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By this it seems as if the author of the Frage An old personage, who had heretofore been a ment had not been a Frenchman.
gentleman, and, unless decay of fortune taints The worst fault which Divines and the Doc- the blood along with it, was a gentleman at that tors of the Sorbonne can allege against it, is, time, lay supporting his head upon his hand, in that if there is but a cap-full of wind in or about his bed; a little table with a taper burning was Paris, 'tis more blasphemously sacre Dieu'd set close beside it, and close by the table was there than in any other aperture of the whole placed a chair. The Notary sat him down in it; city,--and with reason good and cogent, Mes- and pulling out his ink-horn and a sheet or two sieurs; for it comes against you without crying of paper which he had in his pocket, he placed garde d'eau, and with such unpremeditable puffs, them before him, and dipping his pen in his that of the few who cross it with their hats on, ink, and leaning his breast over the table, he notone in fifty but hazards two livres and a half, disposed every thing to make the gentleman's which is its full worth.
last will and testament. The poor Notary, just as he was passing by -Alas ! Monsieur le Notaire, said the genthe sentry, instinctively clapped his cane to the tleman, raising himself up a little, I have noside of it; but in raising it up, the point of his thing to bequeath, which will pay the expence cane catching hold of the loop of the sentinel's of bequeathing, except the history of myself, hat, hoisted it over the spikes of the ballustrade which I could not die in peace unless I left it as clear into the Seine.
a 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 fortwirled up his whiskers, and levelled his arquem tunes of your house. The Notary dipped buss.
into his ink-horn.- Almighty DirecArquebusses in those days went off with match- tor of every event in my life !—said the old es; and an old woman's paper lantern at the gentleman, looking up earnestly, and raising end of the bridge happening to be blown out, his hands towards Heaven,-Thou, whose hand she had borrowed the sentry's match to light it; has led me on through such a labyrinth of -it gave a moment's time for the Gascon's blood strange passages down into this scene of desolato run cool, and turn the accident better to his tion, assist the decaying memory of an old, inadvantage.—'Tis an ill wind, said he, catching firm, and broken-hearted man !- Direct my off the Notary's castor, and legitimating the cap- tongue by the spirit of thy eternal truth, that ture with the boatman's adage.
this stranger may set down nought but what is The poor Notary crossed the bridge, and passe written in that Book, from whose records, said ing along the Rue de Dauphine into the Faux- he, clasping his hands together, I am to be conbourg of St Germain, lamented himself as he demned or acquitted The Notary held up walked along in this manner :
the point of his pen betwixt the taper and his Luckless man that I am ! said the Notary, to eye. be the sport of hurricanes all my days to be -It is a story, Monsieur le Notaire, said born to have the storm of ill language levelled the gentleman, which will rouse up every afagainst me and my profession wherever I go! fection in nature ;-it will kill the humane, -to be forced into marriage by the thunder of and touch the heart of Cruelty herself with the church to a tempest of a woman to be pity: driven forth out of my house by domestic winds, The Notary was inflamed with a desire to beand despoiled of my castor by pontific ones !- gin, and put his pen a third time into his inkto be here, bare-headed, in a windy-night, at horn; and the old gentleman, turning a little the mercy of the ebbs and flows of accidents ! more towards the Notary, began to dictate his -Where am I to lay my head ?--Miserable story in these words :man! what wind in the two-and-thirty points - And where is the rest of it, La Fleur ? in the whole compass can blow unto thee, as it said I,-as he just then entered the room. does to the rest of thy fellow-creatures, good!
As the Notary was passing on by a dark pase sage, complaining in this sort, a voice called out to a girl, to bid her run for the next Notary.
THE FRAGMENT, Now the Notary being the next, and availing himself of his situation, walked up the passage to the door, and passing through an old sort of
AND THE BOUQUET. a saloon, was ushered into a large chamber, dismantled of every thing but a long military pike, a breast-plate,-a rusty old sword, and bandoleer, hung up equidistant in four different places against the wall.
