Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

 
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[45]

THE REMISE DOOR.

CALAIS.

WHEN I told the reader that I
did not care to get out of the
Désobligeant, because I saw the monk
in close conference with a lady just
arrived at the inn---I told him the
truth; but I didn't tell him the
whole truth; for I was full as much
restrained by the appearance and
figure of the lady he was talking to.
Suspicion crossed my brain, and said,
he was telling her what had passed:
something jarred upon it within me---
I wished him at his convent.

                     When

[46]

When the heart flies out before
the understanding, it saves the judg-
ement a world of pains---I was cer-
tain she was of a better order of
beings---however, I thought no more
of her, but went on and wrote my
preface.

The impression returned, upon my
encounter with her in the street; a
guarded frankness, with which she
gave me her hand, shewed, I
thought, her good education and her
good sense; and as I led her on, I
felt a pleasurable ductility about her,
which spread a calmness over all my
spirits---

 I               ---Good

[47]

---Good God! how a man might
lead such a creature as this round the
world with him!

I had not yet seen her face---'twas
not material; for the drawing was
instantly set about, and long before
we had got to the door of the
Remise, Fancy had finish'd the whole
head, and pleased herself as much
with its fitting goddess, as if
she had dived into the TIBER for it---
but thou art a seduced, and a se-
ducing slut; and albeit thou cheatest
us seven times a day with thy pic-
tures and images, yet with so many
charms dost thou do it, and thou
deckest out thy pictures in the shapes
of so many angels of light, 'tis a
shame to break with thee.

               When

[48]

When we had got to the door of
the Remise, she withdrew her hand
from across her forehead, and let me
see the original---it was a face of
about six and twenty---of a clear
transparent brown, simply set off
without rouge or powder---it was not
critically handsome, but there was
that in it, which, in the frame of
mind I was in, attached me
much more to it---it was interesting;
I fancied it wore the character of a
widow'd look, and in that state of
its declension, which had passed the
two first paroxysms of sorrow, and
was quietly beginning to reconcile
itself to its loss--- but a thousand
other distresses might have traced
the same lines; I wish'd to know

 3                      what

[49]

what they might have been---and was ready
to enquire (had the same bon ton of
conversation permitted, as in the days
of Esdras)---"What aileth thee? and
why art thou disquieted? and why is
thy understanding troubled?
"
---In a
word, I felt benevolence for her;
and resolved some way or other to
throw in my mite of courtesy--- if
not of service.

Such were my temptations---and
in this disposition to give way to
them, was I left alone with this lady
with her hand in mine, and with our
faces both turned closer to the door
of the Remise than what was ab-
solutely necessary.

       VOL. I.          E            THE       


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