Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

half of our gentry go with a humdrum compagnon du voyage the saine round, and have the piper and the Devil and all to pay besides? When a man can extricate himself with a equivoque in such an unequal match, he is not ill off. ... But you can do something else, La Fleur? said I. ... O qu’oui! he could make spatterdashes, and could play a little upon the fiddle. Bravo! said Wisdom Why I play a bass myself, said I; we shall do very well. You can shave, and dress a wig a little, La Fleur? He had all the dispositions in the world. ... It is enough for Heaven, said I, interrupting him, — and ought to be enough for me. — So supper coming in, and having a a frisky English spaniel on one side of my chair, and a French valet, with as much hilarity in his oruntenance as ever Nature painted in one, on the other satisfied to my heart's content with my empire; and if monarchs knew what they would be at, they might be as satisfied as I was.

[ocr errors]

- I was


As La Fleur went the whole tour of France and Italy with me, and will be often

I must interest the reader a little further in his behalf, by saying that I had never less reason to repent of the impulses which generally dc determine me than in regard to this fellow; he was a faithful, affectionate, simple soul as ever trudged after the heels of a philosopher; and notwithstanding his talents of drum-beating and spatterdash-making, which, though very good in themselves, happened to be of no great service to me, yet was I hourly recompensed by the festivity of his temper;

the stage,



it supplied all defects:

I had a constant resource in his looks in all difficulties and distresses of my own (I was going to have added, of his too); but La Fleur was out of the reach of every thing; for whether it was hunger or thirst, or cold or nakedness, or watchings, or whatever stripes of ill-luck La Fleur met with in our journeyings, there was no index in his physiognomy to point them out by, — he was eternally the same; so, if I am a piece of a philosopher, which Satan now and then puts it into my

it always mortifies the pride of the conceit, by reflecting how much I owe to the complexional philosophy of this poor fellow, for shaming me into one of a better kind. With all this, La Fleur had a small cast of the coxcomb; — but he seemed, at first sight, to be more a coxcomb of nature than of art; and, before I had been three days in Paris with him, — he

seemed to be no coxcomb at all.

head I am,


The next morning, La Fleur entering upon his employment, I delivered to him the key of my portmanteau, with an inventory of my half-a-dozen shirts, and a silk pair of breeches: and bid him fasten all upon the chaise, get the horses put to, and desire the landlord to come in with his bill.

C'est un garçon de bonne fortune, said the landlord, pointing through the window, to half-a-dozen wenches who had got round about La Fleur, and were most kindly taking their leave of him as the postilliun was leading out the horses. La Fleur kissed all their hands round and round again, and thrice he wiped his

ways in love."

eyes, and thrice he promised he would bring them all pardons from Rome.

The young fellow, said the landlord, is beloved by all the town; and there is scarce a corner in Montriul where the want of him will not be felt. He has but one misfortune in the world, continued he, “He is al.

I am heartily glad of it, said I; 'twill save me the trouble every night of putting my breeches under my head, In saying this, I was making not so much La Fleur's éloge as my own, having been in love with one princess or other almost all my life, and I hope I shall go on so till I die, being firmly persuaded that, if ever I do a mean action, it must be in some interval betwixt one passion and another: whilst this interregnum lasts, I always perceive my heart locked up, - I can scarce find in it to give misery a sixpence: and therefore I always get out of it as fast as I can; and the moment I am rekindled, I am all generosity and goodwill again; and would do any thing in the world, either for or with any one, if they will but satisfy me there is no sin in it.

But in saying this, sure I am commending the passion, — not myself.

A FRAGMENT. The town of Abdera, notwithstanding Democritus lived there, trying all the powers of irony and laughter to reclaim it, was the vilest and most profligate town in all Thrace. What for poisons, conspiracies, and assassinations, libels, pasquinades, and tumults, there was no going there by day; – 'twas worse by night.


Now, when things were at the worst, it came to pass that the Andromeda of Euripides being represented at Abdera, the whole orchestra was delighted with it; but, of all the passages which delighted them nothing operated more upon their imaginations than the tender strokes of nature which the poet had wrought up in that pathetic speech of Perseus, o Cupid, prince of Gods and &c. Every man almost spoke pure iambics the next day, and talked of nothing but Perseus's pathetic address, – "O Cupid, prince of Gods and men!” in every street of Abdera, in every house, - "O Cupid ! Cupid:" — in every mouth, like the natural notes of some sweet melody which drop from it, whether it will or no, nothing but“Cupid ! Cupid ! prince of Gods and inen!"

The fire caught,

and the whole city, like the heart of one man, opened itself to Love.

No pharmacopolist could sell one grain of helebore, not a single armourer had a heart to forge one instrument of death; – Friendship and Virtue met together, and kissed each other in the street;

the golden age returned, and hung over the town of Abdera; – every Abderite took his oaten pipe; and every Abderitish woman left her purple web, and chastely sat her down, and listened to the song.

'Twas only in the power, says the Fragment, of the God whose empire extendeth from heaven to earth, and even to the depths of the sea, to have done this.

[ocr errors]


WHEN all is ready, and every article is disputed and paid for at the inn, upless you are a little soured by the adventure, there is always a matter to compound at the door, before you can get into your chaise, and that is with the sons and daughters of poverty who surround you. Let no man say, “Let them go to the Devil!” 'tis a cruel journey to send a few miserables; and they have had sufferings enow without it. I always think it better to take a few: sous out in my hand; and I would counsel every gentle traveller to do so likewise; he need not be so exact in setting down his motives for giving them: -- they will be registered elsewhere.

For my own part, there is no man gives so little as I do; for few that I know have so little to give; but as this was the first public act of my charity in France, I took the more notice of it. - A well-a-way! said I,

I have but eight sous in the world, shewing them in my hand, and there are eight poor men and eight poor women for them.

A poor tattered soul, without a shirt on, instantly withdrew his claim, by retiring two steps out of the circle, and making a disqualifying bow on his part. Had the whole parterre cried out, Place aux dames, with one voice, it would not have conveyed the sentiment of a deference for the sex with half the effect.

Just heaven! for what wise reasons hast thou ordered it that beggary and urbanity, which are at such variance in other countries. should find a way to be at unity in this? Senlimenlul Journey, etc.


« ZurückWeiter »