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God! said I, 'tis the very lady for whom I have brought a letter from Amiens. .. The girl told me that Madame R***, she believed, expected a stranger with a letter, and was impatient to see him. .... So I desired the girl to present my compliments to Madame R***, and say I would certainly wait upon her in the morning.
We stood still at the corner of the Rue de Nevers whilst this passed. We then stopped a moment whilst she disposed of her Egarements du Cæur, &c., more commodiously than carrying them in her hand:
they were two volumes; so I held the second for her whilst she put the first into her pocket; – and then she held the pocket, and I put in the other after it.
'Tis sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together.
We set off afresh; and as she took her third step, the girl put her hand within my arm. I was just bidding her, — but she did it of herself, with that undeliberating simplicity which shewed it was out of her head that she had never seen me before. For my own part, I felt the conviction of consanguinity so strongly that I could not help turning half 'round to look in her face, and see if I could trace out any thing in it of a family likeness. Tut! said I, are we not all relations?
When we arrived at the turning up of de Rue de Gueneguault, I stopped to bid her adieu for good and all: the girl would thank me again for my company and kindness. - She bid me adieu twice; - I repeated it as often; and so cordial was the parting between us that, had it happened any where else, I'm not sure but
I should have signed it with a kiss of charity, as warm and holy as an apostle.
But in Paris, as none kiss each other but the men,
I did what amounted to the same thing, I bid God bless her!
WHEN I got home to my hotel, La Fleur told me I had been inquired after by the Lieutenant de Police.
The deuce take it, said I, - I know the reason. It is time the reader should know it; for, in the order of things in which it happened, it was omitted; not that it was out of my head; but that, had I told it then, it might have been forgot now; — and now is the time I want. it.
I had left London with so much precipitation that it never entered my mind that we were at war with France; and had reached Dover, and looked through my glass at the hills beyond Boulogne, before the idea presented itself; and with this in its train, that there was no getting there without a passport. Go but to the end of a street, I have a mortal aversion for returning back no wiser than I set out; and as this was one of the greatest efforts I had ever made for knowledge, I could less bear the thoughts of it; so hearing the Count de **** had hired the packet, I begged he would take me in his suite. The Count had some little knowledge of me, so made little or no difficulty, only said his inclination to serve me could reach no further than Calais as he was to return
by way of Brussels to Paris; however when I had once passed there, I might get to Paris without interruption; but that in Paris I must make friends and shift for myself.
Let me get to Paris, Monsieur le Comte, said I,
and I shall do very well. So I embarked, and never thought more of the matter.
When La Fleur told me the Lieutenant de Police had been enquiring after me - the thing instantly recurred; and, by the time La Fleur had well told me, the master of the hotel came into my room to tell me the same thing, with this addition to it, that
my passport had been particularly asked after: the master of the hotel concluded with saying he hoped I had one. .... Not I, faith! said I.
The master of the hotel retired three steps from as from an infected
person, as I declared this; and poor
La Fleur advanced three steps towards me, and with that sort of movement which a good soul makes to succour a distressed one: the fellow won my heart by it; from that single trait, I knew his character as perfectly, and could rely on it as firmly, as if he had served me with fidelity for seven years.
Mon Sergneur! cried the master of the hotel; but, recollecting himself as he made the exclamation, he instantly changed the tone of it - If Monsieur, said he, has not a passport (apparemment) in all likelihood, he has friends in Paris who can procure him
Not that I know of, quoth I, with an air of indifference. .... Then certes, replied he, you'll be sent to the Bastile, or the Chatelet, au moins..... Poo! said I, the King of France is a good-natured soul, he'll hurt nobody..... Cela n'empeche pas, said
• . . .
you will certainly be sent to the Bastile tomorrow morning. .... But I've taken your lodgings for a month, answered I; and I'll not quit them a day before the time for all the Kings of France in the world..... La Fleur whispered in my ear – that nobody could oppose the King of France.
Pardi, said my host, ces Messieurs Anglois sont des gens tres extraordinaires; and, having both said and sworn it, · he went out.
THE HOTEL AT PARIS.
I COULD not find in my heart to torture La Fleur's with a serious look upon the subject of my embarrassment, which was the reason I had treated it so cavalierly; and, to show him how light it lay upon my mind, I dropped the subject entirely; and, whilst he waited upon me at supper, talked to him with more than usual gaiety about Paris and of the opera comique.
La Fleur had been there himself, and had followed me through the streets as far as the bookseller's shop; but seeing me come out with the young fille de chambre, and that we walked down the Quai de Conti together, La Fleur deemed it unnecessary to follow me a step further so, making his own reflections upon it, ho took a shorter cut, and got to the hotel in time to be informed of the affair of the police, against my arrival.
As soon as the honest creature had taken away, and gone down to sup himself, I then began to think a little seriously about my situation.
And here, I know, Eugenius, thou wilt smile at the remembrance of a short dialogue which passed betwixt us, the moment I was going to set out. I must tell it here.
Eugenius, knowing that I was as little subject to be overburthened with money as thought, had drawn me aside to interrogate me how much I had taken care for? Upon telling him the exact sum, Eugenius shook his head and said it would not do; so pulled out his purse, in order to empty it into mine..... I've enough, in conscience, Eugenius, said I. : ... Indeed Yorick, you have not, replied Eugenius; I know France and Italy better than you..... But you don't consider, Eugenius, said I, refusing his offer, that before I have been three days in Paris, I shall take care to say or do something or other for which I shall get clapped up into the Bastile, and that I shall live there a couple of months entirely at the King of France's expense. .... I beg pardon, said Eugenius, drily; really, I had forgot that resource.
Now the event I treated gaily came serious to my door.
Is it folly, or nonchalance, or philosophy, or pertinacity; - or what is it in me, that, after all, when La Fleur had gone down stairs and I was quite alone, I could not bring down my mind to think of it otherwise than I had then spoken of it to Eugenius?
And as for the Bastile the terror is in the word. Make the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but another word for a tower; and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of.
Mercy on the gouty! for they are in it
But with nine livres a day, and pen
twice a year.