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THE CASE OF CONSCIENCE

PARIS

I was immediately followed up by the master of the hotel, who came into my room to tell me I must provide lodgings elsewhere. ... How so, friend ? said I..... He answered I had had a young woman locked up with me two hours that evening in my

bedchamber, and 'twas against the rules of his house.—Very well, said I, we'll all part friends, then,—for the girl is no worse,-and I am no worse,—and you will be just as I found you.—It was enough, he said, to overthrow the credit of his hotel.— Voyez vous, Monsicur, said he, pointing to the foot of the bed we had been sitting upon.-—I own it had something of the appearance of an evidence; but my pride not suffering me to enter into any detail of the case, I exhorted him to let his soul sleep in peace, as I resolved to let mine do that night, and that I would discharge what I owed him at breakfast.

I should not have minded, Monsieur, said he, if you had had twenty girls.—'Tis a score more, replied I, interrupting him, than I ever reckoned upon.-Provided, added he, it had been but in a morning..... And does the difference of the time of the day at Paris make a difference in the sin ? - It made a a difference, he said, in the scandal.—I like a good distinction, in my heart; and cannot say I was intolerably out of temper with the man-I own it necessary, resumed the master of the hotel, that a stranger at Paris should have the opportunities presented to him of buying lace, and silk stockings, and ruffles, et tout cela-and 'tis nothing if a woman comes with a band-box-0' my conscience, said I, she had one; but I never looked into it-Then, Monsieur, said he, has bought nothing ?-Not one earthly thing, replied I-Because, said he, I could recommend one to you who would use you en conscience..... But I must see her this night, said I, -He made a low bow, and walked down.

Now shall I triumph over this maître d'hôtel, cried I;—and what then? Then I shall let him see I know he is a dirty fellow. And what then ? What then !—I was too near myself to say it was for the sake of others.--I had no good answer left; there was more of spleen than principle in my project, and I was sick of it before the execution.

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