have bread; it must be right to have bread, there comes so plain a want of it. And then they beat me cruelly if I returned with nothing," he added. "I was not ignorant of right and wrong; for before that I had been well taught by a priest, who was very kind to me." (The Doctor made a horrible grimace at the word "priest.") "But it seemed to me, when one had nothing to eat and was beaten, it was a different affair. I would not have stolen for tartlets, I believe; but any one would steal for baker's bread."
"And so I suppose," said the Doctor, with a rising sneer, "you prayed God to forgive you, and explained the case to Him at length."
"Why, sir?" asked Jean-Marie. "I do not see."
"Your priest would see, however," retorted Desprez.
"Would he?" asked the boy, troubled for the first time. "I should have thought God would have known."
"Eh?" snarled the Doctor.
"I should have thought God would have understood me," replied the other. "You do not, I see; but then it was God that made me think so, was it not?"
"Little boy, little boy," said Dr. Desprez, "I told you already you had the vices of philosophy; if you display the virtues also, I must go. I am a student of the blessed laws of health, an observer of plain and temperate nature in her common walks; and I cannot preserve my equanimity in presence of a monster. Do you understand?"
"No, sir," said the boy.
"I will make my meaning clear to you," replied the