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pauvre honteux could say nothing,-he pulled and fellow-feeling, when I reflect what miseries out a little handkerchief, and wiped his face must have been their lot, and how bitterly so as he turned away ;-and I thought he thanked refined a people must have smarted to have me more than them all.
forced them upon the use of it.
Grant me, Oye powers which touch the THE BIDET.
tongue with eloquence in distress !-whatever
is my cast, -grant me but decent words to exHaving settled all these little matters, I got claim in, and I will give my nature way. into my post-chaise with more ease than ever -But as these were not to be had in France, I got into a post-chaise in my life; and La Fleur I resolved to take every evil just as it befell mo, having got one large jack-boot on the far side of without any exclamation at all. a little bidet,' and another on this (for I count La Fleur, who had made no such covenant nothing of his legs), he cantered away before me with himself, followed the bidet with his eyes as happy and as perpendicular as a prince. till it was got out of sight, -and then, you may
-But what is happiness! what is grandeur imagine, if you please, with what word he closed in this painted scene of life !-A dead ass, before the whole affair. we had got a league, put a sudden stop to La As there was no hunting down a frightened Fleur's career; his bidet would not pass by it, horse in jack-boots, there remained no alter--a contention arose betwixt them, and the native but taking La Fleur either behind the poor fellow was kicked out of his jack-boots chaise, or into it. the very first kick.
I preferred the latter, and in half an hour La Fleur bore his fall like a French Christian, we got to the post-house at Nampont. saying neither more nor less upon it than Diable! so presently got up, and came to the
THE DEAD ASS. charge again astride his bidet, beating him up
NAJPONT. to it as he would have beat his drum.
The bidet flew from one side of the road to --AND this, said he, putting the remains of the other, then back again, then this way, then a crust into his wallet,--and this should have that way, and, in short, every way but by the been thy portion, said he, hadst thou been alive dead ass :-La Fleur insisted upon the thing, - to have shared it with me. I thought, by the and the bidet threw him.
accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child; - What's the matter, La Fleur, said I, with but 'twas to his ass, and to the very ass we had this bidet of thine?... Monsieur, said he, c'est seen dead in the road, which had occasioned un cheval le plus opiniatre du monde. Nay, | La Fleur's misadventure. The man seemed to if he is a conceited beast, he must go his own lament it much; and it instantly brought into way, replied I. —So La Fleur got off him, and my mind Sancho's lamentation for his : but he giving him a good sound lash, the bidet took did it with more true touches of nature. me at my word, and away he scampered back The mourner was sitting upon a stone bench to Montriul. - Peste! said La Fleur.
at the door, with the ass's pannel and its bridle It is not mal-à-propos to take notice here, on one side, which he took up from time to that though La Fleur availed himself but of time,-then laid them down,-looked at them, two different terms of exclamation in this en- and shook his head. He then took his crust of counter, namely, Diable ! and Peste! that there bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it, are, nevertheless, three in the French language, held it some time in his hand,--then laid it like the positive, comparative, and superlative, upon the bit of the ass's bridle,--looked wistone or the other of which serve for every unex- fully at the little arrangement he had made,pected throw of the dice in life.
and then gave a sigh. Le Diable! which is the first and positive de- The simplicity of his grief drew numbers gree, is generally used in ordinary emotions of about him, and La Fleur among the rest, whilst the mind, where small things only fall out con- the horses were getting ready. As I continued trary to your expectations, such as the throw- sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear ing one's doublets, La Fleur's being kicked off over their heads. his horse, and so forth.-Cuckoldom, for the - He said he had come last from Spain, same reason, is always—Le Diable !
where he had been from the farthest borders of But in cases where the cast has something Franconia ; and had got so far on his return provoking in it, as in that of the bidet's run- home when his ass died. Every one seemed ning away after leaving La Fleur aground in desirous to know what business could have jack-boots,—'tis the second degree;
taken so old and poor a man so far a journey 'Tis then Peste !
from his own home. And for the third
-It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless - But here my heart is wrung with pity him with three sons, the finest lads in all Ger
many; but having in one weck lost two of the Post-horse.
eldest of them by the small-pox, and the
youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he The postillion managed the point to a miracle : was afraid of being bereft of them all, and by the time he had got to the foot of a steep made a vow, if Heaven would not take him hill about half a league from Nampont, he had from him also, he would go, in gratitude, to St. put me out of temper with him, and then with Iago in Spain.
myself for being so. When the mourner got thus far on his story, My case then required a different treatment; he stopped to pay Nature his tribute,--and and a good rattling gallop would have been of wept bitterly.
real service to me. He said Heaven had accepted the conditions, Then prithee get on,-get on, my good and that he had set out from his cottage with lad, said I. this poor creature, who had been a patient .. The postillion pointed to the hill. I partner of his journey ;-that it had ate the then tried to return to the story of the poor same bread with him all the way, and was unto German and his ass; but I had broke the clue, him as a friend.
and could no more get into it again than the Everybody who stood about heard the poor postillion could into a trot. fellow with concern.-La Fleur offered him - The deuce go, said I, with it all! Here money. -The mourner said he did not want am I, sitting as candidly disposed to make the it;-it was not the value of the ass, but the loss best of the worst as ever wight was, and all runs of him. The ass, he said, he was assured, loved counter. him ;-and upon this he told them a long story There is one sweet lenitive at least for evils, of a mischance upon their passage over the which Nature holds out to us : so I took it Pyrenean mountains, which had separated them kindly at her hands, and fell asleep ; and the from each other three days; during which time first word which roused me was--Amiens. the ass had sought him as much as he had -Bless me! said I, rubbing my eyes, – sought the ass; and that they had scarce either this is the very town where my poor lady is to ate or drank till they met. . . Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I,
AMIENS. at least, in the loss of thy poor beast ;- I'm sure thou hast been a merciful master to him. The words were scarce out of my mouth when ... Alas! said the mourner, I thought so when the Count de L***'s post-chaise, with his sister he was alive ; but now that he is dead, I think in it, drove hastily by; she had just time to make otherwise. I fear the weight of myself and me a bow of recognition,-and of that partimy afflictions together have been too much for cular kind of it which told me she had not yet him ; they have shortened the poor creature's done with me. She was as good as her look ; days, and I fear I have them to answer for. — for, before I quite finished my supper, her Shame on the world ! said I to myself. Did brother's servant came into the room with a we but love each other as this poor soul loved billet, in which she said she had taken the his ass, —'twould be something.
liberty to charge me with a letter, which I was
to present myself to Madame R- the first THE POSTILLION.
morning I had nothing to do at Paris. There
was only added, she was sorry, but from what NAMPONT.
penchant she had not considered, that she had The concern which the poor fellow's story threw been prevented telling me her story,--that she me into required some attention ; the postillion still owed it me; and if my route should ever paid not the least to it, but set off upon, the lay through Brussels, and I had not by then pavé in full gallop.
forgot the name of Madame de L-,-that The thirstiest soul in the most sandy desert | Madame de L- would be glad to discharge of Arabia could not have wished more for a cup the obligation. of cold water than mine did for grave and quiet -Then I will meet thee, said I, fair spirit ! movements; and I should have had a high at Brussels ;--'tis only returning from Italy, opinion of the postillion, had he but stolen off through Germany to Holland, by the route of with me in something like a pensive pace. Flanders, home ;-'twill scarce be ten posts out On the contrary, as the mourner finished his of my way; but were it ten thousand! with what lamentation, the fellow gave an unfeeling lash a moral delight will it crown my journey, in to each of his beasts, and set off clattering like sharing in the sickening incidents of a tale of a thousand devils.
misery told to me by such a sufferer! To see I called to him as loud as I could, for Heaven's her weep, and, though I cannot dry up the sake to go slower; and the louder I called the fountain of her tears, what an exquisite sensamore unniercifully he galloped. — The deuce tion is there still left in wiping them away from take him and his galloping too, said 1,--he'll go off the cheeks of the first and fairest of women, on tearing my nerves to pieces, till he has as I'm sitting with my handkerchief in my hand worked me into a foolish passion ; and then he'll in silence the whole night beside her! go slow, that I may enjoy the sweets of it. There was nothing wrong in the sentiment; and yet I instantly reproached my heart with it in showing them, La Fleur in less than five in the bitterest and most reprobate of expres minutes had pulled out his fife, and leading off sions.
the dance himself with the first note, set the It had ever, as I told the reader, been one of fille de chambre, the maitre d'hotel, the cook, the the singular blessings of my life, to be almost scullion, and all the household, dogs and cats, every hour of it miserably in love with some besides an an old monkey, a dancing! I supone : and my last flame happening to be blown pose there never was a merrier kitchen since out by a whiff of jealousy on the sudden turn the flood. of a corner, I had lighted it up afresh at the pure Madame de-, in passing from her brother's taper of Eliza but about three months before, - apartments to her own, hearing so much jollity swearing, as I did it, that it should last me below stairs, rung up her fille de chambre to ask through the whole journey.—Why should I dis- about it; and hearing it was the English gentlesemble the matter? I had sworn to her eternal man's servant who had set the whole house fidelity ;-she had a right to my whole heart. merry with his pipe, she ordered him up. To divide my affections was to lessen them ;-to As the poor fellow could not present himself expose them was to risk them ; where there is empty, he had loaded himself, in going up-stairs, risk, there may be loss :--and what wilt thou with a thousand compliments to Madame de have, Yorick, to answer to a heart so full of L- on the part of his master ; added a long trust and confidence,
-so good, so gentle, and apocrypha of inquiries after Madame de 's unreproaching !
health ; told her that monsieur his master was - I will not go to Brussels, replied I, inter- au descspoire for her re-establishment from the rupting myself ;--but my imagination went on, fatigues of her journey; and to close all, that -I recalled her looks at that crisis of our sepa- monsieur had received the letter which madame ration, when neither of us had power to say had done him the honour. ... And he has adieu ! I looked at the picture she had tied in done me the honour, said Madame de M, a black riband about my neck,--and blushed interrupting La Fleur, to send a billet in return. as I looked at it. - I would have given the world Madame de said this with such a tone to have kissed it, but was ashamed ;-and shall of reliance upon the fact that La Fleur had not this tender flower, said I, pressing it between power to disappoint her expectations ;-he my hands,-shall it be smitten to its very root, trembled for my honour-and possibly might -and smitten, Yorick ! by thee, who hast pro- not altogether be unconcerned for his own, as a mised to shelter it in thy breast?
man capable of being attached to a master who Eternal Fountain of Happiness ! said I, kneel. could be wanting en egards vis à vis d'une ing down upon the ground-be thou my witness, femme! so that, when Madame de L- asked --and every pure spirit which tastes it, be my La Fleur if he had brought a letter--O qu'oui, witness also, that I would not travel to Brussels, said La Fleur ; so, laying down his hat upon unless Eliza went along with me, did the road the ground, and taking hold of the flap of his lead me towards heaven !
right side-pocket with his left hand, he began to In transports of this kind the heart, in spite search for the letter with his right ;-then conof the understanding, will always say too much. trariwise-Diable !-then sought every pocket,
pocket by pocket, round, not forgetting his fob; THE LETTER.
-Peste !—then La Fleur emptied them upon the
floor,--pulled out a dirty cravat-a handkerAMIENS.
chief--a comb- - a whip-lash- night-cap,FORTUNU had not smiled upon La Fleur; for he then gave a peep into his hat-Quelle etourderies! had been unsuccessful in his feats of chivalry,- He had left the letter upon the table in the and not one thing had offered to signalize his auberge ;-he would run for it, and be back with zeal for my service from the time he had entered it in three minutes. into it, which was almost four-and-twenty hours. I had just finished my supper when La Fleur The poor soul burned with impatience; and the came in to give me an account of his adventure; Count de
L's servant coming with the letter, he told the whole story simply as it was; and being the first practicable occasion which offered, only added that, if monsieur had forgot (par La Fleur had laid hold of it, and, in order to do hazard) to answer madame's letter, the arrangehonour to his master, had taken him into a back- ment gave him an opportunity to recover the parlour in the auberge, and treated him with a faux pas ;--and if not, that things were only as cup or two of the best wine in Picardy; and they were. the Count de L —'s servant, in return, not to Now, I was not altogether sure of my etiquette, be behindhand in politeness with La Fleur, had whether I ought to have wrote or no; but if I taken him back with him to the Count's hotel. had, a devil himself could not have been angry: La Fleur's prevenancy (for there was a passport 'twas but the officious zeal of a well-meaning in his very looks) soon set every servant in the creature for my honour; and however he might kitchen at ease with him; and as a Frenchman, have mistook the road, or embarrassed me in so whatever be his talents, has no sort of prudery doing, his heart was in po fault-I was under no necessity to write ;-and, what weighed more It was but changing the Corporal into the than all, he did not look as if he had done Count-and saying nothing about mounting amiss.
guard on Wednesday,--and the letter was nei'Tis all very well, La Fleur, said I. ther right nor wrong ;-so, to gratify the poor 'Twas sufficient. La Fleur flew out of the room fellow, who stood trembling for my honour, his like lightning, and returned with pen, ink, and own, and the honour of his letter, I took the paper in his hand; and, coming up to the table, cream gently off it,-and, whi ing it up in my laid them close before me with such a delight own way, sealed it up, and sent it to Madame in his countenance that I could not help taking de L--; and the next morning we pursued up the pen.
our journcy to Paris. I began, and began again; and, though I had nothing to say, and that nothing might have
PARIS. been expressed in half a dozen lines, I made half When a man can contest the point by dint of a dozen different beginnings, and could no way equipage, and carry on all floundering before please myself.
him with half a dozen lacqueys and a couple of In short, I was in no mood to write.
cooks—’tis very well in such a place as Paris, La Fleur stepped out and brought a little he may drive in at which end of a street he will. water in a glass to dilute my ink--then fetched
A poor prince, who is weak in cavalry, and sard and seal-wax. It was all one ; I wrote, whose whole infantry does not exceed a single and blotted, and tore off, and burnt, and wrote
man, had best quit the field, and signalize himagain. Le Diable l'emporte, said I, half to myself in the cabinet, if he can get up into it;-I self-I cannot write this self-same letter, throw- say up into it, for there is no descending pering the pen down despairingly as I said it.
pendicularly amongst 'em with a 'Me voici, mes As soon as I had cast down my pen, La Fleur enfans,' here I am,—whatever many may think. advanced with the most respectful carriage up
I own, my first sensations, as soon as I was to the table, and, making a thousand apologies left solitary and alone in my own chamber in for the liberty he was going to take, told me he the hotel, were far from being so flattering as I had a letter in his pocket, wrote by a drummer had prefigured them. I walked up gravely to in his regiment to a corporal's wife, which, he the window in my dusty black coat, and, looking durst say, would suit the occasion.
through the glass, saw all the world in yellow, I had a mind to let the poor fellow have his blue, and green, running at the ring of pleasure. humour. —Then prithee, said I, let me see it.
-The old with broken lances, and in helmets La Fleur instantly pulled out a little dirty which had lost their vizards ;-the young, in pocket-book, crammed full of small letters and
armour bright, which shone like gold, beplumed billet-doux in a sad condition; and laying it upon with each gay feather of the cast, -all-allthe table, and then untying the string which tilting at it like fascinated knights in tournaheld them all together, ran them over, one by ments of yore, for fame and love. one, till he came to the letter in question. La
... Alas, poor Yorick! cried I, what art voila, said he, clapping his hands ; so, unfolding thou doing here? On the very first onset of all it first, he laid it before me, and retired three this glittering clatter, thou art reduced to an steps from the table whilst I read it.
atom ; seek-seek some winding alley, with a tourniquet at the end of it, where chariot never
rolled, nor flambeau shot its rays;-there thou MADAME,—Je suis penetré de la douleur la mayest solace thy soul in converse sweet with plus vive, et reduit en même temps au desespoir
some kind grisette of a barber's wife, and get par ce retour imprevû du Corporal, qui rend into such coterics !notre entrevue de ce soir la chose du monde la
-May I perish ! if I do, said I, pulling out plus impossible.
a letter which I had to present to Madame de Mais, vive la joie ! et toute la mienne sera de R- I'll wait upon this lady the very first penser à vous.
thing I do. So I called La Fleur to
seek mo L'amour n'est rein sans sentiment.
a barber directly, and come back and brush my Et le sentiment est encore moins sans amour. coat. On dit qu'on ne doit jamais se desesperer.
When the barber came, he absolutely refused En attendant-Vive l'amour ! et vive la baga- to have anything to do with my wig: 'twas telle !
either above or below his art: I had nothing to Je suis, Madame,
do, but to take one ready made of his own Avec toutes les sentiments les plus recommendation. respecteux et les plus tendres,
But I fear, friend, said I, this buckle tout à vous,
won't stand. You may immerse it, replied JAQUES ROQUE. he, into the ocean, and it will stand.
