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in some sad and sickening moments, “
They were all sitting down together to their shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruc- lentil-soup; a large wheaten loaf was in the tion!"--mere pomp of words !--but that I feel middle of the table; and a flagon of wine at some generous joys and generous cares beyond each end of it promised joy through the stages myself ;-all comes from thee, great,-great of the repast :-—'twas a feast of love. Sensorium of the world! which vibrates, if a The old man rose up to meet me, and, with hair of our heads but falls upon the ground, in a respectful cordiality, would have me sit down the remotest desert of thy creation. Touched at the table; my heart was set down the moment with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I I entered the room : so I sat down at once, like languish,-hears my tale of symptoms, and a son of the family, and, to invest myself in blames the weather for the disorder of his the character as speedily as I could, I instantly nerves. Thou givest a portion of it sometimes borrowed the old man's knife, and, taking up to the roughest peasant who traverses the bleak- the loaf, cut myself a bearty luncheon ; and, as est mountains.--Hefinds the lacerated lamb of I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not another's Aock ;--this moment I behold him only of an honest welcome, but of a welcome leaning with his head against his crook, with mixed with thanks that I had not seemed to piteous inclination looking down upon it! doubt it. Oh! bad I gone one moment sooner !-it bleeds Was it this ? or tell me, Nature, what else it to death !-his gentle heart bleeds with it! was that made this morsel so sweet, -and to
Peace to thee, generous swain !- I see thou what magic I owe it, that the draught I took walkest off with anguish,—but thy joys shall of their fagon was so delicious with it, that balance it ;—for happy is thy cottage, and they remain upon my palate to this hour? happy is the sharer of it, and happy are the If the supper was to my taste, the grace which lambs which sport about you.
followed it was much more so.
A shoe coming loose from the fore-foot of When supper was over, the old man gave a the thill-horse, at the beginning of the ascent knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, of Mount Taurira, the postillion dismounted, to bid them prepare for the dance; the motwisted the shoe off, and put it in his pocket. ment the signal was given, the women and girls As the ascent was of five or six miles, and that ran altogether into a back apartment to tie up horse our main dependence, I made a point of their hair,-and the young men to the door to having the shoe fastened on again as well as we wash their faces, and change their sabots; and, could; but the postillion had thrown away the in three ininutes, every soul was ready upon a nails ; and the hammer in the chaise-box being little esplanade before the house to begin.of no great use without them, I submitted to The old man and his wife came out last, and, go on.
placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a sofa He had not mounted half a mile higher, when of turf by the door. coming to a finty piece of road, the poor devil The old man had some fifty years ago been lost a second shoe, and from off his other fore- no mean performer upon the vielle, -and, at foot. I then got out of the chaise in good ear- the age he was then of, touched it well enough nest; and seeing a house about a quarter of a for the purpose. His wife sung now and then mile to the left hand, with a great deal to do I a little to the tune,—then intermitted,-and prevailed upon the postillion to turn up to it. joined her old man again as their children and The look of the house, and of every thing about grand-children danced before them. it, as we drew nearer, soon reconciled me to the It was not till the middle of the second dance, disaster. It was a little farm-house, surround- when, for some pauses in the movement whereed with about twenty acres of vineyard, about in they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could as much corn ;-and close to the house, on one distinguish an elevation of spirit different from side, was a potagerie of an acre and a half, full that which is the cause or the effect of simple of every thing which could make plenty in a jollity. In a word, I thought I beheld ReliFrench peasant's house ;-and on the other gion mixing in the dance ;-but, as I had never side, was a little wood, which furnished where- seen her so engaged, I should have looked upwithal to dress it. It was about eight in the on it now as one of the illusions of an imaginaevening when I got to the house, --so I left the tion which is eternally misleading me, had not postillion to manage his point as he could; and, the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said for mine, I walked directly into the house. that this was their constant way; and that all
The family consisted of an old grey-headed his life long he had made it a rule, after supman and his wife, with five or six sons and per was over, to call out his family to dance sons-in-law, and their several wives, and a joy- and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerous genealogy out of them.
