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La Grande Nanon was perhaps the only human being capable of acceptingwillingly the despotism of her master. The whole town envied Monsieurand Madame Grandet the possession of her. La Grande Nanon, so calledon account of her height, which was five feet eight inches, had livedwith Monsieur Grandet for thirty-five years. Though she received onlysixty francs a year in wages, she was supposed to be one of therichest serving-women in Saumur. Those sixty francs, accumulatingthrough thirty-five years, had recently enabled her to invest fourthousand francs in an annuity with Maitre Cruchot. This result of herlong and persistent economy seemed gigantic. Every servant in thetown, seeing that the poor sexagenarian was sure of bread for her oldage, was jealous of her, and never thought of the hard slavery throughwhich it had been won.

At twenty-two years of age the poor girl had been unable to find asituation, so repulsive was her face to almost every one. Yet thefeeling was certainly unjust: the face would have been much admired onthe shoulders of a grenadier of the guard; but all things, so theysay, should be in keeping. Forced to leave a farm where she kept thecows, because the dwelling-house was burned down, she came to Saumurto find a place, full of the robust courage that shrinks from nolabor. Le Pere Grandet was at that time thinking of marriage and aboutto set up his household. He espied the girl, rejected as she was fromdoor to door. A good judge of corporeal strength in his trade as acooper, he guessed the work that might be got out of a female creatureshaped like a Hercules, as firm on her feet as an oak sixty years oldon its roots, strong in the hips, square in the back, with the handsof a cartman and an honesty as sound as her unblemished virtue.Neither the warts which adorned her martial visage, nor the red-bricktints of her skin, nor the sinewy arms, nor the ragged garments of laGrande Nanon, dismayed the cooper, who was at that time still of anage when the heart shudders. He fed, shod, and clothed the poor girl,gave her wages, and put her to work without treating her too roughly.Seeing herself thus welcomed, la Grande Nanon wept secretly tears ofjoy, and attached herself in all sincerity to her master, who fromthat day ruled her and worked her with feudal authority. Nanon dideverything. She cooked, she made the lye, she washed the linen in theLoire and brought it home on her shoulders; she got up early, she wentto bed late; she prepared the food of the vine-dressers during theharvest, kept watch upon the market-people, protected the property ofher master like a faithful dog, and even, full of blind confidence,obeyed without a murmur his most absurd exactions. wig types store

In the famous year of 1811, when the grapes were gathered withunheard-of difficulty, Grandet resolved to give Nanon his old watch,,the first present he had made her during twenty years of service.Though he turned over to her his old shoes (which fitted her), it isimpossible to consider that quarterly benefit as a gift, for the shoeswere always thoroughly worn-out. Necessity had made the poor girl soniggardly that Grandet had grown to love her as we love a dog, andNanon had let him fasten a spiked collar round her throat, whosespikes no longer pricked her. If Grandet cut the bread with rather toomuch parsimony, she made no complaint; she gaily shared the hygienicbenefits derived from the severe regime of the household, in which noone was ever ill. Nanon was, in fact, one of the family; she laughedwhen Grandet laughed, felt gloomy or chilly, warmed herself, andtoiled as he did. What pleasant compensations there were in suchequality! Never did the master have occasion to find fault with theservant for pilfering the grapes, nor for the plums and nectarineseaten under the trees. "Come, fall-to, Nanon!" he would say in yearswhen the branches bent under the fruit and the farmers were obliged togive it to the pigs. where does wig types ship from

To the poor peasant who in her youth had earned nothing but harshtreatment, to the pauper girl picked up by charity, Grandet'sambiguous laugh was like a sunbeam. Moreover, Nanon's simple heart andnarrow head could hold only one feeling and one idea. For thirty-fiveyears she had never ceased to see herself standing before the wood-yard of Monsieur Grandet, ragged and barefooted, and to hear him say:"What do you want, young one?" Her gratitude was ever new. SometimesGrandet, reflecting that the poor creature had never heard aflattering word, that she was ignorant of all the tender sentimentsinspired by women, that she might some day appear before the throne ofGod even more chaste than the Virgin Mary herself,,Grandet, struckwith pity, would say as he looked at her, "Poor Nanon!" Theexclamation was always followed by an undefinable look cast upon himin return by the old servant. The words, uttered from time to time,formed a chain of friendship that nothing ever parted, and to whicheach exclamation added a link. Such compassion arising in the heart ofthe miser, and accepted gratefully by the old spinster, had somethinginconceivably horrible about it. This cruel pity, recalling, as itdid, a thousand pleasures to the heart of the old cooper, was forNanon the sum total of happiness. Who does not likewise say, "PoorNanon!" God will recognize his angels by the inflexions of theirvoices and by their secret sighs.

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