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bow I made him into French too, and told him, “I was sensible of his attention, and returned him a thousand thanks for it.” There is not a secret so aiding to the progress
of sociality as to get master of this short hand, and to be quick in rendering the several turns of looks and limbs, with all their inflections and delineations, into plain words. For my own part, by long habitude, I do it 60 mechanically that, when I walk the streets of London, I go translating all the way; and have more than once stood behind the circle, where not three words have been said, and have brought off twenty different dialogues with me, which I could have fairly wrote down and sworn to.
I was going one evening to Martini's concert at Milan, and was just entering the door of the hall, when the Marquisina de F*** was coming out, in a sort of a hurry: she was almost upon me before I saw her: so I gave a spring to one side, to let her pass. She had done the same, and on the same side too: so we ran our heads together: she instantly got to the other side to get out: I was just as unfortunate as she had been; for I had sprung to that side, and opposed her passage again. We both flew together to the other side and then back, — and so on: it was ridiculous: we both blushed intolerably; so I did at last the thing I should have done at first; — I stood stock still, and the Marquisina had no more difficulty.
I had no power to go into the room till I had made her so much reparation as to wait and follow her with my eye to the end of the passage.
She looked back twice, and walked along it rather sideways, as if she would make room for any one coming up stairs to pass her.
said I, that's a vile translation; the Marquisina has a right to the best apology I can make her; and that opening is left for me to do it in: so I ran and begged pardon for the embarrassment I had given her, saying it was my intention to have made her way. She answered, she was guided by the same intention
so we reciprocally thanked each other. She was at the top of the stairs; and seeing no cicisbeo near her, I begged to hand her to her coach; so we went down the stairs, stopping at every third step to talk of the concert and the adventure.
Upon my word, Madam, said I, when I had handed her in, I made six different efforts to let you go out.
And I made six efforts, replied she, to let you enter.
I wish to Heaven you would make a seventh, said I. With all my heart, said she, making room. Life is too short to be long about the forms of it; stantly stepped in, and she carried me home with her.... And what became of the concert? St. Cecilia, who, I suppose, was at it, knows more than I.
I will only add that the connection, which arose out of the translation, gave me more pleasure than any one I had the honour to make in Italy.
so I in
I HAD never heard the remark made by any one in my life, except by one; and who that was will probably come out in this chapter; so that, being pretty much unprepossessed, there must have been grounds for what struck me the moment I cast my eyes over the parterre, and that was the unaccountable sport of Nature in forming such numbers of dwarfs. No doubt, she sports at certain times in almost every corner of the world: but in Paris, there is no end to her amusements. The goddess seems almost as merry as she is wise.
As I carried my idea out of the Opera Comique with me, I measured every body I saw walking in the streets by it. Melancholy application! especially where the size was extremely little,
the face extremely dark, the eyes quick, the nose long, the teeth white, the jaw prominent,
to see so many miserables, by force of accidents, driven out of their own proper class into the very verge of another, which it gives me pain to write down: man a pigmy; some by ricketty heads and humpbacks; - others by bandy legs; - a third set arrested by the hand of Nature in the sixth and seventh years of their growth; - a fourth, in their perfect and natural state, like dwarf apple-trees; from the first rudiments and stamina of their existence, never meant to
A Medical Traveller might say 'tis owing to undue bandages; a Splenetic one, to want of air; and an Inquisitive Traveller, to fortify the system, may measure the height of their houses, the narrowness of their streets, and in how few feet square in the sixth and seventh stories such numbers of the Bourgeoisie eat and sleep together. But I remember, Mr. Shandy the Elder, who accounted for nothing like any body else, in speaking one evening of these matters, averred that children, like other animals, might be increased almost to any size, provided they came right
into the world; but the misery was, the citizens of Paris were so coop'd up that they had not actually room enough to get them. — I do not call it getting any thing, said he; — 'tis getting nothing. - Nay, continued he, rising in his argument, 'tis getting worse than nothing, when all you have got, after twenty or five-and-twenty years of the tenderest care and most nutritious aliment bestowed upon it shall not at last be as high as my leg. Now, Mr. Shandy being very short, there could be nothing more said of it.
As this is not a work of reasoning, I leave the solution as I found it, and content myself with the truth only of the remark, which is verified in every lane and by-lane of Paris. I was walking down that which leads from the Carrousel to the Palais Royal, and observing a little boy in some distress at the side of the gutter which ran down the middle of it, I took hold of his hand, and helped him over. Upon turning up his face to look at him after, I perceived he was about forty.
Never mind, said I, some good body will do as much for me when I am ninety.
I feel some little principles within me, which incline me to be merciful towards this poor blighted part of my species, who have neither size nor strength to get on in the world. I cannot bear to see one of them trod upon; and had scarce got seated beside my old French officer ere the disgust was exercised by seeing the very thing happen under the box we sat in.
At the end of the orchestra, and betwixt that and the first sidebox, there is a small esplanade left, where, when the house is full, numbers of all ranks take sanctuary. Though you stand, as in the parterre, you pay the same price as in the orchestra. A
poor defenceless being of this order had got thrust, somehow or other, into this luckless place; the night was hot, and be was surrounded by beings two feet and a half higher than himself. The dwarf suffered inexpressibly on all sides; but the thing which incommoded him most was a tall, corpulent German, near seven feet high, who stood directly betwixt him and all possibility of his seeing either the stage or the actors. The
dwarf did all he could to get a peep at what was going forwards, by seeking for some little opening betwixt the German's arm and his body, trying first on one side, then on the other; but the German stood square in the most unaccommodating posture that can be imagined:
the dwarf might as well have been placed at the bottom of the deepest draw-well in Paris; so he civilly reached up his hand to the German's sleeve, and told him his distress. The German turned his head back, looked down upon him as Goliah did upon David, and unfeelingly resumed his posture.
I was just then taking a pinch of snuff out of my monk's little horn box. And how would thy meek and courteous spirit, my dear monk, so tempered to bear and forbear! - how sweetly would
how sweetly would it have lent an ear to this poor soul's complaint!
The old French officer seeing me lift up my eyes with emotion, as I made the apostrophe, took the liberty to ask me what was the matter? I told him the story in three words, and added, how inhuman it
By this time the dwarf was driven to extremes, and in his first transports, which are generally unreasonable, had told the German he would cut off his