Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
93
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

and gesture, while raising her pitcher to her head, and preparing to go away.

"Old William[1]may burn me black," replied he, "if I meant to mock. Every child in the district knows the story, and if the gentleman has not heard it already, I will tell it him now.

"You must know that the little Dinorah was just born, and was to be, as is right and proper, baptized as soon as possible. All were assembled in the church, and quite ready. The sexton had brought the shell with the salt in it—the priest had put on his stole; they were only waiting for one of the godmothers. At that moment came a messenger out of breath to say that she had suddenly dropped down dead. You may imagine the confusion and distress. It would never do to take the first come for the god-mother of such a jewel of a child, and in short she was very near being carried out of the church unbaptized, home. At that moment, out of the Chapel of the Holy Virgin Mary, which stands on one side of the choir, there came a wonderfully beautiful lady, dressed in silk and lace, and offered to hold the child for baptism. The priest had nothing to say against it, and all the rest of the party assembled held their breath at the apparition; and before they rightly knew what

  1. This is the title given by the peasants of Brittany to the devil—perhaps from a forgotten play upon the name of William the Conqueror.