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The Kennedies

Anecdotes Home




Mr. Pennant, in his Tour in Scotland, relates the following
circumstance, which shows that a sense of honour may prevail in those who
have little regard to moral obligation:--After the battle of Culloden, in
the year 1745, a reward of thirty thousand pounds was offered to any one
who should discover or deliver up the young Pretender. He had taken refuge
with the Kennedies, two common thieves, who protected him with the greatest
fidelity, robbed for his support, and often went in disguise to Inverness
to purchase provisions for him. A considerable time afterwards one of these
men, who had resisted the temptation of thirty thousand pounds from a
regard to his honour, was hanged for stealing a cow of the value of thirty
shillings.


A young woman, named La Blonde, was in the service of M. Migeon, a furrier,
in the Rue St. Honore, in Paris; this tradesman, though embarrassed in his
affairs, was not deserted by his faithful domestic, who remained at his
house without receiving any salary. Migeon, some years afterwards died,
leaving a wife and two young children without the means of support. The
cares of La Blonde were now transferred to the assistance of the distressed
family of her deceased master, for whose support she expended fifteen
hundred francs, the fruit of her labour, as well as the produce of rent
from her small patrimony. From time to time this worthy servant was offered
other situations, but to all such offers she replied by the inquiry, "Who
will take care of this family if I desert them?" At length the widow
Migeon, overcome with grief, became seriously ill. La Blonde passed her
days in comforting her dying mistress, and at night went to take care of
the sick, in order to have the means of relieving her wants. The widow
Migeon died on the 28th of April, 1787. Some persons then proposed to La
Blonde to send the two little orphans to the poor house; but the generous
girl, indignant at this proposition, replied, "that at Ruel, her native
country, her two hundred livres of rent would suffice for their subsistence
and her own."





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