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bargains of honour, she gave me her hand: - En verité, Monsieur, je mettrai cet argent apart, said she.
When a virtuous convention is made betwixt man and woman, it sanctifies their most private walks; so notwithstanding it was dusky, yet as both our roads lay the same way, we made no scruple of walking along the Quai de Conti together.
She made me a second curtsey in setting off; and, before we got twenty yards from the door, as if she had not done enough before, she made a sort of a little stop, to tell me again she thanked me.
It was a small tribute, I told her, which I could not avoid paying to virtue, and would not be mistaken in the person I had been rendering it to for the world; but I see innocence, my dear, in your face, and foul befal the man who ever lays a snare in its way!
The girl seemed affected, some way or other, with what I said; she gave a low sigh; - I found I was not empowered to enquire at all after it, so said nothing more, till I got to the corner of the Rue de Nevers, where we were to part.
But, is this the way, my dear, said I, to the Hotel de Modene?.... She told me it was; or that I might go by the Rue de Gueneguault, which was the next turn. . . . . Then I'll go, my dear, by the Rue de Gueneguault, said I, for two reasons: first, I shall please myself; and next, I shall give you the protection of my company as far on your way as I can. The girl was sensible I was civil, and said, she wished the Hotel de Modene was in the Rue de St. Pierre..... You live there? said I..... She told me she was fille de chambre to Madame R***..... Good
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 Cœur, &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
But in Paris, as none kiss each other but the men,
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 me, 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 Seigneur! 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 one..... 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
he, 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, he 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.