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NAM PONT

THE POSTILION

The concern which the poor fellow's story threw me into required some attention; the postilion paid not the least to it, but set off upon the pavé in a full gallop.

The thirstiest soul in the most sandy desert of Arabia could not have wished more for a cup of cold water than mine did for grave and quiet movements; and I should have had an high opinion of the postilion, had he but stolen off with me in something like a pensive pace. - On the contrary, as the mourner finished his lamentation, the fellow gave an unfeeling lash to each of his beasts, and set off clattering like a thousand devils.

I called to him as loud as I could for Heaven's sake to go slower :- and the louder I called the more unmercifully he galloped.—The deuce take him and his galloping too, said I, he'll go on tearing my nerves to pieces till he has worked me into a foolish passion, and then he'll go slow, that I may enjoy the sweets of it.

The postilion managed the point to a miracle : by the time he had got to the foot of a steep hill, about half a league from Nampont,—he had put me out of temper with him,—and then with myself for being so.

My case then required a different treatment; and a good rattling gallop would have been of real service to me.

-Then, prithee, get on,-get on, my good lad, said I.

—The postilion pointed to the hill,—I then tried to return to the story of the poor German and his ass ;—but I had broke the clue,—and could no more get into it again than the postilion could into a trot.

-The deuce go, said I, with it all! Here am I, sitting as candidly disposed to make the best of the worst as ever wight was, and all runs counter.

There is one sweet lenitive at least for evils, which nature holds out to us : so I took it kindly at her hands, and fell asleep; and the first word which roused me was-Amiens.

-Bless me! said I, rubbing my eyes,—this is the very town where my poor lady is to come.

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