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could the traces be ever worn out of her brain, and those of Eliza out of mine, she should not only eat of my bread and drink of my own cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.
Adieu, poor luckless maiden! - Imbibe the oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, as he journeyeth on his way, now pours into thy wounds;
the Being who has twice bruised thee can only bind them up for ever.
THERE was nothing from which I had painted out for myself so joyous a riot of the affections as in this journey in the vintage, through this part of France; but pressing through this gate of sorrow to it, my sufferings have totally unfitted me. In every scene of festivity I saw Maria in the back ground of the piece, sitting pensive under her poplar: and I had got almost to Lyons before I was able to cast a shade across her.
Dear Sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw — and 'tis thou who liftest him up to Heaven! — Eternal fountain of our feeling! 'tis here I trace thee, and this is thy “divinity which stirs within me;" — not that, in some sad and sickening moments, "my soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction !" mere pomp of words! - but that I feel some generous joys and generous cares beyond myself; all comes from thee, great, great Sensorium of the world! which vibrates, if a hair of our heads but fall upon the ground, in the remotest desert of thy creation. -- Touched with thee, Eugenius 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 mountains;
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 upon it!
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 Journey, 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 furnished wherewithal to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house, so 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 betwixt 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 imagination 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
Or a learned prelate either, said I.
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