Breton Peasants

At the conclusion of the war in 1814, three hundred
British sailors, who had been prisoners, were assembled on the coast of

Britanny to embark for England. Being severally billetted on the

inhabitants for some days before they embarked, one of them requested

permission to see the superintendant, Monsieur Kearnie, which being

granted, the British tar thus addressed him: "An please your honour, I

don't come to trouble you with any bother about ourselves: we are all as

well treated as Christians can be; but there is one thing that makes my

food sit heavy on my stomach, and that of my two messmates." "What is it,

my brave fellow?" replied the superintendent;--"the persons on whom you are

quartered don't grudge it you?" "No, your honour;--if they did, that would

not vex us." "What, then, do you complain of?" "Only this, your

honour--that the poor folk cheerfully lay their scanty allowance before us

for our mess, and we have just found out that they have hardly touched a

mouthful themselves, or their six babes, for the last two days; and this we

take to be a greater hardship than any we found in prison." M. Kearnie told

them that from this hardship they should all be relieved. He instantly

ordered the billets to be withdrawn, and rewarded all parties for their

kindness, so compassionately exercised and interchanged.

Bishop of St. Lisieux Brief Explanation facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail