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And last of all (if you please) The Sentimental Traveler (meaning thereby myself), who have travel'd, and of which I am now sitting down to give an account-as much oat of necessity, and the besoin de voyager, as any one in the class.
I am well aware, at the same time, as both my travels and observations will be altogether of a different cast from any of my forerunners, that I might have insisted upon a whole nitch entirely to myself—but I should break in upon the confines of the Vain Traveler, in wishing to draw attention towards me, till I have some better grounds for it, than the mere novelty of my vehicle.
It is sufficient for my reader, if he has been a Traveler himself, that with study and reflection hereupon he may be able to determine his own place and rank in the catalogue —it will be one step towards knowing himself, as it is great odds but he retains some tincture and resemblance of what he imbibed or carried out, to the present hour.
The man who first transplanted the grape of Burgundy to the Cape of Good Hope (observe he was a Dutchman) never dreamt of drinking the same wine at the Cape, that the same grape produced upon the French mountains—he was too phlegmatic for that-but undoubtedly he expected to drink some sort of vinous liquor; but whether good, bad, or indifferent-he knew enough of this world to know, that it did not depend upon his choice, but that what is generally called chance was to decide his success: however, he hoped for the best: and in these hopes, by an intemperate confidence in the fortitude of his head, and the depth of his discretion, mynheer might possibly overset both in his new vineyard, and by discovering his nakedness, become a laughing-stock to his people.
Even so it fares with the poor Traveler, sailing and posting through the politer kingdoms of the globe, in pursuit of knowledge and improvements.
Knowledge and improvements are to be got by sailing and posting for that purpose; but whether useful knowledge and real improvements is all a lottery—and even where the adventurer is successful, the acquired stock must be used with caution and sobriety, to turn to any profit—but as the chances run prodigiously the other way, both as to the acquisition and application, I am of opinion, that a man would act wisely, if he could prevail upon himself to live contented without foreign knowledge or foreign improvements especially if he lives in a country that has no absolute want of either—and indeed, much grief of heart has it oft and many a time cost me, when I have observed how many a foul step the Inquisitive Traveler has measured to see sights and look into discoveries, all which, as Sancho Panza said to Don Quixote, they might have seen dry-shod at home. It is an age so full of light, that there is scarce a country or corner of Europe, whose beams are not crossed and interchanged with others.—Knowledge in most of its branches, and in most affairs, is like music in an Italian street, whereof those may partake who pay nothing.-But there is no nation under heaven-and God is my record (before whose tribunal I must one day come and give an account of this work)--that I do not speak it vauntingly-but there is no nation under heaven abounding with more variety of learning-where the sciences may be more fitly woo'd, or more surely won, than here—where art is encouraged, and will so soon rise high-where Nature (take her altogether) has so little to answer for-and, to close all, where there is more wit and variety of character to feed the mind with.—Where then, my dear countrymen, are you going
-We are only looking at this chaise, said they.-Your most obedient servant, said I, skipping out of it, and pulling off my hat.-We were wondering, said one of them, who, I found, was an Inquisitive Traveler,—what could occasion its motion.—'T was the agitation, said I coolly, of writing a preface.-I never heard, said the other, who was a Simple Traveler, of a preface wrote in a Desobligeant.-It would have been better, said I, in a Vis-à-vis.
As an Englishman does not travel to see Englishmen, I retired to my room.
PERCEIVED that something darken'd the passage more than myself, as I stepp'd along it to my room; it
was effectually Monsieur Dessein, the master of the hotel, who had just return'd from vespers, and, with his hat under his arm, was most complaisantly following me, to put me in mind of my wants. I had wrote myself pretty well out of conceit with the Desobligeant; and Monsieur Dessein speaking of it with a shrug, as if it would no way suit me, it immediately struck my fancy that it belong'd to some Innocent Traveler, who, on his return home, had left it to Monsieur Dessein's honor to make the most of. Four months had elapsed since it had finish'd its career of Europe in the corner of Monsieur Dessein's coach-yard; and having sallied out from thence but a vampt-up business at the first, though it had been twice taken to pieces on Mount Sennis, it had not profited much by its adventures—but by none so little as the standing so many months unpitied in the corner of Monsieur Dessein's coachyard. Much indeed was not to be said for it-but something might—and when a few words will rescue misery out of her distress, I hate the man who can be a churl of them
-Now was I the master of this hotel, said I, laying the point of my forefinger on Monsieur Dessein's breast, I would inevitably make a point of getting rid of this unfortunate Desobligeant-it stands swinging reproaches at you every time you pass by it.
Mon Dieu ! said Monsieur Dessein-I have no interest Except the interest, said I, which men of a certain turn of mind take, Monsieur Dessein, in their own sensations.I'm persuaded, to a man who feels for others as well as for himself, every rainy night, disguise it as you will, must cast a damp upon your spirits.—You suffer, Monsieur Dessein, as much as the machine
I have always observed, when there is as much sour as sweet in a compliment, that an Englishman is eternally at a loss within himself, whether to take it or let it alone: a Frenchman never is: Monsieur Desse nade me a bow.
C'est bien vrai, said he-But in this case I should only exchange one disquietude for another, and with loss; figure to yourself, my dear sir, that in giving you a chaise which would fall to pieces before you had got half-way to Paris -figure to yourself how much I should suffer, in giving an ill impression of myself to a man of honor, and lying at the mercy, as I must do, d'un homme d'esprit.
The dose was made up exactly after my own prescription; so I could not help taking it—and returning Monsieur Dessein his bow, without more casuistry we walk'd together towards his Remise, to take a view of his magazine of chaises.
IN THE STREET
T must needs to be a hostile kind of a world, when the
buyer (if it be but of a sorry post-chaise) cannot go
forth with the seller thereof into the street, to terminate the difference betwixt them, but he instantly falls into the same frame of mind, and views his conventionist with the same sort of eye, as if he was going along with him to Hyde Park Corner to fight a duel. For my own part, being but a poor swordsman, and no way a match for Monsieur Dessein, I felt the rotation of all the movements within me to which the situation is incident.-I looked at Monsieur Dessein through and through-ey'd him as he walked along in profile—then, en face—thought he look'd like a Jew—then a Turk—disliked his wig-curs'd him by my gods—wish'd him at the devil
-And is all this to be lighted up in the heart for a beggarly account of three or four louis d’ors, which is the most I can be overreach'd in?—Base passion! said I, turning myself about, as a man naturally does upon a sudden reverse of sentiment-base ungentle passion! thy hand is against every man, and every man's hand against thee—Heaven forbid ! said she, raising her hand up to her forehead, for I had turned full in front upon the lady whom I had seen in conference with the monk-she had followed us unperceived. -Heaven forbid, indeed! said I, offering her my ownshe had a black pair of silk gloves, open only at the thumb and two forefingers, so accepted it without reserve-and I led her up to the door of the Remise.
Monsieur Dessein had diabled the key above fifty times, before he found out he had come with a wrong one in his hand: we were as impatient as himself to have it open'd; and so attentive to the obstacle, that I continued holding her hand almost without knowing it: so that Monsieur Dessein