The prettiest girls in the village, beyond all
dispute, are Bleuette and Coquelicot; – Bleuette, with her fair hair and
blue eyes; -- Coquelicot, with form so elastic, and her bright rosy cheeks.
“Faith!” said the country judge, a few days
since, “Bleuette looks charmingly, when, with modest air and downcast eyes,
she trips over the village green.”
“Udsbuddikins!” exclaimed the village
squire, last Sunday, while seeing his vassals dance, –– “this little
Coquelicot has a most enchanting way of dancing. I am certain that there is
not, at court, a more graceful girl. See, there, what vassals I have.”
In fact, it would have been impossible to
find two prettier faces than those of Coquelicot and Bleuette. They dwelt in
the same cottage – sung the same songs – tended the same turtle-doves – and
they had but one flock between them.
The only thing not held by them in common,
was their hearts. Bleuette had promised hers to Lucas, while Coquelicot had
sworn eternal affection for Blaise.
In every other respect they were very
Notwithstanding that good fortune so often
provokes envy, everybody in the village loved Bleuette and Coquelicot. If
the wolf strangled a sheep or two in the neighborhood, he never meddled with
the flock of Bleuette and Coquelicot. If master Renard mercilessly twisted
the necks of Maturin’s, of Bruneau’s, or of Thibaunt’s fowls, he always
respected those of Coquelicot and Bleuette. The hail-storm never harmed the
raspberries on their bushes, nor the grapes on their trellis. Their hives
were always filled with the richest honey. They were happy, -- and so happy,
that many persons, and especially the schoolmaster, maintained that they
were fairies, or at least the fairies’ god-daughters.
It is well known, that whenever they seated
themselves under a tree, a nightingale would immediately alight thereon; or
if they walked, arm in arm, through the paths in the wheat field, the
cricket and the grasshopper would advance to the edge of the furrow, to
salute them on their way, and sing their welcome, -- as well becomes a
polite grasshopper, and a cricket who knows his duty.
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