"Why, he was rather a dry, shrewd kind of body; a great traveller, and
fond of telling his adventures."
"Pray, how old might he have been when this happened?"
"When what happened?" cried the gentleman with the flexible nose,
impatiently - "Egad, you have not given any thing a chance to happen
- -come, never mind our uncle's age; let us have his adventures."
The inquisitive gentleman being for the moment silenced, the old
gentleman with the haunted head proceeded.
THE ADVENTURE OF MY UNCLE.
Many years since, a long time before the French revolution, my uncle
had passed several months at Paris. The English and French were on
better terms, in those days, than at present, and mingled cordially
together in society. The English went abroad to spend money then, and
the French were always ready to help them: they go abroad to save money
at present, and that they can do without French assistance. Perhaps the
travelling English were fewer and choicer then, than at present, when
the whole nation has broke loose, and inundated the continent. At any
rate, they circulated more readily and currently in foreign society,
and my uncle, during his residence in Paris, made many very intimate
acquaintances among the French noblesse.
Some time afterwards, he was making a journey in the winter-time, in
that part of Normandy called the Pays de Caux, when, as evening was
closing in, he perceived the turrets of an ancient chateau rising out
of the trees of its walled park, each turret with its high conical roof
of gray slate, like a candle with an extinguisher on it.