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I, taking hold of the bottom of it- -she held it towards me and there is very little in it, my dear, said I; but be but as good as thou art handsome, and heaven will fill it: I had a parcel of crowns in my hand to pay for Shakespeare; and as she had let go the purse entirely, I put a single one in; and tying up the ribband in a bow-knot, returned it to her.
The young girl made me more a humble courtesy than a low one- -'twas one of those quiet, thankful sinkings, where the spirit bows itself down -the body does no more than tell it. I never gave a girl a crown in my life which gave me half the pleasure.
My advice, my dear, would not have been worth a pin to you, said I, if I had not given this along with it but now, when you see the crown, you'll remember it- so don't, my dear, lay it out
Upon my word, Sir, said the girl, earnestly, I am incapable-in saying which, as is usual in little bargains of honour, she gave me her handEn verité, Monsieur, je mettrai cet argent apart, said she.
When a virtuous convention is made betwixt man and woman, it sanctifies their most private walks; so notwithstanding it was dusky, yet as both
our roads lay the same way, we made no scruple of walking along the Quai de Conti together.
She made me a second courtesy in setting off, and before we got twenty yards from the door, as if she had not done enough before, she made a sort of a little stop to tell me again—she thank’d me. It was a small tribute, I told her, which I could not avoid paying to virtue, and would not be mistaken in the person I had been rendering it to for the world-but I see innocence, my dear, in your faceand foul befal the man who ever lays a snare in its way!
The girl seem'd affected some way or other with what I said—she gave a low sigh-I found I was not impowered to inquire at all after it—so said nothing more till I got to the corner of the Rue de Nevers, where we were to part.
-But is this the way, my dear, said I, to the Hotel de Modene? she told me it was--or, that I might go by the Rue de Gueneguault, which was the next turn—Then I'll go, my dear, by the Rue de Gueneguault, said I, for two reasons; first I shall please myself, and next I shall give you the protection of my company as far on your way as I can. The girl was sensible I was civil-and said, she wish'd the Hotel de Modene was in the Rue de St. Pierre-You live there? said I-She told me she
was fille de chambre to Madame R**** Good God! said I, 'tis the very lady for whom I have brought a letter from Amiens-The girl told me that Madame R****, she believed, expected a stranger with a letter, and was impatient to see him—so I desired the girl to present my compliments to Madame R****, and say I would certainly wait upon her in the morning. We stood still at the corner of the Rue de Nevers whilst this pass'd-We then stopped a moment whilst she disposed of her Egarements du Cœur, &c., more commodiously than carrying them in her hand—they were two volumes; so I held the second for her whilst she put the first into her pocket; and then she held her pocket, and I put in the other after it.
'Tis sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together.
We set off afresh, and as she took her third step, the girl put her hand within my arm-I was just bidding her- -but she did it of herself with that undeliberating simplicity, which shew'd it was out of her head that she had never seen me before. For my own part, I felt the conviction of consanguinity so strongly, that I could not help turning half round to look in her face, and see if I could trace out any thing in it of a family likeness-Tut! said I, are we not all relations?
When we arrived at the turning up of the Rue de Gueneguault, I stopp'd to bid her adieu for good and all the girl would thank me again for my company and kindness-She bid me adieu twice -I repeated it as often; and so cordial was the parting between us, that had it happened any where else, I'm not sure but I should have signed it with a kiss of charity, as warm and holy as an apostle. But in Paris, as none kiss each other but the men-I did, what amounted to the same thing
-I bid God bless her.
HEN I got home to my hotel, La Fleur told me I had been enquired after by the Lieutenant de Police-The duce take it ! said II know the reason. It is time the reader should know it, for in the order of things in which it happened, it was omitted; not that it was out of my head; but that, had I told it then, it might have been forgot now- -and now is the time I
I had left London with so much precipitation,
that it never enter'd my mind that we were at war with France; and had reached Dover, and looked through my glass at the hills beyond Boulogne, before the idea presented itself; and with this in its train, that there was no getting there without a passport. Go but to the end of a street, I have a mortal aversion for returning back no wiser than I set out; and as this was one of the greatest efforts I had ever made for knowledge, I could less bear the thoughts of it; so hearing the Count de **** had hired the packet, I begg'd he would take me in his suite. The Count had some little knowledge of me, so made little or no difficulty-only said, his inclination to serve me could reach no farther than Calais, as he was to return by way of Brussels to Paris however, when I had once pass'd there, I might get to Paris without interruption; but that in Paris I must make friends and shift for myselfget to Paris, Monsieur le Count, said I—and I shall do very well. So I embark'd, and never thought more of the matter.
When La Fleur told me the Lieutenant de Police had been enquiring after me-the thing instantly recurred—and by the time La Fleur had well told me, the master of the hotel came into my room to tell me the same thing, with this addition to it, that my passport had been particularly asked after :