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Now shall I triumph over this maitre d'hôtel, Mon Dicu ! said La Fleur,--and took cried I ;-and what then? Then shall I let him away. see I know he is a dirty fellow.--And what In an hour's time lie came to put me to bed, then ?-What then !- I was too near myself to and was more than commonly officious. Somesay it was for the sake of others.--I had no thing hung upon his lips to say to me, or ask me, good answer left;-there was more of spleen which he could not get off : I could not conceive than of principle in my project, and I was sick what it was; and indeed gave myself little of it before the execution.
trouble to find it out, as I had another riddle so In a few minutes the grisette came in with her much more interesting upon my mind, which box of lace. I'll buy nothing, however, said was that of the man's asking charity before the I, within myself.
door of the hotel.-I would have given anything The grisette would show me everything. I to have got to the bottom of it; and that not was hard to please : she would not seem to see out of curiosity, — 'tis so low a principle of it.-She opened her little magazine, and laid all inquiry, in general, I would not purchase the her laces, one after another, before me ;-un- gratification of it with a two-sous piece; but a folded and folded them up again, one by one, with secret, I thought, which so soon and so certainly the most patient sweetness.-I might buy--or softened the heart of every woman you came not ;-she would let me have everything at my near, was a secret at least equal to the philoown price. The poor creature see anxious sopher's stone; had I had both the Indies, I to get a penny; and laid herself out to win me, would have given up one to have been master and not so much in a manner which seemed of it. artful, as in one I felt simple and caressing. I tossed and turned it almost all night long in
If there is not a fund of honest cullibility in my brains, to no manner of purpose ; and, wlien man, so much the worse ;-my heart relented, I awoke in the morning, I found my spirits as and I gave up my second resolution as quietly as much troubled with my dreams as ever the King the first.-Why should I chastise one for the of Babylon had been with his; and I will not trespass of another? If thou art tributary to hesitate to affirm it would have puzzled all the this tyrant of a host, thought I, looking up in wise men of Paris, as much as those of Chaldca, her face, so much harder is thy bread.
to have given its interpretation. If I had not had more than four louis d'ors in my purse, there was no such thing as rising up and showing her the door till I had first laid
LE DIMANCHE, three of them out in a pair of ruffles.
PARIS. -The master of the hotel will share the profit with her :--no matter,—then I have only paid, It was Sunday: and when La Fleur came in, in as many a poor soul has paid before me, for an the morning, with my coffee and roll and butter, act he could not do, or think of.
he had got himself so gallantly arrayed I scarce knew him.
I had covenanted at Montriul to give him a THE RIDDLE.
new hat with a silver button and loop, and four CALAIS.
louis d'ors pour s'adoniser, when we got to
Paris; and the poor fellow, to do him justice, When La Fleur came up to wait upon me at had done wonders with it. supper, he told me how sorry the master of the
He had bought a bright, clean, good scarlet hotel was for his affront to me in bidding me coat, and a pair of breeches of the same. — change my lodgings.
They were not a crown worse, he said, for the A man who values a good night's rest will not wearing. I wished him hanged for telling me. lie down with enmity in his heart, if he can help -Tuey looked so fresh, that though I knew it.-So I bid La Fleur tell the master of the hotel the thing could not be done, yet I would rather that I was sorry, on my side, for the occasion I have imposed upon my fancy with thinking I had given him ;—and you may tell him, if you had bought them new for the fellow than that will, La Fleur, added I, that if the young woman they had come out of the Rue de Friperie. should call again, I shall not see her.
This is a nicety which makes not the lcart This was a sacrifice not to him, but myself, sore at Paris. having resolved, after so narrow an escape, to He had purchased, moreover, a handsome blue run no more risks, but to leave Paris, if it was satin waistcoat, fancifully cnough embroidered. possible, with all the virtue I entered it.
This was indeed something the worse for the C'est deroger à noblèsse, monsicur, said La service it had done; but 'twas clean scoured, Fleur, making me a bow down to the ground as the gold had been touched up, and, upon the he said it. - Et encore, monsieur, said he, may whole, was rather showy than otherwise ;-and change his sentiments ;--and if (par hazard) he as the blue was not violent, it suited with the should like to amuse himself-... I find no coat and breeches very well. He had squeezed amusement in it, said I, interrupting him. out of the money, moreover, a new bag and a
solitaire ; and had insisted with the fripier upon a gold pair of garters to his breeches knees.
