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The poor Count de B- fell but into the same error
-Et, Monsieur, est il Yorick? cried the Count.Je le suis, said I.–Vous?-Moi-moi qui ai l'honneur de vous parler, Monsieur le Comte.-Mon Dieu! said he, embracing me-Vous êtes Yorick!
The Count instantly put the Shakspere into his pocketand left me alone in his room.
COULD not conceive why the Count de B-
ceive why he had put the Shakspere into his pocket.Mysteries which must explain themselves are not worth the loss of time which a conjecture about them takes up: 't was better to read Shakspere; so taking up “Much Ado about Nothing," I transported myself instantly from the chair I sat in to Messina in Sicily, and got so busy with Don Pedro and Benedick and Beatrice, that I thought not of Versailles, the Count, or the Passport.
Sweet pliability of man's spirit, that can at once surrender itself to illusions, which cheat expectation and sorrow of their weary moments !—long-long since had ye number'd out my days, had I not trod so great a part of them upon this enchanted ground; when my way is too rough for my feet, or too steep for my strength, I get off it, to some smooth velvet path which fancy has scattered over with rosebuds of delights; and having taken a few turns in it, come back strengthen'd and refresh'd.—When evils press sore upon me, and there is no retreat from them in this world, then I take a new course—I leave it-and as I have a clearer idea of the elysian fields than I have of heaven, I force myself, like Æneas, into them-I see him meet the pensive shade of his forsaken Dido—and wish to recognize it-I see the injured spirit wave her head, and turn off silent from the author of her miseries and dishonors—I lose the feelings for myself in hers—and in those affections which were wont to make me mourn for her when I was at school.
Surely this is not walking in a vain shadow_nor does man disquiet himself in vain by it-he oftener does so in trusting the issue of his commotions to reason only. I can safely say for myself, I was never able to conquer any one single bad
sensation in my heart so decisively, as by beating up as fast as I could for some kindly and gentle sensation to fight it upon its own ground.
When I had got to the end of the third act, the Count de B-entered with my Passport in his hand. Monsieur le Duc de C-said the Count, is as good a prophet, I dare say, as he is a statesman-Un homme qui rit, said the duke, ne sera jamais dangereux.-Had it been for any one but the king's jester, added the Count, I could not have got it these two hours.—Pardonnez moi, Monsieur le Comte, said I-I am not the king's jester.—But you are Yorick ?-Yes.-Et vous plaisantez?-I answered, Indeed I did jest-but was not paid for it—'t was entirely at my own expense.
We had no jester at court, Monsieur le Comte, said I; the last we had was in the licentious reign of Charles the IIdsince which time our manners have been so gradually refining, that our court at present is so full of patriots, who wish for nothing but the honors and wealth of their country —and our ladies are all so chaste, so spotless, so good, so devout—there is nothing for a jester to make a jest of
Voilà un persiflage! cried the Count.
S the Passport was directed to all lieutenant-governors,
governors, and commandants of cities, generals of
armies, justiciaries, and all officers of justice, to let Mr. Yorick the king's jester, and his baggage, travel quietly along-I own the triumph of obtaining the Passport was not a little tarnish'd by the figure I cut in it.-But there is nothing unmixt in this world; and some of the gravest of our divines have carried it so far as to affirm, that enjoyment itself was attended even with a sigh—and that the greatest they knew of terminated in a general way, in little better than a convulsion.
I remembered the grave and learned Bevoriskius, in his commentary upon the generations from Adam, very naturally breaks off in the middle of a note to give an account to the world of a couple of sparrows upon the out-edge of his window, which had incommoded him all the time he wrote, and at last had entirely taken him off from his genealogy.
—'T is strange! writes Bevoriskius, but the facts are certain, for I have had the curiosity to mark them down one by one with my pen—but the cock-sparrow, during the little time that I could have finished the other half this note, has actually interrupted me with the reiteration of his caresses three and twenty times and a half.
How merciful, adds Bevoriskius, is heaven to his creatures !
Ill-fated Yorick! that the gravest of thy brethren should be able to write that to the world, which stains thy face with crimson, to copy in even thy study.
But this is nothing to my travels.-So I twice-twice beg pardon for it
ND how do you find the French ? said the Count de
B- after he had given me the Passport.
The reader may suppose, that after so obliging a proof of courtesy, I could not be at a loss to say something handsome to the inquiry.
- Mais passé, pour cela—Speak frankly, said he: do you find all the urbanity in the French which the world give us the honor of ?-I had found everything, I said, which confirmed it.-Vraiment, said the Count.-Les François sont polis.—To an excess, replied I.
The Count took notice of the word excesse; and would have it I meant more than I said. I defended myself a long time as well as I could against it-he insisted I had a reserve, and that I would speak my opinion frankly.
I believe, Monsieur le Comte, said I, that man has a certain compass, as well as an instrument; and that the social and other calls have occasion by turns for every key in him; so that if you begin a note too high or too low, there must be a want either in the upper or under part, to fill up the system of harmony.—The Count de B- did not understand music, so desired me to explain it some other way. A polish'd nation, my dear Count, said I, makes every one its debtor; and besides, urbanity itself, like the fair sex, has so many charms, it goes against the heart to say it can do ill, and yet, I believe, there is but a certain line of perfection, that man, take him altogether, is empower'd to arrive at-if he gets beyond, he rather exchanges qualities than gets them. I must not presume to say, how far this has affected the French in the subject we are speaking of-but should it ever be the case of the English, in the progress of their refinements, to arrive at the same polish which distinguishes the French, if we did not lose the politesse du caur, which in.