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offer'd a pinch on both sides of him: it was a gift of consequence, and modestly declined—The poor little fellow press'd it upon them with a nod of welcomeness-Prenez en-prenez, said he, looking another way; so they each took a pinch-Pity thy box should ever want one, said I to myself; so I put a couple of sous into it-taking a small pinch out of his box to enhance their value, as I did it.— He felt the weight of the second obligation more than of the first—'twas doing him an honour—the other was only doing him a charity- -and he made
me a bow down to the ground for it.
Here! said I to an old soldier with one hand, who had been campaign'd and worn out to death in the service-here's a couple of sous for thee. Vive le Roi! said the old soldier.
I had then but three sous left: so I gave one, simply pour l'amour de Dieu, which was the footing on which it was begg'd-The poor woman had a dislocated hip; so it could not be well upon any other motive.
Mon cher et tres charitable Monsieur-There's no opposing this, said I.
My Lord Anglois the very sound was worth the money-so I gave my last sous for it. But in the eagerness of giving, I had overlooked a pauvre honteux, who had no one to ask a sous for
him, and who, I believed, would have perished ere he could have ask'd one for himself; he stood by the chaise, a little without the circle, and wiped a tear from a face which I thought had seen better days-Good God! said I—and I have not one single sous left to give him-But you have a thousand! cried all the powers of nature, stirring within me
-so I gave him -no matter what—I am ashamed to say how much, now-and was ashamed to think how little, then: so if the reader can form any conjecture of my disposition, as these two fixed points are given him, he may judge within a livre or two what was the precise sum.
I could afford nothing for the rest, but Dieu vous benisse-Et le bon Dieu vous benisse encore-said
the old soldier, the dwarf, &c. The pauvre honteux could say nothing-he pull'd out a little handkerchief, and wiped his face as he turned away—and I thought he thanked me more than them all.
AVING settled all these little matters, I got into my post-chaise with more ease than ever I got into a post-chaise in my life; and La Fleur having got one large jack-boot on
the far side of a little bidet,' and another on this (for I count nothing of his legs)—he canter'd away before me as happy and as perpendicular as a prince-But what is happiness! what is grandeur in this painted scene of life! A dead ass, before we had got a league, put a sudden stop to La Fleur's career-his bidet would not pass by it- -a contention arose betwixt them, and the poor fellow was kick'd out of his jack-boots the very first kick.
La Fleur bore his fall like a French christian, saying neither more or less upon it, than, Diable! so presently got up and came to the charge again astride his bidet, beating him up to it as he would have beat his drum.
The bidet flew from one side of the road to the other, then back again-then this way-then that way, and in short every way but by the dead -La Fleur insisted upon the thing—and the bidet threw him.
What's the matter, La Fleur, said I, with this bidet of thine ?-Monsieur, said he, c'est un cheval le plus opiniatre du monde- -Nay, if he is a conceited beast, he must go his own way, replied Iso La Fleur got off him, and giving him a good sound lash, the bidet took me at my word, and away he scamper'd back to Montriul- -Peste said La Fleur.
1 Post horse.
It is not mal-à-propos to take notice here, that though La Fleur availed himself but of two different terms of exclamation in this encounternamely, Diable! and Peste! that there are nevertheless three in the French language; like the positive, comparative, and superlative, one or the other of which serve for every unexpected throw of the dice in life.
Le Diable! which is the first, and positive degree, is generally used upon ordinary emotions of the mind, where small things only fall out contrary to your expectations—such as the throwing once doublets-La Fleur's being kick'd off his horse, and so forth-cuckoldom, for the same reason, is always -Le Diable!
But in cases where the cast has something provoking in it, as in that of the bidet's running away after, and leaving La Fleur aground in jackboots-'tis the second degree.
'Tis then Peste!
And for the third
-But here my heart is wrung with pity and fellow-feeling, when I reflect what miseries must have been their lot, and how bitterly so refined a people must have smarted, to have forced them upon the use of it
Grant me, O ye powers which touch the
tongue with eloquence in distress !—whatever is my cast, grant me but decent words to exclaim in, and I will give my nature way.
-But as these were not to be had in France, I resolved to take every evil just as it befel me, without any exclamation at all.
La Fleur, who had made no such covenant with himself, followed the bidet with his eyes till it was got out of sight-and then, you may imagine, if you please, with what word he closed the whole affair.
As there was no hunting down a frighten'd horse in jack-boots, there remained no alternative but taking La Fleur either behind the chaise, or into it
I preferred the latter, and in half an hour we got to the post-house at Nampont.
THE DEAD ASS
ND this, said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet-and this should have been thy portion, said he, hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me.-I thought by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his