ful and contented mind was the best sort of
thanks to Heaven that an illiterate peasant could As this did not amount to an absolute surrenpay
der of my bed-chamber, I still felt myself so -Or a learned prelate either, said I. much the proprietor, as to have a right to do the
honours of it ;-so I desired the lady to sit
down, pressed her into the warmest seat, called THE CASE OF DELICACY. for more wood, desired the hostess to enlarge
the plan of the supper, and to favour us with When you have gained the top of Mount the very best wine. Taurira, you run presently down to Lyons ;- The lady had scarce warmed herself five miadieu then to all rapid movements !—'tis a nutes at the fire, before she began to turn her journey of caution; and it fares better with head back and to give a look at the beds: and sentiments, not to be in a hurry with them; so the oftener she cast her eyes that way, the more I contracted with a voiturin to take his time they returned perplexed. I felt for her--and with a couple of mules, and convey ine in my for myself ; for in a few minutes, what by her own chaise safe to Turin, through Savoy. looks, and the case itself, I found myself as
Poor, patient, quiet, honest people ! fear not; much embarrassed as it was possible the lady your poverty, the treasury of your simple vir- could be herself. tues, will not be envied you by the world, nor That the beds we were to lie in were in one will your vallies be invaded by it.-Nature! in and the same room, was enough simply by itself the midst of thy disorders, thou art still friend- to have excited all this ;-but the position of ly to the scantiness thou hast created : with all them (for they stood parallel, and so very close thy great works about thee, little hast thou left to each other, as only to allow a space for a to give, either to the scythe or to the sickle small wicker-chair betwixt them) rendered the but to that little thou grantest safety and pro- affair still more oppressive to us ;-they were tection ; and sweet are the dwellings which fixed up, moreover, near the fire, and the prostand so sheltered !
jection of the chimney on one side; and a large Let the way-worn traveller vent his com- beam which crossed the room on the other, plaints upon the sudden turns and dangers of formed a kind of recess for them that was nó your roads, your rocks, your precipices; the way favourable to the nicety of our sensations : difficulties of getting up, the horrors of getting -if any thing could have added to it, it was down, mountains impracticable, -and cataracts, that the two beds were both of them so very which roll down great stones from their sum- small, as to cut us off from every idea of the mits, and block up his road. The peasants had lady and the maid lying together; which, in been all day at work in removing a fragment of either of them, could it have been feasible, my this kind between St Michael and Madane ; lying beside them, though a thing not to be and, by the time my vioturin got to the place, wished, yet there was nothing in it so terrible it wanted full two hours of completing, before which the imagination might not have passed a passage could any how be gained. There was over without torment. nothing but to wait with patience ;-'twas a As for the little room within, it offered little wet and tempestuous night; so that by the de- or no consolation to us: 'twas a damp, cold clolay and that together, the voiturin found him- set, with a half dismantled window-shutter, self obliged to put up five miles short of his and with a window which had neither glass nor stage, at a little decent kind of an inn by the oil-paper in it to keep out the tempest of the road side.
night. I did not endeavour to stifle my cough I forth with took possession of my bedcham- when the lady gave a peep into it; so it reduber, got a good fire, ordered supper, and was ced the case in course to this alternative,-That thanking Heaven it was no worse,—when a voin the lady should sacrifice her health to her feelturin arrived with a lady in it, and her servant- ings, and take up with the closet herself, and maid.
abandon the bed next mine to her maid, -or, As there was no other bedchamber in the that the girl should take the closet, &c. house, the hostess, without much nicety, led The lady was a Piedmontese of about thirty, them into mine, telling them, as she ushered with a glow of health in her cheeks. The maid them in, that there was nobody in it but an was a Lyonoise of twenty, and as brisk and liveEnglish gentleman ;—that there were two good ly a French girl as ever moved. There were beds in it, and a closet within the room which difficulties every way,—and the obstacle of the held another. The accent in which she spoke stone in the road, which brought us into the of this third bed, did not say much for it ;- distress, great as it appeared whilst the peasants however, she said there were three beds, and were removing it, was but a pebble to what lay but three people,—and she durst say the gentle- in our way now I have only to add, that it did man would do any thing to accommodate mat- not lessen the weight which hung upon our ters.--I left not the lady a moment to make spirits, that we were both too delicate to coma conjecture about it, so instantly made a decla- municate what we felt to each other upon the ration that I would do any thing in my power. occasion.