When La Fleur came close up to the table,
and was made to comprehend what I wanted, nitude; it burns,—but does little good to the he told me there were only two other sheets of world, that we know of. it, which he had wrapped round the stalks of a In returning along this passage, 1 discerned, bouquet to keep it together, which he had pre- as I approached within five or six paces of the sented to the demoiselle upon the Boulevards. door, two ladies standing, arm-in-arm, with
-Then prithee, La Fleur, said I, step back their backs against the wall, waiting, as I imato her, to the Count de B****s hotel, and see ' gined, for a fracre :- :-as they were next the door, if thou canst get it.- -There is no doubt of it, I thought they had a prior right; so edged mysaid La Fleur ;-and away he flew.
self up within a yard or little more of them, In a very little time the poor fellow came and quietly took my stand.—I was in black, back, quite out of breath, with deeper marks of and scarce seen. disappointment in his looks, than could arise The lady next me was a tall lean figure of a from the simple irreparability of the fragment. woman, of about thirty-six ; the other, of the Juste ciel! in less than two minutes that the same size and make, of about forty: there was poor
fellow had taken his last tender farewell of no mark of wife or widow in any one part of her,—his faithless mistress had given his gage either of them ;-they seemed to be two upd'amour to one of the count's footmen,--the right vestal sisters, unsapped by caresses, unfootman to a young sempstress,—and the semp- broke in upon by tender salutations. I could stress to a fiddler, with my fragment at the end have wished to have made them happy ;-their of it-Our misfortunes were involved together; happiness was destined, that night, to come - I gave a sigh,—and La Fleur echoed it back from another quarter. again to my ear.
A low voice, with a good turn of expression, -How perfidious! cried La Fleur.- and sweet cadence at the end of it, begged for How unlucky! said I.
a twelve-sous piece betwixt them, for the love -I should not have been mortified, Mon- of Heaven. I thought it singular that a beggar sieur, quoth La Fleur, if she had lost it.- -Nor should fix the quota of an alms,—and that the I, La Fleur, said I, had I found it.
sum should be twelve times as much as what is Whether I did or no, will be seen hereafter. usually given in the dark. They both seemed
astonished at it as much as myself. Twelve sous ! said one. -A twelve-sous piece ! said
the other,--and made no reply. THE ACT OF CHARITY.
-The poor man said, he knew not how to ask less of ladies of their rank; and bowed down his head to the ground.
-Poo! said they,—we have no money. The man who either disdains or fears to The beggar remained silent for a moment or walk up a dark entry, may be an excellent good two, and renewed his supplication. man, and fit for a hundred things; but he will -Do not, my fair young ladies, said he, not do to make a good Sentimental Traveller. stop your good ears against me.- -Upon my I count little of the many things I see pass at word, honest man ! said the younger, we have broad noon-day, in large and open streets.- no change. Then God bless you! said the Nature is shy, and hates to act before specta- poor man, and multiply those joys which you tors; but in such an unobserved corner you can give to others, without change !I obsometimes see a single short scene of hers, served the elder sister put her hand into her worth all the sentiments of a dozen French pocket.-I'll see, said she, if I have a sous ! plays compounded together,—and yet they are A sous ! give twelve, said the supplicant ; absolutely fine ;-and whenever I have a more Nature has been bountiful to you ; be bountiful brilliant affair upon my hands than common, as to a poor inan. they suit a preacher just as well as a hero, I -I would, friend, with all my heart, said generally make my sermon out of 'em ;-and the younger, if I had it. for the text,—" Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, My fair charitable! said he, addressing Phrygia and Pamphylia,"—is as good as any himself to the elder,- What is it but your goodone in the Bible.
ness and humanity which makes your bright There is a long dark passage issuing out from eyes so sweet, that they outshine the morning, the Opera Comique into a narrow street ; 'tis even in this dark passage! and what was it trod by a few who humbly wait for a fiacre, which made the Marquis de Santerre and his or wish to get off quietly o'foot when the opera brother say so much of you both as they just is done. At the end of it, towards the theatre, passed by ? 'tis lighted by a small candle, the light of which . The two ladies seemed much affected; and is almost lost before you get half way down, but impulsively at the same time they both put near the door ;-'tis more for ornament than their hands into their pocket, and each took out use : you see it as a fixed star of the least mag- a twelve-sous piece.