THE FRAGMENT. He had purchased muslin ruffles bien brodées,
PARIS. with four livres of his own money, and a pair of white silk stockings for five more ;-and, to LA FLEUR had left me something to amuse mytop all, Nature had given him a handsome figure, self with for the day more than I had bargained without costing him a sous.
for, or could have entered either into his head He entered the room thus set off, with his hair
or mine. drest in the first style, and with a handsome He had brought the little print of butter upon bouquet in his breast. In a word, there was that a currant-leaf; and, as the morning was warm, look of festivity in everything about him, which and he had a good step to bring it, he had begged at once put me in mind it was Sunday; and, by a sheet of waste paper to put betwixt the curcombining both together, it instantly struck me rant-leaf and his hand.-As that was plate sufiithat the favour he wished to ask of me the night cient, I bade him lay it upon the table as it was ; before, was to spend the day as everybody in and as I resolved to stay within all day, I ordered Paris spent it besides. I had scarce made the him to call upon the traiteur, to bespeak my conjecture, when La Fleur, with infinite humi. dinner, and leave me to breakfast by myself. lity, but with a look of trust, as if I should not When I had finished the butter, I threw the refuse him, begged I would grant him the day, currant-leaf out of the window, and was going pour faire le gallant vis-à-vis de sa maîtresse. to do the same by the waste paper ;-but, stop
Now it was the very thing I intended to do ping to read a line first, and that drawing me myself vis--vis Madame de R**** -I had re- on to a second and third, I thought it better tained the remise on purpose for it, and it would worth; so I shut the window, and drawing a not have mortified my vanity to have had a ser- chair up to it, I sat down to read it. vant so well dressed as La Fleur was, to have It was in the old French of Rabelais' time; got up behind it: I never could have worse and, for aught I know, might have been wrote spared him.
by him : it was, moreover, in a Gothic letter, But we must feel, not argue, in these embar- and that so faded and gone off by damps and rassments ;-the sons and daughters of Service length of time, it cost me infinite trouble to part with liberty, but not with nature, in their make anything of it. - I threw it down, and contracts; they are flesh and blood, and have then wrote a letter to Eugenius,-then I took it their little vanities and wishes in the midst of up again, and embroiled my patience with it. the house of bondage as well as their task-mas- afresh ;-and then, to cure that, I wrote a letter ters;-no doubt, they have set their self-denials to Eliza.-Still it kept hold of me; and the at a price,-and their expectations are so unrea- difficulty of understanding it increased but the sonable that I would often disappoint them, but desire. that their condition puts it so much in my power I got my dinner; and, after I had enlightened to do it.
my mind with a bottle of Burgundy, I at it. Behold--Behold, I am the servant, -disarms again;-and after two or three hours' poring me at once of the powers of a master.
upon it, with almost as deep attention as ever Thou shalt go, La Fleur, said I.
Gruter or Jacob Spon did upon a nonsensical And what mistress, La Fleur, said I, canst inscription, I thought I made sense of it; but, thou have picked up in so little a time at Paris ? to make sure of it, the best way, I imagined.
-La Fleur laid his hand upon his breast, and was to turn it into English, and see how it would said 'twas a petite demoiselle at Monsieur le look then ;-so I went on leisurely as a trifling Count de B****'s.-La Fleur had a heart made man does, sometimes writing a sentence, then for society; and, to speak the truth of him, let taking a turn or two, and then looking how as few occasions slip him as his master,--so that, the world went, out of the window; so that it somehow or other-but how, Heaven knows- was nine o'clock at night before I had done it. he had connected himself with the demoiselle I then began, and read it as follows :upon the landing of the staircase, during the time I was taken up with my passport; and, as there was time enough for me to win the Count
THE FRAGMENT. to my interest, La Fleur had contrived to make it do to win the maid to his. The family, it seems, was to be at Paris that day, and he had -Now as the notary's wife disputed the point made a party with her, and two or three more with the notary with too much heat, - I wish, of the Count's household, upon the Boulevards. said the notary (throwing down the parchment),
Happy people ! that, once a week at least, that there was another notary here, only to set are sure to lay down all your cares together, and down and attest all this. dance and sing, and sport away the weights of And what would you do then, monsieur ? grievance, which bow down the spirit of other said she, rising hastily up. — The notary's wife nations to the earth.
was a little fume of a woman, and the notary
thought it well to avoid a hurricane by a mild | despoiled of my castor by pontific ones !--to be reply. ... I would go, answered he, to bed. . here, bare-headed, in a windy night, at the You may go to the Devil, answered the notary's mercy of the ebbs and flows of accidents ! wife.
