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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 PARIS.
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 Mes. 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 fariner-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 !
I 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, I convinced 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 iinprohave 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:--Sbe is coquette,-then deist, PARIS.
--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 ho. few 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 might 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 aŭ 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 voWe 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 them 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 promptgion 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 midWoeful Countenance, in quest of melancholy dle of a discourse, in which I was shewing the adventures ;-I 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 more 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 ruisonne - 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 secmed 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 supa per ;-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 MOULINES.
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 direw and every eye is lifted up,-a journey through him 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 herself, let 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 a 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 own -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 flinty 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 lamh.
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 painte a cottage, I would take thee to it, and shelter ed out for myself so joyous a riot of the affecthee; thou shouldst eat of my own bread, and tions, as in 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, in some sad and sickening moments, “ my soul T hey 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 hearty luncheon; and, as est mountains.-He finds the lacerated lamb of I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not another's flock ;-—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! had 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 Hagon 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 inore 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 flinty 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 cight in the on it now as one of the illusions ot 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 ;-0 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 me 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 forined a kind of recess for them that was no 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- sinall, 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 cither 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 forthwith 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 majd, -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.