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IN THE STREET
NEVER finished a twelve-guinea bargain so expeditiously in my life: my time seemed heavy upon the loss of
the lady, and knowing every moment of it would be as two, till I put myself into motion—I ordered post-horses directly, and walked towards the hotel.
Lord! said I, hearing the town clock strike four, and recollecting that I had been little more than a single hour in Calais
-What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything, and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.
-If this won't turn out something-another will--no matter—'t is an assay upon human nature-I get my labor for my pains—'t is enough-the pleasure of the experiment has kept my senses and the best part of my blood awake, and laid the gross to sleep.
I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, 'T is all barren—and so it is; and so is all the world to him, who will not cultivate the fruits it offers. I declare, said I, clapping my hands cheerily together, that was I in a desert, I would find out wherewith in it to call forth my affections.—If I could not do better, I would fasten them upon some sweet myrtle, or seek some melancholy cypress to connect myself to—I would court their shade, and greet them kindly for their protection, I would cut my name upon them, and swear they were the loveliest trees throughout the desert: if their leaves wither'd, I would teach myself to mourn, and when they rejoiced, I would rejoice along with them.
The learned SMELFUNGUS traveled from Boulogne to Paris - from Paris to Rome—and so on-but he set out with the spleen and jaundice, and every object he pass'd by was discolored or distorted.—He wrote an account of them, but 't was nothing but the account of his miserable feelings.
I met Smelfungus in the grand portico of the Pantheon -he was just coming out of it.—'T is nothing but a huge cock-pit,' said he. I wish you had said nothing worse of the Venus of Medicis, replied I-for in passing through Florence, I had heard he had fallen foul upon the goddess, and used her worse than a common strumpet, without the least provocation in nature.
I popp'd upon Smelfungus again at Turin, in his return home; and a sad tale of sorrowful adventures had he to tell, "wherein he spoke of moving accidents by flood and field, and of the cannibals which each other eat: the Anthropophagi"
-he had been flay'd alive, and bedevil'd, and used worse than St. Bartholomew, at every stage he had come at.
-I'll tell it, cried Smelfungus, to the world. You had better tell it, said I, to your physician.
Mundungus, with an immense fortune, made the whole tour; going on from Rome to Naples—from Naples te Venice-from Venice to Vienna—to Dresden, to Berlin, without one generous connection or pleasurable anecdote to tell of; but he had travel'd straight on, looking neither to his right hand or his left, lest Love or Pity should seduce him out of his road.
Peace be to them ! if it is to be found; but heaven itself, was it possible to get there with such tempers, would want objects to give it. -Every gentle spirit would come flying upon the wings of Love to hail their arrival.—Nothing would the souls of Smelfungus and Mundungus hear of, but fresh anthems of joy, fresh raptures of love, and fresh congratulations of their common felicity.-I heartily pity them: they have brought up no faculties for this work; and was the happiest mansion in heaven to be allotted to Smelfungus and Mundungus, they would be so far from being happy, that the souls of Smelfungus and Mundungus would do penance there to all eternity.
HAD once lost my portmanteau from behind my chaise, and twice got out in the rain, and one of the times up
to the knees in dirt, to help the postilion to tie it on, without being able to find out what was wanting.–Nor was it till I got to Montriul, upon the landlord's asking me if I wanted not a servant, that it occurred to me, that that was the very thing.
A servant! That I do most sadly, quoth 1.—Because, Monsieur, said the landlord, there is a clever young fellow, who would be very proud of the honor to serve an Englishman.-But why an English one, more than any other ?They are so generous, said the landlord.—I'll be shot if this is not a livre out of my pocket, quoth I to myself, this very night. But they have wherewithal to be so, Monsieur, added he.-Set down one livre more for that, quoth I.-It was but last night, said the landlord, qu’un my Lord Anglois presentoit un écu à la fille de chambre.-Tant pis, pour Mademoiselle Janatone, said I.
Now Janatone being the landlord's daughter, and the landlord supposing I was young in French, took the liberty to inform me, I should not have said tant pis—but, tant mieux. Tant mieux, toujours, Monsieur, said he, when there is anything to be got-tant pis, when there is nothing. It comes to the same thing, said I. Pardonnez moi, said the landlord.
I cannot take a fitter opportunity to observe, once for all, that tant pis and tant mieux being two of the great hinges in French conversation, a stranger would do well to set himself right in the use of them, before he gets to Paris.
A prompt French Marquis at our ambassador's table demanded of Mr. H-, if he was H—the poet? No, said H-mildly.-Tant pis, replied the Marquis.
It is the historian, said another.-Tant mieux, said
the Marquis. And Mr. H- who is a man of an excellent heart, return'd thanks for both.
When the landlord had set me right in this matter, he called in La Fleur, which was the name of the young man he had spoke of-saying only first, That as for his talents, he would presume to say nothing-Monsieur was the best judge what would suit him; but for the fidelity of La Fleur, he would stand responsible in all he was worth.
The landlord deliver'd this in a manner which instantly set my mind to the business I was upon-and La Fleur, who stood waiting without, in that breathless expectation which every son of nature of us have felt in our turns, came in.
AM apt to be taken with all kinds of people at first sight; but never more so, than when a poor devil comes
to offer his service to so poor a devil as myself; and as I know this weakness, I always suffer my judgment to draw back something on that very account-and this more or less, according to the mood I am in, and the case—and I may add the gender too of the person I am to govern.
When La Fleur enter'd the room, after every discount I could make for my soul, the genuine look and air of the fellow determined the matter at once in his favor; so I hired him first—and then began to inquire what he could do: but I shall find out his talents, quoth I, as I want them-besides, a Frenchman can do everything.
Now poor La Fleur could do nothing in the world but beat a drum, and play a march or two upon the fife. I was determined to make his talents do: and can't say my weakness was ever so insulted by my wisdom, as in the attempt.
La Fleur had set out early in life, as gallantly as most Frenchmen do, with serving for a few years: at the end of which, having satisfied the sentiment, and found moreover, that the honor of beating a drum was likely to be its own reward, as it open’d no further track of glory to him-he retir'd à ses terres, and lived comme il plaisoit à Dieu—that is to say, upon nothing.
-And so, quoth Wisdom, you have hired a drummer to attend you in this tour of yours thro' France and Italy ! Psha! said I, and do not one half of our gentry go with a humdrum compagnon du voyage the same round, and have the piper and the devil and all to pay besides? When man can extricate himself with an équivoque in such an unequal match—he is not ill off. But you can do something else, La Fleur? said I.-0 qu’oui !—he could make spatterdashes, and play a little upon the fiddle.—Bravo! said Wisdom.—Why I play a bass myself, said I-we shall do very well.—You can