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FRANCE AND ITALY,
BY LAURENCE STERNE.
TEMPLE OF THE MUSES, (LATE LACKINGTON'S,}
FRANCE AND ITALY.
-THEY order, said I, this matter better in France
-You have been in France? said my gentleman, turning quick upon me, with the most civil triumph in the world.-Strange, quoth I, debating the matter with myself, that one and twenty miles sailing, for 'tis absolutely no further from Dover to Calais, should give a man these rightsI'll look into them; so giving up the argument-I went straight to my lodgings, put up half a dozen shirts and a black pair of silk breeches-" the coat I have on," said I, looking at the sleeve, a place in the Dover stage; and the "will do"-took packet sailing at nine the next morningby three I had got sat down to my dinner upon a fricaseed chicken, so incontestably in France, that had I died that night of an indigestion, the whole world could not have suspended the effects of the droit
d'aubaine -my shirts, and black pair of silk breeches-portmanteau and all must have gone to the King of France-even the little picture which I have so long worn, and so often have told thee, Eliza, I would carry with me into my grave, would have been torn from my neck.-Ungenerous! to seize upon the wreck of an unwary passenger, whom your subjects had beckoned to their coast-by heaven, Sire, it is not well done; and much does it grieve me, 'tis the monarch of a people so civilized and courteous, and so renowned for sentiment and fine feelings, that I
have to reason with
But I have scarce set a foot in your do
When I had finished my dinner, and drank the King of France's health, to satisfy my mind that I bore him no spleen, but, on the contrary, high honour for the humanity of his temper-I rose up an inch taller for the accommodation.
-No, said I, the Bourbon is by no means a cruel race: they may be misled, like other people; but there is a mildness in their blood. As I acknowledged this, I felt a suffusion of a finer kind upon my
All the effects of strangers (Swiss and Scots excepted) dying in France, are seized by virtue of this law, though the heir be upon the spot-the profit of these contingencies being farmed, there is no redress.