The contest betwixt them and the poor sup- could not keep them. As it was, things did plicant was no more, it was continued betwixt not go much amiss. themselves, which of the two should give the I had the honour of being introduced to the twelve-sous piece in charity ;-and, to end the old Marquis de B****. In days of yore he had dispute, they both gave it together, and the signalized himself by some small feats of chi. man went away.
valry in the Cour d'Amour, and had dressed himself out to the idea of tilts and tournaments
ever since.—The Marquis de B**** wished to THE RIDDLE EXPLAINED. have it thought the affair was somewhere else
than in his brain. “ He could like to take a trip to England :” and asked much of the Eng
lish ladies. -Stay where you are, I beseech I stepped hastily after him: it was the very you, Mons. le Marquis, said I. Les Mesa man whose success in asking charity of the wo- sieurs Anglois can scarce get a kind look from men before the door of the hotel had so puzzled them as it is.—The Marquis invited me to me ;-and I found at once his secret, or at least supper. the basis of it: 'twas flattery.
Mons. P****, the farmer-general, was just as Delicious essence ! how refreshing art thou inquisitive about our taxes. They were very to Nature ! how strongly are all its powers and considerable, he heard. If we knew but how all its weaknesses on thy side! how sweetly to collect them, said I, making him a low bow. dost thou mix with the blood, and help it I could never have been invited to Mons. through the most difficult and tortuous pas- p****'s concerts upon any other terms. sages to the heart !
had been misrepresented to Madame de The poor man, as he was not straitened for Q*** as an esprit.-Madame de Q*** was an time, had given it here in a larger dose : 'tis esprit herself: she burnt with impatience to see certain he had a way of bringing it into less me, and hear me talk. I had not taken my form, for the many sudden cases he had to do seat, before I saw she did not care a sous whewith in the streets ; but how he contrived to ther I had any wit or no— I was let in to be correct, sweeten, concentre, and qualify it-Iconvinced she had.- I call Heaven to witness I vex not my spirit with the inquiry ;-it is never once opened the door of my lips. enough, the beggar gained two twelve-sous Madame de Q*** vowed to every creature pieces, -and they can best tell the rest who she met,—" She had never had a more improhave gained much greater matters by it. ving conversation with a man in her life.”
There are three epochas in the empire of a French woman : -She is coquette,--then deist,
- then devoté : the empire during these is never
lost ;-she only changes her subjects; when We get forwards in the world, not so much thirty-five years and more have unpeopled her by doing services as receiving them: you take dominions of the slaves of love, she repeoples it a withering twig, and put it into the ground; with the slaves of infidelity, and then with the and then you water it, because you have plant- slaves of the church. ed it.
Madame de V*** was vibrating betwixt the Mons. le Count de B****, merely because he first of these epochas : the colour of the rose had done me one kindness in the affair of my was fading fast away ;--she ought to have been passport, would go on and do me another, the a deist five years before the time I had the hofew days he was at Paris, in making me known nour to pay my first visit. to a few people of rank; and they were to pre- She placed me upon the same sofa with her, sent me to others, and so on.
for the sake of disputing the point of religion I had got master of my secret just in time more closely.-In short, Madame de V*** told to turn these honours to some little account ; me she believed nothing. I told Madame de otherwise, as is commonly the case, I should V*** it inight be her principle; but I was sure have dined or supped a single time or two it could not be her interest to level the outround; and then, by translating French looks works, without which I could not conceive how and attitudes into plain English, I should pre- such a citadel as her's could be defended ;sently have seen that I had got hold of the cou- that there was not a more dangerous thing in vert* of some more entertaining guest ; and, in the world than for a beauty to be a deist ;course, should have resigned aù my places, one that it was a debt I owed my creed, not to conafter another, merely upon the principle that I ceal it from her ;—that I had not been five
* Plate, napkin, knife, fork, and spoon.
minutes sat upon the sofa beside her, but I had in their clusters ;--to pass through this with began to form designs ;-—and what is it but the my affections flying out, and kindling at every sentiments of religion, and the persuasion they group before me,- and every one of them was had excited in her breast, which could have pregnant with adventures.checked them as they rose up ?.
