delight, ' if we could find a foreigner every day, Ave
could eat meat at supper, Moufflou, and go to the
theatre every evening !'
And he and his crutch clattered home with
great eagerness and excitement, and Moufflou trotted
on his four frilled feet, the blue bow with which
Bice had tied up his curls on the top of his head,
fluttering in the Avind. But, alas! even his five
francs could bring no comfort at home. He
found his whole family walling and mourning in
utterly inconsolable distress.
Tasso had drawn his number that morning, and
the number was seven, and he must go and be a
conscript for three years.
The poor young man stood in the midst of his
weeping brothers and sisters, with his mother lean¬
ing against his shoulder, and down his own brown
cheeks the tears were falling. He must go, and lose
his place in the public gardens, and leave his people
to starve as they might, and be put in a tomfool's
jacket, and drafted off amongst cursing and swear¬
ing and strange faces, friendless, homeless, miserable !
And the mother, Avhat would become of the mother ?
Tasso was the best of lads and the mildest.
He was quite happy sweeping up the leaves in the
long alleys of the Cascine, or moAving the green
lawns under the ilex avenues, and coming home
at supper-time amongst the merry little people and
the good woman that he loved. He was quite con-