Though on each finger of each hand a jewelled ring may

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On the fourteenth of October, seventeen hundred and twenty-four, I entered the Carmelite convent at Lyons, eighteen months after my flight from the world, and my abandonment of my profession--to adopt which, I may say, in my own defence, that I was first led through sheer poverty. At the age of seventeen years, and possessing (if I may credit report) remarkable personal charms, I was left perfectly destitute through the spendthrift habits of my father. I was easily persuaded to go on the stage, and soon tempted, with my youth and inexperience, to lead an irregular life. I do not wish to assert that dissipation necessarily follows the choice of the actress's profession, for I have known many estimable women on the stage. I, unhappily, was not one of the number. I confess it to my shame, and, as the chief of sinners, I am only the more grateful to the mercy of Heaven which accomplished my conversion.

Though on each finger of each hand a jewelled ring may

When I entered the convent, I entreated the prioress to let me live in perfect obscurity, without corresponding with my friends, or even with my relations. She declined to grant this last request, thinking that my zeal was leading me too far. On the other hand, she complied with my wish to be employed at once, without the slightest preparatory indulgence or consideration, on any menial labour which the discipline of the convent might require from me. On the first day of my admission a broom was put into my hands. I was appointed also to wash up the dishes, to scour the saucepans, to draw water from a deep well, to carry each sister's pitcher to its proper place, and to scrub the tables in the refectory. From these occupations I got on in time to making rope shoes for the sisterhood, and to taking care of the great clock of the convent; this last employment requiring me to pull up three immensely heavy weights regularly every day. Seven years of my life passed in this hard work, and I can honestly say that I never murmured over it.

Though on each finger of each hand a jewelled ring may

To return, however, to the period of my admission into the convent.

Though on each finger of each hand a jewelled ring may

After three months of probation, I took the veil on the twentieth of January, seventeen hundred and twenty-five. The Archbishop did me the honour to preside at the ceremony; and, in spite of the rigour of the season, all Lyons poured into the church to see me take the vows. I was deeply affected; but I never faltered in my resolution. I pronounced the oaths with a firm voice, and with a tranquillity which astonished all the spectators,--a tranquillity which has never once failed me since that time.

Such is the story of my conversion. Providence sent me into the world with an excellent nature, with a true heart, with a remarkable susceptibility to the influence of estimable sentiments. My parents neglected my education, and left me in the world, destitute of everything but youth, beauty, and a lively temperament. I tried hard to be virtuous; I vowed, before I was out of my teens, and when I happened to be struck down by a serious illness, to leave the stage, and to keep my reputation unblemished, if anybody would only give me two hundred livres a year to live upon. Nobody came forward to help me, and I fell. Heaven pardon the rich people of Paris who might have preserved my virtue at so small a cost! Heaven grant me courage to follow the better path into which its mercy has led me, and to persevere in a life of penitence and devotion to the end of my days!

So this singular confession ends. Besides the little vanities and levities which appear here and there on its surface, there is surely a strong under-current of sincerity and frankness which fit it to appeal in some degree to the sympathy as well as the curiosity of the reader. It is impossible to read the narrative without feeling that there must have been something really genuine and hearty in Mademoiselle Gautier's nature; and it is a gratifying proof of the honest integrity of her purpose to know that she persevered to the last in the life of humility and seclusion which her conscience had convinced her was the best life that she could lead. Persons who knew her in the Carmelite convent, report that she lived and died in it, preserving to the last, all the better part of the youthful liveliness of her character. She always received visitors with pleasure, always talked to them with surprising cheerfulness, always assisted the poor, and always willingly wrote letters to her former patrons in Paris to help the interests of her needy friends. Towards the end of her life, she was afflicted with blindness; but she was a trouble to no one in consequence of this affliction, for she continued, in spite of it, to clean her own cell, to make her own bed, and to cook her own food just as usual. One little characteristic vanity--harmless enough, surely?--remained with her to the last. She never forgot her own handsome face, which all. Paris had admired in the by-gone time; and she contrived to get a dispensation from the Pope which allowed her to receive visitors in the convent parlour without a veil.

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar; A Contribution to the History of India

The two Portuguese chronicles, a translation of which into English is now for the first time offered to the public, are contained in a vellum-bound folio volume in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, amongst the manuscripts of which institution it bears the designation "PORT. NO. 65." The volume in question consists of copies of four original documents; the first two, written by Fernao Nuniz and Domingo Paes, being those translated below, the last two (at the end of the MS.) letters written from China about the year 1520 A.D. These will probably be published in translation by Mr. Donald Ferguson in the pages of the INDIAN ANTIQUARY.

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