Just Heaven !-it would fill up twenty vo-We are not adamant, said I, taking hold lumes ;-and alas ! I have but a few small pages of her hand ;-—and there is need of all restraints, left of this to crowd it into,--and half of these till Age in his own time steals in and lays thein must be taken up with the poor Maria, my friend on us.--But, my dear lady, said I, kissing her Mr Shandy met with near Moulines. hand,-'tis too--too soon.
The story he had told of that disordered I declare I had the credit all over Paris of maid affected me not a little in the reading; unperverting Madame de V***.- She affirm- but when I got within the neighbourhood where ed to Mons. D*** and the Abbé M*** that in she lived, it returned so strong into my mind, one half hour I had said more for revealed reli- that I could not resist an impulse which prompta gion than all their Encyclopedia had said against ed me to go half a league out of the road, to it, I was lifted directly into Madame de V***'s the village where her parents dwelt, to inquire coterie ;--and she put off the epocha of deism after her. for two years.
"Tis going, I own, like the Knight of the I remember it was in this coterie, in the mid- Woeful Countenance, in quest of melancholy dle of a discourse, in which I was shewing the adventures ;–1 know not how it is, but I am necessity of a first cause, that the young Count never so perfectly conscious of the existence of de Faineant took me by the hand to the farthest a soul within me, as when I am entangled in corner of the room, to tell me my solitaire was them. pinned too strait about my neck. It should The old mother came to the door ; her looks be plus badinant, said the Count, looking down told me the story before she opened her mouth. upon his own ;-but a word, Mons. Yorick, to -She had lost her husband; he had died, she the wise.
said, of anguish, for the loss of Maria's sense, --And from the wise, Mons. le Count, replied about a month before.--She had feared at first, I, making him a bow,—is enough.
she added, that it would have plundered her The Count de Faineant embraced me with poor girl of what little understanding was left; more ardour than ever I was embraced by mor- but, on the contrary, it had brought her more tal man.
to herself ;-still she could not rest.—Her poor For three weeks together, I was of every man's daughter, she said, crying, was wandering someopinion I met. Pardi / ce Mons. Yorick a where about the road. autant d'esprit que nous autres.--Il raisonne -Why does my pulse beat languid as I write bien, said another.C'est un bon enfant, said this? and what made La Fleur, whose heart a third. And at this price I could have eaten seemed only to be tuned to joy, to pass the and drank and been merry all the days of my back of his hand twice across his eyes, as the life at Paris ; but 'twas a dishonest reckoning; woman stood and told it? I beckoned to the -I grew ashamed of it.—It was the gain of a postillion to turn back into the road. slave :-every sentiment of honour revolted When we had got within half a league of against it;-the higher I got, the more was I Moulines, at a little opening in the road, leading forced upon my beggarly system ;-the better the to a thicket, I discovered poor Maria sitting coterie,-the more children of Art,- I languish- under a poplar. She was sitting with her elbow ed for those of Nature, and one night, after a in her lap, and her head leaning on one side most vile prostitution of myself to half a dozen within her hand :--a small brook ran at the different people, I grew sick,—went to bed ;- foot of the tree. ordered La Fleur to get me horses in the morn- I bid the postillion go on with the chaise to ing, to set out for Italy.
Moulines ;--and La Fleur to bespeak my supper ;-and that I would walk after him.
She was dressed in white, and much as my MARIA.
friend described her, except that her hair hung loose, which before was twisted with a silken net. She had superadded likewise to her jacket,
a pale green riband, which fell across her I never felt what the distress of plenty was shoulder to the waist; at the end of which in any one shape till now,—to travel it through hung her pipe.—Her goat had been as faithless the Bourbonnois, the sweetest part of France, as her lover; and she had got a little dog in in the hey-day of the vintage, when Nature is lieu of him, which she kept tied by a string pouring her abundance into every one's lap, to her girdle. As I looked at her dog, she crew and every eye is lifted up,-a journey through bim towards her with the string. -" Thou each step of which music beats time to Labour, “shalt not leave me, Sylvio," said she. I lookand all her children are rejoicing as they carry ed in Maria's eyes, and saw she was thinking
more of her father, than of her lover, or her said I.-I'll dry it in my bosom, said she ; little goat; for as she uttered them, the tears 'twill do me good. trickled down her cheeks.
