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Delicious essence! how refreshing art thou to Nature! how strongly are all its powers and all its weaknesses on thy side!
how sweetly dost thou mix with the blood, and help it through
the most difficult and tortuous passages to the heart!
The poor man, as he was not straitened for time, had given it here in a larger dose: 'tis certain he had a way of bringing it into less form, for the many sudden cases he had to do with in the streets; but how he contrived to correct, sweeten, concentre, and qualify it, I vex not my spirit with the inquiry; it is enough, the beggar gained two twelve-sous pieces, and they can best tell the rest who have gained much greater matters by it.
WE get forwards in the world, not so much by doing services as receiving them: you take a withering twig, and put it into the ground; and then you water it, because you have planted it.
Mons. le Count de B- -, merely because he had done me one kind
ness in the affair of my passport,
would go on and do me another, the few days he was at Paris, in making me known to a few people of rank; and they were to present me to others, and so on.
I had got master of my secret just in time to turn these honors to some little account; otherwise, as is commonly the case,
I should have dined or or supped a single time or two round; and then, by translating French looks and attitudes into plain English, I should presently have seen that I had got hold of the couvert* of some more entertaining guest; and, in course, should have resigned all my places, one after another, merely upon the principle that I could not keep them. As it was, things did not go much amiss.
I had the honor of being introduced to the old Marquis de B—. In days of yore he had signalized himself by some small feats of chivalry in the Cour d'Amour, and had dressed himself out to the idea of tilts and tournaments ever since. The Marquis de B wished to have it thought the affair was somewhere else than in his brain. "He could like to take a trip to England;" and asked much of the English ladies. Stay where you are, I beseech you, Mons. le Marquis, said I. Les Messieurs Anglois can scarce get a kind look from them as it is. The Marquis invited. me to supper.
Mons. P―, the farmer-general, was just as inquisitive about our taxes. They were very considerable, he heard. If we knew but how to collect them, said I, making him a low bow.
I could never have been invited to Mons. P's concerts
upon any other terms.
as an esprit.
I had been misrepresented to Madame de QMadame de Q- was an esprit herself; she burnt with impatience to see me, and hear me talk. I had not taken my seat, before I saw she did not care a sous whether I had any wit or no-I was let in to be convinced she had. I call Heaven to witness, I never once opened the door of my lips.
Madame de Q
vowed to every creature she met, "She had never had a more improving conversation with a man in her life.”
* Plate, napkin, knife, fork, and spoon.
There are three epochas in the empire of a French woman: She is coquette, then Deist, then dévote: the empire during these is never lost, she only changes her subjects; when thirty-five years and more have unpeopled her dominions of the slaves of love, she repeoples it with the slaves of infidelity, and then with the slaves of the church.
Madame de V was vibrating betwixt the first of these epochas: the color of the rose was fading fast away; she ought to have been a Deist five years before the time I had the honor to pay my first visit.
She placed me upon the same sofa with her, for the sake of disputing the point of religion more closely. In short, Madame de V told me she believed nothing. I told Madame de V— it might be her principle; but I was sure it could not be her interest to level the outworks, without which I could not conceive how such a citadel as hers could be defended; that there was not a more dangerous thing in the world than for a beauty to be a Deist; that it was a debt I owed my creed, not to conceal it from her; that I had not been five minutes sat upon the sofa beside her, but I had begun to form designs: and what is it but the sentiments of religion, and the persuasion they had excited in her breast, which could have checked them as they rose up?
We are not adamant, said I, taking hold of her hand; and there is need of all restraints, till Age in his own time steals in and lays them on us. us. But, my dear lady, said I, kissing her hand, 'tis too-too soon.
I declare I had the credit all over Paris of unperverting Madame de V. She affirmed to Mons. D and the Abbé
M that in one half hour I had said more for revealed reI was
ligion than all their Encyclopædia had said against it.