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ñot to be behind-hand in politeness with La Fleur, had taken him back with him to the Count's hotel. : La Fleur's prevenancy (for there was a passport in his very looks) soon set every servant in the kitchen at ease with him; and, as a Frenchman, whatever be his talents, has no sort of prudery in showing them, La Fleur, in less than five minutes, had pulled out his fife, and, leading off the dance himself with the first note, set the fille de chambre, the maitre di hotel, the cook, the scullion, and all the household, dogs and cats, besides an old monkey, a dancing! I suppose there never was a merrier kitchen since the flood.
Madame de L- in passing from her brother's apartments to her own, hearing so much jollity below stairs, rung up her fille de chambre to ask about it; and hearing it was the English gentleman's servant who had set the whole house merry with his pipe, she ordered him up.
As the poor fellow could not present himself empty, he had loaded himself, in going up stairs, with a thousand compliments to Madame de L--, on the part of his master; added a long apocrypha of inquiries after Madame de L's health; told her that Monsieur his master was au desespoire for her re-establishment from the fatigues of her journey; and, to close all, that Monsieur had received the letter which Madame had done him the honour .... And he has done me the honour, said Madame de L--, interrupting La Fleur, to send a billet in return.
Madame de L- had said this with such a tone of reliance upon the fact that La Fleur had not power to disappoint her expectations; -- he trembled for my
honour – and, possibly, might not altogether be unconcerned for his own, as a man capable of being attached to a master' who could be wanting en egards vis à vis d'une femme!' so that, when Madame de L asked La Fleur if he had brought a letter, - O qu'oui, said La Fleur; so, laying down his hat upon the ground, and taking hold of the flap of his right sidepocket with his left hand, he began to search for the letter with his right; then contrariwise, Diable! - then sought every pocket, pocket by pocket, round, not forgetting his foh; Peste! - then La Fleur emptied them upon the floor,
pulled out à dirty cravat, handkerchief -- a comb, - a whiplash, -- a night-cap,
: then gave a peep into his hat Quelle étourderies! He had left the letter upon the table in the auberge; he would run for it, and be back with it in three minutes.
I had just finished my supper when La Fleur came in to give me an account of his adventure; he told the whole story simply as it was; and only
, added that, if Monsieur had forgot (par hazard) to answer Madame's letter, the arrangement gave him an opportunity to recover the faux pas; and if not, that things were only as they were.
Now, I was not altogether sure of my etiquette, whether I ought to have wrote or no; but if I had, a Devil himself could not have been angry: 'twas but the officious zeal of a well-meaning creature for my honour; and however he might have mistook the road, or embarrassed me in so doing - his heart was in no fault I was under no necessity to write; and, what weighed more than all, he did not look as if he had done amiss.
'Tis all very well, La Fleur, said I. 'Twas sufficient. La Fleur flew out of the room like lightning, and return'd with pen, ink, and paper, in his hand; and, coming up to the table, laid them close before me, with such a delight in his countenance that I could not help taking up the pen.
I began, and began again; and, though I had nothing to say, and that nothing might have been expressed in half-a-dozen lines, I made half-a-dozen dif ferent beginnings, and could no way please myself.
In short, I was in no mood to write.
La Fleur stepp'd out and brought a little water in a glass to dilute my ink then fetched sand and seal-wax. — It was all one; I wrote, and blotted, and tore off, and burnt, and wrote again. Le Diable l’emporte, said I, half to myself I cannot write this self-same letter, throwing the pen down despairingly as I said it.
As soon as I had cast down my pen, La Fleur advanced with the most respectful carriage up to the table, and, making a thousand apologies for the liberty he was going to take, told me he had a letter in his pocket, wrote by a drummer in his regiment to a corporal's wife, which, he durst say, would suit the occasion. I had a mind to let the poor fellow have bis hu
Then prithee, said I, let me see it. La Fleur instantly pulled out a little dirty pocketbook, cramm'd full of small letters and billet-doux in a sad condition, and laying it upon the table, and then untying the string which held them all together, ran them over, one by one, till he came to the letter in question -- La voilà, said he, clapping his hands; so, unfolding it first, he laid it before me, and retired three steps from the table whilst I read it.
Madame, Je suis penetre de la douleur la plus vive, et reduit en même temps au desespoir par ce retour imprevů du Corporal, qui rend notre entrevue de ce soir la chose du monde la plus impossible.
Mais, vive la joie! et toute la mienne sera de penser à vous.
L'amour n'est rien sans sentiment,
On dit aussi que Monsieur le Corporal monte la garde Mercredi; alors ce sera mon tour.
Chacun à son tour.
Je suis, Madame,
and saying nothing about mounting guard on Wednesday, and the letter was neither right nor wrong;
so, to gratify the poor fellow, who stood trembling for my honour, his own, and the honour of his letter,
- I took the cream gently off it, and, whipping it up in my own way, seal'd it up, and sent it to Madamé de L--; and the next morning we pursued our journey to Paris.
here I am,
WHEN a man can contest the point by dint of equipage, and carry on all floundering before him with half a dozen lacquies and a couple of cooks — 'tis very
well in such a place as Paris, he may drive in at which end of a street he will.
A poor prince, who is weak in cavalry, and whose whole infantry does not exceed a single man, had best quit the field, and signalize himself in the cabinet, if he can get up into it,
I say up into it
for there is no descending perpendicularly amongst 'em with a “Me voici, mes enfans,"
whatever many may think.
I own, my first sensations, as soon as I was left so. litary and alone in my own chamber in the hotel, were far from being so flattering as I had prefigured them. I walked up gravely to the window in my dusty black coat, and looking through the glass, saw all the world in yellow, blue, and green, running at the ring. of plea
The old with broken lances, and in helmets which had lost their vizards; the young, in armour bright, which shone like gold, beplumed with each gay feather of the east, all, — all,
tilting at it like fascinated knights in tournaments of yore, for fame and love.
Alas, poor Yorick! cried I, what art thou doing here? On the very first onset of all this glittering clatter, thou art reduced to an atom; seek seek some winding alley, with a tourniquet at the end of it, where chariot never rolled, nor flambeau shot its rays;
there thou mayest solace thy soul in converse sweet