« السابقةمتابعة »
undeliberating simplicity, which shewed it was out of her head that she had never seen me before. For my own part, I felt the conviction of sanguinity so strongly, that I could not help turning half round to look in her face, and see if I could trace out any thing in it of a family likeness. Tut! said I, are we not all relations ?
When we arrived at the turning of the Rue de Gueneguault, I stopped to bid her adieu for good and all: the girl would thank me again for my company and kindness---She bid me adieu twice
I repeated it as often; and so cordial was the parting between us, that had it happened any where else, I'm not sure but I should have signed it with a kiss of charity, as warm and as holy as an Apostle.
But in Paris, as none kiss each other but the men—I did what amounted to the same thing—I bid God bless her.
I SHOULD not like to have my enemy take a view of my mind when I am going to ask protection of any man; for which reason I generally endeavour to protect myself; but this going to Monsieur le Duc de C**** was an act of compulsion
-had it been an act of choice, I should have done it, I suppose like other people.
How many mean plans of dirty address, as I
went along, did my servile heart form? I deserved the Bastile for every one of them.
Then nothing would serve me, when I got within sight of Versailles, but putting words and sentences together, and conceiving attitudes and tones to wreath myself into Monsieur le Duc de C****s good graces-- This will do, said 1-Just as well, retorted I again, as a coat carried up to him by an adventurous tailor, without taking the measureFool! continued I-see Monsieur le Duc's face first-observe what character is written in it-take notice in what posture he stands to hear youmark the turns and expressions of his body and limbs--and for the tone, the first sound which comes from his lips will give it you; and from all these together you'll compound an address at once upon the spot, which cannot disgust the Dukethe ingredients are his own, and most likely to go down.
Well! said I, I wish it well over-Coward again! as if man to man were not equal throughout the whole surface of the globe: and if in the fieldwhy not face to face in the cabinet too? And trust me, Yorick, whenever it is not so, man is false to himself, and betrays his own succours ten times where nature does it once. Go to the Duc de C**** with the Bastile in thy look—my life for it, thou wilt be sent back to Paris in half an hour with an escort.
I helieve so, said I–Then I'll go to the Duke, by Hraven! with all the gaiety and debonairness in the world.
- And there you are wrong again, replied IA heart at ease, Yorick, flies into no extremes –
'tis ever on its centre-Well! well! cried I, as the coachman turn'd in at the gates, I find I shall do very well: and by the time he had wheeld round the court, and brought me up to the door, I found myself so much the better for my own lecture, that I neither ascended the steps like a victim to justice, who was to part with life upon
the topmost-nor did I mount them with a skip and a couple of strides, as I do when I fly up, Eliza! to thee, to meet it.
When I alighted at the hotel, the porter told me a young woman with a band-box had been that moment inquiring for me. I do not know, said the porter, whether she is gone away or no.
I took the key of my chamber of him, and went up
and when I had got within ten steps of the top of the landing before my door, I met her coming easily down.
It was the fair fille de chambre I had walked along the Quai de Conti with : Madame de R**** had sent her upon some commission to a merchante de modes within a step or two of the Hotel de Modene; and as I had failed in waiting upon her, had bid her inquire if I had left Paris : and if so, whether I had not left a letter addressed to her.
As the fair fille de chambre was so near my door, she returned back, and went into the room with me for a moment or two, whilst I wrote a card.
It was a fine still evening in the latter end of the month of May—the crimson window-curtains (which were of the same colour of those of the bed) were drawn close--the sun was setting,--and retlected through them so warm a tint into the fair fille de chambre's face- - I thought she blush'd -the idea of it made me blush myself—we were quite alone; and that superinduced a second blush before the first could get off.
There is a sort of pleasing half-guilty blush, where the blood is more in fault than the man 'tis sent impetuous from the heart, and virtue flies after it- not to call it back, but to make the sensation of it more delicious to the nerves- 'tis associated
But I'll not describe it- -I felt 'something at first within me which was not in strict unison with the lesson of virtue I had given her the night before I sought five minutes for a card-I knew I had not one.
I took up a pen-I laid it down again --my hand trembled—the devil was in me.
I know as well as any one he is an adversary, whom if we resist he will fly from us--but I seldom resist him at all; from a terror that, though I may conquer, I may still get a hurt in the combat '--so I give up the triumph for security; and instead of thinking to make him fly, I generally fly myself.
The fair fille de chambre.came close up to the bureau where I was looking for a card—first took up the pen I cast down, then offerd to hold me the ink; she offered it so sweetly, I was going to
accept it, but I durst not, I have nothing, my dear, said I, to write upon.-Write it, said she, simply, upon any thing.-
I was just going to cry out, Then I will write, fair girl! upon thy lips.
If I do, said I, I shall perish--so I took her hy the hand, and led her to the door, and begg'd she would not forget the lesson I had given herShe said, indeed she would not-- and as she uttered it with some earnestness, she turn'd about, and gave me both her hands, civsed together, into mine-it was impossible not to compress them in that situationI wish'd to let them go ; and all the time I held them, I kept arguing within myself against it—and still I held them on.- In two minutes I found I had the battle to fight over again—and felt my legs and every limb about me tremble at the idea.
The foot of the bed was within a yard and a half of the place where we were standing I had still hold of her hands—and how it happened I can give no account, but I neither a-k'd her-nor drew her-nor did I think of the bed, but so it did happen, we both sat down.
I'll just shew you, said the fair fille de chambre, the little purse I have been making to-day to hold your crown. So she put her hand into her right pocket, which was next to me, and felt for it some time-- then into the left-'She liad lost it.'I never bore expectation more quietly-- it was in her right pocket at last—she pull'd it out: it was of green taffety, lined with a little bit of white quilted satin, and just big enough to hold the crown--she put it into my hand :- it was pretty;