already heard of the widow of a baker of St. Mathieu, whose dough had been kneaded by the archangel Gabriel; and of Lotsen of Batz, to whom the Saviour Himself had taught certain words which had the power of guiding a ship safely over the most perilous seas, and had never yet seen one of these distinguished individuals. Here, however, was a maiden who was evidently fully persuaded that she stood in a peculiar relation to the Queen of Heaven. No one who saw her could doubt the genuineness of such belief on her part; nay, this story alone gave the key to her peculiar bearing—at once lively and dignified, modest, retiring, mysterious, and yet firm, self-possessed, and even daring as it was. Moreover—as Guiller confessed cordially enough, when he found that his light talk found no response in me—though Dinorah was certainly rather too proud of her exalted sponsor, she did her credit by being the most pious, most honorable, and, in short, the best girl in all the country far and near; and if all saints were like her, added he, he would himself think seriously about being converted and trying to get to heaven.

Meanwhile, we had reached one of those cottages standing close by the shore, where the so-called Gabariers were wont to live, that they might collect tang, fine sand, and other productions or refuse of the sea, which they sold to potash and glass manufacturers, in order to eke