-And is your heart still so warm, Maria? I sat down close by her; and Maria let me said I. wipe them away as they fell, with my handker- I touched upon the string on which hung all chief.-I then steeped it in my own, and then her sorrows;- she looked with wistful disorder in hers,--and then in mine,--and then I wiped for some time in my face ;—and then, without hers again ;-and as I did it, I felt such unde saying any thing, took her pipe, and played scribable emotions within me, as I am sure her service to the Virgin.-The string I had could not be accounted for from any combina- touched ceased to vibrate ; in a moment or two tions of matter and motion.
Maria returned to herselflet her pipe fall, — I am positive I have a soul ; nor can all the and rose up. books with which materialists have pestered the And where are you going, Maria ? said world, ever convince me to the contrary. I.-She said, to Moulines.
- Let us go, said I, together.-Maria put her arm within
mine, and lengthening the string to let the dog MARIA.
follow --in that order we entered Moulines
When Maria had come little to herself, I asked her if she remembered a pale thin person
MARIA. of a man, who had sat down betwixt her and her goat about two years before? She said,
MOULINES. she was unsettled much at that time, but remembered it upon two accounts :-That, ill Though I hate salutations and greetings in as she was, she saw the person pitied her; and the market-place, yet, when we got into the next, That her goat had stolen his handkerchief, middle of this, I stopped to take my last look and she had beat him for the theft ;-she had and last farewell of Maria. washed it, she said, in the brook, and kept it ever Maria, though not tall, was nevertheless of since in her pocket, to restore it to him, in case the first order of fine forms :---affliction had she should ever see him again ; which, she add- touched her looks with something that was ed, he had half-promised her. As she told me scarce earthly ;-still she was feminine ;-and this, she took the handkerchief out of her pocket, so much was there about her of all that the to let me see it; she had folded it up neatly heart wishes, or the eye looks for in woman, in a couple of vine-leaves, tied round with a that could the traces be ever worn out of her tendril.-On opening it, I saw an S. marked in brain, and those of Eliza out of mine, she should one of the corners.
not only eat of my bread and drink of my oun -She had since that, she told me, strayed as cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be far as Rome, and walked round St Peters once, unto me as a daughter. -and returned back :--that she found her way Adieu, poor luckless maiden !-Imbibe the alone across the Apennines,—had travelled over oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, all Lombardy without money,--and through as he journeyeth on his way, now pours into the finty roads of Savoy without shoes :-how thy wounds
;--the Being who has twice bruised she had borne it, and how she had got support- thee can only, bind them up for ever. ed, she could not tell ;--but God tempers the winds, said Maria, to the shorn lamb.
THE BOURBONNOIS. Shorn indeed ; and to the quick, said I : -and wast thou in my own land, where I have There was nothing from which I had paint2 cottage, I would take thee to it, and sheltered out for myself so joyous a riot of the affecthee; thou shouldst eat of my own bread, and tions, asin this journey in the vintage, through drink of my own cup ;-I would be kind to thy this part of France; but pressing through this Sylvio ;-in all thy weaknesses and wanderings gate of sorrow to it, my sufferings have totally I would seek after thee, and bring thee back; unfitted me. In every scene of festivity I saw —when the sun went down I would say my Maria in the back ground of the piece, sitting prayers; and when I had done, thou shouldst pensive under her poplar : and I had got almost play thy evening-song upon thy pipe: nor to Lyons before I was able to cast a shade across would the incense of my sacrifice be worse ac
her. cepted for entering Heaven along with that of -Dear Sensibility! source inexhausted of a broken heart!
all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our Nature melted within me as I uttered this; sorrows !--thou chainest thy martyr down upon and Maria observing, as I took out my hand his bed of straw,—and 'tis thou who liftest him kerchief, that it was steeped too much already up to Heaven !--Eternal fountain of our feelto be of use, would needs go wash it in the ing!—'tis here I trace thee,—and this is thy stream. And where will you dry it, Maria ? " divinity which stirs within me;"—not that,