It was not long before they learned to love one another very dearly, and one day they went hand in hand to the miller and asked his consent that they should wed.
"What will become of me?" asked the miller, with a sad heart.
"You shall live in the great house with us," replied the Squire, "and never again need you labor for bread."
But the old man shook his head.
"A miller I have lived," quoth he, "and a miller will I die. But tell me, Nathalie, are you willing to leave me?"
The girl cast down her eyes and blushed sweetly.
"I love him," she whispered, "and if you separate us I shall die."
"Then," said the miller, kissing her with a heavy heart, "go; and may God bless you."
So Nathalie and the Squire were wed, and lived in the great house, and the very day after the wedding she came walking down to the mill in her pretty new gown to see the miller.
But as she drew near she heard him singing, as was his wont; and the song he sung she had not heard since she was a little girl, for this was it:
"I care for nobody, no! not I, Since nobody cares for me."
She came up softly behind him, and put her arms around his neck.
"Papa," said she, "you must not sing that song. Nathalie loves you yet, and always will while she lives; for my new love is complete in itself, and has not robbed you of one bit of the love that has always been your very own."
The miller turned and looked into her blue eyes, and knew that she spoke truly.
"Then I must learn a new song again," he said, "for it is lonely at the mill, and singing makes the heart lighter. But I will promise that never again, till you forget me, will I sing that nobody cares for me."
And the miller did learn a new song, and sang it right merrily for many years; for each day Nathalie came down to the mill to show that she had not forgotten him.
The Little Man and His Little Gun
The Little Man and His Little Gun
There was a little man and he had a little gun, And the bullets were made of lead, lead, lead. He went to the brook and shot a little duck, And the bullet went right through its head, head, head.
There was once a little man named Jimson, who had stopped growing when he was a boy, and never started again. So, although he was old enough to be a man he was hardly big enough, and had he not owned a bald head and gray whiskers you would certainly have taken him for a boy whenever you saw him.
This little man was very sorry he was not bigger, and if you wanted to make him angry you had but to call attention to his size. He dressed just as big men do, and wore a silk hat and a long-tailed coat when he went to church, and a cap and top-boots when he rode horseback. He walked with a little cane and had a little umbrella made to carry when it rained. In fact, whatever other men did this little man was anxious to do also, and so it happened that when the hunting season came around, and all the men began to get their guns ready to hunt for snipe and duck, Mr. Jimson also had a little gun made, and determined to use it as well as any of them.
When he brought it home and showed it to his wife, who was a very big woman, she said,
"Jimson, you 'd better use bullets made of bread, and then you won't hurt anything."
"Nonsense, Joan," replied the little man, "I shall have bullets made of lead, just as other men do, and every duck I see I shall shoot and bring home to you."
"I 'm afraid you won't kill many," said Joan.
But the little man believed he could shoot with the best of them, so the next morning he got up early and took his little gun and started down to the brook to hunt for duck.
It was scarcely daybreak when he arrived at the brook, and the sun had not yet peeped over the eastern hill-tops, but no duck appeared anywhere in sight, although Mr. Jimson knew this was the right time of day for shooting them. So he sat down beside the brook and begun watching, and before he knew it he had fallen fast asleep.
By and by he was awakened by a peculiar noise.