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In the famous year of 1811, when the grapes were gathered withunheard-of difficulty, Grandet resolved to give Nanon his old watch,,the first present he had made her during twenty years of service.Though he turned over to her his old shoes (which fitted her), it isimpossible to consider that quarterly benefit as a gift, for the shoeswere always thoroughly worn-out. Necessity had made the poor girl soniggardly that Grandet had grown to love her as we love a dog, andNanon had let him fasten a spiked collar round her throat, whosespikes no longer pricked her. If Grandet cut the bread with rather toomuch parsimony, she made no complaint; she gaily shared the hygienicbenefits derived from the severe regime of the household, in which noone was ever ill. Nanon was, in fact, one of the family; she laughedwhen Grandet laughed, felt gloomy or chilly, warmed herself, andtoiled as he did. What pleasant compensations there were in suchequality! Never did the master have occasion to find fault with theservant for pilfering the grapes, nor for the plums and nectarineseaten under the trees. "Come, fall-to, Nanon!" he would say in yearswhen the branches bent under the fruit and the farmers were obliged togive it to the pigs. wig types same day shipping

To the poor peasant who in her youth had earned nothing but harshtreatment, to the pauper girl picked up by charity, Grandet'sambiguous laugh was like a sunbeam. Moreover, Nanon's simple heart andnarrow head could hold only one feeling and one idea. For thirty-fiveyears she had never ceased to see herself standing before the wood-yard of Monsieur Grandet, ragged and barefooted, and to hear him say:"What do you want, young one?" Her gratitude was ever new. SometimesGrandet, reflecting that the poor creature had never heard aflattering word, that she was ignorant of all the tender sentimentsinspired by women, that she might some day appear before the throne ofGod even more chaste than the Virgin Mary herself,,Grandet, struckwith pity, would say as he looked at her, "Poor Nanon!" Theexclamation was always followed by an undefinable look cast upon himin return by the old servant. The words, uttered from time to time,formed a chain of friendship that nothing ever parted, and to whicheach exclamation added a link. Such compassion arising in the heart ofthe miser, and accepted gratefully by the old spinster, had somethinginconceivably horrible about it. This cruel pity, recalling, as itdid, a thousand pleasures to the heart of the old cooper, was forNanon the sum total of happiness. Who does not likewise say, "PoorNanon!" God will recognize his angels by the inflexions of theirvoices and by their secret sighs.

There were very many households in Saumur where the servants werebetter treated, but where the masters received far less satisfactionin return. Thus it was often said: "What have the Grandets ever doneto make their Grande Nanon so attached to them? She would go throughfire and water for their sake!" Her kitchen, whose barred windowslooked into the court, was always clean, neat, cold,,a true miser'skitchen, where nothing went to waste. When Nanon had washed herdishes, locked up the remains of the dinner, and put out her fire, sheleft the kitchen, which was separated by a passage from the living-room, and went to spin hemp beside her masters. One tallow candlesufficed the family for the evening. The servant slept at the end ofthe passage in a species of closet lighted only by a fan-light. Herrobust health enabled her to live in this hole with impunity; thereshe could hear the slightest noise through the deep silence whichreigned night and day in that dreary house. Like a watch-dog, sheslept with one ear open, and took her rest with a mind alert.A description of the other parts of the dwelling will be foundconnected with the events of this history, though the foregoing sketchof the hall, where the whole luxury of the household appears, mayenable the reader to surmise the nakedness of the upper floors.In 1819, at the beginning of an evening in the middle of November, laGrande Nanon lighted the fire for the first time. The autumn had beenvery fine. This particular day was a fete-day well known to theCruchotines and the Grassinists. The six antagonists, armed at allpoints, were making ready to meet at the Grandets and surpass eachother in testimonials of friendship. That morning all Saumur had seenMadame and Mademoiselle Grandet, accompanied by Nanon, on their way tohear Mass at the parish church, and every one remembered that the daywas the anniversary of Mademoiselle Eugenie's birth. Calculating thehour at which the family dinner would be over, Maitre Cruchot, theAbbe Cruchot, and Monsieur C. de Bonfons hastened to arrive before thedes Grassins, and be the first to pay their compliments toMademoiselle Eugenie. All three brought enormous bouquets, gathered intheir little green-houses. The stalks of the flowers which thepresident intended to present were ingeniously wound round with awhite satin ribbon adorned with gold fringe. In the morning MonsieurGrandet, following his usual custom on the days that commemorated thebirth and the fete of Eugenie, went to her bedside and solemnlypresented her with his paternal gift,,which for the last thirteenyears had consisted regularly of a curious gold-piece. Madame Grandetgave her daughter a winter dress or a summer dress, as the case mightbe. These two dresses and the gold-pieces, of which she received twoothers on New Year's day and on her father's fete-day, gave Eugenie alittle revenue of a hundred crowns or thereabouts, which Grandet lovedto see her amass. Was it not putting his money from one strong-box toanother, and, as it were, training the parsimony of his heiress? fromwhom he sometimes demanded an account of her treasure (formerlyincreased by the gifts of the Bertellieres), saying: "It is to be yourmarriage dozen."

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