Travels With A Donkey In The Cevennes By Robert Louis Stevenson



































































































 -   It was
marvellously clear, thrillingly cool; the soap-suds disappeared as if by
magic in the swift current, and the - Page 100
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It Was Marvellously Clear, Thrillingly Cool; The Soap-Suds Disappeared As If By Magic In The Swift Current, And The White Boulders Gave One A Model For Cleanliness.

To wash in one of God's rivers in the open air seems to me a sort of cheerful solemnity or semi-pagan act of worship.

To dabble among dishes in a bedroom may perhaps make clean the body; but the imagination takes no share in such a cleansing. I went on with a light and peaceful heart, and sang psalms to the spiritual ear as I advanced.

Suddenly up came an old woman, who point-blank demanded alms.

'Good,' thought I; 'here comes the waiter with the bill.'

And I paid for my night's lodging on the spot. Take it how you please, but this was the first and the last beggar that I met with during all my tour.

A step or two farther I was overtaken by an old man in a brown nightcap, clear-eyed, weather-beaten, with a faint excited smile. A little girl followed him, driving two sheep and a goat; but she kept in our wake, while the old man walked beside me and talked about the morning and the valley. It was not much past six; and for healthy people who have slept enough, that is an hour of expansion and of open and trustful talk.

'Connaissez-vous le Seigneur?' he said at length.

I asked him what Seigneur he meant; but he only repeated the question with more emphasis and a look in his eyes denoting hope and interest.

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