Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/278

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plenty of land. The astute merchant of the city was, in the country, an able agriculturist, for throughout his life he had a taste for farming. He combined theory with practice, and did not, like "parlour farmers," content himself with inventing useless systems, but tried experiments which nearly always succeeded.

Being of an observant turn of mind, he found something to do at all hours and in all weathers, when he was on his estate. If rain fell in torrents we would all make for the house, but he would go out again in the heaviest shower to study the direction that the water took in different places, and utilize his knowledge in irrigating, or draining, his land. Fortune was bound to come to one who sought her by all roads.

His relations with all sorts of people, as a commercial notability, and more recently as a banker, had rendered his name known throughout Europe. As for me, I had sunk from an actor to become a spectator. My dear brother, the most sensible, calmest, and most virtuous of men, would have been glad to do for me what