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and I held it ten minutes, with the back of my hand resting upon her lap--looking sometimes at the purse, sometimes on one side of it.
A stitch or two had broke out in the gathers of my stock—the fair fille de chambre, without saying a word, took out her little housewife, threaded a small needle, and sew'd it up—I foresaw it would hazard the glory of the day, and as she pass'd her hand in silence across and across my neck in the manæuvre, I felt the laurels shake which fancy had wreath'd about my head.
A strap had given way in her walk, and the buckle of her shoe was just falling off-See, said the fille de chambre, holding up her foot. I could not from my soul but fasten the buckle in return, and putting in the strap-and lifting up the other foot with it, when I had done, to see both were right—in doing it too suddenly-it unavoidably threw the fair fille de chambre off her centre-and then
Yes—and then--Ye whose clay-cold heads and lukewarm hearts can argue down or mask your passions, tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them? or how his spirit stands answerable to the Father of spirits, but for his conduct under them?
If Nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece-must the whole web rent in drawing them out? Whip me such stoics, great Governor of nature! said I to myself—Wherever thy providence shall place me for the trial of my virtuewhatever is my danger—whatever is my situation -let me feel the movements which rise out of it, and which belong to me as a man—and if I govern them as a good one, I will trust the issues to thy justice: for thou hast made us, and not we ourselves.
As I finish'd my address, I raised the fair fille de chambre up by the hand, and let her out of the
-she stood by me till I lock'd the door and put the key in my pocket- -and thenthe victory being quite decisive- and not till then, I press’d my lips to her cheek, and, taking her by the hand, led her safe to the gate of the hotel.
It was Sunday; and when Le Fleur came in the morning, with my coffee and roll and butter, he had got himself so gallantly arrayed, I scarce knew him.
I had covenanted at Montreiul to give him a new hat with a silver button and loop, and four louisd'ors pour s'adoniser, when we got to Paris ; and the poor fellow, to do him justice, had done wonders with it.
He had bought a bright, clean, good scarlet coat,
and a pair of breeches of the same - They were not a crown worse, he said, for the wearing—I wish'd him hang'd for telling me.- - They look'd so fresh, that I knew the thing could not be done, yet I would rather have imposed upon my fancy, with thinking I had bought them new for the fellow, than that they had come out of the Rue de Fripperie.
This is a nicety which makes not the heart sore at Paris.
He had purchased moreover a handsome blue satin waistcoat, fancifully enough embroideredthis was indeed something the worse for the service it had done, but ’twas clean scourd-the gold had been touch'd up, and upon the whole was rather showy than otherwise--and as the blue was not violent, it suited with the coat and breeches very well : be had squeez'd out of the money, moreover, a new bag and solitaire ; and had insisted with the Frippier upon a gold pair of garters to his breeches knees -He had purchased muslin ruffles, bien bordées, with four livres of his own money,—and a pair of white silk stockings, for five more-and, to top all, nature had given him a handsome figure, without costing him a sous.
He entered the room thus set off, with his hair drest in the first style, and with a handsome bouquet in his breast-in a word, there was that look of festivity in every thing about him, which at once put me in mind it was Sunday--and, by combating both together, it instantly struck me, that the favour he wish'd to ask me the night before, was to spend the day as every one in Paris spent it besides. I had scarce made the conjecture, when
La Fleur, with infinite humility, but with a look of trust, as if I should not refuse him, begged I would grant him the day, pour saire le galant vis-à-vis de sa Maîtresse.
Now it was the very thing I intended to do myself vis-à-vis Madame de R***_I had retained the remise on purpose for it, and it would not have mortified my vanity to have had a servant so well drest as La Fleur was, to have got up behind it : I never could have worse spared him.
But we must feel, not argue in these embarrassments -the sons and daughters of service part with Liberty, but not with Nature, in their contracts; they are flesh and blood, and have their little vanities and wishes in the midst of the house of bondage, as well as their task-masters-no doubt, they have set their self-denials at a price and their expectations are so unreasonable, that I would often disappoint them, but that their condition puts it so much in my power to do it.
Behold, Behold, I am thy servant-disarms me at once of the powers of a master.
- Thou shalt go, La Fleur! said I.
-And what mistress, La Fleur! said I, canst thou have picked up in so little a time at Paris ? La Fleur laid his hand upon his breast, and said 'twas a petite demoiselle at Monsieur le Comte de B****s-La Fleur had a heart made for society; and, to speak the truth of him, let as few occasions slip him as his master—so that, some how or other,
-but how-Heaven knows he had connected himself with the demoiselle upon the landing of the stair-case, during the time I was taken up with my passport; and as there was time enough for me to win the Count to my interest, La Fleur had contrived to make it do to win the maid to his. The family, it seems, was to be at Paris that day; and he had made a party with her, and two or three more of the Count's household, upon the boulevards.
Happy people! that once a week at least are sure to lay down all your cares together, and dance and sing, and sport away the weights of grievance, which bow down the spirit of other nations to the earth.
THE HISTORY OF A WATCH-COAT.
For some time Mr. Sterne lived, in a retired manner, upon a small curacy in Yorkshire, and probably would have remained in the same obscurity, if his lively genius had not displayed itself upon an occasion which secured him a friend, and paved the way for his promotion. A person who filled a lucrative benefice, was not satisfied with enjoying it during his own lifetime, but exerted all his interest to have it entailed on his wife and son after his decease: the gen. tleman that expected the reversion of this post was Mr. Sterne's friend, who had not, however, sufficient influence to prevent the success of his adversary. At this time Sterne's satirical pen operated so strongly, that the intended monopoliser informed him, if he would suppress the publication of his sarcasm, he would resign his pretensions to the next candidate.