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Madame must have come thro' Flanders.-Apparemment vous êtes Flamande? said the French captain.-The lady answered, she was.-Peut-être de Lisle? added he.-She said she was not of Lisle.-Nor Arras?-nor Cambray?—nor Ghent?-nor Brussels? She answered, she was of Brussels. He had had the honor, he said, to be at the bombardment of it last war-that it was finely situated, pour cela—and full of noblesse when the Imperialists were driven out by the French (the lady made a slight curtsy)—so giving her an account of the affair, and of the share he had had in ithe begg'd the honor to know her name—so made his bow.
-Et Madame a son Mari?-said he, looking back when he had made two steps-and without staying for an answer— danced down the street.
Had I served seven years' apprenticeship to good breeding, I could not have done as much.
S the little French captain left us, Monsieur Dessein came up with the key of the Remise in his hand, and forthwith let us into his magazine of chaises.
The first object which caught my eye, as Monsieur Dessein open'd the door of the Remise, was another old tatter'd Desobligeant, and notwithstanding it was the exact picture of that which had hit my fancy so much in the coach-yard but an hour before-the very sight of it stirr'd up a disagreeable sensation within me now; and I thought 't was a churlish beast into whose heart the idea could first enter, to construct such a machine; nor had I much more charity for the man who could think of using it.
I observed the lady was as little taken with it as myself: so Monsieur Dessein led us on to a couple of chaises which stood abreast, telling us, as he recommended them, that they had been purchased by my Lord A. and B. to go the grand tour, but had gone no further than Paris, so were in all respects as good as new.-They were too good-so I pass'd on to a third, which stood behind, and forthwith began to chaffer for the price.-But 't will scarce hold two, said I, opening the door and getting in.-Have the goodness, Madam, said Monsieur Dessein, offering his arm, to step in. The lady hesitated half a second, and stepp'd in; and the waiter that moment beckoning to speak to Monsieur Dessein, he shut the door of the chaise upon us, and left us.
THE REMISE DOOR
'EST bien comique, 't is very droll, said the lady smil
ing, from the reflection that this was the second time we had been left together by a parcel of nonsensical contingencies-c'est bien comique, said she.
-There wants nothing, said I, to make it so, but the comic use which the gallantry of a Frenchman would put it to-to make love the first moment, and an offer of his the second.
"T is their fort, replied the lady.
It is supposed so at least-and how it has come to pass, continued I, I know not: but they have certainly got the credit of understanding more of love, and making it better than any other nation upon earth; but for my own part, I think them errant bunglers, and in truth the worst set of marksmen that ever tried Cupid's patience.
-To think of making love by sentiments!
I should as soon think of making a genteel suit of clothes out of remnants:-and to do it-pop-at first sight by declaration-is submitting the offer and themselves with it, to be sifted with all their pours and contres, by an unheated mind. The lady attended as if she expected I should go on.
Consider then, Madam, continued I, laying my hand upon hers
That grave people hate Love for the name's sake-
Hypocrites for heaven's
And that all of us, both old and young, being ten times worse frighten'd than hurt by the very report-What a want of knowledge in this branch of commerce a man betrays, who ever lets the word come out of his lips, till an hour or two at least after the time that his silence upon it becomes tormenting. A course of small, quiet attentions, not so
pointed as to alarm-nor so vague as to be misunderstood— with now and then a look of kindness, and little or nothing said upon it-leaves Nature for your mistress, and she fashions it to her mind
Then I solemnly declare, said the lady, blushing-you have been making love to me all this while.
CONSIEUR Dessein came back to let us out of the
M chaise, and acquaint the lady, the Count de Irunt,
her brother, was just arrived at the hotel. Though
I had infinite good will for the lady, I cannot say, that I rejoiced in my heart at the event-and could not help telling her so for it is fatal to a proposal, Madam, said I, that I was going to make you.—
You need not tell me what the proposal was, said she, laying her hand upon both mine, as she interrupted me.-A man, my good Sir, has seldom an offer of kindness to make to a woman, but she has a presentiment of it some moments before.
Nature arms her with it, said I, for immediate preservation. But I think, said she, looking in my face, I had no evil to apprehend—and to deal frankly with you, had determined to accept it.—If I had—(she stopped a moment)— I believe your good will would have drawn a story from me, which would have made pity the only dangerous thing in the journey.
In saying this, she suffered me to kiss her hand twice, and with a look of sensibility mixed with a concern, she got out of the chaise-and bid adieu.