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cheerful a movement and so cheerful a look, that, had I been laying out fifty louis d'ors with her, I should have said—“This woman is grateful.”
You must turn, Monsieur, said she, going with me to the door of the shop, and pointing the way down the street I was to take,—you must turn first to your left hand,—mais prenez guarde—there are two turns; and be so good as to take the second,—then go down a little way, and you'll see a church, and when you are past it, give yourself the trouble to turn directly to the right, and that will lead you to the foot of the pont neuf, which you must cross, and there, any one will do himself the pleasure to show you.
She repeated her instructions three times over to me, with the same good-natured patience, the third time as the first;—and if tones and manners have a meaning, which certainly they have, unless to hearts which shut them out,-she seemed really interested that I should not lose myself.
I will not suppose it was the woman's beauty, notwithstanding she was the handsomest grisette, I think, I ever saw, which had much to do with the sense I had of her courtesy; only I remember, when I told her how much I was obliged to her, that I looked very full in her eyes, -and that I repeated my thanks as often as she had done her instructions.
THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
I had not got ten paces from the door, before I found I had forgot every tittle of what she had said: —so looking back, and seeing her still standing in the door of the shop, as if to look whether I went right or not, I returned back, to ask her whether the first turn was to my right or left, for that I had absolutely forgot. — Is it possible ? said she, half laughing.— 'Tis very possible, replied I, when a man is thinking more of a woman than of her good advice.
As this was the real truth, she took it, as every woman takes a matter of right, with a slight curtsey.
Attendez, said she, laying her hand upon my arm to detain me, whilst she called a lad out of the back shop to get ready a parcel of gloves. I am just going to send him, said she, with a packet into that quarter; and if you will have the complaisance to step in, it will be ready in a moment, and he shall attend you to the place. So I walked in with her to the far side of the shop; and taking up the ruffle in my hands which she laid upon the chair, as if I had a mind to sit, she sat down herself in a low chair, and I instantly sat myself down beside her.
He will be ready, Monsieur, she said, in a moment. ... And in that moment, replied I, most willingly would I say something very civil to you for all these courtesies. Any one may do a casual act of goodnature, but a continuation of them shows it is a part of the temperature; and, certainly, added I, if it is the same blood which comes from the heart, which descends to the extremes (touching her wrist) I am sure you must have one of the best pulses of any woman in the world....Feel it, said she, holding out her arm.
So laying down my hat, I took hold of her fingers in one hand, and applied the two forefingers of my other to the artery.
Would to Heaven! my dear Eugenius, thou hadst passed by, and beheld me sitting in my black coat, and in my lack-a-day-sical manner, counting the throbs of it, one by one, with as much true devotion as if I had been watching the critical ebb or flow of her fever! How wouldst thou have laughed and moralised upon my new profession! and thou shouldst have laughed and moralised on-Trust me, my dear Eugenius, I should have said "there are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse.”—But a grisette's, thou wouldst have said, and in an open shop, Yorick !
-So much the better: for when my views are direct, Eugenius, I care not if all the world saw me feel it.