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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 distress'd onethe fellow won my heart by it; and from that single trait, I knew his character as perfectly, and could rely upon 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 itIf 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-natur'd soul—he'll hurt nobody.— Cela n'empeche pas, said he—you will certainly be sent to the Bastile to-morrow morning.-But I've taken your lodgings for a month, answer'd 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
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 shew him how light it lay upon my mind, I dropt the subject entirely; and whilst he waited upon me at supper, talk'd 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 walk'd down the Quai de Conti together, La Fleur deem'd 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 inform'd 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.
And here, I know, Eugenius, thou wilt smile at the remembrance of a short dialogue which pass'd betwixt us the moment I was going to set out-I must tell it here.
Eugenius, knowing that I was as little subject to be overburthen'd with money as thought, had drawn me aside to interrogate me how much I had taken care for; upon telling him the exact sum, Eugenius shook his head, and said it would not do; so pull'd out his purse in order to empty it into mine. I've enough in conscience, Eugenius, said I. -Indeed, Yorick, you have not, replied Eugenius I know France and Italy better than you- But you don't consider, Eugenius, said I, refusing his offer, that before I have been three days in Paris, I shall take care to say or do something or other for which I shall get clapp'd up into the Bastile, and that I shall live there a couple of months entirely at the king of France's expence. I beg pardon, said Eugenius, drily really I had forgot that resource.
Now the event I treated gaily came seriously to my door.
Is it folly, or nonchalance, or philosophy, or pertinacity- or what is it in me, that, after all, when La Fleur had gone down stairs, and I was quite alone, I could not bring down my mind to
think of it otherwise than I had then spoken of it to Eugenius?
And as for the Bastile; the terror is in the word- Make the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but another word for a tower and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of Mercy on the gouty! for they are in it twice a year-but with nine livres a day, and pen and ink and paper and patience, albeit a man can't get out, he may do very well within-at least for a month or six weeks; at the end of which, if he is a harmless fellow, his innocence appears, and he comes out a better and wiser man than he went in.
I had some occasion (I forgot what) to step into the court-yard, as I settled this account; and remember I walk'd down stairs in no small triumph with the conceit of my reasoning- -Beshrew the sombre pencil! said I vauntingly- for I envy not its power, which paints the evils of life with so hard and deadly a colouring. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has magnified herself, and blackened : reduce them to their proper size and hue, she overlooks them-'Tis true, said I, correcting the proposition -the Bastile is not an evil to be despised—But strip it of its towers- -fill up the fossé-unbarricade the doors-call it simply a con
finement, and suppose 'tis some tyrant of a distemper
I was interrupted in the hey-day of this soliloquy, with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained "it could not get out."-I look'd up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman, or child, I went out without further attention.
In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and looking up, I saw it was a starling hung in a little cage- "I can't get out- -I can't get out," said the starling.
I stood looking at the bird: and to every person who came through the passage it ran fluttering to the side towards which they approach'd it, with the same lamentation of its captivity "I can't get out," said the starling-God help thee! said I -but I'll let thee out, cost what it will; so I turned about the cage to get to the door; it was twisted and double twisted so fast with wire, there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to piecesI took both hands to it.
The bird flew to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head