Filial Affection

A veteran, worn out in the service of France, was left
without a pension, although he had a wife and three children to share his

wretchedness. His son was placed at _L'Ecole militaire_, where he might

have enjoyed every comfort, but the strongest persuasion could not induce

him to taste anything but coarse bread and water. The Duke de Choiseul

being informed of the circumstance, ordered the boy before him, and

enquired the reason of his abstemiousness. The boy, with a manly fortitude,

replied, "Sir, when I had the honour of being admitted to this royal

foundation, my father conducted me hither. We came on foot: on our journey

the demands of nature were relieved by bread and water. I was received. My

father blessed me, and returned to the protection of a helpless wife and

family. As long as I can remember, bread of the blackest kind, with water,

has been their daily subsistence, and even that is earned by every species

of labour that honour does not forbid. To this fare, sir, my father is

reduced; and while he, my mother, and my sisters, are compelled to endure

such wretchedness, is it possible that I can enjoy the plenty which my

sovereign has provided for me?" The duke felt this tale of nature, gave the

boy three louis d'ors for pocket-money, and promised to procure the father

a pension. The boy begged the louis d'ors might be sent to his father,

which, with the patent of his pension, was immediately done. The boy was

patronised by the duke, and became one of the best officers in the service

of France.

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