Presently the clap-clap of sabots became audible, and then the smothered footfall of nuns; there was silence but for sneezing and nose-blowing stifled by pocket-handkerchiefs, and then all was still.

It was with another quick heart-beat that he awoke next morning, for his first thought was of Valentine. The sun already gilded the towers of Notre Dame, the clatter of workmen's sabots awoke sharp echoes in the street below, and across the way a blackbird in a pink almond tree was going into an ecstasy of trills.

They know just as much about it as the men and were much interested in the sales. They told me the landlady of the hotel was the best judge of a horse and a man in Normandy. She was standing at the entrance of her court-yard as we passed the hotel on our way home, a comely, buxom figure, dressed like all the rest in a short black skirt and sabots.

Among the lower classes there is none of that aping of fashion so prevalent in prodigal England; the different social grades have each a distinctive dress and are content to wear it. Among the men, blouses of stout blue cotton and sabots are common.

Here stood the old prison, and the spot was called the Place du Vier Prison. Men and women with breakfast still in their mouths mumbled their terror to each other. A lobster-woman shrieking that the Day of Judgment was come, instinctively straightened her cap, smoothed out her dress of molleton, and put on her sabots.

Two little boys in black blouses came running up the street, their sabots clacking against the rough cobbles. Someone was playing a mandolin, and at the foot of the street, near the bridge, a girl in a pink apron was flirting with a youth with curly red hair. People stood by their shop doors, the men smoking small clay pipes, the women usually with a child or two at their skirts.

He had an inherent distaste for fine clothes which he showed even in boyhood. When he grew to be a painter, and returned to visit his family in Gréville, the villagers were scandalized to see the city artist appear in their streets in blouse and sabots. As we see in the portrait, Millet had long wavy hair, falling over his shoulders, and a thick black beard.

Well-to-do bourgeois, shot with frayed nerves, exhausted by an excess of emotion and fatigue, searched for lodgings, anywhere and at any price, jostled by armies of peasants, shaggy-haired, in clumping sabots, with bundles on their backs, who were wandering on the same quest for the sake of the women and children dragging wearily in their wake.

I remember once to have stopped in the street with a fair countrywoman of mine to interrogate a little figure in sabots, the one quaint object in the long, formal perspective of narrow, gray bastard-Italian facaded houses of a Rhenish German Strasse.

Her little maid walking close by, exclaimed, scuttling round in front of her the while like an urchin in sabots, 'Ha! what is it? a snake? let me! let me! The guileless mistress replied, 'A letter! Whereupon the maid said: 'Not a window near! and no wall neither! Why, dearest princess, we have walked up and down here a dozen times and not seen it staring at us!