Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/214

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always heard that you were the cleverest and most sensible man in the world."

M. de Talleyrand imagined that his visitor had come to borrow money, and was ready to reply, "I was just going to ask you," but it appeared that all the Gascon required was some advice.

"Well, Monsieur, what is it?" asked the Bishop of Autun.

"The fact is, Monsieur de Talleyrand, that I left the manor-house where I lived, and went to Coblentz, and so I am what is called an émigré, and now I want to know the best means of getting back to France. As you are so clever will you be kind enough to advise me?"

"What sort of position did you occupy in your province?"

"No position of importance."

"What sort of life did you lead, and what fortune had your family?"

"We are four brothers, and papa has an income of about five thousand francs a year."

"Oh, well, no one is likely to interfere with you. I suppose you have a few crowns