Where am I to lay my head ?-Miserable man! Now there happening to be but one bed in the what wind in the two-and-thirty points in the house, the other two rooms being unfurnished, whole compass can blow unto thee, as it does as is the custom at Paris, and the notary not to the rest of thy fellow-creatures, good! caring to lie in the same bed with a woman who As the notary was passing on by a dark had but that moment sent him pell-mell to the passage, complaining in this sort, a voice called Devil, went forth with his hat, and cane, and out to a girl, to bid her run for the next short cloak, the night being very windy, and notary. Now the notary being the next, walked out ill at ease towards the Pont Neuf. availing himself of his situation, walked up the
Of all the bridges which ever were built, the passage to the door, and, passing through an whole world who have passed over the Pont old sort of saloon, was ushered into a large Neuf must own that it is the noblest—the finest chamber, dismantled of everything but a long -the grandest—the lightest--the longest-the military pike, a breast-plate, a rusty old sword, broadest that ever conjoined land and land to- and bandoleer, hung up equidistant in four gether upon the face of the terraqueous globe. - different places against the wall.
By this it seems as if the author of the An old personage, who had heretofore been
a gentleman, and, unless decay of fortune taints The worst fault which divines and the doctors the blood along with it, was a gentleman at that of the Sorbonne can allege against it is, that if time, lay supporting his head upon his hand, in there is but a capful of wind in or about Paris, his bed; a little table with a taper burning was 'tis more blasphemously sacre Dicu'd there than set close beside it, and close by the table was in any other aperture of the whole city,-and placed a chair :-the notary sat him down in it; with reason, good and cogent, messieurs; for it and, pulling out his inkhorn and a sheet or two comes against you without crying garde d'eau, of paper which he had in his pocket, he placed and with such unpremeditable puffs, that of the them before him, and, dipping his pen in his few who cross it with their hats on, not one in ink, and leaning his breast over the table, he fifty but hazards two livres and a half, which is disposed everything to make the gentleman's its full worth.
last will and testament. The poor notary, just as he was passing by ... Alas! Monsieur le Notaire, said the the sentry, instinctively clapped his cane to the gentleman, raising himself up a little, I have side of it; but, in raising it up, the point of his nothing to bequeath, which will pay the expense cane, catching hold of the loop of the sentinel's of bequeathing, except the history of myself, and hat, hoisted it over the spikes of the balustrade I could not die in peace unless I left it as a clear into the Seine.
legacy to the world; the profits arising out of —'Tis an ill wind, said a boatman who it I bequeath to you for the pains of taking it catched it, which blows nobody any good.
from me.-It is a story so uncommon, it must The sentry, being a Gascon, incontinently be read by all mankind;-it will make the twirled up his whiskers and levelled his arque- fortunes of your house. The notary dipped buse.
his pen into his inkhorn. . . Almighty Director Arquebuses in those days went off with of every event in my life! said the old gentleman, matches ; and an old woman's paper lantern looking up earnestly, and raising his hands at the end of the bridge happening to be blown towards heaven,-Thou whose hand has led out, she had borrowed the sentry's match to me on through such a labyrinth of strange light it. — It gave a moment's time for the passages down into this scene of desolation, Gascon's blood to run cool, and turn the assist the decaying memory of an old, infirm, accident better to his advantage. —'Tis an ill and broken-hearted man !- Direct my tongue wind, said he, catching off the notary's castor, by the spirit of thy eternal truth, that this and legitimating the capture with the boatman's stranger may set down nought but what is adage.
