Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/103

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FRANCE.

Priests in full splendor paced solemnly along with censers swinging, candles flickering, sweet-voiced boys singing, and hundreds kneeling as they passed. Most impressive figures, unless one caught a glimpse of something comically human to disturb the effect of the heavenly pageant. Lavinia had an eye for the ludicrous, and though she dropped a tear over the orphans, and with difficulty resisted a strong desire to catch and kiss the pretty baby, she scandalized her neighbors by laughing outright the next minute. A particularly portly, pious-looking priest, who was marching with superb dignity, and chanting like a devout bumble-bee, suddenly mislaid his temper, and injured the effect by boxing a charity boy's ears with his gilded missal, and then capped the climax by taking a pinch of snuff with a sonorous satisfaction that convulsed the heretic.

The afternoon was spent in the church, wandering to and fro, each alone to study and enjoy in her own way. Matilda lost her head entirely, and had silent raptures over the old pictures. Amanda said her prayers, looked up her dates, and imparted her facts in a proper,and decorous manner, while Lavinia went up and down, finding for herself little pictures