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in armour bright, which shone like gold, beplumed with each gay feather of the east,_all,—all, -tilting it like fascinated knights in tournaments of yore, for fame and love.
...Alas, poor Yorick ! cried I, what art thou doing here? On the very first onset of all this glittering clatter, thou art reduced to an atom ; — seek — seek some winding alley, with a tourniquet at the end of it, where chariot never rolled, nor flambeau shot its rays;—there thou mayest solace thy soul in converse sweet with some kind grisette of a barber's wife, and get into such coteries !
-May I perish! if I do, said I, pulling out a letter which I had to present to Madame de RI'll wait upon this lady the very first thing I do. So I called La Fleur to go seek me a barber directly, —and come back and brush my coat.
WHEN the barber came, he absolutely refused to have anything to do with my wig; 'twas either above or below his art; I had nothing to do but to take one ready made of his own recommendation.
- But I fear, friend, said I, this buckle won't stand..... You may immerge it, replied he, into the ocean, and it will stand.
What a great scale is everything upon in this city! thought I.—The utmost stretch of an English periwig - maker's ideas could have gone no further than to have “dipped it into a pail of water.”— What difference! 'tis like time to eternity.
I confess I do hate all cold conceptions as I do the puny ideas which engender them; and am generally so struck with the great works of nature that, for my own part, if I could help it, I never would make a comparison less than a mountain at
least. All that can be said against the French sublime, in this instance of it, is this :—That the grandeur is more in the word ; and less in the thing. No doubt the ocean fills the minds with vast ideas; but Paris being so far inland, it was not likely I should run post a hundred miles out of it to try the experiment:—the Parisian barber meant nothing.
The pail of water standing beside the great deep makes certainly but a sorry figure in speech ;-but 'twill be said,—it has one advantage —'tis in the next room, and the truth of the buckle may be tried in it, without more ado, in a single moment.
In honest truth, and upon a more candid revision of the matter, the French expression professes more than it performs.
I think I can see the precise and distinguishing marks of national character more in these nonsensical minutive than in the most important matters of state; where great men of all nations talk, and stalk so much alike, that I would not give ninepence to choose among them.
I was so long in getting from under my barber's hands that it was too late of thinking of going with my letter to Madame R—that night: but when a man is once dressed at all points for going out, his reflections turn to little account; so, taking