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draws my curtain when I languish, hears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the disorder of his nerves.
Thou givest a portion of it sometimes to the roughest peasant who traverses the bleakest moun. tains; he finds the lacerated lamb of another's flock.
This moment I behold him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down
Oh! had I come one moment sooner! it bleeds to death! his gentle heart bleeds with it!
Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkest off with anguish, — but thy joys shall balance it;
for happy is thy cottage, - and happy is the sharer of it and happy are the lambs which sport
A SHOE coming loose from the fore-foot of the thillhorse, at the beginning of the ascent of Mount Taurira, the postillion dismounted, twisted the shoe off, and put it in his pocket. As the ascent was of five or six miles, and that horse our main dependence, I made a point of having the shoe fastened on again as well as we could; but the postillion had thrown away the nails; and the hammer in the chaise-box being of no great use without them, I submitted to go on.
He had not mounted half a mile higher, when, coming to a flinty piece of road, the poor Devil lost a second shoe, and from off his other fore-foot. I then got out of the chaise in good earnest; and seeing a house about a quarter of a mile to the left hand, with a great deal to do, I prevailed upon the postillion to Sentimental Journcy, etc.
turn up to it.
The look of the house, and of every thing about it, as we drew nearer, soon reconciled me to the disaster. It was a little farm-house, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, about as much corn; and close to the house, on one side, was a potagerie of an acre and a half, full of every thing which could make plenty in a French peasant's house; and, on the other side, was a little wood, which fur nished wherewithal to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house, 80 I left the postillion to manage his point as he could; and, for mine, I walked directly into the house.
The family consisted of an old grey-headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law, and their several wives and a joyous genealogy out of them.
They were all sitting down together to their lentilsoup; a large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table; and a flagon of wine at each end of it promised joy through the stages of the repast; 'twas a feast of love.
The old man rose up to meet me, and, with a respectful cordiality, would have me sit down at the table; my heart was set down the moment I entered the room:
so I sat down at once, like a son of the family; and, to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, I instantly borrowed the old man's knife, and, taking up the loaf, cut myself a hearty luncheon; and, as I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest welcome, but of a welcome mixed with thanks that I had not seemed to doubt it.
Was it this? or, tell me, Nature, what else it was that made this morsel so sweet, and to what magic
I owe it that the draught I took of their flagon was so delicious with it that they remain upon my palate to this hour?
If the supper was to my taste, the grace which followed it was much more so.
WHEN supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, to bid them prepare for the dance: the moment the signal was given, the women and girls ran altogether into a back apartment to tie up their hair,
and the young men to the door to wash their faces, and change their sabots ; and, in three minutes, every soul was ready upon a little esplanade before the house to begin. — The old man and his wife came out last, and, placing me be twixt them, sat down upon a sofa of turf by the door.
The old man had, some fifty years ago, been no mean performer upon the vielle, — and, at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sang now and then a little to the tune, then intermitted, and joined her old man again as their children and grandchildren danced before them.
It was not till the middle of the second dance when, from some pauses in the movement wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity. In a word, I
. thought I beheld Religion mixing in the dance; - but, as I had never seen her so engaged, I should have looked upon it now as one of the illusions of an ima
gination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said that this was their constant way; and that all his life long he had made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to Heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay
THE CASE OF DELICACY.
When you have gained the top of Mount Taurira, you run presently down to Lyons; - adieu, then, to
; all rapid movements ! 'tis a journey of caution; and it fares better with sentiments not to be in a hurry with them; so I contracted with a voiturin to take his time with a couple of mules, and convey me in my own chaise safe to Turin, through Savoy.
Poor, patient, quiet, honest people: fear not; your poverty, the treasury of your simple virtues, will not be envied you by the world, nor will your valleys be invaded by it. Nature! in the midst of thy disorders, thou art still friendly to the scantiness thou hast created; with all thy great works about thee, little hast thou left to give, either to the scythe or to the sickle - but to that little thou grantest safety and
protection; and sweet are the dwellings which stand so sheltered!
Let the way-worn traveller vent his complaints upon the sudden turns and dangers of your roads, your rocks, your precipices; the difficulties of getting
up, the horrors of getting down, mountains impracticable, and cataracts, which roll down great stones from their summits, and block up his road. The peasants had been all day at work in removing a fragment of this kind between St. Michael and Madame; and, by the time my voiturin got to the place, it wanted full two hours of completing, before a passage could any how be gained. There was nothing but to wait with patience: 'twas a wet and tempestuous night; so that, by the delay and that together, the voiturin found himself obliged to put up five miles short of his stage, at a little decent kind of an inn by the road-side.
I forthwith took possession of my bed-chamber, got a good fire, ordered supper, and was thanking heaven it was no worse when a voiturin arrived with a lady in it, and her servant-maid.
As there was no other bed-chamber in the house, the hostess, without much nicety, led them into mine, telling them, as she ushered them in, that there was nobody in it but an English gentleman; — that there were two good beds in it, and a closet within the room which held another. The accent in which she spoke of this third bed did not say much for it; however, she said there were three beds, and but three people, and she durst say the gentleman would do any thing to accommodate matters. I left the lady not a moment to make a conjecture about it, so instantly made
declaration that I would do anything power.
As this did not amount to an absolute surrender of my bed-chamber, I still felt myself so much the proprietor as to have a right to do the honours of it;