We sat down to supper; and, had we not bed, and the candle and fire extinguished, that had more generous wine to it than a little inn Monsieur should not speak one single word the in Savoy could have furnished, our tongues had whole night. been tied up till Necessity herself had set them Granted, provided Monsieur's saying his at liberty ;-but the lady having a few bottles prayers might not be deemed an infraction of of Burgundy in her voiture, sent down her fille the treaty. de chambre for a couple of them ; 'so that by There was but one point forgot in this treathe time supper was over, and we were left ty, and that was the manner in which the lady alone, we felt ourselves inspired with a strength and myself should be obliged to undress and of mind sufficient to talk, at least, without re- get to bed ;-there was one way of doing it, and serve upon our situation. We turned it every that I leave to the reader to devise, protesting as way, and debated and considered it in all kinds I do it, that if it is not the most delicate in naof lights in the course of a two hours' negocia- ture,-'tis the fault of his own imagination,tion; at the end of which the articles were against which this is not my first complaint. settled finally betwixt us, and stipulated for in Now, when we were got to bed, whether it form and manner of a treaty of peace,-and, I was the novelty of the situation, or what it believe, with as much religion and good faith was, I know not, but so it was, I could not on both sides, as in any treaty which has yet shut my eyes; I tried this side and that, and had the honour of being handed down to poste turned and turned again, till a full bour after rity.
midnight, when Nature and Patience both They were as follows:
wearing out,-0 my God! said I. First, As the right of the bed-chamber is You have broke the treaty, Monsieur, in Monsieur,--and he thinking the bed next said the lady, who had no more slept than myto the fire to be the warmest, he insists upon self.-I begged a thousand pardons; but insistthe concession on the lady's side of taking up ed it was no more than an ejaculation. She with it.
maintained 'twas an entire infraction of the Granted on the part of Madame; with a treaty. I maintained it was provided for in proviso, That, as the curtains of that bed are of the clause of the third article. a flimsy transparent cotton, and appear likewise The lady would by no means give up the too scanty to draw close, that the fille de chambre point, though she weakened her barrier by it; shall fasten up the opening, either by corking- for, in the warmth of the dispute, I could hear pins or needle and thread, in such a manner as two or three corking pins fall out of the curtain shall be deemed a sufficient barrier on the side to the ground. of Monsieur.
Upon my word and honour, Madame, 2dly, It is required on the part of Madame, said I, stretching my arm out of bed by way of that Monsieur shall lie the whole night through asseveration, in his robe de chambre.
(I was going to have added, that I would not Rejected: in as much as Monsieur is not have trespassed against the remotest idea of deworth a robe de chambre; he having nothing corum for the world) in his portmanteau but six shirts and a black -But the fille de chambre hearing there were silk pair of breeches.
words between us, and fearing that hostilities The mentioning the silk pair of breeches 'would ensue in course, had crept silently out of made an entire change of the article,-for the her closet; and it being totally dark, had stobreeches were accepted as an equivalent for the len so close to our beds, that she had got herrobe de chambre; and so it was stipulated and self into the narrow passage which separated agreed upon, that I should lie in my black silk them, and had advanced so far up as to be in a breeches all night.
line betwixt her mistress and me; 3dly, It was insisted upon, and stipulated So that, when I stretched out my hand, I for by the lady, that after Monsieur was got to caught hold of the fille de chambre's
END OF THE SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY.
THERE are a hundred faults in this thing, and a hundred things might be said to prove them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity. The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth ;-he is a priest, a husbandman, and the father of a family. He is drawn as ready to teach, and ready to obey—as simple in affluence, and majestic in adversity. In this age of opulence and refinement, how can such a character please ? Such as are fond of high life, will turn with disdain from the simplicity of his country fire-side ; such as mistake ribaldry for humour, will find no wit in his harmless conversation ; and such as have been taught to deride religion, will laugh at one whose chief stores of comfort are drawn from futurity.