written in that Book from whose records, said The poor notary crossed the bridge, and, he, clasping his hands together, I am to be conpassing along the Rue de Dauphine into the demned or acquitted !--The notary held up Fauxbourg of St. Germain, lamented himself the point of his pen betwixt the taper and his as he walked along in this manner :
eye. Luckless man that I am ! said the notary, to It is a story, Monsieur le Notaire, said be the sport of hurricanes all my days!-to be the gentleman, which will rouse up every born to have the storm of ill language levelled affection in nature ;-it will kill the humane, against me and my profession wherever I go !- and touch the heart of Cruelty herself with to be forced into marriage by the thunder of the pity.church to a tempest of a woman !-to be driven The notary was inflamed with a desire to forth out of my house by domestic winds, and begin, and put his pen a third time into his ink
horn and the old gentleman, turning a little There is a long dark passage issuing out from more towards the notary, began to dictate his the Opera Comique into a narrow street ; 'tis story in these words :
trod by a few who humbly wait for a fiacre,' or ... And where is the rest of it, La Fleur? | wish to get off quietly o'foot when the opera is said I, -as he just then entered the room done. At the end of it, towards the theatre,
'tis liglated by a small candle, the light of which
is almost lost before you get half-way down; THE FRAGMENT, AND THE BOUQUET.' but ncar the door, 'tis more for ornament than
use ; you see it as a fix'd star of the least magniPARIS.
tude ; it burns, --but does little good to the WHEN La Fleur came close up to the table, and world, that we know of. was made to comprehend what I wanted, he told In returning along this passage, I discerned, me there were only two other sheets of it, which as I approached within five or six paces of the he had wrapped round the stalks of a bouquet to door, two ladies standing, arm in arm, with keep it together, which he had presented to the their backs against the wall, waiting, as I demoiselle upon the Boulevards.... Then prithee, imagined, for a fiacre. As they were next the La Fleur, said I, step back to her, to the Count door, I thought they had a prior right; so edged de B****'s hotel, and see if thou canst get it. . . myself up within a yard or little more of them, There is no doubt of it, said La Fleur;-and and quietly took my stand.— I was in black, and away he flew.
In a very little time the poor fellow came The lady next me was a tall lcan figure of a back, quite out of breath, with deeper marks of woman, of about thirty-six ; the other, of the disappointment in his looks than could arise same size and make, of about forty : there was from the simple irreparability of the fragment. no mark of wife or widow in any one part of Juste Ciel ! in less than two minutes that the either of them ;-they seemed to be two upright poor fellow had taken his last tender farewell vestal sisters, unsapped by caresses, unbroke in of her, his faithless mistress had given his gage upon by tender salutations. I could have wished d'amour to one of the Count's footmen-the to have made them happy;-their happiness footman to a young sempstress-and the semp- was destined, that night, to come from another stress to a fiddler, with my fragment at the end quarter. of it.-Our misfortunes were involved together, A low voice, with a good turn of expression, -I gave a sigh, and La Fleur echoed it back and sweet cadence at the end of it, begged for again to my ear.
a twelve-sous piece betwixt them, for the love How perfidious! cried La Fleur. ...of Heaven. I thought it singular that a beggar How unlucky! said I.
should fix the quota of an alms,-and that the ... I should not have been mortified, sum should be twelve times as much as what is monsieur, quoth La Fleur, if she had lost it. usually given in the dark. They both seemed ... Nor I, La Fleur, said I, had I found it. astonished at it as much as myself. ... Twelve Whether I did or no, will be seen hereafter. sous ! said one. .. A twelve-sous piece! said
the other,-and made no reply.
- The poor man said he knew not how to THE ACT OF CHARITY.
ask less of ladies of their rank; and bow'd down his head to the ground.
Poo! said they,-we have no money. TIE man who either disdains or fears to walk The beggar remained silent for a woment or up a dark entry may be an excellent good man, two, and renewed his supplication. and fit for a hundred things; but he will not do Do not, my fair young ladies, said he, to make a good Sentimental Traveller. I count stop your good ears against me. ...
Upon my little of the many things I see pass at broad word, honest man! said the younger, we have noon-day, in large and open streets.-Nature is no change. . . . Then God bless you ! said the shy, and hates to act before spectators ; but in poor man, and multiply those joys which you such an unobserved corner you sometimes see can give to others without change I oba single short scene of hers worth all the senti served the eldest sister put her hand into her ments of a dozen French plays compounded pocket.- -I'll see, said she, if I have a sous ! together; and yet they are absolutely fine ;-and A sous ! give twelve, said the supplicant; whenever I have a more brilliant affnir upon Nature has been bountiful to you! be bountiful my hands than common, as they suit a preacher to a poor man. quite as well as a hero, I generally make my . . I would, friend, with all my heart, said sermon out of 'em ; and for the text-'Carra- the younger, if I had it. docia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,' My fair charitable ! said he, addressing is as good as any one in the Bible.
