Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

 
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[4]

CALAIS

WHEN I had finish'd my din-
ner, 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 huma-
nity of his temper---I rose up an inch
taller for the accomodation.

---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 ac-
knowledged this, I felt a suffusion of
a finer kind upon my cheek---more
warm and friendly to man, than  

                      what

 

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what Burgundy (at least of two livres
a bottle, which was such as I had
been drinking) could have produced.

---Just God! said I, kicking my
portmanteau aside, what is there in
this world's goods which should
sharpen our spirits, and make so many
kind-hearted brethren of us, fall out
so cruelly as we do by the way?

When a man is at peace with man,
how much lighter than a feather is
the heaviest of metals in his hand!
he pulls out his purse, and holding it
airily and uncompress'd, looks round
him, as if he sought for an object to
share it with.---In doing this, I felt

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every vessel in my frame dilate---the
arteries beat all chearily together,
and every power which sustained life,
perform'd it with so little friction,
that 'twould have confounded the
most physical précieuse in France: with
all her materialism, she could scarce
have called me a machine---

I'm confident, said I to myself, I
should have overset her creed.

The accession of that idea, carried
nature, at that time, as high as she
could go---I was at peace with the
world before, and this finish'd the
treaty with myself---

                      ---Now,

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---Now, was I a King of France,
cried I---what a moment for an or-
phan to have begg'd his father's
portmanteau of me!


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