What a great scale is everything upon in this She was working a pair of ruffles as she sat city! thought I. --The utmost stretch of an in a low chair on the far side of the shop facing English periwig-maker's ideas could have gone the door. no further than to have 'dipped it into a pail Tres volontiers; most willingly, said she, of water.'—What difference ! 'tis like time to laying her work down upon a chair next her, eternity!
and rising up from the low chair she was sitting I confess I do hate all conceptions as I do the in, with so cheerful a movement and so cheerful puny ideas which engender them; and am a look, that, had I been laying out fifty louis generally so struck with the great works of d'ors with her, I should have said, “This woman Nature, that, for my own part, if I could help is grateful.' it, I never would make a comparison less than You must turn, monsieur, said she, going a mountain at least. All that can be said with me to the door of the shop, and pointing against the French sublime, in this instance of the way down the street I was to take,-you it, is this :- That the grandeur is more in the must turn first to your left hand,-mais prenez word, and less in the thing. No doubt the garde,--there are two turns; and be so good as ocean fills the mind with vast ideas; but Paris to take the second,--then go down a little way, being so far inland, it was not likely I should and you'll see a church, and when you are past run post a hundred miles out of it to try the it, give yourself the trouble to turn directly to experiment; - the Parisian barber meant the right, and that will lead you to the foot of nothing.
the Pont Neuf, which you must cross, and there The pail of water standing beside the great any one will do himself the pleasure to show deep makes certainly but a sorry figure in you. speech ;-but, 'twill be said, it has one advantage She repeated her instructions three times over --'tis in the next room, and the truth of the to me, with the same good-natured patience the buckle may be tried in it, without more ado, in
third time as the first ;--and if tones and manners a single moment.
have a meaning, -which certainly they have, In honest truth, and upon a more candid unless to hearts which shut them out,-she revision of the matter, the French expression seemed really interested that I should not lose professes more than it performs.
myself. I think I can see the precise and distinguish- I will not suppose it was the woman's beauty, ing marks of national characters more in these notwithstanding she was the handsomest grisette nonsensical minutice than in the most important I think I ever saw, which had much to do with matters of state; where great men of all nations the sense I had of her courtesy; only I rememtalk, and talk so much alike, that I would not ber, when I told her how much I was obliged give nine pence to choose among them.
to her, that I looked very full in her eyes,--and I was so long in getting from under my that I repeated my thanks as often as she had barber's hands, that it was too late to think of done her instructions. going with my letter to Madame R- that I had not got ten paces from the door, before night. But when a man is once dressed at all I found I had forgot every tittle of what she points for going out, his reflections turn to little had said ;- ;-so looking back, and seeing her still account; so taking down the name of the Hotel standing in the door of the shop, as if to look de Modene, where I lodged, I walked forth, whether I went right or not,-I returned back, without the determination where to go ;-I to ask her whether the first turn was to my shall consider of that, said I, as I walk along. right or left, for that I had absolutely forgot.
-Is it possible ! said she, half-laughing. —'Tis
very possible, replied I, when a man is thinkTHE PULSE.
ing more of a woman than of her good advice. PARIS.
As this was the real truth, she took it, as
every woman takes a matter of right, with a HAIL, ye small sweet courtesies of life, for slight curtsey. smooth do ye make the road of it! like grace -Attendez, said she, laying her hand upon and beauty, which beget inclinations to love at my arm to detain me, whilst she called a lad first sight; 'tis ye who open this door and let out of the back shop to get ready a parcel of the stranger in.
gloves. I am just going to send him, said she, -Pray, madame, said I, have the goodness with a packet into that quarter; and if you will to tell me which way I must turn to go to the have the complaisance to step in, it will be Opera Comique. Most willingly, monsieur, ready in a moment, and he shall attend you to said she, laying aside her work.
the place. So I walked in with her to the far I had given a cast with my eye into half a side of the shop; and taking up the ruffle in dozen shops as I came along, in search of a face my hands which she laid upon the chair, as if I not likely to be disordered by such an interrup- had a mind to sit, she sat down herself in her tion; till, at last, this hitting my fancy, I had low chair, and I instantly sat myself down walked in.