himself to the elder,-what is it but your good.
ness and humanity which makes your bright more entertaining guest ; and, in course, should eyes so sweet that they outshine the morning, have resigned all my places, one after another, even in this dark passage ? and what was it merely upon the principle that I could not keep which made the Marquis de Santerre and his them. -As it was, things did not go much amiss. brother say so much of you both as they just I had the honour of being introduced to the passed by ?
old Marquis de B****. In days of yore he had The two ladies seemed much affected; and signalized himself by some sınall feats of chivalry impulsively, at the same time, they both put in the Cour d'Amour, and had dressed himself their hands into their pockets, and each took out to the idea of tilts and tournaments ever out a twelve-sous piece.
since. --The Marquis de B**** wished to have it The contest between them and the poor sup- thought the affair was somewhere else than in plicant was no more,--it was continued betwixt his brain. 'He could like to take a trip to themselves which of the two should give the England;' and asked much of the English ladies. twelve-sous piece in charity ;-and, to end the Stay where you are, I beseech you, Mons. dispute, they both gave it together, and the man le Marquis, said I.-Les Alessieurs Anglois can went away.
scarce get kind look from them as it is. The Marquis invited me to supper.
Mons. P****, the farmer-general, was just as THE RIDDLE EXPLAINED.
inquisitive about our taxes.--They were very
considerable, he heard . . . If we knew but PARIS.
how to collect them, said I, making him a low I STEPPED hastily after him : it was the very bow. man whose success in asking charity of the I could never have been invited to Mons. women before the door of the hotel had so P****'s concerts upon any other terms. puzzled me; and I found at once his secret, or I had been misrepresented to Madame de Q*** at least the basis of it;-'twas flattery.
as an esprit.-Madame de Q*** was an esprit Delicious essence ! how refreshing art thou to herself: she burnt with impatience to see me, Nature ! how strongly are all its powers and all and hear me talk. I had not taken my seat, its weaknesses on thy side ! how sweetly dost before I saw she did not care a sous whether I thou mix with the blood, and help it through the had any wit or no-I was let in to be convinced most difficult and tortuous passages to the heart! she had.--I call Heaven to witness I never once
The poor man, as he was not straitened for opened the door of my lips. time, had given it here in a larger dose : 'tis Madame de V*** vowed to every creature she certain he had a way of bringing it into less met, 'She had never had a more improving conform, for the many sudden cases he had to do versation with a man in her life.' with in the streets ; but how he contrived to There are three epochas in the empire of a correct, sweeten, concentre, and qualify it, -I French woman ;-she is coquette,-then deist, vex not my spirit with the inquiry ;- it is then dérote. The empire during these is never enough, the beggar gained two twelve-sous lost ;-she only changes her subjects; when pieces, -and they can best tell the rest who thirty-five years and more have unpeopled her have gained much greater matters by it.
dominions of the slaves of love, she re-peoples
it with the slaves of infidelity, and then with PARIS.
the slaves of the church.
Madame de V*** was vibrating betwixt the We get forwards in the world not so much by first of these epochas : the colour of the rose doing services as receiving them : you take a was fading fast away ;--she ought to have been withering twig, and put it in the ground; and a deist five years before the time I had the then you water it, because you have planted it. honour to pay my first visit. Mons. le Count de B****, merely because he
She placed me upon the same sofa with her, had done me one kindness in the affair of the for the sake of disputing the point of religion passport, would go on and do me another, the
more closely. In short, Madame de V*** few days he was at Paris, in making me known told me she believed nothing.--I told Madame to a few people of rank ;-and they were to de V*** it might be her principle; but I was present me to others,—and so on.
sure it could not be her interest to level the I had got master of my secret just in time to outworks, without which I could not conceive turn these honours to some little account; other- how such a citadel as hers could be defended ; wise, as is commonly the case, I should have that there was not a more dangerous thing in dined or supped a single time or two round ; 1 the world than for a beauty to be a deist; and then, by translating French looks and atti- that it was a debt I owed my creed not to contudes into plain English, I should presently have ceal it from her -- that I had not been five seen that I had got hold of the couvert' of some
minutes upon the sofa beside her, before I had
begun to form designs ;--and what is it but the | Plate, napkin, knife, fork, and spoon. sentiments of religion, and the persuasion they