The Village Rector

The Village Rector

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The Village Rector by Honoré de Balzac

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The Village Rector

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ve their alms punctually at the sacrament and to all the collections in church. When the vicar of Saint-Etienne called to ask help for his poor, Sauviat or his wife fetched at once without reluctance or sour faces the sum they thought their fair share of the parish duties. The mutilated Virgin on their corner pillar never failed (after 1799) to be wreathed with holly at Easter. In the summer season she was feted with bouquets kept fresh in tumblers of blue glass; this was particularly the case after the birth of Veronique. On the days of the processions the Sauviats scrupulously hung their house with sheets covered with flowers, and contributed money to the erection and adornment of the altar, which was the pride and glory of the whole square.

Veronique Sauviat was, therefore, brought up in a Christian manner. From the time she was seven years old she was taught by a Gray sister from Auvergne to whom the Sauviats had done some kindness in former times. Both husband and wife were obliging when the matte

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