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-and what weighed more than all-he did not look as if he had done amiss.
'Tis all very well, La Fleur, said I-'Twas sufficient. La Fleur flew out of the room like lightning, and return'd with pen, ink, and paper, in his hand; and coming up to the table, laid them close before me, with such a delight in his countenance, that I could not help taking up the pen.
I begun and begun again; and though I had nothing to say, and that nothing might have been expressed in half a dozen lines, I made half a dozen different beginnings, and could no way please myself. In short, I was in no mood to write.
La Fleur stepp'd out and brought a little water in a glass to dilute my ink-then fetched sand and seal-wax-It was all one; I wrote, and blotted, and tore off, and burnt, and wrote again-Le diable l'emporte, said I half to myself—I cannot write this self-same letter; throwing the pen down despairingly as I said it.
As soon as I had cast down the pen, La Fleur advanced with the most respectful carriage up to the table, and making a thousand apologies for the liberty he was going to take, told me he had a letter in his pocket wrote by a drummer in his regiment to a corporal's wife, which, he durst say, would suit the
I had a mind to let the poor fellow have his humour-Then prithee, said I, let me see it.
La Fleur instantly pulled out a little dirty pocket book cramm'd full of small letters and billet-doux in a sad condition, and laying it upon the table, and then untying the string which held them all together, run them over one by one, till he came to the letter in question-La voila, said he, clapping his hands so unfolding it first, he laid it before me, and retired three steps from the table whilst I read it.
E suis penetré de la douler la plus vive, et reduit en même temps au desespoir par ce retour imprevû du Corporal qui rend notre entrevue de ce soir la chose du monde la plus impossible.
Mais vive la joie ! et toute la mienne sera de
L'amour n'est rien sans sentiment.
Et le sentiment est encore moins sans amour. On dit qu'on ne doit jamais se desesperer. On dit aussi que Monsieur le Corporal monte la garde Mercredi: alors ce sera mon tour.